The Daily Blog Open Mic – Sunday – 5th July 2020


Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.


  1. 4th July 2020.

    Note to all Central and local Government and rail stakeholders, call for action;

    CEAC request to Government to make Kiwi Rail open up the Gisborne rail for ‘open access’ so other rail providers can do what Kiwi Rail refuses to do for the benefit of the public taxpayer, and review Kiwi Rail’s lax policy on Climate change again as we encourage rail to switch to increasing electrification of our rail fleet when purchasing locomotives in future as Kiwi Rail current logic buying diesel engines is against Government’s own climate change policy to “move to a low-emissions future” for future generations to benefit from coupled together with the health and well-being of our planet and our citizens.

    Gisborne has been ‘forgotten’ for the last eight years when it comes to restoring rail – here’s another example of other regions going forward while Gisborne dies.

    Heritage steam train turns in direction of domestic tourism
    9:05 pm on 4 July 2020

    A tourism company facing a downturn in cruise ship passengers has shifted its focus to heritage rail journeys for New Zealanders.

    Blenheim based Pounamu Tourism Group will operate a 1915 steam train throughout the South Island next year, including one journey that runs the length of the island.
    The company said it was facing the loss of up to 10,000 cruise ship passengers who would normally arrive in Picton and take a steam train journey to Blenheim and sometimes beyond.
    Director Paul Jackson said like many tourism businesses recovering from Covid-19 restrictions, they needed to change their focus in order to move forward.
    He said the idea for the Great Southern Steam Train Tour emerged to expand heritage rail tours on the Marlborough Flyer, to help Kiwis explore their own backyard by steam train.
    “Over the lockdown, we were scratching our heads, like the entire tourism industry, and looking for ways to not only survive the period but also come out and try and flourish to keep the business going.
    “The obvious, and only direction was domestic tourism.”

    Jackson said cruise ship passengers made up 95 percent of their market, and the loss of that forced them to look inward.
    “We’ve got this wonderful asset; this fantastic 1915 coal-fired steam locomotive which is a living piece of railway heritage – why don’t we take it further south.”
    The 1915 locomotive named Passchendaele was restored by Paekakariki-based Steam Incorporated.
    Passchendaele, or Ab608 was the first of Ab class locos built in 1915, in Christchurch’s Addington workshops, and was named in honour of railway workers killed in World War I.
    Jackson said it was quite a process organising the South Island tour, in conjunction with Steam Incorporated, which overhauled the locomotive on its return each year to Paekakariki.
    “There are quite a lot of logistics involved as the train comes over [to Marlborough] at the start of each season on the Cook Strait ferry – that’s over 100 metres of train coming over on the ferry, and that’s the first hurdle.”

    Jackson said the company worked under a heritage access agreement and worked with Steam Incorporated and Kiwirail to get line access.
    “We basically schedule the train, and along the way, we have coal and water stops.”
    The Great Southern Steam Train Tour is scheduled for next April and offers a range of options departing from Wellington, Christchurch, Invercargill or Blenheim.
    Jackson said the longest itinerary, which covered the length of the South Island from Marlborough through Kaikōura, Christchurch, Ōamaru, Dunedin and Invercargill, would cost just under $6000. That covered accommodation and extra tours inland to Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown and Franz Josef, and a return trip to Christchurch on the TranzAlpine via Arthur’s Pass.
    “We realise it’s a significant amount of money for the domestic market, but if you break it down it covers four-star accommodation over 13 days, all breakfasts and dinners, and many excursions and activities at each stop.”
    Jackson said even in the current economic climate it was necessary to take risks.
    “We’re cautiously optimistic but there’s a lot of pent-up demand in the market. A lot of people realise they can’t go overseas but they still have the money to travel and so far we’ve had a very good response.”

  2. Kanye West, net worth is $1.3 billion, is apparently throwing his cap into the presidential ring… for this year?

    IF he follows through on this, he may leave both the mad hatter presently in the white house and ol’ man Biden.. in the dust of the past. It may sound crazy, but so did the thought of mr game-show-host trump ever making it through.


