Open Mike 24/10/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 24th, 2016 - 74 comments
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74 comments on “Open Mike 24/10/2016”

  1. weka 1

    [Please note, we are trialling something new for Open Mike and Daily Review.

    In order to keep OM and DR free for other conversations, all comments, link postings etc about the US election now need to go in the dedicated US election discussion here.

    If you are unsure, post in that thread rather than here. It’s not possible for moderators to shift comments from OM to there, so any comments here may get deleted.

    Have fun folks – weka]

  2. Jenny 2

    Will John Key and the Nats pick up on the trend?

    The rise of the personality cult.

    The Putin Calender

    Weirdly reminiscent of Benito Mussolini’s crafted He Man image, Putin like Mussolini is often seen posing on a horse.

    Reputedly Mussolini could barely sit on a horse for a posed photo shoot, and had to use a body double for the horse jump. Though it is possible that Putin unlike Mussolini can actually ride a horse.

    But whether Putin a pudgy over weight middle aged politician is still actually a black belt capable of tossing much younger men to the ground is probably less likely.

  3. Jenny 3

    Of course the personality cult serves a much more sinister purpose. When I was in Syria in 2010, the oppressive image of the dictator Basha Assad was everywhere, on huge over head bill boards and hoardings, on motorway over bridges, in every public place. I was told by my guides that to make any negative comment about the dictator and the ubiquity of his image, signaled disloyalty to the state and if overheard by the many spies and informers could result in detention or worse.

    Anita McNaught reports from Syria

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/08/20128213363370291.html

    • Ad 3.1

      Ah for an ounce of charisma in the Labour leadership.
      Just an ounce is all I’m asking.
      It’s not too much without going all Assad on everything.

    • reason 3.2

      Knowing a Syrian lady refugees here in NZ …….I must say her views and opinions are Nothing like the war propaganda that Jenny posts …… And unlike Jenny she has personally suffered with her brother having been killed….. and she has also lost her home and former way of life.

      The Syrian lady I know says most people in her country prefer Assad over the religious head choppers that the u.s.a has been supporting …..

      “analyzing the factions involved in the global jihad, takes a careful look at who is fighting against Assad in Syria. To what should be no one’s surprise — but will apparently be very surprising to many — the bulk of the opposition consists of Islamists.” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439161/aleppo-syria-moderate-secular-rebels-al-qaeda-muslim-brotherhood-russia-iran

      Holding elections would be the legitimate way to change the Government in Syria ….

      Assad would probably win the elections which is why the U.s.a and European countries who want to remove him oppose them,, ….

      Assad won the last elections held …….. “an international delegation led by allies of Assad[17] from more than 30 countries including Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, India, Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua, Russia, South Africa and Venezuela[18][19] issued a statement claiming the election was “free, fair and transparent”

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 4

    IT WAS A POWERFUL piece of technology created for an important customer. The Medusa system, named after the mythical Greek monster with snakes instead of hair, had one main purpose: to vacuum up vast quantities of internet data at an astonishing speed.

    The technology was designed by Endace, a little-known New Zealand company. And the important customer was the British electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ.

    https://theintercept.com/2016/10/23/endace-mass-surveillance-gchq-governments/

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 4.1

      Sept. 23 2015 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand-founded Endace, which develops technology that measures, monitors and protects high-speed networks, is understood to have laid off about two-thirds of its workers, a move that could potentially trigger claw-back provisions for government research and development funding.

      The company formed in 2001 to commercialise research out of University of Waikato, was sold for $154 million in 2012 to Californian networking solutions firm Emulex, which in turn, was sold in May to Nasdaq-listed Avago Technologies for US$587 million.

      That sale led to a spat between Endace co-founder Selwyn Pellett and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce over the $11.1 million in taxpayer funding it had received. Pellett was concerned the company was being sold to overseas interests without having to repay the grants, even though he personally benefited from the deal as a shareholder.

      Joyce said the government was trying to encourage R&D in New Zealand by funding companies that continued to do that work here regardless of ownership.

    • Takere 4.2

      Endace. Joyce’s baby. Received a $11m government “loan” at a little over 2.25% interest and only had to pay the interest of the $11m to the government.
      Same deal as Media Works getting a $41m “loan” for license payments for 5 years?? Tried to spin it as an advance?? Since when do governments pay for commercial private entities operating licenses? Oh, when crony governments kicked in, in 2008?

