Here is an image of a left hand. Each finger represents a political party. The thumb is Mana, the index finger Greens, then Labour, Maori Party and National. National can now be painted as a party of the extreme right. Whilst still being found on the left hand. Sure, the analogy can be debated. My point though is that sometimes the frame has already narrowed the perspective. In NZ, sometimes the phrases "far right" and "extreme right", in NZ politics, still apply to the left hand. Perhaps that makes sense. The right hand has sometimes been described, in economic terms, the invisible hand. Certainly, it's something invisible to the left.
Next man makes a move, the nigger gets it! A rapist and murder sentenced to jail time has decided euthanasia is a better way to pass the time: Finally Van Den Bleeken had enough of the red tape and three years ago he applied for euthanasia. "If people commit a sexual crime, help them to deal with it," he said. "Just locking them up helps no one: not the person, not society and not the victims. I am a human being, and regardless of what I’ve done, I remain a human being. So, yes, give me euthanasia." His request has been accepted, so his mortal coil will be shuffled off. Ironically, capital punishment was abolished in Belgium in 1966. Nevertheless, the criminal can insist on the State carrying out Capital Punishment in spite of it being against the law. Yes, I can see the difference. It's still ironic. His crimes cannot be wiped, and even being held accountable and responsible for his crimes is something the criminal can decline. Come see the subt
In the inevitable post election analysis, seems to me the mainly left leaning media are the ones most shocked at the result. For some strange reason, the hundreds of hours spent on Hager's Dirty Politics and Kim Dot Com's spying revelations and various other side issues, National still came in on top. The question the media could consider in their election analysis was did National win in spite of the media frenzy, or because of the media frenzy? If the latter, then they need to consider how to become something more than print bloggers.
This of course, has everything to do with increased Russian aggression against Ukraine. Related links: Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania Form Joint Military 'LITPOLUKRBRIG' Brigade Polscy żołnierze w jednym szeregu z Litwinami i Ukraińcami. Powstaje LITPOLUKRBRIG
A private threat, but a threat none the less. From The Telegraph : President Vladimir Putin privately threatened to invade Poland, Romania and the Baltic states , according to a record of a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart. "If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest ," Mr Putin allegedly told President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, reported Süddeustche Zeitung, a German newspaper. If true, this would be the first time that Mr Putin has threatened to invade Nato or EU members . Any threat to send Russian troops into the capitals of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Romania would cause grave alarm among Western leaders. If Mr Putin were to act on this, Britain could find itself at war with Russia. All five countries mentioned in this alleged conversation are members of both the EU and Nato . They are covered by the security guarantee in Article V of Nato's foundin
President Komorowski unveils huge epitaph to over 20,000 Polish officers murdered by the Stalinist secret service, known as the Katyn Massacre': photo - PAP/Jacek Turczy At 3.30 am on 17 September 1939, the Polish ambassador in Moscow was handed a note, in which Moscow announced that the Polish state had ceased to exist . In the wake of the Soviet invasion, mass arrests and deportations were carried out. By June 1941 over one a half million Poles were herded into trains, to work as slaves and forced labourers near the Arctic Circle and in the steppes of Kazakhstan. My Dad's family was swept up in the deportations. They were sent to Siberia in trains normally used to transport cattle, in the middle of winter. Many died on that journey. In Poland, the invasion has often been described as a ‘stab in the back’, which Poland received from the Soviet Union seventeen days after the Nazi attack and less than a month after the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact between Nazi Germany a
At a time when our democracy is under attack by foreign criminals (DotCom/Greenwald/Snowden/Assange), Colin Craig is disappointing, to say the least, in his response: Conservative Party leader Colin Craig told RNZ the core issue was whether Mr Key could be trusted. "I have to say, I have doubts." Mr Craig believed on balance there was mass surveillance of New Zealanders. "I think John Key's been, shall we say, vague at best around the truth. "And I think that matters, because we want to know that we can trust our leaders, trust our politicians and most importantly that our prime minister is at least either going to tell us the truth, or if he can't tell it because it's far too secure, maybe he can say, 'Guys, I can't tell you the answer to that'." Colin Craig is either showing he cannot be trusted or is totally oblivious to the danger DotCom has exposed NZ to. Related link: Answers needed on mass surveillance - minor parties
Right Reason has highly amusing post about single issue voting in NZ: Single Issue Voting and Killing Poor Coloured People . Though, "poor coloured people" is not a normal phrase commonly used in NZ, but then maybe that was the point. A highlight: As we travel further towards the right, we reach the heavily populated centre zone. Before reaching the middle, we encounter the Naybour Party, arrayed in red. The Naybours’ focus on good old-fashioned social democratic values: Good social services and strong welfare, giving everybody a fair go no matter where you come from. Social engineering (i.e. progress) towards the Naybours’ vision of utopia is what this party is about. I think Glenn is missing his calling as a satirist. He really ought to do more of this stuff and give The Civilian a serious run for his money. In all seriousness, though, Glenn's post is about the validity of single issue voting, whereby "poor coloured people" are presumably substituted
Total madness. Or do some people think it's just the amount we need to debate? For one thing, Lotto sales would fall off. So where should the appropriate maximum income be set? Paul Reynolds's obscene $5 million income is close to 200 times the minimum wage. My pick would be to set the maximum income at 10 times the minimum wage. This would mean a maximum income of $250,000. The easiest way to enforce this would be setting a 100 per cent income tax rate for the combined income from all sources (including share allocations, allowances etc) above this level. Linking the maximum salary to the minimum wage would have the added advantage of providing an incentive for the highest paid to lobby for increases in the minimum wage, unlike the present situation where the corporate sector argue for the lowest minimum wage possible. Minto Madness You can vote for the Mana Party next week, and John Minto is ranked number 4 on the list.
