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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Citizen A - ONLINE NOW!

Citizen A this week with editor of scoop, Selwyn Manning and that awful Cameron Slater

Issue 1: The Maori Party's appalling bedside manner on suicide and the Child Poverty Action Groups plan to feed children in poverty - are those on the bottom needing help getting that help?

Issue 2: Mr Key visits Washington and all he brought us back was the lousy Marines

Issue 3: Is the Rugby World Cup going to be an economic fizzier for Auckland?

PLEASE NOTE: Cameron Slater begged for the $200 he owed me back after filming

Citizen A now plays 8pm Stratos Freeview 21 & Sky 89 Fridays


The Nation and q+a review

Q+A - 77 870
The Nation - 22 000

The Nation
Colin James the great points out how crap the msm ratings are, and Colin even TELLS The Nation that they should have younger commentators on to give different points of view, ARE YOU LISTENING RICHARD HARMAN? There is an alternative political critique happening and the msm are ignoring it.

I'l bring these issues up directly with Sean Plunkett next month when we are both guest speakers of the CTU when we are reviewing the manufactured crises at the Hobbit and I'll be bagging middle class fog horn Russell Brown over his blog that enabled the msm to conduct the worst union bashing since the waterfront strike.

Tizard is on and so is that nice Fabian Society chap pointing out that despite the crap from the msm this election isn't lost yet. The Nation are again once using baby boomer commentators zzzzzzzzzzzz. What The Nation doesn't get is that National will have no coalition partners. Sean is sadly clinging to his cheap brainfart polls with their failed methodology, can't wait to confront him with that.

It's that prick Simn Power on next, my bet is that The Nation gloss over Smons largest erosion of civil liberties for a soft slow hand job that passes as interviews on The Nation. Incredibly that's exactly what Sean does (Jesus I can't wait to bring this up to him at the CTU conference). No attack on his erosion of civil liberties, no attack on banning jury's, no attack on trial by tv screen, no attack on his destruction of an independent legal aid system, no attack on the speed of ramming through people in a pet food cheap grade of justice, it is extraordinarily bullshit even for The Nation. No attack on his resigning as state asset minister for a 'conflict of interest'.

The lack of critical questions is embarrassing, how can a man enact the largest single erosion of civil liberties in this fucking country get away with such a pasfest for an interview? Simon never gives interviews, so this rare chance to hold the bugger to account is a shocker. I'm switching over to the comedy channel, at least that is supposed to be funny. Can't wait to go one on one with Sean at the CTU conference. The Nation barely rates above 20 000 per week, Citizen A rates over 10 000, at least Citizen A asks the hard questions. There's a Bennie bash story, but I'm not even bothering with it - why watch a press release from Paula Bennett?

Epic fail of an interview, I'm going to make Sean cry on stage next month. I have to be honest to admit that I ma be dropping The Nation from weekly review in favor of Marae investigates as the quality of weekly current affairs there is far better than The Nation.

Dr Jon will also be a guest speaker at the CTU conference in Wellington for the same guest speaking role so I'll bring up my list f complaints about Q+A as well, mostly complaints about that awful Tm Watkin.

When Rupert Murdock buys TVNZ if National get re-elected, I wonder if they will replace Holmes with Paul Henry as host of Q+A?

Th bullshit green paper by Paula Bennett is being discussed, at least q+a are asking some had questions, well until Guyon starts interviewing anyone I suppose. The monologue is always the best bit of q+a.

The brilliant Lord Winston and Gluckman are both on, they are deeply critical of National's approach to poverty. Isn't it hilarious, because NZers LOVE John Key, they will refuse to see how detrimental National's policy are for the rest of the country. Sleepy Hobbits are so stupid and we deserve to reap what we sow. How dare Bennett who has led the Bennie bash bullshit now pretend to care months out from the election. Her 32 page green paper report equates to almost 1 page per month by her department since she entered Parliament. The bullshit meme that the right wing use is that if money could solve the problem I would have, when you consider w only spend .4% GDP on early child education which puts us behind Mexico and Portugal, that bullshit intellectually defunct argument that throwing money at the problem would solve the problem is as empty as Cameron Slater's dead soulless eyes. Listening to all these right wingers claim they want to take dogma out of the debate when all the have been doing is Dogma is a joke.

PS Annette King was amazing


Friday, July 29, 2011

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

THE WAR ON NEWS: In this weeks political media crimes against reason kill zone

NZ SAS in Afghanistan killing in the name of right wing Christian fundies?

Hungry NZ Children vs the Shire Volk

More white NZers kill white NZ children than Maori kill Maori Children - don't let cracker babysit the kids

The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos 10pm Thursday Freeview 21 & simulcast on Sky 89. Posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The hand that rocks the cradle: National Green Paper on children fails to deal with issues

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei's comments that the Government's release of a Green Paper on Vulnerable Children is a distraction from the urgent and pressing issues facing New Zealanders could not be more correct. The Green Paper is a discussion document, which is better described as a public relations pre-election exercise. The paper begins with opening letters from John Key and Paula Bennett. Key expounds that we should have solved all our problems with vulnerable children if "throwing money around was the solution", echoing talkback rhetoric.

If National were serious about helping children, they could address the following issues:

- Early Childhood Education: We currently spend 0.4% of our GDP on early childhood education, which puts us at no.19 in spending and well below countries such as Mexico and Portugal. National have slashed money out of early childhood education, which has left spending this year at 1% less than its prior rates, causing Paul Goulter from the New Zealand Educational Institute to accuse the Government of placing 'smoke and mirrors' to cover their lack of spending;

- The Government has come forward with $585 million as more funding for mental health, which the Green Paper identifies as making New Zealand youth vulnerable (mental health issues affect up to 1 in 5 New Zealanders). Yet Labour has highlighted that only $420 million of this is new spending, and $185 million comes from cuts in other parts. While the Government has not rolled out this initiative fully, which seems to be targeted at shifting 100,000 people off benefits (in particular those on sickness benefits), there is some confusion over what the programmes will look like, especially in the face of many services making extreme cuts. The Government has said that the cuts are not a national initiative. The Nelson-Malborough District Health board has slashed $1.51million from their funding, in a move that one NGO leader described as "being asked not only to cut our own throats, but others too". Capital and Coast for the Wellington region has said it is looking to cut $2 million in funding. Chief executive for umbrella mental health group Platform Marion Blake has said that these cuts will be nationwide across district health boards;

- Dunedin North Labour candidate David Clark has lodged an official information request in response to allegations that CYF frontline staff are being reduced in Southland;

- Kohanga reo - there has been the Waitangi Tribunal case against the Government for adopting contradictory policies that work against the ability of iwi to work with strengthening Maori children's participation;

- Looking at the economic effects of their policy. Economists are currently warning of the high dollar presenting even more challenges for the average family struggling with inflation in food prices. As Gareth Morgan warned on Campbell Live a week or so ago, Key is currently playing
"Russian Roulette" with the NZ economy. This will have an effect on stresses affecting families. A bad economy together with the gutting of social services does not make happy families.

