Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Together Alone

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  • Alfie,

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    I've been wondering at what our world may look like in 12 months whilst doodling on a world map. As you do. Conclusion? Godzone looks like the best place to be for a good while to come.

    Here's a link to a higher res version -- 8,192 x 4,096 px and around 16Mb, so for enthusiasts only. And those who choose to read the smaller type. Enjoy!

    https://twitter.com/BobLefridge/status/1251601470161424384

    As an aside, I've been a read-only Twitter lurker for a while then finally gave up and started this account in January 2020. The date somehow seemed significant at the time but in retrospect it's ancient history now. So any follows, likes and general good karma would be appreciated by this newbie.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1433 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    True that and what we did to Samoa 22% death rate due to indifference towards the captured colony amounts to a war crime.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2020 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Alfie,

    I worry that applying that label "Safest place in the world"
    is just telling a faultline to bring it on…

    I also note Japan is unlabelled.
    Should I be more worried about that prediction?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1923 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to linger,

    As I pointed out on Twitter earlier, the thielites and the like most of us would rather keep out are probably already here, hiding in their bunkers. The rest of the world knows a little about our covid response but nobody is coming here for at least a year or two. And there will be positives like having one of the only places in the world with a workable film industry. Tourism? Hard to imagine for a while.

    And re Japan. It was only a doodle. Really. That weird map perspective makes IDing some countries a little problematic.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1433 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Alfie,

    So any follows, likes and general good karma would be appreciated by this newbie

    Done!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Alfie,

    And there will be positives like having one of the only places in the world with a workable film industry.

    Yeah, I guess, once things settle down. Two weeks' quarantine could be built into the production workflow.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Done!

    Thanks Russell. ;-)

    I suspect livestreamed concerts from NZ may also become a thing. And possibly some sports. With multi-million-dollar stars involved, two weeks quarantine in a comfortable setting as part of the package doesn't sound too bad.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1433 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong, in reply to steven crawford,

    This is obviously never going to work. Fuck you all I’m leaving.

    Steven, if you are reading this I hope you are doing OK. Just been reading some of your earlier posts and suspect we share a similar shaped boat.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Saw the PMs Covid-19 briefing today.
    She's doing a fine job, but from the party that brought you the 40hour week. I found it interesting that her praise for cleaners was in working 13hour days for the Police.
    It says alot about the Police that they encourage this working environment and how far left the Labour Party are that they reward it.
    I've got a collection of poems entitled "The 70 hour working week". The short story is I ended up in the Hillmorton Hotel and I can't fault their service. I'm working on publishing soon.
    Labour isn't the workers party. I looked to the Greens but find them mostly silent, at least to my emails.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2020 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Shep Cheyenne,

    Labour isn't the workers party.

    But then, who is? The Greens' silence maybe isn't so surprising, as they very publicly amputated their socialist wing just before the 2017 elections. (And I say that as someone who wants the Greens to stay in Parliament … and as someone who may be left unable to vote this year, which is extremely frustrating.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1923 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Shep Cheyenne,

    Labour isn’t the workers party.

    I'm not sure what sort of militant left you could expect in NZ as both of our main parties are fairly centrist. Voters have a choice between centrist-compassion and centrist-greed. However policies which focus on equality with better access to healthcare, housing and education tend to benefit workers. Labour and the Greens are the only parties to go there. Aren't they?

    I looked to the Greens but find them mostly silent, at least to my emails.

    Email exchanges may not be the best way to attempt engagement with political parties. Although ACT's leader would probably appreciate the attention.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1433 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Indeed a victory for right wing economic policy, even as everything receives state intervention supports from capitalist businesses and workers alike. Ironic eh!

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2020 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Shep Cheyenne,

    ...victory for right wing economic policy

    Say what? I'd suggest that you sit a couple of rows further back, cos from here the worldwide picture looks a lot the breakdown and failure of late stage capitalism.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1433 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    The question is then what will follow?
    All efforts to date are to keep riding the dead horse of capitalism.
    TINA - there is no alternate.
    Who is offering an alternative to our current system, certainly not Grant Robertson. He is the cheif surgeon trying to revive capitalism.
    And that's Prebbles victory.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2020 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Good to have you on The Panel today, Russell. But I wish Wallace would bluster less.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    I wish Wallace would bluster less.

