The Daily Blog Open Mic – 3rd April 2022

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


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, Qanon lunacy, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics, 5G conspiracy theories, the virus is a bioweapon, some weird bullshit about the UN taking over the world  and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.


  1. In Moana Jackson’s valedictory there is a mention of Bruce Jesson who might not be at the front of people’s minds, being gone from our midst since dying of cancer at only 55 years in 1999.

    But this summation of one of his books is so up to date that his beliefs and experiences should be with us at our shoulders. This from the blurb by David Harcourt on his book
    “New Zealand’s economy was once dominated by people who made things; it is now dominated by people who finance things. Bruce Jesson argues that New Zealand has been transformed, since 1984, by the culture of finance, and that our society and economy are now subject to irrational, speculative forces.”

    “FIVE STARS!! Only Their Purpose is Mad tracks the destructive impacts of what Bruce Jesson termed “the open slather approach to economic reform”. Twenty years after the reforms, New Zealand still lives with the legacy of that period in the form of unemployment and poverty. The government’s response is to blame the social welfare system and to propose policy reforms that will take us along the same failed path.”

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bruce Jesson was born in Christchurch in 1944 and had an Ll.B from Canterbury University. He worked as a labourer, wool presser, dustman and freezingworker, and was a househusband for several years before becoming a freelance journalist. The author published The Republican between 1974 and 1995. He was political columnist for Metro magazine for many years. His work has been published in a large number of New Zealand newspapers and magazines, and also in Australia and Britain. In 1991, Bruce Jesson was elected to the Auckland Regional Council, and was chair of the Auckland Regional Services Trust between 1992 and 1995. He was the author of Behind the Mirror Glass and Fragments of Labour, co-author of Revival of the Right, and co-editor of Political Review.

    2019 item by Russel Norman in connection with his 2019 lecture about the climate crisis.

    Bruce Jesson Lectures have been delivered by: David Lange (2000), Brian Easton (2001), Chris Trotter (2002), Jane Kelsey (2003), Ani Mikaere (2004), Colin James (2005), Gordon Campbell (2006), Laila Harre (2007), Mike Lee (2008), Robert Wade (2009), Annette Sykes (2010), Paul Dalziel (2011), Nicky Hager (2012), Ted Thomas (2013), Mike Joy (2014), Rod Oram (2015), Lisa Marriott (2016), Tāmati Kruger (2017), Bernie Smith (2018), Russel Norman (2019) and Sinead Boucher (2020).
    You may download PDF versions of past lectures by using the ‘Download PDFs‘ link in this menu.

  2. House Passes Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana, Expunge Convictions
    “Though it will not erase the pain millions of people have experienced,” said one activist, “passage of the MORE Act does provide hope that a better future lies ahead.”

    Drug policy reform advocates and progressive lawmakers on Friday celebrated the U.S. House of Representatives’ approval of a bill to decriminalize marijuana nationwide, expunge federal cannabis convictions and arrests, and provide resources for communities targeted by the war on drugs.

    “Now, it’s up to the Senate to finish the job.”

    • The right wing holds firmly to their vow to not use their brains and rationality till the cows come home or something that seems of value to them personally. They largely all stuck together and voted against the cannabis bill but the Democrats got it on its way. There is still time to dump it later apparently. God help us, it’s like watching (grey) paint dry (at night).

      From link: “We did it,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) after announcing the 220-204 vote, which was mostly along party lines, with just three Republicans joining all but two Democrats in supporting the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act (H.R. 3617)…

      The MORE Act faces an uphill battle in the evenly split Senate, where the filibuster enables the GOP to block many bills and at least two Democrats—Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire—”have expressed skepticism about the proposal,” as The Hill noted Friday…

      Advocates and stakeholders are eagerly awaiting the formal introduction of a separate Senate legalization bill that’s being finalized by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and colleagues. Schumer recently said the plan is to file that bill—the Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act (CAOA)—in April.

      Also in Congress, a separate bill to tax and regulate marijuana is… in play this session. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) is sponsoring that legislation, and she said in a recent interview that she’s received assurances from Democratic leaders that her States Reform Act will receive a hearing following the MORE Act floor vote.

      A wise woman, Rep, Nancy Mace, enabling tax and control which will likely help to ease its way into a law that will work as well as possible.

