Bloggers and ripping off content

Written By: - Date published: 5:54 pm, September 23rd, 2012 - 53 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: ,

Felix Marwick, in comments at Public Address, raises some concerning behaviour:

I was trying to draw a distinction between what I regard as genuine blogging; opinion and news gathering involving individual research vs blatant plagiarism dressed up as opinion/news.

Forgive me if I get a little pissed off at people who help themselves to my work and that of my colleagues, slap it up on their site without so much as a “please” or a “do you mind”. Journalism costs. You want to take our work? How about asking first? How about making a contribution even?

I don’t mind quotes and links. Fair use is fine. But lifting whole articles is taking the piss.

Completely fair point. It’s not just taking the piss, it’s plagiarism – and even where attributed, copy-pasting another author or site’s whole work basically means, if you or they are making money off onsite advertising, that you’re stealing from them.

(Obviously this doesn’t apply to consensual cross- or guest-posting, but duh.)

Here’s what I find super-interesting: Felix, as a member of the mainstream media, has talked about this issue as being about bloggers – and others in the PA comments have a few suggestions of who specifically might have that accusation levelled at them.

But you know who I immediately think of when people start talking about lifting whole articles and placing them on other sites to boost their own currency / activity / pageviews?

Bob fucking McCoskrie.

Evidence for the prosecution: the Protect Marriage website; the Family First website. FF’s website is particularly hilarious for the way all the posts are by the author “Bob” yet are nothing but copypasta from the mainstream media. (Or occasionally, totally-anonymous-honest “satires” about how funny gay teenagers killing themselves is.)

Oh, sure, they’re attributed, they even have a link to the original story at the end, in case you find it so fascinating you want to re-read it in a different font.

But no one writes off Bob McCoskrie as a blogging parasite. No, he gets TV interviews and mass media coverage of every twisted, inaccurate factoid he tries to create moral panic over. All the while, basically stealing shit from that very media to make his sites look active and relevant.

I’ve no doubt there are blogs out there which just churn through other sites’ posts, and that’s shitty and uncreative and goddammit go away and leave the Google rankings to us original-content creators. But at least you can snort derisively when it’s a blogger doing it.

When it’s the Moral Guiding Hand of the nation, it’s just a bit pathetic.

Cross-posted (with permission!) from QoT’s superb blog ideologically impure

53 comments on “Bloggers and ripping off content”

  1. Carol 1

    There’s good and bad practices all over, both in the MSM and from bloggers and citizen journalists. Indeed, the MSM has tended to pick on the left wingers as their targets, But it has intensified lately – struggling MSM? And there’s certainly right wing bloggers guilty of bad practices, like McCroskrie. Moral Guiding Hand?! 🙄

    Then those those (so-called) “journalists” that don’t do much more than regurgitate press releases and get paid for it.

    Meanwhile, in the current intensification of the struggle between the MSM and amateur bloggers and citizen journalists, Stuff has decided if you can’t beat them, appropriate them.

    Part of the new Stuff Nation (which aims it getting, unpaid, participation from the public), in order to bolster its ad income), is to ask the public to contribute stories.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7554661/Share-your-news-and-views

    I don’t see any offer to pay for the stories, either.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      That’s been going on for awhile. Started out a few years ago when on-line newspapers started to ask if people wanted to submit pictures with, as you say, no mention that you’d be paid but specifically stating that the pictures would become owned by the newspaper upon submission. As it’s all voluntary it’s, supposedly, not theft.

      • weka 1.1.1

        I wouldn’t call it theft.

        I am not sure that Stuff Nation is the best name they could have some up with. It’s a bit ripe for ridicule. 

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          I tend to the idea that if someone makes an income from someone else’s work then they need to share that income in a reasonable fashion and that not doing so is theft.

    • weka 1.2

      Colour me cynical, but here’s part of the Privacy Policy from Stuff Nation’s sign up form. Participatory journalism, my arse. They’re collecting email and usage data so they can sell shit.

      How we use Personal Information
      We will only use your personal information for the purpose for which you have provided it, unless you consent otherwise or we are required by law to disclose it.
      The primary purpose for which we collect information about you is to provide you with information, products and services that you have requested or expressed an interest in. We may state a more specific purpose at the point that we collect your information.    If you do not provide us with information requested we may not be able to provide you with the services that you have requested. We may use this personal information to help us to  provide the services to you, verify your identity,  enforce or apply our terms and conditions,  protect the rights of Fairfax Media,  or for internal research purposes, for promoting and marketing  Fairfax Media products and services to you, and for any other use that you authorise.  You will be given the option of unsubscribing from any commercial electronic message that we send you promoting goods or services. 

