Trump’s not so bad: the nuclear holocaust edition

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, September 15th, 2021 - 52 comments
Categories: covid-19, Donald Trump, us politics - Tags: , , , , ,

  1. There is this idea on both the left and the right that Trump was not so bad.  Minimising or being in denial of what happened in the US during the Trump years risks helping the rise of fascism. You can read the original post here, or the series here.

The Guardian are reporting on a new book due to be published next week,

Before and after the assault on the US Capitol on 6 January, the most senior US general took steps to prevent Donald Trump from “going rogue” and launching a nuclear war or an attack on China, according to excerpts of an eagerly awaited new book by the Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.

Woodward and Costa portray Gen Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, as “certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election”, which he insisted without evidence was fixed.

Trump going nuclear was the biggest threat and I always hoped if it came down to it that someone in the room with a firearm would act ethically to prevent him albeit at great personal cost. I’m relieved that there were senior military who were more proactive than that.

Milley was in contact with his Chinese counterpart, reassuring him that the US wouldn’t attack China, and that if Trump went rogue Milley would warn the Chinese.

The pre-release excerpts also look at broader concern about Trump’s state of mind and behaviour, including Nancy Pelosi’s concern about use of a nuclear strike, and the CIA’s position,

Woodward and Costa also report that concerns about Trump spread among other senior national security staff. Gina Haspel, then director of the CIA, reportedly told Milley: “We are on the way to a rightwing coup.”

In I Alone Can Fix It, by the Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, Milley is described before the Capitol attack resisting Trump’s demands that the military be used against anti-racism protesters while fearing a “Reichstag moment”, a coup by supporters of a president preaching “the gospel of the Führer”.

All sorts of ironies in that of course, but here’s the crux. Why would left wing people who oppose the US’s role internationally in coup d’etat be so blind to it happening on US soil? It’s not like it’s difficult to construct a critique of the Democrats, Obama and Biden without supporting Trump.

I’m also mindful of the assertion during the 2016 Presidential election that Trump would be less warlike and thus better for people in other countries that Clinton. We can’t judge that now of course, because we didn’t get to see what Clinton would actually have done, and we are incredibly fortunate that Trump didn’t go full postal.

But we should probably look at what went on with left wing support for Trump, because this is unlikely to be the last time this happens. If we can’t conceived of a better future without supporting authoritarians, we will be doomed to repeat our mistakes.

52 comments on “Trump’s not so bad: the nuclear holocaust edition ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    I sort of miss waking up to the daily horror of what Trump had done overnight. This is both shocking but at the same time totally believable …

  2. Left wing support for Trump? No, in 2016 democrat voters preferred to stay at home and not vote for anyone given the choice between 2 despicable options

    • Andre 2.1

      Given Biden's political resemblance to a potted plant, it seems that by 2020 they had realised what a mistake that was.

      • woodart 2.1.1

        a potted plant cant do any harm . a potted plant doesnt tell lies and piss off allies. there are about another fifty ways a potted plant is way better in the oval office than a crackpot russian plant.

        • Jenny how to get there 2.1.1.2

          A potted plant wouldn't have launched a V-weapon in retaliation for the Kabul suicide bombing, raining wanton death and death and destruction on a civilian neighbourhood for zero tactical or strategic advantage.

          V-weapons, known in original German as Vergeltungswaffen (German pronunciation: [fɐˈgɛltʊŋsˌvafṇ], German: "retaliatory weapons", "reprisal weapons")…

          They comprised the V-1, a pulsejet-powered cruise missile; the V-2, a liquid-fueled ballistic missile….

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-weapons

          Drones UAVs and Cruise Missiles Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have a rich legacy – having evolved directiy from the Nazi V1 ( ‘Buzzbomb’) and V2 guided weapons. The primary difference between a UAV and a cruise missile or other similar vehicle is one of re-use….

          http://physics911.net/drones-uavs-and-cruise-missiles/

    • Tricledrown 2.2

      So how come the US had the biggest turnout of voters for decades 5 million plus more democrat's than repugnants

      • roblogic 2.2.1

        In 2019 yes. Not in 2016

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          Is the implication that Biden was more acceptable than Clinton? Or that they’d come to their senses.

          • roblogic 2.2.1.1.1

            Trump's "China virus" should more accurately be named the "Trump virus" after he botched sabotaged the response, costing 600,000 lives. Voting him out became a matter of survival.

            And Biden was indeed more acceptable than Clinton

            • weka 2.2.1.1.1.1

              right. So the immediacy of covid woke people up, but the frog in the pot rising simmer of fascism didn't. My question is why? Why were some left wing people so slow to understand what was going on? People were writing about Trump and fascism during the primaries.

