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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tubemeke New Year's Special

Happy New Year - nga mihi o te tau hou.Featuring (in order):
  • Elemental
  • David Frost intro. Duke Ellington et al.
  • Carol Burnett intro. Jackson 5
  • Louis Armstrong & Danny Kaye
  • Mr Wayne Anderson
  • Disco Godfather (movie trailer)
  • Elvis
  • Jay Kay & Jools Holland
  • Curtis Mayfield & Soul Train gang
  • Ed Sullivan intro. Count Basie
  • Jimmi Hendrix (in band)
  • James Brown on Hollywood-a-go-go
  • Elvis
  • Cab Calloway & the Harlemaniacs
  • Jose Feliciano with Johnny Cash
  • Nana Mouskouri
  • Wilson Pickett at San Remo
  • Les Cappuccino
  • Nina Simone
  • Henry Mancini & his orchestra
  • Random Japanese street funk
  • Bossa nova Baby: Dutch/Indonesia
  • Bossa nova Baby: Germany
  • Marva Whitney & the JBs
  • Super Fly (movie trailer)
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Stevie Wonder & Mick Jagger
  • Big Band del Conservatorio Superior de Córdoba
  • The Jones Cartel - Stairway to Wainui
  • African dancing
  • Yaron Herman trio covers Britney Spears
  • Ladi6 (Karoline Tamati)
  • Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra New Year's special.

  • nz blogosphere rankings: November 2009 summary

    NZ blogosphere November 2009 survey has been released - this is the summary.

    Changes from last month (October) in brackets.

    Top 100:

    [+] significant ranking moves up:
    #5 (+7) Gotcha!
    #24 (+12) Poneke
    #37 (+29) The Persuader
    #39 (61+) Knowledge Workers
    #51 (+14) Radical cross stitch
    #56 (+18) Quote Unquote
    #59 (+16) Mars 2 Earth
    #72 (28+) Greenpeace NZ blog
    #75 (25+) Star Studded Super Step
    #76 (+21) Monkeys with Typewriters
    #77 (+13) Media Law Journal
    #78 (+20) BK Drinkwater
    #86 (14+) Object Dart

    [-] significant ranking moves down:
    #32 (-9) New Zeal
    #65 (-15) Eye of the Fish
    #68 (-12) John Key
    #74 (-32) Hitting Metal
    #79 (-20) Auckland blog
    #84 (-16) True Paradigm
    #89 (-21) Bat, Bean, Beam
    #92 (-37) G.blog

    [Posts] Average per week:
    140 (-) Whoar
    60 (+15) Standard
    55 (-) Home Paddock
    50 (-20) Kiwiblog
    45 (-5) Red Alert
    45 (+10) Fairfacts
    25 (-) TUMEKE!
    25 (-) No Right Turn
    25 (-) Not PC
    25 (+5) No Minister
    20 (-) Frogblog
    20 (-15) Inquiring Mind
    20 (-) Mars 2 Earth
    20 (+) Offsetting Behaviour

    [Comments] Average highest post per week:
    400 (+95) Public Address
    270 (+70) Kiwiblog
    180 (+10) Frogblog
    130 (-5) Standard
    105 (-5) Hot Topic
    90 (+10) Dim Post
    85 (-45) Being Frank
    70 (+30) TBR.cc
    65 (+) Beretta
    60 (-10) Not PC
    60 (+5) Red Alert
    60 (+25) Reading the Maps
    40 (+5) Brian Edwards
    40 (+) MacDoctor
    35 (-5) Open Parachute
    35 (+15) Editing the Herald
    35 (-) No Minister
    30 (+10) The Dunedin School
    30 (+10) Bat, Bean, Beam
    30 (+) Gotcha!
    30 (+10) Kotare
    30 (-25) MandM
    25 (-10) Kiwipolitico
    25 (-) New Zeal
    25 (+5) NZ Conservative
    25 (+) All Embracing (#100+)
    20 (-) TUMEKE!
    20 (-5) Cactus Kate
    20 (-) Hand Mirror
    20 (+) Bowalley Rd
    20 (-) In a Strange Land
    20 (+) Poneke
    20 (+) Lindsay Mitchell
    20 (+) Pundit
    20 (+) Mars 2 Earth

    Total blogs in this survey: 203.
    During this survey a sitemeter that showed a massive, unusual and continuing surge in traffic has come to my attention. Fortunately the sitemeter has a function to show the IP addresses and countries of origin: mainly from India and the Baltic. This activity is highly suspicious and the results so dubious I have had to discount it and resort to the default Alexa score for that blog. This is hopefully not the start of anything that will undermine the rankings and the situation will be monitored closely to make sure this does not happen. It is also worth noting here that for some months now - certainly over the course of the year - many Christian bloggers have been cranking up their Alexa rank by installing the Alexa tool in their browsers. This little trick is a mechanism to advantage their blogs and it appears they are doing it quite deliberately. It causes an unwelcome distortion to the traffic estimates. Where it is blatant they will be rounded down.
    Thanks to all those bloggers who have sent in their stats [editor (at) tumeke.org]. The December survey is due for release on 20th January and will mark two years of the nz blogosphere rankings.


    Saturday, December 26, 2009

    Moments of 2009

    Perk busting

    Boy who cried balloon

    People’s Hero Sue Bradford resigning

    Michael Jackson’s daughter at his funeral reminded everyone that a Dad had died

    Barack Obama being sworn in as president yet still managing to project the American Dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of everybody else’s oil.

    David Bane not guilty

    Iranian election protests


    Clayton Weatherston’s creepy attempt to justify himself

    Philip Field guilty

    More civilian deaths in Afghanistan

    Bennie Bashing

    Misusing urgency

    White mofos

    Facebook Unfriend

    It took a Tsunami to teach us that Samoans are NZers too

    Ignoring Climate Deniers

    Sensible Sentencing lynch mobs

    Tiger Woods jokes

    Sri Lanken refugee abuses

    Fiji banana fruit salad republic

    Palestinian land confiscations

    Jaquie Brown Dairies was NZ comedy that was funny

    Marcus Lush made us fall in love with South

    Capitalism eats itself

    John Key’s stratospheric popularity - blind aspiration for a passionless people

    Steve Braunias’ celebrity diary in the Sunday Star Times is the funniest thing to happen this year

    Alt Tv playing a 13minute version of the doors ‘this is the end’ as it’s final song was the classiest exit of 2009

    Lockwood Smith as Speaker of the House was the best surprise of the year by actually forcing the Government to answer questions in Parliament (almost makes up for his lie to students on student loans and his embarrassing attacks on the ANC as a terrorist organization)

    Wallace Chapman’s Backbenchers is one of the best TV shows of 2009

    Melissa Lee who?

    Gordon Campbell at scoop.co.nz is the best on-line NZ columnist.

    Friday, December 25, 2009

    Tubemeke Christmas Special 2009

    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    Bomber's Blog - The War on News Awards 2009

    War on News Awards 2009

    Political hypocrite of the Year and best Political excuse of the Year

    Predictions 2010

    The show returns January 19th 2010

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    nz blogosphere rankings : October 2009 summary

    NZ blogosphere October 2009 survey has been released - this is the summary.

    Changes from last month (September) in brackets.

