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Checkpoint shroud-waving over Queensland politics?

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 pm, September 10th, 2020 - 12 comments

Today’s Checkpoint descended into shroud-waving in the case of a New South Wales family not able to visit their dying father in Queensland because of the strict border closure. As our health officials note, “bereavement issues” are where most care is needed to prevent the virus spread.

Assange’s torture and the death of journalism

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 pm, September 6th, 2020 - 60 comments

On the eve of Assange’s extradition hearing in London, award-winning freelancer Jonathan Cook has written a scathing indictment of corporate journalism’s collusion in ignoring his official torture. I posted an example of that here last year, where Richard Harman denied Assange was a journalist at a panel convened at Parliament by the British High Commissioner.

US v China: new Cold War or new Opium War?

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, August 25th, 2020 - 23 comments

The Trump administration has declared war on China, and there is much speculation in the punditry as to whether or not this is a new Cold War similar to that waged post World War 2 against Russia. In my opinion, the 19th century Opium Wars may offer a more appropriate analogy, albeit with a likely different outcome.

Brady under review by Canterbury University

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 pm, August 17th, 2020 - 99 comments

Canterbury University is conducting a review of statements made to the Justice Select Committee by Professor Anne-Marie Brady alleging covert military transfer to China which complainants from other Universities under attack said “contained manifest errors of fact and misleading inferences.” The University would do well to broaden its review to encompass the NATO-funded Canterbury SSANSE which Brady heads. The military-purpose link there is explicit.

Tick Tock Tik-Tok

Written By: - Date published: 5:37 pm, August 2nd, 2020 - 5 comments

Trump has announced he will ban Tik-Tok from the United States. It’s Chinese-owned so there. Or maybe he will force it to be sold to Americans.Don’t think security is the issue; kids used it to stuff up his Tulsa rally. And it is good for mockery, as clips about Trump and Pompeo show. Don’t think that will stop if Americans own it.

Operation Burnham: A disorganised cover-up?

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 pm, July 31st, 2020 - 13 comments

A justified operation, no organised cover-up, but serious failures in senior defence personnel’s denial and misrepresentation, and serious failures by the intelligence agencies in handing over a suspect to torture. The Inquiry called for a review of Defence administration, an Inspector-General of Defence, a Defence Force order on dealing with allegations of civilian casualties, and an “effective detention policy.”

Payne snubs Pompeo on China regime change

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 pm, July 30th, 2020 - 15 comments

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds traveled to the US this week to meet face-to-face with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Minister Mark Esper. In what was clearly meant as a follow-up to recent speeches on China by the Americans, Payne firmly declined to join Pompeo in in his call for regime change in China.

Hong Kong principles

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 pm, July 28th, 2020 - 38 comments

According to our Prime Minister, today’s announcement that New Zealand is suspending extradition arrangements with Hong Kong is because of our principles. But it is not immediately clear what these principles are, other than falling into line with our Five Eyes spying partners. Some history is important.

Looking the wrong way? The SIS in New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 pm, July 1st, 2020 - 12 comments

Richard Northey and Nicky Hager will discuss their experiences with the SIS over the past thirty-five years, what they reveal about the agency’s values and culture, and what we might want to see in the forthcoming review of the intelligence and security agencies post the Christchurch mosque massacre. St Andrews Church, The Terrace, Wellington, Friday 3 July 5:30pm. All welcome, register here.

Fixing Unemployment – Zoom meetup Saturday 10am

Written By: - Date published: 3:11 pm, June 19th, 2020 - 8 comments

Is it time to completely rethink how we deal with unemployment? We face a tsunami of job losses not seen in generations. Two ideas — social insurance and a job guarantee — are gaining prominence as ways to change how we deal with the problem. One provides income protection for those who lose employment, the other aims for something bolder: the elimination of unemployment. All welcome; register here.

Kim Hill asked “Why…

Written By: - Date published: 4:51 pm, June 12th, 2020 - 31 comments

…is the US sharemarket roaring away – up 44% – while economic recovery prospects are grim?” ANZ’s Sharon Zollner’s answer on Tuesday was the Fed printing money, but worried markets were turning a  blind eye to the bad news. The bad news hit today as the sharemarket nose-dived. Wolf Richter’s answer was more to Kim’s point: “Fed bails out the wealthy while America convulses in pain.”

More Skripal bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 pm, June 9th, 2020 - 37 comments

Skripal’s relatives don’t believe it, Jacinda Ardern doesn’t believe it, Paul Buchanan doesn’t believe it, and I never believed it. But a story planted in the UK Sunday Times that the Skripals are here lets our media rerun the assassination attempt that failed, even though the most deadliest poison in the world was involved. Stuff website has a British Minister from Theresa May’s time rerunning the old lies,as does the NZ Herald. Fits in nicely with the SIS anti-Russian history.

Running for cover

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 pm, April 21st, 2020 - 41 comments

More 1% Americans are heading our way, according to Bloomberg. The Texas company building underground bunkers is getting more enquiries. They’re not running from the virus but fear the aftermath when the breadlines turn.

A response from the Rosa Luxemburg wing of the Labour Party

Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, April 15th, 2020 - 60 comments

According to Stephen Mills on Nine to Noon yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation as Labour leader will only be mourned by “the microscopic Rosa Luxemburg-worshipping far left sect in New Zealand.” His outburst was deliberate, gratuitous and way over the top.

