Friday, October 26, 2012

Bad Cops

There was a time when policing was seen as a good job for a young Vogon. All those beefheads from the First XV's who failed the chop at the All Black trials had to find a more realistic career, and for most that brawn-to-brain ratio left them two main choices; the armed forces and the police.

A few years with the army could let a young Vogon travel the world on the public coin. The Singapore Rotation especially was sorely missed by the grunts when it was taken off their options. Since then, Waiouru cabin fever has set in. Unimog crashes, Linton light-ups, cowboy Iroquois flight paths, massive traffic jams to Ohakea air shows. You wouldn't want these people evacuating a public area during a natural disaster or anything. I don't think they'd be up to the logistical challenge.

Becoming a Police was the other option. You didn't need School Cert, and the training course was shorter than most hairdressing certificates. Once initiated into the ranks, you had protection. You were part of a brotherhood like no rugby team ever. Perjury, assault and battery; unless you were particularly careless, all these tools were at your disposal and the only people to judge you would be your brothers. Not the courts, and certainly not the public.

It was only a matter of time for this corruption and hubris to get out of control. And you can thank Helen Clark's Labour government for providing the catalyst. In 2007, the Serious Fraud Office was on death row and due to be replaced by a new Organised Crime Unit. These Supercops would be given unprecedented powers.

It has taken only five years for OFCANZ (as it it now called) to hang itself with its own rope. The police force, as we know it, has been shown to no longer be fit for purpose.

Falsifying documents, contempt of court, fraud, false oaths, deceiving the courts, lying by omission. Planting evidence.

The police are stuck in a power loop. Time for a complete reboot.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Labour of Love

Here's an old treat from HalfDone; a selection of NZ bloggers graphed according to their scores on the Political Compass. You can take the test here, and current ungraphed bloggers can have their scores posted by emailling scrubone (see link). You can see the high density on the far right, while the Left Libertarian fields around my yard are more diffused.

It was not reassuring to discover that the closest Labour party stalwarts to my co-ordinates are Helen Clark and Iain Lees-Galloway. Not unless there's an indoors smoking section, anyway.

Whatever your compass point, have a hippy Labour Day. Before Goldenhorse, there was Frente!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


NZ's largest tax-exempt breakfast maker Sanitarium is picking fights with small business parallel importers. Not content with blocking UK Marmite hitting the local shelves, as Paul Little explains, these Seventh Day Adventists are also having a go at stockists of Weetabix.

What would Jesus do with Intellectual Property? I dunno, but these tax-dodging Jesus Freaks have been added to my boycott list.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Binders of Authority

While the Romneyshambles' latest gaffe gives birth to a new internet meme, there's a few other binders of interest going around.

Binders of Boy Scouts showing a Catholic Church-like burying of historical sexual abuse in the US Scouting movement, colluded by police and other pillars of the community.

Binders of Police; the Attorney-General's office has released an update on how the police are adapting to Margaret Bazley's recommendations brought on by the Louise Nichols scandal. The short answer is very slowly. Police mouth Greg O'Connor sez the police culture cannot change without a lot more money. In the underworld, this is known as a protection racket.

Ah well, at least they haven't tased a blind man after mistaking his walking cane for a samurai sword. Yet. However, the family of the innocent courier driver shot dead by the AOS on the Auckland motorway have been granted access to legal aid to sue the police. So there's some justice, at least.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Paula Bennett's Big Backdoor Kiosks

Usually when this government faces large font headlines, Paula Bennett is wheeled out with some outrageous new welfare policy to distract the media pack. The scale of embarrassment that John Key is facing over the Kim Dotcom headshot was too large to surmount with this usual tactic. After Keith Ng's moderately large but elegantly moderated MSD data dump last night, Paula Bennett will be lucky to keep her job.

A security hole that makes the ACC debacle look puny in comparison will do that. Hell, it makes the police INCIS computer scandal under the Nineties Nats look like a blip. I expect there's a small IT boom going on in Wellington right now as holes of various sizes are patched. Paula Bennett is having a crash course in jargon such as firewalls, partitions and privacy.

She owns this mess just as John Key owns his Dotcom vom (seriously, how come the only black spots for the security cams in the shiny new Defence Citadel are the rooms John Key walks into?). The new kiosks were introduced under her watch. They were introduced to cut staff levels, in order for National to reach their hell-for-leather 2015 surplus.

An advocacy group even warned the MSD formally and informally, after their photo op launch for the kiosks a year ago. One of my Facebook circle witnessed the event. The MSD were told and nothing was done. It sounds like the CERA re-build might be another multi-billion dollar government budget with its nuts waving in the wind with the same system. Bang goes any trust in inter-governmental data sharing.

