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Monday, July 31, 2006

With a Midwife like this, who needs abortion?

A Blog from Secretary of State, Dr Condoleezza Rice

Dear Overseas

We have to bomb Lebanon to save Lebanon. Now I realize that this might sound harsh, but the pain and the suffering we are experiencing now is the birth pangs of a new Country. I accept that there won’t be that many Lebanese left alive to enjoy this new country, but the puppet regime we’ll manage to install in Lebanon as part of our demands to call the Israelis off, will promise us a staging ground to help start ‘birthing’ a new country in Syria and of course Iran. Let’s stop these calls for a ceasefire now, as all that will do is stop woman and children from being blown into tiny bits – any ceasefire must be a ‘sustainable ceasefire’ – this is just some word we have made up from existing words that you’ll kinda be familiar with, but in no way really explains what we are actually doing. For example, ‘unlawful combatant’, ‘Patriot act’, ‘stress position’, ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’, ‘extraordinary rendition’ and ‘War on Terrorism’. But don’t get all Michael Moore on us now, there is absolutely no conspiracy to allow Israel a free hand to inflame this situation to a boiling point which will finally snap when some Muslim somewhere commits a suicide act in protest which we will all be able to point at and say, “See, we have to fight on for Freedom and Democracy and Freedom”. I also have no idea why we only want to bring Democracy to countries who have oil or are near someone who has oil.

Allah Akbar

Condi Rice
Department of House Slave
United States of War

I apologise if the above is a wee bit flippant, but it is difficult to sit through this latest abomination in the Middle East, without getting really angry at the narrow minded paranoid aggressive, inane argument from those who support the Israeli position.

Remember in Vietnam the famous interview with a U.S. army colonel who, surveying a peasant village that had been set aflame by napalm bombs, said `we had to burn their village to save them from the communists.' That remark was made famous for its absurdity. It became a symbol of the ludicrous character of the U.S. war propaganda.

I received an e-mail from someone complaining about why we should care in NZ because we, “couldn’t do anything about it”. I find this mentality very American, we may be a small country – but we were the first country to give woman the vote, the first to say ’40 hours is a fair working week for the working man’, one of the first to declare ourselves nuclear free – if you mix Maori and Pacific Island communal values with the egalitarian drive of our colonial forefathers, you get a country with a deep seated sense of fairness – and right now the world needs a voice that can make that fairness heard. As New Zealanders we have been brave to stand up for issues of equality and past the red necked bluster of a talkback nation, we are a fair people who can’t stand injustice (as long as we are given the full information before the mainstream media get to twist it to sell newspapers, radio ratings or TV ratings by playing on our insecurities of course, but that’s a blog for another day) .

Self-defense is no excuse for what Israel is doing in Lebanon – there is no military solution to this problem. It comes back as it always does to the occupation and colonization of land which does not belong to Israel. But the Israelis starting point on that debate is ‘But God gave us this country’ – neat-o, not much wriggle room in that argument is there? Makes you wonder who the fanatics really are doesn’t it?

Top 10 doublespeak definitions for the War in Lebanon

Cease-Fire: Can’t be done, impossible, no way, how dare you even suggest it, are you friends with Mel Gibson?

Sustainable Cease-fire: We’ll give your boys another 10 days to decimate Lebanon after it had just managed to recover from the last time you invaded and raped it, as long as it is sustainable.

48 Hour Ceasefire: Doh, the army has killed a lot of kids this time, we need 48 hours for the media to focus on something else so we can get back to it.

Self-defense: Taking an eye for most of your face, including blowing up your home, economic crucifixtion and group punishment. Plus burning down any of your pets homes, you never know how many pets later become Hezbollah agents.

Justified Response: Bringing a laser guided phosphorus bunker busting missile to a knife fight.

Hezbollah Target: This can be anything from bridges, apartment buildings, grain carrying trucks and Flour mills. Oh and apparently bunkers filled with children and UN peace keepers count as well.

Pathology of war: Either The Israeli self-image of rationality, self-confidence, restraint, pragmatism, and marshal moral superiority are delusions and myths, constructed to protect the Israeli psyche, manipulated by the state to keep alive the specter of existential terror in the Israeli public and to disguise the state's raison d'etre, expansion and ethnic cleansing in Palestine OR This is all about the return of two kidnapped soldiers.

UN Posts: Even if you’ve called our friendly 0800 ‘Your bombing me by mistake’ Israeli Defense hotline 10 times screaming for us to stop aiming at you, I’m afraid you could be a camouflaged Hezbollah Target. And the last thing we need when we are committing a dirty war on the flimsiest of excuses, is the international community.

UN Resolution: To be ignored and belittled and labeled as unbalanced, bordering on anti-Semitic. Put out press releases suggesting Mel Gibson wants to replace Kofi Annan

International condemnation: To be shrugged off with the same disdain the United States showed the world when it invaded Iraq. Suggest Mel Gibson has something to do with it.


Israel has announced it is suspending Lebanon air strikes for 48 hours to investigate the horrific air strike in Qana that has killed 34 children.

Dozens killed in Lebanon air raid
More than 54 civilians, at least 34 of them children, have been killed in a town in south Lebanon in the deadliest Israeli strike of the conflict so far.

Displaced families had been sheltering in the basement of a house in Qana, which was crushed after a direct hit.
Lebanon's prime minister denounced "Israeli war criminals" and cancelled talks with the US secretary of state.
Israel said it regretted the incident - but added that civilians had been warned to flee the village.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would "continue to act with no hesitation against Hezbollah" which has been firing rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon.

IS this a chance for a permanent ceasefire? Can Israel be pulled back from this madness?

Simon Power Vs. the Internet (or a storm in a mouse pad)

Press Release: New Zealand National Party Corrections must stop inmate’s travelogue
The Corrections Department should stop a prisoner writing a website blog in which he describes life behind bars and criticises the judge who sentenced him, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.
He is commenting on a report that a prisoner is using email to write the blog, which is against Corrections policy. He is the same prisoner who was found guilty of sedition following an axe attack on Prime Minister Helen Clark’s electorate office.
“This is ridiculous. This prisoner is being allowed to write what is basically a travelogue of life behind bars.
“It is concerning that Corrections does not seem the least bit interested in stopping him writing whatever he likes.
“What’s to stop him compromising prison security by writing about how things work in there?
“If Corrections doesn’t shut down this type of activity then the next step will be prisoners using mobile phones to take photographs and put them on the web – if it isn’t happening already.
“This sort of carry-on is hardly sending a message to people that prison is a place where you are deprived of many of your liberties.
“Corrections has a responsibility to ensure that sentences are seen to be done and some liberties denied.
“That hardly seems to be the case in this instance, and I will be asking Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor what he is doing to put a stop to this.”

trav-e-logue or
trav-e-log (noun)
A film, videotape, or piece of writing, or a lecture accompanied by pictures, video or film, about travel, especially to interesting or remote places, or about somebody’s travels in particular.

Back when Simon Power was young and hip and down with the kids, Travelogues were given daily in the seminary halls of St Peter’s College in Palmerston North. There Simon stared in wide eyed awe as black and white reels of the Orient and cannibal tribes of the South Pacific were played each Saturday before the local ‘Evict the Gypsies’ youth group. Fast forward through to the digital age and Dear Simon seems to be at a loss to cope with the realities of a world where people can use their voice freely. A view of the future that might shake the sensible haircut for Nationals poster boy of hip.

What Simon seems to have missed is that any prisoner has the right to write letters, it is just in this case Tim has access to a blog via me, this is not illegal and no crime has been committed, yet Simon wants this site shut down…

‘…Power said he would this week be asking questions of the Minister of Corrections in the House about the blog and demanding what steps were going to be taken to shut it down…”
Herald on Sunday

Here’s what I don’t get – how come a Politician like Simon Power who has made his name from convincing NZ that prison is a hotel, that criminals get tucked up in bed with a hug, that the place is effectively an adult Disneyland, how come Power gets to call for the shutting down of a voice inside our overstretched Prison system that is telling a different story to the one that Power is using to scare New Zealanders who are frightened of crime? The violent environment inside our overstretched Prisons is contributing to the problem by dehumanizing the prisoners. They come out of that environment more damaged than they went in and all we do is tsk tsk over the Sunday papers at lunch when we see the re-offence rates. Of course people need to be punished for crime, but if the environment we use to punish them only ends up warping them further we are not only being counter-productive, we are actually exasperating the problem.

Here we have Tim reporting on a violent bashing of a prisoner who was supposed to be in segregation, yet was sent into mainstream. Did the authorities do it on purpose? Was it a mistake? How can anyone think that approach of brutality will work? Is Simon Power calling for an investigation of that event? No he’s not, he’s demanding the voice that is telling a different story from the one he has scripted be silenced and shut down. It says something of the pathology of Simon Power and those angry, frightened New Zealanders that don’t care about the wider issues, that they can only grasp uncomplicated reactionary answers to complex social questions.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Prison Blog 2

Welcome to www.tumeke.blogspot.com - uncensored news opinion & culture jamming, it is a current affairs newsblog providing alternative critiques of the issues that the mainstream seem to dumb down.

Below is the Prison Blog Tim Selwyn wrote which features in the Sunday Star Times and Herald on Sunday, even though the story in the Sunday Star Times was very weak and doesn’t even mention the Prison Blog or why Tim was writing it – which is really what the story was about – when you compare the two stories between the Herald and the SST, the Herald really nailed the SST. Tim decided to use his time inside to detailing what life was really like behind bars in a NZ prison, a sentence by the way that I find was excessive and politically motivated (scroll through the archives for the full blog)

Please note part of the Blog was censored for legal reasons

Simon Power from the National Party is now trying to have this site shut down.



Friday in The Rock – please note my letters are read by the Prison Officers before they can be sent, so read between the lines.