  5. Jenny 5

    While The Standard’s resident Lord Haw Haw enjoys some well deserved time off, it might by a time to reflect on his role as a cheerleader for genocide.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/aleppo-once-the-jewel-of-syrias-rebellion-faces-possible-collapse/

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=captured+syrian+pilot+you+tube&view=detail&mid=DFD73E031467791E0C66DFD73E031467791E0C66&FORM=VIRE

    [Attacking authors again?! Are you ever going to learn Jenny? One week off (again)] – Bill.

    • Garibaldi 5.1

      Get a grip Jenny. American sponsored genocide – now there’s a story you should tell. Start, say, with Vietnam then proceed through Central and South America, then onto Middle East, North Africa etc. Dig into Israel’s activities and Saudi Arabia and Turkey for good measure.
      Syria is but a drop in the bucket in the overall plan of the American backed Zionists.

      • tinfoilhat 5.1.1

        if you trawl through Jenny’s comments on this blog you’ll notice she is equally damning of all warmongers and their respective backers – I suspect this is a novel position for the likes of yourself and other cheerleaders for ‘my enemy’s enemy’.

        Edit – really Bill ? Are people not allowed to critique CV’s position on Syria and/or Trump ?

        The moderation and behaviour on this site is really beyond the pale.

        [How many boxes did you just tick with this comment? A fair few. When I first read this comment it was solely in reply in Garibaldi. Even then, it was close to the line. You want to accuse people of being war-mongers, then put up supporting evidence instead of just apparently splabbing shit that may or may not – depending on any given moderators mood – read like bullshit ad hom. Jenny’s banned. If you want to self martyr, just let me know.] – Bill

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          Entirely reasonable.
          Read the policy Tinfoil.

          Also, objectionable to accuse anyone of filling a role of a British citizen who worked full time as a Nazi collaborator under Goebbels during World War Two, which is what Lord Haw Haw was.

        • weka 5.1.1.2

          There is a difference between critiquing someone’s position, and attacking them. Jenny has a long history of attacking authors and is frequently banned for it. She also lies about authors, intentionally IMO. She knows exactly what she is doing and why she gets a ban.

          She just said one of the authors supports genocide. On its own that might not be a big deal, just let it slide. But when it goes on all the time it affects authors and the community. If someone is misrepresenting an author’s position then that tends to keep coming up including when they write posts. Moderators and authors generally don’t have time to chase up attacks to see if they are based in fact. It’s on commenters to figure out how to critique someone’s position without attacking them.

          The priority here is to keep authors and to get new authors to write.

          There has been a lot of criticism of moderators/authors in the past week. Some of that is understandable (the moderation system isn’t perfect). However it also takes time to deal with and puts off existing and potential authors and moderators.

          If commenters want things to improve I suggest that they stop attacking moderators and authors, and either focus on the debate points or put up constructive suggestions of how things would work better (bearing in mind that telling moderators what to do doesn’t count as constructive criticism).

          • tinfoilhat 5.1.1.2.1

            “If commenters want things to improve I suggest that they stop attacking moderators and authors, and either focus on the debate points or put up constructive suggestions of how things would work better (bearing in mind that telling moderators what to do doesn’t count as constructive criticism).”

            Well it would also help if the site wasn’t a hot bed of misogyny, testosterone, bullying and group think but then again that’s why I left the site a while back – guess i made a poor decision to come back.

            • weka 5.1.1.2.1.1

              I appreciate the sentiment. Those of us trying to do something about that could do with some support tbh.

              • Incognito

                It’s a tricky one and I’d like to give some support but other than ignoring the ‘stuff’ and refusing to engage with it I don’t know what I can do to help. FYI, I completely ignore the newly-setup posting categories, which is a shame because I will miss out on useful and interesting information, but life is too short to have to dig deep for those raw diamonds and gold nuggets.

          • Karen 5.1.1.2.2

            Well put Weka. I had stopped looking at The Standard at all over the past week and on my return I see there have been some welcome changes. The quarantining of US election material is a brilliant idea and it seems a few of the destructive forces are having a break. Positive moves IMO.

        • tinfoilhat 5.1.1.3

          [deleted]

          [banned two months for abusing an author, wasting moderator time, self-martyrdom and deliberately ignoring moderation requests and winding up moderators – weka]

          • Bill 5.1.1.3.1

            In the spirit of this wonderful new bar for intelligent and thoughtful commentary that you’re setting – have a sticky out tongue with a rattling raspberry tinfoilhat.

            edit. Oh. Or then again…

      • reason 5.1.2

        +100 Garibaldi ………… Jenny may not be a troll but on Syria she’s as one eyed as a Penis …… and it’s only a short step to become a dic pic ( troll ) from there

        tinfoilhats dishonest smear post supporting her shows what a drippy little dick he is …..

