Amazing Grace

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, June 27th, 2015 - 99 comments
Categories: human rights, obama, racism, religion, vision - Tags: , , ,

 

“Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer could not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group. The light of love that shone as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle.

The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court, in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness.

He couldn’t imagine that.”

The full eulogy can be found here.

As the Obama presidency enters its final years, we can look back on a leadership frustrated by Republican opposition to progress in the House and Senate, but which has made health care affordable for the working poor for the first time. A leadership that couldn’t shift the prejudice and bias against marriage equality in Washington, but still oversaw the greatest step forward for the American LGBT community just this morning. Can Barack Obama shift the narrative in America about guns in his remaining months? Here’s hoping.

If he can achieve a change in the mindset of the American people and move them away from accepting death by gun as a normal part of living in the USA, then Barack Obama will leave a legacy that can only be matched by the brutally curtailed promise of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Obama has little over a year to make the greatest change of all; a country no longer held hostage at gunpoint.

99 comments on “Amazing Grace ”

  1. ianmac 1

    What a great aspiration to change the gun mindset. What a great legacy for Obama should he succeed. Our Mr Key will have the equivalent as “changing the flag.” What a great man!

  2. b waghorn 2

    One wonders that if the next democratic candidate made gun control one of there main policies how they would go. You would think more people are sick of kids and innocents being slaughtered then foolishly think more guns are the answer.

    • I think there’s a good chance Hillary Clinton will run with it. The NRA already hate her, so she wouldn’t lose anything by taking them on and there are a lot of votes to be gained by championing the parents who have had to bury their children early.

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        Do you remember Newtown CT ?

        26 people killed , including 20 children. In spite of Obama’s pleas nothing has happened since then.

        Children in their classroom.

        Church goers in their own Church.

        Honestly they are all mad, and regrettably no votes in taking on the gun lobby.

        there are thousands killed by guns each year, mostly members of their own families.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          26 people killed , including 20 children. In spite of Obama’s pleas nothing has happened since then.

          “Obama’s pleas”

          Obama never spent any serious political capital on the issue of gun control. Mainly because he spent it all on Obama care. And also on getting the TPPA passed.

        • adam 2.1.1.2

          Newtown was it – I realised the gun debate was lost, when the yanks thought it was OK for kids to die.

          Move on, to other battles I say – they just will not be moved on that one. *sigh*

  3. red-blooded 3

    Obama has always been articulate and had a gift for creating an emotional bond with his audience. I also think he’s genuine in his grief and frustration and admiration for the families of the dead. Don’t let’s forget the other elements of his presidency, though: ongoing wars, drones, intrusive spying, the secrecy of the TPPA… He’s had good intentions in many areas and managed to achieve some of his goals in the face of implacable opposition, but he’s no angel and we shouldn’t deify him.
    It would be hugely uplifting to see a real attempt to shift the dreadful attitudes and ridiculous policies about guns in the U.S. I hope Clinton (or someone else) is brave enough to take it on.

  4. joe90 4

    Can Barack Obama shift the narrative in America about guns in his remaining months?

    Probably not.

    From 2010 through 2012, the annual rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic white Americans was 2.5 per 100,000 persons, meaning that about one in every 40,000 white Americans is a homicide victim each year. By comparison, the rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic black Americans is 19.4 per 100,000 persons, or about 1 in 5,000 people per year.

    Black Americans are almost eight times as likely as white ones to be homicide victims, in other words.

    So for white Americans, the homicide death rate is not so much of an outlier. It’s only modestly higher than in Finland, Belgium or Greece, for instance, and lower than in Chile or Latvia.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/black-americans-are-killed-at-12-times-the-rate-of-people-in-other-developed-countries/

  5. Richard Christie 6

    Obama has little over a year to make the greatest change of all; a country no longer held hostage at gunpoint.

    Way off target.

    Climate change. Climate change. Climate change.

  6. Colonial Viper 7

    Is this the same Obama who has greenlit drone strikes killing thousands of civilians, including children.

