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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bomber's Blog - The War on News - ONLINE NOW!

The War on News: 'Don't blame it in the 3 strikes, don't blame it on the private prisons, don't blame it on the red necks, blame it on the Maoris', National frightened by their own Nanny State myth, I think I'm in love with Helen Kelly

Wank o the Week: BP faking photos, why does God hate gay netball teachers? Wikileaks rethink on selling the Afghan war

The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos Sky 89 10.30pm Tuesday & simulcast on Freeview 21. Replayed on Triangle TV 9.45pm Wednesday and posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

It’s just like 7 days on TV3 but with fewer dick jokes.

Join Bomber’s Blog – The War on News Facebook group

Friday, July 30, 2010

In the inbox

Make an effort.

Email scam/phishing must be a decaying art form. It's like they just can't be bothered anymore.

Chris Carter is a bloody idiot and why Goff can win in 2011

Defiant Carter writes off boss
Suspended Labour MP Chris Carter says his view that Labour leader Phil Goff can't win the next election and should be replaced is shared by many other MPs and party activists.

Apparently it's all been a miscommunication, Goff told Chris, 'Man it up bitch', Chris thought he had said, 'Bitch it up man'.

I had a huge amount of respect for Chris Carter, yes he had every right to be shitty over getting stung for travel that Cabinet had signed off on, yes he had every right to be pissed at the media for the gay luxury boy routine and yes being forced to run down stairs over flowers for the boyfriend and getting a public spanking for it would make anyone as hard working as Chris feel pretty ragged, but he has shown less regard for personal well being than a Taliban suicide bomber with his failed gutless coup that had all the class of former BP Chief executive Tony Hayward.

Let's be very clear here, I believe that if Key wins the 2011 election, National will use that as a mandate to privatize everything not nailed down, they have spent all this time since winning the election quietly preparing in the back rooms all the policy mechanisms their privatization will require, I did not spend fighting National for most of my life during the 1990s to just see the buggers unleash all their free market dogma on NZ now!

If I didn't think Goff could win 2011, I'd knife him myself and lead an online campaign to destabilize Phil, that's how much I don't want National winning, but Goff has every chance of winning, and here are the reasons why...

1: Folks, the Polls are brainfarts, we are never told if the Polls use phone lines or mobile, we don't know when people were called, how many callbacks and most importantly what the weighting of the polls are. The danger with Polls is if they are repeated enough they become self fulfilling, we shouldn't let David Farrar dictate the political subconscious of NZ.

2: Helen was down in the Polls like this when she was in Opposition, it didn't stop her from becoming leader when the political environment changed.

3: The most important reason why Goff can win the 2011 is the change in the economic environment. Come October, the GST rise is going to make a lot of middle class people feel for the first time in their lives like they are not middle class, while those on the bottom will have the John Key vacant aspiration squeezed out of them when his words that they won't be worse off from the GST changes turn out to be hollow. Key's popularity is that he was 'change' but no one knew exactly what that 'change' was, and as Key's vision resembles more and more that of a boy in an optimistic bubble, people will feel that pain in their pocket and Key's popularity could crash with Kevin Rudd like proportions.

Chris, I'm a bit of a lone bear at the best of times, and I don't like going along with anything I don't agree with, but you've turned on Labour when it needs solidarity in the face of a Government who will create massive social damage with their razor gang to public services, defeating National should be any progressive persons desire, not enacting petty quarrels in public.

Goff can win but Carter just lost.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Carter kicked out of class


Having called for Phil Goff to send Chris Carter to the back of the class from the outset and having commented on the astonishing series of events in more ugly detail than it deserved I observe today's astounding events as more evidence of the same traits aforementioned: bizarre, unprofessional behaviour, clumsiness. He's an oaf - I've said often enough - and he's botched this job. He was supposed to stab Phil in the back and ended up stabbing himself in the front - now that's clumsy, even for an oaf.

That self-inflicted wound will be his last act as a Labour MP. And what a show the last month has been - a double matinee of flouncy pantomime farce over airfares, flowers and frivolities ending with this terrific dramatic, Shakespearean scene - when Phil, The King, identifies the handwriting of the betrayal dispatch as none other than his trusted colleague, the ambitious, vain courtier. When will this show - now down to a gruesome one-man carnival act - shut up shop? NZ Herald and all networks reporting he has finally imploded into the vacuum of his own irrelevance.
So precious. As I said earlier:
If Chris Carter is not content being the MP for Te Atatu then he either quits and triggers a by-election, or he announces his retirement at the next general election. Either way and whatever decision is made tonight the Labour Party's electability has just gone up. It might seem like a PR disaster for Labour today, but as far as the 2011 campaign goes this is a bonus opportunity for visible renewal and a good chance for Phil Goff to look and act like a leader.

Trevor Mallard on Red Alert has written some nicely turned out posts from his unique position within the Labour caucus - today's is a good example. An immediate, insightful, elegant political note treading between personal observation and partisan public discourse. This is what good political blogging is all about:

Today he did something incredibly stupid (made stuff up and circulated it to media in a failed attempt to be anonymous) which I think has ended his political career. He has been suspended from our caucus. Quite a few of us who can sometimes be pretty hard had tears in our eyes as we did it.

But as with sport when there is an extremely bad breech of team discipline you are dropped from the team. Our teams decision was unanimous.

Carter made his flashing white-toothed impact on the international scene as the bills for his extensive overseas travel prove, and if Helen can bail him out at the UN in NY then he will be outski quicker than you can say ciao. He doesn't respond to public opinion that well, he doesn't shame easy and he won't see being a lame duck MP as a problem, so he may need a solid reason/package to exit early. Awaiting some response from Carter tonight.

UPDATE | 10:30PM: TVNZ interviewed him at the airport tonight and he was making an oaf of himself again trying to tell Phil Goff that he had no support! The cheek of it. The guy who has just been sacked by the caucus (and with David Cunliffe running a trillion light years away from it) he thinks he can give advice to Phil Goff!? He reckons he'll be going the full term as well - so unless Helen comes through with a golden parachute, Te Atatu will be stuck with him for another year and a half. Phil Twyford must be quite a busy chap right about now. The Labour Party will have to re-open the nominations.Carter could be officially expelled from the Party in little over a week.

UPDATE | Saturday 7PM: Carter's press release - adding more fuel to his self-immolation:The guy just doesn't get it - never has obviously. He and the likes of the woefully under-performing Judith Tizard were well sheltered by their promoter, Helen Clark, and most Labour lefties don't seem to understand how inept these people were. Even now when Carter's utter ineptitude, venality, disloyalty and egotism are exposed they seem perplexed as to what has happened. As if he was never like that!

He's acting perfectly in character: this press release confirms that he used the parliamentary recess to avoid constituency work - the only real work he has after his demotion - to have a holiday. Paid for by the communist regime of China. Taking the trip on the sly. Against the rules of the caucus. A snub to his constituents, to Phil Goff, to the caucus, to the party and - given the Chinese regime paid for the secret trip - a snub to the interests of the country.

About those 'green shoots' of the recovery

Confidence falls for third month
Business confidence has taken an unmistakable turn for the worse, with the National Bank's survey falling for the third month in a row.

It is still in positive territory and pointing to the economy recording growth around 3 per cent for 2010.

"But this is down on the 4 per cent plus it was flagging a few months back," National Bank senior economist Khoon Goh said.

It is at its lowest level for a year and the rate at which confidence is going down is going up.

"The movements in this month's survey are beyond what could be put down to normal monthly volatility. The past three months have seen a clear change in direction," Goh said.

So the 'green shoots of the recovery' turned out to be the dried snot of recession. Nice to see the business community are getting over their medicated optimism and starting to understand the consumer culture has crashed and that it isn't business as usual. If only we could get that through to Key and the corporate business media who are focused on lying about the double dip than confronting it.

What will it be Grey Lynn - the tear-gas or the taser?

Auckland raids net weapons, not fugitive
Police have arrested a man and seized firearms and a Taser following tear-gas raids on two Auckland homes this morning, but failed to find the fugitive they were seeking.

Police raided a house in Castle Street, Grey Lynn, and an address in Mt Roskill, looking for 32-year-old Daniel Vae, a patched gang member who is wanted on three arrest warrants.

A large Samoan man, they say he is unpredictable because of his P habit.

"Vae is considered dangerous and should not be approached by members of the public," police say.

A 29-year-old man was arrested during the raid on the Grey Lynn home. He has been bailed by Police and will appear in the Auckland District Court next week charged with possession of cannabis for supply.

Vae was not located at either of the properties but seven relatives, including three children and three women, were present at the Grey Lynn house.

Police ordered the seven out immediately and fired tear-gas rounds into the home.

How did it feel Grey Lynn? Watching our tear-gas first, ask questions later Police in action must be as bitter as that tear-gas backwash. It was interesting seeing the opinion piece in the Herald re Taser use and the criticisms of them and our Police force generally who are becoming more and more like the trigger happy SWAT teams of America rather than an example of Policing in a democracy in the year 2010...

Dr Bruce Cohen: It's police actions that count, not weapon choice
Dr Bruce Cohen at the Department of Sociology, University of Auckland, suggests that Tasers might work - as long as they're not used.
There may yet be evidence that Tasers work. A recent report from the Vancouver police explained that "subjects appear to comply more often when they are confronted or challenged with a Taser", rather than when the Taser is actually discharged.

Criminologists call this "the Velcro effect": police merely have to unfasten the weapon to achieve compliance.

If the Taser is actually discharged the problems begin, or - as in the case of the two recent police incidences with armed offenders in West Auckland and Christchurch - nothing happens.

Despite reassurances from New Zealand police chiefs that the Taser continues to be safe and effective, I would argue that this is a limited and naive view of a weapon that not only misfires but can cause injury and sometimes death.

The use of Tasers should be of serious concern not only to officers in the field but to all of us.

I think I'm in love with Helen Kelly

Govt-union relations take another hit
The Council of Trade Unions says it will no longer co-operate with the Government on trade issues and a United States union boss has cancelled a visit here in response to looming employment law changes. The Government this month announced the 90-day probation period for new employees, which covers businesses with under 20 staff and means they can be dismissed without recourse within that time, will be extended to all businesses.

I think I may be in love with CTU President, Helen Kelly aka the red Valkyrie. Helen stole my heart last weekend when she told Q+A that the deal between the Unions and the Government was off! Helen said that John Key had reneged on agreements he had made and that it was war over the 90 day right to sack which based on the Department of Labour report enabled the bossman in the trial to sack one in five NZers. Seeing as we have 400 000 new workers per year, this plan could be used to sack 80 000 NZers.

I wonder if this Union busting bullshit will be worth the corporate donors that Key is aiming for or will he back down from this as well?

Interesting to note the Minister of Labour, Conservation and invisability, Kate Wilkenson is as silent as a United Future backbencher on union busting and mining U-Turns with her next press conference booked in for after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Filthy Farmers actively tell porkies about pig welfare

Farmers try to conceal pig welfare data
A leaked email shows pig farmers want to avoid public scrutiny by evading the Official Information Act so they will not face "embarrassment" from the conditions reported at their piggeries.

The results of a nationwide audit, led by the Pork Industry Board, are subject to the act and would ordinarily be accessible by the public.

