Open mike 22/05/2013

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 am, May 22nd, 2013 - 94 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…

94 comments on “Open mike 22/05/2013”

  1. lprent 1

    There will be a period today when I finally move the primary server. Everything is set up for the move. It would have been done last night except that the current supplier managed to put the server out and didn’t get it running for 12 hours after being informed.

    Which is why we are moving.

    • karol 1.1

      Hope it goes well.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        So do I. Working from home today as the remaining operations are simple (mostly copying large sets of a files or pushing them into the right places), but they take some time.

        Just doing an SQL dump on right now. This message is to test what disruption I get to entering comments.

        Unfortunately I never set up a warm backup system after the last move to what was the warm backup. So this is slower than it should be. Especially since I’m working at the same time.

        Nice – a 714Mb database sql taken without anyone noticing. Now to load the database for testing.

    • DH 1.2

      The recent troubles can’t have been good for the stress levels, very frustrating when providers don’t respond in a timely manner. Do you have a dedicated server or VM? If it’s dedicated you might want to ask if they can give you remote access, can at least reboot the thing yourself if it hangs.

    • lprent 1.3

      Back up and running at normal speed (maybe better than normal).

      I’m going to have lunch, then do some work whilst watching the loadings, and I’ll do another pass after 5pm. Let me know here of anything that shows as a problem.

      1. The search isn’t working correctly…

  2. This week seems to be the “dump the bad report” week. So far I am aware of the following releases or planned releases:

    1. GCSB spying review press release (as opposed to the report itself).
    2. IPCA report of the Urewera raids.
    3. Solid Energy documentation dump by Treasury with no trace of Key’s $1 billion claim.
    4. Release of the decision concerning Aranui school amalgamations.

    It is important for these to be subject to the review of Parliament but it is not sitting this week.


    • karol 2.1

      I’m feeling like we are in the middle of a government blitskreig and am starting to feel like there’s too much to respond to, and that it all feels very negative, and like always being in defensive mode.

      I’m thinking the government are doing as much of the nasties as possible now, and then will start to go into smiley, positive, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-their-mouths mode leading up to the election..

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        Dumping all at once follows a strategy used I think by petrol retailers. Keep shifting the price around so that it is hard to get a fix on the target. Dump several reports or part of reports so that we can’t all agree on which deserves the greatest focus.

      • aerobubble 2.1.2

        Banks could be gone, Dunne might finally find a spine, Maori might stop vomiting long enough to also vote against National and Key get’s his wish, an early election as he victim of PR.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3


        So, they’re as cold as a refrigerator?

        It’s National so, yes, they are.

        Of course, that’s original usage and modern usage seems to have altered a bit:

        If someone looks as if butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth, they look very innocent.

        And I don’t think anyone is ever going to accuse National of being innocent.


  3. xtasy 3

    Got a bit worried yesterday, seeing The Standard had apparently been “down” a fair bit over recent days. So the update by lprent is appreciated.

    There are some worrying anecdotal informations about activists and groups being increasingly “surveilled” and checked on by police and possibly other agencies, so this news about Neazor and the GCSB report of sorts is also highly dissatisfying and worrying.

    It seems like one of the many white washes going on. One old man, “employed” by the Prime Minister, presenting a final position that is neither here nor there, but gives Key the chance to talk his and their way out of responsibilities again.

    Well, this is all disgusting, and in future they (GCSB) will quite legally use their modern equipment to do spying legally on any they have reasonable grounds to suspect certain illegal activities from.

    Times to be highly alert and mindful, 24/7 that is.

    • lprent 3.1

      In this case I think it is just an under-resourced department with a technical problem on their hardware. Their company needs to throw more resources in to fix the problem. Since they haven’t, I’m moving the site.

  4. joe90 4

    NASA images and animation of yesterdays Oklahoma weather events.

  5. xtasy 5

    Re my comment just made, there as a clear and critical comment and feedback by Mr Buchanan, former US security expert, being interviewed on National Radio not long ago this morning. The report about the GCSB spying on 88 NZers (citizens or residents) should be made public he says, as sensitive parts can of course be blackened out or withheld.