He was accused of CENSORED and attacking an elderly lady in Pukekohe. They put him into the main yard – mainstream – on Friday morning. Someone recognized him from TV. He was in the far corner – next to the other door. In the Black Power corner.
He shouldn’t have been in mainstream. He is not a mainstream New Zealander. Some civic-minded, community-spirited member of that well-known organization must have remembered him from the television. Whoever said “any publicity is good publicity” could not have contemplated the incident that was to follow – it sort of ran quite contrary to that maxim.
There was a solid slap no doubt corrective in nature, quickly followed by a slamming thud that reverberated around the compound as his head hit the concrete wall. Now this was not your run-of-the-mill Capillesque loner walk-by outside court – it was a spontaneous (probably) outpouring of disapproval, administered in a culturally appropriate format. Indeed, one alert citizen sprinted from one side of the yard, past me and the rest of East Wing, to the far corner to land a flying knee into this person. Several others disposed to alternative modes of societal sanction engaged at this point. The scrabble players nearby, however, remained focused firmly on their deliberations (which I think is rather selfish).
The Officer in the tower probably couldn’t identify anyone because there were so many deciding to take similar action. He must have noticed something against prison regulations was occurring because in less than a minute a dozen officers poured through the near door. Silence descended over the yard as the uniformed group moved slowly towards the scene in a defensive formation. The person with blood and red patches on his face, surprisingly was able to walk out to meet the officers in the middle of the yard. One chap, perhaps an unlucky Johnny-come-lately to the incident was taken away. What a shame. Hope he gets docked a whole sugar sachet at breakfast.
I think the accused child rapist should of actually been in Protection, where the other child rapists are, not in Mainstream. But, I’m not a Corrections Officer, so what do I know? Anyway, accidents will happen won’t they Officer? Oh dear, how sad, never mind. What a great environment to become rehabilitated in.
Oh, and me? Well, I never saw anything. Too busy trying to explain the reasons for my outrage at my sentence. Must have been the only one in the whole yard not to have seen it. Honestly Officer.
Tim Selwyn
Prison Blogger

Friday, July 28, 2006

The dirty filthy ExxonMobile

ExxonMobile has posted the highest record profit of all time. In the last 3 months, it has made a $9 Billion profit on a revenue of $100 Billion. Was the Iraq war really about Democracy or Freedom – or was it about oil?

Is it just a coincidence that ExxonMobile CEO, Lee Raymond met Vice President Dick Cheney to discuss Oil exploration in Iraq before the war started? Is it just a coincidence that Raymond stepped down just months before the war to be appointed onto the board of the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank that has been key in promoting the invasion and occupation of Iraq? Is it just a coincidence that Willima R. Howell sits on the board of ExxonMobile and Halliburton Inc. (a company Cheney was head of before he became Vice President). Halliburton has won billions of dollars in uncontested military contracts. Is it just a coincidence that if ExxonMobil were to get an agreement for the giant Majnoon oil field in southern Iraq, it would double its state reserves, vastly increasing the market value of the company, which already owns access to more oil around the world than any other private oil firm?

But ExxonMobile doesn’t just 'coincidentally' support the Iraq war, it also tries to shut down any discussion of global warming….. Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, an organization that has received over $390,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. On Fox, Burnett compared watching Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to watching a movie by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to learn about Nazi Germany.

ExxonMobil doesn’t have a substantive answer to Gore’s movie, so it bankrolls people like Burnett to smear Gore personally. Dutifully, Burnett recently wrote an editorial defending former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond’s lavish compensation (which amounted to $190,000 a day in 2005). He failed to mention his financial connection to the company.

Transcript from FOX:
That’s the problem. If I thought Al Gore’s movie was as you like to say, fair and balanced, I’d say, everyone should go see it. But why go see propaganda? You don’t go see Joseph Goebbels’ films to see the truth about Nazi Germany. You don’t go see Al Gore’s films to see the truth about global warming.

Not just blood for oil, but the planet for oil as well. God bless crony capitalism.

How much does Labour Party pride cost?

Zaoui bill $2.4m and climbing
5.00am Friday July 28, 2006
The case of Algerian asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui has cost almost $2.5 million with no end in sight.
New Zealand First has been keeping a tally of costs for what deputy leader Peter Brown calls an ongoing hole in the pocket of the taxpayer.
Leader of the House Michael Cullen says the total is about $2.4 million.
The bill for legal aid is $483,744, Crown Law $1.273 million, Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security $357,000 with court costs of $252,000.
"I have no estimate of the final cost," said Dr Cullen, "but it looks as though it would be at least enough to keep the Overlander running for another couple of years."

There is of course an easy way to stop this cost isn’t there? Call off this nonsense, admit our secret security services cocked this up right from the start, admit that Ahmed Zaoui is not a terrorist and leave this ugly little racist chapter of Muslim fear mongering to be rightly attacked by historians a couple of decades after all the major players in this post-September 11th inspired paranoia bullshit have died. Am I able to say that or has it been made illegal yet? I wouldn’t want to sound seditious now would I? Because secret trials where you can’t even see the evidence against you is good and healthy for a democracy isn’t it? Let the secret Police decide what our rights are shall we folks, I mean as long as you’re white and not a dirty Muslim it doesn’t really matter does it?

The Ahmed Zaoui affair is the single most embarrassing security over reaction cock up this country has ever undertaken, and the vile naked racism that it exposed shows we aren’t that much different in bigotry than the Australians.

Baghdad: Situation Normal

100 Iraqis are being killed EVERY DAY in Baghdad, which is exactly what is supposed to be happening. The insidious reality of American policy in Iraq is a direct throw back to counter insurgency techniques used countless times before by the United States and Israeli governments. What do you do when you are an occupational army that is outnumbered by the people you are oppressing? Simple, you divide and you then conquer. During the Irish ‘troubles’, British security officers would pretend to be Catholics who went out and shot Protestants, they would then pretend to be Protestants and shoot Catholics. This divides the community and inflames hatred, anger and fighting between groups rather than have that anger and fury directed at the occupier.

America has taken billions out of their ‘reconstruction’ budgets and spent it on Counter-insurgency programs. CIA trained paramilitary death squads attached to different ethnic factions within the Iraqi internal ministry are blamed for the majority of mass ethnic based killings which are terrifying the civilian population and directing anger and fighting towards each other, rather than at American troops. Last year a torture chamber was discovered in an Iraqi internal ministry building by regular American forces, much to the embarrassment of the Iraqi and US high command as the torture chamber had been set up with their full approval. To my knowledge, no one was ever charged.

This type of despicable behavior is not new, we have seen it in South America, and in particular, Vietnam in a program called the Phoenix Program. Phoenix was the code name for a counter-insurgency program that the U.S. adopted during the Vietnam War, in which Special Forces teams were sent out to capture or assassinate Vietnamese believed to be working with or sympathetic to the Vietcong. In choosing targets, the Americans relied on information supplied by South Vietnamese Army officers and village chiefs. The operation got out of control. According to official South Vietnamese statistics, Phoenix claimed nearly forty-one thousand victims between 1968 and 1972; the U.S. counted more than twenty thousand in the same time span. Some of those assassinated had nothing to do with the war against America but were targeted because of private grievances. William E. Colby, the C.I.A. officer who took charge of the Phoenix Program in 1968 (he eventually became C.I.A. director), later acknowledged to Congress that “a lot of things were done that should not have been done.”

God bless America?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Israelis using chemical weapons?

It doesn't matter if you are pro or anti Israel - surely all of us must be disgusted with claims the Israelis are using chemical weapons on Lebanese civilians.....

Lebanon is investigating reports from doctors that Israel has used weapons in its 15-day-old bombardment of southern Lebanon that have caused wounds they have never seen before.
"We are sending off samples tomorrow, but we have no confirmation yet that illegal weapons have been used," Health Minister Mohammed Khalife told Reuters. The Israeli army said it had used only conventional weapons and ammunition in attacks aimed at Hizbollah guerrillas and nothing contravening international law.
Blackened bodies have been showing up at hospitals in southern Lebanon two weeks into the war between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas that has seen at least 418 people, mostly civilians, killed in Lebanon and at least 42 Israelis.
Killed by Israeli air raids, the Lebanese dead are charred in a way local doctors, who have lived through years of civil war and Israeli occupation, say they have not seen before.
Bachir Cham, a Belgian-Lebanese doctor at the Southern Medical Centre in Sidon, received eight bodies after an Israeli air raid on nearby Rmeili which he said exhibited such wounds.
He has taken 24 samples from the bodies to test what killed them. He believes it is a chemical.
Cham said the bodies of some victims were "black as shoes, so they are definitely using chemical weapons. They are all black but their hair and skin is intact so they are not really burnt. It is something else."
"If you burnt someone with petrol their hair would burn and their skin would burn down to the bone. The Israelis are 100 per cent using chemical weapons."
Lebanese President Emile Lahoud has repeatedly accused Israel of using phosphorus bombs in its offensive.
Human Rights Watch, which has accused the Israeli army of using cluster bombs in populated areas of southern Lebanon, said it had not verified claims that Israel had used phosphorus.

Let's not forget the TIMELINE here

There is heated debate about who did what when, let's just REMIND EVERYONE of the timeline iin this, and reflect on how justified the Israeli response was - what are the real agendas here, because the official line just doesn't wash anymore......

Early on July 12 Hezbollah launched a raid against an army border post, in what was in the best interpretation a foolhardy violation of Israeli sovereignty. In the fighting the Shiite militia killed three soldiers and captured two others, while Hezbollah fired a few mortars at border areas in what the Israeli army described at the time as “diversionary tactics." As a result of the shelling, five Israelis were “lightly injured," with most needing treatment for shock, according to Haaretz.

Israel’s immediate response was to send a tank into Lebanon in pursuit of the Hezbollah fighters (its own foolhardy violation of Lebanese sovereignty). The tank ran over a landmine, which exploded, killing four soldiers inside. Another soldier died in further clashes inside Lebanon as his unit tried to retrieve the bodies.

