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Obama – war president

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, December 3rd, 2009 - 40 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , ,

Well, any lingering hopes that Obama was something different can now be out of their misery. He’s just another American establishment politician after all. Drawing on the rhetoric of 9/11 Obama has committed to an escalation in Afghanistan:

WASHINGTON – President Obama unveiled his plan Tuesday night to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, declaring the safety of the American people rides on winning the long, bloody fight there against Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies.

“I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Obama told a solemn assembly of U.S. Army cadets at West Point and a national television audience. “This is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by Al Qaeda.”

This is a move which seeks to defy the lessons of history, both with respect to Afghanistan (“the graveyard of empires”) and America’s recent military performance (the “surge” in Iraq). “Success” is unlikely. Particularly so given that, in trying to offer some hope to an electorate that voted for change, Obama also set a deadline, July 2011, to begin withdrawing American troops. As many commentators have pointed out:

President Barack Obama’s effort Tuesday night to reassure Democrats who oppose the deployment of another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and to emphasize a U.S. exit strategy […] could backfire. … “It’s a big mistake,” a U.S. defense official, who requested anonymity to speak freely, said of Obama’s announcement that a U.S. withdrawal would begin in 19 months. “It just tells the Taliban and everyone else how long they need to last.”

Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. Obama’s disaster – as much of the media reaction has put it: “Afghanistan is President Obama’s war now”.

40 comments on “Obama – war president”

  1. Neil 1

    It took a while for him to decide and it looks like an intelligent and well considered decision.

    Bad news for the Taliban, good news for democracy. And NZ troops will play a part. Great to have a government that can work with Obama.

    • felix 1.1

      Good news for democracy where exactly?

      This isn’t what the U.S. voted him in for, Neil.

      • Michael Over Here 1.1.1

        Actually, as ambiguous as I feel about staying at war in Afghanistan, this was a clear part of Obama’s pre-election agendas. To lower troop levels in Iraq so that we could sort out things in Afghanistan and Pakistan on a clear deadline.

        Afghanistan is a nightmare right now because of Bush’s policies and the mature decision isn’t for America to just eject itself and create a failed state where the Taliban and Al Qaeda can fill the vacuum. That’s not what most Afghanis want either. This isn’t permanent occupation, there’s a timeline and there are clear goals, pretty much the opposite of Bush.

      • Bill 1.1.2

        It could be really good for democracy in Latin and South America.
        Seriously.

        I don’t know the military capacity of the US, but if enough is tied up in Afghanistan, Pakistan etc, then there just might not be enough spare capacity to fuck over the unfolding developments in the south of the continent…which is good.

        But that’s the only piece of good shit I can squeeze from the bull….oh, that and that the fluffy brigade might finally be forced to peek over the top of their rose tinted glasses and get fucking real about their snake oil ‘change we believe in’ salesman/messiah.

  2. Neil 2

    “This isn’t what the U.S. voted him in for…”

    He did run on a foreign policy platform that included increasing troop numbrs in Afghanistan. It was part of what people voted for him in for. It wasn’t any sort of secret.

    • sk 2.1

      As Keynes said, when the facts change I change my mind, what do you do sir?

      Afghanistan is evolving on a worst case path, but that path is consistent with its 2000 year history. Can Obama succeed where Alexander the Great failed? I doubt it.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        Ummmmmm….. How did Alexander the Great fail in Afghanistan exactly?

        I think you might have been influenced by a little too much liberal history revisionism.

  3. sk 3

    It is no different to what Obama did with the financial crisis, appointing Geithner who was NY Fed President during the period the worst excesses occurred, and bringing back Summers whose policies in the 1990’s creating the initial financial boom.

    A friend of mine who is a Democratic activist warned me ahead of the election that Obama was a fake, and that it is the way it is playing out.

    John Key is more right than he realised about the similarities with Obama. We are in an age of vacuous celebrity driven politics, and the West will not recover until we are done with it.

    • Zorr 3.1

      The most disturbing thing about Obama is not the fact that, in the end, he is just another American president. But that when we look back over this period of history, he was actually the best choice of an incredibly bad pick of options.

  4. Neil 4

    “Obama was a fake”

    why a fake? he’s done what he said he’d do. He never promised to ring Chomsky for advice on foreign policy or Michael Moore on health reform.

    You might disagree with his polices but he’s been very clear about what those policies are all along.

