Open mike 04/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 4th, 2010 - 57 comments
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57 comments on “Open mike 04/07/2010”

  1. The Otago Daily Times has this report on Tolley’s visit to the recent Principals’ conference in Queenstown:

    Education Minister Anne Tolley provoked angry reaction when she hit back at about 550 principals opposed to National Standards and refused to stay for questions at a conference in Queenstown yesterday.

    New Zealand Principals Federation conference convener Brent Caldwell said the conference schedule had included 11 prepared questions from the floor after the minister’s speech.

    “There was never going to be an open forum. The delegates were very keen to hear her answers to their questions but she had another engagement to go to, unfortunately,” he said.

    I understand the questions were given to her in advance so that she could rote learn the answers and not be embarassed.

    It is no wonder there is such little respect for her. She apparently had a hall opening or something to go to. This was obviously more important than entering into a dialogue with the most important people in the education system.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      If the questions had been prepared and submitted so that she could actually answer the questions when asked them then there is only one reason why she didn’t – because they (National) know damn well that the answers are something that will turn the public against them. I can only speculate that the answers to those questions showed that the National Standards are as damaging as all other attempts at implementing such “standards” (US, UK) have been. Anyone know what the questions were?

      More secrecy and misdirection from National.

  2. joe90 2

    Looks like the tories are going to revert to form with an investigation into the screws union.

    I wonder how long before we have a report of financial irregularities within the Principals Federation .

    • Bob Stanforth 2.1

      Yeah, those friggen tories, man, is nothing sacred? Oh, hang on…

      It was a union member (“Senior prison officer Helen Williams”) who blew the whistle…

      So, um, here’s the thing joe90 (used to love him BTW, you are showing your age I think 🙂 ) – if I was contributing $17.50 a fortnight to a union, I would want to know that it was being spent in an open and highly relevant manner. Wouldn’t you? F’rinstance, if union delegates were flying around in helicopters, I would like to know why – particularly if I had paid for it.

      But yeah, those friggen tories, bastards 😉

      • joe90 2.1.1

        Bob, old enough to know what it’s like to have my representation hamstrung and then face major changes to my employment.

        • Bob Stanforth 2.1.1.1

          So what are you saying, the relevant authorities should not investigate claims of impropriety? Just because its a union? Are they above the law? To whom are they accountable then, if not (a) their members and (b) the police if laws have been broken?

          • joe90 2.1.1.1.1

            Not at all Bob, but if you wanted to push through changes to someones employment it would help if the employees representatives were knee capped. I am saying that this all looks rather convenient in the Royd ‘hero to zero’ Kennedy, I’ll back Roger way.

            • Bob Stanforth 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Interesting examples. My late and much missed Father in Law was a career fire fighter. He knew Royd Kennedy very well – there is much to that story the public will never know, and much that is skimmed over.

              Yes, the Fire Service were screwed, and wrongly so, but that doesn’t mean that people in positions of trust are free from scrutiny 🙂

  3. Ministry of Justice 3

    “Morality shouldn’t be legislated” is an easy assertion to make if you have few or no morals.

    Who here agrees with the assertion and can identify an action they think is immoral that should not be illegal?

    Note: It doesn’t count if you identify an action that is, in principle, an action that should be illegal, but is in a context where doesn’t warrant enforcement.

    • joe90 3.1

      Bryers and co, the way they took deposits from willing investors while they knew that their businesses were very nearly insolvent is an example of immorality but no one will be charged because their actions were dressed up as financial risk.

    • felix 3.2

      I think it is immoral to take children to church.

      • Ministry of Justice 3.2.1

        Perhaps you are just moralophobic. 🙂

        • felix 3.2.1.1

          How so?

          • Descendant Of Smith 3.2.1.1.1

            I think it’s immoral to have sex with someone other than your wife unless your wife is agreeable that you do so e.g. informed consent of all parties but don’t think it should be legislated against.

            I think however that it would be even more immoral to have my morals imposed on everyone else.

            I don’t necessarily agree it is immoral to take children to church as there is both good and bad in religion ( religious schools I see as much more immoral – particularly state funding going to them).

            I do think it immoral to for religions (cults) to ostracise people from their families if they choose not to believe.

            • Ministry of Justice 3.2.1.1.1.1

              DoS –
              Infidelity doesn’t count because, in principle, it is the breaking of a contract.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                I did say wife so you could argue that in the sense of a marriage contract but I also mean partner – ultimately either way it’s still a morally based contract.

