The long reach of “5 Eyes”: Not in our name!

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, July 12th, 2013 - 66 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, child abuse, democracy under attack, john key, Spying, us politics - Tags: , , ,

The excellent journalism of the Campbell Live segment (Wednesday July 10, 2013) on the changes to the GCSB bill, and the Key government-Dotcom-GCSB timeline, brought the role of Eric Holder to the fore.  Eric Holder’s connections with his New Zealand counterparts shows how much Holder’s agenda links international surveillance with transnational organised crime and “terrorism” that reaches right into the homes of citizens.  And in doing this, Holder claims the moral high ground in aiming to protect women and children from sexual,and other forms of violence at a personal level.

The Campbell Live programme unfolded a sequence of meetings in July 2011, beginning with a 5 Eyes meeting in Australia that included the attorney generals of the 5 countries that participate in the Echelon intelligence network.  The GCSB is New Zealand’s branch.  The AG’s including NZ Chris Finlayson and Eric Holder, discussed issues of cybercrime, intelligence and extradition.  These attorney generals are also responsible for crime within their own countries.

5 Eyes attorney generals meeting, Sydney 2011

5 Eyes attorney generals meeting, Sydney 2011

Campbell Live went on to outline a series of meetings in July 2011 that included Key’s meeting with Obama in the US, and the shoulder-tapping of Ian Fletcher for the job as chief of the GCSB.

campbell-live-gcsb-10-july-2013a

Anne, regular Standard commenter, has helpfully laid out the timeline:

15 July 2011- Finlayson meets US Attorney General, Eric Holder.

22 July 2011 – Key meets Obama.

Maarten Wevers (former chief of the Prime Minister’s department) heads off to Washington with Key.

Sometime in July 2011 Key rings Fletcher about GCSB job.

Maarten Wevers returns from Washington July 2011 and interviews Fletcher the following day.

Grant Wormald is contacted by FBI and starts working on Dotcom case around August 2011.

Williamson grants Kim Dotcom consent to purchase Chrischo mansion in April 2011.

Simon Power overturns consent 3 mths later around July/August 2011.

Dotcom’s legal team claim Eric Holder has made pursuit of Kim Dotcom a bit of a mission, as indicated in this article of May 2013:

US Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday denied allegations from Kim Dotcom that the prosecution against the Internet tycoon was launched to appease Hollywood moguls concerned about online piracy.

New Zealand-based Dotcom launched a “white paper” to coincide with a visit by Holder to Auckland this week claiming the case against his now-defunct Megaupload empire was baseless and did not stand up to legal scrutiny.

In the document, Dotcom’s lawyers argued Washington had bowed to pressure from the film industry to pursue Dotcom for alleged copyright infringement because it was a major contributor to Democratic Party coffers.

Holder rejected the accusation, saying intellectual property theft was “something that we take very seriously”.

Holder has particularly been concerned with combating transnationally organised crime.  His initiative on this was launched by the White House back in 2011.  This White House notice of 22 July 2011 states that the launch will be live in a few days from then.

Join us at the White House for an event to launch the Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime on Monday, July 25 at 11:00am.  This new strategy seeks to build, balance, and integrate the tools of American power to combat the threats from transnational organized crime to our national and international security.  The strategy also seeks to disrupt and dismantle transnational illicit networks and converging threats — and to urge our partners around the world to do the same.

We will have a number of senior U.S. officials on hand to speak about the strategy and how we will carry it out, including:

John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns
Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen
USAID Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg
Office of National Drug Control Policy Director R. Gil Kerlikowske

This is a broad initiative linking the internal and external US security with their “partners” around the world.  This is further elaborated on by Holder in his speech at the University of Auckland on 8 May 2013.  This speech is full of hypocritical propaganda about the US authorities being the upholder and defender of “democracy”.

