Home Media Watch The Daily Blog Watch Friday 19 July

The Daily Blog Watch Friday 19 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

On Tumeke, Tim Selwyn asks  Where are the lifeboats? for the Maori Party,

The Maori Party AGM was held in Whakatane at the weekend.  This was in Te Ururoa Flavell’s electorate. It sits in the one-third of the electorate (the Eastern part of Waiariki) that voted for Mana’s Annette Sykes ahead of him or the Labour candidate. There didn’t look to be that many there – certainly not like the number at Mana’s AGM earlier in the year.

Open Paracute asks  Is fluoridated water a medicine? and comes up with an answer,

One of the predictable claims made by anti-fluoridationists is that fluoridated water is a medicine and therefore should not be imposed on the public.

It’s all semantics, of course, but some anti-fluoridationist get pretty dogmatic about it. So the people who run the Fluoride in Water* Facebook page decided to check it out with Medsafe – the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority…

Porcupine Farm gives us another satirical meme, on  Our Elected Despot.

On Forest & Bird, read up on the Freshwater mothership; our very own freshwater crayfish, the kōura. An interesting glimpse into an aspect of Aotearoa New Zealand which we normally see very little of.

David Cunliffe on Labour’s Red Alert asks if  Nyet! Kiwi crew need to learn Russian for jobs

A Kiwi company is now advertising for crew who speak Russian and can read mechanical instructions in that language. This is madness. It is completely wrong that a Kiwi fisherman should need to learn Russian to fish in Kiwi waters.

Since when did New Zealanders have to learn another language to get a job in their own country, FFS!!!

Which reminds me of something Dear Leader once said,

John Key - Tenants in our own country

Da, tovarich!

On The Pundit today, we have,

Tim Watson gives us his views on  David Shearer’s last round. Ding, ding

With three pretenders to see off and an active destabilisation campaign underway, Shearer’s hold on the leadership looks precarious. Does he have one big push left in him? And if not, what happens next?

Tim offers a balanced, calm assessment of the issue, and is one that has some merit to it.

Described as Young, black and ‘prey, by Jane Young, she offers her observations on the court case that has ‘gripped’ the whole world – as it sez so much about the United States,

It is not possible to consider the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman without taking race into account. The tragic story and the acquittal of Zimmerman has proven once again the danger of being young and black in America.

Which is a thought that has occurred to me on more than one occassion – if I was young and black, would I really want to live in a country that is quasi-fascist as well as stridently racist?

As Team America so eloquently put it,

Fuck no!

Where is Edward J Snowden’s head? asks Ian Hassall, who writes,

I was surprised the dominant response to the Ed Snowden leaks in the United States has not been concern at invasion of privacy and the misuse of state power, but anger at the leaker… until I remembered something about US DNA…

… I can remember discussing these ideas with a Canadian who told me the citizens of the United States were brain-washed. Although that seemed to be an overstatement I saw his point.

Always good reading on No Right Turn – one of New Zealand’s  most prolific and observant  bloggers – and possibly one of the top six, if one was tacky enough to do a “League Table” of blogs. Today, Savant looks at,

It’s time to Submit! on the New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill regarding the proposed scandalous  Skycity/National convention centre deal. Submissions close  Thursday, 22 August 2013. Check out how you can make a submission by reading Savant’s blogpost.

Even a simple “I do not support this deal as it is socially harmful and was done behind closed doors” counts as a submission. It can be as short or long (reasonably) as you like.

The Skycity/National deal was A rotten deal – even Treasury opposed it. Savant posits a clever analysis of how Key and Joyce were rolled by Skycity on this dodgy deal.

Foreign banks are labelled Bloodsuckers, by Savant, and for good reason. The enormous profits they are making and exporting overseas cannot be good for our economy.

Extraditing for rendition – a CIA agent getting a taste of their own “medicine”??

In  Guilt by meta-association, the NSA is shown to have been spying even more widely than previously thought. Guilt by association is a Nazi system, and our American friends seem to be marching firmly down that fascist road.

Will the swastika soon be draped from Lady Liberty?