Rather than open diplomatic channels to calm the violence down and start the process of getting its soldiers back, Israel launched bombing raids deep into Lebanese territory the same day. Given Israel’s worldview that it alone has a right to project power and fear, that might have been expected.

But the next day Israel continued its rampage across the south and into Beirut, where the airport, roads, bridges, and power stations were pummelled. We now know from reports in the US media that the Israeli army had been planning such a strike against Lebanon for at least a year.

In contrast to the image of Hezbollah frothing at the mouth to destroy Israel, its leader Hassan Nasrallah held off from serious retaliation. For the first day and a half, he limited his strikes to the northern borders areas, which have faced Hezbollah attacks in the past and are well protected.

He waited till late on June 13 before turning his guns on Haifa, even though we now know he could have targeted Israel’s third largest city from the outset. A small volley of rockets directed at Haifa caused no injuries and looked more like a warning than an escalation.

It was another three days -- days of constant Israeli bombardment of Lebanon, destroying the country and injuring countless civilians -- before Nasrallah hit Haifa again, including a shell that killed eight workers in a railway depot.

No one should have been surprised. Nasrallah was doing exactly what he had threatened to do if Israel refused to negotiate and chose the path of war instead. Although the international media quoted his ominous televised message that “Haifa is just the beginning," Nasrallah in fact made his threat conditional on Israel’s continuing strikes against Lebanon. In the same speech he warned: “As long as the enemy pursues its aggression without limits and red lines, we will pursue the confrontation without limits and red lines.” Well, Israel did, and so now has Nasrallah.

Meanwhile on the home front……

With so much destruction going on overseas, some home front issues have passed by without comment.

1. Is it just me or has a lot of the TVONE and TV3 news coverage of Lebanon been ridiculously biased in favor of Israel? Good on TV3 for sending Mike McRoberts over there, he is a great journalist, and congrats on John Campbell last night asking the hard questions of the Israeli honoury consulate, but I really wonder at the mainstream news at times, classic example was last night watching TV3,with so much going on in the world right now the third news story in was Malls playing music too loud – are you fucking me? That’s a news story? No wonder our democracy is so weak and ignorant if that is an indication of important social events.

2. Schools want the Government to pay for drug sniffer dogs – ummmmmmmm what? Why is it that teenagers, get treated less than adults in terms of rights? Surely as weaker members of society in terms of power and voice they deserve MORE protection than less, as an adult I have rights about going to work and not have the cops just pop along randomly and search me, why are teenagers relegated to second class citizens, it’s a school – not a gulag! They shouldn’t have drug sniffer dogs at schools in the first place – of course anyone under the age of 18 shouldn’t touch drugs – but measures that hand away your rights regarding Police searches as a matter of course is outrageous, and just more proof at how anti we are when it comes to young people and their rights (boy racer legislation anyone?). We don’t have a youth problem in this country, we have an adult problem.

3. Broadcasters see no reason for ban on fast food ads – hahahaha, well they wouldn’t would they! Look the way fast food ads manipulate and sell their shit to kids is a disgrace, of course it has an effect – if it didn’t advertisers wouldn’t spend millions of dollars each year on it. I love the latest McDonalds advert that shows a young child ‘choosing’ a ‘healthy’ menu option, while the voiceover tells us that all kids need are ‘more choice’ and they will take the healthy option – are you fucking with me again? Choice HAS to be informed for it to have any value, CHILDREN AREN’T INFORMED that is why we protect them, that is why their choices aren’t on par with adults. Mass media culture is effective propaganda and it has to be curtailed, why would you want your child brainwashed? Once when I was hard up for the cash about 5 years ago, I took a voice over job for KFC – I have never felt like such a whore in my life – never again!

4. Oh I missed this gem – This quote last week from Federated Farmers President, Charlie Pederson, “Shame on the people who elevate environmentalism to a religious status, shame on you for your arrogance, shame on all of us for allowing the environmentalists’ war against the human race to take hold” – OH MY GOD – where do we begin? The filth dairy farmers wash into our waterways? The intensive farming techniques of chickens that led to anti-biotic resistant strains of viruses? The farmers who are currently raping the water table of Christchurch for irrigation? And beyond that – the massive methane cows release into the atmosphere that is contributing to a looming ecological catastrophe that could end civilization as we know it? Just when I thought I couldn’t dislike red-necked provincial folk any more than I do, Charlie Pederson bobs into view…

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Honestly now, how fucking dumb are Americans?

U.S. public opinion shift detected
By Jennifer Harper
The Washington Times
Half of Americans now say Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the United States invaded the country in 2003 -- up from 36 percent last year, a Harris poll finds. Pollsters deemed the increase both "substantial" and "surprising" in light of persistent press reports to the contrary in recent years.

The survey did not speculate on what caused the shift in opinion, which supports President Bush's original rationale for going to war. Respondents were questioned in early July after the release of a Defense Department intelligence report that revealed coalition forces recovered 500 aging chemical weapons containing mustard or sarin gas nerve agents in Iraq.

"Filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist," said Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, during a June 21 press conference detailing the newly declassified information.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, who shared the podium, said, "Iraq was not a WMD-free zone."

Meanwhile, the Harris poll offered some positive feedback on Iraq. Seventy-two percent of respondents said the Iraqi people are better off now than under Saddam Hussein's regime -- a figure similar to that of 2004, when it stood at 76 percent. In addition, 64 percent say Saddam had "strong links" with al Qaeda, up from 62 percent in October 2004. Fifty-five percent said that "history will give the U.S. credit for bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq."


4 UN staff killed – the observation post has been marked since 1948 so suggestions that Israel ‘forgot’ where it was can’t be taken seriously. When you are committing a dirty war and don’t want people observing what you are doing, and when there is a threat of more UN troops coming in to the area when you really don’t want them there – a good way to deter countries from sending anyone is ‘accidentally’ bomb them. Is this war really about Hizbollah or is there a wider agenda at play here and this is only the start?

Reaping what you sow

‘Blowback’ is a CIA term that effectively means what ever you are trying to fund or twist in another country suddenly, ‘blows back’ in your face, kinda like pissing into the wind, but with much more deadly consequences.

There are thousands of examples of America playing God in other peoples countries (usually for the advancement of their corporate elites) and it coming back to bite them in the arse. Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Pol Pot – all were funded and backed by the CIA, all turned into monsters. Hell we can see CIA blowback right now in Somalia (which we have written extensively about on this site) and the fraudulent theft of the Mexican election which still has the potential to turn into a massive conflict right on Americas border.

But America isn’t the only one, what many of you might not know was how Israel funded and helped start HAMAS…..

"Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. Israel 'aided Hamas directly – the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),' said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic [and International] Studies. Israel's support for Hamas 'was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,' said a former senior CIA official."

Middle East analyst Ray Hanania concurs:

"In addition to hoping to turn the Palestinian masses away from Arafat and the PLO, the Likud leadership believed they could achieve a workable alliance with Islamic, anti-Arafat forces that would also extend Israel's control over the occupied territories."

In a conscious effort to undermine the Palestine Liberation Organization and the leadership of Yasser Arafat, in 1978 the government of then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin approved the application of Sheik Ahmad Yassin to start a "humanitarian" organization known as the Islamic Association, or Mujama. The roots of this Islamist group were in the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, and this was the seed that eventually grew into Hamas – but not before it was amply fertilized and nurtured with Israeli funding and political support.

The Hamas infrastructure of mosques, clinics, kindergartens, and other educational institutions flourished not only because they were lavishly funded, but also due to being efficiently run. Sheik Yassin and the future leaders of Hamas acquired a reputation for "clean" governance and good administrative practices, which would greatly aid them – especially in comparison to the PLO, which was widely perceived as corrupt. Indeed, "clean government" – and not the necessity of armed struggle – was the main theme of their successful election campaign.

The response of Israel and the U.S. has been shock, horror – and a stated refusal to deal with any government dominated by Hamas. U.S. congressional leaders – who unhelpfully passed a resolution prior to the Palestinian poll that demanded Hamas be banned from running – are now calling the entire "peace process" into question. Yet no one acknowledges that the victory of the Suicide Bombers Party demonstrated, in practice, an ancient principle expressed, I believe, by no less an authority than the Bible (Galatians 6:7):

"Be not deceived. God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Is Lebanon part of a wider plan?

"[The] Five-year campaign plan [includes]... a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan" (Pentagon official quoted by General Wesley Clark)

According to General Wesley Clark--the Pentagon, by late 2001, was Planning to Attack Lebanon

"Winning Modern Wars" (page 130) General Clark states the following:

"As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.

...He said it with reproach--with disbelief, almost--at the breadth of the vision. I moved the conversation away, for this was not something I wanted to hear. And it was not something I wanted to see moving forward, either. ...I left the Pentagon that afternoon deeply concerned."

Of course, this wholly consistent with the US Neocons' master plan, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," published in August 2000 by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) 

And, as PNAC's website ( http://www.newamericancentury.org   ) notes, that the lead author of that plan, Thomas Donnelly, was a top official of Lockheed Martin--a company well acquainted with war and its profit potential.

meanwhile in Iraq.........

Taxpayers in United States will pay $315.8 billion for the cost of war in Iraq. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:
 71,717,012 People Receiving Health Care or
 5,472,330 Elementary School Teachers or
 41,823,351 Head Start Places for Children or
 185,783,623 Children Receiving Health Care or
 2,843,180 Affordable Housing Units or
 37,159 New Elementary Schools or
 61,230,780 Scholarships for University Students or
 5,441,915 Music and Arts Teachers or
 7,114,877 Public Safety Officers or
 558,642,585 Homes with Renewable Electricity or
 4,946,324 Port Container Inspectors

Is this acceptable?

