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Open mike 05/08/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 5th, 2013 - 116 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

116 comments on “Open mike 05/08/2013”

  1. Jenny 1


    Larry Jones is driving the minivan across the Utah desert on Highway 163, with Sally in the passenger seat and the two kids dozing in the back.

    William Scaggs forScientific American

    In this case we are the helpless passengers in the back, and our parliamentarians are the driver.

    If Larry refuses to slow down, then it is up to us the passengers, to do everything we can to make sure he listens to us.

    Tonight at 7pm in Auckland, probably the biggest ever meeting called by Generation Zero on climate change is due to take place. Held in the Owen Glen complex in the Fisher &Paykel Auditorium, Auckland University, Wynyard Street. Make sure you are there.

    The National government are Larrys. Determined to take a chance.

    Labour and the Greens are Sallys, frightened and worried, but too intimidated by Larry to speak up.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      The National government are Larrys. Determined to risk everything.

      Labour are Sallys, frightened and worried, but too intimidated by Larry to speak up.

      FIFY, the Greens are speaking up – you’re just not listening.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        On the plus side.The Green Party did call a conference on climate change at parliament. Which was boycotted by Shearer. This was a brave attempt to drag the reluctant Labour Party to the table.

        They need to do more of the same.

        But the Greens still refuse to make climate change a leading election issue.

        And they are still determined to get seats in a Shearer cabinet, even though they know the cost will be to drop their opposition to deep sea oil drilling, fracking and Denniston. The three big things that symbolise BAU. And the three big things that the National and the Labour Parties are deathly committed to.

        I have maintained and still maintain that if the Greens do go into coalition with Labour on these terms, they will be finished as an electoral force.

  2. Paul 2

    The Herald isn’t even pretending anymore.
    What a headline…. ‘Foreigner ban fails to lift Labour” and what a picture of Shearer.

    Is this title biased or what?
    Only in the 3rd paragraph do we read…”The Green Party was the big winner, lifting from 9 per cent to 14. After several weeks of debate and protest over the GCSB Bill, National fell to 46 per cent – down three points since the May poll.”
    Maybe headline should have been….
    “Government’s spying policies bleed support to the Greens’.
    The editor of the Herald must be paid a lot by the foreign corporates taking our country over.

    • Jenny 2.1

      ….while Labour and United Future lobby for a “review”.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        FFS, Jenny, we need a review of the entire intelligence system in NZ before we can make informed decisions. You’ve been told this. As I said above, you’re just not listening.

        • red rattler

          Draco, don’t include me in your “we” thanks.
          Don’t tell me I can’t make an informed decision right now without a bunch of parliamentary hacks telling me what information I am entitled to.
          After Waihopai, Manning, Doctom, Snowden et al what more information do you need to condemn the whole surveillance state?
          Liberal commentators have been forced to admit that surveillance is a euphemism for the political repression of all the blowback from numerous colonial wars and invasions. The US is creating Jihadis in its own suburbia for gods sake.
          I don’t want a review by any of these professional politicians.
          That’s just a formula for doing nothing on full pay for a year or two while our privacy is wiped and the the globe is destroyed.
          I want a ‘repeal’ though its unlikely that Labour will make it into Government unless the other left parties can make up for its pathetic crawling to the establishment.
          If Labour campaigned right now for Kill the Bill it might just create the support it needs to Kill the Act.

          • Draco T Bastard


            You’re talking about two issues. The bill that NACT are passing which needs to be repealed if not stopped and a review which sets out to clearly define the purpose of the intelligence apparatus and it’s limits. I agree that Labour should come out and say that they will repeal the legislation that NACT are presently passing and going to the status quo ante. We’ll still need that review as well so as to make a better intelligence apparatus.

        • Jenny

          Jenny, we need a review of the entire intelligence system in NZ before we can make informed decisions. You’ve been told this. As I said above, you’re just not listening.

          Draco T Bastard

          What’s to review?

          You either support the mass surveillance of the population. or you don’t. Which is what this legislation is about.

          Just like Shearer. Draco it is you, who are not listening.

          The collecting, storing, and transmission of mass surveillance (metadata) on the general population by police and spy agencies needs to be made a criminal offence punishable by law.

          David Shearer the leader of the Labour Party says that on becoming the government he will have “a review”. Not an inquiry mind you “a review”.

          A review is not an inquiry. Most people know what an inquiry is, they know what a review is. Most people know “review” is code for “do nothing”.

          The broad spectrum surveillance and collection and dissemination and transfer of metadata on every single New Zealander needs to be kept illegal.

          There is no middle ground.

          John Key;“because the alternative here would be either we don’t collect this data at all.”

          David Cunliffe; “based upon what we have heard here tonight. I personally, and I am sure my caucus colleagues would be of the view that this legislation, must not, will not, and cannot stand.”

          David Shearer; “We will have a review.”

          There is no alternative, there is no middle ground. Key acknowledges it, Cunliffe does too. You either collect metadata, or you don’t.

          There is no fence to sit on here Draco, no matter how much you claim it.

          To support a review over an inquiry and/or a ban, is to normalise the collection of metadata.

          Will a review stop the corruption?

          Will a review identify the guilty?

          Will a review identify the wronged?

          Will a review stop the collection of metadata?

          I think we can all agree that the answer to each of these questions is no it will not.

          Therefore a review will be a farce and an insult to the intelligence of most New Zealanders.

          Until David Shearer promises to reveal the identities of the 88 New Zealanders illegally spied on, so that we can all judge the validity of the need for this legislation, then his promised review will be nothing but a cover up for Business As Usual.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Cunliffe called for a review, too, but that’s not consistent with your worldview, so lets just leave that bit out, eh?

            A review is exactly what’s needed. NZ needs to decide what kind of intelligence services it requires for the future and start again from there.