                Equally there was an acceptance in marriage that straying would happen on occasion hence the acceptance that children born within a marriage were of that marriage – even when at times they were not. This principle allowed some social cohesion where otherwise those issues might have spilled over with the focus on the child and the raising of this as being most important.

                I’ve always though that moral questions should always be in two parts:

                1. What you would do yourselves
                2. What you find it acceptable for others to do.

                Often only the former is asked.

                I’m quite happy for instance for consenting couples to wife swap but wouldn’t do it myself – at least in my current relationship of 30 years because that would fundamentally undo that relationship. Another time a different relationship who knows.

          • felix 3.2.1.1.2

            My dear old gran considered exposing one’s shoulders in public to be immoral.

            Being quite staunchly anti-fascist, however, she never suggested that it should be illegal.

    • felix 3.3

      MoJ, how do you feel about legislating morality?

      Are there some practices you’d like to see outlawed on the basis of your own moral code? If so, why?

    • Pascal's bookie 3.4

      Note: It doesn’t count if you identify an action that is, in principle, an action that should be illegal, but is in a context where doesn’t warrant enforcement.

      Doesn’t that make the question impossible to answer?

      Why should it be illegal in principle if it doesn’t warrant enforcement? “should be’ and ‘not warranting’ are going to be decided how? The former through morality I guess, and the latter through pragmatism or whatever.

      The infidelity example is a good one. It’s not just ‘a breach of contract’, though you can think of it that way. It’s a personal betrayal and any number of other things, relationship specific. Saying it doesn’t count because while breaches of contact are generally illegal, infidelity doesn’t warrant enforcement just avoids the debate. Why doesn’t it warrant enforcement?

      • Descendant Of Smith 3.4.1

        Sadly in some countries it doe – but usually only if it’s the woman.

        That abuse of (religious + state) power is in itself a good enough reason for it not to be enforceable by law.

  4. Janice 4

    Am I being paranoid? For some reason I feel uneasy about the SAS being used for security for the Rugby World Cup. Is this another line that has been crossed to protect the sponsors investment, or am I just a stupid old woman and it really is a good idea to use New Zealand special troops on New Zealand soil against, possibly, New Zealand citizens?

    • jcuknz 4.1

      I guess I am a stupid old man when I believe they will be acting, if they have to, against foreigners …
      But after the Pricipal’s conference I’m not the only one … who ever heard of anybody, politician or other, answering loaded questions and cutting short their own speech to do so?

      • felix 4.1.1

        Ah, so they’ll be carrying those newly developed anti-foreigner guns. The ones that can be fired at British and Australian people but immediately lock up when pointed near a Kiwi. Goodo.

        That nonsense aside, do you seriously not have any problem with the presence of soldiers in the streets of NZ, in peacetime?

        Have we come that far already?

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          Has everyone forgotten that LAV during the Armed Offenders Squad stand off not so long back?

          Army for hire anyone?

          • QoT 4.1.1.1.1

            Yep, the one-off use of a military vehicle as a shield, duly requested and authorised by Ministers of the Crown, is exactly the same as mercenarism (sp?).

            Using military forces as a police force? Badbadbad. Borrowing their car? Not the same thing.

            • lprent 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Has to be my comment of the day. I can almost taste dry acid. Very tart taste 😈

              • Bill

                Aw c’mon lprent!

                Such utterly spot on causticity is far more rewarding than a measly ‘comment of the day’ award.

                Surely.

                • lprent

                  Umm we really need to get a pH meter out to figure out which side of neutral QoT is on..

                  I have to admit that she made me laugh, and point the conversation out to Lyn. Something I rarely do.

    • Bill 4.2

      Are they actually going to be used, or is this WC line just a convenient cover for getting out of Afghanistan because –
      “The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American (and NZ?) people. The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense.”
      (Douglas Macgregor, a retired colonel and leading critic of counterinsurgency who attended West Point with McChrystal)

      Or maybe because – “It’s not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win. This is going to end in an argument.”
      (Maj General Bill Mayville,chief of operations for McChrystal)

      Or simply due to the fact that [W]e’re f****ing losing this thing.’
      (Staff Sergeant Kennith Hicks)

      All that and more is contained in the Rolling Stones articles that the msm decided contained nothing more substantial than a General bad mouthing his boss, ’cause like, nobody has ever badmouthed their boss before.

