Open mike 22/12/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, December 22nd, 2014 - 65 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Micky Savage christmasThe Authors of the Standard are now in holiday mode. Posting will be less regular and dependant on individual author enthusiasm. Open mike will continue every day and prepare yourself for some year in review posts and some recycling of old stuff. And as R0b has said be nice to each other.

Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

65 comments on “Open mike 22/12/2014”

  1. karol 1

    Patrick Gower uses the f word on TV – video

    Because someone told him he was talking in a “fucking library”.

  2. Paul 2

    Clean Green New Zealand.
    This government is destroying our environment.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377716

    • mac1 2.1

      “More than 40 swimming beaches hit with a “caution” label for water quality.”

      “14 per cent of 350 monitored beaches ( which is actually very close to 50 beaches).

      “Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith described the country’s beach water as “generally very good”.

      “It really is only 14 per cent where we do have a problem.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377716

      What a total abdication is that bald-faced acceptance by Nick Smith that ‘only’ 14% is a problem. Note the ‘only’! The question immediately comes to mind. What would be intolerable for Nick Smith?

      There are 350 beaches monitored. One seventh of this is 50 beaches contaminated to a level that if you go in the water 10 times, statistically, it will make you ill.

      It makes me ill to think of the contamination of ‘clean, free NZ’, and it makes me angry to think of the acceptance of this by the Minister responsible.

      What a Christmas present for Kiwis on holiday in their own country.

      • Paul 2.1.1

        Our dear leader is holidaying in Los Angeles and Hawaii.
        So he’s pretty relaxed, no doubt.

        • mac1 2.1.1.1

          I’m just thinking of those 1000 kids that came and saw their Santa with bright eyed wonderment, and the kids of New Zealand who they represent, and the risk that one in seven ‘cautioned’ beaches puts them in.

          Dear leader no doubt has a swimming pool at his beach home.

    • The Al1en 2.2

      While a lot of blame can rightly be apportioned to this government, the main reason why NZ’s clean and green image is so tarnished is because of the people and their shocking treatment of this lovely country.
      Big issues like cleaning up inland and marine waterways are of course vital and should remain a focus of the green party and environmental campaigners, but broken glass in the gutters, litter, oil down drains won’t change until kiwis accept their responsibility for the mess and strive to rectify the bad behaviour.
      Not to diminish the good work done by many, the biggest protection our land can receive is when the populace actively start caring for it like they love it.

      One could argue that the clean green image is really a con job, based on the fact that a small population inhabits a large land mass. Where I see people here, I see mess like most other places.

      • b waghorn 2.2.1

        I couldn’t help a rye smile when I saw the greens wanting subsidies for beach communities when most beach communities are play grounds for the top 10% these days and they should fund there own sewerage.
        And another thing if that article had of fingered rural streams as the worst this thread would be 50 posts long calling for the taring and feathering of farmers.

        • The Al1en 2.2.1.1

          As a green voter I’d probably be one of them, certainly having a pop at farmers who won’t fence or riparian plant the waterways that run through their properties.
          I would especially have had a moan how as a city dweller a portion of my regional rates go towards schemes that pay some farmers to do what they should be doing by right anyway.

          • b waghorn 2.2.1.1.1

            So your fine with tax payers funding peoples secondary houses waste but you’re against a small amount of regional tax you pay going towards securing water quality for the nation ?

            • The Al1en 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Taking the latter first, that’s one way of framing it, but I prefer my take on it – Farmers should be fencing off the waterways at their cost because it’s their stock that pollute them.
              I am happy to pay taxes, even for things I don’t use, so that isn’t really an issue. I’d be much happier still, to improve the shitty water ways, if farmers did the right thing, took responsibility in the first place and didn’t burden me due their neglect or bad practices.

              As for the waste water funding scheme, I don’t know enough about it (read anything) to comment with any authority.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Bully boy ex policeman Mike Sabin, Northland Nat MP, is up for a “see ya round” cheque as per other embarrassing tory back benchers. ShonKey promised “higher standards” but since randy old goat Richard Worth through Lee, Wong, Heatly, Gilmour, Hauiti, Henare, Williamson, Crusher etc and even his own office, has patently failed to deliver.

