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
Phillip Ure on Whoar reports that the “..NSA can reportedly track cellphones – even when they’re turned off..”.
Didn’t the US fight a Cold War against the Soviet Union to resist this kind of State surveillance?? Sorry, wrong Parallel Universe.
Google turns to the dark side, writes Savant on No Right Turn and asks, “if Google’s motto is “don’t be evil”. So why are they supporting US climate change deniers“? Supporting climate-change-denying, quasi-fascist, US Republicans is about as Doing Evil as Doing Evil can get… Pass the holy water, crucifix, and stake, please.
Savant asks how Weak are the safeguards that Dunne “negotiated” with Key over the GCSB Bill. Very weak according to critics of the Bill.
An interesting infographic from The Jackal, calling to Stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry. More than one wise person has said that the future lies in renewable energy sources – not the fossil fuel industry. So who the hell expects backward-looking Tories to listen??
On Frankly Speaking, Frank apologises To Ohariu Voters who he has wronged…
Fightback considers how this Government is expanding surveillance powers, and Byron writes,
That the bill will erode the right to privacy is almost a given, of greater concern is that there is little recourse when remaining privacy rights are stepped on. When questioned by Radio New Zealand following the revelation of British and American surveillance programmes by whistleblower Edward Snowden, Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff said the commission does not have specific jurisdiction to monitor the GCSB. At that time she also stated it was not clear how the American programme PRISM might affect New Zealanders. It has since come to light, via Snowdens leaked documents, that the GCSB shared information with the American National Security Agency (NSA).
Also, read Gordon Campbell on Peter Dunne’s illusory gains on the GCSB Bill – another excellent report on this issue. Gordon writes about the weak oversights that Dunne has supposedly “won”,
Regardless, Dunne seems content with ensuring an inquiry occurs afterwards about how the GCSB has been using its new powers to spy on all of us. Keep in mind that such an inquiry would not, of course, be able to inquire into any operational secrets about how and when and on whom and for whom the GCSB has been doing its actual spying. As an oversight mechanism, this inquiry will necessarily be of the “eyes wide shut” variety.
Peter Dunne – a politician who has sold his soul.
I liked Chris Trotter’s piece, Utopian Dreams and Schemes, on Bowalley Road, so much that I’m commenting on it again. Chris brings a strong sense of nostalgia, as he writes about the Way We Used To Be… [cue theme song; Memories],
Just try to imagine this. A New Zealand government which announces a scheme designed to, among other things: “assist people in becoming self-sufficient from the land”; “give people a chance to develop alternative social models”; “promote the virtues of a simpler life”; and “provide a place of healing for participants as well as for society as a whole”. Impossible? No – it happened!
We were once such a visionary country… Roger Douglas (and those misguided fools who supported him and his ilk) killed that.
If you haven’t already, check out Neil’s post on FearfactsExposed, his revealing Fairfax bans reporters from covering inequality – a brilliant piece of citizen’s journalism.
Imperator Fish’s Scott Yorke offers some excellent suggestions as to who can fill the now-vacant role of David Shearer’s new chief of staff. Incredibly funny. And yet…
(My vote is for Will Riker.)
For science-buffs – exciting news! Open Parachute reports that A new Cosmos series is in the works,
This was the series made famous by the late-Carl Sagan in the late 1970s, and famous for mixing science; music; spectacular visual effects; and philosophy. If this new series is half as good as Carl Sagan’s – it’ll be Must See TV!
Danyl on The Dim Post writes about More noise, regarding political polling; Labour’s poor showing; and other matters relating to the Party leadership. If Shearer survives all the negative publicity – this will be his “baptism of fire” leading up to the General Election. By which time he may well throw a “hit me with your best shot, sunshine” at Key…
Socialist Aotearoa reviews a document on Wikileaks and Julian Assange; We Steal Secrets – A timely call to arms,
Alex Gibney’s recent documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, currently playing at the New Zealand International Film Festival, is one of the most relevant documentaries of the year. The film is essentially a split narrative combining the tragic tale of Bradley Manning, with the hubris laden tale of Julian Assange as his own ego became intertwined with the powerful organisation that he was the self appointed face of.
On the Auckland Transort blog, Stu Donovan has Not so happy feet, as he writes about the peril of walking around Auckland – complete with pictures and aerial maps. It’s actually a far more interesting story than this brief description allows. Check it out and gain insight. This is citizen journalism at it’s best.
On Robert Guyton, there is a very simple blogpost that consists of a brief title – willing seller, willing buyer – and a single image.
Such is Peter Dunne.
From The Standard tonight…
So what was Dunne’s price? – writes,
Peter Dunne used to be opposed to the GCSB spying on New Zealanders:
The GCSB should not spy on New Zealanders ”under any circumstances”, Dunne said.
Such comments were widely reported, e.g. by RNZ:
Mr Dunne says the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) should not be able to spy on New Zealanders, even on behalf of police or the Security Intelligence Service.
Dunne’s claims were specific, definite, and completely meaningless, because he is now going to vote for the GCSB to be able to spy on New Zealanders. Peter Dunne has made himself a hypocrite and a liar. His behaviour is getting the savaging it deserves.
Key fails first home buyers – writes,
Yesterday, Key was wringing his hands, saying that the Reserve bank is likely to bring in loan to value ratio requirements without an exception for first home buyers but claiming that first home buyers were still his priority. If that were true, he would have done his part to tackle the real problems in the housing market: speculators, foreign buyers, and lack of affordable home building.
It’s all quite easy. The opposition parties have been talking about it for years (although the media coverage seems to be conveniently blind to that fact)…
There’s a New blog – Anton Oliver,
THE GUTTING OF THE RMA … THE HEART OF KIWI VALUES: BY ANTON OLIVER
In 1991, when the Resource Management Act (RMA) was passed, it was a means of providing at least some environmental and social integrity to development and planning processes. It gave all New Zealanders – not just those wealthy enough to afford lawyers – a chance to be heard and most significantly it facilitated decentralised decision making: local decisions made by local people.
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.
Except he’s changed his mind now. As Key said in 2011,
“I don’t see a place for a Winston Peters-led New Zealand First in a government that I lead.”
GCSB protest – Auckland tomorrow – writes,
To say that the GCSB law changes are misguided is the kindest possible interpretation, but many people including myself tend to view them as being quite malevolent. They aren’t going to provide any more security for citizens and residents here. But they are going to provide more security for incompetents in the security and police forces from both public and legal scrutiny.
If they pass in parliament (the select committee reports back on the 26th), then they will pass with the narrowest of majorities. The public figleaf and whatever grotty hidden deal Peter Dunne carved out for himself (to no-one’s surprise except possibly to his increasingly erratic self), are meaningless in terms of the intent of this bill because it is simply a bad bill. The range of people who are opposed to this particularly bad and obscenely hurried legislation speaks for itself.
From the Daily Blog
Peter Dunne, for a second there, we totally thought you were for real – By Burnt Out Teacher writes,
We thought, Peter Dunne, you’re our unlikely hero. All it would have taken to stop it, to slow it down, would have been you, Peter Dunne.
But this bow-tie of a man has turned out to be ornamental after all.
Peter Dunne has sold NZ out to Big Brother – this will be a genuinely dark day in New Zealand’s history – Martyn Bradbury writes,
We have spilled blood on foreign shores to fight world wars to stop Governments having this level of control over their citizens, and yet we’ve handed it over to a man who has appealed to our charmless anti-intellectual little brother complex by slurring “I’m comfortable with that’ every time his Government bluntly prunes away our civil liberties.
Do We Need JSOL Classes So Our Democracy Can Function? – Aaron Hawkins writes,
Everyone deserves to have an equal say in how our community is governed, but it is the responsibility of the governors to open up the discussion to as many citizens as are interested, rather than as many as they deem qualified.
Detroit – neo-liberalism’s “Grand Success” – Frank Macskasy writes
America’s grand experiment in neo-liberal capitalism has claimed it’s third bloody sacrifice; Detroit
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.
Dutch Lessons For New Zealand Labour – Matt Robson writes,
It is not the politics of compromise that Labour needs to adopt but the politics of refusing to be enmeshed in coalition alliances which corrupt the basis of being able to govern in the interests of the many and not the few.
Welfare dependency and affordable housing – John Minto writes,
Today’s Mana announcement is to extend our housing policy to all New Zealanders and in the context of the Mayoral campaign to look particularly at what Minto for Mayor would do for the people of Auckland where a housing affordability crisis is in full swing.
Why you should march against the GCSB this Saturday if you are Maori – Martyn Bradbury writes,
The nonsense of the Urewera terror raids shows how easily those tasked with looking for monsters turn into monsters themselves.
Oh my dear beloved New Zealand, what hath the foolish and selfish wraught upon thee…?
Blogpost of the Day
This is gold.
No, I mean it. Gold. Solid, 24-carat, super-nova formed, G-O-L-D.
It’s not often that a left-wing blogger can point to a National Party sycophant and say, I FUCKEN WELL TOLD YOU SO,YOU DUMB BUGGER!!!
But QoT on Ideologically Impure has called it; Oh look, Diane Vivian: Paula Bennett DID come for you!!!
It seems that Bennett has turned on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren…
Oh dear. Especially after it’s chairperson, Diane Vivian, was so supportive of Reichminister Fraulein Bennett in a spot of bene-bashing…
Oh dear. How sad. Never-The-Fuck-Mind.
Direct Action #1
Protesting the GCSB + TICS Bills
Public · By Stop the GCSB Bill
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;
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
Direct Action #3
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;
Direct Action #4
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
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
Thought for the Day
~ Joe Blogger,
“The Daily Blog Watch” Editor, Imbiber of Fine Sugary Drinks, & moa tail-docker
Remember: The State is Watching and Listening!
Loose Lips Sink Revolutions!