Remember President Obama?

Written By: - Date published: 10:24 am, March 20th, 2018 - 79 comments
Categories: China, Donald Trump, International, Russia, us politics - Tags:

A decade ago, the first black President of the United State of America was elected. For those who want to enjoy that moment again, and revel in some of the best and highest political rhetoric we’ve seen in many a year, here’s his speech in Chicago when he first won:

I remember where I was when I heard that. That guy is in our town; a Democrat who is friendly, coherent, smart.

In just a few short years the axis of the world has tilted.

I don’t have to mention his successor Mr You-Know-Who, or compare him to President Obama. That’s too easy.

Let me simply say that the towering political leaders of our time now rest elsewhere – in Russia and China.

That impacts us in New Zealand.

With the investiture of Xi Jinping as China’s President for as long as he wishes, and the re-election of President Vladimir Putin until 2024, we are getting to that point where authoritarian regimes are exerting stronger and stronger influence compared to states who strongly support human rights and the rule of anything New Zealand might recognise as civil law.

This is good for no-one in New Zealand.

And it is also misleading to bracket Putin and Jinping together, when read through the lens of New Zealand interests.

New Zealand’s interests, as a small and indebted but wealthy and liberal and highly trade-dependent state, are in sustaining international orders that support trade and the free flow of capital to support our mortgages. That’s what pays the bills that afford our globally generous social welfare system.

We share little in common with Russia or its leader. A tiny few of Russia’s oligarchs like to holiday here as a mutation of the quarry-enclave economy that kept us afloat through the 19th century, in which all kinds of foreigners set up camp with compounds and extract stuff as fast as possible, with not a whole bunch of horizontal distribution to locals. We’ve welcomed it since we became a country, but this government is putting the brakes on a part of it.

 

Whereas China, and Chinese state interests, are here for good. Chinese culture and people and capital are a powerful presence, fully accepted as a strong part of who we are.

There are no Russian construction companies or cranes on our cities’ horizons – but Chinese developers are now some of the strongest infrastructure and hotel and apartment developers we now have.

How can New Zealand retain its democratic and sensitive liberal principles concerning human rights and diversity when in 2018 the situation is so different to the era of President Barack Obama? There has been a shock to the system, in the form of the repositioning of the U.S. and the U.K. The U.S. has withdrawn from CPTPP, threatened to withdraw from NAFTA, revised commitments to the Korea-U.S. Preferential Trade Agreement, and launched a full trade war on China through steel and aluminium tariffs. The United States has less and less alignment with our political interests.

My small hope is that more and more smaller countries see that the cost of being left out is greater in a cooperative rather than a divided world, so others may be willing to re-engage tomorrow. Small hope.

In terms of friends, New Zealand has far fewer than we had on the grounds of human rights and our old allies, and a lot more commercial partners through CPTPP. Which doesn’t answer the question posed above.

Certainly, Australia now wilfully ignores us, excludes us, and acts entirely in their interests.

New Zealand is too small, too interconnected, too vulnerable in its trade and capital and human flows, for similar self-involvement.

This is a major moment of international and ideological realignment for New Zealand, and it’s getting colder outside.

Obama’s presence here reminds us of how far and how fast that realignment is occurring.

79 comments on “Remember President Obama?”

  1. Keepcalmcarryon 1

    Trump is in because Obama was all talk.
    We need free flowing capital to pay our mortgages? We need a system which doesn’t rely on selling assets offshore to support a real estate ponzi scheme for Auckland home owners and farmers.

    • Sabine 1.1

      Ithink to be fair we should admit that the republican party decided very early on that a. he was gonna be a one term president – which did not happen, and then b. they would vote NO – on everything he proposes including a Supreme Judge nominee etc etc etc.

      o fcourse, the only reason Trump won – as we all know – was the economic anxiety of the white evangelic male and his beloved spouse. Nothing to do with a bit of sexism thrown in, nothing to do with pandering to the ‘forced birther’ crowd, nothing to do with Trump promising that he would undo everything Obama did manage to get done, nothing to do that the republican candidates were uninspiring and not radical enough, no t’was all uniquely the fault of Obama, the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton.

      🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Keepcalmcarryon+1
      Obama gave the world Trump….what a sad legacy for the first Black potus to be remembered by!

