Open mike 11/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 11th, 2012 - 44 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

44 comments on “Open mike 11/08/2012”

  1. Carol 1

    A couple of things to consider when preparing for future resource scarcities and climate change:

    http://www.nature.com/news/demand-for-water-outstrips-supply-1.11143

    Almost one-quarter of the world’s population lives in regions where groundwater is being used up faster than it can be replenished, concludes a comprehensive global analysis of groundwater depletion, published this week in Nature.

    Yet in most of the world’s major agricultural regions, including the Central Valley in California, the Nile delta region of Egypt, and the Upper Ganges in India and Pakistan, demand exceeds these reservoirs’ capacity for renewal.

    And frakking uses more ground water than many places can afford to lose:

    http://www.accuracy.org/release/nature-study-on-diminishing-groundwater-resources-another-reason-to-ban-fracking/

    Not only is the oil and gas industry turning our rural areas into sacrifice zones, it is also diverting water that is needed to grow food.

    “Drilling and fracking is not only a threat to water quality — it also uses massive amounts of water, removing much of the water used from the water cycle altogether.

    And then there’s the hunger wars:

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175579/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_post-apocalyptic_fantasy_becomes_everyday_reality/#more

    The Hunger Wars in Our Future
    Heat, Drought, Rising Food Costs, and Global Unrest
    By Michael T. Klare

    The Great Drought of 2012 has yet to come to an end, but we already know that its consequences will be severe. With more than one-half of America’s counties designated as drought disaster areas, the 2012 harvest of corn, soybeans, and other food staples is guaranteed to fall far short of predictions. This, in turn, will boost food prices domestically and abroad, causing increased misery for farmers and low-income Americans and far greater hardship for poor people in countries that rely on imported U.S. grains.

    This, however, is just the beginning of the likely consequences: if history is any guide, rising food prices of this sort will also lead to widespread social unrest and violent conflict…

    Intensive agriculture the answer you say, Gerry? Alongside ‘drill it, mine it, sell it’? Yeah, right!

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      US corn crop projected to be down 17% this season, to lows not seen since the 1980’s. This is because almost 70% of the midwest corn growing region is in a prolonged drought. And the US is the largest producer of corn in the world, by far.

      • bad12 1.1.1

        Just in case, and, not wishing to be an alarmist, but,buy a kilo bag of rice with your weekly shopping until such time? as the US corn production either recovers or fails altogether…

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          Or buy NZ grown grains to encourage NZ farmers to grow grain for the local market.

          • bad12 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes true, If the supermarket sells em and they aint all being fed to the cows and pigs…

            • weka 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I think the problem is that NZ farmers are so tied into the export market and that drives their crop choices. I doubt that there is any NZ grown rice though 😉
               

              • yeshe

                And it’s all GM corn that cannot withstand drought or changing conditions — seed built only for money and no sustainability, just like everything else !!

                And buying rice .. 90% of rice grown in China is now GMO … good luck shopping !

                I also heard they have already closed all the ethanol manufacturing plants in USA due to corn shortages.

                Times they are a’changing …

                • Gareth

                  ya got that all wrong…. Its an extremely drought resistant strain thats why its still alive… Its also why they have been able to increase yield despite a drying climate…

    • Hammer 1.2

      Friday, 10 August 2012 15:34 Javier Blas , Gregory Meyer, Financial Times

      The UN has called for an immediate suspension of government-mandated US ethanol production, adding to pressure on Barack Obama to address the food-versus-fuel debate in the run-up to presidential elections.
      Most US ethanol is made from corn. The dispute over ethanol promotion pits states such as Iowa that benefit from higher corn prices – and in some cases are swing states in the election – against livestock-raising states such as Texas that are helped by lower corn prices.
      The UN intervention will be seized upon by state governors, lawmakers and the meat and livestock industry, who have expressed alarm at surging prices for corn. Members of the Group of 20 leading economies – including France, India and China – have already expressed concern about the US ethanol policy.

      [Another failed UN / Green policy]

  2. Morrissey 2

    You thought Murray Deaker was sub-standard?
    Baseless claims by Tony Johnson re Belorussian shot putter

    NewstalkZB, Friday 10 August 2012, 5:50 p.m.

