Open mike 03/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 3rd, 2013 - 78 comments
Categories: open mike, uncategorized - 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…

78 comments on “Open mike 03/01/2013”

  1. stever 1

    Does anyone in the National party agree with this:

    “the [National] vote doesn’t have to narrow down to rich people and those who think they will become rich. It can appeal to regular, modestly paid people, but only if it shows some awareness of the cost of living, and accepts that just because you’re claiming benefits – in or out of work – it doesn’t mean you’re scum.”

    Interested to know—because the govt drawn from that party does not seem to believe this.

    (The quote is from an interesting article:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/02/iain-duncan-smith-polemic-politics-cynical?CMP=twt_fd

    abut the UK Conservatives and the Blue Collar movement within it

    • Marty 1.1

      Why are you asking that question here? Not like a dozen National voters are going to come to answer your question. Or was it rhetorical?

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    Minister’s comments on sole parent budget cut spark outrage as welfare is targeted across Australiasia.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10857049

    “Single mothers have reacted angrily to “appalling” and “degrading” comments by Australia’s Families Minister, Jenny Macklin, who said she could survive on the A$35 ($43.81) a day Newstart allowance.

    Macklin was commenting on government changes that replace single parents’ payments with lower Newstart payments once the children turn 8. Welfare groups estimate some families will be A$60 to A$100 a week worse off.

    Corinna Taylor, a 43-year-old Brisbane mother of two who expects to lose A$90 a week, said it would force her to seek charity help or family loans, and make many single mothers rort the system.

    “I would challenge anybody to live on A$35 a day and not in some way have to rort the system.”

    The Government’s changes would put those in different circumstances in the same basket, she said. Office manager Cate Flaherty agreed.

    “As a single mother who’s always worked part-time and raised polite, considerate children I’m now being treated as someone who adds no more value to society than a junkie sitting on the couch all day,” she said.

    Flaherty says her budget will now be cut by A$230 a fortnight, almost double the drop of a non-working single mother. “We’ve copped a bigger hit than non-working single mothers … It’s made it harder for me to work.”

    Terese Edwards, of the National Council of Single Mothers and Their Children, said Macklin’s comments were “salt in the wound for these mums who face such an uphill battle”.”

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.1

      The minister misses the point entirely when she states she could survive. Anyone on a low income knows there is a big difference between surviving and living.

      • rosy 2.1.1

        The minister misses the point entirely when she states she could survive.

        It’s also the time period she chooses to ‘survive’. Start in winter time with high electricity bills and last long enough for the washing machine to breakdown, the kids to grow out of their shoes and an unexpected root canal.

    • When I first heard this news I thought she must be a Minister in a Liberal State government, but I regret to say she is a Labor minister and former deputy leader of the Federal ALP.

      No doubt a focus group told her to say this …

    • bad12 2.3

      It would seem that Australian Labor see more votes to be gained from the ‘bash a bene brigade’ than what they would likely gain from beneficiaries themselves,

      Seems that the Aussies have taken a harder line than Paula Benefit has here, that should be said with a whisper as i am sure National will be looking at the changes across the Tasman with open admiration,

      Then again, after the roof-painting sickness beneficiary speech from Shearer, i wonder if there might be some admiring approval from many in the current Labour Caucus here…

    • Rogue Trooper 2.4

      The Man with the Blue Guitar

      (extract)

      The man bent over his guitar
      A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.

      They said, “You have a blue guitar,
      You do not play things as they are.”

      The man replied, “Things as they are
      Are changed upon the blue guitar.”

      And they said then, “But play, you must,
      A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

      A tune upon the blue guitar
      Of things exactly as they are.”

      -Wallace (from the Blue Hotel)

      (We can’t see. But feel some awful thing)

      We had fed the heart on fantasies,
      The heart’s grown brutal from the fare;
      More substance in our enmities
      Than in our love…

      Yikes, oops, Yeats

      now on my way to the forum i was Way-laid; a brother from fellowship (well two actually, his father-in-law is Greco ;), and the childrens uncle’s, well, they’re padding around the ‘hood), anyway, we broke bread together over a cuppa tea before i cycled by my favourite second-hand bookshop and discussed The Sources with a socialist colleague, he’s a house painter too, since moving on from patching the bros’ through his Screen business, interestingly, another brother, same Father owns it now, anyway…make sure your’e connected, the writings on the wall. And thats the skinny 😉

  3. muzza 3

    Continuing with the* Who is David Shearer* theme, perhaps we can lobby Susan Rice for a personal reference!