              • weka

                I have the same concern about covid and climate. Seeing the anger this week towards the Auckland absconders, I wish we had half that amount of energy directed into climate action.

              • roblogic

                TBH I think the American people have been fed so much horseshit in the last 50 years they have Stockholm syndrome and can't identify their true abusers (the 1% and the tech-military-corporate state) and half of them can't judge reality any more. Populists like Steve Bannon offer simplistic answers and give working class Americans easy scapegoats to blame.

                Problem is that Bannon, Alex Jones etc do have a point. The "establishment" left really is in bed with the abusive 1% leaving no real progressive alternative

              • Stuart Munro

                I would point to a cleavage in the party, between the pro-worker values the Left requires, and the 'causes of the moment' that attract the party or Washington elite.

                Trump was fairly clearly an outsider to Washington convention – but not really capable of reforming it, only spoiling some aspects of it. The same is observable in his foreign policy – he made little in the way of policy himself, and brokered few or no worthwhile rapprochements. But he spoiled a number of long term projects, lent confidence to scoundrels like Putin and the Rocket Man, and micturated away goodwill and soft power that had been decades in the making.

          • McFlock 2.2.1.1.2

            Bit of both, probably.

            The Clintons had been the focus of massive hate propaganda for 25 years or so. Some of it valid, most of it invented. But any truth was incidental to the campaign – which tended to make people ignore the true bits hidden amongst the bullshit.

            Coupled with missing out on Bernie, HRC was on the backfoot – solid, but conventional.

            Dolt45 yelled down the other contenders in the primaries, and that broke the mold for what followed. Things that would have killed other people's campaigns simply got doubled-down on and the braggadocio was far more inspiring than solid, conventional leadership. And gets billions of dollars in media coverage.

            And there's the electoral system, which was very well gamed, and the advertising for disarray – when people don't know what's going on, clear confidence wins.

            Would Biden have won against dolt45 in 2016? I'm not so sure. Or Bernie, for that matter.

            • Macro 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Actually the winner in the 2016 election was the bias in the US electroral college towards the right wing rural vote. HC won the popular vote by 3m+ votes but the Chump won the right wing states and sufficient swing states by enough to give him the votes in the electoral college.

              • McFlock

                sure, I mentioned the electoral system.

                But there's no way before 2016 that a candidate with even a few of dolt45's well-publicised failings would have won a presidential election. His own hot mic locker room talk, shitting on veterans, draft-dodging "bone spurs", financial shenanigans, tax record refusals, all of that should have been individually damaging and collectively kicked him out of the primaries.

                There was something spectacular there that "changed the game". Nobody else knew the rules of the new game.

                edit: heck, one dude apparently got terminal campaign damage in the 1980s because he looked funny in earmuffs even while riding in a tank.

    • weka 2.3

      Leaving aside for a moment that Dems =/= left wing, Dem voters staying home because they couldn’t even bring themselves to strategically vote Clinton to prevent fascism, IS an example of lw ‘Trump’s not so bad’

      otoh the series came about from watching actual left wing people in NZ argue a Trump’s not so bad position over a long period of time.

      • Macro 2.3.1

        watching actual left wing people in NZ argue a Trump’s not so bad position over a long period of time.

        Agree – it was so dishearting to witness some of the nonsense being served up here, even to the extent of repeating far right tropes denigrating Hillary Clinton. The consequence of the Trump win is regretably still being felt in the US, and will be for decades. The stacking of the Supreme Court and other courts across the nation with ultra conservatives is already having disasterous consequences for women. We know that Hillary would never have nominated the 3 Judges nominated by McConnell and Trump, and as such would never happen. Further Trump continues to foster the "Big Lie" undermining the legitimate election and endangering the democratic process. The new election laws just enacted in Texas being a case in point.

      • woodart 2.3.2

        dont forget there is still a huge amount of misogyny in the u.s. many voters just couldnt vote for a woman.

        • Macro 2.3.2.1

          True that. I think Biden is trying to address that issue by appointing a number of women to significant positions in the administration. But the backlash going on at the moment against women in the right wing southern states, fostered by trumpist politicians, and aided by a trump appointed ultra conservative judicary is deeply worrying to say the least.

  3. Gezza 3

    The biggest concern I always had with Trump – aside from his extreme narcissism – was his complete unpredictability. The guy was happy to fan the flames on all sorts of hot button issues for attention but one never knew which way he would jump. On anything.

    Chaotic seems to sum up his White House according to many who exited in time.

    And he hasn't disappeared from the scene – far from it. Republicans are still so fearful of him that they could put him or some sock puppet relative back in office. Especially with the jiggery-pokery that’s been going on over restricting some voting rights/options.

  4. Ad 4

    If a Presidential election were held this year in the United States between Biden and Trump I am not at all certain Trump would lose.

    Trump has already ensured that the Arizona, Wisconsin, and Georgia Governor General races will be for his candidates who approve over-ruling the 2020 election results. Trump has successfully instigated the California Governor recall process.

    Donald Trump's accelerated corrosion of American democracy is exceptionally bad for the remaining large democracies. It would be particularly devastating for it to slip from a full-but-difficult democracy to a flawed democracy as in Brazil, India, or Indonesia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index

    That's a whole different world to live in.

    • Gezza 4.1

      My reaction, on Trump getting elected POTUS & it then becoming clear what he was going to be like was that – after seeing the US political descend over several decades into basically general moral bankruptcy – unfortunately they'd finally ended up with the amoral, shallow-thinking, narcissistic, jingoistic, bullying, bullshitting, lying, divide-and-rule, ratings-driven, Reality TV President they've been heading towards getting for some years.

      • francesca 4.1.1

        I agree with that .

        And is Biden any better than Bush or Trump when revenge pushes him to ok the droning of a man and his children in Kabul.A man who turned out to be totally innocent ,nothing to do with Isis, in fact an aid worker.

        This is now what the US seems to be about.

      • Ad 4.1.2

        Just pull your frame out a bit more.

        We've already seen how a new president has started the job of repair. That's quite different to actively making it worse – which it could have done.

        Democratic decline is not inevitable. Nor is it something to be celebrated.

        • Gezza 4.1.2.1

          I'm not celebrating it. Despair was all I felt.

          And it’s not clear to me how much chance Biden & the Dems are going to have to get 4 years of control of both houses, nor whether he’ll be physically & mentally up to the job of completing the repairs, Ad.

          The political landscape over there is still so blimmin toxic.

          • Ad 4.1.2.1.1

            It's not easy to be optimistic about the success of judicial checks and balances against the criminal acts of the Trump presidency.

            But Biden has made solid moves already inside his first term and certainly doesn't lack for ambition. He's no LBJ and will spend most of his time just repairing the damage. That does somewhat lower his ambit for change right there.

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    Here we go yet again being told that life under Trump was singularly bad and dangerous…what a load of bullshit, except for climate change of course and if you were American , but even then a huge percentage of Americans liked Trump lets not forget.

    However for the rest of the world the US remains today, as it was under Trump, and as it was before Trump under Obama, the single biggest threat to world peace and democracy..that is the real story here folks, so don't get sidetracked yet again into this distraction, because that is all it is.
    Ultra aggressive US foreign policy is the tail that wags the dog in the US, no matter who is President, that is just a plain fact.

    US is seen as a bigger threat to democracy around the world than Russia or China

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/us-russia-china-democracy-world-b1843311.html

    Is US foreign policy the biggest obstacle to world peace?

    https://www.scmp.com/yp/discover/your-voice/opinion/article/3060496/us-foreign-policy-biggest-obstacle-world-peace.

    ‘U.S. Is Greatest Threat to World Peace’

    https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/opinion/3227-u-s-is-greatest-threat-to-world-peace

    • Ad 5.1

      Those kinds of articles are a kind of mental flossing, because they encourage me to imagine a world in which the most powerful nations held themselves and each other to a set of rules approaching civility.

      Have you ever read Empire by Hardt and Negri? It was written in the late 1990s and came out in 2000 before 9/11. Oldie but a goodie if you haven't.

      It was trying to get its head around the concept of enemy; that (kinda like Francis Fukuyama doing The End of History and the Last Man), that the concept of enemy was no longer ideological or even national. The enemy was simply that which manifested as a challenge to the idea of law. It's the enemy as terrorist. That's the absolute threat to order.

      It's a complex book and it dated fast.

      But unlike Fukuyama, Empire was profoundly pessimistic about whether liberal democracy had proven to be a fundamentally better system (ethically, politically, economically) than the existant alternatives.

      I certainly remember when I saw on tv the planes go into the Twin Towers that I was looking straight into Sauron's Eye ………… but that surely through that eye the possibilities of the world had just been prized open a fraction.

      We just don't have that at all now. Every year our alternatives get more and more and more constrained.

    • Stuart Munro 5.2

      As the US retreats from several of its Imperial overreaches, Russia steps into the gap.

      France warns Mali against Russian Wagner mercenary deal | Armed Groups News | Al Jazeera

      It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but if Mali asked my advice, it would be "Stick with the devil you know". France was not the best of colonial powers, but Russia managed to be worse.

    • weka 5.3

      QED Adrian. Trump's not so bad, because the US is always bad (except at home, because some people like Trump).

    • McFlock 5.4

      However for the rest of the world the US remains today, as it was under Trump, and as it was before Trump under Obama, the single biggest threat to world peace and democracy..that is the real story here folks, so don't get sidetracked yet again into this distraction, because that is all it is.
      Ultra aggressive US foreign policy is the tail that wags the dog in the US, no matter who is President, that is just a plain fact.

      Speaking of threats to world peace, calling the leader of a totalitarian nuclear power names and threatening him with nuclear war was a pretty fucking massive threat for everyone in the world. Bush and Obama did a lot, but they didn't do that.

      • Andre 5.4.1

        Possibly a demonstration that the madman theory actually works when the madman really is mad.

        Which possibly also explains the astonishing forbearance that Iran showed towards numerous serious provocations.

    • JO 5.5

      Ultra aggressive US foreign policy is the tail that wags the dog in the US, no matter who is President, that is just a plain fact.

      Isn't it just a plain fact that the ultra-aggressive demand from the Pentagon for ever-increasing piles of weaponry is still the tail that wags the US political dog, no matter who has been President ever since Eisenhower warned of exactly this?

      Will we see one day that a plague on all their houses made any difference?

    • vto 5.6

      Bollocks Adrian Thornton. US foreign policy is not the measure of Trump. The measure of Trump can be gained by measuring his actions against the actions of most all authoritarians who rise slowly to power. It is a well-worn path, which Trump and the Republicans are steadily walking.

      10 years from now Adrian, 10 years from now

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    I am not a left wing Trump supporter, but I sometimes think we mistake his toxic personality and the way he divided his own people into thinking he was the worst president they have had. In my view the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld aministration wins that award by a mile.

    Over the weekend I watched "Turning Point 9/11 and the War on Terror" on Netflix. I highly recommend people watch it. Sometimes we forget how the Bush adminstration lied with false intelligence to wage a war on the Middle East, and then used torture as a wide spread interrogation tool.

    They were by far the most evil and dangerous men to ever lead the US.

    • Gezza 6.1

      Yeah, but Trump was an unparalleled master of "false Intelligence" in his own right. And made several remarks to the effect that he supported water-boarding or torture, didn't he?

      • Gezza 6.1.1

        Plenty of YouTube videos where he threw waterboarding & torture out as red-meat to his audiences on the hustings.

        But then (typically) he sometimes deferred to officials – like Matthis & Haspel – saying it was no longer an option.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=udnDah1ZACQ

        • Pete 6.1.1.1

          He threw things out there like hydroxichloroquine. I can remember seeing it live when he mentioned the marvellous medicine and turned to Dr Deborah Birx for confirmation that he was right. It was an extraordinary TV moment when she refused to look up and give him the thumbs up.

          • Gezza 6.1.1.1.1

            He was certainly a uniquely chaotic President.
            Even Duterte of the Philippines seems a lot more predictable.

    • McFlock 6.2

      There's a difference between actual outcome and whether folks just got lucky.

      Only history will tell how many times we had "Able Archer 83" moments between 2016 and Jan 2021.

      GWB and his sith council caused massive amounts of death and suffering nationally and internationally, sure.

      But between the orange oaf and the hellspawn he had, what were their intended outcomes vs what they actually achieved? Reagan and co made jokes about gay men dying from AIDS, but dolt's covid response makes that look like an urgent request for MSF assistance. Did they actually hope for half a million [disproportionately poc] dead?

    • McFlock 6.3

      Also, "ever" is a long time. GWB would have a lot of competition from several of the POTUS preceding the civil war. And While a not-up-to-it GWB had Cheney, Nixon knew damned well the nature of Kissinger.

      Backchannelling to the North Vietnamese to stall peace negotiations so the Repug candidate could win the election? Pretty fucking evil. the bombing of Cambodia also had some pretty terrible consequences, if we're ranking purely by overseas deaths.

      • Enough is Enough 6.3.1

        You're not wrong – and that's why the inward looking America between 2016 -2020 was good for anyone who was sick of having the shit bombed out of them by the US.

        Of course living in America became a lot worse though under Trump, and the divisions there will take decades to heal if ever.

        Republican v Democrat is almost as divisive as Catholic v Protestant. Laregely down to Trump

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    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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