The Daily Blog Watch Thursday 4 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

There’s No slowing down for Scott on Imperator Fish who responded to some strange criticism from someone called ‘Marty’. Scott responds with a simple “Don’t-like-it-piss-off-then” message. Personally I think that may be beyond Marty’s comprenhension – but we live in hope.

Good one, Scott.

Scott reports that the  Highlanders coach gambles on Gracefield! Read and chortle!

On Open Parachute, there is a Youtube vid where  Richard Dawkins learns about the Bible. Intererrrrresting…

Topical looks at  NZ Power, Rail Loop, CCC, Buildings, and suggests that NZ Power should be a last resort, not the first option.

QoT takes a well-aimed swipe at white male antichoicers, you are so dim on Ideologically Impure. It’s such a shame that a foetus can’t be transferred into a male’s body to bring to full term. I’m sure those “gentlemen” on “Men Against Abortion NZ” would be the first to volunteer to act as walking/talking incubators.

Problem of unwanted pregnancy – solved.

Oh, if only.

On Frogblog, Eugenie Sage points out that a  Bus tunnel better in Auckland than in national parks as she promotes a campaign against a  proposed $150 million Milford Dart bus tunnel. Fair enough to. Tunnel today. Motels and tourist trinket shops tomorrow.

Some humans just cannot abide a pristine natural environment without  dumping a shopping mall on it.

This graphic is more than appropriate,

vandalism vs progress

Indeed.

Gordon Campbell on Kim Dotcom’s latest contribution to our security laws, makes several points about the vagueness and contradictory nature of the GCSB Bill.

Furthermore, the Bill expands the GCSB’s clear and tight focus on external intelligence gathering by adding an ill-defined and wide ranging involvement in domestic spying. By doing so, it expands the GCSB focus on national security to include (under section 7c) the safeguarding of New Zealand’s “economic wellbeing.” This vaporous term could be taken to mean anything, and could – for instance – include treating anyone who protests against the TPP trade negotiations as being opposed to New Zealand’s “economic wellbeing” and thus a valid target of GCSB spying on their phone and email messages. Ironically for a security Bill that has packaged itself as being a defence of New Zealand’s economic wellbeing, the Bill’s lack of proper boundaries and oversight safeguards threatens to do real damage to this country’s high tech and IP sectors. To that extent, the draft Bill runs utterly counter to and undermines the government’s investment in faster broadband.

Interestingly, Gordon points out that several aspects of the proposed Bill are more vague (and potentially requiring further “patch ups”?) than what National painted the current Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003, when Key mendaciously referred to it as “vague” and “not fit for purpose”.

Check out two more satirical graphics on Porcupine FarmMission Accomplished? and  Non-Knighthood Material. Christchurch and it’s ongoing problems and issues is certainly providing plenty of material for web satirists…

On The Pundit, Andrew Geddis looks at  NZ Labour – as crazy as the UK Tories  – and takes David Farrar’s knee-jerkery to task. Evidently the UK Conservative Party also has a strong policy to promote women up the political ladder.

Phillip on Whoar remarks  that david farrar gets seriously laughed at for his dumb assessment of Labour’s policy – when the British Conservative Party is already doing pretty much the same thing.

Personal privacy is a hot issue these days, and Phillip reports that “..Twitter to allow advertisers to target your browsing history, email addresses – here’s how to opt out..”

Do it now, peeps!

Frankly Speaking makes a similar – albeit uncharachteristically short blogpost –  with a  Facepalm #1: Labour. Frank also lampoons NZ on Air which today announced a movie about… a rugby kick.  Facepalm #2: NZ on Air sez it all.

I posted this before, but, well, damn it, The Jackal has reported this issue so well that I thought it merited further coverage. Find out why Jackal sez  Bob Jones fruit loop!

Bob Jones - Old Racist Prick 2

On Red Alert, Raymond Huo demands that the  Government must break stalemate with plumbers and pointed out,

The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board, which was appointed by the Minster for Building and Construction Maurice Williamson, has been found to have illegally collected fees and levies from the industry.

The Bill, which is currently being pushed through Parliament under urgency, seeks to retrospectively validate the significant amount of money the Board collected unlawfully.

The Government’s failure to break the industry stalemate is a two-fingered salute to committed and qualified tradesmen just trying to get a fair deal.

So, more dodgyness from this government? Oh, say it ain’t so…

No Right Turn presents,

Regarding  The Egyptian coup, Savant is not so keen on the Army deposing Mohammed Morsi’s government in a coup,

So, the Egyptian military has finally acted and overthrown Mohammed Morsi’s government in a coup. No matter what you think of Morsi’s policies, he was elected in free and fair elections. His overthrow is therefore illegitimate and illegal. And while millions of people called for it, that doesn’t make it right or lawful, any more than it would be if our army had overthrown our elected government in response to the anti-mining protests or the foreshore and seabed hikoi. ”

Savant may have a point. Even though Morsi’s government is disliked – does the Army and The Mob have a right to over-throw it? If the answer is “yes”, then that ain’t democracy, folks.