            • Mary

              It probably needs a Royal Commission of Inquiry so that findings and recommendations aren’t buried and forgotten in some lowly status report and instead remain in perpetuity and can be referred to easily when future governments try to attack rights of citizens in the way Key and his mates are currently doing.

            • Jenny

              “Cunliffe called for a review, too,…”

              Te Reo Putake,

              No he didn’t. He mentioned it, and probably supports it, but he didn’t call for it, he said that Shearer had. What Cunliffe clearly called for was the repeal of this legislation

              Read the transcript.

              Cunliffe said that the Leader of the Labour Party has promised a “thorough review”. He obviously wants to go further than the review promised by his leader. Because he followed this statement up, by saying this legislation “cannot stand”.

              David Shearer yelled out “We will be having a review”.

              The implication being, that’s all you’re gonna get Cunliffe. No, cannot stand nonsense.

              The further implication is that David Shearer would be comfortable with allowing the collection of metadata spying on every New Zealander to stand.

              And by his silence on the withholding of the information about the illegal spying on the 88 New Zealanders, David Shearer is quite happy to let this situation stand as well.

              To convince the public that he can be trusted, David Shearer needs to make a statement that on taking charge of the secret services he will order them to release this information to those affected if they request it.

              Simple, clear, honest.

              Yet not being done.

              P.S. TRP, Draco maybe you and other Shearer apologists might like to further try and justify Shearer’s refusal to commit to releasing the names of the 88?

              I suppose you might say that releasing this information could reveal the identities of the spies responsible, thereby compromising their ability to continue their under cover work. Lawbreakers guilty of crimes against members of the public are not above the law just because they are members of the secret service. So what if it costs them their jobs. By allowing the secret police officers to remain above the law if they are discovered breaking it, is a very dangerous precedent to set.
              If it does come to court, as many of these cases undoubtably will, these accused spies can ask for name suppression and I am sure that they will be granted it.

              • Te Reo Putake

                “David Shearer yelled out “We will be having a review”.

                The implication being, that’s all you’re gonna get Cunliffe.”

                You’re a slow learner, Jenny. You have miserably failed to back up your fantasy and the presence of hundreds of people in the hall who didn’t see any such exchange doesn’t appear to have put you off continuing to talk crap about Shearer and Cunliffe. Were you even there? Nah, I guess not, eh.

                “P.S. TRP, Draco maybe you and other Shearer apologists might like to further try and justify Shearer’s refusal to commit to releasing the names of the 88?”

                Nope, I doubt anyone is going to waste much time pissing on your feeble strawman.

                • jaymam

                  The people who watched TV3 on 26 July saw and heard Shearer say “We will be having a review”, after Cunliffe’s speech. Go and watch TV3 news on that day.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    “… saw and heard Shearer say …”

                    So not yelling at Cunliffe, then. Thanks for the back up, Jaymam.

          • weka

            Can someone please just make her stop with the stupid?

          • Draco T Bastard

            The difference between me and you, Jenny, is that I know what the review is for.

            The intelligence services aren’t going away and so a review of just what they’re for and what powers they have is a reasonable action. This is what Labour have promised. As I say above, I would be more comfortable if they promised to drop the legislation that NACT are presently putting through but either way I still support a review of the intelligence services.

            You, on the other hand, are focusing solely upon a single bit of legislation. It is this focus that has you being completely wrong about what people are saying.

            Until David Shearer promises to reveal the identities of the 88 New Zealanders illegally spied on,

            If I was one of those 88 I’d prefer it if the government told me and then let me decide if I told the rest of NZ and didn’t just go out and tell the rest of NZ.

            • Jenny

              If I was one of those 88 I’d prefer it if the government told me and then let me decide if I told the rest of NZ and didn’t just go out and tell the rest of NZ.

              Draco T Bastard

              Goes without saying. At present if you suspect you are being illegally spied on, if you request this information from the government you are told you are not allowed to know.

              Currently the government are shielding the lawbreakers from their victims. Draco do you personally support the continuation of this criminal government policy?

              Has David Shearer promised to, as future head of the secret security services allow people to access this information about themselves?

              Let us see who the GCSB are spying on. If as many suspect they are not terrorists at all and that innocent people are being illegally victimised then this needs to come out so that they can get some redress.

              • weka

                Jenny, you have repeatedly called for the names of the 88 to be made public. Have you changed your mind now?

    • ak 2.2

      Onnit Paul. Utterly shameless blatancy. No mention forever of Roy Morgan – until it favours the Natsies last week. Deliberate distortion (Gran) and totally ignored (Stuff) of yesterday’s Left lift.

      On the silver lining side, concrete confirmation of the “self-fulfilling prophesy” power of polls. A fact long ago twigged of course by the Continuous Propaganda Party, its organs and their bottomless pockets.

      A comparative analysis of MSM coverage of blue-friendly polls versus red-friendly over the past few years would be staggering.

    • bad12 2.3

      Lolz the pic the Herald used today has David Shearer looking like He is starring in the movie ”Revenge of the Lizard People”,

      i don’t see the Colmar-Brunton painting Labour in that bad a position, the Green Party on 14% has the bloc level with National who have 1% more of support to lose which would make that Party pretty much unable to form a Government on those numbers,

      Between them, the Mana Party and the dying Maori Party hold the other 3% of the left’s support if we view the electorate on the basis of 50/50,

      i can see the Mana Party entering the 2015 Parliament with 3 MP’s and the Maori Party with zero, not a bad position to be in this far out from November 2014,

      The interest now will be what sort of damage has been inflicted upon National from the sordid little and long running GCSB affair…

    • Rosetinted 2.4

      Paul +1

  3. geoff 3

    what a great show

  4. Ad 4

    Anyone else miss Helen Clark right now?

    Asked on National Radio yesterday what would be her highest priority if she were PM of the coutnry right now, she said, immediately: “Unemployment.”

    For the amount of comparatively trivial bull that all parties are immersed in right now, she cut through it.

