The Daily Blog Watch Monday 8 July





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

Roger Brooking asks if Judith Collins’ staff censoring wikipedia articles on justice issues in NZ? Roger raises several disturbing issues aside from someone censoring Wikipedia including this,

I thought New Zealanders had freedom of speech – according to the Bill of Rights we do.  But Judith Collins and Chris Burns don’t seem to think so. Mr Burns declined my application for being “critical of the way the Department operates in regard to stopping prisoners using cell phones in prison”.  How bizarre. But guess what. Information about the failure of the cell phone blocking technology was then deleted from the wikipedia page about the Corrections Department. This is called censorship!

But what I really want to know is – how does Judith Collins know what I’m doing on wikipedia? I don’t use my real name – I use a pseudonym. Does that mean the GCSB is watching me? No that’s illegal – and surely the GCSB would never break the law. Yeah right!

Read the full story – it is a further indication of National’s abuse of Statre power.

Peter Aranyi on The Paepae, comments on Roger Brooking’s blogpost and makes his own points about Judith Collins (or someone in her office) doing some very dubious things on Wikipedia. Read Peter’s piece on Suppressing free speech and editing Wikipedia. Is that why we pay taxes, Mrs Collins?

TDB Recommends

Doesn’t democracy demand citizens exercise freedom of expression, and — especially — the right to criticize the powerful? Yes, I think it does. (Am I missing something?) And also, really, in these times of fiscal restraint, why would a cabinet minister’s staff [allegedly] apply its focus, time and energy to sweeping Wikipedia clean ?”

On Frogblog,

Find out why Jan Logie is in favout of  Quotas for women,

If the Minister of Women’s Affairs doesn’t recognise gender bias then we really are in trouble.

I’m not saying quotas are necessarily the answer but it makes sense that they should be considered as a response to bias let alone historical discrimination. They’ve worked really well for us in the Green party.”

Sleeping rough – Denise Roche writes,

Today is the morning after the Lifewise Big Sleep Out.  Last night I joined about 80 or so Aucklanders sleeping on a sheet of cardboard in the plaza at AUT. This is an annual fundraising event that also aims to raise awareness about homelessness in Auckland.”

And Eugenie Sage argues in favour of  Achieving a compact Christchurch.

One gets the distinct  feeling that people have forgotten the perils of urban sprawl, and the Greens are a voice of sanity in a National-inspired crazy rush to build without logic or appreciation of consequences.

Bat, Bean, Beam’s  looks at A woman’s place? through recent history and compares recent sexist attitudes with hysterical criticism  of Julia Gillard as Australia’s first woman Prime Minister. It’s an enlightening essay in “nostaligia” and sexism.

Chris Trotter presents  A Study In Exhaustion on Bowalley Road, looking at Pita Sharples, Tariana Turia, and Te Ururoa Flavell, and the conflicting motivations of all three. It’s insightful of  what drives those three and the overall effect it has on the Maori Party.

More good stuff from QoT on Ideologically Impure (if you want six good bloggers, QoT should be part of that select group). QoT looks at god botherers and their craziness and offers Your semi-regular giggle/grimace at Right to Life. I read the item she referenced and it reconfirms to me that religious-inspired nutters are… well… nutters.

QoT analyses Labour’s so-called ManBan! and follows up with  a few more thoughts on quotas.  Much of the talk on Labour’s quota system has come from Blokes, so it’s refreshing to actually get something from a Blokette’s perspective. After all, it’s about women. Right?

On Maui Street, Morgan Godfery re-posts his submission on the Maori electorate seats, including his call for said seats to be entrenched in law.  In The Maori seats submission, Morgan writes,

2.1  Entrenchment will insulate the Maori seats against majority tyranny or the unprincipled use of an ordinary Parliamentary majority.

Indeed. Where the Majority can ignore or vote away the rights of minorities – that is a perversion of the democratic process.  More power to Morgan’s elbow!

No Right Turn has Idiot Savant turning his scrutiny on various issues,

Now the NSA is spying on Brazilians – Achieved through the NSA’s relationship with American telcos. Read the whole blogpost to see how the Yanks have achieved this. This will not help US telcos in future dealings with foreign contracts.

Climate change: A self-fulfilling prophecy of failure – especially with National cutting funding for climate change research. This government obviously has nothing to say on the ETS, climate change, and increasing pollution except lip-service.

Savant writes about the Nats  Throwing good money after bad,

So, to the long list of things which will supposedly be funded by asset sales cash (schools, hospitals, roads, railways, and a partridge in a pear tree), we can now add bailing out Solid Energy. Key himself denied it on live radio this morning, but the government has now admitted it: money from selling a productive asset will now be “invested” in a ruined one. And this from the party which pitches itself as “good economic managers”...”

