The Daily Blog Watch – 9/10 February 2014



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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

A prize goes to Phillip Ure on Whoar,  for his unfeasibly long blogpost titles,  “..How Lapdog Journalism – Led to the Financial Crisis..” (+ comment:..and how our business-media of the time..(many/most still there..pontificating/neo-lib apologising away)..both sucked and blew..)

Philip blasts the media surrounding their action when it came to the 2008 GFC,  ” when they dutifully reprinted the absolute horse-shit/bullshit from treasury”… Phillip’s posts are short, but always to the point.

Robert Guyton reports on Ben Wilson on MMP – another apostate from the New Right rejoins the Human Race!

Julie on The Hand Mirror states I believe Dylan Farrow,

“Almost every time I am going to believe the victim rather than accused, when it comes to matters of rape, sexual abuse, abuse of power, and the like.  I think it’s important to redress the massive power imbalance in these cases by giving more weight to the voice, the story, the experiences of the victim.  I believe Louise Nicholas too.”

A debate on flouridation on The Daily Blog is reaching thermonuclear-critical proportions, as John Minto pens a piece, adamant that  The science is not “settled” on the benefits of fluoridation of water supplies. Over 300 messages posted.

Reading the comments, one is left with the inescacapable conclusion that this is not a contest of ideas – it is a battle of attrition. Which side will wear out first? And are there enough pixels on the interwebby to keep it going?

TDB Recommends

This will send TDB’s blog-rating through the stratosphere!

What do you get when you cross climate change with a cute kitten photo? This, from  Hot Topic hiatus, or paws for thought? Awwww…

On Open Parachute, there is a pic that is, really, really cool:  Curiosity sees a familiar “evening star.” Like, really cool!

Frank Macskasy does some more of his Frankly Speaking, when he points out how Google takes a subtle (?) swipe at Russian homophobia and wonders out loud, NZ Herald – self censors?

“Not reporting the news raises the spectre of self-censorship. But more important – what else is the NZ Herald withholding from the public? What else have editors, managers, Board Directors, etc, decided that we should not see?  Are we children, to be spared the hurt of something that might possibly upset us?!”

Staying on this issue, Idiot Savant on No Right Turn also made this scathing point about The racist Herald,

“But there’s another issue here. The Herald purports to be our “newspaper of record”, and yet it has taken an editorial decision to erase one side of our national debate about who we are as a country completely from the conversation. That’s deeply troubling for our democracy and a failure of their duty as a media organisation.”

Describing A very British injustice,  Savant looks at describes the jailing of a police officer as “over-kill”. Read his blogpost and find out why. Chilling stuff.

Gordon Campbell does some seriously outstanding analysis on Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, and specificially,   Obama’s domestic problems with the TPP;

“Meanwhile, the misgivings voiced earlier this week in New Zealand have been echoed by this recent report from the Economic Policy Institute think tank on the TPP and its likely negative impacts on jobs, wages and manufacturing – and on the trade deficit as well. The EPI found that since deals such as the TPP tend to see import-competing jobs displaced by export – related jobs (which tend to pay less) the result tends to be that wages become further depressed and inequality increases…”

It’s a pity that the msm doesn’t focus on issues like this, instead of buying into distractions to do with women MP’s clothing and discussing what pretty colours and patterns we should have on a flag. What are the chances? Pretty much stuff all, I’d say.

And speaking of Metiria Turei’s clothing (Warning, warning, Will Robinson! Political Distraction approaching!!), Liberation’s Bryce Edwards presents the Top tweets about Metiria Turei’s clothes and racism

The best ones were,

BK Drinkwater ‏@BKDrinkwater You know who else grew up working class and wears expensive clothes? The Prime Minister.  

Dave Armstrong ‏@malosilima Breaking news: Anne Tolley spotted Children’s Commissioner eating a mallowpuff so please disregard all his statements on child poverty.

Ali Ikram ‏@AliIkram This election will be a contest of ideas, and jackets.

Philip Matthews ‏@secondzeit Green MP spends $137,000 on a house. Nat MP spends $1500 to hire a SUV for just one day. Which one is “out of touch”?

No other problems or crises existed in New Zealand at this point in time.