      • Unicus 1.2.1

        He may have lost a few friends along the way but not that many that he would need to call slithering John Key a ” friend” the way our fatally biased media is pretending .

        Now that he realises he’s been set up by the national party as a media patsy mY guess is his private opinion will resemble that of a man who has inadvertantly stood in a wet dog turd
        Yeeechh !

  2. Obama certainly has had some quite special impacts on our World…There was an interesting piece in the Atlantic by Adam Serwer, ex MotherJones, entitled “Obama’s Legacy of Impunity for Torture”, which I guess explains the Democrats support for giving The Donald greater spying powers over his own people.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/03/obamas-legacy-of-impunity-for-torture/555578/

    http://www.newsweek.com/bipartisanship-saves-gov-right-spy-americans-778442

    • joe90 2.1

      As we’ve found out over the last wee while, the real threat to privacy, democracy and the rule of law isn’t the state.

      It’s Facebook and their ilk, and they’ve used our own need for free stuff and look at me, look at me narcissism to con us.

      • Sabine 2.1.1

        no you got that wrong, its not the republican party, its not our need for free stuff and shit, its the fault of the democratic party. Only their fault.

      • Siobhan 2.1.2

        how about both being a threat?
        tweedledum and tweedledee.

        It is, after all, The State that is allowing facebook, Amazon etc to take over…in fact the State is not only writing laws for the benefit of these swine, they are actually paying them through various tax shenanigans.

        Which to my mind makes the State the first target as they have been voted in to take care and protect the citizens not the Nationless cCorporations.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    New Zealand’s interests, as a small and indebted but wealthy and liberal and highly trade-dependent state, are in sustaining international orders that support trade and the free flow of capital to support our mortgages.

    How to fix that weakness:

    1. Stop being trade dependent.
    2. Realise that we don’t need foreign money to utilise our own resources.
    3. Stop being trade dependent.
    4. Build up better defensive capabilities in military, diplomatic and economic areas.
    5. Stop being trade dependent.

    A small nation once ruled the waves through it’s own capabilities and wasn’t dependent upon trade.

    but Chinese developers are now some of the strongest infrastructure and hotel and apartment developers we now have.

    But that is something that actually shouldn’t happen. We should be developing the skills and infrastructure here.

    My small hope is that more and more smaller countries see that the cost of being left out is greater in a cooperative rather than a divided world, so others may be willing to re-engage tomorrow.

    A cooperative world would be great – but that’s not what you’re talking about. You’re talking about dependence upon the good will of dictatorial powers.

    New Zealand is too small, too interconnected, too vulnerable in its trade and capital and human flows, for similar self-involvement.

    Which is a lie. We’re quite capable of supplying everything we need from our own resources.

    This is a major moment of international and ideological realignment for New Zealand, and it’s getting colder outside.

    It should be a recognition that we need to stop being so dependent upon other countries and trade.

    • JohnSelway 3.1

      “A small nation once ruled the waves through it’s own capabilities and wasn’t dependent upon trade.”

      Which one?

      “Which is a lie. We’re quite capable of supplying everything we need from our own resources”

      We are lacking in many of the rare earth elements needed to just do everything ourselves Draco. Yes we could do some thing but not everything

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Which one?

        And here’s me thinking that that was fairly obvious.

        We are lacking in many of the rare earth elements needed to just do everything ourselves Draco.

        Actually, we’re not.
        https://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/Our-Science/Energy-Resources/Minerals/New-Zealands-minerals
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/5238554/Metal-riches-found-in-seabed-mud-of-Pacific

        • JohnSelway 3.1.1.1

          Just putting aside the rare earth stuff for now because I tentatively (though not fully) agree with you…

          If you are talking about the UK you are completely wrong. During the height of the British Empire the UK ran large trade deficits with both the Baltic States and China. It was importing huge amounts of timber from the Baltic to furnish it’s ship-building industry as well as running a massive deficit with China with the Tea Trade (which it eventually made up by exporting opium causing the opium wars).
          You also neglect to factor in British owned The East India Trading Company which at it’s peak made up half the worlds trade – silks, spices, timber, exotic plants and fruits.

