Open mike 15/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 15th, 2012 - 63 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…

63 comments on “Open mike 15/08/2012”

  1. just saying 1

    I notice that The Standard is now regularly updating itself without the need to leave the site and return, or hit refresh.

    Thanks for that. And kudos

    • lprent 1.1

      It is? I haven’t added it.

      Ummm. I will have a look through the javascript, cloudflare and the plugins to see where it is coming from. But after the weekends move – too much to do before then.

      I have been speculating that something like this is what is required to explain some of the reported page views on some sites. But we have had a major lift in page views last week and this – but they have been politically active weeks. Have been too busy to look at it so far.

      • just saying 1.1.1

        I don’t want to hold you up LPrent, but are you saying that when a page is updated, it counts as a new view? That would mean that when an active conversation is going on like the one last night, when updating is necessary to follow the live convesration, pageviews skyrocket disporportionately.

        • lprent

          Yes. There are several different bits of JavaScript on each page that talk to the stat counters. When the page is loaded or refreshed they are run.

          We run
          Google analytics for ourselves and for scoop (who do the ads) – does deep analysis
          StatCounter for the primitive public stats
          Wordpress stats for the editors and authors – gives stats on posts
          Neilson which is used for ads.

          These all work on page refreshes and loads for page views. There is a pretty good agreement within about +/- 5% for page views. They disagree on “visits” or sessions because these depend on timings and cookies – that has a variance of about +/- 20% which makes it pretty useless unless you compare the same system.

          But auto refreshes will push their stats way up. So does active discussion. But in one case mostly no one reads the result of the refresh, and in the other a human did it to read something.

          As well as that we run awstats and wassup stats to look at raw data for actual traffic volumes. These work from lower in the system. awststs sees every request including graphics at the actual server and has become redundant now that so much is handled by caches at cloudflare. Wassup works at the WordPress page provision and allows me to look at spambots and search engine crawlers

        • lprent

          BTW: I haven’t gotten out of bed yet. iPad reading of news, blogs, email, and looking up computer references is the usual morning routine. I go to work after the morning rush at about 9, which is 5 minutes down the hill by car and 30 healthy minutes by bus/walking.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.2

        I haven’t seen any auto-refreshing. Predominantly use Chrome on Ubuntu.

        • just saying

          I’m on Firefox.

          It’s been intermittent.
          During a live debate last night, it happened on my computer quite a lot. It happened a few times early this morning. I’ve just got back to my computer and it hasn’t happened yet.
          Anyone else experience it? How you notice is that the comments list on the left side of the page periodically updates new comments without the need for hitting reload. It’s not continuous though, and I think I occasionally noticed it a little while before last night.

          Maybe this is something peculiar to my machine.

          edit: It just did it again. I went back to the main page and the comments had been renewed.

          • weka

            I’m on Firefox mac, and I haven’t noticed it. But I tend to only go to the comments list when I have or am about to refresh manually. I’ll keep an eye out today.
            Lprent, a wee thing for when you have the time. The edit box text doesn’t seem to be adjustable. When it opens the text is wider than the box and there are no scroll bars (I have my browser fonts set largely than default). Manually decreasing browser text size (command -) doesn’t make a difference, it just decreases the text box as well. I’m fairly sure this is new, but couldn’t say when it happened.

            • lprent

              That is odd and new. It has always been slightly off on the size on different browsers. But always adjustable.

              On chrome I see the sizegrip, but cannot grasp it.

          • lprent

            edit: It just did it again. I went back to the main page and the comments had been renewed.

            Ah. I know what this will be. I get the same thing on my iPad tabs for both safari and chrome. When you go to another tab and start working on it (ie reading pages etc), at some point it ‘forgets’ most of the content of the inactive tab. When you focus back onto it then it fetches it again. Therefore it does a page refresh.

            Chrome on the iPad has this cute trick of storing a greyscale image of what it used to look like that it displays before it does the fetch.