And in this speech, Holder links the protection of people from transnationally organised crime, with the protection of women from sexual and other violence in war zones and in the homes of immigrant communities in NZ and elsewhere.  In his speech, Holder stated:

For the United States, and for our Quintet allies, these meetings present an important chance to exchange ideas and share expertise; to advance the principles of peace, security, and equal justice that form the common foundation for our respective legal systems; and to explore strategies for working together – to address both domestic and international challenges – in order to build the brighter, safer future that all of our citizens deserve.

[…]

From combating cybercrime, terrorism, and human trafficking, to fighting corruption and protecting our citizens from exploitation, abuse, and violence – together, we’ve made significant progress on a variety of fronts. And this week, we’re sharing best practices for protecting some of the most vulnerable members of society – and prosecuting those who commit acts of sexual violence against women and children. Together, we will examine how we can improve domestic investigations and prosecutions of these serious crimes, as well as how we can increase our joint response to transnational sexual violence – including in the contexts of human trafficking, online child pornography, and armed conflicts.

He goes onto to talk about the Boston marathon bombings as a justification for widespread surveillance incorporating the NZ legal and crime-fighting services.

Undoubtedly sexual violence against women, and child pornography are significant issues that need to be understood, prosecuted and prevented.  However, linking this with “domestic  terrorism” coming from within immigrant communities, provides the state a (hypocritical) justification for violating citizen’s privacy within their homes.  Systems for combating crimes within the nation-state, and of a personal nature should be separated from surveillance that undermines democracy.

Not in the name of “women and children” and democracy!

In May 2013, 3News reported on Chris Finlayson’s role, linking international crime with domestic crimes of a sexual nature:

They [attorney generals] will share information on approaches to addressing historic allegations of sexual assault, and how courts deal with fair trial rights and supporting complainants and witnesses giving testimony, particularly in relation to sexual violence in indigenous and immigrant communities.

The same Attorney General that is responsible for issues of crime and justice within NZ, should not have so much responsibility for arrangements within the 5 Eyes network, and for the GCSB’s role within it.

66 comments on “The long reach of “5 Eyes”: Not in our name!”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Within a decade we will have the technology to securely record every moment of a person’s life from birth to death in a government database.

    Everywhere you go.

    Everyone you meet.

    Everything you say.

    Everything you do.

    Any gap, or attempt to spoof the record, will be a criminal offense with no defense.

    The components of this technology exist. (Think Google Glass). It is simply a matter of putting in place sufficient infrastructure to support it.

    We can eliminate violence, bribery, corruption, traffic offenses, sex crimes, prostitution, sex outside of marriage, masturbation even. For the first time the state will be able to fully enforce a moral code on all of it’s citizens. Criminal trials will simply be a matter of accessing the relevant records.

    And it’s going to happen within our lifetimes. If you think this crazy, then ask yourself… did you imagine 10 years ago that the NZ Parliament would be passing a law legalising the states ability to store and analyse any and all of our communications?

    • Te Reo Putake 1.1

      I’m more worried about what business will do with the information, to be honest.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        True enough. I’m not going to quibble with you. Most New Zealanders are already blissfully unaware of how much corporate information is already being captured from their day to day life, and how it is been mined for corporate benefit. Much of this is activity is probably quite benign … but there are no controls, no oversight and no transparency around this at all.

        But given that the state and the corporates interests are so deeply entwined, I don’t think the distinction is all that meaningful in the long run.

        • Te Reo Putake 1.1.1.1

          Intertwined! Exactly right, RL. Marx foresaw state capitalism (ie the state mimicking capital), but in this late stage, capitalism has co-opted the state to its own ends.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            I’ll suggest that by the time the Vietnam War was warming up, the “military industrial complex” associated with the Pentagon and with the CIA was already a force that politicians could not ignore. And from Ronald Reagan onwards, the reach of the financial institutions into Congress and the White House was irresistable.

            For those interested, the Untold History of the United States series by Oliver Stone is a must view.