          You need to brush up on your history dude – the British Empire traded on a scale never before seen. Here’s a short article from the University of Washington (I did a paper on the British Empire a couple years back – trade was a massive and undeniably key factor in their dominance)
          https://history.libraries.wsu.edu/fall2014/2014/08/29/what-allowed-the-british-empire-expand-rapidly-during-the-1600s/

          • Keepcalmcarryon 3.1.1.1.1

            If resource stripping equals trade then you are correct John Selway. The vassal states of empire had their riches stolen. Maybe it is a better comparison to modern trade than you realise.

            • JohnSelway 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, whatever – it was still a massive trading empire and it was control of trade and trade routes that made it an empire. The compete opposite of what Draco said

              • Keepcalmcarryon

                Asset stripping and the slave trade, what heady times.

                • JohnSelway

                  Hey I never said it was a great way of conquering the world 😉

                  • Keepcalmcarryon

                    Trade isn’t really trade when you are taking someone’s shit and selling it including the people. It’s called theft amongst other things, hardly a shining example of capitalism or is it.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Regardless – Great Britain was hugely dependent on trade and was the largest trading empire of it’s time. The morality of it isn’t the point of discussion.

                      I’d like to hear what Draco has to say – if anything

                    • Philg []

                      JohnSelway
                      Haha. Have you considered stand up? Seriously lol.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      At it’s height the British Empire had trade/theft. At it’s beginning it aggressively built up its economy and capabilities so that it could actually do that.

                      My point is that we’re no worse off than Britain was 600 or more years ago and have the capability of building our own strength – once we stop whinging that we’re too small to do anything.

                    • JohnSelway

                      No, to get to it’s height it had to be a huge trading power.

                      Completely opposite of what you implied.

    • Stunned Mullet 3.2

      😆 DTB living in his fantasy land yet again.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        The fantasy is what we have as it’s completely unsustainable.

        Really, people really do need to consider what living within your means actually means in the real world. Our means is the resources that exist sustainably within our land mass and the same applies to every other country.

        • Stunned Mullet 3.2.1.1

          “Our means is the resources that exist sustainably within our land mass and the same applies to every other country.”

          Fair enough but that will come with a considerable increase in mortality and morbidity.

        • clare 3.2.1.2

          not only living within our means but find a way to live without a continually expanding economy, measured by gdp.

  4. SpaceMonkey 4

    Perhaps it’s now time to seriously start considering policies and actions which make us less dependent on trade.

    • Ad 4.1

      Not under any party combination now in parliament.
      So; no.

      • Hanswurst 4.1.1

        Parties are made up of people, people can exert pressure; the only way to get people to exert pressure is to persuade them that something is worth changing. The only way to do that is to talk about ideas that are not part of current orthodoxy. You are generally among the first, in such cases, to say, “Nobody else is doing that now, so let’s not,” possibly prefaced by, “I like the idea, but…”. The word for someone who displays that outlook is “conservative”.

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          No. Good on you for continuing the tiresome game of meaningless labels.

          I like being in this country because it is clear about what it does well. The world appreciates that as well. We understand how we are evaluated and are valued by the world.

          That doesn’t make me a conservative.

          It makes me supportive of international trade as the core of our economy, as we have been for about 200 years.

  5. RedLogix 5

    One of your very best OP’s ever Ad. It aligns with the idea of a sane, democratically accountable, rule of law, global order I’ve mentioned here a few times. All the big problems we face as a species are global in nature, and will only find a permanent solution under the embrace of institutions also global in scope.

    When the left abandoned the global sphere to pursue essentially tribal interests at a local level, it left a vacuum for big business to fill at it’s own leisure and convenience. As a consequence, just as in the first round of globalisation from 1845 through to 1914, the competing commercial interests of various financial empires have come to dominate the political engagement between nation states.

    No-one is talking about broadening the spheres of international co-operation, relinquishing the crazy that the nation state is the highest expression of collective sovereignty, and the old evil of runaway arms races haunts us once again.

    If the US, China and Russia … are going isolationist … it is up to the remaining smaller nations to actively pursue an independent solidarity, to reaffirm global rule of law, and re-commit to a sense of respect and human dignity across all peoples. It is the only sane path left open to us.

    • Ad 5.1

      Cheers.

      It still astonishes me that we still have a few old halls and banners with great murals on them declaring: Workers of the world Unite.