    Key’s silence on this so far indicates there will indeed be a by election sooner rather than later.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377730

  4. North 4

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11377732

    Front page of the Herald this morning – $50,000 ‘impost’ to get Auckland City FC home for Christmas ? Against reported additional $640,000 EXTRA winnings from their sterling efforts this pales, surely ? Did the article with that headline even need to be written ? Like it’s gonna ruin their Xmas ?

  5. Pat O'Dea 5

    “The ocean has risen” “It is what it is”

    A 2014 poll by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication shows majorities of women, minorities and young people support candidates who strongly endorse climate action, the New York Times reported earlier this week. “That poll found that 65 percent of Hispanics, 53 percent of blacks and 53 percent of unmarried women support candidates who back climate-change action.”

    As the Times noted, those were all groups crucial to the outcomes of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

    As Miami floods and the North Polar ice cap threatens to disappear. In the US women, black people and minorities want the government to do more. Polls show similar trends in New Zealand, but for the third election in a row, despite government weakness and vulnerability on climate change, the Left here were not able to take advantage of this government weakness as much as they were in the US. And despite the best efforts of Greenpeace and other NGOs their ‘Climate Voter’ campaign, was not able to get climate change into a mainstream election issue. There were a number of reasons for this, but IMHO the main one, is that the two major parties generally share a consensus on climate change and so it was not in their best interests to debate it. National and Labour have now been put on notice, the Green Party have determined that for the next three years, as well as child poverty, climate change will be the Green Party leading campaigning issue.

    Declaration: Pat O’Dea is the Mana Movement spokesperson for climate change

    • batweka 5.1

      Maybe but Labour were a completely mess, I don’t think them being more focussed on CC would have made much difference.

      That’s good news about the GP. Have they said anything about this publicly?

  6. BLiP 6

    Cracker end-of-year programme from the Media Watch team at National Radio including a look at the coverage of the Sydney “siege”, the return home of the resident ABC correspondent, and some fun general piss-taking.

  7. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    Protests against the coming “gag law” in Spain which makes protest illegal:

    http://wolfstreet.com/2014/12/20/spain-takes-a-giant-step-backward-towards-its-dark-past/

    Here’s a quick breakdown of the financial sanctions the government seeks to impose (and, of course, collect upon) for acts of political protest or disobedience:

    • Surrounding a government building: €30,000
    • Criticizing or insulting the country, government or head of state during a protest or on social media: €30,000
    • Participating in a demonstration that does not have the government’s prior approval: €100 – €1,000
    • Organizing a demonstration that turns violent: €30,000
    etc etc

    …Meanwhile in Venezuela death squads are going around executing those who are suspected of protest, and in the UK there is a proposed law currently being discussed that will require government approval for expressing public opinion (!)

  8. adam 8

    I’m sure this will be blown up today.

    http://nypost.com/2014/12/20/2-nypd-cops-shot-execution-style-in-brooklyn/

    What is worrying, this is an obviously propaganda piece by the post.

    I feel sorry for all the families involved, and I’m very sorry you and yours are being used for political purpose – when this should be dealt with as the tragedy it is, for you and yours.

    • Bearded Git 8.1

      4000 handgun deaths a year in Guatemala. I can never understand why the US gets so much of our media’s attention.

      • Paul 8.1.1

        Easy.
        US corporations and banks control much of the world’s media.

      • KJS0ne 8.1.2

        Partly it’s the ‘us and them’ dichotomy, it’s where you average kiwi draws the line in the sand. The people you include in your ‘us’ group, you care about, because you have a sense of cultural kin, of ownership in the existential sense. Think about it. What is it that makes you pissed off when say your friend’s television is stolen, but some guy in Porirua has his house burnt down and you don’t really care? It’s a sense of ownership of your friend being ‘MY’ friend as opposed to ‘THAT’ guy.

        Unfortunately, by the numbers, more people include the USA in the ‘us’ category, and Guatamalans in the ‘them’, because culturally, we’re much closer to the USA than Guatamala, which is exotic and foreign. It’s tribalism.

        • Murray Rawshark 8.1.2.1

          I think we feel culturally closer to the seppos, and that this is used by American agents such as FJK in the service of his masters. I’m not sure we actually are close, and I know I’m not. I identify far more with Latin Americans than I do with seppos.

