Sunday, May 31, 2020

INCONVENIENT QUESTION

Are we entitled to ask why is the Gummit so focused on opening the border with Oz where there are continuing numbers of  Covit-19 infections (and, by extension, Israel FFS) while Samoa and the Cook Islands (no infections ever), countries with whom we supposedly enjoy a special relationship and who are totally dependent on tourism, remain off the table.

So much for looking after our own.

Just askin.

Grooming the successor

My Photo
So now in the USA Democrat voters have three candidates to choose from for President:

- Senile Joe
- Creepy Joe
- Racist Joe

The last one has really turned on the taps of racist stupidity in the last week after his infamous "You Ain't Black" brain explosion about Blacks voting for the Republicans. This later led the host of the radio show on which Biden blurted this, Charlamagne tha God, to say that:
"Dems have to worry about voter depression, and that’s people staying home on Election Day because they just aren’t enthused by the candidate".
Not enthused you say? Really?

Racism, straight up.

For years now, Joe Biden has got away with gaffes and behaviour that's simply been dismissed as "Oh, that's just Joe" (chuckle).


And fortunately for America he'll likely continue to get away with this in his campaign for President.

His primary accuser, Tara Reade, is already finding out the Democrats and the MSM will only praise you if you make accusations against a Republican, otherwise you're the target, and you can look forward to being destroyed in the media.

It's been a bit of an eye-opener for more than just Ms Reade, as she openly wondered on Twitter why the MSM refused to interview or ask questions of Biden for days after her accusation surfaced. But she surely got the message when she started getting Tweets like the following from a prominent "feminist" attorney:

Nothing new here. Way back in 2008, in the notorious Right Wing magazine CounterPunch filed an article by Alt-Righter Alexander Cockburn, that really let Biden have it:
Biden is a notorious flapjaw. His vanity deludes him into believing that every word that drops from his mouth is minted in the golden currency of Pericles. Vanity is the most conspicuous characteristic of US Senators en bloc, nourished by deferential acolytes and often expressed in loutish sexual advances to staffers, interns and the like.  On more than one occasion CounterPunch's editors have listened to vivid accounts by the recipient of just such advances, this staffer of another senator being accosted by Biden in the well of the senate in the weeks immediately following his first wife's fatal car accident.
His behaviour is so well-known that even his supporters don't bother denying it:
... the [a former Secret Service] agent asserted that, "We had to cancel the VP Christmas get together at the Vice President's house because Biden would grope all of our wives and girlfriend's asses." The annual party was for agents and Navy personnel who were tasked with protecting the Biden family. 
"He would mess with every single woman or teen. It was horrible," the agent said. 
According to the source, a Secret Service agent once got suspended for a week in 2009 for shoving Biden after he cupped his girlfriend's breast while the couple was taking a photo with him. The situation got so heated, the source told Cassandra Fairbanks, that others had to step in to prevent the agent from hitting the then–Vice President.
Additionally, the agent claims that Biden would walk around the VP residence naked at night. "I mean, Stark naked... Weinstein level stuff,"
It's called being entitled.

And now a group has put together a video of years of Biden fondling young woman and little girls and overlaid on it a general talk by one Professor Anthony Zenkus who studies sexual violence. As a dedicated member of the Far Left Zenkus will probably be horrified at how his talk about boundaries and "grooming" is being applied to Biden, but the descriptions of what you're watching are brutally accurate.


Still, I don't think any of this will stop Biden being selected at the Democrat Convention as their Presidential candidate to face OrangeManBad. The DNC were more terrified of a True Believing Socialist than of credible accusations of sexual abuse, cognitive failure and racism and carried Biden over the line past Bernie Sanders in the primary campaign, so they're not going to give up on their man now. 

There has been talk of dropping in a last minute replacement, but if it's not any of the other failed primary candidates there would be hell to pay - especially from Bernie Supporters who would count it as a bigger cheat against them than Hillary's in 2016.

However, I doubt we will ever again hear the phrase, "Oh, that's just Joe!"

