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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Have they got to 2000 yet?

The last time Israel invaded Gaza (it isn't a "war" in any traditional sense - it is a ghetto liquidation with consequent resistance) was between the American presidencies of Bush and Obama.  The Israelis wiped out over a thousand Palestinians that time before Obama could be sworn in.  The IDF used phosphorus shells on UN schools in that rampage with barely a murmur.  

During that former outrage Foreign Minister McCully was on holiday and didn't offer an acknowledgement of the crisis until the Greens provoked him.  The Israelis for all their slaughter were invited by National to open an embassy in Wellington!  Now the killing has long surpassed a thousand what perverse welcome mat will the National government be rolling out on this occasion?

National has offered nothing but a few words of bi-partisan rhetoric in condemnation when any independent government would have expelled the Israeli embassy for the bastion of Apatheid that it is.  There is an expectation that a Labour-led government would do this very swiftly after taking office - there would be disappointment if they did not.  Israel use and abuse their allies - after the Mosad passport spies were uncovered the Israeli diplomats should never have been let in.

Now in 2014 Israel has sensed Obama's weakness as a last term President.  Israel is particularly threatened by the Hamas-PLO alliance.  Israel is lashing out, again.  Just like Bibi, I didn't blink - or blog - until the death toll ticks over a thousand.  That is sad.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Koretake Paki

What reason is there for the Crown Law to be appealing a discharge without conviction for a drink driving offence and a theft from a car?

NZ Herald:

Korotangi Paki, 19, was let off charges of burglary, theft and drink driving by Judge Philippa Cunningham after his defence counsel successfully argued a conviction would ruin his chances of succeeding to the throne.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to all the charges, which related to two separate incidents dating from March this year and October 2013.
In a statement, media advisor for Crown Law Jan Fulstow said an appeal had been made.
"Crown Law does a very careful and thorough review of cases such as this before a decision is made.
"Having now completed a review of this case Crown Law has today filed an application in the High Court to appeal the matter.


But what has this to do with Crown Law?  Who told them to commence a review?  If the only reason for the review was because Mr Paki is the son of Kingi Tuheitia then there is a problem here.  Maybe it was the police prosecutor who made the request?
However, police prosecutor F. Gul Qaisrani, opposed a discharge without conviction, saying it would send the wrong message to society.
How often do Crown Law step in to appeal what are quite minor offences such as these?  How many times a year would this happen - is this routine?  Was the police prosecutor unable to appeal on their own for some reason?  I pose these questions because to an outside observer it would appear the NZ Government was trying to disinherit/disqualify a successor to an authority that rivals it's own.  Why else would the Crown be doing this?   What pressure has gone on here?

Which look is worse: letting a 19 year old off a conviction because it would disqualify them from holding a responsible office to which they were expected to succeed; or having the talkback/talkhate radio of braying, ranting, racist red necks determine prosecution strategy and the merits of appeal?  The District Court decision doesn't appear unreasonable or unjust - it's a line call.

If Crown Law are appealing just because he is the King' son then they are making an error of disproportionate and special treatment - the same thing they say the District Court judge has done.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Immigration NZ/NZSIS no interest in NZP/FBI 'joint op'

To all the disingenuous half-wits on talk-back/talk-hate radio who say 'if Kim Dotcom has done nothing wrong then he should be happy to go to America to face the charges and prove his innocence' the question must be put to them:
Q. Why are the Americans not prosecuting Kim in NZ, under NZ law, for his supposed copyright infringements?  Why do the need to drag him off to a Hollywood court?
A. Kim has committed no offence under NZ law.  There is no NZ victim here.  There is no case to answer, but in the USA where the corporate lobbyists have purchased politicians and own the law.

Copyright should essentially be a civil matter - a trade dispute with commercial remedies.  To justify their claim - as Hollywood does - that their production costs and marketing expenses relate to the popularity of artists and content is one stretch, that this infers the right of the middle-men to get rich from it by an over-priced and exclusionary licensing scheme is another, and that it should be at the cost of government agencies and involve the imprisonment of the opposing party in the copyright dispute is yet quite another and no less extraordinary. And no less wrong.  The extra-territorial concessions obtained through treaties secured by the Imperial powers over weaker nations (often by naval force or threats of naval force, invasion, annexation and colonisation) in the period to the last war were no less ambitious.