    Can it be said to be a government decision in reality? Would it not be a MOBIE one? Aren’t these agencies/departments working virtually restraint free from government according to their own preferences? And is Stuart Nash looking a bit bloated and not the sort of person able to keep the lean, mean, money machine that runs tourism, in touch with 100% reality, in touch with the population that lies in an almost invisible blanket (from space) over the scenic wonders of the country or mans/womans the casinos and tourist facilities, miking coffee machines instead of dairy cows udders? Probably half of them at Mobie are imports moving round the world to where the fruit is ripest and hanging closest to the ground. They are as ubiquitous and irritating as ants which are proliferating in our present climate.

    John has only months to live, and with no family of his own, he’s dependent on Social Services to find a suitable family to take Michael after he’s gone.
    Every weekend, he and Michael visit another prospective family – all different, all potentially perfect or disastrous.

    FGS this sort of film is put on regularly and imedically useful to ensure that people’s tear ducts work. And psychologically, it keeps the empathy neurons working so that people know they can still feel for others. But notice the brain flash has to be intense to break through the barriers of sludge.

    But it is easier to declare oneself a softie and a weepie after the pics, so that you can then go back to ignoring the real distress being caused by government and society and which you as a conservative, left or right, are willing to put up with so long as you personally are okay. And get your shot of emotion to give a donation to the latest plea for specialist treatment in New York for someone dying with a terminal disease – so sad.

    The kids down the road are just a nuisance and pinch your flowers and lemons and anything else they can lay their hands on. Is there room in your mind (heart) for some local support like a non-religious agency, for them, their mother/parents, and other people like them? Or do you use up all your emotion watching fictional life, acted-out suffering

  5. Get a gong and a halo. For placing a complex wee machine between a learner and teacher.
    What a great way to make money – replacing paper* and get a golden halo for it. There are good reasons for keeping paper as a cheap important resource for schools and students who work out simple solutions through using this ubiquitous commodity. But no you get awards or a new way of making life more complex and costly but making lots of bucks personally for the device manufacturer. It’s just the same as the guy who supplied pencils to the Soviets when they were moving upwards from illiterate peasants isn’t it? No it isn’t.

    Education in the Soviet Union: How Did it Change? – History of … › education-in-the-soviet…
    6/12/2019 — However, Nokrompos could only supply one pencil for every 60 students, leaving students writing with pieces of coal; teachers were poorly paid …
    Armand Hammer | American businessman – Encyclopedia … › … › Banking & Business
    In 1925 he obtained a concession from the Bolsheviks to manufacture pencils for the Soviet Union, and his firm soon became the largest supplier of cheap, …

    Armand Hammer – Biography › armand-hammer
    Armand Hammer (1898-1992) was a physician turned entrepreneur and art collector whose natural talent for business made him a billionaire.

    *While young forests tend to absorb more carbon overall because trees can be crowded together when they’re small, a tree’s carbon absorption rate accelerates as it ages.23/05/2019
    Tall and old or dense and young: Which kind of forest is better … › 2019/05 › tall-and-old-or…

    Now the capitalists want to take away the simple, cheap, useful and replace it with their transitory apps and devices requiring rare minerals to make and replace, with redundancy built in. And education to use them must be a big part of a person’s learning. Bah, humbug.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the adoption of technology in the classroom, Wang says.
    When the pandemic first began causing chaos in schools around the world, Kami’s makers made the bold decision to start giving it away for free.
    “It was a bit scary seeing sales go down to zero almost overnight. The whole world changed under your feet.
    “But I think a lot of teachers and school administrators came back to us a month later and said, you are an essential tool, we need you. I don’t care where I find the money, I want to support you guys and buy the product.”
    Now, as more and more children return to the classroom, Kami is taking root as an important teaching tool, he says.
    (It still leaves people with the idea that they need a device to do anything they think of doing. Not the move to a self reliant country. Takes us further towards the cargo cult mentality that we have scorned in other simple undeveloped societies. And please note, takes us back to the situation that Maori found themselves in when Europeans came and introduced the system of cash payments, the money society, the start of our present ‘cannibal capitalism’. And we connect cannibals with ancient bad practices! It would be wise to look at the new way of eating society – alive.)

  7. There is some talk about Russia and the UK. I think they look after a lot of the oligarchs’ assets.
    Here is a clip from Yes Minister which might explain this, as it was in the past, or not.

    Other excerpts. Interesting to see and hear the subjects of so much reporting.
    Putin on Ronald Reagan short clip 2m

    Oliver Stone on how the US misunderstands Putin

    Excerpt – Part 1: Oliver Stone Interviews Putin on U.S.-Russia Relations, 2016 Election, Snowden & NATO

    Christopher Hitchen telling how good it was with the collapse of Russian communism, the Berlin Wall etc
    grinding the Axes of Evil. A brief flash of history. 9.15 m

    8 years ago in Ukraine – Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine: NEWSNIGHT – Those interviewed are young and look around 21. 6.48 m

    Noam Chomsky on world matters from 2015.
    USA and Israel he considers are the two rogue states. The greatest threat to Israel is now its own policies.
    Noam Chomsky: US is world’s biggest terrorist.

