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Monday, May 31, 2010

Israel attack aid flotilla in International Waters - killing 15

Israel have attacked the aid flotilla in International waters with 15 being reported dead

Here is Israel's response...

"We did not attack any boat, we merely fulfill the Israeli government's decision to prevent anyone from going into the Gaza strip without coordinating with Israel," a statement from the Israeli military said. "The flotilla is a provocation made to de-legitimize Israel."

...the response from the Global Community must be out right disgust at this behaviour by Israel.

The Police don't have a fucking anger problem okay cock?

Ummmmmmmm, I don't want to make the nice Policeman angry, buuuuuuut...

Three cops on assault counts
Three police officers are facing charges over allegations of assaults done on duty, including one "renegade" cop accused of attacks on five people in as many months. The alleged attacks took place between October last year and January this year in Auckland's Waitemata policing district.
One alleged victim has called for an inquiry into police brutality after being injured so badly in a police station cell he lost a testicle.

Wow - he kicked him so hard he blew out a ball! Now that's getting better work stories. Here's my favourite bit about the story...

The officer refused to speak to the Herald on Sunday. A supporter told the newspaper outside court: "Your sources that tell you things better watch out."

...sigh! Don't you love it? Threatening news sources, it's just so cop isn't it? Remember the last critical news story where the Police Department demanded to know why a positive pro police message wasn't being spun? It's like a Police-God syndrome.

Is there a culture of violence within the Police force? Well, that's all relative isn't it? Are our cops as brutal as military Police in a third world dictatorship? No, no they're not, they're much more annoying that that. Look our cops are a bit thuggish, you know it, they know it, we all bloody know it.

Rules are
1: Be polite.
2: Get away from them at the soonest possible moment because the Police man is not your friend.
3: I'm sure they're nice people, I just don't want them teaching my children.

Now in the bad old days when the Independent Police Complaints Authority was cops investigating cops, you knew you were screwed if you got the bash because there was no way a cop investigating a cop was EVER going to produce a ruling that wouldn't attract criticism of bias. These days we have a Complaints process that is funded to independently investigate 30% of complaints PLUS they have the scope to review any big case that gets into the media, so if you get bashed, you have to set up a facebook site immediately and attract media attention if you want to guarantee an independent review of your complaint.

Hey, it's not perfect, but neither are our Police.

Here's to the Gaza Flotilla

[UPDATE | Monday 5PM: Turkish and Israeli TV reporting shots fired and deaths as IDF commandos try to get onboard the vessels. —TS.]

Gaza flotilla ready to sail
An organiser of the flotilla carrying tonnes of supplies for the Gaza Strip says the ships will sail for the blockaded territory today. If they leave from off Cyprus on schedule, they will reach the area tonight. Israel says they will be intercepted and towed to an Israeli port and activists will be given the choice of deportation or jail. The cargo will be distributed in Gaza after a security check.

What a beautiful idea huh folks? A flotilla of hope for the people of Gaza who are being punished for having the temerity to elect a radical Government whom wouldn't have been elected if the oppressive occupation perpetrated upon the Palestinian people hadn't radicalized them in the first place.

Ain't blowback hilarious?

The cruelty being inflicted by the economic strangulation of the people in Gaza is an action that should be better described as a low level war crime with the most annoying part being that the bloody West have done all they can to shield Israel from any criticism!

Report 2010: Global justice gap condemns millions
(London) A global justice gap is being made worse by power politics despite a landmark year for international justice, said Amnesty International today in its annual assessment of human rights worldwide. Launching Amnesty International Report 2010: State of the World’s Human Rights, which documents abuses in 159 countries, the organization said that powerful governments are blocking advances in international justice by standing above the law on human rights, shielding allies from criticism and acting only when politically convenient.

As Gordon at Scoop points out...
Collective punishment of an entire population is – to repeat – a war crime. Nor has the punishment inflicted on Gaza been proportionate – as international law also requires – to any threat to the Israeli population that has been emanating from Gaza.

Shouldn't the OECD review it's decision to allow Israel to join them? Is this the acceptable ongoing behaviour of a member of the OECD?

Let's all agree that Paula Bennett AND John Key pay, not the taxpayer

PM backs Bennett on solo mum's payout bid
Prime Minister John Key has backed Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's decision to reveal a request for $15,000 from a solo mother who has a taken privacy complaint against her. Ms Bennett also defended her decision to make public the request from Natasha Fuller, saying she had told Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff she wanted the complaints process to be as open as possible. Ms Bennett revealed on Wednesday that Ms Shroff had last week passed on a request from Ms Fuller for $15,000 to settle the complaint.

Oh, so John Key has no problem with his repeat offending Social Development Minister breaching privacy once again? Excellent - John Key is also now paying!

The facts are folks, that Paula Bennett, is a repeat offender.

Now the entire joke about 3 strikes (Which homophobic and drunk TV commentator David Garrett claims will miraculously cut the crime rate anywhere between 10%-20%) is that repeat offenders need extra punishment and this will somehow work. While throwing NZers into prison for longer and longer will work for the private prison industry (who may or may not secretly fund the Sensible Sentencing Lynch Mob), I would like to see a working example, and who better to be that working example than Paula Bennett? She is now a repeat offender and so the punishment must now be higher right? Forget the $15 000, it's gotta be about $45 000 now doesn't it?

Whatever the amount, and where ever we are on the political spectrum, let us all be clear - the taxpayer SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO PAY THIS AMOUNT! Paula Bennett breached the Cabinet Manual rules, breached the Privacy Act and lied about where she said she gained the authority to release the details of Solo Mothers who dared complain about an allowance Paula Bennett herself had used. How much did Paula get for her allowance? Well hypocritically Paula won't release her personal details in the manner she did with the solo mothers who dared question her.

Now John Key has backed his idiot Minister, he's up for it as well, Paula and John can split the costs, because folks, they are paying, oh Lord are they paying, and THEY should pay - NOT the taxpayer.