    • adam 7.1

      My favourite irony that one.

      Remember the old refrain – only an idiot would bring a knife to a gunfight?

      For the 21st century we can now put it as – only an idiot would bring a gun to a drone fight.

      • Morrissey 7.1.1

        A drone “fight”? In what way have the victims of Obama’s drone assassinations been “fighting”?

        • adam 7.1.1.1

          They have not been, and that’s the point!

          If the hundreds of people who were armed stood no chance against a drone strike – what, if anything, do the 2nd amendment worshipers have?

          Leaving aside the thousands who were unarmed, and murdered by these new terror weapons.

          The state now has a almost limitless way with which to kill you, and it can pretty much do it remotely as well. So if you think having a few guns will solve anything – you’re not keeping up with miltech.

  7. joe90 8

    This has sent the wingnuts a winging.

    Shaun King
    ‏@ShaunKing

    Let me break a few hearts and tell you where President Obama learned to deliver that eulogy.

    That was quintessential Rev. Jeremiah Wright

    https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/614516295472537600

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      Yeah, and Obama ain’t no Jeremiah Wright.

      • Morrissey 8.1.1

        Obama ain’t no Jeremiah Wright

        He sure ain’t. And he ain’t no Nelson Mandela and he ain’t no Martin Luther King neither. And as his tone-deaf hymn-singing in Charleston demonstated all too painfully, he ain’t no Marvin Gaye neither.

        I find his antics utterly repellent.

        • Sable 8.1.1.1

          +1 Morrissey. Obama is a an utterly repellent individual, even his own party are split thanks to his TPP antics and more besides. I’m surprised he did not join the Republicans, its where he belongs in my opinion….

          • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1.1.1

            both the democrats and the republicans are corporate led, corporate paid political parties. The Republicans have a more insane, reactionary edge to them, that is true.

  8. Sable 9

    The little creep is too busy trying to impose economic imperialism in the form of the TPP deals (started by the delightful George Bush no less) to give two hoots about anything else.

    Heck if he really cared about gun control he’s already had ample time to do something, anything, about it….. Not to mention armed police brutality in the US, particularly towards black people, which if pretty much universal….

  9. Michael 10

    I would love to see Obama pass gun control but he has tried and it hasn’t worked. The NRA is too powerful and controls nearly every Republican congressman/woman. And the GOP holds a majority in both the house and senate. So it is impossible to pass, unless Obama got it somehow by allowing the Republicans to have the Keystone XL oil pipeline which he has promised to veto.

    Hopefully there will be another Democrat in the whitehouse in 2016 and Democratic majorities in Congress.

    • Sable 10.1

      I personally do not believe Obama wants gun control. The arms industry in the US is a major sponsor of both of the main political parties.

      Just look at the manufactured crisis in the Ukraine, its all about making money off war, in other words arms and weapon sales.

      Oh and if you think Hillary is a nice person just take a look at what she and good old Bill did to reduce global warming. Doco “Who Killled the Electric Car”. A real eye opener….

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1

        Yep stationing hundreds of US made heavy weapons and tanks etc in Eastern Europe = $$$ for the Military-Industrial-Security-Congressional-Complex

      • That’s little unfair. Obama is clearly upset at how often he has to make speeches about this issue and depressed about the lack of change. It’s really mean-spirited to say this is an issue he doesn’t care about.

        The issue is that not even mass-murder can reach people who the NRA have convinced that reasonable gun legislation is an attempt to confiscate ALL of their guns and the first step to a tyrannical government. Obama can’t move them on his own, he needs help from the Senate and from Congress, which frankly he isn’t going to get.

  10. Ian 11

    SIGH – I wish you were tight Te Reo but it ain’t gonna happen. I lived in a major US city for 20 years (until quite recently) and any change in attitude and effective action on ‘gun control’ will (and has been) a long grind. Its impossible for most people who have not lived there to even begin to grasp the collective American mindset when it comes to guns. Even if America begins to think about things differently, the amount of capital tied up in the gun industry and the political clout of the ‘gun lobby’ is huge.