However, the board has admitted it will deliberately evade the act, prompting the Ombudsmen's Office to say there appeared to be grounds for a complaint and subsequent investigation.

Those filthy pig farmers are actively evading scrutiny over the welfare of their pigs? Consumers simply have to react by demanding cruelty free labeling so that they can decide if they want to give their money to filthy farmers who hide from animal welfare scrutiny or to those farmers who wish to produce pork products that are cruelty free.

You can see why the Pork Board want these surveillance powers in October to be able to spy on anyone who may be highlighting the welfare of pigs, let's not give the filthy farmer those powers huh?

Gerry Picking facts

Wage stats prove Brownlee wrong
A war of statistical tables in Parliament left National red-faced after even its own figures showed the gap in earnings between New Zealanders and Australians had increased since it took office in November 2008.

Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee had said in Parliament on Tuesday that the gap was less than it was when Labour was in power but yesterday the statistics proved him wrong no matter how they were presented.

Prime Minister John Key produced a table which he said most accurately compared average earnings because it took into account purchasing power parity.

But his own figures showed the gap had increased by $22 in the two years since National took over in 2008. Instead, he said it showed the gap was less than it was at the "maximum point" of Labour's reign when the gap peaked at $187.60 in 2005.

For crying out loud, can't the Government just admit that the catching up with Australia 2025 is really just a pointless exercise to keep Don Brash busy so he isn't fucking things up for National? The much vaunted gap between NZ and Australia has gotten worse under National, get over it Gerry and just admit you cocked this one up just like you cocked up mining.

Meet the boy racer in your neighbourhood

Mother: Don't send my son's killer to jail
A mother whose 4-year-old son was killed in front of her by an out-of-control teenage motorist says the driver is not a bad person and she does not want him jailed.

See that face NZ, that's your boy racer you want locked up and the key thrown away over. It is inspiring to hear a mother not demand vengeance, and instead is willing to ask for mercy over a teenagers moment of stupidity that has cost another their life.

Emma Woods is an example to us all and her compassion reminds us that a lynch mob mentality doesn't solve anything.

NZ Hacker leads the planet!

Hacker ATM attacks show security holes
LAS VEGAS - A hacker has discovered a way to force ATMs to disgorge their cash by hijacking the computers inside them.

The attacks demonstrated Wednesday targeted standalone ATMs. But they could potentially be used against the ATMs operated by mainstream banks.

Criminals have long known that ATMs aren't tamperproof.

There are many types of attacks in use today, ranging from sophisticated to foolhardy: installing fake card readers to steal card numbers, hiding tiny surveillance cameras to capture PIN codes, covering the dispensing slot to intercept money and even trying to haul the ATMs away with trucks and trying to crack them open later.

Computer hacker Barnaby Jack spent two years tinkering in his Silicon Valley apartment with ATMs he bought online. These were standalone machines, the type seen in front of convenience stores, rather than the ones in bank branches.

Barnaby Jack is a mate of mine, and I'm guessing the NZ media haven't worked out that he is a NZer yet, because they haven't done their usual song and dance routine reserved for NZers who do well overseas. His expose on how weak the ATM machine's are is staggering when you can see what he makes them do to spit money out like a jack pot machine.

Congrats and a salute to NZer leading his field of expertise! It's great that one of the planets best hackers is from little old NZ.

Citizen A - 7pm tonight

Citizen A - 7pm tonight Triangle TV, replayed 8pm Sunday Sky 89 & Freeview 21

Tune in to join Bomber and his revolving panel of bloggers as they offer an up-to-date half hour review of the political media issues of the current week from a very Auckland perspective.

THIS WEEK: Who will win the SuperCity, What would a Laws and Peters NZ First look like and wikileaks - what are we doing in Afghanistan again?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Michael Laws is to Winston Peters what Drinking is to Driving

Laws and Peters said to be lining up for NZ First 'relaunch'
Speculation is rife that NZ First leader Winston Peters and his former adviser Michael Laws are to team up again as part of a "relaunch" of the party this year. Neither Mr Laws, who is to stand down as Whanganui mayor this year, nor Mr Peters would confirm the rumours. But MPs from both sides of the House and sources close to NZ First said they were aware of plans.

I never thought I would need another reason not to vote for NZ First, I was dreadfully wrong!

Corporate business media in denial about double dip

Shadowstats' John Williams Exposes The Media's Propaganda Spin, Or Why Watching CNBC Can Be Hazardous To Your Wealth
In his latest letter to subscribers, Shadowstats' John Williams dissects recent economic data, and after providing yet more evidence that after the recent period of "bottom-bouncing at a low-level plateau of business activity" the economy has once again entered a double dip. Overall, it has cost the US taxpayers several trillion in debt (which will never be repaid), and a major hit to the value of the paper in their wallets, just to play the game of extend and pretend for a just under 18 months. The positive effects of the sugar high are now gone, leaving just the negative, one of which is the propaganda spin engulfing the entire legacy media complex whose survival depends on the ongoing perpetuation of the Ponzi lie that all is well. And courtesy of Mr. Williams we have prima facie evidence of precisely why formerly reputable channels such as CNBC are in the process destroying their credibility and causing an exodus of viewers, with the few remaining viewers remaining primarily for the opportunity to heckle the openly lying talking heads.

So pundits on corporate business media are being told "I was advised off-air by the producer that they were operating under a corporate mandate to give the economic news a positive spin, irrespective of how bad it was." The Daily Show did a great job of pointing out the corporate bias to lie about how well the economy was going while it was going down the drain...

...the corporate news media are drug pushers trying to sell a fix they know is bad for you.

