Open mike 22/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 22nd, 2010 - 68 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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68 comments on “Open mike 22/11/2010”

  1. Let me start that although I’m not big on praying I grief for those affected by the mining disaster in the Pike river coal mine.

    Today I would like to point out that on 1 December 2 million people will no longer receive benefit. The senate blocked a bill to extend these benefits to the end of February.
    The average sum involved is $ 310 a week. and the senate refused this extension because it would add another $ 12.5 billion to the National Debt and it should be paid out of unspent money from somewhere else.

    These people will have no access to food, heating, health care or a roof over their heads other than perhaps some food stamps.

    Just think of what that means. These two million people have families, children, pets perhaps a parent they try to take care of and just because they lost a job and were unable to find another one the will be outcasts and join the ranks of the destitute in what was once the richest country on the face of the earth.

    Two million people. A little under half of the entire New Zealand population but if you count their dependants you are looking at between three quarters and the entire New Zealand population who will overnight have no more income to support themselves and their families.

    In comparison this same Senate “is OK” with spending that same amount of money in the two illegal wars of aggression in Iraq an Afghanistan PER MONTH.

    I propose to you that the Senate has hit the jackpot right there. There is enough money they should just start spening it on their own population

    • jcuknz 1.1

      It is a terrible situation and shows just how completely screwed up the United States is with wrong priorities.

    • john 1.2

      The US is a NeoLiberal GodMarket billionaire’s playground where ordinary Americans are trod down underfoot. Bush and Obama continue to turn the US into the biggest Banana Republic on the Planet,However the John Wodney gang here think (The US garbage for the rich ideology,privatization and astronomical inequalities) it’s the way to go:Rich get richer the poor get screwed! Why don’t kiwis wake up to this fact!? They want to get vouchers for their kids to go to private schools? Dumbed down by the feel good look good media the Simon and Wendy shows! I give up.

  2. The Voice of Reason 2

    Standard readers are no doubt wondering how the swingeing cuts in the UK public service are affecting the population. The answer is probably badly, but it’s nice to know that one section of British society has the proper focus in straightened times.

    A question from a reader in the Sunday Times Style section:

    “My daughter has started school, and I wanted to buy the Louis Vuitton leopard-print scarf to pop on for the school run, but two of the mums already have it. Could you recommend an alternative. I have a budget of about £600.”

    • LOL. F*&king hell!

      • The Voice of Reason 2.1.1

        What really amazes me, Ev, isn’t the stupidity of the woman asking the question, but that the Sunday Times printed it as if it were a perfectly normal question to ask. What world do these people live in?

        • freedom

          i would like to think it was an ambitious (and ultimately successful) attempt to belittle the elite,
          hopefully by a Junior Editor living on bovril in a slime soaked bedsit that costs $1000 per month

          • Lanthanide

            Yeah, I think it’s a prank. That sort of person wouldn’t write a letter to the editor to ask that question, they’d go on down to some glitzy high-end London fashion store and have the shopping assistant sort it out for them.

            • The Voice of Reason

              Prank? Maybe, and if so, it’s a bloody clever one. As I replied above, the fact the ST printed it as if it were a genuine question worth answering is the really appalling thing. The Sunday Times Style section writer Gemma Soames clearly thought it was dinkum when she advised the distressed mother to go for a “different colour but same price LV scarf, or ones priced from £190 – £295.”

        • travellerev

          No, I actually think that style sections of news papers (populated with very blond people generally) really do print things like that. I am always amazed (Being a dress maker as well as rabble-rouser) at how much women are prepared to spend on absolute crap clothes (not style wise but quality wise). I can just see thousands of little Chinese persons in absolutely horrific working environments working their arse off to make shit quality clothes for the western dimwit buying it so big corporations can make sickening amounts of profit. And I always end up asking myself the same question so VOR we’re actually in agreement here. 😉

        • prism

          Could it be perhaps irony? sarcasm even? The budget of 600 pounds seems to be an indication in that direction.