The Green Paper is little more than Shipley's heavily critiqued Code of Social and Family Responsibility proposal: public relations spin. It pushes the emotive issue of vulnerable children, further playing into the usual suspects of stereotypes that Bennett and National have been quick to stir in attempting to attract votes (which so far include solo mothers, sickness beneficiaries and the idea that funding towards social services won't reduce the burdens on families or children). It raises recommendations that Labour has made, without actually doing anything about these. Key's foreword that it is not money that solves our problems should signal that National is going to be slow on the uptake for presenting options that do.

So Paula Bennett wants urgent action on vulnerable children does she?

So Paula Bennett wants urgent action on vulnerable children does she? Then why the bloody hell has she waited almost 3 years to launch a 32 page Green Paper that does very little to actually help the almost 20% of NZ children who live in Poverty.

At this rate her Department are writing one page for every month National are in office,.

We know what the issues are, we know how we can make real inroads into poverty reduction when there is genuine political will. $20 million to feed our poorest children so that they can learn will do more for education and poverty reduction in this country than all the bennie bashing bullshit Paula is currently putting all bennificiries under by cutting off their benefits and forcing the mentally unwell and sick back to work when there are no jobs.

All Paula is suggesting is cutting the slices of the pie smaller rather than growing a bigger pie. Sadly this Government are as ideologically blind to taxing the rich as the Republican Party in America are.

When rich and poor stood shoulder to shoulder and fought on the battlefields that gained NZ it's honor, they decided that those who shared the burden of democracy should equally share in it's fruits. Our redistributive tax system is the backbone to our egalitarianism, Paula Bennett's green paper is a pathetic attempt to smoother criticism's of her Governments inaction over poverty by refusing to answer the basic question, how can hungry kids learn?


How soon before RWC tickets are being given away for free?

Has any one else noticed some ominous canaries dying in many cages over at the Rugby World Cup?

Put aside the petty Council vandalism of the inner city, the Krd assault alleyways, the spike in sexual attacks, the extra powers given to Police misused on Mana Party and Unite Union members, the private security firm with the $20 000 contract to twice daily sweep the homeless from Queen St so as not to offend the tourists , the expensive cloud tent no one wants after the Rugby World Cup - put all that to one side - I'm just talking about the ticket sales.

This matters not because of our weird fetish for Rugby, it matters because according to Treasury, the Rugby World Cup alongside the Christchurch rebuild will be the two main economic drivers of this year. Did I say two main, I meant 2 only. Now one doesn't need to be Ken Ring to predict that the Christchurch rebuild won't really start this side of December, so that leaves the Rugby World Cup and in terms of that, aren't the signs kinda ominous that the entire thing will become one giant fizzier and are the media ignoring these warning signs because they have so much sponsorship riding on this with advertisers as well?

Let's just look at the last couple of weeks. The Eden Park luxury uber expensive penthouse suit extension at the posh part of the park was dramatically scaled back from a double story to a single story after a complete lack of interest in pre bookings. This elite part of the cliental are supposed to be the profit margins for these events, and to date the uber rich ain't commin. This is born out by the collapse last week of a local business set up with rugby legends of old as front men to hire exclusive homes out to these same class of rugby spectators. Add the appalling ticket sales to date alongside news today that cheaper seats are being released because tour operators can't sell them, and increasingly it's looking less and less likely that the Rugby World Cup is going to be the vast money maker Treasury were hoping like hell it would be.

At some point organizers are going to just accept that this is nose diving and offer free Rugby World Cup tickets, so if you are keen on going, hold out, i think Rugby World Cup ticket prices are the only thing this year price wise that will defiantly come down.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Native Affairs asks serious questions over Ratahi death

While Te Ururoa Flavell is making headlines with his comments on youth suicide, Native Affairs this week has been pushing boundaries over the way that we deal with Māori mental health and also taboos surrounding dead bodies on television. The segment screened on Monday night, and was produced by award-winning Te Kaea reporter Semi Holland and featured a special interview with the whanau of Anthony Ratahi, the 46 year old man who was shot dead by the police in Taranaki after taking his ex-partner hostage.

Holland interviewed Ratahi's young daughters, who provided her with access to his tūpāpaku (body) at his tangihanga (funeral) at Oeo Pa. The daughters explained that they had provided the camera crew with this access in a bid to provide justice for their father. The images of Ratahi's body were confronting. Close ups and mid-shots of his body revealed where police had shot him through the eye, and the daughters showed the marks on his limbs from where he was also tasered and bitten by police dogs. His daughters said that they were well aware of their father's problems, and had attempted to stage interventions but their requests for help had been ignored by police. Apparently they had approached police for help on what mental health services could be used to help Ratahi but had been told he was just a domestic abuser.

The segment on Native Affairs was extraordinary for a number of reasons. First of all, there are many taboos around photography of the living and dead in Maori culture (a fact that was reported as the family being ‘hostile’ in the Taranaki Daily Times). The invitation into the tangihanga was extremely unusual for this reason. Second, the way the segment was constructed and shot offered a side to the story that is not often seen in mainstream media. Through placing Ratahi and his family front and centre, the Native Affairs episode differed radically in framing from the angle in mainstream news that these were the actions of a lone madman. Rather, Ratahi was positioned as someone who fell through the cracks. His family has drawn attention to the way that Ratahi did not receive any rehabilitation help or anger management programmes. Judith Collins has currently ordered five separate police investigations into Ratahi’s death under pressure from the Māori Party, and it is worth noting that this is the second fatal shooting in Taranaki, with Steven Wallace’s death occurring under similar circumstances.

It is imperative that we do look into the context of these events rather than merely writing them off as the uncontrollable actions of a few. Throwing the book at people is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, and clearly doesn’t work for many people. Ratahi had handed himself into police before, and from his family’s reports, it is likely he knew he was a danger to other people also. Police Association spokesman Greg O’Connor has said that “at least 99% of New Zealanders are supportive of police in their use of lethal force”, which aside from being a made up statistic, completely glosses over the fact that such investigations are held not only to clarify the police’s role in conflicts, but also to see whether our existing social services are strong enough to prevent the repetition of these events. Given that we are on the verge of cutting back on the Family Court system and controversial legal reforms, it is really important that we look at where our systems are failing us in not providing help for people who clearly need it.

Flavell calls for the victims of suicide to be dishonored in death

Maori MP: 'Condemn' suicide victims
A Maori Party MP has suggested that children who take their own lives should be condemned rather than have their life celebrated - a call slammed as "absolutely disgusting" by a mother whose child took his life. In a controversial column in Rotorua's Daily Post newspaper, Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell suggested a "very hard stand" should be made on suicide. "If a child commits suicide, let us consider not celebrating their lives on our marae; perhaps bury them at the entrance of the cemetery so their deaths will be condemned by the people," he wrote. "In doing these things, it demonstrates the depth of disgust the people have with this. Yes it is a hard stance, but what else can we do?"

Our suicide rate tripled during the 1990s as the hard right economic policy as social policy agenda was implemented. Unemployment jumped to over 20% for youth in 1992 and it's now over 19% in 2011 - what makes Flavell's comments so outrageous is that it is the policies of the Government he supports that is generating the hopelessness that feeds suicide.

Flavell asks what else can one do rather than damn those who are weak and who fall and dishonor them in death, why not implement policy to strengthen the social infrastructure that can cope with those social stresses? How about you spend those billions you've handed over in corporate welfare to the people that actually need it instead?

Flavell would have John Kirwan say, 'rather than talk about your depression, know we will piss on your graves and spit on your name once you are dead'. Flavell shows all the bedside manner of Pontius Pilate trying to wash away the social carnage of his Governments decisions.

The insensitivity combined with the audacity makes Flavell a political suicide for wanting to dishonor suicide victims.

Now that's irony.


Margin Call

In the shadow of the brilliant 2010 Film Festival doco, Inside Job, the last thing the right wing will want is another movie that reminds the general population that free market deregulation low tax Milton Friedman dogma is as beneficial as lung cancer and caused the current economic meltdown and crises of capitalism.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NZIFF: The Woman

The Woman

Oh. My. God. The only thing more disturbing than this brilliant black comedy was the audience who turned up to watch this demented journey of a psychopathic chauvinist patriarch who captures a 'wild' woman and decides to 'keep' her. It was like the Josef Fritzl Sadomasochist appreciation club turned up to watch, never before has so much facial hair been misplaced on so many rain coated freaks.

The film is an uncomfortable watch, the tenseness of the family bond when the Dad is such a crazy, the moment he slaps his wife for daring to question if keeping the wild woman is legal is only matched when the wild woman bites his finger off and spits out his wedding ring at him - a glorious victory for feminists everywhere.

This shocker of a movie has it all - cannibalism, teen pregnancy, masturbation while using pliers on nipples, lesbian teachers having their throats ripped out and a touching mother daughter family moment at the end.

'The Woman' is a punch in the balls to the facade of civility in our deeply sexist culture where women are second class citizens in their own country's. The only thing missing that would have made this a 4 star movie is a fitting castration scene for the Father.

This movie will have Women's Studies students busy for decades.


PS - Ant Timpson (who has once again out done himself with a his brilliant selections this year - wanted it noted that there were walk outs, and he's right, there certainly were).


Hungry NZ Children vs. the Shire Volk

Our hungry kids: Hungry pupils 'need taxpayer help'
A Herald investigation shows many children are going to school unfed. We explore why, and what can be done. But a children's lobby group says New Zealanders should stop blaming the parents of hungry children and allow their tax money to be used to feed children in the poorest schools. In a report issued today, the Child Poverty Action Group says parents on benefits and in low-wage jobs cannot afford to feed their children well.

Helen Clark always said NZ was conservative with a little c, I've always believed that we are also redneck with a little r. The one type of redneck I despise above all are the Shire Volk. When Far right hate merchant and candidate for the racist ACT Party, Cathy Odgers describes the poor of NZ as the Pathetic Heaving Underclass while attempting to justify sterilization bonus programs for the poor, she is a Shire Volk, and nothing shows the depth of her delusion and spite towards the poor than her latest sad attempt to cleanse her extremist past than her extraordinary claim that it is in fact me who is to blame for the position those in poverty find themselves.

How this corporate lawyer finds the audacity each morning to blog about NZ when she doesn't actually pay tax here, well, she's like a leper judging a beauty contest isn't she?

Far right ACT candidate Cathy Odgers is as relevant to the debate on poverty as Alasdair Thompson is to gender equality.

According to CPAG, we have hundreds of thousands of Children living beneath the poverty line, not the poverty line Cathy writes about in the Asian world that is bereft of social welfare, the world she wants to drag NZ into, the world where economic Darwinism rules and exploitation is simply the free market at work, I'm talking the poverty line that a 1st World Nation recognizes.

If you listen to the arrogance of the Shire Volk talk about the poor and why they can't afford to feed their children in a recession this steep, with 5% inflation and a minimum wage that is a joke (note ACT and National want to re-implement youth rates), with welfare rates that are set 20% below the minimum nutritional requirement for an adult so that they are 'hungry' for work, when you listen to the banality of the Shire Volk in passing judgement on the poor you are reminded of the Herman Melville quote...

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well housed, well warmed and well fed."

...what a rich corporate lawyer like Odgers has to say about poverty isn't worth spit. Why should the poorest members of our society pay for an economic recession they had no hand in making? It was Cathy's wealth class who exhibited such corporate greed that made Wall St a rigged Casino. How many of the heaving pathetic underclass that Cathy so detests were on the phone to their Wall St brokers in 2007/2008 buying lite crude in Euros and speculating on the Goldman Sachs derivatives market?

In the words of Scribe, not many if any.

What Cathy Odgers, what John Key, what Paul Henry, what Michael Laws, what Alasdair Thompson, what all the Shire Volk have misjudged is the egalitarian nature of New Zealanders. A Capital Gains Tax is not the bogeyman they and their wealth class are attempting to spin it as, New Zealanders accept their social obligations because those obligations have been forged in fires far deeper than their multi-millionaire pockets.

On the battlefields where New Zealand's honor was tested, when the rich and the poor of New Zealand stood shoulder to shoulder and held the line - where the responsibility of democracy was equally shared, so to THEY decided will the fruits of that democracy be equally shared.

Our redistributive tax system that is the backbone of our egalitarianism can not be easily swayed by the vacant optimism of the free market that so kindles the light in the eyes of our Shire Volk. We see the poverty, we see the need in our fellow citizen and we see the corporate welfare that has replaced social welfare.

Finding $20 million when this Government has handed out billions in corporate welfare to feed the poorest NZ children is a necessity, refusing to do so is ethically bankrupt.

This election will be for the ideological heart and soul of New Zealand, and come November we will see if those bonds of social obligation go beyond the empty aspiration of elites like Cathy Odgers.


NZ SAS in Afghanistan killing in the name of?

A day after John Key's extraordinary claim that we are in Afghanistan to protect Norway from far right fundy Christian terrorists, it turns out we can't even bother training the NZers we are currently feeding the global war effort...

Inquiry into Kiwi soldier's death criticises training
New Zealand troops' training has been criticised by a top-level inquiry following the death of Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell in Afghanistan. A Court of Inquiry decision released today highlighted the lack of ''in-theatre'' training for troops working in the war-torn country. O'Donnell, 28, was killed in an ambush in the north-east of Bamiyan province on August 4 last year.

...you would think propping up a corrupt Narco State while handing civilians over to known torture units was enough to make the occupation in Afghanistan about as ethical as selling handguns to children, but that we aren't even preparing those NZ soldiers for what they are facing is a revulsion too far.


We are not in Afghanistan to fight Al Quaeda (they aren't there any longer), we are not in Afghanistan for feminism, we are in Afghanistan because geographically its provides access to oil for the West.

In 1996, the Wall Street Journal declared the Taliban, "are the players most capable of achieving peace in Afghanistan at this moment in history"., this was because they had just defeated the American armed Northern Alliance who had just ended their 4 year 50 000 dead rampage thanks to America walking away without disarming their most fervent anti-soviet fighters (hilariously Osama Bin Laden had been given $4 billion in which to fight the USSR).

This praise of the Taliban proceeded a massive attempt to win over the Taliban so that America could build a vast oil pipe line that enables them to tap into the huge oil fields of the Caspian Sea. Taliban were flown to Washington and wined and dined by George W Bush Snr and entertained in Housten by senior executives of Unocal who offered the Taliban fifteen cents for every thousand cubic feet of gas pumped through Afghanistan.

In 1998, Unocal's Vice-President for International Relations, John J Maresca told a Congressional inquiry that "by 2010, Western countries could increase oil production to 4.5 million barrels a day, an increase of more than 500% in fifteen years". His appeal was for a regime that could guarantee that increase.

At first America did all they could to provide such a regime, Unocal signed a 'memorandum of understanding' to build the pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan, it did this on behalf of Enron, Amoco, BP, Chevron, Exxon and Mobil with the deal makers being none other than Dick Cheney and former Defence Secretary James Baker.

The deal went sour when two American Embassies were bombed in east Africa and Al Queda were blamed. The September 11 attacks provided the perfect pretense to invade Afghanistan under the flag blinded claim of 'freedom and democracy'.

This war in Afghanistan has nothing to do with freedom and democracy, it has to do with securing America's never ending belief that they and they alone have the God given right to take oil resources from any part of the world under whatever pretext they need.

We are killing Afghan Civilians and handing them over to known torture units as part of our effort to prop up the great game and to plunder oil reserves, we are no better than the American war machine, because we are willfully part of it.

I'm sick of right wing clowns justifying war for oil as if it's some bullshit fight for freedom and democracy. Afghanistan has NEVER been about freedom and democracy.


Mana: Treaty settlement policy

The end point of the Mana Party's draft Treaty settlement policy is constitutional transformation. Now I take that to mean: transformed so the Treaty is superceded and all the Treaty Settlement infrastructure isn't needed anymore - post-settlement. At that point Maori and their institutions and rights etc. will be normal (and not "special" as Pakeha usually think of it nowadays) and the Crown will be brought back to compliance with the Waitangi Treaty (ie. 'Honouring the Treaty') and it becomes the basis for the new constitutional order. That's the way it should happen. It is far from a straight forward course at the present moment, but this draft policy goes further in spelling it out than Labour ever would:

Treaty Settlements

The purpose of the Treaty settlements system is to justly settle Crown breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. A suite of policy changes is needed to ensure claims lodged under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 are settled more justly.

Mana Party policy priorities are to:

* Remove the Deadline for lodging of claims which was imposed for 1 September 2008 and extend the time frame for the settlement of historical claims with the Waitangi Tribunal to better enable iwi with such claims to properly research and state their cases.
[This is necessary because the government is trying to rush the process and cut people off, punishing them for their lack of resources and compounding the injustice.]

* Increase resourcing of the Waitangi Tribunal so that it is better able to hear and expedite the settlement of claims in a fair and timely manner.

* Expand the jurisdiction of the Waitangi Tribunal to make binding recommendations in certain cases.
[It's a matter of what is the Tribunal best at doing - digesting academic correspondence, rendering decisions, resolving issues between Maori and the Crown? If they are competent to make binding recommendations then on who - government or also on others? If it is binding there will also need to be an appeal corridor too. ]

* Increase the value of settlements to iwi by introducing a graduated system of settlement rather than a one-off settlement package. This would replace the current “full-and-final” settlement system and would enable the Crown to justly settle claims over time.
[This will be welcome to those Iwi having difficulty internally agreeing on everything needed for a global package - so it may be helpful. There may be issues here with a future Minister of Finance being responsible for blowing out the Crown's $1 billion fiscal envelope enshrined in the ratchet clauses of the Tainui and Ngai Tahu deals of the 90s, but no government is officially acknowledging it as a problem because it is such a piddling amount in the scheme of a budget of dozens of billions - and Mana would reject a limitation on principle in any case.]

* Establish an independent Treaty of Waitangi Commission, where the Commissioner is elected by Māori voters at general elections. A key role of the Commission would be to oversee the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal and the negotiations of the Office of Treaty Settlements to better protect the rights of iwi claimants.
[Interesting, one commissioner or one per electorate? This negotiation role seems like another blasted layer of bureaucracy, but it is crucial to ensure fairness. Some idea like this is welcome, although I think a third party (or process like the international court of arbitration etc.) would act as a better honest broker. An outside mechanism is needed because the government and their TPK and OTS and MoJ and so on are agents of the Crown and are not impartial.]

* Prioritise the return of Crown owned lands including those held by State Owned Enterprises where there are proven claims over those lands in keeping with the maxim “Me riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai”.
['Land banking' is already underway in some confiscation areas so that the tribe will end up with something, but it isn't much because all the agencies of government are selling and transferring land out of the public domain all the time - and Acts like the Foreshore and Seabed are a continuing confiscation.]

* Ensure that the texts of He Whakaputanga o Ngā Rangatiratanga o Niu Tireni and Te Tiriti o Waitangi are the reference points in settlement dealings between iwi and the Crown, and not the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
[Act would actually agree with Mana on the principles bit anyway - wishy washy mush dreamt up by a judge to excuse the Crown from actually following the letter of the Treaty. It says what it says and it doesn't need a layer of judges and then bureaucrats and then politicians to try to put their spin on it so as to water it down for Maori and let the NZ government still do whatever they like. And the declaration of independence - before the Treaty - is in too. This is very good move - it will inform everyone that the spine in the Treaty comes from an earlier Mana Motuhake from Maori.]

* Abolish Crown appointment of brokers and facilitators to effect settlements, and ensure iwi have the capacity to select their own leaders and appoint their own advisers without Crown interference.
[Government interference and conflict of interests in the process - and of course their ultimate interference and conflict of interest by having constructed the process itself as the only one available to Maori - is pervasive. For that reason an outside party may be in a better position to be trusted. So this policy is a good start and can be applied to engagement with the third party (rather than continue entertaining the Crown's own games and sideshows).]

* Begin a process to settle the way in which political and legal power is structured in Aotearoa New Zealand. Settlement must include meaningful constitutional transformation.
[And on this score the Maori Party - of which Hone was a member until earlier this year - has got National to agree to a constitutional korero. That conversation will start soon as the Maori Party will want to use it as a policy win for them in the campaign. It will be overwhelmed utterly by the MMP debate most likely, so to cut through Mana will have to offer more than the conversation itself, a constitutional solution of their own.]

It's pretty dry, it's pretty moderate, it's prescriptions conventional and minimalist, but it's a good starting point for policy and I expect it may get more "radical" in tone and substance once it gets to the end of the process.


K rd RWC assault alleyways

Good to see the NZ Herald catching up with issues Tumeke has been discussing for months...

K Rd bus shelters $2m toilet, says union chief
New bus shelters being built on Karangahape Rd risk becoming a $2 million-plus set of public toilets, says a union leader who represents bus drivers.

...some of the decisions to tart Auckland up in time for the RWC are outright vandalism, like putting a dirty great big handrail down the middle of Myer's Park 98 year old stair well. or decisions like wrongfully painting over legitimate street art on Poynton Terrace by anti-graffetti nazi Rob Shields who now chairs the committee as to how the $10 000 Council grant for more art should be spent.

Expect his decision to be as creative as cardboard.

But the worst looming fiasco are the new bus shelters on K Road which obscures pedestrians from the road along a narrow ill devised corridor in what I'm quaintly going to refer to as the Rugby World Cup Assault Alleyways. How this has managed to get to the building stage without any actual appreciation that they are building two long passageways obscured from the road that invite ambush is beyond me.

It's like the Council are purposely constructing a 'killzone' for locals.