      Here’s the link if you feel like reading it for the information it contains rather than the gossip http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236?RS_show_page=0

      —

      • Pascal's bookie 4.2.1

        This is also good:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/25/AR2010062502160.html

        Earlier generations of American leaders, military as well as civilian, instinctively understood the danger posed by long wars. “A democracy cannot fight a Seven Years War,” Gen. George C. Marshall once remarked. The people who provided the lifeblood of the citizen army raised to wage World War II had plenty of determination but limited patience. They wanted victory won and normalcy restored.

        The wisdom of Marshall’s axiom soon became clear. In Vietnam, Lyndon B. Johnson plunged the United States into what became its Seven Years War. The citizen army that was sent to Southeast Asia fought valiantly for a time and then fell to pieces. As the conflict dragged on, Americans in large numbers turned against the war — and also against the troops who fought it.

        After Vietnam, the United States abandoned its citizen army tradition, oblivious to the consequences. In its place, it opted for what the Founders once called a “standing army” — a force consisting of long-serving career professionals….

        …The Long War is not America’s war. It belongs exclusively to “the troops,” lashed to a treadmill that finds soldiers and Marines either serving in a combat zone or preparing to deploy.

        To be an American soldier today is to serve a people who find nothing amiss in the prospect of armed conflict without end. Once begun, wars continue, persisting regardless of whether they receive public support. President Obama’s insistence to the contrary notwithstanding, this nation is not even remotely “at” war. In explaining his decision to change commanders without changing course in Afghanistan, the president offered this rhetorical flourish: “Americans don’t flinch in the face of difficult truths.” In fact, when it comes to war, the American people avert their eyes from difficult truths… Soldiers (and their families) are left holding the bag….

        …The responsibility facing the American people is clear. They need to reclaim ownership of their army. They need to give their soldiers respite, by insisting that Washington abandon its de facto policy of perpetual war. Or, alternatively, the United States should become a nation truly “at” war, with all that implies in terms of civic obligation, fiscal policies and domestic priorities. Should the people choose neither course — and thereby subject their troops to continuing abuse — the damage to the army and to American democracy will be severe.

        Andrew J. Bacevich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University.

  5. just saying 5

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10656304&pnum=2

    hear hear, Matt McCarten:

    “In our country we now have a self-perpetuating political elite with a lifestyle and a sense of entitlement that is alien to the people they purport to represent. The idea that public service is a privilege, not a tenured career with unearned and immoral perks, doesn’t seem to occur to them.”

    Our House of Representatives on both sides of the house, is chock full of people whose lives bear no resemblance to the people they pupport to represent. And not just once they reach the champagne and caviar “jet set” which parliament has become, but in the lives they’ve lived before entering politics.

    I dunno what the answer is, but I can’t see the 70 percent of New Zealanders earning less than $50,000 having any effective representation until this changes.

    I think there desperately needs to be an affirmative action policy in all the left wing parties of standing a minimum percentage of candidates who have a) Lived outside of Parliament for most of their working lives (ie just aren’t stepping up the career ladder from ‘policy advising’ or other ancilliary parliament job), and b) lived for a signicant amount of their lives on average or less income (student days not included).

    • Tigger 5.1

      Why only Left wing parties?

      • just saying 5.1.1

        That would be ideal. I’m just assuming the right doesn’t actually give a rat’s arse about the majority of New Zealanders. They’d prefer to screw us over even more. And I’m desperately hoping the left does care.

  6. wyndham 6

    @ Janice

    I feel exactly the same . . . can’t yet say why other than I feel that the RWC will be neither the time nor the place to be using our military. In fact all sorts of negative images are not difficult to find.

    • Janice 6.1

      Thanks for confirming that I am not the only person who is uneasy about the SAS being on the streets during the RWC, I thought I was being paranoid. Imagine if Muldoon had brought in the troops in 1981.

      • felix 6.1.1

        Ah yes, Key’s hero.

        And no, you’re not paranoid. The idea of soldiers in the streets during peacetime should be abhorrent to all of us.

    • logie97 7.1

      Anyone else note how the NZRFU continues its subtle snub and loathing of the Northern Hemisphere unions.

      – plays Ireland at New Plymouth
      – plays Wales at Carisbrook and Hamilton.

