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Saturday, May 31, 2008

The trouble with Baba

Zimbabwe: 'Amazing' Grace Mugabe Boasts That Husband Will Not Step Down: SW Radio Africa (London) : "Robert Mugabe will not step down as President, even if he loses to Morgan Tsvangirai in the June 27 presidential run-off election, Mugabe's wife Grace claimed on Thursday."

Love the comments section:

... ... ...
Peter C.
This Charlatan is at it again. Why does Mugabe let his ignorant charlatan spew nonsense? These words are clearly words from a misinformed charlatan. Doesn't she even realize that the old man is in his twilight zone and she got a life to live. Who is going to even give her a cup of water when she is in need and when the old man goes? Poor Grace. By the way, did you finish those studies you were trying hard to finish? That's what I thought. What you spewed does not in any way reflect that you have the capacity to study and pass anything. You're an ignoramous! The Zimbabwean people will be right at your doorstep demanding what is theirs. You can't stop change. Baba Mugabe cannot stop change. By the way, when was the last time you had some good love? You probably wish the old man's exit would be hastened so that you can go out and find yourself some good love. Kushata kwaro!!
... ... ...
This is just more proof that the old fool Mugabe is no longer running the show. Of course this glorified secretary with no education or class whatsoever is going to say this. If the old man dies or gets voted out there won't be any more Air Zim flights to go shopping over seas. How can an ignorant old dictator allow such comments to spew from the mouth of such a trashy and bad representative of his government? A true dictator would make her vanish. Come on Bob, live up to your murderous ways and bury this piece of trash called 'Grace'. She's doing even more damage to your already horrible reputation. Show some balls and shut this tramp up!
... ... ...
She is just one frustrated tart! Let's not forget her "baba" does not have the necessary tackle to do the job so whoever has been servicing her must be on leave or something for her to come out with that kind of bilge! it would such a pleasure to see she and her "baba" go the way of the romanian dictator and his wife...bodies riddled with bullets and hanging upside down on the public highway for all to spit on and piss on as they wished! Dont worry Grace-less bitch...you and your baba's days are numbered...you will not find a hiding place believe me...you will not enjoy that money you stinking thieves have looted from a once great country!!! We are coming to get you..in or out of office...

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Michigonian candidate

Ladbrokes is now paying $6 on Hillary Clinton going all the way to the Democratic convention. The LA Times is reporting that tomorrow's Democratic party rules committee will make the call over what to do with the disqualified Florida and Michigan delegates:
Clinton loyalists are expected to demonstrate outside the hotel. The Obama campaign has urged its supporters to stand down. "We don't think it's a helpful dynamic to create chaos," said David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager. "In the interest of party unity, we're encouraging our supporters not to protest."
One Clinton supporter on the rules panel, who asked not to be named in order to be able to discuss the matter candidly, conceded that there was virtually no outcome in the committee that could lead to a Clinton victory. "It's not going to make a difference," the Clinton ally said. "At the end of the day, what we do on Saturday is not going to change the fact that Obama is going to win the nomination."

I don't know which is more like the Manchurian Candidate: Hillary playing the Angela Lansbury/Meryl Streep character rolled into the grasping Sen. Iselin, playing the victim and orchestrating an assasination of the nominee (has she rehearsed the speech for when Obama gets killed?) - or McCain and as a brainwashed sleeper agent for the Communist hard-liners in Hanoi? No Swift boat denials by the vet's for McCain - Raymond Shaw "John McCain is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life". Just don't let him ever play cards with the Vietnamese ambassador.

Hoodie Day shows up mentality of some

Ku Klux Klan outfit stuns councillors
A Kapiti politician took National Hoodie Day to the extreme by donning a Ku Klux Klan costume at a council meeting, in a move that stunned district councillors and the public. Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board deputy chairman Dale Evans walked into the Kapiti District Council's monthly meeting during public speaking time, dressed in the white outfit with a sign around his neck that said "its wotz under da hood dat counts" - mimicking the slogan used in a current national hoodie campaign. He wore the costume as a publicity stunt to draw attention to problems with Kapiti bore water. But after the meeting, deputy mayor Ann Chapman said it was appalling to use a serious episode of racism in American history as an analogy to the hoodie campaign. "It was outrageous - a poorly chosen disguise and disrespectful to what some American black people went through in the deep south," Mrs Chapman said. John Haxton, Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board chairman, said Mr Evans should have brought the water issue up at a community board meeting, rather than resorting to dressing up. Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan agreed. However, Mr Evans "was exercising his democratic right".

This guy felt so mortified by Hoodie Day he dons a Ku Klux Klan costume? He is so frightened by young people in Hoodies he responds to them with this??? It’s interesting that it was young people themselves who initiated this concept to challenge their perceived stereotyping of young people, this councilors response is the exact mindset they claimed existed in its most ugly.

Dodgy Polls

I am becoming increasingly suspicious of dodgy polls, and here is the latest –

Budget fails to do the trick for the Government
Labour's tax-cutting Budget has had no immediate impact on its poll rating in today's Herald-DigiPoll survey, the first major poll that includes a large post-Budget sample. The economy has moved into top spot as the issue most likely to influence voters in this year's election, just nudging out tax cuts, which is the second most important issue. Labour has moved down one point to 36.2 per cent but National has also moved down fractionally, by 0.6 to 51.5. The gap between the two main parties has barely budged from last month's poll: 15.3 points, compared with 14.9 last month. National would still be able to govern alone. National leader John Key continues to poll just ahead of Helen Clark as preferred prime minister, 44.6 per cent to 42.3 per cent.
Ok, here are the problems with these Polls - they don’t call cell phones (it’s cheaper that way) and so they create an automatic filter that doesn’t catch the younger more mobile electorate, they never take into account the Maori Party will probably win 7 seats through the Maori Seats, they rarely show the don’t know, in this latest case it is 13% and anything over a 3% margin of error is considered pointless and the second part of this Poll that showed a drop was 4.6% - add to this that a large chunk of the electorate don’t know an election is on this year all add up to me for results that are highly questionable, interestingly talking to some Labour Party insiders their UMR polling is showing nothing near the numbers being spat out by some at the moment.

'Bizarre' situation of fish processed in China then shipped back

'Bizarre' situation of fish processed in China then shipped back
The Green Party finds it bizarre that fish caught in New Zealand was being shipped to China for processing before the finished product was brought back to New Zealand for sale. "News that Talleys Group Ltd ships gutted fish to China for thawing, processing and re-chilling, only to ship it back to New Zealand for sale undermines both the prime minister's goal of carbon neutrality and kiwi workers' jobs," Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said. She believed the free trade deal New Zealand had signed with China, where wages were lower and workers did not have the same rights to organise as in New Zealand, would only lead to more "such bizarre situations".

How is this excusable? We are shipping fish to China for them to process them and then shipping them back???????? In terms of sustainability and cutting back on food miles this is insane, by being simply a producer of raw products aren’t we little better than the African countries China exploits?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

War on the Vietnam parallel

Photo: UK Ministry of Defence

What is our foreign intervention and occupation policy again? Whatever the Americans (Iraq) and the Australians (RAMSI) say it is?

Conspicuous lack of blue UN helmets on the tour of the troops. Not one. At the behest of Dick fucking Cheney, Israel, pure American greed and most of all the idiocy of the progeny of the Texan aristocracy - via the US military governorship of Iraq - the PM visits our troops in Iraq.

What was she doing? Bringing our troops home? She just sent them there! That's the sort of lame arse thing John Key would have done.

In 1962, Australia sent advisors, as the United States had, but again New Zealand refused to make a similar contribution. Instead, a detachment of Royal New Zealand Engineers and a surgical team was sent to Vietnam, the former consisting of two officers and 20 other ranks. The Engineers were sent to the Southern Republic in a non-combatant capacity to undertake reconstruction tasks in and around the town of Thủ Dầu Một. At the same time a small administrative headquarters was established in Saigon. These engineers would be withdrawn in 1965. The surgical team was made up of seven men and would eventually grow to sixteen, and remained in the country until 1975. The team worked for civilians at the Binh Dinh Province Hospital, in Qui Nhon, an overcrowded, and dirty facility almost completely lacking equipment and bedding. This contingent was dispatched in June 1964. [W]

And if Holyoake had toured the engineers it would have been right to protest against it, but he left - and so did the Kirk government - the surgeons to help the civilians. What did Helen Clark leave? No political fingerprints?

New Zealand began the gradual withdrawal of its combat forces as the training teams were arriving. Prime Minister Holyoake said in 1971 that New Zealand's combat forces would be withdrawn by "about the end of this year," and they were - Whiskey Three Company went in November 1970, the SAS Troop and 161 Battery followed in February and May 1971 respectively, and Victor Six Company and the tri-service medical team left with the 1st Australian Task Force in December 1971, ending New Zealand's combat involvement in the Vietnam War. One of the first acts of Prime Minister Norman Kirk's Labour Party government (elected in December 1972) was to withdraw both training teams and the New Zealand headquarters in Saigon. [W]

So the Kirk government did what Helen Clark did to her own action in Iraq. A brilliant tactician - she didn't help start, but participated in, and then ended and withdrew her troops from her own personal Vietnam. Incidentally therapeutic perhaps , but to involve the military in a diplomatic impasse in the Mesopotamia smacks of Caesar - not the national interests of a small country in the South Pacific.

Playing third fiddle to George Bush - or perhaps that should be banjo. How ignominious. We are on the roll-call of shame. And the NZ military are still there, apparently:
New Zealand is still represented in Iraq by liaison and staff officers working with coalition forces.

So, sometimes I don't know what's worse - the Chairman Mao in dungarees look, or the fact we don't have an ethical foreign policy.

Make kids respect the law by disrespecting their rights

Government rejects drug testing
The Government has ruled out adopting an expensive plan for drug testing in schools and workplaces. The rejection of the proposal, which would have cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and was based on models used in the United States, follows an admission this month by Justice Minister Annette King that police are losing the fight against pure methamphetamine, or P. A former detective who runs the drugs education service MethCon put the case yesterday for a "zero-tolerance" approach to drugs. The Australian National Council on Drugs, that country's principal advisory body on drug policy, spent a year looking at evidence from around the world on drug testing in schools. In a report issued in March, it concluded there was insufficient evidence of any proven benefits. That report found saliva and urine tests were notoriously unreliable and caused considerable hostility and mistrust. There was also the risk of increased truancy and students switching to less detectable substances. The Australian report estimated the cost at $NZ432 million to conduct a single saliva test a year for each Australian student. Urine tests were slightly cheaper, at $371m. Random testing of just 10 per cent of the school population three times a year would cost more than $100m, while weekly random testing in all schools would cost taxpayers billions.

Look, I don’t have much confidence in coming down like a ton of bricks on people over things like drugs, if you are truly an addict and are sick, then how the hell does putting you into a prison help solve your sickness? Now sure go after the organized crime that sells the stuff and profits from it, but you need clever tools to do that – LIKE the SFO in it’s old format with the powers to compel evidence, go after organized crime with forensic accountants which would be much more effective at pruning organized crimes ability to build profits and as for P itself, real simple – ban all pseudoephedrine products coming into the country, the drying up of the main ingredient would shut the entire industry down – but of course the legal pushers of that drug who make Billions would NEVER allow a government to ban their drug so we are left coming up with bullshit solutions like mass random testing of school kids – wars on drugs don’t work because to make people respect the law you destroy their rights, it’s like trying to force democracy at the end of an M16 barrel – the means are incompatible with the ends.

Bit late to get a conscience isn’t it Scott?

Ex-aide criticises Bush over Iraq
Former White House spokesman Scott McClellan has said US President George W Bush was not "open and forthright" on Iraq and rushed to an unnecessary war. In a new book, Mr McClellan says Mr Bush relied on a "political propaganda campaign" to sell the war. His handling of Hurricane Katrina is also attacked. From July 2003 to his resignation in April 2006, Mr McClellan was a loyal defender of the Bush administration. In response, a White House spokeswoman said Mr McClellan was "disgruntled". Dana Perino added: "For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad - this is not the Scott we knew." Mr McClellan was a long-standing member of Mr Bush's inner circle, having worked for him when he was Texas governor before following him to the White House. Extracts from the 341-page memoir, to be published on Monday, give an often scathing view of both the president and his highest-ranking aides. In What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception, Mr McClellan describes White House staff as spending much of the first week after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 "in a state of denial". "One of the worst disasters in our nation's history became one of the biggest disasters in Bush's presidency," he writes. "The perception of this catastrophe was made worse by previous decisions President Bush had made, including, first and foremost, the failure to be open and forthright on Iraq and rushing to war with inadequate planning and preparation for its aftermath." Mr McClellan stops short of saying Mr Bush lied about the reasons for going to war in Iraq. However, the way the Bush administration managed the Iraq issue "almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option", he says.

It’s a bit late to get a conscience isn’t it Scott? You were the mouthpiece for this vulgar administration, when did you start thinking the words coming out of your mouth were lies and why didn’t you say this when you left? Cashing in on a large book deal doesn’t make you a hero Scott, just another whore for a different master.

Burn bro town down - Economic Policy as Social Policy

Economist stands by underclass comments
Economist Greg Clydesdale has defended his contentious Pacific Island report that was criticised by fellow academics for using out-of-date data. A peer review commissioned by the Pacific Island Affairs Ministry said the main argument in Dr Clydesdale's paper, that the goal of immigration is to generate economic growth, is questionable. The author, Otago University economist Paul Hansen, said the report showed poor use of data and failed to back up claims that Pacific Islanders are creating an underclass. Its presentation was also substandard, he said. The discussion document Growing Pains: The valuation and cost of human capital - dubbed the Clydesdale report - has drawn scathing responses from the Pacific Island community since it was reported by The Dominion Post last week. Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres is reviewing the report. Teresia Teaiwa, programme director for Pacific Studies at Victoria University, said the report raised more questions than answers. She asked why a paper written in 2008 cited social status reports from 2002, when 2006 census figures were available.

There are some very good comebacks to Clydesdale’s report that do question his entire thrust of his discussion paper and one wonders if he was really as focused on the good of the country would he have come to conclusions as harsh as his as there are better ways to debate the issue without offending the very people he’s claiming to want toi help and his idea that immigration should be an economic equation over all other factors sounds like economic policy as social policy – Pacific Islanders have made incredible contributions to NZ in art and sport, yet Clydesdale refuses to take any of that on board. Also, anyone who is using ‘political madness gone mad’ as a defence are always highly suspect.

Monkey's brain controls robot arm

Monkey's brain controls robot arm
Monkeys have been able to control robotic limbs using only their thoughts, scientists report. The animals were able to feed themselves using prosthetic arms, which were controlled by brain activity. Small probes, the width of a human hair, were inserted into the monkeys' primary motor cortex - the region of the brain that controls movement. Writing in Nature journal, the authors said their work could eventually help amputees and people who are paralysed.

This wins best news headline of the year, with the massive number of soldiers maimed with loss of limbs in Iraq, the American Army are spending much more on research for robotic limbs, this also coincides with their research on building robotic exo-skeletons to allow soldiers to run, jump and lift amounts beyond the human, of course we could just not send humans into the mincer of war so that we don’t have to build robotic limbs, but where would the fun in that be?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Will she apologise for Iraq?

Listening to the Vietnam war apology statements read out in parliament by the various leaders made me think just how lucky our current Prime Minister is. She and most of the Labour party were against the war - and rightly so. New Zealand forces didn't join the Americans until later (1964) after they requested it. The National government at the time was luke warm and only sent in a small number to appease the US. They were reducing their role when Labour won in 1972 and withdrew the last men. Nevertheless we should not have been there at all and those who sent them should have known better.

Fastforward thirty years later and it was a Labour government who sent in NZ forces to Iraq after the Americans had requested it. The Labour government at the time was luke warm and only sent in a small number to appease the US. Helen Clark sent in the engineers as soon as the dust had settled - as part of the occupation force. Within a short time they were relegated to guard duty at a British compound. Part of the occupation force, part of the war effort. As soon as the 6 month commitment that she had given to the Americans was up it was outski for the Kiwis. Lucky for her, and luckier for the military, there were no deaths or casualties. She even visited them and got a photo op in camo gear playing at being a war-time leader.

Well what a fuckin' hero.

The PM likes to take credit - and the unastute like to give it - for New Zealand's stance not to take part in the invasion of Iraq, the so-called "Coalition of the Willing." The fact the Labour government sent our boys in immediately afterwards was, therefore, what exactly? Unwilling? A last minute, grovelling boot lick for the Yanks because the government is terrified of them and wanted a free trade deal? How can a person rail against the invasion and then send in their troops after the spilt blood is barely dry ? How can someone effect the purposes of the invasion, ie. the occupation, and yet still proclaim some sort of moral superiority to the people who did the dirty work? And when our "humanitarian" work got difficult we retreated under the skirts of the British and then - gone. Pathetic.

The Prime Minister is a shameless hypocrite is she not? Her apology statement about 'nam could just as well apply to 'raq:

those armed forces personnel loyally served at the direction of the New Zealand Government of the day, having left their home shores against a background of unprecedented division and controversy over whether or not New Zealand should participate in the war.

We did participate in that war, the Iraq War, and it was Helen Clark who is so proud of it.

Auckland's democratic quotient

The figures are not unreasonable. 1.2m into 109 gives us a councillor to population ratio of 1 : 11,000. Since most communities (if not all) have the ward councillors on the board as well we get 1.2m into 254 giving us a community board member to population ratio of 1 : 4,700. It would be a real hit for local democratic representation if these ratios were substantially increased.

The big councils seem unresponsive and unable to manage projects consistently - increasing the ratio puts more pressure on the remaining representatives and their contact with the population - which may make the situation worse. But that's probably just something that the current crop of local body politicians care about - their own jobs. More of a tangle is going to be ironing out the wrinkled blanket of the city's public transport. Or maybe that should be patchwork quilt:


A number of entities are involved in transport infrastructure in Auckland (road, rail, public transport). Central government agencies involved in planning and funding road and rail infrastructure include the Ministry of Transport (transport policy), Land Transport New Zealand (funding and safety management), Transit New Zealand (management and development of State highways), and ONTRACK (management and development of the rail network). Land Transport New Zealand and Transit will be replaced by the New Zealand Transport Agency from 1 July 2008. Regional entities involved in transport planning and public transport include the ARC, the Regional Land Transport Committee, and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority. In addition local councils own, build, and manage local roads (all roads that are not State highways).

Auckland needs a unified authority to handle public transport. It doesn't help that these agencies and companies and so on are in an almost constant state of flux. We've had the ATB, AHBA, ARA, ARC, ARTA etc. and still no electrified rail or no new lines since the depression - to anyone south of the Bombays it must all sound a bit ROTFLMAO.

National Party caught out on Kiwisaver

KiwiSaver safe after Nat gaffe
Hundreds of thousand of New Zealanders who belong to the KiwiSaver scheme can now be assured its safe - no matter who wins the election. KiwiSaver has exceeded expectation with around 630,000 workers signed up to it, and one of the scheme's drawcards is the employers' compulsory contribution. Now National has been flushed out and forced to say they will keep the compulsory employer contributions to the scheme. "We haven't finalised our KiwiSaver programme yet but there will be compulsory employer contributions," says National leader John Key. But the circumstances of National's announcement bordered on the bizzare. It all started during a forum on industrial relations at Wellington's Backbencher Pub on Tuesday morning, when backbench MP Kate Wilkinson said her party was opposed to employers having to make compulsory contributions to the retirement scheme. Until now National had consistently refused to state its position on the scheme, and the mistake has forced the party to come clean on a $2.5 billion policy.

National – the new party of ‘moderation’ – OR IS IT? My suggestion is that this moderate stuff is election wrap and once in we will see a radical right wing agenda adopted under the mantle of mandate, and the reason National are not releasing policy is because they know the wider electorate outside of their Business echo chambers wouldn’t put up with right wing economic policy adopted as social policy, and here we have a prime example of this. Kate Wilkinson tells an industrial relations forum that National will stop the employer component of Kiwisaver, John Key rushes around saying she’s wrong and that they haven’t finalized their policy. With National reluctant to tell NZers what they will actually do, when will they be upfront with their policies? Will National release all their polciy after the election?

Can we apologise to the Vietnamese as well?

Turia asks for apology to extend beyond vets
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has cautioned that today's apology to veterans of the Vietnam War must not glorify war and she says that the people of Vietnam are owed an apology as well. "Do we have the moral fibre to apologise to them too?" Mrs Turia said there were good grounds for a heartfelt apology to New Zealand's Vietnam veterans and that the Maori Party supported an official apology. But she said there should be a distinction between acknowledging the sacrifices made by the veterans and their families "and the Government insisting there was honour and glory involved in the Vietnam War". New Zealand got involved through the Government's belief that New Zealand was helpless without American protection. "The tragedy is that New Zealanders' lives, health and sanity were sacrificed to our Government's subservience to US interests." She said the casualties among the ordinary people of Vietnam should be remembered, too, and they were owed an apology.

Amen sister, it is refreshing to hear a Politician with a conscience speak out, amongst all the war cheering shouldn’t we step back and ask “What were we doing in this war” because sucking up to the Americans was the reason on the day, and I don’t think asking NZers to put their lives on the line to suck up to the Americans is justifiable – America used appallingly barbaric methods to decimate Vietnam, not to mention the abhorrent secret bombing campaign in Cambodia that led to the rise of the Khmere Rouge and their genocidal rampage, if it’s time to apologise to the troops we sent to a manufactured war (remember the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a lie) that we should never have been involved in, isn’t it also time to apologise to the people of Vietnam?

Oh so Global Warming is happening?

Hotter, wetter, drier, frost-free
Hot, dry Auckland summers, a wetter West Coast and plummeting frost-days await us if the latest climate change predictions come true. The predictions were included in National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research's latest climate change report, released yesterday. It uses new data and draws on far more climate models than the previous report in 2004. It bases the predictions on the mid-range of expected ongoing greenhouse gas emissions, and draws its predictions out to the end of this century. It states an unusually warm year today could be classed as very cold by the end of the century. The expected 2C rise across the country is likely to coincide with a predominantly westerly wind, bringing more rain to the west and leaving less for the east. Frost days have already fallen across the country, with 20 fewer frosts per year today in the Canterbury and Marlborough regions than there were in the 1970s. They could fall further, with the Central Plateau's 30-40 frost days expected to reduce to 5-15 days. Auckland's hot days of 25C or more could triple from about 21 now to more than 60 - and that's only under a low-medium emission scenario. Under a medium-high scenario there could be a staggering 80 or more days hotter than 25C. That's enough hot days for almost all three months of summer.

Oh so global warming is happening – help me out here folks, we’ve got a chunk from the right wing who are telling us that Global Warming is a myth, and here we are having to prepare for the consequences of global warming, personally seeing the speed with which climate change is occurring right now, these predictions are optimistic – the reality suggests that climate change will be abrupt as in 10years from climate we see now to the kind of climate that can ruin your civilization. While we tepidly acknowledge change we refuse to make the changes to our economy that are necessary for us to have any credible voice on the global stage the way we had with universal suffrage, nuclear power and whaling. I’m afraid we can’t have it both ways, by accepting that there is going to be change we can’t then simply ignore our role in that change.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Key $1.42 v Clark $2.75

Centrebet has not really changed its odds much from what it was pre-budget. A lot of it will be confident National punters expecting an inevitable cake walk. But the bet is for who is the PM after the election - not which party will get the most votes. Seeing as how the Nats can never seem to get their maths right over coalition and support numbers, AKA "they can't do MMP", the hard core National voters do probably have an unreasonably high level of optimism at the moment.

O'Reilly's little tanty The O'Reilly Fracture


The guy doing the autocue was probably some liberal stoner hippy. Opinion leader Bill O'Reilly is America's furious warrior beseiged by the left wing media inside fortress Fox. A mid-West huckster (with the Noo Yoik attitude) preaching hell-fire to Trailorsville; but Colbert, in the clip below, holds aloft the mirror to the man who has declared that the spin stops at his microphone. Fair and balanced. Colbert is unflinching during the O'Reilly treatment.

Police sulk in Kahui case

Kahui case will remain closed 'at this point'
Police say the Kahui investigation will remain closed unless new information comes to light, despite the prime minister saying they should revisit the case. Chris Kahui was on Thursday found not guilty of the murders of his three-month-old sons - Chris and Cru - in June 2006. After the verdict, police said they believed they had arrested the right person and would not be charging anyone else over the boys' deaths.

This was a bad Police prosecution, simple as that. There were a number of murders that happened at the same time as this case, the Police were overstretched and under immense pressure from a Public whipped up to Bailey Junior hysteria by a feeding frenzy media, so we can all be understanding of the pressure the Police were under, But that doesn’t excuse their petulant teenage routine right now with their refusal to look into the case again, they need to man up and accept they were wrong and look at putting Macsyne on trial, of course they can’t do that because they said that Macsyne couldn’t have killed the babies in the trial they just lost! The mistake they made as you go through the evidence was that they took their own medical testimony at face value without challenging it, as soon as the Defence case started and their own medical expert was able to blow the Prosecution testimony as to the time of the assaults out of the water you knew reasonable doubt had been established from the painful squirming of the Prosecution.

What really pisses me off is having to watch the Police try and argue that the right of silence, our cornerstone legal right, needs to be changed because of this case – what the hell? This case was a bad Police prosecution, how dare they now look to change our legal rights over a poor prosecution, I’ve got a message for those who want to take our legal right to silence, you can take it from my cold dead lips Mr Cop. This idiot prosecution has denied those two little babies justice, Police stupidity I can accept, denying murdered infants justice and then wanting to deny the rest of us our cornerstone legal rights is beyond a joke.

School environment not safe for kids

Schools criticised for not shielding kids from assault
Schools are no longer a haven for children trying to escape from family violence at home, an Auckland social worker says. Tiana Turner, who works with children aged 8 to 16 for the Tamaki Pathways Trust, told politicians at a pre-election social policy forum yesterday that schools were failing children from families with "inter-generational abuse". "When it comes to inter-generational welfare, often it's inter-generational abuse," she said. "Schools used to be a safe haven. What I have noticed is that school is no longer a safe haven. They [children] go from their homes that are extremely challenging to a school environment that is even worse." She said later that traditional schoolyard bullying had escalated into "ostracising" some children. "The teachers are not in a position to give a safe environment for a lot of the kids, so instead of going to school they truant. Their parents will allow them to stay at home because the kids are genuinely frightened," she said.

It has been an issue that has been ignored for far too long, one in three children are bullied every day at NZ Schools, at some boys schools teachers turn a blind eye in the belief that a bit of fagging will make you a man – we have a massive truancy rate and the solution to that has been to prosecute the parents – unbelievable, we’ve never asked why it is that they aren’t going to school and because we don’t acknowledge the issue of bullying we don’t resource schools properly to combat it (smaller class sizes would help immensely – as well as lift educational standards). For some from dysfunctional families, the stability of school may be the only stability they get in their day, but with some schools increasingly claiming they are there to teach and want no social responsibility for their pupils, trying to find proponents to stand up for students beyond the face value grades is an uphill task.

Ron Mark needs a hoodie

Youth Week Hoodie Day criticised
The highlight of this year's Youth Week is Hoodie Day on Friday but NZ First MP Ron Mark says it is sending the wrong message. The week is to be launched at Pataka Museum in Porirua this evening hosted by Youth Minister Nanaia Mahuta. Organisers said the highlight of events was Hoodie Day where people would wear the sweatshirt-type tops to try and break down stereotypes that only young hooligans wear them. Hoodies have hit political news before; in July 2006 Conservative Party leader David Cameron said people should "hug a hoodie". Mr Mark criticised the idea and said it was a misuse of the $35,000 spent on Youth Week activities. "I think it's a little bizarre that a Maori MP would be promoting black American gang culture as a way to try generate some positive messages about New Zealand youth," he told NZP

Dear old Ron Mark, he’s very hot right now with his helping a motorcyclist from bleeding to death, but he’s a bit staunch conservative for me and is missing the point here – young people are given a very bad media wrap in NZ, and the intent from this youth organization is to cut through and counter the stereotypes that all kids wearing hoodies are thugs – the issue is that a youth organization feel the need to break stereotypes so much so that they are doing this. Ron needs to chill a bit and see the wider issue rather than reflect the bias.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Public perceptions of governance intentions: rubric dichotomies

Fiscal-Monetary rubric:
  • taxation - National much less/Labour less
  • spending - National less/Labour more
  • debt - National more/Labour same
  • interest rates - National same/Labour same
  • inflation - National same/Labour same
  • Kiwisaver/Superfund - National ?/Labour same

    Emotional-Instinctual rubric:
  • lifestyle - National conservative/Labour liberal
  • national identity - National mono-cultural/Labour multi-cultural
  • trust - National doubt/Labour earned
  • leadership - National untested/Labour tested

    Very crude, basic stuff, this exercise; but this is how it lies at the moment I think.

  • How about we apologise for sending troops to Vietnam instead?

    Apology to Vietnam veterans for unfair post-war treatment
    The Government will publicly apologise to Vietnam War veterans and their families, recognising the servicemen were not treated fairly when they returned from war. The apology, which will be made in Parliament on Wednesday, was agreed to in a memorandum of understanding between the Government, the Ex-Vietnam Services Association and the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association in 2006. The memorandum, a $30 million package that resulted from a report on the veterans' concerns, also includes an ex-gratia payment of $40,000 for those with prescribed medical conditions and a $25,000 payment to the spouses of veterans who have died. "The apology will recognise that Vietnam veterans were not treated fairly on their return to New Zealand after the war," Prime Minister Helen Clark said.

    How about we apologise for sending troops to Vietnam in the first place? The understandable fury directed at troops on their return home is healthy and important – one really does need to let troops who go into manufactured wars (Gulf of Tonkin was a big lie remember?) know that they will be demonized on their return, because as a soldier you have a free will, if you choose to get involved in a manufactured war, you deserve all the contempt you get, but the issue here was that our Government should NEVER have sent our troops into a manufactured war in the first place and most of the contempt by protestors should have been heaped on the Governments of the day. Even if we dislike what troops did, there is no excuse for the appalling health and mental problems that resulted from this war being left to wreck the lives of vets without true Government aid. The whole sorry exercise should remind Governments that when they ask NZers to risk their lives for a foreign conflict, as a Public we demand the highest level of justifications and not just sucking up to the Americans.

    Bastion Point 30 years later

    Old rivals remember land-rights drama
    The noise from the helicopters above was deafening and the sound of soldiers marching along Tamaki Drive intimidating.
    But for Patu Clark the peaceful nature of the Bastion Pt occupation, which was forcibly ended 30 years ago yesterday, gave the protesters dignity up against the strong arm of the state. "The scale of it was meant to belittle us, but it made us feel stronger." Mrs Clark, the sister of Joe Hawke, who led the land occupation, was among those escorted off the occupation site on May 25, 1978. Her mother also was arrested. Thirty years on she recalled the range of emotions that day. "It is sadness mostly, and exhilaration at the same time because we were peaceful. Our spirit was uplifted. The people stuck with the kaupapa, it brings a tear to my eye." An open-air church service was held yesterday outside the meeting house at the Orakei Marae to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the occupation, the direct action that pitched Maori land rights in the public eye and highlighted historical grievances.

    30 years after a most despicable act of naked power by the state, the Bastion Point protest was the turning point in public consciousness – sure the state could rope in 500 thugs to attack peaceful and righteous protest, but the cost was so great the winner ended up being the tyrant. In those days racist garden variety NZers could be open about their prejudice, these days they have to quietly skulk around posting things anonymously or wrap it up in talkback dog whistle Political Madness gone mad rhetoric to dampen the blazing red necks of their bias, because while those NZers don’t ‘get’ what was won on Bastion Point, the rest of us do – it was a turning point in the dialogue of how far the State can go and those who put themselves on the line to make that point are to be respected as true New Zealanders.

    Hillary supporters are emotional

    Carter sees superdelegates prompting Clinton to quit
    Former US president Jimmy Carter said he expects Democratic superdelegates to reveal their choice for presidential nominee soon after the final primary in June and that Hillary Clinton will then have to quit the race. In an interview with Sky News, Carter said he did not think Clinton was achieving anything by staying in the fight. "I think not. But of course she has the perfect right to do so," he said while attending a literary festival in Britain. "I'm a superdelegate ... I think a lot of the superdelegates will make a decision quite, announced quite rapidly, after the final primary on June 3," he told Sky News.

    So June 3rd will finally nail the coffin in this Democratic nomination, but Hillary supporters have become emotional and are claiming sexism that their girl isn’t winning, note they claim it is sexism that has cost Hillary the election and not her own poor performance and past decision to vote for the war that has cost her the nomination. Hillary supporters have become naggy, bitchy and shrill and have threatened to allow the Republicans to win if their candidate isn’t picked…

    Sunday, May 25, 2008

    It's Hillary with a bullet

    Hillary slipping slowly out now in the market. But an outside chance nonetheless. I think she said the other day that she's hoping that Obama will be assassinated like Bobby Kennedy or something so she can win. I think that's what she said her game plan was now.

    The Sunday News Roast

    On the Sunday News Roast tonight at 7pm, Sky Digital 65, Alt Tvs News and weekend newspaper critique show that is Unfair & Unbalanced, THE SPIN STARTS HERE with the best political news team on television, Bomber from Alt, Ben Thomas, Political Editor of the NBR and the last man to be convicted of sedition in NZ, blogger Tim Selwyn.

    News that caught my eye
    1: Phil Goff and the Budget:
    Damien Christie – a blogger on Public Address whom I have never liked, I think he is bland and mediocre and the banal crap he writes on Public Address and is only there because he is a greasy sycophant whose always out licking the nipples of influence – I think he’s as useful as a circumcised foreskin – this Damien Christie comes out and attacks Alt Tv current affairs as pointless in the same week as Alt is all over the news with our Phil Goff interview that was covered by all news networks as their lead story on Tuesday – I think Phil Goff would make an excellent Prime Minister and when you have an electorate calling for change, what better way to satisfy that than with a change of leadership – as I believe a National win will be very damaging to the country and as such all ideas to counter their win should be on the table. National are trying to cruise to victory without revealing any policy (look at how Bill English refused to answer any questions with Guyon on Agenda last week), my fear is that National will waltz to victory on a wave of hip pocket pain rather than disciples of the National Party manifesto and declare a radical right wing agenda as mandate – look to Roger Douglas being there and National’s desire to dump MMP for a system that is less democratic and favours the elite as hollow man evidence of Nationals true intent – but pushing Phil as a Helen replacement has pulled back for me because of the Budget and watching Helen and John’s performance in the media this week – the first chance we’ve seen Helen and John face off and Helen’s performance crucified John Key’s refusal again to show what actual policy he’s going to implement – did Cullens budget snooker National? Can National afford to make bigger tax cuts and threaten interest rates?

    2: Presidential sacrifice
    President Bush has given up playing Golf to honour the American’s who have died in Iraq……..ummmm, how can one respond to this?

    3: Vast cracks appear in the Arctic (from the global warming is a hoax file)
    Dramatic evidence of the break-up of the Arctic ice-cap has emerged from research during an expedition by the Canadian military. Scientists travelling with the troops found major new fractures during an assessment of the state of giant ice shelves in Canada's far north. The team found a network of cracks that stretched for more than 10 miles (16km) on Ward Hunt, the area's largest shelf. The fate of the vast ice blocks is seen as a key indicator of climate change. One of the expedition's scientists, Derek Mueller of Trent University, Ontario, told me: "I was astonished to see these new cracks. "It means the ice shelf is disintegrating, the pieces are pinned together like a jigsaw but could float away," Dr Mueller explained.

    4: Burn down Bro Town
    Pacific migrants 'drain on economy'
    Pacific Islanders' crime rates, poor education and low employment are creating an underclass and a drain on the economy, a study says. Economist Greg Clydesdale, of Massey University's management and international business department, warns that Polynesians display "significant and enduring under-achievement" - a problem immigration is making worse.
    I listened to Clydesdale whine all week that Political Correctness had gone mad and was stifling debate and that they were calling him racist – his conclusions border on the pure a bit too much for me, doesn’t it really show that investment into those communities has been poor for a long time and that is the solution rather than dawn raids?

    5: Iraqi forces load up on U.S. arms
    Iraq is becoming one of the largest customers for U.S. arms, as the country turns from Soviet-bloc weapons to pricier but more sophisticated American weapons. Iraq's government has committed nearly $3 billion for U.S. weapons and equipment over the past year.
    America invades Iraq based on a pack of lies manufactured from post 9/11 anger, fuelled by Fox News flag waving propaganda and now sells that country $3 Billion in weapons – we live in a post irony culture.

    In the Weekend Newspapers
    STORY 1 - Brain specialist on Kahui jury - sst
    A DOCTOR with specialist knowledge of brain injuries was on the Chris Kahui murder jury, one of Kahui's lawyers has revealed. "Both the Crown and defence dealt with the medical evidence the way they did because he was there," said defence lawyer Michele Wilkinson-Smith. Kahui was acquitted of the murders of his twin babies Chris and Cru after the jury deliberated for just 10 minutes.
    First up, in every way sense and shape the SST’s coverage of the Kahui case today is head and shoulders above the tripe that the Herald on Sunday printed, another deep day of shame for those who work at the HOS – for crying out loud the HOS sides with Macsyne in a dribbling piece by that awful Stephen Cook that sucks up to her!
    To the story itself, when this case broke, the media went into Baily Junior hysteria mode and crucified Chris Kahui, yet the evidence was so questionable and indeed is now being complained about in regards to the Police holding back confession evidence and evidence that showed Macsyne was in the area when the babies were hurt. At the time of the deaths there were a spate of murders, the Police were over stretched and it seems the B team was put in charge because despite all the evidence pointing at Macsyne, the Police took the medical testimony at face value and went after Chris. But from day one of the Defence case, you could see the Prosecution squirming when the Defence medical testimony brought the Prosecutions testimony into serious question, then add all the other factors and we get reasonable doubt established very quickly, so quickly it only took the Jury 10minutes. What really angers me is that Labour Party hacks are using this poorly executed – to the point of negligence – police prosecution as a chance to generate debate changing the right of silence – unbelievable! You can take my right of silence from cold dead lips Mr Palmer!

    STORY 2 – What the public didn't hear about the death of Charlene Makaza - sst
    CHARLENE MAKAZA went into hospital as a victim of HIV. By the time she died 18 hours later, doctors had decided she was a victim of murder.
    Their testimony in the High Court at Christchurch over the past month that the 10-year-old Zimbabwean girl had suffered atrocious genital injuries and been suffocated in a sexual assault could have seen an innocent man jailed for life.
    Wednesday's acquittal of Charlene's uncle, vet George Gwaze, 56, on murder and sex charges would have surprised many. But that is because the public has been misinformed about Charlene's case since she died on January 7 last year.
    This is what police told the media in the days following the death:
    * Charlene did not die by accident or natural causes.
    * There was no evidence she was sick or ill.
    * Charlene had been suffocated.
    * Charlene was found in her bed having difficulty breathing.
    * Her family washed her bedding and clothing after she was the victim of a "horrific" sexual assault.
    * Police had been briefed on African beliefs about sex, including the myth that sex with a virgin could cure Aids.

    Again an appalling Police Prosecution – Charlene suffered horribly from AIDS and it seems the Alabama Christchurch Police Department were the problem and their attempt to connect semen on her underpants to the Father would have scientifically discredited our entire justice system.

    STORY 3 – Killing him softly – SST (by the way – 2 pages of news in the HOS is NOT a world section)
    Hillary Clinton’s mention of Robert Kennedy’s assassination to explain why she is still in the race is gasp inducing. Latest punts on American election please.

    STORY 4 - Bridgecorp chief wants bonus – Weekend Herald
    Legal action against Bridgecorp founder Rod Petricevic has begun to try to recover money paid to him in the lead-up to the company's receivership, including a $550,000 performance bonus.
    How did he get a $550 000 performance bonus with the company now belly up – How? How? How?

    STORY 5 – Drowning in Debt – HOS + 150 000 at risk of losing homes – SST
    Both Sunday papers have massive stories on the increasing economic pain, SST looks at the pending mortgagee sales and HOS highlights the credit crises that is seeing a 500% increase in Debt Collector workloads. How is either Party going to handle this and what are the ramifications of a sizeable chunk of NZ going broke?

    FINAL WORD – The Phil Goff interview on the Let’s be Frank repeat 10pm tonight – and Dr Pita Sharples next on Lets be Frank Tuesday 8.30pm and I interview Keith Locke on Alt Tvs Environmental and human rights show, Green Core, 8pm Wednesday

    The Sunday News Roast 7pm tonight on Alt Tv

    Alt TV's Sunday Newspaper Bruch Club becomes more substantial meal

    Starting this Sunday 25 May, Alt TV's news media critique and Sunday newspaper review show, The Sunday Newspaper Bruch Club, becomes The Sunday News Roast - moving to a brand new set and taking the spanky Sunday night prime-time slot of 7pm.

    Unfair & unbalanced, the spin starts here with the best political team on television.

    The Sunday News Roast consists of media terrorist - Osama Bin Bomber, the medium-to-far-right Political Editor of the NBR - Mr Ben Thomas, and the last man to be convicted of sedition in NZ - Tumeke Blogger Tim Selwyn.

    Each week the panel may or may not be joined by irregular guests to debate the news issues with passion and vigor - and very few facts.

    The Sunday News Roast - it's Howard Beal meets The Daily Show!

    Sunday 7pm-8pm
    Sky Digital 65 and simulcast live to the world on www.alttv.co.nz

    Saturday, May 24, 2008

    Jim Anderton's flat out reason to retire

    The renovation of Wellington's Government House will mean the Labour Party's elderly appendage must vacate the plush Vogel House - where he has resided for almost nine years as a minister - to make way for the Governor-General. This will happen in November. About the same time as the election will probably occur.

    Moving house is always a massive effort. It forces you to re-examine priorities and begs the question: how long in this new place? Anderton, although it is his second home (away from his run-down and dreary Christchurch constituency), will be asking himself the same question. If they are out of government come November there will be no more limousines, no more junkets, no more over-blown salary, no more battalions of staff, no more top-table status, no more of people having to obey his sermons - and no more Vogel House or any other ministerial pad for that matter. He'll have to make do standing up and holding his own luggage on the over-loaded third class carriage of the parliamentary gravy train. The poor bastard.

    Given the man is 97 years old now, an exit - a graceful and stage-managed exit - from the battleground must be on his mind. I and millions of other Aotearoans can't wait. It cannot come a day too soon. His legacy of destroying the nation's fortified wine industry, criminalisation of things that make people happy, using government money on sweet-heart deals for his dodgy mates and a failed provincial lolly scramble policy will be what the Labour government's most conservative minister will be remembered for.
    As for the 27 bedroom faux Tudor monstrosity in which the Governors-General officially reside - the $46.6 million price tag for the do-up is out of all proportion to the relevance of the position and the architectural merits of the characterless Edwardian slab. Does the government's function centre really need an Honorary Live-In Custodian to save it from demolition. If the basis for Category 1 Heritage status is that Her Majesty took a dump there I would not be in the least bit surprised. If it was roped off with gold tassled velvet cords and is treasured as a national shrine and has its own souvenir teaspooon would not be in the least bit surprising either.

    The un-elected rubber stamp puppets of the government of the day needn't be housed in anything more than a caravan attached by a couple of tarps to the Beehive. The office of Governor-General is a long-standing inside joke. To play the emperor to the Prime Minister's shogun requires institutional reliability - not constitutional understanding. They'd sign there own death warrants if it were put in front of them. They have ignored every petition of any consequence that has ever been put in front of them. The last G-G discharged her duties of Royal Assent in signing the Maori land confiscation act (Foreshore and Seabed Bill) at her batch in a matter of minutes - probably seconds of receiving it.

    I doubt she even put the Pimms and lemonade down, as she swayed in the hamock, to scribble her signature on the cover note to the confiscation act while the courier dutifully held it out, bowing as he did so. Did she not read the faxes that were jamming her machine for the last week? The ones that said "at least read it." Was she too busy? Did they not have "God Save the Queen!" on them or something? And then she tootles off after her stint is up to tut-tut the Khymer Rouge as part of entering the international judicial circle and being New Zealand's outward face of the white country with the most pussy-whipped natives in the entire world tolerant, immigrant-dependent multi-cultural, courting and promoting clashing religious fundamentalisms multi-faith, 3 year dictatorship Westminster-styled,regime democracy that thinks so much of itself and its diplomatic standing. I fail to see how being hand-picked as a politically-connected member of the judiciary/aristocracy/clergy thought to have little conscience and considerable vanity merits much respect.

    Agreeing to be a monkey in a gilded cage for half a decade makes you no less a monkey because the bananas are tax-free.

    The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet run the show in this country. They make their own rules. If this isn't the plot to every airport novel conspiracy/thriller I don't know what is. If we add the fact that the person shoulder-tapped to run this department was part of the Prime Minister's Sisterhood Appointments Scheme but who had to be moved sideways because of her phoney CV whilst being acting Chief Executive, and that the Minister of Justice is also the Minister of Police, that the Attorney-General is a history lecturer in charge of the Treasury who has no legal training and is an outspoken critic of judicial independence, that the two ministers are responsible for appointing all of New Zealand's judges, that the Prime Minister is also the Minister for the ominously sounding SIS and the GCSB, that the independent Serious Fraud Office is to be merged into Police, that Police have initiated their own re-establishment legislation and are trying to get it through parliament, that they now want the right to silence removed from suspects, that they try to use anti-terrorism laws for minor firearms offences - it makes this organ of the state, this brain of the regime, sound so very sinister...

    The key role of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) is to support executive government at the heart of New Zealand’s parliamentary democracy. We advise the Prime Minister and the Governor-General, and help provide coordination and leadership across the public service to facilitate the achievement of the government’s policy objectives.
    DPMC is charged with providing support to the Prime Minister and Cabinet on a diverse range of policy and administrative issues on which it brings to bear judgement, discretion and effectiveness. The robustness of our processes is particularly tested around the time of a general election and therefore we shall be giving priority attention to preparations for the 2008 election, working with the Ministry of Justice, the Chief Electoral Office, Treasury, the State Services Commission (SSC), and the Crown Law Office.
    In order to offer appropriate support on such issues – especially when they arise unexpectedly – the department has an ongoing requirement to maintain flexibility in staffing, a high level of skills, and responsiveness to changing circumstances.
    The range of domestic and external security risks facing New Zealand remains broad. We shall continue to take the lead in the state sector’s risk management as we coordinate cross-government efforts to identify and mitigate risks to New Zealand’s well-being. These include not only natural events such as earthquakes and floods but also cyber attacks, border-management hazards, and serious threats to social order. DPMC will continue to coordinate the regular exercising of cross-agency capability for dealing with these risks. A key priority will be the strengthening of local and international partnerships to meet future challenges.
    we shall continue to work intensively with Treasury and SSC on this, with our focus being on cross-agency leadership of issues and on promotion of collaboration between agencies to achieve the government’s key policy outcomes.
    The department has 125 staff in 6 business units: Cabinet Office, which includes the Honours Secretariat; Policy Advisory Group (PAG); External Assessments Bureau (EAB); Corporate Services Unit; Domestic and External Security Group (DESG); and Government House.
    has a responsibility for oversight and coordination of the New Zealand intelligence community: it provides support for the Cabinet Committee on Domestic and External Security Co-ordination and for the Officials’ Committee for Domestic and External Security Co-ordination (ODESC), an inter-departmental body chaired by the Chief Executive of DPMC.
    These networks include policy, operational and intelligence organisations such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Treasury, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence, New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Customs Service, New Zealand Police, Department of Labour, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, and Government Communications Security Bureau.

    Do these people not have their paw marks all over the great Waiheke Island Foot and Mouth Hoax over-reaction? The terrorism show trial that never was? Ahmed Zaoui? Tamiflu? The EFA? The confiscation Act? The SFO abolition?

    That department just got 47 million dollars for their old wendy house.

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    Was there a budget or something?

    "A desperate, cynical attempt just before the election" is how I've just heard John Key (on National Radio) describe Michael Cullen's budget tax cuts. Which made me smile. Because that is just simply untrue. The tax cut package - the lowering of the bottom rate and moving all the brackets out - is surely just the modest prelude. Seeing as how there is no way the election can be staged before October or November, expect a desperate and cynical attempt to occur around September.

    Did Police charge the wrong Kahui?

    Police adamant they charged the right person
    Police are adamant they arrested the right person for the murder of the Kahui twins and say they will not be charging anyone else, including the babies' mother, Macsyna King. "There is no evidence to support a charge against any other person and that includes the mother, Macsyna King," inquiry head Detective Inspector John Tims said last night. "Everyone that was at Courtney Crescent [Mangere] over that weekend was considered a person of interest and we thoroughly investigated each person until we identified Chris Kahui and made the arrest." Mr Tims said the view that Mr Kahui was responsible had not changed after his acquittal and there were no plans to reopen the investigation or act on defence claims that Ms King was responsible. "There is no new evidence. The defence brought no new evidence to trial, there will be no further investigation into this matter. As far as I am concerned the matter is closed - the jury has made their decision."

    I’m sorry, but this doesn’t wash – did the Prosecution actually look at the defense evidence? There was enough evidence right from the beginning of this that reasonable doubt could be explored, so much so that it only took the Jury 10minutes to come back after lunch with a verdict – was the decision by the Police based on who they thought a Jury would convict because of the media frenzy over Chris once the babies deaths became public? Are the Police basing prosecution decisions on who the media have fingered because the holes in this prosecution were obvious the moment the defence began and watching the prosecution squirm through that defence gave me very little faith in their abilities to prosecute this case. I wonder how NZ feels, so many voices called for Chris to be lynched before we even had a Court Case, where to now for the anger of those redder necks? While such debates continue it does nothing to actually catch the person who killed those two small babies.

    American Military-Industrial Complex open for business

    Iraqi forces load up on U.S. arms
    WASHINGTON — Iraq is becoming one of the largest customers for U.S. arms, as the country turns from Soviet-bloc weapons to pricier but more sophisticated American weapons. Iraq's government has committed nearly $3 billion for U.S. weapons and equipment over the past year. "This is a substantial amount of money that they put on the table," said Joseph Benkert, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for global security affairs. The increase in Iraqi arms and equipment purchases has helped makers of such U.S. military staples as the Humvee, the Pentagon's workhorse vehicle, and the M-4 and M-16 rifles, military contract records show. That puts Iraq among the top current purchasers of U.S. military equipment through the foreign military sales program, records show. Benkert said the deals are helping to cement the future relationship of Iraq to the United States.

    I’ve heard of exporting arms for sales, but this is ridiculous - America invades Iraq, a former client state who received weapons of mass destruction to wage war against Iran whom America had been kicked out of because America had committed a coup in Iran to overthrow the democratic leader who wanted oil for Iran and not for the West and had planted the dictator Shar, they manufacture an invasion of Iraq based on a pack of lies sold to the post 9/11 shocked American public with flag wanking Fox News propaganda AND NOW America makes $3 billion by selling the very country they invaded more guns – we are truly in a post irony world.

    Forget Obamas priest – what about McCains lobbyist?

    McCain Adviser's Work As Lobbyist Criticized
    Longtime uber-lobbyist Charles R. Black Jr. is John McCain's man in Washington, a political maestro who is hoping to guide his friend, the senator from Arizona, to the presidency this November. But for half a decade in the 1980s, Black was also Jonas Savimbi's man in the capital city. His lobbying firm received millions from the brutal Angolan guerrilla leader and took advantage of Black's contacts in Congress and the White House. Justice Department records that Black's firm submitted under the Foreign Agents Registration Act detail frequent meetings with lawmakers and their staffs and lavish spending by Black and his partners as they attempted to ensure support for Savimbi, whose UNITA movement was fighting the Marxist Angolan government. In addition to Savimbi, Black and his partners were at times registered foreign agents for a remarkable collection of U.S.-backed foreign leaders whose human rights records were sometimes harshly criticized, even as their opposition to communism was embraced by American conservatives. They included Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Nigerian Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre, and the countries of Kenya and Equatorial Guinea, among others. That client list is now the subject of a fierce attack from Democrats who are clamoring for Black, 60, to be fired as McCain's top political strategist. And the candidate's decision this month to impose a strict ban on lobbying for foreign governments by members of his staff has only intensified the scrutiny of Black's past.

    For a man like McCain who likes to sell himself as Mr Clean, having a man as drenched in blood and human rights abuse like Black as your top lobbyist is stomach churning. I know McCain is sold as a war hero in America, I wonder if the Vietnamese civilians he bombed think he’s a war hero?

    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    South African xenophobic rampages

    The anti-foreigner violence in South Africa has taken me by surprise. I never thought I'd see necklacing or police opening fire in townships again. Anyone who can remember the shocking scenes of cruelty, barbarism and mayhem from the apartheid era and the run-up to their first proper election will view the recent scenes with total dismay. This is a very sad time. Ultimately the ANC government must be responsible for:
  • Police inaction
  • Immigrant numbers
  • Poverty and employment alleviation (unemployment is over 20%) in poor communities

    The other issue - given that about three million of the five million immigrants are Zimbabwean refugees - is Mbeki's blinkered and intransigent support of his old mate to the North, Mugabe. It is almost impossible that had South Africa pulled the plug on Mugabe and the MDC had been in government that the economy and the country as a whole would be in a situation so dire that millions would have fled.

    And what of the persecuted Zimbabweans? Do they go back home? To what? No doubt Mugabe's henchmen will make sure they never cast a ballot in the upcoming Presidential contest unless it is for Comrade Bob. This is the ANC government's making, and Mbeki's in particular.

    From I luv South Africa - but I hate my government:

    The police's conduct also leaves much to be desired. Apart from promising to retaliate with live ammunition should they be fired at, the SAPS has done very little to get to the bottom of how marauding groups of armed men can go from place to place and attack whoever they deem to be foreigners.

    It is also common knowledge that the police are not free of the xenophobia that is so present in communities. Police harassment of foreign Africans in places such as Hillbrow, Yeoville and other inner- city communities is well known.

    But what the recent pogroms in Gauteng townships point to is not just state failure. South African society as a whole stands condemned.

    The violence exposes shortcomings in our society at a moral, social and political level. Considering the solidarity shown during our struggle against apartheid by our neighbours in the frontline states, the killing of foreign Africans in a so-called liberated SA is particularly appalling.

    Not only did many on the continent endure military attacks, they also provided shelter, food and even employment to thousands of exiles when they needed it most. Now that it is our turn to provide sanctuary and solidarity, we repay our neighbours with murder and rape.

    While it is true that there is a scramble for resources in poor communities that is often exploited by local strongmen for political gain, it does not provide all the answers to the senseless violence and the finger-pointing at foreigners. These communities have always been badly off, yet we have not seen the level of violence of recent weeks.

    Moreover, the silence from community organisations such as civic structures, local churches and other grassroots bodies in the wake of the attacks is simply deafening. This silence points either to acquiescence on the part of local leaders or a complete demobilisation on the part of community organisations that formed the backbone of resistance during the struggle years. Whatever the reasons, it points to a dangerous vacuum that has already been exploited with deadly consequences.

    If you want a handle on the situation on the ground and some of the rampant prejudices play the tubemeke video in the sidebar.

  • Tax cuts are not going to save you from oil you clowns

    Hey folks, delude yourself as much as you like with the promise of National Party tax cuts - but the reality is that the planets oil sources are going through unprecedented shocks and our denial to accept that is equal only to our denial that the planet is warming. The prediction is $200 per barrel before the end of the year, a $50 tax cut ain't gonna do jack - the longer we wait to do something, the harder it will be.

    Skyrocketing Oil Prices Stump Experts
    Executives from the giant oil companies say it's partly the fault of "speculators" or financial players. Key financial players say it's really a question of limited supply and expanding global demand. Some members of Congress accuse the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for bottling up some of its production capacity. And OPEC blames speculators, wasteful U.S. consumers and feckless U.S. policy. Almost everyone points at China's growing appetite for fuel. Whatever the causes, one of the most dizzying runs in the history of oil prices picked up pace yesterday -- again -- as crude oil prices jumped to settle at more than $133 a barrel, up $4.19 in one day, 18 percent so far this month and more than one-third so far this year. Prices climbed even higher in late electronic trading.

    John Key wanted us in Iraq

    While a million Iraqi civilians lie dead for our freedom and democracy delivered by stealth bombers at 30 000 feet in a manufactured war based on lies led by a corporate elite of the military industrial complex combined with neo-con fanatics building an Empire of Amerika, let's take time out to remind ourselves that John Key wanted us in this abortion, and let's hear the echo warned to us by the President of the United States, Dwight D Eisenhower on January 17, 1961...

    A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction...
    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.