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Open mike 18/09/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 18th, 2012 - 137 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

137 comments on “Open mike 18/09/2012”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Here’s something for Labour to bang on about till the next election, commission a local version, and keep on banging on about it till everyone groks it:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/17/tax-cuts-for-the-rich_n_1889686.html

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Ah, reality comes in to bite the neo-liberal economists again but I’m sure that they’ll just continue to ignore it. After all, if they went around acknowledging that their theory didn’t work then they wouldn’t be able to continue to justify capitalism.

      • Neo-Liberalism is only one facet of capitalism.

        • millsy 1.1.1.1

          Quite.

          After the great depression both sides of the political fence agreed to putting the capitalist system in chains so as to serve mankind. About 30 years ago, the chains were unlocked by those who had forgotten what damage it will wreak to society.

          • TheContrarian 1.1.1.1.1

            Indeed.

            Unbridled anarcho-capitalism is a distinct type of capitalism.

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah. It sits within the set of capitalisms marked: “Do not actually exist” on the ven diagram of ‘What is capitalism’

            • SpaceMonkey 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah… it doesn’t exist… anarcho-capitalism is an oxymoron.

              • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism

                indeed it does exist (though I can’t think of any real world examples – which is a good thing)

                Though neo-liberalism, taken to tit’s logical conclusion, would lead to a system not to dissimilar to Anarcho-capitalism. Prebble once mused that police could be privtised which would fit into a Anarcho-capitalism model

                • lprent

                  though I can’t think of any real world examples – which is a good thing

                  I always thought Somalia was the nearest thing to its inevitable result…

                  Like classical liberalism, and unlike anarcho-pacifism, anarcho-capitalism permits the use of force, as long as it is in the defense of persons or property. The permissible extent of this defensive use of force is an arguable point among anarcho-capitalists. Retributive justice, meaning retaliatory force, is often a component of the contracts imagined for an anarcho-capitalist society. Some believe prisons or indentured servitude would be justifiable institutions to deal with those who violate anarcho-capitalist property relations, while others believe exile or forced restitution are sufficient.[47]

                  The problem is that given those set of characteristics and that there is no institution to constrain violence, then I’d expect it to rapidly do a Somalia…. Warlords and personal fiefdoms.

                  It has been raised here many times as a question for libertarians of various shades. For some reason they seem to avoid answering this as an objection. The nearest that anyone gets to it is postulate something that looks astonishing like “because I said so….”

                  • the rule of law could arbitrarily set in an anarcho-capitalist society based purely on the whims of which ever agency or individual owns the contract for the police force. But then again, another person has no constraint on owning and creating their own security force so, you are quite right, the end result would be rulers of their own fiefdoms.

                    Somalia is a good case study I guess but it doesn’t have the massive corporatism (as far as I am aware) which would result from a Western anarcho-capitalist society. 

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      nah, it’s a load of wank.It’s square circleism, which is why it dosenae exist. Sure, there’s people blathering about what it might look like, but that doesn’t make it exist. FFS, timecube!!

                      What do you need for capitalism? you need defined property rights, enforced by a legal authority. Pretty hard to build that in anarchy, which is the fucking absence of legal authority.

                    • It’s anarcho-Capitalism because it advocates removal of the state.

                      But you know best.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      have a read of what they say. lots of talk about what sort of things would be ‘justifiable’. Justifiable to whom? is a question that doesn’t get mentioned a lot.

                      That’s not anarchy, it’s minarchy.

                      You could argue that capitalism might be emergent from a state of anarchy, but then you just delay the squaring of the circle. How can you set up the social infrastructure capitalism needs without enforceable property rights? And if you don’t have enforceable property rights how is it capitalism?

                      It’s just silly.

                    • You might find this interesting, PB:
                      http://c4ss.org/content/4043  

                      Only had a quick scan myself as quite busy but will have a longer read later 

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      From a quick read, yeah, s/he seems to get it. Thanks.

                    • mike e

                      Feudalism basically Contrarian

                  • Jokerman

                    anarcho-capitalism IS happening already! (there is a distortion of Gen X values for ya

          • SpaceMonkey 1.1.1.1.2

            I’m not sure they had forgotten at all. They could quite possibly have been saying to themselves… “we’ve got 30 or so years to make a killing out the chaos this will cause before the whole thing implodes.” The financiers make money on rising and falling markets… volatilaty is good.

      • Bill 1.1.2

        DtB. The theory works just fine and as intended. The lies given to us over the reason for applying the theory and its intended consequences are the problem.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1

          +1

          its like saying that the Americans and the EU are stupid for bailing out the bankers yet again. Haven’t they learnt this strategy doesn’t work?

          When in fact it works very well, for the bankers and their top echelon mates.

    • Bill 1.2

      Says a lot about the ridiculous world of disconnected, politically driven theory we live in when somebody has to do a study to ‘find’ – to all intent and purposes – that ‘hitting your thumb with a hammer’ results in a sore thumb.

      The question is why we allow such crackpot bullshit (repeated hammer + thumb = pleasure) to gain any measure of importance in our lives? And if the answer is because we ‘have no choice’ insofar as all ‘our’ politicians push crackpot b/s, partly or wholly because self promoting corporate, politically motivated media generally embrace such crackpot b/s and denigrate any politician who doesn’t – then what are we to do?

      Any answers?

      • Dr Terry 1.2.1

        Bill, one answer might be for Kiwis to become less self-depreciating in favour of self-assurance and assertion. That is a big ask!!

      • Jokerman 1.2.2

        ontological reductionism.
        levels of discourse
        reduction by levels of discourse
        may lead to epistemological reductionism

      • Jokerman 1.2.3

        ontological reductionism.

        levels of discourse
        reduction by levels of discourse
        may lead to epistemological reduction

      • Jokerman 1.2.4

        Spring Creek mgmt “going through the motions”.-bowel motions upon the Greymouth

        Islamic anti-U.S backlash reaches over 30 countries
        FF?-increased U.S commitment to M.E?

        “let us not Love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth”

    • David H 1.3

      And it’s taken them how long to figure this out??? 1 person can only spend so much in 1 day where as 100000 spend enough to sustain a small town.