      And yet so much of the left simply prefer to hunker down , forget the entire idea of solidarity, and look after their own in their own enclaves.

      The times New Zealand really flourishes is when we choose to organise to take on and be the best against the best of the world – and then surprise ourselves when we find ourselves a part of something far bigger than we imagined. Those are the should be moments where both New Zealand and the New Zealand left can be justifiably satisfied.

      Hope those Marxist activists have calmed down where you are. That was quite a video you posted a week or so back.

      • Cinny 5.1.1

        Ad, off topic, but relevant… the picture you used….. the artist who put that together, Shepard Fairey, he’s a clever man, love his work. Obey Giant is an excellent documentary about how he uses visual art to promote thought, challenge advertisers, create political statements and question the powers that be.

      • RedLogix 5.1.2

        Not really. This is a company video but I can attest it’s pretty accurate;

        The problem is two-fold; one is no-one is quite sure what their real agenda is, and secondly the other unions on site hate them.

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    History will always view Obama’s legacy through the fact that Obama came after him. Not because Trump dismantled a lot of Obama’s limited achievements but because Obama’s lack of any true progressive action paved the way for the level of dissatisfaction that saw Trump elected.

    • tracey 6.1

      You may have seen the article I link to below, already, but if not, it is a good read.

  7. Ad, just a small pedantic point – Xi is the man’s surname. In China they reverse the oder, for some reason lost in the mist of Chinese history. So – Putin and Xi . . .

  8. tracey 8

    Let us also remember that Obama and the Democrats are not Left Wing as is so often the comparison and that they are the equivalent of our Labour Party.

    He and they patently are/were not. They are more aligned ideologically to the national party and that came through in any number of Obama’s domestic and foreign policies.

    This is a decent article on how Obama failed to wind back Regeanism.

    https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/1/19/14323552/obama-legacy-reagan-clinton-conservative-liberal

    The times New Zealand really flourishes is when we choose to organise to take on and be the best against the best of the world – and then surprise ourselves when we find ourselves a part of something far bigger than we imagined.

    Agree and will add in when we take on the rest of the world to show what best looks like and lead the rest of the world because being small sometimes can be an advantage.

    Doing things the way they have always been done is our biggest enemy.

    • JohnSelway 8.1

      I would consider the Democrats closer to the National Party than Labour as US politics are skewed firmly to the Right. He’ll, even Bernie Sanders would probably find a home in the National Party

      • tracey 8.1.1

        I was thinking Bernie might be the only one I would align tot he Labour Party 😉

        There is a reason Obama and Key got on so well, and it wasn’t just cos of Golf.

        • JohnSelway 8.1.1.1

          Either way, outside of Bernie, I would think the Nats are further to the left than anything in the US

          • tracey 8.1.1.1.1

            Agree. I see the problem with our Labour Party is the same as with Democrats. When they finally get power, they bend over backward to not upset some of the establishment and businesses in the hopes it will get them further terms and change support. But it doesn’t. Those interests still vote for Republicans (National) and it explains why the Centre of our politics has moved so far to th eRight since 1984 because when the Right get in they don’t hesitate to erode workers rights and conditions quickly.

            If we now tailor all we do to make nice with UK, Australia, USA etc we do so knowing it must necessarily result in continued low wages, poor working conditions, degraded health and education systems/facilities because those 3 nations have also seen the centre moved to the Right. Australia is an exception in that they have strong Unions, which partly explains them having higher wages than we, UK or USA relatively speaking.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.2

            And they’re still right-wing.

            • JohnSelway 8.1.1.1.2.1

              That’s the worst f/ucking evidence of anything you have posted.

              There is so much wrong with that I don’t know where to begin. Surely you must know, right? But just for starters….

              1) Who took the test to decide where NZ Labour fell on the compass?
              2) How did they answer the questions?
              3) Did the person who completed know anything about NZ politics?
              4) Were they answering against Labour policy or were they answering against their own opinion?

              Dude, what you just posted is hopeless. It answers nothing and is evidence of nothing. Surely your threshold for evidential rigor is higher than this crap?

              This is like posting an anonymous Stuff poll where the question is “Do you think Labour has gone to the Right?” and quoting it as fact

    • Ad 8.2

      This is just a ridiculous comparison.