    And FORGET the Trans Tasman ‘bubble’, please, we do not want to run the risk, thanks. Better get honest with your economic plans also, stop bailing out fossil fuel dependent businesses and get STARTED with building truly sustainable energy and other infrastructure here in New Zealand, also telling people to stop bloody dreaming about a return to the ‘business as usual’ we had before COVID 19! People, especially city dwellers, have to learn to get their hands dirty again, to learn to grow food, to do tasks that we need to do, without relying on cheap and not so cheap imported labour!

    Nobody must be given any excuse to cling to an unsustainable BS lifestyle that is wrecking the environment and keeping us dependent on fossil fuels, on finite resources and overseas buyers of our products. Get the damned well REAL and honest, thanks, Jacinda.

    • Mike Thinking about trying to adapt or return to some more environmental ways, and ban others, there is something that I haven’t seen raised to date. The effect of overseas corporations interfering in our efforts to change our methods, if that will cause loss of profits to them. The ISDS clauses have been bandied around, studied by various entities, and been agreed as allowing for fair this or that, but I have a strong suspicion that a lot of those findings are balderdash. There is no reason to think that shitty and onerous behaviour having become BAU should change when there is no advantage to the blood-suckers.

      Some content around the trade agreements and the measures for solving legal attacks and disputes.
      …The concluded TPP Agreement was signed in February 2016. New Zealand, which is the depository for the TPP, ratified the Agreement in May 2017. Japan has also ratified it.
      However, the TPP Agreement cannot enter into force until it is also ratified by four other signatories, including the United States. The US has notified that it does not intend to become a party to the Agreement.
      In light of the US withdrawal, ministers from the remaining 11 members affirmed the economic and strategic importance of the TPP.
      On 23 January 2018, negotiations were concluded on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

      Note details about: Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)
      …ISDS cannot ask governments to overturn local laws (unlike the World Trade Organization) which violate trade agreements, but can grant monetary damages to investors adversely affected by such laws.[134] As pointed out by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, ISDS requires specific treaty violations, and does not allow corporations to sue solely over “lost profits”….
      …economists Joseph Stiglitz and Adam S. Hersh criticized the ISDS provisions of the TPP for interfering with the ability of governments to prevent public harm, alleging that if asbestos been discovered today, governments would have been unable to impose regulations without creating grounds for an ISDS suit.[137] Stiglitz also claimed that the TPP would give oil companies the right to sue governments for efforts to reduce carbon emissions and global warming.

  4. 150+ civil groups make a global call for a ‘New and Improved Normal’ for a post-pandemic world. CommonDreams 2nd July 2020

    “Now is the moment to reflect on the world as it is and consider a better alternative for the future.”

    Over 150 groups on Thursday called for a “new normal” post-pandemic in which the human and economic costs of military spending are slashed, mulitlateralism is boosted, and inequality is uprooted in order to center true human security.

    The call comes in an open letter whose original endorsers include the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, both Nobel-winning groups.

    As of this writing, the letter has been signed by 156 organizations representing a wide range of issues. Global backers include the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, the Cluster Munitions Coalition, and Mayors for Peace. U.S.-based groups including CodePink and Peace Action have signed, as have the West African Action Network on Small Arms and the Arab Human Security Network.

    “Now is the moment to reflect on the world as it is and consider a better alternative for the future,” the groups say in the letter.

  5. To anyone who remembers this song: The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down …Tony Norman provides remarkable insight, and a whole other dimension when it is heard as the backdrop for the falling monuments and crashing statues in the US today.

    Robbie Robertson, a Canadian of Jewish and Six Nations descent, wrote the lyrics that the late, great Levon Helm, his musical collaborator in The Band, would make instantly iconic on their eponymous second album.

    Perhaps it took someone like Levon — a hard-drumming son of Arkansas and the only American in a band of wild, singing Canadians — to convey the melancholy of the southerner trying to reconcile the glory of a manufactured past with the reality of ignominious loss.

    Unless history is imagined as a one-sided glorification of violence and a cruel social order, the statues were never anything more than mute witnesses to a corrupt status quo. They didn’t interrogate anything or anyone, ever. Their very presence shouted “white power” from an era America had already written too many romance stories about. From The Day they Tore Old Dixie Down

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