    • felix 1.4

      “Tax cuts for rich linked to income inequality, not income growth”

      In other news, finger cuts for concert pianists linked to more clumsy playing, not less.

    • aerobubble 1.5

      Just did a ‘future lifetime’ costing of rich people’s unpaid fines and charges, its trillions of dollars
      lost to the tax payers. Its a pity because welfare is one of the most cost efficient ways of
      providing for the poorest yet found, lowers cost to disease, ends ghettos, abates crime at
      its beginnings, unlike wealth that sees the richest run off with massive unreturned stolen money.
      The rich even have schemes, Ponsi schemes,… if only we were to stop the rich starting
      finance companies….

      …or are we to expect a percentage of people in whatever walk of life to fall through the
      gaps, and so a lifetime costing of some benefitaries is essential moronic, worse
      discriminatory, since those entitled to welfare aren’t criminal financial fraudsters.

  2. Logie97 2

    KidsCan and feeding the masses.
    From what we saw on Campbell Live last night, the “food” provided was lunch-box fillers. Doughy, bland snack bars, tiny raisin packets and catering size tins of baked beans and a small tub of peaches in syrup and some loaves of bread. Yes, some schools are getting (One-piece-of-fresh-fruit-one-day-a-week) – that is not a daily ration either. Yet Key and Co are being let off the hook here by this really well meaning organisation – being frequently quoted on programmes like Q+A as the answer – they are a start, yes, but not the answer.

    • Bored 2.1

      I semi watched Campbell whilst on the phone: what really pissed me off was the comments from viewers at the end, three of five said words to the effect that the parents were to blame (read it has nothing to do with money). It would seem to me that we have a very nasty attitude as a society to those less well off than ourselves, “kill the poor” seems to be the default setting for “middle NZ”. No wonder Key gets elected.

      • muzza 2.1.1

        Its the inevitable result of a broken down divided society, who has been told at an individual level, its all about you. Worst of all. people who are inclined to feel its actually all about them, also think they understand what is happening in the world, ou know they watch CNN, SKY News etc, which creates a disconnect inside them, that the poor, and those in poverty, is largely a choice they have made, its all their fault for being poor and impoverished.

        What these people fail to appreciate is that this has been designed, like the financial system, it cant currently be any other way, but because people are so stupid/selfish, they don’t realise that they too are set to become the poor and impoverished, somewhere along the timeline.

        Perhaps if people could get this through their thick heads, they may start to understand their views are going to become a self fulfilling prophecy they will not have seen coming.

        When our fellow human beings lose, we all lose!

        • Bored 2.1.1.1

          Thanks Muz, I will put the positive side back on. Occasionally I get a very dark attitude with my fellow humans, which sort of clashes with my preferred modus operandi of doing something about it for other humans. And If the glum thing overcomes me I will take sly pleasure in the discomfort of newly impoverished “aspirants”.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 2.1.2

        Where there is greater inequality, more people will be deprived of the jobs, incomes, housing and cars which are the markers of status. Vulnerable to the humiliation of
        relative poverty, they will be particularly sensitive to feeling disrespected and looked
        down on and unwilling to ignore incidents which appear to involve a loss of face…

        “It’s just gettin’ worse an’ worse round here. Rotherham’s just dog
        rough now, it’s fuckin’ dog rough man. All you get…is people eyein’ yer all
        time and a lot of ‘em aren’t hard at all, ‘cos hard doesn’t have to bother.
        …who wants to live with every time yer go out of the door some fucker’s
        lookin’ at yer? There’s this bloke on our street…, parks his (car) there and he
        eyes me out all time. One of these days his goin’ t’ catch me in a bad mood
        and I’m gunna …ask him what his problem is. … There’s something wrong
        with ‘em, they’re not right in the head. There’s just more and more fuckin’
        weirdo’s about. You’ve got to keep yourself fit an’ strong, and you’ve fuckin’
        got to be able to fight because more an’ more now it’s comin’ down to that
        ‘cos it’s the only thing these wankers respect. I mean if they know yer ‘andy
        and they know you’ve got hard friends – (John’s) popular just cos he’s
        fuckin’ hard, he’s respected and it’s all there is for us now. They walk past yer
        and they stare at yer and first to look away is the weaker one and once they
        see you as weak, then you’re a target to ‘em. Unless they know you’ve got
        heavy friends. … It’s fuckin’ rough.”

        Wilkinson R. Why is violence more common where inequality is greater? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2004;1036:1-12

        Bored, I think we are witnessing a symptom rather than a cause.

      • Mary 2.1.3

        Why isn’t anyone pointing out that this “food in low decile schools because low income families don’t have enough money to feed their children” caper is just one more banana skin on the big slippery reversion to Poor Law thinking? Nobody wants to see hungry kids at school, but we can’t let this get in the way of what this means in the bigger scheme of things. We’ve already accepted food banks as a legitimate part of our formal welfare system – government refers people to food banks for God’s sake, and who would’ve predicted that back in 1991? We’ve also got Whanau Ora – sounds great because it’s supposedly about giving power back to Maori and who can say that’s a bad thing? Won’t be long though when we hear Key and Bennett saying it’s such a success that we’re handing welfare over to the community to deal with because “they’re so good at it”. They’ve all but done it with our young people. The Left are playing right into the hands of the greedy money fiends by letting us slip slowly but surely back into the deserving/undeserving mire which our current welfare system was designed to get us out of. It’s not hard to see what Key/English/Joyce/Bennett et al are doing and why they want this to happen.

        • weka 2.1.3.1

           We’ve also got Whanau Ora – sounds great because it’s supposedly about giving power back to Maori and who can say that’s a bad thing? Won’t be long though when we hear Key and Bennett saying it’s such a success that we’re handing welfare over to the community to deal with because “they’re so good at it”.

          Problem is, Maori are better off running their own welfare, simply because the mainstream is so crap at it. 