      • Carol 1.2.1

        Arck! Another instance of ordinary people and their energy (their wurk) being commodified, controlled …. and sold back to them, sooner or later.

    • mike e 1.3

      I thought his site should also set up a protect children from catholic priests site as well just looking across the ditch in Victoria up to 30,000 incidents and more get covered up by Catholic Church!
      A lot of these victims have had their lives ruined by a patriarchal church no mention from McCrusty!
      To busy interfering in others sex lives typical !
      Now they are denying that Jesus was married!
      As early sects of Christians still believe.
      The Roman Empire turned his wife Mary into a prostitute to keep the Roman woman subjugated in their rewriting of the the bible 650 ad on the island of crete!
      The Roman empire used religion as a tool of colonization not unlike what the British empire and other empires have done
      Jesus was turned into a martyr by the Roman Empire something Jesus never wanted to be!

  2. Raymond A Francis 2

    Agree Carol and it not unknown for the MSM to pick up stories from the blogsphere and run them with no attribution
    Happens to poor old whaleboy all the time, so he claims

    • Mary 2.1

      “Happens to poor old whaleboy all the time, so he claims”

      Slater’s the worst offender. He chucks anything and everything up, sometimes adding a couple of lines but often not, next minute he’s got 30 posts up before lunch for his braindead bunch of nameless sycophants to spew over. Slater’s the biggest hypocritical and parasitic one out of all of them. Is all very amusing.

  3. Jokerman 3

    Here is some “news gathering”then:

    Yee Hah! Labour only 11% behind nat and Labour/Green on 46% (at this Time)

    Shearer still in denial about his communication challenges

    Catholic Church not so Victoria us (so sad all this deceptive abuse of children and young people)

    Commercially grown Celery likely to have the highest pesticide residues in fresh veges

    Howard League for Penal Reform: YES

    sensible sentencing trust-not so much
    Victim culture, Stuck on loss not so helpful

    ARE THEY GONNA ALLOCATE 8.2M FOR GENERAL BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT?
    (i don’t think so)

    Loss is a rock in the road to find one’s own way a round (often a rocky road)

    G.E-hairy mutant calves and parasites inseminated into a woman’s womb
    Be careful what you ask for

  4. Pete 4

    On the other hand, there are some particularly good services for sharing content that have been a boon to blogging. Embedding video from YouTube, for example. Or the Daily Show. Radio New Zealand provides embeddable audio too. I’m a little surprised that TVNZ and TV3 have failed to provide embeddable links to their news content as they could then get more eyeballs on their ads.

    • …It’s like you’ve read a review of an orchard, and are complaining that at least their oranges are good. 😉

      Yes, those services are excellent. but they inherently involve attribution through linking and branding. You can click a little “youtube” button on embedded videos and go to the relevant page. Likewise for most other embedded players or services. That is the equivalent of cross-posting and nothing to complain about.

      The equivalent, in the world of online video, would be someone re-posting an original video you uploaded to YouTube under their account and trying to take credit for authoring it. Imagine Kony 2012 on the Family First website and you get the drift. 😉

  5. Jackal 5

    QoT is very good at attributing other people’s work, and so is the Standard come to think of it. Much better than I am anyway 🙂

    I’d never heard of Bob fucking McCoskrie before, and fail to see the relevance for his site McBlog. Maybe that should be McFlop or McFried. Most RSS readers can do a better job.

    • David H 5.1

      Makes you wonder if he’s tied to the ‘bob , ben or fierce guppy of posting nastiness in to comments section of some of the pages i read. ie Stuff, Herald,

  6. captain hook 6

    the media is the massage.

  7. captain hook 7

    I just made that up!
    I feel very clever tonite!
    and the thing is that if you disagree with whaleshit then he cuts you off but any can come here.
    spot the fundamental difference.