Neo-liberal Milton Friedman freemarket dogma has crashed the global economy, we need to start thinking Keynesian managed capitalism and force the IMF and World Bank to burn their Ayn Rand book collection and focus on developmental rather than deregulation theocracy.

This is what environmental protest really looks like

BP boss steps down, protesters blockade stations
Greenpeace activists have been shutting down BP service stations across London this morning (this evening NZT) in protest at the company's handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The organisation's UK website says it aims "to close dozens down this morning". Greenpeace chose today for the protest because the announcement about Hayward stepping down was expected. Greenpeace is updating how many stations have been shut down on its website. The latest figure is 46.

This is how you do it folks, massive numbers, massive action, with well organized small cell groups. Something to keep in mind for NZ.

National lied to Unions

PM broke his word to unions says Kelly
A union leader has written a "Dear John" letter to Prime Minister John Key, effectively announcing a divorce between unions and the Government and accusing him of breaking his word.

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly has criticised Mr Key for leaving the unions out of the labour law reforms he announced last weekend at the party's national conference. The changes include extending the 90-day trial period to all employers and requiring employer consent for union access to workplaces.

Yesterday, Ms Kelly published a letter she wrote to Mr Key saying the CTU was reassessing its relationship with the Government. She said he had breached his undertaking to consult her if the Government was going to move on union access and non-union collective bargaining.

"You also said you wanted to work with the unions," she wrote. "And you portrayed yourself as a moderating influence in employment law matters. That has changed."

Of course John lied to the Unions to declare this war against them, Key isn't doing this to create jobs or employ those on the margins (The Department of Labour report actually states that the 90 day right to sack won't achieve those goals at all). Key is launching these Union busting laws to boost corporate donations to the 2011 electoral war chest.

Based on the very trial that Key has used to make his case, the bossman sacked 22% of workers, we have 400 000 new workers each year, John Key's Union busting laws could actually sack 80 000 workers. This is great for Nationals bossmates as that uncertainty and the high unemployment easily allow for exploitation.

The 90 day right to sack will shut down people moving from their current job to take up a new one because they don't know if they are going to keep that new job, it will also impact on spending by those 400 000 new workers who won't be stimulating the economy with their wages as they will cautiously hold onto all they earn in case they are the one in 5 the trial shows get fired by these new right to sack powers.

Workers rights under attack meeting tonight
7pm-9pm Lecture Theatre B28, Library Basement, University of Auckland

Nanny State Myth allowed to kill NZers by the National Party

Joyce concedes lower limit could save lives
Transport Minister Steven Joyce has conceded that reducing the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers could save lives, prevent injuries and save millions of dollars in social costs. But he said the Government's road safety package - announced Monday - already includes measures that will achieve the same ends, including a zero limit for repeat drink-drivers and drivers under 20.

What a load of bullshit, National are so terrified by the Politically Correct Nanny State Myth they spent a decade building that they won't enact social policy for fear their Frankenstein bogeyman will backlash against them and that spineless Joyce admits the wimp out on blood alcohol levels will cost lives and millions of dollars just so the Nats don't seem 'Nanny State'.

As Gordon points out...

On the despicable decision on blood alcohol driving limits
This rationale for kicking for touch could hardly be more contemptible. More research into what – whether alcohol at these levels really does impair driver judgment? That’s a no-brainer. Our current blood alcohol levels are already at world highs – four times what they are in Russia, for God’s sake – and are also far in excess of similar developed countries.

This National Cabinet are a pack of gutless wonders who are not fit to lead on important social issues.

John Key wants to increase your student debt

$11b student loan debt a disaster, says Key
Fresh calls have been made for interest to be reintroduced on student loans after Prime Minister John Key said student debt was a disaster economically. "If you're an investment banker – not that I am these days – you'd say it's a disaster of a loan book," he told students at Victoria University's Weir House yesterday. "It's $11 billion, roughly, at the moment and we collect 53 cents in the dollar, that's it. Fifty-three cents in the dollar. If you just sat there, logically, you'd say there has to be a better way of doing it."

Our boy in the bubble (John Key) says Student debt is a mess and National would like to increase it. I'm not sure what spooks me more, the desire to increase the debt burden on students or the fact that John Key keeps slipping into his 'If I was a merchant banker I'd do blah blah' mode. Newsflash to boy in the bubble, you aren't running an investment bank John, you are running the educational needs of a country you clown.

What is hilarious is that interest free student loans were created to help keep student in NZ rather than have them leave the country, remember that 'brain drain' National spent 9 years screaming about? Well apparently it's not so scary after all and National want to cut lose one of the few policies they have that can reward students who don't leave with their education for overseas.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's over climate denial - man made pollution IS causing the planet to warm

Come on Climate Deniers, it's over now, let's just forget all the nasty bitter bullshit you have fought with right up until the end, but it's over now okay? Man made pollution is causing the Planet to heat, so say 97–98% of the 1372 climate Scientists involved in this peer reviewed Journal article...

Expert credibility in climate change
97%-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.

The mainstream media better pick up on this story, the amount of time they have given deniers to spout bullshit is embarrassing and they have a responsibility to show that the near majority of scientists involved in this field of science actually do back up the IPCC findings!

Man made pollution is causing the planet to warm up, we need to be talking about sustainable methods of economy that will produce jobs as well as fund research technology change NOW. We've wasted enough time listening to oil company spin lines chanted by the echo chambers of right wing blogs.

90 day right to sack Public Meeting 7pm Wednesday 28th

As the ramifications of John Key's 90 day right to sack become apparent and the pretense of moderation falls over, people are getting angry and want to fight back, and fight back they should. Based on the Department of Labour report used by Key to sell the 90 day right to sack, this right to sack was used to sack 22% of workers, there are 400 000 new workers per year, that's 80 000 workers that could be sacked by this power.

