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Archive for June, 2014

John Key: the mumbo-jumbo man

Written By: - Date published: 1:12 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 52 comments

I think that this poster from the Greens about the debate on the maui dolphin says it all about the shallowness of National and its leader. The guy is simpleminded fool and generally a dickhead. Rather than understanding an issue and dealing it, he prefers to act like a mumbo-jumbo clown.

Open mike 26/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, June 26th, 2014 - 455 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 …

Take action against the Herald’s lies

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, June 25th, 2014 - 89 comments

The Herald needs to explain why they think they can print anti-democratic lies and get away with it.

Make them answer. Make a complaint.

Polity: Labour’s fiscal plan: B+

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, June 25th, 2014 - 20 comments

I’m a glass half-full kind of a guy, so I want to start by emphasising the parts of  Labour’s just-released fiscal plan that I like. The good: commitment to paying off government debt during economic good times, tax rate changes are welcome, and targeting tax avoidance by large multinationals. Bad: the top tax rate is still too low, and no need to signal second term tax cuts. Overall I would give this package a B+.

Labour’s alternative budget

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, June 25th, 2014 - 139 comments

Labour has announced details of its alternative budget with the headline a change in the top tax rate to 36 cents in the dollar for the top 2% of taxpayers.

CTU: Labour’s financial plan will make life fairer for working Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 12:56 pm, June 25th, 2014 - 8 comments

Labour’s Fiscal Plan shows a clear and positive difference from National. Those who earn over over 150,000 will pay more tax and applying tax to trusts to combat tax avoidance, are welcome steps to reducing inequality and the unfairness of the tax system.  It’s a relief to see more effort in stopping the billions of dollars of tax evasion. Labour’s commitment to funding the real costs of Health and Education, taking account of rising costs and the changing population, forces National to front up and say what it is going to do to prevent our public services from deteriorating further.

NRT: Climate Voter

Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, June 25th, 2014 - 33 comments

On Monday, an alliance of environmental organisations launched the Climate Voter campaign. The aim is to get people to signal their intention to vote on the basis of climate change policy, in the hope of driving parties to compete for that bloc of support. I think this is a good thing. At the same time, it needs to get a lot more people to sign up for it to have the sort of impact it wants. These mass-signalling exercises can work. So, if you care about the climate, sign up.

Key and Herald embarrassed as Liu statement changes

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, June 25th, 2014 - 113 comments

The Herald has now published details of a further statement from Donghua Liu which directly contradicts previous claims.  So what did it do to ensure the accuracy of the original claims and why did it print those allegations without verification?  And who is the mysterious person who prepared a statement that with the benefit of hindsight was clearly inaccurate?

Being media again

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, June 25th, 2014 - 47 comments

I’ll be in Wellington from the 4th to the 7th for the Labour party congress on the 5-6th. I’ll be on a media pass again which will relieve me of the duties that I have usually had to undergo as a delegate, like having to think too much. This will be the first congress I have attended as media. I’m expecting to have a lazy time watching others work. If you’re around Wellington, come and see David Cunliffe’s speech on Sunday. He is promising a big speech about what he and Labour will be taking to the voters this year.

Smith plans sale of trees to fund DOC

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, June 25th, 2014 - 135 comments

Nick Smith is proposing to introduce under urgency legislation which will allow the removal of felled trees from conservation areas on the West Coast. The sense of cynical politics involved in this measure is strong …

Tales from the underbelly of John Key’s NZ

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, June 25th, 2014 - 114 comments

The underbelly of John Key’s “rockstar economy” is mostly kept in the shadows, but every so often more tales emerge from the growing numbers of homeless. Vote left & vote the bastards out, this election!

Open mike 25/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 am, June 25th, 2014 - 143 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 …

Reverse ferret bites PM on arse.

Written By: - Date published: 2:46 pm, June 24th, 2014 - 83 comments

PM John Key has performed a backflip by now suggesting Donghua Liu should front up with evidence to support the NZ Herald’s unsubstantiated claim that he donated substantial sums to Labour. This is a world away from his previous position that it was up to Labour to show that no donation was made. It’s increasingly looking like it simply not true and the Herald has been played like a fiddle. And two, the fiddle planter is Cameron Slater, the PM’s bestie from way back.

