The Daily Blog Watch Wednesday 17th 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

We may finally be able to see some more red light cameras writes Matt L,

Some good news today with the government announcing it has released a position paper on the use of red light cameras. This has been a fairly long time coming after a trial of them a few years ago in Auckland. Even the AA were getting upset with the lack of haste in getting the cameras approved for more widespread use. Anyway, here is the statement from Michael Woodhouse…

Perhaps one of the very few times that camera surveillance is permissable and necessary – to stop these lunatics driving recklessly through red lights. I call them lunatics for good reason – who in their right mind puts themselves and others at risk, to save five fucking minutes of a road trip???

Open Parachute posts a short vid, Debunking anti-fluoridation myths,

The New Zealand Ministry of Health has produced a short, straightforward video countering some of the misinformation about fluoridation.

Parachute also posts an interesting item on organised religion,  illustrating how the Source of moral authority has shifted.

Red Alert has Darien Fenton’s  Touchstone –  Youth Parliament this week , where young people – 16 to 18 –  chosen by MPs to experience two days in  Parliament. One young person, Peniata Junior Endemann, will be promoting a “mock bill” to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16.

On Maui Street, Morgan Godfery writes In defence (well, sort of) of Whanau Ora – but insists that the OIA must be open to OIA legislation.  There must be accountability for public money, sez Morgan.

Quite rightly so.

After all, this is one of the prime criticisms of Charter Schools: taxpayers’ money will be spent on private schools, but with very little accountability. The potential for corruption and mis-spending public money is stronger than ever.

On Frogblog today,

Gareth Hughes outs Minister Joyce as misleading  on ICT,

I think Steven Joyce is desperate for examples how he is supporting the sector so when he pointed to ‘increased investment in science and engineering places at our tertiary institutions’ I’m not sure if he was aware this investment was for courses like Mining and Geology not courses like Software Engineering, Information Technology and Computer Science. Under the increased tertiary institution places students can study astronomy, mining engineering or wine science but not computer science, where the report notes we need extra workers. Talk about ‘e-gilding the lily’

A National minister who lies to the public?? Is that something new?

Kennedy Graham sez it is   Time for Nigeria (& Africa) to Support Criminal Justice … and New Zealand to Speak Out in support of the International Criminal Court,

If we are to tame ourselves, law must trump politics.  The Court, in its infancy, is not perfect. But it is better than nothing, and it will strengthen and trump politics with the passage of time.  Politics, at the global level, is a pseudonym for raw power.  The Court has to come first.

Jan Logie writes on  Welfare Reforms and Inequality,

Beneficiaries are already the most discriminated against group in New Zealand. We all know the myths that beneficiaries are job avoiding, lazy, pot smoking criminals who neglect their children.
The latest reforms will do nothing to fix this. The latest reforms exacerbate this. They focus on the person on the benefit as if they’re the problem.

Considering how well Paula Bennett did when she was on the DPB, her policies are a betrayal of her own experiences and the support which society gave her, in her time of need. A year ago, this is what Fran O’Sullivan wrote about Bennett. Warning: contains gross hypocrisy from a National minister.

Imperator Fish takes a good,hard, satirical swipe at arch-bludger,  Another day in the life of Paula Bennett,

8:02 am

I was once a solo mum struggling to survive, trying hard to make ends meet and support a family. It was touch and go at times, but the government helped me, trained me, and allowed me to make something of myself.

The suckers.

On Socialist Aotearoa, six films are recommended from the  NZFF – Six films for socialists. Check out the six picks from the New Zealand International Film Festival.

Gordon Campbell on what’s gone wrong with the SIS, and with Auckland transport comments on several issues, including this,

The latest round of skirmishing over the funding for Auckland’s future transport needs is also pretty disturbing. Central government seems to be baulking – in the mule-headed way we’ve come to expect from Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee – at all of the available methods to fund some $60 billion of projects. This funding will have to come from either a package of (a) increased rates, regional fuel taxes and tolls on new roads or (b) a boost in public transport fares and tolls on existing roads. Interestingly, the current battle lines pit the Key government against some of the main business lobbies in Auckland, as well as against its incumbent mayor…

No Right Turn raises a serious problem relating to the dubious SkyCity/National Govenment deal. Idiot Savant reports that the   Sky deal included anti-free speech clause,

So, just to make that clear, the government wanted to limit access to the “national” convention centre to people who agreed with them. Freedom of speech? Apparently the Ministry of Economic Development have never heard of it.

SkyCity do not want the Crown to have the ability to prohibit them having any events of their choosing at NZICC [REDACTED] MED want the Crown to have the ability to intervene e.g. to avoid having protest groups hiring the NZICC at same time as a government event, and events that might, in the eyes of the government, damage the reputation of its national convention centre).

Whanau Ora providers must be subject to the OIA, sez Savant,

Yesterday, Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia revealed how she’d be managing her whanau ora programme: through three NGOs. Unfortunately, she hasn’t decided yet whether they will be subject to the Official Information Act…

What the hell? asks Savant, as National’s welfare “reforms” create bizarre consequences…

It is also Disturbing,  that,

The UK’s Serious and Organised Crime Agency is helping to assemble NATO’s Afghan kill-list…

In A surfeit of caution, Savant discusses not just Labour MP Maryan Street’s   End of Life Choice Bill, but whether or not the Party has anything real to offer voters as a real alternative to National…

QoT on Ideologically Impure blogs that  You’ve just been erased. Find out who/what she’s referring to…

On Local Bodies, the blog takes a caustic look at how  Southland Suffers Under National, and the author, BSprout, is not very happy. Sprout presents a lengthy list as to why Southlanders should be mightily angry toward this government.