            I’m rather expecting this to start being a standard on browsers soon as what it depends apon is having a working network link. As the numbers of tabs proliferate and active javascript on pages updating content in a live fashion (think of facebook) there is a steady increase in the amount of CPU and bandwidth being sucked up by inactive tabs behind the scenes (I have 14 tabs open at present). So the browsers will probably start deactivating or reducing the priority of idle pages and refresh them slowly or just when the focus returns to them.

            Firefox. What operating system are you using?

            • Draco T Bastard

              Latest version of FF for Windows has this option for tab loading. Haven’t seen it reload a page that was already loaded during the present session though, i.e, when I open FF with numerous tabs open FF will only grab the tab that is on top, The others it will grab when they become active.

              As for CPU usage, well, I’ve actually got a couple of pages with scripts banned because they’re using 75% of the CPU (both cores) when the page is open.

            • just saying

              Thanks Lynn,
              Sounds like you’re onto it. One small thing, I don’t use tabs, I go backwards and forwards using the arrows, but I assume the principle remains the same.

              I forgot to mention that another aspect of this (kind of cool) new function is that after writing a comment, when I hit send, I’m sent to a page with those comments that have been posted while I’ve been fluffing round with my comment, already present. Then when I return to the front page with my arrow, all the other new comments from other threads are neatly listed, as if the machine has anticipated my next action.

              I’m on the latest version of Firefox – it updates automatically. (However oddly, I notice the olympic flame still hasn’t gone out on the firefox main page) and vista.

              Maybe my machine’s just catching-up with what others’ have been doing for ages.

              • lprent

                Depends on the browser, but in the scenario I was describing it’d probably reload the variable data rather than just pulling out of your local cache.

                When a request is sent from a browser these days it will usually send the ‘stamp’ of the local cached item to the server. If it matches the stamp on the current version of that item then the server will just respond with one of the 3xx (?) codes that means reuse your cached version. Otherwise it will send the new version.

                This is used all of the time for static images and the like. My guess is that desktop browsers are becoming fully aware of sites with good servers with strong caching and are adapting to it. It means that the usual amount of transfer on our site (apart from the ads) is pretty minimal.

    • lprent 1.2


      Nothing on chrome on ubuntu, firefox on ubuntu, or konquerer on ubuntu.

      Wondering if it is just something on your browser.

      • David H 1.2.1

        what addons are you using with firefox? I am on FF and win 7, and I have to reload manually, but the addons that we run with Firefox could very well make it behave a little different on different machines.

        • just saying

          I did fiddle with the add-ons menu at one stage to try and fix something. But I wouldn’t have any idea what i did, just changed it to see what would happen.

  2. Carol 2

    I see Jenny Michie’s Standard post got mention in the Herald this morning. It’s in an article about Shearer telling his caucus off for bad-mouthing Cunliffe:

    Labour MPs were also told off by former party organiser Jenny Michie who wrote on the Standard blog that they needed to “get it together”. She said the comments about Mr Cunliffe were the last straw and MPs could not afford to indulge in “disloyal, backstabbing” behaviour or they would alienate not only the public but also party activists.

    • bad12 2.1

      Shearer besides being a right wing bene-basher better suited to the ACT Party also seems to accept as fact anything press hacks like Garner from TV3 has to say,

      The fact that He didn’t go into the Caucus asking IF there was any truth to Garners little ‘dog whistle’ further shows that He has a belief system that does not rely upon facts…

      • Carol 2.1.1

        Unless Shearer had already tackled the Cunliffe-bashers individually?

        And this morning Bomber, who usually isn’t that positive towards the Standard, comes out in favour of the Standard in a (so-called) “Standard vs Pagani” conflict. (albeit that Bomber doesn’t seem to be aware that “The Standard” is not a single entity that speaks with one voice)

        The Paganis vs The Standard and the battle for Labour’s political soul
        What I honestly don’t understand is why Labour are listening to the Pagani’s and not to The Standard. While The Standard has me rolling my eyes at times with some of the defense they run, they are far more on the money than bloody John or Josie Pagani. The Standard have hundreds of thousands of hits per month and have a far better idea of the pulse of the nation than the average back bench Labour MP.

