How to spot fascism

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 pm, May 23rd, 2013 - 95 comments
Categories: law and "order", Spying - Tags:

This. This is fascism. This is fascism published by our national newspaper.

Note the lack of logic. Giving spies the powers that they have in the States could prevent the kind of terrorism that just happened … in the States.

Note the complete faith in those with power. “if you have nothing to hide from the GCSB, then you have nothing to fear.” Do people actually say that and mean it? Yes, fascists do.

Note the support for disproportionate state power. Given the very unlikely odds of a terrorist plot in New Zealand and the very small chance that GCSB surveillance of New Zealanders could stop it, the power to spy on us all is justified.

Aaron Lim is a fascist. My great joy is that every single one of the 78 comments tells him where to stick his fascism.

Aaron Lim, take your fascism and fuck off.

New Zealand Herald, you’re a fucken disgrace for publishing fascist shit.

95 comments on “How to spot fascism”

  1. Paul 1

    “Aaron Lim completed his master’s thesis on strategic studies. He has worked as an analyst for the NZ Army and as online manager, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. He has also worked for stock-market operator NZX and as a journalist.”
    Well if this is his standard of journalism, he should reapply for his other jobs.
    As a friend of the bankers.
    Zetetic, have you considered writing a letter questioning the Herald on why we haven’t had a headline yet entitled ‘Democracy under attack.’

    • Murray Olsen 1.1

      He can go along with this because deep in the reptilian part of his brain, he thinks he’ll always be one of the ones doing the spying. The higher parts of his brain just don’t work. He could well be a GCSB agent already.

      • Sosoo 1.1.1

        I wouldn’t worry. He’s being mercilessly mocked in the comment to that article.

        They’ll give a Masters degree to anyone with money these days. Even lprent has one. 😉

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          He’s also written a novel, (available on Amazon for a dollar):

          http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1301/S00079/book-release-unholy-wars-book-one-by-aaron-lim.htm

          But something far worse than al-Qaeda has awakened in Baghdad. Something ancient. Older than Islam or Christianity.

          Something terrible enough to force elite US Delta Force soldiers and ruthless al-Qaeda terrorists to fight together, back to back.

          In Iraq, Ryan Jackson will learn that superstition is merely a name the ignorant give to their ignorance. And there in the real war on terror, there are things worse than al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

          Bridging the gap between military and horror/fantasy genres, UnHoly Wars Book One takes the reader from Auckland to Baghdad, weaving in alternative accounts of current events, including the recent earthquake in Christchurch.

          Yeah, I’ll get right on that. The lead character’s name? “Ryan Jackson”. I guess Jack Ryanson just sounded silly.

          • Sosoo 1.1.1.1.1

            /lol to the max

            Could be much worse:

            /is horrified at the existence of that genre

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, I’m not sure what’s more embarrassing, the Jack Ryan ripoff, or the ‘ChCh earthquake let’s just shove that in there’ move.

              Now I’ve not read the book, it may well be pure awesome and the defining work of its kind, but I just don’t care to bridge the gap between military and horror/fantasy.

              I’d even go so far as to say that I like that gap.

              Pretty sure that the ancient thing awakened in Baghdad will be demonic or alien or who cares actually.

              Point is: “Older than Islam or Christianity”? Careful now.

              • Colonial Viper

                Abrahmanic religions aren’t the oldest belief systems around, by a long shot.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  umm, no shit?

                • felix

                  lolz, I think Pb is wondering if Lim harbours a deep dark fear of another well known Abrahamic religion, one that’s older than Islam or Christianity.

                  He wouldn’t be the first fascist to do so.

          • Murray Olsen 1.1.1.1.2

            Thanks for the laugh, Pb.

          • Populuxe1 1.1.1.1.3

            Is it Judaeism?

          • mac1 1.1.1.1.4

            It’s all been said before- “The Second Coming” by WB Yeats which ends:

            “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
            Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

            We’re thirteen years overdue, according to Yeats’ 2000 year cycle.

    • Pete 1.2

      After a quick look on Proquest and on Academic OneFile, I can only find material Lim worked on as a journalist for Fairfax – mainly on financial issues, but he was hawkish on Afghanistan. He apparently completed his thesis at Otago, but I couldn’t find it on the electronic archive of theses there.

      No Aaron Lim from New Zealand is listed on Linkedin, nor on academia.edu, so I don’t think he’s built up the reputation to be a credible analyst of security issues like this.

