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Friday, June 30, 2006

Whaling to the Japanese

Is this Whaling FAQ blog a Japanese Government pro-whaling spin operation or what? And it's by the same "Dave" who gives his occupation as an investment banker of David @ Tokyo blog. Why would someone called "Dave" be so obsessed with pumping out pro-Japanese Govt./pro-whaling content into the blogosphere if "Dave" wasn't in the pay of the whaling industry/Govt.?

Here's one comment on his latest post:

I am always surprised to see the media of NZ & AU regard us as devils. In spite of the fact,we are willing to import lamb, kiwii fruit, and beef as we want to. I have no choice but to think we are basically poor. I mean we are lacking of resources. That is why we have to reinforce the sustainable use of them. Is this incorrect?


I feel you should not be ashamed. It is ourselves whom we must be ashamed of, because we are informed of much info by you, not by us!

I strongly believe whaling issue is something all the Japanese should give attention to and discuss in our country, but the reality is the reverse.

I am not hostile to anyone of your country. I have a cooking book how to cook lamb. My wife is reading it and in the near future, she will serve nice lamb dish for me. The dish will bridge the gap between your counrty and Japan.

My comment:

Here's another voice from NZ: My name is Tim Selwyn, I am an editor and freelance writer not employed in any form directly or indirectly by the Anti-Whaling industry or any Government.

Is your name really "Dave" and are you employed in any form directly or indirectly by the Japanese Whaling industry or Japanese Government?

The main problem with the Japanese stance in the minds of New Zealanders is that Japan insists on coming down into the Southern Ocean and killing large numbers of whales. If Japan was limited to only taking small numbers off its own shore (along the lines of an "indigenous" quota) then it would probably be acceptable to most people here. The NZ Govt. stance is that even that is not acceptable, therefore NZ and Japan's official positions are at polar opposites.

Do you acknowledge, "Dave", that Japan sending factory ships into the Southern Ocean to slaughter whales in large numbers is not traditional whaling in any sense of the word?

If you want to tell "Dave" how it is go to his blog - the comments are unregulated.

GUEST BLOG: Blinded by the right

-------Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog-------


From this fascinating blog: Giordano Bruno

I don't normally read John Roughan as I don't suffer from constipation, but
he was yammering on about global warming in the Weakend Herald last weekend.

Despite the evidence, Roughan and many in the right wing mainstream media
still refuse to accept that the conclusions of cataclysmic rapid climate.
This is interesting because the right wing only five years ago refused to
accept the evidence that the planet was warming up in the first place, so I
suppose we should be thankful that they quietly accept that fact now.
However the right refuse to accept the conclusions of rapid global warming,
Roughan concludes his piece in the Weakend Herald with:
"Deep down we are still climate-change sceptics and the reason, I think, is the scale of it. Deep down we still believe the forces of nature are much bigger than us and ultimately self-correcting. Deep down we are probably right".

Well fuck it folks, screw the computer models, the widespread evidence and
scientific consensus, John Roughan, deep down doesn't believe it - case closed.

Well I'm not so sure there John, I mean deep down, I'm not so sure.
Roughan's argument is that yes things are warming up, but the consequences
are just too far out there for us to 'deep down' believe it. He cites the
changes we made as a global community to stop CFCs destroying the ozone
layer and points to that as proof that the planet can heal itself, and
insinuates that because the doomsday green brigade make the consequences of
global warming out to be so extreme, the public don't believe it and don't

Well, deep down John it doesn't matter what the hell you believe, mate and
blaming the green movement for pointing out the inconvenient truths of our
wasteful consumer culture powered by a capitalism that is driven to a level
of greed that borders on the pathological is akin to blaming the molested
child for ruining your dinner party with their bruised and raped body.

If I'm sounding angry here folks, it is because I am sick to death of the
denial perpetually passed off as informed opinion in this country. What
Roughan fails to understand is that there are environmental tipping points
that once breached only magnify the climate change beyond our civilisations
ability to adapt, and as each year passes, we get closer to those points.

One of these points is the warming of oceans. Organic matter flows into the
seas from rivers and gets broken down to frozen methane on the ocean floor.
As the seas warm, there becomes the real threat that frozen methane will
start to bubble to the surface which will begin a methane release chain
reaction with more and more methane going into the atmosphere, further
warming the seas, further releasing methane. This methane chain reaction
has occurred twice in the Earths history pushing temperatures 15degrees
above where they currently are. This would melt all ice on the planet,
causing massive desalination of the oceans which in turn would shut down
the heat transference currents from the tropics which in turn would lurch
the planet towards a new ice age as European water temperatures would
plummet suddenly. This sudden lurching from extreme heat to extreme cold
would make life difficult for any species, compounded by extreme and
intensified storms and unpredictable climate phenomena.

What Roughan fails to comprehend is how interconnected the global weather
system is, an interconnection we are only understanding now. As an example,
I will show how global warming in the Indian Ocean is killing coral reefs
and increasing expediential asthma rates in the Caribbean (you'll love
this). Global warming is increasing the water temperature of the Indian
Ocean, this is super charging the monsoon with extra water uptake, which in
turn is super charging the North Atlantic air current oscillations, which
in turn is scooping up massive amounts of sand from North African deserts
which is landing on the Caribbean, expedientialy increasing asthma rates
AND carrying a pathogen which is destroying the coral reefs.

But deep down, John Roughan doesn't believe any of this, he believes it is
a self-correcting problem the planet will solve on its own. I agree, sadly
though the self-correcting remedy the planet will undertake is a
cataclysmic cleansing of the two legged virus who created this illness in
the first place. Perhaps John's problem is that deep down he refuses to
accept his part in the problem.

Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

Thursday, June 29, 2006

GUEST BLOG: An eye for a face

-------Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog-------

The decision to attack Gaza and cause group punishment and suffering to the already miserable existence of the Palestinian people in an attempt to free Corporal Gilad Shalit has more to do with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's need to look militarily strong rather than any rational strategy. If the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) cause too much collateral damage, Corporal Gilad Shalit will most certainly be killed, so the question really becomes one of how many Palestinian lives are worth one Israeli soldier?

Don't get me wrong, my heart goes out to the family of Gilad Shalit - who by all accounts is just another shy kid who has been dragged into Israel's national obsession with militaristic paranoia (and I certainly hope the criminals who abducted him see justice inside a court room) - but to invade another state, cause damage and group punishment by taking out bridges and electricity won't get Shalit back.

With their recent history of assassinations and extra-judicial killings, Israel has become a law unto itself. It now finds that military might won't get the desired effect they want. It is time for Israel to put down the gun and redouble their diplomatic efforts. An eye for a face politics will not be tolerated by world-wide public opinion who already see Israel as an apartheid state.

Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

Film Review: Superman Returns

Superman Returns

Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Parker Posey, James Marsden, Frank Langella

Superb casting for the late Christopher Reeve's on-screen replacement really saved this movie. As a goofy, mild-mannered Clark Kent and a towering, freak-jawed Superman, 26 year old Routh nailed it like a natural - well as natural as wearing red underwear on the outside and a cape could possibly be. The World's saviour returns to Earth after a five year sudden no-goodbyes disappearance that is eventually revealed as some sort of wild goose chase/finding yourself/early mid-life crisis. In the meantime Lois Lane (Bosworth) got supremely fucked off, wrote an anti-Superman rant that earns her a Pulitzer, and shacks up with some carbon copy Clark Kent from the world section and they have a child. So when the Man of Steel finishes his mission to Krypton and re-appears, scores his old job at The Daily Planet, and swans back in expecting Superlove, Lois is conflicted.

Lex Luther (Spacey), master villan and free man (on his 5th appeal!) because Superman didn't show up to give evidence (whoops-a-daisy! Superman really needs a diary or something) is busying himself trying to use Superman's civilisation's crystals and stolen Kryptonite in a fiendish plan to create real estate. The USA would be destroyed in the process and Luther will hold the world to ransom yadda yadda yadda.. the usual. As the general agenda goes so far so good. He must be stopped apparently, and in between flying around the world catching people and pro bono emergency attendance, that is what he finally gets around to.

The version I saw was on the Imax screen with 3D parts that - as all 3D ever - never lived up to the humiliation of donning gigantic over-sized funny glasses and trying to work out if all the strobing is supposed to be part of the experience. 3D is pointless. When it's on a screen about 30 metres by 10 metres it's quite big enough to blow you away without having to look like Brains from the Thunderbirds. The opening sequence through space was not as good as it could have been and much of the sound was poor: either too quiet - or with most of the action scenes - far too loud and jumbled. Generally the cinematography was routine and the special effects uneven (though keep an eye out for the awesome machinegun incident). Having said that when those opening bars of the March of Superman score blasted through the surround sound it was at once both exhilarating and nostalgic.

Spacey's Luther, apart from being bald and therefore evil, was rather a positive, charming, cultured sort of chap. The lack of a real evil streak of personal nastiness means his threats to kill billions is all a bit theoretical and unbelievable. If he had tortured some guy with his own hands then maybe he would get some respect. The violence is all very lite. There was a scene in which he holds up a rod of kyptonite in awe - it would have been far more effective at that point to have him lick it or pash it up a bit to convey intensity. We know how Bill Clinton would have utilised it, don't we ;) With Luther's ditzy bimbo Kitty (Posey) fluffing around it would of been good to demonstrate some sort sexual connexion between the two just once. As far as the script goes Kitty is the only one with a memorable one-liner - that in itself is an indictment.

For Warner Bros. to rejuvinate the franchise (God that word is such an ugly piece of corporate-speak) was purely a dollar decision no doubt. The artistic and cultural merits of reserecting a boy's auto-erotic strength and control fixation in the guise of a muscle-bound, emotionally stunted, man-child whose greatest moments occur when he wears ultra-tight outfits is obviously absurd. The plot is ho-hum with no commentary on modern society or anything approaching the other DC comics franchise, X-Men (the first two *good* films being directed by Singer as well), and its take on current events. With the predictable twist that is set up early on and sealed as a potential development for multiple sequels at the conclusion we will no doubt see a succession of Superman movies in short order. So, Superman defeats evil and saves the planet - or at least America - and still meets deadline. But does he get the girl? All we can really know is that he isn't gay... anymore.

Superman is a winner - a swell guy, but Lois lacks charisma and Luther is more harmlessly disgruntled middle class than the next Hitler. Add to that the absence of humour, in-jokes or wit and an epic running time and we are left with a pleasant superhero romp that Dad can take the kids to. But we're adults... and you made me put those dorky fucking glasses on.

2.5-3/5 stars

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The NZ media isn't racist

Two stories from the NZ Herald today:

Paedophile who filmed victim gets 13 1/2 years
'Hypocrisy' to talk of aroha, whanau, says police commander

Ethnicity seems to be the central theme in the Kahui case. It's a Maori problem you see. The Herald says so. But when a Pakeha: "filmed himself raping and sexually violating a girl from the age of three [...] pleading guilty to 51 charges of sexual violation, 24 charges of rape and 16 charges of making objectionable material," and then said he "blamed the girl's mother who left her in his care while she worked. and then "It was her 'harassment and mind games'" as an excuse they don't mention the ethnicity of the offender and the family or ascribe any problem whatsoever to a culture that would allow that to happen "between September 1998 and January last year". Why is that. Why is it when Pakeha do something it is never blamed on their race? Why is that?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Going negative

NZ Herald report:
By the end of the year the [Reserve] bank expected house prices to "go negative" [...] The Reserve Bank raised borrowing costs nine times between January 2004 and December last year, taking its key lending rate to a record 7.25 per cent. [...]
New Zealand house prices increased 69 per cent between 2000 and 2005.

The RBNZ inflation calculator has inflation over 2000-2005 as 13.1%. So the (average?) NZ house price net rise over those 5 years is 56%! That's why people invest in property, Mr Bollard despite the high interest rates. It's something dumb and effortless enough for New Zealanders to comprehend.

According to this UK website he ain't convincing the canny Brits either:
All of the above would suggest that New Zealand is increasingly becoming a buyer’s market as far as property is concerned - which is good news for those looking to emigrate to New Zealand...

If we keep importing 50,000 people per year plus students then housing demand will keep rising and so will house prices... Mungo smart. Mungo economic genius.

The reports of our poor position with the rest of the world continue to intensify:
New Zealand's record $14.5 billion current account deficit is the third worst in the OECD, knocked by rising oil imports, overseas travel and hearty profits earned by overseas owners of Kiwi firms. [...] Such a huge deficit means there is a risk of another big fall in the currency, economists say. [...] International credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said yesterday that the current account deficit was high and unsustainable. That put pressure on the credit rating for New Zealand.

I've said on numerous previous occasions that a real trigger for a currency collapse (like we haven't been drifting there already) is a credit rating downgrade. Once S&P & co. figure out that our inflation targets are never going to be met without some cold-blooded, ideological hard-arse as Governor, (like Dr Brash who would have hiked the rate immediately two years ago rather than vascillate) and will drift ever upwards way beyond the supposed band because Bollard doesn't want to root the economy by pouring an 8%+ interest rate bucket of freezing water all over it, and these credit agencies see our value in inflation and exchange rate terms eroding in the long term then those agencies will be the ones who will pull the plug. All that extra issued cash from the Reserve Bank in the international market (I described it as their way of "exporting inflation") will come back. The Aussie banks have made a mint out of it and the RBNZ can be in the top dozen traded currencies and pretend to be competent so long as the tenuous leveraging holds up. When our 5c pieces are liquidated for all time at the end of next month and lighter, cheaper coinage I think there will be a psychological effect of inflation amongst people generally.

As far as the RBNZ's lending and international exposure policies go I can only quote from what departing US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan once said in private to Don Brash in an unguarded moment of candour during an IMF meeting that was recorded by an MFAT official:
"Wanna step?! Yo trippin! Yo betta get real. Yo ain't no playa, bee-atch! Yo an ugly fucked up white boy on my block pimpin trailer park crack hoes like they Manhattan high class. Get yo skinny-ass back in da crib or I be fuckin widyou a'igh! Get yo rip-off Gucci outta my face - that shit ain't Prada - it's Lada mother fucker, yo still a Polack fuckin' shipyard. If yo bitch ain't doing no lap dance yo betta be gone now a'igh - I ain't waiting for no lunchtime. My niggaz gonna pop a cap in yo ass when you still eatin yo cornflakes, Cracker. Yeah - that's how we roll in the U S of A, mother fucker!"

Monday, June 26, 2006

Back of the bus

Some commentators and apologists for European assimilation don't seem to understand that equality means equal in status - not a heirarchy of strata. Why should one official language have to be qualified with another - but only one way? They ought to be fully interchangeable. Why should ignorance be condoned in this day and age?

NZ Herald:
When a Maori immersion primary school in Rotoiti raised money for a new bus, it didn't think twice about what to have painted on its side. Hawea Vercoe, tumuaki [principal] of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rotoiti thought "kura" extremely apt, given it was the Maori word for school.
However, after the signs were completed a month ago, Mr Vercoe was told by Land Transport that was illegal, as all school buses must have the word "school" clearly visible on their fronts and backs for safety reasons.
Mr Vercoe was now questioning how official an official language of the country really was, given Maori formally gained that status in the 1987 Maori Language Act.
He said the local community was backing what he regards as the school's right to use the word kura and was not interested in a suggested compromise that the word be used alongside school.
"Our tamariki are very proud of their new bus and they are also very proud of their kura sign on it."

Dumb fuckin' Abos think they're equal? The first lesson the little kiddies get about cultural oppression by the Crown - get used to it. "Why can't we have our own language on our own bus?" the children ask. Because of something called racism... when you get treated like a foreigner in your own country... How can you explain that to a child? Leave it to a foreigner Pakeha to try:

Land Transport Safety Authority spokesman Andy Knackstedt said the concern was for children's safety.
It was important motorists recognised school buses and took care when passing them, given children's unpredictability. [...] Mr Knackstedt said the transport legislation was very specific but could allow the option of using both the words school and kura on the buses.

And a slithering Labourite kupapa to collaborate in it:

Labour MP Shane Jones, whose children had attended kura kaupapa schools in the Far North, said that was a sensible compromise. [...] Mr Jones said he did not think that using the word school alongside kura diminished the visibility of te reo.

The sensible compromise (if one was needed) would be for all signs to be bilingual not just ones for the kura. The word is "kura" you ignorant fuckheads. This is where Maori people live isn't it? This is Aotearoa isn't it? This is 2006 isn't it?

GUEST BLOG: John Armstrong needs to eat his greens.

-------Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog-------

In the Weakend Herald, Political commentator, John Armstrong, completely misses the point of the Greens internal revolt against Jeanette Fitzsimons, Wussel Norman and the recently hijacked Green party machine by liberal middle class pretensions that would soften the 'brand' of the party for Remuera soccer mum votes rather than appeal to grassroots anger.

Armstrong reads the micro-chipping dog vote as a loss of credibility through mismanagement - how very wrong he is. The more radical members of the Greens - Tanczos, Kedgley, Locke and Bradford have rebelled against Fitzsimons, Wussel Norman and the liberal middle class hijackers of the party by playing hardball against the governments ridiculous dog micro-chipping law while delivering a clear message to voters that the Greens are not the door mat for Labour that Rod Donald had created.

His legacy, continued by Fitzsimons and the ridiculously incompetent Wussel Norman is a sure-fire way for the Greens to fall below the 5% threshold - something Wussel Norman almost achieved as campaign manager to the most redundant, unimaginative and misdirected election campaign the Greens have ever attempted.

By 'softening' their image to appeal to Remuera soccer mums, the Greens ignore their strongest voting block, the urban under 30s and without a radical voice they can't catch that voting blocks attention. This micro-chipping dog vote shows a split and a counter-move by those Green MPs who see any 'brand' softening as a death knell for the Greens. To write it off as loosing credibility through mismanagement as John Armstrong does suggests wishful thinking by Armstrong rather than understanding the radical reassertion that's occurring within the Greens.

Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

Sunday, June 25, 2006

GUEST BLOG: Bloody Maaaareez and bloodied twins

-------Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog-------

Nothing brings the red out in a man's neck like dead babies. Every unspoken suspicion that "Dem Maaaareez is animals", has been allowed airing over the Kahui twins deaths. The Sunday Star Times took it to new heights with the screaming frontpage, "You've buried your babies, now tell us who killed them". Not an easy ride for a people who only a couple of years earlier were being accused by Don Brash for being the most privileged group in Society (that coming from a rich white straight male ex bank Governor - oh I laughed).

The Kahui twins death is a tragedy but it is also a tragedy that needs to be contextualised. Abuse is no more a genetic trait of Maori any more than it is of Aborigines, it becomes a cultural trait exasperated by poverty. It is a truth that no one in the media wants to accept.

80% of NZ earn below $40 000 and the majority of those on the bottom are Maori. Now this in no way justifies beating your babies to death, I've heard enough solo mums from Glenfield on Radio Live! and ZB venting that they are poor, but wouldn't kill their kids to appreciate that society wants to blame stereotypes rather than entrenched realities and historic causes. We hear about the abuse, see the appalling lifestyle and get angry, we want to blame, need to blame and refuse to think beyond the secret satisfaction we get out of vindicating all those unspoken vilifications of Maori.

The sad reality is we won't look into the deeper reasons behind the Kahui twins deaths, we won't identify the cultural reality of those on the bottom of the heap, we will pass judgement and wait for the next tragedy to prove us right about 'Dem Maaaareez".

Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

Friday, June 23, 2006

Submersion to authority

The Auckland City Council is hiking the rates. Well if you are squeezing almost 10,000 extra people in per year with flimsy infrastructure and do not want to reform poor systems and a big bureaucracy and have to pick up a bigger and bigger tab imposed by central government then yes, there will be a rates increase. As you will see below people are up in electronic arms about this. So I would like to relate my personal experience of the process:

My submission for their 10 year plan was heard last on the list by the council including the Mayor, on a night in the middle of my sedition trial. It was probably the worst, most cold and distant meeting I have ever attended. I've had IRD audits with more genuine bonhomie. I outlined my points about what I thought were important and reasonable long-term priorities:
*Co-ordinate the widening of Dominion Road properly - not just minimally ad hoc
*Co-ordinate and force undergrounding of overhead wires with new footpath upgrades properly - not just minimally ad hoc
*Lobby Government for a unitary metropolitan transit authority to run and build rail system - not just minimally ad hoc.
*Set up a system of emergency sirens and a Telecom auto mass-dial system of recorded message to warn of tsunami etc. - not just minimally ad hoc.

So I was the last submissioner and they were all charmed by the harmless woman beforehand who was going on about dogs needing to be on leashes and we were all agreeing with her, and she went on and on... She eventually left and I was called.

I elaborated on my very brief written submission and went on to note that with Telecom's forced and imminent break-up it is a perfect opportunity for the Council to approach Vector and Telecom (the two companies with overhead lines) to co-ordinate the undergrounding with new footpaths on a 20 year plan. That would allow a Vector-Telecom joint venture to lay fibre for advanced broadband that would be beyond regulation through a city of half a million and with a 20 year contract would provide corporate certainty and would boost the city's reputation and capability to foot it in the modern globalised world. Telecom would be very receptive to ideas to maintain assured revenue flows and focussing on what they can do best as a network provider in this period when they are setting a new agenda - and now is the city's chance to come to the party. Vector has an undergrounding liaison - the city should pro-actively do the same. Stoney silence. Not a murmur. Not a single question. Nothing.

So I ploughed on with the rest of the short list and waited for a question. After another pause Cr Casey (Matt McCarten's missus) asked me: "It's not clear from your submission whether you are in favour of a rates rise. Are you in favour of a rates rise?" At this point I must admit I snapped. "A rates rise?" I intoned with bewilderment. I had just given them a plan to provide the whole city with high speed connection and beautification simultaneously and all they fucking care about is whether they can tick a box marked 'rates rise'!? So I said "Is that all you care about - a rates rise?" - indignation was now dripping. "Oh no," Casey said in that wonderful Scottish accent "I have other questions" - which turned out to be true only because she had to make them up once she had said that.

I explained to them that if they were offering a real programme of advanced infrastructural investment "as opposed to..." (and at this point I tried to find another term for White Elephants) "...your pet projects" (doh!) then I could get behind a rates rise. I'm not seeing any vision here at all, I confessed, just a pre-arranged abitrary set of tick boxes for rates rises that had everything to do with the bureaucracy and precious little to do with ideas to take us over ten years let alone 50 years that we should be thinking about. Silence. "So are you not in favour of a rates rise?" Screaming wouldn't help, I had to scream on the inside. Sure I was in an *enhanced* state of mind at the time and it all seemed a little more intense than it would have been otherwise - but considering I had just been wheeled in and out of holding cells at court all day as the defendant in my own sedition trial where the policeman who arrested me turned up to give evidence obviously in the middle of his/her gender re-alignment process it had a lot of competition for the most surreal moment of the day.

"What are the options then?" I relented. The Chairman, seated next to the almost permanently earnest-looking Mayor, read out the options that they (bureaucrats?) had come up with and wanted to force people to declare which one they were in favour of. "Where does it start?" I asked? The Chairman said rate of inflation increase... "So, it starts at plus inflation?" - "yes." "Where is the one for a decrease?" - he, and everyone else, sort of looked confused and there was some muttering and a nervous laugh. I was so not impressed. "So, all the options that you are providing are for an increase - beginning at inflation?" - "Yes." There were no other questions.

I sympathised with their plight. To be sure they are in a difficult position and they may even be earning their salaries having to deal with the dramas and a Minister for Auckland that does zip. I thanked them for hearing me and assured them that I appreciated their time and treasured the ability to put forward ideas and half-apologised to Cr Casey for snapping at her. And I do mean it - the chance for an ordinary citizen to have virtually the whole council of this country's biggest city sit through all manner of their abuse and causes from the sublime to the ridiculous is something to be respected. They listen and they read, but that doesn't mean their minds aren't already made up however. But if they provide the venue for us plebs to tell them where they can improve then I will hammer away each year until something happens. The problem, as you have probably guessed, is they aren't interested in ideas.

NZ Herald report, if I can bullet point them:
  • Household rates in Auckland City are set to soar 13.2 per cent this year
  • last year's household increase of 9.7 per cent under Mayor Dick Hubbard and the left-leaning City Vision-Labour-controlled council.
  • Last year Mr Hubbard promised that this year's rates rise would be "substantially less" than last year's.
  • The 13.2 per cent household rates increase is broken down to:
    * 5 per cent from house prices rising faster than commercial property - transferring a larger share of the overall rates income to households.
    * 1.9 per cent from an ongoing plan to reduce the higher level of rates paid by businesses.
    * 3.2 per cent inflation.
    * 1.2 per cent for higher rubbish and targeted rates.
    * 1.9 per cent above inflation to fund new projects.
  • The North Shore City council said last week it would raise rates by 9.9 per cent this year.
  • Manukau District (sic) Council [...] is setting an average rates increase of 5.9 per cent

  • DPF: "Two broken promises."

    WhaleOil: "Mayor Hubbard can correctly and loudly be called a liar. He has repeatedly lied about rates. He was elected off of the back of his poor mother having to pay horrendous increases in her rates and he often stated that such increases wouldn't occur with his mayoralty. He repeated those assertions once in office and then cynically hiked rate 9.7% in his first year. He increased his cynicism when he loudly declared that this year's rates rise would be "substantially less" than last year's. Finally to complete his litany of duplicity over rates Hubbard council has announced a rates increase this year of 13.2% ."

    Clouds of Heaven: "You cannot just keep raising rate levels at faster than the rate of inflation (currently at 3.2%). The majority of property owners are not getting equivalent pay rises, and so every year have less disposable income. Those renting don't avoid it either - landlords simply take into account the rate levels when setting the level of rent."

    GUEST BLOG: National - the party of the young, the brown and the young brown

    -------Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog-------

    Defending the latest attempt to erode worker rights, the PC terminal terminator, Dr Wayne Mapp, stated that the ability for employers to sack an employee before 90 days with no reason would (get this) HELP young people, brown people and by default, young brown people.

    Now forgive me punters, but since when the hell was the National party friend to anyone other than white affluent people with a chip on their shoulder that they have to pay so much tax dollars to bloody maaaaareez? As this defence evaporated in the face of laughter from John Campbell, Wayne Mapp fell back to the only defence that can be mounted for stupid ideas that only ever sounded plausible when you've had too many drinks at the Auckland club while yelling to your captain of industry mates that 'Something Has To Be Done!" and that was to weakly state that there were lots of issues to iron out in committee meetings and many things to consider. Well that shows conviction, you pussy. This is a pie in the sky right wing wet dream next to the legalising of slavery, but to attempt a justification that it will help the very people it will actually damage, well that's just French logic isn't it.

    Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

    Mr Bradbury may be heard today at 4-5pm on National Radio.

    Thursday, June 22, 2006

    GUEST BLOG: Happy Birthday Kylie Wilson

    -------Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog-------

    Kylie Wilson was supposed to be enjoying her 22nd Birthday party on Tuesday but she couldn't because she was in custody.

    Now let's make one thing very clear here - I don't like pigs; when it comes to bacon: I'm Jewish. The Police are pricks at the best of times and this case only highlights how bad their attitude to the public can get. Kylie was pulled over in a normal check point and her identity was mistaken for another woman who has warrants outstanding for her arrest. Mistaken identity is bad enough, but this had happened to Kylie TWICE BEFORE. She explained, begged, cried that they had the wrong person, she was then forced to be strip searched and when she resisted the Policewoman dug her nails into Kylie's arm forcing her
    to comply. Kylie couldn't call a lawyer for 5 hours and when the Police finally admitted they had the wrong person, it was left for a Judge to throw the case out.

    When you have no independent Police complaints authority, Police act like pigs as there is no need for restraint, add to this the fact that it only takes 19 weeks to be a cop, you have under-trained power freaks thugging up on members of the public.

    So to Kylie Wilson who missed her own Birthday party because the cops were wankers, here is a little birthday gift:-

    "Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday dear
    Happy Birthday to you".

    Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

    Chips fall where they may (+ MB Update)

    UPDATE: The Greens grow a backbone

    --------Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog--------

    Thank Christ the Greens grew a backbone this week and finally stepped away from the idealistic utopia where principled decisions put aside the naked no holds barred reality of political bear pit fighting politics actually is. By voting against Labour on the ridiculous dog chipping farce and exempting 'working dogs', the four Green MPs sent two signals - one was to Labour reminding them the Green Party isn't a doormat to stupid legislation no matter how suck-up Jeanette wants the relationship to remain; but it also sent a clear message to the Green Party that its MPs have a will of their own.

    Since the party voted in prissy Russel Norman as co-leader in an attempt to sell their image to Remuera Soccer mums, some of the MPs have felt unsettled by this softening policy. Personally I thought the last Green election campaign was an abortion that should have earned Norman as campaign manager a kick in the balls, not the co-leadership. But the party and Jeanette have decided to de-radicalise the message and appeal to middle class liberal pretension rather than grass roots anger - a move I believe will hurt the party: why try and broaden the appeal to people who will never vote for you?

    The Greens are strongest amongst the under 30s and the message has to be radical enough to catch that age group's attention; by bucking the leadership's direction these four MPs have shown backbone and a level of political flair that will spook Jeanette and the Green party. The Greens haven't been around long enough to separate the politicians from the wider party membership but this vote suggests a flexing of muscle from the more radical part of the party and hopefully remind the Green Party membership that they aren't there to appease the status quo.

    Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

    As one of the first to raise the issue back in March and still having had no response to those questions of how exactly the bureaucracy managed to steamroll the silly compulsory dog micro-chipping legislation past the minister and specifically what contracts did they sign up to in 2003 that locked them into ramming it through, I am at least glad to see that last night's vote in parliament exempted some dogs (working/farm dogs). It should have been all dogs; but United Future and the Greens just can't co-operate or even be seen to co-operate because of Peter Dunne's childishness and his unwillingness to jeopardise his Ministerial salary and the tactics of some of the Greens:

    Greens MPs Nandor Tanczos, Keith Locke, Sue Kedgley and Sue Bradford voted with National, handing it a 61-60 win. It is understood Mr Tanczos made up his mind at the last minute. Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons was clearly angry at the result, though she said it would not sour caucus relations. "I have to say I am disappointed. I think the position that Metiria Turei and I stuck to – that it should be all dogs or no dogs – was a principled one.

    Yes, it's principled and it was the right thing to do and should have happened but if that isn't going to happen why throw your toys out of the cot? If the call was either destroy all the forest or some of the forest then at least save some of it! Under their "principles" would they vote to destroy the whole forest? Their political strategy is, how can I put this, petulant - as petulant and stupid as their worm-charming nemisis.

    My position on the debate is clear enough: micro-chipping is unnecessary, costly, is a method that restricts people's ability to identify them (tags are visible - chipping requires a machine), was lobbied for by the bureaucrats, SPCA, the Vets and dog-breeders for their own financial gain and finally will not stop dog attacks that were opportunistically made out to be the main reason. I reiterate that I do not like dogs and regard dog owners as misguided and dog breeders as people who ought to be banished deep into the countryside. People who allow dogs into their house make themselves animals. However, I defend their ability to have a dog without a micro-chip on the grounds of practicality and principle. What I have found disappointing is the dismissive (pro-Labour?) attitude from our regular lefties over this issue:-

    "I confess, I've been struggling to work up any kind of feeling as tempers have flared and loyalties been strained over a proposal that didn't seem so controversial when it was first voiced amid the anguish of the attack on Carolina Anderson. I don't care that much, because - and I'm sorry if this shocks some people - I don't care that much about dogs."
    -Doesn't stop him devoting an entire post to it though. That it didn't seem controversial to him shows what little understanding he has. Ignoring the plight of a minority? He conceeds: "I'm not even sure the law is really a good idea..." He mentions the SPCA without realising their conflict of interest and how that organisation operates. The problem is because it doesn't effect him he has voluntarily switched his brain off. It seems to be going around:

    "So, a last minute (but carefully planned) "rebellion" (against what?) by Green MPs has allowed National to have its way on dog microchipping, and once again pandered to farmer's belief that they should be above the law. I'm disappointed - I see chipping as a basic animal identification measure, and one that should be universal - but like Russell, hardly devastated. The whole issue was basically displacement behaviour, with political attention focussed on it precisely because neither party could make any progress on more substantive issues. And now that its out of the way, possibly Parliament could devote some time to things that actually matter"
    -A "basic animal identification measure, and one that should be universal" - for dogs? We aren't shipping the meat off to Korea, they are domestic, pet animals. In what Orwellian paradigm are we now living where Idiot/Savant, champion of freedom and critic of government databases and excess measures against the citizen would consider a micro-chip as a "basic" measure? And to dissmiss the imposition of an elaborate, costly and unnecessary system as a form of behaviour? He has really dropped the ball on this one. The issue is why the Govt. wanted it and what did they sign up to that put them in a position where they had to, ie. contracts that they could not get out of ala INCIS?

    It's a sad day when usually thoughtful people cannot relate to others. So if they don't have a car I suppose they will regard a Government move to force a GPS transponder in every vehicle as a "basic identification measure", or if they don't have a bicycle they would see the resistance to the registration of all bicycles as merely "displacement behaviour" as part of political manouverings and nothing more. The last real rebellion against the Crown was over a dog tax. Some MPs (see below) seem to be encouraging non-compliance with this current law.

    Act's bragging as the only party to have objected to it from the outset is worth noting given the Greens twisting. David Carter hails the victory as common sense (not too often Nat MPs and common sense are legitimately linked) and goes further in seemingly encouraging law-breaking :)

    But Mr Carter says domestic dog owners need to target their anger at those squabbling political parties which refused to dump this nonsensical microchipping rule.
    “Along with Labour, the inflexible United Future and New Zealand First parties should wear their fair share of the blame.”
    Mr Carter is commenting on the narrow vote in Parliament today, which has cleared the way for compulsory microchipping of dogs - excluding working dogs.
    “This legislation is stupid. People will just disobey it.
    “Everyone knows microchipping dogs will not stop a single attack. Those who break the laws now, will continue to do so.”

    Sparking a remarkably furious response from the Grey sensible shoe centre:
    United Future leader, Peter Dunne, has lashed out at National MP, David Carter, describing him as "maliciously confused and deliberately wrong" in his comments over United Future's stand on microchipping of dogs.
    "Mr Carter is claiming victory over Parliament's 61-60 vote to exempt farm dogs from the microchipping regime, while attacking United Future as a poodle for consistently arguing for the same thing.
    "Yet even he can count sufficiently to know that his amendment would have failed without United Future's 3 votes in favour of it, so why is he continuing these canards?
    "For the record, the one party that has not shifted its position throughout the debate of the last few months is United Future.
    "National has flopped all over the place from supporting microchipping, to then not supporting it, to now supporting exempting farm dogs, while the Greens have simply been duplicitous, and utterly untrustworthy.

    You will have noted by now that everyone is pretending their stance has never shifted.

    Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    IWC: All locked up

    Since I seem to be just about the only person on Earth to recognise it: Vote rigging at the International Whaling Commission goes both ways.

    On one side we have Japan buying the votes of poor countries to re-activate commercial whaling and on the other we have wealthy land-locked countries voting with NZ to preserve the moratorium and end whaling altogether.

    The only time land-locked countries are mentioned is when they are in the pocket of the Japanese. But let's analyse it:

    Land-locked members of the IWC and how they voted:-

    With Japan:

    Against Japan:
      Czech Republic
      San Marino
      Slovak Republic

    I'm not saying it's not possible to get a boat up some creek to the tiny mountain micro-state of San Marino or that the Danube might have a fleet that can access the sea... eventually, but really? Yes, Japan plays dirty - but so do her enemies. It behoves us not to get to preachy when we criticise them at trying to play the game too. At least these small, impoverished nations that Japan supports actually get something out of it - stained in Whale blood naturally - but something. Who pays the IWC subs for San Marino? Why is Luxembourg there? Why is Switzerland? Switzerland! Austria! Do they appreciate the similarities of the haunting cry of the whale to their yodelling? They have a tenuous a relationship to the mighty mammals of the oceans as Mali or the Gobi dwellers who have never seen the sea either.

    The IWC is real politik - it is a numbers game concentrated on stacking the deck. Their side plays it and so do we. Let's just acknowledge that fact for once instead of wrapping ourselves in our whiter than white and pointing fingers. If "our side" cared as much and/or was smart as the "other side" we would have Liechtenstein and Andorra on the Commission by now. Maybe next time?

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Should today be a public holiday, or next Monday?

    Matariki is probably visible in the pre-dawn sky for those keeping rural hours. This means the Maori New Year is upon us and is being celebrated around this time.

    The actual start cluster is known almost universally and it's Wikipedia entry is a fascinating read. Through the manufacturing might of our very good Asian (and yes, whale-gorging) friend we know it's name in Japanese.

    As previously proposed I suggested that in the evolution of our nation into a republic we replace the first Monday of June (Queen's Birthday) with a later date in June for Matariki. At the time I thought the second Monday, but now I'm inclined to think the third Monday or last Monday of June is more in line with the correct date. I made this comment then: "Matariki/Winter Festival - Maori New Year. Revived in recent years and good job - as it is close enough to Queen's birthday to replace it. Should only be for one day, Monday, as two days in Winter is a bit pointless. Marks the depth of Winter and the coming of the new season and so is a real change and is indigenous to us." That still holds. The further back in June the more a marking of the end of the season it would be - as the depth of Winter is truly apparent at that time.

    Maori New Year would be a good time for general merriment and feasting given the season and a fine occasion for balls.

    GUEST BLOG: Living up to a stereotype

    ----------Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog---------

    There is a belief that Japan is to the Pacific, what England is to Europe and America is to the world - a cultural arrogance which sees their race as superior and thus above the rules on resources others have to stick to. We see this superiority complex in the current whaling debate but there is more than tree-hugger sentiments to a large mammal at stake here - it is about stopping aggressive Japanese cultural arrogance from asserting any more authority in our part of the world.

    Not since the Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere have we seen such a unilateral expansion aimed at our Southern Oceans. it's not just that the Japanese want to cruelly maim and butcher a large animal in an excruciating manner (NZ being the top abattoir for boutique cuts to Europe doesn't give us moral bragging rights on animal husbandry) it is the farcical argument from Japan for doing so which we have to fight against.

    Scientific Whaling is as much a misnomer as 'Torturing for Freedom' or 'War for Peace'. Scientific Whaling is a farce and to forward such an argument shows utter contempt on the part of the Japanese for our intellect. We must remind our Japanese friends that we are not stupid, that we don't believe for one second that their whaling is for scientific purposes and explain to them that it is their cultural arrogance that drives their insatiable hunger for
    natural resources. The fact they have bribed many poor countries on the IWC to vote their way only adds insult to injury. It's time we started making our Japanese friends feel a little less welcome.

    Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

    Sunday, June 18, 2006


    ----------Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog---------

    Top story in the headlines this week: Police tactics aimed at young people pressuring them into consenting to a DNA sample have been described as bullying.

    Well duh! The Police have been building up a Criminal DNA database for some time - if you commit a sexual crime you go on it - but the Police can add voluntary samples as well.

    The Police deny that they have been bribing young people with quicker bail release in exchange for their DNA, but criminal lawyers say it's offered up at times when offenders are waiting for Police discretion to bail them out early.

    Of course the Police will try and push their luck with young people because young people don't know their rights. Please don't be under the illusion that "he ain't heavy, he's my brother", the Police can be right evil fuckwits if they want to be, he IS heavy, and he's NOT my brother.

    The only way you can safeguard against the cops pressuring you into handing over your DNA is to stop voluntary DNA samples. If you have committed an aweful crime or are suspected of committing an aweful crime, of course you should have to hand over your DNA, but allowing the cops discretion over voluntary samples creates a proxy national DNA database none of us as citizens agreed to.

    Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

    Saturday, June 17, 2006

    GUEST BLOG: NZ part of rendition web?

    Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog

    Did we help rendition an innocent man?

    Rayad Mohammed Addullah Ali was thrown out of the country because five years ago he studied with one of the September 11 Terrorists.

    Amid a chorus of Talkback Radio hosts claims that there are terrorists all over the fucking country now, I'd like to point out that we've deported this guy based on guilt by association. Please tell me the Government has more than 'he knew some bad guy five years ago'. Isn't this just fucking Muslim Paranoia?

    We also know that the United States didn't want us to deport Rayed because they wanted to keep him under survalliance: Questions:

  • Did the SIS freak out at having such a hot potato, panic and kick him out?

  • Did we cut a deal with the United States.

  • Did we tip them off to which airport we'd sent him?

  • Where is Rayad Ali now?

  • Has he been renditioned™ by the United States?

  • Did thed NZ Government help send this guy off to a secret Eastern European CIA torture chamber?

  • ...Well - did we?

    His family say they can't find him and don't know where he is, the Saudi Arabian embassy and Yemini embassy deny having recieved him. Does our government have blood on it's hands?

    If Rayad is such a terrorist threat, wouldn't the US pounce and take him into custody if we had tipped them off? And why didn't we even interrogate him her? Reports are we just threw him out - did we do so knowing what was going to happen to him?

    But why should we care?

    Because doing sneaky shit like that ain't the way we do shit in this country. Are we a fair minded people or do we get paranoid about 'outsiders' cause I think fearmongering is a fucked up way to decide immigration policy.It staggers me that it has taken the mainstream media so long as to ask where Rayad Mohammed Addullah Ali is, and that only slowly are people asking if we set him up.

    Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    bFM interview

    Does this count as my first podcast?

    Hat tip: PC

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    Auckland Library Te Paparisation

    I expect Auckland's civic advocate, the NZ Herald's Brian Rudman, to pronounce his verdict on the reconstructed Auckland Central Library at some point (he's on premium content so he might already have done so without me knowing), but I was ambivalent towards the concept and especially the execution of it.

    The café on the corner is long overdue. Not having eaten there I can't attest to the quality, but the use of the dead end of the building was the right thing to do. Not the right thing to do however was to have the part of the café that meets the inside of the library being a serving counter/coffee machine/kitchen area. Oh dear. The restful library now echoes with orders for lattes, the banging and clattering of the galley and all the fuss and bustle of a working kitchen. The seating area should be between the library and that centre of frantic hubbub. That is the correct interface - where people can eat, drink and read in a reading environment. What we have at the moment is not fully thought out.

    The newszone area next to the café is a modest undertaking and I found it relaxing and a great addition. Watching BBC World on the big screen while perusing newspapers and magazines is a natural and comfortable activity. But, once again, this area is right next to the kitchen/barrista end of the café where breaking news is overpowered with orders for table 7. The juxtaposition is awkward.

    The day it was opening (last fortnight), to give you an illustration of the mistaken direction the library seems to be heading, someone had decided to hire a hip-hop group to shred some vinyl for the peeps on the main floor. Cranking it out at full tilt they had a small group bopping around to their latest single. I couldn't hear the BBC at all at this stage. One of the band emplored them to "make some noise!" before parenthetically inquiring to his mate, "if that's all right in a library." They played Brubeck's Take 5 in the interim so I wasn't entirely outraged - but c'mon! Turning the library into a venue for very loud music is totally inappropriate. It was perhaps well intentioned but spoke volumes, very loud volumes, about a misguided direction.

    Not having time to venture upstairs I understand from my music officianado flatmate that there are now giant plasma screens all over the show. In the newszone I can understand it - everywhere is a distracting overkill. He said that in the music area they had the sound on from the commercial music station they were playing. This doesn't have to be a problem, but the ads were left on. Loud ads for plasma screens he recalls. How inappropriate.

    A library has traditionally been, and ought to be, a type of haven for concentration, silent appreciation and study. By filling our space with commercials, clatter and concerts the atmosphere to properly use the library disapates: the enjoyment terminates. In a world of distractions and unending, relentless advertising the library should be a calm sentinel in our city of industry. Alas it seems the bastion has fallen - defeated from the inside.

    I used to be amused by the fact the loudest people in the library - and I mean to the point of bellowing - were always the staff. That seems a fond memory now.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006


    New issue out now!

    At least he has the good sense not to go for a jury.

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    GUEST BLOG: Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog

    Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog

    I don't normally listen to Radio Live! (note that you have to have an exclamation mark after the Live! as if to remind you that it isn't braindead, more like Radio in a coma being drip feed), but with the electricity black out today I scrambled to find enough D size batteries to fill my CD/radio and tune into a station still broadcasting just to reassure myself that the coming of the Antichrist was still some time off.

    I had the misfortune of listening to Michael Laws-unto-himself wank on about Rodney Hide getting kicked off Dancing with the Stars. Personally I kinda thought the fact that a 3rd of the country was out of power with hundreds trapped in lifts as a newsworthy item that would dominate conversation, but I suppose that's the reason I no longer work on Radio Live!, because Laws-unto-himself just couldn't fuck up about Rodney Hide and Dancing with the fucking stars. Between Rodney and people interrupting Laws-unto-himself with informational updates of the biggest news story of the day (cut short by Laws-unto-himself asking more pointless questions about Rodney) I got the opportunity to hear Laws-unto-himself explain that there were probably heaps of terrorists in the country now, after we had just thrown Rayed Ali out of the country because he had been in the same class learning to fly as a September 11th hijacker.

    Now I don't wanna sound like a pinko tree hugger, but when I was a boy there use to be this thing called EVIDENCE and guilt by association was something assigned to witch hunt history books and American Foreign policy. Laws-unto-himself pointed
    out that 5 years ago Rayed Ali had been in the same class as Hani Hanjour, which was a bad thing because Hani Hanjour had decided to try and park a 727 plane into the Pentagon. So we kicked Rayed Ali out of the country based on that, which seems to be paranoia from our spooks in the SIS but then again they didn't have much else to do after convicting Tim Selwyn of
    sedition last week.

    I didn't ring up and challenge Laws-unto-himself with the fact that he is a fear mongering fuckwit who trades in race baiting
    because the power had come back on and thankfully I could do more important things like cleaning the dishes, but I kept the radio on with the hope that Willy Jackson and John Tamihere might at least make me smirk. I was to be disappointed, Tamihere opened the show with a tirade aimed at Muslims and his personal belief that the country was over run with terrorists. Well that was it - I had to call up. Under the name 'Mark' (like Radio Live would let me back on air if they knew it was me) I asked John if it was true that he had a brother in prison for murder. John tentatively agreed that was the case, and I then pointed out that must mean he was a criminal as well, because all we had to kick Rayed Ali out of the country was an association he had 5 years ago with someone who happened to be in his class. Tamihere tried to argue that I wanted to open the boarders wide and let all sorts of Ahmed Zaouis in. I responded by pointing out that was what HE was saying, and what I was saying was that if we are going to find people guilty by association, then let's be even handed with that rule
    which means we should arrest Tamihere for murder. This shut the little prick up and I turned back to my dish washing.

    I couldn't shake the injustice of Ali's case though and I wondered what deal was cut with the Americans. Apparently they didn't want the SIS to kick Ali out as they wanted to see what he was doing, so when the SIS did just that I wonder if a compromise was cut between the security branches, where is Ali now? Was he renditioned off to Eastern Europe to have hot coals placed on his feet in the freedom torture chamber to confess all he knew? Did we tip off the Americans as to the flight he would be on, where is he? I have no idea but hope someone asks that question.

    Meanwhile on cable TV some Israeli military spokesmonster was explaining that although it was sad the Israeli's had blown a picnicking family to bits on a beach, it was important to point out that the Palestinians did in fact fire rockets at them. I watched his eyes as he spoke and wondered if vomited much after these press conferences. I've seen the rockets the Palestinians fire at the illegal Jewish settlers, and have always pissed myself at the 'rocket'description given these shitty little attempts at moving Israel out of the occupied territories, they are in fact glorified sky rockets with more chance of hurting the person lighting them than the perception of laser guided multi-million dollar cruise missiles the word 'rocket' conjures up.

    Those expensive precision ones are the type the Israeli's use to assassinate without any judicial discretion any poor bastard the Israeli's deem is today's headline. None of that seemed to matter to the little Palestinian girl who had been sitting in the sun on the beach with her family, I watched her scream with horror, and I really did wonder if that Israeli military spokemonster vomited after he tried to justify that. I didn't get an answer because the next news story was of an American
    military spokesmonster who was in the middle of describing the 3 suicides at the Guanatanomo Bay concentration camp as acts of asymmetric warfare against the United States.

    I laughed so hard I cried.

    Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury

    Sunday, June 11, 2006

    Enemy propaganda

    You can't give the media a statement that might be construed to dare someone to break a window.

    Even if it is in protest at trying to stop the biggest most obviously overtly racist, directly anti-Maori, piece of underhanded authoritarian, constitutionally abhorrent, bad faith perversion of a law being rammed through parliament under urgency. Even if it is to draw attention to an undermining of the rule of law by extraordinary legislative action of the government amounting to the single biggest confiscation rip-off in all the miserable and shameful history of Crown abuse. To point out to the media that a lone protest action has occured against an injustice of that magnitude - which we know will be condemned by the United Nations - is sedition. It is the words of the false history stated in the Foreshore and Seabed Bill to effect the confiscation that provoked a broken window - were the government's words not sedition?

    I had asbsolutely no idea whatsoever that morning of 18 November 2004 that what I was doing in issuing that statement to the media was sedition. It certainly didn't feel that way and certainly doesn't now. It felt like a solemn and necessary duty, however imperfectly executed or conceived, to explain to people what had happened and what it meant through the media.

    That I participated in an action to protest constitutional anarchy and that I tried to avert an injustice is something that I have taken my responsibility for by admitting I was involved as a party to a conspiracy to commit intentional damage. To criminalise the making and distribution of the statement that comes with it is taking it too far because if one person cannot share his thoughts with another person the whole idea of a democracy breaks down. But is it any wonder that the Crown's reaction to the protest of one shameful law thought evil even when it was routinely used in the 19th century that seeks to cut-off the rights of a percieved minority in automatic favour of the Crown is to prosecute it with another shameful law thought evil even when it was routinely used in the 19th century that seeks to cut-off the rights of a percieved minority in automatic favour of the Crown? Confiscation and sedition prosecutions are both the actions of a wartime government.

    I disagree with the jury's verdict and will seek to appeal.

    I am disappointed with losing one for the whole side. I feel guilty about not offering a more robust defence with all the force and principles that could have gone with it. The jury didn't like "similar action", they liked "civil disobedience". But it could have said things a million times worse than a fairly lame "similar action" - it's not even specific. It's in the last sentence and it's tempered with symbolism and an exhortation to use one's own initiative in a press release headed "Confiscation Day" not "Burn down Parliament" or "Smash the State" or "Cut the tall trees." At the very most it could have been headed "Why you should consider breaking a window" - but even if it was it was only meant for the press - it would then be up to these responsible members of the media to use as they see fit.

    12 random community representatives either could not accept or could not understand what you might think are perfectly reasonable, straight forward, simple, explanations about why the threshold for incitement can never be a statement only meant for half a dozen journalists. It was lost on them. I wonder what they think of their verdict now they have heard all the criticism of it? Do they even read?

    This was a call to Pakeha consciousness. We wanted to stop the confiscation being a footnote, a summary caption in the history pages of the Pakeha press - because that is sadly exactly what it was even with a nice photo of the installation art that was created overnight at the office of the Minister for Art and Culture. The stories that day that appeared before any story about the confiscation bill in the following day's edition of the NZ Herald:
    Outrage as Father walks free
    Speaker set to kick out Awatere Huata
    Law change likely over toxic soil
    This must mean summer's here
    Truck crash blame swings to tiredness
    Comment: The mayoral revolution is a perfect chance to right old wrong
    The day all hope was dashed
    Act's new man learned from Red China's mistakes
    Rapist faces expulsion from NZ
    Man missing for eight years declared dead
    Physics test question drops clanger on basics

    and then finally on A5:
    Bill sparks protests from Pakeha and Maori
    Iwi "betrayed" over law

    There's a reason why community leaders condemn in extremely harsh language a law that confiscates property rights without any form of redress and constitutional lawyers and many groups oppose the law vehemently and yet when it passes in dubious circumstances it rates hardly a mention in the mainstream media. It's because they's black.

    The message is: that's how important Pakeha think your rights are. The government says you are just Abos and us Pakeha don't care. They're supposedly doing it for us anyway, aren't they?... It's probably wrong, but... whatever.

    That's about right, isn't it?

    The NZ Herald was founded in 1863 by a businessman who split with his partner because he wanted the government to invade the Waikato so him and his mates could make a quick buck out of selling all the stolen land that would be ethnically cleansed and confiscated off the owners courtesy of the British taxpayers and their army. Then the NZ Herald was the Der Stürmer of the time agitating for invasion and theft. Their treatment of Maori as the other and never as part or the "us" and "we" has been consistent up to this very day. So I read the NZ Herald's leader in the Weekend edition with the usual low expectations:

    Ill advised use of a tough law

    ...an unusual inhabitant of the twighlight zone where fringe politics meets amateur media... mindless attention seeking... silly pamphlet...

