The Daily Blog Watch Tuesday 16th 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

This evening, The Civilian has in store for us,

Asiana Airlines sues TV station for damaging otherwise spotless reputation

Asiana Airlines has announced plans to sue a local San Francisco TV station that erroneously reported a series of false and offensive names for the pilots of the ill-fated Flight 214, which last week crash-landed at San Francisco airport. Asiana says that the mistake, made by San Francisco’s KTVU-TV, has damaged the airline’s reputation and tarnished an otherwise spotless record.

A newsreader for the station last week reported that the names of the flight’s pilots were Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Dong Ow.

Welfare policy changes encourage beneficiaries to seek work or the lost city of Atlantis

TDB Recommends

“I’ve always said two things,” said Social Development Minister Paula Bennett in announcing the policy. “One is that the Government was determined to help more people off welfare into work with better support, and we’re doing it.

“The other is that the legendary lost city of Atlantis is out there, with a magical crystal at its heart that, when captured, will allow ordinary New Zealanders to live for centuries. We’re not there yet, but with thousands of otherwise useless people at our disposal, we know we can find it.”

On No Right Turn, Idiot Savant reports that  Beneficiaries will be forced to pay for their own drug tests!! That’s right folks, as well as being forced to take drug tests, beneficiaries will be forced to pay for them. 

On an unemployment benefit of $206 a week (net, weekly), the cost of paying for a drug test seems an unreasonable impost on people who are already struggling to make ends meet.

Meanwhile, as the unemployed and solo-mums are treated like second class citizens, Savant blogs that  Prince Charles is a Tax cheat! Well, whoda thunk it?? Royalty not obeying the common law??? Is that something new?

As expected, writes Savant, Winston Peters’ complaint to the police, over Dunne, has been thrown out. I guess the Boys & Gals in Blue have better things to do with their time than be stooges for Peters’ game-playing.

It’s The same problems everywhere, sez Savant, when he writes that,

One of the problems exposed by the GCSB’s illegal spying is that their “watchdog” – the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security – is completely ineffective, having failed to detect the illegal spying for a decade, then excused it as it was “arguably” legal. Which is what happens when you have one old duffer, chosen specifically for his subservience to power, doing a part-time job.

It turns out we’re not alone. The UK has a similar system: a small office, massively outnumbered and outgunned by the organisation it is supposed to “oversee”. And it results in similar problems…

On the current debacle surrounding the GCSB, Savant sez it is Unbelievable that,

The Government has no idea what it would cost to have the SIS eavesdrop on New Zealanders and intercept their emails, despite saying cost is the reason for getting the GCSB to do it.

This is the clown that a million New Zealanders elected as our Prime Minister…

Reported earlier in the Daily Blog watch – but still worth a look if you haven’t already; check out  Stuart Broad and the Decline of the West, by Rex Ahdar on The Pundit. An interesting juxtaposition between the game of cricket and human concepts of fairness in every day life.

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

The Jackal presents two Youtube vids,

On Hot Topic, Gareth writes on the  Arctic summer 2013: fragile ice pack feeling the pressure. As climate change continues to impact on our planet,

So far this year the sea ice melt has lagged behind last year’s record-setting performance, but in the last few weeks the rate of melt has increased significantly and the two years are moving closer together.

On Forest & Bird, Claire Browning looks at Valuing Nature: Priceless 

Price is what you pay, or are willing to pay, he said. Value is what you receive – which may take many forms, and a “valuing nature”methodology should encompass all of them. Nobody can put a price on a butterfly or a bee, or tell the cloud where to rain – although, you may be able to work out what bees’ pollination services are worth…

Socialist Aotearoa presents A (Brief) People’s History of New Zealand – a short (8 minutes) doco on our country and the road we have travelled to the present day.  Socialist Aotearoa also features,

The later, I suggest is an impossibility. No one can make sense out of something as inherently irrational as racism. (Especially considering that it’s founder, David Ruck, is himself an anti-worker; bene-bashing; racist prick.)

As National’s  welfare “reforms” bite, Imperator Fish makes an impassioned plea to John Key’s government. It’s a short – but to-the-point – blogpost.

This piece on Phillip Ure’s Whoar caught my eye; “..Edward Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize..”and check out several other blogposts on his page.

Pablo on Kiwipolitico looks Managing Expectations   within democracy; consent by the people; and when governments ultimately fail.  As Pablo writes with unerring insight,

Even so, there is a limit to the downgrading of the threshold of consent and National appears to be approaching it. Be it the non-response to the Pike River or Rena disasters, the third world response to the Christchurch earthquake, the passing of legislation under urgency, the attempts to intimidate the media on both large and small issues (such as the Tea Cup affair or the personal denigration of Jon Stephenson because of his critical writing about the NZDF in Afghanistan), the focus on maximizing trade opportunities rather than affordable domestic consumption, the penchant for secrecy rather than transparency in policy-making, or even the arrogance and indifference of the PM when it comes to important questions about his leadership (epitomized by his repeated brain fades and his holidaying in the US rather than attending the funeral of NZ war dead), the combined effect may be that there comes a point where he and his government can no longer manage public expectations with a smile and a wave.