          • joe90 1.1.1.1.2

            Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address:

            In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
            We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

            http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

      • Rosetinted 1.1.2

        TRP
        To be honest – after thinking about business, and what use it will make of the stuff, then think about the unholy alliance of business and government that has grown so much, and the amount of lobbying contacts between big business and what we think of as ‘our’ politicians, but who are really ‘theirs’. Politicians are in this big-time.

        Because they are in cahoots with people and businesses who stand to benefit from the huge market that government can deliver, and who are increasingly wealthy and able to totally fund the promotion to the people of preferred politicians and their puerile parties.

        That’s the new tongue-twister. Now pick a peck of pickled politicians. And pickled can mean drunk with power, or being in a state of curation, where good past examples of the type are held for reference.

    • vto 1.2

      All the more reason to go offline and stick to cash, which is easier anyway. Plus the bloody phone wont go all the time.

      But seriously, why do I always get this sinking feeling that the world is sliding towards some sort of meltdown …..

      • marty mars 1.2.1

        I agree with your first sentence and it is serious, although I would extend offline to ‘out of the system’ as much as possible. The big issue I see is that people cannot see how to disconnect from the system. There are plenty of on-line resources – do some searching. The time to start is yesterday but today will do and every little disconnection is valuable. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you – they can’t. Don’t wait for a white knight – they aren’t coming. It is time to start adjusting to a new way of doing things and that will mean giving up stuff – start giving it up, it is just stuff, not actually important. I know it sounds sanctimonious but it can be done. Stop thinking of why you can’t do it and start doing it. How do you eat an elephant? (bad metaphor for a vegetarian I know) – one bite at a time and it is time to start chewing. The world is changing and we are the frogs in the pot – jump for fucks sake jump!!!

        • muzza 1.2.1.1

          Hi Marty,

          Fully agree with your comment!

          Peace

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          The big issue I see is that people cannot see how to disconnect from the system.

          That’s because you can’t disconnect from the system and it’s not because it’s designed that way. You are part of the system and there is no way to change that. The design is that the system has been turned to benefit only the few and thus against everyone else.

      • Mariana Pineda 1.2.2

        This legislation should never be passed but if it is, perhaps we can start being creative with the things we write in all of our emails. we could pair phrases so that we use multiple key words in paragraphs and change these frequently

        We could enjoy “blowing up” lots of balloons or plant slug “bombs” in our gardens or insist that we see national party “terrorists” scaring the hell out of our beneficiaries with unfair “lethal packages”. We could be “killed” with kindness..

        I feel sure there could be lots more ideas in this vein which might cause any surveillance systems to be overworked with little actual useful outcomes.

    • muzza 1.3

      And it’s going to happen within our lifetimes.

      Unfortunately, it’s a done deal, always has been, and there is not anything which can stop this.
      Any opportunity to stop it, was crushed under manufactured threats/wars, deceit and lies, combined with the neo-liberal financial agenda, designed to crush the life of of humanity, while ensuring the resource/power/control base, always rolled upwards!

      If you think this crazy, then ask yourself… did you imagine 10 years ago that the NZ Parliament would be passing a law legalising the state’s ability to store and analyze any and all of our communications?

      Many still see no problems with it, of the small percentage that are aware what’s been going on.
      They believe the machine is there to protect them, and as a result, have been convinced, using transparent techniques, that they are progressing, while the reality is, 99.9% of the population, are regressing, just at different rates of velocity, which over time will level out rapidly.

      Life, is not going to be any such thing as it is currently known in under 20 years, at an absolute maximum, Less, if TPTB decide to hit the big button!

      Technology is not the constraint to the timeline, the capability has been in place for many years already (10+), what the public is told about/aware of, is already decades past, and being used in extremely nefarious ways!

      These agents who are executing the agenda, are wide in the open, the danger always has to present itself openly, prior to any end point, and what you write about, is a critical link in the systems designed, to control, everything!

      Genuine evil rules our world, and science is it’s primary weapon!

      So many are not aware, that their futures have already been taken!

      Another excellent article Karol

    • Rogue Trooper 1.4

      It was revealing that the MSM trawled the Beebo account of four years earlier of the ex-army shooter who carried out the recent home invasion, and was subsequently shot dead.

  2. Rosetinted 2

    Holder’s agenda links international surveillance with transnational organised crime and “terrorism” that reaches right into the homes of citizens. And in doing this, Holder claims the moral high ground in aiming to protect women and children from sexual,and other forms of violence at a personal level.

    United States Declaration of Independence – We hold these truths to be self-evident – blah blah. Listening in to every home is, simply put, home invasion and that rightly, is a criminal act in NZ. We have other methods of dealing with violence at a personal level, such as countering the lack of restraint and use of violence to dominate and express frustration with programs which are carried out right now and need adequate funding, both for adults and through anti-bullying and socialisation programs for children.

    Looking at the way that sports teams are virtually encouraged to aggression with money for winning as an incentive, and I think two teams in Australia determined to carry out some vendetta on the field, how can we regard violence as an individual aberration. It receives covert encouragement at many levels of society, and is reinforced through films, tv series, and unhappily news footage and documentaries. We need to see it to know it happens, but at the same time it is constantly normalised in some people’s (men’s?) minds. No amount of snooping is needed to reveal that. Just going into the problem with eyes wired open and seeing the truth which is self-evident.

  3. yeshe 3

    Wonder what Eric the Holder will say when he come to understand how Key’s Sky City deal opens us up to widespread money laundering. Paradox much ?

    And thx Karol and Anne.

  4. vto 4

    So why does John Key want to be able to record everything we do?

    What is his answer to that?

    (gawd, relying on the wisdom of John Key, how depressing…)

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      It is part of the US intelligence philosophy of “Total Information Awareness” and “Full Spectrum Dominance” (which includes land, sea, air, space and cyberspace.

      This is why I do not accept that they are only collecting “metadata” on all our communications and not the content. After all, their motto is not “Partial Information Awareness” or “Partial Spectrum Dominance”, is it.

      • vto 4.1.1

        Why does John Key want us to give the US government this information?

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          It’s the pragmatic thing to do. And I’m being serious.

        • Anne 4.1.1.2

          Why does John Key want us to give the US government this information?

          Read Frank Macskasy’s splendid piece on the Daily Blog. The answers are all there.

          http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/07/11/the-real-reason-for-the-gcsb-bill/

          The Bill, alongside it’s barely acknowledged “sister-Bill” – the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill – is designed deliberately to mandate the GCSB to spy on all New Zealanders.

          Everyone.

          Not just criminals.

          Not just left-wing radicals.

          Not just Maori nationalists.

          Not just anti-TPPA acctivists. Or environment campaigners. Or trade unionists.

          In fact, those people aren’t the real targets at all.

          The targets are all New Zealanders.

          • karol 4.1.1.2.1

            Basically Frank is arguing it’s all about the big corporations protecting their control over “intellectual property”. He argues that, with much manufacturing having gone to low wage countries, the main area of commercial activity left to the corporations is “intellectual property”, via Hollywood et al.

            • Rogue Trooper 4.1.1.2.1.1

              well, the irony is that states (US, China, etc) are among the largest miners of ‘intellectual property’ through cyber-attacks and hacking.

            • Huginn 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Yes, ‘national security’ and organised crime’ have been conflated with ‘copyright protection’

            • Huginn 4.1.1.2.1.3

              Yes, ‘national security’ and organised crime’ have been conflated with ‘copyright protection’

          • Anne 4.1.1.2.2

            Sorry. Ran out of edit time. The piece quoted summarises the answer. Read the rest to see how he gets there…
            [karol: fixed]

  5. tracey 5

    Until one of the 1% is spied on and makes an uproar we are all fucked

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      No good. I suspect that General Patreous and (Former NY AG) Eliot Spitzer were both taken down by email and txt information initially gleaned from these surveillance systems.