          • Jokerman 2.1.3.1.1

            Maori are better at serving the social needs of their communities, if funded appropriately.
            Hear thru the kumara vine that funding discrimination is occuring at the DHB board level regretably
            centralisation of contracts etc

          • millsy 2.1.3.1.2

            No real issue with Whanau Ora as long as it isnt used to replace the current welfare system, though it seems to me, from the series that was running in the herald some weeks ago, it appeared that tribal groups were using it to dicate to members how they should live their lives. One woman was told to give up her phone/internet service, even though it would be a false economy.

      • Pete 2.1.4

        It would seem to me that we have a very nasty attitude as a society to those less well off than ourselves, “kill the poor” seems to be the default setting for “middle NZ”. No wonder Key gets elected.

        I think Chris Trotter was right on the Union Report this week. There really is a nasty streak of authoritarianism in this country.

        We’ve never really had to fight for our freedoms (yes, I know the World Wars, but we were never directly imperilled), they were just developed as this country progressed. We imagine ourselves as a caring society, but that is just part of the national myth.

      • millsy 2.1.5

        The ultamite irony is that those people you mentioned will have benefited from Labour’s 1935-84 welfare/social security state. From free school milk to Housing Corp loans and everything in between.

        • aerobubble 2.1.5.1

          Its pretty simple, when the powerful get arrogant they ignore their duties and start
          blaming the great unwashed. Welfare is the most efficient way to save trillions in
          costs on the people, from disease, to poor housing, to poor nutrient, to ghettos,
          to having a healthy skilled workforce. Essentially National aren’t about to attack
          everyone, remove all business and in work welfare, they are only going to remove
          all support from a very few, those most likely to be ignored by the system.
          Its just nasty and despicable, and yes you guessed it, cost more in the long run.
          In more crime, more disease, more run down housing, more social disruption.

      • David H 2.1.6

        Bored 2.1

        Yep go and read some of the comments on the program. I had to recheck that I was still living in NZ. I tell you it’s scarey the way this is going, it’s standard Nact practice divide and conquer, but this time we are all wired up to the web, and the war is in here!

        I think that more and more people are getting fed up with the party line bullshit, and are looking for something different, I can’t say that whats written in here is true, it’s not, it’s opinion, it’s the opinion of a broad spectrum of people and in here apart from the trolls we are all equal (well moderators above equal) and no laughs at what you say. Unless it’s complete troll or stupid talk then the above equal part comes in. And the fact that the name of the Standard and other blogs have been mentioned in the MSM (thanks Bryce and Gordon) people have to come and look (I could be talking out of my ass here But Lprent are the visits by new people up and new members up as well?) If they aren’t then lets hope for more media coverage and a member to win Lotto to help fund. There are some very knowledgeable people in here from all walks of life. Unfortunately until we get more readers their voice is lost in the babble of MSM drivel.

        What I am trying to get at is this unless we adapt to the way things are happening on the net, in the Blogs, the MSM and to the way the Nats are using the net we will lose and keep losing. They have the joyous intelligence of The Whale, and of course their tame troll Farrar. And of course Hooten, king of the shout down what ever he is.

        You can see it in the coverage of the ABC fight, Half of the insider leak I suspect was probably from the fantasy of Whale and his boyfriend Duncan. The response was immediate and in some cases way over the top and it keeps happening. And we get bad press the Rabid left blog shit from the likes of JA on the Herald and the same on Stuff.

        We have Paula Benefit stripping away our rights, Widows will lose about $8.30 a week, if you miss 3 calls benefit slashed, turn down a job, benefit slashed, fail a drug test? Yep Again benefit slashed. And I really don’t have the energy or knowlege to go into what Parata is doing to education I need to learn. I am shocked at the bullshit coming from Brownlee in CHCH. Then there’s that happy Joyce creator of the latest white whale MOBIE so that makes him Capt Ahab and we all know how that ended.

        And it keeps happening. And why does it keep happening ? Because there is bugger all opposition to the plans of the Natcs, they get away with lying, cheating, bullying, etc and still they are not taken to task

        Why NOT?

        There needs to be change major change in the Labour party they need to get back the people who at the moment know that NO ONE gives a shit about them. They are the forgotten kids of 16 and 17 they are the next generation of voters, but if they see the shit that Key pulls, and gets away with, ALL the fucking time, no wonder they just don’t bother. The infighting in the Labour Party must stop it has to. it is diverting attention away from what is important, but what is important to the LP at the moment ? It seems that power rather than their constituents is the important thing. They forget we voted them in. DID they not get the message that was sent at the last election? it seems not. They need a complete clean out a democratically elected leader Get the cronies out of the picture, (this ME politics is bullshit.) how many more seats do they have to lose (hopefully to the greens BUT I fear not) to finally get the message?

        Wow sorry i needed to clear my thoughts and a sleepless night don’t help. go ahead and pick it apart I look forward to any and all criticism. Oh and please DNFTT.

      • Dr Terry 2.1.7

        Bored, I think you are on to something here.

      • AAMC 2.1.8

        On a more positive note, here are some creative young people trying to build some momentum to do something about it..

        #FeedOurFuture
        https://www.facebook.com/FeedingOurFuture

        Lets pick up some shovels and as an act of civil disobedience, turn up at every low decile school and plant fruit trees in their grounds, as a symbol of the community wanting to feed it’s children.

        • muzza 2.1.8.1

          I would say the civil disobedience is NOT taking action to assist where it is obviously needed!

          Well said AAMC

          • Logie97 2.1.8.1.1

            Several schools ran Enviroschools vegetable gardens with the assistance of grants, and Professor Delorus Umbridge of the 2009/2011 National Government scrapped the funding, but was forced to reinstate it partially because of public outcry.
            Other schools are planting areas of the ground in orchard through grants from their local councils. It will take a good 5 years plus for these trees to start producing sufficiently though … what happens in the meantime?
            Well for one, hopefully Bill Scrooge and Joky Hen and their mean administration will be history.

  3. There is an interesting article in this morning’s Herald discussing a JB Were report which raises concerns about NZ’s financial system and suggests that the Reserve Bank should be taking an active role in suppressing the value of the kiwi dollar.