Bullet Train Wreck

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 pm, March 25th, 2020 - 23 comments

New York Governor Cuomo was told CoVid-19 was like an approaching freight train. More like a bullet train was his response. Watching the White House daily briefing with Trump dominant it looks like a massive train wreck is on the way in the US.

Rally Against War on Iran and Iraq – Wellington noon Sat 25 Jan

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, January 22nd, 2020 - 21 comments

Join people from across the globe for this international day of action to show our opposition to any new US war on the people of Iran or Iraq. Our message is simple: * No war on Iran * No war on Iraq * Troops out. More information on Facebook  here.

Get out now

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, January 6th, 2020 - 76 comments

General Soleimani was visiting Iraq at the request of the Iraqi Prime Minister to discuss mediation between the US and Iran. Following his assassination by the US the Iraqi Parliament has voted to ask all foreign troops to leave the country. New Zealand’s remaining troops should bring forward their scheduled departure and leave immediately.

 

That 1914 Feeling

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 pm, January 3rd, 2020 - 104 comments

President Trump personally ordered the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite military Quds force. He was killed by rockets fired from US drones over Baghdad Airport.  This is unlawful by any standards, as well as an act of war. Iran has promised retaliation.The doomsday clock just moved closer to midnight.

Little’s Electoral Bill a curate’s egg – good in parts

Written By: - Date published: 1:51 pm, December 4th, 2019 - 11 comments

I’ve always liked Punch magazine’s famous cartoon “True humility” where the curate assures his bishop noticing his bad egg that parts of it are excellent. Most discussion on Little’s Bill has focused on the bad bits regarding foreign donations. The good bit requires all political ads online to be attributed.

Snap election Britain

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, October 30th, 2019 - 55 comments

The UK will learn its political fate on Friday 13 December. MPs have voted in a one-line Bill to have an election on Thursday 12 November, in the middle of winter.  BoJo’s got his way if not quite the way he wanted. All bets are off.

 

British Justice tortures Assange

Written By: - Date published: 4:14 am, October 26th, 2019 - 36 comments

Craig Murray reports on the horror of Julian Assange’s treatment by British so-called “justice.” Read it and don’t weep. You can see why Murray resigned from the UK foreign service; their diplomacy is just as bad.

BoJo cornered

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 am, September 25th, 2019 - 75 comments

Lady Hale and the UK Supreme Court have torpedoed Boris Johnson’s cunning plan to prorogue Parliament. His request to the Queen was “unlawful, void, and of no effect.” Her Maj will not be pleased. Johnson is now boxed in – ask for an extension to Brexit, or resign.

 

Macron speech – The end of Western hegemony

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 am, September 19th, 2019 - 21 comments

France President Macron’s remarkable and wide-ranging speech to French ambassadors after France hosted the recent G7 conference in Biarritz is well worth a read. He lays it all out – so much better than Trump’s tweets or BoJo’s bluster.

BoJo plot foiled – for the time being

Written By: - Date published: 1:47 am, September 12th, 2019 - 57 comments

Phil Syrpis, Professor of EU Law at Bristol University, tweeted in July  Johnson’s plan to force a general election as the defender of the people’s decision against the UK Parliament’s indecision and Brussels bureaucratic intransigence and be in power for the next five years. It was rumbled and it failed.

Trump sacks Bolton – oil price nosedives!

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, September 11th, 2019 - 26 comments

This has been rumoured for some time now. It’s good news – peace now has a chance, as Trump  has woken up to the fact that a shooting war would not be good for his re-election. Also Bolton’s hard-line strategy was failing everywhere.

Head Theory

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, September 4th, 2019 - 24 comments

The English team have reintroduced the infamous  bodyline approach to their cricket. The 20th century euphemism for it was “leg theory,” in the 21st century it is better described as “head theory.” “It isn’t cricket” used to be the Englishman’s definer for noble values. Not any more.

 

Missile test shows US bad faith on INF Treaty

Written By: - Date published: 4:43 pm, August 27th, 2019 - 9 comments

US’s recent test of an intermediate range missile shows that the reasons given for its withdrawal from the INF treaty were spurious. It also shows up the gullibility of our MFAT, who voted against a Russian proposal for dialogue late last year in the UN on the grounds that it was a “sidestep.”

The sociopathology of sanctions

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, August 11th, 2019 - 206 comments

Autonomous sanctions imposed on Iran and Venezuela by the US are expressly designed to drive whole populations into poverty to bring about regime change. They are sociopathic. Based on its values, The National Party wants to make such sanctions New Zealand’s policy. Extraodinary!

 

Nuclear chickens coming home?

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, August 8th, 2019 - 30 comments

The Intermediate-range  Nuclear Forces treaty between the United State and Russia signed by Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987 formally ended on August 2nd. On Sunday the new US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper dined privately with Winston Peters. Before and during his trip to the Pacific, Mark Esper called for placement of intermediate-range US missiles in Asia.

Fool me twice?

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 am, July 27th, 2019 - 29 comments

Boris Johnson’s ruthless purge of Cabinet and hard right shift looks like preparation for an early election.  Reminds me of 1984 at home, as a right wing coup is on the way. He lied his way to Brexit – will it work again?

Boris for UK PMⁿ

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 am, July 24th, 2019 - 99 comments

67% of the 160,000 UK Conservative Party members have voted for Boris Johnson as their leader. An attempt to block him as PM has been circumvented by the Speaker. The Queen has had to delay her trip to Balmoral to receive him as Prime Minister. I’d have more faith in the Ukraine’s comedian. At least he can command a majority in Parliament.

 

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