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Wednesday, 16 December

18:52

FIGHTING BACK No Minister

Watch the video to see what happens when a group of Muslims in Texas buy land adjacent to a pig farmers property and then try and get the farmer to quit (or at least get rid of his pigs).

Just what possessed them to purchase the property in the first place beats the hell out of me.



18:30

I am free Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Remarkable piece of visual art, poetry, and imagery – pity it is a (subtle) ad, but still very, very good.  How those we’ve lost live on in us.  

18:00

Today’s Trivia Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Welcome to Daily Trivia. There is a game to play here. The photo above relates to one of the items below. The first reader to correctly tell us in the comments what item the photo belongs to, and why, gets bragging rights. Sometimes they are obvious, other times the obvious answer is the decoy. Can […]

16:30

Daily Roundup Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Cure for constipation.   And low blood pressure.       Shameless click bait At least he’s honest enough to admit he makes news.          

16:00

Whaleoil Backchat Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Good Evening, Welcome To The Daily Whaleoil Backchat. You don’t have to stay “on topic” in these posts like you do in all others. Feel free to share your own stories, links to other news or catch up with friends. If you haven’t tried it before, signing in to a Disqus account is free, quick, and […]

15:30

Will Labour tax us even more? Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Grant Robertson won’t commit to confirming whether or not Labour will go into the 2017 election with tax increases on the policy platform. But would Labour change the tax system to help pay for its promises? And would it address wealth inequality? “We have rule out going into the 2017 election with a capital gains […]

15:00

What flag change? Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

John Key thinks the new flag will be remembered not him: Less than 50 per cent of New Zealanders voted for a new flag design – but Prime Minister John Key believes there is support for change. Key, speaking to the Herald just before he went into to chat to Newstalk ZB’s Leighton Smith, said […]

14:30

Crone gets another pasting Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Seems that Xero Hero Vicky Crone is not impressing anyone. Just 18 months ago, Victoria Crone was fizzing about her new role as Managing Director, NZ and New Markets, of accounting software giant Xero. A month into the job and she was enthusing on the company blog about “a fun and energy to this place […]

14:00

The inconsistency of the Green party Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

This was Kennedy Graham in parliament on 2 December: Dr Kennedy Graham: Has the Government made any estimate of the percentage reduction required in our emissions in order for New Zealand to have its fair share of the global carbon budget consistent with 2 degrees? Hon BILL ENGLISH: I suspect that calculation may well have […]

13:59

2. The Trump Files (We Get What We Deserve) coNZervative

My UK Protestant friend who became a Catholic Priest, drives harleys, dresses in pink dresses, and lives in America, Father Dwight Longnecker has a go…

Twelve Ways Donald Trump Reflects America Today

trump2Why is Donald Trump so popular? Because we elect the leaders who are like us.

We get who we deserve.

Far from being a renegade, a wild card or an outsider, Donald Trump is the ultimate twenty first century American.

He typifies America. He is America. He can clothe himself in the flag he is so American.

Think about it for a moment: Here’s a list of twelve things about Trump that hold up a mirror to America today.

I should stress here that what I am observing are general characteristics of our society. I don’t for a moment pretend that all individuals who support Donald Trump exhibit all these negativities–so if this doesn’t apply to you wonderful. However, if the shoe fits…

1. He’s a Spoiled Brat – Trump was born into a wealthy, East Coast,  privileged family, attended private schools, walked into a leadership position in his Daddy’s real estate company and inherited a pile of money from Pop. He avoided the Vietnam draft with four student deferrments and a dodgy “medical” deferment, but stil...

13:30

The inevitable rankings and lists Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Journos are desperate to fill up empty space this time of year.  And I’m sure the team and I will be suffering the same pressures.   But we have decided to not do “Best of…” or “Worst of…” lists.  That doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at those of others.   Paddy Gower lashes out: BEST […]

13:14

IS THIS WHAT WE'VE COME TO? No Minister

Click here for the link to the NZ Gazette Notice Number 2015-go7246 Issue Number 135 of 10 December 2015 advising that the Registrar-General of Marriages, a Mr Jeff Montgomery, has designated the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster an approved organisation for the purpose of the Marriage Act 1955.

Words fail me.

13:00

Mental Health Break Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Sevdaliza – That Other Girl from pussykrew on Vimeo.

12:30

Child poverty on the increase only because of ridiculous targets Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

The latest report tells us 29 per cent of children lived in poverty in 2014, up from 24 per cent the previous year. About 14 per cent live in material hardship, lacking several of the items most New Zealanders would consider essential, and three out of five of the 29 per cent in poverty are […]

12:00

Map of the Day Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for a special deal for Whale Oil Readers Click here for larger view

11:56

More Gifts for Liberals coNZervative

This flag plus a free fourscore tablecloth set for free12345593_1724776314471769_6952718642185125990_n.jpg

Screen shot 2015-12-14 at 1.52.09 PM.png


Filed under: Uncategorized ...

11:34

HALLELUJAH !!! No Minister



The Prime Minister in a rare bit of forthright honest commentary has suggested that children living in an economically deprived situation, might be because the people who the morons want given even more money might just be spending the money needed to give their children a best possible start, on their  DRUGS !!

Blow me away who woulda thunk that

Jacinda Ardern is appalled and wants proof of the allegations.

Alls well in the Beltway.

Leighton Smith morning show on Newstalk ZB

11:30

Is it time to turn down our immigration numbers? Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Record migration is being touted as a contributing factor to the country’s growing unemployment rate. Finance Minister Bill English yesterday predicted joblessness will increase about 0.5 percent to 6.5 percent next year. Business New Zealand economist John Pask says a recent influx of new migrants is having an impact. “Net inward migration is around about […]

11:24

(13) Peoples & Creatures of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth (Corsairs of Umbar) coNZervative

coNZervative

Image Sir Peter Jackson nailed amidships as an Umbar Corsair.

Umbar was an old Numenorean state of men that rebelled against the authority of the divine Valar. After the collapse of Numenor (in the age before Lord of the Rings) the men of Umbar reiterated their independence and became rebels, pirates and pillagers of Gondor. Umbar was the chief port of southern Gondor so the Corsairs were seafarers with their distinctive black sailed ships.  The Haradrim (Southrons) later took control of Umbar. During the War of the Ring the Corsairs of Umbar had mixed Southron blood. 50 black ships descended on the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in league with Sauron, and as a captain on one of these vessels cracking his whip, Peter Jackson appears in one of his Hitchcock-ean cameos. Their arrival is very dispiriting to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimili in Return of the King, but they…

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11:00

Two-Thirds of Palestinians Support Knife Attacks and Intifada Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

No surprises here from adherent of the “religion of peace”. A poll released on Monday found that two-thirds of Palestinians support the ongoing wave of stabbings against Israelis, while nearly the same percentage give a thumbs-up to the idea of an armed uprising, or intifada, against Israel. France24 reports that a survey of 1,270 people in 127 randomly […]

10:30

Council computer is a dud Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Auckland Council’s new custom-made computer system is going to blow its head off and go over the already over budget-budget. And the Auditor General is raising her concerns about it. She seems to do that an awful lot these days with Auckland Council. A $157 million Super City computer system has a potentially “catastrophic” risk, […]

10:00

Photo Of The Day Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

The KILLDOZER Small town life is often romanticized in movies and books as peaceful and quiet. People who actually live in small towns know that while often the people are friendly and there is indeed a lot of quiet, often bad blood runs deep. Grandby, Colorado was just such a town. It would have been […]

09:30

The real Islamic states get together to combat Islamic terrorism Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Window dressing or a genuine attempt at solving the problem? Given Muslim nations tend to march backwards almost as fast as the French, especially when confronted with the IDF I don’t hold much promise in this. Saudi Arabia has announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, according to a joint […]

08:30

Government getting bashed with child poverty stats because it is an ungettable target Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Whilst explaining is losing, when it comes to “child poverty” every government is going to be losing when it comes to trying to explain that the whole pretence is a joke. The government has made a concerted effort to address all of the issues that contribute to child hardship, according to Social Development Minister Anne […]

08:00

No wonder Labour can’t refresh its caucus Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

David Farrar has a post on MP remuneration: The Remuneration Authority has published its latest determination for MPs salaries. They no longer have discretion as to any increases – a law change saw it tagged to the average increase in the overall public sector. This has seen a 2.6% increase.   The salary is only […]

07:30

‘Cultural barriers’ make life hard for the blind Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

How hard hearted does a person have to be to refuse transport to a blind person with a guide dog? Blind people have a hard enough life without having to deal with discrimination on top of their disability. Victorian guide dogs and their handlers are facing the highest rates of discrimination in the nation, with […]

07:14

Conversation: Security or Surveillance: Privacy vs anti-terror security in the digital age THE OCEANIA SAKER

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

07:02

A GRAPHIC REAL TIME WORKING EXAMPLE. No Minister



Mr Lomu  earned well above beneficiaries income levels over two decades then died in a situation  media are describing as "broke".

Yes he suffered health issues and dialysis while overseas may have been very expensive. V ery few people even those enduring the medical challenges Mr Lomu faced has mortality at the forefront of their planning.

If Dr Russell Wills, the imho failing "Children's Commissioner", believes throwing more money at those entrusted with giving their children a more equitable opportunity is the answer, then do a case study on the late Jonah Lomu.

I have no idea if an avaricious "church" in any way contributed to the parlous state of the financial affairs facing the two boys, nor do I know if the many  clearly too generous acts of philanthropy were to blame.
A passion for exotic cars could only be seen as extravagance along with three acknowledged domestic relationships accompanied by two divorces, a glaring picture of either no financial management and or total disassociation from economic reality becomes apparent.

Of course there is a compelling case for the Rugby Hierarchy to make a far better effort to assist testosterone overloaded young men, too often boys in real terms, to manage the sudden advance to having access to untold riches,  however that is entirely another matter.

More money is never the answer, more knowledge, counsel and education is the only way.
For every economic and social tragedy unearthed and given oxygen by a dysfunctional media there are thousands of caring, frugal, albeit possibly struggling family groups of all types and abilities doing a terrific job of raising children but of course they are never going to sell a tawdry rag or prime time infotainment masquerading as media.

To those who are of the opinion this post is in any way denigrating or disrespectful  to the late Jonah Lomu, that is not my i...

07:00

National MPs mad as a cut snake about Nikki Kaye Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

For months Nikki Kaye has been bullying National MPs to get in behind “her” mayoral candidate and her organisation “Auckland Future”. Nikki never told them who the candidate was or what the plan was, just “Trust Me, I Know what I am doing”. Now Nikki’s candidate, Victoria Crone, has been announced the National MPs are […]

06:30

Crusher needs to lift her game Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Now that Judith Collins has returned to Police and Corrections Minister I think she is going to have to lift her game. She has some serious competition from an Indonesian minister. A penchant for dynamiting illegal fishing vessels has made flamboyant Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti Indonesia’s most popular, and restored tens of thousands of jobs […]

06:18

RIDDLE WRAPPED IN A MYSTERY INSIDE AN ENIGMA. No Minister



What would Mr Churchill say about things in the Pacific in 2015 ?

Kiribati, Tuvalu, and other Island Atolls are lining up for the largesse to compensate them for rising sea levels that man made global warming is going to deliver.
(Of course as Mi lord pointed out in a comment on my 'opinion' of the Great Claim Robbery planned during two weeks of troughing at Le Bourget, such an outcome for Atolls has so far been only a bloody Mirage.)

Meanwhile on the other planet, see you never knew that did you, the biggest emitter by many train loads of coal, China, is raising brand new islands in the South China Sea on the ridge that supports the Spratley Islands, long disputed by Philippines, Viet Nam and now mainland China yep the one most likely if you are a believer in the religious movement creating millionaires on a daily basis, to be spewing that horrid CO2 in increasing amounts on a daily basis into the atmosphere to raise my 0.4%.

I am assuming none of the Green Blondes at Le Bourget would assume that raising "new" Islands might just be a factor in the so far non existent rising sea levels.

Otoh my G & T does not raise its level as the ice melts while I slowly tap out another, what was it again, oh yes, "unresearched and questionable post"!

06:00

Comments about INCITE: Politics Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

The following comments have been made about INCITE: Politics. From long time reader Jude: I have subscribed for a year and am really enjoying reading Incite. I actually looked at what mysky sub covered and cancelled little add ons that we rarely watched.The movie channel, Soho and Rialto all now cancelled saving $42 dollars a […]

05:30

What are the current Conservative Party finances, and where will donations end up? [UPDATED] Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

The Conservative Party sent out an update making things sound all under control and sunny.   But they need money.  (Don’t they all?) A political party asking for donations isn’t remarkable, but in the case of the Conservative Party, this may actually be a bit of a problem.   Colin Craig had the party indebted […]

05:00

Whaleoil General Debate Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Good morning. The Whaleoil General Debate posts appear at 7 am and 6 pm (Backchat). You don’t have to stay “on topic” in these posts like you do in all others. Feel free to share your own stories, links to other news or catch up with friends. If you haven’t tried it before, signing in […]

04:30

Face of the day Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Today’s face of the day is sticking with his winning strategy. After all, according to all our detractors Whaleoil is only popular because of all our click bait cat videos, so why shouldn’t Andrew Little use click bait? When he first launched his leadership bid his cat stole the show and was much commented on […]

04:15

Word of the day Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

The word for today is… gambol (verb) – To leap about playfully; frolic. (noun) –  A playful skipping or frolicking about. Source : The Free Dictionary Etymology : (verb) “skip about in sport,” 1580s; earlier gambade (circa 1500), from Middle French gambader, from gambade. English dialectal gammerel “small of the leg;” gamble “a leg.” (noun) […]

04:00

Daily Proverb Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Proverbs 15 20Sensible children bring joy to their father; foolish children despise their mother.

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Tuesday, 15 December

18:00

Today’s Trivia Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Welcome to Daily Trivia. There is a game to play here. The photo above relates to one of the items below. The first reader to correctly tell us in the comments what item the photo belongs to, and why, gets bragging rights. Sometimes they are obvious, other times the obvious answer is the decoy. Can […]

16:30

Daily Roundup Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Perfect anti-theft measure            

16:00

Whaleoil Backchat Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Good Evening, Welcome To The Daily Whaleoil Backchat. You don’t have to stay “on topic” in these posts like you do in all others. Feel free to share your own stories, links to other news or catch up with friends. If you haven’t tried it before, signing in to a Disqus account is free, quick, and […]

15:30

A reader emails on the latest ‘poverty’ report Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Fairfax reports: Nearly one-third of all New Zealand children are living in poverty and more than half of those kids will never escape it. The latest Child Poverty Monitor report, released by Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills, laid out a grim reality for more than 300,000 children. It draws on a number of different measures by […]

15:00

NZ terrorist attack a matter of when, not if – but are we well prepared? Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee believes Australia and New Zealand are “adequately prepared” for potential terror threats. Mr Brownlee hosted his Australian counterpart, Senator Marise Payne, in Christchurch yesterday in their first formal meeting with Islamic State on the agenda. He says he’s comfortable with the level of protection the region has, but can’t be completely […]

14:30

Bill Cosby takes the Colin Craig route: defamation suits filed as sexual misconduct is denied Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Disgraced TV icon Bill Cosby, who allegedly used his celebrity status over the years to sexually assault more than 50 women, has filed a defamation suit against seven of his accusers. The comedian, 78, once among America’s biggest television stars, filed the suit in a court in Springfield, Massachusetts, his lawyer Monique Pressley said in […]

14:25

THE TALE OF TWO COURTROOMS No Minister

In Courtroom #1 helicopter pilot, Dave Armstrong, was convicted and fined $5,800 for flying p-i-c to rescue an injured hunter while his license was suspended.   You can access the story here.     It was generally agreed this was a life and death situation with the Wellington Rescue Helicopter prevented from reaching the site because of bad weather.

In Courtroom #2 an Auckland 'mother' (unnamed) was discharged without conviction after leaving her children in a house infested with maggots and cockroaches.   You can access the story here.   The summary of facts had it that the police arrived to find dozens of dirty nappies on the floor,  hundreds of cockroaches, rancid dishes, only one working light and little food, some of which had been left to rot and was covered in maggots.   The mother told the police she knew the house was a mess but that she was too busy to keep it clean because she worked at the hospital as ... wait for it ... a CLEANER.

I note the 'lady' was supported in court by a large contingent of family members who wept at her non sentencing.   Just where were they when all of this was taking place?

Dare I say differing standards for Papalangi vs Tongan and just why as justice is supposed to be color blind.    In respect of th...

14:00

Auckland housing market finally weakens. Owners of large mortgages are puckering up for the crash Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Anecdotally agents are reporting a downturn in the market with auction clearance rates as slow as 25%. But now there is some hard data on the Auckland housing market. The Auckland housing market’s downturn is more severe than anticipated, an economist says. Writing in Westpac’s latest ‘Home Truths’ report, chief economist Dominick Stephens said the […]

13:30

New Zealand still running on a tight budget Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

The Government’s surplus celebrations will be short-lived with Treasury predicting a $400 million deficit in the next financial year. But Finance Minister Bill English says the forecast deficit shouldn’t be dwelled on with Treasury also saying the books are broadly balanced. “The 2014/15 surplus demonstrates how things can change in such a short time, with […]

12:30

Josie Pagani on Victoria Crone Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Josie Pagani reviews the launch of a Victoria Crone’s campaign launch. It isn’t pretty. If you’re going to stand for political office the minimum requirements must surely include some rationale for your candidacy. You want to do the job because you see a job needing doing. You need to have something sensible to say about […]

12:00

Map of the Day Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for a special deal for Whale Oil Readers Click here for larger view

11:30

Season’s Greetings from the Conservative Party Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

Seasons Greetings [member], Even the Conservative Party doesn’t dare call it Christmas It has been an “eventful” year for the Conservative Party of New Zealand, a year of mystery, intrigue and a whole lot of disruption. The media may have announced the death of the Conservative Party, but this is not so. There is a […]

11:00

Nelson to Westport road – if you build it, they will come? Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

by Pete Buller’s local government is set to debate whether a new road link between Westport and Nelson should be investigated as a means to boost tourism in its district. The proposal to evaluate whether a 56km road running from Little Wanganui through to the Motueka Valley would be feasible has been backed by the […]

10:30

Why the Preferred PM poll is flawed Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media

In today’s launch of INCITE: Politics we have commissioned our own polling to look not at preferred Prime Minister stakes, but rather the approval ratings of potential leaders. Why did we do this? Well, you don’t have to look further than today’s NZ Herald/Digipoll results which show that John Key, sitting on 65.2% is 49% […]

08:58

HEADLINE MANIPULATION No Minister

I was going to write about what I suspect was the final political poll for the year which saw National increase its share of the vote to well over 51% and Labour inch up 0.1% to 31% but I won't, except to say that the Maori Party will be pleasantly surprised with their 2.1% support.

So instead let's focus on what (if it were true) is the quite alarming headline in today's Herald here that almost one child in three in NZL was living in 'poverty'. Were that the case then I, for one, would be marching in the streets and Labour would be riding high in the polls, but it ain't.   Drill, down further into the article and you find that the number of children living in 'material hardship' which had increased from 14% in 2007 (under Labour) to 21% in 2011 (under National) has now dropped back to to the 2007 level.    

For most people, not pointy headed academics, the words 'poverty' and 'material hardship' mean much the same thing so are we to be forgiven for a degree of confusion?

I do agree that one child living in poverty is one too many but poverty is a relative term and, while the government has a part to play in helping to alleviate true poverty, it can never provide the total answer.  In the end it comes back to the individual.   I suspect Lindsay Mitchell would have some sage comment on that.

And in the meantime crap headlines from crap media rules OK.  

 

06:05

Gee That Worked Well Why Not Try This ? No Minister



A weekend with a reduced tolerance for speeding of 4kph and only seven (7) died.
At least  one of those deaths was a single driver crash on a gravel road where a speed trap would never action.
The resident Traffic safety guru National road policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally, claiming the speed blitz a success.

Hello Steve, is there anyone home, can you please relate the five fatal crashes with all the variables, to placing a speed gun at the end of a passing lane or at the bottom of a downslope on a straight stretch of Highway, with any one or all of those fatals.

So maybe the income will take a hit but hows about some hard nosed monitoring of the appalling general driving skills evidenced by anyone using our roads using motorcycle officers and mufti cars.
I drove the 80 kms from Harewood to Akaroa, SH 75, on Sunday afternoon and had I had 'Dashcam'  I would have had around six serious crossing centreline offences for no other reason than crap driving. Add in a couple of Yellow line violations and it was, well an interesting trip to put it mildly.

I am planning no travel next weekend so how about a trial of reducing open road to 60kph, urban to 35kph and see how your flawed theory is working, I have  $20  that says it will have absolutely no bloody effect other than statistical chance.
The Income generation modus is only alienating the precious little public support you have remaining with an increasingly disbelieving motoring public.
While you are at the research facility, some figures on the reduced alcohol levels around those caught between the old and new limits could be of interest to some.


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Monday, 14 December

11:49

Has ‘Red Peak’ Peaked? coNZervative

12038518_987445654632440_7061878646851392790_nI think it has.  Meanwhile, the Left continue in Ignore-the-People-We-Still-Know-What’s-Best-Land   (ie Green Party MP Gareth Hughes not giving up on Red Peak – National – NZ Herald News)

or as SonovaMin over at Whaleoil draws it as a foiling of Green MP Gareth Hughes (y’know the one who looks perpetually 17)

unnamed-1

 


Filed under: Uncategorized ...

07:34

So Glad Thats "Settled" !! No Minister

Fifty Thousand troughers descend on Le Bourget for a two week orgy of slurping, all paid for by long suffering taxpayers of  the rich nations and it was claimed a success.
Only by the participants and their socialist enablers while the productive souls who financed it all continued to toil away to make the next payment for Morocco.

The so called success was nowhere better illustrated than the rather poor quality smartphone film clip of the airheads in the media suite behaving like sports groupies after the popular team won the world cup, played by Chris Kenney on his "Viewpoint" show last night on Sky News. They were just so happy but should any independent journalist have inquired as to what they were so excited about there would have been a deafening silence.

So 187 national delegations with fifty thousand officials plus an undisclosed number of hangerons, plus another never revealed number of security staff, plus god only knows who else reached agreement to save the planet. Please do not mention the CO2 emitted during the two weeks of indulgence.

They have all agreed to a non binding consensus to limit carbon energy consumption in the vain hope to alter the current 0.4 percent of CO2 in the atmosphere that is consigning the planet to Armageddon.
Now that current 0.4% was around 0.18 % during the last ice age and upwards of 0.8% in an earlier warmer time.
Should the morons who are currently in denial of the untold benefits of abundant CO2 in the quest to make vegetation bloom and reduce desertification, manage to prevent a single tonne of coal, oil,  natural gas, and firewood from ever being burnt again they would only make minimal impact on the CO2 in the atmosphere. Things in people land, that is real people land wont go so well.
In total such a draconian act of lemmings rushing to the cliff edge, is not the largest factor in CO2 emissions that sustain the Carbon Cycle as just  with the disaster...

07:06

Quote of the Day coNZervative

Rather than leaving a planet for our children, we should be leaving children for our planet.

Think about it.  A sense of responsibility, self-control, education, self-restraint, honor, a moral base, a sense of others. Having abandoned ideologies of personal responsibility all the multi-national rules and agreements in the world will do nothing for emissions issues if we neglect the very power room of change – ourselves.


Filed under: Uncategorized ...

07:01

1. The Trump Files. (Th’Ham Sandwich of the Donald. coNZervative

silver-feautre-trumptroll-1

I’ve said from the beginning of Trump’s run, that I can’t take him seriously as a presidential nominee and that he is really just early campaign entertainment.  In the end I cannot believe thinking Americans will elect him to the role.  But he remains ahead – well ahead – for months now.  This I think is the attraction of being strong again.  Trump cuts through the political BS, the political-correctness, and voters like that.  In Europe it has lead to surges in far right even fascist political parties.

Donald Trump is a symptom of the malaise of modern America.

So it is perhaps time to assess Donald Trump more particularly. Is he up to it?

My own view is he is not; he’s a wind bag and a narcissist who likes media attention (like someone else we know).  He has no real grasp of policy and just likes to express his opinion – strongly. But he is capable enough and could put a solid team around him to do the real work.  After all Reagan was little more than an ex-Hollywood actor and made a pretty good president.  Obama was little more than a volunteer worker who could make speeches.

The best person to assess Trump so is my favourite columnist Charles Krauthammer whose latest column is on Trump’s anti-Muslim reactionary knee-jerk. Let CK speak.

scialabba_floatslikeavulture_ba_img“So how exactly does this work, Donald Trump’s plan to keep America safe from Isla...

06:50

(12) Peoples & Creatures of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth (Variags) coNZervative

coNZervative

Screen shot 2013-01-04 at 9.50.02 AM(12) Variags of Khand (Southrons)

Variags of Khand were a race of men, an obscure tribe of Southrons (Haradrim) from the extreme south-east fringes of known Middle-Earth in the Haradwaith (thus “Haradrim” of Near Harad or Far Harad). Khand is immediately south of Mordor, NE of Near Harad. Sauron corrupted the Southrons and manipulated their alliance against the men of the West. The Variags attacked Gondor in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (the showpiece in Return of the King).

The Variags first became known to the West in the Third Age (the LoTRings era) and fought alongside wainriders (warriors in wagons or chariots). This perhaps speaks of the ancient Celts but also the Pelest or Philistines of the Sea Peoples who attacked Ramses II as depicted on hieroglyphs at Medinet Habu.

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Sunday, 13 December

19:37

PHILIP JOHN SMITH - CONVICTED MURDERER & PAEDOPHILE No Minister

God loves a trier ... but I really think that Smith's lawyer, Tony Ellis, is pushing the envelope in attempting to have the escaping from custody charges against him dropped on the basis that the Brazilian Judge who ordered his deportation back to NZL had dementia and could not tell right from wrong and that therefore the deportation order was ultra varis.

If one was to accept the Ellis argument then I guess his next step would be to petition that Smith be sent back to Brazil ... and all this per courtesy of legal aid.

OK, I accept Smith's lawyer has a duty of care to represent his client to the best of his ability but this is an argument going nowhere.



12:44

Warming Up No Minister

We are in for a warm week, with maxima rising from 34 today to 44 on Saturday.

Saturday brings winds of 26 kph which, though not strong, represent a serious fire risk when coupled with high temperatures.

mary Sun
Dec 13
Mon
Dec 14
Tue
Dec 15
Wed
Dec 16
Thu
Dec 17
Fri
Dec 18
Sat
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mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
...

11:35

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Saturday, 12 December

10:37

PARTY TIME No Minister

Time to reflect on the state of the Parties as we head off into the BBQ season.   Yep, of course I'm biased, but these are my honest opinions and I've tried to edit out my obvious prejudice toward National ... so, for what it's worth.

On National ... not a particularly stellar year for the government but they ended up riding high in the polls ... still ... and able to govern alone were those numbers to be translated to an election result. Bill English is the undisputed power behind the throne ... much in the same way that Cullen was to Clark.  He threw Little a sucker punch over the return to surplus and Little bought it hook, line and sinker and ended up looking stupid.    John Key continues to be John Key, human being with faults, and that is his strength.    Steven Joyce made a pigs ear out of the Northland by-election and perhaps his star is on the wane.   Mid 2016 there will be a cabinet shakeup and a clearing of the decks leading into the election.   Key did it before and will do it again.   Hat-tip ... Brownlie for Speaker,   Carter for something nice.

On Labour ... I am genuinely unsure as to how secure Andrew Little is as leader.   The latest poll with Labour dropping to 28.5% support will be hugely disappointing for them and especially for Annette King who has consistently argued that their rolling average is around the 33% mark.    To his credit Little has stamped his authority on what had been a fractious caucus.   His ability to project Labour as a Party in waiting is...

06:07

INTERESTING? No Minister

A few minutes ago I chanced to look 'backstage' at the blog to see where we were being accessed from at that point of time.   Here is the list by country in order of viewing numbers ....

Australia
...

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Friday, 11 December

19:56

Top tweets about the first flag change referendum result liberation

Here a selection of some of the more interesting and insightful tweets about the first flag change referendum result. The most recent tweets are first. Alessandra Rachael ‏@AlessandraRach In other news, Twitter is not the voice of majority NZ. Hang on, that's not news. WE FOUND THAT OUT IN THE LAST ELECTION! #NZFlag Simone McCallum ‏@simonemccallum Twitter also predicted a landslide victory to Labour at the last election. #nzflag #justsaying Lizzie MarvellyVerified account ‏@LizzieMarvelly It also feels like a slap in the face for Maori. To me anyway. #nzflag Damien Grant ‏@damienmgrant It's like voters don't listen to advice from...

09:51

An Embarrasment Of Glitches No Minister

A fortnight ago he sideswiped a couple of parked cars and blamed it on coffee but this week we find what probably was the real reason.

Mr 14% is a serial texter.   Fancy being filmed driving while having both hands on his cellphone.

It seems the ALP does just as good a job as New Zealand Labour in bringing turkeys into their leadership.

08:05

Friday's Fulminations No Minister

There is mild moderation.  Normal rules of blogger etiquette and courtesy to blog hosts will apply.with serious transgressors being thrown out.

Unfortunately our system does not allow your comments to show up in the blog post itself.  Just in the comments section.

Visitors might consider the wisdom of using moderate language.

Regards

Adolf

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Wednesday, 09 December

10:44

Moronic No Minister

Labour MP David Shearer has described candidate Trump's comments about Muslim immigration to the US as 'moronic.'

Methinks the only thing moronic here is David Shearer.

The rabid anti=Trump media deliberately left out the qualifier from his speech.  He wants to stop the entry of Muslim immigrants 'until the authorities can properly vet them.'   Currently American authorities have revealed they are incapable of properly vetting such immigrants.  (Another scandal from the Obama administration.)

So how moronic is it for a has-been politician from a South Pacific back water to describe the man who may well be the next US President as 'moronic'?

And no, Vet.  I don't think Hillary would beat him.  Not even with the help of the New York Times.

08:20

ON KELVIN DAVIS No Minister

There was a time when some thought that Kelvin Davis was the great brown hope for the Labour Party ... after all, he defeated Hone Harawira and that in itself was no mean feat.

Since then he has fashioned for himself a persona as pimping for crims and as a union muppet ever ready to put the boot into Serco but curiously stum when it comes to problems relating to prisons managed by members of the Corrections Association of NZL (read prison officer's union).

My assessment of Davis as a political lightweight owing his profile to a compliant media, much like his colleague Jacinda Adern, is clearly wrong ... he is now revealed as a stupid political lightweight in search of a headline.    Read it here.   Davis is calling on Te Uroroa Flavell, Minister of Maori Development, to intervene to help locate four Maori children supposedly 'missing' in Australia.

Drill down into the case and it involves a Maori family who turned their backs on New Zealand with the husband and wife now separated and the children now subject to a custody dispute hearing currently being dealt with by the the Family Court in Australia.

Politicians need to be very careful in attempting to intervene in matters sub judice;  doubly so in matters involving another countries jurisdiction.    Davis is headline grabbing pure and simple and, in doing so, is revealed as someone with little or no understanding of the need and requirement for there to be separation between the...

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Tuesday, 08 December

14:40

REFLECTING ON THE EVER CHANGING POLITICAL DYNAMIC No Minister

Two interesting developments this week related and yet unrelated.     In Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro's Socialist Party lost control of the Congress for the first time since 1999 when his predecessor Hugo Chavez, acolyte of Fidel Castro, seized power.  

In recent years Venezuela has become as basket case economy despite having some of the largest oil reserves in the world.   Inflation this year is assessed at 100% with GDP projected to shrink by 10% and a further 6% next year.   Unemployment in 2016 is projected at 18.1%. Hugo Chavez's dream of a perfect socialist utopia fell apart in a country where the middle class had to queue to buy staple foodstuffs such as milk, coffee, rice, sugar and cooking oil and where toilet paper became an unattainable luxury for many.  

The extent of the centre/right victory where they won a two-thirds majority in Congress is such that they will be able to roll back some of Maduro's controversial appointments to the judiciary and pave the way for the release of political prisoners.   Even so, the pathway back to a degree of economic normality, is likely to be long and torturous.

The Socialist's defeat in Venezuela replicated what happened in Argentina two weeks previous where there was a substantial swing to right.

And in the first round of the French regional elections held last weekend the Far Right National Front (FN) led by Marine Le Pen scored 6.019m votes against the Union of the Right (LR) led by Nicholas Sarkozy (ex President of France) with 5.785m votes beating the Socialists (PS) led by Lean Christophe Cambadellis into third pl...

13:00

Cartoons about the comeback of Judith Collins liberation

Scott - Dominion Post 8 December 2015 Hubbard - 8 December 2015 Emmerson - NZ Herald 8 December 2015 @FoxyLustyGrover Chicane - Southland Times 8 December 2015 Nisbet - The Press 8 December 2015 Moreu - Timaru Herald 8 December 2015 Earlier cartoons: Hodgson - Dominion Post 26 October 2015 Emmerson - NZ Herald 13 October 2015 Slane - Listener 9 July 2015 - JudithCollins Hodgson - Dominion Post 1 June 2015 Ekers - Wellingtonian 14 May 2015 Slane - Listener 7 May 2015 Hubbard - 6 May 2015 Scott - Dominion Post 6 May 2015 Moreu - Timaru Herald...

05:26

CHRIS TROTTER HAS IT ABOUT RIGHT No Minister

I don't often agree with Chris Trotter but I do enjoy reading his blog 'Bowalley Road' where he writes from a 'left, left' perspective without the rancor or nastiness that are the hallmarks of The Standard' and especially 'The Daily Blog'.


Further, that the ABC faction now have their own leader in the form of the shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn and that somewhere, somehow, sometime  these forces will conspire to roll Corbyn.

Who am I to disagree with that analysis.


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Monday, 07 December

17:04

Upwardly Mobile No Minister

The other day in Adelaide, a young man from the suburb of Holden Hill was apprehended by police, joy riding in a stolen Mercedes Benz.

14:28

'SHE'S BACK No Minister

And now its a case 'damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead' (with apologies to Admiral David Farragut).

There will be the quite predictable cries of outrage especially from those who see her as living proof that National eats babies.    Others who inhabit the nether regions of politics will curse the return of someone who will strengthen Cabinet and make it more likely that the government will get to serve a forth term.

Labour finds it impossible to comprehend and accept that a person who grew up in a Labour voting household could ever jump the fence.   They see it as tantamount to treason.   That's part of the reason why John Key and Judith Collins are so reviled by many from the 'dark side' of politics.   Others might take the view it proves the old adage ... if you ain't a socialist at age 20 your haven't got a heart and if you ain't a capitalist at age 40 you haven't got a brain.

Will their collective outpourings of bile worry Collins at all ... not one bit.


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Sunday, 06 December

07:44

WELL DONE THE NZDF No Minister

Kudos to the NZ Defence Force for their 'zero tolerance' approach to drug taking. No ifs, buts or maybes ... you indulge, you're gone.   It's been a feature of our military for as long as I can remember and long may it continue.

This follows the news that five soldiers from Linton Military Camp have been discharged after taking N-Bomb, a psychedelic drug, over the Labour weekend holiday break.   My understanding is that they admitted to the drug taking.  Three more are to face Courts Martial.

This may not sit well with our more liberal members of society including some of our parliamentarians and to them I say stiff ... so what if other 'professions' are prepared to turn a blind eye to drug taking ... sez much about them and their standards (or lack of).   There's no place in the military for drug users ... I saw the results of an unchecked drug culture in another countries armed forces and the devastating consequences it had.

And before anyone rushes in with the old hoary of alcohol abuse all I would say is that the consumption of alcohol in the military is but a fraction of what it was in my day .... wet canteens/clubs/messes awash with liquor, doesn't happen any more.


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Wednesday, 29 April

05:04

Michfest cuts right through to your heart The Hand Mirror

The Michigan Womyn's Festival is calling it a day after 40 years.  For many, Michfest is the epitome of Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism.  The eviction of Nancy Burkholder in 1991 sparked protests which have continued to this day.

"She said that MWMF policy was that the festival was open to “natural, women-born-women” only. I replied that nowhere, in any festival literature or the program guide was that policy stated. I asked Chris to please verify that policy and she went to the office to contact the festival producers, Lisa Vogel and Boo Price.
Del stated that the reason the policy was not in any literature was because the issue of transsexuals had never come up as a problem before. Del added that the policy was for the benefit of the transsexuals’ safety and the safety of the women attending the festival. When I pointed out that there were other transsexuals on the land she acknowledged that this was true. Then she added, ‘We haven’t caught them yet, but we did catch you.”
I went to Michfest in the early 1990s in my early 20s, and it was beautiful.  Camping on forested wild land.  Music, workshops, arts, crafts.  Ten thousand women dancing under the stars.

I heard Melissa Ferrick and Phranc and Sweet Honey in the Rock.  Learnt salsa dancing with naked women.  Enjoyed workshops on racism, non-monogamy, writing and s/m.  Talked to women from all over the world about sexism and gender politics and queer life and violence.  Kissed some cut...

Resource generated at IndyWatch using aliasfeed and rawdog

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Saturday, 05 December

18:09

Lets Put That Another Way No Minister


As world media and politicians dance on an increasingly crowded pinhead to avoid the bleeding -Pun definitely intended, obvious that the San Bernardino shooting was yet another deranged bloody soldier of Islam this time accompanied by his equally deranged missus.

A commercial investigative tax  outfit has a traditional end of year party to allow all the staff to mix and mingle while they enjoy a successful productive effort over the past year.
One employee who everyone seems to regard as a good bastard leaves the euphemistically titled "holiday party" picks up his wife of two years, leave their toddler with other family member, change into military style clothing, tool up with a couple of modified AR15 semi automatic rifles acquired legally under one of the most stringent state purchase regimes but illegally modified to bypass the full automatic constrict and incorporating a quick magazine change function and modified magazines to carry greater number of rounds.
Mr Soldier of Islam and his equally radicalised missus return to the happy gathering and commence an assault that kills more than a dozen and wounds many more. One co-worker who suggested Farouk was a "mate" luckily happened to be taking a slash in a restroom when the mayhem erupted and could not believe his good fortune as his lovely bestie went rogue.

When the good guys responded in around four minutes the terrorists decided to flee and were eventually brought down in a Bonnie and Clyde shoot out on a highway.

This event had  very little involvement with easy access to weapons.
The Mr and Mrs Killer were not really on any security watch list.
Mr Killer had made two pilgrimages to the Haj festival in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Killer was American born.
Mrs Killer was Pakistani born.
How loving were they to abandon a 6 month old child and commit suicide by Cop.

Finally that illustrious Irish named Barry O'Bama is some d...

16:23

Even More Brainless Than The Fish Monger No Minister

With your party  polling at record lows and your personal preference as PM already in single figures and declining, why on earth would you go out and indulge is a very public display of

FREEFALL

Such is the shewd and acute political judgement of Andrew Little.

Almost as dumb ass Turnbull and Obama describing Daesh as 'weak' and 'contained,' as that evil organisation annexes a large slice of Afghanistan to add to its caliphate.

12:09

STUPID OR HARMLESS FUN - YOUR CALL No Minister

Police were called out after a group attending a costume party dressed as IS militants and toting plastic guns were spotted near the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Methinks they can thank their lucky stars that this isn't the US where such actions would have provoked a slightly more 'robust' response.

Plain stupid, given the events of recent days, or just harmless fun ... your call.   Easy for me.


10:01

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Friday, 04 December

07:02

Conversation: President Putin’s State of the Nation Address THE OCEANIA SAKER

Watch someone speak truthfully for a change.

Augmented Ether

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Thursday, 03 December

10:42

Airport Donetsk New Zealand Conservative


I've just watched Airport Donetsk, the short documentary film above. It's basically interviews with Russian separatists (Russian military) and with surviving Ukrainian armed forces who battled each other at the airport, with the Russians ultimately winning.

There are some gruesome scenes of injured and/or dead bodies, and one particularly awful scene of Russian soldiers forcing captured Ukrainian soldiers to eat their Ukrainian flags cut off their uniforms. One can only imagine what happened next to those soldiers.

I'm left feeling quite numb after watching it.

08:48

Expert analyses of TPPA on theprocess and investment chapters released Watchblog

12.00
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Wednesday, 02 December

18:58

Conversation: Help give courage to a voice rising in fascist occupied Ukraine THE OCEANIA SAKER

Source: Vineyard of the Saker (German edition)

[Machine Translation]

We had stayed here several times mentions the case of Ruslan Kotsaba which in Ukraine has been sitting now nine months in prison because he has taken a position in a video against the mobilization. Here are links to our previous coverage:

The case Grossheim (February 10) Long live the freedom of the press! (April 18) journalists and prisons (August 25th)

Previously, shows the Ukrainian government neither sonderliche hurry to actually let it come to a process, moreover, to release him from custody.

In his last interview, Ruslan was very discouraged.

He does not give up, I want to ask you to do the following:

Writes him a postcard. Best postcard with a picture of the place in which you live. Because a collection of postcards from many different places at best helps to make courage.

The address is:

Ruslan Kotsaba, Ivano-Frankivsk Detention Center, E. Konovalets 70, Ivano-Frankivsk 76018, Ukraine

Addendum – a small tip of a reader, if you want to make sure that the card also matters: leave at the nearest branch of the German Red Cross. This registers the card, so it can not just disappear.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in...

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Sunday, 29 November

19:38

Putin and Hollande go after Erdogan’s racket, by Pepe Escobar THE OCEANIA SAKER

Source:RT
5658366ac46188920c8b45e4
It all started with French President Francois Hollande, after the Paris attacks, having the temerity to advance the idea of France working together with Russia in the same coalition against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip “no excuse” Erdogan thought NATO and Russia by this time would be at each other’s – Cold War 2.0 – nuclear throats, while Washington had brushed off Hollande’s idea with a cascade of platitudes and distortions.

And in less than 17 seconds, Prime Minister Ahmet “I ordered it myself” Davutoglu had authorized Turkey to shoot down a Russian Su-24 – only a few hours before Hollande met with President Obama.

So everything seemed to be falling into place. No chance of a new détente between the Atlanticist powers and NATO. On the contrary. Erdogan was sure he had sabotaged for good the Hollande-Putin face-to-face meeting in Moscow.

Not so fast, Sul...

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Friday, 27 November

11:35

Enantiodromia in Russian politics, by Alexander Dugin THE OCEANIA SAKER

Source: Fort Russ

tahZMny2LZg

This article was first translated at Fort Russ by “Soviet Bear” & subsequently edited by Jouaquin Flores.

In the world there is one major power, a few minor powers, and many passive objects in someone else’s game, with microscopic local interests. They are called “sovereign states” and most of them are represented in the UN. But today such formal “sovereignty” is fictitious and in name only. Sovereignty is a measure of power. No power – no sovereignty. According to American political scientist S. Krasner: “Sovereignty is organized hypocrisy”[1]. This is truth.

Power is distributed hierarchically in the world [2]

At the top of the pyramid of powers is the United States. It is served by a number of influential, sometimes obstinate, but always loyal vassals: the EU, Japan, Turkey, as well as distinctive proxies in the Islamic world: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Pakistan.

The next countries in the scale of power are those who are able to effectively compete in some areas with the United States. They belong to the “second world” (not the first, but not the third): this is the BRICS countries and others like them. Brazil (collectively, Latin America), Russia, India, China a...

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Thursday, 26 November

20:18

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Wednesday, 25 November

14:57

Top tweets about NZ Police suppression of academic research liberation

Here’s some of the more interesting and insightful tweets today about revelations from Jarrod Gilbert about the role of the NZ police in suppressing his attempt to carry out research – see: The police have deemed me unfit to undertake crime research because I know criminals. The tweets are roughly in reverse chronological order (ie the most recent tweets are first), and some have been tidied up to remove repetitive URLs, mentions etc. Hamish Keith ‏@hamish_keith BREAKING Police announce they have disarmed a leftie thesis in Lambton Quay Shane Cowlishaw ‏@scowlishaw Police media release on @JarrodGilbertNZ research access: Yeah, we...

09:33

Conversation:US-NATO Escalation in Syria? Turkey Downs Russian Jet THE OCEANIA SAKER

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

08:51

An Invisible US Hand (Turkey) Leading to War? by, DAVE LINDORFF THE OCEANIA SAKER

Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness

Source: counterpunch

Erdogan-angry-510x255

In considering the terrifying but also sadly predictable news of a Russian fighter jet being downed by two Turkish fighters, let’s start with one almost certain assumption — an assumption that no doubt is also being made by the Russian government: Turkey’s action, using US-supplied F-16 planes, was taken with the full knowledge and advance support of the US. In fact, given Turkey’s vassal status as a member of US-dominated NATO, it could well be that Ankara was put up to this act of brinksmanship by the US.

What makes the downing of the Russian jet, and the reported death of at least one of its two pilots (the other was reportedly captured alive by pro-turkish Turkmen fighters on the Syrian side of the Syria-Turkish border, and will presumably be returned to Russia) so dangerous is that as a member of NATO, supposedly a “mutual assistance” treaty that binds all members to come to the defense of one that is attacked, if Russia were to retaliate by downing a Turkish military plane, NATO countries including the US would be obliga...

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Sunday, 22 November

12:54

Every Position On The Spectrum Supports The Government’s Propaganda, by Paul Craig Roberts THE OCEANIA SAKER

Source: Zerohedge

There are a lot of questions to ask in these troubling times, right from economic uncertainty, to outright corporate fraud, wars to the environment.

There are far too many battles to be fought to preserve what most of us see, deep down inside, as the decent way to live. It is hard to keep track of what is the latest transgression of the ruling tiny elite that decides how we live and if we live.

Paul Craig Roberts gets to the heart of the matter.

Augmented Ether

————————————————————————————-

This excellent article by Glenn Greenwald…

Given all this, is there any mystery why “U.S. officials” and the military-intelligence regime, let alone Iraq War-advocating hacks like Jim Woolsey and Dana Perino, are desperate to shift blame away from themselves for ISIS and terror attacks and onto Edward Snowden, journalism about surveillance, or encryption-providing tech companies? Wouldn’t you if you were them? Imagine simultaneously devoting all your efforts to depicting ISIS as the Greatest and Most Evil Threat Ever, while knowing the vital role you played in its genesis and growth.

The clear, overwhelming evidence —...

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Friday, 20 November

10:57

07:43

Students, universities and white supremacy He Hōaka

Students of colour organising is getting serious media attention in the US at the moment. Concerned Student 1950 at the University of Missouri forced the University president to resign, holding him responsible for failing to address racism on campus (“Racial climate at MU”, “Mizzou hunger strike is what happens when universities disregard black lives”, “Concerned student 1950 demands”). Since then, we’ve heard about organising on countless campuses (article on 22 campuses with comments section naming other campuses, demands from students on a growing number of campuses).

One article that caught my attention was about Georgetown University. Georgetown’s history makes the link between white supremacy and its success clear—slaves were sold to pay off debt.

“American universities have only recently begun to publicly grapple with the fact that these elite institutions, like the United States, were literally built on the exploitation of black bodies. Beginning with Brown University’s Committee on Slavery and Justice in 2003, universities around the country have unearthed disturbing truths about how their schools profited from human bondage. For many universities, Georgetown included, slavery made the difference between a viable institution and a shuttered one.”
“In addition to the renaming of Mulledy Hall, Georgetown activists are asking for plaques to identify the unmarked grave...

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Wednesday, 18 November

10:22

09:30

Book Release: The Essential Saker THE OCEANIA SAKER

51uXSQuQtKL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_

Dear friends, Amazon indicates that the Saker’s book hardcover edition is temporarily out of stock. Please, go ahead and place your order, regardless stock level indication.

Amazon will refill its inventory and ship books first come first served to people who have placed out of stock orders, *then* to new orders. This should all happen within a matter of days and is largely automatic.

Great news is that the Kindle edition is selling briskly!

Fred Zimmerman
Nimble Books LLC

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

05:48

TPPA Bulletin #79Aotearoa NZ Peoples’ TPPA Demands Watchblog


In this Bulletin:
  • Updates on Nationwide marches
  • Aotearoa NZ Peoples' Demand
  • Media Coverage
  • Take Action Now
  • Key Issues from the text
  • Legal Action
  • ...

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Monday, 16 November

06:02

I Have the Answer: Individualism … #Paris Life Behind the IRon Drape


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Friday, 13 November

08:46

06:06

Mātauranga Māori, tino rangatiratanga and the future of New Zealand science He Hōaka

On a completely different topic, last year my mate Debbie and I wrote an opinion piece on the future of New Zealand science (what we lack in knowledge of New Zealand science, we make up for in opinions). You can access it here: Mātauranga Māori, tino rangatiratanga and the future of New Zealand science.

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Monday, 09 November

08:39

Parts of the Job Part 1 - Decision-making meetings (Nominate 2016) The Hand Mirror

Part of the series Nominate 2016, hoping to open up local government a bit so y'all will at least think about running in 2016.  

There are many parts to the role of an elected member in local government in Aotearoa New Zealand, and I hope to get through the ones I consider most important over time.  First up I'm going to focus on what is sometimes referred to as "the shop front" - decision-making meetings.

Skills you need to be effective:
As you read through this list don't be put off.  You will likely already do a lot of this in other contexts (I'll suggest some in brackets) and if not then with commitment and application you can learn much of it.  These aren't ranked numerically, the numbers are more for discussion reference if you want me or others to expand on that point.

  1. ...

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Sunday, 08 November

11:52

Andrew Little is killing Labour's identity politics liberation

The New Zealand Labour Party's 2015 annual conference will be remembered for the various policies that were jettisoned. But the other major trend from the conference is the discernible shift away from social liberalism on display. This was a point that I made this morning on TVNZ's Q+A programme, and so here's a quick elaboration about this point, via a few quick notes (while in transit): For the last decade – especially under Clark, and then Cunliffe - the Labour Party became more associated (rightly or wrongly) with social engineering, social reforms, and identity politics rather than with class politics....

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Friday, 06 November

11:30

Cartoons and images of the Politics of the Rugby World Cup liberation

Here's some cartoons and photos relating to New Zealand's involvement in the Rugby World Cup. Slane - Listener 5 November 2015

09:44

The Politics Crowd Goes Wild (for rugby) liberation

Recently Sky TV's Hayley Holt interviewed various leftwing politicians in New Zealand about the Rugby World Cup - here's an except from the programme it screened on:

08:23

TPPA Exposed: Don’t Sign It’s Worse Than We Thought Watchblog


The government today released the almost final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The lengthy delay has raised questions about whether the Ministers really knew what it was they were signing. It is already 30 days since Trade Ministers concluded the agreement, and there are still further adjustments to be made.

“The belated release of this TPPA document agreed by Trade Ministers a month ago is a shameful reminder of the secrecy, spin and corporate deal-making that has characterised this shabby deal,” said It’s our Future spokesperson coalition, Barry Coates.

...

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Thursday, 05 November

10:57

Some thoughts on the politics of rugby in 2015 liberation

The political left has a problem with rugby in New Zealand, and various leftwing bloggers often outline some of the more negative history and culture associated with the game. Much of this seems somewhat out-dated and puritanical. So here are some brief thoughts about how rugby in 2015 is a very different beast to that of, say, 1981. There are many aspects of the game that the left should find easy to embrace: the emphasis on the collective team effort over individual achievement (despite corporate pressure to single out stars), the massive number of non-commercial and community based democratic organisations...

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Friday, 30 October

14:05

10:28

Top tweets about the Police-Westpac breach of Hager's privacy liberation

This is a collection of some of the more interesting tweets in response to the Police-Westpac controversy over Nicky Hager's banking information. The most recent tweets are first. Kim Dotcom ‏@KimDotcom The privacy intrusions in my case and in the case of journalist Nicky Hager have one thing in common. No warrants. Rangi Kemara ‏@Te_Taipo @bryce_edwards If Hager loses this case, it will not discourage future Rawsharks exposing corruption, they'll just raw dump data instead. Richard Meadows ‏@MeadowsRichard anyone else a wee bit uncomfortable with championing of Hager’s privacy vs glee at Slater’s (stolen) private mail strewn far and wide?...

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Thursday, 29 October

05:46

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Wednesday, 28 October

14:38

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Sunday, 25 October

08:42

Quotation for Today – Sunday – 25 October The Inquiring Mind

From Matthew Hooton’s latest NBR column:

. On Wednesday, it (Labour) confirmed 68-year-old Annette King as deputy leader over 35-year-old Jacinda Ardern, the former Helen Clark staffer who makes Mr Key look like a deep thinker. The fact this was indeed the right decision based on merit underlines how little Mr Key needs to worry about meeting his Justin Trudeau.


07:55

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Saturday, 24 October

15:26

Political Inanities (1) – Jacinda Ardern – Cuisine The Inquiring Mind

DomPost 09102015Now it has long been evident that many politicians, of all stripes, lose touch with reality. Indeed many would suggest that many had no contact with reality at the outset. However, as Jane Austen did not say, it is a well known fact that a politician when asked a question will necessarily give a response, the quality and veracity of which is often highly questionable.

Now a number of commentators, both ‘media’ and bloggers have raised concern that Mr Andrew Little, the present incumbent as Labour Leader, failed to promote Ms Jacinda Ardern to the role of Deputy. Indeed some have traduced Mr Little’s character for not so doing. We are told, constantly by the MSM, how highly Ms Ardern is rated by Auckland business. Frankly a proposition Adam finds very surprising. The wish is perhaps father to the thought.

This morning Adam was browsing one of his good lady’s magazines – Cusine and found a possible reason as to why Ms Ardern was not elevated. It would appear that like many in politics, especially on the left, that Ms Ardern has only a passing acquaintance with arithmetic. Similarly to many teachers who seem to have an extremely limited grasp of the English language.

This inanity, reproduced below, was the response to a feature in Cuisine, November 2015 issue, where ‘celebrities’ are questioned on a variety of matters:-

JA_Cuisine

Now on no rational construct is it possible that Ms Ardern did w...

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Friday, 23 October

10:17

Peace Researcher Number 50 OUT NOW Watchblog

Grab your FREE copy !


In this Issue
  • The Government’s SIS And GCSB
  • Stop The Spies! by Stop The Spies
  • Spooky Bits
  • Cops Pay Out Spy & Agent Provocateur
  •  New Zealand’s Homegrown Military-Industrial Complex 
  • Militarist Market Strategy And Tactics. - Global Capitalist Ideology And Growing Crisis 
  • Reviews
    ~ “Kill Chain: Drones And The Rise Of High-Tech Assassins”
    ~ “We Kill Because We Can: From Soldiering To Assassination In The Drone Age”

Peace Researcher is published by Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC) and yep it is free to...

07:23

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Monday, 19 October

15:05

05:57

Top tweets in tribute to John Armstrong liberation

The retirement of the Herald’s political columnist John Armstrong has led many to tweet tributes, especially in reaction to his final column in the weekend. Here’s some of the more interesting ones – roughly in reverse chronological order (most recent tweets first). David Cunliffe ‏@DavidCunliffeMP Thank you John Armstrong for your insight, thoughtful reflections and your apology today. Richard Harman ‏@RMAHarman Armstrong's Herald column this morn the best sumup of last 30 years in NZ pols I have ever read. Politics is the loser with his departure. Phil Quin ‏@philquin Thanks John Armstrong for being an uncommonly lucid, intelligent &...

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Sunday, 18 October

11:41

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Saturday, 17 October

12:18

Nationwide Day of Action Watchblog


It's time for NZ to unite and take the biggest stand that we

 have seen in our history! 


It's time to STAND UP against the TPPA!...

11:10

Quotation for Today – Saturday, October 17 2015 The Inquiring Mind

“America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilisation in between.”

Oscar Wilde


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Friday, 16 October

07:04

Why Not Labour Make This Compassionate Gesture for Euthanasia Law? Life Behind the IRon Drape


What a dysfunctional democracy we have where our individual rights are abrogated in Parliament, not protected, by a dufferish old coiffed codgerati scared witless of a fairy tale God.

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Thursday, 15 October

08:39

Quotation for Today – Thursday 15 October 2015 The Inquiring Mind

Patrick Gower writes:-

The Labour Party is swallowing a dead rat, and not just any old dead rat.

Labour is swallowing an enormous, filthy, stinking, rotten, maggot-infested dead rat called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Labour’s 32 MPs looked deflated and rattled in Parliament’s question time today. It was like 32 individual TPP rats were served up as a ghastly afternoon feed.

Labour looked as if it had nowhere to go when attacking the TPP the Government had agreed to.

Labour seemed to be flailing about, its questions effectively patsies that allowed Prime Minister John Key and company extol the virtues of the trade deal.

The lowest point for Labour was the inevitable and humiliating recital by Key of Helen Clark’s public statement that it was “unthinkable” for New Zealand to be left out of the TPP.

It was always going to come, but it looked like it really hurt the Labourites. Their hero, Clark, was in support of TPP – her words thrown back at them as a disgusting garnish on their dead rat feed.

It is looking like the TPP was nowhere near as bad as Labour made it out to be.


06:29

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Wednesday, 14 October

17:20

MH-17 Report and attempts to cover up the cause of the crash New Zealand Conservative



It's finally out, the Dutch investigation into the MH-17 passenger plane crash in Ukraine last year, the crash that many believe was a deliberate targeting of the flight by pro-Russian rebels.  Not that they believed they were aiming for a plane full of civilians when they fired, but that they thought the plane was a Ukrainian military plane of the type they had shot down before.  It was only when the debris came to earth that they realised their terrible error.

Anyway, the Dutch report does not conclusively say who and why, but only what, in that it was a Russian-made surface to air missile, a BUK, that took down the plane and killed everyone on board, fired from rebel controlled territory in Ukraine.

What's even more interesting is how persons unknown made efforts to cover up causes of disaster:

The report by the Dutch safety board said that more than 120 objects, “mostly metal fragments”, were found in the body of the first officer, who had sustained “multiple fractures”. When Dutch experts identified the captain’s body they found it had already “undergone an external and internal examination to remove foreign objects”.

Despite apparent attempts to remove shrapnel, “hundreds of metal objects were found”, the report said, as well as bone fractures and other injuries.

Among the fragments of missile shrapnel examined, two were in the shape of a bow tie, which the Dutch board found to be characteristic of a particular type of Buk missile warhead. However, the Russian manufacturer had earlier denied that any such fragments were found, and insisted an older Buk model was used,...

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Tuesday, 13 October

09:54

Dirty Politics material liberation

It’s now just over one-year since Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics was published. But we’re still discussing the book’s impact and relevancy, and probably will for some time yet. In fact later this month the High Court will release its decision on the Hager v AG case. I supplied an affidavit for the case, back in March – which you can download here: Affidavit of Bryce Edwards. For what it’s worth, the supporting files are also here: BDE-1 and BDE-2. I’ve also previously compiled other reportage and analysis about the book and related debates, and you can download a PDF of...

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Monday, 12 October

13:58

08:25

08:19

Phil Goff commences campaign to become Auckland Mayor The Inquiring Mind

Yesterday Phil Goff’s SST reply to Judith Collins column seemed to Adam to be an opening shot in Goff’s campaign to replace Len Brown as Mayor of Auckland, viz:-

SST_10112015_Goff


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Sunday, 11 October

14:38

14:22

Sunday Folk (3) – Oct 11, 2015 The Inquiring Mind

Continuing with my remembrances:-

The superbJ ohn Tams


11:53

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Saturday, 10 October

08:14

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Friday, 09 October

10:50

TPPA Bulletin #76 The Fight Continues Watchblog



No doubt many of you are dismayed at the outcome of the Atlanta TPPA talks, which saw a poor deal concluded, with only marginal market access for NZ dairy exports and confirmation of many of the worst fears of campaigns: investor-state dispute settlement provisions, costly copyright restrictions, increased costs for Pharmac, restrictions on the operation of SOEs and an array of other measures that amplify the influence of foreign investors and multinational corporations.

The NZ Government may be trumpeting its achievements, but the reality is far from rosy. As Bryan Gould notes in the NZ Herald:
The TPPA is a blueprint for extending the operation of those corporations without their having to bother with the restrictions that might be placed on them by national governments in the interests of their domestic populations.

It represents, in other words, a further, large, and largely irreversible step towards the absorption of a small...

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Tuesday, 06 October

07:26

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Sunday, 04 October

20:39

Arts & Letters Daily – And the Antidote To It. Life Behind the IRon Drape


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Friday, 02 October

15:06

Chris Brown and fairy dust The Hand Mirror

What to make of Chris Brown being so well supported by a handful of Māori women, some with history of working to prevent family violence, that he's tweeting them to say thank you?

Quite a lot, actually.  It's damn good publicity for Mr Brown to be talking about "strong women" about now, when his ability to tour the world is threatened by his use of violence towards other "strong women."  Some might say his livelihood may depend on his ability to reframe himself, since he's been banned from entering the UK, Canada and most recently, Australia.  While touring isn't the biggest money spinner for musicians these days, it's not looking good for Mr Brown, is it?

So you've beaten up your partner, been caught, hit and run another woman, been caught, beaten up male fans, been caught, threatened to kill a queer man, been caught, beaten up a man on the basketball court, been caught.  These incidents span a period of six years, most recent just last May.

Let's get this straight.  I firmly believe people can stop using abusive behaviour.  That's why I've sp...

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Thursday, 01 October

10:07

Chris Brown and His Execrable Music Must Proceed. Life Behind the IRon Drape


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Wednesday, 30 September

07:26

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Friday, 25 September

12:05

Cartoons about Red Peak liberation

Scott - Dominion Post 25 September 2015 Ekers - Wellingtonian 17 September 2015 Hubbard - 25 September 2015 @FoxyLustyGrover Body - NZ Herald 14 September 2015 Moreu - Timaru Herald 9 September 2015 Chicane - Southland Times 24 September 2015 Emmerson - NZ Herald 24 September 2015 Moreu - The Press 19 September 2015 Emmerson - NZ Herald 17 September 2015 Chicane - Southland Times 14 September 2015 Emmerson - NZ Herald 9 September 2015

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Friday, 18 September

09:19

The New Zealand Flag, Choice, and the Illusion of Free Will New Zealand Conservative

The four flag choices.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that we here in New Zealand are having a referendum early next year on whether to change our national flag - that is, of course, after a separate referendum to decide on what the design of the new flag should actually be.  In other words, it's being done backwards, as though the decision for change had already been made. And I think that was the intent. Otherwise, why not ask first if people want a change, before wasting time and effort asking for design submissions and whittling them down to a final four? Perhaps they know damn well that when people are asked straight up, as they have been in the past, they don't want a new flag.

If it must be done in this order, why not just have the one referendum (saving time and expense), and include the current flag as the fifth option? Will they, at some stage, perhaps decide not to have the second referendum regarding the choice between the new and current flags? I wouldn't be surprised.

My feeling is that this is a savvy marketing campaign to change the flag. By having people actively engaged in the process of making a selection, they are planting the seed of the idea in our brains that a new flag is needed. By having the option of the four new flags to choose from in the referendum but not the current one,...

07:30

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Thursday, 17 September

20:39

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Tuesday, 15 September

06:27

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Monday, 14 September

16:06

It's Our Future NZ ~> TPPA Bulletin #74 Watchblog


On 15 August 2015 the People spoke!
Over 25,000 people took to the streets in more than 20 towns and cities across the country – magnificent! See media coverage of the protests here.

The government’s responded with insults
PM Key and senior politicians dismissed concerns and belittled critics of the TPPA. Key told TVNZ’s Breakfast that protesters were ‘misinformed’: 1/3 were ‘genuine’, 1/3 were ‘rent-a-crowd’, and the rest were Labour and Green supporter. Groser was even more abrasive, telling Morning Report that people were being misled by a few hardcore activists, and describing opposition to the agreement as “completely extreme”.

...

06:20

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Friday, 11 September

18:12

Fairey's Theory of Awesomeness (Nominate 2016) The Hand Mirror

Part of the series Nominate 2016, hoping to open up local government a bit so y'all will at least think about running in 2016.  


Fairey's Theory of Awesomeness
Some elected people think they have been elected because they are awesome.  For those who think this, all they will likely do, once elected, is continue to radiate their awesomeness.  Avoid members of Team Awesome; please don't be one and please don't vote for one.
I've noticed there are really two main kinds of people who are politicians, by which I mean elected people like me.  There are those who think they are elected because they are awesome, and those who have a broader understanding of why they are elected and what the role is.  In my opinion you do not want to vote for the former, and if you run you do not want to be the former either.  

How can you pick who is on Team Awesome?
Those on Team Awesome will of course differ in their individual practice but can often be discerned by markers such as:
  • Low attendance at meetings, briefings and the like that are part of the elected role, particularly if formal minutes are not being taken or the public are not present and/or it is a consultation process where listening and answering questions is key - why would they need to go, they already know how to be awesome!
  • Often very quick responses to public scrutiny such as angry constituent emails, but then no actual follow through on the issue raised - the very fact that they have shared their awesomeness with you by replying is sufficient!
  • A lack of detail in their reporting, or possibly even just no reporting at all - they don't need to prove their awesomeness to anyone, yo, it is self-evident.
  • Conf...

08:49

05:30

Petition to Reject Investor-State Dispute Settlements Watchblog



Sign this extremely important and internationally supported petition 



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Monday, 07 September

13:58

Top tweets about the NZ-Syrian refugee announcement liberation

Here's some of the more interesting tweets in response to the Government announcement of extra Syrian refugees to be allowed to come to New Zealand. The most recent tweets are first. More to be added. Perfect Mike Hosking ‏@MikePerfectHosk Well, I'm not paying for the extra refugees. John Key has assured me that my taxes will be applied solely to the SkyCity Convention Centre. James Macbeth Dann ‏@edmuzik There can few phrases that have been written more dehumanising than the sentence "100 Syrians in this financial year" > James Macbeth Dann ‏@edmuzik "in the year to June, Syrians were up...

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Friday, 04 September

13:02

Cartoons about New Zealand’s “response” to the Refugee crisis liberation

Moreu - Fairfax 4 September 2015 Tremain - ODT 3 September 2015 Emmerson - NZ Herald 4 Septemer 2015 Hubbard - 4 September 2015 Emmerson - NZ Herald 3 Septemer 2015 neetflux.tumblr.com 3 September 2015 Moreu - Southland Times 23 June 2015 Lyndon Hood - scoop.co.nz Scott - Dominion Post 18 June 2015

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Thursday, 03 September

13:24

Top tweets about Jacinda Ardern and the “pretty little thing” debate liberation

Here are some of the more interesting recent responses on Twitter to the rise of Jacinda Ardern and the description of her as a "pretty little thing" on TV. Raybon Kan ‏@RaybonKan Quite a change to NZ's constitution: switching from 3-yearly MMP elections, to having Graham Lowe choose our PM, like a Sorting Hat. #tppa Jessica Williams ‏@mizjwilliams So review what has been written and said about @jacindaardern this week, then come back and tell me NZ doesn't have a problem with sexism. Grant Robertson ‏@grantrobertson1 I've had a bit of a rant about @jacindaardern and the sexist crap she...

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Wednesday, 02 September

19:58

Bloody Jamie Oliver Cashing In On Food Wowserism. Life Behind the IRon Drape


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Tuesday, 01 September

21:28

This isn't trolling, this is abuse The Hand Mirror

Anita Sarkeesian is a brave woman who speaks out about the misogyny of video games and the abuse directed at her as a result.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/aug/29/anita-sarkeesian-gamergate-interview-jessica-valenti

"Women are much more likely to be harassed in online spaces than men, and the harassment is much more likely to be sexually violent. A 2006 study by the ...

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Saturday, 29 August

07:47

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Monday, 24 August

11:30

Top tweets about the F-bomb on Q+A liberation

Tweets in reaction to TVNZ’s Q+A immigration debate in which economist Shamubeel Eaqub tells Don Brash to “Get fucken real”. The most recent tweets are first. Deborah Russell ‏@BeeFaerie @SEaqub I thought what you said on @NZQandA was excellent. All of it. Every single word. Ali Ikram ‏@AliIkram do u hv to mind yr ps and qs on q & a RachelNZ ‏@3RachelNZ3 Good episode of @NZQandA today. Nice to have real debate for a change #fbomb #nzpol Emma Espiner ‏@emmawehipeihana I'll be honest, I watched @NZQandA today to see @SEaqub deal out Winston. I was not disappointed. c ‏@runawayfound...

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Thursday, 20 August

02:04

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Tuesday, 18 August

12:22

Nominate 2016 - A series of posts encouraging you to run for local government The Hand Mirror

Hello there folks,
I am intending to write a series of posts about local government politics, with the aim of enlightening and also encouraging people, particularly the kind of people who read this blog, to run for the 2016 local government elections.

Why?  Well it is a great opportunity to work with others to make change in your community and your region.  Yes it can be incredibly frustrating, and not everyone is suited to the work.  I'm hoping that through writing this series you'll get a sense not only of what is possible to achieve in local government if you are elected but also if you don't run but are interested in making local change working alongside those who do.  There should be some helpful bits that will assist with assessing candidates for your own 2016 votes as well.

Why now?  Because even though the voting doesn't happen until September/October 2016 if you are going to run it's a good idea to start thinking about that now.  I don't know a lot about the tickets (groups of candidates usually with common policies) in areas outside Auckland (and even in some parts of Auckland), but I do know that many will be turning their minds to who to ask to run for them next year now and over the next few months.  One ticket in Auckland is selecting their candidates shortly! (the Labour team for the Henderson Massey Local Board).  While you may not need to make a definite decision about running until as late as July 2016, if you want a good shot at getting elected then a bit of time put in now and over the rest of this year is a good idea.  Not a lot of time, mind, just a bit!

Why run?  I'll go into that in more detail in a future post.  At this point what I want to say is that I never imagined I would be a local government politician - this was an accidental career change for me - and I had no idea of the potential of the role and what councils can achieve, alongside the co...

12:05

Take Back the Night - AKL - 28th Aug The Hand Mirror

What:  Take Back the Night
When:  7:00pm, Friday 28 August 2015
Where:  Meet Corner of Symonds St and Alfred St, Auckland Central
...

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Wednesday, 12 August

15:59

Let the boys park their cars on school grounds! New Zealand Conservative


I am amazed at how many people voted against letting the pupils from Christ's College park their cars in an empty lot that is adjacent to the college and is college owned. What is wrong with people?? At the time of my voting, a massive 72% of those who voted did not think that the boys should be able to park on a piece of empty ground next the college. It's empty, what is the harm? Seriously, if it were a group of teachers that needed the car parking, I bet there would be no problem.

The school headmaster and those 72% should read the late Celia Laslie's book: He'll Be Ok: Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men for help. By the time boys are year 13, they need to be treated more like adults than children - something schools have a lot of trouble with. Of course, I don't know if the boys campaigning are year 13, but even if they are not, the opposition to allowing the boys to park on empty school grounds seems petty and vindictive and unreasonable.

Related link: Christ's College students to 'face repercussions' over car park campaign

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Tuesday, 11 August

13:15

Biphobia and Radio New Zealand The Hand Mirror

Dear Radio New Zealand,

Thank you for investigating the impact of marriage equality on sexuality and gender diverse communities (which I’m going to call “queer”) in your recent news article.  It’s most welcome to have ongoing attention to the ways in which discrimination and oppression are experienced by queer people in Aotearoa.

Many of the speakers were interesting, thoughtful and eloquent.  I particularly enjoyed hearing from Ngahuia Te Awekotuku and Elizabeth Kerekere as centring takatāpui experience should be part of any conversation of queer rights in Aotearoa.  And I loved the use of “queer” as an umbrella term by Radio NZ, though I know it's a contested term.

I missed any acknowledgment of issues for intersex people, particularly when Aotearoa is the home of one of the most internationally respect intersex human rights advocates in Mani Mitchell. Intersex people face unwanted and intrusive health practices throughout their lives as a result of binary understandings of sex. These things have been completely unaddressed by marriage equality.

I also missed any investigation of changes for queer Asian and Pacifica peoples, since in all those communities, queer activists raised issues and pushed MPs to vote in support of queer rights, with varying degrees of success. I wondered what, if anything, those conversations have opened up for queer people in those communities.

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Friday, 07 August

07:26

Daily Vertical - Putin's Propaganda Fail New Zealand Conservative


Brian Whitmore talks about the recent international Pew Research that shows that despite spending half a billion dollars on getting their message out to the world, Russia and Putin are considered far less favourably in most countries that were surveyed.

This just goes to show that no matter what countries or people say, their actions speak louder than their words. Colin Craig should take note.

Related links: The Daily Vertical: Russia's Propaganda Fail Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Russia, Putin Held in Low Regard around the World ~ Pew Research Centre

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Wednesday, 05 August

05:39

TPPA Bulletin #70 NO DEAL IN MAUI! Watchblog


8-15 AugustTPPA ACTION WEEK!

.


Maui ministerial – TPPA stalled but not yet defeated

Ministers couldn’t reach a deal in Maui this week. That’s a great win, but no room for complacency. They are very close and the pressure is huge to solve the remaining big issues – dairy (NZ v Japan, US and Canada), automobiles (Mexico...

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Thursday, 30 July

09:17

Colonisation and belonging He Hōaka

For about a week, my inbox was full of links to blog posts about Andrea Smith and whether she is or isn’t Cherokee. I’ve read all of those posts, and most of them make me really uncomfortable. I want to explore my discomfort in a series of short (for me) posts over the next few weeks. I don’t know where this will go. I don’t plan to critique anything that anyone is saying, and I won’t presume to give any solutions—I know it's not my place. But there are a number of reasons that my reaction is complicated, and I think it’s important to talk about those reasons.

First of all, I should re-introduce myself. I am from Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe and Ngāi Tahu on my birth father’s side, and European on my birth mother’s side. I was adopted at birth by a Pākehā family, back in the days of closed adoptions, and grew up in Whangārei. My parents were assured that I am completely white, and I am light-skinned enough that this is marginally believable. So I was raised in ignorance of tikanga, and without any knowledge of my Māori whakapapa. I didn’t find my father until I was in my 30s, and with that I found out my iwi. At the time, I hadn’t even visited the area that we’re from. Since then, my birth father’s family have been incredibly welcoming, and have taken the time to teach me a lot. It has taken me a long time to learn some of the things that I should already have known. There are many things I will never learn. I will always be in-between, both Pākehā and Māori, and not quite either (I will write more about this in another post).

I have been lucky. There are many parts of my story that could have been different, that could have resulted in my never discovering my whakapapa, or that could have resulted in my knowing the connections, but never able to prove them:

  • I needed to find my mother
  • She needed to remember my father’s name
  • She needed to know that he was in another country
  • I needed to find him
  • ...

01:03

Winners and losers of the past five years TVHE

In his evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on the Summer Budget 2015, George Osborne opined that:

…distributional analysis is helpful. It helps inform the debate, and … shows how money is allocated by Government around the different income quintiles of society.

HM Treasury’s draft results have now been published. They show that low income households suffered the smallest pre-tax fall in income through the recession.

CropperCapture[17]

That is not entirely representative of low-income households’ experience because they were disproportionately exposed to unemployment, but it is interesting to see that upper-middle-income households saw the greatest fall in wages during the recession.

The impact of changes to taxes and welfare payments over the last Parliament has attempted to reverse those costs by penalising those on low incomes with sharp cuts to benefit rates. However, reductions in direct taxation have largely benefited middle-income households.

CropperCapture[19]

T...

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Wednesday, 29 July

16:26

Colin Craig threatens to sue for defamation New Zealand Conservative

Oh dear. As my oldest son said, doesn't he realize this will just keep all that stuff alive that he'd rather people forget???

In the interests of keeping myself out of Craig's cross-hairs (he's suing Cameron Slater and John Stringer for more than Jordan Williams, because the first two are BLOGGERS!) - all I'll say here is that all of this will (is backfiring) backfire on Craig.

Any respect from this side of the political divide that might have been given him because of what he was trying to do with the Conservative Party is now totally gone.

Related link: Hilarious booklet on the allegations of defamation

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Saturday, 25 July

13:02

Get Your Submissions In To Watchblog



The Independent Review of Intelligence and Security


Submissions deadline: 5.00pm 14 August



and don't forget that  Nic...

01:33

The male wage premium TVHE

Wage inequality between men and women has split opinion in the UK after the Government last week announced that all large firms would have to publish the gap in average earnings between their male and female employees. In light of that debate, today’s HESA data on the pay of recent graduates is interesting. It shows that female graduates are slightly more likely than male graduates to be in work a year after graduating, but they earn considerably less.

Of course, that’s not necessarily a causal link and Ben Southwood rightly pointed out that, in the US, similar results are due to differences in the subjects that male and female students study. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case in the UK:

These correlations aren’t in any way conclusive, but they’re hardly reassuring for people who think the wage gap between men and women has been eliminated. Importantly, it’s only through transparent discussion of these outcomes and the...

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Friday, 24 July

20:44

RIP Seamus Hogan TVHE

I just heard that Seamus Hogan died unexpectedly last week. Seamus is one of the people I admired most and a role model for any young economist. He always had time to talk through any problem and help out, even for the greenest of young graduates. His loss will be keenly felt by all those who knew him.

02:35

The cynicism of age isn’t universal TVHE

The ONS finds that older people are far more trusting of others than the young, they just don’t trust the Government. Does this account for Churchill’s apocryphal line?

If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.

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Wednesday, 22 July

19:24

George Osborne explains Summer Budget 2015 TVHE

The first reckoning for any Budget is when the Office for Budget Responsibility releases its estimates of the fiscal and economic impact of the measures. The second is when the Chancellor appears in front of the Treasury Select Committee and explains the reasoning behind the Budget. George Osborne’s Summer Budget appearance happened yesterday and shed light on a number of his more controversial fiscal policies. This is my summary of his answers, presented without comment.

Why austerity?
Osborne claimed that his rapid deficit reduction improved confidence across the economy, which caused demand to recover and growth to return.

Why a fiscal rule requiring an overall surplus in every year?

  • Paying down debt in time of growth makes sense, so a surplus is required.
  • Rules based on cyclically-adjusted measures and forecast targets—such as the present, five-year rolling structural current balance requirement—have huge measurement problems, which makes them a less effective constraint on Government policy.
  • He felt that the debt targets, which were anchored to a particular year, were the harder constraint on his actions in the past Parliament. The new requirement for a surplus each year is a similarly hard constraint and is intended to be so to effectively constrain future Chancellors.
  • The overall surplus is used instead of the current balance for two reasons: splitting current from capital expenditure allows gaming of the rules, and also leads to an undesirably negative framing of current expenditure.

Ring fences
Osborne was unapologetic about using ring-fences to protect particular areas of Go...

16:19

Dom Harvey is a coward. The Hand Mirror

There has been a lot of back and forth about the stupidity of Dom Harvey taking still frames of a woman dancing in order to get a photo of her knickers/three pairs of stockings/leotard.
First things first. Most performers don’t get to choose their costumes. If they do try to, they get labeled difficult. Any performer knows this. So slut shaming someone for an outfit they don’t chose is a pretty low hit.
Secondly, in order to see ANYTHING of a smutty level in a dance outfit there would have to be a serious malfunction. When I was dancing I wore a g string, then my skin tone tights, then my costume undies, then, then fishnets or costume tights, then my leotard or skirt. Sorry to ruin the day of the losers responsible for this being an actual thing on google search


But you aren’t gonna see anything, no matter how much time you waste re watching and freezing shots to take pics. Creep.
My next point has not been covered yet as far as I can see. There has been a lot of discussion about what is and isn’t funny and who is and isn’t public property, and what parts of a woman’s body are and aren't ok to view if it is already “out there”. But there has been no mention of the cowardice involved....

11:25

D-Day for real starting 28 July Watchblog

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Tuesday, 21 July

23:09

Choice and reversibility TVHE

A fascinating talk by psychologist, Dan Gilbert. Ten years old but worth watching if you haven’t seen it before.

The core point is that people get buyer’s remorse when choices are reversible and become increasingly unhappy with their decision. When choices are irreversible, endowment effects kick in and they become happier with their choice over time. Importantly, most people do not realise that this effect exists.

  • Does this have implications for choice architecture? Would it be beneficial to make some choices irreversible to increase the utility gained from them?
  • If people are unaware of the effect, will they under-utilise commitment mechanisms that make decisions irreversible?

11:23

In the half-light The Hand Mirror

My third child is six weeks old today.  For almost all of that time he and I have been living in a kind of dim twilight world, half-lit and full of unusual faint noises, as we navigated the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) together.  We started out in Level 3, the most acute level of care, travelled across the ward to Level 2 for a few days, and then finally to Level 1, the Parent Infant Nursery.  I was discharged from neighbouring Ward 96 at Day 7, and baby came home late last week.

For those who haven't been to NICU, which will be most people, it's something of a shock, or at least it was to me.  Not only are the lights dim and the noises somewhat muffled, there are medical machines everywhere, including empty incubators cluttering the corridors at times.  Pings and beeps and whooshing noises in the more intensive rooms, rushes of laughing chatter amongst nurses and parents sporadically in others, loud alarms that catch you unawares occasionally.  It's like an old-fashioned library but with a few babies instead of many books.  You expect to be shushed at any moment.

The outcome for our whanau has been good.  Baby (nicknamed Early) decided to come eight weeks ahead of schedule (well seven ahead of mine, but that's a story for another time) and so he needed to cook for a bit longer basically.  The care and support we received astonished me, not just for the medical needs of my child but also for my health and wellbeing, mentally and physically.  I have come away very much wishing that every parent, new or experienced, could access this level of support for a period after birth if they wanted to; a lactation consultant checking in with all the breastfeederers every few days, friendly reminders that you could go eat lunch while a nurse watched over your child, help learning to do what they call "the cares" (take temperature, change nappy, top and tail wash, followed by a tube feed and later on...

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Monday, 20 July

11:19

Public Forum Guest Speaker: Nicky Hager Watchblog


 


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Monday, 13 July

19:50

If you're saying the same kinds of things as Paul Henry, you should probably stop talking The Hand Mirror

Remember when Paul Henry wasn't sure if our Governor General was enough of a New Zealander? He wanted someone who "looked" and "sounded" "more of a New Zealander" than Anand Satyanand.

Remember when New Zealand Police prosecuted New Zealand citizens as overstayers because their names sounded Polynesian or they looked brown, even though most overstayers were from the UK and Australia?

Well, we have the latest installment of You're Not A Real New Zealander Unless You're White, from the party that brought us the dawn raids, with Phil Twyford able to tell from last names whether or not people belong here.  This time it's Chinese people that are targeted, and as Keith Ng has already pointed out, Winston Peters couldn't have said it better.

Whiteness is like a magic card that gets you into all the best places.  Sure, it impacts on people differently, but it makes any other area of your life where you might be missing out easier, automatically.

I lived in the UK for 12 years, courtesy of a Scottish grandmother and a friendly (to me) immigration system.  I was always at home there - despite not being from there - until I opened my mouth and my kiwi vowels pierced the stiff upper lips of those nearby.  Whiteness travels well, even for bogan queer girls.

Someone with a "Chinese" last name might have been here since 1860...

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Thursday, 09 July

13:26

The evolution of Male Chauvinist Pig to SPERM The Hand Mirror

Content note: explicit discussion of violence against women, violent misogyny and rape culture.

They call themselves "men's rights activists," and we've let them get away with it.  They have been clever, using language of "rights" and liberal ideas of equality, all the while demonising women and reinforcing sexist oppression.  A Voice for Men, Masculinist Evolution New Zealand (MENZ), the New Zealand Equality Education Foundation and the Union of Fathers have stolen liberatory language while they work on restoring men to their rightful place as top of the heap.

It's about time feminists called this out.  Second wave feminists in the 1960s and 1970s called sexists male chauvinist pigs.  They didn't let MCPs define the terms.

This international "men's rights" movement includes "activists" celebrating domestic violence murders as men fighting back.

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Monday, 06 July

06:29

The Alternatives To Selling Christchurch City Assets Watchblog


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Tuesday, 30 June

12:33

Everywhere The Hand Mirror

Recently I've been spending a lot of time on the 9th floor of Auckland City Hospital - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is currently the temporary home of my third child, born three weeks ago today.*  Even here, perhaps especially here given the stress of it all, there is violence against women perpetrated by men.

When Early first arrived I was admitted to Ward 96 and he was in nearby Ward 92.  There is a security door between the two wards, which requires a swipe card and only the mothers of babies in Ward 92, who are themselves in Ward 96, are allowed the cards.  Any visitors to my baby were only allowed in, one at a time, with me or the baby's father.  It seemed a bit over the top, until it became apparent that there was a mother and baby in the wards who had a father attempting to visit despite her strong desire for him not to do so.  To keep her safe, and the babies, hers and ours, it was necessary to be super vigilant about that door between Ward 96 and Ward 92, and no doubt at reception for NICU proper, because even here, even in the newborn ward of a hospital, there was a threat of violence.

Then there was this very sad sad story in Whangarei, unfolding at the same time that we were all guarding that door on the 9th floor:

Rachal, 20, died in Whangarei Hospital on June 10 after suffering a...

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Friday, 26 June

07:20

Treasury and the Reserve Bank have words TVHE

I am not blogging at the moment – and I’m incredibly sorry about that.  I won’t really be back until I can commit to being back properly – which won’t be until I’ve completed a lot of modeling work related to income inequality in New Zealand.  I am not back today to talk about any literature on inequality though – I realise there are a lot of things I can post about here, and I have views, and those views will come in due course.  But not today.

However, there have been a multitude of developments I should post on regarding an issue I angrily stopped writing on nearly two years ago – the area of financial stability.

Firstly, there is Michael Reddell’s blog.  He is a very good New Zealand economist who would be among the top of my reading list if I was still involved in these sorts of issues.  He recently stated:

The Reserve Bank appears to have taken on itself some responsibility for trying to manage house price fluctuations.  However, the Bank’s involvement appears to be based on a misconception of what is going on, and a misapplication of insights from financial crises abroad, notably that in the United States last decade. There is little or no evidence that financial stability in New Zealand is in any way threatened.  The LVR restrictions –  and others the Bank appears to be contemplating – undermine the efficiency of the financial system.

Eric Crampton has also added the important view about how increased direct regulation threatens actual independence.

However, the big move has been Treasury t...

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Tuesday, 23 June

15:14

The Latest Peace Researcher Watchblog


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The latest issue of Peace Researcher the journal of the Anti-Bases Campaign  is available for download

IN THIS ISSUE
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12:29

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Thursday, 18 June

10:12

TPPA attack on pharmac End Game In Chaos Watchblog


TPPA Attack on Pharmac
A secret TPPA Transparency Annex on Pharmaceutical products has been posted on Wikileaks, exposing the second prong of attack on Pharmac alongside the intellectual property chapter. Together medicines will become more expensive. John Key said NZers won’t pay any more than $5 for prescriptions under TPPA; that would mean more money into the health budget (not likely!), fewer meds are subsidised, or money goes from another part of the health budget to pay for meds. The only winner is Big Phrma.  ...

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Tuesday, 09 June

06:31

Call me feminist, but not the Burkett kind The Hand Mirror

My Facebook stream is full of feminism, queer activism, commentary on racism and funny stories about what my friends are eating/watching/doing with their children.  Just like everyone else's, I expect.  Yesterday Elinor Burkett's exploration of what makes a woman, written in response to Caitlyn Jenner saying her brain is female, got a few mentions - from people both for and against her description of trans activism and feminism on a collision course.  Her essential (pun intended) argument is this - that when trans people call on essential ideas of gender, they set back women's liberation fights of decades. 

Jaclyn Friedman has responded, and covered many points I'd otherwise be making.

I’m not privy to the Trans agenda, but I’m willing to bet that we also hear the “gendered brain” argument for reasons both legal and cultural, because like it or not (and I don’t), it’s a lot easier to demand freedom from discrimination and violence with the “I can’t help it” argument than it is with the “it’s none of your damn business” argument. The “born this way” talking point has been extremely effective for the modern gay and lesbian establishment.
This argument is problematic in terms of sexuality too.  Arguing "we can't help it" is not a recipe for honouring the complexity of gender or sexuality.  Of course there are genetic, biological things going on - complex things, like the fact there are a hell of a lot more intersex people out there than we recognize.  And of course the social world, our environment, determines how we...

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Thursday, 04 June

13:58

Secret trade negotiation abackdoor to deregulation Watchblog


This morning’s leak of documents from the highly secretive Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) negotiations are a backdoor to widespread deregulation, according to FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

“The documents demonstrate that the government is trying to lock New Zealanders out from deciding how services are regulated, including in FIRST Union’s coverage areas of finance and transport, as well as telecommunications, post and the professions.”

“‘Liberalisation of trade in services’ is trade-speak for limiting government influence over the services that New Zealanders use every day. The NZ government’s involvement in these negotiations shows utter contempt for the democratic process, giving foreign investors and corporates disproportionate control over how services are regulated.”

“In the finance sector this means a free pass to the big banks to operate on a global scale with minimal regulation, driving down costs and employment conditions through off-shoring. Banks are solely concerned about maximis...

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Thursday, 28 May

04:59

Stick and stones may break my bones, but verbal banter haunts me The Hand Mirror

It's fair to say Andy Haden and I have different views on the world, sharing only an enjoyment of the athletic.  But when he described high levels of fear of homophobia from lesbian, gay and bisexual sportspeople in New Zealand as a problem that "doesn't really exist" because it's just about "verbal banter" I found myself unable to respond until now.

Out in the Fields talked to 9,500 sportspeople in New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia.  The headline results - that queer people play sport, but find it unwelcoming - is not major news.  The fact that 78% of New Zealand athletes had witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport is also unsurprising.  More gay men in New Zealand (not sure about bisexual men) don't play sports because of early negative experiences than queer men in other places.  And while our homophobic assaults of queer athletes are lower than other places, one in six gay men (again, bi men have disappeared) have been physically assaulted here.

It's taken me a while to write about this, because it's my story too.  Women's sport is easily the site of the most queer-hating set of experiences I've had, and perversely, at times the most queer affirming.

&...

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Monday, 25 May

05:27

Wanted: Health Minister who reads their own research The Hand Mirror

Content note: discussions of transphobia and it's impacts, focussed on the recent political discussions about trans* healthcare.

There's so much to find troubling about National calling life-saving healthcare for trans* people "nutty" and Labour leadership failing to stand behind regional conferences voting to have funded gender reassignment surgery on the table.

For our health minister to be so poorly educated about trans* healthcare needs is horrifying.  It's increasingly obvious that transphobia, transmisogyny, gender policing and the institutionalised discrimination and stigma that people from marginalised genders experience kills.  It kills by making employment and housing less accessible.  It kills through people seeking solace in drugs and alcohol.  It kills through increasing vulnerability to being targeted for intimate partner and sexual violence.  It kills through creating a climate where violence towards trans people is invisible, enabled and lethal.  It kills through people being unable to contemplate going on living.


The Ministry of Health fund our best research into trans* needs so far, the Youth 2000 research where thousands of secondary school students are asked questions about their experiences.  Seems our Health Minister didn't bother to read the...

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Sunday, 24 May

09:47

Anne Applebaum on the British Election New Zealand Conservative

From the Washington Post: The End of Britain As We Know It

This election will be remembered as the one that rescued the career of David Cameron, the British prime minister, who was publicly contemplating his own exit from politics only two months ago. It will also be remembered as the election that abruptly ended the career of the Labor Party leader, Ed Miliband, who had confidently carved his electoral promises onto a large piece of limestone only last week. Above all, it will be remembered as the election that every single major pollster got wrong...

Certainly it could literally mark the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom, that union of four nations — Welsh, English, Northern Irish and Scottish — whose stability hasn’t seriously been challenged for quite some time...

...Suddenly, a vision of a different future has opened up, especially for a certain kind of English Tory: Without dour, difficult, left-wing Scotland, maybe they could rule the rest of what used to be Great Britain, indefinitely. For U.S. readers who find the significance of this hard to understand: Imagine that a Texan secessionist party had, after years of campaigning, just taken every Texan seat in Congress. And now imagine that quite a few people in the rest of the country — perhaps in the Democratic Party — had, after years of arguing back, finally begun to think that Texan secession really might not be so bad and were beginning to calculate the electoral advantages accordingly.

I suppose a similar thing for New Zealand would be the South Islanders getting so sick of being part of New Zealand that over the years there would have been a growing movement for separation which everyone in the North gradually accepts as not such a bad outcome.

This election may also...

06:11

Guest Post: Saving incentives The Hand Mirror

Many thanks to Rebecca Fraser, manager of a community organisation that works with single parents, for this post.

The Budget released this week described an almost immediate end to the Kiwisaver $1000 kick-start incentive.  We know that inequality is growing within our current system and unless we start to look at things very differently, it will continue to grow. However, even within the system, sometimes there are mechanisms that work against unfairness. The Kiwisaver $1000 kick-start incentive was one of these. Income based retirement schemes like Kiwisaver tend to perpetuate inequality, because they don’t level out the playing field for people. The disappearance of the kick-start incentive makes the system worse.


Who is disadvantaged by the disappearance of the $1000 kick-start? They don't collect ethnicity stats about Kiwisaver take-up so we don't have any data about which ethnicities are enjoying the extra $1000. My reflection of this is based purely on what people I know have told me, when I asked them. Almost always I have heard from working Pākehā that they are enrolled in Kiwisaver and from working Māori that they are not, and I have noticed this trend amongst people I have employed. It might be different in differ...

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Saturday, 23 May

10:00

Putin co-opting conservatism and religious messianism gather world-wide support and sympathy New Zealand Conservative

A new Forbes article (Un)Holy Alliance: Vladimir Putin, The Russian Orthodox Church And Russian Exceptionalism makes shocking reading.

[...W]hile much attention has been paid to the growing authoritarianism of the Kremlin and on the support for Putin’s regime on the part of the Russian oligarchs whom Putin has enriched through his crony capitalism, little has been paid to the equally critical role of the Russian Orthodox Church in helping to shape Russia’s current system, and in supporting Putin’s regime and publicly conflating the mission of the Russian state under Vladimir Putin’s leadership with the mission of the Church. Putin’s move in close coordination with the Russian Orthodox Church to sacralize the Russian national identity has been a key factor shaping the increasingly authoritarian bent of the Russian government under Putin, and strengthening his public support, and must be understood in order to understand Russia’s international behavior.

The close relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the Russian state based upon a shared, theologically-informed vision of Russian exceptionalism is not a new phenomenon. During the days of the Czar, the Russian ruler was seen as God’s chosen ruler of a Russian nation tasked with representing a unique set of value embodied by Russian Orthodoxy, and was revered as “the Holy Orthodox Czar”. Today, a not dissimilar vision of Russian exceptionalism is once again shared by the ROC and the Kremlin, and many Russians are beginning to see Vladimir Putin in a similar vein – a perception encouraged both by Putin and by the Church, each of which sees the other as a valuable political ally and sees their respective missions as being interrelated.

John Schindler wrote something similar at the end of 2014:...

08:01

The Daily Vertical: Foreign Agents Against Torture New Zealand Conservative


Today's video is about Europeans, participating in a conference against torture, deported from Russia.

Related link: The Daily Vertical: Foreign Agents Against Torture

Also available is an hour long podcast on States Within A State:
Two republics in the Russian Federation. Both predominantly Muslim. Both seeking to secure maximum autonomy from Moscow. Each using dramatically different tactics.

...On the latest Power Vertical Podcast, we discuss Grozny's and Kazan's approaches, Moscow's respective reaction to them, and what this tells us about Russia today.

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Friday, 22 May

09:00

Alarm on the border in Poland New Zealand Conservative

From Deutsche Welle: Alarm on the border in Poland

Since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, citizen defense and paramilitary groups in Poland have seen their numbers swell. The government in Warsaw has officially included these troops in its plans for national defense.


An article in more depth on Poland and it's fears and preparation for war with Russia, from Poland Prepares for Russian Invasion by John Schindler of The XX Committee:

... Poland is the real issue when it comes to defending NATO’s exposed Eastern frontier from Russian aggression. Only Poland, which occupies the Alliance’s central front, has the military power to seriously blunt any Russian moves westward. As in 1920, when the Red Army failed to push past Warsaw, Poland is the wall that will defend Central Europe from any westward movement by Moscow’s military. To their credit, and thanks to a long history of understanding the Russian mentality better than most NATO and EU members, Warsaw last fall, when the violent theft of Crimea was still just a Kremlin dream, announced a revised national security strategy emphasizing territorial defense. Eschewing American-led overseas expeditions like those to Iraq and Afghanistan that occupied Poland’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) during the post-9/11 era, this new doctrine makes defending Poland from Eastern aggression the main job of its military. Prescient...

08:31

Daily Vertical - Novorossia: A Short-Lived Mirage New Zealand Conservative


Novorossia died a quiet death this week.

When separatist leader Oleg Tsarev announced the end of the scheme to unite the Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine into a single pro-Moscow separatist entity on May 20, it was the latest in a series of signs that the yearlong conflict in the Donbas is lumbering toward some kind of endgame.

In remarks reported by Gazeta.ru, Tsarev, the chairman of the self-styled parliament of Novorossia, said the project was being suspended because it "doesn't fit into" the cease-fire agreement signed in Minsk in February.

In reality, Novorossia was stillborn from the get-go. Unlike in Donetsk and Luhansk, where pro-Moscow separatism took hold, Russian-speakers in Odesa, Mariupol, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, and elsewhere remained loyal to Kyiv.

...

Russia had once hoped to partition Ukraine by seizing so-called Novorossia, which stretches from Kharkiv in the northeast to Odesa in the south, which would have given it a land bridge to annexed Crimea.

But having failed at this, Moscow is now seeking to keep the separatist-held enclaves in Donetsk and Luhansk inside Ukraine in order to use them as a fifth column to paralyze Kyiv and keep the country from integrating with the West.

If and how these territories are reintegrated into Ukraine will be the main battleground in the coming phase of the conflict.

Read the rest at After Novorossia on Radio Free Europe.

As an aside, it's good to see the daily video integrated into the daily post - the link up is important for those that prefer not to listen and just want to...

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Thursday, 21 May

15:03

The Daily Vertical: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid New Zealand Conservative


Authorities in Krasnodar announce that they will monitor a concert by the popular musician Noize MC for extremism after the liberal-minded rapper criticized Russia's policies in Ukraine.

Local Cossacks in a St. Petersburg suburb unveil a statue depicting Vladimir Putin as a Roman emperor.

The State Duma approves legislation criminalizing "undesirable organizations."

A pro-Kremlin institute unveils a computer program that will trawl social networks in search of chatter about unauthorized protests -- and report it to the authorities.

The latest petty harassment of a socially conscious artist. Yet another cartoonish exaltation of the national leader. And the creation of a couple more blunt instruments to repress dissent.

Just another month in the brave new Russia.

I can't imagine any company in the Western world unveiling a computer program to trawl social networks to check for chatter about unauthorised protests. In fact, protests in the Western world are a part of life - there's no need for authorisation. Even if they are rent-a-mob leftists, we put up with them.

Related links: The Daily Vertical: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
Resistance Isn't Futile

10:18

Russia threatens to ban Google, Twitter and Facebook over extremist content New Zealand Conservative

From The Guardian: Russia threatens to ban Google, Twitter and Facebook over extremist content:

Russia’s communications watchdog has threatened to fine Facebook, Google and Twitter and block their services under a controversial law on blogging.

In a letter to executives on on Monday, the director of the communications oversight agency warned that the three US companies could face sanctions if they continued alleged illegal activities in Russia, Izvestia newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Any action could affect a number of social media sites: besides its eponymous social network, Facebook also owns the photo-sharing service Instagram, while Google owns YouTube, BlogSpot and Google+. Facebook and Twitter, in particular, have been instrumental to organisers of opposition protests in Russia, where the major television news channels are controlled by the state.

A spokesman told the state news agency RIA Novosti that the watchdog’s complaints related mainly to deleting pages with extremist materials and receiving information under what is known as the “bloggers law”. This 2014 legislation requires popular bloggers to register their real identities with the authorities, a measure that prominent bloggers say is designed to have a curb free speech and criticism of the regime.

The agency’s deputy director, Maksim Ksenzov, had issued a warning to the three companies on 6 May, telling them they were in violation of the bloggers law because they had not provided requested data on the number of daily visitors to several users’ pages, as well as information allowing the authorities to identify the owners of accounts with more than 3,000 daily visitors.

According to the law, the agency can fine a violating organisation up to 300,000 roubles (£3,850); a second infringement can incur a fine of...

09:00

Bible classes in state schools New Zealand Conservative


I suppose many readers might assume that I would be for the continuing teaching of bible classes in state schools. Of the type where the school "closes down" for a little while so that the class can be taught out of school time. Except I don't support this sort of thing at all.

The whole notion of closing a school down so a subject can be taught is ridiculous. Either the school has the mandate to teach something or it doesn't. In other words, Bible class should be made part of the curriculum, and then the fight is with the Government, or the school not teach it at all. Any parents that want Bible class need to get together and create some sort of Sunday school.

So, in that way I am on the side of Jeff McClintock, who is taking his 7 year old daughter's school and Attorney General, Chris Finlayson to court. From 3 News:

A parent fighting bible lessons in schools admits he's feeling a weight on his shoulders as his High Court battles begins.

Jeff McClintock is taking a case against Red Beach School north of Auckland, and the Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson.

He says it has become a David and Goliath battle that could set a precedent for other schools.

What I find interesting, is this Bible in secular schools is really a hang over from when every one in New Zealand was Catholic or Protestant. The Catholics had their own religious schools and the Protestants had the state s...

