Posts by Tom Semmens

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  • Hard News: A call from Curia,

    Should be illegal, probably is, but Farrar would explain how they were really interested a couple days out from the election in changing all their messaging. Which is to say, he'd just lie and the police wouldn't care anyway.

    Given the polls have been open for general voting for the last two weeks, allowing any polling, let alone push polling, is an appalling lapse of regulation.

    If we are going to open the polls two weeks early for general voting, then we need to forbid the conduction and publishing of all polls during that period.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interview: Glenn Greenwald,

    Franks is being given a right-of-reply to David Slack on The Panel in a moment (currently 4.48pm).

    Mind boggling. Mora is a joke.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interview: Glenn Greenwald,

    Haven’t seen any media comment lately about appointment of donkey’s childhood mate as spook chief.

    David Farrar has a post up where he lists all the important and authoritative people who are saying New Zealanders are not spied on. But the problem is that Snowden and Greenwald have exposed the entire establishment as arse covering and self serving liars. The crisis is as much one of confidence in being able to believe what we are told as much as anything. If Key says "The GCSB does not conduct mass surveillance on New Zealanders" a heft portion of his listeners simply don't believe him, or suspect him of using doublespeak where he has a peculiar interpretation of what "surveillance" is or that someone else might be doing it for us and handing the data back. One of the reasons we need a proper, open and informed formal debate on surveillance and the GCSB/SIS powers is the urgent need to re-establish trust in our authorities in the minds of the general public.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1825 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The plan against the rebuild,

    From Teara:

    On 11 March 1931 the government appointed magistrate J. S. Barton and engineer L. B. Campbell as commissioners of Napier. Together with local committees they had the daunting task of organising reconstruction.

    The rebuild of Napier is the gold standard against which the disaster that is the Canterbury rebuild should be measured. Tin Town was up in running within weeks, not months or years.

    But the key was the not the “dictators” Barton and Campbell but their committees. The committees were a) local and b) empowered to make decisions. This government, with it’s arrogance, compulsive autocracy, cronyism and contempt for democracy was only ever going to adopt the the dictatorship part of the Napier model. Napier was rebuilt in two years not because it was a dictatorship of two men, but because those two men were informed by committees of locals who understood local conditions. And remember, the whole thing was done in the great depression.

    So what of central government? In keeping with their general economic mismanagement of the great depression the United Reform coalition government of the day, gave only measly assistance (about 1.75 million pounds of the 3.5 million plus required), forcing the local councils to borrow for their rebuilds. Napier was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1938 when a saner central government (Labour) wrote of it’s government loan prompting howls of protest from Hastings, which was not granted the same favour – thus giving Labour a never-to-be-broken grip on the Napier urban vote and creating a feud between the two cities which is still going strong today (SAY NO TO AMALGAMATION!).

    The general lesson in this, as it is with most things, is give the locals the tools and let them get on with it. King Gerry and his appointed apparachiks are a disaster for Christchurch.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery,

    Just as an aside, seeing hundreds of people show up, and thousands watching online, to a town hall event where speakers talked on big ideas of freedom and liberty surely puts lie to the claim that people are disengaged from politics.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1825 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: "Project SPEARGUN underway",

    Snowden made a deep impression on me. The guy is a hero.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to simon g,

    Snowden providing a more lucid, coherent, and credible explanation of basic civics than a thousand NZ Herald columns.

    Thank goodness these Americans have “politicized” our election. Somebody had to, and it’s not our homegrown selfie-chasers masquerading as reporters.

    Brilliant summation of my frustration with the NZ media. I think I will steal it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1825 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The End of Trust,

    . I sincerely hope the adverse publicity puts any future black ops work on hold indefinitely.

    A quick look at Whaleoil confirms the "tip line", Beehive tap and PR attacks are now firmly turned of, at least until after the election. The trick is to make it permanent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1825 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Sign this Petition,

    Stephen Franks.

    I’m actually speechless. What a vile and foul human being.

    Hey, his buddy Jim Mora has him on all the time. He’s an intellectual you see. knows all about the law, he does.

    Anyone who listens to Franks speak for a few minutes quickly realises he is a deeply unlikeable, nasty and arrogant toss pot in love with his own sense of superiority.

    In other words, another day, another ACT supporter. And that is something important for us all to remember. The climate of born-to-rule arrogance, deep cynicism, loathing of the demos, arrogant superiority and authoritarian capitalism that has led to Slater began with Douglas, Prebble, Bassett, De Cleane, Hide, Franks, Garrett and their ilk in ACT. It looks like this time ACT won't hold Epsom. Getting rid of ACT, and it's evil influence on democracy, is an important part of rooting out the dirty politics in New Zealand.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: But seriously, drug policy,

    A friend of mine was at an event last week where he reckoned the lavatory cubicles were heaving with groups of people all of whom (by the sound of it) were insulfating what he presumed were anti-hayfever medications. So while cannabis reform is all fine and dandy, what about other drugs in widespread use due to our growing invisible trade with South America? Or is it drug reform, singular, and only pertaining to pot, as far as it can currently get here in NZ?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1825 posts Report Reply

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