Let's not forget this attack on the Unions is not about benefiting the economy (the Department of Labour report actually says there is no evidence this right to sack will create jobs or help workers on the margins like National claim) and it has everything to do with boosting corporate donations for the 2011 election war chest.

This meeting on Wednesday night will be a chance to launch the protest action in Auckland against the Government's draconian labour laws, and I understand a new tactic is to be announced at the meeting that will see a wave of wild cat actions against employers John Key has asked the Unions to name and shame.

The October GST rise will see the tax cuts evaporate along with the vacant aspiration Key peddles as people feel the reality of how hollow his claims they would be better off are. Key changes his mind when he gets frightened by protest, it's time to protest.

7pm-9pm Lecture Theatre B28, Library Basement, University of Auckland

In the loop

Auckland Trains on the cross-party appeal of the Green's CBD rail policy.

Various politicians and policy people have been promising some sort of CBD underground rail connexion, deviation or loop since the 1920s. All that Banks, Hubbard and Fletcher could do was to get the rail restored to a Britomart station like we had... in the 1920s. We are back to square one. The rail corridor isn't even zoned yet - so maybe we are at square negative one. With no funding because that is spent on motorways. Negative 2. The electrification is always 3-5 years off it has seemed since the creation of the ARC in the late 80s. Until there is an electrified system there isn't going to be any trains running in the tunnel anyway and as long as there is no tunnel to Britomart there is no need to electrify the system so it's a catch-22. Negative 3.

Len Brown isn't saying anything new. When he casually refers to infrastructure bonds he's talking about borrowing a lot of money. Thank goodness he didn't mention tolls like he did at an earlier occasion. [UPDATE: And ditto "Banksie" on infrastructure bonds:From Banks' latest newsletter. --UPDATE ENDS]

Auckland is going to have a different relationship to the government in Wellington and its spending when the Auckland Council comes into being. Rodney Hide has seen this forced marriage in Auckland as a victory and will press on.The Auckland Council's challenge is to manage the initial relationship with central government when the Local Government Minister is a bloody-minded ideological reformist. When the numbers and percentages of the Auckland Council start being circulated and people start thinking of Auckland's budget in terms of proportion to the national one, and how many magnitudes larger Auckland Council is to any other council in NZ then the power should swing back to the Mayor and Council. It will be very difficult to do anything substantial to the Auckland Council against their will once it is established. Hide may have been able to kill the smaller entities to create a bigger one through legislation with little effective opposition, but unilateral legislation being rammed through parliament against the expressed wishes of the Auckland Council is unlikely. The question that will be eventually asked is: will the Crown bulk-fund Auckland's transport and infrastructure needs directly? That's one ticket-clipping, churning, endless loop from which Wellington will never sever itself and the bureaucracy would fight hard to see as little decision-making as possible is devolved to Auckland.
A dedicated transit rail authority to only focus on urban rail with its own source of funding and operating a 30 or 50 year plan is what Auckland needs, but has never had. If we had a 50 year plan back in 1960 and a stand-alone authority with a legislated mandate and a secure and predictable source of income with democratically accountable commissioners then maybe there would be no cause for complaint. Instead we got motorways. The public transport gets spent on running buses down the motorway on their own motorway. It's all about the motorways.

The important part is how to make sure the rail system exists - and then run it properly instead of having it run by the anarchic clown factory that is Viauoliea or whatever it is called. No-one has come up with a plan for that - no one has even come up with a plan to get a single clock into a single suburban rail station. Listening to Len Brown's semi-coherent waffle he hasn't a clue - and 'CCO's sux' isn't a policy either.

Here's my contribution from 2007 on the rail loop issue: if the tunnel project on the Waterview SH20 connection was to be put into a rail tunnel of the same distance under the CBD. There's $100m about to be wasted on the Newmarket viaduct motorway in the form of rebuilding something that doesn't need to be rebuilt that could be put into the rail system. If Transit abandons the second part it would leave the viaduct with at least three more lanes than it does now - and two more than it is envisaged to be. Put the heavy vehicles on the new part. Cancel the contract. That would be near $100m and the capacity sitting there to begin the rail loop. Let's be getting on with it. No excuses.


Gutless backdown by National because of their own nanny state myth

After all the hype about tackling our nations booze problems, the Government have wimped out and have not lowered the blood alcohol level. National spent so long in Opposition building their Nanny State Frankenstein bogeyman that they are now too spooked to awake it in the public consciousness meaning that they won’t implement any social policy whatsoever. It is a scandal that our blood alcohol level is so high, that men can drink 7 stubbies and still be considered 'under the limit' when anywhere else (Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Russia and Sweden) they would all be well over the limit!!!

Our booze culture is so locked in and the National Party so terrified of their mythical nanny state monster they've built in the minds of people that important social policy can not be progressed. The Stormtroopers of the Dykeocracy from Helengrad kicking in your front door to ram power saving lightbulbs and water saving showerheads down your throats never existed!

All John Key and his boys on Cabinet care about is the perception from that 7 stubbie kiwi bloke who will be told on their fourth stubbie that they can't drink anymore, and the response of that kiwi bloke being, 'bloody PC Nanny State, won't let a bloke drink blah, blah, blah'. For God's sake National, grow some balls, and lower the blood alcohol limit you pathetic pack of gutless clowns.

Don’t blame it on the 3 strikes, don’t blame it on the red necks, don’t blame it on the private prisons, blame it on the Maoris.