The hypothesised and exaggerated losses attributed to file hosting/sharing websites such as Mega and that supposedly undermines the artist's right to a fair wage for the likes of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke seem an unconvincing ploy by the moguls.  Would Pharrell be otherwise any less happy as he purports to be?  Undermining the maximum potential yield of on-sold territorial royalties from re-runs of the likes of Friends does not seem a convincing concern for a government other than the one owned by Hollywood. Unfortunately NZ it seems - under National - is owned by Hollywood too (certainly after John Key changed the labour laws to suit Warner Bros following a visit by a delegation of them to his house this has been so).

Kim was arrested at his home and him and his family and household were given the Ruatoki treatment because he is being extradited under a treaty with America which has been ratified into NZ law - but Kim is not being prosecuted under NZ law for anything.  As I understand the situation no legal proceedings - criminal at least - are underway by the Crown or the Americans or a "McCready's friend" or anyone else against Kim and his Mega cohorts.  It's only an American offence.  It's not a real crime, it's a Hollywood crime.  A Hollywood crime involving a Hollywood bust searching for a Hollywood ending.

So it is with little amazement, and with much anticipation, that documents have now been released proving that Kim Dotcom was set-up by the NZ government - the security and intelligence apparatus and the Immigration Service conspired to have Kim's residency approved for the purposes of the Americans extradited him to the US.  The NZ Herald has the documents from the SIS stating "political pressure" was being exerted from Immigration NZ.  The Immigration CEO knew the FBI and NZ Police were going to do "a joint op" on Kim from this RNZ News article.  And yet all this is kosher?  Rotten Wellington.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Volkner execution

The Whakatohea rangatira, Mokomoko, was given a full restorative pardon by the NZ government for his wrongful conviction for murder at the Auckland Supreme Court in 1866 and subsequent execution and interring at Mt Eden prison.  This was made law in a unique Act of the NZ Parliament last year which is recorded in text of both English and Te Reo Maori.  From the Preamble:
In 1866, Te Whakatōhea Rangatira Mokomoko was tried and executed for the murder of Carl Sylvius Volkner. Following conviction, two of the co-accused of Mokomoko admitted their guilt. Those persons have since been pardoned. Throughout the trial Mokomoko maintained his innocence.
My input to the Bill here.  I see last month Kereopa has been pardoned too for his conviction in the case.
The rare statutory pardon for Kereopa Te Rau, included in a Treaty of Waitangi settlement with a Rotorua iwi, has passed into law without fanfare.
A result of careful research and a tribe's unshakeable belief, the pardon effectively means Kereopa is no longer guilty of the murder in March 1865 of German-born Carl Sylvius Volkner, an Anglican missionary who was hanged from a willow tree and then beheaded beside a wooden church near Opotiki.
Kereopa was among several Maori convicted of Volkner's murder, a crime which one historian maintains set back race relations by 100 years.

So, as far as I can determine all the defendants for this matter - the prosecuted 'murder' - have now been pardoned in one way or another by the Crown; indeed it seems to be NZ government policy for some decades to do so.  The NZ government is doing so regardless of the level of involvement, or what their individual defences were to the Crown charge of murder.  It follows then that it is NZ government policy to acknowledge that all the convictions, at least, were wrongful. But why were they wrongful? what makes it wrongful? especially when confessions were forthcoming according to the Crown?  It isn't a case of mistaken identity on which this turns, but the status of what occurred.

Is it the NZ government's practice of English law in its courts that are at fault? -  that it was a faulty prosecution, faulty jury, faulty judge, faulty law? - is that the reason for these pardons?  The pardons flow because they are given for more than that.  The act of killing and how that came about is not deemed murder by the Crown anymore, that is what follows from what the Crown is doing.  The killing of Volkner was not murder, but rather something else.

That something else is an execution - a lawful killing.  The time for the Crown to complete this circle and embrace the corollary of its own logic is close.