    • BM 4.1


      GSCB= beltway, no one cares.

      Labour has wasted far too much time on this nonsense, I don’t know if it’s just desperation and the Labour HQ thinks this is all they’ve got to attack National with or it’s just arrogance and the intellectuals in the party just can’t admit the strategy sucks and just persevere because of ego.

      Edit: don’t agree with the missing Clarkula bit.

      • bad12 4.1.1

        Ah here it is back from a weekend being ‘primed’ with the Farrar, Hooten, Blubber boy line that no-body cares about the deliberate unlawful accessing of private email and phone information by the Office of the Prime Minister,

        Keep singing that song Boyo, a mere 1-2% of right wing voters need only ‘care’ deeply enough about the executive misuse of power to in November 2014 give you something that will really make you care,

        Another 9 on the opposition benches…

        • blue leopard

          +1 Bad12

          The opposition parties, by objecting to the GCSB, are highlighting the now typical disregard that Nat govt shows toward democratic principles. This is what the opposition parties need to be doing, because it is vital that voters are aware that there is another, better, way of doing things. Hopefully NZers will see these options loud and clear and not be bamboozled by the slogans ‘that it isn’t important’.

          I would be ripping my hair out even more than I already am if the opposition parties were not presenting strong objections to the GCSB; I would have thought there would be many others who feel the same way.

          • BM

            Thing is anyone with half a brain can see that Labour isn’t really against what is been proposed.

            From what I’ve read the bill will pretty much stay in it’s current form if Labour gets into power, which makes all the shrieking and carry on is just a shitty attempt to try and smear Key and pin blame on him because some public servant fucked up again not because this bill is all that’s evil.

            If you’re going to treat the voting population like idiots at least try to be clever about it.

            • blue leopard

              @ BM,

              That is the brilliant thing about strong opposition. If the opposition parties go on record strongly opposing a certain approach, then if they get into power and do the self-same thing they can be called on it.

              If voters continue to vote for a party that shows severe disrespect toward democratic principles it is hard not to see them as idiots because they are giving up the safeguards they would have had, had they voted for parties that opposed such undemocratic actions.

              For this reason, suspecting Labour is much the same as National is not a good reason to not vote against National at this point.

              Politicians need to be given the clear message as to what is acceptable and what is not. What is going on at present is simply not acceptable and only a complete fool would continue to vote for such behaviour.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Why Politics Matters – POLS 111 Lecture

            John Key’s aim here is not the security and defence of the realm… It is self-preservation.

            This is a classic cover up. It has all the hallmarks:
            i) Denials
            ii) Stone-walling
            iii) Misinformation
            iv) Obfuscation
            v) Scapegoating
            John Key and his advisors are following, almost word for word, the Watergate script.

            It’s by Winston so obviously don’t agree with everything he says but he does make some good points about the GCSB and other things so worth reading.

            • blue leopard

              Only just read the speech – yes it is interesting.

              I rate Mr Peters very highly on the skills he has shown as an opposition MP. Before NZF got back the Greens were doing a fair job -yet were alone in this. The overall opposition was insipid. I view Winston as having had a huge impact on the strength of the opposition this term.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yep. Winston has lifted the class of the Opposition (which as you say the Greens were performing well at although alone) to a brand new level.

                Key and Co. didn’t put all that effort years ago into discrediting NZ First for no good reason.

                • blue leopard

                  Key and Co. didn’t put all that effort years ago into discrediting NZ First for no good reason.

                  Relating to this I believe it is worth looking around to see where that type of effort is going now.

                  So far my search provides me with the result of Mr Hone Harawira. There seems to have been a inordinate amount of interest in condemning his family (around Waitangi, housing protest and the nephew’s court case)

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        Ah, so the GCSB bills are hurting National and so the astroturfers have been given their orders to try to divert from it.

    • bad12 4.2

      Is that the Helen Clark who said this: ”If beneficiaries want to get working for Families payments they should get a job”,

      As bad if not worse than the current leaders ‘roof-painting bene bludger’ speech,a sentence i could well imagine coming from the lips of Richardson or Shiply,

      Refusing to uphold the principle tenet of the welfare state, that it is based around the greatest need, will always cause Labour trouble in the electorate until such time as it has shaken the last vestiges of the left of the party from it’s rump,

      Mind you at 33% of polled support it could be considered to have mostly achieved the above…

      • Rosetinted 4.2.1

        Yes I come back to middle class Labourites with jobs and favourable future visions talking simplistic and unhelpful shit about beneficiaries, and so-called non-working. When Steve Maharey was in government I thought his background in social sciences would result in more intelligent and wide-ranging innovations in getting positive returns from the unemployed and beneficiary payouts, that were helpful to them and the country, but nothing startling shook the scene.

        He didn’t seem to have absorbed or was capable of triumphing over the middle-class stodge with new ideas despite his closeness to the thinkers in the social policy field. We can notice the same lack of independent thought about our economy emanating from financial wizard Kay.

        “Who will rid us of these turbulent politicians?” (and bring in some good ones dedicated to doing good policies for the people and the country that actually bring benefits, not vague or fiery promises that just leave a sweet hopeful smell of roses hanging in the air.)

        Interesting possible fact got from google. About Henry 2, and his saying –
        He initially said “Never again will I have to say “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest”
        (he had in fact had several of the previous archbishops murdered)
        That’s going a bit over the top I think!

        • bad12

          Rosetinted, Lol, yes just slightly, over the top that is, considering to all extents and purposes we are in ‘a public place’, but, i do know the ‘feeling’,

          My view for quite some time is that as ‘the left’ have hived off Labour in a continuing process under MMP Labour have along with its current support base ‘morphed’ into a middle class Party, how much of this is deliberate or a natural change is debatable,

          What is of interest to me from the Colmar Brunton poll is that 2% of the fence sitters, registered voters who have previously refused to indicate a preference, have come down off of the fence in this poll and the Green Party seems to have picked up all these voters,

          This would to a certain extent indicate the Prime Minister having labelled Labour/Green as the ‘devil beast’ has certainly had an effect upon the electorate, the opposite tho of what the Prime Minister intended,

          The past couple of elections appear to me to have been fought mainly in the middle ground of the electorate, if as this poll indicates, those who have stayed at home whilst this middle class battle has run it’s course are now ‘seeing’ the necessity to become involved and the fact that such involvement as indicated by the Colmar Brunton has moved left to the Green Party is a great look for the left especially if the indicated trend continues…

          • Rosetinted

            Interesting thoughts. I referred to a discussion of Brit Labour recently, forgotten where. I’d have to look back over my comments archive, but so amazing that what we see in NZ parallels theirs so far away. Of course we have always followed Brit thinking and connections and education and politics so maybe not so amazing. But their progression or regression could perhaps be studied with an objective eye to give substance to theories of what has been behind the Labour movement’s change here.

    • “..Anyone else miss Helen Clark right now?..”…


      (this was my reaction to her self-serving/past-glossing-over appearance on q & a..)

      “…next up is helen clark..(and i am sorry..i have so many other questions for clark..(maybe starting with her govt. totally ignoring/marginalising the poorest/sickest for nine long years..

      ..and at the same time..so efficiently preparing the ground for the current pogrom against those poorest/sickest..

      ..that my mind glazes over at her current unctions..

      ..save to note she fully supports spooks/spooking..(but is anti-mass-trawling..)

      (and of course after that wholesale ignoring of real poverty in new zealand for those nine long years..that she now is at the un..’fighting-poverty’..

      ..must cause irony-overdose/gastric-reflux in most watchers..)..”

      phillip ure..

    • Chooky 4.4

      Ad +1….and they should be sucking up all the Kiwi unemployed and training them on the job in the reconstruction of Christchurch…instead of importing labour

      • Colonial Viper 4.4.1

        Absolutely. I want a Labour Party ready to recommit to policies of full employment, starting with full youth employment.

        • Chooky

          + 1 Colonial Viper …..Youth unemployment is a tragedy !…..which will keep ricocheting for generations!…… It should be a number one priority.

          I think the Germans have a lot to teach us on this….Kids from high school go directly into apprenticeships or internships …..so they can sort out what they want to do….eg get training in a line of work they like or become a university student…..I don’t think they are allowed to be unemployed …same in Switzerland

  5. Winston Smith 5

    Massive turnaround in the one news poll for Labour and Shearer and a big hit for National which means Shearers showing what he can do, hes the right leader for Labour

    • Weta 5.1

      I noted, in the last speech of his I heard on the radio, that he was no longer hesitating on hitting the decisive word in the sentence and was showing more conviction. ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ may be a cliche, but there is some merit in that statement. Whether it will be enough is another matter ..

      • bad12 5.1.1

        Yeah you have to give David Shearer a couple of brownie points when His current speech making is compared with His earlier efforts,

        What i perceived from His ummm aaaah delivery’s after His ascension to the position of leader was that He was ‘self editing’, stopping mid-sentence to seek a ‘better’ word to use in the point He was making,

        Obviously the media trainers have been at work and to a large extent corrected this bad habit, now all’s we need do is convince His advisers that the only required reading for the leader of the Labour Party is ‘Labour during the Norman Kirk years’ and we might actually get some decent policy from that Party which addresses the ‘bread and butter’ issues of those in our society that survive on the least amount of income…

    • weka 5.2

      Winston chanelling Santi, not a pretty site.

      • Winston Smith 5.2.1

        Shearer just needs a little more time (like maybe when it comes to the election debates with John Key) to really show the people of NZ what hes made of 🙂

        • fender

          Probably won’t matter, Key will likely have banned TV and newspapers by then. Or hopefully people will awake and see the conman Key for what he is, all those used car sales types seem to have free-flowing bullshit in abundance.

          • Winston Smith

            Oh good the old “hopefully the people will wake up” line, maybe the people have woken up already…

            • Colonial Viper

              maybe the people have woken up already…

              From observation, that seems very highly unlikely.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Winston is trying hard to take Santi’s place.

      [lprent: But Santi got banned until after the next election. I guess there could be a resumption of the strange RWNJ penis extender technique that involves getting banned from TS? Young shrivelled bucks do some really stupid things in the pursuit of coups. ]

  6. This weekend 24 US embassies closed their doors because there was believable information that they were in eminent danger from a terrorist attack.

    Problem is that this information seems to have sprung from an unlikely source. The mst important Qaeda leader going by the name of Ayman al Zawahiri ! Here is the link to the NZ News Website where I found this.

    The same leader also alleged that the coup against Mursi the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood president was engineered by the US on the 3 August. Here is the link to the Guardian article.

    Problem is that according to the MSM this Al Qaeda leader was killed during a drone attack on 9/12 2012.

    See why I’m having trouble with these eminent terror attack announcements?

    • David H 6.1

      OOPPSS. Or it seems that Prism can speak to those who have died, Can they ask my Mother where she hid the recipes for the tiny cakes, that go with a cup of tea.

      Or were they talking to Achmed??

    • lurgee 6.2

      “Problem is that according to the MSM this Al Qaeda leader was killed during a drone attack on 9/12 2012”

      Dude, that article isn’t saying al-Zawahiri was killed. The man identified as a future successor to him was. Learn to read.

      • travellerev 6.2.1

        Um… It’s dudette for you and try this and know that reading is what I do very well but you are right that was the wrong article to link to as it didn’t detail the entire history of Zawahiri’s many reported deaths.

  7. Rosetinted 7

    The trouble with following Shearer’s delivery to the media etc with bated breath is that once again it’s pinning hopes on getting any Labour government in, as if that is all there is to be concerned about.

