How to rescue Trump – and make up with Putin

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, May 18th, 2017 - 22 comments
Categories: defence, Donald Trump, Europe, International, us politics - Tags:

I have little doubt now that Vladimir Putin has now done an effective job on President Trump. A little needling here, a substantial incursion and land take there, a good poke at a weak administration, and then sit back at the ice hockey and let history slide.

Further, with President Trump explicitly alienating his security and diplomatic agencies, those agencies he needs the most to rescue international stability will need a policy plan and some targets to work to.

So, my little advice today is to the U.S. security collective. How to work with their government and achieve something positive with Donald Trump, by:

  1. Formally announcing that the United States and Russia form an accord to limit cyber attacks against civilian targets in peacetime. And while they are at it, further confirm that “Uncontaminated One Person One Vote” democracy should be affirmed. That would mean the whole U.S. security establishment especially the CIA would have to de-claw itself, and the subtext is that they apologise to each other.
  2. President Trump should immediately reaffirm that the defence of all NATO states is Washington’s highest European priority. Trump can see the good in this already, coming out smiling and waving with Turkey’s President Erdogan this week (after all, if he only dealt with clean tyrants, he might run out of leaders to talk to).
  3. Sustaining U.S. troop deployments in Poland, while emphasising the deployments’ legitimacy under past international agreements with Moscow. Merkel and Tusk should be strongly encouraged to remind everyone that these deployments – and those in the Baltics – are lower than what Russia itself agreed as being legitimate in 1999. If Trump wanted to push the boat out with his Joint Chiefs, he could promise to shift the U.S. ballistic defence system out of Poland and onto U.S. soil alone if Iran keeps to its nuclear non-proliferation agreement. Make it nothing to do with Russia.
  4. Openly support China’s Belt and Road initiative, and encourage European leaders to do the same. European leaders have been inconsistent and that’s dumb. Great for U.S. firms to bid on, good for the global trade economy without forcing too-hard multilateral trade agreements, and builds a further ally in common interest (who happens to surround Russia).
  5. Pouring rebuilding support into Iraq and into the Kurds. Mosul will fall shortly and ISIS will scatter into suburban cells. Firstly to shore massively damaged societies up against Syria and Isis and Turkey. And secondly a signal to Russia that Syria is the extent of their reach.
  6. Inviting Putin to co-host a post-Syrian War reconstruction conference. As if a country so devastated needed the equivalent of its own Marshall Plan. And add some funding to it.

The tougher bits that follow may need to be left to Rex, since his calm and commercial killer would enable the State Department to treat the Russian state with respect even if tensions rise. Trump’s capacity for emotional control is uneven, and Putin’s proxies continue to exploit that. Putin is to Trump what Necratizing Fasciitis is to a man with one leg: not very helpful to getting about.

Some may think that the above somewhat lowers the bar on the diplomatic capacity of the U.S. President. Some may well think that. But the threat of war is growing. That can only be resolved by hard diplomatic work.

There is still plenty of scope for President Trump to turn the Putin relationship around, if his intelligence, diplomatic, and military entities grow up, plan together, and start making their Client Number One look good.

22 comments on “How to rescue Trump – and make up with Putin”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Meanwhile, on Earth:

    Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of his briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or the knowledge of the granular details of intelligence…

    The best course of action for the USA is to impeach the flailing witless child and survive until the 2018 midterms.

    • weka 1.1

      Yes. How long does impeachment take?

        • D'Esterre 1.1.1.1

          Andre: “Nixon and Clinton played out over years.”

          Nixon was not impeached; he resigned before the process began. Like many people worldwide, I watched the TV broadcast of his resignation speech. As I recall, it was considered to be of sufficient importance to us that the NZBC broadcast it as Nixon was making it. We watched it on a TV brought to our workplace by a colleague.

          There was an earlier, unsuccessful, attempt to impeach Nixon, in 1972, over the secret bombing of Cambodia, ordered by him.

