The Daily Blog Watch Tuesday 23 July

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[This blogpost has been provisionally approved by Minister for Truth, Steven Joyce. Security Certificate no. BL/67325199/13]

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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…

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NZ Left Blogosphere

Yesterday, MP Peter Dunne announced his support  for National legislative agenda to turn New Zealand into a policed  surveillance state…

From The Irascible Curmudgeon, Alan is clear in his mind Why we should oppose The GCSB Bill in briefand cites several examples why our Dear Leader cannot be trusted with such power in his hands.

The Jackal is hot on this issue and is crystal clear on Peter Dunne showing his true colours,

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

The controversial GCSB bill has the numbers to pass in Parliament after United Future leader Peter Dunne secured some significant changes to it for the price of his support.

Significant? There is nothing significant about the proposed changes to the GCSB amendment bill (PDF). Peter Dunne will effectively give his vote in support because of changes John Key was proposing anyway.

This has been a play act by Dunne all along, whereby he pretends to be concerned in order to appear centrist. He’s not! By supporting the GCSB amendment bill Peter Dunne clearly displays all the hallmarks of a born to rule Tory git!

Never before has a government proposed to undermine people’s right to privacy to such a degree. Never before has such contempt for our human rights been shown by elected officials.

Nailed it.

Gordon Campbell on Peter Dunne’s illusory gains on the GCSB Bill – Gordon writes,

In a week that will see nationwide protests against the GCSB, the politics of the passage of the agency’s governing legislation remain as polarized as ever. Now that Peter Dunne has re-assumed his usual posture as the government’s reliable footstool, this has given Prime Minister John Key the one vote majority he needs to get the spy agency’s new legislation through Parliament. The changes that Dunne has won as a pre-condition of his support could hardly be more token – apparently there will be warranted provision for such surveillance activities (always a rigorous process, right?) after-the-fact annual statistics on its spying actions, and an “independent” review of the legislation in 2015, and every five years or so thereafter. A review appointed by government, naturellement. Oh, and such things as medical records will apparently be exempt from the GCSB’s surveillance – unless of course, the needs of national security require otherwise.

Read the full blogpost for Gordon’s insightful analysis.

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Congratulations Ohariu voters, sez Frank on Frankly Speaking, referring to Peter Dunne selling out to Key’s repugnant GCSB and Telco monitoring Bills.

Dunne sells us out, reports Savant on No Right Turn,

Its official: Peter Dunne has sold us out to the GCSB…

... Dunne’s support for this bill flies in the face of all his self-proclaimed liberal beliefs, and will determine his post-political reputation. The “fuck one goat” principle applies here. Rather than being the man who gave us the Families Commission, or even the man who prevented any progress on drug laws for a decade, he will go down in history as the man who sold us out to the GCSB and NSA. If he doesn’t want to be remembered for that, then he still has time to change his mind. Simple.

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And RobertGuyton calls The royal baby what is is; bread and circuses. The ancient Roman emporers knew and understood the human pysche extremely well.

Savant reminds us, Something to go to in Auckland,

stop the gcsb bill

And looking at other issues today…

Idiot Savant on No Right Turn looks at a wide range of issues…

The buck stops there – and Savant is not amused at staff changes in Labour leader David Shearer’s office, which seem to be signalling something ominous… Read the (short) blogpost and consider the matter yourself.

There is Good news from Dubai – the Dubain/Dubanite (sp?) regime has pardoned and released Marte Deborah Dalelv. This is something that Savant blogged on yesterday. Nice to see some sembalance of sanity prevailing.

Open Parachute posts a story on how the Source of moral authority has shifted from organised religion. (From organised religion to neo-liberalism, alternative medicine quackery, and conspiracy theorists. Same shit, different labels.)

On The Pundit,  Tim Watkin asks, The princely question: Go republic? Or Keep Marm & Carry On?

Should the new prince born today be long to reign over us? Or should he never inherit the throne? I confess the question’s thornier than I thought…

Tim looks at both sides of the debate and finds more going for both sides than one would have thought.

QoT on Ideologically Impure offers  Just a thought: create solutions which are relevant to the problems they’re meant to solve – in reference to problems currently besetting the Labour Party. And all throughout, QoT manages to make her point without referring to the “m– b–“. Kudos, QoT.

Also check out QoT’s take on the  Latest poll is good/bad for Labour/National/Winston – it’s an original take on the constant checking of chicken entrails, to determine what the polls are telling us.

On Fightback, Ian Anderson blogs about the  Millenial generation: Casualisation and resistance. Is Generation Y really the Me Generation?? Or can that title be claimed by Baby Boomers who were complicit in neo-liberalism sweeping the world?

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Neil Watts of  Fearfactsexposed  has posted a damning story about Fairfax apparently barring their journalists  from covering lectures, or publishing press releases,  from  visiting London School of Economics Professor Robert Wade.

Professor Wade is in New Zealand for the launch of Max Rashbrooke’s book “Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis”, which he contributed to. In a series of lectures and media appearances, he has noted that New Zealand has seen significant increases in inequality in the last 20 years, at a greater level than in other Western nations.

Fairfax bans reporters from covering inequality writes Neil, who has uncovered apparent cronyism within Fairfax,

Orwellian denial is nothing new at Fairfax – this blog has outlined their history of ignoring academic research in favor of populist National Party “solutions” – and it’s a moot point whether they are formally working to support Government propaganda, or simply have a common alignment of Rightwing dogma.  But, it certainly speaks volumes that, immediately after Bill English bullied Professor Wade with the threat; “Don’t you say that again!”, Fairfax told their reporters not to give him any coverage.

Read the whole story to get the full picture.

Porcupine Farm shows us National’s Return of Common Sense… (Warning – icky)

And The Civilian reports that Disgruntled Jeremy Corbett is to host ‘Deal or I’ll Activate the Doomsday Device

Frogblogs offerings today,

Afghanistan mon amour: Defamation case spotlights Defence PR spin – Kennedy Graham writes on Jon Stephenson’s defamation case against the NZ Defence Force. Kennedy criticises the media for caving on the story he wrote about NZDF activities in Afghanistan,

The case shows how spin behind the scenes can be used to shut down criticism of our Armed Forces..

It is consonant with other developments in recent years – with Sky City, Hobbittsville, GCSB.  New Zealanders need today to be very much on guard concerning the protection of our fundamental rights and freedoms.

In that respect the court case has been a salutary exercise.  And the country owes more to Jon Stephenson than just the court case – and possibly more than it realises.

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Fish habitat protection and commercial catch limits are needed to protect families’ snapper catch – Steffan Browning writes on National’s  plan to cut quotas for recreational fisheers – while at the same time leaving commercial quotas untouched,

While usefully leaving customary take at its current levels, the remaining catch allowance has been suggested to be reduced for recreational fishers, at a greater rate than commercial fishers. This is despite commercial fishers potentially having the larger sustainability impact through unsustainable trawl fishing methods, including some during the important spawning season.

The Government must protect recreational fishers’ interests in snapper, ahead of habitat damaging commercial trawlers. The Government must take a holistic approach to rebuilding the snapper fishery, get more accurate information, and address damage to the snapper habitat, rather than making fishers providing for their families shoulder most of the burden.

Going Against the Current, Steve writes about Baby Talk,

When it comes to Kate Middleton and the House of Windsor all the mainstream media is capable of saying is ‘goo goo’. While state beneficiaries like the Windsor’s get the red carpet treatment, a young mother on welfare in this country isn’t quite so fortunate.. A fortnight ago the useless corporate media lobbed the Prime Minister another patsy question: What sort of gift would his government be sending the baby of young mother to be Kate Middleton? …

It’s stomach turning to see the fawning of the government and media over the birth of a kid on the other side of the planet – whilst Key, Bennett, and Borrows demonise solo-mothers here in our own country as Satan’s Hand Maidens.

Of course, 90% of the population are too brain-dead to realise this. The brains of the Middle Classes turned to tapioca pudding a long time ago. Watching cooking porn and X-Factor (‘X’ for xtraordinarily vomitous) is about their limit.

A ‘plug’ for The Hand Mirror, which is promoting Dance for Women’s Refuge

If you’re in Wellington this weekend, and want to support the work of Te Whare Rokiroki and Wellington Women’s Refuge while dancing to funky dub and stuff, get on down to the San Francisco Bath House.  For those of you unfamiliar with the venue, it’s upstairs and not wheelchair accessible.

The Glenn Inquiry and selling out safety, and asks,

What should feminists make of the Glenn Inquiry?

LJ scrutinises happenings with the doomed Inquiry and the picture doesn’t look too flash…

Scott on Imperator Fish offers his  Royal birth give-a-damn post – which kind of sums up my feelings on the issue.

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More on the Royal Birth from Whoar,

“..Royal baby: eat chips and prosper – little prince – no sidebar of shame for you..”

“..Birth of future monarch has animated the unique lunacy of royal watching..” (+ comment:..did you see tvone breakfast-show this morning..?..whoar…!..)

Right. Enough of that. No more Royal Baby Shit.

Also on Whoar, Phillip Ure looks at National’s grand plan to return us to the 1970s, where mortgages were as rare as neo-liberals,

key to screw over first-home buyers..and favour cashed-up speculators..(um..!..is anyone really surprised..?..)

Right. Too much housing speculation. Auckland housing bubble boom. Too much debt on mortgages.

Conclusion from the Nats – screw First Home buyers.

C’mon – did we really expect anything more constructive from these neo-lib numbnuts?? Especially Key, that [Text censored][Text censored] and [Text censored] up his [Very rude bit!][Text censored][Image censored and anatomically difficult to achieve][Everything else censored]

And this item from Whoar really puts a further nail into the coffin of the myth that the unemployed are work shy bene-bludgers; more than 900 apply for 90 jobs..

Have a squizz at this from The Irascible Curmudgeon – Garner interviews National Party Coup plotters- RADIOLIVE Transcript. Excellent satire and with more than an element of truth to it.

Redline reposts an item from the Australian Socialist Alternative, and asks  What will it take to rebuild the unions? Whatever it takes – this country damn it needs it, stat!

With it’s usual insights and high Standard, LPrent presents,

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Turing – so much more – Karol writes,

A pardon for the gross abuse of Alan Turing is long overdue…

… Nothing to hide, nothing to fear?

Computing technologies contribute much that is good to the modern world, but it is their potential to support, not undermine, democracy that we should always try to remember and celebrate.

Turing’s life story provides much to celebrate, as well as a cautionary tale…

GCSB law changes are a Dunne deal writes,

I should not have been surprised but I thought that Peter Dunne might be our saviour and stand up for the rights of ordinary kiwis to have their metadata safe.  It appears I was wrong.

The details are not out but yesterday afternoon it was announced that Peter Dunne had agreed to support the GCSB bill as long as various amendments were made.  There is to be “increased oversight” through the establishment of a two person advisory panel to assist the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, the need to advise the IGIS if a warrant relating to a New Zealander is put on the register, and annual reporting on the number of instances the GCSB has provided asistance and the number of warrants and authoristations issued.  This is all after the event stuff and if the Kitteridge Report is an example of what will happen the important detail will not be provided and Kiwis will not be able to find out if they have been spied on.

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And in this extraordinary piece, Eddie gives a salient warning to all New Zealand,

Key’s multi-billion dollar earthquake bet

 

The Natural Disaster Fund is filled by the EQC levy you pay on your home insurance (currently, $200 a year) and is there to cover EQC payouts.

Before the Christchurch quakes it had $6 billion. It also had reinsurance of $2.5b with an excess of $1.5b that it could get after each event. (so, first $1.5b paid for from the Fund, next $2.5b from reinsurance, above that comes from the Fund again). The Christchurch quakes not only completely drained it, including two rounds of reinsurance, the Government had to top up a further $1.5 billion.

Now, the Fund sits empty.

National’s plan is to refill it at a rate of $200m a year for 30 years – and that will only get back to how much it had before the Christchurch quakes – ie. not enough.

So what happens if there’s another big one, or even a medium-size one before then – as is likely and as the Wellington quakes have reminded us is possible?

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From the Daily Blog

 

Cuckoo in the Nest: In the name of God, David Shearer, go! – Chris Trotter  writes,

At this difficult moment in its history, New Zealand cannot afford to lose Labour as a viable opposition party. If ours is to remain a substantive – and not merely a formal – democracy, the government of John Key needs to feel the restraining political influence of a credible alternative regime…

… This is telling, because no sooner was he elected, than Mr Shearer began building a strong and extensive network of media contacts. He would, for example, get together on nearly a weekly basis with the Radio Live politicos John Tamihere, Willie Jackson, Matt McCarten and Matthew Hooton at a fashionable Ponsonby bar. Backbenchers host, Wallace Chapman, was wooed, and even the Daily Blog editor, Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury, found himself on the list of media figures to be courted by the new member for Mt Albert. Mr Shearer also acquired a regular spot on the UNITEC radio station during which he interviewed everyone from the war correspondent, Jon Stephenson, to the author of this posting.

And these are only the names which have come to light in left-wing circles. There can be little doubt that Mr Shearer was courting significant right-wing media figures every bit as assiduously as he was winning friends and influencing people on the Left.