    • Vicky32 2.2

      Are you sure it wasn’t satire? Please tell me it was satire…

  3. john 3


    The Antarctic treaty signed by Japan agrees that NO commercial activities should be done there to preserve the Planet’s last pristine unspoiled sanctuary. So why are the Japanese doing commercial whaling down there?They know they’re wrong that’s why they maintain the transparent pathetic lie of research!

    [lprent: don’t SHOUT. I dropped the bold. But SHOUTING is annoying, hurts my EYES, and PISSES me off. It is also a fast way to get BANNED because it indicates that you are unable to argue your point and have to resort to cheap tricks for effect – ie you’re a troll. Read the POLICY about how I feel about trolls. ]

    • felix 3.1

      Perhaps you could try a bigger font, and capitalise the whole comment.

      Then everyone would definitely read it.

      • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1

        Whales have notoriously poor eyesight, Felix, hence the need for the caps. Always bumping into yachts, harpoons, that sort of thing. I gather part of the Japanese scientific research effort is firmly focussed on fixing that problem. Sadly, the oversized eyeglasses didn’t work and the buggers won’t sit still long enough for Lazic to be an option, so the best bet is to just keep killing them till a solution is found.

    • KJT 3.2

      The collision was the Ady Gils fault. Read the “Rule of the road at Sea”.

      I do not have a problem with Pete Bethune putting himself in the path of the whalers to stop them.
      Thats breaking a law, civil disobedience to stop a greater wrong. Same as obstructing bulldozers in Palestine.
      But, being dishonest about fault does not do the Anti Whaling movement any favours.

      • The Voice of Reason 3.2.1

        Er, no. The report found the Shonen Maru had the primary responsibility to avoid the collision, but both boats could have done more to stop it happening.

        • KJT

          An extremely maneuverable small craft swanning around in front of a ship!??

          If it was me I would know it was my fault.

      • john 3.2.2

        Hi KJT
        I have seen video of the ADY GIL ramming taken from the Bob Barker, it is very clear that the Shonan Maru 2 was on a safe course missing the Ady Gil but then did a right(Starboard) turn onto a collision course,While at the same time aiming water cannon and sound harassment devices at the hapless crew. If the Japanese have nothing to hide why did they not reply to the NZ Investigation?But ignored it showing contempt?

        Refer link to video the right turn to ram Ady Gil is as clear as a bell,it was a criminal act endangering the lives of the crew and against all laws of the sea and international law and common decency.

        • KJT

          I saw all the videos too, where the Ady Gil increased speed at the last minute to ensure the collision happened, which you can see clearly by their wake.

          The rules say clearly that the stand on vessel should keep their course and speed except where it is apparent that they give way vessel is not keeping clear. Such alteration should not be towards the stand on vessel.

          Nothing in these rules shall exonerate anyone–from the normal practices of good seamanship.

          • john

            Hi KJT
            You obviously subscribe to the lawless law of “Might (In this case size and weight) is Right!” The Ady Gil was effectively stationery. Of course Might is Right is part of our own culture shown by the game of Rugby or Parties shoving through their own Agendas without respect to people as in the undemocratic Rogernomics coup-de-etat Surely ramming another vessel, you don’t consider that “Good seamanship”!? Putting the lives of the crew into danger such as freezing from hypothermia within 10 minutes of immersion!?

            • Colonial Viper

              The Ady Gil was effectively stationery.

              Says who? You better have an official report to back up your claim.

            • KJT

              The Ady Gil was doing at least 8 knots from her wake. probably more as she has an efficient hull shape.

