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The Anti-Targ

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  1. I think most people will agree with that statement. It's just that, in principle, this ability to defect to another party is one of the few good things about the FPP system. The thing I question is the intellect and or the motive of such an MP who stood for one party presumably because they felt they were in ideological alignment and then went over to a party who they can only be assumed to be their ideological opposite on virtually every important issue. It amounts to a selfish skin saving move, and one assumes they sought a deal whereby they would be the Labour candidate for the next election. Whereupon, they might well be the first defection back to the Tories when the Labour govt demands once too often they vote for legislation that fits with the Labour ideology but not their own*. We have had a lot of political argument about MPs defecting under our PR system, since the make up of parliament is determined by the number of votes a party gets, and hence the defection of an MP to another party changes the proportionality that was decided upon by the voters. It's made even more messy by the fact that half of our MPs are elected as individuals in constituencies, so those MPs would argue that they got in because of their personal appeal to their local voters and not because of party affiliation. In some cases those MPs are right. The share of the vote they received individually is sometimes greater than the share of the vote their party got within that electorate, even to the extent they got a majority of votes but the party didn't. I can't remember where the legislation landed, because I don't really care. The PR system is no less broken than the FPP system, it's just broken in different ways. It's political parties themselves that are the problem, and no system that includes them is going to fix that. *Assuming Labour forms a govt at the next election.
  2. Well yes, a country that claims to operate under the rule of law will make sure its policies are robust and consistently applied. Most (all?) countries fall short, but some countries fall further than others.
  3. I doubt the Acti/Blizz execs will even get the boot in any meaningful way. They simply understand that they can't stay on as is the normal case with almost any acquisition of this nature, they will resign with a nice golden parachute with an effective date of whenever the sale finally goes through. Any remaining employee law suits outstanding that will be rendered null and void with this sale?
  4. To be fair I guess it is theoretically possible to have negotiated a Brexit deal where the UK continues to have a voice in the EU and MEPs. It would probably look a lot like remaining, but there might be a couple of differences, like returning to a blue passport, having crowns on pint glasses, and separate, inferior trade deals with 3rd countries. Also, it might pay to check the market price for ostrich anus before using its worth as an insult. They might be quite expensive as I imagine they are fairly hard to come by.
  5. Honestly, I think NZ and Aus should deny Visas to any prominent individual who is unvaxed unless they submit a credible medical exemption which meets the medical exemption criteria of Aus/NZ. At least in the case of NZ our borders remain closed to almost every non-citizen/resident, so performers, sport's people, actors etc are coming here by special privilege anyway, so vax should be the default. Maybe less justification for tat policy for Aus with omicron running wild.
  6. And good luck with it Anti-Targ! Thanks. The day 5 test for the friend came back negative today. And I believe they are not required to have any more tests unless they become symptomatic (which they are not). So we're in the clear, just in time for me to meet up with my new DnD group (Pathfinder actually) for session 1 of the new campaign tonight.
  7. 1 frikken case of omicron in the country, 1 weekend visit to Auckland, and my wife comes back finding out a friend she hung out with all day Saturday and part of Sunday was on a bus with that one omicron case. It was only part of Sunday because the friend got a call from the contact tracers telling her she is a close contact and she needs to isolate and test. The Sunday test has come back negative, the friend got her day 5 post exposure test taken today, so by Thursday hopefully we will know if we can mix in polite company again. Also, now it's 2 cases of omicron, with one of the household members of case 1 being confirmed today.
  8. If he's convicted is he banned for life? If not, then might as well go for a plea deal. Get the conviction with acceptance of guilt without the hassle of a trial, even if the sentence is much less than would be obtained from a trial, and a trial with a guilty verdict can still have Netanyahu pleading his innocence and being a victim of a witch hunt. It's mostly the conviction and admission of guilt that counts.
  9. We dropped our broadcasting fee about 30 years ago, but still retained a public broadcaster with a public service mandate that waxed and waned depending on who was in govt. But there was always a significant public backlash whenever ideas of selling the services off to private business was raised. Our public radio station is ad free, so fully govt funded. However the TV is a mix of public funding and advertiser revenue. Much of the public funding is in fact competitively sourced with an independent funding agency having a budget to fund various types of content based on proposals that can be submitted by any broadcaster or production company. So a lot of the private broadcasters obtain public funding to produce and broadcast local content. Setting up a govt funding agency with certain mandates could be sufficient on its own to support public access / public service radio and TV, but the public appetite isn't there to privatise the state radio and TV broadcaster so it hasn't happened, and probably won't happen. I think the pro-privatisation parties realise that as soon as a left-of centre govt comes along they would set up a state broadcaster, so there's not a lot of point in pushing privatisation when they are in govt. Privatising the healthcare system is actually a lot easier, because it's very difficult to re-nationalise healthcare, and it is impossible to build an entirely new public health system. So I would be much more wary of moves that bring health care privatisation closer than of eliminating the broadcasting fee.