On another humourous note, Andrew Geddis on The Pundit investigates the New Zealand Cricket’s latest drinking scandal. “Neknominate”??

And funnier even still is Danyl on The Dim Post, positing a Scenario,

“Obviously that changes if National gives an electorate seat to Colin Craig and he pulls in ~2.5%. Then we see the very sane, sensible National-Colin Craig-Winston Peters-ACT-United Future-Maori Party coalition running things.”

I guess Key’s six-headed hydra-monster trumps Cunliffe’s three-headed hydra monster?

In Right wing blogger makes fool of herself,  Mike Treen on The Daily Blog rips right-wing blogger, Lindsay Mitchell, to bits for her cavalier mis-use of statistical data. Read the relevant blogposts and see how the Rightwing attempt to manipulate information in a most Orwellian way.

Any blogpost that features Humphrey Bogart – perhaps the coolest cat Hollywood ever produced – is a must-read. Chris Trotter’s piece on Bowalley Road delivers More Than The Usual Suspects, as he delivers an extraordinary piece on veteran Parliamentarian, Winston Peters,

“The journalist who attempted to argue that most political leaders actually strive to be honest; that political parties frequently cleave to principle even though it costs them votes; and that the majority of politicians are good people doing their best to make the world a better place; would be laughed out of the Press Gallery.

This prevailing disposition towards professional cynicism is dangerously corrosive, not only of good journalism but also of the entire political process. If politics is presented as a dirty business, with which no respectable person would seek the slightest association, then we should not be surprised when it starts attracting the very sort of people our journalists describe, doing exactly the sort of things they decry.”

Check out Catherine Delahunty writing about The strength of Waitangi Day on Frogblog,

“Waitangi commemoration and developing a sense of nationhood don’t happen without challenges and dissent.

The strength of Waitangi Day is the opportunity we have to hold the politicians to account for their authority and performance in relation to Te Tiriti.

I love going to Waitangi each year because it’s a beautiful place of contested history and it’s a traditional site of dialogue, challenge and negotiation. Te Tii Marae this year welcomed the deep sea oil hikoi onto their marae atea first and the Prime Minister had to wait for his powhiri. This is appropriate because Ngapuhi and their protocols are in charge on this ground, not the Crown timelines.”

Luke C at the  Transport Blog is adamant that More bus lanes required and pans Auckland Transport “caught up in a bureaucracy where engineers interested in moving vehicles not people have the final say“. Luke offers a solution,

“So to help Auckland Transport along we thought it would be great if people suggest little areas where cheap and easy bus lanes could make a noticeable difference to their journey. Many of the existing lanes seem to have short gaps that delay buses unnecessarily, and of course many major frequent routes have no priority whatsoever. We have a few ideas up our sleeve but will let readers have a say first, and then can have a more detailed looks at some of the best areas for improvement.”

And finishing of with The Standard, there’s much to read, as Lprent’s stable of fine writers have been busy little bloggers,

I picked up on this via a tweet doing the rounds this morning, originating with one from Glenn Greenwald.   The focus is a slideshow leaked by Edward Snowden used for a top secret spy conference in 2012. The tweet claims this indicates implicates involvement of all the 5 Eyes branches, meaning it includes the GCSB.

While the techniques of cyber warfare were particularly used against the group anonymous, the use of blogs for circulation of (mis)information could be used against any online group/blog

More on this important on The Daily Blog; The Snowden NZ leaks – why we need to pull out of the 5 eyes, by Martyn Bradbury

After David Cunliffe’s state of the nation speech at the end of January, the spotlight was, appropriately, on the big policy announcement he made: the Best Start package for Kiwi kids.  (It wasn’t the friendliest spotlight, unfortunately.)

But there was a sentence at the end which hasn’t had a lot of pickup, and which could – I hope – point at a truly revolutionary policy on the horizon.

So John Key went to Aussie and managed to secure a significant concession by the Australian Government.  Apparently now kiwis who have emigrated and lived in Australia for a sufficient period of time will be eligible for student loans.

Another Bogart hat-tip! This is a Good Day to Blog!

Herald columnist Damien Grant has really outdone himself with his latest column.  He think that people convicted of beneficiary fraud should be treated more severely than tax cheats.

Why?  I am not sure.  His column is rather brief at less than 350 words but basically I think he is saying that the rich are good people and the poor should be despised so a difference in treatment is justified.

The internet is a strange place full of the most ingenious yet worthless developments.  One of these is a recent release which allows you to install a chrome extension that will then replace pictures of Tony Abbott on web pages with pictures of cute kittens.

The NZ Herald has a long history of opposing Maori resistance to the theft of their lands and suppression of their culture.  It began in 1863 with a policy to oppose Maori resistance to British occupation and colonisation.  Yesterday the NZ Herald hardcopy used a white supremacist symbol to announce it wouldn’t be reporting on protests on Waitangi Day.

Geoff Bertram will analyse prospects for the proposed single-buyer model for electricity on Tuesday 11 February in Wellington. Bertram has previously set out his views on excessive power prices rise for consumers to the Fabian Society and elsewhere.  They are also covered in his chapter in the book Electricity Market Reform: an international perspective presented to an international forum in Germany last year.

This prompted the Government’s Electricity Authority to produce a report last week attacking Bertram’s analysis. Yesterday at a press conference the Authority’s Chief Executive Carl Hansen went further and resorted to a very personal attack on Geoff Bertram

John Key wants to be “transparent” about which persons or parties he will want to give the nod and wink to before this year’s election, but not yet. This emerged after close questioning from senior journalists at his press conference last Monday. It will all depend on National’s extensive polling, as he will want to shorten the odds before he comes clear near the election.

John Armstrong summarises the issues well in Saturday’s Herald. Coming clear is perhaps not quite the right way to put it – in an article headlined “Rotten smell arising from one-seat threshold”, Armstrong focuses on National’s refusal to implement the Electoral Commission’s advice on removing the one-seat threshold for allowing additional MPs into Parliament.


Surprisingly Intelligent Right-wing Blogpost of the Day

Ele Ludemann on Home Paddock looks at Australian supermarkets advocating Buy local here but not there, and arrives at the inescapable (and completely predictable) conclusion that free trade agreements (such as CER) bind governments but not private companies So really,  despite CER, the NZ-China FTA, TPPA, etc, there is nothing to force corporations to “play fair”.

Only governments are bound by FTAs.

Something that TPPA critics have been at pains to point out since Day One.

Nice to see this finally dawning on  some on the Right. There is hope for them yet. (Except Cameron Slater. The Devil plays ‘keepsies’ for his soul.)


Blogpost of the Day

The Standard’s Lprent, lamenting the glorious waste of money for the titillation of perverts,

As a ratepayer, I’m quite irritated that Len Brown was taking free rooms from SkyCity at the same time that he was also working with them on the proposed white elephant conference centre. This was to be paid for by further bilking addicted gamblers. That is an incredible cost to Auckland over the long term to get something of little value. Knowing that the same organisation to benefit from this could have been also trying to influence the process with gifts is why the gift register was set up.

But quite how this got into the expensive frame of reference for the auditors is a question that ratepayers need to ask of the councillors. From an outside view of it especially the jump from the estimated bill of about $100,000 to the final bill of about $250,000, it appears that the audit wasn’t properly scoped by the council.


MIA Bloggers

The Civilian – last posted 13 January! Has Colin Craig’s vengeful god finally smited the young Ben Uffindell? And is “smited”  really a word?

Ben – come back. Colin Craig really does love you! (But not in that way.)

Mars2earth – nothing posted since November 1, 2013! Have Cameron Slater’s Terminator-bots found their target, blasting Marty with their foul, rotting whaleoil-bombs?

Or was Slater’s breath enough to do the job and finish off poor Marty?

Also nothing heard from Socialist Aotearoa since 22 December last year, when they did a piece on THE DIRTY ROTTEN FILTHY SCAB. Let’s hope that rumours that SA have been bought out by Stephen Tindall, planning to re-boot the website  into an online, socialist  version of The Warehouse – “where everyone gets a revolution” – are grossly false. 

Also still missing; The Jackal, and Brian Edwards Media, and Fearfactsexposed


Thought for the Day

The trouble with capitalism is that you run out of moneyThere. Fixed it.


~ Joe Blogger,

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