        He should keep his raincoat on more

    • xanthe 5.2

      thanks bill

      • North 5.2.1

        CV has been an entitled arsehole around this site for a couple of months. Like he appreciates he’s royalty here and can do whatever. I’m not sure I understand the need for Anne’s ban. Just saying not contesting. As far as I know Anne has never behaved in a way which is damaging to this site. CV has. Brusquely, unapologetically.

  6. save nz 6

    Love how the council are planning on cutting jobs and services from libraries while spending over a billion on failed IT and now more cash on a waterfront stadium. sarc.

    It should be clear why that only 17% approve of the council, i.e. 83% do not approve of the job the council are doing.

    On a similar theme was at Long Bay Regional park, which was packed with people in the weekend, a lot of them families who were engaging in sports like cricket at the park. The grass was long and uncut, there was not enough parking for the amount of people and a big billboard proclaimed, donate to preserving the regional park. Ok, so now parks are a charity and big business vanity projects are where ratepayers money goes? In the back ground were multi million dollar housing projects and clearly millions of money doing to the council but not being returned to the area.

    Have to wonder about Phil Goff’s credentials for Labour is the first thing he oversees as Mayor is to cut jobs and cut library hours while taking about a vanity real estate sports stadium project for Auckland. We already went through that disaster with Murray McCully. Cut the Grass at the parks and upgrade it with council money, because that is where the kids are playing sports and families can have free fun (not pay $300 for professional sports tickets).
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11734454

    And cutting jobs and hours at the library… really…. WTF?

    • b waghorn 6.1

      ‘Have to wonder about Phil Goff’s credentials for Labour ‘ I think it’s a well established fact that goff is no worker for the lesser peoples , that said he’s got to be better than anything the nat/act types could put up.

      • save nz 6.1.1

        @ b waghorn – I’m not so sure that Goff is better than the Nat/act types as he believes in similar principles. Ratepayers want social amenities for their elected councillors and don’t actually care what political party they come from. Len Brown got in for saying he was going to make the swimming pools free and get public transport working. If Phil Goff’s first job as Mayor and the newly elected councillors first job is overseeing employees being made redundant at Christmas and cut their hours at the libraries – is that why people voted for them – I think not? Everyone uses the libraries old to young, rich to poor, even the homeless can be found in the CBD library enjoying a snooze. Likewise libraries are one of the most multicultural areas of the city.

        It’s about time the elected councillors show some teeth to the imposed CEO structure. I hope Mike Lee in particular who was nearly pushed out by a taste of electioneering dirty politics, but saved by voters who care about the city and society, actually fights hard for his voters to stop the rot. Cathy Casey also was popular and I don’t see her as one to be diminishing services to the libraries.

        • save nz 6.1.1.1

          Also if the library lending is decreasing, it could be the $1 a day fines per book when overdue. That means within a very short amount of time the public can encrue huge fines.

          With that N/ACT brainiac idea to discourage use, it means most people are then trained to take as few books out as possible and not at busy/stressful times in your life when you might return the books late.

          If you are poor and can’t afford the fines, you are cut off from the library.

          And then it also looks like library lending is declining – which is great because you can then justify cutting services.

          Another plan, to reduce the educational ability of the population.

      • Sacha 6.1.2

        Like the other righties, Goff campaigned on capping rates and making ‘savings’. That means cutting staff and services.

    • Sacha 6.2

      “there was not enough parking for the amount of people”

      If you want enough carparks for a busy day, there won’t be much beach or grass left the whole time. Previous years they’ve put on extra bus services at busy times.

      • save nz 6.2.1

        We seem to need to spend billions of tax payers money on roads (for the ‘growing’ population), but when it comes to services the council and government takes the money from the newcomers but then cuts services. Would think that with our increased population in Auckland we would need more jobs for the libraries and longer opening hours, not less? Of course that would employ a low paid worker which is a crime under neoliberalism. sarc.

        As for the parking, the Long Bay regional park is a large area and there could be plenty of room for all if it was laid out better and bothered to do small things like cut the grass – some of the grass people were parking on and trying to play sports on was nearly half a meter high. I know it’s been wet, but still… is it like the user pays berms, when you go to the beach and take your lawn mower too, mow your way in, is that really the third world look we want for NZ, on a public holiday?

        Considering how each member probably pays in rates, it’s a disgrace.

        As for cutting costs, $250 a week for lawn mowing – is it really too much? That’s like half an hour for a council lawyer to help ports of Auckland steal our harbour. Probably cost $5000 to lay out the parking better there. We are not talking big bucks at all. Just a lack of interest in real public services that is the problem.

        It’s not about the amount of money the council has, it is how they spend it that is the problem.