    Remilitarizing Africa for Corporate Profit

    Africa: Carnage in the Congo
    Murder, Mayhem and the UN

    Warning – Both of the links are cut & paste to original articles, no offence, or propagation of violence/racism/stereotyping was intended!

    • bad12 3.1

      Those 2 links certainly put into context the previous ‘writings’ of one David Shearer and has me pondering whether or not His ‘aid work’ for the UN was not in fact a ‘front’ for intelligence gathering on behalf of one country or another’s intelligence service,

      The story, true or false???, told of Dave having an ‘idea’ while sitting on the back of a truck watching African kids scrabble in the dust for Dave’s tossed mango skins makes me also ponder whether Shearer has any empathy what-so-ever with those who find themselves living a life of less than what Dave manages…

      • Skinny 3.1.1

        Yes well it’s all very well sitting in comfort critiquing Shearer and his UN role. I found your post cynical to say the least. Give the guy a break after all he was out there making a difference in the third World. What are you doing? Sitting in your Y fronts at your comp with ya guts hanging out I bet lol.

        • bad12 3.1.1.1

          Was He really, making a difference that is???, it appears from here in front of the computer, wearing shorts and T, gut suitably overhung, that the same tribal wars are still occurring and each day the same amount of Africans die of starvation, disease, and, war-fare related injuries as they have done despite Dave’s best efforts,

          Then again if the diagnosis inherent in the articles linked to via the comment i previously made are in any way close to being ‘fact’ then there are plenty here in the ‘West’ who are putting one hell of an effort into ensuring that such remains the status quo…

          • Huginn 3.1.1.1.1

            Finding homes for orphans in Rwanda? That’s a difference made.
            I’m impressed with the way that the guy has morphed from ‘too nice’ into totally evil and Machiavellian in no time at all.

      • muzza 3.1.2

        Indeed B12, its a stretch to imagine that amongst the imperialist destabilisation/playing both sides, and UN complicity to genocide, including the awful crimes committed by so called UN peace-keppers in africa, corporate profiteering, private militarisation, monopolistic *racketeering*,that one David Shearer stands tall as a man of honesty/integrity, working for the benefits of the african people, against his own sponsors/employers!

        Thats is effectively what we are being *asked* to believe/accept!

        Edit: Skinny in case you were not being sarcastic, why should we give DS a break, we are being *asked* to believe that the new leader of the major opposition party in NZ, is something which he quite possibly is not, but should give him a *free pass*, so to speak!

        What sort of difference was DS making, and for whom exactly!

        • Skinny 3.1.2.1

          Muzza it was a bit of both. Shearer made a truck load of money at the UN. Few people know that 🙂

          He aren’t no Bill Rowling that’s for sure.

          • muzza 3.1.2.1.1

            Figured with the *hands down pants* comment you were not entirely serious, hard to tell over the virtual space eh.

            Yeah it would be a generous individual who would give DS the benefit of any doubt thats for sure, its blatant the way he was fast tracked, just as Key was, that this was/is a done deal, and he has very powerful backing, not talking about caucus, cos they are not the power, so much as the puppets!

            Hey but there is always Russel Norman waiting to pick up some votes eh, or when he get exposed, perhaps Kennedy Graham will be maneuvered (already) into position, and the greens turn out to the watermelons they obviously are!

            • marty mars 3.1.2.1.1.1

              well I’m going to ignore the stupid watermelon quip – so last year muzza – go for the upgrade mate.

              I’ve heard a couple of different end-games for these “powerful backers” of key – what’s your take on it muzza? Are they going to kill off most of us and leave the rest as slaves.

              • muzza

                Hi Marty, it my polite name for it, what would you prefer I used?