    What we are already getting is just more bene bashing coming from the left. In government it would be more self-satisfied ‘We’re running the country right and keeping it on an even keel’ stuff, and being happy with showing positive trends in the measurements of policies set in place with right wing advantages.

    I was looking at a 2005 NZ Listener and the list of top 50 powerful people. Cullen was near the top, and mentioned was his 67c ‘chewing gum’ tax cut. He and Helen Clark didn’t have enough nous to institute something like sliding inflation indices on tax levels. When do the good people who are not comfortably off, get considered. Answer not often.

    Such complacency about Labour’s vulnerable constituents will continue going by Shearer’s comments about the guy on the roof, and there must be more in the pot. In a previous Labour government Trevor Mallard went round slashing small rural schools and then that was followed by cuts to bus transport by him or the next lot and so on. It’s just a progression of lost services and rights and lost economic conditions and as confusing as that TV series Lost where everything seemed fluid and uncertain.

  8. ak 8

    XKeyscore. Intriguing name, eh what?

    Intriguing guff too, worth reminding ourselves:

    The program is run jointly with other agencies including Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate, and New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau.

    Greenwald said low level analysts can via systems like XKeyscore “listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents. And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst.”

    And of course no need to worry in the slightest about sharing said transcripts with a joint agency. Or its head.

  9. OK this is worrying me:

    Today I installed a firefox extension. The name of the extension is “Dark side of the prism” and purports to be able to alert users on the possibility that the NSA is monitoring websites they are visiting.

    I didn’t think much of it and went about my merry way roaming the net. Amongst my first visits after I installed the plug in was the daily blog and to my surprise the Pink Floyd song “The dark side of the moon” the alert for NSA monitoring started to play!
    I closed the page and went to the Standard blog where again the song started to play.
    I again closed the page and this time I opened the Kiwiblog page and the Whaleoil page both pages opened without any problems and no dark side of the moon!

    The Daily Blog and The Standard are two “left” wing blogs. The Standard is the third biggest blog in New Zealand for those of you who don’t know it and the Daily Blog is a blog run by prominent activist and journalist Martyn Bradbury to which a whole slew of left wing journalists and writers contribute.

    Kiwiblog and Whaleoil are the two biggest blogs in New Zealand and both are closely aligned with the National party and aligned with the right wing.

    Which begs the question: Are the Standard and the Daily blog monitored by the NSA and if so why?


    • TheContrarian 9.1

      Sounds like complete bullshit.

      • travellerev 9.1.1

        Your usual verbal elegance again I see!

        • Jackal

          Actually, I have to agree with TheConformist here. The code of the program isn’t reliable ie it doesn’t perform the task it says it’s meant to. There is a clear distinction between your computer and a website hosted elsewhere. It appears that you’re trying to deter people from viewing the two main leftwing blogs in New Zealand.

          • travellerev

            No J, I am just conveying what happened when I installed a firefox addon claiming to perform a certain action. And I asked the question: if… why…?

            Nothing more and nothing less.

            I also clicked on other sites such as yours and mine. Not a sausage! No bells and whistles and no Dark side of the moon!

    • Molly 9.2

      @travellerev: Interesting. Our similar topic posts crossed. Try opening the site I posted below:
      PACC PAMS 13 even if just for the love of Pink Floyd….

      • Molly 9.2.1

        @David H on thread below, this site tries to install something on your computer, so don’t click through. A friend used my computer to find information about countries attending the conference and must have run the installation – I’m running my malware now. However, it looks like the site is down now.

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      The way the NSA do their monitoring (sweeping up full copies of internet traffic from fibre optic junctions) should be completely invisible to the end user machine.

      [lprent: That is my understanding as well. ]

      • Molly 9.3.1

        But I was thinking about the low-level wannabe types playing spy games rather than the NSA

        The site looks like a twelve-year old group of boys playing around with WordPress rather than a US or NZ Defence Force production. Incongruous with an international conference for army chiefs.

        • McFlock

          Another site like it is Warren Buffett’s massively rich investment thing Berkshire Hathaway. You wouldn’t think it makes USD22billion a year.

          When you’re so big you don’t need to care about fripperies – like the Queen mucking around in wellies and old landrovers.

      • Jackal 9.3.2

        Surely there should be delays that would indicate interference. Any telecommunications service that nows its latency should be able to detect such interference?

        • travellerev

          It takes a while for the Addon to sound the alerts when you open a page indicating it is interacting with something before it decides there is the possibility of NSA monitoring. For those of you curious about the addon here is the link for you to try it out yourself.

          If you want to disable it again go to your addons under the tools dropdown menu and click disable.

          Here is the link to the code of the addon for those of you so inclined and by invitation of the author of the addon Justin Binder. Seems fair to me.

      • travellerev 9.3.3

        It should but is it? Or is the addon reacting to something else on the main servers but before you go into that let me confess to you that with regards to software, code and other things that go bing in computers I am completely blond! (Although I did learn to put them together when I was a couple of decennia younger)

        All I did was convey what happened. I have no opinion on what happened other than that we are all monitored (not necessarily in a personal way but more in a “lets get all the info and store it somewhere until someone becomes troublesome and we need to deal to that person” kind of way) and have been as a matter of course for years and that all they try to do now is to make it lawful so that they can act when needed within a legal framework so that the dotcoms of this world have no legal recourse anymore.

        History reveals that most governments are so inclined and even more so in uncertain economic times and the internet is simply to good an opportunity to waste! It’s nothing personal, it’s just business as usual.

    • yeshe 9.4

      travellerev .. using your link, have a look at the comments on the app.

      It is using sites that are publicly named as being monitored by Prism et al … still interesting in terms of the left wing blogs, but it is supposed to be for fun ….