  10. Interesting interview on the radio yesterday, from a market professor who was doing research into anti-consumption attitudes and behaviours who turned his research into anti-vax attitude and behaviours as a subset of the anti-consumption phenomenon. Anti-consumption is really any concerted decision not to by a good or service for reasons other then the inherent quality or price of the good or service. Like not buying certain goods because of sweatshop working conditions in the producing factories, or not using amazon because Jeff Bezos is a worker oppressing, tax dodging arsehole. The professor categories anti-vaxers into 4 broad categories: The ideologically anti-vax; the freedom of choice anti-vax; the risk/benefit anti-vax; the uncertain about safety and efficacy anti-vax. The interesting thing about the ideological anti-vax is the further subdivision within that camp. On one side you have anti-capitalist, nature provides all, healthy living protects us, man-made drugs/treatments are inherently bad people. On the other side you have God protects the pure, clean moral living, anti-government. Essentially both ideology groups are faith based, but they put faith in different things. Anti-big pharma is common to both groups. The likelihood of convincing these groups to change is essentially zero. If you need this group to become mostly vaccinated to achieve herd immunity you are pretty much out of luck. The freedom of choice group is probably fairly small until vaccine mandates start coming along, and they will simply refuse to vaccinate simply because they won't be told what to do. This group is more amenable to being convinced through education, but regardless will mostly flat out refuse if presented with an ultimatum. They will prioritise freedom of choice over personal safety. Once vaccination rates are high enough, eliminating most mandates might get some people across the line. The freedom of choice group also reacts negatively to things like vax passes, which while not a vaccine mandate directly it is an attempt at coercing them to get vaccinated, so it's still being told what to do. So eliminating vax passes, at a certain level of vaccination might also remove a barrier. They are also the slippery slopers, if we let the govt tell us what to do here, then what will they make us do next? The risk benefit people will attempt to rationally calculate the risk and severity of side effects to the vaccine vs the risk and severity of being infected. They can be mis-lead into over-estimating the risk of side effects (cue the anti-vaxxers citing VAERS to try to claim vaccination is a major risk). But with a calm, fact and evidence based, non-judgemental conversation many can be brought around to realising vaccination is the better risk-benefit option. Of course, as a population becomes more vaccinated, the un-vaxed risk-benefit person starts seeing even less reason to become vaccinated, because the risk of catching the disease is very low. So unless you can appeal to a sense of community spirit and collective responsibility, the higher the vaccination rate the harder it is to convince a person that the risk-benefit still sits with being vaccinated. The uncertain about safety and efficacy group are highly susceptible to mis-information and being convinced it it too unsafe to be vaccinated or it is not effective, but they are also very amendable to being convinced with a calm, rational and non-judgemental conversation. Any group is susceptable to believing conspiracy nonsense like magnetism, 5g, and micro-chipping. Unfortunately for me I think, all the anti-vaxxers I know are the ideological or freedom of choice people, so they are the hardest nuts to crack, and some have bought into conspiracy thinking.
  11. I think the other thing that Rogan did (correct me if I'm wrong) is that with his drug cocktail and monoclonal antibodies he also took ivermectin and used his case of not suffering any significant ill effects as proof that ivermectin works. Meanwhile, other outspoken anti-vaxxers who are possibly not quite so wealthy, or healthy (Joe Rogan at least seems like a very healthy dude in general), have stocked up on ivermectin but have died anyway.
  12. As far as I know, twats lack the opposable thumbs needed to be able to upload videos to the web, so I call BS on your literally being used literally.
  13. Lots of comms systems are down in Tonga. Tsunami in various places around the pacific including here, property damaging, but I believe not terribly life threatening. Lots of ash all over Tonga. Biggest Tsunami here that I can recall (not me personally, since I live 10s of km inland so there would need to be an apocalyptic event for a Tsunami to reach my town). I assume it's tsunami waves we are seeing radiate away from the blast zone.