    • Jokerman 7.1

      once upon a time, on a cloud far, far, away from here, i took my mischief to WO and he warned me that i was being annoying and that it was not a “good idea” (didn’t you cam)
      as i have said, people all a round the sphere can read national blogs; who immigrates to a sewer?
      (Farrer? well ask yourself)

    • weka 7.2

      I’ve been thinking lately about how people say TS is worse than WO or KB (in terms of behaviour or levels of abuse I suppose). But I don’t see it. Leaving the politics aside, the behaviours are quite different. Would love to see a post on that some time, comparing each side (is the Right simply more vicious than the Left? and comparing that to political values)

      • Carol 7.2.1

        I suspect it’s partly to do with the position or POV we each view the blogs from – ie whether we see ourselves or views under attack – goes for both left and righties. Though to me those other sites are happy to allow the kinds of personalised (misogynist etc) abuse that I find unacceptable.

      • BernyD 7.2.2

        I can’t comment on the other sites, but have thought this site deserves an AO rating.
        Impossible to enforce of course (They’d have to block it), but worth telling parents perhaps.
        The only saving grace is it’s buried in the comments.
        And this site is not an educational facility although it may feel that way sometimes.

        • Carol 7.2.2.1

          Try this research:

          Lexicon of unemployment in New Zealand
          Tamsin Porter

          http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/research/nzdc/documents/NZWords_no16.pdf

          includes this:

          For less conventional language use, the infamous blogs Tumeke!,
          Kiwiblog, Whale Oil Beef Hooked (Whale Oil) and The Standard were selected as these provide a range of political opinions and writing styles. All of these blogs also allow comments from the public. Blogs allow writers to tag posts according to the themes and issues. The blogs were searched via tags that were considered relevant
          to this domain, such as Welfare, State Housing and Paula Bennett.

          I think this is the research that Stuff reported on this morning – been looking for it since:

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7718530/Kiwisms-target-benny-bashers

          But the research doesn’t seem to have produced any significant comparisons between the blogs – only that blogs/commenters use the term Paula Benefit a lot.

          • Pete 7.2.2.1.1

            One thing that might be illuminating is taking a sample of New Zealand blog posts (and their comments) and running them through a Fleisch-Kincaid test, to see what level people are writing at on each site.

            • BernyD 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Not a bad idea, u could probably do it with a simple pearl script.
              (sum(word length)/no of words), little caption for the moderators too look at when they start a thread.
              The lower the average the more AO, strangley.
              The higher the average the more ?Wisdom?.

            • Pete 7.2.2.1.1.2

              OK, so I’ve done it. I entered the text of each of the last five posts (skipping the General Debates, Open Mikes, Mental Health Breaks and re-posts of YouTube clips etc) on a number of blogs into this readability index calculator. I didn’t include the blog comments. Wikipedia gives a good explanation of what the Flesch-Kincaid test measures. The lower the reading ease, the more complex. A reading ease score of 0.0-30.0 is best understood by university graduates, while 60.0-70.0 should be easily understood by 15 year-olds and 90.0-100.0 by 11 year-olds. The grade level corresponds to the number of years of education required by a reader to understand a passage.

              There seems to be a correlation between the level of comprehension required to understand a post and where the author sits on the political spectrum. It should be remembered, though, that simplicity is not necessarily a vice. Especially when trying to communicate with a large community and trying to persuade them to a particular point of view. Hemmingway, for example, liked short bold sentences.

              Anyway, ranked from most complex to least:

              Bowalley Road Grade: 15.8; Reading ease: 20
              The Standard Grade: 14.4; Reading ease: 36.6
              Gordon Campbell Grade: 14.2; Reading ease: 34.2
              Bryce Edwards Grade: 13.8; Reading ease: 35.2
              Frogblog Grade: 13.2; Reading ease: 38.8
              Public Address Grade: 13; Reading ease: 40.2
              Pundit Grade: 13; Reading ease: 41.2
              Red Alert Grade: 13; Reading ease: 41.2
              Tumeke Grade: 12.6; Reading ease: 40.6
              John Armstrong Grade: 12.4; Reading ease: 40.2
              John Roughan Grade: 12.4; Reading ease: 41
              Whale Oil Grade: 11.6; Reading ease: 49.4
              Kiwiblog Grade: 9.4; Reading ease: 53.8

              A spreadsheet with links to the individual posts and their scores is here.

          • BernyD 7.2.2.1.2

            It’s such a transient thing, what’s true today might not be in a year.
            The reality is, it’s us that use blogs for positive debate,
            If we hear our views being expressed, then chances are we’ll stop commenting.
            Are we still blogging if we don’t comment? … yes.
            And the AO is more about R ratings, bit over the top sometimes, and moderation will always be retrospective unfortunately)
            Y’know I think they are scared, coz it works, as long as everyone repects the reality of what blogs are and what they can achieve we have another voice, and that will always be a good thing.