          As to Clinton, he was impeached and acquitted. The process began at the end of 1998, and he was acquitted in early 1999. We were in the US at the time of the Senate trial, and also saw the broadcast.

          There was quite a bit of dissension over the impeachment, many commentators considering the grounds insufficiently serious and pointing out the moral hypocrisy of many of the politicians screaming for his impeachment. Starr may have been on surer ground with the Whitewater thing and sundry other dubious dealings by Clinton, but those matters didn’t proceed.

      • D'Esterre 1.1.2

        Weka: “How long does impeachment take?”

        He can’t be impeached unless there are grounds for impeachment. He has to have done something impeachable; that hasn’t happened.

    • Andre 1.2

      The argument for leaving the flailing witless child right where he is…

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/i-ask-again-do-you-want-pence_us_591c7cfbe4b0b28a33f6289d

      • keepcalmcarryon 1.2.1

        Yes exactly.
        Plus its likely not coincidental that TPP talks are somehow restarted as Trump begins to fall apart- a signal that if Trump goes, our masters still want to sell the people out to corporate interests.

        “Pence also has publicly supported the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement”

  2. dukeofurl 2

    “Openly support China’s Belt and Road initiative, and encourage European leaders to do the same. European leaders have been inconsistent and that’s dumb. Great for U.S. firms to bid on…”

    Great for US firms to bid on ? Thats laughable. Its likely to be a Chinese construction job based on the existing projects underway. For one they have the resources and expertise for major infrastructure. US cant even build a subway in New York or a rapid rail anywhere.

  3. Stuart Munro 3

    Or, the post-impeachment president could recognize that Putin is an antagonist, not just to US foreign policy, but even to the integrity of US elections. And French elections. And put together a few protocols to constrain him, probably including new punitive sanctions. It wouldn’t be hard to reduce Putin’s social media footprint for example.

    • Spikeyboy 3.1

      I believe that that is called censorship and is isually associated with authoritarian leaders such as Putin and Trump…

    • Ad 3.2

      Successful impeachment conviction would need 2/3 of the Senate.
      That’s a pretty tall order at the moment.
      Still, you never know.
      Maybe 2nd term.

    • D'Esterre 3.3

      Stuart Munro: “…Putin is an antagonist, not just to US foreign policy, but even to the integrity of US elections. And French elections.”

      Produce the evidence in support of this assertion, if you would be so good.

      “…including new punitive sanctions”

      Be careful what you wish for. You are aware, I assume, that Russia has benefited greatly from sanctions imposed after the US-sponsored Ukraine putsch?

      New Zealand, on the other hand, cancelled its free trade negotiations with Russia at that time. Now, New Zealand is locked out of the Russian market: our loss, not theirs.

      “It wouldn’t be hard to reduce Putin’s social media footprint…”

      Spikeyboy’s got that covered, I think.

  4. Nick 4

    TYT on Youtube had Trump buddy Roger Stone putting out the idea of Trump having Alzheimers / insanity as a legal defense. https://youtu.be/GTh5cut5S6U

  5. xanthe 5

    1 have proper independent media
    2 shut down CIA
    3 independent judiciary
    4 open dialogue with russia, syria,
    5 put FBI back on task. Federal Justice!

    that would go a long way to saving the presidency whoever holds it !

  6. D'Esterre 6

    “I have little doubt now that Vladimir Putin has now done an effective job on President Trump. A little needling here, a substantial incursion and land take there, a good poke at a weak administration, and then sit back at the ice hockey and let history slide.”

    And you have little doubt because…..? Produce the evidence, if you would be so good. And not NYT or WaPo “journalism”. Evidence is what we need.

    Xanthe: “1 have proper independent media
    2 shut down CIA
    3 independent judiciary
    4 open dialogue with russia, syria,
    5 put FBI back on task. Federal Justice!

    that would go a long way to saving the presidency whoever holds it !”