      Here for you from your link …

      by Ken Saunders on June 17, 2013 · permalink

      If you are thinking about using this add-on, keep these things in mind.
      1) It’s for fun, and not some sort of magical NSA/Prism blocking add-on.
      2) Purchase Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album if you want to pause, mute, etc, the songs.
      3) Here’s a list of the companies, http://www.pcworld.com/article/2040991/report-nsa-prism-program-spied-on-americans-emails-searches.html
      4) Firefox button > Add-ons > Extensions > Dark Side Of The Prism > Disable, disables this add-on or you can choose Remove.

      This is a brilliant and funny add-on!Thanks for developing it.

      • travellerev 9.4.1

        First of all I stated that this is just a claim made. I tried it out on a lot of sites though and it seems pretty consistent. And no it is not an add on to block NSA monitoring and neither does it purport to be all accurate either. Funny though how it sounded when accessing two left wing blogs in far away New Zealand and not Kiwiblog or Whaleoil two rightwing blogs closely aligned to National. It doesn’t sound with newspapers but it did sound on Max Keiser’s blog who is a fervent anti-banker RT TV Host.

        It didn’t sound with Veterans today but it did sound when I opened the Global research site dedicated to studying globalism and the power elite. It also sounded when I opened Washington’s blog but not when I opened Zero hedge blog.

        • Gosman

          The fact that this application didn’t ‘alert’ when you visited Kiwiblog and Whaleoil is evidence that it wouldn’t be picking up NSA monitored sites. If I was an intelligence operative I would be trying to garner information from popular sites to ascertain what the mood of the politicised section of a country is. Kiwiblog and Whaleoil are the two most popular political blogs in the country. They would be prime targets for gathering intelliegence on NZ.

      • travellerev 9.4.2

        “It is using sites that are publicly named as being monitored by Prism et al”

        A link to that list of publicly named sites would be nice. I’m sure Martin Bradbury and Iprent would be delighted to know they are on a public list of Prism monitored sites!

      • travellerev 9.4.3

        Nope no list other than a few companies who are known to cooperate with the Prism program. Daily blog, the Standard, Kiwiblog, Whaleoil are all blogs based on wordpress blogging software but some of them are tagged ad someof them are not. Still does not explain why the two left wing blogs were singled out by the add on while the two right wing ones were not.

    • richard 9.5

      More than likely it is to do with who the sites are hosted with than the specific site.

    • blue leopard 9.6

      @ Travellerev,

      I would have thought the answer to your question was pretty obvious.

      People who are concerned about the welfare of people (as opposed to the economic interests of the very wealthy) are now considered traitors to the interests that spy networks are working for.

      This is very clear given the official reaction to Mr Snowden’s actions.

    • Winston Smith 9.7

      Which begs the question: Are the Standard and the Daily blog monitored by the NSA and if so why?

      For a laugh (its why I come here)

      [lprent: I just assume that the site is monitored by someone(s). What I’m interested in is making it hard for material from the site to be able to be used in anything legal without requiring the means to be disclosed (take some time and think the logic through). ]

      • fender 9.7.1

        Typical taker, shame you never supply any laughs though, just ridiculous cheerleader slogans supplied to you by your shonkey idol.

        • Winston Smith

          Thats not true, I’ve supplied plenty of laughs (both deliberately and inadvertantly)

  10. Molly 10

    The NZDF is hosting the PACC PAM (?) conference in Auckland this year.

    Searching for which countries belong to this group, and who will be attending – results in not a lot on Google. Although PACC PAM, links back to the US Defence Force via a couple of other organisations.

    However, this bizarre site PACC PAMS 13 – Army Conference Agenda comes up in regards to the NZ conference this year. Has random NZ photos and strange layout. Looks like a site from a bad 70s spy movie, and heads up, you will get a couple of automatic messages if you click through.

    • David H 10.1

      When i tried it, it wanted to install something on my computer. That was me gone. But from what i saw, it was an amateurish looking site.

      • Molly 10.1.1

        @David H. Thanks for the heads up.

        A friend wanted to use my computer to find out the list of countries, and is Google-challenged. They must have clicked through the installation prompt – will run my malware programs to double check.

        The rest of the site – which I will not return to after deleting whatever has been loaded – is pictures of the skytower, NZ currency, people at a restaurant etc. Just checked if the installation message comes up for me – and the site is now down.

  11. Chooky 11

    Interesting Posts:

    1) Alanz …4 August 5.57pm (under “Friday Document Dump” August 2nd)…Stated i)that the media should keep digging because there are 3 key, pivotal issues not covered in the document dump.ii) Also there are nationally grave matters not yet public …

    2) exitlane… 3 August 4.47pm ( under “Andrea Vance’s Privacy Breach” August 3rd)…. Stated that under the GCSB ( refs. Snowden / “NZL” docs / re Xkeystore ) phone calls and email content anywhere can be accessed with a few keystrokes without a warrant….Hence John Key would have known everything about Dunne and Vance even without the help of Parliamentary services !!!!…..sooner Dunne realises that this and what he is thinking of voting for are tied up inextricably ,the better)

    My Question:

    Is Dunne complicit in a cover up ….when Key had everything already?…..Does Dunne know this?….If so , Dunne’s squealing about Parliamentary breaches of his privacy are rather spurious…and it makes him a lot more complicit and tricky in the implementation of the GCSB bill than what many thought

    • Anne 11.1

      Is Dunne complicit in a cover up …

      Of course he is. Because he knows Key has seen all the emails. Key has him over a barrel. Jesus, have we ever had such a nasty piece of work for a prime-minister. It also shows Dunne is weak as dishwater.

      • Chooky 11.1.1

        @ Anne…yes but Dunne seems to be trying to keep the two issues separate …and it is also the case in the media ….ie Parliament breaches are being kept separate from GCSB breaches on privacy( ie John Key having access to the emails already via GCSB.) It is as if they want to keep the bigger picture of the GCSB and what it is doing under the carpet.

