Open mike 01/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 1st, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

69 comments on “Open mike 01/07/2011”

  1. Well done Ian Wishart. I wonder if he could also solve the Kirsty Bentley murder for the dumbo keystone cops?

  2. The trend is in the right direction and this election is getting interesting …

    Latest Herald poll is out.

    • The Voice of Reason 2.1

      The rise in Labour’s vote in Auckland is excellent news. If we can turn out last election’s stay away vote, then it really is game on. I see the Brash coup has yielded a positive result for ACT, lifting them by an awesome 0.2%. That’s enough to reduce them to just two MP’s, assuming that they win Epsom. Nice.

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        Interesting too that “Undecided voters totalled 11.2 per cent of those polled,…..”
        When deciding they might fall either way but might be persuadable?

        • The Voice of Reason

          Yep, Ian. At all elections I can recall, the actual gap between Labour and the Nats narrows significantly from the polling, no matter which party was the favourite going in. That’s basically the undecided making up their mind. At the last election, Nationals actual vote dropped compared to the polling and Labour’s went up slightly. However, a significant number of potential Labour voters simply did not vote on the day. The challenge is to get the maximum number of that 11% undecided to a booth and ticking Labour twice.

    • Salsy 2.2

      Latest roy out too.. not much change there

    • Herodotus 2.3

      MS pity Labs rise is not thru any positive policy, Then again I am waiting for the Ax the Tax to be policy, or when the $5k is to be fully implemented, or how a low wage economy can also be a net saver. Another case of succes as a result of protest against something, not that The Opposition is worthy of any support. rememerb that the crap we are in is part attributable to poor leadership that has gone before. 4 months to go and no solutions to our pressing problems.
      With a close election looming all for me that will result is that a valuable few swing voters will be brought at the long term cost to the country.

  3. Lulu 3

    The EMA is continuing to grapple with what to do with their CEO. I see that “Mr Thompson has been on leave since Friday”. I hope he is ill because if he is not actually sick we can add hypocrisy, lying and irony to the list of his transgressions.

    • A bad case of manflu!

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Thompson must have strong backers in the EMA, a number of them. Otherwise this would have been an open and shut case – gone by lunchtime.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        From small bits I’ve caught on National Radio (checkpoint, mostly), he is making sure they go through a full and formal dismissal procedure before they can get rid of him, which is his right under the law.

        One wonders if he’ll now have a better appreciation of those rules now that he is using them himself.

        • Jim Nald

          What a wonderful way of using ‘sick leave’ as a guise for his own pre-dismissal period.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Who said he was using sick leave? He could be using annual or unpaid.

            • Jim Nald

              That was a question in my mind too.
              But have a look at this:

              “Thompson remains on sick leave”
              Fiona Rotherham
              16:32 30/06/2011

              The EMA (Northern) says it’s uncertain when it will be able to speak with chief executive Alasdair Thompson who’s been on sick leave since he sparked a furore over his comments about women’s ”monthly sick problems”.

              Association president Graham Mountfort says Thompson is ”not very well at all” but he wouldn’t comment on what that sickness entailed and whether it was related to stress over calls for his resignation since his controversial comments about gender pay equity last week.


  4. logie97 4

    RNZ sports correspondent on the news this morning.
    “At last Wimbledon’s Women’s tennis has a star quality final, lacking in the last few years…” Sharapova is one of the finalists.
    So apparently the Williams sisters are not stars.
    (Just wonder if the male reporter might be showing some of his personal preferences here.)

    • The Voice of Reason 4.1

      Heard it, too. Very odd remark, given that not only the Williams sisters, but Mauresmo, Davenport, Henin, Bartoli and Svonereva have all played the final since Sharapova last made an appearance. Of course, they’re only tennis players, whereas Sharapova is a celebrity, which makes all the difference.

      • dom proust 4.1.1

        When will the hard news component of TVNZ catch up up with the sports dept? Promo items should always contain a compilation package of newsreaders exposing their knickers during Wimbledon fortnight.