  9. (an f.y.i/how-to..)

    “..8 Tips for the Discerning Cannabis Consumer..

    ..What to ask – what to pay – what to look for –

    – and what to avoid when it comes to buying premium flower..”

    (cont..)

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/8-tips-discerning-cannabis-consumer

  10. hooton has given a particularly brisk account of the govt/key/sky-deal blowout..

    ..on nat-rad..

    ..the word ‘muppets’ was used repeatedly..

    ..ryan was shushing him in the end..(!)..(twice..!..)

    ..williams was his usual useless-as stuff…

    ..barely able to string a coherent thought/sentence together..

    (..no matter how much ryan tries to coach/steer him into one..)

    ..he managed to slag nicky hager..

    ..(oh..!..and his (supposed) adversary..’matthew’..has become ‘matt’..

    ..will it be ‘m’ in 2015..?..)

    ..plus he/williams urges labour to just ignore the poor/missing-million..and to chase the centre..’

    ..he then said there are only ‘pockets of poverty’..and both he and matt snigger/sneer in unison at the idea of 25% being in poverty..

    ..he is such a vile neo-lib sellout..

    • and hooton repeats his serious slagging of laila harre..

      ..a slagging that is totally unjustified..by any account..

      ..after harawira disappeared after his car accident..

      ..and things disintergrated..

      ..harre carried the campaign on her own..

      ..and to heap the defeat on her shoulders is a sick joke..

      ..and i know from the mana side of things..that i have not heard a bad word said against harre..

      ..just the opposite..

      ..from harawira down to to a lowly foot-soldier like myself..

      ..there is nothing but praise for harre..

      ..(praise re-emphasised both publicly and privately by harawira..to my ears..post-election defeat..)

      ..on this..hooton is talking absolute/utter shite..

      ..with his claims that harres ‘reputation has been destroyed’..

      ..fucken laughable..really..

      (..the only takeaway was hooton revealing the biggest cheer of all on election nite at natty-hq..

      ..was for kelvin davis beating harawira..

      ..make of that what you will..

      ..(in this tweedle-dee/tweedle-dum world..)

      ..and just who are the ‘haters’ here…?..

      ..aside from preachers of it..like hooton..)

      • marty mars 11.1.1

        Exactly phil – Laila is respected within Mana as she is respected elsewhere. Personally, for me she is a hero and great part of this country.

        • tracey 11.1.1.1

          hooton said it was a view amongst people he talks to… so that rules out genuinely mana and ip people

          • phillip ure 11.1.1.1.1

            “..hooton said it was a view amongst people he talks to..”

            the rightwing-ratbags for whom she has always been the devil incarnate..

            ..that’s who ‘he talks to’..

            ..that’s what pissed me off..

            ..that he tried to present/spin the views of these wankers into some universal dismay/disdain amongst nz’ers @ harre..

            ..he is such a tosser..

        • RedLogix 11.1.1.2

          Now there is something we can unambiguously agree on marty.

  11. philj 12

    Media Watch on RNZ is just about the only competent and critical program left on RNZ. Wallace and Kathryn are not up to scratch. And Mourning (sp) Report is now sensationalistic. trivialialising, unbalanced and irrelevant. This is a serious issue for NZ and goes under the radar. TVNZ is a poor joke with Hoskins/Henry etc. The MSM media in NZ is a mess. How many folk are switching off?

    • Paul 12.1

      Yes the NZ media is dire. I watch and listen to very little now.
      Propaganda is dull and predictable.
      One other small beacon of thinking media you don’t mention – Wayne Brittenden still as good as ever.

      So I rely on the internet for news now.

      Amongst other sources, I follow this site, the Daily Blog, read the Guardian, read Counter Punch website for news , Wings over Scotland website. I enjoy the perspectives of journalists such as George Monbiot, Robert Fisk, Owen Jones, John Pilger, Chris Hedges and Seamus Milne.
      For NZ news, I enjoy reading the perspective of Dita De Boni.

      At least I am aware that what we see in the MSM is propaganda. There are an increasing number of people who realise that the media is not telling us the important stuff.

      However, quite clearly, the propaganda machine is working. There is no way the establishment in NZ could have done what it has done in the past 30 years without the media being a key part of it.