And just a reminder for our more TDS commentators who are determined to make a meal of Ford v Reade:


America is back in space

My Photo
After two weeks on the road catching up on various jobs, I got back home yesterday to find I was so bloody tired that I slept for ten hours and missed SpaceX's second attempt at launching astronauts to the ISS, which happened at about 7am this morning NZ Time.

And it all went swimmingly. After nine long years, America is back in space, and thanks to spreading the load beyond NASA to private companies, I don't think we're going to see another gap like that in US launching ever again.

In my previous article on this I made the point that the names for the ship-type and mission were a bit lame, but it seems the two astronauts on the flight decided to give their spacecraft a specific name, in line with the Apollo and Space Shuttle missions.  

They've named it Endeavour, after Captain Cook's famous vessel of exploration, and also because of Space Shuttle's Endeavour. Like those ships, this one is intended to be used multiple times.

You can watch 14 minutes of launch highlights here on the following YouTube clip, which runs from 24 seconds before launch to the separation of the second stage at 200km altitude and 27,000km/h.


After that, the Dragon is headed for the ISS, where it will dock at 10.27amEDT tomorrow morning (2:27am NZ time). If they keep to that schedule it means the docking will happen only ten minutes before the ISS and Dragon fly over NZ, though they will not be visible.

You can continue to watch the flight live here at SpaceX's website, as the Dragon chases after the ISS, steadily raising their altitude until they're ready to dock. The diagram below shows the overall approach.


And the next diagram shows all the little maneuvers they'll use in the final approach:


Amazing the things America can do even in the middle of a pandemic.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

One can understand the outrage occurring in black communities in the United States over the death of George Floyd in police custody after he was pinned down by an officer kneeling on his neck while he (Floyd) said repeatedly that he couldn't breathe.   The officer involved has since been charged with murder.     It's a graphic reminder of the fragile state of the white vs black relationship in that country made worse by the coronavirus lock-down and the massive loss of jobs.

Having said that nothing but nothing can excuse the rioting and looting that ensued (and continues) especially when black owned businesses were themselves set on fire.   That sort of action can only serve to divert attention from the matter at hand ... the killing of George Floyd and police force failure.   
 
We need to remind ourselves that there are myriad police forces in the US all quite independent of each other and all subject, in varying degrees, to local political control and funding.    The quality of officers and their standard of training varies immensely and in many jurisdictions police are paid a pittance.   In short (and accepting this is a generalisation) in America you get what you pay for and clearly, in this case and in many others, the product is second rate.

I'm on record as criticising certain actions (or non actions) of our own police force over the lock-down period but, that aside, we can be thankful that here in NZL we have a unified and well trained constabulary where the 'bad eggs' are generally weeded out before they can do any great damage.

Not so in the good ole US of A.    This is a systemic problem stemming from the federal nature of the republic.    It's one issue that cannot be laid directly at the feet of Trump ... although some will try.    
 

Ho Ho Ho
































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Saturday, May 30, 2020

MOVE OVER THE REST OF US NEW ZEALANDERS

With the news here that Maori and Pasifika patients are being leap frog-ed to the top of the elective surgery wait list by the Capital & Coast District Health Board in an attempt to improve their access to health care.

The DHB has confirmed that a persons ethnicity will now be taken into account along with their level of clinical urgency and the time spent on a wait list.

Capital & Coast DHB to take the lead ... expect the remainder to follow.

New Zealand ... the way it is under a Labour/NZ First/Greens Gummit with 75% of us being afforded second class status when it comes to determining eligibility for elective surgery.

 

HE TANGATA, HE TANGATA, HE TANGATA

As we exit out of lock-down (hopefully) those of us protected species (superannuates, public servants and the like) with guaranteed incomes need to understand there is a whole new cohort out there whose future is decidedly uncertain with their livelihoods lost and their new normal a light-year removed from what it was prior to the pandemic.

I had occasion to doff my hat to the Ministry of Social Development's Regional Director on my way back from Auckland on Thursday.   He told me that since 1 April 4,000 had signed up for Jobseeker support in the Whangarei area and that, in effect, their job cupboard was bare.   For them the future is bleak and, while government can help cushion the blow in the short term, at some point many are going to be faced with some very hard decisions.   These are mainstream Kiwis.   Very few of them will have darkened the doorway of MSD before.    The country is going to have to come to terms with this ... the new deprived.