        • jcuknz 7.2.2.2

          Originally I migrated from Kiwiblog to The Standard because of the senseless slagging but as time passes I have returned to Kiwiblog for the same reason. I guess it is the frustration of the Left with nothing to say but name calling compared to the satisfaction of the Right knowing they are doing a good job in difficult conditions.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.3

        (is the Right simply more vicious than the Left? and comparing that to political values)

        Right and left

        There have been a number of other attempts to identify “left-wing authoritarians” in the United States and Canada. These would be people who submit to leftist authorities, are highly conventional to liberal viewpoints, and are aggressive to people who oppose left-wing ideology. These attempts have failed because measures of authoritarianism always correlate at least slightly with the right. There are certainly extremists across the political spectrum, but most psychologists now believe that authoritarianism is a predominantly right-wing phenomenon.

        Which become interesting when you take the bit at the top:

        Right-wing authoritarians are people who have a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities they perceive as established and legitimate, who adhere to societal conventions and norms, and who are hostile and punitive in their attitudes towards people who don’t adhere to them. They value uniformity and are in favour of using group authority, including coercion, to achieve it.

        It has been studied, the political right are more vicious than the left.

        • BernyD 7.2.3.1

          Ya just can’t beat Observational realities, both statements are well said.
          The “Evil” is in the implementation, when the participant doesn’t understand the “Qualifying” left or right perspective and over react.
          Ya have too have both otherwise the equation has no balance.

        • ianmac 7.2.3.2

          DTB: “Right-wing authoritarians are people who have a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities they perceive as established and legitimate, ….”
          That sort of fits when the supporters of National Standards seemed to concentrate on, “You teachers must obey the Government,” rather than debate the merits or otherwise of the issue.

  8. Dr Terry 8

    The tragedy of morons like McCroskie is that what they mouth represents what so many people actually want to hear and believe. The Right just loves this, of course. McCroskie is constantly cited as spokesman for the Nation (when there are plenty of true experts for the media to consult, if they would only take the trouble to do so).
    I guess there is some consolation in that Garth McVicar, his moronic companion, is pulling out, though he assures us unkindly that he will be replaced by 9 spokesmen (not women) throughout the Nation. Imagine people like this pair being multiplied several times over! Key will be delighted by that!

  9. BernyD 9

    Chances are they cut and paste because they have no context of their own to portray.
    We should b glad we could expand their minds for them 😀
    But a gentle reminder that words and thought exist for a reason may b rqrd sometimes.

    There’s still a real person behind that alias, and we use them for a reason, no way do we want our families/friends/workplace/employer affected by a blog discussion.

    For them it’s a job for us it’s our lives, maybe we should just accept the benefits and accept their relevance in the 21st century.

    And yes I think bloggers should bear that in mind, people ask for a reason.

  10. Jokerman 10

    Wow! Guess What? someone anonymously gave our fellowship 15K. it has gone towards a new kitchen for community meals and towards supporting the care of young women in prostitution in Calcutta.
    It is also clear to see that many friends of communities are turning out more free stuff for the people around them, like meals and domestic support etc;

    better a culture of hope than a culture of tragedy (anthropological terms)

    btw, imo, let us call a spade a spade, ie, digs a hole

    -alcohol=ethanol=solve n’t

    (and much tourism is glorified retail+think of all that jet fuel)

  11. blue leopard 11

    …I fail to see the point of a blogger copying and pasting an MSM article…unless this was in order to show the dearth of information possible in one piece of writing, I just do not see the advantage of anyone doing this….people would soon stop visiting their site….and that they should pay for it is laughable…just doesn’t make sense why anyone would BUY the stuff….indignant snort…

  12. kiwi_prometheus 12

    ” from QoT’s superb blog ” – shameless promo.

    Has anyone bothered to check out QofTs revamped site?

    I wouldn’t describe purple lightning and peroxide blond hair as “superb”, lol.

    QofT what were you thinking?

    Is that ketch fantasy fiction character how you fancy yourself or is it the girl of your dreams?

    Well at least the fantasy fiction graphic theme is an appropriate one for your blogging attempt.

    Team Jesus vs Team Manhater in a battle for the Universe!, lol.