The problems of contracting out

Another story on the problems created by contracting out in the UK. last week it was fraud; today its cherry-picking and cost-dumping:

Private companies providing public services are routinely “gaming the system” to make money for their shareholders at the expense of the taxpayer, a major new study finds today.

An analysis of the Government’s controversial £100bn “outsourcing” programmes, such as its scheme to help the unemployed back into work, found private firms “creaming off” easy cases where they could make profits while “parking” problematic ones…

Booking Beneficiaries Into Rehab – Chris Trotter on Bowalley Road looks at National’s demonisation of unemployed, solo-mums, widows, invalids as drug addicts, criminals, and work shirkers and asks,

Equating beneficiaries with drug addicts has long been one of the Right’s most potent rhetorical strategies against the welfare state. It has now been given the official imprimatur of the Ministry of Social Development’s senior medical advisor. What’s next: “Arbeit Macht Frei” ?

We are living in dark times, my fellow New Zealanders. Only the heavy thud of jack-boots on our streets is missing… for the moment.

In case you haven’t read Brian Edwards’s  Confessions of a sentimental socialist and unkind thoughts on Paula Bennett on his Media blog, do it now. As always, Brian writes eloquently and intelligently. National’s vilification of unemployed, solo-mums, widows, invalids, and others receiving social security is a sign of this country’s lurch to the right.

On Frogblog, Holly Walker reminds us that it is the  Last few days for the Māori Electoral Option.

Gordon Campbell on the latest risk to national sovereignty posed by free trade deals

Remember the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, and those scary stories last year about how it would give foreign multinationals the right to sue the countries who sign up to it, if said corporates happen to feel disadvantaged by any laws or regulations that governments might pass, or if these multinationals feel annoyed about any rulings made by local courts? Tell it to the Canadians. Canada is currently being sued by a very large US pharmaceutical company called Eli Lilly, because Canadian courts have ruled that Lilly’s patents on two drugs have expired. Lilly disagrees, and is reportedly suing Canada for $500 million in compensation for its losses…

At every step, FTAs are being shown to be damaging to the interests are member states. When corporations can sue democratically elected governments for perceived loss of profits, that is a corruption of the democratic process.

It is time for Free Trade Agreements to be replaced with Fair Trade Concensus.

Meanwhile on a more local matter, Morgan Godfery on Maui Street blogs on  Powhiri: the sexism edition, and sez,

I think it’s wrong to impose a western conception of sexism on Maori protocol. Maori views don’t have to conform to western norms. To argue that they should is to impose a particular worldview as the only truth. It stinks of the cultural imperialism of the 19th and 20th century.

Marty on mars2earth also blogs on the same subject on  king’s hundred straws

Pathetic from that long standing member of Parliament and rubbish too – how many pōwhiri have been done whilst she has been in Parliament do you think? Well she got elected in 1984, had a term out of Parliament and came back in in 1993 – so let’s be generous and say over 25 years in Parliament and now she is suddenly ‘not comfortable’ after hundreds of pōwhiri – and just how many pōwhiri during the Helen Clark 9 years in Government, by the same iwi? Still hundreds imo.

Hmmm, and yet Maori women are uncomfortable with certain aspects of Maori culture which they perceive as sexist? Is this a clash of culture – or is gender equality a Universal value that rises above cultural uniqueness? (Mind you, as I’m not Maori, am I the right person to be asking this?)

Redline as an interesting post  on  The story of inequality by Michael Roberts,

The 15th conference of the Association of Heterodox Economists took place July 4-6.  The keynote theme of this gathering of economists who are not of the mainstream was inequality.  The world’s greatest economic expert on inequality of wealth and income is Tony Atkinson, or should I say, Sir Anthony Atkinson.  Atkinson is senior research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and a distinguished econometrician.

Roberts1

Atkinson’s address was entitled “Where is inequality headed?”.  Inequality is back on the economic agenda after being ignored for decades by mainstream economics.  But official spokespeople and mainstream economists everywhere are now looking at the subject, after the financial crash and the revelation that the top 1% (bankers and top corporate executives) have been stacking up their ‘earnings’ while the 99% have been stuck with unmoving real incomes for years.