Cakeburger has an extremely appropriate cartoon on  Racism Reverse. David Ruck of the Pathetic Pakeha Party –  take note.

Gordon Campbell on what’s gone wrong with the SIS, and with Auckland transport,

At what point did the SIS lose the technological ability to fulfil its statutory duty, which is to detect and to counter threats to our domestic security? Surely, out of its annual budget, the SIS should have been setting aside the funds required to update its surveillance technology – rather than letting things slide and relying on the GCSB, an entirely different agency, to come in surreptitiously and do the job for it, and for the Police? In other words, the stronger the case for changing the role of the GCSB to include domestic spying, the more misgivings one has to have about the systemic failure of planning and budgeting within the SIS.

As always, Gordon’s insights and observations are an invaluable source for anyone wanting to understand what’s really going on.

QoT on Ideologically Impure has some  Random recommended reading… (QoT refers to an excellent blogpost on Bat, Bean, Beam which has been reviewed on the Daily Blog Watch.)

She also takes a look at an  intriguing theme regarding personal responsibility vs random acts in  The lies we tell ourselves. This answers questions as to why so many otherwise-decent people often engage in mindless judgementalism at other peoples’ misfortunes.

This really is a brilliant little blogpost about human nature.

Coups, And Rumours Of Coups, writes Chris Trotter, on Bowalley Road,

Duncan Garnerhas been roundly criticised this week for falsely predicting the imminent resignation of Labour leader, David Shearer. Comparisons have been drawn between Mr Garner’s infamous “tweet” and the media tactics used to bring down the Australian Labor Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. Questions are now being raised about the ethics of journalists and commentators becoming players in a game they’re only supposed to watch.

Chris looks at  Duncan Garner’s tweet and considers several scenarios what really happened.

If you haven’t already, check out Brian Edwards’ Confessions of a sentimental socialist and unkind thoughts on Paula Bennett on Media. As the brutal war on welfare recipients by this vindictive  government gathers pace, it’s worthwhile looking at the whole picture.

On Frogblog, Catherine Delahunty writes that being  Pakeha is  a reflection on Ethnicity, and takes a subtle, gentle swipe at a certain Pakeha Party organiser,

…I have never been able to tick NZ European let alone “Caucasian”, because Europe is ancestry but not my ethnicity and I have never been quite sure where Caucasia starts and finishes. All I know is that an awful lot of people allegedly come from there.

I usually just write Pākehā because I am making a point. The point is we live in Aotearoa and we have a nationality and an ethnicity, that ethnicity is ours to define.

Gareth Hughes points to  More fracking earthquakes

New studies published in one of the most prestigious scientific journals Science, highlights the risks that fracking can cause and increase the likelihood of earthquakes…

…The research finds “Powerful earthquakes thousands of kilometers away can trigger swarms of minor quakes near wastewater-injection wells like those used in oil and gas recovery.”

Eugenie Sage states that  the  Ruataniwha dam hearing process flawed,

Environment Minister Amy Adams and Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced their Board of Inquiry (BOI) for the Ruataniwha Dam and Plan Change 6 for the Tukituki catchment chosen this week. It is the 13th such hearing panel Ministers have established using the “call in“ procedures for nationally significant projects in the Resource Management Act (RMA). In all cases the Boards have approved the projects, though usually with recommendations to reduce some of their environmental impacts. The Ruataniwha Board of Inquiry includes a former National MP Alec Neill, a dam construction engineer, three lawyers, and a High Court judge. The panel is top heavy with lawyers but has no one with water quality, ecological or similar technical environmental expertise.

On Labour’s Red Alert, David Cunliffe sez Recreational fishers shouldn’t carry the snapper can,

Nathan Guy is putting the interests of commercial snapper fishers ahead of recreational fishermen in another example of National cosying up to their corporate mate. The Government has only released three options for snapper bag and size limits for recreational fishermen in its latest round of consultation and all of them are significantly less than the current allowance. Nathan Guy expects recreational fishermen to carry the can but there is very little proposed change to the commercial quota.

As usual, the Nats look after the business mates first. Nothing new here…

Darien Fenton takes a swipe at Simon Bridges who seems to believe that As long as you cut the tree right you won’t die,

So, says Minister of Labour, Simon Bridges, who continues to insist that his updated Approved Code of Practice for Forest Operations (ACoP)  has all the answers and if workers, employers and contractors just follow it, forestry will no longer be a dangerous industry.