    It wasn't mindless, it was out of absolute desperation for sure but nevertheless considered and symbolic, and it was attention-seeking for an issue that the Herald fell well short of covering, and if it was silly and the issue unimportant then why the prosecution? In attempting to write it off they undermine it's significance. What would Pakeha have done if it was them having their property rights conficscated like that? What would they do? There is not even the slightest hint that perhaps the mainstream press were even asking themselves that question because they know that in this country their Pakeha rights will never be in any doubt. Through the ordeal Maori remained thoroughly calm and impeccably courteous. And that's how you get screwed over. That's how you get every last piece of land taken off you. You can go through the courts - but as soon as you get anywhere near justice it will be snatched away by the Crown. Do you appreciate the hopeless position that Maori are in and have been for so many years? The Crown can hold up the Treaty as a token but will never follow the letter. To help Her Majesty keep the faith and the principles implicit in our founding bond alive, when threatened by the actions of a misguided government, occasionally citizens must risk offending against the law in order to do it. Informing people of the details - after the event especially - can hardly be considered sedition.

    The Herald exists in the twighlight zone where mainstream politics meets mass media - that is a far more precarious position than this blog - especially when it comes to understanding that free speech must be used sometimes instead of being wheeled out as an ideal whenever it's convenient to excuse some editorial lapse of judgement or prurient urge to trawl through someone's dirty laundry or gross photos from the coroner. That the Herald's editorial was so self-assured in assuming that sedition would not be used again speaks volumes for their grasp on reality. It means we all have to think twice where once we thought it was our right to impart ideas to one another - that is what is at stake here.

    And while we are at it I note that Radio New Zealand could have many discussions of the case but not invite me once to talk to them except at the end of the trial where all Mary Wilson wanted to know was when the appeal was. They also had my lawyer telling them that sedition was basically a good policy to have*! I note that according to the Radio New Zealand staff member's evidence at trial it was they who telephoned the police after receiving a call as to where the statements were left - no other reporters did and everyone I've talked to from the media were greatly surprised that that would even occur to them. Not trusty state radio, eh. Big Brother's little nark?

    Anyway, I don't want to have set a bad precedent in failing to secure the correct verdict because other prosecutions will come. If there is any way of getting this in front of the Supreme Court I must pursue it.

    *And he advises that I shouldn't talk to the media!? It sounds as though the only one in favour of sedition is my own lawyer. The closing may have had the appropriate Denny Cranesque flavour, but his media relation skills are apalling.

    Still a place for sedition charges

    Jun 9, 2006

    The lawyer for an Auckland man convicted of sedition says there is still a place for such charges in modern society.

    Tim Selwyn was part of a group that carried out an axe attack on Prime Minister Helen Clark's Auckland electorate office in 2004, in a protest arising from the foreshore and seabed debate.

    On Thursday, a jury in the Auckland District Court found him guilty of one charge relating to a leaflet he published, calling for people to take similar action.

    Selwyn's lawyer, Mark Anthony Edgar, says free speech can transcend into anti-social urging, and there will always be a need to enforce laws against that.

    However, a civil libertarian says it is time to review the laws.

    Head of the Auckland Council for Civil Liberties, Barry Wilson, says the sedition laws are extremely broad and should be re-examined.

    Wilson says the laws are potentially a wide restraint on the public debate of politically controversial matters.

    Source: RNZ

    An international freedom of expression group Article 19 has contacted me. They have been monitoring and making submissions on many countries' freedom of expression laws including Australia. And for the record Amnesty International (NZ) has absolutely no interest whatsoever in this case.

    Friday, June 09, 2006

    GUEST BLOG: Symbolic protest action

    -------------------------GUEST BLOGGER: M BRADBURY------------------------

    Tim Selwyn should never have been charged with Sedition, let alone get convicted on it. The act he committed was a protest action against a Government intent on confiscation via legislation. The axe through the window was a symbolic protest action NOT an attempt to overthrow the rule of law and burn Parliament to the ground. Yes the axe through the window was an unlawful action, but Sedition must be more than unlawful acts, it must show an intent to create 'lawlessness' a-la East Timor. The threshold for Sedition is incredibly high, and the Crown case was no where near that.

    The fact the Police brought these charges against Mr Selwyn surprised many commentators, but I believe it is a trend since September 11th that our security apparatus have been advancing by putting flesh to powers that control or contain 'terrorism' by creating test cases from our supposed domestic threats. Look at how the Animal Rights activists were targeted by the Threat Assessment Unit - a Police body set up to evaluate terrorists with special powers granted to them by new legislation. Look at how Ahmed Zaoui will now face secret trials with evidence his lawyers aren't even allowed to look at and the Media are not allowed to comment on. And look at Tim Selwyn, a man who made a conscientious stand against a piece of
    legislation aimed at stealing ownership away from Maori, charged with Sedition.

    There is a new Secret Police in NZ, hunting the threat from within, fuelled by the supposed threat from outside. They no doubt see such actions as justifiable by creating the legal thresholds they will need should terrorism ever reach our shores. But people with secret powers have always argued the ends justify the means, and free societies have always paid the price.

    Freedom of Speech was limited by the state yesterday, yet the top news story was traffic jams caused by people desperate to shop at a new mall. Perhaps we get what we deserve.

    Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury


    Thursday, June 08, 2006

    Confiscation Day

    This morning concerned Pakeha vented their anger and disgust at the Government’s attempts to steal, by confiscation, Maori land in the form of the Seabed and Foreshore Bill that is currently being disgracefully rammed through Parliament as part of a desperate back-room deal.

    By attacking the electorate office of the chief instigator, the Prime Minister – who is due to abandon the mess she created by fleeing the country today – we signal that a threshold has been crossed.

    The broken glass symbolises the broken faith, broken trust and shattered justice, our axe symbolises the steadfastness of our determination.

    The ruthless Prime Minister will leave behind a vindictive law that will haunt this nation should the M.Ps be mad enough to pass it. Maori M.Ps complicit in this farce will never live down their betrayal.

    If this is destined to be Confiscation Day, then we have marked it.

    We call upon all like-minded New Zealanders to take similar action of their own to send a clear message that such a gross, blatantly racist injustice to the Maori people will never be accepted.

    Ake! Ake! Ake!

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Sedition Trial: UPDATE

    Queen v Selwyn


    Well I gave evidence today. My own lawyer's questions to the end felt like an interrogation, but that was just to set me up for the hell of a cross-examination today by the Crown Prosecuter - very gruelling. I tried to make my points regarding the issue of the trial, the two documents, but he just wanted to focus on the stuff on the periphery that would make me look bad and hack away at that from as many angles as he could - all in a dull, plodding monotone. I point blank refused to answer at least half a dozen of his peripheral questions (esp. about questions that could implicate others or were just gratuitously irrelevant) and tried to get it back to what the purpose of the texts were and the intent behind them. It became a bit testy but he did accept some of my views surrounding intent - and made sure to quickly cut me off when he caught himself acknowledging my points.

    The trial so far has had a couple of odd turns that I can hopefully tell you about later.

    Tomorrow (Thursday) I'll give my final korero via re-examination from my lawyer, and then closing statements from the lawyers, and then the judge will summarise all the issues for the jury and they will deliberate and hopefully come back with a verdict before the end of the day. If they choose to go into all the documents and try to create timelines and scenarios they could waste a lot of time and get side-tracked with all the circumstantial evidence (I think).

    I have to trust that jury.

    Monday, June 05, 2006

    Sedition Trial: Context

    Queen v Selwyn


    Foreshore and seabed information page has a great timeline of documents setting the scene for the events of 18 November 2004, (Confiscation Day).

    Remembering that on 16 November 67 pages of amendments were put up that morning as a result of the wee small hours colonial conspiring by Michael Cullen and Dale Jones (both ex-pat Poms). They were imposing their own views about what Maori (having only a second class citizenship) ought to own in that process. It was a late night, back-room deal that was so rushed, the text so hurried and imperfect that they accidently confiscated local authority property too - which was not their intention. They had to revisit it less than a month later to undo the mistake. Now with their imperfect text - expressing as it did an intention to piss all over the rule of law, the constitution, the government's commitment to human rights and recklessly provoke discord and disorder in pursuit of a confiscation that the Attorney-General herself had to admit was racism - and having 120 MPs and their officials scrutinising it they still managed to cock it up. A couple of rogue words undid the fringes of their perverse efforts. And so they go about correcting it and pretending it never happened. Contrast those circumstances with the allegedly seditious texts.

    Parliament was in urgency to get the Foreshore and Seabed Bill passed and was sitting till midnight each night for as long as it would take. To enforce the surreality of this farce the date on the walls of parliament remained stuck on the first date they took urgency as a matter of legalistic, procedural untruth to underscore the Cullen-Dale re-writing of history that was taking place.

