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Radical Emptiness

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I must admit that I was bracing myself this Monday morning at the prospect of Labour’s latest plans for tackling AGW, given all the talk about dairy farmers being forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars per year for our terrible Green House Gas (GHG) emission sins!

I was therefore immensely pleased to read this in Kiwiblog on Tuesday morning:

Stuff took the time to tally up these 284 listed actions and classify them.

Over half (158) are not really plans at all, but are plans to make a plan down the road, or to scope the scale of a possible policy, or develop an evidence base to build a policy on.

Excellent. NZ Labour strikes again. Plans and more plans amounting to nothing, although unfortunately a lot of money will be pissed up against various walls. It’s reached a sad stage in government when the best you can hope for is that the ideological fanatics you oppose turn out to be incompetent morons who couldn’t find their assholes with a mirror and a magnifying glass.

Still, let us be grateful for small mercies and the fact that for all the bloviating about the Climate Crisis, Labour have figured out that to really reduce emissions as far and as fast as they want would mean doing things that would be … harsh. This was explored from a US perspective in this article from 2019 where the writer lays out the reality of “getting serious” about reducing GHG emissions by imagining what a True Believer President (Democrat naturally) would have to do:

Inslee had launched his campaign two years earlier as a longshot, single-issue candidate. But events rapidly outpaced what had begun as a boutique candidacy intended to call attention to climate change.

As his first act as president, Inslee declared a national climate emergency. As his second, he announced national carbon rationing. Until further notice, consumers were limited to one tank of gas per month. Based on time of year and regional climates, natural gas and heating oil deliveries to households were cut by as much as 60%. Utilities were directed to submit plans within the month to cut total electricity generation by 40% and to optimize their existing generation mix to use as little fossil generation as possible.

In this imaginary scenario Inslee wins because Mother Nature delivers droughts, storms, tornadoes and hurricanes that perfectly fit his campaign. Congress follows Inslee (a real politician btw) and:

  • Nationalises the entire US electricity industry (the massive TVA and BPA are already public).
  • Creates a National Renewable Energy Corporation to produce enough wind turbines and solar panels to produce 60% of the nation’s electric power by 2030.
  • Creates the National Nuclear Energy Corporation, which takes over all private nuclear businesses build 200 single-design reactors in a decade to handle the other 40% of power needs.
  • Nationalises the Big Three US automakers to retool all their factories in three years to make EV’s.

While it’s imaginary the writer compares this to what is actually being proposed or being done to show how moderate even the calls of most US greens are.

As many environmentalists and even elected Democrats have come to believe that serious climate disruption is already upon us, it has become fashionable to call for a World War II-style mobilization to fight climate change. But virtually no one will actually call for any of the sorts of activities that the United States undertook during the war mobilization—rationing food and fuels, seizing property, nationalizing factories or industries, or suspending democratic liberties.

In other words even the zealots are full of it, and, although they probably are genuinely alarmed, don’t actually see climate change as the immediate and existential threat they publicly say it is. The article is lengthy and goes into some detail about the post-war history of the US Left in five sections:

  • The Libertarian Left.
  • From Public Goods to Market Failure.
  • Communitarian Capitalism.
  • Tilting with Windmills.
  • Our Divided Neoliberal House.

All of which has led them into a position where they can’t go for the imaginary ideas of a President Inslee. Thankfully, because it would likely be a catastrophe. If you think that’s OTT I suggest you look at what’s happening in Sri Lanka as a direct result of an ideological, scientifically ignorant decision by it’s (former) President to ban agrochemicals for farming. Which led to this:

Within six months of the ban, rice production in the country—a once very sufficient industry—dropped 20 percent, forcing Sri Lanka to import $450 million of rice to meet supply needs and surging rice prices rose nearly 50 percent.

Now, Sri Lanka will pay farmers across the country 40,000 million rupees ($200 million) to compensate for their barren harvests and crop failures. In addition to the funding, the Sri Lankan government will pay $149 million in price subsidies to rice farmers impacted by the loss.

Which then led to this:

Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy and has suspended payments on its foreign loans. Its economic miseries have brought on a political crisis, with the government facing a protests and a no-confidence motion in Parliament.

