Community Organiser beats Money-market Man

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, November 8th, 2012 - 45 comments
Categories: activism, campaigning, community democracy, democratic participation, obama, us politics - Tags:

Donald Trump says its not democracy, but that is essentially the story of the US election campaign. In the end, on-the-ground organisation beat the billion-dollar PACs. Wall-to-wall negative advertising turned the punters off, but people-to-people contact on both sides of the contest meant the turnout was high. A lot of attention has been paid to his use of technology, but fundamentally Obama had more offices and more people across the country for a much longer time then Romney.

That goes back to a crucial decision made by Howard Dean when he became Democratic President, after missing out to John Kerry as 2004 nominee.

Dean formed the organization Democracy for America and later was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee in February 2005. As chairman of the party, Dean created and employed the 50 State Strategy that attempted to make Democrats competitive in normally conservative states often dismissed in the past as “solid red”. The success of the strategy became apparent after the 2006 midterm elections, where Democrats took back the House and picked up seats in the Senate from normally Republican states such as Missouri and Montana. In the 2008 election, Barack Obama used the 50 state strategy as the backbone of his candidacy.

He had to fight Rahm Emanuel, who was leading the Democratic House campaign in 2006, and wanted resources spent on the winnable House seats, the old marginal seats approach. Dean was another far-sighted community organiser and fundraiser and won the fight.

Obama’s background as a community organiser meant he understood the importance of organisation on the ground, as many politicians do not. Organisation can beat money, as we showed here in 2005.

As for the money, a lot of Republican money came from special interests, and from the “old economy.” This article by Carl Pope of the Sierra Club is well worth a read for the parallels with New Zealand – we are certainly stuck in the old economy, and their interests dominate our politics too.

Much food for thought.

45 comments on “Community Organiser beats Money-market Man”

  1. kea 1

    I think this spells trouble for Netanyahu .. and possibly for John Key.

    • mike e 1.1

      Yes they even overcame the dirty tricks the Gop tried like deliberately denying access to vote dodgy voting machines long cues voter id cards.
      Deliberate lies back fired ! in Ohio!Auto bail out.
      Getting Clint Eastwood to talk to a chair, after Eastwood already backed the Auto bailout!

    • aerobubble 1.2

      My take. Sandy reminded America of Katrina. Katrina of Bush junior. Bush of Bush Economics that led to the economic downturn. Then they looked up, they saw a winner of those economic times, how much they were hurting and Romney wasn’t, so they naturally did want him swanning over them. This empowered Democrats out to vote, their vote stood up and grew, as did Republician vote where it did not matter.

      The real question for us is mid-terms and a Democrat takeover of the lower house of congress.

  2. Uturn 2

    The community knowledge of Obama was also promoted in a message from Chris Rock to undecided voters, via the Jimmy Kimmel Show:

    I suspect this is what tipped the scales for most people.

    • Tracey 2.1

      had a bit of a chuckle…

      was saddened to see the candidates extolling “working together” and so forth after a campaign where they both poured a few billlion into negative and cynical campaigning.Even when not being cynical they are being cynical if you see what I mean.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    The conclusions for Kiwis are clear.

    You can’t base a campaign on the view from Wellington (Washington). Labour have become a Parliamentary caucus more than a community party, and as long as MPs think that they can win thanks to Parliamentary funding, staff, and media, then they will lose. Not to National, but to the Greens and other non-Parliamentary political organisations.

    If MPs want voters to become supporters, and supporters to become activists, they should start by listening to them.

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      + Absolutely. See my next comment.

    • bbfloyd 3.2

      A bit slow there gobbious one….. I see instances of interaction going on all the time within the labour party….. The few “dinasaurs” left who lost that message are no longer typical among the caucus….

      Do I sniff a personal agenda?

      • gobsmacked 3.2.1

        “interaction going on all the time within the labour party”

        Precisely. They – and you – don’t even see the problem. QED.

        Key word: “within”. How many people is that?

        What is the interaction with the rest of us? How are we inspired?

        “Shearer Says”? “Red Alert”? Trevor Mallard’s Facebook?

        You can’t solve a problem that you can’t recognise, and Labour aren’t even close to seeing it.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    A long time ago I went to Chicago to train in the same Saul Alinsky community organization where Obama learned the community organizing skills which won him 2 elections.