    Researcher Bernard Doyle is quoted as saying “[t]he RBNZ is one of the few central banks running relatively orthodox monetary policy” and that it was a “rarity in the global economy,” with positive interest rates and no policy to print money. “Unfortunately, in a world where the major central banks are breaking all the rules, this is not an advantage,” he is quoted as saying.

    With the US, Europe and the UK printing dollars and providing cheap credit the NZ dollar will inevitably continue to increase in value as Asian banks seek out the highest interest rates.  So the export sector is in for another clobbering.

    And the Government’s response?  Do nothing and leave it to the market.  The only problem is that there is clearly not a free market operating.  

    Key naturally said that concerns about the financial system were “nonsense”.

    Oh for a government that actually thought it should try and achieve some good … 

    • prism 3.1

      ms
      Thanks for bringing that to us. Most illuminating.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Key naturally said that concerns about the financial system were “nonsense”.

      Him and his rich mates are doing well out of it so it must be good and if other people aren’t doing well out of it, well, that’s their choice.

    • muzza 3.3

      Are they short on the Kiwi $$ then….Or perhaps telling their clients they should be.

      Whatever the case, when a mob like JB Were publish a report, there is good reason for it, and its not altruistic!

  4. King Kong 4

    I see it is the first anniversary of the occupy movement. So how did that storming of the Bastille, that many here were sharpening their pitchforks for, pan out? snigger.

    • Urban Rascal 4.1

      CHANGE OF FOCUS: The Occupy movement has influenced the national dialogue about economic equality, with the word “occupy” itself becoming part of the public lexicon.

      VARIED IMPACT: The protest movement is credited with a range of more concrete accomplishments, from influencing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s about-face on a millionaire’s tax to helping to save an Atlanta church and veterans’ homes from foreclosure in Atlanta and Minneapolis. In Rhode Island, Occupy Providence won a temporary day center to serve the homeless during the winter.

      http://news.yahoo.com/summary-box-occupy-achieved-6-months-174602618.html

      Small achievements are still achievements, and Occupy has taught societies a lot and connected struggling classes around the world. Connecting struggling classes worldwide is a pretty massive change in global discourse. The fact that your even scoffing at it while probably watching spanish mining strikes, a French socialist president and the Arab fall on the the tele news, all which are connected to the change in discourse, shows how clueless you are to the flow on effects of a connected global movement.

      Maybe the PoAL with make it a bit more relative to NZ for you monkey breath.

    • mike e 4.3

      they’ve taken a leaf out of your book and are going to climb the empire’s state building and get shot to pieces like your arguments do most days here primitive primate!

    • prism 4.4

      King Kong They just did that to amuse you oh reader of philosophy.

    • Dr Terry 4.5

      The article, KK, reports that the occupy movement remains intact and in good heart in the USA, for starters.

  5. ‘Dodgy’ John Banks protected by ‘shonky’ John Key?

    The (NOT-SO) ‘HONORABLE’ John Banks – showing all the class of a rat with a gold tooth?

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=449542975077413&set=a.449542061744171.101311.100000651420214&type=1&comment_id=1279393

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  6. prism 6

    Heard a quote from Jay Leno –
    “Politics is show business for ugly people”.

  7. David H 7

    Watching Key on TV3 this morning and when asked about Tainui not coming to a Hui on Water? With a shrug of his shoulders, “It’s a free world” What a bullshit answer. That’s the sort of answer you give if you just don’t care about the question, or what the out come could be, It just shows what a culturally insensitive pig he can be. And he is just going to bulldoze these thefts through at any cost and to hell with the consequences. And the bribed and blind middle class are going to hand it to him on a plate, and the rest of us will pay for it for ever.

  8. I found this really nice map of what they expect to be able to extract from Afghanistan.
    About a trillion dollars worth it seems

    • mike e 8.1

      you didn’t include the opium or marijuana and Carlyle Haliburton and blackwater(now has a new name).
      The US war machine has already made $1.4 trillion Dollars out of Afghanistan!

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      What century is it going to be before they can get a stable enough security situation to set up any mining operations of scale?

      • insider 8.2.1

        Mining and trading has been going on in Afghanistan for about 6000 years. The current events are just a blip.

    • Bill 8.3

      Sheesh, trav. That map misses the return on the US$7.8 b investment in the TAPI pipeline…of which NZ is a part funder.

    • ianmac 8.4

      Remember the proposed oil pipeline to shift oil from the north of Afghanistan to the Pakistan borders. Was it the real reason for USA getting into Afghanistan?

      • insider 8.4.1

        no-one remembers it because it was a myth or literally a pipe dream with no prospect of success.

      • Bill 8.4.2

        The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI) just got signed off the other week. It’s a gas pipeline. Not oil. It was first proposed back in the mid-nineties and the NYT reported at the time on how it was a wonderful idea insofar as it sidelined Iran and Russia.

        But the Taliban never controlled the north of Afghanistan and so could never have guaranteed its safety, hence, perhaps the massacre at Mazar e Sharif in 1998 was, at least in part, a clumsy attempt by them to secure control of the vital NW region?

        Pre 2001 the Taliban had attempted to give over Osama bin Ladin on a number of occasions. But the US were never exactly helpful in securing his extradition to a third country.

        By late 2001, the only pre-text that would have allowed the US to invade was if the state of Afghanistan could be tied to the terrorism of Sept 01. (To invoke Article 51 of the UN Charter) And so we are sold the story of the Taliban being in cahoots with Al qaeda and therefore responsible for the twin towers etc.

        And the Taliban tried to give up Osama bin Ladin again. And again the US were less than helpful.

        If you look at the proposed route of the TAPI pipeline and the position of major bases (which can will remain operational under either a residual US led force backed by mercaneries or by mercanaries on their own – there are already thousands employed in Afghanistan), there is a rather obvious correlation…SW Afghanistan running up to Turkmenistan.

        btw. India finally signed on to the TAPI project (welching on an agreement with Iran for a different pipeline) because they got nuclear technology from the US. And the only reason they got nuclear technology from the US was because P Goff gave up NZ’s veto on the matter.