The reserves declined to $3.1 billion by the end of 2021, and to $1.9 billion by the end of March, he said. With foreign currency in short supply thanks to less tourism and other revenues, official reserves were tapped to pay for importing essentials including fuel, gas, coal and medicines beginning in August 2021.

Which has led to this, with only enough petrol to last one more day.

I note that the NZ Feckless covered this story a couple of days ago and in the story I read did not once mention the organic farming decision that led to all this. Stuff talks only of Chinese infrastructure projects and debts. Dishonest assholes.

Adam Smith once said, in reply to a student’s concerns about Britain being ruined by the loss of the American colonies, that “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation”. Sri Lanka is about to test the limits of that – and don’t for one moment think it couldn’t happen here if we had equally fanatical environmental decisions made here along the lines of “President Inslee”.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 18, 2022 at 6:00 am


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Tis said that economists oft resemble accountants minus the personality. Cameron Bagrie certainly fits that mold. That aside I have generally supported his views on the economy.

But I do find it surprising that he should label National’s proposed ditching of the 39% tax rate and the indexation of tax brackets as inflationary while ignoring the effect of the additional six billion dollar spending increase foreshadowed in next weeks budget. $1.6b in peoples hands to save/spend/reduce debt vs $6b of new government spending from a mob whose hallmark is ‘never mind the quality, feel the width’ and tell me just which one makes better sense in a country where the government is leveraging off its credit card and refining borrow and hope to new levels.

The government’s investment of $45m plus into the Public Journalism Fund continues to reap dividends for them. Extensive coverage of Bagrie’s view on National’s tax cuts proposal and nary a mention of the effect on inflation of the government’s additional $6b spend up.

Written by The Veteran

May 12, 2022 at 1:19 pm


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On ANZAC we were treated to speeches by politicians and other worthies referring to the sacrifices of the servicemen and servicewomen who have served our country along with assurances that they will continue to be remembered and never forgotten. Nice words indeed.

Contrast that with the statement by the Director of VANZ that staffing shortages have meant they have had to prioritize the handling of pension claim requests with priority being afforded (as it should be) to those suffering from terminal conditions. Other claimants are having to wait extended periods to have their claims processed. Claimants who disagree with decisions of VANZ can expect to wait up to a year to have their review of decision request processed. If it is taken to appeal the delay can be longer.

All this against the backdrop of a huge increase in the core public service numbers since Labour came to office. In the last two years alone we saw increases of 8.6% (2000) and 6.9% (2021) in FTEs (full-time equivalents) in the public service boosting their numbers to 61,100.

Clearly VANZ is at the bottom of the heap and close to out the door when it comes to being considered for additional staffing to meet an identified need. On ANZAC Day words are cheep …. by their deeds you shall know ‘them’.

Written by The Veteran

May 7, 2022 at 4:27 pm

Posted in New Zealand, NZ Labour Party

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Finance Minister Robertson’s wringing of his hands on Morning Report acknowledging that ‘we’ can expect inflation to increase further over the next two quarters suggests he has no answers and what will be will be. The country expects/demands leadership and here we have the man in charge of the levers with no answers and nothing to offer other than to continue to borrow and hope.

Nicola Willis is right on the money with her recipe for easing inflationary pressures …. (1) stop adding extra costs to businesses that are being passed on to consumers and (2) stop wasteful government spending and (3) expedite the entry of skilled workers back into the country.

But no … all Labour can do is point to increased new spending in the upcoming budget … all on borrowed money … spending ones way out of inflation is an interesting concept.

Meanwhile Kiwi families at the coalface struggle to make ends meet.

Written by The Veteran

April 19, 2022 at 1:17 pm


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the resignation of another MP went almost unnoticed. Louisa Wall held the Manurewa seat for three terms until she was edited out of it in a grubby head-office deal which saw her relegated to a List only position. Later it transpired that her successor had been profiled and lorded by Kainga Ora even though they were aware she was seeking the Labour Party nomination for the seat sparking a State Services Commission investigation which found Kianga Ora had acted improperly.

