The Daily Blog Watch Monday 15 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

Gareth on Hot Topic blogs on  Canadian megafires send smoke round the globe. Some amazing high altitude images of smoke drifting across the planet…

Gordon Campbell on Werewolf published an Interview with Kim Dotcom, his lawyer Ira Rothken and Eric Goldman.

Gordon starts with this interesting observation,

TDB Recommends

Accidentally or otherwise, the laws on intellectual property allow corporations to do unto others what can’t be done to them. If for instance, you violate the rights of a record company or a movie studio by forwarding copyrighted material that they own, without payment, they can have you arrested, and you can end up with a criminal conviction on your CV. Yet if a corporation steals your patent? As they do. Under US law, the corporate can be fined and the CEO might get a lot of dirty looks, but business carries on regardless, and with no criminal blemish on the corporate image. Copyright infringement and patent infringement are treated differently by the courts – even though arguably, the “stealing” of intellectual property is involved in both cases.

Brian Edwards on Media makes a  Confession of a sentimental socialist and unkind thoughts on Paula Bennett. Brian writes,

A moving force in these ‘reforms’ has been former social welfare beneficiary Paula Bennett who, as a solo mother and university student, received state assistance to look after her daughter and to pursue a tertiary education. She entered Parliament in 2005 as a National Party list MP and  has had a highly successful political career. She is currently Minister for Social Development, Employment and Youth Affairs.

The juxtaposition of Paula Bennett’s past and present lifestyles has inevitably invited criticism. The former beneficiary of government support now earns a base salary of $260,000 a year plus a range of perks and allowances amounting to tens of thousands of dollars more. ‘Comfortable’ would be an understatement of her position. She now lives a life of considerable privilege.

LudditeJourno writes on The Hand Mirror, that  Racism is a license to kill, and sadly makes the point,

If George Zimmerman and Bruce Emery were afraid, imagine how Trayvon Martin and Pihema Cameron felt, chased down and killed in cold blood.  Imagine how it feels to know that other young men who look like you have been killed – just for walking and looking like you.  Imagine how it feels to be told by the criminal justice system that those killings don’t count as real crimes, because you don’t count as a real victim.

That’s what we need to change.  The dominance of white narratives, telling stories – both historical and current – from one perspective.  The white imagination, and the excuses “othering” gives us, for all manner of racist inequalities. The reluctance of white people to call out racism when it’s there, because it might implicate too many of us. 

If there’s one thing we’re learned since Zimmerman was found not guilty – it’s that justice does not always automatically win out in the real world.

One thing that we have been blessed with though; the family of Trayvon Martin have called for peace in Trayvon’s name. How easy would it be to scream to the Heavens, demanding bloody  justice.

Instead, they ask for peace.

There is hope for the human race in such small acts of generosity and tolerance.

Danyl on The Dim Post blogs on  Two things. No – wait! Four things [Updated]. What if…?

 Labour and National have a tag team thing on the MASC, according to Morgan Godfery on Maui Street. This is a nasty, tawdry little plan to prevent  a proposed inquiry into the 2007 Urewera raids.

This is shameful. For Labour to be complicit in this cover-up of one of the most violent events in recent history is repugnant.

For this alone, every Maori seat should be lost to the Mana Party. Labour does not deserve to win them.

Caleb Morgan sez  Democracy is so 20th century on  Cut Your Hair, and analyses the post-modern aspects of Key’s regime.  Especially when,

Those pesky experts have been at it again this week… Current New Zealander of the Year Dame Anne Salmond joins the Law Society and the Human Rights Commission in raising alarm about the “assault upon the democratic rights of New Zealanders” that is the GCSB bill currently being rushed through Parliament.

Salmond says ”When a body as authoritative and dispassionate as the Law Society feels forced to report to the United Nations that the Government in New Zealand is acting in conflict with the rule of law, all New Zealanders should be very worried.”

On Bowalley Road, Chris Trotter points out that justice is a process Being Seen Being “Done”,  and the manner in which the Labour caucus dumped the proposed amendment to the Party’s constitution to allow more female MPs to be selected was unconstitutional and contrary to the history of the Labour Party.