    It works brilliantly BUT there are three problems with trying to apply it in NZ.

    1. Policy comes from the people, NOT elitist liberals like our Labour MP’s.
    2. You can’t be so God damn fucking polite.
    3. You fight for issues, not personalities.

    • mac1 4.1

      I’d be interested, Amakiwi, to have more explanation because of
      the apparent contradiction between points two and three.

      • aerobubble 4.1.1

        Think radiation breath. Attacking and undermining impolitely the very core of the policy.
        Key is very predictable in the way he responds, the fact that Labour aren’t more ready
        (they are a sometimes), is a problem.
        On point 1. Sure Labour seems to leave policy up to the Greens.

        • fatty 4.1.1.1

          “On point 1. Sure Labour seems to leave policy up to the Greens.”

          …or Mana, or Campbell Live – feed the children

    • Richard Christie 4.2

      You guys seem to be conflating campaign organisation with policy. They’re different.
      Obama’s first term (policy, both in implementation and direction) disappointed a significant proportion of his support base but his campaign still trounced the Republican machine.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      Can you fight for issues using full throated red blooded language which -gasp- might not always be strictly PC and which some might even consider “impolite”?

      I’d say so. And I’d say that sometimes, not that often, its important to do so.

      • Uturn 4.3.1

        I think if you don’t know you’re using FTRBL then you could be forgiven for doing so. But once you know what you’re doing, your knowledge of your own passion undoes your alibi.

        The problem with the passion argument is that passion is misrepresented as the be-all of genuine intent. There is no doubt people can connect to passionate speech, but passion can be transmitted in silence as well as noise, a gesture as well as a word. Passion is often understood as a feminine trait, but what is commonly offered is a the result of distant logical masculine observation of a feminine source. This causes more problems than it solves.

        A progressive politician can’t expect great success by f’n and blinding because they’ll isolate or switch one supporter for another and come out no better off than where they began. Their inability to notice the dynamics of their own passion reveals an inabiilty to take all people with them, moving whever they move, and always creating an enemy to push against to artificially induce the tension required for passionate discourse. Politics is a job, a controlled persona, it’s not the expression of a free and diverse personality.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    “Organisation can beat money”? Yes it can, if you are being outspent say 2:1. But not if you are being outspent 20:1.

    And even then you are talking about needing sums of many hundreds of thousands of dollars just to make it to the starting gate for your average Congressional race. That effectively ensures that the voice of the top 1% is heard much louder than the 99%.

  6. BM 6

    The only way forward for the Republican party is if control can be wrestled from the Christian fundies who took over it.

    The Republican party these days only really represents middle America.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The Republican party these days only really represents middle America.

      I LOL’d

      The GOP has only ever represented the richest of the rich in the US.

      • BM 6.1.1

        America is two separate countries under the same banner.
        Republican party represents one, Democrats the other.

  7. Community organiser with a billion dollar campaign war chest. Pffft

    • Bill 7.1

      Sheesh. Seven comments in before the obvious is stated! Obama neither is nor was a community organiser. If you think that’s untrue then it’s high time you read some stuff on Obama that isn’t penned from deep within the Democrat machine. He was loosely involved with community projects but not at the grass roots level per se. But hey, there’s spin to be put out there.

      Both Obama and Romney were, are and will be ‘operators’ well in tune with corporate agendas and demands. And if corporate and financier campaign donations are anything to go by, then Obama is a better opertator than Romney is…just as he was a better operator than the last Republican candidate to run for president.

      Finally. And I’d have thought obviously. In a $1 = 1 vote, lobbied to hell and back ‘democracy’, there is no democracy beyond the faint smell of decay that lingers after the physical evidence of something ever having been has gone. Which also maybe goes some way to explaining why 90 000 000 (ninety million) people did not bother to vote.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1

        From wikipedia, Bill:

        Two years after graduating, Obama was hired in Chicago as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale on Chicago’s South Side. He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988.[33][34] He helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens.[35] Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.[36]

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          A director. A consultant. An instuctor.

          What’s grassroots about any of those, incidentally paid, positions of employment TRP?

          not that I think people shouldn’t be renumerated for political or social endeavours, but generally speaking, grassroots stuff is entirely voluntary and driven by conviction; not wages or salaries.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    @aero

    Example: We organized an apartment building. We asked the tenants what the key problems were. They said, lack of repairs and maintenance. The “polite” solutions got no results. You know, asking the owner to make repairs, complaining to the building inspectors, etc.

    People did their homework. Where does the owner live, work? What is he passionate about?

    They found out he is a Black associate professor at Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago and got his teaching schedule. One day about 20 tenants with placards carpooled to the university. They went into his lecture theater with children in tow waving waving placards (“Slumload,” etc.) shouting insults at him. By the way, the paper he was teaching was “Urban Problems”!

    We were NOT polite. Our purpose was to humiliate him into making repairs. It worked. In days he he met with the tenants association, itemized their complaints, and shortly thereafter made all the repairs.

    It was NOT about personalities. There was no identifiable leader of the group. All agreed on what their objectives were and how to attain them.

    It was NOT about him. The tenants wanted the rats killed, backed up toilet drains fixed, etc. Thereafter it was the nicest apartment in the neighborhood and he was well respected by his former adversaries, the tenants association.

    It was about POWER. Empowering the tenants by organizing them and DEMANDING changes, NOT politely asking and being repeatedly ignored (i.e. as with a select committee).

    • mac1 8.1

      Thanks for that, Amakiwi.

    • fatty 8.2

      “Our purpose was to humiliate him into making repairs”

      Nice one AmaKiwi…power from the bottom is about stigmatising those above, and humiliation is the best way to do it. We need to flip it on them.

      • AmaKiwi 8.2.1

        Do whatever works. Remember, the goal power, not politeness. There is nothing “polite” about paying your rent and watching rats run around your flat which is filled with the stench of sewage.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Dpf has a thread today that is turning pretty ugly, but this is classic from East Wellington Superhero:

    Remember a few weeks back when the media inferred whites of racism because Obama was dropping in the white vote.

    African-Americans Obama +86%
    Latinos Obama +44%
    Whites Romney +20%

    Simplistic as it is, these numbers suggest it isn’t whites who are the worst at making judgements based on race.

    Derpderp

    • fatty 9.1

      DPF logic would therefore suggest that African-Americans never used to be racist, because 84% of African-Americans voted for Clinton in 1996…or African-American people were colour blind in 1996 and they thought Clinton was African-American

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        That wasn’t dpf, but yeah

        The logic would suggest that because the k k k was only supported by say 20% of the whites but most African Americans opposed them, THAT’S RACIST OF THE BLACK PEOPLE!!

  10. AmaKiwi 10

    Pollsters said eight states were too close to call.

    Obama won all eight. Here are his victory margins: Ohio 1.9%, Virginia 3.0%, Wisconsin 6.7%, Iowa 5.6%, Nevada 6.6%, Colorado 4.7%, New Hampshire 5.8%. Those are hefty margins for supposedly undecided states. Only one of the states was actually too close to call: Florida, where Obama is presently ahead by 0.6%

    I attribute Obama’s large winning margins in these states to community organizing.

    70 years ago the Labour party was probably a community organization. It is not now. It has too many “we know the answer to your problems” liberals. Liberals have theories. Radicals want power.

    • Bill 10.1

      Radicals want power.

      So how does that work in the context of your comment when voting is about giving some ‘other’ power?

      • AmaKiwi 10.1.1

        @ Bill

        I am not clear what your question is. Who is the “other” to whom power is given?

        • Bill 10.1.1.1

          In the case of representative elections, then the ‘other’ is notionally the politician. But really, when it’s looked at with any seriousness for a moment or two, it’s ceding power to those who sit behind the representatives – which in our case is corporate and financial interests.

          • AmaKiwi 10.1.1.1.1

            Yes, unfortunately you are right.

            If you set up a campaign organization based on a Saul Alinsky organizing model, the candidates should be getting continuous feedback from their constituents. This places some limits on corporate interference. The candidates can say to the corporates, “I cannot do that. My constituents are strongly opposed to it.”

            I personally favour referendums as a limitation on politicians.

            We forget the corporates use community organizing continuously. Their community is the old boys network. Their organization meets in corporate board rooms, golf courses, etc. They have the money but we have the numbers. If we refuse to buy their products and services, they are in trouble. We have power. We have to organize to use our power effectively.

            • fatty 10.1.1.1.1.1

              “We forget the corporates use community organizing continuously. Their community is the old boys network. Their organization meets in corporate board rooms, golf courses, etc. They have the money but we have the numbers.”

              Yes and no….people power is the best form of power we have, but corporate power extends beyond the old boys network. The Tea Party movement was driven by corporates, and other community groups can stir up ground support for questionable objectives. e.g. Bob McCroskie and his family first hate gang twisted the issue of smacking….I’d say that the sensible sentencing trust have the ability to shift the public discourse of crime/punishment at ease – and many corporate entities can use these ‘grassroots’ groups to further their interests.
              I’m all for grassroots groups and people power, but it can be a double edged sword

              • AmaKiwi

                “The Tea Party movement was driven by corporates.”

                I have not been to the US in 5 years, so this is my opinion based on news stories.

                I think the Tea Party is angry working class people who are struggling. The difference between them and working class Obama supporters is what they see as the solution: less government versus more socially responsible government.

                I don’t think the corporates created the Tea Party. Corporates threw money behind it because it shared their goals of cutting taxes and reducing government.

                The Tea Party folks are in pain, too.

                • fatty

                  true, the Tea Party supporters are suffering, in much the same way that the occupy supporters were, and even KKK members/BNP etc…but the Tea Party were demanding smaller govt and a less regulated economy. As far as I know they started out as many grassroots movements do, but they became heavily funded by Koch Industries…so they were doing the work of corporates.
                  My point was that grassroots movements can become vehicles for corporate interests very easily, and corporations these days are becoming very good at disguising how they promote their interests

  11. Tracey 11

    Anna, also the polls could have been manipulated to make the race seem closer for Romney’s benefit

  12. jamie prentice 13

    I haven’t read all the comments but I think most are missing the point. What similarities can you see why labour lost time and why the republicians lost. The republicans missed out on the recent immigrates, the young, the poor , the women vote and the liberal vote. In other words they received the vote of older white men and conservatives.
    Using the same reasoning Labour did not get enough votes from the former (immigrates, young etc), in other words, they should win ever time an election is held in NZ, if they target labours natural voters, obivously they are not. Which means they are not connecting with their roots, this is where their own the ground work needs focus and they need to find out what these groups want. Once this has been established the message needs to get out what they want to acheive, rather than telling people what is right for them.
    The labour party as with the republicans appears to me, to be to influenced by fringe groups who have there own agender rather than what the majority of people in New Zealand want. From the outside it appears that intellectals control the labour party or have undue influence, rather than the common man or women

    • AmaKiwi 13.1

      I agree but also add that Obama and Clinton have rock star quality.

      Goff and Shearer don’t.

    • Tracey 13.2

      IF the purpose of being a political party is to represent what the so-called “majority of people in New Zealand want”, then that party will be a constant chamelion. Isn’t the point to be a party which represents something or somethings and then get that message out and those who are attracted to it will vote for it? Afterall less than 50% voted for national so do they currently represent what “majority of people in New Zealand want?

      Jamie can you explain what you mean by “intellectuals”?

      It may be that what the Republicans want the world to look like and what Labour wants the world to look like simply aren’t palatable or wanted by “most people”. Changing those principles to fit what most people want makes the party something completely different. Now, if you had said that the point is that perhaps the Republican parrty and more so Labour are now politically redundant, without a place in the political landscape other than waiting for people to get sick of the current lot, I would tend to agree.

      I think yu may have been making that point here when you said

      “Which means they are not connecting with their roots, this is where their own the ground work needs focus and they need to find out what these groups want. Once this has been established the message needs to get out what they want to acheive, rather than telling people what is right for them.”?

      The only way to “change” this is through educating people, explaining stuff to them, showing them a different way to see the world, hence, in the end women were “given” the vote, slavery was abolished. Particularly in the case of the later slavery was what the majority wanted… If people like the way you see the world they may alter their position but if they have no understanding or idea of your view of the world how on earth can they support it.

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  • 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

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