It was driven home to me this week with an application I received in my capacity as Chair of a Trust which provides financial assistance to the children and grandchildren of Vietnam veterans.   X always wanted to fly.    He did the hard yards building up his hours as a flight instructor for the princely sum of $7.50/hour (you read it right) before he cracked it as a first officer in a second tier airline.   Last year he moved into the big-time as a first officer with Pacific Blue (Virgin Australia Airlines NZ).   He is now jobless.   On 3 April the airline closed down its operations and made 208 pilots and over 300 cabin crew redundant.   X sees no future for himself in that industry.   There is a glut of pilots and no jobs on offer for the foreseeable future.    He came to us seeking funding to cover the cost of him obtaining a range of specialist driver licenses.    That is his pathway forward and great that he has come to terms with the cards dealt to him and is planning a new future albeit on a severely reduced income.   One suspects there will be many others out there still struggling to accept reality.

As ever, its the people, the people and the people and we should never lose sight of that. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Random Fun

My Photo Stuff that's been accumulating with no common theme...






President Putin shares a quiet moment with his successor.

And since a commentator was asking if I was a Pixar fan....


Speaking of Class Warfare in the 21st century...


Not that anything really changes on this aspect...


And along similar lines, but with modern Identity Politics...



And finally there are apparently concerns being raised about the impact of the recession on at least one working class profession -  to which Mr Burge has the appropriate response



Friday's Fulminations

There is mild moderation.  Normal rules of blogger etiquette and courtesy to blog hosts will apply.with serious transgressors being thrown out.

Unfortunately our system does not allow your comments to show up in the blog post itself.  Just in the comments section.

Visitors might consider the wisdom of using moderate language.

Regards

Adolf

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Squirrel!

My PhotoWith NASA and company on the line earlier today I was reminded of a former NASA engineer named Mark Rober, who quit the organisation - as well as Apple, where he also worked - and has managed to build himself a bit of a career on YouTube doing crazy engineering things.

He first came to my attention when he got pissed off with thieves stealing packages from his porch where they had been delivered. This type of thievery has become quite a thing in the USA with the rise of Amazon and their ilk and will likely become more so in the age of post-Wuhan Flu.

Rober decided to retaliate as only an engineer can and built a series of booby-trapped packages for the thieves that they would only discover when they got home. The "glitter-bomb" is probably the most famous of these.

However, during the Great Chinese Lung Rot Lockdown Mark was bored out of his brain to the extent that he started bird-watching. This led to him putting out a bird feeder in his backyard. That led to squirrels invading the place and attacking the bird feeders to get their daily hit of nuts and stuff. And that in turn led to Rober's escalating war against the squirrels that ultimately resulted in him building The Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder.

I loved squirrels in America but all the locals dismissed them as "rats with fluffy tails". This video shows that as well as being cute they're a lot more than a rat!


And if you enjoyed this video you'll also enjoy the glitter bomb one.

The Coronavirus Is Deadliest Where Democrats Live

My PhotoThat's not your friendly Right-Wing author's title.

No, that headline is ripped straight from the New York Times.




This is a message that I've been covering for some time now in this series, most recently with A Tale of Two States, which compared NY and Florida, but also stretching all the way back to early April ( Hugging is Killing) and late March (MSM Aims at Trump - hits Democrat Andrew Cuomo), along with various articles on the violation of civil liberties caused by lockdown strategies that failed anyway, as well the fightbacks against them by the American people.

So it's nice to see this terrible truth acknowledged by one of the leading mouthpieces of Progressive America.
Democrats are far more likely to live in counties where the virus has ravaged the community, while Republicans are more likely to live in counties that have been relatively unscathed by the illness, though they are paying an economic price. 
Counties won by President Trump in 2016 have reported just 27 percent of the virus infections and 21 percent of the deaths — even though 45 percent of Americans live in these communities...