                So far as any end game, IMO, the power backers simply play all sides, like any outcome based criminal would do. I don’t pretend to know what may/may not happen, but whatever has gone before, is happining/coming, I can’t honestly see what is going to prevent/stop it at the moment. People can stop, but most will not acknowledge/can’t/won’t see the threat, which makes it difficult, while others want to blow off the political situations as ineptitude etc, while refusing to entertain the notion, that just perhaps these politicians with the *back stories*, and even those who are not as prominent, are operating under another guise, while pretending to be Kiwis working for NZ. Why is that not a possibility to most, because when I see a huge mess (repeated corruptions) that NZ became some time back, I go looking for different possible explanations, which may or may not be wide of the mark…

                All I would say Marty, is have a look at whats happening around the world with the wars, kinetic military actions etc in any part of the world where peoples are being killed off, resources stolen, look at the global debt, and related austerity based policies, the financial control over commodities which are killing people off, ans environmental destruction, then ask if its not already happening, the killing and the slavery I mean!

                • Hey muzza

                  yes, but is there a point to it?

                  you have done lots of research and are watching this stuff avidly – is there a point to it and what is it? Obviously more of the same is an answer but why.

                  • RedLogix

                    I guess muzza is asking a perfectly legitimate question; if democracy is such a good thing … why is it delivering such crap outcomes for most humans?

                    • McFliper

                      Which raises the question “is there a better system?”

                      Can’t think of one that’s sustainable past one or two generations.

                  • muzza

                    Marty, in the eyes of any sane human being, there is no point in the murderous, genocidal/kleptocratic policies and systems which dominate the worlds population & environment, no point or purpose!

                    So why does it all not just stop?

                    My POV, because there are too many interests which want it that way. The, why currently seems clear enough, that in chaos comes opportunity to control, of all kinds, via all systems. Efficiency, peace human/environmental well being, seem not to be a feature of the *decision makers* mind-set, because if it were, we would not have a fraction of the global/local suffering. Why is it not a feature of the mind-set, are they being blackmailed, gun to head, or are they actually *in on it*, whatever *it* might be, the choices are few, when it comes to why governments are actively working against those they are apparantly working for.

                    There are not that many explanations for the continued state of despair/suffering etc, or the political complicity in it, that’s what people need to start examining and trying to understand. If we ever got to a critical mass of threat awareness, then perhaps the point (if there is one) will actually have to reveal itself.
                    If it turned out there was no *point/agenda*, at least we would be better positioned to force/demand positive change, instead of hoping it might arrive via the ballot box. It requires people to actively start thinking about the treachery in our country, the damage its done, and the damage it will do, and consciously/actively not stand for it any longer.

        • bad12 3.1.2.2

          Indeed, strong,stable,democratic Countries are very hard to fleece of their mineral wealth for next to nothing in dividends for the Country concerned,

          With the glaring exception of course being us lot via the National Government who have the ingenious policy of paying ‘them’ to take it away…

  4. Skinny 4

    Kiwi workers ripped off with yet another wet summer holiday break. Change the official holiday period to the 1st 2 weeks of Feb I say! 

    This is something the Labour/ Green parties could explore as a campaign policy. It’s seems to be a constant issue every year ‘wet weather.’ usually hot summer days arrive as the poor old worker returns to work. Any one agree?

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Absolutely. I always work through Christmas/New Year (I’m fortunate to be in an essential service industry that doesn’t ‘shut down’) … and usually take leave in February sometime. There’s often a nice spot of weather early December, but frankly the weather around late December, early January is just too damn unreliable. It seems to have been like this for a decade or more.

      The stupid part is that many people are compelled to take leave in a short window of opportunity … and if the weather is crap then there’s every reason to feel ripped off. A lot more flexibility around annual leave is well overdue in many workplaces.

      Along the same lines I have a European work colleague whose pretty appalled at how understaffed most organisations are in this country. It means that people are constantly under pressure and stress to juggle unexpected changes of roster, health and family obligations.

      And too many people feel uncomfortable asking for leave outside of the normal Christmas period because they’re not all that confident that being away from the job (and all the office politics) for 2-3 weeks mid-year is all that smart.