    The Huddle is a notoriously bad segment on Larry Williams Drive, which is itself a notoriously bad radio program. Featuring such brutally partisan and unpleasant commentators as Bill Ralston, his ghastly wife Janet Wilson, the unsurpassingly vicious Ellen Read, the crazed Cameron (Whaleoil) Slater, the superficially nice but not nice David Farrar and the false front bonhomie of Jock Anderson, it’s hard to imagine that whatever follows them could be any worse, but with the calibre of sports correspondents like one Tony Johnson, AKA “T.J.”, it is on many occasions, incredibly, much, much, much worse. . . . .

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Valerie Adams must have been disappointed to miss out on a gold medal, T.J.

    TONY JOHNSON: [with gravitas] Frankly, I think the winner is a cheat. The word around the traps is that she is a cheat.

    LARRY WILLIAMS: But there is no evidence of that. She passed every test.

    NIGEL YALDEN: I have seen no evidence that she is a cheat.

    TONY JOHNSON: Well that’s the word around the traps.

    Reasonable people might ask if these “traps” which “T.J.” has been “around” are the same traps which recently brought forth the bitterly fanciful notion, also unsupported by any evidence whatsoever, that the referee in the 2007 RWC quarter-final match was corrupt.

    Reasonable people might also ask how much research “T.J.” does for his assignments, and how much of that “research” is done around “traps” with names like The Flying Horse, the Crown and the Red Lion…

    • Tracey 2.1

      The USA had a now well known drug cheat called Marion Jones. However despite their relay team breaking the world record this morning, no cries of “must be cheating”. The former darling of US track and field, Carl Lewis was revealled to have tested positive for a banned substance prior to one of his olympics but the US Olympic Committee covered up the results…

      The former iron curtain states do not have the money they used to for cheating yet the prejudice remains.

      Gatlin (US) a proven drug cheat “won” a bronze… no one had the balls to question its legitimacy or the disgrace that he could even compete. Someone who may have worked damned hard and fair didn’t get a spot because of him. But he’s from the USA, so it’s ok.

      • Vicky32 2.1.1

        But he’s from the USA, so it’s ok.

        That’s the way it is these days! (Apropos of which I heard the BBC WS promoting Mitt Romney’s insane ‘running mate’ just now. So, that’s what we have to look forward to?)

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Look for the youtube clip where Romney introduces his running mate as the “Next PRESIDENT of the United States”

    • prism 2.2

      Morrissey
      I am sorry for you that you have to subject yourself to this sort of diarrhoea. But as you are well informed about sports broadcasting etc could you tell me who is the hyped up commentator reporting for Sky and who we hear short bursts of on Radionz Olympic results?

      • Gareth 2.2.1

        Prob mark watson… He does have some interesting insight as he was a full time athelete. Never really cracked it tho. Same with the commentary imo

        • Morrissey 2.2.1.1

          Prob mark watson… He does have some interesting insight…

          “Interesting insight”? The guy stands out as an ignoramus and a nutcase even in the notoriously ignorant and nutty world of Radio Sport.

          …as he was a full time athelete.

          So were the likes of Willy Lose, Ian Smith, and Richard Loe. None of those blokes ever has much intelligent or insightful to say, but they all sound much smarter than Mark Watson.

          Actually, on second thought, Ian Smith NEVER has anything interesting, intelligent or insightful to say. The other two have the odd moment.

          People who care about sports and sports commentating should sign this….
          http://www.facebook.com/pages/Petition-to-stop-Mark-Watson-ever-hosting-a-Radio-Sport-show-again/292523894091086

      • Morrissey 2.2.2

        Morrissey
        I am sorry for you that you have to subject yourself to this sort of diarrhoea.

        Thanks for the concern, my friend—but that few minutes of idiocy was all I have heard of those learned commentators for weeks. It is instructive to note that such grievously substandard commentary was what I heard from a random sampling. I urge you or anyone else who has a few minutes to waste, to tune in to that station, and I’ll bet Bill Clinton’s weekly whoring budget that you’ll hear something equally ignorant, inane and offensive.

        But as you are well informed about sports broadcasting etc could you tell me who is the hyped up commentator reporting for Sky and who we hear short bursts of on Radionz Olympic results?

        Mark Watson and Nigel Yalden are the most hyped up of all of them. Yalden pretends to be commentating the races, but he actually does it from a booth in Mt Wellington.