      We get to feel so smug here in New Zealand.

      If you did a sliding scale of countries who are:

      – fully democratic,
      – have a free press guarded by statute,
      – have a strong and independent judiciary
      – have rulers who are held accountable daily by strong alternative wings of the public realm
      – have the full right to protest, and protesting really makes a positive difference
      – have regular changes of government to ensure a range of policy agendas can be compared
      – have an armed forces fully in command by civilian authority
      – have the ability to own property and have that right defended
      – actually implement human rights?

      Where do you think we compare to the USA?

      Where do you think the USA compares to China?

      Where do you think the USA compares to Russia?

      From there, it’s a pretty easy scale to calibrate these these things on a continuum. Plenty of rating agency NGOs have got it down to fine art if you want to check.

  9. Michelle 9

    Must be all the kiwis over there aye Tracey we use to have strong unions to.
    I remember the days of the wharfies and when my father was a freezing worker at the Gear Meat in Petone. A good time when jobs were easy to come by and they fought hard for their rights even when they got locked out. But then labour was more true to their name now they don’t really truly represent the blue collar workers.

  10. Didn’t Obama sign off on drone strikes every Tuesday ?

    Tuesday.

    The day of legitimized mass murder by aggressive imperialism implemented by President Obama on behalf of the globalists.

    Don’t recall President Trump ever doing that.

    • joe90 10.1

      Don’t recall President Trump ever doing that.

      I doubt you can recall your own fucking name.

      /

      2017 was the deadliest year for civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria, with as many as 6,000 people killed in strikes conducted by the U.S.-led coalition, according to the watchdog group Airwars.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/middle-east-civilian-deaths-have-soared-under-trump-and-the-media-mostly-shrug/2018/03/16/fc344968-2932-11e8-874b-d517e912f125_story.html?utm_term=.c45c42e1e0e1

      edit

      Airwars researchers estimate that at least 2,300 civilians likely died from Coalition strikes overseen by the Obama White House—roughly 80 each month in Iraq and Syria. As of July 13, more than 2,200 additional civilians appear to have been killed by Coalition raids since Trump was inaugurated—upwards of 360 per month, or 12 or more civilians killed for every single day of his administration.

      https://www.thedailybeast.com/president-trumps-air-war-kills-12-civilians-per-day

    • timeforacupoftea 10.2

      ( Didn’t Obama sign off on drone strikes every Tuesday ?

      Tuesday.

      The day of legitimized mass murder by aggressive imperialism implemented by President Obama on behalf of the globalists.

      Don’t recall President Trump ever doing that ).

      Well he did.
      He was a nasty WAR Monger !!
      I would never invite him for a game of golf ever.

      Disgraceful Man.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Yes Trump ramped up the drone wars started by Obama. But Trump isn’t seeking to be gifted a Nobel Peace Prize, unlike some he is looking to earn his.

        • JohnSelway 10.2.1.1

          Man, you’re talking out of both sides of your face.

          Trump ramps up the drone war. It’s cool though because Obama started it

          • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1.1

            I’m sorry, but I am not responsible for your poor reading comprehension.

            • JohnSelway 10.2.1.1.1.1

              ‘Yes Trump ramped up the drone wars started by Obama. ”

              Blame Obama for what Trump has expanded on. Is that not what you were saying?

              • Colonial Viper

                I didn’t assign or partition any blame. I stated fact. Your reading comprehension is not improving.

                • JohnSelway

                  Don’t be fucking daft man. You know what you were doing – your weasel words were clear as day.

                  You are very see-through

      • timeforacupoftea 10.2.2

        Obama is a killer of children to.

        https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/01/12/reflecting-on-obamas-presidency/obamas-embrace-of-drone-strikes-will-be-a-lasting-legacy

        Obama’s Embrace of Drone Strikes Will Be a Lasting Legacy.

        In January 2009, when President Obama came into office, he inherited two controversial covert counterterrorism programs from George W. Bush: the rendition and harsh interrogation (including torture) of terrorist suspects, and the use of drones to kill terrorist suspects outside of traditional battlefields. Two days after taking the oath of office, Obama signed an Executive Order, which revoked the Bush-era directives authorizing torture, and reemphasized international conventions and federal laws prohibiting torture. The following day, Obama authorized two Central Intelligence Agency drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, which, combined, killed an estimated one militant and 10 civilians, including between four and five children.