  8. $1.3 billion – you’re joking? To make sure we are getting properly trained and committed professionals?
    Over 25 years? How come we can’t talk in 5 year terms at a time when we have ever faster computers which are out of date or their programs, within three years. How come we need this, don’t have a decently working control system already with a proper enginerering professional body that ensures this or don’t they care how they are regarded, how people won’t trust them and their supposed qualifications perhaps being fake and shoddy????

  9. This is a goody. Imagine having a set of managers handling a complex operation and having no agency or authority over them and knowing they are erratic and patchy at their work and, objectively, stray so far from their trend line that one would need to employ private detectives to find them and glue them to their work tables. That’s sort of how our government runs. And the Speaker Trevor Mallard is strutting like an old rooster proud that he can still crow!

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
    The original phrase is “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” in Latin, which literally translates to “Who will guard the guards themselves,” the modern version of which has become “Who watches the watchmen?” The phrase is a general embodiment of the idea that it can be hard to hold those in power accountable.20/10/2019
    The Meaning Behind “Who Watches the Watchmen?” › entertainment › meaning-be…

    • Let’s look that link over OwT. Oz stirrer – Michael Savage came like a fresh breeze, from Oz at a time of turmoil and hopelessness, so you never know what you might get from them.

      This group, calling itself a “grand jury”, was led by Australian woman Sandra Crack, who has claimed to be the “chief sheriff” of Australia. ..
      For more than five hours, the group discussed the supposed crimes that had been committed. Among those on the Zoom call were John Ansell, the former National party ad-man, and Jamie Mansfield – who uses the pseudonym Jae Ratana – who was involved in setting up the occupation at Parliament. …

      Days later, one of the meeting’s participants, Kerre Reddy – a horse whisperer from Eketahuna, who calls herself the chief sheriff of New Zealand – posted an eviction notice on a Facebook group she administers.
      This “common law sheriff” movement draws inspiration from the sovereign citizen phenomenon, which has had a minor influence in New Zealand before now. The FBI in the United States has previously described sovereign citizens as a domestic terrorism threat.
      Broadly speaking, its central idea is that the Government – which, they believe, is actually a corporation – is inherently illegitimate, and thus so are its laws and regulations.

      Participants can pick and choose which laws are valid, which they describe as “common law”. While common law is developed through case law by judges – within the judicial framework and based in statutory interpretation – their interpretation of common law typically invokes a range of historical laws and principles including the Magna Carta signed in 1215 and the King James Bible….
      When far-right activist Richard Sivell was arrested last week he was occupying a Crown-owned building used by local schools, over which he claimed he had “allodial title”.
      In the common law movement, anyone can claim unoccupied land as allodial title, as long as they demonstrate a commitment to remain there – usually by planting vegetables. Kerre Reddy, the “chief sheriff”, occupied a historic reserve last year citing the same concept, which does not exist in New Zealand law.

      Online interest in common law has grown significantly in the last month, said Dr Sanjana Hattotuwa, an independent researcher who works with the Disinformation Project at the University of Auckland.
      It wasn’t just limited to extremist fringes of the movement, he said; it was spilling over into mainstream forums like Facebook and Twitter…

      While the sovereign citizen and common law movements have existed for some time, they have merged with anti-vaccination rhetoric.
      The appeal is obvious; common law provides a framework for exempting oneself from being vaccinated, wearing a mask, or complying with any Covid regulation…
      Now, with the announcement that vaccination mandates would end, these groups have increasingly turned their attention to vengeance.
      “Now the whole conversation writ large is around holding the PM and the government accountable for genocide. And that’s where you find this heightened discussion around, you know, self appointments of sheriffs and marshals…

      “What are we talking about here? We’re talking about kidnapping. We’re talking about what we call kinetic offline harms, that if you resist, they may be emboldened to take you into custody, and God knows what that means. So I think that we’re looking at a very, very serious development here that you can’t just laugh away.”