9 Billion less by 2024?

Labour: Budget creates huge fiscal hole
Labour says the longer-term impact of the Budget is likely to be an increase in Crown debt of more than $9 billion by 2024.

Finance spokesman David Cunliffe says the projection is worked out on the basis of Treasury assumptions contained in the Budget.

He says the only way National can fund long-term tax cuts for the wealthy is by reducing the level of public services, or selling off the family silver.

"The government made much, particularly pre-Budget, of the importance of the document being fiscally neutral, but that's clearly not going to happen," says Cunliffe.

He says Budget 2010 worsened the fiscal deficit by $1.1 billion in the forecast period up to 2013/14, and after that time additional debt accumulates more rapidly, rising to $9.2 billion by 2024.

The government will no longer be able to sustain the level of spending on public services because it simply won't have enough revenue coming in," says Cunliffe.

"Even in this Budget the government has redirected $1.8 billion of what it calls lower quality spending, and that has meant savage attacks in areas like home support for the elderly and running down early childhood education."

Remember the post budget glow as Journalists rubbed themselves up and down on Bill English's leg over how amazing the tax cuts looked for them? Well that afterglow has faded as the stark reality of the largest transfer of wealth to the already wealthy starts to make itself clear in the minds of voters. This is only going to get worse once the paltry tax cuts come into effect as GST goes up, and the inflationary pressures will wipe out any crumbs John has flicked from his table.

People are going to get more negative on this Government's approach and as National line up assets to sell 2011 becomes a real battle for the ideological heart of NZ.

The SuperCity is a blueprint for the mass privatization National want to kick off post 2011, the sooner NZers realize this, the better.

How is that change feeling? A little less shiny I'm thinking. Voters who voted Labour in 2005 but voted National in 2008 are the battle field and those Labour voters in Auckland who didn't bother to vote (making the last election one of the lowest turn outs ever) are the prize.

National 2011 is looking a lot less certain than those brash proclamations made on election night 2008 that a new era of right wing Government was here for a 1000 year rule. The challenge for the left is real policy for an electorate who will be thirsty for real change.

We're on a bike road to no where

PM's cycleway dream stuck on uphill slog
Prime Minister John Key's national cycleway has hit a bumpy patch, with only about 10km constructed from the $50 million fund set up for the project. Almost a year after Mr Key announced seven "quick-start" cycle trails, three have yet to gain construction sign-offs. Although 100km of trails have been developed for what was touted as a scheme to help small communities through the recession, most have been upgrades of bush and farm tracks, from the Department of Conservation's squeezed budget.

The bike lane is a lovely idea, we all LOOOOOVE the bike lane, let’s all do a little dance about how lovely the bike lane is….

…all danced out? Great because on a list of 10 great ideas that will stop unemployment it’s number 9. WHAT ELSE NATIONAL?

JOHN KEY CLAIMED 3700 JOBS! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO GET? 160 jobs immediately with another 120 later on. You are kidding me right? If Labour had lied like this John Boscawen would be organizing another multi-thousand dollar phone poll and march up Queen street.

National promised 3700 jobs when really it’s only created 160 jobs.

Look bike lane is great, real nice, we want people getting out and having a bike around our beautiful country, but come on, COME ON! The bike lane isn’t even an hors-d'oevres, it’s the peppermint you take before going to dinner!

What a farce dressed up as a success in bike lycra.

The Rugby Union are not racist (and other myths)

So that forced apology over the NZ Rugby Union's racist past, was just window dressing and not very sincere at all huh?

What's that smell I can smell? Why it's the scaly claws of the head of Slitherin House, Murray McCully (who never seems to get any criticism in that dreadful rich house wife lifestyle magazine 'The Listener') - look at him weave his spell...

Haden to keep Cup role despite 'darkie' jibe
Rugby World Cup ambassador Andy Haden will stay on in his role after a ruling was made that he had made a mistake, apologised - and that that was the end of the matter.

Haden's comments last week - that the Crusaders Super 14 franchise had a limit to the number of Polynesian players they had - sparked heated debate nationwide.

His use of a racial term many regard as offensive sparked even more controversy.

"Once they've recruited three, that's it. That's their ceiling. Three darkies - no more," he said on the Deaker on Sport TV panel show.

Rugby World Cup minister Murray McCully, who faced calls to sack Haden as one of six world cup ambassadors, met the former All Black yesterday.

Mr McCully announced that Haden would keep his role but said it was not favourable to have to be addressing issues such as suggested racism or the use of language, instead of rugby.

"Look, if we were to take out everyone who made a mistake and shoot them, we'd sooner or later run out of people to do things in this country," the minister said.

..a mistake? WTF? Is that how Muzza is clearing Haden??? When I first read about what Haden had said, there were two immediate responses:

1: I'm no expert in any way shape or form on Rugby, personally I think it gets WAAAAAAY too much exposure culturally in this country and a certain knuckle dragging element seems to go along with it that always leaves me a bit cold (a bit like Federated Farmer meetings) - but I have NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER met a NZer who wouldn't want the best team possible to be fielded so I found Haden's claim that the Crusaders had set a limit on non-white players extraordinary to accept based on my limited knowledge of how competitive NZers are when it comes to rugby. NZ Rugby fans may have many criticisms, out right racism to select a weak team certainly doesn't seem to be one of them (in the modern game of course).

2: When he referred to 'darkies' I thought he was parodying the mindset of those racist Crusaders management members to bolster his original claim, but then it turns out he was just using the term 'darkie' as a racist would casually use the term in everyday discussion.

So, he's utterly wrong in his assertions of racism at the Crusaders and in trying to make his case, he accidentally revealed his own deeply racist views. How that can be construed by Muzza as a 'mistake' is generous in the extreme, the guy can't be a Rugby Ambassador now, his position is totally compromised and his promise not to be so racist in the future isn't really good enough is it?

Gosh Mr Obama, that's a lot of Air Craft Carriers off Iran

It's harder and harder to distinguish Obama from Bush these days. The ongoing farce in Afghanistan, the Drone war and now a military build up in Iran?

U.S. begins massive military build up around Iran, sending up to 4 new carrier groups in region
Carrier Strike Group 10, headed by the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, sails out of the US Navy base at Norfolk, Virginia Friday, May 21. On arrival, it will raise the number of US carriers off Iranian shores to two. Up until now, President Barack Obama kept just one aircraft carrier stationed off the coast of Iran, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea, in pursuit of his policy of diplomatic engagement with Tehran.

Let's see, that's going to be 4 or 5 aircraft carriers visible from the Iranian shore by the beginning of August. What impact will that have on the Iranian people? Seeing as Amadinejad was elected by terrified voters looking at the fact that their arch nemesis America had parked two armies either side of their country, placing 5 air craft carriers in sight off the shore line is going to go down like Murray McCully doing a strip show at a Green Party function.

The Iranians don't forget the CIA caused a coup to implement an American puppet dictator, that event and the resistance to that event has defined the Iranian people so sabre rattling here is the last bloody thing that is going to work.

The USS Truman's accompanying Strike Group includes Carrier Air Wing Three (Battle Axe) - which has 7 squadrons - 4 of F/A-18 Super Hornet and F/A-18 Hornet bomber jets, as well as spy planes and early warning E-2 Hawkeyes that can operate in all weather conditions; the Electronic Attack Squadron 130 for disrupting enemy radar systems; and Squadron 7 of helicopters for anti-submarine combat

That's a lot of aircraft, surely Obama is not stupid enough to go along with Israel's wet dream to bomb Iran back into the technological stone age? I refuse to believe any leader (other than of course the Israeli's who are driven by a militaristic paranoia over their security) could think bombing Iran will do anything other than plunge the planet into an all out war.

Come on Obama can't be this stupid right? Come on? Right?

Please Christ don't let him be this dumb.

Miseducation under the National Party

That Hollow Brain of the National Party, Steven Joyce, has been working overtime to destroy public education in NZ so that the Private Education industry can be better off and ain't the proof in the pudding? Less childcare for those at the bottom and NZ Universities will no longer cater to NZers with overseas students pushing locals out.

Families struggle with fee increases
Niki Alefosio isn't angry about government funding cuts to her children's Porirua childcare centre – she's too busy calculating how to find the extra $100 she'll need to keep sending them there. First Five Inc, where her sons Riley, 4, and Darius, 1, spend up to 40 hours a week, is one of the many early childhood education providers looking at raising fees to cover the money it is about to lose.

Concerns Kiwis will be shut out of uni
The Government wants thousands more international students filling schools and tertiary institutions, as the doors shut for many Kiwis wanting to attend university. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says the move will be an economic lifeline for universities. But the Government has been branded a "cheapskate" for relying on overseas money to prop up the tertiary sector. It comes as financially stressed universities cut more students with flagging grades and clamp down on new enrolments, with thousands of spaces for Kiwi students being lost this year alone.

Parents using childcare 'worse off'
Parents of children in early childhood education will be out of pocket despite Prime Minister John Key's assurance that no-one will be "worse off" after receiving tax cuts. The Government is being accused of breaking an election promise and parents fear extra fees will prevent some from sending young children to childcare. One Porirua childcare centre has already warned parents they face $50 a week more in fees after the Government axed the top subsidy for the 20 hours early childhood education scheme in its annual Budget.

If NZ had kept the top tax of 38cents and had raised the threshold to $100 000, that would have netted $450 million, more than enough to cover early childcare and eleviate the pressure on Universities, but our wise and medicated PM who glides through life in his $50 million bubble world decided instead of education, the wealthy should be able to live like Scrooge McDuck diving into a pool of money in a house made of gold (for Christ's sake though don't sound envious or else our rich overlords will flee overseas to Australia where the top tax rate is 45cents or the UK where the top tax rate is 50cents)).

The right wing privatization of education agenda grinds on. All the money for National Standards is for measuring, there is no extra money to support your child if they are measured to be failing. The National Standards have nothing to do with raising the educational standards of children , it is to implement a league table which lo and behold under this new proposal would be the false injection of competition the right wing want to promote that allows the education vouchers to provide money to the private education industry.

The disgusting farce is that this is all being sold as 'choice'. It is an attack on the public education system of NZ, picking up where National left off after they were kicked out of Government in 1999 and it is aimed at benefiting National and ACTs mates in the private education industry.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Q+A and The Nation

The Nation
That awful Jane Clifton who never seems to criticize Murray McCully in that awful middle class lifestyle for rich house wife women's magazine 'The Listener' has taken over the Scoop. It only worked as a segment when they actually had a scoop (like finding out that white people on the North Shore had decided against the Tuhoe deal), now it's just random shit some graduate has throw together at the last second, it's weak and it's weaker to open with Jane. Say hello to Murray for me Jane.

Dr Nicky Smith is on justifying the Emissions Trading Scam which won't reduce climate changing gases, and instead simply subsidizes big polluters was being debated. The funny thing is that the Climate denying hicks whom ACT are dangerously unleashing hate it for one reason (they claim global warming isn't happening so why tax them) and greenies think it's bullshit because it simply doesn't go far enough and serves only to subsidize big corporate polluters.

Andrew Holden from the Press and someone from RadioLive are on the panel, they are boring suits, it's so dry and dead. The debate is crap. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. Who the bloody hell actually watches this show? Let's have a look at the ratings...

Q+A - 196 250
The Nation - 40 170

...OUCH. That's one very small audience isn't it? This show could easily triple their ratings, why do they instead make it so dull? Why? Why? Why? Do they think if they purposely are boring and unpopular that it's the only way they'll get NZ on Air funding?

Second interview is Cunliffe, he get's it - he's speaking to the public who may be watching this show (very few as it turns out), he's trying to explain the ETS, and he uses that great line on Kiwisaver when the discussion turns to asset sale which is 'why would NZers need to buy something they already own' (this will become a very strong counter to the sale of Kiwibank).

Cunliffe is on full attack mode and it's great, he is very smart and promises a huge call tomorrow where he has independent advice claiming the budget will leave a 9 billion hole??? Can that be right???

I've never seen Cunliffe much out of the House during question time, seeing him this morning makes me wonder why? He's very good, why the bloody hell aren't Labour using him more? If it's a fear that he'll over shine Goff then have them set up as a partnership working together, those two should be EVERYWHERE together.

Piece on Lockwood Smith was good, I really like Smith as Speaker, he has done a bloody good job and Parliament is a better instrument of democracy for him being there, I can't forgive him for lying to Students about Student Loans, BUT he is a bloody good speaker.

Professor Nigel Roberts from Victoria University plus NZ Zealand Herald columnist Fran O’Sullivan and former Green MP Sue Bradford are the panel (good to see such a strong and interesting panel!)

Guyon is all over uber technocrat Treasury Secretary John Whitehead, who admitted that Treasury are working on papers to counter-spin arguments against privatization. So much for Bill English simply brainfarting out loud, National are telling the Auckland Business Mafia who bankrolled their election win in 2008 that they need to put their hands in their pockets one more time to get that creamy privatization National Party deluxe flavour and that's what that little media flirt with Bill on Kiwisaver was all about.

Sue points out that lower tax rates don't raise standards of living and that it was cruel to the poor. Nigel points out that Roberts didn't hold up any hope of real property reform. Fran believes privatization now augurs the blessed age of enlightenment.

Chris Baker, the CEO of mining lobby group Straterra, and Mark Bellingham, North Island Conservation Manager for Forest & Bird are in the bear pit with Paul. Grrrrrr. It's a feisty affair. Chris as sharply paid as only mining can pay, Mark dressed like a DoC formal function.

Chris claims we don't understand potential. Mark fights the good fight but Chris is very good, he understands that all he has to do is just say, 'that's utter nonsense', that's how they will play this game now, dominate the conversation and claim all arguments against mining are 'utter nonsense', (Putting a professional lobbyist up against a well meaning bloke from Forest & Bird seemed a little unfair, put that little mining toady up against someone from Greenpeace and see how long he lasts).

Paul fires up and demands to know why we are screwing with Schedule 4, Mining man says most of the minerals are in schedule 4 land and we need to move forward because 'times have changed'.

Yes, times have changed toady Mr Mining man, the public won't buy mining lies any longer and we will challenge you, he admitted that mining companies will have to weigh up local militancy against mining on schedule 4 land and part of resisting this attack on our Conservation land may well be acts of civil disobedience against the equipment mining companies take in there.

Fran says drill, drill, drill but she accepts that the politics are going against the Government. Nigel points out that Brownlee has done a bad job of selling it, Sue points out that Nick Smith in 97 said Schedule 4 would stop the argument about where we will mine, and yet here we are doing it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Should OECD admit Israel in wake of the nukes for nazi's deal?

OECD slammed for admitting Israel
Palestinians slam the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for offering membership to Israel as complicity in Tel Aviv's war crimes.

"OECD member countries show a blatant complicity with Israeli war crimes, destroying the very foundations of international law," the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) said in a statement on Monday.

"Rewarding Israel entrenches its impunity and dashes any realistic hope for achieving a just peace in the region," Ma'an news agency quoted the statement as saying.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development invited Israel to join the body -- the exclusive club of prominent world economies -- underlining the transformation of Israel's inflation-hit crushing economy to one of a growing and stable advancement.

But the Palestinian boycott movement criticized the decision, arguing the OECD's member states "are perfectly aware that Israel does not comply with any of the objective criteria" it was required to meet for its accession to the OECD Convention.

I'm not sure if wanting to sell nukes to South African Racist Nazi's should be an entry requirement for the OECD? How can a current war crime state enacting a brutal occupation be considered civilized enough to join the human rights championing OECD? What on Earth would the OECD make of the living standards in Gaza based on the needlessly cruel economic strangulation caused by Israel? Surely the OECD are joking and will revoke their membership?

Allowing a war crime state to join a group supposedly focused on the welfare and development of people makes a mockery of the organization and demeans everyone.

Israel should be forced to resign and can join once they have ended their brutal occupation.

Big oil in the Gulf - the same bullshit excuses since 1979

When Obama heard that the plan was a 'junk gun' - he must've though to himself, "are these really the best minds working on this job?".

Big oil have used the same excuses and solutions since 1979.

"I'm all about the Rawlsian difference principle Michelle"

Michelle Boag and I on the Panel, Radio NZ, Tuesday
Part 1
Part 2

Friday, May 28, 2010

Shimon Peres wanted to sell nukes to Apartheid regime

RNZ reporting:

A building in Wellington's central business district was cordoned off for a short time after the Israeli embassy notified police of a suspected bomb.

Within just a few weeks of having inserting themselves here - as guests of the government of New Zealand - the paranoid Israelis are so bored with Wellington they have to hallucinate up some terrorism just to keep themselves amused.

Were they measuring the police response times and the security procedures? Did we pass their drill? Are the colonials properly trained to defend this outpost of the Apartheid era? Do the NZ Police liaise directly with Mossad now?

Is the Wellington activist community moribund - to the extent the Zionists have to invent their own incidents to keep their persecution complex alive?

Paula Bennett's second strike (not since Whaleoil has someone been so blatant)

Minister under fire again on privacy
A request for a cash settlement to resolve a privacy complaint against Cabinet minister Paula Bennett suggests the politician could have been at fault, a top privacy lawyer says. John Edwards, who has been a privacy lawyer for 20 years and helped set up the Privacy Commissioner's Office in 1993, says Ms Bennett may have breached privacy rights again in disclosing details of the request. Ms Bennett revealed the contents of a letter she received last week from the commissioner's office, when asked by the Herald if there had been any progress on the matter.

Not since Whaleoil has someone so blatantly broken the law. As I pointed out yesterday, the Minister has once again breached privacy by revealing the negotiation process between the Minister and the Privacy Commission.

Now seeing as the 3 strikes law was passed this week, that means in a sign of good will and to prove this ludicous assertion that harsher penalties for repeat offenders will do anything more than make Prisons even more dangerous meaning double bunked prisoners will become ticking timebombs minus the moderating influence of parole, to prove that assertion is true, Paula should face a second strike for her blatant breach of privacy. So $15, 000 for the first breach and at least double that for her second breach? $45 000 all sounds about fair doesn't it folks?

Why is Bennett being allowed to do this? The legal advice internally must be pointing out that every time Bennett screws Tarsha over in the media the cost is rising, the political calculation must be that portraying Bennett as an aggrieved Minister being forced to hand over taxpayer money to a dirty filthy solo mother is just further proof of how much change is needed.

Abuses of human rights in NZ in this manner must have been the reason why the National Party circumvented the usual selection process for the Human Rights Review Tribunal and elected to put a homophobic bigot like Brian Neeson on it. Bigots aren't that fussed over rights at the best of times.

The ultimate irony here is that Paula Bennett herself benefitted from the very education allowance Tarsha was complaining about having cut. What was the benefit amount paid to Paula Bennett? Oh she refuses to make her allowance details public, isn't that rich coming from a Minister who was more than happy to against the law, release the personal privacy details of two women who had dared to speak out for the sole purpose of political point scoring with a talkhate radio bennie basher audience baying for scapegoats as the economy stalls?

Bennett will be forced to pay a LARGE amount and she will use it as an excuse to make changes saying her hands are tied when the uninformed public backlash kicks in an demands 'changes' which Paula will claim mandates her new round of draconian Welfare Panel inspired slashes.

It's all so fucking predictable.

Bomber's Blog - The War on News - online NOW

The War on News - King John Key on envy, Big Tobacco smoking behind the retailers sheds and Police secretly remove evidence

Budget defies economic gravity by demanding trickle up and 1000 civilians for 30 terrorists

The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos Sky 89 10.30pm Tuesday & simulcast on Freeview 21. Replayed on Triangle TV 9.45pm Wednesday and posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

It’s just like 7 days on TV3 but with fewer dick jokes.

Join Bomber’s Blog – The War on News Facebook group

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bennett: who pays? [UPDATED]

Paula Bennett told to cough.

I ask again - as I have asked since the beginning - who pays? Either Bennett has to pay herself and admit that what she did was wrong - or the Cabinet that backed her has to pay. Her colleagues let her get away with it at the time - that was wrong. Will she get a whip around from them for letting it get this far? Are they going to share the blame?

UPDATE | Friday 10:15AM
The Minister thinks her integrity is being questioned?

...I wanted a transparent process, because I felt that my integrity was being questioned.

What integrity? There's not a question about her integrity and there's not a question about her being wrong. What she did was wrong - that's not questioned - the only one that's questioning it is her. It's like she just doesn't get it.

She's slowly snookering herself.

As soon as legal action is threatened the Minister has to tell Cabinet and they decide whether she has to pay personally or whether all the bills will end up coming out of the Crown's coffers. If anyone has to cough - it has to be her. Not the taxpayer.

She purported to authorise - as the Social Welfare Minister - the publication of these private files by the media. J Edgar Hoover without the subtlety... though probably similar wardrobes.

She's unrepentant and unable to concede, on the one hand, but having said (in parliament I think it was) that she would only say sorry if she was made to. That's an interesting strategy. Continuing to breach confidentiality - after having insisted on it from her opposite - even more so. Is that appropriate behaviour in a fair process? She is playing politics, and playing it poorly.

It is very sad that her senior colleagues didn't step in immediately to sort it out at the time - when I suggested they do so - because let's be clear about what this case is all about: Paula Bennett is maintaining that a Minister can authorise the publication of personal, private and confidential files of political opponents held within their department (and can use state servants to do so).

That's so clearly not on. Not by any reading of the cabinet manual, not by any reading of any statute and not by any precedent known. What do her senior colleagues think of that, on reflection? Is that the standard of a Cabinet Minister? Certainly not in a Westminster system.

Would the Speaker let documents be tabled in parliament that were confidential and private that identified individuals like the information released by her in this case? I don't think Lockwood would put up with those antics. Could you imagine trying to pull a stunt like that in the House!

Yes, what she did was very wrong - and she can't claim a colour of right because it was essentially malicious.

Maintaining an intransigent position is doing more damage to her integrity than the eventual form of official rebuke. If she can just admit to it she can settle and move on. But Bennett is still hanging in there not realising that $15k was yesterday's offer. It might be $30k tomorrow - and all on her own tick if Cabinet back away.

What if the complainant said that the $15k would not go to her but go to charity, and she wants Bennett to match it with another $15k? If Cabinet want to back her that's another $15k. Now we're up to $45k. Does she see how this game works? The price for trying to take us back to the Muldoon $50k days of bullying and misuse of power by politicians against whomsoever they deem "the enemy" must be substantial in order to discourage any further misuse. At the time of writing she still thinks it is OK to act like J $55k Edgar $60k Hoover $65k. She really ought to take the earliest possible exit from this type of game.

UPDATE | Friday 7PM

3 strikes law will reduce crime by10-20%? How stupid is David Garrett?

Three strikes to cut crime 10-20% - Act
Act MP David Garrett has come out in fierce support of the controversial "three strikes" legislation, saying the law will reduce crime by 10-20% and target only the most dangerous offenders. Earlier today, Garrett said he thought a 10-20% decrease in crime because of the law was realistic. "I don't have a crystal ball. I can't say whether it will be 10%, 20%, but I would expect a marked reduction once the policy is fully in place."

Seriously folks - how stupid is David Garrett? He honestly thinks this law which will lock more NZers up for longer periods of time in corrupt and violent prison systems, including a private prison company with an overseas record in violent prisoner beatings, will LOWER the crime rate by 10%-20%???????????

Jesus folks if it's so bloody simple why hasn't anyone else in the world tried this out with the same glowing response? How crazy is Garrett to actually believe this? Every time the crime rate comes out now there will be the reminder of this stupid, stupid, stupid statistic he has cited.

Poor John Key would need an extra dose today to glide through the rage incurred by this knuckle dragging MP for Cross Burnings.

Ever since ACT stopped trying to have broad appeal and latched onto powerful niche lobby groups like the Sensible Sentencing Trust to maximize MMP without getting over the threshold with the electorate of Epsom (and ACT are fermenting the same fanaticism again with their anti global warming hicks), Hide has been held hostage to these radical fringes of NZ society.

Garrett who has previously appeared drunk on Eye To Eye making homophobic comments, wanted to stomp all over the human rights bill to pass the 3 strikes legislation and referred to Government advisers who claimed it contravened human rights as policy 'oicks', is not really someone I think should be making wide ranging medieval law and order policy to satisfy the angry creams of the lynch mob.

Oh and let's not forget his oral sex advances around the water cooler with female workmates. Icky, very icky.

I'm not sure I'd trust Garrett with the welfare of the stray neighbourhood cat, let alone the welfare of a fellow human being.

John Key's Trusts are as blind as an eagle with night vision goggles

Labour says Key broke asset rules
Labour MP Pete Hodgson will lodge a breach of privilege complaint against Prime Minister John Key today, alleging he misled the House over claims that he could not know what assets his "blind trust" held. In Parliament yesterday, Mr Key agreed he did not know, and could not know, what was in his Aldgate Trust, listed in the MPs' register of pecuniary interests. The Cabinet Manual recommends the use of blind trusts to ensure a minister can never be sure what his holdings are at any given time so there can be no conflict of interest. But Mr Hodgson said investigations by Labour showed Mr Key's assets began to be transferred to a company called Whitechapel Ltd shortly after the 2008 election. That included his shares in Dairy Investment Fund Ltd, an interest in Highwater Vineyard in Central Otago and – later – a property company Earl of Auckland. Mr Key gave away signed bottles of "J K" wine last Christmas with Highwater on the label. Mr Hodgson said it was easy for Mr Key to know he still owned those assets because they would show up in a search of Whitechapel at the Companies' Office register. It was clearly a vehicle used by the trust managers to manage Mr Key's assets. "Whitechapel happens to be one London subway station away from his blind trust, Aldgate."

John Key's Trusts are as blind as an eagle with night vision goggles - come on - this company he's set up knows everything and it's not really clear he doesn't know what they know. The PM not knowing how his assets will be impacted by the policy he is passing isn't just an old fashioned pretense between gentlemen - it's a crucial part of our democratic political protections!

But Mr Hodgson said he would complain to Speaker Lockwood Smith. "It is almost certain Mr Key has misled Parliament by claiming his blind trust is indeed blind. While it is blind to the public, it is not at all blind to Mr Key himself."

Every politician knew what they put into their blind trust, but then lost information about what was in it. "Except Mr Key ... can find out any day of the week if he owns shares in this or that company."

Yes and Mr Key would never benefit from insider trading the way he did when he made a killing against our currency from insider trading.

Merchant Bankers don't change their spots.

When it comes to Afghanistan, Bush and Obama are the same

US 'to expand covert operations'
The commander of the US forces in the Middle East has signed an order that allows clandestine military activity to disrupt "terror" groups or counter threats in friendly and hostile nations, The New York Times says. General David Petraeus, head of the US Central Command, signed the secret directive on September 30, the paper said quoting defence officials and military documents. It said the directive - which allows for covert strikes outside of designated war zones - authorises the sending of US special operations troops to the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces. The seven-page directive, the paper said, appears to authorise specific operations in Iran, most likely to gather intelligence about the country’s nuclear programme or identify dissident groups that might be useful for a future military offensive.

Ummmmm - more covert operations? Really? That's what we need here? Because since becoming President, Obama has ordered 100 drone strikes which have killed 1000 civilians for only 30 Al Qaeda operatives, that's 1000 civilians for 30 terrorists.

Ummmmm that's a 3% success rate.

How about LESS covert strikes? After the weapons of mass destruction debarcle, do any of us trust military intelligence ever again?

3 strikes law proves the lynch mob have taken over

Controversial 'three strikes' bill passes
The Government's controversial 'three strikes' legislation has been passed by Parliament. After strong opposition from Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party the bill went through its third reading tonight on a vote of 63-58, with National and Act supporting it. Police Minister Judith Collins said the Sentencing and Parole Bill upheld a government pledge to remove eligibility for parole for the worst repeat violent offenders.

Well, hate has finally won and warped social policy. When he isn't making drunk homophobic comments on Eye to Eye or making oral sex jokes around the water cooler with female workmates, David Garrett from the Sensible Sentencing Trust (who may or may not be receiving donations from the Private Prison Industry) has forced through ACT social policy warped by hate which will only benefit the private prison industry.

3 strikes doesn't work, and we will only lock more people up in environments that will dehumanize them with zero effort on rehabilitation, all to satisfy the baying lynch mob.

Ugly, so terribly ugly NZ.

Close Up pimp stories for The Edge Radio station?

The older I get, the dumber Close Up on TVNZ seems - 'Hug a ginga day'? That's the lead news story last night on the day National pass ACT's wet dream 3 strikes policy, the largest mining operator says no to more Schedule 4 land and Kiwibank is now on the asset sale list - yet Close Up allow The Edge Radio Station of all the commercial bullshit radio stations you can get, to dictate content?


Minister breaches privacy over breaching privacy

Minister asked to pay $15,000 to solo mum
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been asked to pay out $15,000 to a mum whose welfare information she made public. Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff's office wrote to her last week suggesting the settlement, the New Zealand Herald reported. The solo mother made the complaint to the office after Ms Bennett released her details after she complained about cuts to her Training Incentive Allowance. Ms Bennett told the newspaper the money sought was for "hurt and humiliation" and she would not pay it.

She is unbelievable isn't she? Bennett lied about gaining advice from the Privacy Commissioners website that Tarsha Fuller had implied consent to allow Bennett to breach her privacy because there is no implied consent advice on the Privacy Commissioners website, AND THEN Bennett breaches privacy ONCE AGAIN to reveal to the media what the negotiated settlement offers between Tarsha Fuller and the Government are - all to continue playing the 'solo mums are greedy bludgers' line.

The Human Rights Commission AND the NZ lsw society have come out against Paula's policy to force the sick and solo mothers back to work, as has the Attorney General, yet how Paula is breaching the privacy of a solo mother AGAIN is more interesting as a news story!

I hope the punishment handed out to Bennett when she is found to have breached privacy is larger than the tiny amount Miss Fuller is asking for.

Ultra-Orthodox opinion

Call them old fashioned.
A generation or so ago every country was controlled by groups which were exclusively male and they all behaved in the same ways, and held the same view: women are inferior and homosexuality doesn't exist.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mere speculation

Patrick Gower's story doesn't answer my first question: is it only "blind" to John Key? ... and not the media/public?

He says he doesn't even know himself, because his interests are tied up in the blind trust - however a month after that trust was set up, he had a dinner conversation with a wine critic, caught on video, in which he spoke about the vineyard.

"You're a vineyard owner yourself aren't you," the critic asked Mr Key. "I am," replied Mr Key. "I have a little bit of a pinot noir and chardonnay-producing vineyard here in Otago, and it's been doing very well. It's successful. It's been exporting some wines, and it's a lot of fun."

Mr Key is talking about his trust being one of 11 shareholders in Highwater Vineyard. It is a part of Mount Michael Wines, a rising star in the industry.

But you won't find this declared on the MP's register of pecuniary interests, because his ownership is held by his blind trust.
It was set up when he came to power to guard against conflicts of interest.

"I don't know whether I own any assets or not," says Mr Key. "The only assets are in our blind trust. I don't know what those assets are."

At Christmas Mr Key gave away as presents 240 bottles of pinot noir with Highwater on the label.

"This is your own wine?" Ms Robinson asked Mr Key. "Yeah… I registered the trademark too… There's no getting past me."

The brand name 'PM's Pinot' has been trademarked by one of his trust's vineyard partners - Mr Key says he asked him to do it.

"I asked him to do that for something for Christmas, and that was a gift and I wanted that so that I could in future years give away wine to all the people that help me," says Mr Key.

An instant response from the PM's office over the TV3 blind trust revelation:

Is now a good time for the "blind trust" to sell off the John Key brand? Just asking.

"There's no getting past me" he said.

It's a bit of a game. An educated guess from someone peeping through his hands. Peek-a-boo, Mr Prime Minister - we see you.Officially he's not allowed to know - and in this instance the politician is so wealthy that he could actually claim to possibly own or have an interest in just about anything in NZ - so it is technically possible for only the trustees to know the actual situation... but c'mon. How likely is it going to be that his trust would have sold its shareholding in his own brand? That he established for the future.

He went into the "blind trust" with his eyes wide open. He must have known practically everything that went in. Unless it's all in cash and kept overseas there is going to be conflicts of interest issues, especially in a small country.

The blind trust concept is not holding up well to the reality that certain asset classes are not going to be sold down. If the media are going to force the blind man to see (what he can already see in this case) then we have a disclosure regime that is heading toward dysfunction.

UPDATE:More speculation.

ACT feeds the NZ Climate Denial Tea Party

ETS price fears stir up grassroots Nats
National's grassroots supporters are joining a chorus of opposition as price rises caused by the Emissions Trading Scheme begin to kick in. Prime Minister John Key confirmed there was an ETS protest vote at a party conference last weekend. "There certainly was a remit and they certainly did vote against wanting the ETS, they did vote to delay it." Agriculture Minister David Carter has sought to stem caucus concerns by emailing MPs to assure them that claims by ACT about the ETS were just "misinformation".

ACT feeds rural ignorance that global warming is a Greenpeace myth to manipulate the ETS debate by radicalizing grassroot National support. Excellent.

Global warming IS happening and it is happening because of man made pollution, the more ACT whip up rural ignorance that the entire thing is a hoax the more bitter and more irrationally angry they will seem, just like the Tea Party supporters.

ACT are deeply indebted to the anti-global warming movement, indeed ACT changed their policy on Global Warming after receiving a large donation from the anti-global warming Alan Gibbs.

The price of a policy
In the run up to last year’s election I devoted a lot of coverage to the ACT party’s descent into climate denial, and in particular to the outrageous statements of its leader Rodney Hide. It wasn’t clear to me at the time why Hide was ditching the party’s carefully constructed “Smart Green” positioning on environmental policy and spouting standard climate crank nonsense, but intriguing hints are now emerging thanks to excellent detective work at Canadian blog Deep Climate. Hide’s repositioning coincided with a major donation to ACT by Alan Gibbs, a wealthy NZ businessman best known here for his Aquada (a sportscar that thinks it’s a boat) and for his generous patronage of modern art. Gibbs, however, also plays a prominent role in climate crank organisations. He is on the “policy advisory board” of the International Climate Science Coalition (with such luminaries as Monckton, Bryan Leyland and Owen McShane), while his daughter Emma is listed as a director of the ICSC. In its election spending return to the Electoral Commission, ACT reveals that on April 9th 2008 Gibbs paid $100,000 into the party’s coffers. Within weeks, the party’s new climate denial line was being pushed to the press.

Come on Rodney, whip your farmers up more, get them angry, tell them those awful greenies want to steal their daughters and force them to eat tofu, because the angrier you get these rural mindsets, the more trouble this causes the Government and more out of step with reality the far right in NZ seem.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Israeli nukes - for Africa


We all knew the Apartheid and Zionist overlap was just too perfect and that they had co-operated to some degree over nukes. That has been common knowledge, but highly classified. Now Declassified. There was speculation they may have detonated something on their Southern Ocean islands, but their military co-operation as rogue states was always assumed. And now we have it in black and white.
You nuke the Arabs, we'll nuke the Blacks - that's essentially the deal the current President of Israel signed with P W Botha - as Defence Ministers - in 1975. Was it ever endorsed by their Cabinets?

They will also undermine Israel's attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a "responsible" power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted.

A spokeswoman for Peres today said the report was baseless and there were "never any negotiations" between the two countries. She did not comment on the authenticity of the documents.

South African documents show that the apartheid-era military wanted the missiles as a deterrent and for potential strikes against neighbouring states.

The documents show both sides met on 31 March 1975.
But South Africa was years from being able to build atomic weapons. A little more than two months later, on 4 June, Peres and Botha met in Zurich. By then the Jericho project had the codename Chalet.

The top secret minutes of the meeting record that: "Minister Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet subject to the correct payload being available." The document then records: "Minister Peres said the correct payload was available in three sizes. Minister Botha expressed his appreciation and said that he would ask for advice." The "three sizes" are believed to refer to the conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons.

The use of a euphemism, the "correct payload", reflects Israeli sensitivity over the nuclear issue and would not have been used had it been referring to conventional weapons. It can also only have meant nuclear warheads as Armstrong's memorandum makes clear South Africa was interested in the Jericho missiles solely as a means of delivering nuclear weapons.

In addition, the only payload the South Africans would have needed to obtain from Israel was nuclear. The South Africans were capable of putting together other warheads.

Botha did not go ahead with the deal in part because of the cost. In addition, any deal would have to have had final approval by Israel's prime minister and it is uncertain it would have been forthcoming.

South Africa eventually built its own nuclear bombs, albeit possibly with Israeli assistance. But the collaboration on military technology only grew over the following years. South Africa also provided much of the yellowcake uranium that Israel required to develop its weapons.

Those Nazi bastards.

Radio NZ 4pm today

I'm on the Panel on Radio NZ this afternoon at 4pm

Bomber's Blog - The War on News TONIGHT, sky 89, 10.30pm

The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos Sky 89 10.30pm Tuesday & simulcast on Freeview 21. Replayed on Triangle TV 9.45pm Wednesday and posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

It’s just like 7 days on TV3 but with fewer dick jokes.

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Picking over the Über Stadt Bill

The C&R vultures are starting to rip at the carcass now - like they already own it.

The Final Auckland Bill has limped back from committee still in a mess. Had a perusal. Basically the legislation is unchanged; very disappointing.

Flicking through it I see there's rates exemptions for private water companies, there's the toothless "local boards" with no funding guarantees, there's the CCOs unaccountable. Strike out accountability.

One mangled section after another.

The add-on Maori advisory committee still has all the same defects as before:
You don't see the Auckland Transport chums getting that treatment - compare the Maori committee's clause 2(f) above with the Transport board's 3 (c) below. Their original draft for the Transport members has the disqualification only for the duration/completion of the penalty - as it should be, the same as it is for elected officials like MPs - not the lifetime ban it is for the Maori advisory board. That part is now struck through however, so it is deleted; but I cannot find what replaces it. Maybe nothing replaces it - maybe it's silent on the issue. So Alan Hawkins can still be qualified for appointment to the Auckland Transport Board but someone who was convicted of anything worth doing in connexion with the Springbok Tour for example - or even sedition (that's 2 years) - cannot be a member of the Maori advisory committee? That doesn't sound like fair and square - that sounds like under-handed Jim Crow bullshit to try to make sure the Auckland Council's decisions aren't going to run into any activists on the rubber stamp collaborationist panel. That's their plan.

Their own mates, meanwhile, can run the CCOs without the same disqualification applying to them. How is that fair or just? If in practice this is an example of a less-restrictive rule, for the Pakeha appointees - and a different and more restrictive rule for the Maori appointees then it is something that the Human Rights Commission should be concerned with. Unfortunately although I pointed this disqualification inconsistency out to a couple of National MPs on the select committee it has not been remedied. The gagging clause is still there too:

And yet one of my other, albeit lesser, concerns - with signs and balloons etc. not being able to be attached to bill boards - has been addressed.

They can be pimped up. The pedantic 45 degree rule has gone too. I don't know if this was just a concern of mine, but at least they have fully addressed something I mentioned.

Less happy with the racist stuff obviously - that whole advisory committee is set up to fail. By fail I don't just mean because the groups who are supposed to make up the committee are against the concept of the committee and might boycott the committee I mean because the whole idea is a sham. The Michelle Boag clause is just pure shamola:

It's not the Remuneration Commission (that sets the rates for the rest of the Council's members) setting the fees, instead the bill is written so it compels the Council to approve whatever their chosen consultants - and last time it was the firm of a former National Party Chair, Michelle Boag - thinks the Maori committee should be paid.

As I said the bill is a train wreck (the report is 380 pages - incl. minority reports) and it may be some time before I can give a considered post on it - which is a bit inconvenient - because they are due to start the second reading/ramming-it-through-the-House stage on Thursday.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Blog Awards

Many bloggers - and other observers - have been appalled over the years at the declining credibility of the Aussie airline-sponsored corporate shin-dig that supposedly represents the pinnacle of journalistic achievement in this country. It is a back-slapping black tie do in which the mainly foreign-owned press divvy up the gongs amongst their own limited group of employees and even smaller group of publications. The blog category has been the biggest joke of the lot and probably serves as the best indication of what a sham the Qantas awards are. The three Finalists (if you bother searching for them) are underwhelming in the extreme and their nominations are actually an insult to the blogging community. We have had quite enough of this contempt.

The Air New Zealand Best Blog Award** is the result.

Myself and Mr Bradbury have accepted positions as judges on the panel along with Messrs Ricardo Simich, Matthew Hooton and Regan Cunliffe. As an effort to secure a genuine cross-section of taste and political opinion the organisers should be happy with that panel - and I hope the bloggers and the public are too.

Important Dates:

Entries close on 1st of June 2010 and because we always come ahead of Qantas and the old media, the winner will be announced on Thursday 10th of June 2010.

** And yeah Rob Fyfe didn't really say that and Air New Zealand are not really sponsoring the award but creative license has never stopped old media making shit up either.