Also check out The Politics Of Envy… a nice collection of interesting observation, mixed with caustic humour, Brought to you by The Perfidion.

From the Standard, we present,

A tale of two housing policies writes,

Houses are seriously unaffordable, especially for first-time buyers.

Labour has proposed a capital gains tax, to try and take some of the heat out of the speculative market (cash rich investors snapping up all the houses for capital gain), and KiwiBuild to build 10,000 new houses over the next ten years. These policies will help first-time buyers.

The Reserve Bank under the current government is proposing tougher requirements (a higher deposit) on mortgage loans. This policy will make it even more difficult for first-timers.

Dropping the pretense: Whanau Ora privatisation –    writes, 

So, Tariana Turia is finally dropping the pretense that Whanau Ora is anything but a scheme to privatise social assistance and put it in the hands of unaccountable private groups. Not content with funding family reunions and other bollocks, Turia is now handing the funding decisions to three private groups. That’s private groups deciding who will receive public money. Oh and she doesn’t want them to be covered by the OIA…

Tale Two – The Death of Shane Frater. Killed 1 May 2009 – Struck by Flying Debris

I have collected up the available documentation on the men killed in the forest since 2008. I am going to try, using the documents I have, to tell their story – one at a time…

Simon Bridges – pants on fire –  shares an image of a massive Greenpeace banner in downtown Wellington.  Check it out and appreciate Greenpeace’s fine work.

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…

No Milford tunnel –  Nice to be able to congratulate the Nats on an environmental decision for a change!

The truth makes them angry – 

This is disgraceful:

A visiting economist has accused Finance Minister Bill English of “bullying” and “menace” after a heated encounter in a TV studio.

London School of Economics Professor Robert Wade said Mr English made a stabbing motion with his finger towards his chest and berated him in between their separate appearances on TVNZ’s Q + A programme at the weekend. There was no physical contact.

Mr English disagreed with his remarks on inequality and capital gains tax and warned him “Don’t you say that again”, Prof Wade said.

“I was surprised by the sort of menace in his voice,” the academic said yesterday. “He was like a schoolmaster and he sort of jabbed his finger in the direction of my chest like a school master wagging the finger. I just thanked him for his kind advice and proceeded on out.” …

Parata and the media  – a look at how the media are treated at one of her “hui”…

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From the Daily Blog

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

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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.

Another corporate grab for Auckland assets – John Minto writes,

In the mayoral election campaign I’m proposing an end traffic chaos in Auckland within 12 months at less than half the cost of Brownlee’s roads. We will do this using free and frequent public transport to all parts of the city’s urban area.

Nothing Progressive About It: Thoughts on Tariana Turia’s “Whanau Ora” Programme – Chris Trotter writes,

Far from being a modern and progressive social programme, Whanau Ora has been, from its very inception, an attempt to present a politically inspired programme for the enrichment of private individuals as a bold reassertion of traditional Maori values and practices.

Guilty catholic lashes out at Inequality academic – Martyn Bradbury writes,

While we all have a responsibility to contribute, we also have the right to benefit from the fruits of society. The road worker, receptionist and sales assistant all contribute to a functioning economy as much as the businessman and executive do.

The aura of the blue helmet – The Nomad  writes,

The truth, though, is somewhat uglier. In fact, there are few within Darfur who respect the UN forces. They are held in contempt by the Sudanese Government, distrusted by rebel groups and mocked by criminal gangs who carjack their expensive four-wheel drives seemingly at will.

And much more on New Zealand’s premiere progressive blogsite.

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Blogpost of the Day

The Daily BlogWatch covered this yesterday, but it’s worth another look. Check out this brilliantly insightful piece on QoT’s Ideologically Impure, with  The lies we tell ourselves,

In a very interesting but highly trigger-warning’ed article about what causes parents to “forget” their children and leave them in cars, this bit jumped out at me, in a discussion of why other people can be incredibly vicious and hateful to the parents involved:

Hickling is a clinical psychologist from Albany, N.Y., who has studied the effects of fatal auto accidents on the drivers who survive them. He says these people are often judged with disproportionate harshness by the public, even when it was clearly an accident, and even when it was indisputably not their fault.

Humans, Hickling said, have a fundamental need to create and maintain a narrative for their lives in which the universe is not implacable and heartless, that terrible things do not happen at random, and that catastrophe can be avoided if you are vigilant and responsible.

Read and share widely on social media. This explains why otherwise decent New Zealanders often engage is vile, bigoted bene-bashing and attacks on Maori.

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Direct Action #1

GCSB logo

Protesting the GCSB + TICS Bills

Public · By Stop the GCSB Bill

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A large majority of New Zealand stands united against the GCSB spy bills currently being pushed through by John Key and his cronies.

We the people need to stand up for our rights to privacy!

Join us and the rest of New Zealand in protest on;

27th July

 

Events List:


Auckland
http://www.facebook.com/events/486263004792358/

Hamilton
https://www.facebook.com/events/651961298167053/

Wellington
http://www.facebook.com/events/367105683418077/

Christchurch
http://www.facebook.com/events/143457925860118/

Dunedin
https://www.facebook.com/events/661021400591940/

Napier
https://www.facebook.com/events/327092810758970/

Direct Action #2

March Against Animal Testing on Party Pills

New Zealand to March Against Animal Testing on Party Pills

On Tuesday 30th July at 12 noon New Zealanders by the thousands are expected to down tools and congregate at meeting points around New Zealand, to show the Government that they object to its decision to allow the testing of legal highs on animals.

Check on more on HUHANZ facebook page, and join us on;

30th July

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Thought for the Day

How did the war on poverty...

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~ Joe Blogger,

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

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~oo~