Archive for the ‘ International Politics ’ Category

Have New Zealanders become a bunch of whinging girlie men?

Scrolling through the news this morning would give anyone the impression that New Zealanders had become a bunch of PC softies.

As the dedate about smacking rages in the papers and on the talk back channels, and kids assault teachers and everyone wonders why there is no discipline in the class room anymore, elsewhere there is more to show have pervasive political correctness has become here.

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Stupid humans, exploring garbage compactors in galaxies far far away.

First off the rank, a former New Zealand teacher, resident in the UK goes on the piss, and decides to sleep it off in the dumpster, the fatal flaw in this plan is that he is crushed to death when the rubbish is collected. Don’t get me wrong, this is a tragedy, it’s awful. But his family are now calling for better safety measures to prevent this from happening again. At first I was thinking maybe they meant some sort of screening program for genetic stupidity, but they actually want something done about the bins t0 make them safer for people to sleep in… Folks, I know this is hard to accept, but that was a r u b b i s h  b i n, they are for rubbish, no sleeping in. Everyone on the planet knows that a huge truck comes along and empties the rubbish into a rubbish compacter, so therefore sleeping in one is just plain stupid. It would be great to legislate against human stupidity, it would save a great many lives, but so far it’s proved impossible – OSH being the closest thing we have to that.

Second, a toy shop somewhere south of the Bombay Hills ran an ad for some toys, which included some soft air guns. Had the store owner been pedaling P, or dolls that looks like Pol Pot or Mao, probably this would have gone unnoticed, his mistake was to try and sell some plastic replicas of guns that shoot little plastic pellets – every young boy’s wet dream. It seems that these days even perfectly legal businesses are not off limits to those that feel they need to control every facet of our lives. A complaint has been made to the Police – what on earth for I don’t know, as no crime has been committed and last time I checked the Police were overrun with work fighting real crime. What’s even more extraordinary, that the apparently overworked and underfunded Police are actually sending someone around to tell the business owner how to suck eggs.

The Police couldn’t even manage a software contract so what they could possibly offer store owner Tony Allen in the way of business advise has me stumped. The Police acknowledge that he has done nothing wrong, but they’ll have a chat with him anyway. It appears the Police are now tools of every PC nutter out there.

And finally today, apparently John Key is worried that some of our http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meth… Whenever we are feeling a bit inadequate about our military (with good reason) we love to harp on about how hard arse the SAS is. Highly trained killing machines they are apparently. Just don’t send them where they might get killed.

I’m actually kind of lost for words. Having just returned from the UK where I witnessed a daily MSM led hand wringing about about British soldiers being killed in Afghanistan, and wondered what people thought the army did for a living, it’s remarkable to see that John Key has figured that are supposedly elite armed forces are better off at home because it’s safe and they won’t get killed. As a society we have reached a point where the military is some sort of glorified police cum litter collecting service, as a career there is little risk that you will either fire a shot or be shot at, let alone killed.

John, if this is how you are your government feel, then it’s better you finish the job Labour started and disband the army, navy and what’s left of the air force. It’s just plain embarrassing now. We are pissing off the only allies we have, to the point that we cannot expect any help when the shit hits the fan… and for anyone out there who really believes we live too far away to be affected by countries like China who don’t give a damn about anything other than their national interests, go study some history.

At least with no military we can stop annoying the Americans whom we should be going out of our way to please, and we can start accepting that we will be totally vulnerable to the whims of undemocratic dictatorships like China.

I had personally hoped that the National Government would see that it was in every ones long term interests to warm relations with the USA and Australia, starting with the military. And at least allocating resources and spending in a direction that demonstrated that we understood the strategic importance of an ally like the US. Not only are we consistently failing to do this, but we are provoking the US to the point where they will tell us to go to hell. Currently there is absolutely no strategic reason why they would lift a finger to help us out.

What a bunch of pansies we have become!

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Kordia should come clean or face consumer boycott

This isn’t some bleeding heart leftie appeal, the military dictatorship in Burma (they call it Myanmar) is the most vile repugnant dictatorship around, probably worse than Zimbabwe.

Captain Orcon, walking all over the 'little' people, destroying democracy, abusing human rights, and treating humans like scum.

Captain Orcon, walking all over the 'little' people, destroying democracy, abusing human rights, and treating humans like scum.

The people in power have no intention of giving up their positions which allow them to systematically loot what is a resource rich country of it’s riches and pocket them.

Once upon a time Burma was the richest country in Asia, by the time these scum bags have finished with it it will be poorer than Cambodia. In connivance with the Chinese (who block any attempt to bring the dictatorship into line) they are raping the countryside of it’s rich mineral, gem and timber resources.

Aung San Suu Kyi has spent 11 of the last 19 years in prison for wining a democratic election.

This week, she was, once again due out, and yet again the generals have found a pretext to throw her back in prison.

Why aren’t more people pissed off about this? The people of Burma deserve better than to be ignored. There may not be some trendy pop star backing a concert or a kindly man in robes to travel the world raising awareness of the people plight. Burma has been forgotten.

In New Zealand, we should be appalled and demand more action, and that could start with an enterprise we own, Kordia. Kordia owns Orcon which is busy pushing it’s broadband products. You and I as taxpayers own Kordia and it’s subsidiaries through the Government. Kordia has done business in Burma and it should stop now.

Kordia needs to come clean about it’s involvement in both Burma and Laos (another Communist country with a piss poor human rights record). It should immediately cease any business in these countries or face a full consumer boycott.

It’s not good enough for a tax payer owned business to be doing business with the Government of Burma.

Government double standards on Myanmar / Burma

There was the usual tutting and “dismay” as the loathsome Military Dictatorship in Burma once again engaged in slapping Aung San Suu Kyi around. Nothing like kicking someone when they are down.

Captain Orcon, cuddling up to dictators and repressive regimes since 2006

Captain Orcon, cuddling up to dictators and repressive regimes since 2006

Our latest Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, made all the right noises, but right under his nose a Government/Taxpayer owned company is still trading in that region and quite possibly doing work for the Military Dictatorship.

Kordia, the parent company of Orcon, apparently thinks just fine to do business in Burma, and still advertises the fact that it has business there on it’s website, it also throws in another repressive regime, Laos into the mix for good measure. 

I’m not sure how Kordia/Orcon justify doing business in Burma, no doubt some bollocks about not doing business with the regime, although it’s impossible to do any business in Burma without dealing with the military, who in turn are controlled by the regime, who are just there to line their pockets of the backs of the Burmese.

I don’t see the consistency it Government policy by making a fuss about Fiji, ignoring China and it’s appalling human rights record, and then allowing a state owned enterprise to operate in what is universally agreed, is an appallingly despotic and venal regime in Burma.

Next time you are thinking about switching your ISP, or some ‘dude’ from Orcon shows up trying to sell you some new service or an Internet package, maybe you’ll want to consider that this is part of a company that’s done business with a regime that stood by and let thousands of people die a while back during the cyclone, they refused international assistance, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Burmese Military Regime is a disgusting excuse for a government. No state (read taxpayer) owned business should be doing any business there. 

Possibly a bit of pressure is required to make Orcon/Kordia come clean about what there business interests are in Thailand (usual launch pad for Myanmar/Burma) and Laos?

That could start by customers deciding there are other options for internet providers, ones that don’t deal with repressive regimes, like (dare I suggest it) Telecom.

Chinese propganda right here in NZ

You’d probably think that when someone immigrates to a new country, that they will in some way embrace the life style and culture of that new society – otherwise they would have been better off staying at home.

So with Chinese immigrants you’d naturally think they would be willing to embrace the freedoms both political and economic offered by immigrating from a Nationalist Dictatorship with Communist trappings, to a liberal democracy in NZ.

But maybe this isn’t what’s happening.

Anne-Marie Brady is an expert in Chinese propaganda and is such a high level expert that she has given a presentation to a United States security commission.

Unfortunately she says, and this is not difficult to confirm, that in fact many ‘local’ Chinese immigrants and still heavily influenced by the Chinese regimes propoganda.

There would be an easy way to counter this, starting in schools, and all NZders have something to learn from it. Start teaching history, make it compulsory and include Asian history in the curriculum.

China is going to be an important player in our area in the next decade, better we start teaching our young about their history and what has happened, and immigrants offspring the truth, so that they are able to make informed decision without being influenced by the Chinese regime.

The last we we need in NZ if we run into difficulties with the Chinese is a sizable domestic population in thrall of wrong headed and untrue propaganda!

NZ Defense review starts with whimper, Australia’s ends with bang

It’s interesting to see the contrasts between the New Zealand Defense review (which is underway) and the just completed Australian Defense White Paper released today.

Our defense review started on a somewhat underwhelming note. The most controversial issue being the idea of leasing land off private companies, an idea that appeals until you consider the practicalities and why you’d bother – it’s hardly going to save money in the long term if you already own the land. Mostly the talk was about cutting back, although there’s stuff all to actually cut back. There was no talk of possible threats, or the need to at least be seen by allies like the USA of taking of defense seriously.

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

The Australian’s in typical robust style and going to spend more – and this is a Labour led Government. The Australian paper wasn’t shy about identifying China’s “unexplained military build-up” as a cause for concern in the Pacific. They also recognised the need to at least be able to offer a serious deterrent to possible adversaries, while acknowledging that they would still need to work with the USA.

The white paper offers an opportunity for New Zealand – we get a specific mention. Our review should consider how we can dovetail our defense planning more closely with Australia. They are planning to build a lot of the new capability in Australia. This could offer opportunities to purchase the same equipment, and surely there must be opportunities for business in New Zealand? 

Surely we need to be bolder than the piece meal approach we have historically had. There is every indication that this Government will take defense no more seriously than previous ones. If we aren’t going to be too concerned with it, why not just become a virtual wing of the Australian Defense Forces. Do the same things they are, but on a significantly smaller scale. Buy exactly the same equipment at the same time from the same suppliers, communication, guns, hardware, ships, tanks… exactly the same stuff. Rebuild our air strike force with a few F 35’s they are planning to buy (if we’re allowed) maybe we could lease some from Australia as part of a defense pact.

If we are looking at selling land and leasing it back, how about the same approach for everything else?

Why not approach the Australians on the basis that we will develop our own defense force, but almost as part of theirs. Contract training from them for planes, tanks, ships etc, on the same equipment which we will purchase – work with them on maintenance for equipment, some aircraft done here, some in Australia, same with boats. We could form a close defense pact that allows for our Independence, but with complete interoperability and identical equipment.

We should accept we are a small bit player, I’m sure everyone does already, and embrace it. We should aim to be able to completely seamlessly work with Australia. This gives us a narrow focus and something that allows politicians to focus on more interesting things. It could be adopted in a bipartisan fashion so it’s becomes a policy a bit like the Reserve Bank Act or (possibly) Kiwi Saver. It is just something the Defense Forces can get on with.

When it comes down to it, the majority of Australia’s concerns in the Defense paper are perfectly aligned to what ours should be. The concern about protecting our Pacific interests  should be the same. To simply adopt their review, taking into account our budget constraints, and sit down with them and align our equipment and logistics makes sense.

John Key has shown some vision and creativity in dealing with things since being elected. Maybe this is a chance to put our defense on a new path for the coming years. 

Zuma chips away at democracy in South Africa

In democratic countries we tend to focus a lot on elections as being the yardstick of being ‘truely’ democratic. Nothing wrong with this as after all, the ability of a society to go through the process of examination of politicians without trying to stifle debate and hide unpalatable stuff is a measure of the maturity of a democratic society.

Election processes and their free and fairness does not alone make a democracy. The other side to this is the Iindependence of freedom form political interference of the courts to carry out and enforce the laws of the land that have been put in place by the democratically elected government.

The moment politicians start to mess around with judges independence and alter and bend laws to ensure that people cannot be brought to account for crimes, and use ‘popular protest’ as a means of circumventing the law, then voting just becomes a sham.

Venezuela being an example. Chavez finds some mayors are elected he doesn’t like, fine, he just gets a bunch of thugs to occupy the town halls calling it ‘popular protest’, he then sets about changing the laws to render officials and the courts inoperable. Sure, there was an ‘election’ but it’s what happens after that’s the problem.

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The cheque's in the mail.

All countries have this issue to varying degrees, in New Zealand you could argue that the Electoral Finance Act was an attempt to curb speech in a way that favours the Government of the day.

The imminent election of Jacob Zuma as president is possibly another erosion of the rule of law in South Africa. There’s no doubt he is popular and that his political opponents have tried to be rid of him. But he has made it clear he is going ‘reform’ parts of the law and these apply directly to the charges against him that were thrown out in less than transparent fashion. 

The fact that Zuma has managed to avoid being held to account for a string of very dubious charges while those associated with them got slapped on the wrist and let off, should be worrying for all South African’s. One of South Africa’s greatest strengths in Africa is that it’s legal system functions properly through the courts which do not have the corruption obvious in other African states. If Zuma messes with judicial independence then South Africa’s competitive advantage will crumble – not to mention the gradual corruption that will permeate the system leading to a huge backward step.

Optimists might say that Zuma will be different when elected and a bit more gracious, but personally doubt it. Power corrupts, and if there’s already corruption there, then the power Zuma is about to get will corrupt him even more.

Jackie Chan Communist Lap Dog

The Chinese regime still loves using terms like ‘capitalist roader’ and ‘colonialists’ so I’m quite comfortable with calling ‘Movie Star’ Jackie Chan a communist lap dog.

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Chan & Friend demonstrating loyalty to the communist party.

I noticed when the Chinese were having a good old squeak about the bronze statues a month ago that they rolled out Jackie Chan presumably because they figured he’d be a credible mouth piece for Western audiences, I guess they figured if people will listen to the likes on Bono about Africa and climate change, they’ll feel Chan will be accepted as a good guy with some valid opinions.

You have to say it’s kind of unexpected that someone who had all the benefits of the relative freedoms of Hong Kong would suddenly side with a bunch of communist dictators.  After all surely Jackie would want ordinary Chinese to enjoy the same freedoms he’s enjoyed, right?

Apparently not.

Mr Chan’s now come out and uneqiviolicly sided with the communist dictators that run China. 

I guess like many western celebrities that go off the tracks, Jackie’s self importance has gone to his head.

He’s now suggesting that actually (other) Chinese are all a bit stupid and need to be controlled. Naturally this doesn’t apply to himself as he should be free to say whatever he wants and travel freely around the world living an opulent lifestyle while ordinary Chinese struggle under semi feudal conditions.

All this bollocks and rank hypocrisy goes down well with the Communist elite in China and soon they’ll have him sitting in their rubber stamp parliament. If I were Chinese I’d be hurling his DVD’s onto a big bonfire in protest.