      • Jenny 4.1.2

        The treatment of the Williams sisters by both white fans and the MSM throughout their careers has been nothing short of disgraceful.

        Every victory is depicted as a fluke, every upset even at the peak of their careers described as the beginning of the end.

        It was if the media couldn’t wait till the Williams dominated era was at an end and “normal play” could resume. Now that the Williams sisters are getting older and that time is almost here, is it any surprise that this behavior still continues?.

        Booed and defamed they have suffered every indignity down the years with grace and tolerance.

        The RNZ comment, could more honestly have read: At last Wimbledon’s Women’s tennis has a WHITE quality final, lacking in the last few years…” Sharapova is one of the finalists.

        Type in “Williams Sisters booed” into Google and this is only one of the incidents that comes up.

        • Jenny

          The wealthy white tennis loving fraternity don’t like the Williams’ and they never have.

          They have never made any secret of it.

          When you type “William sisters booed” there are numerous examples of the sisters being booed by white tennis audiences in the US and Paris, from Wimbledon to Australia.

          The following is Serena’s account of one incident from a 2001 tennis tournament in California’s Indian Wells, a rich area in her home state of California.

          “What got me most of all was that it wasn’t just a scattered bunch of boos. It wasn’t coming from just one section. It was like the whole crowd got together and decided to boo all at once. The ugliness was just raining down on me, hard. I didn’t know what to do. Nothing like this had ever happened to me. What was most surprising about this uproar was the fact that tennis fans are typically a well-mannered bunch. They’re respectful. They sit still. And in Palm Springs, especially, they tended to be pretty well-heeled, too. But I looked up and all I could see was a sea of rich people—mostly older, mostly white—standing and booing lustily, like some kind of genteel lynch mob. I don’t mean to use such inflammatory language to describe the scene, but that’s really how it seemed from where I was down on the court. Like these people were gonna come looking for me after the match. … There was no mistaking that all of this was meant for me. I heard the word nigger a couple times, and I knew. I couldn’t believe it. That’s just not something you hear in polite society on that stadium court. … Just before the start of play, my dad and Venus started walking down the aisle to the players’ box by the side of the court, and everybody turned and started to point and boo at them. … It was mostly just a chorus of boos, but I could still hear shouts of ‘Nigger!’ here and there. I even heard one angry voice telling us to go back to Compton. It was unbelievable. … We refused to return to Indian Wells. Even now, all these years later, we continue to boycott the event. It’s become a mandatory tournament on the tour, meaning that the WTA can fine a player if she doesn’t attend. But I don’t care if they fine me a million dollars, I will not play there again.”

          Serena Williams

          Serena Williams was only 19 at the time.

        • Morrissey

          Type in “Williams Sisters booed” into Google and this is only one of the incidents that comes up.

          This is extremely misleading, and it’s not insignificant that it appears in the hard-right Telegraph. Serena Williams was being booed because the day before this match she had made several bumptious and ignorant remarks condemning the French government for “not supporting” the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

          THAT is why the French crowd was booing her.

      • Jenny 4.1.3

        Good on you VOR for commenting on this “odd remark”.

        However if you are really taking notice you will see it is not that “odd”.

        Talking of the almost unremarked racism we tolerate, when spoken by European New Zealanders:

        When she visited this country Tony Veitch compared Serena Williams to “an ape” on the radio.

        And still he has a job in Broad Casting.

        Paul Holmes called Kofe Annan a “Cheeky Darky”. And it didn’t affect his career one bit.

        Phil Goff says he will work with “non Maori” Mana MPs in the “unlikely” event they ever elect one.

        Nobody even questions him about it.

        Helen Clark labels the Maori Party as “Haters and wreckers” for opposing the confiscation of the Foreshore and Seabed, and is applauded.

        We all think it is quite acceptable. And these people are held up and kept in their prominent positions in our society.

        Compare this soft ride for European New Zealanders, to the way we pillory the like of North, or Harawira for thinking we’re racist, (and worse yet, voicing it).