“Good economic managers” indeed. They seem to be lining up with failed finance company Directors in terms of ‘competancies’.

The Keep Our Assets referendum petition has reached its target number of signatures and will be Resubmitted,”  writes Savant, and adds, “They’d fallen short by 16,000, and they’ve collected three times that many.”

The French panopticon – where the French have been spying on us, as well as their own citizens,

Apparently the only difference between “the west” and the Stasi now is that we have better technology and are a little more secretive about it.

Iceland has Beaten us to it, sez Savant, in granting asylum to whistle-blower, Edward Snowden. Savant points out,

New Zealand should make that statement too. Granting refuge to Snowden would be a strong statement of our national values: freedom, democracy, human rights, and independence. All we need is an MP brave enough to stand up and say it.”

Nice thought. But no way in this wide Universe would it be safe for Snowden to set foot in this country. If  John Key and his corrupt Ministers have demonstrated anything, it is that they are not to be trusted. Even if the Nats agreeed to granting asylum, Snowden would be arrested without charge; held indefinitely; and his future left in the hands of a mendacious National government.

New Zealand is no longer a safe place.

Just ask Ahmed Zaoui.

On The Pundit we have,

Josie Pagani writes About that ‘Man Ban’, saying, 

Quotas have a place as temporary measures. They’re a kickstart to getting women into powerful positions. They have their place.

But in New Zealand? I would prefer Labour to be talking about incomes, jobs, power prices, housing. Instead here we are once again trying to defend the merits of a policy to  people who are open-mouthed in amazement at Labour’s priorities. Here we are using precious political oxygen trying to explain why it’s not really a ‘man ban’. We have so much more to do for women than this. ”

Judith Fursdon asks; Out Of Touch With Poverty, Mr Jones?  Judith refers to a somewhat odious piece in the Herald by multi-millionaire and increasingly dottery Old Fool, Bob Jones. Judith rubbishes Jones’ assertion that the poor are wasting money on cafe lunches,

He goes on to claim that people can be spending $150/week on cafe lunches. Now, if you’re earning $472.60/week (legal minimum wage for a 40-hour week, after tax), and trying to support a family on that, there is no way on earth that you could spend $150/week on food just for yourself. If he really thinks there are people who are truly poor spending that kind of money on lunches, he’s utterly out of touch.”

Judith also does a bit of budgetting, showing quite clearly how someone on minimum wage barely has enough to survive on.

I have to wonder if a filthy rich man  pontificating to the poor, on how to spend their meagre cash , is a new form of masterbation by the increasingly decrepit Bob Jones. The old fool should stick to internet porn.

Andrew Geddis sez  Remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors, on Labour’s proposal to have gender equality by 2017. Andrew points to the laziness of political journos who’ve seemingly copy and pasted directly from right wing blogs,

My first thought is that the coverage of this issue is pretty revealing of the crappy state of political journalism in NZ. The media have essentially taken the narrative spin of a couple of explicitly pro-National blogsites (complete with the manufactured slogan of “man ban”) and replicated it verbatim – after searching out a few disaffected Labour-connected voices to underpin it. There’s been no attempt to set the issue in context (I’ve yet to see any discussion about the general issue of the ongoing, static under-representation of women in NZ’s Parliament), no attempt to look at overseas precedent (it took me 2 minutes on google to discover that “all-women short lists” are par for the course in the UK) and no attempt to compare Labour’s gender-representation record with that of anyone else.”

Well said, Andrew.

And now for something completely differentAccording to Andrew…

The dollar cost: is pricing losing? asks  Claire Browning, as she looks at the human tendency to put a value on everything,

When the issue is justice, morality, family values, and human rights – we know that some things can’t be bought, and some lines can’t be crossed. When it comes to the environment, this conviction seems to have deserted us; that’s the debate we’re having right now.”

Open Parachute looks at “Michael Mann talking about his own experiences in communicating climate science, and the political attempts to intimidate him...”

Also check out Parachute’s Fluoridation and conspiracy theories, which looks at the nature of those who subscribe to Conspiracy Theories.

Personally, I think it’s an issue of poor education and understanding of science and the world around us. Conspiracy theories distill the complexity of nature and humans to simplistic notions, and make it easier to “believe” than more complicated realities. It’s not a coincidence that  religious belief and conspiracy beliefs are so similar; they both  rely on low education (generally). The Illuminatii [redacted by Illuminatii Operative John Bottom]

Porcupine Farm has the latest satirical memes. The  New Zealand Oil & Gas Quarterly Report has a slightly alterered – but more realistic – cover. And  Burnout Bob – well, the image sez it all, really.