Prior to her election to Parliament Wall achieved success as a member of the Black Ferns who went on the win the inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup. In 1997 she was named New Zealand Women’s Rugby Player of the Year. In 2019 she was inducted into the Maori Sports Hall of Fame.

Wall was openly lesbian and very active in the field of human rights. In 2012 she achieved success as a private member when her Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill was drawn in the ballot and subsequently passed into law. In 2020 she joined National’s Simon O’Connor as a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China where they developed mutual respect for each other. It was her advocacy for the rights of the Uyghur peoples of China and particularly her claim that the Chinese were harvesting organs from political prisoners that caused a rift between her and her Party with Ardern, determined to maintain good relations with China, making it clear that Wall did not speak for the government.

Many outside Labour saw her as the best Minister that Labour never had. Others in Labour doubted her commitment as a team player.

Wall has made it clear that her resignation from Parliament was a direct result of the machinations against her by the Labour Party hierarchy. One doubts she is on the Prime Minister’s Xmas card list.

Written by The Veteran

April 9, 2022 at 3:18 pm

Posted in NZ Labour Party

The 80/20 purity rule

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I was amused the other day when co-blogger The Vet, teased me a little about not being an 80/20 bloke – one who’ll take the 80% he agrees with, while accepting the 20% he does not agree with but that comes with the package – and instead being a bit of ideological purist.

As such I decided to run back through NZ elections I’ve been able to vote in and try to recall who I voted for and why.

1981 – Social Credit
Yeah, I laugh too. But under FPP getting rid of Muldoon meant picking the party most likely to defeat National in each seat and where I was registered that year meant that SC was the party most likely to do it. Bit of a shame in that I rather liked our MP Marylin Waring.
2002 – National / National
Sure, every one knew English was going to be buried and deservedly so given how useless National were that year. But the prospect of Clark getting 50%+ of the vote for an absolute majority scared the crap out of me.
1984 – New Zealand Party (Bob Jones)
Amazingly I found that was I was stuck in Remmers, darlings. As before, that meant voting for the party most likely to beat National, although it helped in this case that I agreed with Jones’s notions of freedom from government rules and regulations. Once again I was saddened that the electorate National MP, Doug Graham in his first run, seemed very good, but that’s politics for you.
2005 – National / National
Clark simply had to be beaten. Brash? Meh!
1987 – Labour
Finally, I got the chance to vote for them, and to do so in a positive way rather than as merely a protest or negative vote. Wall Street was in the movie theatres, and the future was so bright I had to wear shades.
2008 – National / ACT
Given that a National win seemed likely, it was already clear that Key and company were going to be squishes so backbone would be needed. The cunning players of National were happy to go with both the Maori and ACT parties, nullifying the “extremes” of each.
1990 – Did not vote
I was just too damned busy in the USA to figure out how to vote remotely. In any case everybody knew Labour was going to be buried (though I don’t think anybody saw how badly they would be), although I still would have voted for them as I had little time for “Spud”.
2011 – National / National
Ok, so the ACT Party was a busted flush and MMP sucks. But who the hell would have wanted Goff and Labour in power? Still, voting National felt like a purely defensive measure.
1993 – Labour
I was still registered for Wellington Central and the Labour MP was Chris Laidlaw whom I took to be a smart chappy (Rhodes Scholar and all). Plus I really enjoyed his old rugby book, Mud In Your Eye.
2014 – National / National
Same again. God, Labour were awful. All the same, every day I woke up to find some new rule and regulation that made life more difficult.
1996 – Labour
Same again, and MMP didn’t mean much. It would not be until I returned to NZ that I found out what a completely wet drip Laidlaw was. I blame Frik du Preez.
2017 – National / National
Same again. Despaired of the idiots who voted for Winston on the basis that National needed a spine (true) but that a man with thirty years of utu would deliver it. The overall result didn’t surprise me. The only positive thing in National that I could truly say I voted for, was Steven Joyce.
1999 – Labour
Back from the USA just in time to vote and it was apparent to everybody that the wheels had fallen off Shipley’s government. Also Clark and Cullen did not seem likely to try and turn the clock back, especially given that the worst troglodytes had decamped to Anderton’s Alliance Party.
2020 – ACT / ACT
Again, more defensive than anything else, since there were policies I didn’t agree with and Seymour struck me as a professional politician and sap. Still, kudos to him for having taken on what may have seemed like a dispiriting challenge and bring ACT back from the dead.

