Open mike 27/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 27th, 2012 - 81 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

81 comments on “Open mike 27/08/2012”

  1. Tony P 1

    Parata addresses principals in Nelson and shows her ignorance. (Shanghai is not a country!)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/7547388/Education-shouldn-t-stand-still-Parata

    Kelvin Smythe’s response.

    http://www.networkonnet.co.nz/index.php?section=latest&id=402

    • Dv 1.1

      Kelvin, did the Principals at the meeting ask or challenge any of the statements made by Parata?

    • Ben 1.2

      That is a dreadfully written “rebuttal.”

      • Ianmac from Vietnam 1.2.1

        Wonder what you mean Ben? Is there something that Kelvin wrote that you disagree with? Kelvin always writes with passion but also with accuracy. Fault his facts if you can.

    • Ianmac from Vietnam 1.3

      Read it all Tony. Thanks. And what a danger to our kids Parata is! And Kelvin takes each lie and each misrepresentation and dissects them with accuracy and with passion.
      I do hope clever folk like Mr Robbins will pick up on the Parata Nelson Speech Disaster and the Opposition Question Masters will challenge her untruths and mischief in Parliament. She must be even worse for Education than past Mister Merv WELLINGTON???

  2. Nick 2

    Less than 20 people turn up to United Future’s AGM.

    ’nuff said.

    • felix 2.1

      And some of them don’t even necessarily vote UF…

    • lprent 2.2

      I saw that and chortled… More people routinely turn up at Auckland isthmus LEC’s. In fact the last branch AGM I went to would have had 15.

    • Mr Burns 2.3

      You mean the United Future Liberal Democrat Gun Shootin’ Tootin’ Christian Conservative Fancy Coiffure party’s AGM?

      • lprent 2.3.1

        Fancy Coiffure

        Mr Burns, with all of your money, how come you never got a hairpiece like that?

        • Mr Burns 2.3.1.1

          Ha ha
           
          I was having far too much fun buying up distressed assets in the third world, things like hospitals and orphanages. It is amazing what savings could be made when you cut back on non essentials like food and medicine.

    • Lanthanide 2.4

      They interviewed Pete George on the radio. Apparently he was one of the 20 people – a true believer.

      Interesting that they’re getting the comments from the 11th ranked MP on their party list. I guess at the next election, we could see PG in the top 5-6, low enough to get into parliament should they meet the 4/5% threshold (assuming coat-tailing is abolished).

      Peter Dunne said that the number of times he hears people agree with his party and what they’re doing, “if just 10% of them voted we’d dominate parliament”. Let’s be very generous and say 50% of the people say that – if 10% of them voted for UF they’d only just scrape in on the party vote, and hardly have enough MPs to “dominate parliament”.

      • felix 2.4.1

        1996: 0.88%
        1999: 0.54%
        2002: 6.70%
        2005: 2.70%
        2008: 0.90%
        2011: 0.60%

        Either they’re a sub-one percent party who had an uncharacteristic bump 10 years ago and then sunk back to their natural level of support, or they’re following a weirdly lumpy cycle and they’re on track for another big bump in 2014 🙂

        • Pete 2.4.1.1

          According to Morning Report, they’re thinking of rebranding themselves as the Liberal Democrats. Between them and the Conservatives (and Labour, I guess), they’re importing name recognition from the UK for some reason.

          • felix 2.4.1.1.1

            Crikey. If their representatives on this site are anything to go by they’re not too fond of either liberalism or democracy. “Racist One-Party-Statists” would be more appropriate.

        • Lanthanide 2.4.1.2

          The obvious answer is 2002 was a freak year:
          – Lowest turnout for National
          – Labour clearly going to win the election, so some people started looking for alternatives
          – Worm

        • Rosie 2.4.1.3

          Well, One of those UFO’ers said on RNZ this morning that they reckon they need $500K for their campaigning for 2014 so I guess they are expecting a real big ol’ bump as a return. Maybe they want to go hell for leather with guns blazing rather than fade away with a few last dying gasps.

