Open mike 08/10/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 8th, 2010 - 52 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

52 comments on “Open mike 08/10/2010”

  1. Lindsey 1

    Am I the only cynical cow who thinks that if that inquest had been held next week, John Banks would not have been sobbing in the witness box?

    • The Voice of Reason 1.1

      Damn right, Lindsey! And I don’t think he’d have been allowed to speak at all, given that he had nothing to add that was relevant to the proceedings, if he wasn’t a well known politician. It’s hard to know what effect it will have, but the irony of him having a Len Brown moment of his own isn’t lost on me either.

    • comedy 1.2

      “Am I the only cynical cow who thinks that if that inquest had been held next week, John Banks would not have been sobbing in the witness box?”

      No you are not the only complete arse out there.

      I didn’t vote for him and think he is overly odd, has been around too long and should retire from politics, however, I think it’s reasonable to say his reaction is that of a parent in this instance not a politician…….. just because he’s on the other team from your pick doesn’t mean he’s automatically the devil incarnate.

      • Joe Bloggs 1.2.1

        What a bunch of nasty arse-faced cynical cows you are Lindsey, VoR and Tigger – trying to turn parental despair over the death of a son’s schoolmate into a political stunt! Shame on you.

        Cheap, trashy, trailer-park talk.

        • The Voice of Reason 1.2.1.1

          I wasn’t the one in the witness stand, JB, so it ain’t me turning the death into a political stunt. Banks had all morning to think about the effect of his taking the stand, including the political ramifications. If he thought it would harm his campaign, he would not have done it. Desperate, duplicitous and dodgy to the max. Bye, Banksie.

        • prism 1.2.1.2

          Joe B and comedy – When it comes to Banks you’re are all heart!

    • freedom 1.3

      WE were not in the court and have no way to verify the emotional reality of the moment. I actually believe that he was reacting honestly to what is an awful situation for any parent. Who can say how any of us would react when in a similar situation, trying to deal with the tragic death of a child’s friend and the causes of the death being so close to home.

      in this instance i think we should respect the person and forget the politician.

      • Craig Glen Eden 1.3.1

        Bullshit if you have read what Banks has said at this hearing it had nothing to do with how this boy died it was all about John. This was a shameful display by a wash up politician to get himself in front of the media one last time.

        Any person with any dignity who truly wanted to express regret or take responsibility for their poor parenting or express compassion would have done so in private to this young mans family.

        Politicians know that media will cover such events, this was not done for the purposes of the investigation or the families benefit, John Banks you are a disgrace shame on you.

    • BLiP 1.4

      No, you’re not the cynic Lindsey, Banks is the cynic. The fucker actually asked to address the hearing so as to use the death of an innocent and his own son to garner support for mendacious political ends. I knew he was desperate but, as usual, I underestimated the depths who would plumb. The New Zeland Fox New Herald lapped it up.

    • Vicky32 1.5

      Not at all! I thought the same thing…
      Deb

    • millsy 1.6

      To be fair, at least JB didnt pack his kid off to boarding school as soon as he hit puberty, to pretty much bring himself up.

      And I belive that is what killed that young boy.

      His parents just packed him off to boarding school and washed their hands of him.

  2. John Banks was showboating in the witness box, that really is disgusting

    • comedy 2.1

      wow you really are a lower form of life.

      • come get some 2.1.1

        coming from yourself that’s pretty rich

        • comedy 2.1.1.1

          hello sprout

          [lprent: IP numbers say that is not the case. ]

          • Tigger 2.1.1.1.1

            My husband asked: ‘Why is he there?’ and I agree. Why was he there? What did he add to the inquest? And why was it filmed/broadcast?

            I find cyncism useful when dealing with anything political…

            • nzfp 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I think he was speaking in defensive of / on behalf of his son at the inquest. I think that’s fair enough. If I was in his shoes I would do anything I could do for my boy.

              However what isn’t fair is the advantage that a full night of news coverage along with scenes of tears to tug at the heart strings gives to the John Banks for Mayor campaign right at the end of the Auckland super city election.

              It couldn’t have been more obvious if they tried!

              Captcha: users – the definition of the corporate media!

              • Tigger

                But his speech was basically about him. And apparently he turned up out of the blue (ie. he wasn’t asked to be there). Given the timing I see it as a last ditch effort to get votes – a little late in the day though…

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    Who said…

    “Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong… Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken,”

    ?

    • comedy 3.1

      Hayek

    • Bored 3.2

      Hahaha Hayek…..I suspect he might have shown a little more compassion and common sense than Ryall in the provision of health services.

    • nzfp 3.3

      “The Road to Serfdom”

      I have to admit I had to search for this quote.