So there it is. Who will I vote for in 2023? At this stage I’ve no idea. Labour perhaps, on the theory that ideas should be tested to destruction. In hindsight we had to have Muldoon if we were ever going to move beyond him and the system of which he was the last gasp.

Written by Tom Hunter

March 31, 2022 at 9:10 am

The Samizdat remains the same

The failure of new generations of Leftists to actually build anything that could be described as Left-wing has started to be noticed by at least some Leftists.

Here in New Zealand the likes of “Bomber” Bradbury have been railing about the uselessness of Ardern’s Labour government to actually solve homelessness, and poverty, despite almost five years in power, the last two with an overwhelming majority in Parliament. Moreover “neo-liberal” capitalism is still here, smashing house prices through the roof and killing young people’s chances of home ownership – with all that implies for starting families.

Moreover, Bradbury notes that even as these failures pile up the fighting over woke politics grows ever more vicious:

I see a woke activist base who act more like a cult protecting dogma than agents of progressive change. I see a Green Party that is next to fucking hopeless on anything other than the delivery of woke empty gestures welded to their own middle class pretensions.

The material issues that truly matter have been dumped in favour of middle class identity politic virtue signals that are parroted by the Twitter mob and anyone who breathes differently gets cancelled.

But it’s a global phenomena. Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger, in his article, What happened to ‘Yes we can’?, bemoans what has happened to the dream of progressives on issue after issue:

For all of my adult life I have identified as a progressive. To me, being a progressive meant that I believed in empowerment…But now, on all the major issues of the day, the message from progressives is “No, you can’t.”

From climate change to drugs to homelessness and racism, Shellenberger sees what Bradbury sees, an ideological and political movement that has gone off the rails:

The reason progressives believe that “No one is safe,” when it comes to climate change, and that the drug-death “homelessness” crisis is unsolvable, is because they are in the grip of a victim ideology characterized by safetyism, learned helplessness, and disempowerment.

This isn’t really that new. Since the 1960s, the New Left has argued that we can’t solve any of our major problems until we overthrow our racist, sexist, and capitalistic system. But for most of my life, up through the election of Obama, there was still a New Deal, “Yes we can!” and “We can do it!” optimism that sat side-by-side with the New Left’s fundamentally disempowering critique of the ­system.

That’s all gone. On climate change, drug deaths, and cultural issues like racism, the message from progressives is that we are doomed unless we dismantle the institutions responsible for our oppressive, racist system. Those of us in Generation X who were raised to believe that racism was something we could overcome have been told in no uncertain terms that we were wrong. Racism is baked into our cultural DNA.

So too does the more hardline Leftist, Matt Taibbi in this article, The Vanishing Legacy of Barack Obama, which starts off in typical Taibbi fashion:

On the road from stirring symbol of hope and change to the Fat Elvis of neoliberalism, birthday-partying Barack Obama sold us all out

Ouch! It only gets nastier from there as he starts with Barack’s fabulous 60th birthday bash in his “Who’s Afraid of Climate Change” $12 million mansion in Martha’s Vineyard:

… advisers prevailed upon the 44th president to reconsider the bacchanal. But characteristically, hilariously, Obama didn’t cancel his party, he merely uninvited those he considered less important, who happened to be almost entirely his most trusted former aides.

There’s a glorious moment in the life of a certain kind of politician, when either because their careers are over, or because they’re so untouchable politically that it doesn’t matter anymore, that they finally get to remove the public mask, no pun intended. This Covid bash was Barack Obama’s “Fuck it!” moment.

I must admit that I laughed out loud at that last bit. Closer observers of Obama had already noticed that aspect of his personality years ago:

Obama was set up to be the greatest of American heroes, but proved to be a common swindler and one of the great political liars of all time — he fooled us all. Moreover, his remarkably vacuous post-presidency is proving true everything Trump said in 2016 about the grasping Washington politicians whose only motives are personal enrichment, and who’d do anything, even attend his wedding, for a buck.