Crusher Collins gave an incredible answer to the question as to why we have the second highest incarceration rate in the world, her answer was, ‘because of maori’. Note, it’s not the medieval raw meat law and order policy that Crusher Collins and the National Party have championed, it’s not the private prisons Crusher Collins was claiming would generate $1.2Billion (while costing $1.3billion), our second highest incarceration rate is not because of the right wing political manipulation of anger generated by a crime myopic media - oh no, the Prison Nation National built is all because of dem dere maoris.

The utter denial by National that they have anything to do with the punitive prison nation they have created which will now employ more people than any another department is breathtaking in it’s bare faced lie and is insulting beyond capacity that Crusher Collins would try and duck the responsibility of her Prison nation by blaming Maoris.

Judith Collins is to wise social policy what BP boss Tony Hayward is to corporate responsibility.

Bomber's Blog - The War on News - TONIGHT 10.30pm Sky 89 & Freeview 21

The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos Sky 89 10.30pm Tuesday & simulcast on Freeview 21. Replayed on Triangle TV 9.45pm Wednesday and posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Thank God for Wikileak!

'Hidden US Afghan war details' revealed by Wikileaks
More than 90,000 secret US military records have been leaked to the media, revealing hidden details of the war in Afghanistan, newspapers report. The documents are said to include unreported killings of Afghan civilians as well as covert operations by US special forces against Taliban leaders. UK daily The Guardian and the New York Times say the records were shown to them and to German weekly Der Spiegel by online whistle-blower Wikileaks. The US has condemned the leaks.

Vengeance attacks against wedding parties, death squads and billions syphoned off to fund the Taliban. I'm sorry, what are we doing in Afghanistan again?

All hail Wikileaks!

National spooked by their own Nanny State Frankenstein bogeyman

'Scandalous' stand on booze
A Government call on dropping the breath-alcohol limit for drivers will go down to the wire, with lobbyists fearing a "scandalous" backdown in a decision that could be announced as soon as Monday. A change would mean the average male could drink only about four stubbies of beer over two hours before driving, rather than about seven now. But it is understood the proposal has met fierce resistance from some Cabinet ministers. Cabinet was supposed to have signed off on a package to address alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in April, but the measures have been stalled. Lobbyists now fear a "scandalous" backdown on the basis of what they say are "erroneous arguments".

Hilarious isn't it? National spent so long in Opposition building their Nanny State Frankenstein bogeyman that they are now too spooked to awake it in the public consciousness meaning that they can't implement any social policy whatsoever. It is a scandal that our blood alcohol level is so high, that men can drink 7 stubbies and still be considered 'under the limit' when anywhere else (Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Russia and Sweden) they would all be well over the limit!!!

Our booze culture is so locked and the National Party so terrified of their mythical monsters they've built in the minds of people that important social policy can not be progressed. The Stormtroopers of the Dykeocracy from Helengrad kicking in your front door to ram power saving lightbulbs and water saving showerheads down your throats never existed!

All Steven Joyce and his boys on Cabinet care about is the perception from that 7 stubbie kiwi bloke who will be told on their fourth stubbie that they can't drink anymore, and the response of that kiwi bloke being, 'bloody PC Nanny State, won't let a bloke drink blah, blah, blah'. For God's sake National, grow some balls, and lower the blood alcohol limit you pathetic pack of gutless clowns.

About those calls to arm the Police

Drop in NZ gun-death rate
Gun killings in New Zealand have declined the most in an international comparison - even though this country has less strict licensing laws than Canada and Australia. A forthcoming article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Interpersonal Violence, published by United States-based Sage Publications, found New Zealand had "the most pronounced decline in firearm homicide over the past two decades". The study suggests unemployment rates and the availability of heroin are more significant factors in firearm homicides than gun control.

Ummmmm - hold on. Didn't we have Greg hopping up and down screaming to arm the Police (on two very questionable cases, the first was a warrentless search based on 'I smell weed' where nothing short of arms drawn would have protected the Officers from ambush, and a West Auckland case where the Police originally claimed they were involved in a 'gunfight', then it was a 'couple of shots', and finally 'he didn't fire one shot'), and now we get this report that we have declined the most in terms of gun killings???

Yeah, let's hold right off on this whole giving the cops guns all the time thing shall we? Greg's case gets weaker and weaker with each passing day.

Mixing messages and mixing drinks

King's students suspended for drinking sake on trip to Japan
King's College, which attracted national attention over a student's alcohol-related death in May, has disciplined pupils for drinking liquor on a trip to Japan.

We are a nation of alcoholics and Kings College really sum up the mixed messages we send young people and booze, first they have a young teen tragically drink themselves to death, then astoundingly parents try and host an after ball with booze, and now you have students overseas in Japan getting suspended for a couple of shots of sake.

If young people are confused about booze, its because of the mixed messages adults send them.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Why John Armstrong is wrong

Veteran activists need new tactics
The left-wing activists who stormed the Sky City Hotel last Sunday in an inevitably futile attempt to force their way into the National Party conference should take a good hard look at themselves.

I like John Armstrong, I think he is a very astute political columnist, but I think he's underestimated the 90 day right to sack and that he has misread the economic climate...

Bradford, McCarten and Minto seemed to have set their watches to 1910, not 2010. Any moment you might have expected horses ridden by strike-breaking armed "specials" to come around the corner. Or at least they would in their imaginations.

...that's right John, it isn't 1910, it's 1932 during the crises of capitalism. Come October, the GST rise is going to make a lot of middle class people feel for the first time in their lives like they are not middle class, while those on the bottom will have the John Key vacant aspiration squeezed out of them when his words that they won't be worse off from the changes turn out to be hollow. The anger the Unions are identifying early will become much more heated as the tone changes after the GST rise.

To debase and devalue the protest action misses the reality of the coming economic situation and the instability and anger that economic situation is going to cause while also extinguishing the medicated optimism that has made smile and wave John Key immune to cynicism and low polling.