        • Jenny

          Does this character description of controversial Californian professional tennis instructor and father of Serena and Venus Williams remind us of any controversial public figure, in this country?

          Venus and Serena have quieted detractors who panned their father’s style and language. They said Richard Williams was arrogant, that he served from the mouth and that he hurt his daughters’ chances, not only by criticizing the racism and the stuffiness of the people who run tennis, but criticizing the game itself.

          In an exclusive interview from his home in Palm Beach, Fla., Richard Williams says from day one others attempted to tell him a “better” way to raise Venus, and later Serena, to be tennis champions. And while he has maintained a public persona of a man who couldn’t care less what others thought, he does admit now that the negativity did get to him. “When people criticize you, I don’t care how much you say it doesn’t bother you, it does,” he says. “It bothers you when people criticize you, especially when you’re doing the best that you can do. Because once you are doing the best you can do, you realize there is nothing else you can do.

  5. Lazy Susan 5

    Anne Tolley on Morning Report describing the number of schools refusing to submit national standards targets in their charters :

    A handful

    John Key on Morning Report describing the number of SAS troops involved in the Kabul hotel shoot out :

    A handful

    Have both been to the latest Crosby Textor night school on obfuscation?

    • jackal 5.1

      Is it obfuscation or can’t they remember? It would be interesting to see how many schools deliver their own charters today to the Ministry of Education’s regional offices. I hear at least half of the schools are rebelling.

      According to the Herald, the SAS have defeated the Taliban. So there must have been more than just a handful huh!

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        I have heard of some schools who are submitting their charters but with a sort of Claytons nod at National Standards. A sort of compliance but not complying. Notice the comments of support on the Yahoo link are only about obedience and never about the validity of NS. (See my note below re “Insight.”)

        • ianmac

          “….the National Standards Sector Advisory Group includes a recommendation that Education Minister Anne Tolley authorise the ministry to “explore with the sector the desirability of extending national standards to years 9 and 10”.
          That would go down well eh?

          • Tigger

            @jackal – hilarious headline! Those pathetic terrorists crushed under the mighty heel of the proud and mighty Key-wi Empire!

        • rosy

          It seems so… and I guess it depends on what you’re counting when a handful = 200 .

          About 200 primary schools across the country – nearly ten per cent – have thumbed their noses at the Education Ministry by handing in their school charters without controversial national standards targets.

          Many of the charters, which outline a school’s aims for the upcoming year, were taken to seven Education Ministry offices nationwide at 10am this morning by representatives from the schools, Boards Taking Action Coalition spokeswoman Jane Forrest said.

          Charters were handed in with targets using ”existing and reliable achievement data” as required by National Education Guidelines, she said.

  6. Bored 6

    There is a quite brilliant read on todays Archdruid report where the question is asked:

    The declining years of a rich and powerful society resemble nothing so much as a game of musical chairs in which, in the end, all the chairs will be taken away. What’s the winning strategy in a game in which everyone inevitably loses sooner or later?

    A common thread on posts from left and right is the question of who should get what today? Very few ask the question in relation to a long gradual decline in what is available to divide diminishes.

    • Vicky32 7.1

      Thanks for that! It’s all such a mess of confusion, but one thing is certain, it’s not as simple as it is portrayed…

  7. ianmac 8

    National Standards was announced last Sunday as a topic for this Sunday’s “Insight” program on National Radio after 8am. (Some of those Insight programs start off OK but get bogged down especially if Chris is asking the questions.)

  8. Kevin Welsh 9

    Toot, toot!!
    All aboard, have your tickets ready.

    • ianmac 9.1

      It was said on the radio a few days ago that Vietnam is having 30% inflation now. That will have a terrible effect on their economy and may be a forerunner of your link Kevin.

  9. tc 10

    Can someone enlightren me as to if our PM actually draws his salary or donates it to charity (which one) or takes a token value of $1.

    I’d also be interested to know if the MP for Mangakieie (sam the man) in akl has proved he donated one his salalries to charity as he was an akl city counciller and an MP for awhile there.

