Left to the market

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, February 12th, 2009 - 34 comments
Categories: corruption, crime, prisons, privatisation - Tags:

Two Pennsylvania Judges have been accused of taking bribes from private prison operators to ensure a reliable stream of prisoners.

To quote Associated Press:

In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.

Children incarcerated included 15 year old Hillary Transue who received a three month sentence for setting up a myspace page lampooning her school principal.

This is just the latest in a series of horror stories from the American private prison system which have included use of slave labour, serial rape and abuse by staff and prison companies involved in running torture facilities in iraq.

And yet the government still wants to bring US prison companies into our country. WTF?

34 comments on “Left to the market”

  1. infused 1

    Yeah, we give them playstations and under floor heating instead. Go figure.

  2. IrishBill 2

    You can do better than that reactionary drivel can’t you, infused? Have you ever visited a prison? Had friends or family inside? Done time yourself? You’ve got no idea. Idiot.

  3. @ work 3

    Infused, You sound a bit like the sensible sentacing trust. “Under floor heating” as you put it, is the cheapest way to heat a large block of concrete to a temprature that stops its inhabitants getting sick (costing them even more money). Now I know you love that warm fuzzy revenge feeling you get, but it is at an extra cost too the tax payer.

    So infused, how many extra tax payers dollars is a good PR headline and a warm fuzzy revenge feeling worth to you?

    (Moderately better than the normal questions over the SST’s policies which are worded “How much extra crime is acceptable in order for your warm fuzzy revenge feeling”)

  4. Rex Widerstrom 4

    @work:

    Typical lefty bleeding heart liberalism. You know very well that the cheapest form of heating would be to confine, say, 20 or 30 of them to a cell meant for 2. Mmmm toasty body heat. And there’s the added benefit that food bills would be reduced by making creative use of those who died of dysentry or were trampled underfoot.

    IrishBill:

    Nothing you cite in your post is defensible in any way. But there are good operators of private prisons just as there are bad ones. Given the many, well-publicised, failings of the Wackenhutts of the industry it’s surprisingly easy to pick which ones not to give the contract to, no matter how low the price.

    But this is a political failure, driven by politicians pandering to voters like infused, rather than a failure of a private model per se. If ground glass kept ending up in Bellamy’s pies, the pollies would quickly change providers. But since an ever-growing (thanks to Mr McVicar) section of the population are happy to dehumanise prisoners, there’s absolutely no motivation to hold private providers to account.

    But nor are public prisons held accountable. Recently the Queensland Corrections Minister was boasting about how her state had the “best” prisons.

    What was the measure? Prisoner rehabilitation, which meant the community was safer when people were released? No… theirs were the cheapest per prisoner per day while remaining within international minimum guidelines.

    With that kind of attitude awarding and administering the contracts, who can blame the operators for taking the hint?

  5. sweeetdisorder 5

    IrishBill

    “Have you ever visited a prison? Had friends or family inside? Done time yourself? You’ve got no idea. Idiot.”

    Well, maybe its because my friends and family don’t break the law. Idiot.

  6. IrishBill 6

    Not even the EFA?

  7. BLiP 7

    Rex said:

    ” . . . Typical lefty bleeding heart liberalism. You know very well that the cheapest form of heating would be to confine, say, 20 or 30 of them to a cell meant for 2 . . . ”

    Hehehe.

    Unfortuantely its not true. Over crowding results in increased levels of violence which results in creater health costs as injuries are treated and greater administration costs as incidents are investigated.

    Far cheaper to have underfloor heating to keep the population docile, along with tv’s and playstations to keep them occupied. The gizmo’s can also be used as incentives to good behaviour by classifying them as “priviledges”.

    Anyone who complains about heating and amusements being available in prisons simply don’t know what they are talking about.

  8. Not only was underfloor heating the cheapest option but it would also stop prisoners from using the metal grills or parts of them as weapons. Basically (to put this in a way a right winger could understand): Prisoners impaled by heater grills == “Your” tax payer dollars to treat.

  9. djp 9

    because govt officials are never corrupt.. oh wait, this whole scam would never have worked without corrupt govt officials

  10. QoT 10

    Jeez, IB, it isn’t breaking the law if usually only rich white people can do it!

    Anyone catch the *shudder* Sideswipe column in the Herald this week, congratulating somebody’s “community service” in putting up a sign on a road indicating where the next speed camera was? Cue jokey, “We sure smiled for that camera when we drove past, tee hee hee” comments. BREAKING THE SPEEDING LIMIT IS A CRIME, YOU WANKERS. IF WE’RE GOING TO TALK ZERO TOLERANCE, IF WE’RE GOING TO IMPRISON TEENS FOR TRYING POT OR DOING WHEELIES, WE’D BETTER BLOODY WELL IMPRISON YOU TOO.

    Please pardon the capslock abuse, I’m coming to the end of an epically painful Honours essay.

  11. vto 11

    underfloor heating. sheesh. just build the bloody things in the winterless north! dimwits.

  12. Felix 12

    QoT I couldn’t agree more. Can we please add the following to the list of zero tolerance crimes:

    “Parking In A Disabled Space Just For A Minute Cos No-one’s Using It Right Now” and
    “Parking Wherever The Fuck I Like Because I’m Towing A Boat”.

    PS don’t worry about the capslock, there’s a time and a place etc.

  13. @ work 13

    “sweeetdisorder

    IrishBill
    “Have you ever visited a prison? Had friends or family inside? Done time yourself? You’ve got no idea. Idiot.’

    Well, maybe its because my friends and family don’t break the law. Idiot.”

    Sorry, your disqualified from this debate, Just like if you haven’t had children your disqalified from the s59 debate.

    But on a more serious note, it does puzzle me why various people whom the law is enough to prevent them from commiting crime, run around moralising from the top of thier voice, thinking they know exactly the mindset of person who does commit serious crime. (I am of course excluding the posturing\talking up of what a kiwiblogger thinks a criminal thinks)

  14. BLiP 14

    DJP

    ” . . . because govt officials are never corrupt.. oh wait, this whole scam would never have worked without private enterprise involved in the provision of social services . . . ”

    Ahhh – that’s more like it.

  15. Graeme 15

    Breaking the speeding limit is not a crime.

  16. burt 16

    So in the US the Judges make money sending people to private prisons… In NZ we change the law to let people out early and extend the use of home detention to keep state run prison numbers down.

    I’m just not sure which is a better outcome – locking up criminals but sending them to selected prisons for back handers or not locking them up so the govt can pretend we don’t have a statistically embarrassing prison population.

  17. Rex Widerstrom 17

    vto:

    I’m not sure if you’re being serious. You do realise prisoners have families, who’ve broken no law, right? And rightly or wrongly the person who’s inside is still loved by them. Plus the fact that family support during incarceration and upon release is an important predictor of the likely rehabilitation of the offender (and thus the ongoing safety of the community)?

    QoT:

    I never realised exercising the cut and paste functions from Google search results could be so taxing 😉

    Good on anyone who sabotages the roadside cash register programme and gets the Police back on the roads looking for SUV drivers with no spatial awareness who change lanes in front of me without indicating, I say!!

    Uh oh, captcha is now clearly a subsidiary of Roger Douglas Inc: “two-year-olds, mines”.

  18. vto 18

    rex, no, just pulling tits

  19. infused 19

    lol. I do work at Rimutaka prison all the time. I have two buddies that helped build the new wing. One was a builder, the other a sparky. I also have a friend who is a prison officer.

    Don’t call me an idiot, you idiot. I have a better knowledge of you what goes on inside there than you do.

    IrishBill: I doubt that very much.

  20. TightyRighty 20

    I’ve been in a prison visiting relatives, and mates. almost went there myself too. beat that charge though. prison is punishment for reasonably serious crimes committed. if you don’t like the conditions don’t do crime, or get a half-decent lawyer.

    And also IB isn’t it a bit rich to compare Nationals proposed policy of privatising prisons and corruption in america, when we can look at the EFA and the EPMU’s involvement in it. especially as it’s terrible to have the bretheren and big business involved for shadowy aims, but somehow the unions involvments were completely honest and above board.

    AND what about the Owen Glenn saga. i mean, it’s a much better example of corruption in NZ than a couple of private prisons in shit-kickersville USA

    captcha: ideals talk hmmm where to start with that one

    IrishBill: I don’t want to reopen that stupid EFA debate but there is no equivalence between the brethren and the unions. The brethren hid their identity and their support and tried to affect the democratic process without allowing us to know it was them doing it or how much was being spent. The unions are openly affiliated, declare all of their political donations and, as incorporated societies, have books that are open to any of their members. The EFA was never about stopping third parties spending on election campaigns but about making sure the voter was able to find out exactly who was doing so and how much they spent. Like they were in relation to the unions and the Labour party.

    I am sick of the right’s double speak on funding corruption. I have a strong feeling it will come back to bite them. Particularly Act as I doubt we will ever find out who was donating to the waitamata trust.

  21. Matthew Pilott 21

    Don’t call me an idiot, you idiot. I have a better knowledge of you what goes on inside there than you do.

    Perhaps if you didn’t to the most obvious thing possible to earn that particular term of endearment.

    Going on about how much you know about prisons makes you look even more stupid for the ‘playstation and underfloor heating’ righty drivel – at least the talkback munters have an excuse, but you’ve just eloquently denied the only avenue available to you – ignorance.

    Now we know you talk rubbish, even when you profess to know better.

    Edit:

    locking up criminals but sending them to selected prisons for back handers …

    Burt, suggest you read the article. Your equivalence looks a tad mean-spirited, to say the least. Also makes you look like a raving left = bad kinda guy.

  22. burt 22

    Matthew Pilott

    Well said – we all know that Microsoft paid big back handers to get X-Box’s installed rather than playstations 🙂

  23. burt 23

    Matthew Pilott

    Nothing mean agbout that, although I do acknowledge that according to the article people are being locked up for the slightest of reasons. Reasons that don’t seem to make any sense at all and don’t justify incarceration.

    What we are talking about here (as far as corruption goes) is a few twisted individuals who by the sounds of it are about to find out first hand what they have been inflicting on people themselves.

    In NZ the situation is a little different, we simply don’t lock them up because we don’t have the prison capacity. EG: Why was Burton released ?

    I still don’t know which is a better outcome for society as a whole.

  24. northpaw 24

    So once again we see why folks state-hop for a semblance of justice in the courts..

    On prisons, it was a while agao now (circa 1999..?) a report came out of Texas about their pride in private prisons GROWTH. At the time my mind was more focussed on that state’s incredibly popular Governor through the 80s/90s.. name not needed here – you know it so well!! – But several news outlets had coined the privatisation = gulag model.

    Amusing for its aptness more than anything else. Which is not to dismiss the plight of many incarcerated-for-profit victims..

  25. Rex Widerstrom 25

    vto:

    Phew, just checking 😀

    TightyRighty suggests:

    if you don’t like the conditions don’t do crime, or get a half-decent lawyer.

    Where do I begin… do I start with the fact that people get fitted up for crimes, by the police and by other criminals? Then there’s the genuine but mistaken complainant / eyewitness (e.g. David Dougherty). The best lawyer in the world is not going to get you off if, say, an elderly bashed lady or a molested child is sitting in the witness box wrongly pointing the finger. In fact you’ll get extra lashes for traumatising them by trying to prove your innocence.

    But you must know that one can be wrongfully accused since you say you “beat the charge” that almost landed you in jail. Or were you guilty? (go on, you can tell us, there’s still double jeopardy… just).

    Get a half decent lawyer? Well you’d better have $20,000 to $30,000 just lying around then, waiting for the knock on the door. And that’s on a simple charge. Rape, murder, child abuse… anything requiring a QC and you can double that and more. Because no decent lawyer will work for the pittance Legal Aid pays… or if they do they’ll burn out faster than a meteorite.

    Or shall we talk remand? I’d love to get some accurate figures for NZ but I have some for WA’s male remand prison and I’d imagine it’s not wildly different from NZ. This is from the Inspector-General’s report:

    Between 2004 and 2006 there had been a rapid increase in the remand prisoner population, amounting to 34 per cent… By August 2007, 18 per cent of the State-wide prisoner population [including females] were unsentenced. So the situation has not improved, and it would appear that the trend is getting worse.

    …a significant increase in the length of time each remandee spent in prison, with an average growth in length of stay of approximately 8 per cent

    2,880 [per year] were received on remand. It was the first time in an adult prison for almost half of all remandees. Of the admissions, 1,900 were released to freedom without conviction…

    So 67% of those remanded to jail were, in fact, later found to be innocent. Yet their numbers are growing as are the length of their stays. And that’s before the “half decent lawyer” can even get up before a judge and prove their innocence.

    I’d say underfloor heating and a Playstation to pass the time is the very least we owe those people.

    As one man found innocent when I was waiting in court asked the judge… “Where do I go to get my life back?”

  26. Matthew Pilott 26

    Burt, that’s kinda what I meant – there’s nothing similar between the two issues you are referringto, so trying to compare them to make the policies of the previous administration look bad seems a bit tiresome.

    The MS comment made me laugh though!

    I don’t think Burton was a capacity issue – more someone fooling the right people, while the rest weren’t allowed to tell the right people what was going on. Whatever he is, he sure knew how to manipulate the system – I’m not envious of the justice system and parole board who have to deal with these people.

  27. TightyRighty 27

    Do you really want a discussion IB of how the left gets to keep crowing about corruption? we could start with Shane Jones, or Winston, or the police commissioner and his deputy. apt considering the original post.

  28. burt 28

    Matthew Pilott

    Ditto, not envious of the people who’s previous ability to object has been devolved from them in parole board restructures enacted over the previous decade, and the decade before that, and the one before that. Oh, and the one coming up as well.

  29. jbc 29

    I agree with Rex’s first post on this thread – and would have said much the same thing (without the Australian context).

    The problems IB points out are about the nature of the people involved. Corruption and graft are not confined to “the market”. In fact I’d say that governments generally lead the world in this field. Business follows behind.

    FFS; you don’t bribe a judge unless you know they are already on “the take” otherwise you end up behind bars yourself.

  30. justhtefacts 30

    Speaking of crooks, did you guys read where Obama has had to let another of his appointees go for being dishonest.

    It seems that the left are not dealing well with “change” at all.

  31. Pascal's bookie 31

    But that is change, jtf. Under the previous admin ‘being dishonest’ was what got you, and kept you in, the job.

    I think it’s refreshing.

    I see the GOP are actually having strategy meetings with not-joe the not-plumber, in his am-too-a-real-journamalist-slash-political-vunderkind role. Bet that works out real well for them. I’m sure McCain, in the cold sleepless 3AM’s, reflects on how much he loves that guy, and Palin.

    Fair enough on not-joe’s part though. Fate lofted him a pitch and he’s hitting it for all he’s worth. But still, he may have been better to leverage all that free ‘joe the plumber’ advertising into something like, going out on a limb here, a regional plumbing franchise network.

  32. Lew 32

    PB,

    he may have been better to leverage all that free ‘joe the plumber’ advertising into something like, going out on a limb here, a regional plumbing franchise network.

    Dude clearly has no business sense. He’s got this new sweet job with fame, travel, expense account, meeting famous people and all, and what does he do? Tries to destroy his business model by arguing that the media (that’s him, for those of you who’re a bit slow) shouldn’t be allowed to cover wars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDlst03I3lk

    Pure comic genius. Thank you, John McCain. You might have made a decent president, but damn, reality TV needs you as its casting agent.

    L

  33. QoT 34

    I never realised exercising the cut and paste functions from Google search results could be so taxing

    Oh, Rex, would that it were true. You start off thinking “hey, this is a really untouched area of research, it’ll be fun and new!” and then a year later it’s “why, why didn’t I just do an examination of marriage in Shakespeare??? WHY?”

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     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 ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    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
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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