    Now in this sedition trial the Crown alleges that there are a few words in the texts that they consider to incite disorder/disaffection etc. The Crown seemingly has no qualms that the country's largest circulation daily newspaper can print one of those texts in its entirety and put it on it's website; but that it is somehow wrong for someone to have composed it or to have transmitted it to the Herald in the first place. This is an untenable position for the Crown. So the publication by one person of half a dozen or so documents is unlawful but the same document printed 250,000 times by APN is lawful? So telling people about the idea is fine - unless it's your idea, in which case it is a criminal offence? The implications for the freedom of the media is relevant to this case whether the media comprehend that or not because if the bar is set so low for sedition then they obviously can't publish things that they know would reasonably have seditious intention? No? "Bill of Rights Act" - I can hear it now. Who wants to be the first to find out?

    The media must have thought that there was no realistic expectation that people reading the texts would cause disorder/disaffection etc. or else they would not, surely, have printed it a quarter of a million times along with pictures! Having some experience of, in and with the media my reasonable expectation/intention (given involvement in the publication process of the texts) is presumed by the Crown to be an incitement to disorder?

    Does everyone from now on have to function with the thought of a sedition charge in the back of their minds before they offer their opinion publicly? Well, depending on how this trial turns out, they might have to. And that the only credible defence for saying "I think that we might have to risk breaking the law to defend our laws and our constitutional heritage in order to uphold justice and stop disorder" must be "I didn't really mean it?" That is the real evil of sedition: the defendant must disavow their own advocacy in order to defend the charge on those terms. Given the technically low threshold for conviction it is who the Crown chooses to prosecute that is telling.

    Sedition laws have traditionally been used to persecute people who tell others why something is wrong, not just the actual advocating that individuals should exercise their own conscience (and even imagination) in finding ways of preventing the government from making an arse of themselves (we have all failed in that respect!). The Crown knows that it is the reasons why and what the circumstances are about the issue that really are the important words in those texts - or else they wouldn't be persecuting me, would they?

    Through this prosecution the Crown admits the validity of the texts: they admit the facts as much as the force of the alleged incitement because in order to maintain that the texts constitute a real intention the Crown must regard the texts as inherently credible. They can't argue that the texts lack facts and/or are inherently unreasonable and have no underlying justifiable cause because that would undermine their assertion of a viable incitement.

    They don't prosecute the lone nutter with tin foil on his head handing stuff out on the high street. They don't charge the largest circulation daily newspaper. They don't indict the owners of websites. They don't care if the papers run anti-Maori hate speech and derogatory cartoons every day of the week for the last 130 years. They haven't prosecuted for sedition for so long no-one even really knows when the last case was. They don't give a flying fuck what anyone else has to say about anything... except when it comes to me. Why? - because they trust me to mean exactly what I say all the time? Praise from Caesar? I should be flattered; but instead I'm just tired.

    For my troubles the Crown wants to further embarrass itself. Why? Who authorised this prosecution? Who in their right mind from the Crown wants to bring the unfairness of that nasty confiscation Act back to the table? The parliament agreed with two Poms that Maori are just Abos - is that a good look? For a nation deeply deluded that the rest of the world really believes that they are the bastion of racial equality perhaps telling the truth about what we are is a necessary part of growing up. Sometimes I have to assume that the Crown are on my side and they want to hurt themselves because they know they are wrong - and they have chosen me to do it. Very well then.

    Who thinks the Foreshore and Seabed Act is a shocker? Well, apart from the Human Rights Commission, Waitangi Tribunal, every Iwi, all the constitutional lawyers I've read, just about everybody who knows anything about it, the United Nations also has had some things to say as well. The Labour Government usually loves most of the above - unless they point out the obvious or disagree in any way whatsoever - and then our nice friends at the UN suddenly transform from impartial professionals informing the world of the plight of minorities to become raving, uninformed Marxists on unimportant committees:


    United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
    Sixty-sixth session
    17 February - 11 March 2005
    Decision 1 (66): New Zealand CERD/C/DEC/NZL/1

    4. While noting the explanation offered by the State party, the Committee is concerned at the apparent haste with which the legislation was enacted and that insufficient consideration may have been given to alternative responses to the Ngati Apa decision, which might have accommodated Maori rights within a framework more acceptable to both the Maori and all other New Zealanders. In this regard, the Committee regrets that the processes of consultation did not appreciably narrow the differences between the various parties on this issue.
    6. Bearing in mind the complexity of the issues involved, the legislation appears to the Committee, on balance, to contain discriminatory aspects against the Maori, in particular in its extinguishment of the possibility of establishing Maori customary titles over the foreshore and seabed and its failure to provide a guaranteed right of redress


    United Nations Economic and Social Council
    13 March 2006
    Original: ENGLISH

    Sixty-second session
    Item 15 of the provisional agenda
    Human rights and indigenous issues

    Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and
    fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Rodolfo Stavenhagen


    1. Pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 2001/57 of 24 April 2001, which established his mandate, and to the standing invitation of New Zealand to United Nations special procedures, the Special Rapporteur visited New Zealand from 16 to 26 November 2005. The purpose of the visit was to gain a better understanding of the situation of indigenous people in New Zealand through discussions with the relevant parties on issues such as the treaty settlements process, the implications of the Foreshore and Seabed Act,
    16. The Special Rapporteur considers that from a human rights perspective, Governments cannot unilaterally extinguish indigenous rights (whether they are referred to as aboriginal or customary title) through any means without the free, prior and informed consent of the concerned indigenous peoples. In the view of the Special Rapporteur, replacing an inherent right with a difficult judicial and administrative procedure leading possibly to the issuing of a “customary rights order,” may amount to less than the full protection of human rights that the Government is duty-bound to comply with.
    47. These developments prompted the Government to announce its foreshore and seabed policy in 2003, which became the subject of an urgent inquiry by the Waitangi Tribunal. The Tribunal, expressing its disagreement with the Crown’s proposal, concluded that this policy would remove the ability of Maori to go to the High Court and the Maori Land Court for definition and declaration of their legal rights in the foreshore and seabed. The Tribunal considered that in removing the means by which the rights would be declared, it effectively removed the rights themselves, whatever their number and quality. The Tribunal also concluded that the proposal would remove property rights, which amounts to expropriation; not guarantee compensation; enact a regime that recognizes lesser and fewer Maori rights in place of the property rights to be declared by the courts; and exchange property rights for the opportunity to participate in an administrative process.
    50. [...] the Human Rights Commission points out that potential Maori customary title over parts of the foreshore and seabed and fee simple title for Maori land under existing legislation have now been removed, without equivalent replacement.

    51. There remains no guarantee of equitable redress for Maori groups for loss of customary title or criteria to guide compensation calculations [...]. In addition, the establishment of potential foreshore and seabed reserves, which is a positive development, must also be negotiated and in essence fails to provide Maori groups with an appropriate recompense for loss of customary title. By excluding existing freehold interests in the foreshore and seabed from the vesting of the foreshore and seabed in Crown ownership, the Commission considers that the Act limits the right to freedom from discrimination. The Commission also considers that parts of the legislation may also infringe the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of property, and the right to development. In fact, New Zealand’s Attorney General recognizes that the Act provides differential treatment and that this might entail prima facie breach of New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act, yet she still considers this differential treatment justified.
    92. The Foreshore and Seabed Act should be repealed or amended by Parliament and the Crown should engage in treaty settlement negotiation with Maori that would recognize the inherent rights of Maori in the foreshore and seabed and establish regulatory mechanisms allowing for the free and full access by the general public to the country’s beaches and coastal area without discrimination of any kind.

    So, it's not just me then.

    Friday, June 02, 2006


    Queen v Selwyn

    The sedition trial starts Tuesday - the day after this country celebrates Her Majesty's birthday with a public holiday.

    The Crown and myself have managed to come to an agreement on having a lot of their witnesses read instead of having to turn up and give evidence personally - thus saving them the hassle of participating in the circus and the jury gets to go home a couple of days early.

    For the Crown to win they must prove I, as a participant in the publication process, had a "seditious intention" at the time. That is only something that I can answer.

    Now the NZ Herald went and published one of these texts that the Crown alleges is seditious about a quarter of a million times the day after. But it is assumed that the publishers of the Herald had no seditious intention when they did that even though the text was the same. The Herald publishers must have thought it was reasonable that people were alerted to the content of the document and/or that the words fall short of a credible incitement.

    I've already pleaded guilty to being a party to a conspiracy to cause intentional damage so this shit is all unnecessary additional persecution as far as I'm concerned.

    Giving people ideas should not be a criminal offence.


    Thursday, June 01, 2006


    The Australian reports:

    "One of the Aboriginal women said 'Look at you, you white slut'. Then, they just decided to get physical. When I started to complain they just said, 'Just look at you, you f..king white bitch'."


    [she] is the first person to be charged under Western Australia's new racial vilification laws."

    So, an Aboriginal is charged with using racist language (or displaying racist intent)... right. And what about the whites, then? They still get all their land, right? They still get to bar them from hotels etc., right? That's still legal isn't it. (The DPP's name is a classic BTW)

    Have they got that law in Queensland?

    Toowoomba Aboriginal leader Stephen Hagan sought UN intervention last year after the full bench of the Federal Court upheld a decision that the term did not breach the Racial Discrimination Act. The court found the term had "long been devoid of racial connotation".

    Ugly, ugly Australia.