        Shearer’s lack of political traction must be blamed on the Pagani Doctrine – if Labour don’t get Shearer better political advisors, they will lose 2014.

        The silver lining is that early this week, feelers were coming out from the Party towards some left wing strategists as the concerns continue to mount and they would do well to start listening.

      • prism 2.1.2

        It seems to me that Shearer just wants to manage Labour, repair, darn, weld the rusty bits, and go on making noises that sound leftish, getting enough centre voters with feel-good feelings but without wanting to make much change to their present livable lifestyle,. And with luck get some righties who are no longer enamoured with Key (I suppose there are a decent number now, if that’s not an oxymoron). Then when he is in power he will go on managing NZ in that soft-centred way that allows the country to creak on and run over some people in the dark – oh dear but who cares – which is what we have now. In other words go with the flow.

        What he doesn’t appear to have is a strong sense of how to be a noble, strong, upstanding leftie with some bite as well as bark. What is needed is a man or woman with strongly held opinions and ground-breaking plans about reducing the pay gap, increasing jobs and smart business, having reasonable equality, and instituting an investment plan for helping good NZ start ups and established businesses that are employing people, being run properly, so that they stay in NZ.

        It’s hard work but someone needs to be up to it. And a sign of that would be saying that it’s not good enough to have this shitty whiteanting going on, get with the team or get out.>>>>>

        • Colonial Viper

          And a sign of that would be saying that it’s not good enough to have this shitty whiteanting going on, get with the team or get out.>>>>>

          Last I heard though, he was pretty pleased with the performance of caucus.

        • Bored

          “Strongly held opinions”… that’s the Paganis..wrongly held opinions, thats the Paganis as well. Why are they not part of ACT? WTF is it with Labour that they dont just tel them to F.O?

      • Vicky32 2.1.3

        Shearer besides being a right wing bene-basher better suited to the ACT Party

        Utter nonsense! Of course he’s not any such thing. But the evil right-wing Shearer meme seems to be everywhere, with most Standardistas doing a better and more consistent job of landing hatred on Shearer and Labour than any of the rwnjs!
        They might as well give up and go home.

    • Blue 2.2

      From the article:

      “it is understood some caucus members were upset about Mr Shearer using the example of a person on the sickness benefit to state he did not approve of welfare fraud. Mr Shearer used the anecdote in a speech to GreyPower last week and yesterday said he stood by it.”

      There you go. It’s open season on bennies, and Paula and Dave are competing to see who can bag the most.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        There you go. It’s open season on bennies

        Nah mate. Its the season for the hunter to become the hunted. You know what I mean.

      • Bill 2.2.2

        Hmm. As a sickness beneficiary who is currently in the throes of house painting, what you reckon I throw an ‘open letter’ post to the Pagani’s of the world?

        • bad12

          Yes it would be nice to have the Pagani cabal visit and perhaps explain how they arrive at such views,

          Particularly in light of the ‘facts’ being that beneficiary fraud is identified as 0.1% of the Welfare Budget, and, tax fraud, where in my opinion the Pagani’s and Shearer’s of the world should be differentiating themselves from National amounts to a full 5% of total tax collected,

          In other words, the Bene’s fiddle the system for a few million, (bad), while those with all the money do the State out of 7 billion dollars a year and that don’t include legal avoidance, (f**king atrocious),

          Instead of Me Too Bene-bashing the Pagani’s and Shearer’s of this world would better serve those who they profess to represent by highlighting the above ‘facts’ and telling us all how if we stopped tax avoidance and evasion the welfare system is totally affordable and just what measures they will use to ensure that the avoidance and evasion of taxation ceases…

          • McFlock

            lol – nice comparison. Puts the benefit ‘fraud’ problem into perspective. I wonder if they’ve updated their system to distinguish between overpayments that are social warfare’s fault, and genuine fraud?