Chris is not pleased with Shearer’s retreat in the face of media, right wing bloggers, and National Party attacks and instead demanded that the Labour leader should have been more staunch in the face of such criticism.

If you haven’t already done so, check out  The enlightened solution to street begging on Bat, Bean, Beam. Blogger Giovanni Tiso is not happy with what Wellington and Auckland city council’s are proposing – concluding that the “failures” of neo-liberalisms “reforms”  should be there for all to see – not swept under the carpet.

On Frogblog,  Gareth Hughes suggests we  Adopt an MP,

When tackling ways to fix this, the idea was raised: why not get geeks to adopt an MP and provide them with advice or simply be a friendly non-judging place to ask questions?

Also, Kevin Hague discusses the mixed bag that is the  Psychoactive Substances Bill and which  could have been great. Kevin writes that,

Mojo moved an amendment to instead still require applicants to prove their product was low risk, but without using data from animal testing, essentially setting a higher barrier. Unfortunately this was rejected by National, Peter Dunne and Brendan Horan (and NZ First abstained).

Which shows the level of concern that Dunne, Horan, and the NZ First caucus have toward the harm caused to animals, used to test these “fun” drugs,

Please Mr Dunne, Mr Horan, and NZ First - don't let them test party pills and synthetic pot on me. Why should I suffer for druggies pleasure??
Please Mr Dunne, Mr Horan, and NZ First – don’t let them test party pills and synthetic pot on me. Why should I suffer for druggies pleasure??

Frankly Speaking also condemns the passing of the Bill with a very short, simple, and absolutely shaming blogpost; The consequences of the Psychoactive Substances Bill – our shame.  Shameful and disgusting indeed.

Also read up on which  National MP admitted collusion with bosses to set up strike-breaking law!! Frank rips Jami-Lee Ross a new one…

QoT on Ideologically Impure takes a well-deserved swipe at the religious fanatic-cum-doctor, in Blenheim, who refused to prescribe contraception to his patient because of his Old Testament religious views. Evidently worship of his god involves unwanted pregnancies for teenagers.

Evidently, this young woman had not yet completed “her job”,  Breeding for Jesus.

We seem to  have our own fucking moralistic Christian Taliban in this country.

Anyway, read QoT’s piece on  Conscience exceptions are for people with a conscience.

On a less serious note, Andrew Geddis on The Pundit sez he just might die with a smile on my face after all. Satire seems to be a growing thing throughout the blogosphere at the moment…

Which leads us on to The Civilian. This one may upset a few folk – and bring a smile to others,

Joe Karam, several others found dead in Bain home,

In what witnesses are describing as a horrific scene, former All Black Joe Karam has been found dead  along with a number of other prominent Bain supporters, including lawyer Michael Reed and retired Canadian judge Ian Binnie, in the Christchurch home of David Bain.

Police say there were five victims in total, but have yet to name the remaining two.

And desperate to raise money to pay for tax cuts for multi-millionaires and corporate CEOs;

Government to introduce GST on Monopoly transactions,

The Government has said today that it is exploring a number of options for charging a general services tax on transactions made between players during sessions of classic Parker Brothers board game Monopoly; a move aimed at building New Zealand’s strategic reserve of Monopoly money.

The nation’s Treasury has been low on Monopoly money ever since the National Government bought the Mayfair property earlier this year, only to later discover that Australia already owned the corresponding dark blue property of Park Lane.

And I supose it  had to happen,

Don Brash seizes control of the Pakeha Party

In a bloodless leadership coup, former National and ACT Party leader Dr. Don Brash has seized control of the Pakeha Party from its founder, David Ruck. Ruck, who was leader of the party until 12:30pm this afternoon, was forced to abdicate the role after Brash, who had joined the party only this morning, was able to demonstrate that he had the support of the majority of the users on its Facebook page…

As always, worth a few minutes to read The Civilian’s take on life and headlines.