      • philj 12.1.1

        Thanks Paul,

        Yes, I find Wayne Brittenden a shining light. I wonder how much longer he will survive, along with ‘Media Watch’. There is plenty of good information on the net but I think most people just accept the Jim Mora ostrich approach to journalism (?) RT tv on the net, has some real journalism. There is a need for a quality centre/left Channel on the tv or internet. Can’t stomach our ‘market’ dominated TVNZ and MSM.

  12. batweka 13

    Sarah Kendzior nails it, again.

    Lessons of week: shooting woman doesn’t matter, shooting cop does. Threatening women online doesn’t matter, threatening corporation does.

    Would it be that all lives were valued and all deaths mourned. Would it be that rights were for all, their violations universally deplored.

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      The safety and security of the power elite: their corporations and their enforcers is of course placed first and foremost.

  13. Colonial Rawshark 14

    BBC World Service said to be losing global propaganda war against Russian and Chinese news services

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/dec/21/bbc-world-service-information-war-russia-today

    • Paul 14.1

      In the comments below the Guardian below, which were generally derisive of the article, I saw this one.

      ‘If nothing else, it’s interesting that the BBC inadvertently reveals here, that its true peers are the Chinese and Russian state media.
      I would suggest high level BBC staff are very aware of this, but of course can’t admit to it– as any propagandist who openly admits to being a propagandist, isn’t a very good one.’

      And a link to this interview.

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1

        An insightful comment there, which paralled my thoughts when I first read that article.

        In the west we are in fact a very highly propagandised people (due to both what we are told as selected facts and narratives in the MSM, but especially what we are not told about) – the fact that many still cannot see it is a testament to how effectively it has been carried out.

        • Paul 14.1.1.1

          It is amazing how the whole Ukraine story, for example, has been portrayed by the western corporate media. Just a tiny bit of independent research shows up the misinformation that is going on.

          • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1.1.1

            We are being taken to the edge of superpower war by western leaders, who John PIlger says, is pumping our airwaves full of the same raw propaganda of the 1960s Cold War.

            Pilger also recently said – Russia has been making only purely defensive moves this year, despite being portrayed as the aggressor and occupier. The US would have turned Sevastopol into a major NATO base by now if Russia had not re-occupied Crimea.

    • tricle up 14.2

      Propaganda abroad at home it is just plain old spin.It would be easier to say all views are helpful leaving the word true to sit on the sideline looking for a conclusion …

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.2.1

        It’s not just spinning the facts though; as I remarked above it is also what does not get reported, who does not get airtime, which perspectives never get mentioned.

        In the recent CIA torture report coverage for instance, the MSM never interviewed any of the hundreds of people who were tortured for months or years at a time at the hands of US personnel or contracted agents, because that would have put a human face on to what had actually been done – not just crimes against humanity, but crimes against innocent human beings.

  14. Philip Ferguson 16

    One of the stories of the year, which didn’t really get raised during the elections although it should be of vital concern to the whole labour movement, is the denouement of Pike River.

    Key had promised that virtually heaven and earth would be moved to get the remains out and then quietly went along with the highly-disputed claim that it was not possible to go into the mine for this retrieval.

    It’s hard to believe that it is now three years on. Three years of hell for the families and friends of the 29 human beings who died at Pike River because it was an unsafe operation and because successive governments, National and Labour, had run down mine inspection. I can’t say that Andrew Little, as head of the EPMU, exactly covered himself in glory in relation to the issue either. For instance, his giving the Pike River Company a clean bill of health deserves scrutiny.

    Anyway, here’s a list of articles that myself and several other folks wrote about the killings at Pike River – and, let’s be clear, these 29 people died *unnecessarily*; they were killed by a company that put profit before safety. The articles below are in chronological order I think.

    Pike River Blues: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/pike-river-blues/

    Pike River lessons: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/pike-river-lessons/

    Pike River: ‘cashflow’ versus workers’ safety: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/pike-river-cashflow-versus-workers-safety/

    Pike River company’s safety breaches killed 29 workers – it’s official: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/pike-river-company-found-guilty-of-safety-breaches/

    What’s the latest at Pike River?: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/whats-the-latest-at-pike-river/

    Pike River third anniversary: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/pike-river-third-anniversary/

    Pike River injustice: taking up Helen Kelly’s offer: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/pike-river-injustice-taking-up-helen-kellys-offer/

    Pike River – the final cover-up?: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/pike-river-the-final-cover-up/

    Phil

    • Te Reo Putake 16.1

      “I can’t say that Andrew Little, as head of the EPMU, exactly covered himself in glory in relation to the issue either. For instance, his giving the Pike River Company a clean bill of health deserves scrutiny.”