              • john

                Hi KJT

                Your kidding me right? Your saying the crew members of the Ady Gil deserved to almost die?
                The Ady Gil was “dead in the water” ( that means out of fuel not moving) at the time of being hit they we’re doing nothing. Nothing justifies the Japanese to ram another vessel in the water? The Japanese are illegally hunting whales in the Antarctic, and no one is stopping them, Sea Shepard is doing everything they can to stop this, there is nothing wrong in seeking justice. We have such laws as making “citizens arrests” everyday people allowed to uphold the law, Sea Shepard is doing that but out on the ocean where no one else will,

                Laughing in the face of people who show more love and compassion for the creatures of this earth, the people who protect what’s right. If the oceans die we die…everything on this earth serves a role in survival…the behavior of laughing at them is down right disgusting.

                how was the Ady Gil at fault the whole crew were out side sitting on the ship and the Japanese vessel deliberately and purposefully turned and put all of the Ady Gil’s crew’s lives on the line

                One of the protesters suffered broken ribs during the boat collision. New Zealander Simeon Houtman says he was caught off-guard by the accident, but considers himself lucky to be alive. “In the last few seconds we realised, they’re actually going to collide with us,” he recalled. “Instinct took over and we all just dived for the aft deck and landed in a heap. Thankfully everyone survived.”
                As you can imagine, both the whalers and the protesters blame each other for the boat crash. The Sea Shepherd group has asked the Dutch public prosecutor to launch a criminal investigation into the crash, since Sea Shepherd is registered in the Netherlands. The group’s lawyer, Liesbeth Zegveld, said it appeared the ship Shonan Maru 2 had been sent out specifically to prevent the protesters from reaching the whaling ships. “We filed a complaint for criminal prosecution with our prosecutor, requesting the start of an investigation into what we consider to be a crime – piracy, actually – committing violence on the high seas,” the lawyer for Sea Shepard told the press

                How dare you laugh at people who were nearly murdered by the Japanese government, as this is sanctioned by the government. If you bothered to watch Whale Wars you would know that the first people to draw blood were the Japanese. They kill hundreds of whales a year for “research”. If you had done some research before spouting your mouth off you would know that the Japanese have so much whale meat from their killing that they feed it to their children in the cafeterias at school. I dare you to try to find any valid “research” conducted by

                • KJT

                  I am anti whaling.

                  You are totally wrong though. The Ady Gil was not dead in the water as you can clearly see from her wake in the water. they caused the collision at least as much as the Japanese.

                  If they whaler caught them by surprise then they were ignoring another collision rule. Keeping a lookout.

                  Who caused the collision is a different issue from the right or wrongs of whaling.

                  • john

                    Hi KJT

                    Locky Maclean, the first mate of the society’s lead ship,said:
                    ‘They were stopped dead in the water when the incident occurred,’ Maclean said of the Ady Gil.
                    ‘When they realised that the Shonan Maru was aiming right for them, they tried to go into reverse to get the bow out of the way but it was too late. The Shonan Maru made a course correction and plowed directly into the front end of the boat.’

                    ‘The Ady Gil was stationary at the time of the collision and was then hit by one of the Japanese harpoon vessels,’ Jeff Hansen, a spokesman for the conservation society, said in Tasmania.

                    ‘It tried to back out of the way but the Shonan Maru 2 had it in its path and it cleaned it up.

                    • KJT

                      First time I have seen a vessel that is stopped with a wake!

                      I do not think that Sea Shepheard or the Ady Gils crew are helping their cause by telling obvious lies.

            • KJT

              When you can turn 360 degrees in 20 seconds whereas the other vessel takes 20 seconds simply to get her rudder hard over before she turns then it is your fault if you get in the way at close range.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Still has to be moving to do that turn and the Ady Gil couldn’t go into reverse as the following sea would have swamped her. The captain of the Ady Gil had one option – accelerate forwards and hope that he could turn away before the ship hit.

                BTW, the speed at which the ship turned toward the Ady Gil would indicate that it doesn’t take 20 seconds to get the helm over.

                • KJT

                  They would have to have the helm over at least half a ships length before they started turning.

                  And the Ady Gil was definitely moving fast enough to steer.
                  Saying they could not go astern is bollocks. The sea was not that huge and they were going slowly..
                  If they were stopped the collision would not have happened looking at the aspect of the Japanese ship after they turned.

                  The other vessel changing speed makes it difficult to assess if you are going to hit.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    They would have to have the helm over at least half a ships length before they started turning.