        …..So Dunne is ‘outraged’ by Parliamentary services and one head has rolled there….But Dunne also wants to vote for the GCSB bill when he knows the bigger picture is that the Prime Minister had all this information independently via GCSB……( I feel sorry for the guy that got rolled unnecessarily)

        And whereas before I just thought Dunne was being blackmailed and felt a wee bit sorry for him…..now I think he is a tricky Dicky

        Probably everyone on this site knows this already…but I have just realised this could be the case….it sort of makes the outrage at the illegal spying on the 88 rather redundant….. everyone has been spied on…in which case why isnt the media saying so?…and why did the guy in Parliament services fall on his sword?

        • Treetop

          “tricky Dicky” lol.

          Vance was fed by Dunne and Vance had a choice to,

          1. Not release the report.

          2. To have responded once the report was released.

          Had Vance done 2. she would have implicated Dunne because in those emails Dunne has to have shot himself in the foot. Dunne must be feeling happy with himself that the chance of Vance releasing his emails is now remote as she would be branded a hypocrite if she did.

        • KJT

          I am sure Key has something on what Dunne, done!

          • Chooky

            @ KJT…..Yes but did Key get it via Parliamentary services or independently via the GCSB…..even before a law has been passed ( with Dunne’s help) making it legal?

  12. Rosetinted 12

    How the rich countries can screw the poor ones. Many consulates in Brit are being ordered to close their bank accounts under regulations to control money laundering. This comes from high law instigated by some high-minded countries with impeccable financial trading. Some countries are having difficulty finding ways to trade internationally.

    I remember hearing a story about Rwanda I think, being left on the outer when the world financial system refused them membership. They determined to conduct some business in cash, one of their dignitaries took off from home with a caseful, and I don’t know if that transaction was ever completed, but I heard that the dignitary settled in I think France. Probably opened a consulate there in his home. So some good may have come out of the move, who knows. Nothing is straightforward in politics and finance.

    Years ago, in Reagan’s time there was a bank that dealt illegally in funds connected with drug running venture capital, and though this was known it was allowed to remain in business, and was used to pay for arms used in some overseas destabilising action. Standards of probity have to be seen to remain in place, so that the exception can prove the rule I imagine. Some whistle blowing investigative journalist found out about it. Otherwise we would never have known, and probably most don’t anyway. I just was curious to check out a second hand book. If from now on there aren’t any accessible documents in hard copy extant, that will happen less.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Banking/debt based money supply/transaction systems are being used as a way to control and contain entire countries. If you are in the “in crowd” good for you, you get privileged access to these systems and your country (and government) can continue to survive; if you are not – then all bets are off the table, and if it means that tens of millions of your people have to suffer economic deprivation and hunger in the process, ah well too bad.

  13. Rosetinted 14

    I was trying to get details on Steffan Browning , Greens who made a good point this morning that NZ is too dependent on one business type – ie dairy.
    And from google going through Kiwiblog I got a message that – something to the server chain is incomplete and something is not registered and do I accept and I said no. Don’t know what that was about. Sounds like the vehicle needs its spark plugs cleaned!

    Gleaned from Radionz Rural and Business News headings:

    MPI under-staffed to cope with China trade
    The Ministry for Primary Industries admitted that despite a tripling in New Zealand’s trade with China over the past five years, it did not have anywhere near enough staff in the ministry nor in China to cope with that escalating trade relationship.

    Online tool to map stock theft
    Farmers who have lost stock to rustlers have a new way of hitting back at them.

    Signs of resistance to varroa bee mite treatments – assoc
    The National Beekeepers Association says the battle against the varroa mite may cost almost $1 billion over the next three decades.

    Chorus gets further debt facility
    Chorus has secured further debt facilities, which the company says will support its funding needs to rollout of the ultra fast broadband over the next six years.

    Hills Flooring in liquidation
    Family-owned carpet retailer Hills Flooring is in liquidation, blaming the failure of the construction company Mainzeal and the tough retail market.

    These are matters that should have oversight by ordinary NZs.
    * Hills Flooring – established NZ company being lost – why?
    * Chorus – is an arm of Telecom isn’t it? And its got further debt facility – from whom and why? Was that debt facility available to other contenders?
    * Varroa bee mite – Bees and beekeepers – are they getting proper support and tax incentives and grants to pay for the costs of this terrible outcome of increased import risks without the concomitant spending on increased biosecurity?
    * Help for farmers to combat stock theft – sounds good. The rural side, apart just from dairy, need support through proper services from government.

    * MPI being understaffed to meet the needs that increased trade with Asia and China brings is just another of NZs failures to follow through on initiatives and new policies which need extra work, with increased money spent on them. This is to ensure that the money that is hoped to be made, and the business and contacts generated, are properly handled and treasured.

    And that involves more than giving fast track visas to big spenders from Asian countries to come here and. hopefully, offload. That might be more profitable than before if countries trying to appear highly principled financially shut down on bank accounts for possibly dodgy dealers. Just the thing for a fresh-faced keen little country like us. We could welcome these poor refugees from the nasty big wide world financial system!
    * Embassy accounts being closed by HSBC bank
    HSBC, the biggest bank in Britain is reported to have given dozens of diplomatic missions in London 60 days to move their accounts elsewhere.

    • weka 14.1

      “a good point this morning that NZ is too dependent on one business type – ie dairy.”

      There’s always tourism… until the big oil shock/next GFC hits.

  14. Veutoviper 15

    “Beyond the Shroud”

    For those who want to watch this but do not have Sky TV or access to Face TV, the documentary will be streamed live from 8pm on Scoop.


  15. Colonial Viper 16

    Zero Hedge: Kiwi Plunges, 15% of Exports at Stake

    Congrats NZ, your very own story on Zero Hedge


    • muzza 16.1

      Debt ridden, and sabotaged primary sector – Should help bring NZ to its knees in short time,

      Swelling national debt, private debt, spiraling living costs , decreasing incomes!, government books loaded with off balance sheet derivatives, just like the banks, all of them!

      Nah she’s going sweet mate, the recovery is really just about to kick!


  16. muzza 17


    Sorry about the link location – TV Presenter Barry, deputy chair of the above!

    Oh dear!

  17. bad12 18

    And now they are spinning spinning spinning through this fabulous land!!!

    You have to wonder if the Slippery little Shyster we have as Prime Minister considers us all to be just plain dumb,

    His claim now is that He did not know until Friday that the Dunne/Vance emails had been handed over to His Office/the Henry Inquiry from Parliamentary Services/the IT ‘contractor’ just takes spin to a whole new level,

    The Prime Minister seems here to be attempting to dodge charges from the Opposition in the House that He the Prime Minister has mislead the Parliament,

    Does the Slippery little Shyster live in some form of airless bubble,along with all of His executive officials occupying their own secular bubbles, under a rock each in other words miles apart in a vast desert without the communications of this modern world to disturb their meditations,

    This claim from the Prime Minister is simply one serious piece of bullshit too far, at a time when the Henry Inquiry, the Chief executive of the Prime Minister’s own office, and the Prime Ministers own Chief of Staff all KNEW of the emails and KNEW that the emails had been obtained from Parliamentary Services/the IT ‘contractor’ this Prime Minister wishes us all to believe he knew nothing,

    Now that is the Sergeant Shultz defence if i ever heard it, i know nothing nothing you hear, the contention that He, the Prime Minister only found out about the Dunne/Vance emails would have us believe that the document dump on Friday from the Prime Ministers own office of over 100 pages was all material that He had never once read,

    Dodge,duck,dive, what the Prime Minister really ‘means’ is not that He had not the slightest notion until Friday that the Dunne/Vance emails had been released to the Henry Inquiry/Office of the Prime Minister, what He really ‘means’ is that he found out on the Friday that ‘we’ knew that He had reached the emails of Dunne/Vance and were discussing this openly here at the Standard on the Thursday night befor the document dump occurred from His office on the Friday,

    it is not the prime minister’s chief executive of the prime ministers office that should be offering to resign here, there’s something rotten right at the core of this particular apple and it is the Prime Minister exhibiting all those signs of rot, it is Him who should be offering the resignation…

    • Jackal 18.1

      Just say what you mean instead of beating around the bush bad12. John Key has lied! His office, namely the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, has instructed Parliamentary Service to intercept three moths worth of communications between a journalist, Andrea Vance, and a Minister of the Crown, Peter Dunce. It is likely that this “contractor” supposedly employed by Parliamentary Service is actually the GCSB who was instructed by no other that John Key himself.

      Despite that blatant breach of privacy, which has resulted in him resigning his Ministerial portfolios, Peter Dunce is going to support a bill that legalizes similar surveillance on us all. However, he will not allow his communications in this instance to be released to the public. 2+2 really does equal 4. What is the bouffant hiding? It is likely only his own scalp. Such is the way of politicians I suppose.

      Conveniently for John Key there is now a more major story to take the attention off his administration. The Prime Minister can now appear the hero, admonishing Fonterra for not informing the public that their dairy supplies could be contaminated with BOTULISM. A delay that has only taken + 15 months to occur. Saved by the bell I suppose from some negative publicity…some negative spying allegations. Who really cares that their privacy now means nothing and that the scientist are also scratching their heads about how exactly this latest (convenient) sideshow can be real?

      How much is it really costing New Zealand to protect John Keys credibility I wonder?

      • weka 18.1.1

        “It is not usual to test dairy products for the presence of Clostridium botulinum.”

        That is interesting.

      • bad12 18.1.2

        LOLZ, me beat around the bush, now that is funny, i think that you are wrong when you posit that the ‘IT contractor’ is likely to be the GCSB,

        There is a distinction between the two arms of intelligence,(hah intelligence here being an oxymoron in terminology), what i have is the sneaking suspicion that this ‘contractor’ to Parliamentary Services is simply a front company for the SIS,

        As far as i can ascertain it is the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Chief Executive Andrew Kibblewhite who is probably carrying less guilt in the whole process of the initial obtaining of the Dunne/Vance phone/email records and Kibblewhite is simply being used as a convenient excuse, the toilet if you will, down which the Prime Minister is attempting to flush His knowledge of the illegally gained phone/email records,

        It appears from what is known that Eaggleson, the Prime Ministers chief of Staff was the point man fronting the Parliamentary Service on behalf of the Prime Minister, and if threats were made in order to force Parliamentary Services to hand over anything, then Eaggleson would have been issuing such threats,

        Did Andrew Kibblewhite know the full extent of the illegal information gathering occurring on behalf of the Henry Inquiry, you bet, along with everyone else on the Beehives 9th floor obviously including Eaggleson who strong armed Parliamentary Services into agreeing to the release,

        Why if it is in fact the SIS acting in drag as a private IT contractor to Parliamentary Services go to all the trouble of strong-arming Parliamentary Services into ‘releasing’ the Dunne/Vance phone/email records???,

        To provide a layer of protection to the 9th floor of the Beehive, the Prime Ministers Office, should the s**t, as it did, get caught in the ventilation system and the smell get spread far and wide, and, should my ‘sneaking suspicion’ that the Parliamentary Services ‘IT contractor’ is the SIS using a private company as a ‘front’ to monitor the communications into and out of the Parliaments precinct Parliamentary Services were to be shouldered with the blame creating a smokescreen within the furore where the ‘IT contractors’ actions were minimalized thus attracting scant attention,

        i doubt Dunne, who’s every word must be suspect in this whole sordid little tale will appear befor the Privileges Committee hearing later this month and further doubt that any one of substance from the Prime Ministers office will either,

        The Prime Minister suggesting that no-one, not Kibblewhite, not Eaggleson, who obviously had full knowledge of the email data, informed Him of this beggars belief and is simply one large slab of bullshit to far from the ever Slippery Prime Minister…

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  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
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  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
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  • New fund for women now open
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  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
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  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
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  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
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  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
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