That’s Mob Rule with a bunch of soldiers aidding and abetting.

It Says it all, Savant writes, when the spy agencies won’t front up to the Intelligence and Security Committee to make a public submission why they need an expansion to their powers.

Savant is all For all-woman shortlists, as proposed by the Labour Party today, and explains why.

It’s Not reassuring that  “One of the changes in John Key’s spy bill is to make some GCSB interceptions require the approval of the Commissioner of Security Warrants. Its a slight improvement, but its not particularly reassuring. Why? Because the Commissioner of Security Warrants has in the past been a simple rubber-stamp, who never refuses anything. And there’s no evidence that the new regime will change that. ”

We shouldn’t forget that with all the supposed “checks and balances”, that the GCSB still broke the law and spied on 88 New Zealanders. So the National government then  rewards them by legalising past illegalities; expanding their powers; and then reasuring us that “checks and balances” have been put in place?

I fucken don’t think so!!!

Yesterday, Savant posted this brilliant piece, pointing out that the Speaker of the House, David Carter was  His own worst enemy. When Green co-leader Metiria Turei did what all MPs in the House are tasked to do, this was the result,

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.

So, a party which tried to follow the proper and accepted process – seek a ruling, attempt to argue it once, seek leave to over-ride it, then withdraw the question – was threatened by the Speaker for doing so.”

Bizarre.

If Carter is behaving like this already, then the stress of the job must be getting to him.

Robert Guyton comments on Key’s petrol tax – now pushing our petrol prices higher than ever.

On The Standard,

GCSB Bill scaring off investors

One of National’s favourite lines of attack on any significant lefty policy is that it will “scare off investors”. Capital flight! End of the world! And so on and so on. So how about this then?

Google warns of backlash to spy bill

Google has warned that new spy laws introduced by the Government could result in communications companies quitting New Zealand or scaling back their operations.

Privacy tools

It looks like privacy is going to be an increasingly rare commodity in the brave new world. Want to protect yours?”

On having a more representative Parliament – Eddie writes,

You know, I give the Labour Party a lot of stick but I’d like to congratulate them on having the courage to face up to the lack of women’s representation in our Parliament.

Don’t give me this ‘merit’ bullsh*t. You can start by putting to one side the idea that MPs are chosen purely on merit as it is – this is politics we’re talking about.”

Man ban – Geddis on DPF

Andrew Geddis has indecent fun as he schools DPF – extracts below but go read the whole thing on Pundit…

On  ‘The Pursuit of Loneliness’: death of a dream, Karol writes,

For those perpetuating the dominant rugby-based culture, the pursuit of happiness was a quarter acre section in a white, heterosexual, male-dominated, suburban wasteland. Not quite as individualistic as the US,  New Zealand’s dominant culture was focused on one’s own quarter acre and the acquisition of material things.  This somewhat removed middle New Zealand from a community focused, democratic society: one that could work for the good of all, and especially work to end the inequalities that damaged the lives of the least wealthy, the least powerful, and those with least cultural capital. ”

Moral mandates

 “Key is clearly getting nervous about the implosion of his possible electoral partners in 2014. He’s running the “largest party has a moral mandate to govern line” again…

Nats look to 2014 governing options

Prime Minister John Key is mulling his options to form a Government after 2014 following this morning’s spill in the Maori Party, including claiming the largest party would have the “moral mandate” to govern. …

The tale of Michael Stevens – killed 27 May 2008 – hit by falling tree, writes 

Coroner Garry Evans carried out a full inquiry into Michaels death. He found the DOL had been wrong to attribute health and safety duties to Michael that actually sat with his employer. After hearing from an expert witness he concluded Michael was cutting a tree beyond his experience and in fact lacked the training to even recognise that he was out of his depth. He found the health and safety plan was a generic one and insufficient for the specific site, and that Michael had only two months tree felling experience and was doing work usually done by the most experienced fellers.

On the issue of Privacy, the Civilian has a simple solution to State intrusion in our lives,

‘If you don’t want to be spied on, hide under a blanket,’ says Key

See?

Sorted.

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From the Daily Blog

Beware the cru$ader – The Jackal  writes,

This week it was revealed the so-called philanthropist was charged for physically abusing a young woman in 2002, a charge he didn’t contest apparently because of prohibitive court costs. Considering he’s worth an estimated $900 million this excuse seems highly suspect.

An excellent summation of a curious situation. Highly recommended!

