Quote of the day

July 4, 2016

. . . The sun five minutes with us
came and left with a kiss.
We believe in miracles. That, love,
is all we have.  – Sam Hunt who celebrates his 70th birthday today.

Apropos of that Steve Braunias writes a Letter to Sam Hunt on his 70th Birthday.


Terrorism could be at home

September 15, 2014

Kim Dotcom has been threatening us with revelations that will gift the election to Labour and the Green, New Zealand First and Internet Mana parties.

Guy Body nails my view:

What we’ve learned over the weekend suggests he’s over-promised and will under-deliver.

John Armstrong says tonight’s his last chance:

. . . Dotcom’s “moment of truth” must be a moment of proof. He must prove that the Prime Minister has not been straight with the public, firstly regarding exactly when he became aware of the Megaupload mogul and, secondly, that the intelligence agencies for which John Key has ministerial responsibility have conducted mass surveillance.

There can be no room for doubt. There can be no reliance on the circumstantial. There can be no shifting of goalposts by saying the fuss is all really about New Zealand spying on other countries.

If tonight exposes Dotcom as nothing more than a big-noting charlatan who has attempted to hijack the electoral system, then the public backlash could be withering.

Dishing the dirt on Key in the last week of the campaign may have seemed a clever move when the idea was first mooted within internet-Mana. It may yet be the final humiliation for the parties of the left in an election campaign that has been turning into a disaster for them.

This isn’t just about party politics, it’s about national security.

The timing was fortuitous for Key, but the news that Australia has raised its terror alert to the second-highest level would have sent more shudders down more spines than any filing cabinet full of the documents that Dotcom and the American journalist Glenn Greenwald may have.

It brings terrorism very close to home. It underlines the unwritten post-9/11 contract between the state and individuals.

That contract has the individual tolerating giving up some rights to privacy in return for — to put it bluntly — not being killed by a bomb blast in some airport somewhere. . .

The left are against foreign investment but  are quite happy for foreigners to highjack our election to advance their personal and political ends.

Dotcom has a personal vendetta against our PM and is going to great lengths to try to stop National’s re-election and his own extradition to the USA.

That’s where journalist Glenn Greenwald is from and he admitted to Steve Braunias his timing this close to the election is deliberate:

I think it’s entirely legitimate for a journalist to think about how to maximise public awareness of the reporting that you’re doing. And I knew that by physically travelling here, at this time, when the citizenry is most engaged politically, that would present an excellent opportunity to bring as much attention as possible to these matters. . .

Different journalists have different views on what the proper role a journalist is. I’ve been very clear that I’m not neutral on the question of mass surveillance. It’s dangerous and I oppose it. I’m supportive of political parties around the world that have made it an important part of their platform to work against it, whether it be the Green Party in Europe or the Green Party here, or the Internet Party, or the Techno Pirate party in Sweden. . . .

Ah yes, the Green Party which like Greenpeace has a much harder red agenda than the soft green front it tries to promote.

That agenda could threaten our security.

The executions of journalists and aid workers in Syria is a long way from New Zealand but there are people here who support that evil and are working to spread it.

Terrorism could not just be closer to home it could be at home.

P.S. Nick K at No Minister writes on personal experience of surveillance.


Politics Daily

June 8, 2014

While I link to a range of news stories, the blogs I link to are usually from the centre to the bluer end of the political spectrum or the more reasonable or witty bits of the pink to red end.

You’re welcome to leave links to other news and blogs in comments.