      When did he do that, Phil? And in what form?

      • Te Reo Putake 16.1.1

        Nah, it turns out Little didn’t give PRC “a clean bill of health”. In one of the links above he’s quoted incorrectly in reference to the site health and safety committee and a second factual quote is misused to give a false impression to fool readers (including Phil F., apparently). Opinion masquerading as fact.

        What is true is that the union could have done better, but as it was never told by the workers on site that there were issues and the company went out of its way to undermine safe mining best practice (including offering bonuses to workers to ignore the problems and just get the coal moving), it’s understandable.

        More importantly, it was hardly a matter the then National Secretary would know anything about prior to the explosion. He was based in Wellington, running the union as a manager, not doing the organising work of the local union rep and site delegates in Hokitika.

        • Ergo Robertina 16.1.1.1

          ”What is true is that the union could have done better, but as it was never told by the workers on site that there were issues and the company went out of its way to undermine safe mining best practice (including offering bonuses to workers to ignore the problems and just get the coal moving), it’s understandable.”

          That’s not true, according to Rebecca MacFie’s authoritative book on Pike River. The EPMU was not welcome at the mine, but it did know about the problem.

          ”There was only ever one walkout over safety, when mind deputy Dan Herk threw down the gauntlet about the lack of mine vehicles available to quickly evacuate workers in the event of an emergency. Herk called the local EPMU representative, Matt Winter, and said he was concerned for the men’s safety; Winter advised he should, therefore, walk out. Herk led the men out of the mine. Shortly afterwards Winter received an angry call from Pike’s human resources manager Dick Knapp, advising him to tell the men to go back to work; when Winter refused, Knapp threatened to sue the union. The issue the men were protesting about was attended to within a matter of hours, with the prompt repair of a broken-down vehicle that had been out of action for three weeks. Winter was aware of workers’ concerns about the lack of a proper exit, and he had heard about the series of methane ignitions in late 2008. He was also worried about the high number of cleanskins – workers new to mining – at Pike.” (page 180).

          It was quite widely known on the Coast that Pike was a safety risk, so of course the local EPMU rep was aware. And that’s the point, the danger was known, but the broken safety system meant nothing was done, and the idiot investment money flowing in kept the thing lurching on.

          ,

          • RedLogix 16.1.1.1.1

            It was quite widely known on the Coast that Pike was a safety risk, so of course the local EPMU rep was aware.

            I can personally confirm that fact. I can’t give details because it would blow my feeble little nom right out of the water – but yes – there were people in the industry who were not at all surprised by the news the day of the explosion.

          • Te Reo Putake 16.1.1.1.2

            ER, the quoted passage actually confirms what I said. When a specific issue was raised with the local rep, action was taken and the matter resolved. The ‘one entrance/exit’ design was signed off by the authorities, so not a lot that could be done there and rumours of ignitions that weren’t actually formally reported were of no help to the union or the men.

  15. RedLogix 17

    Heh – does this nasty little trick have a familiar ring?

    Labor MPs and officials are canvassing the future of the state’s opposition leader, John Robertson, after revelations he wrote a letter conveying a request from Man Monis, the gunman behind the Sydney siege.

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/john-robertsons-leadership-of-nsw-opposition-shaky-mps-20141222-12ccv7.html

    I’d wager that with this level of knife sharpening going on, NSW Labour is unlikely to repeat the Victorian effort.

    • Murray Rawshark 17.1

      Yep. It’s a Liberal beatup. Politicians quite often write letters representing constituents’ concerns, and rightly so. Abbott wrote a reference for a rock spider priest, saying what a great bloke he was. Their stupid Accountability Roundtable should worry about that. As they’re a more successful version of the Taxpayers’ Union, they won’t.

      Labor sucks anyway. In NSW there is a stench of corruption. I’m just hoping the Greens or someone else can grow a bit.

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    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

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