      On June 25, 2008 radio host “Bonnie Faulkner” on the KPFA show “Guns and Butter” interviewed American financial economist and historian Dr Michael Hudson

      You can listen to the entire interview here: “Michael Hudson — The New Road To Serfdom”

      At 49mins 44seconds, Bonnie Faulkner (BF) and Dr Michael Hudson (MH) discuss the Chicago School’s “Old Road to Serfdom” and compare it with Friedrich Hayek’s 1944 book “The Road To Serfdom”:

      BF: Dr. Hudson, describe what you mean by the “New Road to Serfdom”. How does it differ from the “Old Road to Serfdom”?

      MH: The old road to serfdom was written by [essentially] neo-fascist writers from the University of Chicago [who said] that the road to serfdom was the government protecting people to promote free markets. They said that promoting free market is the road to serfdom because of government planners. The new road to serfdom is when the financial industry knocks the government out of the picture and centralizes planning in the hands of the banks. As you’ve seen on Wall Street, when economic planning is centralized in the hands of Bear Stearns, Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Morgan Stanley, their objective is to get as many customers for the product they produce as possible. And the product they produce is debt. So the real road to serfdom is the road to debt peonage and it was the same road to serfdom that Rome followed and every country that’s fallen into serfdom that’s followed. [essentially] the wealthy people will only provide food, resources, education, essentials to people in exchange for credit and the credit is extended up to the point where the interest charges absorb the entire economic surplus over and above basic living costs.

      BF: Now have you just described the new road to serfdom?

      MH: Yes. In other words, the new road to serfdom is what Chicago School Bush Administration free-market policies lead to.

      BF: And what about the old road to serfdom?

      MH: That was Hayek’s book who was Margaret Thatcher’s hero. He wrote it in 1944 saying any government planning, any consumer protection, any attempts to help people is going to lead to serfdom because that’s fascism. And if you believe that then you’re falling for the Chicago School propaganda.

      BF: Well it sounds like the new road to serfdom and the old road to serfdom are both pretty bad.

      MH: Not really, because the government, the fact is, that progressive government planning such as the United States had between the civil war and World War II wasn’t bad at all. Every classical economist, every futurist writer of the 19th century expected governments to play the role of the economic planner in society. The role of government was to regulate fair markets, to create a system of equity where they would uplift the poor and enable everybody to become self-sustaining. So [essentially] democratic governments are not the roads to serfdom. An oligarchic government and a military government is the road to serfdom and that’s what we have today ruling under the rhetoric of free markets, which actually is not free at all.

      You can read the entire transcript for this interview in two parts here: part-1 and part-2

  4. Ewwww…creepy little man

  5. Adrian 6

    Banks was shitting himself that somebody i.e parents are going to get charged over this and he was in personal damage control. What a cynical arse. I think MFAT should issue a travel and attendance advisory on Kings College, it’s a lot more dangerous than Delhi could ever be.

  6. Draco T Bastard 7

    Grim and Grimmer
    1 hour video, including Paul Krugman, on the US economy. Wish we’d get more stuff like this for the NZ economy.

    I.E., the Fabian lectures available on video would be great.

    • Bored 7.1

      Its quite interesting really…I pointed out that we were likely to be in a deflationary cycle for a long time ahead and that cash will be short….in a reasonable society we might have a means of deciding how we all share the losses (i.e something like a national wage cut). Instead we will fight to keep what we have at the risk of losing the lot. And those that have most will as usual fight hardest to keep what they have.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        And those that have most will as usual fight hardest to keep what they have.

        And will most likely lose the least (relatively speaking). It’s the people who have very little that will be hurt the most.

      • nzfp 7.1.2

        Hey Bored,

        … in a reasonable society we might have a means of deciding how we all share the losses (i.e something like a national wage cut) …

        I don’t see any reason why we have to take a wage cut or why we have to share losses, just because we are in a debt deflationary spiral.

        Yes it’s true the Austrian catch cry is Austerity Austerity – but as you well know many economists from John Maynard Keynes to Wladimir Woytinsky to Clifford Hugh Douglas have proposed methods of halting deflation by Government creation of credit – without debt to private banks – via direct spending on infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy.

        Douglas took the concept further with the creation of the A+B theorem and the proposal of a national dividend provided directly to citizens to stimulate the economy and bridge the difference between productive and un-productive costs in the form of labour and production costs vs interest and other extractive costs.

        The point is that we don’t have to accept austerity or wage cuts – not when we have public central bank which could create the necessary credit to rebuild our nation and re-ignite our economy.

        Captcha: OPTION – what we have many of – specifically for monetary and economic policy.