John Banks

Colin Espiner @ Sunday Star Times – Banks’ public fall from grace

Southland Times – The plank must look pretty good

Grant Shimmin @ Timaru Herald – Banks situation a right mess

Dominion Post – Hard lessons for all in Banks verdict

Inventory 2 @ Keeping Stock – Tweet of the Day – 8 June 2014

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog – Geddis on Banks

Michael Cummings @ Manawatu Standard – Stench of corruption may affect election

Rodney  Hide @ NZ Herald – They’re all winners more or less

Kerre McIvor @ NZ Herald – Shame sticks to both sides of this episode

Sunday star Times – Laughing all the way to the Banks

Labour Party

Chris Trotter @ Bowalley Road – The right divide

Election

Jon Sergeant @ Taranaki Daily News – Bad pre-election policy from Left

TV3 – Lisa Owen interviews Epsom candidates

Mike Williams @ NZ Herald – Higher voter turnout could topple Nats

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – Mark or Mike? Doesn’t really matter the missing million isn’t really a million or missing

Cameron Slater @ Wahle Oil – Labour’s former general secretary isn’t hopeful for Labour

Economic Development

TV3 –  Lisa Owen interviews Steven Joyce

IMP

John Weekes @ NZ Herald – Dotcom to stand for parliament in 2017

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog – Dotcom wants citizenship so he can then become an MP

Inventory 2 @ Keeping Stock – Citizen Kim – yeah right

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – Never going to happen

Other

Andrea Vance @ Sunday Star Times – What’s the real deal on the theories

Beehive – New Akaroa Marine Reserve opened
Minister of Conservation, Nick Smith, opened our newest marine reserve in Akaroa Harbour today. https://www.national.org.nz/news/news/media-releases/detail/2014/06/08/new-akaroa-marine-reserve-opened
Matthew Beveridge – Leaving on a plane

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – Nashy’s pimped poor person makes the news, is a Mob associate and owns a pitbull

Steve Braunias @ Sunday Star Times – Secret diary of . . .  Julian Assange

David Farrar – Kiwiblog – Adult Community Education

TV1 – ACT Campaign Manager Richard Prebble on TV1’s Q+A


If satirists were choosing the leader

September 1, 2013

Imperator Fish thinks David Cunliffe should be the next Labour leader.

I thought that was a genuine view as a member of the party.

But he’s also got a gift for satire and Steve Braunias’ Secret Diary of David Cunliffe made me wonder.

MONDAY

Hallelujah! A new day. A new day for New Zealand. A new day for New Zealand in a new way, and it only added to the excitement when I cut myself shaving with a new razor. I sent out a press release. A crowd gathered. They watched me bleed for New Zealand.

When they left, I got busy. There was a job of work at hand. I bent my head to the task. I applied a dab of Endymoion cologne (a sensual fusion of citrus, spices and leather, $225), ran a Kent switchblade comb (handmade from sawcut resin, $35) though my hair, and looked at my reflection in a pair of Joseph Cheaney shoes (oak bark soles, $895). I liked what I saw.

That left five minutes to kill before the press conference announcing my bid to lead the Labour Party, so I analysed the latest Treasury reports, studied the economic situation in Japan, Ghana, and Sweden, and ironed my Marcoliani socks (cashmere, $117).

The conference went well. A crowd gathered. I felt at peace.

TUESDAY

. . . Met with my own troops. Looked them up and down. Didn’t want to look too closely. Nanaia Mahuta. Louisa Wall. William Sio. Sue Moroney. Someone called Iain Lees-Galloway.

Oh well. It could be worse. Maybe. . .

THURSDAY

Mike Hosking has come out in support of Grant Robertson, and so has Titewhai Harawira.

Poor old Grant. No one deserves that. . .

Just as cartoonists favour certain politicians whose faces lend themselves to caricature, satirists might be biased towards those who make their work easy.

On that basis, if satirists were choosing the leader I think they’d opt for Cunliffe.


Cunliffe’s secret diary

December 6, 2011

Steve Braunias channels David Cunliffe:

Monday

Rode into town at first light. The streets were empty. Vultures lined up on telephone lines. Smashed glass littered the length of the pavement. Black smoke from Saturday’s blaze curled in the air from the ashes of the bank, the hardware store, the barbershop, the media training office.

Hitched my wagon in front of the saloon and walked in.

Jacinda Ardern was slumped on the stairs. She didn’t look so good in the morning light. No-one did. A few gamblers were hunched over their cards. There was a priest murmuring into his glass of whiskey. The barman ran a filthy rag over the counter.

