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Open mike 17/04/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 17th, 2013 - 135 comments
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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…

135 comments on “Open mike 17/04/2013 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    Some good news.

    The Fossil Fuel Resistance

    “We’ll at least be able to say we fought.”

    Bill McKibben

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-fossil-fuel-resistance-20130411/+1

    In America the Fossil Fuel Resistance has already won some serious victories, blocking dozens of new coal plants and closing down existing ones – ask the folks at Little Village Environmental Justice Organization who helped shutter a pair of coal plants in Chicago, or the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, which fought to stop Chevron from expanding its refinery in Richmond, California. “Up to this point, grassroots organizing has kept more industrial carbon out of the atmosphere than state or federal policy,” says Gopal Dayaneni of the Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project. It’s an economic resistance movement, too, one that’s well aware renewable energy creates three times as many jobs as coal and gas and oil. Good jobs that can’t be outsourced because the sun and the wind are close to home. It creates a future.
    You don’t need to go to jail, but you do need to do more than change your light bulbs. You need to try to change the system that is raising the temperature, the sea level, the extinction rate – even whether civilization will survive this century

    …..there were thousands in the crowd also working to block fracking wells across the Appalachians and proposed Pacific coast deep-water ports that would send coal to China. Students from most of the 323 campuses where the fight for fossil-fuel divestment is under way mingled with veterans of the battles to shut down mountaintop-removal coal mining in West Virginia and Kentucky, and with earnest members of the Citizens Climate Lobby there to demand that Congress enact a serious price on carbon. A few days earlier, 48 leaders had been arrested outside the White House – they included ranchers from Nebraska who didn’t want a giant pipeline across their land and leaders from Texas refinery towns who didn’t want more crude spilling into their communities. Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham was on hand, urging scientists to accompany their research with civil disobedience, as were solar entrepreneurs quickly figuring out how to deploy panels on rooftops across the country. The original Americans were well-represented; indigenous groups are core leaders of the fight, since their communities have been devastated by mines and cheated by oil companies….

    Forget about North Korea. We need to declare war on Climate Change

    The Green Party Conference on Climate Change to be held in the Legislative Council Chamber on June 7 will be a the opportunity to publicly and loundly declare war on Climate Change, and launch the Fossil Fuel Resistance in this country.

    I expect some serious resolutions and demands to come out of this conference.

    1/ The immediate closure of Tiwai with good redundancies and retraining packages, for all the Tiwai workforce. (Not just union, subbies and casuals as well).

    2/ The halting of all coal exports from this country as a moral lead to our closest neighbour and friend Australia. As an example of what must be demanded of them too. To have any chance of saving the climate.

    3/ The founding of a professionally supported resistance organisation to achieve (at least) these two basic aims.

    • muzza 1.1

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/aug/29/environment.science

      Jenny – Stop using the term *Declare War* – Its bloody distasteful, and best left to the likes of John Key, and the other chicken hawks!

      Read through the link above, and read some of the links from that article, it will help with general understanding!

      Keep up the good work…

    • johnm 1.2

      Hi jenny
      The War against climate change is already lost because positive feedbacks are now increasingly manifesting. Here are four to begin with:

      ” Methane hydrates are bubbling out the Arctic Ocean (Science, March 2010)

      Warm Atlantic water is defrosting the Arctic as it shoots through the Fram Strait (Science, January 2011). This breakdown of the thermohaline conveyor belt is happening in the Antarctic as well.

      Siberian methane vents have increased in size from less than a meter across in the summer of 2010 to about a kilometer across in 2011 (Tellus, February 2011)

      Drought in the Amazon triggered the release of more carbon than the United States in 2010 (Science, February 2011)

      Peat in the world’s boreal forests is decomposing at an astonishing rate (Nature Communications, November 2011)”
      Refer Guy Mcpherson’s article:
      http://guymcpherson.com/2013/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/

      “In other words, Obama and others in his administration knew near-term extinction of humans was already guaranteed. Even before the dire feedbacks were reported by the scientific community, the Obama administration abandoned climate change as a significant issue because it knew we were done as early as 2009. Rather than shoulder the unenviable task of truth-teller, Obama did as his imperial higher-ups demanded: He lied about collapse, and he lied about climate change. And he still does.”

      Obviously continuing to burn more fossil fuels will boost the process even more. If Lovelock is right we are heading for a new, never before experienced by humanity, hot planet equilibrium well past the global average increase of 2C.

      • Jenny 1.2.1

        Hi jenny
        The War against climate change is already lost because positive feedbacks are now increasingly manifesting. Here are four to begin with…..

        johnm

        johnm missed out the biggest feed back of all.
        CO2 is not the biggest green house gas. Neither is methane. The biggest green house gas in the Earth’s atmosphere is water vapour. Warm air holds more water vapour, which causes more warming which leads to warmer air which holds more water vapour which leads to etc. etc.

        That this is so, is witnessed by what has been termed snowmageddon and by unprecedented record breaking rainfall and consequent disastrous floods experienced around the world. Ironically tied to extreme drought in other areas.

    • Poission 1.3

      US carbon emissions are the lowest in 20 years,a situation brought about by cheaper cleaner energy ,

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/us-carbon-dioxide-emissions-2012_n_1792167.html

  2. Dr Terry 2

    The new Pope Francis is already declaring himself as a died in the wool conservative – though I’m sure he goes about it with ever so much “loving care”.A wolf in sheep’s clothing? . See RT news report which reports unchanged hardness of heart toward the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (represent 80% of nuns). Little sign of his promised “tender and ethical responses” here – but then he is harsh toward women which is hardly to be unexpected. Such lovely people on the surface can be beastly in practice.

    • Ennui 2.1

      DrT, methinks we think differently to Francis. And I wonder why anybody would think that the head of the bastion of arch social conservatism would be any different? We on this blog like to think we are more “advanced” with our secular religion of arch modernism, with all its Bacchanalian liberalism thrown in. We happily destroy any conservative boundaries, declaring them morally bankrupt, outdated, misogynist etc. And we happily declare our value judgments supreme.

      Francis I suspect belongs to a far different tradition, and note the word tradition: his social precepts have survived two thousand years, and for most of that time fitted the everyday social realities. Who is to say how long and how fitting our “advanced” precepts will fit our changing realities?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Indeed. The other thing is that Pope Francis has a massive internal politics and internal stakeholders that he needs to deal with. He is going to have to carefully choose where he spends his political capital, after a period where the former Pope appears to have run into major internal problems.

        In that sense, imagine the internal constraints that National or Labour deal with every day, x10,000.

      • ghostrider888 2.1.2

        ’til the end my long lost friend, ’til the end,
        2PAC

  3. Elizabeth Bourchier 3

    Downloaded a new Ring Tone.
    BIG BEN has lots of resonance!

  4. I stumbled across this statement made by Kim Dotcom on March 1, 2012. He apparently said:

    “It’s kind of like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, you know? If you want to go after someone and you have a political goal you will say whatever it takes.”

    Sums it up perfectly …

    • Ennui 4.1

      Did you see Pilger on Maori TV last night, in a doco on Latin America and the US political interventions?

      The fascinating bits for me were:
      * Kissinger denying involvement in Chile: bare faced lies that Goebbels would have been proud of. With him was Nixon, a flawed but not I suspect an evil individual. Contrasting the elected and accountable Nixon was Kissinger, the l’eminence grise hitch hiking behind the power, the unelected, unaccountable modern bureaucrat. Pure evil.
      * Bush declaring what great work those “boys from the Chicago school” had done for the Chilean economy when he was in full knowledge of the “dirty deeds”. The transition from accountable democratic presidency to elected divine right presidency very evident.
      * Pilgers interview with a CIA operative who unashamedly justified any brutality as “a defense of US interests”. According to this man what was good for the US transcended any moral decency or human rights. Transported back 50 years he would have run a death camp, or commanded a gulag. Scary.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Takes a certain kind of character, and plenty of sacrifices (usually from others…) to run and maintain an empire.

      • framu 4.1.2

        saw that – well, before dozing off on the couch 🙂

        was pleased and amazed it was being screened on any kind of TV, let alone free to air TV

        Im intrigued about just how many people watched and went “WTF? didnt know any of that”

        Hopefully it wasnt a preaching to the choir event

      • johnm 4.1.3

        Hi Ennui

        El Gringo Yankey john is a U$ neoliberal privatising plant in N$Z who is continuing the trashing process of everything that made this a great country to live in.

      • muzza 4.1.4

        Was it called *The war on democracy*?

        I have a DVD by that name, fronted by Pilger..

        The likes of Kissinger, are still *taking care of interests*!

    • veutoviper 4.2

      A very relevant comment at present, MS.

      And I recommend to others your latest post on your own blog re Dotcom, the GCSB and related legal issues – http://waitakerenews.blogspot.com/2013/04/dotcom-rattles-key.html

      (A minor point: in the paragraph re July 2012, I presume that “Ian Foster” should read “Ian Fletcher”.)

      I have also found the Toby Manhire timeline your comment links to useful and worth checking from time to time as he appears to be continually updating it. The links within that timeline under the 9 April 2013 are also useful.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Oh look it seems like a pre-prepared agenda and operational plan is now being put into action.

      Great.

      • framu 5.1.1

        chris trotters article on the daily blog about the kitteridge report was also quite interesting

        sorry – gotta dash – cant remember the exact day it went up, so no linky from me on that one

        [karol: added the link for you]

        • emergency mike 5.1.1.1

          What. The. F*ck.

          In a matter of days John Key has turned into Dubya. First terrorists and WMDs, now our very own mini-patriot act legislation proposal materializes. How can it not be obvious to all that this is about abusing his power to cover his own arse now, and protect his own political agenda in the future?

          Both of framu’s links are a must read. As Sam95 in the Stuff link commented:

          But the proposed changes would mean network operators would be obliged to “engage with the Government through the GCSB on network security”, where it might affect New Zealand’s national security and economic well-being, she said.

          Economic wellbeing? That’s a pretty low bar. Does it mean the Gvt could, for example, spy on workers they think are planning to strike?”

          Anyone who looked at the American madness under Bush and said “that can’t happen here,” might want to wake up about now.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            “Economic wellbeing? That’s a pretty low bar. Does it mean the Gvt could, for example, spy on workers they think are planning to strike?”

            Yep. Or anyone protesting for instance against the TPP. Or any other thing the govt deems necessary for our economic wellbeing.

            However, I’m pretty sure the economic wellbeing criteria came in post-911 with NZ legislation changes done in the 2000s. The changes now are to include the GCSB to allow it to extend its powers to NZ citizens.

      • Professor Longhair 5.1.2

        “…seems like a pre-prepared [sic] agenda…”

        That’s a horrifying piece of redundancy.Tidy up your act, please.

    • karol 5.2

      Thanks for that link. Yes, this is why, even though the GCSB regulations may need to be updated, there needs to be time for a full and thorough examination of the intelligence services and wide consultation on proposed changes.

      • DH 5.2.1

        “Yes, this is why, even though the GCSB regulations may need to be updated, there needs to be time for a full and thorough examination of the intelligence services and wide consultation on proposed changes.”

        That’s quite well written by Trotter and is a bit of an eye opener. When they revealed that 85 people had been spied on my own first pick was Jane Kelsey, interesting to see Trotter picked her out too. A lot of the TPPA revelations were being leaked out of the USA and Kelsey has pretty clearly been getting access to information that she’s not supposed to see.

        The negative publicity arising from it will be pissing off the vested interests concerned and I’d lay odds they’ve been trying frantically to find & close the leaks of ‘secret’ TPPA documents. It’s not a long stretch of the bow to assume they’ve been monitoring who she communicates with in the hope of finding the source(s) and to be forewarned of what she might have to say next. Not a nice thought.

    • rosy 5.3

      So where are Dunne and the Maori Party in this GCSB legislative coup?

      • framu 5.3.1

        and the act party – theyve gone a bit quiet

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1

          the Act Party have principles of libertarianism and freedom from Government intrusion and over-reach. Of course they will oppose the Bill. Really, I’m just sure of it.

          • Alanz 5.3.1.1.1

            huh? oh, the act libertarian, act free, act honest party. it’s just an act.

          • TheContrarian 5.3.1.1.2

            It has been a long time since could be considered libertarian in any sense.

            • felix 5.3.1.1.2.1

              They still promote it as such, so that’s still the standard they’re measured against.

              Fair?

              • TheContrarian

                That’d be like saying its fair to judge a cat as a dog because the owner calls it a dog.

                ACT is just a rich, white, conservative party with a religious bent now.
                Fucking hopeless would be a better description.

                • framu

                  how about a cat in a dog suit that goes woof occasionally?

                  seems a better analogy for how act portray themselves

                  but as for the rest – agreed, but i would switch conservative for “authoritarian plutocrats”

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That’d be like saying its fair to judge a cat as a dog because the owner calls it a dog.

                  Your analogy sux. In fact, it doesn’t even come close as the cat isn’t claiming to be a dog.

                  ACT is just a rich, white, conservative party with a religious bent now.

                  While still claiming to be Liberals.

                • felix

                  “That’d be like saying its fair to judge a cat as a dog because the owner calls it a dog.”

                  Not the point. They’re trying to sell a cat dressed as a dog, in which case it’s reasonable to measure it against the standards you’d expect of a dog, and to point out where it is found wanting.

                  “ACT is just a rich, white, conservative party with a religious bent now.”

                  Yes, and they should stop bullshitting about being free market social liberals.

      • karol 5.3.2

        NZ First will support it with some qualifications.

        Rt Hon Winston Peters says safeguards must be written into the legislation to ensure the GCSB does not operate outside the law.

        These are:
        • Each surveillance to be authorised by warrant by the responsible minister
        • The warrant to comply with specified criteria to identify the potential security risk
        • The method of surveillance and the time frame of the operation
        • Every warrant to be reviewed within three weeks by an independent authority selected from the Judiciary, Defence Force and Police

        I believe Dunne has said UF will support the Bill in the first reading.

        The Maori Party look like they won’t support it:

        However, a spokesman for Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said the party would “never agree that New Zealand citizens should be under surveillance by the GCSB”.

        “Maori people are disproportionately affected by laws on offending and arrest. It could be alleged that we will be similarly affected by spying – and who would ever know? We must review these laws and practices.”

        • McFlock 5.3.2.1

          Fuck this “responsible minister” lark. National have made it a contradiction in terms.

          It’s quite obvious intelligence and law enforcement need a cross-party oversight committee with govt and opposition mps and a high/supreme court justice to do these warrants, at the very least review all warrants on a monthly basis.

    • ghostrider888 5.4

      they are running out of hairs-breath

    • muzza 5.5

      Yup, as it was planned to be – Wonder where the UFB fits into all of this ….

      • Draco T Bastard 5.5.1

        Everything on the network can easily be traced.

        • muzza 5.5.1.1

          Indeed, the grid is being laid, and its not looking good for the punters!

          Smart meters already being rolled out, many people don’t even know they have one!

          Convergence will happen sooner or later!

    • Draco T Bastard 5.6

      Ok, the government are trying to prevent the same thing that happened in the Arab Spring where people used social media to ignite the revolution. They don’t seem to understand that the policies of the government were the fuel.

      • weka 5.6.1

        You think NZ is anywhere close to a revolution? Or do you mean that the govt is looking ahead?

  5. johnm 6

    Theresa, who teaches in the working class suburb of Wainuiomata, said the national performance standards were “absolutely disgusting”. She said it was “heart-breaking for parents to read that their kids are failing against some bar that might not even be of any relevance.” She explained: “The scary thing about national standards is the computer system, which will effectively label students and take the teacher’s decisions away. Teachers know children. Nobody always does the best they can do on a test.”

    Gary said that under national standards “education is reduced to performance along three lines, reading writing and maths … That sort of campaign has always been associated with a hard-right government, a government that does not want to cultivate in its citizens a capacity to think independently.” He said it was “horrible”, that “primary schools are moving to produce consumers and taxpayers” and “the idea of having an education which produced a well-rounded, balanced child who can think critically is being discarded.”

    New Zealand teachers’ protests:

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/16/nzed-a16.html

    • Red Rosa 6.1

      This is real ‘social engineering. Add to it the money being poured into private religious schools for the wealthy, and you can see the National education agenda clear as day. Presumably there is a Labour Party education spokesperson who can say bluntly ‘we will reverse this’. ???

  6. ghostrider888 7

    Obama is not in Kansas now. ‘Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn’t, didn’t already have,
    “Sometimes late when things are real
    And people share the gift of gab between themselves
    Some are quick to take the bait
    And catch the perfect prize that waits among the shelves…”

    although the number of people drinking alcohol, nationally has dropped slightly,
    1 in 5 surveyed have a hazardous drinking pattern; those 18-24 are most at risk where-in are 1 in 4 women.

    Vanilla Ice Coney Island Baby

  7. prism 8

    Hear ye? Hear ye! At 4:06 pm Sunday 21 April: Constitutional Review Debates.
    On Radionz – some lively minds applying their intellect to THIS IMPORTANT SUBJECT of our country’s basic legal measures. See the blurb from Radionz below. (This is the second one but you can still listen to the first.)

    Sundays 14 April – 12 May 2013 during 4 ‘Til 8
    Coming Up
    4:06 pm Sunday 21 April: Constitutional Review Debates
    Reforming our Democratic Institutions

    Featuring Dr Maria Bargh, Colin James, Professor Elizabeth McLeay, Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC and Steven Price

    This debate looks at the term of parliament (and whether it should be fixed), the size of parliament, the size and number of electorates, and Maori electoral representation.
    Debating the Constitution 1: What’s the problem?

    Kicking off a series of debates inspired by the current Constitutional Review, Professor Claudia Geiringer; Professor Bruce Harris, Dr Carwyn Jones, Dame Claudia Orange, and Dr Matthew Palmer explore the background issues with moderator Steven Price. (53′03″)
    From Constitutional Review Debates on 14 Apr 2013
    Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  8. Professor Longhair 9

    Charred fragments believed by some to be Goebbels’ notes for a funeral eulogy.

    Party comrades,

    It has to be recognised that the Fuehrer did arouse strong feelings in certain quarters; some have even called him a divisive figure. But this is a solemn funereal occasion, which ought to be conducted in the best possible taste. It is a moment to commemorate positive achievements only; let not the good be “interred with his bones” as Mark Anthony would put it. Many of those young people who so glibly denounce “Hitlerism” simply cannot remember what a mess Germany was in before he came to office. That mess was largely inherited, it cannot be said too often, from the social democrats who had spent million on municipal social programmes financed by borrowed money. Germany’s international standing was low; the French had literally walked all over us. Strikes and street riots were commonplace. ….. But there were no strikes or riots, absolutely none, after Adolf Hitler came into to office. This was due the uncompromising anti-trade union legislation of a man whom history will surely count as the world’s leading anti-Communist… A towering international figure, Adolf Hitler was a conviction politician; his name will be long remembered as byword.

    In his personal life Adolf Hitler was abstemious and reserved, but he was always a generous patron of the arts, and he often relished a heated argument when at table. Those of us who worked with him will remember a side the public could not see: his extraordinary personal considerateness toward members of his immediate staff. They will also know of his unusual kindness to animals. “The animals are my friends” he would often say “and I do not eat my friends.” …. Among the legacies of this great moderniser are the spacious roads that now stretch across Germany and our distinctive “People’s Car” that will one day happily throng along them….

    • ianmac 9.1

      Chilling but a thatch of resonance! Clever connections.

    • karol 9.2

      And an excellent op ed, by the always-worth-reading Yasmin Alibhai Brown, on Thatcher’s racism: “Beware of the rabid right, not the loony left”.

      In the ceaseless cacophony following her death, scant attention has been paid to her supremacist views of Empire (Bruge Speech, 1992) or the race riots, or the many deaths in custody of black men, or government-sanctioned unfair policing, or her deep hostility to immigrants of colour or concomitant warmth towards white Zimbabweans and South Africans. As the blogger Jacqueline Scott writes: “Racism fattened under Thatcher”. Forgotten too is her vendetta against the GLC and ILEA, those London bodies that did not fall in line with her little-Englandism. The politically correct, radical right has silenced all such talk and much more besides.

      Make no mistake, the most intolerant, Stalinist and insistently PC forces today are on the right, not on the so called “loony left”.

    • joe90 9.3

      Thatcher’s hate speech and what could be done with the money spent on her burying.

      I prefer Frankie Boyle’s suggestion to spend only 3 million pounds and give each person a shovel to hand her to Satan personally.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/12/margaret-thatcher-anti-gay-speech_n_3071177.html

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2013/apr/16/margaret-thatcher-funeral-10-million

      • ianmac 9.3.1

        As some else said, “To respect her belief in Market Forces, put her funeral out to tender and choose the lowest offer.”

        • karol 9.3.1.1

          And now we have the crushless ones doing a fan-girl rave about the wonderfulness, and always correctness of the departed one.

          • veutoviper 9.3.1.1.1

            Unbelievable performance by Parata! Just came back into my home office to catch her final few moments – and the camera cutting across to the empty Labour seats.

            And now we have Louise Upton, Key’s sychophant of late with patsy questions, waxing lyrical about handbags…..and Thatcher.

            And Ianmac, I agree that is what they should have done re the funeral. Laughed when I saw that a few days ago.

            • karol 9.3.1.1.1.1

              Oh godz: I can’t take much more from the Natz women in the House lauding Thatcher and Jackie Blue & Thatcher as feminist icons, leading the fight for women. Very good rebuttal from Moroney.

              • veutoviper

                Agreed – especially about Sue Moroney’s rebuttal. Sue is wasted where she is now …..

                Just saw some of Jackie Blue’s speech and have to say I was impressed with her inclusiveness of women across the spectrum in the House. I am trying to keep an open mind on her new appointment; time will tell. Cannot say the same for the Devoy appointment.

              • RedLogix

                I personally knew Jackie many years ago; haven’t been in touch for a long time but she’s one very, very intelligent person. I’d be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt in her new role.

                If nothing else I’d read the resignation as a Nat MP in a positive light.

                • Anne

                  Have to say that I’ve noticed in the past that she has often looked bored and not very impressed with some of the infantile one-upman-ship that goes on – even from her own team. She may well prove to be a Nat. crony appointment who is an exception to the rule.

    • Red Rosa 9.4

      +1

      • aerobubble 9.4.1

        Mine technology was making mining less labour intensive, it was inevitable that the mining industry would have to shrink under whoever become leader of Britian. How Thatcher went about it says much about how many now feel about her.

        Imagine a world where countries would seize islands off their coast, like the Fawklands, what would have happened in the Pacific, would China have seize islands??? It was unimaginable that the west, which had grabs so many islands globally, could allow the Fawklands to fall. And would also speak to the UN moves to give islands autonomy now. So the idea that she did something decisive is a illusion, once again she was at the whim of trends long entrenched.

        Her legacy is the stauch way the media backed her, and media even today, fail to address her legacy with any truth. The middle east oil wells ere opened up, the western economy boomed
        for 30 years, the richest wanted the lion share of that wealth and so instead of redirecting it into
        bring the world out of poverty, ending war, it was funneled into the biggest market collapse since the great depression. Her legacy is that she was a tool, and still is.

  9. Alanz 12

    Oh dear, the John Key condition is infectious and has spread to Tony Ryall who cannot get his story straight in the House now!!

  10. vto 13

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8561516/Fisherman-told-crossing-was-safe-father

    So Talleys only talked to him about the catch ……………………………………………………

    That is not a freak wave / out of nowhere / instantly changed…… it is well spotted

    Suffer the people

    … these too-hard talleys ….

    they should go somewhere else

  11. Morrissey 14

    How on earth did this bloke get a law degree?
    Jordan Williams’ fertile mind was fertilizing prodigiously this afternoon.

    The Panel, Radio New Zealand National, Wednesday 17 April 2013
    Jim Mora, Josie McNaught, Jordan Williams

    One of the more unpleasant commentators in this country is the anti-proportional representation campaigner Jordan Williams, a right wing lawyer who in a short time in the public eye has established himself as one of the go-to guys for any lazy journalist wanting a quick soundbite with an extreme right-wing taint to it. Williams evidently thinks that talking quietly and slowly and deliberately will fool people into ignoring the poverty of his thinking and to regard him as, ummm, …. errrr, ….pause…. thoughtful and serious. In fact, in his several appearances on The Panel, Williams has revealed that he is not much more than an indolent recycler of Reader’s Digest-level bromides against democracy, civil rights, rational thinking, and other left-wing, liberal, namby-pamby, nanny-state, commie nonsense.

    If his voice was aged by thirty years, and gnarlier, and tobacco-thickened, Jordan Williams could be mistaken for poor old Garth “Gaga” George, or the C-grade movie bully-boy John “Barney” Barnett, or the hapless NBR editor and not-so-bon vivant Nevil “Breivik” Gibson. But more than anyone else, Williams sounds very like a youthful edition of the libertarian nut, S.S. counsel and cod-philosopher Stephen Franks. This is no doubt largely explained by the fact he works for Franks & Ogilvie, and has no doubt taken to faithfully aping the style of the old ACT back-bench-warmer.

    On today’s show, the first half passed uneventfully, with some dull and spurious anti-gay rhetoric posing as “legitimate concerns” about the Marriage Equality Bill, then a brief and unenlightening discussion about Justin Bieber, and then an appalling, absurdly punctilious parsing of President Obama’s words following the Boston Marathon atrocity.

    After the 4:30 news, it was time for the Soapbox….

    JIM MORA: All right, it’s that time when we ask our Panelists what they have been thinking about. Jordan Williams, what’s on your mind?

    Williams had obviously been waiting for this one for a long time. Unfortunately, however, it did not improve the quality of his talk one whit; anyone tempted to think about engaging the professional advocacy services of this fellow should listen to the quality—or lack of quality—of his performance here.

    Williams proceeded to indulge in a wandery and incoherent rant against Victoria University’s refusal to have anything to do with the unhinged, wild-eyed, walking disaster known as Screaming Lord Monckton. Throughout his poorly prepared speech, Williams several times said that the university was treating Monckton “like a Holocaust-denier”. Actually, Williams unwittingly was stating the truth here: Monckton has the status and intellectual credibility of a Holocaust-denier. Williams also kept referring to Monkton, a notorious crank, as a “climate change skeptic”. To her credit, Josie McNaught took Williams up on that, pointing out that Monckton had no respect at all in the scientific community, and that he is accurately described as a denier, not a skeptic.

    That simple act of contradiction almost caused Williams to melt down. He stuttered and frothed, shouted “No he’s NOT!”, stammered for several minutes, admitted that he knew nothing about climate science—“I’m only a lawyer”—and then returned to his theme that refusing to acknowledge that pop-eyed fruitcake was equivalent to curtailing free speech on campus.

    I flicked off the following email to the programme…

    Jordan Williams’ tolerance for loons

    Dear Jim,

    Does Jordan Williams support our universities extending respect to people who claim to have been abducted by aliens?

    And if not, why not?

    Yours sincerely,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • felix 14.1

      “To her credit, Josie McNaught took Williams up on that, pointing out that Monckton had no respect at all in the scientific community, and that he is accurately described as a denier, not a skeptic.”

      Err, no she didn’t.

      That simple act of contradiction almost caused Williams to melt down. He stuttered and frothed, shouted “No he’s NOT!”, stammered for several minutes,”

      Err, no, that didn’t happen either.

      Morrissey, you’re making shit up. Again.

      Here’s the audio: http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/aft/aft-20130417-1633-the_panel_with_jordan_williams_and_josie_mcnaught_part_2-048.mp3

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        I’m sure Morrissey was just providing us with an ‘approximate transcription’

      • North 14.1.2

        Well, I listened to it as well and while I might mark friend Morrissey down just slightly for a spot of (entertaining) hyperbole, he does correctly identify Williams’ “little lawyer” prissiness and the absence of a cringeworthy self-consciousness in the other panellist Josie McNaught.

        Also occurs to me that were the entitled right-wing fantasist Monckton not the subject of VUW’s “piss-off you nutter” (a similar attitude taken by institutions all over the world), and rather it were some left-wing loon, then Jordy might well not have been so quick to lambast VUW. I mean some people just aren’t worth dealing with at all. Monckton is one such. All Thatcheresque hooting and pretension.

        Williams has the stripe of another we know – Simon Bridges. Bright young man on the way up blah blah blah. Bright about what is not immediately apparent but let’s be charitable and leave it with, ummmh – “bright”. Wouldn’t frighten the horses sort of thing. Will be a safe pair of hands.

        Anyway, how the stuff are the callow likes of him calculated to add anything to any panel anywhere ? He is after all only a poster-boy anointed by that anti-MMP dinosaur Shirtcliffe. Much like Simon and Key. Early trough-training.

        • Paul 14.1.2.1

          Mora’s invitation list gets more and more skewed to the right…
          You’d think, from the amount of libertarians and radical free marketeers on his show, that ACT won 15% of the vote last election.
          So why does a national broadcaster that is supposed to be balanced, clearly not reflect the wishes of the people.
          It is not Mora who selects the balance of his guests, surely. Who does?

        • felix 14.1.2.2

          “Well, I listened to it as well and while I might mark friend Morrissey down just slightly for a spot of (entertaining) hyperbole, he does correctly identify Williams’ “little lawyer” prissiness and the absence of a cringeworthy self-consciousness in the other panellist Josie McNaught.”

          Sorry North but correctly identifying someone’s prissiness is a fucking mile away from saying ‘he said this, then she said that’.

          He made that whole conversation up. McNaught never made any distinction between denial/skepticism and Williams didn’t shout ‘No he’s not’ (or anything else) or stammer for two minutes.

          That’s not hyperbole, North, it’s making up false quotes. Lying is another word.

          And Morrissey does it all the time with no indication that he’s writing fiction.

          I challenge you to listen again, see if you can find the bits Morrissey quoted, and let me know the relevant min:sec. It doesn’t exist.

        • Morrissey 14.1.2.3

          Simon Bridges. Bright young man…

          You mean, good-looking young man. He’s not that bright. I urge you to track down last night’s interview with Mihi Forbes on Maori Television. Bridges clearly lacks the wherewithal to engage in intelligent and robust discussion. Last night he was stressed and tense and irritated throughout the interview; I thought for a minute or so that Mihi Forbes was going to drive the poor fellow into a Jordan Williams-style meltdown.

      • Morrissey 14.1.3

        Wow! Apparently it wasn’t only Jordan Williams that exploded with incoherent rage yesterday afternoon. Let’s look at what our friend Felix has tried to assert. To match his spirit of angry insistence, I’ve highlighted Felix’s words in bold type….

        1.) To her credit, Josie McNaught took Williams up on that, pointing out that Monckton had no respect at all in the scientific community, and that he is accurately described as a denier, not a skeptic.

        Err, no she didn’t.

        She did exactly that, in slightly more circuitous and hesitant language, but Williams understood the import of her words perfectly; she had skewered him in public.

        2.) That simple act of contradiction almost caused Williams to melt down. He stuttered and frothed, shouted “No he’s NOT!”, stammered for several minutes,

        Err, no, that didn’t happen either.

        Yes it did, and you know it did. Williams was utterly incapable of dealing with being contradicted—perhaps something in the diffident but persistent manner of Josie McNaught enraged him on some primeval level.

        3.) Morrissey, you’re making shit up. Again.

        Look carefully at my report. I didn’t write it up as a transcript, other than the one introductory bit by Jim Mora. I dashed it out in haste and rage—controlled rage, not incoherent spluttering like Jordan Williams’ rage—and put it online. I have no doubt that I have strengthened Josie McNaught’s role here; she was not as succinct in her statement as I have made her appear. However, there is no doubt that she bothered Williams, even when she was extremely polite and roundabout in the way she phrased her dissent after his crazed rant in support of that science denier.

        Your allegation that I made this up is easily disproved by listening to the recording that you so unwisely provided as evidence. Your nasty little suggestion that I have “made shit up” in the past has been dealt with by me and others forcefully on several occasions. You seem to be either a slow learner or simply a sucker for punishment. Have you thought of going to a dominatrix?

        4.) Here’s the audio:

        I urge anyone who is interested, to listen to that tape and then to let Felix know what is meant by such concepts as “gist”, “essence” and “summary”.

        • felix 14.1.3.1

          It doesn’t matter whether you call it a transcript or not. When you say “x said this and that” and they didn’t say anything of the sort you’re lying.

          Show where McNaught said anything – anything at all – about the difference between deniers and skeptics.

          Didn’t happen. You made it up. She never touched the subject.

          Likewise Williams. Show where he yelled anything in defiance of the thing McNaught never said.

          Simply didn’t happen. There was no yelling, no stutterring, no several minutes of stammering. You made it up.

          You’ve been caught out doing this before Morrissey. You admit it’s just an impression – fine – so write it as a fucking impression, not as a factual account you fucking child.

          • Professor Longhair 14.1.3.1.1

            “Show where McNaught said anything – anything at all – about the difference between deniers and skeptics.”

            If she didn’t say it then she should have said it. Morrissey has used her as a character in the service of his mission, which is to pin up the grisly exhibit “Jordan Williams”. Shakespeare did the same kind of thing, when he put eloquent words into the mouths of thugs like Brutus, Cassius, and Titus Andronicus.

            Although this fellow Williams reminds one more of one of the pathetic and mewling hypocrites that fawned over the likes of Henry VI.

            • felix 14.1.3.1.1.1

              I’m not arguing the quality of the character development in this piece of fiction, I’m arguing that it shouldn’t be presented as fact.

              And despite Morrissey’s lame protestations to the contrary, that’s exactly what he did. In black and white, Prof.

    • RedLogix 14.2

      to people who claim to have been abducted by aliens?

      It wasn’t so much the abduction that pisses me … it was the dumping me back here in this shit-hole.

    • emergency mike 14.3

      Morrissey, does it really not occur to you that when you make shit up that people can easily check, not only will your credibility vapourize, your perceived level of intelligence will also plummet? I kind of feel a little sorry for you.

      • felix 14.3.1

        I think he really believes he’s being roughly accurate, but he’s explained before that he doesn’t actually transcribe this stuff while listening to it but rather writes his impressions some time later.

        Memory is a funny thing. By the time he writes his impressions, he doesn’t remember exactly who said what, and bits from other interviews get mixed in, and snippets of other conversations, and other impressions of things people might have said on this and other topics get thrown in and it all gets a bit fragmented and then he puts it all back together in a way that seems to make sense.

        And it does – it sounds just like something Williams would say. It’s just that he didn’t.

        There’s nothing wrong with this sort of writing, but there’s a name for it. And that name is fiction, not transcription.

      • North 14.3.2

        Little bit personal there mike re Morrissey. It’s hardly an emergency. CV’s got it right.

        • felix 14.3.2.1

          To be fair to mike, Morrissey has been called out for making up his “transcripts” before (which is what CV was getting at) and he tends to be a real dick about it.

        • emergency mike 14.3.2.2

          I disagree. I think people who present a made up fiction as a transcript of something someone said deserve what they get. I also think you’ll find a big ol’ slab of sarcasm in CV’s comment.

    • ghostrider888 14.4

      well, I / We find them funny and enjoyable tales to read Morrissey

  12. rosy 15

    Oh dear, breakfast news – SkyUk – Thatcher’s funeral – desperate to appear even-handed, talking about Thatcher’s divisiveness to the posh people in their hats and medals. All the while saying protesters are ok as long as they’re ‘respectful’ and questioning a lone protester about the appropriateness of holding up a sign questioning the £10m cost of the funeral.

    Respectful is the word of the day it seems. The more I hear it the more I’d be looking at heading out to make a noise if I lived there. I can’t work out whether to switch it off or watch to remind me of the true colours of these people.

    Edit: I did try to watch the marriage equality debate, (much more meaningful) but it won’t stream – there must quite a few people watching online.

  13. UPDATE WITH MY PRIVACY ACT REQUEST TO THE GCSB – FYI 🙂

    As I am concerned that I may have been one of the 88 New Zealanders unlawfully spied upon, I have made a ‘Privacy Act’ request to the GCSB, following advice I received from the Prime Minister’s office, as to the proper process to follow.

    After initially being given an incorrect email address for the GCSB, I made a phone call to the Prime Minister’s Department, and was given the phone number for the GCSB – (04) 472 6881 .

    I was put through to the EA for Director Ian Fletcher, who confirmed that the correct email for the GCSB is Information@gcsb.govt.nz

    I have since received confirmation that the GCSB have received my Privacy Act request and that I will here back from them ‘in due course’.

    Given that Prime Minister John Key is trying to change the law regarding the GCSB in rather a hurry, on Tuesday 16 April 2013, I spoke to the GCSB staff member responsible for handling Privacy Act and OIA requests, who informed that there had been a huge number of requests which the GCSB are processing.

    If the GCSB were keeping their records in a proper way, as required by the Public Records Act 2005, I pointed out, wouldn’t they just look under ‘B’ for ‘Bright’, in order to confirm whether they had files on me or not?

    I did not get any framework as to how long it would take for a reply from the GCSB.