    Still the usual foul mouthed expletives from QofT. Guess she thinks that being ‘radical’ and ‘feminist’ means using words like “shit” and “fuck” a lot, because you know women aren’t suppose to. 🙄

    • fatty 12.1

      Any chance of a critique on one of her posts?…I thought you’d at least say something like ‘gays can’t marry cause I don’t want them to’…blah blah blah.
      Still, its one of your more logical efforts KP…you are improving, chin up buddy.

      • kiwi_prometheus 12.1.1

        “I thought you’d at least say something like ‘gays can’t marry cause I don’t want them to’…blah blah blah.”

        Marriage is between a man and a woman, anything else is a redefinition that renders it meaningless.

        At least the Aussies are smart enough to see through the Lifestyle Liberal/Coffee Table Feminist propaganda “Let me marry who I love!” and smashed down their attempts to wreck marriage even more.

        Hope it happens here but I think the rot has set in.

        As for critiquing the rants of a radfem who seems to identify with some kind of fantasy fiction “tough girl” caricature – I’ve said plenty about the fembots and their extreme views.

        The Left does not need them.

        • fatty 12.1.1.1

          Most people in NZ now think that by redefining marriage to include gay marriage will improve it and make it more meaningful. Although you view does exist and used to dominate, it is no longer the norm. Also Australia will change, at the moment you are right, but if you look at what age groups hold that view, it is just a matter of time. You call it the “rot”…most call it progressive movements towards equality.

          “The Left does not need them.”

          Its pretty clear that the left needs feminist viewpoints now as much as they ever have, particularly if they also acknowledge economic inequalities…which is what QoT often does.
          Are QoT’s rants really that radical? What are her extreme views?

        • felix 12.1.1.2

          “Marriage is between a man and a woman, anything else is a redefinition that renders it meaningless.”

          k_p you still don’t know where babies come from, do you?

          How many times am I going to have to explain this to you?

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.3

          Marriage is between a man and a woman, anything else is a redefinition that renders it meaningless.

          Please explain how this redefinition might render your marriage or my marriage meaningless.

          Be specific.

    • QoT 12.2

      Oh shit, k_p doesn’t approve of my banner image because he doesn’t get the reference. Truly I have been cut to the quick today.

      He has a point though, I *do* think that swearing can be a feminist act, because [insert feminism 101 about gender socialisation here].

      But he still thinks I’m a radfem. It is to laugh. Still, if all I succeed in at life is making misogynist trolls prove all my points for me I’ll count that as a success.

      • kiwi_prometheus 12.2.1

        Not buying in to your feminist nonsense makes me a misogynist does it?

        Why don’t you strike me with your purple lightning then , Power Girl! lol

        • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.1

          Not buying in to your feminist nonsense makes me a misogynist does it?

          Yep, it does. Specifically because you won’t even listen to what she says, read the statistics that back her up and you certainly won’t even consider that she may actually be right. And you won’t do it because she happens to be a woman. All you do is whinge that men aren’t all bad and that it’s all the radfems fault anyway.

      • kiwi_prometheus 12.2.2

        “k_p doesn’t approve of my banner image because he doesn’t get the reference.”

        I think the fantasy fiction theme is appropriate for your blogging efforts, like I said before.

        Reference? It must be one of those lesbian subculture insider ones.

        Who is your audience suppose to be besides the fembots?

        • QoT 12.2.2.1

          Yes, well you have a point there, k_p, Warhammer 40k is well-known as a radical lesbian fandom.

          • felix 12.2.2.1.1

            I’m having trouble finding the “rad fem” angle in your post. Or even the fem angle.

            But it must be there because k_p thinks it is and I’m pretty sure he’s not a delusional obsessive with shit for brains.

        • blue leopard 12.2.2.2

          k_p

          really, why don’t you quit banging on.

          harping on like a harping thing

          whittering on and on and on

          about nothing

          for days

          Will it stop?

          what’s your problem?

          NO! I don’t want to know!

  13. kiwi_prometheus 13

    It’s cynical of Queen of Manhaters to exploit suicide rate of young men to score points against Team Jesus.

    As if a rad fem gives a flying fuck* about young men – “men are rapists!”, “men are abusers!”, “men are dangerous!”, “men are violent!”, “men are the problem!”.

    Does the message the feminists send out about men help? No.

    * presumably I can use swear words if QofT is free too or does she think only girls are allowed.

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    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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