      BTW it’s the top 0.01% who are in charge of things. That’s about 30,000 people in the USA. included amongst their number are the Fortune 500 boards, certain politicians and generals, oligarchs, bankers etc.

      Most of the 1% are just moderately well paid professional sheeple who routinely get it in the neck themselves if they don’t toe the line.

  6. tracey 6

    Moderately well paid, source?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      They’re the 1%. They are the $250,000 pa executive managers, lawyers, accountants, professional firm partners, IT professionals etc. who keep the whole machine ticking for the ultra-elite.

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    Whose Bill is the GCSB Bill really. From Campbell Live;
    -the US DOJ under Eric Holder is “out of control”
    -from the meeting of A-G’s; ” let’s improve extradition”- Finlayson.
    -after Wevers returned from the US, he then interviewed Ian Fletcher.

    Then there is the discussion in the MSM that politicians (and state servants) may be relying on the use of private e-mail accounts (GMail, good luck with keeping that private) to “keep secrets” from colleagues.

    Example (not secret):” we need to help our Pacific friends resist China”- McCully in an e-mail to John Hays. And now, there is the convenient gift by China to Tonga of the MA60.

  8. yeshe 8

    So just how many august NZ bodies will Key be required to ignore to get what Holder demands of him …

    NZ Human Rights Commission just out .. nails Key completely on his arrogant stance:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10897315

    Methinx something constitutional is coming closer ….

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Mr Key dismissed the Human Rights Commission’s concerns about the Government’s controversial GCSB legislation and told the organisation to “pull its socks up” for not making a submission on time.

      The naked arrogance of Key on full display.

      The HRC is making a report direct to the PM, not a submission to the Select Committee. Key gets it completely wrong and owes the HRC a full public apology:

      “That’s one of the other issues, the urgency with which it’s been happening.”

      The commission was exercising its statutory ability to directly report to the Prime Minister for only the fourth time since 1993, “because of the seriousness of the proposed bills and to allow for more time to consider the bill’s impact”.

      • Veutoviper 8.1.1

        Key’s statements as quoted by the Herald also included this not so subtle threat – which is close to what seems to be a possible aim of the recent appointments to the Commission such as Dame Devoy.

        “I actually don’t think it was a very good submission at all and they need to pull their socks up. If they’re going to continue to be a government-funded organisation they should meet the deadline should everyone else.”

        Bold is mine. Wording is as quoted.

        • karol 8.1.1.1

          Could John Key show any more contempt for the majority of New Zealanders and their rights?

          Who is he governing for?

          • Rogue Trooper 8.1.1.1.1

            not u.s.

          • Veutoviper 8.1.1.1.2

            As RT says, definitely not NZ or NZers – or organisations, processes etc that represent our rights such as the HRC.

            And I don’t believe for one moment that Key has read the HRC report sent to him only a few hours ago to be able to say that “I actually don’t think it was a very good submission at all..”. It just does not say what he wants it to say.

            On the other hand, his arrogant and nasty ‘hit out at the messenger’ reaction is there for all to see, as opposed to the “‘smile and wave’ and ‘I am relaxed’ persona which he seems to be finding harder and harder to maintain.

            • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Well spotted Veuto. I read the same lines myself and completely missed the veiled threat.

              The implications of this can be scarcely understated.

            • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.2.2

              Well spotted Veuto. I read the same lines myself and completely missed the veiled threat.

              The implications of this can be scarcely understated.

              • Colonial Viper

                John Key. A sold out Kiwi marching on the direct orders of the USA.

                • muzza

                  I very much doubt, Key, nor any of the so called Americans, identify/affiliate themselves with any boarders/boundaries, or national identity, other than for show, and to deflect attention away from, who they , really are!

          • yeshe 8.1.1.1.3

            agree 100% karol .. but what can we do ?

        • muzza 8.1.1.2

          VV – Yes that was indeed a threat, made by a foreign agent, against NZ!

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    …or, Something Wicked This Way Comes … (novel)

  10. tracey 10

    Didnt he make the police investigate a threat to publish his teacup chat in public to win votes….