  11. remo 11

    The CLINTON Foundation as global Charity Fraud.

    The CLINTON Foundation, as CIA global money laundering system.
    http://www.luminadiem.com/
    https://charlesortel.com/

    Maybe Barry Soetoro/Obama is coming down to ‘sort the narrative’ vis a vis the 13 million kiwi dollars johnny Key put into Clinton Foundation. Which is now outed by the forensic accountant’ Charles Ortel as a global charity fraud. FBI are investigating DOWNER after all, regarding these same matters. So maybe only a matter of time before they look over the ditch?
    Who was it that invited him anyway, and who is paying?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      Why didn’t Charity Watch pick up on this!?

      Why didn’t the IRS!?

      It only took one forensic accountant. Astonishing.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Charity Watch doesn’t know what it is looking for, and the IRS turned a blind eye to misfiled, late filed and unfiled returns.

  12. adam 12

    The best thing about Obama was his anger translator.

  13. savenz 13

    The fact that Obama loves John Key so much speaks volumes about the type of man he truely is.

    If this is not a wake up call for the identity parade crowd, surely this is. It makes little difference a person’s colour, race, gender, age etc.

    You have to judge people on their actions (or inactions) and who they feel comfortable with and voluntary associate with and what they leave the world with.
    Is America better or worse off after Obama’s presidency and legacy?

    Is NZ better or worse off after Key’s leadership and legacy?

    Obama feels comfortable with John Key, a multimillionaire day trader turned politician who has made NZ a worse place in most world statistics such as poverty and corruption and sells off our citizenship to billionaires with links to Cambridge Analytics who believe in Trump and have speeches against democracy, like Thiel.

    Obama under his presidency did more drone attacks than any other politician.

    Both Key and Obama seem to believe that they are right and people are just collateral damage for their amazing visions of a global future.

    Both have divided their nations more and increased inequality while pretending the opposite.

    It also shows that political parties are not being careful enough in their choice of candidates. Obama is democrat but Key is National but they both seem to believe in the same ideas.

    Ideas via propaganda spread from sources like Cambridge Analytics have targeted influential men and women to make everyone believe the same vision even though it is not true.

    This then paves the way for more open division such as Trump. Trump only happened because the democrats pretended that globalism was perfect and working for all.

    Clearly it works out better if you can get around the world in private jets, than those without a job in Auckland or Detroit.

    Or you get a job as a NZ First and Labour MP, but then next day, decide what you campaigned on was wrong and global capitalism via free trade agreements is always a good thing even if it’s a “7 out of 10”

    Hey why bother making it a 10, be lazy and keep the 7 like Labour and NZ First, and cross your fingers you look after no 1, before the shit hits the fan.

    • newsense 13.1

      Yep.

      Shane Jones attack surely reflects AirNZ running a publicity campaign for the National Party, with Key on the board.

      Oh the ‘Banker Bromance!’ Obama and Key and Malcolm Turnbull in one orgy of merchant banker broness.

      Losing respect for Obama over this. Typical BS from Key. Slimy little toad.

      I hope someone asks Key why he resigned. I hope they ask him about the homelessness and housing crisis. Does he think it is now a crisis? Ask Obama about the initiatives he would have used to tackle the housing crisis. Ask them if they think Donald Trump golfs too much.

  14. Melanie Scott 14

    It disturbs me that Obama has been ‘appropriated’ by Key and the National Party. And our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has definitely been snubbed by the rich cotterie of National Party fat cats, surrounding Key and his ‘golf buddy’. No wonder she has better things to do than attend what amounts to a National Party fund raising dinner in Auckland tonight.

    As I write this my local beach is crawling with NZ Police, (so I can’t go there) while Key and Obama play golf. This is a region which is seriously under resourced when it comes to policing. Our local cops (only two of them) are on duty or on call 24/7 and have to go out alone at night to god knows what type of violent incidents which make up the vast majority of their call outs, especially at night. And the tax payer is paying for scores of cops to walk up and down our local beach Te Arai to keep NZ tax payers out of the way.

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    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
    11 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    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
    2 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 ...
    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 ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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