On satire, Porcupine Farm has more offerings to bring a smile or guffaw or maniacal laughter to our lips; Saint Ngaire the Underappreciated; Key on his knees in   Grovel is Good; and Gerry Brownlee shows  Why No-one’s Keen to Stand Against Lianne.

The Jackal has been commenting on those  Stupid welfare reforms – pointing out how the “reforms” are punitive and not actually designed to create jobs. This is how National deals with the unemployed, solo-mums, etc – by stigmatising them.

Question: if forcing beneficiaries to enrol their children in early child education – why not make it mandatory for everyone in society?

When the mask slips – Key lies about the extent of the GCSB Bill and the report from the Human Rights Commission. Well reported, Jackal.

On No Right Turn, Idiot Savant compares  Accountability and spying: NZ vs Luxembourg.  Have a read and look at how the Prime Minister Luxembourg deals with a scandal involving it’s own spy agency – and compare it to how Key has behaved.

Notice the difference?

We got the government we deserve, eh?

Savant also points to Key as being more and more Muldoon-like regarding  The Human Rights Commission on the spy bill. As The Jackal reported, Key is either woefully ignorant about the Commission’s duty to make a report – or again is lying. He’s not stupid, so I’m guessing he’s lying to the public. Again.

There is Another secret prisoner in Israel, sez Savant – making a mockery of Israel’s claim to be the “only democracy in the Middle East”. Disappeared people is the hallmark of a repressive regime – not a democracy, sez Savant.

Quite rightly. It seems that every so-called democracy in the world is sliding into increasing authoritarianism. What goes on?

In Microsoft: NSA spies – Savant writes,

This goes well beyond merely providing information in response to warrants. Instead, Microsoft are active collaborators in the US panopticon, invading their user’s privacy on behalf of their government. This is not something we as customers should tolerate. The problem is that there’s probably nowhere to go: Microsoft has an effective monopoly on domestic operating systems (no, geeks, Linux is not a credible alternative), and any major alternative will almost certainly be a collaborator as well. Corporate oligopoly gives us no means of escape, unless we want to go back to using typewriters.

Which means that if we want to tackle this problem, and get our privacy back, we need to kill it at its source: government. which means taking back control of our government from the spies, then slashing their budgets and power so they can never do this to us again.


As the Neo-Libs were fond of telling us in the 1980s: There Is No Alternative.

Contracting out means fraud, in the UK – and it may apply here in New Zealand as well. Read Savant’s blogpost and find out why.  We should feel uncomfortable.

On Topical, the blog-author writes on the  Psychology of David Shearer,

…if you want to run left-wing party, you shouldn’t write articles about privatizing militaries.

The blog-author makes some good points in this piece.  Well worth a look.

Scott Yorke on Imperator Fish offers  An interview with John Key. Trouble is… it’s hard to figure out if it’s satire, or real. Read it for yourself, you’ll see what I mean. This is the sort of satire that would’ve been de rigueur on satire-comedy programmes such as “A Week Of It” and “Public Eye“…

Human Rights Commission to be put out to tender, sez Imperator Fish. Well, I guess it had to happen. If it’s not nailed down…

On The Standard,

Broken Deal Already writes,

NZ signed a new trade agreement with Taiwan this week…

… All advice the Govt has received is the its proposed changes to Employment Law breach ILO conventions on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.

An Informal GCSB poll on Campbell Live yielded an interesting result. Mainstream New Zealanders aren’t totally brain-dead (yet)?

War on social security: demonisation of beneficiaries –  writes,

Today the Nact governments war on beneficiaries steps up a gear with widespread changes to the social security system.  Fronted by John Key and Paula Bennett, who got a great start in their adult lives from the social security system that was developed in the 1930s by the then Labour government. Now they lead a vicious and nasty shift from supporting the less well-off, those suffering misfortune, and the disadvantaged – to persecuting them and treating them as though they are all cheats, self-serving addicts, and malingerers.

Malala Yousafzei Respect

Malala is the young woman who was shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for education for young women.  She had advocated publicly for the right of young women to receive an education and was shot by the Taliban in an attempt to silence her.  She has refused to be silenced and recently spoke to the United Nations about the importance of education.