        • Bored 7.1.2.1

          NZFP, To explain why I said “I don’t see any reason why we have to take a wage cut or why we have to share losses, just because we are in a debt deflationary spiral”…

          The reason we cant halt defaltion is because our whole economy is based upon forever increasing productive output. This is based upon the availability of energy and resources. If available energy is in decline so is the total output of good and services ergo shrinking economy, thus deflation. That in short is the reality of peak oil (and living on a planet that has finite resources).

          The failure of Keynes / Woytinsky / Douglas methods of credit expansion is that regardless of who owns the promissary notes that are leveraged to provide “credit” today, the debt is “owed” tomorrow. And all of these economists have based their economic models on the concept of “continuous growth” enabling us to forever expand credit. My feeling is that we will naturally try and put off the day of reckoning till tomorrow and beyond, but it will eventually catch up.

          What is inevitable is that the same number of us will end up with a smaller pie to divide. Which brings me back to why we will have to fight to make sure those able to tighten their belt will be made to do so by those of us whose belts are already too tight.

          • nzfp 7.1.2.1.1

            Hey Bored,

            The reason we cant halt defaltion is because our whole economy is based upon forever increasing productive output

            Agreed – right now it is. However, we both know that this is a systemic fault in the economic system we currently live in – namely a system that has given the right to create credit – at interest – to private interest so that there is always more interest owed then money in existence. consequently the economy is forced to incrase production – at waste – to secure revenue to pay the interest on the debt owed. Our economy is one giant ponzi scheme near the peak of it’s debt limit.

            The failure of Keynes / Woytinsky / Douglas methods of credit expansion is that regardless of who owns the promissary notes that are leveraged to provide “credit” today, the debt is “owed” tomorrow.

            I don’t agree – because Keynes, Douglas and Woytinsky all advocate for public credit. In the case of Keynes it is in the form of borrowing from publicly owned central banks like the RBNZ where the RBNZ creates the money – from nothing at zero or low interest for the Treasury.

            Either way the point is that there is either zero interest owed to the central bank or if there is interest owed – it is owed to the public who can then spend money directly back into circulation to cover the debt.

            The economic system as described by Douglas et al removes the requirement for industry to continually produce and for consumers to continually consume and waste because the economy creates a system that removes the requirement to service debt – especially as there is no longer any public debt and what private debt there is could/should/would be provided at very low interest – if any at all (c.f. Islamic banking with fees instead of interest). Consequently there is less dependence on energy as the economy no longer needs to grow and can adapt to a lower energy – low waste – low production system.

            We could re-inflate our economy while fundamentally changing the paradigm to remove the economic rules which are destroying our society and our environment.

            The choice is ours – we have the options – unfortunately we are not presented with these options from Labour or NAct.

            There is a great book on the subject by Michael Rowbotham called “The grip of death : a study of modern money, debt slavery, and destructive economics” which I recommend and goes into detail on how destructive to our environment and society a debt based economy is and how it could be completely reversed by changing to public credit.

            • Bored 7.1.2.1.1.1

              NZFP, I think you are right that we can do what we wish with the money supply, the mechanisms you describe are probably far preferable to the systems we use today and they may ease us into a better future.

              Where we disagree is that even if we get rid of “created” financial debt, any credit we extend even at a zero interest rate still creates debt that must be repaid from future production. When we reach a balanced input to output economy (i.e when available sustainable energy / resource inputs create a stable sustainable output of good and services),this may work, I really hope so. And that is the crunch point, todays output will decline in line with dropping energy supply, until then we will have deflation regardless of the financial mechanisms.

            • Quoth the Raven 7.1.2.1.1.2

              I don’t agree – because Keynes, Douglas and Woytinsky all advocate for public credit. In the case of Keynes it is in the form of borrowing from publicly owned central banks like the RBNZ where the RBNZ creates the money – from nothing at zero or low interest for the Treasury.

              You don’t see any problem with this creatio ex nihilo money without relation to the real world of resources and scarcity?

              Either way the point is that there is either zero interest owed to the central bank or if there is interest owed – it is owed to the public who can then spend money directly back into circulation to cover the debt.

              And how would this (the scenario without interest) not lead to a credit bubble? and inflation? What of savers?

              This page links to What everyone should know about social credit.

              A lot of the problems related to social credit relates to the current world of central banks lending at low interest to private banks and the concomitant excessive credit creation through the fractional reserve system. The situation of which social creditors ironically lament.

              Another good article – Inflationists’ Fears of Deflation Create a Monetary Dystopia

          • nzfp 7.1.2.1.2

            Remember that public credit is based on defining money as nothing more then an accounting measure. Public credit does not define money as a promise to pay the bearer gold or oil or anything else – it is merely a receipt for goods or services received.

            A public system that creates 10 Billion credits (public receipts) could spend those 10 Billion credits directly on infrastructure – where the credits are used as a receipt for 10 Billion credits worth of infrastructure. We get the infrastructure – the companies / SOE’s etc… get 10 Billion in credits as a receipt which they use as receipts for goods and services received in the economy.

            To ensure the credits flow – the Government requires that the credits are used to pay land and economic rent taxes – this means land owners demand the credit/receipts in payment for rent, and oil / coal / mining companies demand the same tokens in payment for their commodities which creates demand in the economy for the interest free credits.

            To boost the economy the government could spend credits directly into the bank accounts of every citizen as a national dividend.

            No interest, no requirement to pay a promise.

            Captcha: DOUBTS – do you have any?

            • Bored 7.1.2.1.2.1

              If we were to try this, (and note my above comments about balanced input /output economies) we would have to do the unthinkable first ….the Wisdom of Solon…the cancellation of all current debts. Literally 30 years worth of todays total world economic output, all currently to be paid for by a declining energy base. Or perhaps we just let it fall apart? Either way it will be “interesting”.

              • Draco T Bastard

                the cancellation of all current debts. Literally 30 years worth of todays total world economic output,

                It can’t be paid anyway so I really don’t see any problem with that. It would mean explaining to people that money is nothing though and that seems to be the hard part.

  7. BLiP 8

    RIP – Ian Morris.

    Just 53.

  8. come get some 10

    Name suppresion in the South Auckland electoral fraud case have just been lifted

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10678790

    • Roflcopter 10.1

      lol, who’d have guessed it was him eh?

      Yet another Labour party member defrauding NZ, the willingness to be totally corrupt must be a pre-requisite to joining the party.

      • nzfp 10.1.1

        Come on mate,

        the willingness to be totally corrupt must be a pre-requisite to joining the party

        That’s the same as saying that if one person in a political party is corrupt then by definition all people in the political party are corrupt.

        That is a clear example of the logical fallacy Dicto simpliciter (spoken simply, i.e., sweeping generalization).

        This is the fallacy of making a sweeping statement and expecting it to be true of every specific case — in other words, stereotyping. Example: “Women are on average not as strong as men and less able to carry a gun. Therefore women can’t pull their weight in a military unit.” The problem is that the sweeping statement may be true (on average, women are indeed weaker than men), but it is not necessarily true for every member of the group in question (there are some women who are much stronger than the average).

        Captcha: ADVANCED – what your debating skills are not 😉

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.1

          When he applies his logic the National Party a particularly ugly picture emerges. (article behind a paywall, but it is exactly what it says in the headline).

          rofl has a low view of the National Party indeed. I don’t think they are as bad as all that.

        • Joe Bloggs 10.1.1.2

          bloody funny though

  9. Roflcopter 11

    “That’s the same as saying that if one person in a political party is corrupt then by definition all people in the political party are corrupt.”

    Yup, that’s what I’m saying…. that’s the Labour Party

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Except it’s not the Labour party but one individual unlike the NACT party where it pretty much is the entire party (Blinglish, Richard Worth (what did he do?), Jonkey, and others).

  10. Sonny Blount 12

    Re. LABOUR PARTY CANDIDATE DALJIT SINGH ACCUSED OF TAMPERING WITH AN ELECTION.

    This is the terribly sad thing about these events. One or two individuals in this case may have caused massive damage to all the hard working and honest members of the Labour Party and the NZ Indian community at a time when many people will relish an opportunity to point the finger at them.

    I am of the opinion that our democracy is to valuable to allow this practise. Regardless of cost, the Auckland local body elections should be postponed. I would not expect this to have any effect on the significant outcome (a Len Brown win), but these things must be put right, and be seen to be put right.

  11. Carol 13

    Bernard Hickey was interviewed on the Panel this afternoon. You can listen to him on The Panel part 2, from about 10.18 mins:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/20101008
    At about 16 mins, Bomber Bradbury asked Hickey, after his conversion, which economisis did he now favour, Keynes etc? Hickey replied that he agrees a lot with Marx on his analysis of how capitalism works. Hickey added he doesn’t agree with Marx’s prescriptions for fixing things. (Bomber was singing hallelujahs!)

    Bomber asked Hickey again if he favoured Keynes, or the Austrians etc. Hickey said he leaned more towards the Austrians. He said that what we need to do now is produce more, spend less, embrace more austerity, and live simpler, cleaner, less consumptive lives. He added he’s sounding a bit like a greenie now.

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  • 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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