The design is stupid and ill thought out, just like the painting over of legitimate street art and the purposful wrecking of the Myers Park stairs.

It's like not only will this RWC cost us a fortune, it will be used to increase Police powers to hassle Mana members and Unite Union organisers, it will see a spike in sexual assaults, it will see private company homeless hit squads sweeping away transients (so as not to remind our visitors we are the 7th most unequal country in the OECD) AND we have to put up with petty vandalism of the inner city as well?

I'm so sick of Rugby being the default hope for the economy, it ain't going to do a bloody thing to compensate the vast sum of cash that has already been pissed away on this joke cloud tent and so called 'hospitality training'.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Act list

It must piss her off to have to share the party with recycled Nats, but she's holding her nose for the greater good and remains relentlessly on-message. She is a machine when she gets stuck into something (or someone) and Act are very lucky to have her, but her candidacy thing is a brave lark and I expect she will pull out before the final list meeting once she has performed her task of selecting a suitable, preferably younger, female face for Act.
Don's in charge because that's his condition of membership, so he's No. 1. John Banks is standing against his own biographer acolyte in Epsom, so Banks will take the seat and have a hold allowing him to end up No. 1 after Don goes. But Banks isn't an Act guy, he's a Tory Nat and it is that problem that will spell the end of Act even if they manage to put something together with National post-election. It's all opportunism and very little ideological coherance with a Brash Banks leadership. Whether Banks has to be No.2 or not is of no importance to him compared to having been allowed a clear run in the Epsom Electorate, but he will probably be at 2.

The Federated farmers guy, Don Nicolson wants 3 or 4. He'll probably get that because farmers vote and are rich and Act can argue that along with their conservative social policies and newly (re)found Maori-bashing Act is the natural party of the farmer rather than National. John Boscawen deserves to continue as deputy but if Banks wants No.2 his lack of ego will push him back to 3, 4 or 5. Whoever Cactus Kate can attract by way of an ambitious corporate female success story will be treated as a head-hunted trophy to be put at No.4 or 5 in an attempt to make the list look less gender-biased.

No.6 means the party gets to the 5% threshold or thereabouts and then the power swings to Don Brash rather than the constituency-holding John Banks. I have no idea who might fill No.6. Hillary Calvert hasn't amounted to much and went along with the coup against Rodney so she may be put at No.6 for her short service as an ACT MP so far, but the inner circle won't expect - or care - because I doubt they will count on getting above 5% or getting a sixth MP.

The official target must be 5%+ but anything over 3% will be considered a victory in the circumstances. Some personally wealthy individuals may well end up at 6, 7, 8 as a means of funding the campaign - like the scenario with Boscawen last time. With Brash and a new crew they will attract the money they need to go on, but being right wing and unpopular it always costs a fortune. The tide is running out on Act as it wallows with all the scars of their political and personal hypocrisy, mistakes and compromises in government fresh and painful, tender and in the open. It doesn't help at all either that the Nats are pushing privatisation as a main policy as many ex-Act voters will keep voting National.

An electorate ensures parliamentary survival and 3% on the list is just big enough to have some impact on government - it's like what they have done this term and it's a very achievabale aim for this election given it is now under new management. If the Nats get to 45% that puts Don Brash in charge of something in a new government. It is this prospect that ought to motivate many left non-voters back to the ballot box. The left parties can easily paint a simple caricature of out of touch extremism with Brash in front, so he has arguably been more of a boon for the left than the right.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The true cost of Youth Unemployment

Youth unemployment could lead to suicides - Anderton
Progressive MP Jim Anderton is warning high youth unemployment rates could lead to a spike in suicides. File photo / NZ HeraldHigh youth unemployment rates could lead to a spike in suicides, Progressive MP Jim Anderton is warning.

The comments follow a New Zealand Institute report on disadvantaged youth, released this week, that found efforts to tackle youth unemployment had made little progress.

Mr Anderton today said high rates of youth unemployment inevitably led to high rates of suicide.

"In the `90s, four peak years of youth unemployment were followed by the highest youth suicide rates in the Western world,'' he said.

We know from the social carnage caused during the economic turmoil of the 80s and
90's that it is our societies most vulnerable that bear the brunt of such change. We should never forget as we look to relegate community safety nets to 'nice to haves', that our suicide rate trebled to the shameful OECD levels they are today during the last great pruning of the State.

All publicly funded sectors are eyeing the forthcoming zero budget with concern as what is needed in all sectors as they tackle an ever growing tide of demand, is not austerity, it is social re-investment.

It is difficult to reconcile the growing list of corporate welfare with continued cutbacks to public welfare. I've never fully understood why the most vulnerable in society are asked to do with less for an economic crises they had no hand whatsoever in causing.

We can not pretend not to know what happens to the most vulnerable in society when that society contracts, we've walked this very path in the 1990's, yet to continue skipping down this path minus any of the extra funding our social infrastructure requires is just criminal neglect on behalf of the Government.

And what is Paula Bennett's solution other than bennie bashing and baby farms? She keeps wasting money on boot camps!

This Government love boot camps and seem to believe that spending over HALF of the $55 million package supposedly aimed at unemployed youth on pointless military boot camps is a great use of money in the steepest recession since the Great Depression.

It isn't and the Government know this and that is why Paula Bennett is hiding the results...

Effectiveness of boot camps 'under wraps'
The effectiveness of Government "boot camps" to straighten out the country's worst child criminals is being kept under wraps.

The eight-week military activity camps, known as Macs, are run near Christchurch and cost about $36,000 for each participant. So far 36 offenders aged 14 to 17 have completed a course as a last resort to turn their lives around.

The Social Development Ministry has refused to disclose the number and nature of offences committed by the participants before and after the camps.

Child, Youth and Family youth justice services general manager Chris Polaschek said he could not provide the details as the complete information was not held on CYF files and had not been collated from police files in a way that allowed suitable reporting at present.

Labour Party social policy spokeswoman Annette King said she suspected the silence was because the camps were failing.

...and that is because the BOOT CAMPS DON'T WORK!!!!!!

Most boot camp youths have reoffended
Only two of 17 youth offenders sent to controversial boot camps have not reoffended.

All stick and no carrot makes little Johnny a prison statistic.


National are frightened and the msm misread it

Act look for deal to leave marginal seats alone
National and Act are working on a deal under which Act would not stand candidates in marginal seats, including New Plymouth and Waimakariri, to increase National's chances of winning them.

Dunne deal as Shanks toes line
In Ohariu it looks like a case of Shanks but no thanks. The sitting MP, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne, won a clear endorsement from National yesterday in the Wellington electorate after comments from National candidate Katrina Shanks suggested she would fight hard to win the seat. A Government source said Ms Shanks had subsequently been "pulled back into line" by the National leadership.

With so many questions still hanging over Katrina and how Alex Fogerty,the white supremacist founding member of the anti-MMP group I outed last month, managed to become her electoral president for Ohariu, if I were Katrina, I'd be pretty quiet as well.

Here's the problem for the mainstream media, National are panicking because they don't believe a word of the biased brainfart opinion polls the msm are using to declare National will win by nearly 60% of the vote.

David Farrar, the online mouth piece for National has even admitted that the margin of a win will be down to one or two MP's...

In a Parliament of 122 seats you would need 62 seats to govern. So National would not govern alone but could govern as National/ACT on 63 seats, National/ACT/United on 64 seats. But that is a whisker-thin majority. If the centre-right lose a couple more seats then the Maori Party would hold the balance of power, and there would be an auction for who gets to form government.

...the reality is that these mainstream telephone polls are deeply flawed, take Auckland as an example, 35% of households in Mangere and other south Auckland electorate's have LISTED landlines, 50% in Mt Albert and other isthmus electorates have LISTED landlines, close to 80% in most North Shore electorates have LISTED landlines. A decade ago those differences were less than 10% and all electorates had the majority of people on listed landlines, now they don't and you can easily see by that breakdown in Auckland alone how biased these cheap brainfart telephone polls can be.

National realize this and are now desperately trying to ensure they have a coalition partner, that's the reason they are cutting deals in Epsom and Ohariu. If ACT continue to misfire with their jaw dropping outright racism that passes as publicity, National will be desperate for Dunne to win and the Maori Party to at least hold onto the seats it currently has.

How likely will that be? With Mana running against the Maori Party, the chances of the Maori Party holding onto their present seats is incredibly unlikely and for Dunne, Ohariu has the largest percentage of Public Sector workers than any other electorate, those voters know a vote for Dunne is a vote for National and a vote for National is a vote for more public service cutbacks. Dunne is toast.

So National realize the polls are flawed and are desperately attempting to shore up their coalition partners, because the mainstream media are so reliant however on these brainfart polls, they can't admit they are flawed and as such are blinded by National's sudden action on these fronts.

Wasn't it hilarious that after all the attention given to TVNZ's poll that claimed Labour at their lowest support since 1500BC, how quiet the media were over the next poll that showed they weren't that far apart, or indeed the Horizon Poll that shows the left factions beating the right factions.

The mainstream media are using these polls to manipulate public opinion, not reflect it. This election is far closer than the msm are pretending.

UPDATE: Yawn. Slater is doing some song and dance routine on his site re my landline stats, firstly he's using 2006 data, I'm using 2008 listed landline data cited by lprent from the Standard. If Slater can't keep up with the latest trends and wants to back the deeply flawed methodology of his master David Farrar's cheap brainfart telephone polls, knock yourself out, but I won't be lectured on 'lying' from a convicted criminal like Cameron Slater.

UPDATE:From lprent from the Standard re landlines and my use of landline stats:
Bomber is talking about listed phone numbers – ie ones that are in the white pages.

The reason for this being important is because even in Auckland 09 area there are only hundreds of thousands of households, 10 million possible phone numbers, and millions of numbers that are possible from the exchanges. Consequently random dialling is ineffective. Polling companies get listed phone numbers from white pages, or some other source of phone numbers. This is why having a unlisted landline number means I have no calls from either telemarketers or polling companies – except those that come from companies I have given my number to.

Cameron is being an idiot (as usual) because he is obviously cannot read. His numbers refer to a question in the census. It does not look at listed land-lines in a household, or even land-lines in a household. The question is if they have access to a landline. This can be a landline next door or a phonebox on a street corner.

The reason why bomber cannot provide a reference is because the data he is referring to is not published. It is the result of me writing electioneering software on a voluntary basis for the Labour party where I see the electoral roll matched to the white pages. When the question came up in discussions, I pulled some figures off a report I made prior to the last election about the issues with phone canvassing.

It is from a combination of the electoral rolls and the white pages which is unique to political parties. There is no published information. However anyone who does have access to this kind of data for electorates for phone canvassing knows about this issue of diminishing numbers of households with listed phone lines.

I’m sure that polling companies like Curia do as well. So I guess DPF is just making mischief


Mr Key goes to Washington and all he brought us back was these lousy Marines

Marines will receive 'NZ's gratitude'
The Pentagon has agreed to send a group of Marines to New Zealand next year after an invitation from Prime Minister John Key. Mr Key also invited the United States to consider sending a Coast Guard ship.

With China focused like the eye of Mordor on NZ with attempts to buy our Farm lands, donating $200 000 to the National Party and attempts to set up a new political party in NZ all via 'Natural Dairy NZ', America have woken up and realized China is flexing their muscle into a sphere of influence here in NZ they had always taken for granted, so all of a sudden America wants to be our best friends forever.

The real game will be how NZ plays America off against China. China need us to test their lowest cost capitalism out here in NZ, I say we let them. Let's have them rebuild NZ, not just Christchurch, let them into rebuild all our infrastructure, broadband, new public transport, the latest green technology - THE LOT! But how do we do that without them bribing our Political Parties and interfering with the political process, we don't want to be a South Pacific version of Tibet.

When will we see a symbolic American ship visit? Obama wants to come to NZ, how about an invite to the 'white fleet' of the Coast Guard - that way we would know the ships don't have any nuclear powered engines or weapons, and this is pretty much what National have tried to achieve.

America sees NZ as their sphere of influence and the sudden intense interest by China makes them nervous, as the two battle it out for undisputed global super power, how does NZ play one of against the other?

I asked David Cunliffe his views on this last weekend...

With the Washington Consensus economic hegemonic structure grinding against the Beijing Consensus, how does NZ chart a course between the two?
It's a bit like the ant caught between two mating elephants. Heaven for us is being on good terms with both of those superpowers and hell would be being on good terms with neither of them and that will involve a tricky dance at times, but we are lucky that we have the foundations for that. Relations with the US currently are good with the Obama Administration taking a broad view of regional politics and of course our relationship with the People's Republic of China is excellent given that we are the first Western country with whom they've successfully negotiated a free trade agreement and in the last couple of years the exports to China have doubled and we expect that to continue. There's a reasonable amount of bi-partisan consensus between the two major parties that we have to be reasonably open to international trade, but on the Labour side we don't think that means we have to completely throw open the kimono. Sorry about the mixed geographic metaphors.

An issue coming up will be the Trans Pacific Partnership with the US and 7 other countries. At the moment I'm very worried about it because the US are not putting on the table sufficient upside for us in the area of access for dairy and meat products, and at the same time the US Pharmaceutical industry is playing very hard ball on trying to open up our Pharmac. I dare say that if it was put on the table in its current form it would not get through the Labour Caucus and I doubt it would get through the NZ Parliament so there better be some pretty fast work by the negotiators on the TTP if there is not we could be looking at a bit of a break with US. I hope that's not the case.

Is John Key playing up to the Americans with the kite flying over the Marines coming to NZ? Is this America wanting to mark its turf in the Pacific as China looms? Does that explain the heavy handed Free Trade deal that John Key is promising billions from?
I think that John Key never met a photo op he didn't like and I think he wants to go with something to the White House that will appeal to them and putting the Marines back into NZ is something I think NZers ought to think very carefully about, because it says one of two things, one is that we want to rejoin a military alliance with the US and I don't think that is the majority view in NZ. I think NZers are very comfortable about us being very good friends with the US as we are with others in the region, so an out and out military alliance? I think we need to think again about that.

The second reason for doing it is if there was an immediate and approximate threat that we needed defence from, and unless he's talking about clapped out rust bucket refugee boats from Indonesia that are suddenly going to surf a wave down to NZ, I'm not sure what threat that would be. Can I just remind everyone that it's not the first time a conservative Prime Minister has tried to evoke refugee boats. Mr Howard did in Australia, he tried to fan the flames of fear about migrants as a re-election ploy and I think we are seeing that here.