'10 buildings for every rocket'

By Aljazeera

07/24/06 "Aljazeera" -- - The Israeli air force has been ordered to hit 10 buildings in south Beirut - where Hezbollah has its headquarters - for every rocket the group fires at the Israeli port of Haifa.

"Army chief of staff Dan Halutz has given the order to the air force to destroy 10 multi-storey buildings in the Dahaya district (of Beirut) in response to every rocket fired on Haifa," a senior air force officer told army radio on Monday.

Hezbollah rockets killed two people in the northern Israeli city of Haifa on Sunday.

Seventeen Israelis have died in rocket attacks since the beginning of the conflict on July 12.

More than 2,200 Hezbollah rockets had hit northern Israel by Sunday. They have struck as far as Afula, 50km south of the border.

Large areas of predominantly Shia Muslim southern Beirut have been destroyed by Israeli raids. On Wednesday Israeli aircraft dropped 23 tons of explosives on the site of an alleged Hezbollah bunker in the south of the capital.

Jan Egeland, the United Nations humanitarian co-ordinator, on Sunday accused Israel of violating humanitarian law as he toured the destroyed suburbs of south Beirut.

"This is destruction of block after block of mainly residential areas. I would say it seems to be an excessive use of force in an area with so many citizens," he said.

Israel's offensive in Lebanon has claimed at least 365 lives, mostly civilians.


Long live the blog!

First up, thanks to the many new readers of this site and your comments. There has been a massive jump in numbers visiting this blog and the amount seems to be increasing every week into the thousands! I think there is a growing realisation that the information we get on our News is incredibly biased and there has to be somewhere the other side of the story can be debated, so welcome one and all.

I wanted to take a quick moment to focus on some of the fascinating comments that many of you are making below each post. In particular a post from T (quick shout out, welcome T, yes I remember you from the ASPA awards, thank you for joining and thank you for your insightful thoughts). T posted a comment I wanted to pull out because I think its implications are very important. You can read his comment in full under The Students 4 Justice in Palestine Day of Protest Blog, but this line summed up his point,

“Bomber. You should disengage from arguments with people like some here on this page, because you're wasting your valuable time.”

Now I must confess I had no idea who Heine or Rick were, had no idea of their connection to the right wing blogosphere, and at first I had a chuckle and a certain amount of sympathy for Ts post, but I also feel that we are at point in Human history where the consequences of not being able to work together outweigh our dislike for one another. I look at the hatred that is shaping the violence and mutilation in the Middle East right now, and God forbid we ever get to the starting point on that circle of destruction by refusing to talk with each other. Beyond the current conflict, I honestly believe the looming oil shock and environmental catastrophe that we are facing, will demand our co-operation with each other if we are to continue as a species.

It seems so odd to me that so much talent exists within each of us, that 99% of our experiences as human beings connect us, yet we focus so much on the 1% difference, the skin color, the religion, the gender, the sexual orientation – these things are the points of difference we spend so much time focused on in order to alienate and not include.

My friendship with Tim Selwyn helps me get my head around this, I’m ‘very’ left wing (I think most of you can pick that) and yet Tim is ‘very’ right wing. But there are so many issues we see eye to eye on, we both marched on the Hikoi over the bridge protesting against what was being done to Maori, he arguing that property rights are essential, me because I saw it as blatant racism – and I think it’s from our willingness to find the common ground that can overcome our differences.

This site should be a fulcrum of ideas, it’s what Tim wanted, and its an idea I am endeavoring to continue while he is in prison, We could all simply remain on the blog sites we agree with, Christ I would live on Z.Net if I could, but it must be our ability to communicate with each other and listen to each other that can guide us if we hope to work together.

I also think that debate is essential for the thousands of visitors to this site now who don’t comment, but who want to read the cut and thrust of ideas, yes sometimes it can get snide, posting comments anonymously on your own computer in the middles of the night always leans to the bitchy, but they are sometimes also some of the funniest. But hugs aside, I believe the strength of your argument should be able to stand up to scrutiny, what is happening in Lebanon right now demands comments from us all as we try to make sense of the situation. I don’t believe there are any rational readers on this site who would condone the bombing of Lebanese civilians who are doing as they have been asked, and flee north, I don’t believe anyone here could condone Lebanese ambulances that have been bombed while trying to bring wounded to hospitals in Tyre.

Yes we will argue, yes it will be bitchy, but much better we debate than fight one another and as NZers, we have a role to play on the international stage to say things that many seem frightened to say. Challenging the status quo is not only our right, it is a responsibility of all members of a democracy.

Monday, July 24, 2006


c/-Mt Eden Prison

A copy of my warrant of commitment for imprisonment was given to me today. The first page is for sedition –“imprisonment for a term of 2 months”. There’s also a note that leave to apply for Home Detention has been declined.” What do you expect from a judge married to a cop? What do you expect from a judge who did not even mention, at all, not even once, that I had written a personal submission to her and yet spent a majority of her time outlining the Crown’s submission? What do you expect from a judge who thinks the starting point for sentencing is even harsher than the Crown’s!? What do you expect from a judge who refused to acknowledge that the probation report suggested that I only come up for sentence if called upon (ie nothing)? Well, that judge can expect an appeal.

The timing of the sedition charges with offences committed a decade ago is purely bad luck for me. The judge used this coincidence considerably. To link the two sets of offences and to say that one aggrevates the other is going too far. The recent event could even, should even, be seen as mitigating the other. I am the first to acknowledge that I have made serious errors and embarked on regrettable and selfish actions that although undetected for many years were nevertheless shameful and (intellectually at least) ghoulish. This means I have to make amends.

Now on my way to helping the Crown – trying to stop mistakes occurring, trying to stop the government doing something it will be ashamed of, trying to stop the Crown acting illegally and unconstitutionally according to the Crown (and the judge) is sedition.

I cannot find anywhere on my commitment warrant the offence of criminal damage conspiracy which I pleaded guilty to – it was always the sedition charge that was important.

Is sending me to jail going to make me respect the authority of the Crown? Does it make you respect it?

Tim Selwyn
Prison Blogger

Our ghosts deserve better

News today that the Government is close to finalizing a deal to compensate NZ soldiers for the damage done to them from exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam war is welcome news indeed.

“A report recommending the Government apologise and compensate veterans poisoned by Agent Orange $50,000 each is close to being approved. Defence Minister Phil Goff would not comment on the Agent Orange Joint Working Group report's recommendations, but said he and Veterans Affairs Minister Rick Barker would be meeting Vietnam vets in coming weeks.” NZ Herald

Personally I think the Vietnam War was one of the most despicable conflicts we have ever been involved in, and that the blood spilt there in that nation forever tarnishes our honour. I believe that it is forever a lesson to mankind showing the pointlessness of war for ideaology, that when there is no honour to defend, the brutality of conflict leaves us with only our base selves, stripped of our humanity. It is a lesson that America has refused to learn because it was never honest with itself as to why it was involved in the first place. The Gulf of Tonkin incident which was the escalating action that turned the Vietnam conflict into a full blown war was a lie that should never have been allowed to stand. The USS Turner Joy and the USS Maddox were two American ships that believed they came under attack from the North Vietnamese Navy off the coast of Vietnam, in the Gulf of Tonkin, it was proved later that attack never took place. When 3 million Vietnamese lives were ended plus the illegal bombing campaign of Cambodia which led to the rise of the Khmer Rouge and the killing fields are all held up against the justification of a supposed attack on two American ships that never took place the real fury is that America refused to learn its lesson and embarked on Iraq.

Whether you supported the war or protested against it, I believe we can all find common ground on at least one point – that the troops we sent to fight that war should NEVER have been treated as appallingly as they have been regarding the horrific health legacy left to them from exposure to Agent Orange. This goes also to the Korean war vets who have lived with the sickening effects of DDT and of course troops exposed to radiation during nuclear tests. When we ask people to protect us and to fight we have a responsibility to them, first to never ask them to fight for anything short of a REAL threat to our nation, and second to look after them from any ill effects caused from their fighting.

That said, the NZ Agent Orange legacy pales into insignificance with the horror that exists in Vietnam today. While we should do right by our own soldiers, we have a million more steps to doing right by the children of Vietnam.

'Sleep now in the fire'
The lie is my expense
The scope of desire
The party blessed me with its future
And I protect it with fire
I am the nina the pinta the santa maria
The noose and the rapist
And the fields overseer
The agents of orange
The priests of hiroshima
The cost of my desire
Sleep now in the fire

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Top 10 highlights in a week of war

10: Condi Rice says she is not going to the region to call for a cease fire – um help me out here, what the hell are you doing love? I don’t want to rain on your parade, but seeing as Israel is kinda like, your bitch, shouldn’t you perhaps nudge them a little to stop?

9: Calling the war crimes being committed in Lebanon as ‘Birth pangs’ of a new Lebanon. Oh we laughed so hard at that one, the people of Lebanon will be over the moon with joy that you are helping to ‘birth’ their new country. Of course the dead ones won’t be so happy.

8: The Israeli spin machine has been able to convince most media outlets to refer to the invasion of Lebanon as an ‘incursion’, it sounds a hell of a lot less aggressive. On that point, they have also convinced American media to not call Palestine, ‘occupied territory’, only 4% of American news now call Palestine ‘occupied territory’.

7: The British have finally condemned the attacks in Lebanon, but why should anyone listen to the British? Remind me again, didn’t you illegally invade Iraq on a false pretext with America? Shut up Britain, you don’t have any moral high ground here.

6: Israel describes their attacks as ‘precision strikes’ with ‘smart bombs’– except for all those dumb bombs which accidentally blew up all those woman and children. Their strikes are about as precise as that naval shell they lobbed at that Palestinian family who were picnicking on the beach last month.

5: America is rushing precision missiles to Israel, so maybe their aim will improve as much as it has for the Americans in Iraq – what’s the body count there now?

4: Are the bets on that Syria and Iran are now next on the countries we have to invade for democracy?

3: Why don’t we ever invade countries that need democracy but have no oil?

2: Wouldn’t trading those two kidnapped soldiers for any of the Palestinian or Lebanese held prisoners (many of whom have just been arrested for no reason whatsoever, other than being Palestinian or Lebanese) actually be better than the death and destruction that has been wrought now?

1: I love how George Bush is now selling this war to America as part of a wider war on Terrorism, hold on, I thought this was about the return of two kidnapped soldiers, now it’s a wider front on the ‘war of terrorism’? God bless America.

tim update

Just talked with Tim, he wanted to point out that we were right about US influence in Somalia (I’ve re-printed our article in the comments under this), the inflation situation will become worse as the new cheap looking change comes into effect as it will then become a mental block sort of thing. He says he will write a prison blog, and has sent me his first one – all about work yard beatings. He says he was flown down con air styles to Hawkes Bay with a whole bunch of other prisoners in a private charted flight because Mt Eden is so over flowing it’s not funny. He has asked me to thank everyone for their kindness and their thoughts and wants to reiterate that he will appeal his sentence. He also wanted to say thank you to TV3 for their coverage. Most of the screws and prisoners have told Tim he shouldn’t be inside, and all of them have said he should have put a bomb through Helen Clarkes window, not an Axe. Having said that, I need to point out in this weird age of Police surveillance that the bomb comment WAS A JOKE, and not a reason to raid my house and charge me with some sort of bullshit Terrorist charge under all those bullshit terrorist powers you got after everyone freaked out after September 11th okay!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Students 4 Justice in Palestine Day of Protest

I’ve just come back from the Protest action aimed against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon & its systematic destruction of Palestine and its people, which was held in Aotea Square at 1pm. I was a spokesperson at the rally, and have printed my speech at the bottom of this post.

I’ve watched the protest movement in this country get bullied and knocked around by the cops of recent, but today there was a change. For the first time in a long time, the Cops were the ones who were pushed and frightened. I’m sure you will see the News and the anti-protest spin they will screen, and while I don’t support beating the Police up, I must admit there was some satisfaction to finally see the bullies get pushed back for once. Today there was a real anger at what America is allowing Israel to get away with in the Middle East, and peoples hero Simon Oosterman scaled the American consulate, pulled down the American flag and replaced it with the Palestinian flag. The Police went nuts, and there was an intense fight between Police and protestors as the Police attempted to arrest Simon, who managed to escape.

Today the protest movement pushed back. If unjustifiable events continue overseas, expect to see more anger on our streets. Oh and a note to the Police, the brutality you have managed to get away with over the last 2 years towards the protest movement will not be tolerated any longer. Today push came to shove, and you got shoved.

Here was what I had to say:

“I’m here today to say that what Israel is doing in Lebanon and Palestine is unacceptable. Self-defense is no justification for the military escalation Israel has embarked upon. Our critics will say that we don’t care about Israeli casualties, that is not true. I care deeply about any human being who is hurt, but I can not compare images of Israelis in air-conditioned, plush carpeted, leafy suburbs frightened by random missiles with the opposite images I see of a people living in poverty stricken rubble, in an environment so brutal that strapping a bomb to oneself and detonating it is preferable to the ritualistic humiliation of occupation. I can’t compare those two images and use it to justify Israeli action. It has become sadly apparent that the horrific experiences of the Jewish people during the holocaust has led to an aggressively paranoid culture where the abused has become the abuser. And throughout this the United States sits on the sideline giving tacit support, giving Israel the military hardware it uses to dominate the region and is led by George W Bush who is an evangelical fundamentalist Christian who believes in the rapture, who believes in the Book of Revelations, who believes he has a role in the war of Armageddon in Israel. It is time to use the anger we feel to fuel a voice that can cut through the mainstream babble and yell ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Stand strong people.”

Friday, July 21, 2006

Tim 3

High Court in Wellington today: Ex-Police Officer is sentenced for a historic rape, he gets a $10 000 fine and 100 hours of community service. Tim gets 17months in prison for fraud crimes he committed 10 years ago. Let’s stop pretending Tim was treated fairly shall we?

I'm visiting him tomorrow

Movie review: Oilcrash

God I love film festival time, all those documentaries that the mainstream never play get an airing to real fans in small smelly theatres where the uncomfortable chairs are part of the artistic experience darling.

I don’t believe the end of the world will happen with the Rapture and the four horses of the apocalypse, BUT I do believe we live with the very real threat of environmental collapse. Under that umbrella of civilization coming to an abrupt halt, are the added issues of pandemics and the end of Oil. This doco focuses on the latter with an incredible reality check in terms of how much oil we have, what really fuels conflict in the Middle East and the coming civilization crises when we suddenly run out. Normally you can shake all these issues off with the label, “Dumb pinkos’, but oil executive, after oil executive, after oil executive all confessing how bad the situation is makes for compelling evidence. Energy alternatives are laughed off, Nuclear power is given particular derision, as it is pointed out that to replace the 30 Billion barrels of oil we consume each year, we would need to build 10 000 nuclear reactors!

Let’s take a moment on that shall we, TEN THOUSAND NUCLEAR REACTORS! Oh and they point out that Uranium reserves would be consumed within two decades. Hmmm, neato.

The bleak reality grinds to a conclusion that when the oilcrash comes within a decade, civilization as we know it, will collapse. I image what that would be like in reality, thousands of white people fleeing from the cities as the cities become toxic and food empty only to confronted by tribal and warlike rural Maori who would have the only fraction of stability. I wonder if they would put up with a second colonization, I wonder what the boot would feel like on the other foot?

Has Winston lost it?

Okay, now you know when Winston scammed his way into Labour as the Foreign Affairs Minister, even though he said he wouldn’t take the baubles of office, even though he has used race baiting and xenophobia more than any other politician, even though the only place who gave him legitimacy voted him out, even though a piece of sexist crap like Bob Clarkson could beat him etc etc. EVEN AFTER ALL OF THOSE THINGS, we were told this precious, populist buffoon of a man would be a safe pair of hands. Well after his outburst during Senator McCain’s verbal blowjob about what ‘a beautiful country’ NZ is, shouldn’t we start being honest about the Emperor and his total lack of tailors? Winston Peters is a pompous fool who exhibits all of the vanity of a peacock, minus the beauty. Cutting off NZ media while the demi-lord of the Sith is cooing about how neat we are is a decision that needs blood testing and urine samples. NOT that I am complaining of course, why we would want to cuddle up to a bloodthirsty nation like the United States of Torture is a little beyond me to start with. And why we would swallow just so that we might get a free trade deal which would allow the United States to rape and plunder what is left of NZ is another leap backwards in logic that I assume you can only appreciate when you earn over $150 000 per year and get a direct cut out of the deal. Oh and don’t start bitching about how badly we need a free trade deal, ask Mexico if it helped, ask the ruptured third world who get flooded by subsidized goods so much so that it is cheaper to buy imported American potatoes than grow them themselves, hell ask the Australian farmers who are getting dicked now!

The good thing about Winston dating the States is that he’s not easy. Whereas Don Brash would’ve handed his panties over to America with a whispered promise of more to come at the restaurant dinner table, Winston just stares at his own reflection, slowly winking, raising the odd glass at his smirking reflection, thinking to himself, “God I’m Beautiful, my member from Tauranga is gaining a solid majority. I’m feeling a re-count coming on. Fuck my haircut is hot’.

Maybe Anti-American Helen Clarke was smarter to appoint Winston to this position than any of us considered. Winston might have his baubles, but Helen is wearing the pants.

Police Prostitutes

News that a Policewoman moonlighted as a prostitute, and then getting denounced for it by the Police Association is a story so rich in hypocrisy, my mouth is actually watering.

Here’s what Police Cheerleader, Greg O’Connor has to say….

Police Association president Greg O'Connor said there was sympathy for the situation which led to the woman's sex work.
"But it doesn't change the fact that instinctively police officers know this is not right."
Mr O'Connor said the association was "very uncomfortable" with the woman's choice of work. "It's still regarded as a twilight industry that is a major conflict of interest with what we do as police officers."

Okay – couple of things:

A Policewoman working as a prostitute is bad for public perception, but spraying a handcuffed prisoner in the face with pepper spray is fine?

A Policewoman working as a prostitute is bad for public perception, but top Police leaders having group sex which led to charges of rape, is sweet as bro.

A Policewoman working as a prostitute is bad for public perception, but Policemen who visit prostitutes (and there are fucking heaps) is no hypocrisy at all.

AND HERE IS THE CLINCHER! Do you know how the Police found out she was a working girl? The brothel she worked at was actually visited by off duty cops, that part of the story will not be commented on by the Police.

My advice to the NZ Police? Stick to beating up people when no one is looking, moral outrage is not a look you can wear on this issue.

National in da House

Aimed to take the heat off Labour for their appalling Taito Phillip Field whitewash, Trevor Mallard released leaked reports by National on ways to get down with the kids. It is an attempt at showing a softer National, aimed at capturing more urbane liberal votes which cost them the last election. It is a complete farce – hey, word to National, you want to look cooler? Get rid of Don Brash and his comb-over. The fact they cant see that and think the answer is someone like Judith Collins (or her new cool tag, J-Co) elbowing Nicky Watson off the cover of Cleo shows how far they have come to visit Earth. Maybe if J-Co got implants? DJ Don Brash releasing a new hip hop album, ‘My bitch is from Singapore’? The icing on this shit cake was the use of clothing and Hip Hop label, Dawn Raid. The fact that the name is taken from the National party’s policy under Muldoon of throwing Pacific Island overstayers out under draconian, racist procedures didn’t ‘dawn’ on anyone. If National want to be cool and don’t understand why they are still loathed, maybe they need to re-examine their own political history first! You complete clowns.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

You swallow it first

Now as a Tree hugger, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and the open hearted nature of those of us on the left likes to see hugs go all around the maypole. But even we of the flower must cast a dark look at Labour MP Taito Fields white washed report. I know Aunty Helen is arguing that it would cost lots to investigate properly, but I kinda think there are some obvious holes so large in this reports findings that to accept them would be an insult to our collective intelligence.