    • Jim Nald 10.1

      I yam thinking …

      The saying goes ‘charity begins at home’.
      So pledges to donate to charity should go to the family trust?

      • Tigger 10.1.1

        I’ve wanted this answered for years. Key made a deal of his donations. It should, therefore, be outed. He raised, it, not us. But he trades on it (or at least his supporters do, how many times have we seen, ‘he donates it to salary’ in posts?) so it should be a matter of record.

        • travellerev

          Very interesting.

          Also very interesting is that John Key has shares in BoA (bank of America). This is a matter of public record as they are mentioned on the Beehive website and they are not part of the blind trust.

          This means that he might also have shares in other US banks as a lot of bonuses would have been paid in shares and bonds but we don’t know that as they would have been in his blind trust.

          Why is this important? If John Key has a massive financial interest in the collapsing banking system he has a massive conflict of interest when it comes to making the best decisions for the NZ people.

          For example the BoA is very exposed to the European debt crisis and the only way they can stave of collapse is by pushing the Greek people (and the other PIIGS countries for that matter) further into debt and thereby causing extreme poverty and deprivation for the people living in those countries.

          With the MSM pointing out that we are already in debt per person for the sum of $ 4000 we are being prepared for the last great looting of our assets by the international banksters.

          Are we to believe that John Key will actively look for better solutions for the people he represents or for the banks in which he own shares or who does he really represent: Us little people or the banks in which he holds such a stake.

          His 20 year banking career tells me that he will let nothing interfere with him amassing a fortune, never has and never will.

          Added to that: If he donates his wages to charity he can claim that since he did not receive any money form NZ he does not owe it allegiance. Well, he can to himself at least.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            Brink. Abyss.

            • travellerev

              Motivation and arguments, gormless fool. Sticks and stones and all that.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                This idea that John Key is in the pay of a secretive international cabal of bankers hell bent on taking over the world is, even by your standards, quite bonkers.

                • Where do I say that in this comment?

                  I am saying that John Key has a huge conflict of interest because he has millions worth of shares in banks which are exposed to huge financial risks in Economically week countries.

                  The loans given to these countries, most notably Greece at the moment mostly goes straight to French and German banks who hedged their investments in these countries with US banks.
                  And the SEC filings are those given by the BoA. What makes you think that these banks will not give loans to keep the financial system from collapsing especially if they can buy the countries assets for cents on the dollar. Whether you believe in secretive cabals or not has nothing to do with the way “to big to fail banks” operate.

                  John Key has millions he stands to loose if the BoA goes under. If he has to make a choice between the interests of us little people who have “made poor lifestyle choices” and his own millions what do you think he will do?
                  No “conspiracy theory” here. Just greed and a small group of greedy people working together to protect their interests.

                • felix

                  Even for a Gormless Fool you’re a fucking idiot, Oleoleshitbucket.

                  Why don’t you learn to fucking read and then have another go at what Ev wrote, eh?

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    Damn you, Felix. You’ve forced me go to her website and wade through nine flavours of nuttiness. My eyes hurt, and you are to blame. I just cannot resist a goading, especially when someone has skilfully and wittily worked excrement into my name. It is my one character flaw.

                    Ev is, of course quite right when she says: “Where do I say that in this comment “[emphasis, mine]. She did not explicitly say that John Key was guiding New Zealand towards a new World Order controlled by the shady Bilderberg group.

                    She saves that really nutty stuff for her blog:

                    “Of course not a lot of people here even know about the existence of the Bilderberg group. But they should because their ambassador to the US is a Bilderberg man… Michael Moore, labour party man, ex-finance minister, WTO CEO and one time prime minister today is serving as the ambassador to the US and him together with John Key and Don Brash are the three finance guys guiding New Zealand towards a new World Order.”

                    • Suit yourself Gormy,

                      John Key is a nice guy and people just gave him the $50 mill because they liked him and all that economic collapse is because people borrowed for mortgages they could not pay back.