    Top 100:

    [+] significant ranking moves up:
    #21 (+26) TBR
    #23 (+7) New Zeal
    #32 (+12) The Dunedin School
    #48 (+10) Workers Party
    #50 (+28) Eye of the Fish
    #63 (+25) Dave Gee
    #65 (+19) Radical cross stitch
    #68 (+12) Bat, Bean, Beam
    #72 (28+) Against the current
    #75 (+23) Mars 2 Earth
    #76 (+13) Unity blog
    #78 (+16) dad4justice
    #80 (+13) Theology Geek NZ
    #84 (16+) Ozymandias Warning

    [-] significant ranking moves down:
    #19 (-5) The Hand Mirror
    #60 (-11) Sustain:if:able Kiwi
    #87 (-15) redrave
    #92 (-19) Aotearoa: a wider perspective
    #93 (-39) Barnsley Bill
    #97 (-30) Monkeys with Typewriters
    #98 (-30) BK Drinkwater

    [Posts] Average per week:
    140 (-) Whoar
    70 (-) Kiwiblog
    55 (-) Home Paddock
    50 (+5) Red Alert
    45 (-5) Standard
    35 (-10) Fairfacts
    35 (-) Inquiring Mind
    25 (-10) TUMEKE!
    25 (-5) No Right Turn
    25 (-) Not PC
    25 (+) Liberty Scott
    20 (-5) No Minister
    20 (-) Frogblog
    20 (+) Roar Prawn
    20 (+) Mars 2 Earth

    [Comments] Average highest post per week:
    305 (+5) Public Address
    200 (-) Kiwiblog
    170 (-15) Frogblog
    135 (+45) Standard
    125 (+30) Being Frank
    110 (+45) Hot Topic
    80 (+20) Dim Post
    70 (+20) Not PC
    55 (-10) Red Alert
    55 (+15) MandM
    40 (-30) Open Parachute
    40 (-5) TBR.cc
    35 (+10) Brian Edwards
    35 (-10) Kiwipolitico
    35 (-5) Reading the Maps
    35 (-) No Minister
    25 (-10) Cactus Kate
    25 (-) New Zeal
    25 (-) Eye of the Fish
    20 (-5) TUMEKE!
    20 (-10) NZ Conservative
    20 (-5) Editing the Herald
    20 (-) Hand Mirror
    20 (-) The Strategist
    20 (+) In a Strange Land
    20 (+) The Dunedin School
    20 (+) Bat, Bean, Beam

    Thanks to all those bloggers who have sent in their stats [editor (at) tumeke.org].



    Cancel dole after year, says Bennett
    The Government is considering cancelling unemployment benefits after a year and forcing beneficiaries to reapply. Social Development Minister Paula Bennett unveiled the radical proposal a day after revelations that 300 long-term beneficiaries are receiving more than $1000 a week from the taxpayer. It was revealed yesterday that the Harris family in Christchurch had received unemployment and sickness benefits for 25 years and recently received special-needs grants from Work and Income to fence their swimming pool and put new tyres on their 2007 Chrysler saloon. The Harris family, which has links to gang activity dating back to the 1970s, receives $1000 a week from the taxpayer and has been given more than $30,000 in special-needs grants since 2000. Former gang leader Darryl Harris, who has been on a benefit since 1984, was jailed in 1991 for the shooting of two Highway 61 gang members. Ms Bennett said yesterday that she was planning changes, including a proposal to cancel the unemployment benefit of any beneficiary after 12 months.

    Genius move by Bennett - GENIUS! Highlight the most expensive welfare families (even if $20 per kid per day isn't riding the pigs back), have the criminal details of one of the families leaked to the media, stir in some talkhate radio pap and hey presto we've got all beneficiaries facing one years dole. It's just so simplistic, so easy to manipulate our national hobby of bennie bashing, it goes alongside our other favourite national past times like alcoholism and domestic violence. Fronted by the poster girl for National Party solo mum tough love, we are once again allowing knee jerk emotive stoked hatred to justify sweeping hard right economic policy as social policy.

    We have 40 million sheep. 4 million can vote.

    Mr Goff – the people need you

    The appointment of an outright bigot like Brian Neeson to the Human Rights Review Tribunal is a dangerous escalation not just for National Party homophobia, but with the abattoir conveyor belt of TV screen justice Simon Powers wants to ram through that will see the dismantling of 40% of Juries so that it becomes a de facto unemployment policy to dump people straight into the privatized shipping container prison cells, appointing a Human Rights vandal like Neeson onto the tribunal most likely to review those human rights abuses under National is an insult to our collective intellect.

    Phil Goff must release a press release now that if the people of NZ decide that National are a wolf in sheep’s clothing and elect Labour at the next election then Brian Neeson would be removed from the Human Rights Review Tribunal within the first 100 days.

    Brian Neeson is a bigoted homophobe who has intellectually argued AGAINST human rights for groups he hates, like homosexuals, people with AIDs, women’s right to abortion. Allowing this bigot to stay on the Human Rights Review Tribunal is an affront to everything human rights stand for.

    Appointing Brian Neeson to the Human Rights Review Tribunal is like appointing Paul Henry to the Broadcasting Standards Authority. Phil Goff must show people that this bigot has no place within the system we use to review human rights in this country.


    She’s at it again, the little solo mum Westie Battler who loves to lie about where she got advice to release private information about beneficiaries to the media, Paula Bennett has warmed the hearts of talkhate radio rednecks with hot tales of dirty filthy bennies.

    The privatization of Social Welfare is under way and as Gordon Campbell at scoop points out…

    Campbell on the govt’s plans for welfare reform
    Overseas, the language of ‘allowing community agencies to become more involved in the delivery of welfare’ has been a synonym for the wholesale privatization of welfare services. At a time when accountability for public monies is English’s catch-cry in every other realm of government spending, why is more flexibility – and less accountability for anything but ‘ results’ – being seen as appropriate when it comes to welfare ? Giving the experts more room to do what they do best is certainly not what the government is doing in education, over national standards.

    With an unemployment rate that will skyrocket on the back of the W recession once the stimulus cash drys up and stops propping up the credit addicted global economy, moves to privatize social welfare has to be wrapped up in a camouflage that doesn’t look as threatening and totalitarian as it intends to be – cue the Maori Party. As the Standard points out Whanau Ora: privatisation by stealth.

    The beauty for National in having the relationship with the Maori Party is that it gives the pretense that National are moderate, likewise the beauty of having the Maori Party front foot this privatization of social welfare is that it doesn’t look like the radical free market economic policy as social policy that it actually is.

    A great way to attack the dirty bennie and stir up NZers negative egalitarianism to rubber stamp vicious right wing social policy is put out bullshit figures on supposed welfare abuse …

    $1000-plus welfare grants for other people's children
    Thirteen of the 20 highest-paid beneficiaries and almost one-third of those who get more than $1000 a week from the state are looking after the children of other people. The highest paid is a single person on the East Coast, who gets $1720 a week, mostly in orphans and unsupported children's benefits to care for nine children. The second is a married Northland person, getting $1700 a week to care for 10 children, most from other parents. A table listing details of the 323 beneficiaries being paid more than $1000, provided by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, shows on average they have five children.

    Isn’t it great that the mainstream media do such a great job of unquestioningly publishing whatever press release the National Party release unedited as news? Why didn’t the Herald challenge Bennett on her numbers? Two Grandfathers raising 8 and 10 kids between them getting $1574 and $1702 per week – that’s $20 after tax per day per kid, that’s hardly living on the pigs back is it?

    But the mainstream media DIDN’T point this out and the bennie bash to soften NZers up for the privatization of social welfare continues with the aid of the very media who should be holding the powerful to account.