    Bang on, Xanthe! A bucketload of common sense right there. But Washington ain’t long on common sense, it seems.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-meddling-in-1996-russian-elections-in-support-of-boris-yeltsin/5568288

    I was in the university system during the 1990s. I remember the reportage of the 1996 election, read Chomsky and others on this stuff. I assumed that everybody knew about it, up to and including Washington. But it seems that Washington has a short memory. And/or it sees its own actions as unexceptionable; the end result of it is American people saying plaintively following the 9/11 attacks: “Why do they hate us?”

  7. red-blooded 7

    “And while they are at it, further confirm that “Uncontaminated One Person One Vote” democracy should be affirmed. ”

    Great – that should lead to the dumping of a inherently anti-democratic electoral college system! (Not a likely move from Trump, given that if the US went with one person, one vote, he wouldn’t be sitting in the president’s chair…)

    • garibaldi 7.1

      Good on you D’Esterre and xanthe.
      The acceptance of American Russophobia propaganda in the West, whilst ignoring the countless examples of American aggression and interference world wide, is mind boggling.
      Anyone who can’t understand that the drive by the West for war with Russia is a recipe for extermination is pretty damned stupid. Egging on Nato to be bellicose towards Russia is just as stupid. There will be no winners.

  8. D'Esterre 8

    Garibaldi: “Anyone who can’t understand that the drive by the West for war with Russia is a recipe for extermination is pretty damned stupid. Egging on Nato to be bellicose towards Russia is just as stupid. There will be no winners.”

    Exactly. I have offspring of conscriptable age, therefore a vested interest in peace. The US could be a force for good in the world, as with the Marshall Plan for post-War Europe. It’s a tragedy that it has followed the path it has since 1945. Had it taken a more Westphalian approach to foreign policy over the years, many lives would have been saved, and the world would be a very much safer place for all of us.

  9. D'Esterre 9

    1. “Formally announcing that the United States and Russia form an accord to limit cyber attacks against civilian targets in peacetime. And while they are at it, further confirm that “Uncontaminated One Person One Vote” democracy should be affirmed. That would mean the whole U.S. security establishment especially the CIA would have to de-claw itself, and the subtext is that they apologise to each other.”

    This is predicated on there having actually been cyber attacks against civilian targets – referring, presumably, to claims about Russian interference in the US elections. This has always been a wildly implausible claim, a furphy; the reasons for that have been covered by commentators with more extensive knowledge of this arena than either of us. On the other hand, US surveillance of its own citizens is extensive, intrusive and unlawful. See this: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/18/how-nsa-can-secretly-aid-criminal-cases-2/
    If anyone ought to be apologising to anyone, it is the US security services to US citizens.

    2. “President Trump should immediately reaffirm that the defence of all NATO states is Washington’s highest European priority. Trump can see the good in this already, coming out smiling and waving with Turkey’s President Erdogan this week (after all, if he only dealt with clean tyrants, he might run out of leaders to talk to).”

    No. He should return to his pre-election statements that NATO has outlived its usefulness and needs to be disestablished. The concept of a threatened Europe is a propaganda trope dating back to the ideology of Nazi Germany. It’s pushed by mainstream politicians in contemporary Europe and it’s founded on racial and religious hatred. It isn’t plausible.

    3. “Sustaining U.S. troop deployments in Poland, while emphasising the deployments’ legitimacy under past international agreements with Moscow. Merkel and Tusk should be strongly encouraged to remind everyone that these deployments – and those in the Baltics – are lower than what Russia itself agreed as being legitimate in 1999. If Trump wanted to push the boat out with his Joint Chiefs, he could promise to shift the U.S. ballistic defence system out of Poland and onto U.S. soil alone if Iran keeps to its nuclear non-proliferation agreement. Make it nothing to do with Russia.”

    The US needs to pull its troops out of all NATO countries; a fortiori out of eastern Europe and the Baltic states. Note that in 2007, Russia suspended its participation in the CFE, and on 10 March 2015, citing NATO’s de facto breach of the Treaty, Russia formally announced it was completely halting its participation in it, as of the next day. The US has not acted honourably with regard to this treaty; time to admit fault and back off.
    Demilitarisation and disarmament of Russia’s revanchist and aggressive neighbours is the necessary pre-condition of peace in Europe.

    4. “Openly support China’s Belt and Road initiative, and encourage European leaders to do the same. European leaders have been inconsistent and that’s dumb. Great for U.S. firms to bid on, good for the global trade economy without forcing too-hard multilateral trade agreements, and builds a further ally in common interest (who happens to surround Russia).”

    What I’ve read about this project, and looking at the maps, suggests that the US is being sidelined. It’s best that it refrains from sticking its nose in; unless it’s invited, of course. See this:
    http://thesaker.is/the-new-silk-road-increases-the-strategic-importance-of-karelia/

    5. “Pouring rebuilding support into Iraq and into the Kurds. Mosul will fall shortly and ISIS will scatter into suburban cells. Firstly to shore massively damaged societies up against Syria and Isis and Turkey. And secondly a signal to Russia that Syria is the extent of their reach.”

    Regarding Iraq, isn’t that what it’s supposed to have been doing for some time? Clearly not very efficacious: it looks as if the damage (in every sense) done by the US there is too great for it to have any meaningful part in any rebuild. Kurds: that might cause problems with Turkey, if the US wishes to maintain any sort of alliance there. I doubt that Russia or Syria – or Iran, come to that – has any interest at all in US attempts to wield influence in that part of the world. The US has no credibility. The west is responsible for the suffering of the middle east; the cure is the west’s departure.

    6. “Inviting Putin to co-host a post-Syrian War reconstruction conference. As if a country so devastated needed the equivalent of its own Marshall Plan. And add some funding to it.”

    As above: not for the US to issue invites to Russia or any other polity. The US has no political heft in Syria, and it has only itself to blame for that. Russia and allies are getting on with the job. Just in case you hadn’t noticed….

    • Ad 9.1

      Appreciate you thing the time to responding to the points.

      1. I know there are currently four investigations going on, but I found these useful from the US intelligence community as a starter:

      https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

      https://www.theatlantic.com/liveblogs/2017/01/senate-hearing-russian-hacking/512219/13163/

      https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/01/russian-hacking-trump/510689/

      There are plenty more to come once all the subpoenas are done.

      2. I don’t understand your dislike of NATO. If I were a current citizen of the Ukraine, Syria, or Georgia, I would see the need for some security compact larger than myself, from Russia. For those countries that went through the Cold War, they would not want to give up security guarantees too easily.

      Living memory about security and repelling communist totalitarianism would recommend ongoing wariness of Russia in countries such as Greece, Germany, Finland, the Czech state – even Austria and Italy got very close to falling within the Russian sphere. Of course the Soviet reach fell nearly thirty years ago, but peace isn’t sustained through absence of force alone.

      3. I can understand that people are highly skeptical about having US troops stationed anywhere in the world given their track record over the last fifty years. And I have no particular desire to defend their track record. But I don’t think that’s enough of an argument to withdraw the security of small states without asking if that’s what they want first.

      4. Just disagree. The US needs to find a reason to engage with China that is constructive and good for trade across the whole world. Belt and Road is going to be even more powerful than the stupid TPPA.

      5. I would argue that no, the U.S. has put more into military assistance and not enough into the basic societal building blocks of the place it has helped wreck. And that should completely change.

      6. “Not for the US to issue invites…”?
      Issuing invites is the essence of diplomacy. There really are a set of larger states whose power in the world should be harnessed to do good. They and their influence are not going away. All the better if they can reach out to other such states.

      I completely understand the impulse to tell the US to simply shut up, withdraw from the world in all senses, and leave the entire world alone. And no one needs to determine whether the US is ‘worth saving’, because the US is going to continue in its current path whatever we think or evaluate it to be.

      But there are still practical steps it can take, with a united intelligence, military, and diplomatic community, that amount to a lot of good. Dare I say it, even under Trump.

  10. D'Esterre 10

    Ad: Many thanks for your response. It is much appreciated. To respond to your points:-

    1. Nobody – I assume – imagines that Russia and the US don’t routinely spy on each other, as well as on the rest of us. But the claims of interference in the US election are a whole other thing. I found nothing in those links that proffered anything further by way of proof. You can bet your boots that US intel would already know if this had happened. And so would we… Absent anything substantive, we can conclude that – as has been pointed out by many others – there’s no evidence at all. Anything produced from now on that purports to be evidence ought to be consigned to the “weapons of mass destruction” bin.
    Hillary Clinton has a well-known bee in her bonnet about Russia and Putin. Screaming “Russia dunnit!” is a convenient way of dodging the blame for her and her party’s own miserable incompetence in failing to figure out which votes they needed for her to win the presidency. As she will be well aware, a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth for some people.

    2. “I don’t understand your dislike of NATO. If I were a current citizen of the Ukraine, Syria, or Georgia, I would see the need for some security compact larger than myself, from Russia. For those countries that went through the Cold War,”
    Crikey! This is a big topic; to understand the complexities here, it’s necessary to go back to history, not just that of the last war, but centuries back into European history. A thumbnail response: the threat comes – and has always come – from Europe to Russia, not the other way about. Remember what history shows. NATO was a construct, established to protect western Europe during the Cold War, which has been over since 1991; it’s long past time to disestablish NATO. In any event, the threat from the former Soviet Union was largely illusory, as history shows.
    The current mess in the Ukraine – including the secession of the Crimea and the dire state of the Donbass – is a direct result of US meddling in its internal political affairs. Likewise Syria: the US has long conducted a campaign of destabilisation aimed at the Assad government. The current situation is in no small measure a consequence of that campaign. As for Georgia: it was almost entirely due to its own stupidity that it blundered into a conflict with Russia. Go read about it; there’s quite a bit of information online.

    3. It suits the US to have troops stationed in other countries, particularly in Europe. How destabilising would it be if it were forced to repatriate all those soldiers? We have family in Europe: from what we’ve been told and heard for ourselves, the political elites’ enthusiasm for foreign soldiers being based in their countries isn’t necessarily shared by the citizens. That’s also true in Japan and south Korea, and we see reportage of it here from time to time.

    4. It remains to be seen whether China welcomes US involvement in the Silk Road project. It will go ahead regardless; I suspect that if there is US participation, it will be on China’s terms.

    5. It is questionable whether the US can have any role at all in the reconstruction of Iraq. We may think that it ought to, given how much destruction it’s been responsible for there. But Iraqis may well have another view on that: too much bad faith over too many years.

    6. “Issuing invites is the essence of diplomacy.” Agreed. However, it’s not the US’s bailiwick regarding Syria. The west in general, and the US in particular, has been responsible for the wreckage that is now the middle east. The west needs to go, and leave others to do the cleaning up. Assad asked Iran and Russia for assistance: they gave it, and have been getting on with the job ever since, despite US attempts to white-ant their efforts. Russia may issue an invite to the US: it’s earned that prerogative, having done much of the heavy lifting in eliminating the jihadists from Syria. The US has no role in leading the reconstruction, when that stage is reached.

    “But there are still practical steps it can take, with a united intelligence, military, and diplomatic community, that amount to a lot of good. Dare I say it, even under Trump.”
    The US needs to fix its own country; that’s what Trump was saying on the campaign trail. The neocons, having taken fright at his turning away from neoliberal interventionism, have, with the enthusiastic assistance of the msm, done a job on him in an attempt to turn him back toward their worldview.

    As one member of this household says, it’s become clear that Trump is the average of the last six people he’s talked to. He’s never been a pollie, he doesn’t have a pollie’s ability to use diplomatic language. He says what he thinks. Which is, of course, why people elected him, and why the neocons and their msm hate him. If he’s to accomplish in particular his foreign policy of detente, along with his plan to reconstruct America, he’s going to need a lot of help. The Republican pollies could and should have done that; I suspect that the voters are likely to punish them at the mid-term for their failure to do so.

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    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
    5 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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