The Daily Blog Watch Friday 26 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

Savant’s No Right Turn offers us,

Spying on journalists II – as New Zealand takes another step to fascism,

This is so far beyond the bounds of democratic acceptability that I just don’t know where to start. Quite apart from the inherent problems of spying on the communications of journalists – something which chills the media and makes their job of holding the government to account more difficult – Henry simply had no statutory authority to seek anything of the sort. Who the fuck does he think he is? Or does a (laughable) claim to be “protecting ‘national security'” now grant the informational equivalent of a licence to kill?

When governments start spying on journalist – for simply doing their job – that is when we should be worried. This tells us that our current government has no fear or hesitation in breaking the law or our privacy when it suits their purposes.

Politicians and “apathy” – whose fault is it really, that some of the public are turned of by politics?

And no responsibility – Key once again ducks for cover when it  comes to accountability – and spins another lie for good measure.

Nonexistent oversight – Savant writes,

If a senior state servant such as a Crown Entity board member joins the board of a political party, you’d expect their Minister to be informed of the conflict of interest and the measures which are being taken to manage it, right? Not if you work for Paula Bennett.

Robert Guyton sez he’s doing his  very best to start a movement on  Common Ground. Find out what he’s suggesting.

On Frankly Speaking, Frank points out David Cunliffes announcement that the Labour Govt will repeal GCSB Bill!! **Updated** It’s a rather startling comment from Cunliffe, and puts more pressure on National’s little lap-dog, Peter Dunne.

Also check out Frank’s Youtube vid, Dolphin trains human to perform.  Funny stuff!

Phillip on Whoar blogs on various issues, including  “..The rich get richer (and more powerful)..”

And The Jackal offers us Russel Norman on stopping the GCSB Bill – a Youtube vid from the Greens co-leader.

Meanwhile, Anne E on The Hand Mirror, suggests with a wry smile,  Off with their benefits

I have to admit to falling prey to despair in the face of the latest example of incredible idiocy from those in charge of what is ironically known as “welfare”. This month a blanket regime for “jobless” beneficiaries (including the ones already working extremely hard looking after people who have to be looked after) came into force.

Now we’re seeing exactly how stupid this regime is. Grandparents – especially grandmothers – who have stepped in to take care of children bereft of their parents’ care through death, illness or dereliction are being hounded to enrol in jobseeker courses, work out their “long-term career goals” and hunt for non-existent jobs. NO job could be more important or useful not just to their grandkids but to the rest of us as well, or save taxpayers more money, than the job they’re currently doing – and for which they have in many cases already sacrificed their own earnings and any prospect of retirement.

National is dredging rock bottom with this, penalising grand-parents who are already working their arses off to raise kids, at a time when they should be retiring…

If New Zealanders are ok with this, then indeed we’ve become a rather shitty little country of parochial, narrow minded fuck-wits. Only a Grade A1 arsehole could consider such a policy to be remotely sane.

On Open Parachute, the question is posed –  Are you qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell?

Loved this little story I picked up on Facebook. There’s a moral in it somewhere. Perhaps something to try on these God-botherers next time they come knocling on your door…

Just as funny are the comments left by Christian/Troll, Matthew…

Regarding opposition to the GCSB Bill, Imperator Fish asks What is the thrust of their argument,

I expect Mr Key will explain everything, if people will just give him a chance. Why would he do anything to harm the people of this country? He’s a good man, that Mr Key, and I should know, because I’m a pretty good judge of character. My instincts have rarely let me down, apart from that time when I put all my money into Ross Asset Management, but even that wasn’t necessarily a mistake. I know David Ross, and he continues to assure me that I’ll get my money back, and why would he lie to me?

There’s more from Scott… but it’s, um, a bit X-Rated.

On Frogblog,

Jan Logie writes about how the NBR Rich List highlights inequality,

It is hard to find reason to celebrate the latest NBR rich list while one quarter of all New Zealand children are living below the poverty line…

While we look to those who have achieved great wealth we are also brutally aware of families living in damp, cold houses and children are going to school without food or shoes.

Impatiently waiting for a real response to election inquiry – Holly Walker writes,

This week the Government released their formal response to the select committee inquiry into the last election.

I have to say I was pretty disappointed with what was released. Justice Minister Judith Collins has had the select committee report for three months, but rather than present anything substantive, the Minister has instead fobbed off making any real commitments.

On Bowalley Road, Chris Trotter – the Moral Shepherd of the Left – writes about Mr Jones Goes To Taranaki. And Chris’s assessment of Labour’s position on capitalism is both brutal and uncompromising.

Gordon Campbell on why the great filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has bought a fight with Japan’s new Prime Minister,

Everyone likes the new-ish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right? Why, his so called “Abe-nomics” promises to deliver Japan from two decades of economic malaise, by embracing the supply side prescriptions endorsed by right thinking folks within Washington and along the corridors of the Economist magazine. The “three arrows” of Abe reform reportedly consist of “monetary loosening, fiscal stimulus and pro-growth reforms.” Earlier this week, Abe and his LDP party won a stable majority in both houses of Japan’s parliament that will now enable him to enact his reform programme free of any meaningful constraints. Whoopee.

On the Auckland Transport Blog, Matt L promotes the upcoming  IPENZ talk on the Congestion Free Network. This is an alternative plan for a congestion free network in Auckland. And Cameron P is asking What Is Happening With Passes? regarding intergrated ticketing.

Patrick Reynolds makes Congestion Free Network Clarifications,

Our Congestion Free Network (CFN) proposal still seems to be the talk of the town, and media interest in the network continues to grow (keep an eye on Campbell Live next week). However, there do seem to be a few misunderstandings of what the network is and isn’t, what it will or won’t do, what it might or might not cost. This post looks to clear up a few of those misunderstandings…

On The Pundit, Andrew Geddis posits that Every end is a new beginning, and writes about Judith Collins promising to look at our electoral law. Including her proposal to ban Party rosettes on election day.

And this from National who screamed blue bloody murder at the Electoral Finance Act???? Ye Gods, spare me.

From The Standard, we have the following gems,

Dotcom developments – 

It’s no real surprise that the public trust Kim Dotcom more than John Key:

Public sides with Dotcom in poll

… At issue is whether the Prime Minister knew about Kim Dotcom before the raid on his Coatesville mansion in February last year.
John Key has always denied it, but Mr Dotcom says he has evidence to prove it.

A 3 News Reid Research poll asked the public who they believe; 52 percent said they believe Dotcom, while 34 percent believe Mr Key. The rest said they didn’t know or care.

Beneficiary bashing crocodile tears –  writes, 

The Nats have created a beneficiary bashing culture so rigid and so nasty that stuff like this happens:

Grandparent carers forced back to work

Grandparents who have spent years raising troubled grandchildren are being told to get back to work, sometimes just months from retirement. …

Some grandparents nearing retirement age have been required to attend job-training courses, where they are asked about what school they attended and what their long-term career goals were.

“This is forcing elderly people who are caring for traumatised kids back into work,” GRG chairwoman Diane Vivian said. “It is just appalling.”

Tale four – the Death of Philip McHardy. Killed 31 August 2011 – struck by a tree – Helen Kelly writes,

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. I haven’t been able to contact all the families of these men and hope if any of them read them, they are not surprised or upset to see the details set out like this.   You can find the first three blogs here and here and here.

Philip McHardy was killed while working in a pine plantation block in Overton Forest Winton on 31 August 2011.  He worked for Don Contracting and was working in a Southern Forest NZ Ltd managed forest.  Don Contracting employed 5 employees at the time.    Philip has worked for 18 months for the company.

How National plans to smash collective agreementsRachel Mackintosh, EPMU Director of Organising, writes,

I wrote recently about how the Government’s changes to our employment laws will empower bad employers and reduce Kiwis’ wages and conditions. Over the coming weeks I’m going to go through each of these changes to show how, in contrast to National’s spin, they’re not just technical and they’re certainly not ‘fair’ or ‘balanced’.

The first is what National calls the ‘removal of the duty to conclude’. This basically means the boss will be able to say ‘no’ to a collective agreement and force people onto individual agreements with less job security and lower pay and conditions. You can see why it’s also known as the ‘Ports of Auckland clause’…

GCSB Bill opposition heats up writes,

GCSB mask

I attended the Auckland stop the GCSB Bill meeting last night and I was really impressed.  The turnout was huge.  Mt Albert War Memorial Hall was packed and there was a large number of people outside the hall and in the foyer.

The speakers were very good.  The meeting was chaired by the erudite and witty former High Court Judge Ted Thomas.  Very interesting contributions were made by Dame Anne Salmond, Dr Rodney Harrison, Kim Dotcom himself and Thomas Beagle.  Each of their contributions deserve to be seen in full and you can see the video here.

Mickey also points out for conspiracy minded folk (pay attention Gower!!),

Conspiracy theorists are saying that he was undermining David Shearer who was in the hall at the time.  They are wrong.  David Cunliffe was at the hall early and was seated at the front of the room.  David Shearer arrived late and when I left was in the foyer at the back.  Clearly Cunliffe did not see Shearer.

Macskasy makes thesame point on his blogpost, David Cunliffes announcement that the Labour Govt will repeal GCSB Bill!! **Updated**

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From the Daily Blog

Video On Demand: Stop The GCSB Bill Public Meeting

GCSB - mtg flyer - 25 July 2013

If you weren’t able to make it to Mt Albert War Memorial Hall on Thursday night, you can still watch the entire discussion here on this page, on The Daily Blog.

Peter Dunne, for a second there, we totally thought you were for real –  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.

Bennett & Borrows – where are the jobs?!?! – Frank Macskasy  writes,

The last big quake hit Christchurch in February 2011 – two and a half years ago! In that time, what have National ministers been doing?  Surely they must have received advice from governmental departments; industry organisations; and other expert advisers, that an army of trained workers would be required in the coming years?

Clarke Gayford’s open letter to Nikki Kaye (why National strategists should worry) – Martyn Bradbury  writes,

Hi Nikki,
This is the first time I’ve written to an MP, my disposition to politics like so many kiwis is fairly apathetic – taking the stance – let’s let you guys represent us.

Interview with a Boffin: Is it possible to shut down the GCSB? – Chris Trotter  writes,

Let’s imagine that New Zealand has (somehow!) elected a radical Labour-Green-Mana government with aspirations even more dangerous than declaring nuclear freedom.

Why you should march against the GCSB this SaturdayMartyn Bradbury  writes,

1003011_10151714457019722_1606627855_n

The nonsense of the Urewera terror raids shows how easily those tasked with looking for monsters turn into monsters themselves.

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Blogpost of the Day

The Jackal posts an excellent piece on the rise of renting compared to income increases; Rent up, pay down. Some good analysis, and yet another indication that our standard of living is moving backward, not forward.

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Direct Action #1

27th July

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;

 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

30th July

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 #3

By 22 August

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.

 

Hat-tip: No Right Turn

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Thought for the Day

Leaving the Rich untouched

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~ Joe Blogger,

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

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~oo~