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009


    I would like to complain about the current Drug Driving adverts aimed at young people and the attempt to imply that the teenagers in the car were compelled to follow the Police Officer to a station for a blood test when the actual Drug Driving laws stipulate that a roadside subjective impairment test must be first conducted before a blood test or trip to the station is required.

    Pretending that this threshold was already passed because in one quick frame the car bumps into a traffic cone before the driver is breathalized is an insult to our collective intelligence.

    The base insinuation that the driver is compelled to accompany the Officer minus the actual subjective impairment test breaches the law and the rights of young people.

    By pretending the Police don’t even have to undertake their own ridiculously subjective roadside tests before they will take a blood sample or force accompaniment to the local Police station makes the advert very misleading.

    This advert attempts to force acquiescence from young people while explaining none of their rights.

    Bomber's Blog - The War on News Awards - FINAL SHOW FOR 2009 10pm tonight Sky 89 & Freeview 21

    FINAL SHOW FOR 2009. Bomber's Blog - the War on News Awards is on tonight, 10pm simulcast on Sky 89 and Freeview 21. It's replayed on Triangle 9.45pm Wednesday. It will be posted on Tumeke and Youtube on Friday and posted up on Scoop in the weekend. The first show for 2010 will be back on air 19th January

    National’s version of ‘human rights’

    Un-fucking-believable. Appointing a homophobic bigot like Brian Neeson to the Human Rights Tribunal is like appointing Paul Henry to the Broadcasting Standards Authority! John Key may as well appoint hood wearing, cross burning Klansmen to the Human Rights Review Tribunal if Neeson is the new benchmark.

    New human rights appointee criticised as anti-gay
    A Labour MP is questioning the suitability of Brian Neeson's appointment to the Human Rights Review Tribunal because of his voting record against rights and protection for homosexuals while a National MP.

    His was among nine new appointments by Justice Minister Simon Power. The others include former National Party candidate the Rev Ravi Musuku and former Act MP Ken Shirley.

    Labour's state services spokesman, Grant Robertson, said he had "deep concerns" about Mr Neeson in particular, after blogger No Right Turn highlighted his voting record on conscience issues while he was an MP between 1990 and 2002.

    Mr Robertson, who is gay, said Mr Neeson voted against provisions aimed at protecting homosexuals and Aids sufferers in the Human Rights Act as well as the Property Relationships Amendment Act which extended the same property rights to de facto and same-sex couples as married couples.

    "That's not the sort of stuff you'd expect from someone on the Human Rights Review Tribunal."

    Only the National Party of NZ could appoint a homophobic bigot to the ‘Human Rights Review Tribunal’, forget right wing ideoalogues like ACT MP Ken Shirley or the Reverend Ravi Musuku (who was explaining last election that all Prisoners needed was the word of Jesus to help them along) those two examples would be bad enough but as the ever brilliant Idiot Savant over at No Right Turn has pointed out, Neeson’s long history of bigotry is something that is utterly inappropriate

    Brian Neeson's greatest hits
    In 1991, during the committee stage of the Employment Contracts Act, Neeson voted to allow employers to discriminate on the basis of gender.

    In 1993, Neeson voted to exclude sexual orientation from the Human Rights Bill (which became the Human Rights Act). He also voted to exclude AIDS and HIV from the definition of "physical health" in the prohibited grounds of discrimination, to allow health professionals and teachers to be sacked for being gay, to allow the armed forces and the police to continue to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation, and to allow employers to "conscientiously object" to the requirement not to discriminate, effectively granting a licence for bigotry. Fortunately, he was unsuccessful on all counts.

    On the Human Rights Act (third reading speech, 27 July 1993):

    I voted against the amendments. I did so through a sincere belief that an exclusive group that chooses to behave in the way that it does [he is talking about gays - I/S] will get superior treatment under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. I do not for one moment believe that any group that chooses to behave in the way that it does should have exclusive treatment in the way that it does. At the same time I do not believe that any group in society should be singled out simply because its members are known to behave in a certain way, and, because of that, are given the sack from a job or from any other area of society.

    In my day I have employed many people and it has never come into my head that I should even ask somebody what his or her preferential behaviour is when it comes to sex or to his or her own sexuality---and I would never ask.

    But at a time when someone behaves in an extreme way it is up to me to have the right to tell that person that that is not the way to behave, and it does not matter whether he or she is homosexual or anything else. I think that everybody would agree with that. When it comes to that particular point an employer should have the right to be able to turn around and say to someone: ``Enough is enough; that's not the way that you are going to behave in my premises or in my employ, whoever you are.''.

    In 2000, during the committee stage of the Property Relationships Amendment Act 2001, Neeson voted against the extension of the law to cover de-facto couples and specifically same-sex de-facto couples, supporting several amendments at Committee which undermined the aim of the Act.

    On families (debate on appointments to the Abortion Supervisory Committee, 30 August 2001):

    Family life means a mother, or a woman, and a father---which equals a man---taking responsibility for their actions together. Today, we live in a very selfish ``me, my, and I'' type of world. We do not have a situation any more in which ``they, we, and us'' is very important---unless it affords some personal gain.

    If this continues, and we continue to have a meltdown in family life, abortions will continue to rise, along with the problems we have every day with teenage suicide, and with our children out there, who do not know who the hell they are any more or what is real, what is up and what is down. All the fences that protected them in the past have been broken down, and today it is not women who have been set free, it is men who have been set free from responsibility. Many women who go into relationships find that when they get into a situation that a man cannot stand or take, he simply walks away from it. The law does not provide any remedy that does nearly enough to bring that person back to face his responsibility in any way.

    On the Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 (Third reading speech, 11 December 2001):
    The Human Rights Amendment Bill is probably one of the most dangerous bills that I have seen come into this House. It is not a bill that provides benefits to anyone. It is a bill of Orwellian proportions that takes away from people fundamental freedoms: the freedom of expression, the freedoms to think as one will, to speak as one will, and to do as one will, as long as one does not transgress the basic sensibilities and basic rights of any human being...

    This document has nothing to do with rights; it has everything to do with social engineering and social control. This document is set up to make sure that the average New Zealander is watched over by Big Sister---not by Big Brother. We have gone beyond the protection of individual rights in the original bill---which I personally did not support even then...

    So this hateful bigot who has a well tracked history of attempting to DENY human rights is now on the fucking tribunal reviewing human rights? Tell me this is some sort of sick, sick Joke. The Human Rights Review Tribunal has no moral authority whatsoever with a bigot like Neeson on it.

    For the love of Christ, Neeson has intellectually argued AGAINST giving certain groups human rights, he is a human rights vandal NOT a human rights defender!

    Disgusting decision National, disgusting decision.

    Oh and while we are talking No Right Turn, terrifying to see now that Simon Powers streamlining of Court systems so that the abattoir conveyer belt style of justice becomes a defacto unemployment policy to move those charged directly into the shipping container prison cells has moved ever closer with Powers wanting to abolish 40% Jury trials for those he deems as already guilty.

    How’s that ‘change’ feeling folks?

    Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me (except buy this song)

    Facebook campaign slams cheesy UK Xmas number one
    Rage Against the Machine's Killing in the Name is Britain's Christmas chart-topper, thanks to a Facebook campaign. Photo / Kelvin Teixeira Rock band Rage Against The Machine ended Simon Cowell's four-year domination of the Christmas charts last night after a hugely popular Facebook campaign helped the Los Angeles nu-metallers snatch the Christmas number one slot from X Factor's Joe McElderry. More than half a million people downloaded the band's famously anti-authoritarian and expletive-laden track Killing in the Name in what was seen as a grassroots protest against the omnipotence of manufactured pop music. It is the first time a non-X Factor song has made it to Christmas number one since 2004 and represents a major snub to the show's creator Cowell who angrily described the campaign to deny him another number one slot as "very Scrooge".

    It’s nice to see a genuine desire to promote music that means something above the artificial manufactured corporate pop machine, but seeing as Simon Cowell last year manufactured the dissent against Halleluiah while owning all versions of the song I wouldn’t be surprised if he was still profiting from this in some manner but in a media world where the corporation wins, it’s nice to see a little rage against that machine can over turn the apple cart.

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    Israel harvests Palestinian body organs (it really is eye for an eye)

    Oh. My. God. As if brutally occupying Palestine for 4 decades and continuing numerously on going abuses against human rights wasn’t bad enough, now we learn Israel is harvesting the body organs of Palestinians.

    Israel admits to organ harvest
    Israel has admitted that in the 1990s, its forensic pathologists harvested organs from dead bodies, including Palestinians, without permission of their families. The issue emerged with publication of an interview with the then-head of Israel's Abu Kabir forensic institute, Dr. Jehuda Hiss. The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic, who released it because of a huge controversy last summer over an allegation by a Swedish newspaper that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs. Israel hotly denied the charge. Parts of the interview were broadcast on Israel's Channel 2 TV over the weekend. In it, Hiss said, "We started to harvest corneas ... Whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family."

    It literally is eye for an eye with Israel.


    How the Justice Minister can make these sorts of appointments at all is a wonder.
    How do we get our political hacks on the gravy train and get to stack the human rights agenda to the conservative side? How indeed.

    NRT identifies the overt political appointments:Yes, I associate Ken Shirley more with trees (as a forestry lobbyist) than with humans. As for Ravi, most people worked out he would need to be given a consolation sinecure like this for being dicked over by Head Office in the Mt Albert by-election jack-up, and yes he is a Christian, but he does have a CV that reads grassroots community service and that qualifies him. The thing that ought to disqualify him is that he ran for parliament at last year's election - and the one before - for the governing party. That's such an obviously partisan appointment; but in our current Westminster system of government they can appoint whoever to wherever, whatever - and so they give as many of these jobs as they can to their old chums. Winston used to keep a list of them all when National was last in power to expose their excesses, but lost interest when it was his turn at operating the machine. So it's xmas time at Ravi's and Simon Power is Santa.

    But Brian Neeson!? The only gift Santa should have dropped down Brian Neeson's chimney this Christmas that would in any way reflect the esteem in which Mr Neeson is held by the Human Rights community is if Santa had dropped his guts down Mr Neeson's chimney. FFS. A Human Rights Review Tribunal stipend as a present. Why? Is his wife running for the Nats on the new council? What is the reason? He stood against the Nats when he failed to be selected - he's a traitor to them and here he is being rewarded. It makes no sense apart from the thinking that although he can't be relied upon to be a Nat he can be relied upon to be a bigoted conservative. That's a part of the mix they want on that level. He's there because the words "Brian Neeson" and "Human Rights" just don't go together. He's there to thwart that agenda. They want the tribunal to veer that way because in the new system that has less appeals and avenues of review this body is important and will set precedents for human rights standards. With people like Neeson and the former deputy leader of Act appointed the government is not planning to set those standards very high.

    When the government sees its duty to appoint a policeman onto every committee - as it does with this one - it doesn't inspire much confidence either.

    What would inspire some confidence is a commitment to end political patronage - a routine topic of reform discussion : appointments by government to be politically neutral.

    Cop out in Copenhagen - Key got dumped from BBC interview because of NZ greenwash

    PM: Climate accord process must change
    Prime Minister John Key returns home this morning from the Copenhagen climate change conference saying a binding agreement could be concluded in Mexico next year but that the negotiating process has to change. "It's progress, but there is a lot more to be done if we are going to achieve the outcome that we need," he said last night from Los Angeles. "There is a lesson to come out of Copenhagen and that is that trying to build uniform consensus across 193 countries on such a complex issue is not going to work. It is not the right process." Mr Key said he was more upbeat now about what the summit had achieved than when he left it.

    For a man who originally didn’t believe in climate change, for a man who refused to go to Copenhagen, for a man who passed an Emissions Trading Scam (with help from a bribed Maori Party) that will keep paying 55% of big polluters pollution costs until 2050 (the Arctic Sea is predicted to be ice free within 5 years) – to hear slippery John Key tell us he’s optimistic about the Copenhagen cop out is like listening to a drunk pledge his final drink.

    The reality is that the corporate masters of energy have the planet’s political elite by the balls and they have no interest in changing the manner in which they make mega profits. The only way forward is a combination of direct action through civil disobedience forcing the political elites to change direction. This will be morally backed up with more and more erratic weather patterns that will continue to interrupt the agricultural calendar and damage the third world.

    We risk catastrophic and abrupt climate change within our lifetime if we allow the global temperature to rise above 2degrees. Now while our climate deniers, the Leighton Smiths, the MacDoctors, the Whaleoils, the No Minister and the Not PC continue to howl at the moon with their 4 elephants standing on a turtle view of the science, we need to remind ourselves that these creationists at the evolution conference are simply mouthing the big oil attack science line that big tobacco used to deny a link between cancer and smoking.

    You know why I think this constant attack on the science is a spin job? Because the bloody Republicans told us so. Why don’t more people know about the Frank Luntz Memorandum to the Bush White House, 2002, on how to shut down the global warming debate?

    Winning the Global Warming Debate – An Overview

    1: The scientific debate remains open: Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the field.

    Right, so in the same way the Tobacco companies attacked consensus of a link between smoking and cancer, big oil and big polluters are using similar smear tactics to question the science behind the evidence that man made pollution is causing the climate to rapidly change.

    And let’s not forget who is backing much of this smear campaign…

    Climate Change Skeptics
    The world’s largest-ever gathering of global warming skeptics will assemble Sunday in New York City to confront the issue, “Global warming: Was it ever really a crisis?” About 800 scientists, economists, legislators, policy activists, and media representatives are expected to register at the second International Conference on Climate Change, opening Sunday, March 8 and concluding Tuesday, March 10 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.

    Hmmm, and I wonder who is organizing this climate change sKeptics picnic in wunderland? The Heartland Institute? Ummmm, aren’t they the very same Heartland Institute who until 2006 were receiving money from Exxon Mobile and who also is behind the Tobacco Industries ludicrous position that Tobacco isn’t scientifically proven to cause cancer and as such there shouldn’t be taxes on cigarettes?

    Shouldn’t we at least be honest that much of the climate sKeptic agenda is actually funded by big oil?

