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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Say the party party be cray cray

Kim Dotcom's money is sending our politicians fertive and frantic.  Kim will not hesitate to spend whatever it takes to remain in NZ and cut any deal - that's his predicament, his situation.  His rendition to America at Hollywood's behest for copyright infringement is a matter of time under a National government.  John Banks is in court soon, Kim has his case and counter-case after that, the Budget is on May 15, the Nats are selling off the last state power company so they can claim a surplus, the election is September 20... it's almost April... the tension is gathering.  

The Nats have no vision to offer except balancing the books and changing the flag - but at the cost of half the power companies sold off, crony pork for Africa (including Collins' milk to China and Carter's water to Canterbury) and more debt: on the Crown companies, on the Treasury, and private debts from unsustainable land speculation that is financed overseas mounts while interest rate rises have already begun.  Foreigners are still free to buy up whatever they want on a tax-free basis under National.  Yet for all of this most un-national behaviour there is no resulting crisis.  The government, like any other in an election year, is going to bluff and bluster and borrow and bribe to stave off any crisis.  The Christchurch insurance cheque should come in.  

Without a strong opposition figure to take it to Key he can continue to project a viable middle class bubble inside which much of the electorate prefers to see itself.  It is a false reality - or as Key terms it - aspirational.  That bubble needs lancing, but a whole group of little pricks hopping around on the hustings can't puncture Key's fairyland and pop the prevailing neo-liberal narrative without a strong Labour leader.  The second most important factor - as in all elections this century and some before - is Winston Peters.  The third factor in this election is a very wealthy, sort of dodgy, musically bereft,
 gigantic German ├╝bergeek who lives like a Bavarian prince in a mansion complex in Coatsville and is an international fugitive who was raided in conjunction with the FBI... Ja, you couldn't make this shit up, it's mad.

The cynical and mercenary German who defies American corporate world domination has met the cynical and mercenary John Key - who is part of it.  They deserve each other - Kim and Key - in many respects, living as capitalist peas together in a South Pacific pod.  Kim the libertarian radical side of the capitalist-materialist coin to Key's authoritarian conservative face.  Ideally they will all compromise to let Kim spend a couple of years in home detention at Key's Hawaiian mansion and call it even; but the NZ government reserves that sort of sovereign leniency only to French state terrorists.

Key's government colluded with the US authorities to keep Kim here in the first place it seems so as to extradite him on friendly turf in what they assumed would be a pro forma step to inevitable conviction in an American court.  Things aren't going according to plan.  The Nats haven't had to work hard to paint the oversized, black-wearing German as public enemy No.1 in a country where every village has a public monument listing the names of local men who died at the hands of Germans in Two World Wars - but when the right wing blogs go ballistic on a Nazi smear as they have this week it makes me think their plan is under threat and that Kim is cause for them to fear.  Snowden's revelations and a possible Dotcom bombshell contradicting Key's story all hover over the stage, meanwhile the Internet Party is already performing.

1000+ sign-ups from the app in 48 hours.  Super hot.  But the IP sits on a busted flush at this table and the other players know it.  They won't get to the brutal 5% threshold of the MMP system unless they have a slate of superstars people can vote for - and everyone is backing away, sensing danger and that the money won't help with their self-preservation in the aftermath of a potential electoral loss.  Lots of lucre, little confidence.  So the Mega boys think they can do a backdoor listing into the NZ parliament as easy as they can do a backdoor listing into the NZX to be players in this game?  Teaming up with an electorate MP and riding in on their coattails is easier said than done.

Hone isn't ruling anything out with the Internet Party as long as they will kick National to the curb. There will be more demands on policy and campaigning, but IP are making conciliatory alignments to keep the deal on. I hear Minto will be interviewed with Kumar on The Nation, TV3. Interesting.

There must be compelling and compatible policy and strategy for any shared platform. A real anti-establishment mob under one banner might also include the Libz and the ALCP. The commonalities being independence, freedom, justice, privacy. Altogether, knowing that every vote counts, and with youth engagement at maximum, it may even be possible to crack the 5%, which none of them could ever do alone. At this point everything seems unlikely, but anything seems possible.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

MH370 scenarios

First, the pilot(s) could have just flown it up into the stratosphere and then straight down.  Hoping the black box would be recovered to show they took it higher than anyone else.
Second, possible, is it was landed somewhere in Aceh at an Al Qaeda base.  The passengers will have  been taken hostage and spirited into the forest.  Parts taken off the plane, perhaps some collateral passengers also, will be dropped into the Indian Ocean.  Once this wreckage is detected the conclusion will be a crash in the deep Ocean.  The search will commence over a large area for the body of the plane.  It may take months to not find it, but even if they give up, then they cannot conclude it did not crash or entertain another possibility.  When MH370 is recommissioned  as a flying bomb it has enough fuel - being only a short distance from KL, in Aceh - to strike into South East Asia or the subcontinent without warning.  Maybe target is other aircraft on ground, ship and not static target like a building.  Could take out leaders at a world gathering within the strike radius.  Danger already, but will relax guard as soon as wreckage is spotted.  As for how a hijacking was done? Maybe a few female members involved in this action.  Could have had two women in cabin with one pilot.  Would account for last voice transmission.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sentry - where is the toxicology report?

Dear NZ Police,

Got that report yet, killer?  Been more than a couple of weeks now.  Waiting for the afternoon media shit-drop to bury this one?  Like last time.  Like how you buried, you know, how you killed him?  You know.  Someone in a police uniform did something to Sentry Taitoko which killed him.  Killed by the NZ Police at a police station - all for the crime of disorderly conduct... in his own house.  

How is any of this possible?  It must be because you think you are above the law and not subject to it.  It must be because you investigate your own crimes.   Just like when one of your son's is caught being in a rape gang run under the cover of the Waitemata D's in west Auckland - nothing gets done.

Now, where is the toxicology report?  

So glad the wolf is on it.  Maybe you won't get away with it this time.

Yours, etc.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Untold corruption

These are just some of the more recent instances of corruption I can recall from both major parties involving foreign interests alone:


  •  Hon. Judith Collins re: husband's business in China 
  •  Hon. Maurice Williamson, Hon. Nathan Guy re: citizenship
  •  Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi MP re: immigration scam
  •  Hon. Shane Jones, Hon. Dover Samuels re: citizenship
  •  Daljit Singh (candidate) re: Labour Party voter scam (Auckland Council)
  •  Hon. Pansy Wong re: husband's business in China
  •  Hon. Richard Worth re: resignation
  •  Hon. Taito Phillip Field re: labour/immigration scam
  •  Stephen Ching (candidate) re: selling office of JP
  •  Mayor Len Brown re: Hong Kong trip


  • The instances of domestic corruption not involving any foreign interest is probably a far longer list, and I would start it with the pokies racket and the related nest of corruption that is the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

    The reality of systemic and accepted corruption at many levels in this country and the perception by the New Zealanders themselves that they are the least corrupt country don't leave many pleasant conclusions.  Either NZers are monumentally ignorant and they don't see or don't want to see the dodgy dealings for what they are, or every other country on Earth is a squalid, seething cesspit of rampant, unchecked corruption.  

    The claim that the NZ system - the state, the society - is free of corruption is not sustained by the evidence.  The system is riddled with it.  In a larger sense the Crown abrogation of the Treaty of Waitangi has resulted in a deeply entrenched and formalised corruption between central and local government in how those seized indigenous properties are exploited.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    False flag debate

    John Key's legacy punt, his small n nationalism distraction, is the flag referendum.  It could have been the anthem, the monarchy, whatever.  It just so happens the PM reckons there's good odds on him being able to lead and push for a flag change - it has a high success probability.  It is the safe thing to do.  He doesn't like to lose and he clearly thinks he is on to a winner.

    By focusing debate on the symbols of national identity - the cosmetics of colonialism - rather than the core of the question, the Treaty and sovereignty, Key represents the survival hopes of the Wellington ruling elite and Pakeha aspirations generally.   Their concept of national progress is a settler mentality that can only envisage a simple roll-over of the colonial institutions we have now into a republican system that will guarantee the status quo continues.  No messy questions about the Maoris wanting their land back, their language, their customs, their order.  That's all been magically solved with a token sum in a cheque from the Treaty Negotiations Minister and despite getting only a tiny fraction of land or compensation it is all supposedly a durable settlement.  Ignorance mistakes a tarnish for a glow.

    Only an occupying power as spectacularly smug as the NZ entity could fail to draw any link between the use by the NZ government of the Union Flag of the United Kingdom (which will be the centre of a raging debate for three years) and the use by NZ of all the other British stuff.  British stuff including the Treaty signed saying that Maori are British and they will protect them... and their lands, estates, forests and fisheries etc. etc.

    John Key is picking and choosing which aspects of Britain to withdraw from like he was Dad deciding which decorations go on the Xmas tree and where - when the tree is stolen from his Maori neighbour along with the land it stood on.

    John Key referred to New Zealand in practically every sentence of his flag speech, but didn't refer to Aotearoa.  Not even once.  David Shearer in his defining speech once elected leader wanted a 'new New Zealand' - not Aotearoa.  This is a very strong indication that Maori have a second class status in the future as well according to the Pakeha rulers.   Maori have no distinct interest or rights to the national debate that need acknowledging, they are assimilated into the Pakeha mass - this is how the politicians and Pakeha civil society speak when they exclude elements of the Maori identity from their concept of the nation.

    Any new and improved nation is supposed to involve Asia and economic wealth and multiculturalism and continued, unsustainable, waves of immigrants but in the minds of most Pakeha it will not involve anything more than a cursory token, a fig leaf - or fern frond - of Maori indigeniety to disguise the continuation of the colonial enterprise.

    Sunday, March 09, 2014

    Stephenson hash

    ---
    UPDATE 10/03/2014: Still no item of this on RNZ news.  So, to broadcasting bullshit, also add embarrassed silence.  When is RNZ going to report on their own story now it has been contradicted?
    ---

    Last Friday I posted on this blog that I had a hunch: RNZ's Afghanistan correspondent must be smoking some pretty potent hash because he was going in to advocate for an Afghan interpreter who claimed he had escaped the Taliban after three days of torture with only superficial injuries to show.  It sounded like the secret life of Hamid Mitty.  Falling into the hands of the softest Al Qaeda cell in the world - the Bamiyan Retired and Widowed Ladies Weaving Group branch of Al Qaeda - that then takes days of ironic and elaborate torture that leaves no trace.  All of this story being part of an immigration application appeal proceeded with in the usual NZ way - via the media.  Stevenson swallowed it whole.
    --
    TUMEKE 28/02/2014:
    John Ste[ph]enson over in Afghanistan for RNZ must be smoking some good shit.  He's relaying a story told by one of the interpreters who wants NZ entry that he was tortured by the Taliban.  The Taliban set him free after that?  I don't know I'm buying this.  And he's described as a 'loyal' NZer!?  The guy is a collaborator with the foreign enemy, no wonder he's a marked man, he has after all betrayed his own country that is why he is 'loyal' - to the foreign power.  These refugees the NZ forces have generated is one of the reasons NZ should never have got involved in the occupation.[...]
    --

    Stephenson got in too deep and personal with this case and checked his objectivity at the door.  RNZ audio:

    The RNZ story on their news site:
    --
    Members of the Defence Force are disgusted with how the Government is treating Afghan interpreters, a journalist who reports on Afghanistan says.
    An interpreter in Kabul who worked with New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan says Taliban insurgents tortured him by hanging him from a ceiling and beating him repeatedly for three days before he escaped in December last year.
    The man, known as Hamid, said he and his family continue to receive death threats. He wants his application to move to New Zealand to be processed more quickly by immigration officials.
    Radio New Zealand's correspondent Jon Stephenson told Checkpoint on Wednesday that past and present members of the Defence Force have echoed that call.
    "I think it's fair to say that they are concerned, if not disgusted, by the way in which some of these interpreters are treated. They feel that they have served New Zealand loyally and that that loyalty is not being reciprocated by the Government."
    Mr Stephenson claims that the 27-year-old escaped certain execution in December, shortly after applying to come to New Zealand. He says that given the known risk to such people, immigration officials should work urgently on their applications.
    --

    No, Mr Stephenson needs to work urgently on his journalism.  

    Now it turns out - not that I am surprised - it is a crock:
    --
    The 27-year-old, known only as Hamid, was reported to be fearing for his life after being abducted in December by insurgents and beaten and waterboarded for three days.
    Reports of his treatment prompted Labour and Greens to urge the Government to fast-track his asylum request.
    But his application has been declined after officials found that he had not worked as an interpreter for the New Zealand Defence Force in Afghanistan but as a part-time contractor providing goods such as bed mattresses. Members of the military also questioned his character.
    --


    Thursday, March 06, 2014

    Oravida/Collins

    Justice Minister Judith Collins went to China last year and she did a promotional visit to the Shanghai offices of Oravida, a company directed by her husband.  She went with the NZ Ambassador and they sampled products etc.  Although the right commentariat - and Collins and the PM - are trying to dismiss this as normal practice,  it is precisely this sort of conflict of interest that clipped Richard Worth and pitched Pansy Wong out of the executive and out of parliament - and for good reason.  Collins - and the PM - seem intent on bluffing their way through, pretending it's kosher.  Far from.

    Having looked at Oravida and found that the directors are Chinese names and that the ownership structure is a long worm ending up in a law firm's nominee company, how does anyone know who owns this company?  It is being referred to as a NZ company, but maybe in registration only.  Ownership by Chinese donating their way into NZ residency doesn't make for much of a NZ company - no matter how many iconic Maori words they appropriate for the purpose when naming their opaque shelf companies.  It is clipping the ticket and controlling distribution channels of NZ products, but it is controlled by Chinese nationals as far as I can tell.

    If NZ nationals got residency in China and set up a company to get Chinese goods into NZ and distribute them in NZ we would call it a NZ company, so on that basis I would call Oravida a Chinese  company.  I note that Finlayson in answering a question today in parliament described it only as having NZ interests and stressed the products rather than calling it a NZ company, which made his claim that all Collins was doing was being 'a loyal New Zealander' a bit rich.  Creamy rich.   Frank Macskasy has posted in some detail on the connection with this company, the Crafar farms and the National Party.

    If the Chinese Minister of Justice visited a company in Auckland where his wife was a director and that company had donated 56,000 yuan to his party and the visit was designed to promote the company and it's products... that visit would be called an act of corruption.  That would be obvious to the average NZer.  But the same situation with Collins and her connections exists now as exists in that hypothetical situation and the average NZer, certainly the average National Party supporter, just doesn't want to believe that such a flagrant, obvious conflict of interest exists... when it so obviously exists.

    The PM is saying - at the moment - there was "no commercial value" in the visit... when we all know there is no purpose to a visit like that at all unless there is commercial value.  It's all about commerce.

    The invitation to attend was only extended because Collins' husband is on the board, and the only reason he's on the board is because she is a Cabinet Minister.  It's influence and political power. NZ, China, the world - everyone understands how crony capitalism works.

    If the NZ Cabinet Manual allows this to happen then what does that say about the NZ government?   If you are senior enough (Paula Bennett and her WINZ complainant privacy breaches, Bill English and his housing rort) then you are protected from the usual rules (which apply strictly to lower-ranked members of the Executive like: Richard Worth, Phil Heatley, Pansy Wong) and these senior Cabinet Ministers can flout them without censure.

    Two Cabinet Ministers so far under John Key have misused their Ministerial positions to advantage the business interests of their husbands in the People's Republic of China.  The deep links within government to China is such a 'third world' look.  It says we are for sale and that they, the Ministers, are for sale also.



    The exploitation mentality of the 21st century colonialist fits the weak constitutional situation in NZ.  It's so very easy to sell it all off.  The current crop of Pakeha rulers are selling the land and natural resources and infrastructure and pretty much everything, including citizenship, off to the Chinese.  They sold it off so cheaply because they have no national consciousness.  The land to them is potential money and a transferable security and the NZ government made it that way so it could be sold off to foreigners.  History  will say as much, but the future will never appreciate just how blithelyit occurred.

    What a dreadful place NZ is.  We shall be glad to be rid of it.