Heh. Trump spoke a great many truths about The Establishment in D.C.

How do these Leftist betrayals keep happening? The thing that Taibbi, and the German Critical Theorists and Gramsci and all the rest of these fabulous Marxist theorists continue to miss is that no matter how you dress up the pig, it’s still a swine, as Tom Wolfe waspishly noted years ago in The Intelligent Co-Ed’s Guide to America, writing about Solzhenitsyn’s coming to America:

With the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the invasion of Czechoslo­vakia in 1968 it had become clear to Mannerist Marxists such as Sartre that the Soviet Union was now an embarrassment. The fault, however, as tout le monde knew, was not with socialism but with Stalinism. Stalin was a madman and had taken socialism on a wrong turn. (Mis­takes happen.) Solzhenitsyn began speaking out as a dissident inside the Soviet Union in 1967. His complaints, his revelations, his struggles with Soviet authorities—they merely underscored just how wrong the Stalinist turn had been.

The publication of The Gulag Archipelago in 1973, however, was a wholly unexpected blow. No one was ready for the obscene horror and grotesque scale of what Solzhenitsyn called “Our Sewage Disposal System”—in which tens of millions were shipped in boxcars to con­centration camps all over the country, in which tens of millions died, in which entire races and national groups were liquidated, insofar as they had existed in the Soviet Union. Moreover, said Solzhenitsyn, the system had not begun with Stalin but with Lenin, who had im­mediately exterminated non-Bolshevik opponents of the old regime and especially the student factions. It was impossible any longer to distinguish the Communist liquidation apparatus from the Nazi.

I always have to laugh at the trajectory that Leftists follow in this descent. People like Gorbachev and Dmitry Volkogonov at least had the excuse of having grown up in a brainwashed system, but not their Western counterparts:

Yet Solzhenitsyn went still further. He said that not only Stalinism, not only Leninism, not only Communism — but socialism itself led to the concentration camps; and not only socialism, but Marxism; and not only Marxism but any ideology that sought to reorganize morality on an a priori basis. Sadder still, it was impossible to say that Soviet socialism was not “real socialism.” On the contrary — it was socialism done by experts!

Intellectuals in Europe and America were willing to forgive Solzhe­nitsyn a great deal. After all, he had been born and raised in the Soviet Union as a Marxist, he had fought in combat for his country, he was a great novelist, he had been in the camps for eight years, he had suf­fered. But for his insistence that the isms themselves led to the death camps — for this he was not likely to be forgiven soon. And in fact the campaign of antisepsis began soon after he was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. (“He suffered too much — he’s crazy.” “He’s a Christian zealot with a Christ complex.” “He’s an agrarian reaction­ary.” “He’s an egotist and a publicity junkie.”)

I vividly recall that this was still the standard take on the man when I was at varsity in the 1980’s.

Solzhenitsyn’s tour of the United States in 1975 was like an enormous funeral procession that no one wanted to see. The White House wanted no part of him. The New York Times sought to bury his two major’ speeches, and only the moral pressure of a lone Times writer, Hilton Kramer, brought them any appreciable coverage at all. The major tele­vision networks declined to run the Solzhenitsyn interview that created such a stir in England earlier this year (it ran on some of the educa­tional channels).

And the literary world in general ignored him completely. In the huge unseen coffin that Solzhenitsyn towed behind him were not only the souls of the zeks who died in the Archipelago. No, the heartless bastard had also chucked in one of the last great visions: the intellec­tual as the Stainless Steel Socialist glistening against the bone heap of capitalism in its final, brutal, fascist phase. There was a bone heap, all right, and it was grisly beyond belief, but socialism had created it.

But the betrayals of Obama and Clinton and Blair and Brown and Ardern (“Wonder Woman”) and Clark and Lange and all the rest, don’t matter. The next leader of the Centre-Left parties will be hailed as the new saviour, and the entire hideous personality-cult-plus-central-control process will start all over again. These are the same people who will tell you earnestly to your face that there’s no way a modern Lenin, Stalin or Mao could arise because the Left would never make that mistake again.


Two current news items … none of them reflecting credit on the Government.

Labour has announced that voters in Tauranga will be denied the opportunity to exercise their vote in the forthcoming local body elections. Instead their lives will continue to be controlled by Commissioners appointed by and accountable (only) to the government. Just what has Labour got against democracy? Is this a foretaste of things to come? So many questions and so few answers.

And it’s also been revealed that the cost of Labour’s vanity Auckland light rail project from the city to the airport has the potential to balloon to $29b according to Treasury papers released today. Back in January the Finance Minister said the project would cost $14.6b. The Treasury papers said information provided to it by the Light Rail Establishment Unit noted cost estimates with an accuracy range of -50 per cent to 100 per cent based on a “very low level of design”. Additionally the Treasury said the establishment unit had not provided any costs for enabling infrastructure for the extra housing and infrastructure needed to realise the extra capacity on water, wastewater, storm-water, other utilities and additional transport requirements.

So basically the cost projections flaunted by Labour back in January weren’t worth the paper they were printed on. Funny that …

Written by The Veteran

March 17, 2022 at 2:14 pm

It takes a crisis…

… to finally put a stop to another crisis.

In this case the Russian invasion of Ukraine looks like it will be the final push needed to shove the Great Chinese Lung Rot Pandemic into history after more than two years of hysteria.

That and shitty polls (USA, more on that in a bit) – or banking problems (Canada), that caused Trudeau to dump the emergency powers about twenty four hours after Parliament granted them, clearly seeing a run on the banks as people feared they might be next to have accounts frozen for crossing him.

Like a lot of other things about the Pandemic, the damage to Canadian banks could be long-term; after all, why would you now risk having a Canadian bank account unless you have no choice?

Over in perhaps the worst European nation, Austria, the politicians went from a dark night of pushing through laws demanding 100% vaccine mandates, plus fines, in mid-February – to dumping them by March 5th. Even in NZ some cracks started to appear, as with this article about Ardern from a former fangirl, From saint to sinner:

No wonder I voted for her – twice. But times have changed.

Once saintly, Jacinda now appears merely silly, having led New Zealand to a place that looks more like a smug cul-de-sac than a nation wholly reliant on overseas tourism and trade. Then again, long-term strategic thinking was never a feature of her government’s Covid response, with “elimination” taking precedence over vaccination for much of 2021.  

Incidentally in the comments of that article I see that eternal Labour bootlicker, Russell Brown, had crawled out from whatever obscure rock he lives under nowadays, to fight for his beloved Wonder Girl who must be supported 100%, 24/7/365, and with the usual accusations of racism, natch.

But as usual it’s the USA I’m most interested in and, as I pointed out here, here, here and here, governments around the world would only start slacking off on their Chinese Lung Rot restrictions when polls began to turn against them. Back on February 11, one of the D.C. insiders, Politico, saw that the Mid-Term elections were coming hard and nasty – and for once was willing to call the bullshit of The ScienceTM that would be attached:

Democrats are making a U-turn on mask mandates, just in time for the midterms.

It’s happening among the party’s governors, several of whom are easing up their masking rules as Covid’s Omicron wave fades. And it’s happening on the Hill, where Democrats are suddenly lining up to call for rollbacks of the nation’s most noticeable pandemic-era rule.

People had fun with this:

Things became even more fun when Brandon’s very own pollster found out that his Covid Zero policy was hated by Americans and advised that it was time to declare victory and move on. See part of the pollster’s memo below:

That’s why President Oatmeal Brain went from this…

… to all that unity mush in his sad little SOTU the other day.

Even some factual stuff was permitted to see the light of day in more public media areas, starting with RealClearInvestigations:

Correction, Mr. President: This Is a Deadly Pandemic of the Vaccinated Too
Despite promises from President Biden and top health officials that COVID-19 vaccines would prevent severe illness, death, and perhaps even transmission of the virus, data indicate that thousands of Americans are dying from the disease even after having been vaccinated.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla made the same point more bluntly in an interview with Yahoo News on January 10, 2022. “We know that two dose[s] of the vaccine offer very limited protection, if any,” he said. “The three doses with a booster … offer reasonable protection against hospitalization and deaths, and against deaths I think very good.”