      Just imagine the outcry if the All Blacks had to play Wales at anywhere other than Cardiff Arms Park, England at Twickenham, Ireland at Lansdown Road or Scotland at Murrayfield.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1

        Actually as a long staunch rugby fan it wouldn’t (and doesn’t) matter to me in the least where we played them. Can play them in Venezuela.

        The outcry wouldn’t come from the fans of the game the outcry would come from the administrators who would make less money from the smaller grounds.

        The snub that irritates me in England’s refusal to play a 5 test series in cricket with NZ. We’re not worthy.

      • big bruv 7.1.2

        Despite the mighty Irish ASKING for the game to be played at New Plymouth.

        But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your argument.

        • BLiP 7.1.2.1

          No sign of the $100 you owe wikileaks, then?

        • logie97 7.1.2.2

          You got a link for that? And the Welsh asked for Hamilton?
          They were offered Christchurch/Auckland/Wellington but asked for the
          provinces…?

  7. ianmac 8

    I do believe we should pay the MPs as much as it takes. The recent fuss over their “overspending” is a nonsense. It is quibbling over pennies when the big questions are sidelined like lack of transparency (see No Right Turn on OIA), the rights of democracy (see funding of Political Parties, not the drinking sort), and interferring in professional affairs (like National Standards not the other sort).
    I have more concerns over the multi-million salaries for CEOs. Guess who is paying for them?

    • I agree with you ianmax. I believe that all politicians put aside their often successful business lives to undertake public office and are paid a pittance for it BUT I do not agree with double dipping like Bill English is apt to do.

      Being a politician is not an easy job and it is a 24/7 job and no one is guaranteed employment after their 3 years in office. Remuneration should reflect that and should also reflect the high level at which they all have to work. We expect a lot from our politicians so we should pay them for the job they do.

      More – I feel sorrier for the support and administrative staff that work with these politicians. They have the worst jobs of all. They are shuffled all over the place with very little reward or job security from government to government. I just hope they are paid appropriately and have excellent working conditions with good severence pay.

      BTW – I would love to see a General Strike take place and see how this govt responds!

  8. Draco T Bastard 9

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1007/S00031.htm

    “It is ridiculous that less than a week after ACC Minister Nick Smith announced the organisation will this year record a $2 billion surplus, New Zealanders are being hit with substantial increases in ACC levies.

    “At a time when Kiwis are already struggling, substantially increasing vehicle registration costs is a cruel blow when the justification used for the increases was exaggerated,’ David Parker said.

    Didn’t see this in the MSM and it’s what people need to know. They need to be told about it so that they know that NACT are lying to us.

    • uke 9.1

      “Didn’t see this in the MSM and it’s what people need to know.”

      I’ve been reading Robin Hyde’s book on being a journalist in 1920s & 30s NZ. Things were no better then and her comments are sadly still relevant:

      “The attitude of most New Zealand dailies on questions of any political importance is a foregone conclusion. Money-bags need never open his morning paper with the presentiment that the New Zealand Herald, the Wellington Dominion, or the Christchurch Press will have anything to say that could possibly spoil the flavour of his breakfast bacon.” (from Journalese)

  9. big bruv 10

    Oh dear, oh dear!

    It looks like some union thug has been ripping off his hard working members.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3883259/Police-investigate-union

    Reason 373 not to join a union.

    • The Voice of Reason 10.1

      Talking about rip offs, you paid up yet?

    • felix 10.2

      Yeah you’re no-one to be talking about rip-offs, “big bludge”.

      Pay up you liar.

    • So do the significant numbers of fraudulent businessmen stop you from getting involved in business?

    • Bill 10.4

      Reason 373 to have the union structured along syndicalist lines bb.

      Alas, an impossible proposition given the laws surrounding union structures in this country – must be hierarchical, incorporated and hence fundamentally vulnerable to undemocratic dynamics.

      Them’s the capitalist rules.

  10. a human 11

    It’s Independence Day of course and in the twilight zone of double-speak we see this
    http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2010/07/04/4610953-clinton-laments-a-slow-crushing-of-civil-rights

    • Bored 11.1

      White lady speak with forked tongue. As the Rev. Spooner might say, rectal moritude.

  11. john 12

    [audio src="http://michael-hudson.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/RE23.06.10.mp3" /]

    A great interview with Dr Michael Hudson explaining the neo-liberal takeover in the west’s social economic life and its destructiveness e.g. Prosperity through austerity for some but not others.

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  • 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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