And it's very gratifying to see it in the wake of endless taunts from the Global Left about how the uneducated, low-IQ, GOP-voting morons from The Lands Of The Low-Sloping Foreheads were about to get screwed because they hadn't listened to what their betters were telling them to do.

To be fair to Democrats, cities like LA, San Francisco and Seattle have not suffered too badly and niether have huge Metro areas like Dallas and Houston that are dominated by local Democrats. But even those are areas built on non-Progressive ideas even as they're run by Democrats. Ideas such as:
  • Low urban population density, with vast, sprawling suburbs.
  • Cars rather than public transport.

Such ideas and more importantly the ideology of individual liberty that supported them used to be supported by the Democrats. It was a bi-partisan ideology in the USA. But that was the past: for years now the Democrats have pushed hard for public transport combined with high density urban housing along those public transport corridors across the USA, together with demands for ever bigger and more centralised government to control it all.

This original ideological split is now a partisan split in the USA and it has also shown up in attitudes towards healthcare experts, lockdowns and "social distancing". This does not bode well:
Matthew Gentzkow, a Stanford University economist who is leading a group of researchers tracking partisanship in the virus response, said his team initially thought that a health crisis would minimize differences — assuming that people who disagree over taxes or guns would agree about a pandemic. But instead they found that Republicans were more skeptical about the effectiveness of social distancing than Democrats and have been traveling more outside their homes. 
“We initially saw partisanship and thought maybe by the time we looked at the data it would be gone,” Dr. Gentzkow said. “But it turns out that no, this is pretty serious and what we see is that the gap got bigger and bigger. These are real belief differences that should have us really concerned.”

God Speed "Launch America"

My PhotoIf everything goes as planned, in a little over eight hours time later today, at about 8:30 in the morning NZ time, the USA will launch the first astronauts from its soil since 2011 when the last Space Shuttle flew.

Since then all NASA astronauts have had to ride the reliable old Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS and back to Earth.

The launch of the new SpaceX vehicle, Crew Dragon, is scheduled for 4:33pm, Wednesday, May 27 EDT (8:33am, Thursday, May 28 NZT).

It will liftoff from the storied launchpad, 39A, at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral from which Apollo missions to the Moon were launched in the 1960's and 1970's, and countless Shuttle flights from the 1980's to 2011.

It will be the first time humans have been sent into space by a private company, SpaceX having built the Falcon 9 launch rocket, the spacecraft, and controlled all aspects of the launch, with NASA as a watchful and hopeful partner.


You can watch it live streaming from either NASA TV...


... or the live stream from SpaceX themselves. Given the historic nature of this launch the NASA channel may well be jammed up. It will likely be carried by many cable and satellite TV channels.

Behnken (L) and Hurley (R) in their Intersteller suits
The NASA astronauts are Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. They've been to space on two shuttle missions each, with Hurley flying on the final flight of the space shuttle Atlantis in 2011.

I have to say their spacesuits are a lot cooler looking than the old orange "pumpkin" suits of those days, but that sense of style is very much part of Musk's ethos. In keeping with the 21st century they're 3D-printed.



The two men will be riding SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which has performed dozens of successful launches of commercial satellites over the last few years, as well sending the Dragon 2 spacecraft to the ISS on supply missions.
"There she is partner, All bridled and saddled. Ready to go."

Crew Dragon is the human transport version of Dragon 2. It can carry up to seven astronauts, which means it can also act as a lifeboat for the entire crew of the ISS and it's designed to be re-used, unlike the old Apollo capsules.

Last year a Crew Dragon spacecraft was launched to and docked with the ISS in the so-called "Demo 1" mission, carrying only a mannequin named "Ripley". Since then there has also been a complete test of the Abort System that will save the astronauts lives should something go wrong with the launch.

And something could go wrong. This mission was originally scheduled for July 2019 following the Demo-1 flight, but during a static test firing of the spacecraft's abort rockets in April 2019 the spacecraft was destroyed in an explosion.