            • Vicky32

              I wonder if they’ve updated their system to distinguish between overpayments that are social warfare’s fault, and genuine fraud?

              Not a chance! If a human finds out, they just label it ‘innocent breach’ and demand repayment as per usual… (I have a massive debt, most of it caused by social warfare staff failing to do their jobs when I declared income!)
              The debt was halved when I complained about the amount, and some guy went through and checked, discovering that some staff member had ‘accidentally’ multiplied by 2 when setting it up on the system, so I owed “only” $2000 and not $4000.
              My complaint was acted upon solely and only because of the intervention of David Shearer. Bene basher? Not a chance.

              • McFlock

                I recall reading a case a few years back where exactly that happened – the client wrote many times to inform WINZ of their income change with no result. 2 years later they tried to do her for fraud – the judge kicked it out based on the evidence that she’d told them several times, and she got to keep the cash.
                Not so hot for the people who didn’t keep a thorough paper trail. 

                • Vicky32

                  Not so hot for the people who didn’t keep a thorough paper trail.

                  Luckily for me, I have learnt to always do that… Everything I send is copied and every phone call logged with date and time…

              • bad12

                So Dave as He is paid to do, sorted your little problem with WINZ, that just makes Him one hell of an overpaid social worker don’t it,


                His comment to Grey power vis a vis the ‘sickness beneficiary’ definitely the worst case of Bene-bashing i have heard from any of them for a while,

                Doesn’t it make you wonder what He was thinking about You while You told Him all about Your little WINZ problem…

        • QoT

          Doooooooo iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

      • prism 2.2.3

        Shearer by talking in this sensationalised way about beneficiaries (to smug Grey Powers) has just dug a pit for himself. He can try to stand by it but the edges will crumble, and Humpty Dumpty will take a tumble and we know what happened to him.

  3. Carol 3

    And a sarcy sideswipe from Nicholas Jones in the Herald this morning, at Key’s “big news” Bangor Little League comment:

    Valerie Adams has got her Olympic gold medal, but Prime Minister John Key wants people in the United States to know that baseball is “big news” back in New Zealand.

    And the article ends with this little sarcy touch:


    * Services for two New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
    * Valerie Adams awarded gold medal after rival Nadzeya Ostapchuk tested positive for an anabolic steroid.
    * Release of the MMP review proposal by the Electoral Commission.

    • bad12 3.1

      Never stops, nor slows, the bulls**t flowing from the mouth of Slippery the Prime Minister, even when there’s no need to talk it,

      Now American Baseball is ‘big news’ in New Zealand, only in the Slippery ones dreams…

      • marsman 3.1.1

        Wonder who tipped off the Maine media about John Key’s visit, Key himself or one of his staff no doubt.

  4. felix 4

    How Labour should be talking. It’s not fucking rocket science, idiots:

  5. bad12 5

    A definition of poverty, a Hamilton family with four kids reliant upon a benefit has 200 dollars a week left to pay for EVERYTHING after rent is paid,

    A University of Otago study shows that on average a family of that size to maintain a healthy balanced diet and send the kids to school with lunch costs $280 a week,

    RadioNZ nine to Noon host Kathryn Ryan has the answer tho, ”couldn’t they just seek budgeting advice”,

    There are some things in this life that just make me want to scream F**K at the top of my lungs and one of them is really really f**king stupid people being allowed to voice opinions over the public airwaves…

    • tc 5.1

      Ryan isn’t alone at RNZ as being unable to moderate, think on the spot and asks really stupid questions that show she wouldn’t know hardship in any form.
      I’ve stopped listening after seeing her on a book show where she came across as a snobby tart…..she’s in good company.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      There are some things in this life that just make me want to scream F**K at the top of my lungs and one of them is really really f**king stupid people being allowed to voice opinions over the public airwaves…


    • weka 5.3

      “RadioNZ nine to Noon host Kathryn Ryan has the answer tho, ”couldn’t they just seek budgeting advice”,”
      Text RNZ 2101
      Phone 04 474 1999

    • Te Reo Putake 5.4

      Are you sure it was Ryan? She wasn’t on today, replaced by Lynn Freeman, I think.

    • BillODrees 5.5

      RNZ National has become less relevant by the day. Ryan is a wet bus ticket. A wasted morning.  The Mora show in the afternoon is in-studio-talkback. 

      Without Geoff and Simon in the morning and Mary in the early evening (and a few evening programs) it would not be worth the funding. 

      It is Radio for older respectable non working Wellington pakeha.  

  6. prism 6

    While listening to Radionz – two things in the news have struck me as showing the government and its failures in a further bad light.
    One is the amount of hungry pupils in some schools because they haven’t had breakfast – up to 20% at some schools I think in the Waikato. Schools and charities are trying to make up the slack, and I believe that attention to food needs, pays off with noticeably better functioning students and learning results. Other countries do have meal programmes, so we could do our usual and quote ‘overseas’ practices and follow their established methods.

    We hear about food banks being under pressure – from Ruth Richardson in 1991 arbitrarily cutting benefits to now people have become poorer and its hitting them in basic living needs. People who are struggling on little money have to manage as best they can daily without any planning for a future that is uncertain and may not improve. And this applies whether people are working in low-paid employment, or on a benefit. Now this is a perfect condition for producing a ‘tail’ of education laggards. Why have we put so much money into National Standards when we know already exactly what is happening in our education system? And parents who didn’t know, as in the obligatory chant of the pollies, just needed less gobbldegook in reports and to ask for interviews with teachers. Inadequate, inefficient, ineffective, untargeted (at the cause), ill-informed policy from supposedly modern, intelligent government/s.
    We aren’t getting our moneysworth from these strutters and play actors.

    Schools and teachers are paying to feed hungry children 9.30
    With Pat Poland – Principal of Deanwell School in Waikato and Anna Cox – Researcher from Poverty Action Waikato. (18′05″)

    The second piece of news shows mendacious behaviour by the Ministry of Health. A new policy was introduced to deal intelligently and positively with overcoming the lack of medical personnel in particular areas of need, rural and mental health. There was a bonding system. There was mention of 100 people having signed up for this, but only three had received the promised outcomes originally offered. In the agreements there must have been some reference to changes being needed as the policy matured, but the breadth and depth of these has meant that the original understandings of the original participants are now redundant. And the direction that they have taken as a result of the government’s policy have not been of the expected value to them. And of course the sectors that were needing personnel remain with fewer people prepared to work and help with any future government programmes.
    Rural areas still struggling to attract doctors 8.43
    A voluntary bonding scheme designed to attract young doctors, nurses and midwives to rural areas isn’t meeting expectations. (2′46″)
    Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

    This is real bad faith stuff. Both sides to an agreement should keep their word and follow through on it. For government to play games with people, and use them then change the rules, especially when those people are plugging some gap in services that the government needs, is a disgrace. And that statement can apply to both of these cases.

  7. js 7

    What is worse is the beneficiary blaming feedback from such stories – like they still have money for cigarettes and Lotto, so what are they complaining about?
    We need some serious attention to values of inclusion in this country, and looking out for your neighbour as it might be you hitting bad times next.

    • weka 7.1

      We need some serious attention to values of inclusion in this country, and looking out for your neighbour as it might be you hitting bad times next.


      • Bored 7.1.1

        + a few more. As they say (coming to a town near all of us soon) “there but for the grace of God go I”.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    I see Paula Bennett has written a rather obsequious letter re the Fuller breach of privacy that she hopes will bury the matter. One wonders if a financial settlement was eventually reached behind the scenes in this ugly case of a minister of the crown bullying a vulnerable citizen.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I note that she doesn’t think that she did anything wrong as well. So much for being accountable for her actions or even being moral.

      The minister later states she was not wrong to release the beneficiary’s details and did not breach her privacy.

      “I do not accept that view but the purpose of this letter is not to further debate the merits of our respective positions,” she says in the letter.

    • Murray Olsen 8.2

      The “Beast of Blenheim” also refuses to accept that he did anything wrong. It’s a common trait among serial abusers, but will no doubt cause more uproar in his case than in hers.

  9. Jackal 9

    Please define ‘internet nuisance’ Judith Collins?

    Such a broad reference could include those with a strong political opinion and the tribunal might in fact be used as a tool to silence the governments critics…

  10. joe90 10

    People and their bronze age superstitions…..barking.

    GOP lawmakers question standards for teaching evolution in Kentucky

    Another committee member, Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville, said he had a problem with evolution being an important part of biology standards.

    “The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science — Darwin made it up,” Waide said. “My objection is they should ensure whatever scientific material is being put forth as a standard should at least stand up to scientific method. Under the most rudimentary, basic scientific examination, the theory of evolution has never stood up to scientific scrutiny.”

  11. On the subject of John Banks as cabbage (discussed elsewhere)….
    I have serious doubts about his mental stability of late. He has always been a man with “issues” but some of the things he says lately and the way that he says them are quite unnatural and often bizarre given the circumstances.
    Is this just me?

  12. vto 12

    Gawd, … have been wildernessing hard out last wee while and have no idea why return to this thing called civilisation is something that has to be done.

    Especially when the old time-proved adage “you judge a society by how it treats its most vulnerable” is exposed in all its ugly glory in these islands, and especially under this government. Came home to me when just out and heard that Womens Refuge / Rape Crisis in Auckland was having to partially shutdown due to lack of support….. at a time when the NZX gets increased support, dairy business gets increased support, the highest income earners get increased support and private education gets increased support, amongst many others…

    Those who support that approach are ugly and unworthy. I spit on their attitude and approach.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      have been wildernessing hard out last wee while and have no idea why return to this thing called civilisation is something that has to be done.

      Kindred spirit. Getting out into the green is all that keeps me passably sane these days.

      Lessons I learnt as a young thing:

      1. The group is only as strong as it’s weakest member.

      2. Look after yourself; keep warm, keep hydrated, get out of the wind.

      3. Then look after the team; drag in the firewood, put up the tent, organise the meal, get the cooker or fire going.

      4. Leave the hut or camp-site better than you found it.

      5. Ultimately it’s up to the resources you have on your pack, how fit and confident you are, the weather and the terrain … and the judgements you make.

      6. And maybe a healthy dose of humility. No matter how good you think you are … nature can always trump you.

      And then when you come out to ‘civilisation’… it’s all arse-about face.

      • vto 12.1.1

        Too true mr logix. The natural world is surely the more civilised place.

        I had some of those ‘nature’ lessons reinforced in a heavy scary way. And solo makes them all the more important.

        Oh well, back to rebuilding a city he he..

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    And it appears that this governments policy of drug testing beneficiaries is pure ideology as well.

    Following a OIA request, CTU has received information from the Ministry of Social Development today that the government has received no advice, briefings, papers or reports in the last twelve months about complaints from employers about beneficiaries failing drug tests and is unable to locate the much vaunted complaints from employers about beneficiaries failing drug tests.

    Arbitrary laws from people who won’t be held to account for the damage they do to people and this country.

  14. prism 14

    NACT known for – Policy made out of sweepings found under the mat.

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    US General tried to hide Auschwitz-like conditions at US supervised Afghan military hospital

    Because its Election year in the US, no less.

    This is the level of shit we are involved with in Afghanistan.

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    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    2 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    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
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • 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

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