That aside, I think that people need to have a careful think about the implications of putting a whole lot of US Marines back on NZ soil.

...if NZ is to benefit most between the friction of China and America, we need to understand what is driving that friction and where should position ourselves. NZ should be for NZers, NZ shouldn't be for China or America.


Greece and the victory of venal capitalism over democracy

I've pointed out that this great recession is a crises of capitalism like the great depression and has the potential to be as bad if not worse.

The latest on the PIGS doesn't suggest things are getting better at all and are in fact building to the next crises. Sovereign debt is about to become the next sub prime mortgage as the global stimulus cash is all finished up and we are about to finally go cold turkey.

And what of the American Corporate greed that got us into this because of the neoliberal deregulation global rules of economics that are enforced upon the rest of the planet?

Well, they are quietly paying...

All too quietly, Wall Street firms are being sued for their many transgressions. A study by Gary Null found that over $430 billion has been paid to victimized parties by Wall Street firms in over 1500 cases.
Some examples:
* Bank of America has spent $14.9 billion to settle 15 cases alleging various charges such as securities violations and mismanagement;

* Citigroup has spent over $13.9 billion to settle 12 cases alleging various charges including abusive lending practices and involvement in fraudulent activities;

* Merrill Lynch has spent $12.2 billion to settle cases involving various allegations including negligence and mismanagement of funds;

* Morgan Stanley has spent over $5 billion to settle 11 cases involving various allegations including failure to disclose material information to customers;

* Wachovia has spent over $9.5 billion to resolve allegations including misleading investors and conflicts of interest;

UBS has spent $19.5 billion to settle 6 cases with various charges including misleading investors.

As fulfilling as it is to watch these corporate maggots bleed, they are still the cause for the second impending collapse of the W recession, look how the corporate elite got away with setting the Greeks up...

Goldman Helped Greece Hide Catastrophic Debt
(Newser) – Greece's budget problems were allowed to grow to their current monstrous size with the help of a Goldman Sachs deal worthy of an Oscar for creative accounting. Greek government officials—no strangers to number-juggling themselves—used the US bank to concoct a derivatives deal that allowed the country to circumvent EU rules requiring member nations not to run deficits exceeding 3% of GDP, Der Speigel reports. The deal, agreed in early 2002, circumvented EU rules with a credit swap in which government-issued bonds in dollars and yen were traded for debt in euros. Such transactions don't need to be reported to EU authorities. The Goldman-Greece deal exploited this loophole by inventing a fictional exchange rate, allowing Greece to borrow billions more and mask the true size of its debt. Greece's deficit problem will become even greater when the Goldman bonds mature over the next 10 to 15 years. Greece's exploding debt is now threatening to bring down the euro.

Taking their weapons of mass financial destruction but instead of domestic consumption for the sub-prime mortgage market, Goldman Sachs on sold it to a country. Will the sovereign debt collapse spark off the next massive downward spiral in the W recession? Is Greece a moral hazard too far for the EU with Ireland, Portugaul and Spain knocking on the door? With China tapping the breaks twice this year already on banking loan restrictions looks like those pronouncements last year that the recession was over are more akin to Hoover's "Prosperity is just around the corner" quote.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc's role in hiding billions of dollars worth of Greek debt, all the while betting that the Greek economy would collapse is like buying fire insurance for a house, leaving the gas on and inviting the owners around for a cigar evening.

The financialization of the global economy has created corporate gangsters and where better to symbolically crucify democratic states than in the home of democracy?

Like a spoilt Adolf Hitler skipping outside the train used to sign the Treaty of Versailles, the Goldman Sachs Group Inc hit job on the birthplace of democracy must be as satisfying for those Corporate Gangsters as those wealthy Republicans refusing tax increases as America's debt ceiling draws closer.

Over 70 years ago in World War 2, Communism sided with Democracy to overthrow Capitalists and Fascists. The Capitalists swapped sides when they realized Fascists don't follow the rule of law and sided with the Democrats, moving on after defeating Fascism to defeat Communism and now Capitalism challenges Democracy, killing Greece will be more than a symbolic victory.


More white NZers kill white NZ children than Maori kill Maori children

Pakeha child abuse ignored - researcher
Pakeha kill just as many children as Maori do, despite Maori being the "face of abuse" in the media, according to a researcher.

Social work lecturer Raema Merchant said focusing on Maori parents diverts attention away from the fact Pakeha can harm children too.

"I'm not denying it's a problem for Maori, but if we're just focusing on Maori we're ignoring the Pakeha side," she said.

"It's almost as though Pakeha are putting their heads in the sand and saying there is no Pakeha child abuse."

Her master's thesis at the Eastern Institute of Technology found about half of the children killed in New Zealand died at the hands of a Pakeha abuser.

I'm sorry, 50% of Kids die at the hands of white NZers, yet the overwhelming media attention and myopic ratings focused presentation of the gruesome details is always on the 30% that are Maori?

You know a News Producers mouth waters when he gets a story of young Maori youth breaking into an old war hero's home and beating him up, stereotypes that concur with a base recognition in the ignorant rates better by playing to the worst angels of our nature than a reasoned approach to news gathering.

Our Public Broadcaster should be resisiting this easy race baiting rather than reinforcing it. In 1984, 40% of the news on TVNZ was politics, after the viewer as consumer restructuring, that had fallen by 1996 to only 20%, with the other 20% now crime stories. If it bleeds, it leads because shock stories about crime gain ratings.

Sadly the introduction of Freeview in 2008 hasn't stopped this trend, in fact it seems to have been a greenlight for TVNZ to push these viewer as consumer buttons much deeper into the 6pm News hour. Two years before Freeview became available on both terrestrial and digital frequencies, in March 2006, crime made up 22% of the news and was featured 29% in the headlines, yet 2 years after Freeview crime stories in March 2010 on the 6pm News made up only 14% of the stories in that month, yet was represented a staggering 35% of the time in the headlines.

Even though news stories as a whole had slumped to 14% in March 2010 on the 6pm One News, it was represented 35% of the time in the headlines. The impact is that the shock value of crime is vastly over represented in the news headlines so the impression left with viewers is one of a mad max post apocalyptic nightmare requiring Dirty Harry to sort out.

The reason there are more white people hurting children is because more white people are impacted by poverty and the stresses that poverty creates. By constantly blaming Maori for child abuse, it ignores that real generators of domestic abuse that poverty contributes to. The casual racist presumptions that are broadcast as the everyday on the mainstream media should be endlessly challenged and never accepted.


Rupert's implosion heralds the age of cynicism

Watching Rupert squirm is one thing, the entire implosion of Fleet Street alongside the reputation of the Police force is a cultural head wound on a national psyche reeling from the fallout after their political corruption scandals, all during one of the worst UK recessions on record...

More newspapers accused of hacking
Phone-hacking allegations have spread beyond the felled News of the World to other British tabloids, though the claims are being strongly denounced by their proprietors. Former journalists at the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror - the main tabloid competitors to Rupert Murdoch's British stable - reportedly said the illegal hacking of voicemails was widespread at their papers too.