      All just another symptom of the mean-spirited and narrow thinking of too many employers in this country.

      • Skinny 4.1.1

        Yes I agree many employee’s do feel compelled to take there summer holiday over the Xmas period.

         I think in Europe they take their summer break later than we do for the obvious reason of hotter more settled weather. Certainly would help seeing through the bleak winter months if we had a later official holiday period. I feel for the campers at the moment.

         The God botherer’s would have issues though.   

        • infused 4.1.1.1

          Always take my holidays in feb. Much nicer weather and less idiots on the roads.

          • felixviper 4.1.1.1.1

            Fewer idiots.

            • higherstandard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              You should read Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson, great fun for language pedants.

              • felixviper

                Oh I’m no pedant, but I do think that when calling other people idiots you should try not to appear too stupid yourself.

                Kinda ruins the effect.

      • Ennui in Requiem 4.1.2

        RL, should we not question the following? Absolutely. I always work through Christmas/New Year (I’m fortunate to be in an essential service industry that doesn’t ‘shut down’)

        Why the fekk is anything essential unless life and limb are threatened? Where do we draw the line on the commercial imperative and the human imperative on Christmas Day etc?

    • just saying 4.2

      It may well be that kiwi workers are ripped off with another wet Xmas/New Year, but I can’t see it changing because for many, maybe most families, the chance to join the gathering of the clan and visit friends and the chance to get away for a holiday are the same thing. And that almost inevitably happens at Christmas. When it happens at all*. Travel is expensive.

      *More than half of my street seem to have stayed home this Xmas. This working class suburb was a ghost town this time last year.

      • Skinny 4.2.1

        Yes but that will still happen but a month later when the weather is more likely to be better.

        • just saying 4.2.1.1

          Unfortunately, in my experience, people want to do Christmas at Christmas. Which is a pain really. But somehow it still seems valuable to me, that we have one festival that is shared by almost everyone at the same time. Just pity about the time.

          It rained every day while I was up in Auckland. Which is normal for Auckland. Still had a good time.

          • karol 4.2.1.1.1

            It seems to me that people are missing a crucial factor: the school year ends in December and starts at the beginning of February. And then a lot of workplaces close down because they figure e eryone is going on holiday…. and RNZ and all our news media think it’s time to slack off more than usual – cumulative effect.

            At my workplace, a lot of people choose to take their annual leave over this period because they have school age children. My workplace only closes for the statutory days.

            Hence, people like me, who work part time and have no young children, get called in to do some extra casual work over this period. I’m very happy with this, and to take some leave in February or March.

    • Bill 4.3

      Simple solution.

      If the legislation around annual leave was brought into line with stat days – where, if agreement can’t be reached, the employee determines when the day in lieu will be taken – then the current widespread compulsion to take annual leave in late Dec would end.

      So if workers wanted two weeks or whatever around Chinese NY or any other damned time they pleased in this multi-cultural country, they could.

      • Skinny 4.3.1

        Good point Bill certainly would get the NZ chinese votes closer to Chinese NY.

        Unfortunately far too many employee’s don’t have the guts to belong to a Union. Workers rights took a hit we have never recovered from since the introduction of voluntary Unionism. introduced.

        I doubt a Shearer led Labour will tamper with employment law in this regard?

    • Luva 4.4

      What exactly do you mean by official holiday period?

      What makes this time of year official?

      There are 4 stats but that doesn’t make those days in between any differnt from a working week in February?

      • Skinny 4.4.1

        Well the 2 weeks from Xmas is widely regarded as the ‘official summer holiday period.’ what planet are you from? Planet Key or something! You know what I mean smart arse lol

      • Bill 4.4.2

        Plenty of workplaces insist that annual leave is taken during this period and shut down completely.

  5. Dr Terry 5

    Will a Labour government in NZ “save us” from such woes? Politicians are, after all, politicians! So much hinges on influences the wider membership can (hopefully) bring to bear.

  6. lprent 6

    Bloody bingbot was slowing the site again this morning – I wish it would tell me what timezone it thinks I’m operating in. I have dialed back it’s entire time period.