        • Sacha 6.2.1.1

          I recommend visiting http://transportblog.co.nz for detail about parking vs alternatives like public transit.

          No idea what council is doing with lawn-mowing but they have been constantly cutting costs at the insistence of those who set up the amalgamation along with those current ratepayers more focused on this year’s rates bill than what sort of region they leave their children. Auckland has suffered from that equation for many decades, and we have the polluted beaches after any storm to show for it.

          • The New Student 6.2.1.1.1

            Catching a bus is easy. As long as there are buses to catch. Been doing this my whole life. I don’t know why others can’t at least try

            • Sacha 6.2.1.1.1.1

              To be fair, it’s less easy to carry everything a family wants to take to the beach. But with places like Long Bay PT is just going to become the most common way as our city becomes designed to suit a larger population and not having to drive everywhere. Going to be an awesome next 30 years.

    • millsy 6.3

      The first thing left wing (or even centre left) people do when they take office is lose their backbone.

      • rhinocrates 6.3.1

        Do you mean to imply that at some point Goff was left wing? He was always an eager acolyte of Douglas and ambitious for power. Very likely the only reason that he never left Labour for Act was that he expected to be PM and knew that would never happen as a member of a minor party. He’s always been a right winger genuinely interested only in his own advancement.

        • Sacha 6.3.1.1

          While we use FPP for local elections Auckland’s mayor is most likely to straddle left and right, more right-leaning to match the older people who actually vote. Brown fitted that bill as does Goff. Most local issues do not match that binary in any case.

    • Gabby 6.4

      Phil knows the gumming won’t come to a jobs and services party but they’ll turn up to a white elephant party with their hair in a braid and bells on their toes.

    • Sacha 6.5

      “spending over a billion on failed IT”

      I should also note in the interests of accuracy that this allegation comes purely from the Herald’s shockingly poor local govt reporter Bernard Orsman and has been recycled since by righties including Crone with no evidence to back it. Given how legendarily stupid the guy is, I would not be surprised if he’s read the next decade’s operating costs from a budget and turned that into a headline. His editors for some reason keep him on.

      Yes, council have stuffed up the regional IT systems merge and the responsible manager has now been removed, but the cost blowout is nowhere near that level and current systems seem to be working in the meantime. It does our activism no favours to be based on misinformation.

  7. save nz 7

    Great to see standards are high (sarc) with Atomic and Nuclear Physics industry, in which a gobbledygook paper written using Apple’s iOS autocomplete – and filled with nonsense was accepted by a nuclear physics conference in the USA.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11734639

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      It was probably accepted by software as well…

      It’s the machines – they’re taking over

  8. joe90 9

    Greenwald puts the slipper in, questions Wikileak’s ethics.

    DS: That approach is different than what WikiLeaks has done, where it puts everything out there. Why have you taken a different approach?

    GG: Well, because I think that — not just as a journalist but as a human being — I have the ethical responsibility to avoid actions that can harm innocent people. And if you look at some of things that WikiLeaks has published, even in this latest batch of material from John Podesta’s emails, there are things in there talking about the mental health problems of individuals who have no power in Washington, people whose private lives have been exposed for no reason whatsoever.

    DS: And what’s wrong with putting everything out at once?

    GG: It’s not a difficult call. You’d have to be a sociopath to think that we ought to just take all of this material and dump it all on the internet without regard to the impact that it will have for innocent people.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/greenwald-the-investigators-1.3816510

    • Karen 9.1

      I particularly like the sociopath line. While Greenwald and Snowden have always behaved ethically with due regard to the effect on innocent people, Assange doesn’t seem to care about collateral damage.

    • Karen 9.2

      Joe, have you seen this?
      Interesting analysis of the motivation and character of Assange from a former wikileaks insider:

      https://www.buzzfeed.com/jamesball/heres-what-i-learned-about-julian-assange?utm_term=.wtOzMzQeb#.pfK1b1P4j

      • Bill 9.2.1

        Not to distract from the info in your link Karen, but for me the basic downfall of Assange is and always has been his ego.

        Unlike Snowden who insisted that the story was the material he was releasing, Assange positioned himself front, centre stage and self promoted as some kind of crusader. Beyond that, for me, there isn’t really much of worth or interest that can be added in terms of his character.

        And ‘over there’, Wikileaks have done some sterling things and some woeful things.

        • xanthe 9.2.1.1

          https://t.co/bYyWwMG5Ox

          statement from wikileaks re status of assange, equador, and internet access

        • Karen 9.2.1.2

          I absolutely agree with you that “Wikileaks have done some sterling things and some woeful things.”

          As for ego being the main problem with Assange I would mostly agree, though I also think there is a fair measure of misogyny in his character as well.

      • weka 9.2.2

        That was an interesting read Karen and gave some context that I hadn’t understood before. Not sure what to make of it. The journalist’s story and take on things seemed plausible, yet the photos of the trashed bookcase, and the last few paragraphs jarred. Maybe that was an editorial thing.

        • Karen 9.2.2.1

          Photographs and headlines are usually editorial but I’d say Jamie Ball has written it all including the last few paragraphs. I found it an interesting analysis from someone who was once part of Wikileaks, but in the end it is still his opinion (albeit based on a more personal relationship than the rest of us have).

      • xanthe 9.2.3

        i dont buy it, looks like a hit job

        “Now it is the darling of the alt-right, revealing hacked emails seemingly to influence a presidential contest, claiming the US election is “rigged”, and descending into conspiracy. ” ….. ahh yes who dosn’t think the US elections are rigged . thats not an “alt right” view

        “Neither Assange nor WikiLeaks (and the two are virtually one and the same thing) have changed ” …….. ummm maby ! maby not .

        the whole story about “adam” … not creditable, lots of column inches lots of innuendo, no actual verifiable content!

        lots of “opinion” about the swedish investigation at odds with the documented facts

        quite simply IMHO an uninformed smear!

      • joe90 9.2.4

        He is indeed a rather odd character, Karen, who seems to have made more than a few enemies for himself and his organisation.

        https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=24468#.WA1z4ySE-Un

        http://forward.com/news/national/347546/why-does-wikileaks-have-a-reputation-for-anti-semitism/

  9. Draco T Bastard 11

    Population growth gives Australians misleading picture of economy

    Commonwealth Bank senior economist Gareth Aird has released a report showing population growth was helping the economy and keeping some key figures looking positive but may not be improving the lives of many ordinary Australians.
    “The economy might be growing at 3 per cent but that is being massively assisted by population growth and the fact we might be selling more commodities offshore,” he told news.com.au.

    No, where have we seen that before?

    “If you have more people, they can buy more things,” he said. “If there’s faster population growth, you can have a faster rate of growth of prospective customers.”

    Which is, of course, the drive for ever more exports. The problem when those exports are physical is that it results in a real decrease in the wealth that the country has.

    And, no, more spending is not a positive.

  10. Muttonbird 12

    The RNZAF is getting back at Key for stripping funding, literally.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85673878/john-keys-plane-is-grounded-in-australia-en-route-to-india-due-to-a-technical-fault

    Pretty embarrassing for the prime minister to be on a biz-tour to India with his good mate BMac only to arrive days late.

    • Muttonbird 12.1

      Updated. What a shambles.

      The Mumbai leg of the trip has now been cancelled – the business delegation travelling with Key were meant to be taking part in an innovation showcase while there.

      Key would also miss a visit to Shree Siddhivinayak Marble Temple, speaking at the Bombay Stock exchange, meeting the chief minister of Maharashtra and signing an education agreement.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85673878/john-keys-plane-is-grounded-in-australia-en-route-to-india-due-to-a-technical-fault

      I can just hear him now: When in India, do as the Indians do.

      • b waghorn 12.1.1

        i bet he would have made it if he had of gone with an airline instead of on clownforce1 .

      • Sacha 12.1.2

        The business people must be pissed off. Amateur hour.

        • Muttonbird 12.1.2.1

          I’ll say. Imagine the resources spent attending this cheap labour love-in. To then have a no-show by the chief clown himself is a massive loss of face.

      • Muttonbird 12.1.3

        Audrey Young tries to shit in her own nest on this but ends up blaming the wrong people.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11734917

        She seems so preoccupied and upset that John Key has ‘been made to look bad’ by the RNZAF, rather than looking deeper into the issue of why the RNZAF can’t keep its aircraft in operational order.

        She must be on this flight as one of Key’s embedded journalists and is stung by the increasingly amateurish nature of official tours.

        • Paul 12.1.3.1

          Audrey Young is a shameless propagandist.

          • Muttonbird 12.1.3.1.1

            Nothing more than a mouth piece for John Key’s penny-pinching, do-nothing government. Even at her most upset – when her junket tour to India has been disrupted – she can’t put two and two together and sheet the blame home to where it lies.

  11. b waghorn 13

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11734737

    the pirates are taking over icelands government (maybe if they get elected)

  12. weka 14

    [In order to keep OM and DR free for other conversations, all comments, link postings etc about the US election now need to go in the dedicated US election discussion here.

    If you are unsure, post in that thread rather than here. It’s not possible for moderators to shift comments from OM to there, so any comments here may get deleted – weka]

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    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

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