John Armstrong seems to think they should in Key needs to offer hand up to Conservatives : If John Key wants to avoid having to govern with Winston Peters perched constantly and awkwardly on his shoulder, he is going to have to help Colin Craig get his Conservative Party across the 5 per cent threshold. That is the unambiguous message to National's leader from today's Herald-DigiPoll survey. National's support is starting to slowly slide below the 50 per cent mark. Key would still be able to govern with Act's and United Future's two MPs - plus any Maori Party MPs who survive the election. Key would still want some insurance, however, should his party slip further during the eight days left until election day. Well, given that NZ First in Parliament this time around has been all but completely useless (I voted for them last election because I thought they'd add a counterbalance to the mix), it looks like the fear of the gold card voters is starting to set
Continuing what I started with answering the question whether or not Russia is Cold War Communist or Imperialist Tsarist earlier this week , I've found an article on the Moscow Times titled Russia Is Scared of the 21st Century — For Now , which I discuss: As the dust settles over eastern Ukraine, the consensus is solidifying that the conflict there was the first battle of an attempted Cold War revival . A Cold War requires a Soviet Union, and the government of President Vladimir Putin has finally embraced it as a role model, more than a decade into his reign. It is a strange Soviet Union : sans communism, but with religion thrown into the mix . It owes as much of its official ideology to the pre-revolutionary Russian Empire, with its state-dependent capitalism and traditionalism. Added to bans on political freedoms and grassroots activity, Internet censorship spreading like cancer and a crackdown on LGBT rights (admittedly mild, compared to Soviet times), this is, in essence, a
It's heartening to see a real connection being made between Australia and Ukraine, after the horrific shooting down of passenger jet MH17 by Russian backed rebels a couple of months ago. From the Sydney Morning Herald : Prime Minister Tony Abbot is planning to visit Ukraine, according to the country's president. Mr Abbott phoned Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday, the president's press service reported. During the phone call Mr Abbott promised to send military equipment to Ukraine's army, the president said. A week ago Mr Abbott told parliament that Australia would send "non-lethal military assistance" to Ukraine such as military winter clothing, blankets and first-aid kits. According to the president's press office, Mr Abbott told Mr Poroshenko "Australia will consider the opportunity of enhancing military-technical cooperation and, as the first stage, will send the lot of military equipment and means of warming. &quo
Is New Zealand embarrassed that one of our own country men was off in Ukraine, fighting with the pro-Russian separatists, and is now back being treated for a gunshot wound and concussion? What if he had come back from Iraq after being wounded by fighting for ISIS? Maybe that wouldn't be a big deal either. From Stuff : A New Zealand Russian has been wounded fighting in Ukraine , community sources say. The man, who has flown from the conflict wounded is being treated by the New Zealand health services. Sources say he suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and concussion after a firefight in eastern Ukraine . He had left New Zealand several months ago to fight with the Russian-backed separatists, which are trying to break away from the Kiev government to create separate states, or to join Russia. "His wounds are not difficult, he was hurt by gunfire in Ukraine," a source said. Leading members of the Russian community in Auckland were angry at attempts to contac
Last week it was asked on this blog whether or not Russia is Cold War Communist or Imperalist Tsarist. It wasn't really something that could be answered without a bit of research, hence the delay. In summary, I now think the Putin and the elites of Russia are trying to be both Soviet and Tsarist to a certain extent, yet are also neither. I've linked to articles exploring this and related ideas, with the more relevant and interesting parts quoted below: Putin Accepts Only ‘Imperial-Militarist’ Component of Soviet Inheritance Vladimir Putin is often accused of wanting to restore the Soviet system or at least its core values, but in fact, the Kremlin leader is interested in promoting the its “imperial-militarist” element and not its “revolutionary” component , a pattern that has the effect of limiting Russia’s ability to deal with the rest of the world, according to Vadim Shtepa. In a new commentary, the Petrozavodsk-based federalist thinker notes that as a result of thi
I am so disgusted and outraged and horrified by the sneaky invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and now what is escalating into a full scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia, complete with threats of nuclear weapon use, that I will now be deleting any trolling comments to do with this subject. Any comments on the rightness or justness of the invasion by Russia will also be deleted. As will any comments on how the "evil fascists" of Ukraine had it coming, because those especially, just feed into the Russian propaganda machine. Anyway, now Russia is threatening Ukraine with nuclear strikes if Ukraine continues to resist the Russian invasion that can no longer be hidden. From The Interpreter : Ukrainian Defence Minister Says Russia Has Lost Hybrid War, Begun Invasion, And Threatened Nuclear Strikes 16:06 (GMT) Interfax-Ukraine reports that Valeriy Heletey, the Ukrainian defence minister, has written on his Facebook page that Russia has lost its "hybrid war" against U