Volkner is the case of the German Anglican missionary who returned - against warnings - to his native parish in time of war when his denomination was aligned to the Governor, the NZ government and the British who had in the previous year invaded their relations further along the bay.  Volkner was involved in other districts and accused of assisting the British military.  He came with Grace - another Anglican Missionary - wittingly or not as agent provocateurs of the Governor.  

Volkner was identified as an offender on arrival and promptly arrested along with Grace.  He was put under house detention after he was made to understand the charges and had answered questions put to him. Interestingly all accounts I have seen say that Volkner accepted and submitted to the proceedings. Did Volkner and Grace accept the legality, the validity, of the proceedings? I think Volkner probably did as Tino Rangatiratanga and tikanga Maori was a fact, not just an assertion, and Maori authority was a day-to-day reality in the 1860s and it had always been so up to that point.  A hui began of the people from outside who laid down the Aukati, and the local rangatira, which sat all night before a sentence of hanging was determined the following day and the execution was carried out that day.  This was done, let us be clear, by Maori authority on charges of trespassing an Aukati and espionage to abet the enemy (being the NZ government in breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, signed Opotiki 27-28 May 1840).

What Kereopa did next with the deceased, after the execution, was literally eye-popping but was the sort of ritual desecration not incomparable with Victorian era barbarities performed by some British authorities (which is all putting it politely).  The Governor, Grey, had declared war on the Kingites when he crossed the Mangatawhiri in 1863 and he declared war against all tribes when he pre-emptively put a night-time curfew on all Maori shipping in the Waitemata. Every day since has been a backward step for Maori and a step forward for the settlers. Which is why the Crown's reversed position on Volkner is hopeful. A decent settlement becomes possible with the Crown's acknowledgment. If that Maori authority was lawful back then, then when did it ever stop being lawful? All the way up to capital offences. If it can be practised in those circumstances why can't it be practiced now?

Friday, July 04, 2014

MFAT: everything rotten and wrong with Wellington

A foreign diplomat is up on attempted rape charges in Wellington in May and the Chief Executive of MFAT says he knew nothing about it until last Friday...

Key expressed confidence in McCully, and McCully expressed confidence in Allen, despite wide acknowledgment that Mfat's communications both internally and with the Beehive failed.

McCully admitted that while he was briefed on the situation on the day Rizalman was arrested, that was the last time it was raised with him, until the media began questioning him on Friday, more than a month after the accused and his family fled.
Allen himself was told nothing about the incident until last Friday, which he said was created by Mfat's strategy of "compartmentalising’’ information to limit its spread. He said he should have been told and that Mfat's communications policy would form part of an independent review.
Allen may face further scrutiny after he failed to follow up a warning from the Malaysians that the messages given by New Zealand were less clear than Key and McCully claimed.
The Malaysian high commissioner Rosmidah Zahid was called into a meeting with Allen on Monday night, during which she raised the fact that her officials had taken away a different message from Mfat about New Zealand's preference for where Rizalman should face justice.
"We didn't at that stage know there was in fact a foundation for what appeared to be the ambiguity that had been raised with me by the high commissioner,'' Allen said.

In other words Allen doesn't know what the fuck is going on in his own department - as per his policies.  But it's quite alright, because he is now reviewing these policies! Uh-ha - and this is supposed to be sufficient considering all the shit he has got his boss into? No, that won't do.  These people are in an over-funded little world of their own and it is about time they came crashing back down to Earth.  Allen really needs to be sacked, and really soon.  

To accept this head of department's gross mismanagement on so many levels - political, administrative, legal, not to mention diplomatic - would speak gigabytes of the unaccountability of the Wellington public service.  MFAT has always thought itself above other departments (coasting along on the self-serving, delusional, mythic mistruth that the New Zealand government exercises an 'independent' foreign policy which the record shows it clearly does not) and this wretched, unwarranted arrogance is the very core of this scandal.  That is what must be dealt with.  A clear signal must be sent for once, something unambiguous.  Allen, for a start, must go.  It's either him or McCully - Key must see this.