      • kiwicommie 1.2.1

        He is a useful idiot:

        Useful idiot

        In political jargon, useful idiot is a pejorative term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they do not understand, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.

        The term has been used to refer to Soviet sympathizers in Western countries. The implication was that, although the people in question naïvely thought of themselves as an ally of the Soviet Union, they were actually held in contempt and were being cynically used. The use of the term in political discourse has since been extended to other propagandists, especially those who are seen to unwittingly support a malignant cause which they naïvely believe to be a force for good.[1]

        • Paul 1.2.1.1

          There’s no shortage of useful idiots around to do the banksters business.
          Here’s another one. ..Stephen Berry, who has set up the new affordable council group and who prominently displays Ayn Rand on his website.

          • kiwicommie 1.2.1.1.1

            I recommend you read Ayn Rand’s Anthem, it is short, yet it pretty much includes all the neo-liberal crap spouted all the time. Objectivism has already been debunked by plenty of academics, it has a cult following though; and it can be very easy to fall under her spell, if you don’t read other philosophers and economists that disagree with her narrow world view. Her condemnation of altruism is outright bizarre, especially considering what we now know about human genetics and human nature i.e. altruism is genetic and part of human nature, you can’t just switch off irrational desires and instincts, or be ‘be rational’ all the time.

            • Ugly Truth 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Human nature isn’t much to look up to. Cicero’s homo humanus was a simple division between Romans and non-Roman “barbarians”. Of coure Rome could be just as barbaric as any other group. What really set them apart was Rome’s emporer-pontiff, a supposedly divine or semi-divine figure to rule over them.

  2. tc 2

    The gloves are off now it’s go for broke from shonkey and his cabinet dealing room of corrupt cohorts…..bend over NZ it’s time for your second term dose.

  3. Populuxe1 3

    Authoritarian? Yes. Dorky? Certainly. Undesirable? Very much so. Fascist? No, or at least the fluffiest, lightest Fascism Lite I’ve ever heard about.

    “Given the very unlikely odds of a terrorist plot in New Zealand…”
    Aside from Neil Roberts trying to blow up the Whanganui police computer in 1982, and the blowing up of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985 (yes, I know, France, but it would have been nice to have picked up on them in theheart of Greenpeace). Pretty sure many countries never expected some of their own Muslim citizens to radicalise. But basically the terrorism angle is a red herring because you’re ignoring the near certainty we have New Zealand citizens reporting to intelligence agencies in China, North Korea, Israel, and elsewhere.

    In principle I agree with you up to a point, but the way you frame the argument is disingenious and somewhat hysterical. Of course there will be internal threats, it’s downright stupid to suggest otherwise. It suffices to say that regardless, the liberty and privacy of New Zealand citizens should not be impinged on without good cause, and the police in most cases can manage that on their own.

    • Clockie 3.1

      “It suffices to say that regardless, the liberty and privacy of New Zealand citizens should not be impinged on without good cause, and the police in most cases can manage that on their own.”

      Did you mean to say that the police can manage on their own to infringe on the liberty and privacy of NZ citizens or was that a Freudian slip? 🙂

      • North 3.1.1

        Lovely spotting there Clockie !

      • Populuxe1 3.1.2

        It was a very dry and subtle drollery – though of course the powers of the police are sufficient in most instances without involving the GCSB.

  4. freedom 4

    why do those demanding secrecy, scream the loudest against privacy ?

    • Populuxe1 4.1

      To be absolutely realistic, though, where is it enshrined that privacy is a human right? Perhaps it should be.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        In the freedoms of speech, religion and association, to name three. Might not feel able to do those if a stranger is watching 24/7.

        • Populuxe1 4.1.1.1

          Tacit, perhaps, but not implicit

          • McFlock 4.1.1.1.1

            I’d say that privacy is to those rights listed in e.g. the BoRA or UN Declaration as breathing is to life.

            • TheContrarian 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I didn’t think you were a fan of the Freedom to Associate, McFlock. I remember having a long discussion with you wherein you were quite put out about voluntary union membership.

              • ghostrider888

                ‘totalitarian’ is todays word; brought to you by the fearful everywhere. 😀 (oh, and OAK).

              • Colonial Viper

                wherein you were quite put out about voluntary union membership.

                No problem whatsoever if workers have a range of choices of which employers they can choose to work for.

                • TheContrarian

                  I have never joined a union and enjoy being able to choose to join or not as the case may be.

                  • McFlock

                    That’s nice.

                    I’d like to not associate with people who will take the benefits of union membership without paying or working for them. Sadly, I don’t have that freedom.

                    Feel free to leave me a message at open mike if you want to continue that debate.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Na, that debate went for 3 days which I reckon is long enough

                      (not that there is much to debate. You either want to uphold the Bill of Rights or not)

                    • McFlock

                      Lol

          • Frank Macskasy 4.1.1.1.2

            Are we at a stage where it needs to be spelled out?!

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Text of the Reichstag Fire Decree as approved by Hitler; the issue of this decree can be seen as the death of democracy in Germany prior to WWII:

    On the basis of Article 48 paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the German Reich, the following is ordered in defense against Communist state-endangering acts of violence:

    § 1. Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom [habeas corpus], freedom of (opinion) expression, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications. Warrants for House searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

  6. TheContrarian 6

    NZ is not even close to being fascist.

    • Kevin Welsh 6.1

      I have a picture on my computer of a long column of Star Wars Stormtroopers marching down a city street with people watching from either side.The caption says: “Fascism, you really think it will be this obvious?”

      I like to look at it regularly to remind myself how easily the population can be manipulated through the media.

      • Populuxe1 6.1.1

        It was pretty fucking obvious to those European Jews who managed to flee to the States.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          A lot of those were people of means who had contacts high up in German government or business and received early warnings of what was happening.

          Most people chose to disbelieve the rumours they heard. You know, as conspiracy theories.

          • Populuxe1 6.1.1.1.1

            I suggest you read Clive James’ Cultural Amnesia – it give an reasonable overview about who knew what and when. From there you can go to various German and Austrian authors of the time. Victor Klemperer’s diaries are quite good. Some believed it. Some didn’t. It was, however, out in the air and people were talking about it.

        • McFlock 6.1.1.2

          Not the ones who voted for hit1er.

    • September 6.2

      No crying when the authorities bust into your home and harass you for looking “suspect”. Oh wait..

      • Populuxe1 6.2.1

        No crying if you end up at gunpoint in a home invasion while someone rifles through your valuables and threatens to rape the wife and kids… Oh wait….

        • Murray Olsen 6.2.1.1

          What on earth does that have to do with giving arbitrary powers to the security agencies?

          • McFlock 6.2.1.1.1

            Mission creep already – from terrorism that has killed a couple of people in forty years to recording audio from everyone’s phones just in case they’re being home-invaded right now.

            As if every other power given to police and security services hasn’t been stretched to (and sometimes beyond, as recent reports show) breaking point.

            If you have nothing to hide, all you have to fear is a desktop investigator whose performance evaluation depends on investigative “results”.

        • September 6.2.1.2

          Sorry, inappropriate inside joke. Can i get you a tissue? oh wait…

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.3

          Yes, Pop, because violence is much less common in totalitarian surveillance states, isn’t it! No, wait…

          • Populuxe1 6.2.1.3.1

            Not less common, but certainly more organised. WHat’s teh crime rate in Singapore again?

            • McFlock 6.2.1.3.1.1

              Including homosexual acts?

            • KJT 6.2.1.3.1.2

              Like Queensland in the Peterson days.

              The locals used to joke that the crime rate was low, because all the crims were in the police force. 🙂

    • Populuxe1 6.3

      I can only regard this entire post as some sort recursive Godwin’s Law loop that like a quantum wormhole closes before it has even opened.

      • muzza 6.3.1

        Pop were you trying to make up for the *Godwin own goal* you managed to score, which CV picked you up on a few days back?

        Go get that rifle you talked so big about, use it to defend yourself….but not until after you have had all the shots (all of them), and a voluntary cavity search from the GCSB, actually make it a double!

        Don’t be scared of the player, be scared of the game, and its controllers

        • Populuxe1 6.3.1.1

          Being scared of bogeymen is likely to result in arrested emotional development

          • ghostrider888 6.3.1.1.1

            “a national security state…is however exactly what New Zealand needs”.??? Now, you Could make this sh*t up!

      • @ Populuxel – “Godwin’s Law ” does not mean we should ignore the entire first half of the 20th Century.