        • Tim G 2.4.1.4

          Don’t talk like that. You’ll only encourage PG!

  3. Pete 3

    Something is very wrong with a country where a child born this minute has a 1 in 5 chance of being born into poverty, while half of those with a fortune of over $50 million don’t pay the top tax rate.

    • Mr Burns 3.1

      Why is everyone so surprised?

      How do you think the very wealthy amassed their fortunes? By being good citizens? By looking after their neighbor and making sure that they also had enough? By not spending every waking minute plotting and scheming and planning to amass even more wealth? By paying their fair due?

      • Pete 3.1.1

        Oh, I’m not surprised that there are millionaires, I’m outraged that we don’t have a system where they are compelled to pay their fair share.

        • Drakula 3.1.1.1

          Or a system where these predators are given free accommodation on a distant archipelago in the middle of the Pacific.

  4. just saying 4

    The site is behaving a little oddly for me today.
    I keep mysteriously ending up in pages from months ago. The comments side-bar keeps turning entirely pink, and then back again.

    No biggie, just mentioning on the slim offchance that it’s important for you to know, lprent.

    • Carol 4.1

      My only difficulty this morning is that the links on the comments on the top right side of the screen don’t work. I think the number at then end of the comment is missing eg:

      Open mike 27/08/2012

    • prism 4.2

      Lynn said he was working with site effects yesterday. I wondered the effects would be like an aurora. That seems to be the case, and you have pink today. Tomorrow it might be green – this would be a nice feature, the rainbow blog! What about it lprent? I imagine the answer. Grump grump I’m already flat out keeping it running don’t you know. And doing great. I must give you one of my infrequent donations, I should do better.

      • lprent 4.2.1

        *grin*
        If I was unkind and more grumpy than my post-moving back is already making me, I’d plug in an override CSS that said things like

        body
        {
        background-color: pink;
        }

        and the few other places as well where background-color is used.

        Then put a acknowledgement for your suggestion on the banner. Actually the exact wording should be something like “Colour donated by prism. Donate before it goes lime-green”

        But I’m loving my old apartment that we have moved back into. We polished the concrete, added extra storage, and for the first time in nearly 3 years I’m able to spend time working at home. The last place was good for Lyn’s film but turned out to be a disaster as a work environ’s for me. Something about the cubicle size that I had just killed the creative process dead while I was at home. Now when I’m plugged into the computers at home, I’m in a open space with a high stud and it is a cave…… Perfect.

        So less grumping and more doing is now the target. But I do have to get some bluetooth headphones and an arm for the TV to prevent distractions when Lyn watches that while I am working. The alternative is to put a TV tuner into a PC and then bump the channels out using DLNA.

  5. vto 5

    The people of east Christchurch are being seriously let down.

    Huge huge numbers of them cannot get on with their lives and it is causing a slow gangrene which is spreading. It is real and immediate.

    In my opinion this is due almost entirely to insurance issues. This is easily resolved by the government stepping in to provide a form of state insurance as it did following the 1931 Napier earthquake. Lives and homes would overnight begin to repair.

    The government’s opposition to this is put down to “not wanting to interefere in the free market” etc etc. But this is complete hogwash. The government has interfered in a massive way for the central city property owners and flagged the free market approach. The government has interefered anyway in the free market with its red zone buyouts. The government has interefered, outside Chch, in the “free market” dairy industry by providing money for their needs, in the “free market” NZX by offering them taxpayer businesses to invest in.

    This government interferes in the “free market” all over trhe place all of the time. Yet it wont interfere to assist the people of east Christchurch. If east Chch was northwest Chch there would be an interference, just like there has been for the wealthy central city property owners. They are hypocrites and lowlife scum.

    And the most stupid thing about it is that if a form of state insurance was put in place then the local economies and communities would roar back into life and the Nats would get a huge surge in support.