    • yeshe 10.1

      yes ytracey .. he did …maybe there’s something in the arguments he used then to hoist key on his own petard …

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Russian Guards Service goes back to typewriters

    Trust the Ruskies to sort out the problem.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/russia-reverts-paper-nsa-leaks

    In the wake of the US surveillance scandal revealed by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia is planning to adopt a foolproof means of avoiding global electronic snooping: by reverting to paper.

    The Federal Guard Service (FSO), a powerful body tasked with protecting Russia’s highest-ranking officials, has recently put in an order for 20 Triumph Adler typewriters, the Izvestiya newspaper reported.

    Each typewriter creates a unique “handwriting”, allowing its source to be traced, the report said.

    “After the scandal with the spread of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the revelations of Edward Snowden, reports of listening to Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to the G20 summit in London, the practice of creating paper documents will expand,” a source inside the FSO was quoted as saying.

    >

    • Rogue Trooper 11.1

      Too Many Suspects / The Fourth Side of the Triangle : a challenge to the reader.

      speaking of which

      The Reader : Outstanding!

    • yeshe 11.2

      reminds me of this story .. NASA spent $6 billion designing a pen that would work in space ( and a thing of beauty it was !) … and the Russians used a pencil.

      • Rogue Trooper 11.2.1

        Russian Literature, sublime and saltmine.

      • Rosetinted 11.2.2

        yeshe
        I was looking for a pen that I could be sure would write if I had to slope it upwards, sick of biros etc. I was told that I could buy one of the pens designed for space, though it would cost $60 to me. (They knocked some 000’s off.) I ended up getting a gel pen or similar. Works well. Costs a lot less.

        • Rosetinted 11.2.2.1

          Interesting link from QOT. So the pen was designed for space travel and cost roughly $1M
          to develop. Probably worth every $ of the retail price.

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.4

        That was the tale, but apparently a Russian aerospace engineer said it wasn’t true – you can’t risk having loose graphite particles (which are conductive) as dust inside a command module in space.

  12. Poission 12

    Bit of bad news for Hooton who says the Nats polling is unaffected by the GSCB scandals.

    http://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/roy-morgan-research/2013/06/11/1370907445/new-polling-shows-assanges-wikileaks-leads-new-partie

  13. BLiP 13

    John Key’s lies on this subject . . .

    Iain Rennie came to me and recommended Fletcher for the GCSB job

    I told Cabinet that I knew Ian Fletcher

    I forgot that after I scrapped the shortlist for GCSB job I phoned a life-long friend to tell him to apply for the position

    I told Iain Rennie I would contact Fletcher

    for 30 years, or three decades, I didn’t have any dinners or lunches or breakfasts with Ian Fletcher

    I did not mislead the House (14)

    I have no reason to doubt at this stage that Peter Dunne did not leak the GCSB report

    I called directory service to get Ian Fletcher’s number

    the GCSB has been prevented from carrying out its functions because of the law governing its functions

    because the opposition is opposed the GCSB law ammendments, parliamentary urgency is required

    the increasing number of cyber intrusions which I can’t detail or discuss prove that the GCSB laws need to be extended to protect prive enterprise

    it was always the intent of the GCSB Act to be able to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of the SIS and police

    National Ltd™ is not explanding the activities of the GCSB with this new law

    cyber terrorists have attempted to gain access to information about weapons of mass destruction held on New Zealand computers

    the law which says the GCSB cannot spy on New Zealanders is not clear

    the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was an isolated incident

    first I heard I heard about Kim Dotcom was on 19 January 2012

    first I heard about the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was in September

    I did not mislead the House (6)

    I won’t be discussing Kim Dotcom during my Hollywood visit.

  14. karol 14

    So, 85% of Campbell Live’s non-scientific, usually leans to the right, txt poll are against the changes to the GCSB Bill.

    And will the GCSB be adding the phone numbers of that “85%” to their regular surveillance list?

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    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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