Bunji writes on various Sunday Reading

Truth no longer matters writes,

A significant proportion of the media is now heavily invested in the narrative that David Shearer is about to be rolled as Labour leader. In particular Patrick Gower and Duncan Garner have become so obsessed that they have become the object of regular satire. Matt McCarten’s piece today sums it up well…

…Politics was once about noble ideas. Now it’s about media celebrity and intrigue. No wonder New Zealanders have disengaged. And civil society is poorer for it.

Lusk/Slater to run negative Auckland campaign writes,

According to the tip line the farcical duo of Lusk and Slater will soon be kicking off a large negative campaign against Len Brown. (Apparently John Slater is right-wing candidate John Palino’s campaign manager.)

How the Right makes people believe lies – Eddie writes,


A UK study has found that public perceptions of key issues that the Right tries to win votes on are vast exaggerations of reality. People think 24% of benefit money is obtained fraudulently, when it’s actually 0.7%. They think there are twice as many immigrants as there are, that teen pregnancy is 25 times more common than it is, that crime is rising when its falling, and that far more is spent on the dole and foreign aid than really is.

The article quotes the author of the study as saying that politicians need to communicate the reality to the public better – which is basically academic code for Rightwing politicians need to stop lying to people and whipping up false perceptions as a way of wedging working people against each other and against their class interests (note that all the misconceptions seek to turn working people into two groups: honest battlers and bludgers).


From the Daily Blog

NZ Taiwan FTA –  Prof Jane Kelsey  writes,

There are more important, indeed fundamental, constitutional issues that arise when the government outsources the negotiation of any international treaty. Those concerns intensify when that agreement carries significant liabilities and constraints on the autonomy of future elected governments.

The political issue of the 2014 election –  Martyn Bradbury writes,

The inequality that National has exacerbated has created two NZs. Those who have benefitted from the $400m per year tax cuts and those who have not. National are championing policy for the wealthy at the direct cost of the poor and if that injustice isn’t enough to motivate engagement, then nothing will.

Those bloody teachers… –  Dianne Khan  writes,

“Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice? Bloody teachers. Typical that they don’t want testing – trying to hide that they’re all useless. What about our poor kids? Gnash gnash.”

The Maori Party, the I’m-Not-Racist-Pakeha Party, the Gambling-My-Money-Away Party, and John Key’s Party –  Frank Macskasy  looks at

* Racists in the Pakeha Party * Highly excitable Journos * The National/Skycity deal * and John Key as Minister of Tourism

Time to hit the streets again? – John Minto  writes,

I think it’s time to hit the streets again in defence of democracy and push back hard against the Key government’s corporate agenda for New Zealand.


Blogpost of the Day #1

This brilliant piece by Rex Ahdar on The Pundit compares  Stuart Broad and the Decline of the West in a way that is hard to ignore, 

Rex asks,

Is failing to “walk” in cricket symptomatic of a wider malaise?

Read and ask yourself; which side would you be on?

Blogpost of the Day #2

From The Jackal, this is what David Ruck – founder of the racist “Pakeha Party” FB page, has to say about striking workers…  David Ruck exposed

This ignorant little prick casually tells workers at McDonald’s to get a better-paying job elsewhere because they “so easy” to come by.

Right wing scum.


Action of the Week

From Frogblog,

MPs’ chance to do the right thing over SkyCity legislation

The Speaker has agreed that the SkyCity pokies deal will be a conscience vote in Parliament. This came about after Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei wrote to the Speaker pointing out that in the past legislation dealing with gambling issues had been dealt with as a conscience issue. That means Government MPs can vote against this dirty deal that will lead to more problem gambling and more harm to thousands of families.

This is also an opportunity for Aucklanders and anyone who cares about the damage inflicted on children and families from problem gambling, to contact their MPs and make their feelings known.

If you wish to contact any of these MPs click on this link:

If you care – do it.


Thought for the Day

Nature shrinks...


~ Joe Blogger,

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