This is a damning critique of Labour leader, David Shearer. Along with constant media bombardments (especially from the likes of Paddy Gower and Duncan Garner), this is trench warfare before Going Over The Tops – next year’s general election.

If Shearer can survive the blistering onslaught he is currently facing, he may – just may – be ready to meet John Key mano-au-mano.

 

Peter Dunne For A Second There We Thought You Were For Real –  Burnt Out Teacher writes,

“I thought we were going to see courage from him; brave resistance in the face of the powerful thugs. I thought he’d go out with a fight, refusing to vote for this genuine travesty against human rights, and in doing so, win our respect and grudging adoration.

Oh, Peter… You aren’t doing any of that.”

This is simply another beautifully written piece by Burnt Out Teacher, with an impassioned look at Peter Dunne’s treacherous betrayal of the New Zealand public.

I have to admit – I held my breath as well, in hope that Dunne would be a principled player in this tragi-farce. Silly, silly me.

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Hone’s trial update –  Martyn Bradbury  writes,

The moment of ‘doh’ was the Police admitting that they had blocked Hone in with a Police van behind his car before arresting him for not moving his car.

If the judge is as fair as Martyn reports, then my money is on the case being thrown out of Court, and the Police admonished for wasting the Court’s time.

Honestly, this has to be the most farcical jack-up in the history of this country.

And Martyn reminds us Why you should march against the GCSB this Saturday if you are an environmentalist.

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TRAINSPOTTING: Disaster transportation – Julie Anne Genter  writes,

Arguing that we need to spend billions on a second highway in case of an earthquake is kinds of like arguing that every homeowner in Wellington should really have a second home in another, less-earthquake-prone, city.

As Julie points out, with more common sense than National ministers appear to possess collectively,

Of course, the analogy falls short here because the duplicate highway is actually still in Wellington, not somewhere less earthquake prone. It is highly questionable whether Transmission Gully would be less vulnerable to an earthquake that takes out the existing highway, as the route spans a number of active fault lines

When the Big One hits Wellington, we can kiss all roads goodbye. It’ll be the ports and maybe the airport that will be the city’s  lifeline.

Someone put Julie in charge of our transport system!
Is Chester Borrows defrauding the public? –  Frank Macskasy  writes,

When threatened with bad headlines or a scandal of some description, National’s automatic defense is to generally to default to one of three deflections;

Blame the previous Labour government
Release story on ‘welfare abuse’
Blame Global Financial Crisis or similar overseas event

Frank looks at Chester Borrow’s claims and finds that the Minister has been less than honest with the public.

 

Why you shouldn’t make Assumptions. Ever –  Latifa Daud  writes,

This proves my theory that in order for something to be ‘wheelchair friendly’, it needs to be approved by someone who is in a wheelchair. There is no way a person who is actually in a wheelchair, or has been in the past and knows exactly what provisions need to be in place, approved that stupidity. Any able-bodied person can say that its ok but at the end of the day, that’s a mere assumption and assumptions are never a guaranteed truth. It’s also incredibly patronising. Can I not speak for myself on the matter? And if it’s not up to standard, do you expect me to just deal with it at the expense of my safety just so you can earn a buck? But all that aside, shouldn’t it be obvious? Able-bodied or not, if the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking about wheelchair-accessibility is “a big step”, you really need to check yourself.

Some good, common sense points raised by Latifa – worth a read to gauin insight into another person’s world.

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It’s a boy! If only all beneficiary children were welcomed into the world with such joy eh? –  Martyn Bradbury  writes,

If the Herald headline was designed by google hits – ‘Royal baby swarm shakes Duchess’ x-factor’ would have been on the front page.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we valued children born here in New Zealand – instead of demonising solo-mothers for daring to exist.

Hah. Chance would be a fine thing.

 

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Blogpost of the Day

On Bowalley Road, Chris Trotter reminds us of  Utopian Dreams and Schemes, where New Zealand engaged in bold experimentation and social inititives that, today, would simply be unbelievable.

Read and learn what we have lost, and what we have become.

Somewhere along our road to the future, we left behind our soul…

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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

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Direct Action #4

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

Martin Luther King2

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~ Joe Blogger,  (Citizen # 405-776-901-50)

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

(This special edition of The Daily Blog Watch was brought to you by the letters g,c,s,b, and s,i,s, and by the muppet, John PinKeyo.)

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~oo~