The core of the accusations is that Field took graft for ‘immigration assistance’ he gave to various people. One Thai man worked on properties Field owned NOT because Field gave him immigration assistance, but because the Thai man felt gratitude. Really? Does that sound right? Is Field a big hearted man, and not a ruthless one who would abuse his position of trust like say in that case where Field bought a house off a constituent at an incredibly low price even after the family said their Father was too ill to know what he was signing over to Field?

The defense Labour has mounted suggests that they have no real ammunition. “You dare question the reputation of a QC by calling this report a white wash”, seems to be all they have. Well, no one is attacking Dr Noel Ingram QC, everyone is questioning why witnesses refused to give evidence and why the report is left so open ended when Dr Ingram himself says the only way to get to the bottom of the accusations would be to create “an authority with appropriate powers of investigation to inquire further”.

You can’t pull stunts like this and expect people to trust you. Labour seems to think the second National are off the boil, it’s safe to drop a shit sandwich on everyone’s plate and tell us it’s candy. Sorry Helen, but it’s a shit sandwich.

Film review: Avenge but one of my two eyes

Israeli film maker, Avi Mograbi’s amazing documentary is a three leveled snapshot of Israel and it’s relationship with the occupied territories of Palestine. I think the term ‘occupied territory’ just doesn’t do justice to the reality. Palestinian land looks bruised, un kept, and bleak. We watch as Palestinians go about their day constantly harassed and humiliated by angry young Israeli soldiers who shy away in shame when the camera is pointed at them. I’ve always found that when you have to rely on your own two fists to get you by, there is a self preserving humility that keeps ones actions in check. Give frightened angry young people a massive military advantage and the type of sadistic behavior we have seen time and time before starts to become apparent. From Abu ghraib to any Baghdad street where 18 year old kids from Kansas squeeze their triggers at any object, half in fear, half in hate, we see the actions of those being asked to fight morally questionable conflicts. We see the IDF stopping an ambulance from taking a wounded Palestinian woman to hospital leaving her family to weep on the roadside, we see Palestinian school children barred for no reason from crossing a gate and in one scene we see an Israeli soldier mockingly force a bunch of Palestinian men from working in a field, just because he can.

These images are thrown up against the Israeli relationship with the occupied territories. This is summed up watching a group of Israeli tourists visiting the historical site of Masada and in the cult of personality indoctrination of Samson. At Masada the mass suicide of the zealots who held out against a Roman force sent to ‘surround them’ is interestingly given the sort of praise reserved for Bin Laden recruitment videos. The mass suicide is not only praised but rationalized as the only thing to do. Visiting school children are asked to sort themselves into 4 groups, those who would commit suicide, those who would fight, those who would pray and those who would surrender. One young girl defiantly sat in surrender, as the majority went to fight, a couple to prayer, and remarkably four went to suicide.

The biblical story of Samson bringing suicide upon himself while collapsing a temple full of Philistines in Gaza is not only taught as historical fact to a class of Jewish children, but older teenagers sitting around a camp fire praise that he went to Gaza to fight. So much mileage is made from the unbearable humiliation meted out to Samson by his enemies, that his only course of action was to kill as many as he could with his suicide. The tragic irony that this is what fuels and justifies Palestinian suicide bombers is missed by every single one of them, incredible.

The third level that Mograbi shows us is a conversation he is having on the phone with a Palestinian friend of his living under occupation. As the film continues, as we cut back to the conversation, we hear his Palestinian friend analyze his own growing militancy at the conditions he is being forced to live under. Mograbi listens, silently, the sense of guilt he feels is clear and his calls for moderation end up sounding as hollow as he looks.

It is a remarkable documentary that shows what a truly human failure the Israel/Palestinian conflict has become.

Same old song

There is more talk about raising the drinking age. I think there is more talk about raising the drinking age because the latest TVONE news promo has Si and that other chick rapping with young people about their drinking age outside on the street. Si was kickin’ it one time in his hoody jacket and the chick looked genuinely cold for the first time in a long time. That promo appeared a day after a TVNZ major report on increasing the drinking age. Now maybe I’m cynical, but whenever the News media trumpet ‘serious debate about a minority within society’ I end up watching Flat Earth arguments go unchallenged for the sake of ‘objectivity’. Say after me O-B-J-E-C-T-I-V-I-T-Y. See how reasonable it sounds when you say it real slow? BUT suddenly, here is TVNZ running a report as if it has just been handed down from Moses (who then informed a mate of his at Telecom) and then we get the prepackaged ‘Street Jive’ – I just wondered if anyone else noticed how planned that ‘News’ was.

But I don’t want to talk about that.

I want to talk about raising the drinking age. Forgive me, but how can we jump up and down at under age drinking when the kids are simply copying the example most adult NZers set. We are a nation of pissheads! Sure scratch the surface of any free trade coffee drinking, public transport humping, Wellington City Council worker, and you find a raving alcoholic. Sure it’s dressed up for the Middle Class as ‘wine-clubs’, but its endemic in our culture. It’s like we are forever suffering from some colonial hangover we can’t shake with all those awful “Christ did I really do that’ flashback moments.

We are depressed, and we drink far too much – think of any drunk you know. They all have one thing in common, some ‘emotional’ problems. Isn’t it true for a country? The adverts say, “It’s not what you drink, it’s how we drink”. I don’t think it’s what or how, I think it’s about ‘why’ we drink.

Modern capitalism needs as many nuclear families as possible so that consumption is maximized (hence the vested interest to devalue less profitable communal values). Individualism has become so fetishisd that we have less and less contact with one another. Loneliness and a lack of social contact in this country is a deep hurt, add to it daily mass media pollution that attempts to sell your insecurities to you by making you more insecure of them, is it any wonder we get boozed up to the point of black out?

I’m sure a lot of it has to do with our wind stunted staunch uber alles blokedomness. From observation at too many social events I’d care to mention, most men have a difficult enough time talking to one another let alone try striking up a conversation with a member of the opposite sex. Booze is the social lubricant of choice for a nation who can’t talk with themselves let alone one another.

At this point you might be expecting me to roll out the Temperance Union band and start railing against booze. I won’t, personally drink ain’t my thing, but it can be of hell of a lot fun and sometimes booze just hits the spot. But the mindset we’re going into this doesn’t suggest we are having a great night out. Booze is a restricted product but in our drive to be able to buy the stuff in every supermarket and corner dairy we have made it more accessible than ever before. This makes no sense, we need to remind ourselves that it is restricted and as such need to roll that liberalization back. Then we need to police those restricted places more often, community groups regularly test liquor outlets to see if they sell to underage booze buyers, and in some parts of Auckland, 50% do!

It seems ridiculous that we would only focus on the drinking habits of 18 or 19 year olds when so much of the exact same behavior is exhibited (and some could argue, copied) throughout the population. But we will push to raise the age because that sweeps the issue under the carpet and doesn’t end up costing the industry any money by reducing the amount of outlets.

There is no depression in NZ.

Is Tony Blair a cocksucker?

Now one of the things I have never been able to get my head around, is how someone so articulate and educated as Tony Blair, got caught up in the brain-dead vortex of Bush inc. Yesterday an answer came in the form of the accidental private conversation caught on microphones at the G8 summit. On it we hear a fawning, stumbling, tongue tied virgin trying to fumble his way to first base with Paris Hilton. This despicable example of the absolute spinelessness of Blair is only matched by the response by Bush. Let’s go back to Paris Hilton. Imagine Miss Hilton is in Hamilton for the night and she’s at the coolest club and a ruddy faced yokel offered to buy her a drink – hold that moment of disdain you can see on her face, double it and whamo – that was the way Bush responded to Blair. To see the real un-feigned power relationship between the two must dash any hope for die hard Blair supporters, who have defended the relationship, arguing that Blair is a modifying influence on unbridled American unilateralism.

The sad reality is Blair is Bush’s’ bitch.

Tim Part 2

Thank you for many of your comments on Tim, I’ve been in contact with him via the phone. He says he was shocked by how hard they came down on him, made some comments about the judge being married to a cop and wanted to point out that the inflation rate is now 4% and he believes that will have negative impact on the economy. He wanted to make sure I made that point on his behalf.

He will be appealing the sentence and says Prison is much colder than it was last time he was there and has asked if I can bring him a coat and some reading material, my suggestion of Mein Kamph brought the house down.

I want to reiterate my beleief that his harsh sentence had everything to do with him challenging authority and little to do with fraud. I state again that I don’t justify Tim as a young radical at Uni commiting fraud, but do want to point out that the Police spent an enormous amount of energy and resources to dredge through his past and use anything against him. These fraud charges relate to stunts he pulled 10 years ago and I want to again remind everyone that at the very last possible second before the VERDICT was due, and after a pretty stirring Defence summing up that included Dr Martin Luther King and Ghandi, the Prosecution attempted to call a mistrial because one of the Jury members had just happened to have shared a lecture theatre with Tim TEN YEARS AGO! Now forgive me, but for the cops to have researched all the Jury members pasts to see if any of them criss crossed Tims seems like the type of resources used on CSI: Miami! They REALLY REALLY wanted to nail him. Tim fought the Government, and the Empire struck back, not only by throwing him in Prison with no home detention possibility, but by dredging up past mistakes he has made (all of which he promptly plead guilty to) they have succeeded in discrediting Tim and what he had to say.