That’s a very solid article, especially as it also takes the CDC to task for not releasing vast amounts of data lest it “be misinterpreted as the vaccines being ineffective.”  Yes, even at this stage we can’t have that.

Meanwhile CNN’s favourite TV doctor, Leena Wen, came out and started talking about the damage being done to kids with all the Zoom learning and mask-wearing, especially among pre-schoolers, citing a new study about major developmental delays in schoolchildren.




But I thought kids were resilient? At least that’s what the American school teacher unions and their Democrat Party servants assured us. Moreover Wen should know about the outer limits of resiliency in children as she used to run Planned Parenthood. She’s got hands-on experience testing their physical resiliency.

But aside from polling, political and “new” medical analysis, the best example of how bad things are for the Democrats and how their supporters are gagging to get them turned away from General Tso’s Sickness mandates, there’s always Saturday Night Live.

SNL has been shit for two decades and I’ll warn you now that this one is cringe-worthy, even though it has the very funny John Mulaney in it (VPN may be needed to view it). It’s a dinner party skit about six left wingers discussing whether …. masks and vaccines were actually necessary, and the social reactions associated with raising such topics in the land of the smug and certain. Amazing how quickly the pivot has happened.

But that skit showcases one of the big problems the Democrats are going to have with this pivot, their own base can’t go back to normal – and not just on masks.

The question for New Zealand is when the same thing will happen here, especially given the steady slide of Labour in the polls to the point where the seats are Labour/Green 54/120, National/ACT 63/120.

I’ve said for some time that as useful to the government as this fear factor has been, driven both by them and our hysterical media, it would actually start to bite them in the ass when the inevitable return to normality began.

I reckon about 20% of our population continue to be scared shitless by this virus, despite Omicron’s well-established mildness, them being triple-vaxxed and so forth. I see it in people’s behaviour every day; you still see people wearing masks outdoors or while driving alone, scanning in (when the government has dumped the people who were tracking and tracing), and so forth.

I also look at examples like Chris Trotter’s petting zoo at his blog; they’re still pissed about Jacinda lifting the Level 4 lockdown late last year, convinced that it could have worked a second trick and obtained “Covid-Zero” with the Delta variant. If they still believe that in the face of their own political heroes giving up on it then what else will they have a hard time letting go of?

2 MARCH 2022

Three things happened today. I was my birthday; the Police finally acted to clear the rabble illegally occupying Parliament’s grounds, disregarding the Trespass Orders issued against them and preventing Wellingtonians from going about their lawful business while the Russians stepped up their invasion of the Ukraine seemingly determined to turn their cities into wasteland.

My birthday was the least important of three events. I have, in cricketing parlance, reached 77 not out having successfully fended off any number of ‘Googlies’ and ‘Wrong Uns’ over the years. No significant health issues and I’m fully mobile. Can’t ask for much more. In short, life is good.

It was always a matter of when rather than if that the Police were going to act to end the occupation of Parliament’s grounds by the protesters. They made their point and they should have moved on. There was no way the government was going to cave into their demands especially given that fringe elements had infiltrated the protest threatening violence against the Prime Minister. That way in not our way. You dislike what the government is doing and you vote accordingly at the ballot box. Can I say something else. Ardern is not a communist and its pretty stupid to argue that she is. In the continuum of recent Labour Party leaders I would see her as governing in the Norman Kirk/David Lange tradition … full of well meaning but half baked ideas but totally bereft of any understanding of how the economy actually works … and that will be her downfall along with her embrace of of separatist agenda laid out in He Puapua.

But of the three issues, Putin declaring war on the Ukraine is by far the most serious. Russia will conquor through shear military might inheriting a devastated country and a populace who will refuse to be subjugated. On the world scene it will ‘enjoy’ pariah state status for many years to come. It’s own economy will suffer substantially. NATO will emerge strengthened and hitherto neutral nations (eg Finland) may well look at joining NATO as a guard against further Russian aggression The dynamic of the relationship between Russia and China may also change with those two nations forging closer ties in response to Russia’s isolation and that, in itself, will raise tensions in our part of the world. Putin unleashed the dogs of war and they ain’t going back in their kennels anytime soon.