    Yesterday, I invested some hours actually studying the GCSB Act 2003 and the Kitteridge Report.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0009/latest/DLM187184.html

    3 Purpose

    The purpose of this Act is to—

    (a)continue the Government Communications Security Bureau and establish it as a department of State:

    (b)specify the objective and functions of the Bureau:

    (c)specify the circumstances in which the Bureau requires an interception warrant or a computer access authorisation to intercept foreign communications:

    (d)specify the conditions that are necessary for the issue of an interception warrant or a computer access authorisation and the matters that may be authorised by a warrant or an authorisation:

    (e)specify the circumstances in which the Bureau may use interception devices to intercept foreign communications without a warrant or an authorisation
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Having had a Quality Assurance and tertiary training background, I was absolutely horrified at the ‘pigs’ breakfast’ which is the GCSB.

    Seriously – an organisation which deals in information – which doesn’t have a proper ‘Information Management System’?

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.gcsb.govt.nz/newsroom/reports-publications/Review%20of%20Compliance_%20final%2022%20March%202013.pdf

    “151. An example of this issue is that GCSB has only in the last few months introduced its first electronic document records management system (EDRMS). It had not previously had a centralised electronic document management system of any kind. Records were kept in hardcopy (and the files maintained by a very effective Registry), but electronic records such as emails were kept in people’s personal drives. The introduction of the EDRMS is a very positive step for GCSB, although the transition to it is not yet complete.”

    157. I should add that some parts of GCSB are very thorough in their record keeping. For example, my review of warrants and authorisations revealed a good level of record keeping.
    The reason is likely to be because these files are reviewed by the Inspector-General on a regular basis. Other parts of the organisation, however, are less clear about their obligations, and use adjectives like “variable” to describe their record-keeping practices. All said that they hoped the EDRMS would assist with centralised filing, and I am sure it will. There are questions, however, about how important business information is recorded and filed, especially considering the classified and unclassified systems, and the plethora of databases and information tools. An Information Manager would help to assess this issue and to address it.

    “158. I think it is unlikely that GCSB complies fully with the Public Records Act 2005 although the move to the EDRMS is a big step forward. The current situation also presents challenges in terms of meeting statutory obligations relating to the Official Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1993. In my view, in order to support good business practices across the board, including compliance, it is essential that this part of the business be properly supported with the right information management strategy and business disciplines.

    159. I note, finally, that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security in Australia remarked to me: “record keeping is not just about having an EDRMS. It is about the will to record in a way that can be found and assessed. Very significant problems occur where there is poor record keeping. ”

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    The GCSB Act 2003, is actually VERY clear, in my considered opinion as a successful ‘lay litigant’ – who has never been to University, or has never had a day’s formal legal training, but who can and actually does bother to READ THE LEGISLATION?

    Not only should the GCSB not be spying on New Zealanders, (and that is also clear in the Hansard record of the debate in the House on the GCSB Bill – which I have also read) – but there is NO lawful provision for the GCSB to rely on warrants obtained by the SIS or Police.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/0/e/d/47HansD_20030325_00001124-Government-Communications-Security-Bureau.htm

    The GCSB have to obtain their own ‘interception warrants’.

    The only person who can apply for a GCSB ‘interception warrant’ is the GCSB Director; this authority cannot be delegated, and the warrants must be issued by the Minister.

    So – HOW ON EARTH did there end up being 85 SIS warrants and 3 Police warrants used as the basis for GCSB spying on New Zealanders when the LAW covering the GCSB is arguably so clear on this point?

    Has the Prime Minister actually bothered to READ the GCSB Act 2003 for himself?

    How about the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security – Paul Nazor?

    How about the Director of the GCSB – Ian Fletcher?

    How about the GCSB employees who actually acted upon these SIS and Police warrants?

    Good grief.

    You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    In my view – it’s really simple.

    In order to confirm that I am one of the 88 New Zealanders who has been unlawfully spied upon by the GCSB, all that the ‘Privacy Officer’ needs to do is to go to the file which contains these SIS and Police warrants (because according to the Kitteridge Report – that is one area where the record keeping is satisfactory), and check under ‘B’ for ‘Bright’.

    How hard is that?

    Perhaps I could offer to come down and check it myself – but given that I was on Muldoon’s famous ‘SIS list’ as a ‘subversive’ during the 1981 Springbok Tour, and given that Head of the SIS Warren Tucker wouldn’t give me my SIS file when I requested it some time ago – I probably wouldn’t get security clearance?

    🙂

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    Occupy Auckland Appellant
    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz

    • rosy 16.1

      “The GCSB have to obtain their own ‘interception warrants’.

      The only person who can apply for a GCSB ‘interception warrant’ is the GCSB Director; this authority cannot be delegated, and the warrants must be issued by the Minister.”

      If this is correct then there are two scenarios for the Dotcom warrant that I can see.

      1. The GCSB have been breaking the law on this aspect, by not getting a warrant from the Minister.
      2. The warrant for Dotcom, far from being an ‘operational matter’, and not discussed at briefings, as John Key said, must have been discussed and the warrant issued (signed?) by the Minister.

      • ianmac 16.1.1

        Yes rosy and Penny. Maybe Kim Dotcom has a copy of the warrant signed by John Key as the Minister in charge of GCSB. Wonder how John would get past that.
        Say he forgot?
        No one asked him.
        Bill English must have forged his signature.
        Kim Dotcom forged his signature.
        or any of many varied answers including that the Law has been changed (soon) so it is irrelevant.

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