      These people are stirred up by the very real drop in living standards and freedom of movement caused by precautions against Covid. This is on top of privations that have been ongoing for decades that people have endured, and seen others commit suicide over or fall into mental or other illness largely from the economic and social deterioration in NZ. There is no settled life for them. They can’t get steady work, buy a dwelling as a base, and government or private authorities set punitive fines for relatively minor offences – think parking with Wilsons’ hand out for two days food for overparking. It’s hard to manage on low and erratic wages.

      A law important to them – lawful, personal cannabis use has been fought for so long, unsuccessfully. They can see that government isn’t interested in meeting their reasonable requirements, and so are becoming unreasonable, think ‘What am I going to lose, things will get worse no matter what I do’.

      Their ideas seem to be on the lines of Town Hall Meetings with real outcomes on decisions after worthy consideration. It seems a sensible way for government to cool the hotheads and those who are seeking new ways under the urgency of privation, loss of normal living as climate change advances and the imposition of neo lib economics demolish normal life and raise barriers and privations!

      So not comedy at all I think OwT. Change is needed and those who have been closer to the edge than ‘the comfortable middles’ know it and are forcing some movement towards it. Don’t push it to the distant future, we may not have one. Start now with near dates for pilot programs approved by a broad number of people, each having a short time to address a meeting and the option of filling out questionnaires with more detail for government action,. Regular meetings around the country and an email address to refer to.

      • Too much for me to digest atm @Grey given that my ability to multitaks is diminished in my old age, and with ankle biters nibbling, A couple of things did stand out though,
        I’ve never believed in taking on battles that were unwinnable because I learnt a long time ago that maryrdom is a mugs game and doesn’t really get “US” anywhere.

        It’s a shame though that you’re not here in Wellington atm in amongst it. There are better things to pins ones ego and mana on than utter muppetry.
        Pardon me though if I saw a bit of humour in an Australian called Ms Crack and some flak-jacketed Common law Sharrif trying to call the tune for all of ‘US’.

        I actually had the misfortune to follow some of them today whilst going about my bizz. JESUS it was pathetic

        • OwT The trouble is that there is a lot of muscle and energy in these people. I saw a vid of Ukraine fighters being active over there and they’re all young men. Those in NZ can’t be left to rage around driven by distant pictures and thoughts of those who want to whiteant anything that has been built up over decades and become taken for granted. Perhaps we should call in Temple Grandin who got to the heart of a problem about non-moving cattle on a path – seems they got spooked by the shadow of a flag waving in the wind and it awoke their primitive fears of possible dangers lurking! Rationality demands that we should treat problems of irrationality with care.

          And I don’t want to be there amongst it. That’s not where cool useful considerations and discussions happen, or anything of lasting value. Hope the ankle biters settle down. Trying to work with them on a one to one or two basis should give an opportunity to direct their energies in some fruitful way, unlike the other excitable rabble. Here’s a suitable bit of Monty Python, those funny, astute, perceptive men.

      • I think I skimmed your reply too quickly @ Grey. All you say is true.
        It still makes it all sad, pathetic, but still funny. Sandra Crack FFS.
        And that common law Sheriff complete with flak jacket who probably needs a bloody semi to replace is tiny peewee and enlarged ego.
        And then NZ’s Head Sheriff who reminds me of one of Paekakariki’s aging hippies who just can’t grow old gracefully. Sheriffs and honours students from the schools of Google, Facebook and Twitter.

  10. Builders must ‘jib’ at this info.
    Fletcher Building subsidiary Winstone Wallboards, which supplies 95 percent of plasterboard in New Zealand, has put a hold on new orders from distributors while it works on a new “allocation model” to take effect in July.
    PlaceMakers said there were shortages of other several products, including frames, steel, fibre cement products, insulation and structural flooring and prices would be going up this month.

    Fletchers is no longer a majority owned NZ company I understand, being part of pension fund holdings, hedge investors? – that sort of investor from overseas. They looked at NZ and bought the company country and now own the company supplying 95% of the wallboard that is majorly used in NZ. Vulnerable and dependent on others for materials we used to make or buy in for ourselves. Clever huh!

    In poorer countries they sell off their children so they can afford to feed the new ones coming along, birth control not always possible. We however try to cut down on the children, and assessing people as economic units, we import the bodies at a bulk rate from overseas and then make a profit on selling them their documentation of approval. Clever again, killing two birds with one stone.

    • Greed is good! Where’s there’s a buck to be made we’re taught to be entrepreneurial and go for it, whether it’s gibraltar board, labour, immigration or most other commodities. I see they’re currently trying to get an earn out of Hs/Herstory and what we once understood to be public service broadcasting – so far, quite successfully thanks to the Procrastinator in Chief being in charge. (/sarc)


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