NRT: The Jones appointment

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, June 24th, 2014 - 45 comments

When I first heard of this appointment, I commented that if McCully had offered Jones a briefcase full of cash rather than a specially-created high-paying job to resign, we’d call it what it is: Corruption and bribery of member of Parliament. From what I’ve seen in this release, I stand by that.

Updated:  It looks like this appointment either violated the Cabinet Manual or is in violation of the State Sector Act. Whatever way you look at this, the appointment appears to broken some laws. Perhaps some journos would like to look up from bullshit from National’s dirty tricks blogger and care to investigate a real story?

Polity: TPP deal on rocks. Surprise!

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, June 24th, 2014 - 10 comments

John Key is abandoning hope of a TPP deal. As it stands at present there is nothing in it for New Zealand. Of course the usual ugly swamp that is US internal politics is making the deal descend into a mire.

Expect nothing to happen for another year or two, and maybe the damn thing will never happen.

The spirit of ’35

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, June 24th, 2014 - 50 comments

Jan Logie’s post: “Work  and Income – stories from hidden people” is a must read:  stories from a divisive society, under a callous government that benefits the few at the expense of too many. We can do much better than that.  Vote for change this election!

Why the left despair about NZ’s main stream media

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, June 24th, 2014 - 257 comments

The media seem to be mesmerized by John Key.  He can start a media beat up by talking publicly about a rumour then get a sympathetic headline when stating that Donghua Liu should reveal his evidence, even though it was Key who made the claim publicly.  Yet after a week of bad press for Labour over a claim for which there is no real proof Key’s role is not scrutinised and he seems to get away with it.

Open mike 24/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, June 24th, 2014 - 240 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 Electorate-only Candidates

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 pm, June 23rd, 2014 - 36 comments

Before we get too carried away patting those Labour MPs on the back for withdrawing from the list process in order to ‘give way’ to fresh talent, someone should take a closer look at clause 356 of the Labour Party constitution.

NRT: Our misogynistic political media

Written By: - Date published: 6:25 pm, June 23rd, 2014 - 44 comments

In previous elections, the major parties have submitted lists heavily dominated by men, and this passes without comment. This year, Labour has submitted one with a slight imbalance (53:47) towards women. The reaction is sadly predictable. Misogynist reporting. Also incorrect, there is no gender rule. Not mentioned: Labour’s list is gender-balanced up to position 40; that slight imbalance comes from the bottom, unelectable end of the list and will not translate into caucus places.

Imperator Fish: Critics slam Labour list selections – again

Written By: - Date published: 2:08 pm, June 23rd, 2014 - 20 comments

Some things are so predicable that Imperator Fish can write about them years ahead. Like the typical reactions to the Labour list. Let us observe the predictability of the right and others to it today. Marks for any bit of originality, but don’t be surprised if there aren’t any.

Labour list announced

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, June 23rd, 2014 - 189 comments

The Labour list for 2014 has been announced.

Polity: Colin Craig confused

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, June 23rd, 2014 - 27 comments

This morning’s news from the Fairfax/Ipsos poll is that 81% of New Zealanders hate coat-tailing and want it gone. I agree with them. So does Labour. So do the Greens. So do Internet MANA. National, of course, relishes coat-tailing. So – to the 81% – if you want 2014 to be the last election with any coat-tailing, vote for a change of government. In the meantime of course, we have Crazy Colin Craig who thinks that Key’s job is to give just him a seat, entirely of his own accord, with no “insipid” discussions about the quid pro quo. Good luck with that.

John Key: a tale of two ‘truths’

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, June 23rd, 2014 - 34 comments

John Key claimed he didn’t know about the big shift in the US-NZ surveillance relationship in 2009.  Now he claims he always likes to be fully briefed on intelligence matters. Robert David Steele points the way from  such anti-democratic governance & misinformation, to an open source everything revolution.

Local Bodies: Politics, Sharks and Voter Apathy

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 23rd, 2014 - 10 comments

I had a conversation at our farmer’s market this morning about how my election campaign was going and the person I was speaking to had the view that all politicians don’t actually do much, apart from talking. I find that this thinking is actually fairly common, many people talk about the nonsense that goes on in Parliament and how all politicians are as bad as each other, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, nothing really changes.”  I find this view really frustrating, but at the same time I can see why people may feel this way.