    Between 1998 and 2005: ExxonMobil Grants $16 Million to Global Warming Skeptic Organizations
    ExxonMobil disperses roughly $16 million to organizations that are challenging the scientific consensus view that greenhouse gases are causing global warming. For many of the organizations, ExxonMobil is their single largest corporate donor, often providing more than 10 percent of their annual budgets. A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists will find that “[v]irtually all of them publish and publicize the work of a nearly identical group of spokespeople, including scientists who misrepresent peer-reviewed climate findings and confuse the public’s understanding of global warming. Most of these organizations also include these same individuals as board members or scientific advisers.” After the Bush administration withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol, the oil company steps up its support for these organizations. Some of the ExxonMobil-funded groups tell the New York Times that the increase is a response to the rising level of public interest in the issue. “Firefighters’ budgets go up when fires go up,” explains Fred L. Smith, head of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Explaining ExxonMobil’s support for these organizations, company spokesman Tom Cirigliano says: “We want to support organizations that are trying to broaden the debate on an issue that is so important to all of us. There is this whole issue that no one should question the science of global climate change. That is ludicrous. That’s the kind of dark-ages thinking that gets you in a lot of trouble.”

    The following is a list of some of the organizations funded by ExxonMobil:
    American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
    - AEI receives $1,625,000 from ExxonMobil between and 1998 and 2005. During this period, it plays host to a number of climate contrarians.
    American Legislative Exchange Council - In 2005, ExxonMobil grants $241,500 to this organization. Its website features a non-peer-reviewed paper by climate contrarian Patrick Michaels.
    Center for Science and Public Policy - Started at the beginning of 2003, this one-man operation receives $232,000 from ExxonMobil. The organization helps bring scientists to Capitol Hill to testify on global warming and the health effects of mercury.
    Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow - Between 2004 and 2005, this organization receives $215,000 from ExxonMobil. Its advisory panel includes Sallie Baliunas, Robert Balling, Roger Bate, Sherwood Idso, Patrick Michaels, and Frederick Seitz, all of whom are affiliated with other ExxonMobil-funded organizations.
    Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) - Founded in 1984 to fight government regulation on business, CEI started receiving large grants from ExxonMobil after Myron Ebell moved there from Frontiers of Freedom in 1999. CEI, along with another ExxonMobil-supported enterprise, the Cooler Heads Coalition, runs the website GlobalWarming.Org, which is part of an effort to “dispel the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis.” Between 2000 and 2003, the CEI receives $1,380,000, or 16 percent of the total funds donated by Exxon during that period.
    Frontiers of Freedom - The organization receives $230,000 from Exxon in 2002 and $40,000 in 2001. It has an annual budge of about $700,000.
    George C. Marshall Institute - The institute is known primarily for its work advocating a “Star Wars” missile defense program. Between 1998 and 2005, Exxon-Mobil grants $630,000 to the Marshall Institute primarily to underwrite the institute’s climate change effort. William O’Keefe, the organization’s CEO, once worked as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Petroleum Institute. He has also served on the board of directors of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, another global warming skeptic organization, and is chairman emeritus of the Global Climate Coalition.
    Heartland Institute - In 2005, this organization receives $119,000 from ExxonMobil. Its website offers articles by the same scientists promoted by other ExxonMobil-funded global warming skeptic organizations.
    Tech Central Station - TCS is a web-based organization that provides news, commentary, and analysis focusing on the societal tensions and strains that are concomitant with historical change. TCS proclaims itself as a strong believer of the “material power of free markets, open societies, and individual human ingenuity to raise living standards and improve lives.” Until 2006, the website is operated by a public relations firm called the DCI Group, which is a registered ExxonMobil lobbying firm. In 2003 TCS receives $95,000 from ExxonMobil to be used for “climate change support.” TCS contributors on the global warming issue include the same group of people that is promoted by several of the other ExxonMobil-funded global warming skeptic organizations. In 2006, TCS will pay the public relations firm Medialink Worldwide to produce a video news release that challenges the view that global warming has increased the intensity of hurricanes. The piece is later shown on a Mississippi television station and presented as a regular news report.

    I personally love the story about the Public Interest Watch from 2002 – this was a front group funded by Exxon-Mobile which attacked Greenpeace by suggesting that Greenpeace were avoiding tax – amazingly Greenpeace was audited because of this one claim by an Exxon-Mobil front group.

    Capitalism has a problem, I’m not talking about the inherent injustice of a few having all the money through a slavish ideological worship of the free market or even the IMF and World Bank genocide of poor people they commit every day with policies that promote Western mega corporations and their ability to dump heavily subsidized mass produced food on countries thus destroying the local markets or the corporate greed clusterfuck unregulated weapons of financial mass destruction that bankrupted the global economy thanks to neo-liberal dogma has caused, oh no I’m not talking about those problems, Capitalism has a much bigger fish to fry. I’m talking about it’s impact on the environment.

    The reality is that the filth we pump into our planet to capitalize a credit card SUV, flat screen, cosmetic surgery on demand expediential growth and consumption economy, has an impact on our planets health.

    Climate sKeptics on the other hand live in a magical world of make believe where no amount of human activity (all 6 billion of us) has ANY impact on the planet whatsoever. It’s a jaw dropping, the planet is held up by 4 elephants standing on a turtle view of science that if it weren’t so dangerous by it’s wider impact on all of us, would be immensely amusing.

    Israeli War Criminals should be arrested

    Livni warrant 'embarrassment' to UK
    The government is "urgently" considering changes to the legal system after a district judge in London issued a warrant for the arrest of the former Israeli minister, Tzipi Livni, on charges of war crimes. the warrant was withdrawn after Ms Livni cancelled her trip.

    Look, if someone has been accused of a war crime, surely they should be arrested regardless of whether or not they are Israeli, just because you come from Israel doesn’t mean you can get away with war crimes does it? Is that how one sided the situation has become? We should turn a blind eye to Israel’s theft of Palestrinian land? We should turn a blind eye to the 4 decade long brutal occupation? We should turn a blind eye to American radicalized settlers who use violence to force Palestinians out? We should turn a blind eye to the poverty that decimates Palestinians and locks them into a life of radicalized violence? We should turn a blind eye to the CIA helping Fatah torture members of the democratically elected Hamas? We should turn a blind eye to the American domestic military industrialized complex fuelling the IDF’s military might to enslave another race?

    Sorry, but there’s only so many blind eyes one can turn, arrest this Israeli war criminal now.

    Rodney Hide leadership coup

    Key steps in to save Hide's Act job
    Rodney Hide survived moves to oust him as Act Party leader last month after Prime Minister John Key privately indicated National's deal with Act would be off if the minister were dumped.

    SIGH – I love the end of the year, all the things that have happened this year that could be explosive and anything unpopular the Government wants to quietly set up for next year are all made public between now and the first week in January while the rest of the country are on holiday too drunk to care, so how about this huh?

    Dirty little Rodders was against the wall and his mate John Key had to go and tell Rodger Douglas, ‘Bad, rodger, bad”, smack him on the nose and tell him never to bite the other kids in the sandpit again.

    Key needs Rodney Hide for two reasons:

    1: Key’s Government is not moderate, but pretends to be (hence the relationship camouflage of the Maori Party) and if Rodger fucking Douglas was leading ACT that pretense would shatter and National would lose all those voters who voted Labour pre 2008.

    2: Hide is the only one Key can rely on to quietly write up all the crazy right wing policy the Auckland Business Mafia donors are demanding, Rodney is a friendly face of right wing economic fascism in a way the horse spooking Rodger Douglas could never be.

    I say this leadership coup within ACT can only be settled by a televised death match between Rodney and Rodger. If we are lucky they’ll kill eachother.

    The fact that this leadership push was serious reminds us of the intense pressure within the Government, a pressure that will only increase – despite being told for the 5th time this year that the recession is over, the global economy is simply at the height of the stimulus cash that has been pumped into it, once we start crashing those unemployment figures will bump that pressure and the right wing faction within the intellectual vacuum I like to refer to as John Key’s leadership, will make another push for Milton Friedman disaster capitalism as social policy.