  7. Morrissey 7

    URGENT REQUEST

    Could someone (or as many people as possible) please click on to the Media Lens site link…

    http://www.medialens.org/

    Could you please post up if you succeed in getting through to the page , or if the following message appears…

    Forbidden
    You don’t have permission to access / on this server.

    I suspect this site is under attack, but it could be just my computer.

    Thanks,

    Morrissey.

  8. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 8

    Tom Lehrer’s work and wit has been one of my interests for a long time. I was just reading his Wikipedia bio and thought this was an interesting quote.

    In 2003 he commented that his particular brand of political satire is more difficult in the modern world: “The real issues I don’t think most people touch. The Clinton jokes are all about Monica Lewinsky and all that stuff and not about the important things, like the fact that he wouldn’t ban land mines… I’m not tempted to write a song about George W. Bush. I couldn’t figure out what sort of song I would write. That’s the problem: I don’t want to satirise George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporize them.”[13]

    Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post interviewed Lehrer off the record in a February 2008 phone call. When Weingarten asked if there was anything he could print for the record, Lehrer responded, “Just tell the people that I am voting for Obama.”[23]

  9. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 9

    Morrissey 7
    I get the same Forbidden message you received.

  10. Bill 10

    About 8 days ago the ‘subscriptions’ that dropped comments into my email stopped working. Just been and had a look and I’m apparently still subscribed to…well, actually all posts now and not just the ones I’ve commented on. But nothing comes through (and no, they ain’t landing in spam or junk)

    Anyone else been experiencing this annoyance?

    • bad12 10.1

      One mans annoyance being another’s blessing, yeah the same happened in my email as well, but, seeing as i can’t ever remember asking to be notified every time a comment appeared in a post i had commented in i’m happy the emails stopped…

    • karol 10.2

      Yes, the same happened to me. Also, I lost the WYSIWYG from the reply boxes. It meant I was stimulated to learn that awkward long code for links. After a few wrong attempts, I think I have just about grasped it.

    • lprent 10.3

      Ah shit.. I forgot to do the mail server permissions to the gateway. Another task for today.

  11. Rogue Trooper 12

    The Messenger

    The messenger awaited a desperately long time
    the long-for herald of victory or annihilation
    was delayed-the tragedy was without any ending

    In the background the chorus scanned dark prophecies and curses
    the king-a dynastic fish-thrashed in an inconceivable net
    the second indispensable person was missing-fate

    The epilogue was probably known by an eagle an oak the wind
    a sea wave
    the spectators were half-dead breathing shallowly as stone
    The Gods slept A quiet night without lightning

    Finally the messenger arrived in a mask of blood dirt lamentation
    uttering incomprehensible shrieks pointing with his hands
    to the East
    this was worse than death because there would be no pity
    no fear at all
    and in the last moment everyone longs to be pardoned

    -Herbert.
    from Poland (translated by John et al;)

  12. Rogue Trooper 13

    This is the Stone

    it’s when you want to shrug it all off:
    the gross pap of warm anaesthetised brains
    hotels ringing with stale tongues
    the bland translations of headlines
    walls everywhere

    when money’s sensual brutality
    chats warmly in your veins
    when your possessions assert their tyranny
    mocking you from corners

    where is the moon’s still wash
    over uncluttered landscapes?
    where are your lovers’ mouths
    which stopped your mouth so neatly?
    in this dreamless city you put them away

    now you turn to a window
    which mimics you in ice
    your face a marble of loss
    your hair a curtain of dust:
    this is the stone you work on

    -Alison Croggan (from Blue Sky Mining Country; 2 Minutes To Midnight)

    • Ennui in Requiem 13.1

      Phase shift…..if I work all day in the Blue Sky mine there’ll be food on the table tonight……..if the Blue Sky mine wont come to my rescue who’s gonna save me…….

  13. Morrissey 14

    Sir Paul picks on a darkie in Florida

    Watch what happens when this pathetic old man—let’s call him “Sir Paul”—tries to harass a young black man in Florida.

    At 2:41 Sir Paul snarls at the young man: “A typical punk black. That’s all you are.” Sounds just like the language that used to be heard daily around the Television New Zealand studios until 2005.