    It feels like at least a tenth of of his 'air time' is "ummm, ahhhh, errr' and other space/time fillers - and lots of arrant nonsense getting people to text in on the slightest pretext - is that time-chewing or revenue gathering?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    OK, best thing ever ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2620 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to linger,

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    So, what's been happening in Japan since my last update? Nothing good.

    Excerpts from the Japan Times daily roundups to April 25th.

    April 16th
    Police warn that burglaries and scam operations are increasing as more children are left home alone.
    Osaka asks residents for unused raincoats for medical staff to use as protective gear. (They're already using trash bags for the purpose.)
    Ibaraki prefecture closes its schools.
    Government unveils its economic rescue package, which still leaves many businesses having to continue working.
    Abe announces plan to provide ¥100k cash per person.
    Tokyo governor Koike is unimpressed and counters with a ¥800b regional package, including an offer of ¥1m for small businesses complying with antiviral measures.

    April 17th
    State of emergency expanded to the entire country.
    In-hospital transmission rates continue to rise.
    People suspecting they have the virus are checking into hotels to self-isolate, but are still finding it impossible to get tested. [As a reality check here: Abe's ¥100k per person wouldn't cover 2 weeks at a mid-range hotel.]
    Tokyo logs more than 200 new cases for the first time.

    April 18th
    Central and regional governments issue strong warnings against travel during the upcoming Golden Week holiday period [=Apr 29-May 5].
    Distribution of cloth masks, dubbed "Abenomasks", to households begins in Tokyo.

    April 19th
    Japan's case total reaches 10,000.
    Hospitals are increasingly turning away sick people as the medical system reaches the point of collapse.

    April 20th
    Fewer than 20% of hospital beds remain available for Covid-19 patients in Osaka and Tokyo, and the situation is worse in some less populous prefectures.

    April 22nd
    Koike asks Tokyo residents to limit grocery shopping to every three days.
    Garbage collectors in Japan call for protective gear as they risk virus infection.
    Abe touts Avigan as COVID-19 treatment despite experts urging caution.

    April 23rd
    Despite repeated calls to stay home, some leisure spots near Tokyo continue to see crowds of visitors. Lines outside Tokyo’s pachinko parlors show the limits of Japan’s ability to enforce social distancing.
    The health ministry is considering introducing an antigen test to more quickly screen for the new virus, despite concerns over its accuracy.

    April 24th
    Medical experts continue to urge Japan to test more people for coronavirus, to provide more details on infection rates.
    A test kit released by Rakuten is criticized by officials as "collection of specimens involves infection risks".
    Distribution of "Abenomasks" leads to complaints about poor quality control including mould, insects and stains. Two firms now say they will recall all the undelivered cloth masks they had supplied under the scheme.

    April 25th
    Stores are urged to limit customer access and institute outside queues to reduce congestion inside. Some government offices, such as the Immigration Bureau, are already doing this.

    ---

    As of April 23rd, my own home prefecture of Saitama had already logged 23 deaths, out of an official case count of only 760: local medical facilities are already overwhelmed, and many cases continue to go unreported in the official figures.

    Meanwhile, the Tokyo new-case figures have continued to oscillate around 150 per day, with a large amount of noise indicating continued unreliability in those numbers. If you squint hard enough, you may be able to see a slight downward trend over the past week, but even if that trend is correct and the current level of restrictions is sufficient to moderate virus spread, Japan's state of emergency does not look likely to end for at least 2 months.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1923 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Labour has come to the party for the homeless. Great work and commitment to look after the homeless during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2020 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    A little bit of goodness came from lockdown, #quaranteenagedirtbag from Wheatus, my daughter flying the NZ flag at 1:23 and 3:22. Recorded in our garage :-)

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

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