    So he supports the stand by the opposition parties.

    Key is trying to get away with playing Mr Slippery Dodgy, wanting to cover up as much as possible. What a disgusting state of affairs.

  6. ianmac 6

    This is good that in the Herald they have cottoned on:
    “Andrew Geddis: We owe it to ourselves to be outraged
    Citizens must speak up to protect the constitution when the Government fails to do so, says Andrew Geddis.” (I bet Mr Key has strong feelings about Andrew?)

    And : “Law protecting Government, not disabled.
    By Brian Rudman

    • Jilly Bee 6.1

      I posted a comment on the Herald’s Andrew Geddis’ op ed piece and asked where their headline used a few years ago ‘DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK’ had disappeared to. Of course my comment hasn’t been published – I wonder why.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        I think that they were rather annoyed when we took that over and used it about the SuperShitty legislation (and other things)

  7. Hami Shearlie 7

    I’ve been thinking that if the Labour Party keep promoting the Auckland Unitary Plan , they are not likely to get into Government any time soon. I’ve never seen any local body issue that has got so many ratepayers up in arms, going to local meetings etc. Phil Twyford keeps stating in Parliament that “Aucklanders want a compact city” but unfortunately nobody has thought to ask all of us “Aucklanders” what WE want. Funny that!!! I personally don’t know of ONE PERSON who supports the UP!! So where are all these hundreds of thousands of supporters of the plan??? Has anybody in the Labour Party ever done a survey of Aucklanders to see what they actually want??

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Auckland is going to have a 2M population pretty in 20 years time. Unless it has aspirations of joining up with Hamilton it’s going to have to go up. “What people want” is one factor. “What is workable” and “what is possible” are two others which are just as big.

      Anyone who wants a quarter acre section in Auckland: will need to be a multi-millionaire, become a million bucks in debt to a big bank or move to another town.

    • Out west Hami people are more relaxed about it. This is because Waitakere City has been practising intensification for years. If you want an eco city you have to address urban sprawl.

    • karol 7.3

      From what I see, it’s largely people on the North Shore who are against the AUP, and some people in Auckland City.

      Not a big issue here in the west.

      “Rate payers”, huh!?

      Well, actually, the affordable housing crisis is much more an issue for renters and low income people, not home owners. Renters (indirect rate payers), are more worried about the cost of rents.

      And young wannabe home buyers are looking at the situation where they can only afford on the outskirts of the city. A more compact city is in their interests -ditto for low income renters, who are worried about getting to work and other services from the outskirts of the city where rents are lowest.

      Looks to me like a situation where the better off home owners are getting more attention from the MSM than the rest of us with less power and status.

    • ratesarerevolting 7.4

      Of course they haven’t asked Aucklanders what they want, just like council and government and their automaton foot soldiers like Mickysavage they know what’s best for rest of us why bother asking our opinion.

      • mickysavage 7.4.1

        Be a good boy rr and go and learn something about the subject then come back and have an informed debate.

      • muzza 7.4.2

        Correct, and they don’t care what your opinion is anyway, the lip service of *public consultation*, is an absolute farce!

        We live in what amounts to dictatorship, in many ways!

  8. freedom 8

    another Tracy Watkins lesson in how to appear to cover a story without actually covering the story

    • ianmac 8.1

      Yeah. What actually happened? Did she ask her questions? Did she call bullshit out loud? Weird report- unless it was edited out in case it conflicted with the Government position.

    • ghostrider888 8.2

      “world-famous in Hawkes Bay”. 😀

    • freedom 8.3

      You will notice that the ‘journalist’ was not interested in what the woman said or in the content of the agreement, just that someone had the audacity to go off script. Here is some of the information the ‘journalist’ could have included if they were not so concerned with losing their place in the junket queue. The comments on the Stuff article are largely and deservedly derisive of the appalling lack of fact reported in the media regarding the TPPA.

      Here is an excellent new poster from the NZNO.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    This is disturbing:

    Call it security through absurdity: a pair of telecom firms have branded reporters for Scripps News as “hackers” after they discovered the personal data of over 170,000 customers—including social security numbers and other identifying data that could be used for identity theft—sitting on a publicly accessible server.