On Hot Topic Gareth checks out Richard Alley: what we know now,

“…Richard Alley gives his overview of what we know about the state of the climate. As you might expect, he covers the cryosphere in some detail (why Greenland may not be as big a worry as West Antarctica), but he also has interesting things to say about climate sensitivity (same as it ever was), food production, and the possibility that chunks of the planet may become too hot for humans. Well worth watching…”

On Imperator Fish, Rt. Hon. Humphrey Horswell, QSM asks, What foolishness is this, good sirs?

We have already gone too far in allowing our ladies to believe that they ought to be heard. They tell us that their opinions are as valid as our own. They demand equality, and they say that if we are serious about equality, we must take action. They say that the equal representation of women in Parliament will never happen without changes to the way we select our candidates.”

Not content  with ignoring the law, the  Government plans rule of law reform,

Psst, there’s been a lot of talk about how my government has no respect for the concept. So it seemed like a sensible option to simply reform the rule of law itself,” John Key explained.…”

Makes sense.

Also makes sense this bit;  A special notice from the Labour Party to its members (no spoilers to this bit)

A short message to Vincent – a message that should be fairly obvious to anyone posting on a blog.

I’m not sure how to take An idea whose time has come and gone and come back again? satire? Reality? Both???

And speaking of satire, The Civilian offers, for our contemplation,

Labour proposes ban on Trevor Mallard

Documents leaked to the media yesterday have revealed that the Labour Party is concerned about the lack of people in its caucus who aren’t Trevor Mallard, and is set to propose a new series of candidate selection rules that will ban the Shadow Leader of the House from contesting certain electorates. One memo, which was leaked to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater...”

Japan refuses to stop hunting Greenpeace

The North Pacific nation of Japan is defiant today, refusing to back down on its policy of hunting Greenpeace members at sea. Japan is presently before the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), to fight a case brought against it by Australia, who allege that... ”

On the Hand Mirror, Cheering with the man fans,

The framing of the issue, almost immediately, as a “man ban” told me all I needed to know – we were going to pretend that there was a level playing field for everyone in Aotearoa.  And that what we acheive in life is based only on Merit©.

This is one of the great colonising myths, the great sexist myths, the great myths of anyone who wants to pretend discrimination and oppression are just unfortunate circumstances, or maybe even – whisper it – possibly the fault of the group complaining.  It’s much easier, always, to blame the victim than it is to pay attention to those benefiting.

Of course, LJ is referring to the critics of Labour’s plan to increase the number of women MPs. Judging by the gasps of Shock! Horror! Outrage! –  Right wing bloggers equate this to the mass nationalisation of the means of production…

We should be so lucky.

On the issue of the abuse that women have suffered over the millenia, The Jackal condemns  Charles Saatchi – Asshole of the Week.

Personally, I think Jackal speaks for every fair minded bloke (misogynists being the exception) when he calls Charles Saatchi an arsehole. Surely this pompous, violent, woman-bashing git can’t have too many friends left by now?

The Jackal looks at Nationals deficit deficiencies, and – no surprises – finds them utterly incompetent.

On the issue of Labour’s gender equality in Parliamentary representation, Jackal points out,

The problem isn’t with females having less confidence, it’s that the system is skewed in favour of male candidates. There’s something called the old boys club that ensures a male applicant is chosen over a female one even if she’s more qualified and motivated to succeed. The issue here isn’t the rule change, it’s the problem that the rule change proposes to fix.

Despite the howls of protest, quotas are one way to remedy gender bias. What the misogynists are completely ignoring is that such systems have been shown to work effectively in business and political organizations throughout the world, so there’s no reason it wouldn’t work for Labour. The Green party for instance uses quotas to effectively ensure proportional representation, and by all accounts their system works well.”

Phillip on Whoar sez,

“..Speculating on what Kim Dotcom has on John Key..”

“..So what could Kim have? ”

“..Are Corporations Trying to Distract Us with Social Issues – While They Take Control of Our Economy?..”

“..Politicians are winning liberal hearts and minds on social issues ..”

“..Passive Nation – Why Can’t We Stand Up for Ourselves When Our Rights Are Stolen?..” (ed:..this question is asked of american citizens – it should also be asked of new zealanders..)

“..America’s founders would be horrified at our United States of Surveillance..” do you know when john key is lying..? (and is this keys’ first recorded example of spookmaster abuse-of-powers..?..)