    Counter-spinning counter spin

    Pity Tony Wall didn't ask some bigger questions of his advertorial piece for Counter-Spin in yesterdays Sunday Star Times.

    The NZ Herald had run the story a week earlier after Counter-Spin bought advertising, it seems the SST will do it for free, so that's nice I suppose.

    I took a sniff around CounterSpin, this new ‘site’ that attempts to unravel the spin, I left sensing bullshit.

    The Republicans clicked onto the possibilities of online activism from watching Obama. They throw together an umbrella organization and provide cyber space where other fired up Fox News viewers can create horizontal activist synergy. It’s the Al Qaeda cell group of corporate social on-line movements.

    CounterSpin is apparently run by two WASP sounding blokes who couch the entire purpose of the site to question whether or not David Bain should receive compensation by “Undoing the excesses of media indoctrination” – I kid you not, direct quote, I swear. They have money behind them, they could afford adverts in the papers, which of course guarantees them editorial coverage as a ‘news’ story in the Herald,

    The site is called www.davidbane.counterspin.co.nz, as if this was the central pillar and purpose of the site. This promotes the site as some type of critical voice, but I don’t think CounterSpin is much about David Bain’s compensation at all, and I think the manner both none photographed profiles sell themselves as religiously focused on the Bain case is an attempt to make them seem neutral.

    Kent Parker
    Kent is a web developer working as a freelancer on the World Wide Web. He has a degree in Psychology and is setting up an Emotional Fitness Programme to help people avoid or treat psychological disorder and to improve functionality. He has either first hand or close proximity experience with a number of the major disorders and so has a good understanding of human dysfunction and the vagaries of the human condition. Given the state of the Bain household and reports of the behaviour of some of the family members, including David Bain, it is quite likely that some form of disorder has played a big role before and after this crime took place.

    Bob Smith:
    "I have always been vaguely interested in the Bain case and always thought that the original verdict of guilty was the correct one, but at that stage the only compelling piece of evidence that I knew about was the fingerprints of David Bain that were found on the rifle. Over the many years since the murders and subsequent appeals etc I took only a vague interest until in 2007 when David won the appeal for retrial from the privy council who had turned him down in 1996. This win for retrial for David got me very interested indeed so I began researching as much about the actual evidence as possible, this research just reinforced the idea already in my mind, and it was a great shock when the retrial in 2009 returned a not guilty verdict. To me and many other New Zealanders it was a travesty of justice, so since that date I have been, along with others trying to compile all the relevant evidence in this fascinating case on to a web site so that people can make up their own mind what the outcome of the trial should have been and also to give some justice to Robin Bain and his extended family. Another motivation is to make it difficult for David Bain to receive compensation that he clearly in my view does not deserve."

    Also of note is the fact that it is not a blog which has a level of interaction where as access on CounterSpin is tightly controlled to allow other talk hate radio fantasists a cyber space to act out on-line group therapy sessions.

    What makes me think CounterSpin has a much wider agenda than David Bane is because if you go to www.counterspin.co.nz it directs immediately to their David Bane site. The compensation issue is merely the a-political launch site, it seems CounterSpin intend to have much more spin to be spun.

    Let’s see, what will CounterSpin’s next “Undoing the excesses of media indoctrination’ be?

    Bet’s are now on for:

    1: Why mining is such a great thing for the environment!
    2: Green-Coal, is it the answer?
    3: Greenpeace dodge taxes!
    4: The Science behind global warming is wrong. There is no link between climate change and man made pollution just like there is no link between cancer and smoking!
    5: Privatizing social welfare will be cheap as!
    6: Did we mention how great mining is?

    Welcome to flavour country.

    Maggie, where’s the evidence?

    Read this…
    Manukau District Court: Law and disorder
    …interesting isn’t it, not a system being rorted by the lawyers, it sounds like a public system that has been underfunded and run down just when Simon Powers needs to ram more and more people through it to deal with high unemployment (better to have em in a private prison corporate gulag than running amok in an under-employed society)

    Does it concern anyone else that we are about to throw the entire independence of the legal aid service out the window based on gossip and hearsay? There’s no actual evidence in Margaret Bazely’s report that lawyers are ripping off legal aid, yet Simon Power couldn’t move fast enough to swallow legal aid up into the Ministry of Justice so that it is ultimately the Government who decides to fund your legal aid or not. Funny isn’t it, the last report by Bazely where she investigated Police sexual misconduct hasn’t been fully implemented and that’s years old, yet the ink on this report is barely dry and Simon’s talking immediate implementation.

    Only Scott Watson can be convicted on evidence as circumstantial as this,

    It's odd isn't it, for a country of sheep that jumped up and down about the talkhate radio myth of the 'Nanny State' forcing their way into peoples houses to make us use power saving lightbulbs and water saving shower heads, not a whisper from these same people over the Government taking away the independence of something as fundamental to a democratic system as the funding for your legal defense if you can't pay for legal services.

    Energy saving laight bulbs and water saving shower heads - NEVER!

    Decimation of independent legal aid based on no evidence whatsoever - Baaaaaa!

    We are sheep, we deserve what we get.

    Tolley declares holy jihad against education

    Don't reject survey, principals beg Tolley
    Hundreds of primary school principals have serious misgivings about the Government's national standards policy, a survey by their union shows. The Principals Federation says the survey results are "too powerful" for the Government to ignore and it must now consider trialling or delaying the standards. Conducted over five days, the survey shows 86 per cent of the 600 respondents have serious misgivings about the policy.

    The latest radical escalation in violence the Minster of Education has unleashed on the unbelievers to ram through her ill thought out ‘worst thing to ever happen to education’, league tables by stealth national standards is now ridiculous in the face of total rejection of this idiocy.

    Promising to raze the earth, sow the land with salt and drink the blood of every first born child from any Union delegate not willing to implement her league table by stealth national education standards, Anne Tolley declared Holy Jihad against School Boards last week who refuse to follow a policy described as the worst thing to ever happen to education in NZ. Ever.

    After being caught out lying about parents supporting her national education standards, the Minister has turned to threatening school boards like a playground bully. I’m waiting for someone to post up a lunch time fist fight between her and the PPTA on youtube.

    (I know you are, you said you are, but what am I?)

    National desperately want to inject a false competition within education, and a league table will do that for them nicely, while the education experts have decried this policy as the worst thing to ever happen to education and while the academics all agree standard testing young children is pointless, National continue to ram through this decimation of our education system all for ideological fervor.

    Now the pretense of moderation is unraveling and National are setting to privatize everything post 2011, your national assets and public services are being carved up and destroyed by the right wing again - how’s that change feeling NZ?

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    Those who deliberate have already rebelled

    Just crazy. Rodney's Epsom seat is the only reason any of them are there so it would be an own goal of obliteration should any leadership coup have been successful.

    Someone's gone and spilled the beans about the depth of discontent in the usually more disciplined and discreet party - which is not a good look, especially at the time of year when politicians stalk off to brood and get drunk go on holiday.

    Succession planning is one thing, but the revelations from the press gallery are of another order. Young says there was an opportunist coup afoot when Rodney was at his most vulnerable.
    It is silly on so many levels. The party support arrangements that formed the government last year were quite clear: the deal is with National and Rodney as the leader of Act. National are free to change their leader and that will not alter the agreement with Act (or the Maori Party for that matter), but it is not true the other way around. If Rodney gets deposed as Act leader then the deal is broken and must be renegotiated. As I noted at the time this puts Rodney in a very strong position:Unthinkable? That's our Roger.