    A comprehensive outline of the reasons for refusing to help should be provided by Gerry Brownlee.

    We are in a quicksand…

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      If the government stepped in with some sort of insurance where the private sector is not, then by definition the government would be taking on risk that the private sector didn’t want to take on.

      CHCH has already cost the government a lot of money. After the debacle of SCF, the government being on the hook for more billions(?) doesn’t seem like a good idea.

      • prism 5.1.1

        Lanthanide
        You sound like a NACT supporter. Are you being sarcy. Your comment sounds just like the limpid excuses they would put forward. The SCF wasn’t helping Christchurch in general, it was reacting to the local investors and the Timaru NACT supporters cries of anguish as they found that the free market bed springs are hard to sleep on when the mattress gets repossessed.

      • vto 5.1.2

        “If the government stepped in with some sort of insurance where the private sector is not, then by definition the government would be taking on risk that the private sector didn’t want to take on.”

        Yes, that’s right Lanthanide. But I pointed out examples where this government already does exactly that …

        1. Stepping into SCF and bank guarantees – where the private sector was running away from.
        2. Stepping into dairy infrastructure / irrigation – where the private sector doesn’t want to take the risk.
        3. Stepping into the privately owned share market, the NZX, where the private sector keeps failing.
        4. Stepping into the central city rebuild because it doesn’t trust the private sector and free makret to get it right.

        So your argument Lanthanide does not stack up.

        And remember what we are talking about here. We are not talking about private business or other sectors, we are talking about tens of thousands of households and families who are unable to go about their lives because the private sectors is incapable of providing for them at this time. This is exactly one of the main circumstances we have government for.

        If it is good enough to step into the private sectors to help out dairy, private business, SCF and Aussie banks, the privately owned share market, central city property owners, etc then why is it not good enough to step in to help families stuck in the mud? This is a simple question Lanth – and nobody has provided a decent answer. Feel free to try again.

        It is a disgusting failure.

        And re risk and cost – provided the earthquakes have stopped (and Ken Ring says they have – hee hee) then the government with a state insurance will build up a massive client base which has a massive value for subsequent sale when the private market comes back.

        I tell why this government does not help Bexley – because it is not Fendalton.

        • Lanthanide 5.1.2.1

          In general I was supporting you – it’s not really about the government not wanting to intervene in the “free market” as they claim, it’s about them not wanting to take on risk.

          • vto 5.1.2.1.1

            I appreciate that that is the argument Lanthanide but it holds no water for the reasons outlined. It is a fob off riddled with hypocrisy and stinking bullshit. If that is this government’s reason then they are liars as they routinely ignore that reason when it comes to farmers, NZX, banks, SCF, central city, on it goes.

            Brownlee is being grossly dishonest.

            If east Christchurch has to wait another number of years for insurance to come back then east Christchurch will be more of a wasteland than it is now. People and families will have suffered a whole lot more and left. Christchurch, apparently so important to NZ, will be left with a stinking great slum hole and ghetto in its midst as well as a great swathe of its population significantly harmed.

            It is a great injustice. It is also poor foresight and wisdom – but what the fuck would anyone expect from the likes of John Key. The man is so shallow it is a wonder he even has a shadow.

          • prism 5.1.2.1.2

            ‘ it’s about them not wanting to take on risk.’
            I think it’s about the government not wanting to accept the responsibilities of a good, functioning, people-centred government to help the citizens that they govern who are a special case in their needs. And not wanting to listen to the suggestions and ideas those citizens have, and together to seek a way forward that provides the best solution and a cost-effective one as well. The risk can be ameliorated by using good data and professional advice in a co-ordinated way, working alongside the people.

            What they get however is an authoritarian response as represented in our frequently used graphic of Brownlee in Henry VIII? robes, or is it Gengis Khan? One of the despots of fame anyway.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1.3

            It’s not about the risk, it’s about who gets the money.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1.4

            In general I was supporting you – it’s not really about the government not wanting to intervene in the “free market” as they claim, it’s about them not wanting to take on risk.