So let me take this short moment to remind people what this was about – regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, I think we all agree that the Maori land confiscations of last century led us, in part, to the race problems and frictions we see today. What Labour did by passing the Foreshore and Seabed legislation WAS confiscation by legislation. Remember 5 appeal court judges unanimously voted to allow Maori to have their day in Court over this issue. They didn’t say Maori would win their claim, but that there was a case to be heard. Labour respond to that by simply passing legislation to take all the seabed and foreshore, they acted unilaterally because they feared a right wing bloke backlash along the lines of, “Those Maaaris want our beaches’, and reacted hard so that they could avoid that blowback. Denying people access to the beach was never what this was about – it was about due process, Maori deserved to have their day in Court over this issue, and they were robbed of that. This isn’t a race issue, it’s a justice issue, please don’t forget any of that in this mix of sedition and fraud nonsense. The actions of Labour will be issues our grandchildren will be fighting over, all Helen did was create ANOTHER grievance for political expediency.

The one good thing that has come out of this, is that the majority of your comments and even the media seem to have picked up that the sentence was bloody hard and that there were some other interests at play here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tim Selwyn

Mr Tim Selwyn received 17 months in prison today for his part in publishing a seditious statement and conspiracy to damage a window. He was also found guilty of a multitude of charges mostly to do with fraud he committed 10 years ago.

I’ve known Tim since I was 16. He has always been one of the brightest people I know with a wit second to none. As a mate I’m saddened by this decision, I think the reason the Police went over Tim with a fine toothed comb and brought charges that were 10 years old against Tim because he challenged the authority of the state in a way the state can’t abide.

I don’t agree with the things Tim did as a radical right wing student, he saw it all as a slap in the face to Nanny state, unfortunately for Tim, Nanny state has a way of slapping back, many times harder.

I’m sure there will be those out there who will want to crow over Tims fall, but no matter how much I disagree with his right wing interpretation of the world at times, he is an amazing human being who deserves second chances.

He has asked me that for the duration of his time in Prison to keep Tumeke up and running as a fulcrum of ideas and debate the issues the mainstream miss and I have accepted that, and hope to hand him a site that is stronger when he returns.

Let me end by saying that everyone makes mistakes, even though some would label Tim a hypocrite for attacking the state from the right wing, yet steal off it at the same time, I must say in his defense that the radical man he has become is very different from the radical young man he was.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The new Mexican front in the War on Terrorism

The new Mexican front in the War on Terrorism

In May of this year, Zapatista rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos said that Mexico is in a ``state of rage and social indignation,'' and he warned that the upcoming presidential election will do nothing to stop the discord from intensifying. http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/14543668.htm

The Zapatista rebellion in 1994 caused a massive change in the direction of Mexico for the indigenous people who had suffered from the economic fallout of NAFTA. That Subcomandante Marcos is now suggesting that another rebellion might be necessary to see the will of the people through what the left have labelled as a corrupted election process will be cause for concern not only for the Mexican elite’s but also for a paranoid United States over the border.

It was interesting to note that soon after Subcomandante Marcos comments, that Bush started to argue for a militarization of the American/Mexican border. If some of the claims by investigative journalist, Greg Palast are indeed true, then we are seeing another election theft in the exact same vein as the Florida theft. http://www.gregpalast.com/stealing-it-in-front-of-your-eyes

Palast reported that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation had obtained Mexico’s voter files under a secret "counter-terrorism" contract with the database company ChoicePoint of Alpharetta, Georgia (See BUSH TEAM HELPS RULING PARTY "FLORIDIZE" MEXICAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.)The FBI’s contractor states that following the arrest of ChoicePoint agents by the Mexican government, the company returned or destroyed its files. The firm claims not to have known that collecting this information violated Mexican law. Such files can be useful in challenging a voter’s right to cast a ballot or in preventing that vote from counting.

As the perception grows that there has been some Bush inspired conspiracy to rob the Mexican people of their democratic rights, the justification for the Zapatista cause will build and build. As America has found in Somalia, backing the option that guarantees your right to plunder the regions natural resources sometimes meets a local population who are prepared to fight for their rights. It is a lesson that is increasingly burning America’s fingers to the bone.

Spicy Pork

Spicy Pork

When it comes to pigs, I’m Jewish. I don’t have much time for the cops, I believe that cut back after cut back has led us to a Police force of thugs who increasingly, due to their poor training, need to rely on force through weaponry than their ability to calm a situation down.

It takes 19 weeks to be a cop -19 WEEKS – during that time they spend ONE DAY on domestic violence. Could you hope to understand all the complexities of domestic violence in ONE DAY? No wonder so many woman die due to domestic violence and it was recently reported how ineffective Police were at asserting restraining orders against violent men. The cut backs not only create poorly trained cops, it has created a cost-effective way of policing crime. In the good old days Police collected all the evidence and went where it led. These days the Police ‘profile’ a Crime, that is to say they find the person most likely to have committed the crime and try and create any evidence (no matter how weak) to connect that person to the crime. I think that this has created a whole bunch of decisions recently where a person becomes convicted on circumstantial evidence, much cheaper than the old way, but then again only rich people can afford good justice can’t they?

The latest test of poorly behaved cops has come from the ‘pepper spry in the face’ saga. Constable Alexander Nicholson was filmed spraying a handcuffed, non-resisting Scott McDonald in the face with pepper spray, the case is currently under examination. When pepper spray was rolled out, Police spin doctors argued that the frontline needed such weapons to fight P fuelled killers, we all frighteningly agreed. Reality is however, that poorly trained cops, needing to stamp their alpha male aggro over any situation have ended up using pepper spray as an added special meted out to any bugger in custody who looks sideways at Big Brother. It’s a little like how the cops will let the Police Dog maul you for a couple of minutes after you are screaming for them to stop, you know the kind of garden variety brutality we have come to expect from our boys in blue. The cops now want tasers which will of course quickly get added to ‘stuff that gets done to you while no one is looking’ list of fun games this alpha male culture seems to breed now that these days, group rape seems to have run foul of the PC brigade.

Reading through the Police statement made by Constable Alexander Nicholson there is a hidden gem to perhaps explain his testosterone induced alpha male posturing. He reportedly went up to the waitress who Scott McDonald had insulted which had led to the cops being called in the first place, and boasted to her "I’ve got him for you". Suddenly things become a lot more apparent don’t they - big tough cop boy wants to play the hero to the poor waitress and goes ahead and pepper sprays, an admittedly drunk and annoying Scott McDonald, in the face to ‘get him back’, all for the pretty waitress.

When will we get an INDEPENDENT Police Complaints authority so we can be assured the Boys in Blue don’t end up wearing brownshirts?

Is Bush planning Armageddon in Israel?

Is Bush planning Armageddon in Israel?

One of the under reported aspects of our mate George Dubya is that he is an evangelical Christian. Not your Ned Flanders type of Christian mind you, he is the hands in the air like you just don’t care, the rapture is really close kind of fire and brimstone Christian. He believes, like many in the evangelical fold that a real spiritual battle between the Army of God and the Devil is being waged right now on Earth, and that the United States must be the righteous arm of the Lord.

You think I’m going too far? (www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1016-01.htm)Take Lt.Gen.Boykin, he was appointed to hunt down Bin Laden and Hussein. He is also a crazy evangelical Christian who was credited with saying the following, "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol". Now we could just write that off to silliness, but here is where it gets weird. In a lecture to other evangelical Christians, Boykin ‘proves’ his argument that Iraq is a spiritual war by showing the audience a satellite photo where, because of the extreme angle, a figure in black looks as if it were ‘floating’ over the foreground. Boykin announces to the crowd that this is photographic proof of an evil demon. I shit you not, here is a Lt. General explaining to a group of evangelical university students that he has photographic proof of a demon.

It gets worse, the particular death cult schism of Christianity Bush believes in has something called, (http://rapturewatch.cephasministry.com) RAPTURE. The Rapture is this crazy cultish belief that at the end of the Earth with the Anti-Christ poised to take over the planet, Christians everywhere will vanish as the final apocalyptic battle between God and the Devil is played out. Here are some of their prophecies

"Someday Russia and a horde of Middle East countries will launch a surprise attack against Israel. All but one sixth of the Gog army will be destroyed upon the mountains of Israel."

"The city of Damascus has been around for thousands of years and it has never been destroyed in battle. The Prophet Isaiah predicted that someday this city would be destroyed. Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."

"When the Antichrist sits down in the rebuilt Jewish Temple and declares himself to be God, the great tribulation of 42 months will then begin. At the occurrence of this event, the Jews living in Israel are commanded to flee into the wilderness. All tribulation saints will know, from that day on, they must now wait 1260 days before the Lord returns."

"Armageddon comes from the Hebrew word meaning "the Mount of Megiddo." This ancient fortress is located in northern Israel, across the Plain of Esdraelon from Nazareth. Armageddon will be the gathering place for the final great battle, which bears its name."

These Evangelicals BELIEVE the end of the world is nigh and BELIEVE one of the signs is Israel getting attacked. How much influence do you think this has on Bush? He has prayer meetings during meetings, the White House has been called ‘Gods House’ by outsiders who have complained this type of fanatical dogma seems to be seeping into the day to day runnings of the administration.

There has been a massive history over Evangelical manipulations inside the American Political establishment since Evangelical leaders rallied against the concept of a Catholic President in the form of Kennedy. They voted in massive numbers for Nixon but went cold on Politics when they realised what he had done in power. They backed Carter who came out as an evangelical Christian, but he was a hippie evangelical and not hard enough on abortion. The movement found their next supporter with Ragen, but he attempted and failed to restrict abortions in a step that was only symbolic towards the movement. Around this time Evangelical leaders realised they wanted more than just lip service, they wanted one of their own in the White House AND in the administration.