    Since 9/11 there have been more killed by acts of domestic terrorism (mass shootings), than by Jihadists or other external threats and yet almost no politician has made a serious attempt to address it because politically, it s a loser.

    So if Obama can make headway on this issue it truly will be an act of Amazing Grace.

    Now, about the TPPA he’s so keen to push through….

  11. Kevin 12

    For those that don’t know Amazing Grace was written by an ex-slaver.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      So you approve of slavery then.

      Kevin approves of slavery, so he will do anything to attack those who don’t.

      That’s what I’m getting from your fatuous drivel, Kevin. Perhaps you need to explain yourself more clearly. So that everyone can see what you are.

      • Richard Christie 12.1.1

        I assume ex– slaver implies that the composer of the song at some stage saw the error of his/her ways.

        • McFlock 12.1.1.1

          Indeed he did.

          “It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me, that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.”
          Worked with William Wilberforce to try to end slave trade in UK law.

      • mac1 12.1.2

        There is a whole layer of meaning which derives from Obama’s use of this song for his closing waiata, his sung expression of what he intended to say.

        If an ex-slaver can seek and receive redemption after changing his murderous and reprehensible past behaviour, so too can America change from its similar past. It too can now be ‘found’ and ‘see’ in terms of racism, gun terror and clinging to symbols of division and hate.

        It’s a song of hope and a song of inspired change of heart, most apt for Obama’s message.

        As an edited afterthought there is a beauty in the choice of this song. Amazing Grace has been adopted by the Black civil rights movements, and when Black persons sing it, they thereby sing about their need for divinely inspired change of heart from sinful ways, sinful ways that in the song were directed specifically at Blacks.

        • Kevin 12.1.2.1

          It is IMHO the greatest song ever written.

          • mac1 12.1.2.1.1

            Did it just the once in a concert with lap steel dobro for a man in the audience who had once told me the story of the song. For me it has another overlay of friendship, as well.

            Music has just such a way to touch the human heart. This song does that.

      • greywarshark 12.1.3

        Why attack each other for the sake of it? OAB you don’t have to critique everything you read. A statement by Kevin that Amazing Grace is from an ex slaver is a fact and a matter of interest. Why OAB should use that to criticise him is an exercise of negativity. When time spent on that could result in longer comments to inform us. But I suppose this will be said to be fatuous drivel.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.3.1

          I responded in a manner that I think best suits Kevin’s comment history.

          • greywarshark 12.1.3.1.1

            OAB
            OK then. Some RW people have a twist to everything they say I know.

  12. Colonial Rawshark 13

    The Americans keep millions of black and coloured slaves in prison who generate daily profit for private corporations.

    • Heartbleeding Liberal 13.1

      Why do you hate America so much? Don’t you like freedom?

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1

        5% of the worlds population, 25% of the worlds prison population, what part of that spells “freedom” to you?

        • Heartbleeding Liberal 13.1.1.1

          Do you, or do you not like freedom? Answer the question.

          • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1.1.1

            Did you notice how Rumsfeld claimed that Iraqis would welcome American soldiers as liberators bringing “freedom” and would greet US troops with flowers and gifts?

            I wonder how Iraqis are loving the actual reality of that American style “Freedom” now.

            No mate, you answer the question, what part of having 4 million people mainly Blacks and Coloureds in prison, spells “freedom” to you?

            • Heartbleeding Liberal 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Why do you hate America? All countries do bad things. Deal with it.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Did you notice how over the decades, the US had a major hand in destroying many democratic governments around the world – Iran, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Chile; and very recently in Ukraine. It also contributed to the operations of death and torture squads in some of these countries as well as in other countries like El Salvador and Iraq.

                So what’s that about “Freedom” you were saying?