Kim Dotcom: New Zealander of the Year – why aren’t Kiwis furious at GCSB law? – Martyn Bradbury  writes,

For a country that went mental over the Government closing the legal loophole to stop abusive parents from using discipline as a defense from assault charges because that was apparently ‘Nanny State’, we have been virtually silent over Key enabling our spy agency to drift net whatever metadata they want from us.

Apparently the sanctity of a parent being able to physically strike their child is more precious to us as New Zealanders than the Government being able to spy on everything we do. ”

Indeed. And remember how so many people and the media chucked a spazz over Labour’s proposal to reduce water consumption by using smaller smaller shower heads?

How much of an arsehole is Judith Collins on Twitter?

Oh, about this much. Collins is goimng to come-a-cropper if she carries on like that.

How to Win When You Lose: Is the Right Constructing a “Moral Mandate” to Govern? – Chris Trotter writes,

Key recently decreed,

If National was to go out there and poll 46 per cent or 47 per cent – very similar to the result in 2011 – and not form the Government I think there would be outrage in NZ,” was how the Prime Minister explained the idea to journalists on Monday.

Which means that Dear Leader has run out of options and is trying to strong arm NZ First into coalition talks. Because, really, WTF does Key known about a “moral mandate”???

But then again, Key is fast running out of options, as Chris points out,

With the 2014 General Election now just sixteen months away, National is worried. Act and United Future (assuming it can be re-registered) will likely bring nothing to the table but their rather tarnished leaders. The Maori Party, similarly, teeters on the brink of political oblivion. National’s list of allies grows thin...”

Will Maori Party/ACT & United Future meltdowns open door for cup of tea with Colin Craig in Rodney? –  Martyn Bradbury  writes,

So when does John Key decide to have a cup of tea with Colin Craig in Rodney as a nod and a wink to voters in that electorate to vote Colin in? With Conservative Party and NZ First as the two parties Key could play off against each other depending on the issue, Key could get his 3rd term and the means with which to serve it out. ”

At this stage, I think Key would sell his wife and kids to a clothing factory in Bangla-Desh, if he can score a majority in Parliament next year. (He’d explain to Bronagh that he was “hedging his futures”.)

Audrey Young, Two Bains, old cars, and… cocoa?!?! –  Frank Macskasy  writes,

It seems that the Herald’s Audrey Young is the only journalist in the entire country who has not bought into the Official Party Line that the GCSB Act 2003 is “vague” or “flawed.”

And before you believe John Key’s utterances about low inflation and rising wages – check out Frank’s posting on cars and cocoa. Yes, there is a correlation.

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Blogpost of the Day

Tim Selwyn on Tumeke,  writes a brilliant piece on his submission to  the select committee on the Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation) Bill/Te Pire mō Mokomoko (Hei Whakahoki i te Ihi, te Mana, me te Rangatiratanga) at Waiaua (east of Opotiki) in February this year.

It’s a story of  machinations surrounding  land confiscation- 70,000  hectares of land seized after Chief Mokomoko was tried, convicted,  and executed for his alleged role in the murder of Reverend Carl Volkner, in Ōpōtiki in 1866.

It was a massive land-grab and the conspiracy that lay behind it has been uncovered – much of it from NZ herald stories at the time. As Tim wrote,

The response to the killing by the government was invasion and confiscation. The response if nothing had happened would have probably been to have made something happen so that they could invade – this was the atmosphere of militancy by the Pakeha settlers and the government that prevailed at the time.  Combined with the other aukati killing of Fulloon and others at Whakatane about the same time things were tense. The NZ Herald, for example, was gunning for massive retailiation and complete confiscation from the outset.

Funny how the NZ Herald is still so goddamn pro-Establishment.

This should be required reading by every New Zealander before they reach the age of voting.

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Free Plug for the Day

I live on Queen Street, the beggars are my neighbors –  By Martyn Bradbury

lifewise-the-big-sleepout-logo1
These are the unpeople. They don’t live, they exist and the desire to ban them is to save us from having our conscience shamed. If we aren’t going to raise a hand to help them, where do we get the moral authority to raise one to hurt them?

In my direct dealings with the beggars, they have always been funny, gentle, embarrassed and sad. Terribly sad. Sometimes they get a bit raucous, but that’s mostly amongst themselves. They get hassled by the Police. A lot.

It is not an existence that deserves to get harsher, and that’s exactly what banning begging would do. Most of the time, the beggars are a nasty prick to our conscience of the lie that is the pretense of egalitarian NZ in the 21st Century. What banning them is really about is to erect a blind-spot, so that we don’t have to see their pain, their poverty, their reality.

Tomorrow night (Thursday) I will be sleeping rough for a night to raise funds for the homeless. These are people with nothing, let’s give them something more than abuse

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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

Nelson Mandela

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~ Joe Blogger,

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

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~oo~

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