“ this our first recorded instance of key abusing his spook/spymaster conflicts of interest.…”

Danyl from The Dim Post launched his book “Unspeakable Secrets of the Aro Valley“, with several hundred in attendence. The Great Hall at Philosophy House was packed, making it increasingly difficult to reach the bar bookstand. Several cases of de-hydration were narrowly averted by emergency administration of Bourbon shots with beer chasers.

The pic below, of the assembled Throng,  even had a shot of Yours Truly in it,

Danyl's booklaunche

Thank the gods I wore clean socks is all I’ll say!

On a more serious note, Danyl expresses his own views on the  Man Ban Thank you Ma’am – and he has reservations about “banning”  male Labour candidates  from some electorate selection processes. Danyl makes an important point here,

AND, even if you did get an electorate who requested it and a council granting permission, how many female politicians want to go into a general election campaign after being nominated by a process from which men were excluded only to have that thrown in their face at every candidates meeting by the National MP?”

Good point!

And on The Standard,

Is the Government bailing out Solid Energy using the Future Investment Fund or not? – m writes,

This morning on Morning Report Clayton Cosgrove was interviewed and commented that the Government had budgeted to spend $100 million to pay for Solid Energy’s creditors out of the Future Investment Fund.   Cosgrove has claimed that the release of the figure was because of a mistake of Bill English’s who had blotted out reference to the fund in one part of the documents but not another part.  He has criticised the Government because the announcement of this fund will mean that Solid Energy’s banks will know how much money the Government is willing to spend to keep Solid Energy afloat.  This mistake could cost the taxpayer big time.”

Government still doesn’t care about climate change writes,

Wanting us to be followers rather than leaders, taking us out of Kyoto 2, diluting our ETS into a polluter-subsidy scheme, getting us fossil awards, even only having an economic plan of mining and more dirty dairy (along with asset sales and gambling)… National are consistently on the wrong side of the argument.

So I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re planning on more than halving the climate research budget from $10 million/year to $4.5 million.”

Dunne not convinced on GCSB Bill – writes,

Peter Dunne says Govt concessions on GCSB bill are not enough to ensure his support

Bravo to Dunne.”

Pike River Compensation must be paid writes,

So Pike River has been punished for the deaths of 29 workers.  Judge Jane Farish has fined the company $760,000 and ordered it to pay $110,000 compensation for each worker that died and for the two survivors.


The chances of the Pike River families being paid out do not appear to be good.  The Company has said that it only has $500,000 in cash which is available for secured creditors and $156,000 in insurance monies left to meet liabilities.”

Do you like Pina Colada writes on “psychometric” testing,

The psychometric testing is humiliating pseudo religious crap that belittles both the participants and those that use them. Asking people that have shown an interest in working for you if they like Pina Colada and getting caught in the rain, will not help you find the right staff and hurts them before they start. It is part of the “employee as beneficiary” narrative, asserting that workers are lucky to have the job and should be prepared to be humiliated to get it. Such personal information about you collected at step one. Take your clothes off and dance naked and lets us judge if we like what we see. It is irrelevant information and the fact so much money is being spent on it makes fools of those that use them.

A problem of “masculine” values

I’ll say one thing here; the debate on the Left has been more rational that the moronic hysteria on Right Wing blogs. Which sez plenty about the moronic nature of right wing members on those Blogs.

Collins sanitising wikipedia more on the issue of the open issue raised by Roger Brooking asks if Judith Collins’ staff censoring wikipedia articles on justice issues in NZ? (see above) There is also a counter-vailing view from The Contrarian.



Blogpost of the Day

Gordon Campbell on John Key’s proud claim to being the village idiot,

“…For Key to be credible, we are supposed to believe that a flamboyant multi-millionaire won New Zealand residency and settled in the biggest mansion in New Zealand situated slap bang in the middle of John Key’s own electorate – and Key never noticed, and no one told him a thing about the big new boy in town. Nope, haven’t got a clue what’s going on in my own electorate. Especially when it involves Internet millionaires who come trailing swags of investment opportunities in the very high tech area that my government claims to be keen to promote – and into which it is investing $1.5 billion in faster broadband. Oh, there’s a Internet millionaire living in my neighbourhood who made his fortune with one of the most globally successful operations in history, working in that very same area? Sorry, never heard of him…


Read the whole piece by Gordon. A sane, rational look at Key’s “plausible deniability” regarding one of Key’s  own constituents.



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.


Thought for the Day

What if Rob Muldoon...


~ Joe Blogger,

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