Open mike 23/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, June 23rd, 2014 - 283 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 …

The middle of Queens birthday weekend? Yeah right!

Written By: - Date published: 5:12 pm, June 22nd, 2014 - 225 comments

Ok, so according to the NZ Herald Donhua Liu is alleging that a fund raiser was held on Sunday 3rd of June 2007.

That is the Sunday in the middle of Queens birthday weekend. To say that is hardly credible is an understatement. No-one schedules fund-raisers on Sunday. They certainly don’t do it in a long weekend. And can’t the journalists at the Herald read a calendar?
Updated: This mornings Herald story looks like being more about face saving than accuracy, and the interview on Morning Report make the journalistic process at the Herald look even more dodgy.

The police must investigate the alleged Liu donations because…

Written By: - Date published: 5:05 pm, June 22nd, 2014 - 24 comments

Scott Yorke makes some excellent arguments in favour of a full police investigation into the Liu saga.

Colin Craig to run in East Coast Bays – McCully sacrificed

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, June 22nd, 2014 - 47 comments

In a speech today Colin Craig has confirmed that he will be standing in Murray McCully’s seat of East Coast Bays.

Does a ‘news medium’ consist of spreading defamation, lies and rumours?

Written By: - Date published: 2:55 pm, June 22nd, 2014 - 45 comments

The Whaleoil blog is in court on Monday. There is a full day session in the High Court in Auckland looking at the appeal by Cameron Slater against Judge Blackie’s decision in the District Court that the blog is not a news medium. Therefore Slater was not a journalist, and was therefore not able to protect his sources who provided stolen material to allow him to apparently defame Matthew Blomfield. The decision will probably provide case law about the status of blogs in the law and the responsibilities of news mediums.

NZ Herald – again that curious lack of detail

Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, June 22nd, 2014 - 112 comments

I’ve been around the Labour party campaigners for a long time. I’d have expected to hear of auction sales of near to $100,000 by rumour if nothing else. It is possible that I didn’t. But then so is time travel. Quite simply the NZ Heralds reporting of Liu’s letter without any corroboration or details about where and when isn’t what I expect from journalists. It is what I expect from Whaleoil – a simple smear. I hadn’t realised that the Herald was that desperate.

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    PunditBy Sue Bradford
    2 weeks ago
  • Today in History: Reagan returns to White House after assassination attempt, tells Americans ‘don...
    In our Today in History series, The Civilian winds back the clock to take a look at events that happened on this day in history. Today: Ronald Reagan’s return to the White House after a nearly successful assassination attempt. It was on this day in 1981 that President of the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Collins ‘popped in’ to Anglican church to briefly threaten God before voting
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    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • In which two NZ judges seem to OK torture
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Crusher loses control
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  • Bringing National To Its Knees.
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  • Ardern continues to politicise Covid-19
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    3 weeks ago
  • Beyond the City Limits Update
    You might recall back in May that Beyond the City Limits, a locally-produced Dunedin speculative fiction anthology,* was short-listed for a Sir Julius Vogel. *Featuring my science-fiction story, Pink Unicorns Solvable in O(2) Time. The Sir Julius Vogels are the premiere annual New Zealand speculative fiction awards, and this ...
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  • How I’m voting in the referenda
    In addition to electing a government, we also have two referenda to vote on this election - one on legalising recreational cannabis, and one on euthanasia. I'm voting "yes" to both, and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Here's why. On cannabis, it is patently obvious that decades ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #40
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 weeks ago
  • Maori better off with Labour
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    3 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Cannabis: legalisation versus decriminalisation
    One thing I've been hearing fairly regularly, usually from more conservative voters, is that they're wary of voting "yes" for legalisation and regulation of cannabis, but that they'd definitely get behind decriminalisation if that was on offer.I think most of them are sincere in saying so, and I understand the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Treating an infected president
    News reports indicate that a range of therapies are being tried on the President of the United States to treat his SARS-CoV-2 infection. Two of these involve treatments that have not yet completed clinical trials. One was a cocktail of two neutralising antibodies. The second is an anti-viral drug.   ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #40
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 27, 2020 through Sat, Oct 3, 2020 Editor's Choice Anxiety Mounts Abroad About Climate Leadership and the Volatile U.S. Election “The outcome will have profound consequences for the future of ...
    3 weeks ago

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