The Daily Blog Watch – 23/24 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

Tim Selwyn on Tumeke reports on the  NZ Police: violent and aggressive,

The NZ Police have released a statement on the death in custody at the Manurewa station this morning.  This sounds like the cagey sort of thing the NZ Police say when they’ve killed someone, again.  RIP that man.

Hot Topics in the last few days,

Stuff Nation was introduced a couple of years ago as the reader-led section of Fairfax Digital’s NZ news site, home to quiz groups and news submitted by readers. Sadly for them, one or two of their readers have been taking them for a ride, to judge by one of this weekend’s lead stories — a “reader report” by one Tom Harris titled We must adapt to climate change. Harris is highly unlikely to be a regular reader of Stuff Nation, being based in Ottawa, but he is executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition, a spin-off from the NZ Climate Science Coalition established with money from US extreme right-wing lobby group the Heartland Institute.

John O’Sullivan — the pseudosceptic who is serially and persistently wrong about almost everything he chooses to write about, and who has made a career out of misrepresenting his own abilities and qualifications — is at it again.

Gordon Campbell on the Commerce Commission supermarket inquiry, Kiev and Tunisia,

The Countdown affair is a reminder that our business world is still living in the 1980s dream world where la la la, markets can be safely left to self-regulate. (In the 1980s, New Zealand’s ignorance of antitrust issues enabled a state monopoly such as Telecom to be sold off, and gifted with virtually unchecked private monopoly powers.) As New Zealand First leader Winston Peters told RNZ this morning, we still don’t have the same [anti-trust] protections enjoyed by other developed countries. We don’t accept (as the United States has for over a hundred years) that markets require regular interventions by regulatory authorities in order to remain free. (Otherwise, their natural state is to converge into anti-competitive forms and practices.) In practice, it seems easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than to get the New Zealand authorities to recognise and take meaningful action against anti-competitive behaviours. And with Tony Abbott now hard at work gutting the Australian watchdog that has sometimes in the past prodded our Commerce Commission into action (e.g. against cartels) the situation is likely to get worse.

All (Lefties) together now; “We told you so!”

Find out why Scott Yorke on Imperator Fish tells Jonathan Milne, I will destroy you!

TDB Recommends

Uh oh. Feral blogger alert (no, not you Cam).

On the Frogblog, Kennedy Graham reflects on the Carnage in Ukraine needs world’s attention.

President Yanukovych of Ukraine would be well advised to read the report put together by the United Nations on North Korea and the prospect of members of that regime being tried for crimes against humanity. His regime and interior ministers could well end up charged with crimes against their own people…

Events have over-taken Mr Graham, as the people of the Ukraine have taken back their own country. People: 1, Despot: 0.

Christchurch City Council needs to keep our assets, insists  Eugenie Sage,

The City Council’s forthcoming decisions on its draft annual plan and budget are of particular interest. The Council’s under-insurance means there is a big gap between the costs of the rebuild and the insurance pay-outs. How to close that gap is a challenge. Further increases in the Council (and our) debt are unwise and unsustainable. Selling council assets and using the proceeds to meet the shortfall would be the worst form of expedient, short term thinking.  Renegotiating the $4.8 billion earthquake cost-sharing deal between the Council and the Crown which the Mayor is flagging is a much sounder option.

Nice to see a break put on asset sales, even if at a local level!

Catherine Delahunty pays  Tribute to a Pacific Leader,

This week the Pacific and the world community lost a wonderful leader of sustainable forestry. Yati Bun from Papua New Guinea died suddenly while visiting a Pueblo community forest in the mountains of Mexico. Yati was travelling with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) of which he was an international board member…

Those who worked closely with Yati such as my colleague from Greenpeace Grant Rosoman, have described his loss as huge because Yati was a mentor for a whole generation of young people, many now working in civil society organisations in PNG.

Building safe and accessible cities, writes Mojo Mathers,is a good thing,

Last night, I spoke at the first reading of the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill. We took a strong stand on the Bill because it contains a retrograde clause that will have a negative effect on people with disabilities and their friends and family…

This Bill would remove the hard won provisions in the Building Act that mandate the upgrading of buildings for accessibility. That is a backwards move that could see thousands of buildings remain inaccessible to disabled people for the indefinite future – keeping people with limited mobility locked out of buildings as diverse as art galleries, universities and sports venues.

Go hard, Mojo!

No Right Turn has a wide look at recent events,

Last year, the Labour Party ran a leadership election. There was big money involved – so much so that the party imposed a spending cap and required that large donations be disclosed. But now they’re refusing to make the details public….

Something odd happened. The paragraph I had just written began to self-delete. The cursor moved rapidly from the left, gobbling text. I watched my words vanish. When I tried to close my OpenOffice file the keyboard began flashing and bleeping.

As Idiot Savant writes, this bit is just downright creepy!

For three months, the people of the Ukraine have been protesting in Euromaidan in Kiev for the restoration of their constitution, and end to corruption, and a European future. Initially the government met them with tear gas and beatings. Now it has started murdering them….

In its annual reports and reports under OPCAT – the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture – the Ombudsman’s Office has repeatedly raised concerns about segregation regimes (solitary confinement) in our prisons. Poor living conditions, long periods of solitary confinement, and limited recreation time means that imprisonment in this manner “could be considered cruel and inhuman for the purposes of the Convention Against Torture” (why? Because prolonged solitary confinement drives people mad, or, in the appropriate legalese, causes severe mental suffering)….

According to Polity, it’s been  A bad week for Labour,

There’s no skating around it – Labour hasn’t had a good week. And the biggest shame is that beltway errors have been allowed to eclipse real progress on issues that actually matter to New Zealand families.

It may not directly affect New Zealanders’ lives where in particular Labour members park their bums when they discuss the party’s business. And David Cunliffe’s view about his home’s state of repair is almost certainly irrelevant to pretty much everyone. But that lack of direct relevance does not matter, because these issues matter for perceptions. If Labour is perceived as bumbling, or as lacking self-awareness, that will certainly be reflected at the ballot box.

There’s  A Labour Cell In TVNZ’s Vast Castle, writes Chris Trotter on Bowalley Road. Chris writes about a culture within TVNZ that is so aloof from ordinary day-to-day lives of 4.4 million New Zealanders, that no one quite knows what the hell is going on within the bowels of this establisment;

For the most part this involves large numbers of middle managers running up and down the great staircase that dominates TVNZ’s Auckland headquarters, ducking into tiny offices, and exchanging information with other middle managers who undertake to pass it on to yet more middle managers. Only very occasionally (or by accident) does this information ever trickle down to the people who actually make the television programmes we see on air.

From The Standard

So we need to do the practical basic stuff to improve the chances of a change of Government.

The first step, and something that Labour activists are doing now, is to get everyone onto the roll.  If every one who reads this get a couple of their young relatives enrolled to vote then the chances of a progressive Government after the next election will improve.

Politicheck, a local version of fact check websites such as the US sites Factcheck and Politifact, and the Australian website Politifact Australia was launched this week. …

Popular songs can often capture the heartbeat of communities, in ways the serious media fail to grasp. Today’s infotainment media can ignore the meanings, while drawing on the celebrity culture at the centre of much of the popular music industry. Many in our media are cheering on our (alleged) “Rock Star” economy. Meanwhile the inequality gap, and life damaging poverty are there for all who dare to see it, un-diverted by the beat-ups and politically motivated shenanigans of the neoliberal PR machine.

The latest from the organisation that has branded itself as having mastery of cyberspace shows that it is is having trouble counting.  It presented its annual report to Parliament yesterday but had to insert an erratum into the report because someone in the organisation cannot count.

 Efeso Collins.  He is the chair of the Otara Papatoetoe Local Board and topped the poll at the last election.  He blogs on the Daily Blog and has one of the most amazing campaign videos I have seen.  It is here for everyone to enjoy.  I would rank him as a prospect for the seat and if not this seat then his talents have to be put to use somewhere else.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett has put up a couple of  interesting posts for an international audience on progressonline,  about Labour’s prospects in the upcoming election.   While I don’t necessarily agree with all his specific policy preferences, I think his political message is timely and accurate. I  agree with him that Labour’s approach to this election cannot be “just a list of things that you’re against.”

Being a progressive politician does not require you to don sack cloth and forsake all of your worldly possessions.  It does require you to advocate for policies that will address social and environmental issues such as poverty and climate change.  Labour does not believe that wealth is inherently wrong, it believes that everyone should have a shot at the best lifestyle possible and there should at the same time be a minimum adequate quality of life for everyone.  National does not, and Key’s hypocrisy in taking advantage of the welfare state and then dismantling it is disgraceful.


Blogpost of the Day

From The Standard comes this incredible story,

Much discussion has taken place around the legalities of bloggers accessing data and then publishing it on the web. We’ve heard plenty about the complexity of this issue from the bloggers’ perspective. But little about the complexities facing bloggers’ targets or police investigators.

For this post I will use the Blomfield v Slater example as a case study.

As a commentator ‘tricledrown’ pointed out,

If Camoron Slater is found guilty  Of being in posession of stolen goods and accessing someones personal files it could mean Gaol for the twice convicted criminal.

That’s Three Strikes against Slater? Man, I bet that right-wing prick never saw that coming!

Well, at least blubberboy will have lots and lots and lots and lots of spare time on his hands to do his blogging. Oh, wait, no. Crims aren’t allowed internet access from inside.



Spammer of the Week

Intrinsic Value.

Mad as a hatter and obsessive-compulsive poster.

He should be selling viagra on the ‘net.

Makes Gosman look normal. (Almost)



Thought for the Day

job creators


~ Joe Blogger,

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