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The Daily Blog Watch Monday 29 July

By   /  July 30, 2013  /  Comments Off on The Daily Blog Watch Monday 29 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

The Jackal has covered several issues in the last few days,

Housing ban doesn’t breach trade agreements – Jackal shows up ex-ACT and National MP, Stephen Frank’s argument that banning house sales to Chinese buyers would contravene the 2008 FTA with China.

Jackal shows why this is, (a) garbage (b) Franks is a prize ignoramus who  willfully misled the public. And why didn’t the media disclose Frank’s political background in the relevant news story?

Sloppy journalism at best.

Greg Shuttleworth – Asshole of the Week – Shuttleworth is the prize racist moron who abused an immigrant taxi driver and his foul-mouthed insults were caught on tape.

Personally, I’d far prefer to have immigrants living next door to me than retarded racist freaks who obviously were not raised in good homes.

Charter schools fail Jackal reports that Labour will scrap National’s Charter Schools programme,

On the back of bold policy concerning housing affordability, Labour has announced today:

Labour will repeal the legislation allowing the creation of charter schools immediately upon becoming government, Labour Leader David Shearer said today.

Labour is going to be mightily busy undoing much of National’s shitty legislation. Perhaps they’ll need an extra year in office to accomplish their legislative agenda? What was that Key was saying about extending the Parliamentary term from three to four years??

And in  Hazing the statistics, The Jackal looks further into Labour’s housing policy and points out,

Finance Minister Bill English said he did not believe the policy would make a difference to the housing market.

Clearly it will make a difference; otherwise there wouldn’t be such a concerted effort by the right wing to denigrate the policy.

From The Civilian today, we have,

David Shearer tells Pakistani taxi driver that he can’t buy home –  Labour leader David Shearer is being spoken to by police this evening after telling a Pakistani taxi driver that he didn’t belong in this country and that he could not legally buy a home. Tariq Humayun, who came to New Zealand from Peshawar, Pakistan in 2002…

Concern after future monarch revealed to be useless infant who won’t stop crying –  Almost a week following the birth of Prince George of Cambridge, Royal observers have noted with some concern that the future British monarch has spent most of his time sleeping, crying, suckling his mother’s breast or defecating himself, with little to no time dedicated to understanding the needs of the realms over which he will one day reign.

Prince George, 6 days, had long been anticipated to herald the start of a new golden era for the British monarchy.

But so far he has yet to demonstrate any leadership potential, or much of anything else.

Open Parachute continues it’s reasoned analysis of the flouride issue by asking,  Water treatment chemicals – why pick on fluoride? It’s a well-considered argument and worth a read by those with an open mind.

In Right Thinking: Treason!  Scott on Imperator Fish offers a brilliant monologue by a typical Right Wing Nut Job expert of spying matters,

Because you dared to ask searching questions of our security forces, we are now all in terrible danger. Laws now have to be passed to fix things that had been allowed to slide. People all around the country are now angry at the brave men and women protecting us from evildoers. Some folk are even starting to wonder whether their prime minister is on their side. God help us all if this should lead to a change of government, because a Labour-Greens coalition would make Stalinist Russia seem like a pleasant dream.

And all because you journalists thought you would start asking tricky questions. If this sort of behaviour isn’t treason, then I don’t know what is.

I don’t know how Scott got into the mindset of a typical rightwing screwball, but he’s done a brilliant job of it.

Julie on The Hand Mirror gives us a  Grrrrrrr! moment. Read what’s pissing her off.

Gareth on Hot Topic explains why the  Arctic sea ice is a time bomb ticking and the bang’s gonna be huge,

Ballantyne’s findings suggest that much of the surface warming likely was due to ice-free conditions in the Arctic. That finding matches estimates of land temperatures in the Arctic during the same time. This suggests that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations of 400 ppm may be sufficient to greatly reduce the spatial extent and seasonal persistence of Arctic sea ice.

In other words, losing Arctic sea ice brings huge warming to the lands around the Arctic Ocean. This is extremely bad news for a number of reasons:

On Frogblog, we have the following offerings from the Greens;

NBR Rich List highlights inequality – Jan Logie writes,

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.

Indeed. And the tragedy is how much New Zealand society has changed that this is considered acceptable.

How long is a piece of string? RAMSI, New Zealand, and posterity Kennedy Graham writes about the the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands. His observations, thoughts, and conclusion are not part of any MSM discourse – but it’s the best explanation yet what has been going on in the Solomon Islands, and how the U.N. has contributed to peace-keeping efforts.

Research supports organic farming solution to pesticide residues – Steffan Browning writes a short, concise blogpost on why organic farming is preferable to using pesticides. The rationale is mind-boggling in simplicity.

Mr Jones Goes To Taranaki, sez Chris Trotter on Bowalley Road, and makes a pertinent observation,

Labour makes capitalism work not in the interests of capitalists – but for the sake of their victims.

On the Auckland Transport Blog, Matt L explains why The Great North-Western Parking Lot to get busier;

Once again when it comes to building an infrastructure project it is the public transport priority that is the first to suffer.

Government road-builders stand accused of undermining Auckland’s public transport effort by closing bus priority lanes for the Transport Agency’s $220 million upgrade of the Northwestern Motorway causeway.

Bus passengers complaining of delays between Pt Chevalier and Te Atatu are in for 2 years of misery while shoulder lanes on both sides of the motorway are closed for its marine causeway to be raised and widened.

As Matt rightly points out, “It seems it is sacrilege to even consider closing a vehicle lane yet if there is bus priority, it is the first to get the chop“.

Gordon Campbell on the Defence Force’s paranoia about journalism points out the obvious,

If the thousands of people who marched on the weekend against the GCSB Bill wanted further justification for their concerns, the Defence Force has just provided it with bells on. The mindset that treats journalists as being threats to security on a par with foreign hostiles, activist groups, criminal hackers and dishonest staff is an excellent illustration of why the surveillance powers bestowed by the Bill are so dangerous. A Defence Force that treats the normal querying of the status quo by the Fourth Estate as being essentially treasonous in nature, has gone off the reservation, and is out of control. Give it the power to do so, and such an organisation will readily use the surveillance powers in the GCSB Bill to substantiate its persecution complex…

QoT is still taking a break on Ideologically Impure, but has still found time to offer us some  Random recommended reading

Redline looks at  The Korean War: what really happened? and presents a piece of more fairly-balanced history.

Andrew Geddis on The Pundit writes  Morale was deteriorating and it was all Yossarian’s fault. Then Andrew takes a well-aimed kick up some NZDF backsides at their incredible policy of treating journalists as “subversives”.

It is the supreme height of irony that the NZDF is active in Afghanistan to promote democracy – whilst at the same time trying to subvert it here in New Zealand. Truly, we have crossed over into the Twilight Zone.

The Dim Post has an excellent range of issues under the microscope.

Buzz buzz – Danyl looks at Labour’s new housing policy, and points out,

I do know that any time a political party in New Zealand wants to boost its position in the polls it’s always by legislating against someone. In the National Party under Brash it was Maori, under Key its beneficiaries, and now Shearer’s ‘cracking down’ on foreign property investors – a less vulnerable group than solo mums, sure – but its still a depressing trend.

Will the GCSB spy on Rachel Smalley? – and if so, will they be positioning cameras in strategic places around her home?!  Danyl looks at the New Zealand Defence Force security manual that has branded all journalists and the media in general as “subversives”…

… hang on, didn’t we fight a Cold War in defence of freedom – including press freedom???

Anyway, Smalley asked that question, positing the wankerish cliche that if she’s done nothing wrong, blah, blah, spew, blah…

And then we discover that the media have been covertly monitoring of Jon Stephenson’s phone calls in Afghanistan. Did Stephenson do anything wrong?

Not a damn thing.

Does that answer your question, Rachel? By the way, I’d start showering in the dark if I were you. No telling where those GCSB cameras will be positioned, if you get my drift…

Try winning the race by running faster – Danyl dismisses calls by NZ Herald “pundits” John Armstrong and Fran O’Sullivan to “move to the center” and “cost up to business leaders”. Basically, Armstrong and O’Sullivan are mischief-making, bullshitting, con-artists who are cheer-leading for the Nats.

Following their suggestions is like sheep following a sheep-dog’s suggestion to walk up the ramp into the stock-truck. The one with ‘ACME MEATWORKS’ emblazoned on the side-panels.