    • fenderviper 14.1

      What a charming guy that Republican voter is. He’s not even fit to become bait on the hook of that fishing rod.

    • Ennui in Requiem 14.2

      Wots dis Sirs shit???????? Cheekie fekkin honkey!!!!!

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 14.3

      What a choice for a knighthood – Sir Paul Holmes. Paul Henry will be next for the honour no doubt.

  14. Rogue Trooper 15

    what follows is a wee awry sermon from the non MSM MSP (very funny :), i can take a roasting and laugh at myself for a while, yet it’s the future for people that makes me sad, particularly considering the climate and what follows; “roastings” becoming normal was one reason I stopped watching television comedy, life is funny enough without people clowning around at some “others” expense, and when discussing the Keiser’s “comedy” today the chap responding said one thing Max outlined Five years ago was that “They” intended to “nickle and dime” people…
    (find a penny pick it up, and all day you’ll have good “luck”, well todays “penny” is a 10 cent piece and I’ve picked up three in the last three weeks, as well as quite a few butts before I broke even, to “afford” a Holiday and then, eventually, gave up Finally, (Cold Turkey; Alan Carr, Quit Smoking, or don’t, it don’t bother me none) and what today in The West is not predominantly “vanity”?

    -Chatty Man

  15. lprent 16

    Testing re-edit yet again (bug in it when running wordpress 3.5 code)

    Ok – that seems to have disappeared

    Now completely quiescent. Sending the fix..

  16. Rogue Trooper 17

    Dom
    -student allowances cuts to go ahead, to be felt most by poorer students, lost potential
    despite higher loan repayments and fewer borrowing (not wasted on the young)

    -“Anarchy in Afghanistan”-Warlord holds the key to peace, more “civilized” than Nato?
    supports segregated education, not discrimination. ANA-“yanks” buy another Uniform made by “the hands of others”.
    Conclusion-Join Hands; Siouxsie
    (when the “Spirit” is weak, culture, flight and fear are willing)
    Aussie manufacturing land Downunder-“no manufacturing sub-sector recorded expansion activity”
    Grave implications for New Zealand Made to become less “appealing”. Has the Teflon Donkey seen the price of Margerine? It’s sliding out the door.

  17. Rogue Trooper 18

    RNZ-Enola Gay…it didn’t have to turn out this way…Could have waved goodbye to The House of The Rising Sun…;) (ahhh, the power of suggestion); We’re a Garage Band, in a garage land.

    Oh Well, Heaven, Time to Stop Making Sense. Thank You For Sending Me An Angel to beat these Slippery People Burning Down The House making Flippy Floppy in the Swamp like Casual Gods.well, What A Day That Was.

    -Genius Of Love (Tom Tom Club)(i’m going home now to listen to The Essential Ozzy bark at the
    Moon) Bye

  18. Rogue Trooper 20

    The Ford of Heaven
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/aug/04/china

    -Ford Madox Ford (The Good Soldier)

    Food For Thought
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/80202.Jesus_for_the_Non_Religious
    or
    Sister Morphine
    http://painkiller-addict.com/

    -Faithfull

  19. Rogue Trooper 21

    Inconceivably Small
    http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/Nanocosm.html?id=u43EFWVbyyIC&redir_esc=y
    Big Changes
    outcome?
    Pray http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prey_%28novel%29

    -Michaelangelo (Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball)

    getta rythm…when you get the blues…getta rythm…but don’t step on my Blue sandal shoes
    (if I were a carpenter…Doin My Time…As Long As I Live…They Call Me The Breeze…That Old Wheel…(wish i had A Backstage Pass)…but is there something not “Right” about The Man They Love To Hate? I don’t think so Tim, maybe he could be an Architectural Clinical Psychologist;NOT

    -John (Angel And The Badman) who prays somebody sees his potential and knocks on his Caravan door. (yet “bums” are like families…everybody’s got one)

  20. Rogue Trooper 22

    quietly, just saying (testing)

  21. Rogue Trooper 23

    am i aloud to keep my smileys 🙂

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    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

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