                      And the banks really are the victims here and the ridiculous bonuses they pay themselves are really just little compensations for the hardship they go through.

                      Yeah right!

                      Here is a good link to an article about the Bilderberg group for those curious about this secretive group of rich pricks

        • Kevin Welsh

          All we have to do is wait until he leaves politics because at that time there will be 1, 2, 3 or whatever, charities having a big drop in funding. 🙂

          • travellerev

            That would be too late!

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

              @ Ev (a bit above): with such a flagrant misrepresentation of what I said, I think we should expect Felix to direct an angry tirade at “Travellerexcrement”. Or not.

              • Felix an me go back a long time Gormy, no chance of playing us against each other I’m afraid.

                For those of you who want to educate themselves or who still believe that 19 young mostly Saudi’s directed by a mad man with kidney problems in a cave in Afghanistan could pull of 9/11 breaking all the laws of physics collapsing three buildings with two planes in free fall speed into pyroclastic flows here is one of the best doco’s called 9/11 mysteries.

                And for those who warm their house with Kerosene heaters; Best beware, Kerosene burns so hot it collapses steel framed buildings within the hour. Your heater and your house don’t stand a change!!!

  10. prism 11

    Intermittent signal getting through. I have just heard some things that I hope will be good news for us in NZ. One is that a person with meat and wool background has got the lead position in Federated Farmers. Of course that doesn’t mean that dairy interests have the wrong steer but its good to see a shift from the one sector fencepost.

    Another signal – from Wools of NZ I think they call themselves. The sheep farmers have been thinking, coming up with ideas which didn’t take, then thinking again. Brilliant we need some smart forward thinkers with ideas to get ahead by mixing their own nous with best information and systems for best outcomes. Wool must come back into prominence with peak oil causing greater costs for synthetics. We will be ready to ride that wave.

    And sheep pellets are good for the garden – so that helps with the pollution side. Perhaps dairy farmers can collect the pats, dry them in methane fuelled machines and ship them to India for fuel. The country people use them for cooking I have heard.

    We can now work further on developing hemp which is a more than viable alternative to cotton I have heard. First we have to get some politicians who are interested in advancing the country, to take the bold step from criminalise, punish, imprison to acceptance, control, overview, treat excess, and tax anything taxable. This would require a change from the present of just tapping into our combined wealth to advance their mates never-ending wants and power plays.

  11. Lord Zealand 12

    It is a shame the “left”,(whateva that reduces to), do not have the leadership, (that understands what it would take), to win this election, win NZ back for people who want open government, insted of these neo-facists. I’m sure this is part of their ‘plan’ to make themselves richer while we down stream just get cow shit!

    It is an even greater shame that the baby boomer generation have no attention span, are so easily mis-directed, mis-informed and led astray.
    (yes, yes you are, no look over there, no, really).

    I think it’s time we lost the incumbants, though there is probably a good one or two in any bunch, the vine is rotten and need to be cut down so it can grow towards the light again, the greens new paper ‘o lobbist is a very good start, but still doesn’t remove the problem of the highest-ups of all 3 main political parties answering to the same master.

    Want to fix the economy? Get rid of USA political influence in NZ!

    • Vicky32 12.1

      Want to fix the economy? Get rid of USA political influence in NZ!

      Now this much, I agree with… Get rid of USA influence generally, I’d say. It’s why 20-something are so stooooooooooooooopid and 40-somethings on RNZ say that planes have bathrooms! 😀 (Has she ever tried taking a bath in one?)

  12. jackal 13

    Friday Fun with Photos #7

    Dr Brash says he is constantly regaled with horror stories of the “little Hitlers” who far too often seem to populate the lower levels of local and regional government. The comments came up as Brash was advocating for further reforms of the Resource Management Act.

  13. Draco T Bastard 14

    Official cost of wars short by trillions

    The total cost to the United States of its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus the related military operations in Pakistan, is set to exceed US$4 trillion ($4.8 trillion) – more than three times the sum so far authorised by Congress in the decade since the September 11 attacks.

