The Daily Blog Watch Monday 29th April

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Today’s Daily Blog Watch Round-Up of matters that have attracted the attention, assessments, and articulations of this country’s leading bloggers…

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TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

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NZ Left Blogosphere

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We begin with Phillip at Whoar, who reviewed TVNZ Q+A, last Sunday. Writing in  “..the greens are wagging labours’ tail..” sez rightwinger michelle boag..(q&a:..a mini-review:..), it’s a clever assessment of not just the interviewees – but of the panellists who followed. One of Phillip’s best works to date, and I love this comment from him,

“..mind you..they do have two winters of rising/huge power bills to sit thru to let the appeal of the grn/lab power reform-proposals set in concrete for them..eh..?”

Good stuff – and good point about two winters to come!

Phillip also commented on Key’s rejection of extending paid parental leave, aided and abetted by a compliant msm;

ed:..old guy argues against paid parental leave..blames parental-leave for european economic woes..(!)

Also referring to  Sunday’s Q+A, The Dim Post presents a counter to the right wing fairytale that “wealth has been destroyed” – repeated by Susan Wood on the show – because of the Labour-Green proposal for NZ Power. Danyl’s  Chart of the day, dead Wood edition, tells the truth – the share-market is still on it’s way up.

So the  share brokers and other corporate have been spinning another lie. As with the advent of marriage equality – the world is not going to end. The market will not crash. The sun will rise tomorrow. Key will spin another lie.

Danyl refers to the three strikes policy which is on the verge of sending a 21 year old man to prison for 14 years; and suggests  How journalists could transform public perceptions about criminal justice – simply by reporting more analysis of the facts. Danyl outlines how the Three Strikes policy will end up a very, very expensive system.

Rebecca  writes in Saving a Giant on Forest & Bird about the threat to our Kauri trees through the peril of die-back. It’s frightening to note that our remaining Kauri forests are only 1% of the original forests that once covered this country, and even that small remnant is under threat. Have a read – it’s worthwhile just to get up-to-speed on the issue.

Green MP, Holly Walker, writes on Frogblog about one of National’s worst stuff-ups,  New bill to reinstate postgraduate allowances. Holly writes,

The Government’s decision in last year’s Budget to remove eligibility for student allowances from postgraduate students has to be one of its most short-sighted decisions ever. Not only that, but it was misleading – when they announced it, they made it sound as if students who had already started postgraduate qualifications in 2012 would not be affected, when in fact they were…

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… Otago University has experienced a decline of 8.5% and Auckland University postgraduate enrolment numbers are down by 7.1%.”

This will have to be another ‘fix-up’ by an incoming Green-Labour-Mana government – this kind of short-sighted Tory policy cannot be permitted to stand.

Good on you, Holly!

On Ideologically Impure, QoT makes  a very compelling point and explains  This is why I hate the market,  

“…the reaction of The Market to the NZ Power announcement.  Contact’s shares promptly dropped (a little), leading the right to scream that the end times were nigh and this was proof that the Labour/Greens joint policy announcement was going to cost it the election. But overall the NZX was up, so Grant Robertson goes declaring that this means there’s no risk of the policy causing capital flight.

It’s the same ludicrous situation we see every time The Market is made the centre of a news story.”

She questions why we are so slavishly following “The Market” and likens it to “reading fucking chicken entrails”.

It’s something that began in the mid-1980s with Rogernomics reforms. Everything was suddenly commerce/finance-oriented.

And speaking of Rogernomics, Darien Fenton writes an instructive piece on Red Alert, about National’s latest attack on worker’s rights. Have a look at Cutting pay Nat style #2 where she writes,

Simon Bridges will try to soothe the path of his Employment Relations Amendment bill by saying it’s about fairness and flexibility. Anyone who opposes will be portrayed as unreasonable and unbalanced .”

And Darien outlines a 7-point plan that the Nats plan to use to screw workers more and more.

As with Holly Walker’s concern above, the new Labour-Green government in 2014 will be busy buggers unravelling an unholy mess left over from National’s right-wing “reforms”.

On a lighter note – we’re on to The Civilian!

The Civilian tells us that the  Movie about the rapture is to be filmed in New Zealand subdivisions for good reason; there is no life in the ‘burbs.

As well,  The Civilian tales a satirical swipe at the commercialisation of the All Blacks. Read I am an All Black®, and I am Sacred™ – and you’ll never look at the All Blacks in quite the same way again! Promise!

On Frankly Speaking, there’s a visual presentation by citizen-journo, Frank, on the 27 April anti-asset sale protest-march in Wellington – check out  27 April in Wellington – A Protest Against State Asset Theft (Part Tahi).

And Frank takes a mighty big swipe at red-neck, Karl Du Fresne, over his recent attack on Radio NZ.  Frank points out that  Karl Du Fresne having a public baby waa-waa cry-session is mostly rubbish when the truth is taken into consideration.

The Hand Mirror, about Canada’s hypocrisy over Sri Lanka. Both countries have been complicit in  Stamping out human rights – as have most colonised countries  – and LJ puts it thusly,

News articles which position us white folk as arbiters of justice, fairness and human rights – ignoring colonisation – just perpetuate that white arrogance and invisibilise that white privilege.”

Indeed.

Socialist blogsite, Fightback, assesses  and critiques  the so-called “people’s revolution” in  Iceland: There are no peaceful revolutions (a reply to Jessica Ward).

The author, Ian, says that this “is not a criticism of the people of Iceland, it’s a criticism of the way their story has been told. Globally circulated articles and memes have made extraordinary and only partially true claims; that Iceland’s constitution was rewritten by the people, that they have deposed their government, that they’re undergoing a total economic revolution“.

We should pause for thought. The only thing worse than right wing propaganda and re-writing history – is when the anti-1% movement does it. We all want to hear good news – but not at the expense of truth.

The debate on Icelandic events will go on for a long time to come.

Tumeke’s Tim Selwyn analyses National’s latest sell-off of our natural resources in  Energy royalties in NZ: tender issues and discovers that information on the royalties being paid by corporates to the State is haphazard and difficult to determine. In essence, our royalties system is all over the place – to New Zealand’s detriment.

Either National ministers are ignorant – or are deliberately giving foreign corporations an easy ride.

At this rate, we will never become the Norway of the South Pacific – we keep electing dumb politicians into office.

On The Jackal, we read of   Freedom and other constitutional matters, where the author challenges ex-National Party President, Michelle Boag’s assertion on Q+A (on 28 April)  that “we didn’t actually need a formal constitution because some of the Treaty is already incorporated into government legislation anyway…  and that there’s freedom of the press and New Zealand is perceived as a corruption free nation“.

The Jackal asks how the hell do we know if we are “perceived as a corruption free nation” when the media is denied full access to what this government is up to?

(And since when is perception always aligned with reality, anyway?)

It’s a fine piece, and well worthy of perusal, as the author gets to the nitty-gritty of current issues.

On The Standard,

  • It’s not us: it’s the big banks – Karol writes about this year’s uber profits from the big Aussie banks, and about some nutty economic sh*t from right-wing, free-market, neo-liberal, How-Much-For-Your-Daughter/Son/Sheep, think-tank, “The New Zealand Initiative”. Karol rightly question this “think tanks” assertion that New Zealanders are “good savers”. (Saving toys from McDonalds Happy Meals doesn’t count, fellas.)
  • Why Doug Heffernan wants you to keep paying too much for power in full – Eddie. (See below)
  • Federated Farmers joined National’s proxy-foot soldiers (share brokers, merchant bankers, etc) in an attempt to discredit NZ Power. Eddie  asks if Farmers are unhappy about lower power prices?As others have pointed out; farmers can still pay high electricity prices. Meanwhile, the remaining 99% of the country will get cheaper electricity from NZ Power. Everyone is happy.
  • Economic apocalypse – not provides further evidennce that the Four Bunnies of the Apocalypse have not reigned doom on the sharemarket. In fact, they’re doing quite nicely, thank you Mr Joyce.

And No Right Turn asks, if  National hates families? He points out the fairly obvious (obvious to all but National supporters),

 “So, despite massive public support for the bill, National is still threatening to veto the extension of paid parental leave. Their reason? We can’t afford it. Bullshit. To point out the obvious, National has spent billions on tax cuts for the rich. It plans to spend billions more on non-cost-effective roads. It is spending hundreds of millions more on private prisons, on charter schools, and on subsidising the snob schools its MPs send their kids to. Hell, they’re even promising to blow millions on a convention centre in Queestown which doesn’t actually need the money.”

Key made the same response – “no enough money” – when the issue of low-paid rest-home workers came up last year.

But boy oh boy, those National ministers sure can find and chuck cash at their pet projects!

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Blog Post of the Day

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On The Standard, Eddie writes a damning piece on Mighty River Power, electricity price rises, and $15 million paid to  MRP Chief executive office, Doug Heffernan, since the SOEs inception in 1998.

Eddie points out,

NZ Power is a direct threat to the health of Heffernan’s bank accounts. It will cut Mighty River’s profits by about two-thirds – with a similar effect on the share price. It will mean that its directors will have to cut their clothe, and their over-blown executive pay packets.

So, no wonder Heffernan, the most highly paid public ‘servant’ of all time, took the extraordinary and unconstitutional step of commenting on political parties’ policies. He called NZ Power ‘socialist‘ (as if that’s a bad thing) because it means lower power bills for you and me, which means less pay and lower share values for him.

Read  Why Doug Heffernan wants you to keep paying too much for power in full. It shows fairly clearly why he has condemned the Labour-Greeen proposal for a single electricity buying-desk, NZ Power.

Expect Heffernan’s resignation if Labour and the Greens become government in 2014 – if not earlier.

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Dumbest Rightwing Blogpost  of the Day

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This has to go to Not P.C. where Libertarian fruitcake, Peter Cresswell,  writes in Why I won’t be buying the govt’s shares,

Well, in the first instance, David Shearer and Russel Norman have demonstrated that what can be created with politics can also be killed with it.

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So desperate are these two  these two to mark out their territory, they don’t care whom they hurt.”

Oh yeah.

Because all those massive price rises  since Max Bradford’s so-called “reforms” in the electricity sector in 1999 – they haven’t hurt anyone? All the Rogernomics “reforms” – they haven’t hurt anyone?  All the businesses that’ve been forced to the wall and all the thousands of redundancies – they haven’t hurt anyone?

But cheaper electricity… that’s going to hurt someone?

Who will be hurt? Pensioners? Low income families?  The unemployed?

Or share holders?

Mind you, this is the Libertarianz we’re talking about. The same weirdos who assert that the  Act Party is ‘socialist’,  and who came up with some fairly bizarre statements, as reported in this blogpost on Frankly Speaking; Neo-liberal Libertarian holds up Victorian England as “model for success”.

Cranks. So cute. Ya gotta laugh at them.

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Thought for the Day

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Not Voting isn’t resistance. It’s surrender.

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~oo~