...Gen Xers are a generation built naturally on skepticism and challenging authority, but can even they prevent an outright jaded collapse of faith in the democratic franchise when the politicians, political establishment, Police and Media are all smeared with the same contempt?

The age of cynicism is born from a ragged master.


John Key and his Norway justification for occupying Afghanistan

I love it how when a 'Muslim extremist' kills someone, then there is this immediate demand from the media for Muslim leaders to give a denouncement of the violence and an apology on behalf of the entire Muslim faith. When a white right wing Christian goes on the rampage it's 'he was acting on his own'.

According to John Key, we are in Afghanistan to prevent terror attacks like the one in Norway. The one in Norway was of course conducted by a right wing fundy Christian, using John's logic, shouldn't we be sending the SAS into Church's and start mass arresting Priests?

Propping up a corrupt Narco State while handing civilians over to known torture units is one thing, holding up a domestic terror attack by a fundy far right Christian as our justification for continued occupation in Afghanistan is however an audacity too far.

The only thing one can be certain of is that John Key, if re-elected, will have the promise not to resend the SAS back in Afghanistan gone before dinner, he has traded our independent foreign policy for slavish observance to America and it's 51st state, Israel, and that's why Key has hushed up Israel harvesting NZ Passports again, that's why NZ is being conned into a draconian free trade deal with America.


NZIFF: Let the Bullets Fly

Let the Bullets Fly

Machiavellian 1920's Chinese gangster warlords play political chess with each other as they trade chapter and verse of Sun Tzu's 'Art of War'. Lot's of death, vast amounts of vengeance and enough cloak and dagger shenanigans to make Shakespeare look like a one dimensional plot writer. A splendid rollick of genres that seem to clash madly against each other at first, but the pure enjoyment of the entire cast and another sterling performance by Chow Yun Fat ensures a good time had by all.

3 stars


NZIFF: Snowtown


No one explores the dark violent heart of a convict inspired nation like Australian film does. The brutal violence and grim reality of this based on a true story serial killings in Snowtown on the dishevelled fringes of Adelaide in the 1990s is one of the stand out films of this years festival.

Take bath torture, fraternal rape, sexual molestation, child porn, forced telephone confessions, homophobic rage and add a Community Watch on meth vengeance mentality into the mix and watch the veneer of civility melt away as an alpha male psycho becomes the leader of a deeply damaged family of social misfits forced to live alongside paedophiles in the rotting core of Australia's working class wasteland.

Incredible performances by Daniel Henshall and Lucas Pittaway (who bears a striking resemblance to a young Heath Ledger). This is a raw film that punches in the gut and provides insight to the hopelessness that feeds the dark angels of our nature.

Imagine Apocalypse Now based in the Australian suburbs, this is the terrible beauty of Snowtown.
5 stars


The Nation and q+a review

The Nation
No boys today, it's that women from Firstline. I like Firstline, it was the way I told TV3 to do their breakfast show rather than the 3 ringed circus of Oliver Driver and the boringness of James Coleman. Straight one person news was always going to be a better bet than the crap they originally went with. I pointed this over to tv3 time after time, they only got around to following my advice after they had lost millions. Private companies huh?

Don's on trying to desperately explain why he isn't desperate cutting a deal for marginal seats. What the idiot mainstream media do not get (and she certainly doesn't GET IT) is that National are panicking. Why are they panicking? Because they know the political polls are bullshit, but because the msm rely so much on those warped opinion polls, they are missing the panic that is starting on the right.

Take Auckland as an example, 35% of households in Mangere and other south Auckland electorate's have landlines, 50% in Mt Albert and other isthmus electorates have landlines, close to 80% in most North Shore electorates have landlines. A decade ago those differences were less than 10% and all electorates had the majority of people on listed landlines, now they don't and you can easily see by that breakdown in Auckland alone how biased these cheap brainfart telephone polls can be.

So the right don't even believe in TV3s and TVNZs bullshit brainfart cheap polls, and because the msm are blinded by those same brainfart cheap telephone polls, they can't question them and so are missing how panicked National are that they won't have

How this racist bigot can be given a handjob rather than an interview in the wake of his 'bribe a tribe advert' is just another embarrassment for TV3 and The Nation, but that's no surprise, Jesus this show is so right wing I think Steven Joyce might in fact be the Producer. Why isn't the Firstline woman ripping him a new one?


I was thinking of going to the Comedy channel, but The Nation has a piece on lobbyists, and if there is one thing you can trust The Nation to do, it's the prepackaged current affairs stories, and as usual, The Nation do a brilliant investigation into filthy lobbyists.

Corporate Lobbyist Mark Unsworth is on, he was on the tvnz7 Backbenchers show, he scoffed at Mana launching in the way I predicted, Gosh I cant wait to do the 'i told you so' when i catch up with him again. This clown was the one who took the PMs Chief of Staff on a Vegas piss up, his claims that he is as innocent as the driven snow is just bullshit.

Booze baron is on claiming he doesn't do anything evil - that's a lie, it was his industries lobbying that shut down this Governments pathetic response to our nations alcoholism.

That lovely Mai Chen is on, that awful Matthew Hooten is on. They BURN Matthew bad but pointing out his vested interests in promoting climate denial bullshit.

Next is some fossil they've dug up to explain why sucking up to the US is a great idea. Once again the msm miss the real issue - the US fear we are falling into China's sphere of influence, hence the draconian Free Trade Deal with America and they're symbolic pissing in our territory with the Marines now coming.

All of this is missed by The Nation, how about you rename the show 'the blind leading the lost' - seriously how does this get NZ on Air Funding? Thankfully the panel is on, here is one place the Nation could make inroads with brilliant selections, they've got Simon from Metro and Patrick Smellie, they have interesting points of view to add.

They all point out how crazy and racist ACT are. Hilarious TV. What Smon misses is that the National Party Maori Party stitch up was to make National look more centrist than they actually are. The relationship was always fake, he doesn't understand that, and when Mana contest those Maori electorates, watch how Maoridom will punish the Maori Party.

Well done The Nation, I only considered turning over once, that's a record.

Wanky Key in Washington show. The panel is missing one person, looks like bad production skills, I blame Tim Watkin.

Holmes is doing his best as Israel's representative on NZ TV. Monologue is mildly amusing.

Guyon on sucking up to John Key while Key sucks up to America.


How dare Key justifies Afghanistan, one day you are going to get a real interview John and such tripe won't be allowed to pass unchallenged.


The first thing Key will do if reelected is send the SAS back into Afghanistan, only fools don't believe that. TVNZ still misses that America is doing this to counter China, The Nation missed this as well. I pointed out earlier this year that we would be looking at a symbolic visit from the US Coastguard to sidestep the nuclear issue so the US could mark it's territory against an encroaching China.

This point is utterly missed.


Key now defending that we've given up an independent foreign policy to slavishly follow America and Israel which is why he isn't going to do anything about Israel once again trying to harvest passports.


Now he's defending the Free Trade deal where US corporations will be able to sue the NZ Government in overseas tribunals, why the hell would we ever put ourselves in that position? To keep America happy. Like The Nation, Q+A miss this dimension of what is actually happening.

Fran and Jon are the panel. That should be some intelligent discussion at last.

God TVNZ are so safe and baby boomer ain't they?