            Please excuse my french. But its the frakking job of the frakking government to take on frakking risk to help its citizens.

            If our attitude is that government should have the same mission parameters and objectives as the private sector, then we should just outsource the job and fire them all.

      • Fortran 5.1.3

        Lanthanide

        Reinstate State Insurance Company – a good firm – buy it back from the Aussies (IAG Group).
        They bought it from the Poms, who bought it from New Zealanders – who owned it.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1

          We could have taken over AMI real easy. It was there for the taking. Frakking Tories.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      They’re doing two things in Christchurch:
      1.) Ensuring that the insurance companies don’t have to pay out as much as they should and so keep their profits
      2.) Ensuring that anything that the government does pay for the money goes to their rich mates

      They really couldn’t give a shit about the people except in how much they can fleece them.

  6. prism 6

    The Family Court is in a mess. Reorganisation has thrown out the systems and vulnerable women and children are at risk when protection orders are slowed and it can take six months to get a hearing for an urgent case. Government’s whole idea is to find ways that technology can be used to make the system cheaper and theoretically more efficient. The paper based system is said to be unwieldy and cumbersome. But it worked. It will cost millions to put the new system right and in the meantime and the future probably, people’s lives get meaner and sadder.

    And there is no hope for a change in direction from this government and possibly Labour as well. The poor are undeserving so get less allocation of goods and services, and their petty squabbles and foolish lack of decision making shouldn’t be sorted out at the nation’s cost. No they can’t expect a Rolls Royce system to straighten out their useless lives. (That’s the theme that runs through the two big pollies and some of the smaller ones too, one talks about being sensible, which ends up in the same circle.)

    It reminds me of the ‘Unfortunate Experiment’ where women were left untreated but under observation in the cervical cancer case. There were some required to travel long distances for regular checks, with costs of time, money, family disruption, and anxiety. They weren’t given the chance to opt in or out, and thought they were under ‘real’ treatment, not just being dismissed as laboratory rats. There is a similarity with this government’s behaviour and all right wing people it seems, that the lower classes are lesser people (and in the cervical cancer case most of the women were regarded as such) and don’t deserve the respect and deference that the better off receive.

    • just saying 6.1

      Well said.
      And the poor and disadvantaged are more and more invisible to people who are neither, as life gets progressively harder.

  7. Jackal 7

    National’s lame excuses to sell our assets

    Trying to hold the country to ransom is a sure way to commit political suicide…

    • Olwyn 7.1

      Firstly, the asset sales were to pay debt ( I refuse to say “pay down” or “tranche” of anything). Then they were to pay for infrastructure. When the prices have been beaten down by various challenges they will be to keep their word, while their mates rub their hands with glee. Stuff the rest of NZ.

      Supposing that is right, this is a question I would really like to ask the Labour caucus. In the event of Key’s government leaving a gaping financial hole, and your being told by the real powers that be, after winning the election, that austerity is the only option, how will you reply?

      • vto 7.1.1

        But Owlyn, if we didn’t have to pay the banks interest then we wouldn’t have to have the banks austerity. The real problem is the system – the privately-owned interest-bearing credit creation system called banks and money. It is simple maths.

        • Olwyn 7.1.1.1

          I accept what you are saying, but would still like to know what the Labour caucus’s answer would be to my question. It could be framed as, “If push comes to shove, how far are you willing to go to defend your constituency against the system? Are you willing to employ your imagination, you wiles and your courage on behalf of ordinary people? Or are you more likely to employ PR people so as to get away with shafting them on the system’s behalf?”

  8. Carol 8

    Note to the NZ Herald management. I am now boycotting your shonkey website. Yet again you are participating in the Nat government diversionary propaganda by posting another John Key dance video. Shame on you.

    • Jackal 8.1

      What gets me is the delay in posting articles online that aren’t cheerleading for Key and the rest of the rightwing charlatan’s. It’s those little manipulations that really piss me off the most. The NZ Herald often typifies unbalanced journalism, but hopefully the so-called dream team will make a bit of difference. Pity they aren’t cutting O’Sullivan and a few of the other crusty National propagandists at the same time.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        Most likely that’s simply perception bias on your part.

        • Jackal 8.1.1.1

          Which part… The delay in putting leftist articles online or that O’Sullivan is a Nat propagandist? These would only be down to my perception if they weren’t verifiable facts Lanthanide.

          • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1.1

            The supposed ‘delay’ in putting ‘leftist’ articles online.

            • Jackal 8.1.1.1.1.1

              And how exactly is that perception biased Lanthanide? The NZ Herald is right leaning, and the editor often promotes National’s rhetoric. Such observations are based on facts and not bias Lanthanide. Would you like some examples perhaps?

              • Grumpy

                Tapu Misa, Brian Rudman…….righties??

                Yeah, right!

                • felix

                  lolz Grumpy.

                  And Penthouse can’t really be considered a porn mag because sometimes it publishes articles about sports cars.

  9. fnjckg 9

    BBC @ noon:

    Assad-vowed “will defeat foreign plot against whole region….conspiracy at any cost”

    Could be very costly
    ah megiddo megiddo megiddo….

  10. tc 10

    I thought Gaynor’s piece on the inconsistency and governance in NZ companies was as close as granny will get to actually stating what a cosy bunch of self serving overpaid lawyers and accountants we have on the boards of NZ companies doing SFA.

    Crank the handle and profits spew forth at the likes of Foodstuffs, Vector, Contact etc etc, to paraphrase blackadder ‘a strategically shaved chimp could do that’

    • muzza 10.1

      “a strategically shaved chimp could do that”

      –But only if its a member of the “right” clubs eh!

    • fnjckg 10.2

      Brian Gaynor wrote an interesting Peace recently outlining the economic, and related, factors likely to make Aotearoa New Zealand “competitive” (finger down throat) while screwing the poor, working class, and middle classes further into the ground whence they came.
      Article took quite a critical social gaze i thought.

      Any how, here is something some people might Value
      (then i better have some lunch)

      For all people who were ignorant of ( ) were foolish by nature;
      and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know the one who exists, nor did they recognize the artisan while paying heed to ( ) works;
      but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.
      If through delight in the beauty of these things people assumed them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their ( ), for the author of beauty created them. And if
      people were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is the one who formed them…………………………
      …Yet,
      these people are little to be blamed, for perhaps they go astray while seeking ( )
      and desiring to find ( )

      Wisdom 13: 1-the bits i picked out.

      Anyhow, my thought for today is “anthropocentrism is the fall”
      cos man, it’s a really big universe and it is moving very fast!

    • DH 10.3

      Gaynor was complaining more about the related party meddling in publicly listed companies, it’s been wrecking the NZX for near thirty years. The big players get themselves on the board and use their position to get favorable deals for themselves at the expense of the small shareholders.

      That’s what Parker & Cunliffe etc really need to fix if they want more investment in business. CGT won’t solve anything but some prison sentences might.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        That’s what Parker & Cunliffe etc really need to fix if they want more investment in business. CGT won’t solve anything but some prison sentences might.

        We don’t need investment in NZX companies. We need investment in businesses which are the backbone of the NZ economy: those with 10 employees or less.

  11. Carol 11

    So Genesis says it’s ready for privatisation, because it’s increased its profits, partly due to a rise in retail and wholesale electricity prices….?

    Great! So we had to pay more (directly or indirectly) so that the minority of shareholders who buy into the company will benefit! Where’s our share of the profits?

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Genesis-Energy-well-prepared-for-partial-privatisation/tabid/421/articleID/267000/Default.aspx

    The chief executive of Genesis Energy says it is “well prepared” for partial privatisation.

    He made the comments in a briefing to analysts after Genesis announced a net profit in the year to June of $90 million. That was a turnaround from a loss of almost $17 million in the previous year.

    Genesis says higher generation volumes, higher electricity prices and higher gas sales in both wholesale and retail markets helped increased revenue.

    • just saying 11.1

      I recently got an email from Genesis telling me my power pricing was going to “change” and on my current usage it would cost about $15 per month more. Weirdly, they said the price “change” was because pricing in my ‘street’ hadn’t been reviewed since 2009.

      What a drag changing powercos. What publicly owned companies are okay?

  12. lenore 12

    “John stop spending your money on couches!”

  13. captain hook 13

    Wheres our share of the profits?
    In the bank so they can pay off the new owners for investing our money in their profits.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Pretty amazing footage of a Syrian helicopter, doing what the govt claims is “falling down”

    http://t.co/GzehAcRL

    I think you see the ‘front fall off” before it “falls down”.

    • felix 14.1

      Looks like it overheated a little too.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        Wow. Was it mechanical failure which caused that helicopter to burst into flames and break apart? Or a (western supplied?) shoulder launched ground to air missile.

        • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1

          No no no. Nothing like that. It just fell down.

          (no sign of a rocket trail though.)

        • Te Reo Putake 14.1.1.2

          Western supplied? Maybe, but more likely Russian, given the amount of gear Syrian army defectors have taken with them. Either way, not a good day for the dictatorship.

  15. Interesting, Roy Morgan have polled people on if they are unemployed or not.  The results are interesting, the real rate is said to be 9.1% and the under employed rate a further 9.6%.

    This is an interesting result.  I know a bunch of really talented intelligent people at University who are doing masters and Phds because the jobs are just not there.

    If this is going to be a real analysis of a problem then we should research the problem properly. 

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      I know a bunch of really talented intelligent people at University who are doing masters and Phds because the jobs are just not there.

      If this is going to be a real analysis of a problem then we should research the problem properly.

      Perhaps those Masters and PhD students from the former can set their minds on to solving the latter?

      And from what I can see, quite a few students pursuing postgrad research pathways are not that suited for it, and would actually far prefer to be doing something else. Yet they often have no idea what. And as an unfortunate corollary to NZ not having enough positions for highly qualified individuals, these post grad students don’t have the practical skills and real world experience to be employable at anything less.

  16. Peter 16

    Research suggests that those who believe in the free market are less likely to believe in climate change? Surprised?

    https://theconversation.edu.au/supporters-of-the-free-market-more-likely-to-reject-science-9086

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Finally got myself a copy of Debunking Economics – Revised and Expanded Edition: The Naked Emperor Dethroned? and decided to share this bit:

    In one sense, their ignorance is utterly justified, because they are behaving in the same way that professionals do in genuine sciences like physics. Most physicists don’t check what Einstein actually wrote on the Theory of Relativity, because they are confident that Einstein got it right, and that their textbooks accurately communicate Einstein’s core ideas. Similarly, most economists don’t check to see whether core concepts like ‘supply and demand microeconomics’ or ‘representative agent macroeconomics’ are properly derived from well-grounded foundations, because they simply assume that if they’re taught by the textbooks, then there must be original research that confirms their validity.
    In fact, the exact opposite is the case: the original research confirms that all these concepts are false. Virtually every concept that is taught as gospel in the textbooks has been proved to be unsound in the original literature.

    emphasis mine.

    • Ianmac from Vietnam 17.1

      You mean we shouldn’t take everything as gospel whether it is in the bible or the Economics Textbook? Mind you there might at least be some tenuous foundation for one of those two.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    My saying”we can’t afford the rich” is actually wrong. The correct formulation is that we can’t afford an economic system that produces the rich.

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    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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    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 ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    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
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    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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