    • Robbo 4.1

      Can I remind you that Obama made clear his promises, and with those promises crafted the yes we can, moto, and was elected for change.
      He promised to end NAFTA, lied
      He promised to end GATT, lied
      He promise to repeal the patriot acts, lied
      He promised accountability, lied.
      He promised to end lobbyists in the Admin, lied.
      in fact the MAJORITY of his promises has been broken.
      But the core promises of change was to BRING THE TROOPS HOME IMMEDIATELY.
      He and he lied, he has let down the core Democrat voter and enraged the Libertarian base.
      The Republicans are happy because its a rubber stamp extension of Bushes war and at $1,000,000 per trooper, that over $100,000,000,000 being wasted at a time when there is respectably 20%+ unemployment in the US (real confirmed figures) and millions are living in tents.
      This is the true face of Obama, he is a banker, always was a Wall St ripoff and the Military Industrial Complex will profit further while Afganis die in the thousands.
      The last remaining support base will be chiming the same Bushbot drivel they used about Iraq, “but iif we pulled out now”

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        On the other hand it might take a more than a year or two to clean up after Bush and Cheney.

        US politics has descended into a dysfunctional shit-hole; even a bleedingly obvious straight-forward health care reform, something similar to what every other developed nation has… turned into an insane worm-hole into which a popular new President has had to pour much of his political capital.

        Real change is beyond their grasp.

  5. andy 5

    This is the Surge v2.0 that Cheney,McCain and the Generals (McCrystal, Petreaus) wanted, know they have it they own Afghanistan twice over.

    He has given them the tools and money, no excuses now!

    Obama was handed the hospital pass and has deftly handed back, 6 Years of underfunded war has a lot of domestic political ramifications. He can only ‘win’ or hand it to the next Prez (Preferably Republican) at some point down the road.

  6. Scribe 6

    The announcement of a date to starting pulling troops out of Afghanistan is ridiculous. As the commentator above points out, the Taliban/Al Qaeda will just circle July 2011 on their calendars and look forward to the retreat.

    Bush had his failings, no doubt, but his decision to approve the surge in Iraq, against the wishes of many senior politicians, proved to be successful. Now Obama’s trying to same in Afghanistan. I hope it’s equally successful, though I’m not all that confident.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      er scribe, you do realise Bush’s surge had an end date right? That’s what made it a surge rather than an escalation.

      This is exactly the same deal. Or not quite…

      So I guess it seems like a poor criticism. Like you I don’t hold out much hope. Afghanistan is a real tough nut. The stand them up routine ignores the fact that the country simply can’t afford the 400,000 man force the strategy recquires.

      • Scribe 6.1.1

        Pb,

        Can you provide a reference to the end date for the Surge? I’ve just had a look at the speeches (very quickly) and couldn’t see such a date. There were some specific tasks/objectives for the Surge to achieve, so was it more “when we’ve got these done, we’re outta here”?

        • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1

          can’t find one 🙂

          But it was impilict due to the fact that the logistics of it meant the surge troop levels couldn’t be maintained (many of them came from overlapping deployments, those due to go home saty longer while their replacements got sent in early).

          Also, those benchmarks you mention had reporting dates, which were to be taken as guidelines as to the sucess of the surge, failure to meet them meant…

          The basic idea was to give Maliki enough grunt to hit sadr, the awakening had already dealt to AQI. Let Maliki get a grip on power, and negotiate withdrawal. (I know that’s not how the bencmarks phrase it, but look at what actually happens, rather than the rhetoric)

          Sound familiar?

          Note worthy in Obama’s speech, (and related to what happened with the surge), is the focus on US interests over the liberal hawk fantasies around democratisation…

          http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/12/02/obama/index.html

          • Zorr 6.1.1.1.1

            One of the things that is important to mention here to add to PBs post is that the Iraq “surge” ‘worked’ for a couple of important reasons.

            1) They bribed a metric fuckton of tribes/groups for support.

            2) They were running their military in to the ground over the short term for what was meant to be a long term gain. As it stands currently, the US military is in the worst possible shape it could be in and is spread incredibly thin with practically zero troop reserves. This is why Obama has to draw down from Iraq to even be able to bolster Afghanistan because there are no troops left in the US.

  7. Afghanistan: The graveyard of empires.

    We can only hope. This is what Robert Baer, the very man on whom the lead character in Syriana (Cloony) was based has to say about it.

    What We’re Up Against In Afghanistan Is A “War Of National Resistance”

    Doesn’t sound to good eh?

  8. Neil 8

    “The announcement of a date to starting pulling troops out of Afghanistan is ridiculous. As the commentator above points out, the Taliban/Al Qaeda will just circle July 2011 on their calendars and look forward to the retreat.”

    that’s one possibility but I think the plan is hit the Taliban hard, train Afghan troops to take over and work on negotiating with elements of the Taliban that come to the conclusion armed conflict isn’t getting them anywhere.

    Also, having a withdrawl time table undercuts the “imperialism” propaganda.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Hearing about this on the news last night was /facepalm moment. Sheer stupidity, they need to pull out and let them sort themselves out. Won’t happen though as the US still wants that oil pipeline.

    • Gosman 9.1

      What oil pipeline?

      Oh do you mean that mythical oil pipeline that members of the left keep bringing up as the ‘real’ reason the US and West are in Afghanistan?

      You mean one they have had close to eight years to build yet noone seems to be doing much about it?

      The one that they could have built a compteting oil pipeline from Central Asia, under the Caspian, across the Caucasus, through Turkey, across the Mediterranean, and then via the Atlantic to the US East Coast in the amount of time and money they have spent in Afghanistan so far.

      Yeah, you’re right. It is all about the oil pipeline.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        Mythical? The US definitely had, and do have, plans for an oil pipeline running through Afghanistan. Sure, they may have been able to build one cheaper than going to war but they didn’t.

        • Gosman 9.1.1.1

          Oooooerrrrrrr! They haf ze plans!

          This reminds me of when I was at Uni and the Bolsheviks used to try and sell some Newspaper that tried to argue that the breakup of Yugoslavia was all because the nasty West wanted to sell more McDonald Cheeseburgers or something or other to them.

          • felix 9.1.1.1.1

            So you scoff because it’s mythical and you scoff because it’s not?

            No wonder you’re confused about bolsheviks and yugoslavia.

            • Gosman 9.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s a mythical because it has formed an integral part of the giant conspiracy theory that you and your ilk are want to believe about the reasons behind the West’s involvement in Afghanistan.

              Please note that the actual pipeline was mooted in 1995. For something that is meant to be the motivating factor for spending Billions of dollars as well as commitiing tens of thousands of troops don’t you think something would have happened by now in terms of building the damn thing?

              BTW congrats to Draco for linking to wikipedia to support his argument.

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Thanks for the history lesson, but that’s not what “mythical” means.

              Also: …the giant conspiracy theory that you and your ilk are want to believe…

              Ah, you might want to check your sources there, buddy. Do you think everyone’s out to get you or something?

            • RedLogix 9.1.1.1.1.3

              So the US went into Afghanistan for… no reason at all? Remind me, why DO you think they invaded?

            • Gosman 9.1.1.1.1.4

              Ummmmmmm…. Felix you seem to have this conspiracy theory thing around the wrong way. It is the Conspiracy theorist who is the paranoid one, not the one pointing out how ridiculous the conspiracy theory is. You might want to get that right before you post on the topic again 😉

              @ Redlogix.

              Obama seems to be quite sure of the reason behind the US intervention in Afghanistan so I am not sure why you missed it. To recap for you though, it was to deny the perpetrators of the September the 11th attacks a secure base from which to plan and train for another attack. Given the fact that they have yet to do so then it has been successful to date.

            • RedLogix 9.1.1.1.1.5

              it was to deny the perpetrators of the September the 11th attacks a secure base from which to plan and train for another attack.

              Invaded a whole country to track down one likely dead man and his handful of henchmen?

              Seems almost as implausible a reason as the pipeline.

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.6

              Gosman,

              You have me confused with someone else. You see conspiracy theorists where there are none, that’s why I call you paranoid.

              Of course if you can find a reference to me espousing conspiracy theories I’ll take it back. Otherwise I think you should apologise for your error.

            • Gosman 9.1.1.1.1.7

              It is quite clear felix that you were unwilling to even look at the Scientific arguments that people like NickS, Edward_the_cat, Quoth the Raven, Scott, and myself put forward. You failed to make a single comment about them.

              Instead you decided to engage in ad homenim attacks on myself for supposedly besmerching peoples good names without evidence yet failed to do the same when the 9/11 Truthers engaged in similar, or worse, behaviour.

              I think that it is pretty clear where you sit on the whole 9/11 Conspiracy theroy and it ain’t on the rational side of the debate.

              [lprent: I suspect that you’ll find the felix hasn’t expressed an opinion during the OpenMike discussions. I certainly can’t remember one. My observations of his habits is that he likes to throw those little 4 spike things (caltraps?) into discussions and watch people step on them. If he has no particular opinion or interest in the topic, then he distributes them pretty evenly based on how much he dislikes people or how much it amuses him (usually by winding them up a bit).

              Which leads me to the important point. If you want to say that someone has a particular opinion, then you’d better be prepared to search it out on this site and demonstrate it. Otherwise you might find that I get interested in the interests of forestalling flamewars. It usually doesn’t pay to get me interested when I’m in moderator mode… ]

            • RedLogix 9.1.1.1.1.8

              mmm.. like I’m still waiting for you to reply to any of the CCD nutters we have trolling through here. Their brand of nuttiness is less rational, and ultimately far more dangerous, than that espoused by even the most obsessed fringe 911Truth dweller… but I’ve yet to see you challenge any of them yet.

              Which side of rationality did you say you were on again?

  10. infused 10

    You’re about 8 months too late. He was an idiot from the start.

  11. Santi 11

    Eight months too late indeed. Also, Obama is a socialist to boot.
    Ouugh to feel sorry for the USA to have elected such a tosser.

  12. rave 12

    Obomber is not a socialist. He’s a sucker for Wall St.
    The US interest in Afghanisan is to keep a puppet regime in place as an advance base to break up the CIS and get the oil and gas of central Asia out of the grip of Russia and China.
    Pepe Escobar in Asia Times is a good read.
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KK06Df01.html

    catpcha: intelligence

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    John Cole, (US Army vet, ex-RWNJ). Thoughts and predictions :

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=30679

    Nut graphs:

    But here is where I am now- in my gut, I just don’t think there is much of anything we can do. We could send 150k more troops there for ten years, and all it would do is bleed us and run our military further into the ground and cost billions and billions more (and this doesn’t go in to the money we need to spend on our injured and dead and the annual budget). As soon as we leave, the same folks will come back and re-assert their authority. Just like they have for centuries.

    Now I know this is not drinking the American exceptionalism kool-aid, and thus makes me a traitor, but at this point I believe that Obama and his commanders honestly believe they might turn it around, but in reality, it just strikes me that what we are doing is very much like the surge in Iraq. We’re going to calm things down, declare victory, pretend we have won, and leave.

    Although we aren’t really leaving that quickly from Iraq, now, are we? I’ll support the troops and the President, and I’ll keep paying my taxes, but I have no faith in what is about to happen and am prepared for a lot of American and Afghan dead to no good end.

    Politically, I expect the neocon right to continue to offer back-handed compliments while the rest of the right slowly starts to undermine the mission by suggesting withdrawal might be the best option, while the liberal hawks cheer and the political left fights Obama every step of the way (for good reason). Then, as 2011 approaches, and nothing has changed but the cost and the body count, and the commanders on the ground have been given their chance but the facts didn’t change, Obama will begin to withdraw. At that point, expect every Republican to call him a quitter and an appeaser (the ones siding with withdrawal will switch in a NY minute), the left will tell him “I told you so all along,’ the country will be sick of war and disillusioned, and we’ll just have nothing to show for it but more dead and wounded, a continued expense, and a dead domestic agenda.

  14. Bill 14

    Strange.
    37 comments and not one pointing to the fact that the invasion of Afghanistan was illegal.
    Just saying.

  15. A Nonny Moose 15

    It gets very tiring listening to people talk in political absolutes. It IS possible to like a politician or leader, yet still appreciate what their mistakes are and that they have to work within a larger political machine.

    What would you have Obama do? Yank every and all personnel out of Afghanistan, only for the real hole in the dyke to show…the one over the border in Pakistan? Then you’d be screaming he was the president who let Pakistan have nukes/commit genocide and/or racial cleansing.

  16. Robbo 16

    What, you think America should continue a foreign policy of invading countries and killing hundreds of thousands of people?
    If you think “if they leave” it would turn into a mess, well heres news for you, it is a bloody mess, and it all started when Neocons met and preplanned this “regime change” before 911. BEFORE, hell it is in the current investigations into Iraq.
    People dont want to read, official documents released under The Information Act like.
    Osama Bin Ladin, CIA name Tim Osman worked for the US right up to the day he died.
    While the world looked for Osama, he was in a Dubai US Military Hospital getting dialysis.
    Hijackers DID NOT originate from Afganistan, they were from Saudi Arabia, the home of the Bin Ladin Family and large shareholder in the Carlyle Group, along with personal freinds the Bush Family. Bush and Bin Ladins are investment collegues in military.
    Several Hijackers of 911 stayed at an FBI house and had licenses under US Military base.
    US customs allowed the Hijackers into the US and allowed them out and back again, knowing while on the terror watch list.
    Directly after all flights across the US were grounded, all Bin Ladins were flown out under protection.
    These and hundreds more points are public knowledge now, look it up.
    Coincedentally 911 is just the mother of all excuses to wage war, invade the middle east and turn western countries into surveilled 1984 style grids.
    And if you dont realise thats all it is about is money, greed, power and control, then you are fodder to the lie that is “the war on terror”

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    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    23 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    7 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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