The Falcon 9 rockets are also reusable and as has been done many times before, this one will attempt to land back on a SpaceX robotic droneship floating out in the Atlantic Ocean. In keeping with the theme of SF that ship is called Of Course I Still Love You, after one of the giant autonomous Artificial Intelligence spaceships from the "Culture" fictional universe of writer Iain Banks.


The mission is called Demo-2 because it is another test flight, hopefully the last one if successful, whereupon NASA will certify Crew Dragon for regular flights back and forth to the ISS. I'm guessing that NASA came up with the mission name because I'm sure Musk would called it something a bit cooler, although "Crew Dragon" is admittedly a clunky name for a spacecraft, and NASA, perhaps realising a PR problem, have belatedly started calling this mission Launch America, although it's probably too late for public knowledge.

Still, the two Mission Patches look well done.

SpaceX "Demo-2"  Mission Patch
NASA "DM-2" Mission Patch

The crew will work with the ISS astronauts for one to four months before returning to Earth in their spacecraft: a final test, this time of the heat shield and other aspects of re-entry.

NASA has already assigned astronauts to the first Crew Dragon operational mission, which will launch before the end of the year if all goes well with this mission.

If the launch is stopped by weather or some other event, there are backup launch times at 3:22pm EDT, Saturday, May 30, or 3 pm ET on Sunday, May 31.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

YOU DON"T SAY?


It is oft repeated: "A week is a long time in politics".

Yesterday in a few minutes the New National Party leadership ended any realistic, if long-shot, chance of denying the Ardernearly one person-band another three years in government.

Tyro leader Todd Muller folded up his entire integrity and tossed it into the waiting rubbish bin being held by the media pack.

He had a Trump MAGA hat: so what, he also had Killary buttons. So  instead of asking the very first media whore who questioned such a minor blip, do you have a "Che T Shirt"?, the dopy fool said it was all now boxed and hidden away.

I assume his testicles are now in a jar of formalin as well.

That wound became a life threatening blood loss for the now struggling bunch of inept wets who, in a lemming like rush to a cliff top they are still building, compounded that strategic error into a total disaster when challenged on the "diversity" of the post-Bridges shadow line up.

Instead of trumpeting the gender imbalance that even the Melons might agree with, as in three well- regarded-by-others-as-talented humans who were claimed as the female gender,  Nikki Kaye - who I suspect may have been so successful in denying Ardern in Auckland Central by being so far left it was a genuine toss of a penny - then launched an episode of foot-shooting rarely seen live on State TV.

Cripes, even Kelvin 'the invisible man' Davis looked good by comparison.

A media that assisted in the annihilation of of two part-Maori who held the two top positions in the National Party, then went for Mullet's lineup where the most senior part-bred was at seventeen in Shane Reti. The two dopes then pulled out their now empty pistols and aimed for each others feet in a Keystone Cop routine that made slapstick a returning genre in TV entertainment.


More years ago than I care to remember I was in Gisborne on an Annual Hereford tour where the ensemble were bussed to a valley that, after WW2, was divided up into twenty farms for settling returning soldiers. The Mangatu Corporation had bought back the entire twenty farms and were running an integrated farming operation where one of the farms ran a Hereford Cattle stud to provide genetics for the  enterprise. Another former farm was dedicated as a Romney sheep stud.

During this tour, with what was an impressive bunch of Maori leaders taking control of their recent past without any Waitangi Tribunal BS by just being smart business operators,  I got into a conversation with an older Maori man and asked, amongst other inquiries, if the leadership used the clear-to-me opportunity to advance the youth connected to their tribal group.

His rather startling reply was very brief and to the point, now revealed in the very successful Nhai Tahu setup: "We seek and employ the very best we can discover for each and every position without reference to any qualification other than expertise involved in the job to be done." Race, gender and any other aspect just did not register in such searches, from shepherds to executives.

The only National MP to emerge from the Mullet "muck dumping in their own driveway"  yesterday was Collins who merely asked if it was a problem, her being "white"?

I have some background that maybe puts some relevance into the bear trap Muller and in particular Ms Kaye lept into as regards Heke Goldsmith.