        • Clashman 8.4.2.1

          After 9/11 the Taliban agreed to give Osama up if the US provided some evidence that he was involved/responsible for the attacks. The US wouldn’t/couldn’t.
          Its also interesting that the FBI’s most wanted page for Osama bin Laden never included any apportion of blame for 9/11
          “The FBI page states: “Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world.”

          When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on the FBI’s web page, Rex Tomb, the FBI’s Chief of Investigative Publicity, is reported to have said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”
          http://www.twf.org/News/Y2006/0608-BinLaden.html

          • Bill 8.4.2.1.1

            Before 9/11 the Taliban had Osama on trial for the Tanzania and Kenya bombings. But they had no evidence and so asked the US to supply what evidence they held for the prosecution. The US had already sent them a few cruise missiles and in response to a request for evidence sent a taped ’60 Minutes’ TV interview and a copy of some published magazine article. And so, the Taliban let him go.

            And there are other, on record, instances of the Taliban in discussion with the US seeking to be rid of Osama. (The US didn’t recognise the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan so there was no extradition treaty) All they wanted was some…any…pretext from the US and they would have handed him over to Saudi Arabia. But when you read the record, it appears the US wanted Osama to be just where he was.

            Pre 2001, the Talban even tried to extradite him to Saudi Arabia becasue he had broken a religious edict to not speak of terrorist events. And the Saudi’s refused to ‘play ball’.

            • Colonial Viper 8.4.2.1.1.1

              And don’t forget that Osama Bin Laden came from a very wealthy Saudi Arabian family with extensive oil and other business contacts in the US.

    • insider 8.5

      I’ve heard of wars for oil, but wars for copper and iron? Give me a break. That kind of idea is just so BC.

      • mike e 8.5.1

        what about lithium

        • insider 8.5.1.1

          Well half the world’s lithium is in Bolivia. If it is anything like as large the price will likely drop. but it’s all unproven. And it’s hardly a rare metal and war engendering

          • Colonial Viper 8.5.1.1.1

            Afghan mineral resources are worth a lot of money, sure. But that’s just icing on the cake.

            The main course are the pipeline routes for oil and gas, allowing the volatile Persian/Middle East area to be completely avoided. That’s where the real strategic driver is. The ability to bypass the Straits of Hormuz and to bypass Russia is absolute magic.

    • joe90 8.6

      I’ve heard of wars for oil, but wars for copper and iron?

      West Papua.

      • McFlock 8.6.1

        Bougainville.

        • mike e 8.6.1.1

          Chile

        • insider 8.6.1.2

          post colonial nationalism v self determination. Neither of these are about copper.

          • McFlock 8.6.1.2.1

            In the same way that Western African wars had nothing to do with diamonds.
                   
            Hypothetically (of course) I would be interested to see how much of a flying fuck PG would have given if the Panguna mine didn’t exist. Or indeed how much of a grievance the locals would have had if the’d received more than 1% of the mine profits (another 19% to PNG govt). 
                
            Many/most wars are, at the root, about money. You just need a bit more copper to get the same conflict intensity than you do oil or gold.
             

      • joe90 8.6.2

        Neither of these are about copper

        Bullshit, while Freeport McMoRan continues to pay Jakarta it’s all about copper.

  9. Jackal 9

    Public subsidizing polluting industries

    National’s Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill (PDF) effectively kneecaps the ETS and ensures that New Zealand will fail to meet its international obligations. Giving the public only two weeks to make submissions on that bill, the amendments to the Climate Change Response Act 2002 puts a very flimsy case for economic growth ahead of the environment… In other words it lets the polluters off the hook…

  10. millsy 10

    With those who serve, the government is giving with one hand and taking with the other

    Market rentals for base housing, coupled with the dirty little secret of NZDF housing getting sold off and taken apart bit by bit, which will eat up the 7% payrise that all NZDF personell are getting.

    Is there any reason why soldiers cannot form a union?

    Those who see the forces as a possible respite from transience, insecurity and poverty should really think again…

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Decimation of a formerly secure US middle class community

    “A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, and fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.” – Chris Hedges

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-are-you-seeing-what-im-seeing

    • Dr Terry 11.1

      CV, take credit for this excellent and true quotation.

    • Dr Terry 11.2

      CV, take credit for this excellent and true quotation..

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      Pablo over at Kiwipolitico has a good article about the infeasibility of the US service economy.

      The basic problem of reliance on services as the core of economic activity is that making money through facilitation is not equivalent to being productive. Nor is working hard synonymous with productivity. Americans work the longest hours and take the shortest vacations of all OECD countries. By that standard they should be light-years ahead of the democratic capitalist world in terms of real productivity. But they are not. That is because hard work and income earned in services does not, in the larger scheme of things, add real value to productivity. It may make the national quality of life better, but it does not advance the overall condition of the productive apparatus. It is the economic equivalent of silver–it is nice and attractive, very malleable, easy to buy, wear and replace, but is no substitute for the economic iron required to build and progress a nation.

      And we’re following the same path to economic stagnation and collapse.

      • Jokerman 11.3.1

        i rememeber when the ‘services economy’ was the current propaganda in Aoteoroa; Yawn and despair. More of the sl word (for those that do not Think like moi)

  12. ianmac 12

    A bit ironic that the Topless Princess Kate and husband should be welcomed by traditionally garbed women in the Solomon Islads who were – umm – topless. We are a weird lot aren’t we?

    • prism 12.1

      ianmac 12
      it’s all down to culture, fashion and societal norms – that get to be tourniquets on us

  13. The Onion is running a story (obviously satire) that Obama’s popularity has spiked after he punched a Wall Street Banker in the face.  Makes you wonder though …

  14. MEDIA ADVISORY:

    Photo of a banner that will be outside John Banks electorate office
    27 Gillies Ave Newmarket between 12.30 and 1.30pm
    TODAY Tuesday 18 September 2012

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=449542975077413&set=a.4495

    The purpose of this protest is to hand over a letter to John Banks c/- his electorate staff, to ask whether he would be prepared to be the MP to present the following petition to the House (given that he is purportedly so concerned about the slackness of local government electoral law?