                • Heartbleeding Liberal

                  Given that you have just been caught fabricating your evidence, you no longer have the privilege of making claims without citations. Come back once you have some.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Hmmmmm, I accurately communicated the gist of the situation. I am always open to you providing clarifications and comment if you believe that more detail needs to be added. LOL

                    By the way, what do you think of claims that Gen Patreous and Col Steele fired up a deadly sectarian death squad killing spree in Iraq as a strategy to take pressure off US troops there in 2003-2005? Freedom?

                    • No, you didn’t accurately communicate anything other than the fact that you like to shoot your mouth off about stuff of which you are profoundly ignorant. So no change there …

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Just keep humming Amazing Grace and praising Obama and all will be OK

              • greywarshark

                Bleeding Liberal
                Why do you love America?
                And answer this question.

            • te reo putake 13.1.1.1.1.2

              CV, try and keep to actual facts. Rumsfeld never said what you claim he did and the prison population in the States is a little over 2 million, of which just over half are black or hispanic.

              And don’t hector people about answering questions when you steadfastly refuse to do so yourself.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                “Q: Do you expect the invasion, if it comes, to be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq?

                “A [by Rumsfeld]: There’s obviously the Shia population in Iraq and the Kurdish population in Iraq have been treated very badly by Saddam Hussein’s regime, they represent a large fraction of the total. There is no question but that they would be welcomed. Go back to Afghanistan, the people were in the streets playing music, cheering, flying kites, and doing all the things that the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda would not let them do.”

                —Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in a Feb. 20, 2003 interview with PBS’s NewsHour.

                http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/chatterbox/2003/11/whopper_donald_rumsfeld.html

                • Yep, so not what you said at all. Glad we’ve cleared that up.

                • Heartbleeding Liberal

                  This is what you claimed:

                  “Did you notice how Rumsfeld claimed that Iraqis would welcome American soldiers as liberators bringing “freedom” and would greet US troops with flowers and gifts?”

                  I don’t see that in your excerpt you have there.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                wikipedia:

                According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2011 – about 0.94% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,814,200 adults at year-end 2011 were on probation or on parole.

                • Heartbleeding Liberal

                  This is what you claimed:

                  “No mate, you answer the question, what part of having 4 million people mainly Blacks and Coloureds in prison, spells “freedom” to you?”

                  I don’t see that in your excerpt.

                • Yep, as I said. And half what you claimed. Still no evidence of millions in slavery though. No doubt you’re working on finding evidence of that.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Educate yourself

                    Garry McCarthy, a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, did not expect to hear anything too startling when he appeared at a conference on drug policy organized last year by an African-American minister in Newark, where he was the police director.

                    But then a law professor named Michelle Alexander took the stage and delivered an impassioned speech attacking the war on drugs as a system of racial control comparable to slavery and Jim Crow — and received a two-minute standing ovation from the 500 people in the audience.

                    “These were not young people living in high-crime neighborhoods,” Mr. McCarthy, now police superintendent in Chicago, recalled in telephone interview. “This was the black middle class.”

                    “I don’t believe in the government conspiracy, but what you have to accept is that that narrative exists in the community and has to be addressed,” he said. “That was my real a-ha moment.”

                    Mr. McCarthy is not alone. During the past two years Professor Alexander has been provoking such moments across the country — and across the political spectrum — with her book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” which has become a surprise best seller since its paperback version came out in January. Sales have totaled some 175,000 copies after an initial hardcover printing of a mere 3,000, according to the publisher, the New Press.

                    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/books/michelle-alexanders-new-jim-crow-raises-drug-law-debates.html?_r=0

                    • About what? Putting up random links doesn’t actually help, CV. But at least you’ve learned a couple of facts this morning. Rumsfeld didn’t say what you thought he did and it turns out the Americans don’t actually “keep millions of black and coloured slaves in prison who generate daily profit for private corporations”.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Not my problem if you want to continue to turn a convenient blind eye to the massive for profit US prison-industrial complex which targets mostly blacks and coloureds.

                    • “… for profit US prison-industrial complex which targets mostly blacks and coloureds.”

                      Yet more evidence free bollocks.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Only a matter of time before another Ferguson or another Walter Scott (unarmed black man shot in the back by police), incident.