Phil Goff has a harvest coming to him sown by a Government focused on the interests of the top 2%, not the interests of NZ. That harvest will be angry, diminishing that anger as Armstrong does is a strategy National are blindly embarking upon as well.

The Nation and q&a

The Nation
Fascinating news that Sean Plunket will be the new host. Drinnan makes the very interesting point...

The question will be how they attract guests to be faced by Plunket and Garner instead of the comparatively gentle Paul Holmes and Guyon Espiner on TV One's Q & A.

...the ratings last week were 182, 800 for q+a, the ratings for The Nation were 91, 160. As a politician you are going to choose the smoother road with the bigger audience, but the entry of Plunket could be a real ratings boost so those numbers are by no way going to remain static.

The panel is their brilliant combo of Noelle McCarthy from Radio NZ and Chris Trotter.

The Scoop was a brilliant broadside on how the Minister for the weakest link, Kate Wilkenson, was hidden from announcing any of the u-turns spun by National this week.

First up is Don Brash and raising the age of superannuation from 65 to 67.

I don't wish to sound cynical - but news that those gravy train baby boomers who have squandered the fruits of being the first youth generation are now going to stay in the job market for another 2 bloody years isn't music to the ears of Generation X. Great, another two years of explaining what twitter is and avoiding their facebook friend requests. Can't the Baby Boomers retire EARLIER so that Gen Xers can try and work off the impact of their student loans? Baby Boomers are living longer and holding on for dear life in the employment market refusing to hand over the reigns of power to the next Generation. RETIRE THEM ALL! Of course the problem is how do we pay for it.

Garner brings up a troubling point about the Australian banks shutting down lending, Don notes he's on the Board of the ANZ (surprise, surprise) and he defends his Australian banking masters. Brash goes onto argue the Nats haven't been 'bold' enough and have wasted the global crises, it's the gleam in his eye as he says that which makes me glad he was never the PM.

Chris brings up the point that we need to raise tax to pay for super, Don grimaces (he looks fearful being made to sit so close to Trotter), and says no, let's just raise the age of retirement. Chris points out 40 years from now is near impossible to plan this radically for and so it has to be about tax to truly fund this. Don counters it could get worse, so best to limit the franchise of the social contract altogether.

Next is a brilliant story on ethnic media in Auckland. Most fascinating was how subservient most of the Chinese newspapers were to the Chinese Government, with each editor interviewed admitting they would not print critical stories about the Chinese Government and that they were approached by the Chinese Government to represent news in a certain way. That's troubling because we have 250 000 mandarin only speaking people in NZ who are reading what amounts to a propaganda arm of the Peoples Republic. The most hilarious example was United Press which is owned by a Subsidiary of Natural Dairy, the Chinese company who want to buy the Crafer farms. Not surprisingly the paper champions any business relationships between NZ and China and was able to make a 5 sentence press release on Natural Dairy into a front page 'story'.

Terrifying stats from the credit sector of a huge jump in the number of people who were now going to use credit to pay for the weeks bills. This is the real crises, the coming second dip.

Very good show, am really looking forward to see what Sean does with it.

LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE! Excellent show line up, we've got Crusher Collins on to get challenged for her raw meat law and order regime, we've got Council of Trade Unions General Secretary Helen Kelly and Employers & Manufacturers’ boss Alasdair Thompson fighting over the right to sack powers and the panel is Dr Therese Arseneau, ACT leader and cabinet minister Richard Prebble and Unite Union head Matt McCarten. Lot's to fight over this morning with well armed and vocal proponents. This is as good as Sunday morning current affairs gets.

The monologue is up and running - the National U-Turn is brilliantly questioned and asked. Paul's stream of consciousness performance during the monologue is almost high art now, it's as deliciously lucid as William Shatner.

Preb's is pointing out that the globe is talking about Sovereign Debt yet here in NZ we aren't talking about it. Matt says the U-Turn by National is the first fight back, make enough protest and Key will back down. Therese was surprised how quick how quick Don Brash got slapped down. Matt and Preb's descend into an argument about what would have happened if Don Brash had been leader of the country. Preb's says it would be a glorious future, Matt says that Preb's would have been Finance Minister. Everyone bursts out laughing.

Guyon is interviewing Crusher Collins. National have built the nanny state myth up to such a bogeyman that they are too terrified to ever create social policy that may accuse them of being 'NANNY STATE'. Crusher keeps making the point her gun regulations are very minor, certainly not Nanny State, blah, blah, blah. Bring back the Thorp Report and look at a gun buy back so we can clean up the country. This interview isn't going anywhere fast, Crusher won't enact any serious social policy change because she's terrified of the Nanny State tag.

Okay it's cops and guns. She's talking about 'fast access', but she is surprisingly staunch about not wanting the Police to be armed with guns on their hips. I'm impressed.

Prison population rising, she argues that Corrections isn't influencing the crime rate, so it isn't Corrections fault. Guyon makes the point however that we lock people up more than almost anyone else, Crusher the astoundingly says the reason why we have such a high lock up rate is because of MAORI???????????? WTF IS SHE SAYING? She says the Maori population is the reason why we have such a high incarceration level when compared to the rest of the world?????? She is claiming it's not the raw law and order meat policy she is implementing that is locking more and more NZers up, she is saying our high incarceration levels are because of Maori???

Crusher counters every argument with the claim that locking more and more NZers up is the best thing to do, she point blank refuses to see the opposite side of the argument, so in love with punishment and prison is she. Guyon argues that not everyone should be sent to jail, she shrugs. It costs 3 times the amount to put someone in prison than to put someone through Kings (v funny analogy), she says if you don't want to do the time don't do the crime. It's all the same old conservative law and order crap spun by a Minister in the grip of the Politics of Hate that crime and order activists like the Sensible Sentencing Lynch Mob promote.

