The Daily Blog Watch – 12/13 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

Matt L on the Transport Blog looks at the Photo of the day – Royal Hotel

“We learnt today that one of the city’s long standing holes will finally be filled in. Many people (including myself) have never known it any other way but it hasn’t always been a carpark. The building that used to be on the site – the Royal International Hotel – was demolished in the 1987 just one month before the stock market crash. There were plans at the time for a 32 storey tower.  I can’t find anything from just before it was demolished but here’s what the building that occupied the site used to look like in 1905…”

The vandalism that was done by “developers” such as the ill-fated Chase Corporation remain with us to this day. So many beautiful buildings were destroyed in the 1980s, until the 1987 share-market crash put an end to the madness.

The Alliance Blog says,  Sorry Mr Farrar, We Disagree

“Pay rates should primarily be determined by demand and supply – not by legislation, so says prominent blogger David Farrar. This is why he objects to the Employment Court ruling that aged care workers are entitled to equal pay.

It is a point of view that does not sit well with the Alliance Party. Our commitment to the common good means that we believe that everyone is entitled to a liveable income no matter what. In any case for aged care workers, and many other occupations, the supply and demand ship has long since sailed…”

Perhaps Mr Farrar might feel differently if he was paid $14.60 per hour.

No Right Turn blogs on a wide variety of issues, with it’s usual short, sharp, punchy delivery,

“Judith Collins is suggesting that police wear cameras. Good. Quite apart from the evidentiary benefits, a US trial has shown that cop-cams reduce both violence by police officers, and complaints against them…


In other words, they’re a useful way of keeping our police in check. The sooner we roll them out, the better.”

“Most projections of future climate across the UK suggest that we will experience wetter conditions in winter but it is difficult to predict exactly how flood risk will change. What we do know is that relying on historical records is no longer enough, and will likely lead us to underestimate risk.

This should be a warning for all of us: our governments have pissed around for too long. And so instead of paying to reduce emissions, we’re paying far more in flooding and human misery.”

“New Zealand is now officially allied with Israel at the United Nations:

JUSCANZ (pronounced “juice cans” — really!) is UN-speak for a collection of non-European Union states that often form a negotiating bloc at UN bodies and committees. The acronym stands for Japan, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which were the original members. Over the years, its membership was extended to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and Switzerland.

And now, JUSCANZ can add another member to its bloc at a key UN committee: Israel.”

“Tim Groser is attacking those calling for transparency over the TPP, saying that they want it to fail:

Campaigners against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations want the negotiating texts made public to help ensure the process fails, says Trade Minister Tim Groser.”

“…He Puna Marama is the most generously funded of all charrter schools, at $40,000 per pupil. By contrast, state schools are funded at less than a fifth of that rate. So they can sit there, contract out all the actual education to state providers at double the government rate, and still make $1 million for doing nothing.

This is ticket-clipping at its finest: promise something different, then provide the same service from the same institutions, just with a crony middleman inserted into the process to cream off profits. There’s no public benefit whatsoever from such “innovation”. Instead the benefit is all private – to the charter school operators. And it is simply corrupt.”

Morgan on Maui Street blogs on the Kaupapa Maori politics: a definition,

TDB Recommends

“Kaupapa Maori research is well defined. But kaupapa Maori politics isn’t. My take is this: kaupapa Maori politics provides a Maori account of power-relations – one underpinned by the Treaty partnership; a Maori account of the desired future – one where bicultural and multicultural pluralism is valued through mana motuhake (self-governance); and a Maori account of how politics should work – through consensus politics as exemplified in the Maori Party’s constitution.”

With two Maori political parties; a third led by a Maori; and a fourth with a Maori woman co-leader, Morgan raises interesting issues worthy of debate.

Gordon Campbell on our response to Syrian jihadis, and Syrian refugees, points out,

“So Prime Minister John Key has removed the passports of a few would-be jihadis from New Zealand wishing to join rebel factions in Syria. In doing so, Key is echoing a concern among several European countries that the civil war in Syria has become a training ground for Islamic extremism. The extent of the problem is unclear, and the issue here seems more like a storm in a tea cup – given that there may have been only two people ( a pair of brothers) involved, or so a spokesperson for the Syrian community told RNZ this morning…


Still, there would be even wider support for the government’s move to revoke passports if it was more consistently applied: say, to mercenaries going overseas to fight in foreign conflicts (such as Afghanistan and elsewhere) who also bring their values and their violent experiences back home into our communities. It is difficult to see why those going overseas to kill and pillage for money are any less of a security risk than those who do so in the name of religion. Yesterday, Key cynically chose to frame his action in revoking passports as being indicative of the good work being done by our security agencies.”

A similar point was raised on The Daily BlogCancelled passports and freedom fighters – what is John Key up to?

Gordon also asks if Key is deflecting public attention away from  the very real possibility that the GCSB has deliberately destroyed evidence relating to the Kim Dotcom raids.

This government is not above dodgy activities.

On Local Bodies, First they ignore you

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win”
-Mahatma Gandhi

The 2014 election year looks as though it is developing into a campaign of personal attacks and rummaging though others’ dirty washing. I don’t mind being a member of a party that ‘goes hard’ on the issues but when we got a public analysis of the cost and aesthetic value of an MP’s clothing, and whether they have the right to wear it, a new low had been reached.”

Reported on TV3 (see Bizarre Media Report of the Week below) Scott Yorke blogs on  The reptilian agenda,

John Key has denied being a shapeshifting reptilian alien ushering humanity towards enslavement.

Well of course he would! He was hardly going to admit it, was he?

Key says he’s been examined by a doctor and even a vet, and of course the MSM have bought his story, not willing for a moment to entertain any possibility that their hero is a monstrous bloodsucking alien murderer. So which doctor? Which vet? Why have the test results not been released?

And check out which media journo is also One of Them!!!

What this country needs is a… Doctor!

Frank Macskasy does some Frankly Speaking with his latest  Letter to the Editor: The threat of law-suit over plain-packaging – a clear warning!

And he reports that the Silurians take offence regarding suggestions about our Prime Minister being one of them!

On The Pundit, Jacqueline Rowarth asks, Is more organic food an answer to obesity?

“We’re obese. We know it and we know about the risks of junk food, poverty and mothers’ diets. But if we think organic food can cut our obesity rate, we could be swallowing a whole lot of dodgy – and costly – ideas…”

Danyl on The Dim Post makes startling revelations; Labour planning dodgy electoral deal with immortal giant,

“It’s dirty. It’s dodgy. And it’s happening. Yes, the Labour Party who have stuck the knife in and twisted the boot attacking National’s electorate deals have done a dirty dodgy dirty deal themselves.

Yes. You heard right. And it gets dodgier and dirty. The deal is with Ymir, King of the Frost Giants…”

Damn it. Getting into bed with Frost Giants? Politics is dirty! (And cold.)

Frogblog has two excellent posts, the first by Gareth Hughes,  We can make history in 2014,

“I wanted to share my response to the Prime Ministers opening statement to Parliament.

 What I heard from John Key in his Opening Statement was a negative, aggressive speech that focused more on Labour and the Greens than on National or their own policy ideas. I believe New Zealanders want to hear positive solutions and party’s plans for the future. They’re sick and tired of negative, attack politics and dirty electorate deals. After too many years of putting the spies, the casinos, the oil companies, the polluters first, they know it’s time for a change…”

And Kennedy Graham reports how “People … may have been caught out…I just hope he gets his projections right in the future…” – The Groserian theory of emissions reductions (employing a very Phillip Ure-style heading),

“Every now and then, things emerge in the give-and-take of daily life that illuminate insights with a deeper, underlying significance.   Such was the case yesterday.

Some of us around the planet harbour a passing concern that dangerous, and perhaps catastrophic, climate change is likely if global greenhouse gas emissions do not begin to reduce very soon.”

Speaking of Whoar blog-editor, Phillip Ure, check out his reporting on New Zealand Parliament – List of questions for oral answer – Wednesday -12 February 2014 – definitely not written in the dry, sleep-inducing Hansards-style. The Phillip Ure style is vastly more entertaining. And insightful.

Also check out Phillip’s  “..Why Does This Anti-Censorship Interview From 1959 Seem Terrifyingly Relevant Today?..” (video..)

“..Rod Serling (best known for creating “The Twilight Zone”) sits down to discuss censorship in the media…”

More great offerings from The Standard,

Modern western governments have been about essentially, two things. On the one hand they have ensured an environment favourable to the operation of the market economy. On the other they have been known to serve the interests of citizens by protecting us from the worse excesses of the market. That’s a simple but good enough brushstroke version of governance within a market context.

But the balancing act of governments, whether weighted this way or that, has run into some problems. The problems are such that governments can’t continue with those roles through the near and unfolding future. Obviously, one way or another, there isn’t going to be a market economy. But without a market economy to manage, what remains for government to do?

“An interesting article by Colin James in today’s ODT on the living wage proposals and how lifting wages may have wider economic benefits. He starts with the example of the supermarket boycott of low-wage New Zealand produce in Australia:

What is the answer? Bill English has in the past noted the lower-wage-cost contribution to New Zealand competitiveness in Australia. But the supermarkets’ lesson is that low wages are not always a one-way advantage. There may be an economic cost….Job losses was English’s Treasury-based line last November when he savaged proposals for a “living wage”. He treated it as a version of a minimum wage and said most of those on the minimum do not have dependents and in any case Working For Families and other programmes help families on low incomes.”

“So Dotcom has made an announcement which could be significant for the election results.  If the Internet Party is not looking like it will break the 5% threshold it will ask all supporters of the Internet Party to vote for a political party prepared to adopt the Internet Party’s policies.  Labour and the Greens are likely to be endorsed and I think that we can say that National’s and ACT’s chances are nil.  The announcement appears to concede that the Internet Party will not win an electoral seat which I think is right.”

Worse – he’s a money-grubbing Wall Street wbanker!



Blogpost of the Day

On the Brooking Blog, Roger Brooking raises serious allegations that Judith Collins’ office may be involved in “sanitising” Wikipedia entries for Teina Pora, Mark Lundy, Scott Watson and “Corruption in New Zealand”.

Last year, the NZ Herald ran a story revealing how one of Judith Collins’ secretaries had been caught red-handed, altering and deleting information on Wikipedia regarding  David Bain. Collins tried to justify this state-sponsored censorship,

“These two actions were the only two made – and both [were] completely transparent and in accordance with Wikipedia policy. No further edits.”

Has someone in her office been busy “editing” Wikipedia entries? How more Orwellian is New Zealand going to get before the public realises that the “Daddy State” is here – and is run by the  National Politburo, from Ministers’ offices, and funded by the tax-payer?


Bizarre Media Report of the Week

TV3 News , 12 Feb. Is it me or were the two stories regarding the supposed NZ First-Greens-Dotcom meeting and Key being a reptilian alien more than just a little on the strange-and-silly side of things?

Slow news-day, TV3?


Climate Change Denier of the Week

Nestlé chairman warns against playing God over climate change

Peter Brabeck courts controversy by claiming climate change is largely down to natural cycles and society should focus on adaptation
CEO of Nestle Peter Brabeck-Letmathe drinks water during a news conference at the WEF in Davos

Peter Brabeck, chairman of Nestlé, has suggested that man-made emissions are not the primary cause of climate change. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/REUTERS

Nestlé chairman Peter Brabeck has a history of courting controversy and is likely to further inflame his critics with his belief that man-made emissions are not the primary reason behind our changing climate.

While scientists point to the near certainty that human activity is driving up temperatures, Brabeck argues that it is largely down to Earth’s natural cycles, and warns against trying to play god by seeking to stop global warming. Instead, he believes society should focus on adaptation.

Sitting in the Swiss mountain ski resort of Davos after we have both listened to the Tanzanian president tell the heartbreaking story of how global warming is making life increasingly unbearable for his people, Brabeck told me that:

Climate change is an intrinsic part of the development of the world. Since the world has existed we have had climate changes and we will have climate change as long as the world exists … For me the issue is more about what can we do in order to adapt to climate change and perhaps to try to gain more time … Are we God to say the climate, as it is today, is the one we have to keep? That’s the way it’s going to be? We are not God. What we have to assure is that climate change happens within a timeframe that humankind can adapt to.” More…

No, Mr Brabeck, “playing god” is when human beings willfully pollute the land, air, waterways, and oceans – all in the pursuit of profits.

It is this kind of naked, self-serving stupidity that will end up with our planet despoiled by corporate profiteers. Perhaps the most telling part of Brabeck’s ignorant rant was this,

“For me the issue is more about what can we do in order to adapt to climate change and perhaps to try to gain more time…”

“Gain more time”?

Time for what? More extreme weather patterns? The gradual erosion of coastal land? Rising sea levels? The spread of pests, as eco-systems change? Failing crops?

Irresponsible attitudes like Brabecks will result in more destruction; more deaths; and increasing costs to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change. We are running out of time.


Thought for the Day

wave the flag and he'll forget the issues


~ Joe Blogger,

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