                    • maybe be careful that you don’t use the legitimate plight of people of colour and their interactions with law enforcement as a tool to push your own barrow cv

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      American imperialism including its own internal prison and poverty colonies

    • Yeah, not actually true, CV. But I guess you know that, eh?

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.2.1

        American judges have even been found to have put kids into jail after being bribed by companies who profit from government funding of privatised kids prisons. And of course, mostly black and coloured kids have been the victims of these scams.

        It is the new Jim Crow.

        • Heartbleeding Liberal 13.2.1.1

          Mate we all know about the “kids for cash” scandal, and we have all read about the unholy alliance between legislators and the private prison lobbyists. You are not making some kind of grand point like you think you are. You have a very anti-western attitude and i suspect that you probably watch way too much RT (can you please confirm this?).

          • Colonial Rawshark 13.2.1.1.1

            So tell me, what part of the kids for prison for cash scandal spelt out “freedom” to you?

          • Colonial Rawshark 13.2.1.1.2

            How about the US Supreme Court holding up Citizens United allowing infinite money into the US political system to drown out the voices of ordinary people; which part of that cries out “freedom” to you?

            Or the para-militarisation of civilian police all over the US and the legalisation of military detention of US citizens on US soil (as per the NDAA), overturning 200 years of protections for US citizens?

            What part of that cries out “freedom” to you?

            • Heartbleeding Liberal 13.2.1.1.2.1

              It seems that you (incorrectly) think that it is contradictory to hold the country out as an example of liberty and freedom from tyranny while acknowledging that there are serious issues which need to be addressed. Luckily the tools for change are available to the public under the constitution.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Yeah, lucky lucky. But since the US overturned Posse Commitatus and it appears that general warrants for search and seizure of the property of US citizens are now back in force like British imperial days, what still gives you so much faith in the “Constitution.”

  13. Heartbleeding Liberal 14

    Maybe the fact that it was uncovered and the people behind it were punished? Would probably be quite a different story if it went down in Russia or the Gulf states. Your attitude stinks of the kinda of propaganda put out there by outlets like RT. If you are not a regular watcher of that channel (and i highly suspect you are), i am certain that you are being subject to anti-west propaganda from some other source.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      How about the absolute fraudulent theft of hundreds of billions of dollars from workers pension funds, the fraudulent rating of toxic assets as “Triple A” by US credit ratings agencies, and other large scale frauds led by the big banks of the US financial system, including spouses and partners of top bankers using free funds from the Federal Government to fund their own private lives, how many of these top banking executives were caught and punished?

      Or were they just given White House positions?

      As for the crimes committed by the Gulf States – did you know that US backed US funded, US armed Saudi Arabia has now beheaded 100 people this year? Freedom!

      • Heartbleeding Liberal 14.1.1

        I can see what is happening here. You have probably watched a couple of documentaries and now think of yourself as an expert on American policy. I suggest you pick up a textbook sometime and try to think more deeply about the issues (i mean this sincerely as it really does seem like there are gaps in your understanding). Hopefully you will see that America, for all its problems (fixable as they are given the constitution), is still a world leader in freedom and democracy.

        • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1.1

          330M citizens to choose from and the people get the option of another Bush and another Clinton. Does this cry “freedom” to you?

          And why is the US arming and funding a country which has beheaded 100 people this year?

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.2

          @ Liberal whose heart is bleeding?
          Why read books to learn someone’s version of the USA standards of political behaviour when we can actually observe for ourselves. It is obvious that every theory and mission statement for greatness of USA has been discounted, breached, and offered as a smoke and mirrors distraction from the ugly reality. Hypocricy and madness to be unable to recognise and acknowledge the difference between the textbook statements and the outcomes.

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.3

          Heart .. Liberal
          Where did you get your information and understanding of the usa?
          To say Hopefully you will see that America, for all its problems (fixable as they are given the constitution), is still a world leader in freedom and democracy.
          is dated propaganda. Perhaps from the 1960’s or about the time of McCarthyism, the witchhunt started by a failing politicianwith a drinking problem to garner publicity for hiimself.

  14. greywarshark 15

    Everybody should come from the USA to here, a heaven and haven of peace and rights. Surely that is because NZ is dividing into peasants and overlords. The peasants are easily distracted and are unable to gather mass to advocate for themselves, and the overlords have their eyes on higher things – bigger piles of money and goods, bigger houses, more holidays, more cars, more outings, more wine, more clothes, more resources, etc.

    That’s the background to this news heading.
    NZ rated 4th most peaceful country in world
    (word “peace” in blocks and NZ flag)
    New Zealand has been rated the fourth most peaceful country in the world, but it has slipped from second place
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/277364/nz-rated-4th-most-peaceful-country-in-world

  15. joe90 16

    The mother of original sin/crime.

    Bryan Stevenson on Charleston and Our Real Problem with Race

    “I don’t believe slavery ended in 1865, I believe it just evolved.”

    […]

    The manifestations of these problems are different in Alabama than they are in California. We still have a state constitution in Alabama that prohibits black and white kids from going to school together. It is still in there today, and nobody seems stressed by that, nobody seems worried about it. They tried to take it out twice through a statewide referendum and both times the majority of the people in the state voted to keep that language in, in 2004 and 2012. And why that’s not the shame of America — certainly the shame of Alabama — I can’t explain.

    https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/24/bryan-stevenson-on-charleston-and-our-real-problem-with-race

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryan_Stevenson

    • greywarshark 16.1

      joe90
      Surely it would be unconstitutional to have segregated schooling. It is a wretched group of people who are so low that they feel they must oppress another group to hoist themselves to a higher class, in the end they get hoist with their own petard.
      What a wretched part of the States.

      I only recently read about the aftereffects of the Civil War and disgraceful attitudes and actions perpetrated on the blacks. The poor-whites must have seen them as competitors, and the Klu Klux Klan c.1866 started with repression, hostility and attacks on the people and their property. Interestingly enough there have been three phases of the KKK and the second in the 1920s rose against Catholics.

      It’s not easy to right racism. I did read about a black woman saying wistfully that prior to the civil rights opening up they had a closer connected network amongst the blacks with warmth and friendship amongst themselves. Possibly it was good to have just few whites on the fringes with their possible bad vibes.

  16. joe90 17

    Unconstitutional or not, following desegregation the burghers of the day set up their own version of charter schools.

    .

    In the 1960s and ’70s, towns across the South created inexpensive private schools to keep white students from having to mix with black. Many remain open, the communities around them as divided as ever.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/12/in-southern-towns-segregation-academies-are-still-going-strong/266207/

    http://www.rawstory.com/2013/04/georgias-republican-governor-wont-endorse-towns-first-racially-integrated-prom/

    .

    And then they introduced 21st century segregation and called it school choice.

    Forty-three percent of black charter school students attended these extremely segregated minority schools, a percentage which was, by far, the highest of any other racial group, and nearly three times as high as black students in traditional public schools.

    http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/integration-and-diversity/choice-without-equity-2009-report/frankenberg-choices-without-equity-2010.pdf

    • greywarshark 17.1

      Perhaps my last paragraph applies here. The blacks perhaps found that they had better results and more satisfactory conditions and atmosphere than when they attended a mixed race school. I remember the story of the first black university student and the various harrassments he endured like having a bag of urine thrown at him. And no doubt there were others and constantly.

  17. DS 18

    “then Barack Obama will leave a legacy that can only be matched by the brutally curtailed promise of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.”

    Kennedy was a poor President, who is remembered chiefly because he got shot. If you’re talking legacies, look at his successor, who pushed through Civil Rights and the Great Society (yes, he had Vietnam too, but in domestic terms, Johnson was one of the greatest Presidents of all time. Johnson made an Obama Presidency possible).

    • You seem to have overlooked the word ‘promise’ in the quoted sentence, DS.