On Public Address, Judith Fursdon discusses Good Counsel and looks at the government cutting funding (what, again??) for mental health programmes. We’ve been down this road before, I believe…

 Meanwhile, on The Standard, we have;

The worst advice in the world

NZ Herald columnist and National Party sympathisers,  John Armstrong and Fran O’Sullivan, recently offered “advice” to David Shearer. As Eddie points out,

Look, if taking an incoherent grab bag of left and rightwing policies and calling it centrism was a recipe for electoral success then there would be successful centre parties around the world. There aren’t. Our centrist ‘party’ is Peter Dunne, the most pathetic man on Earth. He’s also someone who likes to pick a fight with the Greens by adopting strange rightwing positions. Why would anyone in their right mind listen to advice that amounts to ‘do what Peter Dunne does?

writes about the The Auckland Protest and posts some great photos.

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear? writes,

For democracy to thrive, there needs to be open and accessible arenas where government, politics and all related issues can be openly debated and critiqued without interference from state or commercial interests.  It particularly needs a robust “fourth estate”, academic independence and means by which all citizens can protest and campaign against government activities that they perceive to be against their interests.

Key explains the need to spy on us all writes,

One of the many criticisms of John Key’s spying Bill — to enable further GCSB spying on us all — is that it isn’t needed. It’s a disproportionate response to a non-existant threat, or worse, a sell out to America using “threat” as a cover story.

Well rest easy citizens consumers, because PM Key has laid those fears to rest. Here he is, in his own words, explaining why this violation of our basic human rights is absolutely necessary…

Journos need to get serious on spy Bill writes,

We know now that the Army spied on a New Zealand journalist while trying to find his sources exposing actions the Army wanted kept quiet. They got their spy data from the Yanks. We also know that Key’s man tried to get Andrea Vance’s phone records for his inquiry into the GCSB report leak (he failed on that but did get her swipe card records)

Karol writes that Democracy needs public service (Freeview)TV

There clearly is space on Freeview for a public service channel: something necessary to help build democracy in NZ.  [I was tempted to say “revive democracy”, but wonder if NZ has every really been fully democratic.]

Politically aligned or misinformed writes,

On Thursday last week hundreds attended a public meeting in Mt Albert, and on Saturday thousands of people marched in 11 centers all round NZ to protest against John Key’s spying Bill. More marches are planned, and the next ones (with more time to organise) will probably be bigger. Key’s response?

John Key said protesters were either politically aligned or “misinformed”…

That’s a very arrogant way to dismiss thousands of New Zealanders.

Someone should ask our PM which category Dame Anne Salmond falls in to. Dame Salmond – as if anyone needs reminding – is a distinguished Professor, noted historian and author, and New Zealander of the Year. She addressed the public meeting in Auckland. Is she politically aligned or is she misinformed?

Xenophobia – a Nat guide

Labour’s new housing policy – Shearer on Q+A – writes,

David Shearer on Q+A just set out new Labour policy on housing. I haven’t found a write-up yet, but from what I can gather:

• there will be restrictions on non New Zealanders buying houses in NZ
• Australians will be exempt (because of reciprocal arrangements there)

Like the NZ Power plan, this policy will bring a chorus of screams from the Nats and their Big Business cronies. Wait for it, wait for it…

And finally, read Karol’s excellent deconstruction of Patrick Gower’s reporting on Labour’s housing issue,  Jonolism or Journalism?

And Gower as authority in Parliament, bookends the video the way it began, framing Labour’s policy in John Key’s terms as “desperation” and racist – albeit with a weak attempt at balance saying the housing issue is a weak area for Key. Gower labels the tactic as “dog whistle” politics. But this is just a circular argument, because it is Key and Gower that are whistling loudly for the dog of public opinion.

A brilliant assessment and one that puts Gower’s second-rate journo “skills” into sharp contrast.

 

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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.

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Blogpost of the Day

On Fightback, Ian Anderson sez that the  Racist “Pakeha Party” ignores history,

A Facebook page for “The Pakeha Party” caused a stir in early July, quickly gaining more ‘likes’ than any other political party in New Zealand. While the founder, David Ruck, admitted that the idea was initially a joke between friends, the torrent of interest has resulted in an attempt to build a real political party based on rhetoric of ‘equal rights’ for all New Zealanders. The Pakeha Party illustrates the profound ignorance of history within our society, as well as an underbelly of racism which have both  been emerging more frequently during the economic recession. While many have, quite rightly, pointed out that David Ruck is a complete buffoon, the popularity of his bigoted ‘joke’ highlights a dangerous ideological tendency…

Read more on this excellent analysis of racism and underlying causes in this country.

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Direct Actions

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;

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

GCSB - spies - John Key - surveillance state - 1984

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~ Joe Blogger,

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

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~oo~

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