                    That’s different from what you said and we don’t know when the ship started turning toward the Ady Gil – just when she actually did which was close enough to the correct time to hit.

                    Saying they could not go astern is bollocks the sea was not that huge.

                    It was higher than the back of the boat. Just watch at how much the ship was moving due to the swell.

                    • KJT

                      All this nit picking does not invalidate the stupidity of a mouse playing tag with an elephant and then complaining when the elephant cannot dodge the at the last minute.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      In this case the elephant turned toward the mouse – the mouse was quite safe before then.

      • freedom 3.2.3

        It was refreshing to see the Japanese vessel’s use of highpressure water cannons which we all know is an age old navigation technique

        • KJT

          Yes. It is. we used them from tankers at Marsden point on small boats full of smokers when we were loading petrol. Well accepted Maritime safety technique.

          I don’t know about throwing food acid though. 🙂

          • KJT

            “In this case the elephant turned toward the mouse – the mouse was quite safe before then”.

            Bullshit. Even the mouse admits it had been playing tag with the elephant for hours.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.4

        I agree. I support anti-whaling, but ultimately I think they’re acting like clowns.

  4. freedom 4

    New Zealand Government authorises sexual assault on minors

    watch this 30 second video and imagine it is your child getting the strip search

    Then remember these are the very security measures our own Government has sanctioned by their silence and their complacent agreement to make New Zealand Citizens follow these same security procedures as stipulated by the co-operative arrangements with the US Department of Homeland Security.

    Even the TSA website does not detail the level of molestation in the new Enhanced Pat Down, and the links from the NZ Travel Advisory similarly have no mention of TSA goons literally putting their hands down your pants and touching your genitalia, and your child’s.

    The NZ Travel Advisory also neglect to mention that refusal to comply with the Body Scanner or enhanced pat down does not mean you can leave the Airport, now you are subject to criminal charges and a US$10,000 fine.

    more on this Government sanctioned sexual assault at yesterday’s post /open-mike-21112010/#comment-272656

  5. Bright Red 5

    strange thing for an agnostic to do:

    “Prime Minister John Key says he is praying that the 29 men trapped at Pike River are safe.

    “I just pray to God that they are alive,” he said.”

    I think you can express your concern without pretending that you’re religious. But the guy does say whatver he thinks people want to hear, so it’s not surprising that he’s constantly contradicting himself.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      The only interview I saw on this, he refused to give a straight answer 3 times in a row as to whether he believed in god or not.

      Helen Clark said no.

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        Oh come on, he’s supposed to admit that he sold his soul to Satan? No John, you keep pretending you believe in God, you’ll be find until about July 2011, that’s the date your hairline will recede right to the back of your head and there’ll be no more hiding that 666 etched into your skull…

        • Colonial Viper

          Uh…I thought satanic worshippers clearly believe in the existence of God. Not that I am an expert in this field but isn’t that sorta the point, right?

          • Tigger

            CV, I am more than happy to admit I’m not an expert in devil worship – perhaps some right wingers visiting the site can enlighten me…

      • Vicky32 5.1.2

        I heard him on LifeFM (Christian radio station) in 2008, and it was exactly the same : obviously he didn’t want to tell a Christian audience (that he would have assumed were his for the asking) that he was agnostic!
        Helen Clark as always was honest about it.
        I no longer listen to LifeFM, it’s too American. I mean how is an MPs religion relevant to his/her performance? Really, it’s none of the voters’ business..

  6. Tigger 6

    Could someone please inform the MSM that they can stop campaigning against Labour in Mana. The elction happened, you lost and voters memories won’t stretch back to November 2010 come general election time…

    • joe bloggs 6.1

      heeheehee… this we won, they lost, eat that revision of the Mana result is hilarous. Along with Audrey Young’s comments:

      Some in Labour who should know better are creatively suggesting that Labour actually did better in the byelection than the last general election, despite having its majority slashed from 6155 to 1080….That is like comparing raisins and sheep droppings

      It’s not the MSM campaigning against Labour in Mana, but the electors themselves. So much for lightweight tokenism and parachute politics. And so much for Phil Goff’s empty threats to bloody National’s nose.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Labour is feeling pretty good about this, and Parata got shown up as a lame campaigner even when hand held each step of the way by Key 😀

      • swordfish 6.1.2

        Nah, it’s Audrey Young who’s comparing raisins and sheep droppings.

        She just doesn’t get it. Either a bit too simple-minded or a little too politically-partisan (Father a long-time Tory MP, Brother-in-law’s Max Bradford, Sister a high-profile former Right-wing Wellington City Councillor). But I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she (like Tracy Watkins) uncritically regurgitates Farrar’s spin because electoral analysis is all just a bit over her head.

        Winnie Laban’s personal majority was 6100 (including 4500 National, Green and minor-party voters casting their second (Candidate-Vote) for her).

        Labour’s majority over National was 2500.

        Those 4500 don’t have the luxury of a second vote in a (ONE-vote) By-Election. Hence, they’re very likely to vote for the Party they gave their all-important Party-Vote to in 2008. The Party they’re aligned to. Anything else assumes that these 1800 Greens, 1100 National supporters and 1600 minor-party supporters are really Labour supporters because they cast their Candidate-Vote for Winnie Laban.

        • swordfish

          The “Nah”, of course, was meant for Joe Bloggs and NOT the always excellent CV.

        • Max Bradford

          Get a life swordfish, and get your facts straight … Audrey Young is not my sister-in-law, nor is she my wife’s sister. You should be much more careful before you start maligning people like Audrey Young, or our family for that matter. I look forward to your apology, but I don’t imagine any of us will get it.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Soccer celeb Eric Cantona goes all anarcho on finance captial … withdraw your money from the local bank folks on December 7.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    NACT supports more corruption and less transparency in electoral finance.

    Increasing the disclosure threshold for candidate donations and the prohibition on overseas and anonymous donations from $1000 to $1500, and increasing the disclosure threshold for party donations from $10,000 to $15,000.

    • Logie97 8.1

      Does this administration have a conscience?

      They are now introducing their own “Electoral Finance Act”. And their arguments to support it are exactly the ones that they vilified 2 years ago. How will the Penguin and the Cetacean defend this one? Perhaps they will jump ship and join Boscawen and his lot.


      …now the conspiracist in me is suggesting that it gives ACT an issue to garner support in the electorate and thence get them over the 5 pcnt threshold, et voila, a natural ally again.

      Teflon man is not a strong enough word for Key.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    NBR Tweet:

    Up to three more byelections on the way; one could be Winston’s best bet

    The article is behind their paywall so, does anyone know who the other three MPs that are about to resign are?

  10. joe90 10

    The plot thickens with an arrest warrant issued for Julian Assange. When the accusations first came to light Counterpunch had this followed by Assange Beseiged.

    But will the insurance file be released?.

  11. Carol 11

    Interesting article by Patrick Gower of TV3:

    He says that Parata’s performance at Mana was an audition for the vacated Wong portfolio, and that Key needs more women in cabinet to break up the “sausage party” that is the male domination of National.

    In fact, there’s so many male National MP’s that sometimes when I stand outside its caucus on Tuesday, I half-expect to hear them chanting “ziggy, ziggy, ziggy, oi, oi, oi” like some sort of First XV party.

    I agree with Gower on the sausage party, but not on Collins and Bennett as “strongly performing women” in the cabinet, and not on his high recommendation for Parata. Gower goes on to say there’s a whole load of backbench Nat male MPs who think they are the next in the queue for a portfolio.

    Gower ends by saying that, even in Labour and The Greens, the trend is towards less women and more men:

    But National isn’t holding the only bloke-a-thon in Parliament at the moment. Labour has its own boys-club in Auckland right now. Every one of its seven safe Auckland seats is held by a man – with Chris Carter’s seat to be handed over to Phil Twyford to keep it a boy’s club. So much for the supposed party of equality with a supposed power-base in Auckland – just no girls, thanks!

    Even the Greens are going down this road. They’ve even got an equality rule. But of its nine MP’s – only three are women, and Sue Kedgley is leaving.
    There’s no real explanation for this. Its a 50-50 world – just not around Parliament.

    PS: It’s also worth pointing out to Gower, that most political journos in the MSM are also male. They dominate politIcal news reporting on TV3, and ass the hosts & main journo on Qu & A and on The Nation. Though qu & a does get more women on it’s guest panels.

  12. john 12

    A tribute to the Whales Seashepherd may not be able to save this year.
    Refer link to Crosby Stills and Nash’s “Wind on the Water”

    Over the years you have been hunted
    by the men who threw harpoons
    And in the long run he will kill you
    just to feed the pets we raise,
    put the flowers in your vase
    and make the lipstick for your face.
    Over the years you swam the ocean
    Following feelings of your own
    Now you are washed up on the shoreline
    I can see your body lie
    It’s a shame you have to die
    to put the shadow on our eye
    Maybe we’ll go

    Maybe we’ll disappear
    It’s not that we don’t know
    It’s just that we don’t want to care.
    Under the bridges
    Over the foam
    Wind on the water
    Carry me home.


    This song devastates me. Humans are by far the worst and cruelest animals on Earth. All the other species and the Earth itself could go on for eons if we didn’t exist. With our careless devastation of the planet I am ashamed to be a part of the human race!. anon. quote

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    The Us Republicans look likely to force the US to take one step closer to revolution.

    In other news about stupid conservatives we have S&P downgrading NZs credit rating due to NACTs abysmal handling of the economy and the government being caught off guard by such a move despite being quite upset about the possibility prior to the election.

    • KJT 13.1

      That must hurt, as they still take the credit rating agencies seriously. I wonder how NACT are going to spin that one?

      Same as the decade of Rogernomics and Ruthenasia. Cut spending to poorer people who spend within the economy and borrow so the very wealthy can spend overseas. A drop in economic activity is inevitable.

      “New Zealand’s vulnerability to external shocks, arising from its OPEN and relatively undiversified economy, also raises risks to the country’s economic recovery and credit quality,” said Sovereign Ratings credit analyst Kyran Curry”.

      Capitals mine.

  14. KJT 14

    Meanwhile, back in the wonderful world of free markets.

    “The degree to which nanotech regulation has gone into snooze mode is underscored by the failure of one of the very few regulations on nanotech products. It specifies that fullerenes and other nanomaterials are not to be used in cosmetics without manufacturers or importers notifying ERMA. Yet they sit on local shelves and, as of the end of May this year, the regulator had received no notifications since introducing this scant reporting duty four years ago”.

    These have the potential to be more harmful than GM.

  15. ianmac 15

    The Irish bailout which is being negotiated with EU, has caused the people to accuse the Government of misleading and lying about the true state, especially of the banks. The Irish people are getting angry. I wonder if NZers will become aware of being mislead by Bill English and John Key? Will the sleeping tigers awake or are we just cute kitten who enjoy having our tummies rubbed.

  16. vto 16

    You lefties want something further to get stuck into the government over? Try how the new Environment Canterbury commissars are attempting to get out of their obligations over the Clean Heat project (fireplaces in Chch). Fuck me, just opened a letter from them trying to cancel their obligations.

    Simple contract stuff. Offer and acceptance. Trying to get out the contract over invoicing.

    Fools. And wankers.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      You should have voted them out in the lection last month mate!


      • vto 16.1.1

        aaaarrgghhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!

        • NickS

          Great. I look forward to a future of smoggy, lung-busting nights and coming home stinking of smoke, on top of idiots burning rubbish.

          Actually, one thing to do is try and get a letter in The Press, or more evil yet, get on the talking head shows @7pm on 1 and 3 to push this firmly into the light. Hopefully it’ll set ECan a squirming. And possibly put Gerry’s powers to a much better use.

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    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    2 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    6 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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