I struck a match on his head and lit my cheroot. “Ain’t no smokin’ in here, pardner,” squeaked a high girlish voice in the corner.

“Shut it, Parker,” I said.

He sprang to his little feet just as the saloon doors swung open with a crash. Spurs scraped across the wooden floor. “Shearer,” Parker piped. The room went quiet.

Parker looked at Shearer, and Shearer looked at me, and I looked in the mirror. . .

It continues  here.


Psychosclerosis sightings

November 16, 2008

Cases of psychosclerosis abound.

Chris Trotter’s and Steve Braunias  must have been in the grips of it when writing their columns in last week’s Sunday Star Times.

Then Michael Cullen played Muldoon.

Monkeywithtypewriter  spotted a serious outbreak at The Standard.

Simon Cunliffe had such a bad attack that the ODT added this to the end of his weekly column:

Simon Cunliffe is assistant editor at the Otago Daily Times. His views are entirely his own.

And Inquiring Mind came across classic symptoms in a letter to the editor.

But all is not lost. It is possible for those suffering from psychoslerosis to overcome their affliction as Chris Trotter shows:

Who is served by an ideology that refuses to recognise that crucial aspect of the human spirit which refuses to accept the brute statistical reality that many are called but few are chosen?

Are we socialists, in our drive for an absolute equality of outcomes, really willing to descend to the level of a certain species of crab which will, when collected in a bucket, seize and haul back into the doomed mass any individual that attempts to escape its fate by climbing out?

Should John Key’s mother be condemned for instilling in her son the notion that, with lots of hard work and a little luck, he could transcend his state house roots?

Is that why so many other New Zealanders raised in state houses voted against Helen Clark’s Labour-led government last Saturday?

Because, somehow, they had got it into their heads that she would be happier if they never left them? Never climbed out of the bucket?

Or, God forbid, that Labour’s social-democratic state was actually about seizing them in its claws and dragging them back down into it?

But alas, he’s had a relapse in today’s SST.

I can’t find it on line but in his column he shows an inability to see past his own prejudice which is a classic symptom of psychosclerosis.

He’s writing about the deal between National and the Maori Party. He reckons Maori are betraying their roots but if he wasn’t afflicted by psychosclerosis he’d be able to see it as the historic opportunity for progress which is how those with a more positive outlook regard it.


ETS makes us naked emperor

September 8, 2008

One of the many criticisms about the rushed legislation to introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme is that we are outpacing our trading partners.

Eric Roy, quoted in a column by Steve Braunias in the Sunday Start Times (not on-line) put it this way:

Climate change, he said, was like a nudist club where every other nation was a member but New Zealand was the only country taking its clothes off.

The Dominion Post  uses less colourful language:

The Government should have opted for a more measured approach, linked to what other nations do. It should have sought to build a political consensus for an enduring system, and National should have been a more willing participant in that.

There is no question that Labour is well-intentioned. Despite that, the legislation is part of a strategy that remains deeply flawed. It risks concentrating on the accountancy of who ends up picking up the bill for carbon emissions, rather than on reducing those emissions. The debate over what sort of assigned amount units – a form of Kyoto carbon credit – can be used to balance the books is a symptom of that. So too is the decision to pay an average of $112 a household as a one-off compensation for the expected increase in the cost of power.

The reality is that the scheme, designed to meet New Zealand’s Kyoto protocol commitment, will end up increasing the prices that consumers pay for all manner of things, and damage the economy, without necessarily doing anything about reducing the amount of carbon emitted in New Zealand.

The high economic and social costs might have been justified if the ETS was going to have a positive impact on the environment but it won’t.

The money and energy which would be better spent on research will be wasted on bureaucracy, consultants and traders.

There will be no decrease in global emissions as a result of our scheme and there may even be an increase if production is exported.

To extend Eric’s metaphor, the ETS will turn us in to a naked emperor. It will strip our economic and social fabric without providing any environmental benefit to cover us.


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