    But mostly because of this:

    The two companies are separate legal entities but are substantially owned by the same people and, as the company’s attorney put it, “share some key management employees.”

    How much competition has the free-market truly given us? Because all I’m seeing is conglomeration.

  10. I just found out it will cost me $470.20 to become a New Zealander.

    Great Britain, how much are you willing to pay to keep me?
    I’ll start the bidding at one gazillion pounds.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Great Britain, how much are you willing to pay to keep me?


    • Chrissy 10.2

      Allen. I’d wait until after the next election to see if it will be worth it. If key wins I’d go back to Blighty.

      • The Al1en 10.2.1

        I couldn’t go back and leave my hybrid kiwi born daughter, so I’m exiled here, for better or worse.

        But don’t say anything in case immigration put the extortionate prices up and foil my invasion plan.
        Plus with dual citizenship I double my chances of getting a Brit award or a tui.

  11. Bill 11

    A highly topical and relevent piece by Dean Baker that focusses on the USA situation but that translates rather nicely to NZ austerity policies.

    “Destroying the lair of the budget balancing cretins.”
    If the deficit hawks are “really concerned about our children’s future”, they should focus on the over-valued dollar.

    At some point everyone alive today will be dead.

    This means that the government debt (bonds) that people alive today possess will be passed on to future generations. Future generations will not just owe future debt; they will also own future debt. If we take the extreme case where the ownership of government bonds is evenly divided among our children and grandchildren, then the burden of the debt will be money that they are paying to themselves. How can that make them poorer?

    Of course, the debt is not evenly held so there can be intra-generational distributional issues. Suppose that Bill Gates’ grandchildren end up owning all the debt. Then the debt will impose a burden on everyone else’s children and grandchildren. They will be paying interest to Bill Gates’ grandchildren.

    But this is an issue between Bill Gates’ grandchildren and everyone else’s grandchildren. If our children and grandchildren tax Bill Gates’ grandchildren, then they will face little burden from debt built up today.

    Many of the deficit scaremongers have raised the issue of foreign, and especially Chinese, ownership of the debt. While this may appeal to racist sentiments, it has little to do with government deficits.

    Read more here

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      The problem, of course, is that every country (except NZ) is trying to reduce the value of it’s currency so as to address the trade imbalances and so it won’t work. What’s needed is a more active way of addressing those imbalances.

      • Bill 11.1.1

        I don’t dispute that, but within the context of current economic orthodoxies, this government seems happy to have a high NZ dollar and to enact austerity on the back of false premises…premises that Baker exposes in a clear and easily understood logical fashion.

      • muzza 11.1.2

        Showing your support for the single global currency by any chance in that comment, DTB?

  12. lprent 12

    Having the database many thousands of miles away around the world is likely to make this site a bit sluggish.

    Moving on to getting the database and the web server in approximately the same location.

    • ghostrider888 12.1

      it is slower (like a reply to my last e-mail? please?)

      • lprent 12.1.1

        like a reply to my last e-mail?

        Ah yes – the combination of restructuring code at work and the noise of the server randomly failing has been distracting.

        It may have to wait for the weekend but it will be done.

    • lprent 12.2

      Ok finished for the moment. The primary server is all in it’s new location and the speed looks somewhat better.

      I’ll get back to writing some code whilst keeping an eye on the system

  13. 2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright will be addressing the Auckland Council on Thursday 23 May at 10am – ‘Neutrality of Public Servants’.

    Speaking rights confirmed at Auckland Council Governing Body Meeting
    Thursday 23 May 2013, 10am
    Reception Lounge Auckland Town Hall
    301-305 Queen Street Auckland

    7 Public Input

    7.1 Penny Bright – Auckland Council Local Government Election Year Policy

    Penny Bright will be present to speak to the Governing Body regarding the Auckland Council Local Government Election Year Policy

    – “Neutrality of Public Servants”.

    My subject matter is:

    Auckland Council Local Government Election Year Policy
    “Neutrality of Public Servants”.

    At this Governing Body meeting of Auckland Council, you are discussing the proposed ‘Auckland Council Local Government Election Year Policy’.

    “Who does this policy apply to?

    4) This policy applies to all Auckland Council elected members and Auckland Councilemployees.”

    “Neutrality of Public Servants

    12. A major characteristic of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements is that public servants are apolitical.

    This applies to public servants in local and central government.”

    If Auckland Council employees are supposed to be apolitical ‘public servants’ – then why is Auckland Council CEO, Doug McKay, still a member of the ‘invitation-only’, powerful private sector lobby group – the Committee for Auckland?

    “Doug McKay Chief Executive Officer Auckland Council”

    Please be reminded of the LGOIMA reply I received from Wendy Brandon, General Counsel for Auckland Council dated 10 February 2012

    (“Official Information Request No: 9000114213:)

    “1. I have advised you previously that Mr McKay is a member of the Committee forAuckland in his capacity as Chief Executive of Auckland Council.

    2. Mr McKay is an honorary member of the Committee for Auckland. As such, there was no joining fee charged or paid.

    3. No resolution of any committee of the Auckland Council was sought or given in relation to Mr McKay’s membership of the Committee for Auckland. The Committee for Aucklandis an independent organisation and its aims and objectives are a matter of public record.”

    (Item 4)

    Please be reminded that membership of the Committee for Auckland is ‘invitation’ only:

    Membership Information
    Membership to the Committee for Auckland is by invitation. Members meet quarterly and are invited to be involved in those aspects of the work programme that interest them.

    Members are Chairs of Boards, Directors and Chief Executives

    Corporate Membership annual fee $10,000.

    Associate and Individual Membership comprises organisations or individuals who support the aims and purpose of the Committee but who, for various reasons, are unable to take a full part in contributing to the Committee’s portfolio of initiatives.

    Associate Membership annual fee $5,000

    Individual Membership annual fee $2,500

    For further information about Membership, please contact the Executive Director”


    How many Auckland Council or Auckland CCO contracts are going to member companies of the Committee for Auckland?

    How can this not be a ‘perceived conflict of interest’ for the Principal Adminstrative Officer of Auckland Council – the CEO Doug McKay – to be a member of this private sector lobby group, particularly when his membership has not been ‘authorised /endorsed’ by elected members of Auckland Council?

    Is the Governing Body of Auckland Council going to ensure that CEO Doug McKay, terminates his membership of the Committee for Auckland, in order to comply with his ‘apolitical’ role as a ‘public servant?

    Yes or no?

    If not – why not?

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

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  14. mac1 14

    One of the best reads I’ve had for a while. From the Herald yesterday. Bob Jones on getting rid of our armed forces. Takes me back to, was it?, 1984!

    • millsy 14.1

      He’s probably sizing up the prime real estate freed up by the abolishment of the NZDF. A port, 3 airports, and 3 residential villages, will bring in a lot of coin for someone.

      • mac1 14.1.1

        Did you read his comment, Millsy?

        The real estate occupied by the military in owned by the Government. The decision as to how that is disposed of is up to the government. With the ragtag bunch of asset salesmen that we have posing as the current government, you may well be right.

        I would have preferred, though, that any comment on Jones’ ideas would have dealt with them, rather than his supposed motivation.

        We are too ready to attribute suspect motivations as an attack on a person rather than deal with their ideas.

        Bob Jones has stepped right away from usual socially conservative views on military expenditure. He pushed the same views in 1984, as I remember. Interestingly, he enlisted Phil Goff as an ally in his thinking.

  15. Rhinocrates 15

    At last, a report isn’t a whitewash!

    Tolley’s attempts at spin might be comical under other circumstances.

    Alas, I expect Greg O’Connor to see this all as a reason for the pigs to carry nukes.

  16. Chooky 16

    What is happening with Kiwi Bank? Is it true that the NZ Treasury had Kiwi Bank evaluated by Goldman Sachs last year?!!!! Is it true that Standard & Poors has given a negative outlook for Kiwi Bank , a rating downgrade from stable to negative today?

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    After reading this:

    Since then, the Ella/Lorde dichotomy has been developing, and it’s apparent from even a phone conversation that the teenager feels the split within herself already.

    all I can think is poor girl and that there’s some parents and a multi-national corporation that need to be done for child abuse.

  18. prism 18

    I was unable to search my past comments. Have these gone west – or perhaps been purloined by spy masters to be pored over for deep secrets and frightening revelations! They should be so lucky.

  19. Morrissey 19

    John Key cheats at Quiz Evenings
    What a piece of work our Prime Minister is.

    The Panel, Radio New Zealand National, Wednesday 22 May 2013

    In the introductory chatter today, David Farrar, honorary life member of the Young Nats and blogger extraordinaire, revealed something highly interesting about the character, or lack of character, of the Prime Minister….

    JIM MORA: I hear that one of the things you do at Young National conferences is run Quiz Evenings.

    DAVID FARRAR: Yes we do, and they are always very popular. The Prime Minister enjoys these quiz shows very much, and he is EXTREMELY competitive. He hates to lose. And that’s a good thing in a prime minister! At the last quiz—I don’t know if I should be saying this!—he used his CELL-PHONE to check a question about police commissioners.

    MORA: [with mock seriousness] You’re making a serious allegation there!

    DAVID FARRAR: Oh, ha ha ha! It’s all good fun!

    ……Long, long pause….

    MORA: [dubiously] Ye-e-e-e-e-esssss…..

    • North 19.1

      And good on Shonkey Python for his efforts at the Young Nats cheating camps I say !

      It’s all good Morrissey. Everyone’s happy.

      Especially that theistically charmed band of young cargo-cultists, wannabees, snobs, and potential appointees. Gulp. And gilmores ?

      Churlish Morrissey !

      Raining on their parade. And getting all atheistic about ShonKey Python. Aka Shyty P’nnnoKeho.

    • Paul 19.2

      Yup.once I heard that the voice of National would be warbling on Mora’s show, it was an easy decision not to listen to RNZ until 5 p.m today.

  20. yeshe 20

    A man in Moore, Oklahoma filmed the last moments of the incoming tornado right before going underground with his family into their bunker .. then filmed again as he came out.. the before and after .. chilling.


  21. More lies from key for you BLiP

    “The Government’s job is to make sure there’s balance between the economy and and a safe environment,” he said.

    “Of the 18 [sedimentary] basins in New Zealand, only one is tapped and that’s in Taranaki and if you look at its economy, there are high levels of growth. Fracking is safe and we should say yes to oil exploration, but make sure it’s done to a high standard.”

    A safe environment wtf does that mean?

    Fracking is safe says key – that bastard is so slimey he is personified fracking fluid

  22. dan1 22

    What educational philosophy justifies 5 year olds being educated in the same school as 18 year olds?
    Christchurch is just the start. Watch out the rest of NZ.

    • Morrissey 22.1

      What educational philosophy justifies 5 year olds being educated in the same school as 18 year olds?


      I would not dignify their mad dogma with the label of “philosophy”.

    • millsy 22.2

      recipe for bullying if you ask me.

      The only place where educating 5-18 year olds together really work are our area schools, which have a smaller roll than regular schools, allowing a family type atmosphere.

      It would make better sense for all 4 schools to have a shared board of trustees, this would enable them to share resources, but have a unique identity.

      Good news though, Salisbury special school is staying open, reversing a trend of dumping out those who have higher needs than most out in the community to sink or swim.

    • ghostrider888 22.3

      This Year 1-13 will not be helpful; and, oh look, what socio-economic area is it located.

  23. Morrissey 23

    Hypocrite of the Year: “Sir” Graham Henry
    Believe it or not, he’s ranting against referees

    21 May 2013

    Actually, make that Hypocrite of the Century. This cantankerous old codger has no sense of irony, no sense of decency, no sense of sportsmanship. Obviously Graham Henry thinks that nobody can remember anything. Henry’s ugly mug is back on the TV screens; this time the old fraud is bitching and moaning about a few marginal calls that went against his Auckland Blues. In a foam-flecked rant on the news tonight the shameless old coot had the brazen effrontery to call the referee of Saturday night’s game “blind”.

    Graham Henry was not so bilious a year and a half ago, as his All Black team was delivered the RWC final by a gentleman who makes Glen Jackson look like Eagle-Eyed Eric from Eagle Mountain, California….

    Analysis of the refereeing—actually NON-refereeing—straight after the final, on The Breakdown on Setanta Sports….
    “The World Cup was decided on non-refereeing decisions. Unbelievable… shameful…really bad…he refused to make any
    decisions. Shameful… so sad…. France should have had two or three opportunities to win that game from penalties but the referee did not have the same rules for both sides.That World Cup was decided on non- refereeing . A shameful, shameful performance. The French knew what was going to happen before they went in to this game, I think Paddy O’Brien did brilliantly to ensure a benign referee from New Zealand’s point of view was in charge. He didn’t referee them at the breakdown, he was completely inconsistent. That Kaino non-decision was just
    disgraceful. That was on the 40-metre line and was very kickable.
    The referee abrogated responsibility.

  24. geoff 24

    Here’s an interesting link showing the proportions of full home ownership vs people with mortgages vs renters, for the main cities.

    Roughly speaking, the average is about a third for each grouping.

    A quote from the article that aligns with what I had suspected:

    Other factors included wealthier baby boomers looking for second properties as investments, and they were competing with first-home buyers on price.

    • prism 24.1

      I know. I know miss. I know the answer!
      The government builds 2 storey units, two bedroomed each and four to a reasonable sized section, each with a balcony.
      And only first home buyers who have a track record of managing their money or saving regularly for the past two years can get the places on low interest. And they can save their money and raise a deposit and get a further low interest loan on a three bedroom house, when they sell the two-bedroom places back to the government for cost plus annual increase based on bank interest on term deposits plus a bonus for leaving the property in tidy repair.

      That means that people are not being milked by property speculators and of course the baby boomers will soon be paying CGT and that money can make up for R&D tax allowances. And we’ll get more industry going

  25. prism 25

    Oh dear NZ is now a good friend of the USA and shown themselves in the forces to be useful and so likely to be invited again to partake in Men’s Own adventures. We could use UN work as peacekeepers as an employment arm, or set up mercenary SOE’s sending out soldiers as contractors, to foster our GDP, and be like Fiji, and perhaps some of our soldiers will come home as happened there, and solve our political balancing problems in their own unique way.

    We might eventually step on China’s toes if we get involved in soldiering etc areound the world. China is more important to our income than the USA, marginally perhaps now.

    We can’t have peace though because armaments manufacturing will soon be the only thing that gets made in the west (USA and France). Haven’t checked Britain and Russia stats. Everything else will be done in China – eureka the west may think – use the armaments to attack China and get back western capacity for business and employment. Gee I get some crazy ideas.

    • prism 25.1

      This should have gone to Open Mike. Sorry I have gone off thread too much. But edit time has vanished.

      [lprent: No problem. ]

    • ghostrider888 25.2

      The first two paragraphs, yes.
      Israel; the largest exporter of drones. carry on.

    • Morrissey 25.3

      NZ is now a good friend of the USA and shown themselves in the forces to be useful…


      After we screamed at and threatened the New Zealand troops, they obediently handed over captive civilians to be tortured.


    Published on May 16, the paper titled “Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device” would appear to deliver what we wanted.

    The paper was authored by Giuseppe Levi of Bologna University, Bologna, Italy; Evelyn Foschi, Bologna, Italy; Torbjörn Hartman, Bo Höistad, Roland Pettersson and Lars Tegnér of Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; and Hanno Essén, of the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. While some of these people have previously been public in their support of Rossi and the E-Cat they are all serious academics with reputations to lose and the paper is detailed and thorough.

    … if we consider the whole volume of the reactor core and the most conservative figures on energy production, we still get a value of (7.93 ± 0.8) 10^2 MJ/Liter that is one order of magnitude higher than any conventional source.”

  27. Chooky 27

    I hope Winston Peters is going to protect the NZ Mums’ and Dads’ ‘KIWI BANK’ from privatisation ( as John Key and National wanted to do). Winston and ‘NEW ZEALAND FIRST’ should give KIWI BANK a government guarantee and protection from overseas predators and those who want to plunder Mums’ and Dads’ New Zealand assets.

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    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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