Around the closing decade last century, in a moment of exasperation at the idiocy contained in the scheduled census was exposed when I came to questions on ethnicity, I put a line through the options and wrote in "I am a native born New Zealander". That resulted in the claimed secrecy of the data being somewhat compromised when Sir Paul Reeves and others in succeeding years offered me assistance to discover my Iwi, even my Hapu, when the actual facts as far as I know, were that my blood lines consist entirely of Ngati Celt from various areas of Scotland.

So, Mr Heke Goldsmith, if it would be of any assistance, just make it up and then stick to it. You might as well, as in succeeding years with statistics and electoral do-goodercrats,  it is much harder to get out than to get "in".

I am still regularly offered the "Maori Roll" option while Swmbo is never treated to such taonga and she has Brown eyes???

History never repeats?

My Photo
Oh yes it bloody well does, and with more than rhyming Mr Twain.

In The Vet's post the other day, What Has Louisa Wall Done To Offend?, he made the point that her being challenged for her seat from within the Labour Party was a mystery given that she ticks so many boxes for them: Maori, Female, Lesbian, smart, high achiever in sport, academia and now politics...

Amidst much discussion some points were made about Chris Trotter's constant raging against the Identity Politics Warriors like Wall messing up his beloved Class Warfare purity that he thinks Labour should return to. I was reminded of a piece of satire that Danyl McLauchlan wrote a few years ago on his old blog, The DimPost. Once he started writing serious stuff for places like The Spinoff he made his blog private, but thanks to The Wayback Machine, a commentator's suggestion, and more searching than I usually care to do, I found it: Chris Trotter on Party Central (2010):
So “Party Central” is no longer central to the party that is central to the party at the centre of our party politics. 
Am I the only Kiwi who experiences tightness in my jaw and a numb feeling in my left-arm when I contemplate the disarray that has befallen Auckland governance?
...
we have all supped from the golden poison chalice of satanic robot run regional and local government only to find ourselves regaining conciousness yet again in our neighbour’s toolshed with our clothes drenched in urine.
 
Danyl really should try satire again, although it may be that he can find no one to pay for it. But it was the next section that I remembered the best:
It was the radical right-wing feminist government of William Massey that spread open the labile pink floodgates of change and swept away the egalitarian order in a wave of capitalist frenzy, separatist Maori entitlement and so-called-women who threaten to press charges because that is what their liberal puppetmasters at our elitist universities have brainwashed them to do. 
Like most real New Zealanders I yearn for the days when our great little country was ruled by stocky, moustached trade-unionists but I fear that those days are gone forever, swept away by a great wave that swept everything away like a wave.
During my history search I found a 2014 article by Trotter advocating pretty much the treatment that Wall is getting, Labour's Caucus Still In Charge, where he admiringly quotes Matt McCarten from 1988:
"So we should call a special conference of the party and expel them … The Labour Party made a mistake selecting these people so sack them. Throw them out and let them stand against us. They’ll lose and the Labour Party can rebuild itself.”
To be fair, Chris appears to now be in total thrall to "the labile pink floodgates of change". Funny how  winning elections and obtaining a measure of power can do that.

Speaking of which, during my search I also found an old comment of mine from Kiwiblog in 2011, in a thread which dealt with us losing people to a more successful Australia and DPF's lament that we need to boost productivity and lift wages.
Shorter message: Vote for us because we suck less than the other guys.
Actually that’s the entire National message as NZ slowly reverses into the 21st century. And it’s an effective one as they undoubtedly know; the smug, cynical response being who else are you going to vote for? 
And they’re correct.
As far as the media coverage is concerned I say to all lefties, welcome to our world circa 2000-2005. The shallow, pathetic coverage of stories combined with gushing over various aspects of [PM Key] is really very little different than in Clark’s time. Sure, there are the blogs but they aren’t there yet in supporting a narrative the way the old MSM still can. 
But don’t worry. National and Key will tire sooner or later, Labour will find some “new” material as candidates and even a fresh leader, the pendulum will swing and you will find yourselves benefiting from exactly the same uselessness of media coverage. 
Yeah. History repeats all right.