Isn’t it  interesting to note that inequality in the US and UK took of with a hiss and a roar after Thatcher and Reagan were elected into office? Coincidence? I think not.

On Fightback!, Ian Anderson put’s his views on the  Zimmerman acquittal: The verdict on American racism, and his verdict is crystal clear;

Trayvon Martin was killed in February 2012 because George Zimmerman decided he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of Zimmerman being held accountable for his deadly act of racial profiling, Martin, his family and friends were put on trial, first in the media and then in the courtroom–and they were ultimately found guilty of being Black in a country where Black lives get next-to-no value nor respect.

Frankly Speaking asks a frank Question to Hugh Rennie, Counsel for the NZDF and updates the 2013 – Ongoing jobless talley.

The Jackal blogs that the Police seem OK with corporate manslaughter,

If a company ignores the rules to make a quick buck and their unacceptable disregard for safety leads to people dying, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. There is no middle ground here, with this being a clear-cut case of criminal-negligence manslaughter.

If there is no appropriate punishment for such a preventable disaster, how exactly do the Police expect there to be an increase in safety across the entire industry? They are effectively disregarding their most important directive, to protect people from harm.

The Civilian is as funny as every, poking the borax at everyone who crosses his attention,

X Factor finalists to compete for chance to judge next X FactorIn two days time, the nation is expected to come to a complete halt to watch the grand final of TV3 series X Factor New Zealand, in which the competition’s three finalists will compete for the chance to sell albums to children and possibly judge a future X Factor. The three remaining acts – a white male, a white female and a brown male…

Kate Middleton not pregnant; just really fatThe entire Commonwealth is experiencing disappointment today after the Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, Kate Middleton, revealed that, for the past six months, she has not been pregnant, but just really, really fat. In a statement released this afternoon, Middleton…

Christchurch warns Wellington to stop stealing sympathy after unauthorised use of earthquakesFollowing Wellington’s experience of a 5.7-magnitude earthquake this morning, Christchurch has demanded that the capital cease feeling the effects of any further seismic events for fear that it will steal all its sympathy. The demand came in a handwritten letter signed “Christchurch”, which was received at lunchtime at the Embassy…

Anger after State of Origin interrupts streakingSydney stadium-goers remain angry today after a game of rugby league between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons suddenly interrupted the streaking of a man who they had turned up to watch. The streaker, 33-year-old New Zealander Wati Holmwood, had successfully sold out the 84,000-seat ANZ Stadium…

Study finds that every Prime Minister was worst Prime Minister – Left-wing critics of Prime Minister John Key have been vindicated today by a study that determined him to be the worst Prime Minister New Zealand has ever had. The study, carried out by Victoria University’s department of Political Science, compared various Prime Ministers and the assessments made about them…

The Standard tonight,

Sick bastards writes,

My default mood on politics is a kind of resigned irritation. But this – this makes me genuinely angry:

Welfare now has health warning

Doctors have been told that putting patients on welfare is akin to putting them on “an addictive debilitating drug … not dissimilar to smoking”.

Even Treasury slammed SkyCity stitch up – Eddie writes,

Yesterday, National released hundreds of pages of documents on the SkyCity deal. They paint the picture of a government that locked itself politically into getting a deal and locked in SkyCity as the only option then was surprised when SkyCity screwed them for everything it could get. Even the far from bleeding hearts at Treasury said it wasn’t worth the cost.

Treasury told National the convention centre wasn’t going to be an economic boon and it wouldn’t attract many tourists; thy said that the benefits would go mainly to SkyCity’s private owners, with little public benefit; they pointed out there would be big social costs; they said that the compensation clause was nuts; and they pointed out that National’s weak bargaining position was at the core of the problem.

Mixed news

No free speech at convention centre writes,

National’s dirty deal gets worse and worse – see this Green press release:

National’s veto power makes SkyCity deal dirtier

SkyCity deal documents show how the National Government ignored warnings about the damage its dirty deal with SkyCity would do and instead, focused on getting itself the power to block groups it doesn’t like from using the convention centre, Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.