    Knights tell Shogun: Emperor must keep tax exempt salary

    The Law Commission's report on the Civil List has become something of a Trojan horse victory for the Republicans. Under the guise of revamping the tax-free status and remuneration of the Governor-General the commission headed by former reformist PM Sir Geoffrey Palmer is recommending the Head of State's representative have their own legislation. Sounds like a complimentary piece of legislation parallel to what Green MP Keith Locke had drawn from the private member's ballot in October: the Head of State Referenda Bill.

    From the Commission's report:At the moment the G-G must have permission from the PM to do just about anything - including going overseas. The last PM was so controlling she ordered the G-G not to attend at Waitangi on Waitangi Day despite his pleading; so it's not as if they have any freedom domestically either. At the moment the G-G is inside the tight aegis of the PM by way of the legislative gimp jacket of the Constitution Act 1986 and the practical restriction of the office being run from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

    Any move to give additional statutory recognition to the G-G is a foreshadowing of the inevitable debate we will have when a republican system is put up in a referendum. Not that what Palmer is doing is particularly revolutionary on the face of it however:

    The operational budget for the residences, and staff costs, should continue to be funded through vote Prime Minister and Cabinet.

    The relationship between the PM and the G-G is not being changed from what I've read, but the separate legislation mooted makes it a convenient conduit to advance a republican agenda which can be done by way of amendment later on and be set up through compromises in the bill at committee stage this time round.

    To some though any such interim law amending a colonial office will be seen as pointless as re-arranging the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic as far as Aotearoa constitutional history goes.

    Saturday, December 19, 2009

    Rage Against the Machine for Xmas no 1 Facebook campaign

    Join the facebook group

    Friday, December 18, 2009

    NZ God billboard – FIGHT FOR YOUR GOD!

    Controversial church billboard resurrected
    The controversial billboard mocking Christ’s conception was stolen last night but has already been replaced by the church which refuses to back down from the campaign. The billboard, put up by Auckland’s St Matthew-in-the-City Church yesterday, shows Joseph looking down dejectedly and Mary looking sad. Underneath is a caption, "Poor Joseph. God is a hard act to follow." Within six hours of going up it had paint thrown over it and later was stolen overnight said church spokesman Clay Nelson. But the church had printed another billboard and put it up again today. “It’s important,” he said. “We can’t let the vandalism be the last word on the subject.”

    How boring – these bloody Christians aren’t really weaponizing their inter faith schism nearly enough for my liking. Splashing paint on the billboard as opposed to blowing up the church, are you the blessed faithful of not? I say death match between the Anglicans and the Catholics, slug it out and whoever is left standing gets to make jokes about the conception of Jesus.

    Youth now an aggravating factor?


    Opotiki teenagers Courtney Churchward and Lori-Lea Waiora Te Wini have been sentenced to life imprisonment with a 17-year minimum non-parole period for murdering retired school teacher John Rowe in his bed on November 15 last year.

    At the time Churchward was 16 and Te Wini 14.

    Sentencing the pair in the High Court at Rotorua this morning, Justice Geoffrey Venning refused to make allowances for Te Wini's age by imposing a lesser non-parole period than that of Churchward's.
    He told the teens their attack on Mr Rowe had been brutal, sustained and meted out by both of them using Mr Rowe's own sticks.

    How non-parole periods can be justified on children at all is a wonder, but to impose a period of seven years more than the standard parole eligibility date for Life is on the extreme side. I would have thought the young age of the offenders - and the situation of their family too by the sounds of it - would have cancelled out the aggravating features of the undoubted brutality and callousness of the attack.

    Justice Venning also slammed the girls' families for failing them in "the most basic of ways" in their upbringing. The two are first cousins.

    He is describing a background to the offending for which the defendants have no fault. Obviously this point had no effect at all in the sentencing and nor did their youth. These things, esp. age, must count and they should appeal.

    It's not as if adults accused of bashing someone to death are any great risk to the community according to other members of the Bay of Plenty judiciary:This 21 year old is on charges for attacking a prominent and respected school principal from behind and killing him and he's effectively been remanded at large by Judge Harding. How does this approach to adult males square to locking away two girls for their deed for longer than they are old when they committed it?

    Show trial in stasis

    NZPA reporting:

    A date has finally been fixed for the High Court trial of 18 people caught up in the Urewera police raids.

    In the High Court at Auckland this morning Justice Pamela Andrews set the hearing down for 12 weeks starting on August 8, 2011 - nearly four years after the nationwide police operation in October 2007.

    Prosecutor Ross Burns told the judge the crown case would take six weeks and a further six weeks was estimated for the defence.

    Justice Andrews said it was not desirable to have a trial date so far out.

    She said the only court room that could handle so many defendants over such a lengthy period was Court Room 12, which is in fact two court rooms knocked into one to cope with big cases.

    It's even more ridiculous at this point surely than it was back in October of 2007 when it seemed absurd enough.

    The Prime Minister and Cabinet have just declared the Tino Rangatiratanga flag will fly on government buildings on Waitangi Day and Tuhoe are nearing a final stage of negotiations with the government over settling their disputes with the Crown. With all this goodwill going on in the Urewera between Crown and Iwi and the de-stigmatisation of the symbols of Maori self-determination the show trial that looked so juicy and spicy to the establishment two years ago will look flaky and inedible in another couple of years when it has been scheduled to commence.

    At the moment it looks like the Crown are trying to find a way to back out of it and drop these reduced charges - that's how I see it. But the counter is that they are determined to get an outcome from the long and expensive Operation 8 no matter what. The only way they can do that is to work the conspiracy angle via a show trial - lining hippies and Maori up in front of a jury, play the tapes of the bugged stoner ravings in the bush, display every round and every firearm they seized at every possible point and have the Police paint them all as drug dealing gangster terrorists. To do all that - to orchestrate that type of theatrical undertaking - requires a courtroom of Stalinesque dimensions and maybe they are prepared to wait two or three years for it.

    In the meantime the defendants are all on various conditions of bail and therefore under a burden preventing them from risking what would be perhaps in their circles routine protest action (that may end in arrest). This control aspect the police have over them for another two years must be part of the Crown strategy.

    Small Town cosmopolitan

    Cossy club: All races welcome, but no hats
    The manager of a cosmopolitan club which refused entry to a turbaned Sikh has conceded that her club's name stands for inclusion of all races, but says it has to adhere to strict rules about hats. Karnail Singh was turned away from a function at Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club last week to recognise his service to the community, because of a policy of no hats. National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, himself a Sikh, said he would refer the matter to the Human Rights Commission. Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club manager Patricia Rangi yesterday admitted the definition of the word cosmopolitan "does mean all races" and that the club has a mix of races. However, "we are also strong on rules and regulations, and one of them is no hats".

    My god this story is a joy isn’t it? Where does one begin? I am astounded at the outset that someone would even ask a Sikh to remove their turban to enter a place as misnamed as a ‘Cosmopolitan Club’. You can see what happened, dear little Patricia Rangi had a brainfart when she saw Singh and once she put her foot down couldn’t pull it back, her ‘no hats’ policy is the sort of bullshit excuse people who have been shamed cling to in the hope to justify their petty bigotry.

    Hilarious stuff.

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    TV special

    It's really not true - at any point - what he's saying.