06:46

The continuing invasion of Ukraine by Russia New Zealand Conservative


From New Putin Invasion Coming This Summer ~ Michael Weiss and James Miller, Daily Beast

On May 5, the Ukrainian government released new data which says that they have lost 28 towns to Russian-backed separatists since February 18. That was the day the strategic town of Debaltsevo, which guarded a key highway to separatist-controlled regions, slipped from Ukraine’s control. The map of separatist territory is as alarming as it is illustrative, especially when it is combined with the daily reports of ceasefire violations and fighting coming out of both the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Kiev.

On May 6, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed the National Security and Defense Council and warned that Russia has 50,000 troops on the border and its proxies have more than 40,000 fighters inside the country. That’s not only a combined 50% increase in possible invaders over July of last year, the month which proceeded the “Russian invasion” on the Ukrainian mainland. It’s more than enough soldiers to invade and gobble up a significant amount of Ukrainian territory.

“There is a convincing evidence that Ukraine strictly complies with the Minsk [ceasefire] agreements and militants constantly violate them,” Poroshenko noted. Separatists do not allow international observers to verify their withdrawal of heavy weaponry. “Militants regularly shoot Ukra...

06:09

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Wednesday, 20 May

16:50

Mr Abbas - Angel of Peace or not? New Zealand Conservative

Pope Francis and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority at the Vatican

There's been a bit of outrage over Pope Francis supposedly calling President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority an "angel of peace", according to some news reports, during a private conversation between the two when Mr Abbas visited the Pope at the Vatican recently. Other media reported the phrase as an exhortation for Abbas to be an angel of peace.

The Vatican hasn't clarified matters, beyond reminding everyone that angels are messengers.

Anyway, officially Israel is not too concerned, for ...

Emmanuel Nahshon, the spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said he heard a recording of the conversation, had consulted with Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican and was satisfied that the pope had said, “May you be an angel of peace.”

“He is far from an angel of peace,” Mr. Nahshon said of Mr. Abbas, adding, “If he was, perhaps by now there would be peace.”

Yep.  There's also no harm in encouraging him to be an angel of peace.  The Palestinian Authority needs as many of those types as possible.

Related link: Vatican Seeks to Quiet Uproar Over Pope...

10:00

The Daily Vertical: The Strange Endgame In Donbas New Zealand Conservative

*

For more than year, there's been a war in eastern Ukraine that nobody called a war. And for the past three months, there's been a cease-fire there that wasn't a cease-fire.

And now that the agreement reached in Minsk in February that was supposed to end hostilities in the Donbas is all but dead in the water, we seem to be lurching toward some kind of endgame. And it is shaping up to be as strange and counterintuitive as every other aspect of this through-the-looking-glass hybrid conflict.

This article Lose The Territory, Win The War is what is said in the You-Tube above plus lots more analysis.

Personally, I think, Russia Putin needs to be forced to repair the damage to the country of Ukraine and pay reparations to all those families, both Ukrainian and Russian, that have lost loved ones in this pointless war. Putin is worth at least $40 billion, though some think he's even richer at $200 billion, so he can afford it.

Related link: The Daily Vertical: The Strange Endgame In Donbas ~ Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

09:10

Proof verified by MSM as to who shot down MH17 [UPDATE 3] New Zealand Conservative

An Australian journalist, Michael Usher recently traveled to Ukraine, into rebel-held territory, to look into the evidence for a Russian BUK shooting down MH17 as it flew over Ukraine.

He used information from Bellingcat, photos and geo-locations, which he verified by going to those places.  He saw exactly where the Russian BUK passed through, thus putting to bed any suggestion that it was a Ukranian BUK as asserted by Russia. He also talks to an expert as to whether the damage to the plane was from projectile (ie a Ukranian fighter plane as the Russians initially asserted) or a BUK which creates shrapnel type damage.

This 60 Minutes TV programme was screened in Australia only a few days ago and is a must watch, especially for those that are unsure as to what actually happened.  It seems the Australians will not let this go, and with good reason.




This is a new wave of internet crowd sourcing of forensic detective work backed up by the MSM.

Related link: Michael Usher travels to Ukraine to track the missile that shot down MH17

UPDATE 20/05/15: The second video (part II) has been removed from this post. That video has been taken down due to a copyright claim by Channel 9 in Australia. If the first video disappears, the videos are still available through the link related link above. I really wish media outlets such as the Australian Channel 9 would think about making it easier for bloggers to disseminate their material by providing embed links the way You Tube does.

UPDATE 2: Something I should have added to...

07:31

The Daily Vertical: Is The Nemtsov Case Being Whitewashed? New Zealand Conservative



Brian Whitmore is back from holiday, and today he talks about the lead detective on the Nemtsov case in Russia being removed (for a promotion) and replaced with someone more political.

Related link: The Daily Vertical: Is The Nemtsov Case Being Whitewashed? ~ Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

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Monday, 18 May

14:24

To understand Putin, read Orwell. New Zealand Conservative

From To Understand Putin, Read Orwell by Timothy Snyder.

Anyone who wants to understand the current Russian position on Ukraine would do well to begin with George Orwell’s classic, 1984. The connections go deeper than the adjective “Orwellian”: the structure and the wisdom of the book are guides, often frighteningly precise ones, to current events.

The easiest way to begin, in light of the now entirely open Russian invasion of Ukraine, is with “War is Peace,” one of the slogans of the imagined empire in Orwell’s tale. After all, every attempt thus far at negotiation and cease-fire has been accompanied by a Russian escalation, to the point where we can be certain that this is not a coincidence. If Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with other leaders, we must simply expect that this is cover for the latest outrage, as with the entrance of Russian troops, armor and artillery during the recent talks in Minsk.

But we need to dig a bit deeper into the plot for the three concepts needed to understand this very strange war, in which Putin has radicalized Russian politics, destroyed a European peace order, challenged Europeans’ assumptions about their entire future — and even threatened nuclear war. Every reason proffered to explain a war that is pointless to the point of nihilism is obviously bogus or self-contradictory or both. To grasp this horrible event in which people are killing and dying for no discernible reason, we need to remember some key concepts from Orwell: Eurasia, doublethink and learning to love Big Brother.

In Orwell’s 1984, one of the world powers is called Eurasia. Interestingly enough, Eurasia is the name of Russia’s major foreign policy doctrine. In Orwell’s dystopia, Eurasia is a repressive, warmongering state that “comprises the whole of the northern part of the European and Asiatic land...

07:53

Roman Emperor Putin New Zealand Conservative

Created and erected by the St Petersburg Cossack Society, it was unveiled to mark [this year's Russia's] Victory Day celebrations

The bust, created by the St Petersburg Cossack Society to mark Russia's victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War, has been unveiled on a plot of private land in the north.

Andrei Polyakov, a local Cossack leader, said the idea for the bust came about after Russia's annexation of Crimea last year.

He said: 'Cossacks would want to have an emperor for life, who would give strength to the state and would take care of Russia's destiny throughout his whole life. 'Presidents come and go, but an emperor as a symbol is probably what Russia needs.'

It will remain perched in the small town of Vartemyagi, which is located just outside the northern city of St Petersburg.

Vladimir Belyancheko, a member of the society, said: 'In this image we see manhood. This is the image of a victor, and probably a model for our Russian democracy,' according to The Telegraph.

He said: 'Cossacks would want to have an emperor for life, who would give strength to the state...

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Sunday, 17 May

17:58

Fourth of three The Hand Mirror

In a couple of months I will be transforming my life, and my body, again, through the addition hopefully of another baby.  To answer the standard questions and get that out of the way:  everything is going fine for the fetus, it's a boy (joining two other sons) and I am just looking forward to having another baby, don't care about the sex although the others in the household wanted a girl, I've unfortunately been quite sick and tired and sore this time around.  Right, now that that's done (and thank you in advance for any congratulations you may wish to offer - please don't feel you need to do so in comments) let's move on to my motivation for writing this post.

Many many people assume this is my first, unless they actually see me with my children or know me well.  This means I get rather a lot of well meaning advice before I'm able to say actually this is my third child on the way, and get that deflated "oh" which goes along with the mental realisation they don't need to give me any instructions or horror stories or non-scientific anecdotes.  A few persist, but most flag it at that point.

Some have been unwise enough to assume I am disappointed about the physical sex.  I'm not, other people are, but genuinely not me.  I now try to get in first with telling them that, before they put their foot in it.

What I'm struggling with most though about these conversations is saying "this is my third."

Each time it niggles a bit, because this is actually my fourth (known) pregnancy - not because I had an abortion as I suppose many reading this will think given my activity on that issue, but because I had an early miscarriage.

It wasn't physically traumatic, more a delayed period at about the six week mark.  The stick had told me I was pregnant but I hadn't yet had time to go to my GP for confirmation; when I did instead it was to discuss the miscarriage, get ultrasounds to check...

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Saturday, 16 May

07:41

Guest Post: Fightback Magazine - Voices from Women and Gender Minorities The Hand Mirror

Fightback is a socialist-feminist organisation which publishes a website and themed bi-monthly magazines. This August, we are bringing together an issue that is edited, designed and written entirely by women and gender minorities on the kaupapa of anti capitalism / decolonisation / socialism / anti-racism / feminism.


Despite the centrality of women, girls and gender minorities to the social movements of today, we are still a smaller minority of writers in the socialist press. Fightback acknowledges that there are many reasons for this, some of them including the fact that these groups are weighed down by more unpaid work, that our work may not be as valued and that there's a higher chance we will come up against barriers for our involvement in political spaces.
Instead of just offering a space for writers to be read and heard, we are also raising money to support contributors in a tangible way – by paying a rate of $...

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Friday, 15 May

08:58

Very Wet Yesterday UPDATE New Zealand Conservative

Slip on Centennial Highway blocks the train track on the right on the hill and the road

It was a bit wet here on the Kapiti Coast, NZ yesterday. We had a lot of rain and there was flooding, which caused a major slip on the main highway disconnecting us to the city of Wellington. Chaos ensued.  A man died, stuck in his car in a flooded area.

My backyard filled with water, but not above the level of the grass. My sun room leaked and a giant puddle formed outside the front door, but with being on a slight hill, the house was never in danger.  Though, there were evacuations further down the road due to the local stream rising.

The local schools were closed, my kids were home and spend the day playing computer games rather than studying, and they were hoping school was not on today either. Which it is, despite the trains not running and no buses as replacement, which affects those coming north into this area.

My husband is still stuck in Wellington, but was able to stay with my mother and brothers overnight. Luckily he had a change of clothes and a toothbrush due to a trip to Auckland and back previously.

Fortunately, if something like this ever happens again, a new road is being built...

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Thursday, 14 May

11:28

Must listen: Panel Discussion on current Russian Disinformation New Zealand Conservative



Joint Baltic American National Committee Conference 2015 Morning Panel
Archived JBANC panel on Kremlin propaganda and disinformation from April 18

Panelists are: Paul Goble, Christopher Walker, Jamie Kirchick, Liz Wahl, John Schindler.

I have to disagree with Jamie Kirchick that ridicule is the best counter to those who propagate disinformation in the West. Ridicule does not persuade those who are undecided, or don't know what is going on. It can enforce conformity, but not everyone is a conformist and is therefore convinced.   You can lose a lot of people by using ridicule.  Far better to directly engage with the arguments and inform of the real situation.

I really would like to write a lot more about the 72 minute talk fest above, but it would just take far too much time, and rather than post nothing, I leave it to those who want to know more about what is going on to spend the time listening as well.

Related links: Joint Baltic American National Committee

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Wednesday, 13 May

16:00

Putin still defending Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that started WWII New Zealand Conservative

Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel (L) and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Moscow. Photo: EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY (Source)

Angela Merkel is trying to talk sense into Vladimir Putin. Unfortunately, it's still not working.

Russian President Vladimir Putin defended 1939's Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany as Moscow's response to being isolated and having its peace efforts snubbed by Western nations.

At the close of his Sunday meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Moscow — a day after Russian held grand-scale celebrations of the allied victory in World War II — Putin offered a lengthy defense of the controversial agreement that led to the carving up of Eastern Europe.

"The Soviet Union made massive efforts to lay the groundwork for a collective resistance to Nazism in Germany, made repeated attempts to create an anti-fascist bloc in Europe. All of these attempts failed," Putin told journalists at a joint news conference with Merkel, according to a transcript released by the Kremlin.

"And when the Soviet Union realized that it was being left one-on-one with Hitler's Germany, it took steps to avoid a direct confrontation, and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signe...

11:54

Too many crucifixes and Catholic imagery in Catholic university in the US New Zealand Conservative

Pope Francis holding a crucifix
A Catholic university in America is being investigated for having too many crucifixes, thus offending the Muslim students who go there. Not that any of the students have complained. No, it appears a serial litigant has complained on their behalf.

The sixty-page complaint was filed with the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights by a one-man nuisance-lawsuit factory, George Washington University Law School Professor John Banzhaf. Muslim students are but pawns in Banzhaf’s game against Catholics. Taken to its logical conclusion, his lawfare would wipe out mosques and Islamic learning centers as well. The rules of engagement in the Establishment’s War on Religion have a funny way of changing to accommodate Islam, however, so perhaps those hypothetical logical conclusions will never be reached.

Banzhaf’s complaint alleges that the large amount of Catholic imagery draping the halls of Catholic University creates an “offensive” environment in which Muslims are intimidated out of proper reverence for their own religion.

He further alleges the university “does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their...

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Monday, 11 May

09:42

Latest Watchdog available online Watchblog




The April issue of Foreign Control Watchdog is now available online



       In This Issue
  ·         Transnational Tax Dodgers
  ·         Fight to End Zero Hour Contracts
  ·         Roger Award Winners
  ·         TPPA
...

07:02

Graph of the Day: How home batteries might benefit houses without solar TVHE

I’m pretty excited about the Tesla Powerwall, the home battery that was announced recently. People mostly think about home batteries as being important for solar.  For residential solar,  most of your generation is during the day when you aren’t home, so it gets sold back into the grid and therefore relies on the whatever the buy back rate set by your retailer is.  These rates are lower than the retail price of electricity so the real benefit is if you can store the “free” electricity you generate in a battery and then use it during peak hours instead of paying for electricity, thus avoiding your variable electricity charge of 20-30 c/kwh.

So the economics of solar depend on whether your savings (avoided retail prices + electricity sold back into the grid) justify the cost of installing solar panels and a battery (typically well over 10k, but costs are falling).

But if you don’t have solar, home batteries could have another use: storing cheaper power generated during off-peak and using it during peak when prices are high.  This of course only works if you have variable electricity pricing, which isn’t super common in New Zealand.  But if you are have day/night rates, or are on Flick Electric like me, then you might be able to exploit the difference between peak and off-peak prices and save some money.   See, for example, the below graph of my electricity use and prices from last Tuesday.

power graphI have drawn some lines indicating the “overnight price”, the “morning peak...

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