Outsourcing: Scamming the system

Recent legislation by the NZ government is resulting in more necessary and basic public services being outsourced to being run by private entities. With this in mind, it is sobering to read a new report on the UK government’s extensive “outsourcing” (of public services) programme.  The report is by a think tank, Institute for Government (IfG), that includes some people with academic backgrounds as well as a few people who worked with Blair’s government.  The report exposes major ways that outsourcing contracts are “gamed” (meaning scammed) and the negative impacts of the outsourcing being monopolised by two main players, G4s and Serco.  However, rather than call for outsourcing to be scrapped, the report recommends that the government slow down its outsourcing programme, and tinker with it to improve the regulation and oversight.

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From the Daily Blog

MCDonalds exposed as serial  law breaker Mike Treen writes,

If McDonald’s can snub its nose at the law what chance do workers have at small employers?

Why hung Jury is a chilling slap in the face to Journalism in NZ – Martyn Bradbury  writes,

This hung jury is a message that the context of which this defamation occurred will side with the version of authority even after that authority admits they were wrong.

WINZ, waste, and wonky numbers – Frank Macskasy  writes,

For those readers who have never had the “delight” of dealing with WINZ – these are the forms that are required to be filled out. Note: every single applicant is given these forms (in a little plastic carry-bag)…

and that’s 73 pages of forms and brochures!

Let’s stop patronising pregnant people –  Queen Of Thorns  writes,

So if you’re a pregnant teen in Westport, not only do you have to find two certifying consultants you trust to talk to about abortion, then convince them that you tick all the boxes set down by men who were old and judgemental before you were even born, not only do you have to travel to Christchurch for your procedure (time off work or out of school and god help you if the clinic’s shut that day) but you also have to undergo a scan.

Who Rules Ya, Baby? Thoughts on Nick Cater’s “New Ruling Class” – Chris Trotter  writes,

Remember the Business Roundtable? There was a time when this top corporate lobby group was a real power in the land. It’s Executive Director, Roger Kerr, was feted by prime ministers and newspaper editors alike. His media releases were small masterpieces of ideological invective. The studies he commissioned and the submissions he presented on the BRT’s behalf had a nasty habit of becoming the law of the land. The Employment Contracts Act may be the most famous product of the BRT’s ideological factory – but it was far from the only one.

And the latest,

Citizen A with Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning

By TheDailyBlog Reposts

Citizen A with Martyn Bradbury, Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning: Welfare reforms, the pointlessness of Auckland Traffic plans and why the defamation case against the NZDF is so important for NZ Journalism.

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Blogpost of the Day

Scott Yorke on Imperator Fish has outdone himself with his ideas on The path to popularity: an action list for David Shearer.

In terms of caustic satire, this has to be the best yet. I wonder if Key has read it??

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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

 

Venues:

Bring your banners, your placards, yourselves and your friends and family. This is a family friendly, peaceful protest.

Auckland – Aotea Square – 2pm-4pm

Hamilton – Garden Place – 2pm-4pm

Napier – Memorial Square – 2pm-4pm

Wellington – Cuba St Bucket Fountain (2pm) then march to The Beehive (3pm) for speakers – 2pm-4pm

Nelson – iSite, Halifax St – 2pm-4pm

Christchurch – Bridge of Remembrance – 2pm-4pm

Dunedin – The Octagon – 2pm-4pm

(Hat-tip: No Right Turn)

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

Direct Action #3

Submit!

The Commerce Committee has called for submissions on the New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill (AKA the crony convention-centre bill). You can submit directly via the link above, or by sending two copies to

Commerce Committee Secretariat
Parliament Buildings
Wellington
Submissions are due by Thursday, 22 August 2013. Topics to raise: the unconstitutionality of the bill purporting to bind future Parliaments to compensate SkyCity of there is a change of government (and of policy); the anti-freedom of speech clause in the deal and its incompatibility with the Bill of Rights Act. While the latter isn’t actually in the bill, criticism by the committee could see it removed from the deal, or make a future BORA case against its exercise substantially easier.

By 22 August

Hat-tip: No Right Turn

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Thought for the Day

Paula Bennett on welfare cuts

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~ Joe Blogger,

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

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~oo~