    Everything the Broadcasting Minister says is basically a lie

    NZ On Air Platinum Fund announcements have delivered on the Government's promise of high quality broadcasting content, says Broadcasting Minister, Jonathan Coleman.

    - He means expensive broadcasting, but I can't recall him wanting to keep it expensive, I had thought he wanted more NZ content, not necessarily a small range of one off expensive shows for the main networks.

    NZ On Air yesterday announced investments in four significant new television programmes intended for screening in 2010. Two long form dramas, a documentary series and a TV special have been supported by the new Platinum Fund, all for prime time screening.

    - Well at least they got the prime time bit right. What we have been lacking is NZ content on at the time when most of the audience is watching. I am glad they recognised this previous deficiency and we have to hope the networks don't get cold feet, as they sometimes do, and drag a show off into the wilderness hours to be put down if it doesn't immediately rate higher than the show it's replacing.

    "The Platinum Fund was designed to open up public broadcasting funding to a range of producers and broadcasters. No one entity has a monopoly on the best ideas, and yesterday's funding decisions prove that.

    - Yesterday's funding decision was more dodgy than a TV txt poll. The proof amply demonstrates he's a total bullshit artist. It is four entities that together have a monopoly and it all has to go through NZ On Air - which is a monopoly. So it's a monopoly making decisions for a cartel - a cartel that they themselves go to great lengths to support - and they support it against the interests of the rest of the TV industry. The purpose of the fund was so that TVNZ could have a better than average chance of getting that Charter money back and so that NZ On Air could grow itself and distribute the money to its favoured people. That is what is proven here.

    "Quite simply the Charter never worked. It saddled TVNZ with a dual mandate and didn't deliver on its promise of quality public broadcasting. The Platinum Fund guarantees high quality public broadcasting."

    - This makes more sense: the Charter was used as a cash sop by TVNZ no doubt, but without quoting figures and giving us a comparison it is hard to gauge the rhetoric with the facts.

    The Fund, administered by NZ On Air, totals $15.1 million and was previously allocated to Television New Zealand. It is now available on a fully contestable basis to all national free-to-air television broadcasters for high quality television programming.

    - No, and this contestability myth is just the biggest lie of the lot and they repeat it at every turn.

    The only channels the fund is available to are those operated by Mediaworks, Sky and the two government channels: TVNZ and MTS. All the regional channels are left out, anyone not broadcasting all over the country on the very expensive analogue system (that they are going to shut down anyway and which represents a backward-oriented move at odds with current policy) is excluded from qualifying. How can something be "fully contestable" if there are only four possible qualifying players? They have manipulated the rules so that even a channel on Freeview and on Sky and in Auckland and Wellington on analogue is ineligible.

    In front of the four gatekeepers of TV in the country is the NZ On Air moat. It is a fortress to get into, but once inside they can do as they please because their positions are not under threat within the walls. This is why nothing innovative and new seems to ever come out, this is why Petra is going to be there forever and why Oscar will always have a job on TV and why Havoc and Newsboy are still there (even if they don't seem to be doing what they are any good at), and why Russell et al. will be there forever and why they tried to keep Veitchy for as long as they did. It is a very insular scenario and NZ On Air does have a lot to do with why that is: they protect their mates and they don't fund outsiders.

    As a broadcast medium TV as a platform is being eroded every second by the internet and all the Tivo and MiSky in the world isn't going to stop Google and the production companies and the TV channels themselves from making every show available over the net for free rather than having to transmit it in an un-interactive form on a special broadcast spectrum that needs a special receiver and a special aerial. "TV" as defined by NZ On Air and their co-dependent chums is already in a dying phase. Yet the minister supports their media scamming.

    What they have done is a jack up by TVNZ (and to a lesser extent probably the other three) from start to finish to enable them to claw back as much of that Charter money as possible while still remaining as unaccountable for it as before. They have had their costly boutique shows funded that would have been funded anyway - they are still going to produce very little for what they get. There will be fuck all hours of TV to show for $15 million.

    "I very much look forward to seeing the results of the latest announcements on screen in 2010."

    - Alright, yes, he might look forward to seeing the shows, I believe most of the programming might be up his alley:

    NZ On Air:

    The new projects are:

    Tangiwai - a long-form prime time drama for TV One. The story of the Tangiwai train disaster is told through a love story embodying the hope and courage of post-war New Zealand. From the makers of this year's award-winning Sunday Drama, Until Proven Innocent. Producers Donna Malane, Paula Boock. $2,736,740.

    Stolen - a prime time telefeature for TV3 also based on a true story. Producers South Pacific Pictures from a script by Tim Balme. $1,678,000.

    Rivers with Craig Potton - an 8 x half hour prime time documentary series for Prime TV. Stories of eight New Zealand rivers through the eyes of one of New Zealand's most respected photographers. Producers South Pacific Pictures. $762,000.

    Facing Facts - Tamariki Ora: A New Beginning - a 3 hour prime time special for Māori Television. An examination of violence towards children in New Zealand, seeking positive strategies to help change. Producers Māori Television, EP Carol Hirschfeld. $328,247.

    NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson said the NZ On Air Board was particularly impressed with the calibre of these proposals, all of which will make an important contribution to local content on screen next year. "Each project is ambitious in its own way. None would have been able to be supported without the resources of the Platinum Fund", she said.

    - Not good enough for the regular funding? Way too expensive for the regular funding? Way too niche for the regular funding? Their formats are incompatible with what they normally fund?

    These projects join the four that have already received support from the Platinum Fund - current affairs series Q&A 2010 for TV One, The Nation for TV3, arts documentary Canvassing The Treaty for Māori Television, and four historical docu-dramas for TV One (still in the process of selection after a competitive tender).

    - I know, I laughed too. Q+A, the Paul Holmes re-hab vehicle is classed as Platinum. Guyon Espiner giving patsy interviews with Ministers and some Canadian woman telling us how to understand our own politics is classed as "Platinum"!? And all in the audience unfriendly hours of Sunday morning. Astounding.

    Ms Wrightson noted that $10.3m (68.6%) of the Platinum Fund has now been committed. The remainder of the Fund is likely to be used to support projects now in development. Further decisions will be made in 2010.

    So 31.4% of the fund will just be used up, you know, on just giving it out to the ones already there... The producers can now go back to them and get another 40%? is this what it means? - how else is that to be interpreted? This is classic NZ On Air culture. This is the closed shop. This is the cost plus, low output system they operate amongst themselves. This is why Melissa Lee was able to do what she did I guess. What contractors get paid in advance for possible over-runs or "contingency" (or whatever it was regards Asia Downunder) for what they have been contracted to do? It's a a system of rorts and subsidies and bullshit and the Broadcasting Minister is quite happy to sign off on it all and just keep rolling it over.

    The cartel and the government agency that promotes their interests (rather than the interests of viewers, or the rest of the TV industry, for example) have managed to get the new Minister to rubber stamp business as usual. All the ideas for developing small budget programmes and utilising all the talent that has been locked out of the closed circuits have come to nothing. The big boys swallow all the funding and everyone wonders why it's the same old faces and the same old shit on the same old channels - it's because each Minister (Labour, National or otherwise) gets captured by a few corporates and NZ On Air and their cosy agenda and can't be arsed doing anything about it. I know it is rather trite, but the most you can say about Jonathan Coleman is that he is as diligent and competent at managing his portfolios as he was at managing Melissa Lee's by-election campaign.

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