Archive for February, 2014

Weekend Social 28/02/14

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 20 comments

Christmas truce 1914

In response to ‘certain mutterings’, weekend social is back, providing a thread for non-political chat/topics. Enjoy   🙂

Why we train health and safety reps

Written By: - Date published: 4:31 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 14 comments

Sadly those that don’t want workers to be trained in health and safety are attacking the courses the CTU runs for health and safety rep training, ironically including the Minister of ACC. This blog is a rather boring “on the record” blog setting out how the contract is run in preparation for any further attacks.  They might not happen over night, but they will happen!

NRT: Treasury, National, and child poverty

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 10 comments

In many ways what is even more irritating about this screwup by treasury is that it isn’t likely to be the children living below the poverty line that has an impact. It is the large numbers of elderly that Treasury has now discovered getting worse off and falling into poverty.  After all they have a vote. Whereas children don’t so the future accumulated costs of their poverty aren’t something that this government will concern itself about.

Voices and Power

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 13 comments

When did the left leave the left? Or, perhaps more accurately, why do we continue to regard liberals as being of the left?

Militarism and the NZ Left?

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 31 comments

Two uncritical articles in Auckland’s local press, raise questions about the role of the NZ military, and the educational and cultural impact of a military charter school.  Unstated and unquestioned, is the nature of NZ’s relationship with that of militaristic US imperialism.

IF: Politics Explained: It’s all about the kids

Written By: - Date published: 12:12 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 14 comments

Scott Explains Politics.  This week, it’s All About The Kids.

Nat techhead needs 3D brain transplant

Written By: - Date published: 8:16 am, February 28th, 2014 - 55 comments

In my experience, left politicians are a interesting mix of being either pretty damn technophobic or having an inept over-enthusiasm for it. But I get the impression that they’ve done some study and thinking on most tech areas I raise with them. However it’d be pretty clear to everyone who has followed 3D printing over the last decade that Maurice Williamson, National’s version of a techhead, appears to be clueless.

Open mike 28/02/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 am, February 28th, 2014 - 171 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

Bent Bill

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 pm, February 27th, 2014 - 56 comments

What do you call someone who knowingly relies on false information to defend his case?

Bill English.

NRT: A dirty deal

Written By: - Date published: 6:33 pm, February 27th, 2014 - 46 comments

When the government dropped charges against former Pike River boss Peter Whittall over the Pike River mine explosion, they claimed that the simultaneous announcement that he would pay compensation to the families of the 29 men he was accused of killing was just a coincidence, and that there was no deal. As usual, they lied.

Tony Ryall standing down

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, February 27th, 2014 - 63 comments

Tony Ryall has announced that he will not seek re election at this year’s general election. He brings to ten the number of sitting National MPs who will not be contesting the election this year.

BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Allies win World War Two

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, February 27th, 2014 - 12 comments

Breaking: These Germans will be defeated. In an EXCLUSIVE report, Imperator Fish can now confirm that the Allies won World War Two. Hitler will be DEFEATED !!!!

LB: Executive Principals and National’s Education Dystopia

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, February 27th, 2014 - 18 comments

When John Key announced the Government’s plan of spending a whopping $359 million on education it was received with a sort of stunned incredulity. The problem is that few conservative governments understand education and the value of professional knowledge and the treatment of the Christchurch schools revealed a total disregard of the importance of communities.

The Genesis share float has problems

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, February 27th, 2014 - 15 comments

The Government has effectively conceded that the Genesis share float will not meet expectations and is softening New Zealand up to the prospect that only 30% of the shares may be sold. It makes you wonder why they are still going a head with the sale.

Open mike 27/02/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, February 27th, 2014 - 227 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

Labour’s new Parliamentary chief of staff …

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, February 26th, 2014 - 375 comments

David Cunliffe has announced his new chief of staff following Wendy Brandon’s resignation because of ill health.  It is veteran strategist Matt McCarten.

Polity: X more thoughts on poll bias

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, February 26th, 2014 - 26 comments

Whenever the media report on polls, they get accused of all manner of biases by the blinkered commentariat. Most of it is nonsense, of course. But some criticism of the polling methods themselves may have more merit that Rob Salmond first thought.  While he is not yelling “fire” at this stage, he does think there may be smoke. Something that he did not think that three years ago.