    The hawks initial estimates were between US$40 to US$80b and some even suggested that they would pay for themselves. Well, the initial estimates were quickly proven wrong but this has gone far beyond what even the pessimists were predicting at the time.

  14. ianupnorth 15

    And you thought Alisdair Thompson was bad!!

    Family-owned company responds to downturn in sales by cutting half its workforce – and selecting only women for redundancy

    An engineering firm in northern Italy has sparked controversy after making almost half its workforce redundant – and selecting only women.

    A union official quoted the company as having reported to the small businesses association: “We are firing the women so they can stay at home and look after the children. In any case, what they bring in is a second income.”
    No one at the company, Ma-Vib, which is based in Inzago near Milan, could be reached for comment.


    • Italians, what do you expect with a PM who thinks that bunga bunga parties are the way to rule Italy and where every show has to have one male presenter and 20 very blond bimbo’s keeping the guy’s ego from collapsing. Oh, and were every male has a mother complex. Jeez, That those women had a job at an engineering firm in the first place is something to behold.

  15. Herodotus 16

    Can the epmu spend some money on handsfree car kits!!!

  16. rosy 17

    Corporations managing the energy narrative… again. And the industries are not a surprise – again…
    First up climate non-science and big petroleum

    Documents provided to Greenpeace by the Smithsonian under the US Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) show that the Charles G Koch Foundation, a leading provider of funds for climate sceptic groups, gave Soon two grants totalling $175,000 (then roughly £102,000) in 2005/6 and again in 2010. In addition the American Petroleum insitute (API), which represents the US petroleum and natural gas industries, gave him multiple grants between 2001 and 2007 totalling $274,000, oil company Exxon Mobil provided $335,000 between 2005 and 2010, and Soon received other grants from coal and oil industry sources including the Mobil Foundation, the Texaco Foundation and the Electric Power Research Institute.

    In second place Fukushima and the nuclear industry and the UK government.

    British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known.

    Internal emails seen by the Guardian show how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with the multinational companies EDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse to try to ensure the accident did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK.

    “This has the potential to set the nuclear industry back globally,” wrote one official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), whose name has been redacted. “We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear.”

  17. Anne 18

    Earthquake in Auckland 9:09pm.
    2.9 on Richter Scale.
    9km deep.
    Centre located 10km east of Auckland.
    Short and sharp.
    My walls shook.

    OK. Not in the same league as ChCh, but sent me scrambling to get outside.

    • Vicky32 18.1

      Earthquake in Auckland 9:09pm.
      2.9 on Richter Scale.

      I thought I had imagined it… Whew, only 2.9.. I am so scared of these things!

    • lprent 18.2

      I popped out to offer assistance to whoever had run into the concrete wall in the garage. Figured out what it must have been when I didn’t find them.

  18. Alice 19

    Are you alright about that shake, I felt it for like a second, I felt it though.

    If I died would you miss me?

  19. Alice 20

    I think we should both be grateful we are alive, with such a magnificent opportunity. I think at times, well most the time, you and I ‘both’ act like spoilt brats.

    Considering we have this case, we are hardly truly appreciating it, well ‘I do’, but at times I forget to appreciate it as I worry about my minute problems, sulking and so on.
    We just worry about the small things and hiccups without embracing the enormous blessing we both have.


    Lets just say if you died, you are not going too, but if you did- I would miss you.

  20. Alice 21

    You’re not going to die, you need to solve the case, this is serious, you need to solve the case!!!
    I have reason to believe if ‘we’ conduct ourselves properly and work towards revealing truths, I believe we may have some sort of way of controlling an outcome.

    You need to solve the case and you need to get it together. It’s Her and She wants the case solved. I have a feeling She is angry with me at the moment for sulking.

  21. Craig Glen Eden 22

    Paula Bennett just made major stuff up at Friday nights Auckland stage challenge by announcing the wrong team had won, it appears she got her ST Peters and ST Cuths mixed up and yes their was tears.

    What a circus this National Government are proving to be.

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    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    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
    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
    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
  • 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

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