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/115686/banks-welcomes-changes-to-'unfair'-donations-law

    Mr Banks says the changes are well overdue.
    “As Charles Dickens said in 1838 the law is an ass – and it’s important that the Government cleans it up. No candidate for public office should go through what I had to go through.”

    In order to prevent this happening to any other candidate – I look forward to The ‘Honorable’ John Banks, MP for Epsom, agreeing to present this petition, at his earliest available opportunity.

    “That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into the findings of the Police investigation into the allegations that the Hon. John Archibald Banks, CNZM QSO, submitted a false donation return in respect to the Auckland Council Mayoral election 2010 – that it was not unlawful for the Hon. John Archibald Banks, CNZM QSO to sign and transmit his candidate’s declaration of expenses without first personally checking and verifying that the information provided (by another party) was accurate.”

    (It is noteworthy that the first signature on this petition is that of Kim Dotcom.)

    (Photocopies of this petition will be available for media.)

    Actually getting this request to staff at John Banks’ electorate office is somewhat complicated owing to the fact that I have been trespassed from it for 2 years arising from my being arrested in it, on 18 June 2012.

    Perhaps the Police will be able to help expedite proceedings?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/7124255/Protesters-stage-sit-in-at-Banks-office

    (Have appearance in Ak District Court (Albert St) tomorrow Wed 19 September 2012 – matter will be adjourned – but will still have a protest outside
    Court from 8.30am – 9am.)

    CRI- 2012 – 004 – 113 21

    CHARGE: Wilful trespass

    Courtroom 11

    TIME: 9.00am

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • ianmac 15.1

      Perhaps Mother Jones would sit in on Key’s discussion to his inner circle. Scary stuff Joe.

    • joe90 15.2

      Esquire: The Worst Thing Romney Has Said About Americans Yet

      To this moment, I guarantee you, Romney is probably astonished at what all the fuss is about. This is simply the way the world is. There is himself, Willard Romney, and his perfect family, and his perfect life, and there is The Help, and The Help gets drunk on the job, and prunes the shrubbery badly, and pockets the silverware, and makes off with the odd can of salmon out of the pantry. He is who he is today because his breeding and his genes and his god have arranged him to be through a serious of immutable laws against which only a fool or The Help would presume to argue. He is what his golden life has made him to be, and his golden life was only the bare minimum of that to which god and nature entitled him. To ask him to doubt any of this is to ask him to doubt gravity or the movement of the tides.

  15. Dv 16

    Govt chases debt of one cent

    No one from the ministry would be interviewed. Instead it issued a statement saying it knows the one cent overpayment looks silly, but that it sends millions of letters a year through a system which doesn’t distinguish between amounts of debt.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Govt-chases-debt-of-one-cent/tabid/1607/articleID/269608/Default.aspx#ixzz26mAy1k7f

    Compare to
    Education Pay
    On th NovoPay website.
    Many people may notice differences in their pay of up to plus or minus 10 cents. The reason for this is that Novopay, the new schools’ payroll service, rounds each component of pay separately and the accumulation may result in the up to 10 cents difference.

  16. felix 17

    Season 4 of the excellent “The Thick Of It” is currently playing in the UK, as someone kindly noted in one of the social threads recently.

    Do you think the David Shearer and the Labour leadership team are watching? I certainly hope so. The latest episode, aired a couple of days ago, is all about them.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xtmtk2_the-thick-of-it-s04e02-hdtv-www-movie1k-ch_shortfilms

    (If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, start about 3 and a half minutes in)

    • Uturn 17.1

      I will look forward to Shearer’s next speech where he refers to the “quiet bat-people” of NZ.

      • just saying 17.1.1

        Utter genius. Who knew British TV had this outstanding satire about NZ’s current ‘shad-cab’?

        First rule of Breakfast club -don’t talk about breakfast club!

        Btw who’s Malcom?

  17. AAMC 18

    Politics isn’t going to solve it unless the community forces them!

    https://www.facebook.com/FeedingOurFuture

    • Uturn 18.1

      Speaking of quiet bat people…

      A site dedicated to feeding hungry children describes them as “…starving to be better people.”

      :shock:

      How about,

      “We are committed to using our time and expertise to feed our children, the future of our country.”

    • SpaceMonkey 18.2

      Quite true… as Thom Hartmann on RT’s ‘The Big Picture’ pointed out a few months ago, the issue of African-American civil rights wasn’t among any political party’s policies until the protests started and the politicians saw the groundswell of public opinion.

      Meaningful change has to start at a grassroots level, once a critical number is reached, the meme/movement/thinking hits mainstream. I wonder if we are beginning to see this in NZ with the issues of children in poverty and inequality. At present many are in denial or anger (“it’s the parents fault for making bad choices”, etc) which are just two of the 5 stages of awakening:

      http://dont-tread-on.me/?p=454

      Could child-poverty and inequality, in which the state of both are an affront to what it means to be a New Zealander and the principles this country was founded on, be the trigger that results in NZ’s version of the Arab-spring uprisings?

  18. Draco T Bastard 19

    Well, somebody did say a few days ago that the next distraction from NACT would be announcing a royal visit.

  19. captain hook 20

    what I want to know is who is the Mcguiness institute who are “voluntarily” assisting the constitutional advisory panel?
    and why?
    So who is paying them?
    Where do they get their money from?
    These questions must be answered if democracy is to be preserved in New Zealand.

  20. Dv 21

    Is that you gosman?

  21. THE ‘DEAR JOHN’ LETTER – handed over to Electorate staff at PROTEST OUTSIDE JOHN BANKS’ ELECTORATE OFFICE 27 Gillies Ave, Newmarket, today, Tuesday 18 September 2012:

    The following letter was given to John Banks’ electorate staff by Jax (I have been trespassed for 2 years from this office, having been arrested for wilful trespass on 18 June 2012 – Court case tomorrow

    Wed. 19 September 2012 CRI- 2012- 004 -113 21
    Auckland District Courtroom 11, Albert St
    9am (Protest outside from 8.30am)

    _________________

    OPEN LETTER TO THE ‘HONORABLE’ JOHN BANKS – MP FOR EPSOM

    18 September 2012

    Dear John,

    RE: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/115686/banks-welcomes-changes-to-'unfair'-donations-law

    Mr Banks says the changes are well overdue.

    “As Charles Dickens said in 1838 the law is an ass – and it’s important that the Government cleans it up. No candidate for public office should go through what I had to go through.”

    Given your above-mentioned publicly-stated concerns about the local electoral law ‘being an ass’, and needing to be ‘cleaned up’ – I would like to give you the opportunity to ‘put your money where your mouth is’ (as it were), on this matter.

    I am formally requesting that YOU please be the Member of Parliament to present the following petition to the House, at your earliest available opportunity:

    “That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into the findings of the Police investigation into the allegations that the Hon. John Archibald Banks, CNZM QSO, submitted a false donation return in respect to the Auckland Council Mayoral election 2010 – that it was not unlawful for the Hon. John Archibald Banks, CNZM QSO to sign and transmit his candidate’s declaration of expenses without first personally checking and verifying that the information provided (by another party) was accurate.”

    You may find it to be noteworthy that the first signature on this petition is that of Kim Dotcom, whose financial assistance to your 2010 Auckland Mayoral campaign, you may recall?

    Looking forward to your prompt response to this VERY important matter.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    2010 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  22. Paul 23

    Listening to The Panel and an interview with a Banks Peninsula school about their closing down..after Campbell Live’s programme yesterday about another school in Christchurch.
    Sounds like the ideas from ‘Disaster Capitalism’ by Naomi Klein and what happened to New Orleans after Katrina.

  23. xtasy 24

    The Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill 67-1:

    This new, 191 page long, bill can be found under the following link:
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2012/0067/latest/DLM4542304.html

    The new proposed benefit regime is intended to come into force from 15 July 2013, and it contains legal provisions under which the OUTSOURCING of assessments on beneficiaries for work capacity, of “work preparation exercises” and of “administrative services” will be made possible to private non government agencies and service providers.

    There are obligations for ALL beneficiaries, incl. beneficiary parent(s) and caregiver(s):

    ● A NEW section 60 GAG by section 39 of Act to place obligation of beneficiary to work with “service providers”;
    ● Sanctions can be imposed under section 117 if client fails to comply with this;
    ● Attendance of “work preparation exercises” can be expected under section 60Q;
    ● See also section 125A (amended) re contracts with “administration service providers”.

    Sole Parent Support:
    ● This new, more restrictive benefit is covered by new sections 20A to 20H;
    ● already announced “social obligations” will be expected.

    Supported Living Payment:
    ● The new benefit that can be granted on grounds of sickness, injury or disability, and which is supposed to replace the invalid’s benefit, is covered by sections 40A to 40K;
    ● Supporting living payment recipients exempted ONLY if terminally ill, or if found to be suffering from conditions that are likely to deteriorate or “not improve”;

    Consequential Amendments:
    Re “supported living payment” benefit – see clause 88 re some changes in schedule 6 for present IB

    Drug Testing Obligations:
    and easily WINZ will place such obligations on job-seeker beneficiaries that are asked to have drug tests done on them for jobs where employers require this;
    ● A 50 per cent cut to the benefit can be imposed if a client/applicant fails such a drug;
    ● section 12J is to be amended to limit rights of appeals to the Appeal Authority if “medical” reasons are given (see sections 116C and 102B) for failing drug tests;
    ● WINZ will “compensate” employers for costs of drug tests where clients “fail” to pass them, and will then reclaim those costs from the clients (!);
    ● Beneficiaries who fail an initial drug test will also have to pay for re-compliance drug tests;

    Social Obligations by beneficiary parents:
    a) Enrol newborns with GP;
    b) Participate in ECE;
    c) Ensure attendance of school by children in their care

    Stopping benefit payments for clients who face a warrant of arrest after 28 days of issue:
    ● 10 days notice, then a “cut” of the benefit can and will be imposed;

    ● an immediate “stop” is imposed if a beneficiary – against whom a warrant has been issued – poses a “serious risk to the public”

    Disability Allowance changes and other ‘preferred supplier arrangements’:
    ● Possible “preferred supplier arrangements” for “procurement of goods and services” for welfare recipients in certain circumstances (see s 69C and also sections 125AA and 132AD);
    ● Under section 82 the C.E. can determine payment to preferred supplier or beneficiary for goods or services required as advance or special assistance needs (see also section 125AA);
    ● See also section 124 (1BA) for further provisions re “special assistance”.

    Regulations:
    ● Section 132AD provides for regulations that can set harsher standards and criteria for how “disability allowance” funds paid to beneficiaries are to be used for “specified expenses”;
    ● Other sub-sections under section 132 provide for regulations to be made for the granting, expiry and re-granting “specified benefits” and so forth.

    Re Application for Benefits:
    ● New sections 11E and 11H for “job seeker support” (incl. sick, injured, disabled) applicants, setting out “pre benefit activities” expected of them; new sections 11G and 11H set out consequences for applicants “failing” to meet such “activities” (incl. their spouse/partner);
    ● All beneficiaries appear to have to re-apply for their specified benefits (after 12 months);
    ● See also new sections 80BE and 80 BF re expiry, re-granting and so.

    Work Ability Assessments:
    ● Section 88F sets out job seeker obligations for seeking employment, and under 88F (2) the C.E. must determine the capacity to work for a job seeker – granted that support because of sickness, injury or disability; this basically allows the C.E. to “over rule” medical based assessments (in some forms)!
    ● Hence a “deferral” for “job seekers” is discretionary and based on C.E.’s determinations;
    ● Section 88H (2) allows job seeker (with sickness, injury or disability) to “apply” for “deferral”.
    ● New sections 100B and 100C to require beneficiaries to attend and participate in work ability assessments (virtually ALL beneficiaries);
    ● Section 100B (4) leaves it to the C.E. to determine the way such assessments are conducted;
    ● Procedure(s) for doing this are determined by the C.E. or her/his staff (!!!)
    ● Section 100C also leaves it up to the C.E. to determine appropriate times and frequencies of re-assessments!