Hyping doesn’t help the economy, work does

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, February 26th, 2014 - 65 comments

Looking at all of the hype that sometimes goes around about the economy, you have to wonder if anyone ever reads actual economic indicators later on. We have a government now that operates as if claiming a target is all the work that they have to do. For instance look at the tax take. It is “unexpectedly” low and the “expected” government surplus is in jeopardy. That is because this government has been ignoring growing the actual economy for 5 years. Taxes and jobs come from growing businesses.

Open mike 26/02/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, February 26th, 2014 - 183 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

StopPress and comments

Written By: - Date published: 5:13 pm, February 25th, 2014 - 12 comments

I did a email interview with Damien Venuto of  StopPress (an online advertising industry mag) a few weeks back. It has now been put up online if anyone outside of that industry is interested. I’m in my usual pleasant, widely expansive and egotistical best with my beautific face beaming out at you

The surveillance state online

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, February 25th, 2014 - 8 comments

The leaks by Edward Snowden show many ways state surveillance agencies can workaround the legal requirements placed on them.  Selwyn Manning explained about the “Two Hop” surveillance of online targets.  On Intercept Glenn Greenwald explains the information about the use of “online covert operations”. [Update Andrea Vance on NZ spy tactics]

Guest Post – Labour Candidate Deborah Russell

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, February 25th, 2014 - 45 comments

In the first of what may be a series of posts by candidates this year Deborah Russell, Labour’s candidate for the seat of Rangitikei, was invited to provide a guest post on her world view and why she is standing for office.

Gini: A Measure of Inequality

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, February 25th, 2014 - 12 comments

In my previous post on how a UBI would address inequality,  it turns out I figured out something that is already known as a measure of inequality called the Gini coefficient and the Lorenz curve. A lower Gini coefficient is better and represents a more equal society. It is a recognised way of measuring and comparing inequality between countries, changes in equality overtime and for the effects of taxation proposals.  Looking at it for NZ shows the effects of the last 30 years of neoliberal “reform”.

On polls and things

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, February 25th, 2014 - 105 comments

The periodic agony and ecstasy attached to opinion poll results has kicked in with a pessimistic TVOne poll result being released on the weekend. But how accurate are they and are we in danger of damaging an election campaign by focussing too much on them?

Open mike 25/02/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:53 am, February 25th, 2014 - 402 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

NRT: So much for Parliamentary oversight

Written By: - Date published: 1:23 pm, February 24th, 2014 - 13 comments

When Parliament in its select committee oversight role asks the GCSB about whether it is obeying the Public Finance Act, or whether it has formal NSA moles in its organisation, then suddenly its an “operational matter” which they can’t answer. The natural conclusion: they do and there are – because if either allegation was false, they’d just deny it. Looks like John Key’s assurances about greater parliamentary oversight over the GCSB are a lie.

Songs from the inside out

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, February 24th, 2014 - 12 comments

I looked at some local newspapers to get away from the endless support for neoliberal values that dominates out MSM.  I found people living with unaffordable housing – & how the power of song can unite people in their struggles at the sharp end of the big inequality gap. Maori TV, “Songs from the Inside”.

Polity: A bad week

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, February 24th, 2014 - 142 comments

There’s no skating around it – Labour didn’t have a good last week. And the biggest shame is that beltway errors have been allowed to eclipse real progress on issues that actually matter to New Zealand families. The lack of direct relevance in the errors does not matter, because these issues matter for perceptions. If Labour is perceived as bumbling, or as lacking self-awareness, that will certainly be reflected at the ballot box. But there were a few bright spots.

Open mike 24/02/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, February 24th, 2014 - 366 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

It’s not stolen – I just borrowed it without asking

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, February 23rd, 2014 - 51 comments

One of the areas of concern in the current Blomfield vs Slater defamation case was the theft and copying of documents and stored data owned by Blomfield. Slater is covering for the source of this material by claiming he is a journalist. However this guest post argues that clearly his possession of the material in itself constitutes a number of crimes under the Crimes Act. Which makes the police’s refusal to charge Slater without a valid legal explanation rather peculiar.

Campaigning thought of the day #1

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, February 23rd, 2014 - 78 comments

With the election looming each of us can do something to help in the election of a progressive Government.

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