Problem with that is that Simon developed the ACoP without asking the people who actually have to do the work and whose families continue to worry whenever their beloved husbands, sons, brothers and uncles go off to work.

Didn’t we go down this road in 1991, with the de-regulation of the mining industry and the abolition of the Mines Inspectorate? How did that work out for miners at Pike River Mine?

How many will be killed before National’s policy on this issue is changed?

Redline looks at Israel, Palestinian liberation and the Oslo Accords, pointing out,

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli government…

Two decades on, it is now common to hear Oslo described as a “failure” due to the ongoing reality of Israeli occupation.

From The Standard,

Keeping it in the Family Commission – more crony-nepotism from the National party…

John Key, Crosby & corporate lobbyists –  writes,

In the last week there has been some news coverage of UK PM David Cameron’s links to corporate lobbyists.  There is strong criticism of his links with big tobacco lobbyists, via his Conservative Party’s election adviser, Lynton Crosby of Crosby Textor notoriety. This link is part of an extensive international network of business and politics: ones with connections to John Key, who also has bowed to the pressure of big tobacco and big oil.

This is an outstanding piece of citizen-journalism and is a Must Read for all people who are seriously interested in the machinations of the National Party.

Len is standing again –  writes,

Len Brown formally announced on Sunday that he will again seek the Auckland Super City Mayoralty.

Mickey also gives a good run-down on right wing city councillors and the all-but-extinct right wing Citizen and Ratepayer/Community and Residents.

Generation Zero: What’s the holdup? –    writes,

The Generation Zero speaking tour kicked off last night to a packed house in Dunedin. Generation Zero are asking – “What’s the holdup?” Why is there no action on carbon emissions and climate change?

Right now, we have the opportunity to lead the way to a safe climate future. The evidence shows it’s 100% possible to create a thriving New Zealand beyond fossil fuels. So what’s the holdup?

And this is simply amazing,

Simon Bridges – pants on fire – by Eddie.


From the Daily Blog

TRAINSPOTTING: Why congestion pricing isn’t the best option (yet) – By Julie Anne Genter  13 hours ago

The likely outcome is that we won’t need congestion pricing for a long while (if ever) if we invest in smart transport first, and enable higher quality urban development.

Len Brown  – The real leader of the Opposition?

Goodies and baddies – God and Doctors – Burnt Out Teacher  writes,

No offense, unwanted embryos, I just don’t want to be forced to become a breeding sow for humanity just because a small group of people gets all moral about a non-existent zygote potentially multiplying in my lady blood-bag just because apparently their god is obsessed with the alleged sanctity of life yet lets little kids starve to death every day

Religious fundamentalists  – I’d like to pass a few laws determining what I can do with their bodies. And all justified by my god (Baal).

I’d Like To Not Feel Afraid Anymore –  Coley Tangerina writes,

“I am crying writing this because it’s sad and it’s scary. These people are my friends. I want to fight for them and I want you to fight for them. I want to trust that if I get sick I won’t also be patronised, considered untrustworthy and have so little I have to decide between turning on my heater and cutting my food budget that week. We have to do better than this.”

The worst attack on welfare recipients since Ruth Richardson’s “Mother of All Budgets”.

Let’s be honest about what the new Welfare cuts will cost: More suicides, more prostitution, more self-harm, more poverty and no jobsBy Martyn Bradbury  writes,

This entire debate manages to operate within a neoliberal cultural fantasy that demands self congratulation for ones status in society minus the acknowledgment of the invisible privilege that’s set them there.

We have to get welfare recipients out to vote in 2014!!!

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.

Now if only we can get the Middle Classes to tear them selves away from watching cooking porn, X Factor, or “My Rabbit Hutch Renovation” – we’ll be sweet!

Your Story, my Story and History –  Chris Trotter writes,

There is, however, one narrative upon which it is permissible to rely for a more all-embracing perspective on events in Egypt: the narrative of Egyptian history itself.

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.


Blogpost of the Day

On Ideologically Impure, QoT writes about George Zimmerman and Bruce Emery,

Yesterday, George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.  I want to highlight the tweets and posts of US activists of colour who have commented since the acquittal.  This isn’t a time for white people to take the mic.  Please listen to these people.

Read Brittney Cooper.  Read the letter from 100 young black activists.  Read Trudy.

LeVar Burton has to teach his son how not to get killed by police.

Even in the aftermath, the narrative is that black people are dangerous and violent.  It’s not outrageous to the people who experience it every day.  It’s part of a constant policing of their behaviour.  

It’s terrorism.

Beautifully written about an ugly incident…


Thought for the Day

Poverty is the worst violence


~ Joe Blogger,

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




  1. Delahunty’s education is severely lacking. The word ‘Caucasian’ comes from the Caucasus, not ‘Caucasia’. If she wants to know where the Caucasus is, all she needs is a high school atlas.

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