It's ugly, and terribly vacant. The Panel jump in, Matt points out the social factors, Therese points out that the media are to blame for their ratings driven 'if it bleeds it leads' crap (in March 2006, the 6pm One Network News had 22% of it's content as crime, while the crime stories appeared in the headlines 29% of the time. By March 2010, the 6pm One Network News had 14% of its content as crime news, yet the crime stories appeared 35% of the time in the headlines). Preb's - God Bless him, points out that marijuana needs to be decriminalized. BLESS YOU PREBS!

Okay, it's Unions Vs the Bossman - let's get it on (Kate Wilkenson backs down and avoids the issue again). Paul gives Helen a run for her money and challenges her on the numbers, but Helen can throw stats back with the best of them and points out there is no evidence that this probation period can work. Paul then turns on Bossman, let's Bossman off the hook because he's not very good at explaining his side of the debate other than shallow 'we are seeing an anti business movement' (as a spokesperson, shouldn't Alasdair Thompson be able to string a sentence together?). He claims the only reason the Union are making a point is because they've had nothing to complain about.

It's a joy to see Helen on fire, Thompson is getting horribly beaten. Someone call the Police, we are seeing an on screen assault. Alasdair Thompson admits he has had a sick day, Helen snaps he won't need to get a sick note.

Helen comes out and says the John Key relationship is now off - she claims he has broken the trust between the Unions and the Government. That was a punchy move, I think I may love Helen.

Matt points out that Unions have to fight, Therese says it's for the hard core National Voter, Preb's says it doesn't go nearly far enough.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

UN man

Person: Prof. James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur, Apache.
Venue: Sky City Casino, Welcome room (only access through bar area). [Inappropriatenessness]
Date: 4:30pm Friday 23 July 2010, wintery.
Press: Largely absent. (Guerilla media video below 1/4.)

Aucklanditis always afflicts the office workers about lunchtime on Fridays and some as early as Thursday afternoon. It's funny how it does that, it must be a CBD-wide sick building syndrome. The UN woman kept looking at her watch wondering where everyone was and she didn't seem to understand about it being Friday, she thought a Friday press conference is normal scheduling - so naive - she was from Geneva.
He was unwilling to prejudice his report by saying... anything... at all (although I note the trigger word for him interrupting the question about the effectiveness of the UN was "Israel" - he was prepared to tolerate it up to that point). He did not think much of the use of international mechanisms to solve our internal differences - which was unexpected given his own international legal battles which were successful. Then again he is here at the invitation of the government and as long as the process has not reached an impasse he is unlikely to say that a resort to international organs like the Permanent Court of Arbitration etc. is needed. His remarks made no reference to the inequality of the official languages in the English-only compulsory state education system, but he was aware of it when raised.

It's a situation report in an ultra-political context and yet he must be seen to be neutral and that meant he was giving vague and non-specific answers. He could hardly respond to the generic questions, so there was no way he could answer a specific one and it seemed futile to ask in the end. The other difficulty in wanting him to offer his opinion on making an evaluation of progress since his predecessor reported is that his visit comes in the middle of a re-negotiating the repeal terms of the legislation that prompted the (now standing) invitation for the UN to inspect us in the first place - the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004.

I would liked to have heard him condemn the unilateral Crown deadline of settlements and claims as prejudicial and provocative, but he said he had been assured by the Crown that their deadlines were only nominal and were subject to change. Historically he's right - that's how they end up being, but in principle it's still wrong to try to impose one without consent from the other parties - "vulnerable to political discretions" is how he put it in regards the Treaty principles. Did he mean process or the principles themselves?

Unilateral exclusive Crown interpretation of the Treaty is the current situation. The NZ government wrestled native policy off London in 1865 and the Treaty of Waitangi was no longer Whitehall's problem as far as HM Secretary for the Colonies was concerned. The NZ government agent can offer the London debt market a sovereign issue backed by the land holdings they were accumulating through the ethnic cleansing of the Maori - it was a win-win for the British race and British mercantile commerce to their way of thinking. A few years later the Treaty was declared to be a bum rag by the NZ judiciary and the government opened up freehold title to non-British subjects and the speculative land pyramid was crudely hewn into the honed monolith it is today with it's RBNZ and OCR and tiered, revolving mortgages. It is all based on the Crown's legal framework and the legislation underpinning land transactions. It's one long title encumbrance.

But he was being "optimistic - as only I can be." He said he did want submissions: try here.

He was critical of the government and I agreed with most of what he said:Media statement170 years on and no one knows what our date of independence is. That will tell him something about our slackness if the poorly attended presser hasn't. The consensus in NZ is to do things as slowly as possible to avoid conflict.

The UNDRIP is applicable to NZ via the Treaty especially. Indigenous pre-supposes colonisation. NZ is not in a post-colonial stage - ditto the "white countries" who also initially refused to sign the declaration. NZ, Canada, Australia and the US are colonial countries with imperial instincts, and each one with their own brand of native policy - outposts of another civilisation with an eighteenth/nineteenth century agenda of European expansion firmly at odds with the indigenous/first people and their authority, in some cases their existence itself. These are colonial states with a forced peace, not a settled peace. Their population transfer policies are still open-ended - that's one of the planks of colonisation - with acquiescence and under-education in abundance and rebellion confined to the chatrooms.


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The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos Sky 89 10.30pm Tuesday & simulcast on Freeview 21. Replayed on Triangle TV 9.45pm Wednesday and posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

It’s just like 7 days on TV3 but with fewer dick jokes.

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