This new line of attack saw George Bush Snr with a real battle on his hands as the massive voting block of Evangelicals pushed their candidate, Bob Dole in the 1988 Republican nomination. Bush Snr was loosing badly to Bob Dole right up until the first really big primary where it was suddenly leaked to the press (many in the Evangelical movement blamed ex CIA Bush Snr and his dirty tricks campaign) that many Tele-evangelists were under investigation for tax evasion and ‘moral’ questions arose. Bob Dole lost the nomination, Bush Snr won but within Republican circles was the concern over the lost evangelical vote, whose desertion at the polls led to Clinton winning and running the country for 8 years. The solution? Bush Snr sent his son into the bosom of the Evangelical movement and George Dubya won it all back.

The question we need to ask as Bush stands by allowing Israel to escalate the current tensions out of all proportion is this: Is Bush being evangelical as part of a machiavellian deception to gain their voting support, or is Dubya a real RAPTURE believer and is thus allowing a Middle East time bomb to explode to confirm his position at the right hand of God?

Film Review: An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth

Cast: Al Gore (host/narrator/lecturer), [fawning acolytes, mesmerised Chinese audiences, star-struck partisan college campus lecture theatres... :) ]
Director: Davis Guggenheim

From the Riefenstahlesque opening and the intertwining of Al Gore's family and life experiences from the rural side of his (mainly Washington-based) upbringing this film was every bit as much about Al Gore, Presidential Candidate 2008 as it was about the disturbing trends in what he refers to as his "slide show." But what a terrific, terrifying show. A champion for a cause for which he both takes full credit and articulates pursuasively in the role of a consumate communicator. We have Gore's paternal Mason-Dixie Huck Finn narration through golden resonating river side contemplations, we have Gore's sarcastic jabs at big business, we have Gore's concern as a student of the professor who first noted the CO2 increases and his life-long commitment to "climate change" and "global warming" issues through his congressional career. We have a sub-plot of a sympathetic biopic via fascinating research and a potentially apocolyptic global deneument.

His task is to present the "inconvenient truth" of American (primarily) polluting industries and behaviour and how they are affecting the world. The most impressive data set was the historical cycle and correlation of temperature and CO2 in the atmosphere. We can see that just under every 100,000 years we have a very sharp increase in both, it plateaus and then it starts gradually to decline (into a long ice age) before repeating the cycle. All along the way it does have mini oscillations but the trend seems undeniable. The disturbing aspect is it seems we are already naturally at a peak at the part of the cycle right before it levels out at the maximum point. If we accept that our polluting, carbon emitting CO2 producing current (industrial) arrangements are making it worse then we could be pushing the natural maximum out into uncharted territory. What you might conclude also - in the same way the inference can be made of most glaciers whose ice only goes back approximately 1000 years - is that if Greenland and the Antarctic ice caps go back 650,000 years, then what happened before that? There was no ice because it was too warm I suppose. In which case are we rapidly heading to - or indeed causing a 1 in 650,000 year peak in the cycle preluding a very hot time ahead? - where reptiles may be more at home than homo sapiens? He does not pose these questions I hasten to add - these are the ideas swirling around in the minds of those intrigued and activated and inspired by a great set of ideas. To go even further - could human over-population and slash and burn agriculture have led to a global warming catastrophy before? If so there would be precious little evidence from 650,000 years ago - or indeed is each under 100,000 year cycle caused by humans too? Is it possible?

The information is presented precisely in graphical terms and also dramatically in footage of Polar melting, satellite images and the ravaging consequences of warming oceans; lingering on New Orleans enough to underscore the reality to American as well as foreign audiences. There is a lot of data involved and extrapolations and projections and hypotheses in the mix, so the cautious will perhaps be jotting down notes to find out more for themselves, because if what Gore is saying is even half way correct then our planet is indeed about to suffer a climatic heart-attack.

In Gore's pursuit of transparency, with every qualification or clarification however it necessarily raises questions with those who want to be certain - with those who want to believe. This is a campaign after all. The "Don't argue - it's science, stupid!" attitude of the true believer just makes many of us question such certainty even more thoroughly. For example when Gore says a "sample of 10%" we aren't told how they were selected or which organisation made the selection. Given that Gore was intellectually besotted and mentored by a professor who Gore proudly proclaims says he drew conclusions about what the trend was and what it meant after only a few years of hard data then we must also appreciate that someone wedded to a concept from such an early age would not readily have the objectivity of say a film reviewer with no scientific credentials whatsoever :). Where are the faults, where are the errors in logic - what is prediction and what is verified evidence? Even as a sceptic the anecdotal, observable evidence supports his thesis without getting into my pet theory that it is the damn scientists who keep drilling into the ice caps and glaciers all the time for data who actually start the melting! As Gore notes with the Greenland ice cap - it just takes a small hole and the normal melt on top will drain through it - making it bigger and destabalising the entire ice sheet. But it is a measure of a good documentary if the viewer will be spurred into their own enquiries. Any attempt at making people think in this day and age is to be applauded.

Most watching, as with this screening at the Auckland International Film Festival, will be of the solid urban left variety - a local who's who of the liberal litteratti. It deserves a far wider audience than those who have already agreed with it.

Can't he be both the thinking person's Michael Moore and a modern day Malthus? He has made a lecture-cum-documentary prosyletising for political and individual solutions to a catastrophy demonstrated through an adventure in science and history - and on the face of it it would seem an impossible task for the man so boring he lost to George W Bush - but here we have it: a riveting film.

4/5 stars

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Israelis call for restraint - on themselves

The latest, sober Haaretz editorial is interesting reading:

"it would not be a sign of weakness for Israel to declare a time-out in its military assault in order to allow the Lebanese to reach their own conclusions.
The operation in Lebanon must have a limited goal, and it should not aspire to alter the reality there and deter the enemy "once and for all," as Bar-On said - whether that enemy is Hezbollah, Iran, Syria or Hamas. It is easy to draw up exaggerated aims and spew statements filled with arrogance and valor, but once things have been said, it is very difficult to take a step back to more moderate and reasonable positions.
Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah is a reasonable man who can make a deal and stick to it, and that it is possible even at this early stage to ask that his forces withdraw from the northern border in exchange for a cessation of the military operation.
a temporary cease-fire should be declared."

Saturday, July 15, 2006


This blog is best viewed in anything other than Microsoft Internet Explorer. I have been looking at it in explorer and it doesn't load properly, looks ugly and the images look like complete shite... because it's microsoft? - undoubtedly. The computer I use is a Mac so it uses the Mac version of explorer (5.2) and with this blog it can't load the side bar and other parts properly - some other "blogger" sites don't even load at all (eg. New Zeal). I work in Safari (the Mac browser) so there's no problem with that. I recently downloaded Firefox (1.5) to see what that looks like - so much better than explorer. So, if you are in the sad position of having to use explorer and this blog or other websites do not load properly I recommend getting firefox for free.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Zidane headbutt parody

And with terrorist massacres in Mumbai, Israel at war with Lebanon and oil soaring to US$78+ a barrel something light for Friday.

That's the still shot (because I can't get the blogger interface to recognise animation) of how we saw it. The parody versions are very amusing - and the animation works too! (no I don't know who did them either, but I'm happy to host them :)

Fox News shoot 'em up

The incident happened last night (morning US time) when I was watching it on Prime - so I've corrected the exact quote after reviewing the tape. Steve Doocy is just a supreme doofus and in terms of the ultra-PRO-AMERIKA/IZRAEL crap they spout under the laughable slogan of "fair and balanced" his outburst was a classic. It made Brian Kilmeade sound reasonable, especially when he pointed out the reporter and crew and car had "press" all over it.

GUEST BLOG: The playing field is level

Consumer culture is all about selling people's insecurities to themselves. Our path to enlightenment is lipsticked, latest model, nose jobbed, me-podded so much so that we have to believe THE PLAYING FIELD IS LEVEL, to fully enjoy our inflated sense of 'success'.

When we are confronted by the reality that the playing field is NOT level, it makes a ME generation question their own successes. This is a challenge to our own perceived beliefs in the system and as such makes the white majority viciously defensive and resentful towards any progressive movement that attempts to redress the innate injustices within a rule system that is written by the rulers.

The public reaction to the report showing beneficiaries are living in grinding poverty has embarrassingly let loose an avalanche of racist stereotyping already rubbed raw from the same venting over the Kahui case. So intent are we to blame the victim for being a victim we ignore our own outright bigotry towards beneficiaries.

The solution to the problem is simple, we need to increase the amount we pay beneficiaries, this combined with a rise in the minimum wage will do more for the betterment of an entire community within NZ than any other social policy.

But there is a problem: the puritanical streak that runs deep through NZ demands suffering as a solution to get people off welfare. There is a mentality that if people are suffering they will change their priorities and get a job. This mentality is childish and beneath adult conversation in the 21st Century. How hungry and cold children will be able to obtain an education so that they are able to lift themselves out of poverty is fucking beyond me - and WHITE New Zealanders who argue this position need to take a good long hard look at themselves and their views of brown people.

The well worn counter that if we increase benefits, there will be no incentive for people to get a job only goes to show how entrenched our bigotry is. What is the second question you ask ANYONE after asking their name - "What do you do?" We are so focused on our placement within the social strata, we automatically ask one another what job we do - the shame of being a beneficiary is all the incentive in the world to take a job and earn more than welfare, and people are more successful at education to lift themselves out of poverty when they have warm homes and are well fed.

I also find the cry of, "I can do it why can't they", tedious and painfully dumb. It's like swimming the Tasman Sea then jumping out at the end, proclaiming "I can do it why can't they!?". Everyone is different, self-achievement should be an example for others to follow rather than a rod to beat those who are weaker. The fact I have to point that out shows how defunct public debate has become.

The right wing media, talkback radio in particular, has allowed stereotypes to exist which supports and confirms the fears of the majority. People at the bottom of the heap are suffering, and at a time when NZ is richer than it has ever been, we still as a culture refuse to accept the reality of that suffering with solutions that only seek to punish.

Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury