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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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    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    7 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago