The Daily Blog Watch Wednesday 3 July

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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 and on-line satirists…

NZ Left Blogosphere

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Mickey Savage on Waitakere News suggests on  GCSB Reform – If we have nothing to hide we have nothing to fear? and points out what the majority of mainstream media have forgotten in a massive cluster-brain-fade,

John Key has, in that incredibly annoying way that he has, focussed on making three points:
1.     The lack of clarity in the law is Labour’s fault.
2.     The current law is preventing the GCSB from operating properly and is not fit for purpose.
3.     Most tellingly, if we have nothing to hide we have nothing to fear.
I disagree about the lack of clarity about the law.  Because section 14 of the GCSB Act states with the utmost clarity that “[n]either the Director, nor an employee of the Bureau, nor a person acting on behalf of the Bureau may authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person (not being a foreign organisation or a foreign person) who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident .

The blogosphere have picked it up. Audrey Young has got it. The rest of MSM have yet to click on Section 14.

Lazy gits.

Are we all John Key’s playthings? asks  Clare Curran on Red Alert – and posts a transcript from Hansards of an exchange between her and  Dear Leader. It makes for interesting reading and shows the contempt that Key has for us.

On The Pundit, Andrew Geddis blogs  On coming first, yet losing,  regarding Key’s statement that “that the party with the most seats after the next election has a “moral mandate” to govern”.

Andrew dissects Key’s assertion and unsurprisingly finds Dear Leader’s beliefs, wanting. Quite simply, it’s not as straight forward as Key pretends (so what else is new?). Andrew puts it bluntly,

Simply put, in terms of how our Constitution works, a party with 47 per cent of the vote has no more “right” to govern the country than does a party with 5 per cent. By themselves, both are minorities within the House of Representatives – and a majority is needed to govern. ”

Another Pundit, Tim Watkin, blogs, on My outlook for 2014: Your guess is good as mine,

Inspired by the rash of speculation this week, I figured it’s time I gave people a chance to make fun of me a year or two from now by giving my take on where we stand ahead of next year’s election

It seems that ‘The Game of Thrones: 2014 New Zealand Edition’ is the game of the week. Everyone in my line of business seems to have a view on who will be forging alliances with whom and who will be chopped down to size over the next 15 months. And far be it from me not to join in. So, from the foggy and undulating political landscape of July 2013, here’s my view on how the election could break down.”

If NZ politics is The Game of Thrones Down-Under – where are the rude bits? Y’know, the “naughty bits”; wink, wink, nudge, nudge…!

Porcupine Farm asks,  Got A Budget For This? with his/her  latest satirical image-meme. (I thought it was Gerry Brownlee.)

Translations of funny things like “police” have amused Marty on mars2earth, with the Police helpfully joining in. Check out Marty’s short blogpost – it’s funny as!

Ain’t it funny that the Left does humour much better than the Right. Too much bile from those RWNJs, I guess.

KJT-KT makes the point that New Zealand Joins the Roll of Shame,

With recent legislation New Zealand’s Government continues it’s shameful attacks on human rights.

Bill allowing detention without trial, of refugees.

Joins the roll of shame, of countries which allow detention without trial.

We were already on the roll of countries that convict on secret evidence the accused is not allowed to see. Bill_Sutch  Achmed Zaoui

“First they came for”

Next it will be you and I!

When did we agree to this massive increase in state power and conversely, surrending our own rights??

Scott on Imperator Fish reports that the  Glenn enquiry members defect to rival league,

Ramakant Desai, the CEO of the new league, told Indian media yesterday that the league would “shake the domestic violence enquiry world to its foundations.”

He promised a fast action-filled league that would appeal to those put off by traditional enquiry processes.

“The focus of most philanthropist-backed domestic violence enquiries is to establish the causes of domestic violence and then find solutions. That’s fine, and there will always be a place for those who enjoy the longer form of enquiry.

“But this new league will offer punters a faster, livelier style of investigation.”

Gordon Campbell blogs  On Kim Dotcom’s appearance at Parliament today and the Prime spin on this increasingly controversial subject,

For months, Prime Minister John Key has been trying to turn down the political thermostat on his plans to confer on the GCSB as an organization (and himself as its Minister) vastly expanded powers to spy on New Zealanders. According to the government’s spin, the 180 degree change to the GCSB’s role ( as set out in the new, proposed legislation currently before Parliament) is merely a bit of parliamentary housekeeping of an allegedly unclear legal situation.

That spin is blatantly untrue. Section 14 of the existing law and the bipartisan will of Parliament at the time it was passed are crystal clear on this matter – the GCSB was forbidden to carry out domestic spying, which was to remain the sole province of the SIS. ”

Fightback reviews a Palestinian documentary, Five Broken Cameras, and looks at spreading Israeli colonisation of the West Bank and the monstrous Separation Wall that is reminiscent of the Cold War era Berlin Wall.

The film also reflects on forms of resistance. Bil’in’s resistance is largely guided by principles of non-violent civil disobedience. Palestinian youth throwing rocks pales  in comparison to the US-funded military machine which has faced them since birth. At one point, Emad’s narration reflects, “It’s hard to maintain non-violent principles when you’re surrounded by death.” After another Palestinian death, Emad’s son Gibreel asks why he does not stab an IDF soldier, and Emad responds that they would shoot him. Although taking a non-violent tactical position, this is a far cry from the liberal Western humanitarianism which moralistically treats only certain forms of resistance as legitimate.”

Andrew Robertson’s Grumpollie blog has some interesting background info on polling. Well worth a look to get some insights into this vital aspect of politics.

Gareth on Hot Topic warns of  Planet waves, and the big heat, as extreme climactic events ravage the planet,

One more extreme weather event to add to this year’s growing list, and as with most of the others, there’s a clear sign of a link with rapid climate change.”

As the West moves further down the road to global surveillance, National has it’s own plans with the  Government planning to use private thugs to force sick people into work. So write QoT on Ideologically Impure – with more than a bit of justification.

Morgan Godfery on Maui Street writes of  Maori politics: crisis, opportunities and the Greens, with an excellent analysis of the recent by-election and long term implications,

The beneficiary might not be Mana or Labour, but the Greens. Mana could be perceived as too close (and partly responsible for) the toxicity in Maori politics. Labour is stable, but associated with the foreshore and seabed era. The same is not true of the Greens.

The Greens are now an accepted part of Maori political discourse. The Treaty is at the heart of the party and its policy is aimed at equality. After 173 years of inequality, Maori are hungry for structural change and the equality that the Greens promote.

Read Morgan’s whole blogpost and get a real understanding where Maori politics may be heading.

An interesting blogpost on  NZ First Youth blog by Youth leader, Curwen Rolinson on his outlook on various Parties in Parliament as the Neoliberal Chickens Come Home to Roost in a Coup. I particularly love his quip,

Then there’s the Nats. Won’t go into the details (there’s seven decades’ worth to countenance, with it getting particularly bad following the end of Muldoon), but it seems like the Born to Rule party is in an almost perpetual state of squabble about who, exactly, was born to rule whom.

Strictly speaking it’s not a left-wing discourse, but it’s an interesting perspective from an up-and-coming young activist.

On The Civilian, it seems that the  Nation has misplaced Stewart Island

Prime Minister John Key has admitted that the Government is “not sure” where Stewart Island is at the moment, and that the country may have lost it. The admission that New Zealand’s third largest island has apparently disappeared came at the tail end of one of the Prime Minister’s prescheduled press conferences early this morning, and almost went unnoticed by the gathered news media... ”

The PM forgetting where he left Stewart Island??? That’s not satire. That’s Key’s current state of mind…

The Jackal posts on an unbelievably stupid column by Idiotic Old Fart, Bob Jones fruit loop,

Said Jonesy,

When I was young, every household in state house Lower Hutt had vegetable gardens and quite a number had chicken-runs. It left its mark, thus even today my household grows most of our vegetables and fruit and has chickens, albeit I have the indulgence of two gardeners. Nevertheless, I’m told that household vegetable gardens are now uncommon.

Most mornings I have crisp stewed pears with muesli, these provided free from nature and preserved from my garden. Pear trees are cheap, hardy and prolific. The crop from one would cover most families for a year. In fact, I have hundreds of fruit trees but cannot find takers for free fruit, so this year I bought a juicer, had the lot put through and frozen and now drink our home-grown fruit juice year round.

Anyone who starts of a pontification by “When I was a young man” needs to be transported back in time. Preferably to the Dark Ages when the Bubonic Plague was extremely popular in Europe…

For a man of Bob Jones’ intellect, he sure can utter some really, really, dumb-fuck ideas.

On the Auckland Transport Blog, check out  One lucky lady,  by Matt L. Amazing. Like – really amazing!

On No Right Turn, find out why Idiot Savant thinks Key is  Selling us out for chump change.

And this bit, by Savant, reveals House Speaker Carter’s losing the plot – making himself  His own worst enemy,

I’ve just watched an extraordinary exchange in Question Time, which saw Speaker Carter threatening to punish the Greens for following proper process.

Metiria Turei had tried to ask the Prime Minister a question about his crony deal with Sky City. Key didn’t want to answer it, so it was transferred to the Minister for Economic Development. As the question was asking whether the Prime Minister stood by one of his statements, Turei quite rightly challenged that transfer. She then, as is usual practice, tried to change the Speaker’s mind when he refused. Having failed, she then sought a further point of order. At that stage, the speaker went berserk and started issuing threats. After a prolonged exchange which tied up the House for a good five minutes, he finally relented – at which stage Metiria was allowed to ask her points of order: to seek leave for the question to be transferred back, and then to exercise her right to withdraw the question. ”

From The Standard,

John Key’s disdain for democracy  writes a full analysis of what’s been going on in Parliament at the Best Show In Town – the Select committee hearing into the GCSB Bill;

Yesterday, hearings began on on the Bill amending the regulations related to the GCSB and surveillance.  John Key showed complete disdain for the process by failing to ask questions and only intervening to hurry people along.  There are good reasons to amend the regulations governing surveillance because their are murky areas.  However, it is a threat to democratic rights and processes to extend GCSB’s powers to spy on New Zelanders, especially in the light of revelations about the extent of invasive spying by NZ’s Echelon partner, the US spy agencies.

Yesterday at the Parliamentary hearing, John Key showed his disdain for democratic process, and exposed the fact that he intends for the Bill to be passed in spite of extensive and valid opposition...”

Fantastic stuff!

Moral mandatesAndrew Geddis’s blogpost  (On coming first, yet losing) on Key’s claim that “morally” he should lead the next government post-2014 because he’s got the “biggest one” in Parliament. He forgets that size doesn’t always count.

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From the Daily Blog

Saving The Planet Has Never Been So Lucrative –  Aaron Hawkins writes,

Green Energy creates four times more jobs than oil does. The list of economic advantages is lengthy. The Green movement is about more than saving as much of our planet as we can for our mokopuna, though it certainly is still that, it is also about capitalising on this global shift to create sustainable jobs for them to work in.”

Makes perfect common sense; good business practice; and will keep our “Clean & Green” brand intact.

Which is why the Nats will never have a bar of it.

TV Review: Mixed Signals – The Freeview Scam –  Tim Selwyn writes,

Like a heroin junky getting forced to go onto the second-class methodone there are problems with equivalence in effect. The Freeview is simply not the full, rich creaminess we have come to expect from analogue despite all the marketing.”

Bread and circuses – or crumbs and crap, Tim. That’s what the Masses get.

Gazing Into The Abyss: The Long, Strange Journey of Dr Jim Veitch –  Chris Trotter  writes,

What does it take to turn a Presbyterian minister, a lecturer in Religious Studies and a respected author on the life and times of Jesus Christ, into a vocal defender of the national surveillance state? … In short: What the hell happened to Dr Jim Veitch?”

Probably the same thing that turned ex-solo mum Paula Bennett and ex-State House boy, John Key, into bene-bashing freaks?

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Blogpost of the Day

Open Parachute is the bastion of sound, rational, non-hysterial position in the flouride debate. Check out Fluoridation – the violation of rights argument and  The libertarian argument – both raising excellent points.

Interestingly, Brian Edward promoted the highly individualistic, Libertarian response while  National supporter, Michelle Boag supported a more collectivist approach to flouridation. A link to Jim Mora’s 4-5pm Panel with Brian and Michelle is provided. It was  a fascinating debate between the two.

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Free Plug for the Day

Right. Time for you lot to start pulling your weight redux – Danyl on The Dim Post has just released his book. Check out the details of the launch party on this Friday, 5 July, in Wellington.

Danyl's book

This is your chance to mix it with a well known blogger; other bloggers who will be attending to drink Danyl’s booze present to support Danyl; and a lively evening to remember.

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Action of the Week#1

Tree planting day at Poets Park alongside the Hutt River / Hutt River Trail, 10am, Saturday 13 July until trees all planted.  All welcome.  Bring your gumboots and a spade if possible (but not essential as a few will be available).  Trees and equipment provided.  Planting for a couple of hours or so, followed by sausage sizzle, hot drink and mingle.  For further information contact George Butters, 027 632 1220.  Organised by Greater Wellington and Friends of the Hutt River.  Poets Park is first left after crossing the Moonshine bridge, see Google Map: Poets Park


Pat van Berkel
Friends of the Hutt River

0211 1459 789

Action of the Week#2

From Frogblog, Holly Walker writes about Electoral reform in the constitutional review;

This week the deadline for submissions on the Constitutional Conversation was extended by a month, so now we’ve got until July 31st to submit.

This is a great chance for all of us to have a say on how we want our country to be run, as well as to share our values and aspirations for Aotearoa New Zealand.

We’ve got a submission guide to help you have your say, which includes Green Party policy on some of the specific areas included in the terms of reference.

Two of the official areas under review that I’m really interested in are electoral matters and Māori representation, which include some pretty important issues like:

  • the size of parliament
  • the size and number of electorates
  • how long our parliamentary term should be
  • whether we should have a fixed election date
  • the Māori Electoral Option
  • Māori seats

I think it’s worth thinking about these issues in the context of our MMP system. MMP has brought fairness, diversity and proportionality to our parliament, and it’s important that these principles are reflected in any further changes to the way parliament and elections work.

Read more here.

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Thought for the Day

women's rights - barack obama

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~ Joe Blogger,

“The Daily Blog Watch” Editor, Imbiber of Fine Sugary Drinks,  & moa tail-docker

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~oo~