      • DS 18.1.1

        “Promise” simply amounts to “what would he have done if he hadn’t been shot”. Probably a good deal less than what Johnson actually achieved.

  18. Cross of Lorraine 19

    It was ‘out of place’ and gimmicky, just because you’re the President it doesn’t give you the right to do as you please, there was no respect, breaking out into song is totally disrespectful, he isn’t a opera singer, who the hell does he think he is?

    • McFlock 19.1

      Wow.
      Commenting on a NZ political forum as you have, you’d know that some cultures value spontaneous singing in cultural or religious contexts, even if the singer has not been trained in opera, right?

      I’m no expert on African Methodist Episcopal Church services, but it didn’t seem to be received as out of place.

      • Cross of Lorraine 19.1.1

        Well I thought it was! That was the impression I got! The president kinda hesitated, at the beginning, he seemed ill-prepared, I don’t believe he thought this thing out, it was crude! The only reason everyone cheered him on, was because he was the President. If some other person, ill-prepared started singing, it would have been awkward in such an emotional time, especially when one was not expected to sing! Just because blacks ‘sing’ a lot, it doesn’t mean they are not sentimental and quietly dignified! It isn’t about scoring ratings, and being on TV, making global news… you know, IT WASN’T ACTUALLY ABOUT OBAMA, BUT ON THE NEWS…..SURPRISE SURPRISE IT WAS! if Obama really cared he wouldn’t have made an arse of himself, and at the same time, disrespecting the deceased!

        • McFlock 19.1.1.1

          1: it is my (admittedly naive) understanding that many African congregations especially in the southern states do indeed mix singing and speechmaking. If you have any direct experience or references to the contrary, feel free to share.

          2: Actually, it being untrained and ill-prepared struck me as being a moment of unscripted honesty that was well-received by the congregation. And I don’t think it was well-received purely because of his office.

          Edit: I suppose we each just project what we want to project.

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    You're broken down and tiredOf living life on a merry go roundAnd you can't find the fighterBut I see it in you so we gonna walk it outAnd move mountainsWe gonna walk it outAnd move mountainsAnd I'll rise upI'll rise like the dayI'll rise upI'll rise unafraidI'll rise upAnd I'll ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 hours ago
  • Waimahara: The Singing Spirit of Water

    There’s been a change in Myers Park. Down the steps from St. Kevin’s Arcade, past the grassy slopes, the children’s playground, the benches and that goat statue, there has been a transformation. The underpass for Mayoral Drive has gone from a barren, grey, concrete tunnel, to a place that thrums ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 23 are:Deep Dive: Penlink: where tolling rhetoric meets reality BusinessDesk-$$$’s Oliver LewisScoop: Te Pūkenga plans for regional polytechs leak out ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 23, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Health: Shane Reti announced the Board of Te Whatu Ora- Health New Zealand was being replaced with Commissioner Lester Levy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    8 hours ago
  • HealthNZ and Luxon at cross purposes over budget blowout

    Health NZ warned the Government at the end of March that it was running over Budget. But the reasons it gave were very different to those offered by the Prime Minister yesterday. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon blamed the “botched merger” of the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) to create Health ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    9 hours ago
  • 2500-3000 more healthcare staff expected to be fired, as Shane Reti blames Labour for a budget defic...

    Long ReadKey Summary: Although National increased the health budget by $1.4 billion in May, they used an old funding model to project health system costs, and never bothered to update their pre-election numbers. They were told during the Health Select Committees earlier in the year their budget amount was deficient, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    11 hours ago
  • Might Kamala Harris be about to get a 'stardust' moment like Jacinda Ardern?

    As a momentous, historic weekend in US politics unfolded, analysts and commentators grasped for precedents and comparisons to help explain the significance and power of the choice Joe Biden had made. The 46th president had swept the Democratic party’s primaries but just over 100 days from the election had chosen ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    16 hours ago
  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    21 hours ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    23 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 day ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    2 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    5 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago

  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
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    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
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    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
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    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
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    5 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
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    6 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
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    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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