  14. Expected. As stated in the article the judges could only really rule on whether the decision met the conditions of the legislation and not the merits of the decision itself. It may have been a braindead decision, but it met the conditions of the law according to the judges, so the only decision they could make was to allowed it to stand. Whether that says the law itself is braindead is a third question, but that is not a question the judges could rule on either. Team Djok really should have appealed to the minister by grovelling and boot-licking and making promises to get the minister to rescind his decision. The problem is I think the only thing that would change the minister's mind would be a public vaccination, and it seems Djok is resolute in refusing vaccination. And more from Australia
  15. That's why I said Australia. Oceania is not a continent.
  16. If you are young, healthy and vaccinated, the deliberately catching omicron is very low risk, and give yourself an immunity boost. But if you are going to be responsible about it you will isolate for at least 7 days after your deliberate exposure attempt so that you don't pass it on to others. I can't imagine the conversation with ones employer or school principal going terribly well though: "I went to a party to catch COVID, so I can't come to work / school for a week, sorry." You also will need to get tested at least once to make sure you caught it, because there is always the chance you don't catch it despite your best efforts. Though if you get sick with the right symptoms you can probably assume you caught it. I'm certainly not young and I'm not exactly the picture of health, so I won't be attending any COVID parties if they ever make their way here. Though we need to get omicron into the community first, which hasn't happened yet. We do have a border worker who tested positive for omicron and there are about 40 close community contacts identified, so it might have arrived already, just not official confirmed.
  17. Funny thing is, Boris resigning now (including resigning from parliament) would probably be a big fuck you to the Tories, few of whom actually like him allegedly. They'd highly probably lose that by-election and the new PM will have been handed a poison chalice, and probably not make it to the next election themself. It could almost be a scramble among the contenders not to be the next PM after Johnson, but rather to be the next PM after the next PM after Johnson. Though I doubt Johnson wants to resign under any circumstance even as a poke in the eye to the bunch of dickheads he's be leaving to carry the can, I'm guessing he wants to live that thug life on the taxpayer tuppence for as long as he can.
  18. Imagine the immigration minister being an ultra virus? So I hear COVID parties are a thing in Australia. True or vicious slander?
  19. I think almost everyone, including him, knows he won't be the PM who is leading the Conservatives into the next election. The only question is when will the knives come out? I think all the realistic contenders want this pandemic business to be over with before they make their move, and they would like any other Brexit "benefits" to be over and done with and all blamed on Johnson. Then they can be the one who says they will clean up the mess, which they totally did not play any part in creating.
  20. I didn't know the USA is a continent. Did they just pick the USA alone for North America because Canada's numbers (84% / 78%) might bump North America up just above South America? Also Australia would like to say hello, I guess.
  21. Yet, there are still not terrible odds that the Tories can win the next election.
  22. You can challenge a decision made by a minister under discretionary powers in court, but usually where the law grants a minister discretionary power courts tend to not rule against the minister, because then it is the court trying to establish the limits of the discretionary powers and really they are limited to making sure the discretion met the letter of the law. It appears this power has conditions placed on it, as mentioned above "'might be' a risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community". As long as the order says "he may be a risk to [enter one or more of the conditions], on the grounds that he [enter a reason that connects to the stated conditions]" Then the courts will be loath to say that the reason given isn't good enough. They could only find that the reason given has no relation to the condition stated, but that doesn;t seem to be the case.
  23. I guess what you kind of want for a population spread is for age brackets up to about 60 they are more or less the same, i.e. almost no deaths before 60, then a gradual reduction in population with older people not really dropping off in substantial numbers until their late 80s. So I would think about 12% per 10 year age bracket up to 60 (72%), then 60-80 about 10% and 8% respectively then the final 10% for 90+, which will span at least 2 decades so maybe 6%/3%, then 1% >110. So 15-29 age group should be about 18%. Any region / country between 15-20% is pretty much the ideal. Any region/country above 20% is looking to be skewed on the younger side than ideal. Any region / country below 15% is looking skewed on the older side than ideal. Has any country yet reached a state of health and wellbeing where 4% of the population is over 100? We definitely don't have 200,000 centenarians, but I would personally rate that as being a sign of a country having achieved a very high standard of lifelong health and wellbeing for the whole population.
  24. It likely means the two (non-high-making) compounds under consideration need to be extracted and purified and delivered in substantial doses which cannot be achieved by recreational levels of intake. So, be hopeful that they have actually found something that does what some claim ivermectin to does. But don't get all excited that your local weed dealer is now going to be a pandemic hero.
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