    The existing medical appeal rights to a ‘Medical Board’ will in future be covered by a new section 10B (re-enacting section 53A), it changed only a bit

    Sanctions:
    ● New sections 116B and 116C replace existing sections 115 and 116A for imposing sanctions of beneficiaries not meeting a range of obligations;
    ● Other sections address matters how other sanctions for non compliance are imposed;

    ● Section 116C (2) lists some exemptions from sanctions to be imposed for failing drug testing, like drug dependency, medication that is prescribed and needs to be taken by a client

    Abatement:
    A harsh abatement regime under section 88B (6) for jobseeker support (52 week earnings to benefit comparison); so if a person earns as much as she/he could get on a benefit within 52 weeks, that may mean, NO benefit, as a client/applicant may be expected to “save” and provide for unforeseen job-loss.

    Ineligibility:
    Section 88D penalises unemployed “job seeker” beneficiaries if “fellow workers” (of a union the client/applicant belongs to), caused industrial action (strikes) leading to resulting “unemployment”. This basically makes it yet more difficult to defend worker’s rights.

    Appeal rights denied in certain cases:
    When it comes to forms of certain payments of advances, of disability allowance costs and some other “special assistance”, there is NO right to appeal WINZ decisions!

    This bill is a MONSTER bill, not only due to some controversial, excessively harsh provisions; it is so overly complex, it will be impossible to properly implement and apply in praxis. It further “over-amends” an old Act that has previously received endless amendments. The proposed changes make the Social Security Act extremely difficult to use and apply, as it is very difficult to do this already. Staff will face an administrative nightmare to use the law after all these changes. It would have been a better solution to bring in a whole new statute!

    Ultimately all this will just re-enforce the reality we have already: That beneficiaries are second class, stigmatised and disowned citizens and residents in this country.

    • just saying 24.1

      http://blog.greens.org.nz/2012/09/18/take-your-vitamins-nz/

      Thank gods for the Greens providing some goddamn opposition…

      Jan Logie
      Take your vitamins NZ
      Published: September 18, 2012
      by Jan Logie

      ….Because yesterday the Government confirmed plans to reform the sickness benefit system.

      Basically they’re getting rid of the sickness benefit merging it into the wider job seeker benefit, albeit with some exemptions from work readiness activities if someone is deemed too sick….

      …This legislation will require people diagnosed with cancer to focus on what they’re capable of, in terms of employment, rather than what they’re not. This will change once they’ve been diagnosed as terminal. If they want to keep working or look for work then great but if not surely a reasonable society would let someone battling cancer focus on that battle and not siphon their energies off into proving their work readiness or availability.

      To require people who are sick to engage in work readiness activities and look for work assumes they don’t know what’s best for them. It even seems to assume their doctor doesn’t know either.

      The evidence that shows the negative health impacts of income support is contestable and I don’t think it can be used to draw the conclusions that this Government has drawn. There is some evidence that receiving income support has negative health consequences, but this has not to my knowledge considered if this would still be true if the benefit wasn’t set below the poverty level. It also ignores the research that shows it’s actually worse to be in low paid vulnerable employment with poor conditions than it is to be on welfare….

    • weka 24.2

      Looks like they want to abolish Sickness Benefit.

      I agree, it’s hard to make sense of all of that. Will the MSD have published something that interprets it? 

      • xtasy 24.2.1

        I met a fair few people who have due to permanent health conditions been on the sickness benefit for years, while it is only meant to be a type of benefit for short to medium term sick and disabled or “incapacitated”. Really some of them should be on IB, but as most struggle to cope with WINZ staff, do not understand the law and their rights, they never dare to challenge decisions.

        Cost saving has already been the agenda for years, and the government drums it into people’s heads, that there are 13 per cent of working age people on benefits, which is unaffordable. But why not compare the 320,000 benefit reliant with the total population then?

        Much spin and manipulation, that is the truth. So many more thousands are supposed to take up jobs, while manufacturing goes down the toilet, jobs are harder to get and poverty is rampant even amongst low paid workers. So they are supposed to make a living by delivering each others pizza and burgers, cut each others hair and mow lawns, I suppose.

        Divide and rule, that is the agenda.

  24. belladonna 25

    Of course the unemployment benefit is a lot less than sickness or invalid benefit, the outcome is obvious.

    • weka 25.1

      SB and UB are the same rate (IB is higher). The difference is that on SB you are not required to look for a job. Looks like they’re not going after IB this time round at a legislative level, although they are messing with it via policy.

      • xtasy 25.1.1

        Sickness beneficiaries have already been “work tested” since May last year – in at least some cases, where case managers or other WINZ staff (Regional Health Advisors, Regional Disability Advisors) considered them “capable” of doing some work (usually part time).

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10723662

        Hence there have already been many cases, where WINZ staff members interpreted certain information supplied by doctors on new medical certificates (called now ‘work capacity certificates’) in their own “biased” manner. Yes, they have in some cases definitely over-ruled what doctors may have decided, pressuring sick persons to look for jobs.

        So much is not known in the wider public, it is NOT funny.

        It will all get much worse, if this bill gets passed as it is written.

  25. So key is doing gagagags as well as the fake hui and it’s all for the court case to come.

    Prime Minister John Key says a decision by some Tainui iwi to boycott the Government’s water consultation hui strengthens the Government’s legal position should the matter end up in court.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7692845/Water-hui-boycott-strengthens-Governments-position-Key

    On his way into caucus at Parliament this morning he was asked about the unity around the water issue at the national hui last week called by King Tuheitia.

    He suggested that from the media reports he had seen there wasn’t unity.

    “There are kind of more positions than Lady Gaga’s got outfits.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/maori/news/article.cfm?c_id=252&objectid=10834827&ref=rss

    Deliberate and it will fail, as I have said on my post

    His deliberate ignorance is not an advantage it is a weakness and the more he speaks, the more that weakness is revealed. He thinks he is smarter than he really is – but he isn’t.

    http://mars2earth.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/undo-gag.html

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    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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