  3. Olwyn 3

    I see John Armstrong is doing a bit of “concern trolling” in his Herald column. I do do not usually read that guy, since he has little to offer beyond right wing cheer leading, but he is one of the few to comment on this week’s ructions. To quote him:

    “It is unclear whether the MPs’ musings were simply residual animosity from Cunliffe’s undermining of Phil Goff’s leadership in the run-up to last year’s election. The former is said to have been finance spokesman in name only so sparse was his contribution. The consequent lack of trust in Cunliffe was further deepened by a speech by him in April which was widely seen as a grab for control of the party’s left faction. That resulted in Shearer confronting Cunliffe at a subsequent caucus meeting, which saw the bulk of MPs coming down firmly on Shearer’s side.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10826078

    Once again, the right is far more entranced by Labour’s current status quo than the left, and more than happy to reinforce it, while superficially “analysing” the situation.

    • fatty 3.1

      True, but it is the NZ Herald, they have never bothered about real news. Armstrong is a pathetic excuse for an journalist, his ignorance always outshines the facts, and he looks even more stupid when you place his article next to a press release from a respectable website:
      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00151/roy-morgan-poll-national-44-labour-32-green-14.htm

    • Socialist Paddy 3.2

      I read it and I thought this was round two of leaks by whoever the focker is.  The allegation that Cunliffe undermined Goff is crap. Goff did it to himself.

      The suggestion that Cunliffe is staging a coup is an even bigger pile of crap. Let’s see, a senior MP leaking to a journo that Cunliffe is despised by all of caucus is somehow evidence of a Cunliffe inspired coup against Shearer? Does the guy think that we are idiots? 

      If Cunliffe can mount a coup by having some insolent prick lie about him to a Journo then he is the greatest politician that ever walked.

      It seems to me pretty clear that someone begun to stage a coup against Shearer. But it aint Cunliffe. 

      • Raw Seer 3.2.1

        David Cunliffe never ever undermined Phil Goff or the Labour Party. He fastidiously worked to make sure he acted and showed traditional Labour Party loyalty. The party membership saw that and they like that. Please stop repeating that old contrived ABC tosh.

        David Cunliffe gave a huge input, insight and direction as Finance Spokesperson. The only “sparse” aspect was his public profile: he was instructed to give Phil Goff the limelight so that Phil might go up in the preferred PM stakes. That was the openly known protocol.

        “Show me the money”: when Phil floundered on Finance and Economics on TV with John Key, Phil’s team blamed Cunliffe. Phil never had a Finance or Economics role on all of his long career: yet he took his TV briefing/preparation from his strategists/team and not directly from his spokesman, Cunliffe. Phil is a big boy. He should have made sure he had the best preparation for that gig. He didn’t. And Shearer is behaving exactly the same way.

        Helen made a mistake in not putting a proper broad leadership selection process in place. The Caucus made a mistake on not replacing Phil earlier. And now we have an embattled leadership team trying to entrench their positions with a 67% veto over the membership’s and affiliate’s wishes.

        The behaviours of the past 4-5 years has to stop and there has to be some personnel changes. Very very soon.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1

          David Cunliffe never ever undermined Phil Goff or the Labour Party.

          Quite right. The people who installed Shearer were largely responsible.

    • prism 3.3

      Can Armstrong be allowed to get away with this poison piece. If he is lying then Labour should say so. If he isn’t.. Labour needs to do something to prevent the idea of a demoralised faction ridden party getting reinforced in people’s minds. Think the unthinkable – think Queensland.

      • Olwyn 3.3.1

        +1. It’s odd that they do not consider Queensland when you come to think of it, in their determination to pull to the right.

        @ Raw Seer: I was certainly not endorsing the article or its contents, I was just drawing attention to it. And while I was convinced that the bit about failing to support Goff was nonsense, I do not have inside information so could not authoritatively refute it. My point in putting it up was to note that ever since Shearer was elected, his greatest defenders are from the right, and this remains the case. While Armstrong appeared to ‘critical engage’ with the Labour Party’s problems, he nonetheless managed to sink the boot into Cunliffe.

        • muzza 3.3.1.1

          “nonetheless managed to sink the boot into Cunliffe”

          –When the establishment systems, single out an individual for special treatment, it is wise to put the thought processes into “smell a rat” mode.

