The Daily Blog Watch – 25/26 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

Porcupine Farm doesn’t so much as take a dig – as a big, hard, swift,  kick up the feckin’ arse to John Key and David Farrar, over the 50 cent increase in the minimum wage.  We’ll All Be Ruined, according to the New Right Nut Jobs that inhabit this country.  Funny shit.

On Frankly Speaking, there are  letters to the editor, to three newspapers – each detailing John Key’s uncanny ability to take a truth or fact and turn it into something squalid and smelly. Like lying. Why should I believe John Key? asks Frank. Indeed.

Check out Phillip Ure’s unique perspective on local and international issues that have caught his attention on Whoar;

And even we get a mention! “..The Daily Blog Watch – 24/25 February 2014..”

Huzzah! (Cheers, Phillip!)

Tim Selwyn gives [+UPDATES]  on his blog-report, NZ Police: violent and aggressive on the recent death in police cells…

Danyl on The Dim Post presents another of his well-researched Tracking poll updates

An interesting look at how the parties are tracking, but still early days yet, comrades.

There’s  Another god debate on Open Parachute,

Usually I think these sort of debates are a waste of time but am keen to see the video of this one – it will be on Youtube eventually. In previous debates Craig attempts to use cosmology to “prove” the existence of his god (I use the word “use” as meaning very opportunist use of motivated reasoning). In most debates his opponents are usually not completely familiar with modern cosmology and he gets away with murder in his misrepresentation of the science…

Josie Pagani on The Pundit, gives a Warning: Annual minimum wage debate could lead to hysteria and unscientific claims;

It never ceases to amaze me how outraged the richest people get when you suggest paying poor people a little bit more. Act’s new leader Jamie Whyte said it was “hard to think of a crueler policy” for people most in need of work than increasing the minimum wage.

Say what? Cruel to pay people on the lowest incomes 50c more? Surely he can think of something crueler than that, like not having a minimum wage at all…

The free market, neo-liberal, right-wing – mad as a box of cats. I guess selfish pricks like Whyte won’t be happy until we’re all paid the equivalent of a sweat-shop labourer in some hell-hole in Bangla-Desh.

Idiot Savant on No Right Turn looks at the day’s news and views;

Now that Nauru and Papua New Guinea are turning toxic, Australia is looking for another dumping ground for its refugees: Cambodia…

Yesterday the government raised the minimum wage by 50 cents, to $14.25 an hour. While its better than last year’s miserable 25 cent increase, it still shows National’s complete lack of commitment to reducing inequality and raising living standards of ordinary kiwis. But then, that’s not surprising – National is the party of the 1% who benefit from inequality…

The NZ Police have been having trust issues lately: police rapists, sexism, bullying, dead prisoners, Operation 8 and the Kim Dotcom raid. Not to mention an apparent inability to do the most basic tasks, and a culture of denial about all of it. Faced with that problem, you’d expect the next police commissioner to be someone who would present an image of culture change…

That’s the only way to describe Immigration’s attempts to deport a severely ill Tongan woman back to a disaster zone…

Last weekend, Australia’s “Pacific solution” of loading refugees into boats heading north devolved into murder when in apparent retaliation for a riot, G4S security guards stood by and let locals, led by police, storm its Manus Island gulag. One person was killed and dozens were injured. The Australian government initially denied that a local mob had been involved, and blamed the refugees for the violence. But now witnesses are coming forward, and according to them, G4S invited the locals to storm the camp, and asked them to beat the refugees…

Still MIA; The Jackal, The CivilianMars 2 Earth, Fearfactsexposed, Kumara Republic, and Brian Edwards Media

And there’s been nothing on Red Alert since 13 February!! C’mon you guys, what the heck? It’s election year, dammit!

If you haven’t already, check out Morgan Godfery’s  excellent critique, on Maui Street,  of  The meaning of Winston Peter’s race talk. Good stuff. Morgan does a deconstruction of Winston Peters that would make a Christchurch demolition team proud.

On Bowalley Road, Chris Trotter outlines Putin’s “Plan B” and looks at recent startling events in the Ukraine. Chris posits,

What happens next will depend on how Ukraine’s neighbours respond to the fast-moving situation the revolution has unleashed. The Russian Federation, which describes Ukraine as a “brother state” and “strategic partner” will be asking itself whether a virulently anti-Russian government in Kiev is tolerable. If the answer is “No”, then Moscow may have to swallow its pride and swing in behind a new Ukrainian leader – one both sides can live with.

I have my doubts. Remember Poland and Hungary in 1956? Czechoslovakia, 1968? Afghanistan, 1979? If there is one thing the Russians are good at – it’s flexing their hairy arm muscles. We may yet see the dismemberment of a weakened Ukraine.

More good stuff on Frogblog;

Wages fail to keep up with productivity gains, reports Denise Roche,

The Government has announced that from April 1 2014 the minimum wage will be increased by 50 cents to $14.25 per hour.  This will give the over 100,000 or so people earning the current minimum wage of $13.75 per hour an extra $20 before tax for a 40 hour week. It’s still not enough to live on.

Around 125,000 children live in families where the adults earn less than the wage calculated as being enough to live on – the living wage.

I’m sure our Prime Minister, the Fifty Million Dollar Man, cries himself to sleep ever night over that.

Catherine Delahunty says that the Exclusion case shows need for change,

Schools need proper resources to be able to meet the needs of their students, but equally students with special needs cannot be excluded because a school believes their behaviour might set a damaging precedent: such students are not testing boundaries as much as struggling to survive stressful encounters.

In most cases, I think we’ll find that there is insufficient resourcing for special needs students in schools. Some schools will not allow students with difficult behaviours to remain on the grounds once their Teacher Aid’s shift has finished.

This is government funding – or a lack thereof – that is at fault here.

Power companies are letting down the vulnerable, reports  Gareth Hughes,

Many of you will remember the shocking story of Folole Muliaga, who died in 2007 when her automated oxygen stopped after her power was disconnected. Industry guidelines were subsequently put in place that require power companies to give special consideration to vulnerable families and people reliant on electricity for medical reasons. The idea was to avoid a similar tragedy.

Couple that with the fact 42,600 families were disconnected for failing to pay their power bills in the year to September 2013 – four times the level in the year following Mrs Muliaga’s death – and the situation starts to look increasingly dangerous for New Zealand’s most vulnerable.

On Bat, Bean, Beam, Worlds collide when Giovanni Tiso takes a couple of well-aimed shots at Rachel Smalley and Jonathan Milne – though for two, polar opposite reasons. Well worth a read, if only to get the other side of the story when Milne wrote about Slater, Bradbury, and Tiso himself. (Though I’m a bit hacked of that the NZ Herald journo did not see fit to do a story on my life – Joe Blogger!! The one and only!!)

And The Standard presents;

The first time I came up against a capricious boss, I was a student.  I was working in a shop during the summer holidays.  I worked hard in the run up to Christmas, and my supervisor was pleased.  I was looking forward to the party in the staffroom after late closing on Christmas Eve, but about 4pm that day, the boss and owner of the store came in and threw me out.  ”You’re not working tonight.  Off you go at 5pm.”  No explanation, no courtesy, no acknowledgement of my hard work.  Just an order to get out.

It was a small incident, but it was one that taught me about vulnerability.

I’d suggest that governments performance in addressing inequality can be measured thus. I’d expect the next government to make a significant shift in this before I believe they are interested in address inequality. Clearly the last labour government failed to address inequality and nor has the current government. If a left government wants to have power in NZ and genuinely wants to fix the 1980′s shafting of NZ society they better do something about it.

I sense a certain lethargy creeping into the continuing debates on opinion poll results. The polls bounce all around the place.  One minute there is the euphoria of a likely change of Government this year to the forces of light and goodness and then there is the agony of the prospect of a Key led Government being able to rule in its own right.  The never ending stream of results do not stop the bloggers (me included) from commenting every time a new one appears.  We go through bouts of depression and exhilaration depending on the latest poll result…

The Edward Snowden leaks have provided extensive information about how the US, NSA (National Security Agency) surveillance uses the internet for widespread surveillance. The NSA dominates the “5 eyes” network that includes NZ’s GCSB and the UK equivalent, the GCHQ. Some of these techniques could also be used by NZ’s domestic surveillance agency, the SIS, or maybe even the police…


Blogpost of the Day

From  Gordon Campbell comes this brilliant piece on Richard Prebble’s return and our immigration policy

So Richard Prebble is back, as campaign manager for ACT at this year’s election. For a political organisation that prides itself on being a fount of fresh thinking for the centre right, the Act Party seems to have a stronger commitment to recycling than anything the Greens could imagine in their wildest dreams. Political has-beens like Roger Douglas, Donna Awatere-Huata, Don Brash, John Banks…and now Richard Prebble have all found a happy rest home fort themselves at ACT where they can swap stories about the good old days, and continue to prescribe the same failed nostrums that ignited the income inequality that is now at the heart of so many of New Zealand’s social problems. On that score, maybe it is apt that the same old neo-liberal zombie economics should be the province of the political walking dead….



Thought for the Day

The Pope


~ Joe Blogger,

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