    • felix 6.4

      “NZ is not even close to being fascist.”

      Curious response to a post that said nothing of the sort.

      • TheContrarian 6.4.1

        I was drunk. Didn’t read it properly.

        • September 6.4.1.1

          Must be your default setting.

          • TheContrarian 6.4.1.1.1

            Well, I do enjoy a snifter of port in the evenings.

            • Colonial Viper 6.4.1.1.1.1

              In that case, my evening started at 4pm.

              edit – with just a dram of Chivas Regal…

            • felix 6.4.1.1.1.2

              So do I. Although by “evening” I mean “morning”, by “snifter” I mean “huge pile” and by “port” I mean “heroin”.

    • prism 6.5

      How close before we can measure it Contrarian – and what are the signs we should look for?

    • Ever lived in a Police state, Contrarian?

  7. You will find that the vital ingredient for fascism is missing in NZ, that is a rampant working class capable of taking power. Fascism arose in Europe to stop the Bolshevik revolution spreading throughout Europe. Fascism is the last resort of the ruling class to keep hold of power. Its purpose is to smash the working class physically by mobilising fascist gangs in the ruined middle class and lumpen elements of the working class to attack workers organisations and their neighbourhoods. All the other stuff accompanying it, is such as abolition of legal rights, wars etc are not specific to fascism as such. NZ has some way to go before the ruling class is forced to resort to open fascist measures. That’s not to say the potential is not here when the conditions are right.

    • Murray Olsen 7.1

      It also doesn’t hurt to know the people who would be promoting it and smoothing the way for it. The jackbooted thugs of Nazi Germany didn’t suddenly develop their full blown thuggish instincts the day after the Reichstag burned down.
      What you say also doesn’t mean that some pretty nasty stuff can’t happen anyway, and should be fought against, without meeting the historical standards of fascism as they applied in Europe. I actually see the closest our regime getting to this as being in its attitude to anti-drilling and mining protestors. An organised socialist/environmental movement which stops them from destroying the planet in a futile attempt to prop up their failed system also gets them slightly annoyed.

    • muzza 7.2

      Too much old schoold thinking happening there, RR.

      These days the jack boot thugs, hide behind technology, various industry/fields!

      The world is controlled primarily by the following

      1: Finance/Banking
      2: Military Industrial Complex/Intelligence Services

      Those two alone, but primarily #1 cover off the branches which rely on the funding, to propagate the fasci*m, you feel does not exist in little old NZ – Control the funding/monetary flows, control the world

      Its a global game, NZ does not sit outside the perimeter of the tenticles that dominate all facets of current day life, and has been part of the *grid* for decades already!

      In short the ingredient you refer exists, its just that people have been conditioned not to understand the danger!

      • red rattler 7.2.1

        @ Muzza, you describe fascism as state monopoly capitalism that has been around since at least WW1. By definition finance capital is a fusion of finance and the state. Fascism is a creature of State Monopoly Capitalism but is not reduced to it. It is a political/social movement of the streets in which the state having lost its legitimacy is forced to mobilise petty bourgeois and lumpen street fighters directly to smash the workers movement. It usually only appears when the ruling class has lost legitimacy and parliament, laws, police, army (split between ranks and officers) can no longer maintain social order.

        @Murray, I agree that proto-fascist forces exist wherever there is a capitalist crisis. But before it becomes a full blown movement, the capitalist regime must exhaust all democratic, parliamentary and legal means of controlling the workers movement. In fact I would say that it is because the workers movement in a crisis will fight to the point of overthrowing the capitalist state, that fascism is inevitable in the global crisis we face. I agree with you that this crisis combines economic destruction with ecological collapse and will lead to a showdown. And just as it means the capitalist must shift gear to mobilise street fighters to smash the most militant workers, it also means that workers have to prepare and organise to smash them first.

  8. Jenny 8

    Fight creeping fascism.

    Senior police praise the officer who planting evidence against Arthur Allen Thomas.
    The force covered up for Rickard and and his rapist mates for years.
    The police force still refuse to reveal the identify of the officers who beat the clowns in 1981, to avoid them being charged.

    Law breaking by the GCSB is legalised.

    Faceless armed thugs detain innocent citizens at gun point.

    Law breaking by the police is ignored.

    Anti protest laws are rushed through parliament.

    Unfortunately for our democracy, the traffic has all been one way. Leading into a dead end street with no easy way of return.

    • A tax embargo and common law courts.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1.1

        What a practical suggestion. You first.

        • Ugly Truth 8.1.1.1

          The common law court was called the hundred, but there were also courts of twenty of fifty. The purpose of the court was to resolve conflict. The role of truth was central to the process, unlike civil courts which can make extensive use of legal fictions.

          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oath%20helper

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1.1.1.1

            🙄

            Why don’t you leave the legal advice to people who know what the fuck they’re talking about?

            • Ugly Truth 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Why don’t you go drink a tall glass of STFU, One Anonymous Knuckledragger?

              Here’s the last of the argument from kiwiblog:

              AG: The etymology you provide perfectly encapsulates the way the term is used in public law parlance.

              UT: No, affability/kindness doesn’t describe an implicit bargain, and it doesn’t describe the indulgence of unlawful behaviour between those who are supposed to administer justice and those who are supposed to represent the interests of the body politic.

              Here’s the etymology that I provided:
              comity (n.)
              early 15c., “association,” from French comité, from Latin comitas “courtesy, friendliness, kindness, affability,” from comis “courteous, friendly, kind,” of uncertain origin. Meaning “courtesy” in English is from 1540s. Phrase comity of nations attested from 1862: “The obligation recognized by civilized nations to respect each other’s laws and usages as far as their separate interests allow.”

              Comitas I kom:ld:ls I . Lat. Courtesy; civility; comity. An indulgence or favor granted another nation, as a mere matter of indulgence, without any claim of right made. Comitas inter communitates; or comitas inter gentes; comity between communities or nations; comity of nations.

              And here’s his original description:
              “Our constitutional arrangements work on an implicit bargain – the principle of comity – that the Courts and Parliament don’t mess with each other’s turf. I think that bargain just got broken.”

              http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/05/geddis_cries_foul.html#comment-1145022

  9. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9

    Isn’t throwing around the F-bomb a bit undergradical?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Government powers should be exercised as transparently as possible and with a high degree of judicial oversight. Any time Government steps away in the opposite direction to that should ring alarm bells.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.2

      Devalued by overuse it nonetheless has a definition. Do Lim’s proposals meet that definition? I tend to think they’re more totalitarian than fascist, but it’s a fine line.

  10. Sanctuary 10

    I don’t want to be picky, but having a picture of foot crushing fascism would be more convincing and less ironic if the shoe wasn’t clearly an uber-hip converse sneaker.

  11. Pete 11

    Fascist state? No. Feijoa republic? Maybe.

  12. New Zealand is just a small part of this globalized plutocratic economy:

    The One Percent is not only increasing their share of wealth — they’re using it to spread millions among political candidates who serve their interests. Example: Goldman Sachs, which gave more money than any other major American corporation to Barack Obama in 2008, is switching alliances this year; their employees have given $900,000 both to Mitt Romney’s campaign and to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. Why? Because, says the Wall Street Journal, the Goldman Sachs gang felt betrayed by President Obama’s modest attempts at financial reform.

    Moyers & Company Show 141:Plutocracy Rising

  13. vto 13

    What are the benefits of fascism?

    • The “benefits” of fascism? Oh, heaps – the ‘benefits’ are to die for.

    • kiwicommie 13.2

      A fusion of state and corporate power i.e. businesses and government have a close relationship, those that disagree with the status quo can be rounded up and imprisoned, little political freedom for those without wealth and political influence in the oligarchy.

  14. Getting back on topic… it’s a shame I couldn’t have taken Mr Lim back to my parent’s homeland in Eastern Europe, pre-1989. I could’ve shown him what it’s like to live in a country that was heavily surveilled; ID booklets (not cards – booklets – like our old driver’s licenses); and police stations were guarded 24/7 by armed police at the main door. Where political jokes were common (and bloody good ones!) – but you had to be careful who was listening.

    Where a cop could bail you up for any reason, any time…

    Oh, wait…

    As for whether we’re a fascist state yet?

    My view is it’s not simply what the government does – it’s the fear that it generates in the populace (or a section of it) that defines how autocratic/authoritarian a government is.

    Maybe we’re not a full-fledged, boot-stomping, Big Brother Watching police state just yet.

    But by god, some of what I’m witnessing is scarily familiar.

    And what’s truly frightening is that so many New Zealanders think it’s all ok…

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    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    4 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    4 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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