        • Vicky32 3.3.1.2

          My point in putting it up was to note that ever since Shearer was elected, his greatest defenders are from the right

          Please define right in this context… I gather Cunliffe is being put forward as everyone’s hero because he’s ‘left’, but I’d like to see some proof of this.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Disinformation and dishonest debate tactics of the MSM

    Posted elsewhere too, but included here because they are good

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/disinformation-how-it-works

    Lie Big, Retract Quietly: Mainstream media sources (especially newspapers) are notorious for reporting flagrantly dishonest and unsupported news stories on the front page, then quietly retracting those stories on the very back page when they are caught. In this case, the point is to railroad the lie into the collective consciousness. Once the lie is finally exposed, it is already too late, and a large portion of the population will not notice or care when the truth comes out.

    Unconfirmed Or Controlled Sources As Fact: Cable news venues often cite information from “unnamed” sources, government sources that have an obvious bias or agenda, or “expert” sources without providing an alternative “expert” view. The information provided by these sources is usually backed by nothing more than blind faith.

    Calculated Omission: Otherwise known as “cherry picking” data. One simple piece of information or root item of truth can derail an entire disinfo news story, so instead of trying to gloss over it, they simply pretend as if it doesn’t exist. When the fact is omitted, the lie can appear entirely rational. This tactic is also used extensively when disinformation agents and crooked journalists engage in open debate.

    Distraction, And The Manufacture Of Relevance: Sometimes the truth wells up into the public awareness regardless of what the media does to bury it. When this occurs their only recourse is to attempt to change the public’s focus and thereby distract them from the truth they were so close to grasping. The media accomplishes this by “over-reporting” on a subject that has nothing to do with the more important issues at hand. Ironically, the media can take an unimportant story, and by reporting on it ad nauseum, cause many Americans to assume that because the media won’t shut-up about it, it must be important!

    Dishonest Debate Tactics: Sometimes, men who actually are concerned with the average American’s pursuit of honesty and legitimate fact-driven information break through and appear on T.V. However, rarely are they allowed to share their views or insights without having to fight through a wall of carefully crafted deceit and propaganda.

  5. bad12 5

    The other ‘deep thinker’ in the Heralds team of ‘opinion piece’ writers Fran O’Sullivan made some very un-refreshing comments today on the Court of Appeals decision to allow the sale of the Crafer Farms to go ahead,

    Spot the snide attack upon Maori who She accuses of ‘bleating’ in their attempt to regain through commercial means farms of significance within their Rohe,

    The real information imparted within the abysmally written piece by O’sullivan is tho of greater interest than Her equally abysmal opinions,(spose those are what you get when you take a basic press hack reporter and ask Her to give a opinion),

    The ‘new owners’ of the Crafar Farms are very busy people right now having put together a consortium within China with the intent of in the next 5 years building a series of standardized dairy units, (farms), to be initally stocked with a total herd of 200,000 cows,

    Obviously the intelligence to build such a foundation for the new Chinese dairy industry will have been gained from the buy in to the Crafar Farms and it will be from Crafar that i would imagine that the breeding herd will be sourced,

    I have no objection to the Chinese gaining such valuable knowledge they after all have purchased such at the going rate in terms of the Capitalist ism although my good mood evaporates at the thought of the loss of even more land to overseas interests,

    The New Zealand dairy industry tho will by dint of the announced mega-expansion of the Chinese dairy industry, it wont stop at 200,000 cows and will probably rival in out-put in ten years time our own giant Fonterra, will have to aim for being debt free by 2020 as Chinese production even if confined to internal Chinese consumption will effectively collapse the demand for the New Zealand product enjoyed at the moment,

    http://www.topix.com/…/fran-osullivan-crafar-farms-decision-a-breath-of-fresh-air

    • millsy 5.1

      Fran O Sullivan reminds me of those idiots in the 1930’s who thought Hitler and Mussolini were wonderful people who would whip their countries into shape…

  6. BillORees 6

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10825760

    Bryce Edwards has a very thoughtful analysis in the Herald, examining the current Labour Party issues in light of wider challenges for political partys. 

    A few teasers…

    Ideology and political principles are drained as the hired guns focus on the whims of a small group of swinging voters and the result is bland and, in the end, counter-productive. ‘Labour-lite’ and ‘National-lite’ are leveled as insults, but are not proof of a national consensus over policy….
     
    Contrary to what some MPs may think, they can’t actually run their campaigns with just parliamentary staff…
     
    Shearer’s ‘guy in my electorate’ who resents beneficiary bludgers may not read the Imperator Fish blog, but those who do read it represent a lot of pamphlets delivered, doors knocked, voters driven to polling booths and discussions with friends about who to vote for. Some of them may even be sickness beneficiaries.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Things sure are going swimmingly in Aghanistan. In Vietnam there was talk about a ‘decent interval’, the idea being, pretty much, ‘declare victory and leave.’

    http://wapo.st/QOGKl8

    The other phrase in play, is always, ‘decide who to lose to’.

  8. NickS 8

    Grrrrr:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/08/10/summary-of-thunderf00tphil-masons-disgrace/

    Why am I not fucking surprised in the least thunderf00t would do such a fucking stupid thing?

    Oh right, it was the string of downright stupid blog posts displaying complete fucking blindness and selective reading skills on feminism and inability to practice scepticism101 both at FTB and on his personal soapbox…

    And it gets worse:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/08/10/all-in/
    Threatening to out a transperson is just fucking heartbreaking and worthy of you being branded a complete fucking idiot.

  9. The fracking debate is heating up and Gareth and touring Australian environmentalist Drew Hutton need to be listened to and have their concerns taken seriously. Phil Heatley and Nick Smith haven’t been entirely honest about this rapidly expanding industry:
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/the-facts-around-fracking-frenzy.html

    • Jackal 9.1

      Nice roundup there Dave Kennedy.

      In my opinion, Nick Smith’s pro-fracking article just confirms what a complete ignoramus he is.

      THE hysteria sweeping the country over fracking is like a modern-day version of the Chicken Licken story. It is not the sky falling in but a fear of what is happening underground that has seen groups like Frack-Free Tairawhiti form. Some councils have also jumped on the Green’s “Don’t Frack with NZ’’ bandwagon. It is time to inject some science and common sense into the debate.

      […]

      The second concern is pollution of waterways and aquifers. These risks are also low. The proppants used are just fillers and the toxicity of the lubricants is similar to dish washing liquid.

      Ah yes! The old it’s as safe as dishwashing liquid rubbish, which Smith also used to describe CoreXit 9500 when it was applied in close proximity to Tauranga residents to disperse the heavy oil leaking from the MV Rena… Nothing like a bit of cancer-causing hazardous toxins and endocrine-disrupting chemicals to wash the dishes with eh!

      Josh O’Neill has a good response to the idiotic argument of National’s former Conservation and Environment Minister.

      Dr Smith says “small amounts of proppants and lubricants” are used in the process. A report on fracking to the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce last year said that over the course of the life of a well around 440,000 litres of chemicals are used. So it probably depends on how one defines “small”.

      The industry and politicians keep saying the chemicals are no worse than household cleaners and ice cream ingredients but the potential for 440,000 litres of “dishwashing liquid” (per well pad) entering our environment is enough reason for a ban on fracking. A report tabled in the US House of Representatives last year said 29 of the chemicals injected into wells were known or suspected human carcinogens.

      […]

      Let us also consider the science on climate change that clearly shows we are not making the changes required fast enough and cheap fossil fuels are major contributors to the problem. There is competing evidence on gas as a better alternative to coal as a transition fuel, with some studies showing gas will be worse in the long run.

      Like Dr Smith, I am passionate about New Zealand’s natural environment. We want to bequeath our children a nation with a great lifestyle, a strong economy and a clean environment — but without the latter, the first two don’t exist. All this will only be possible if we take a rational, science-based approach to our natural resources and risk management.

      Speaking of water contamination, over 20% of the worlds replenishing fresh water has now been irreparably destroyed. Water will soon be in short supply… Perhaps why National is trying to ensure a large amount of it is privatized with the Mixed Ownership Model Bill.

  10. captain hook 10

    thats right dave kennedy.
    they should tell us how many states in the USA have completely poisoned their water tables and aquifers and how they get their freshwater requirements now.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Now this is interesting and would go a long way toward improving houses in NZ. A building material and insulation made out of hemp.

  12. Logie97 12

    Seems that whenever Owen Glenn reveals his hand as supporting an organisation they go belly up..
    Now its the warriors turn.The Warriors are having a nightmare since he started shouting from the rooftops how wonderful he was going to be for them …

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    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    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
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • 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

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