There's a lot of outrage out there. The very vulnerable children that Paula Bennett has said she wanted to protect have had their most intimate details available to anyone who can wave a mouse down at the local WINZ office. Not to mention the read, write, execute access that left a possibility of fraudulent use that would make a Nigerian scammer blush.

The one day that there's a government scandal, and for once Paula Bennett is silent. Unless Key has set the bar lower than worm's limbo competition, there's a fair chance that Bennett is not long for the cabinet table.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

We Didn't Read the File

Nats Win, New Gummint, smile and wave, Jobs Summit
Bike Track, 4 Day Week, Gluckman made Chief Science Geek

Silent runs, GFC, lax deposit guarantees
Garrett, Rodney, Supercity, Melissa "Lost Highway" Lee

Barbies, beer with Prince Will, Tax cuts from English Bill
Hiking GST and motorcycle rego fees

Suspending democracy in ECan's Otautahi
Irrigation, irritation, dairy saturation please!

We didn't read the file
We'd rather be on Breakfast
Or a Radio Live talkfest
We didn't read the file
There's no time to read it
In the middle of a photo op

Richard Worth, Pansy Wong, Paul Quinn not missed once gone
Simon Power, 'nother story, Bankers grabbed that useful Tory

De-fanged regs in Bolger's time, now Leaky Homes, Pike River Mine
The details are too gory, now we tell another story

Look over there, it's a Hobbit! Actors' union told to shove it
Paul Henry, Dikshit, sounds like us, what a hit

Public Service cutbacks, Bill's Zero Budget
Allan Hubbard, empty cupboard, Christchurch shuddered, now we're buggered!

We didn't read the file
We'd rather be on Breakfast
Or a Radio Live talkfest
We didn't read the file
There's no time to read it
In the middle of a photo op

Rugbyhead World Cup, three way hand-shake stuff up
Tea with Banks turns to custard, Police called, MSM busted

MV Rena grounded, Colin's mental party founded
Act turgid, Greens surged, Labour still cannot be trusted

TV debate, "Show Me the Money", Phil Goff the headlight bunny
Joyce spin, narrow win, Peters dances on a pin

Winston First is back, slipping in his new List pack
It didn't look like he was trying, wasn't his niche set on dyin'?

We didn't read the file
We'd rather be on Breakfast
Or a Radio Live talkfest
We didn't read the file
There's no time to read it
In the middle of a photo op

Judith Collins, John Judge, Nick Smith, ACC fudge
Sky City, Conference sites, pokie machine rights

National Standards, ropey data, League Tables, Hekia Parata
Charter schools, unlicenced tools, long tails, Aussie Rules

Paula Bennett beyond caring, leopard skin diversions flaring
Chasing crumbs and solo Mums, no-one touches the Super bums

Kim Dotcom Armed Raid, GCSB brain fade
TPP, Fair Trade, Hollywood Kool Aid

We didn't read the file
We'd rather be on Breakfast
Or a Radio Live talkfest
We didn't read the file
There's no time to read it
In the middle of a photo op

The photo ops go on and on and on...

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

New Greenbacks

Green Party Finance Spokesperson Russel Norman today unveiled the party's new monetary policy. The Greens want to pay for the earthquake rebuild with a new currency that can only be used in the Canterbury region.

The Otautahitan Bob, or Bob for short, will be printed in quantities yet to be determined by the Green Party Economic Wiccan Circle. Norman insists that the new currency will not be inflationary, yet will help exporters become more competitive somehow.

NZIER economist Shamubeel Eaqub has dubbed the prior Green Party policy not so much voodoo economics as Zombie Mugabe Economics. Economists have yet to stop laughing at news of this latest Green policy long enough to comment.

MoBIE's Pick

Minister of Sci-Fi Steven Joyce and Government Spock Peter Gluckman have announced a series of  public contests in the form of National Science Challenges:
The Government has defined the National Science Challenges as an issue or opportunity that:
Is large, complex and important to New Zealand’s future
Has widespread agreement as to its national importance, and
Can potentially be solved or addressed by a scientific approach. 
Here's a few publicly available ideas I've presented earlier, to start off the brainstorming.

1) A Cook Strait Bridge; links the main islands with reliable infrastructure. No more ferries and the South Island power supply can run above the waves too.

2) A White Island power station using liquid hot magma to power Auckland.

3) Or, failing that solution to Auckland's energy crisis, a thorium reactor in Remuera.

UPDATE: Here's a new idea:
4) A series of canals and Archimedes screws between drought risk regions (too many to name) and New Plymouth in the north and West Coast in the south. Both are endless suppliers of fresh rainwater.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Smiley's People

It has been a week since the Smiling Assassin John Key admitted publicly to GCSB illegality, and the shit supernova is still spreading.

Excrement has been layered thickly not only on John Key and his chamberlain Bill English -who blithely signed the suppression notice- but also over so many usually discreet branches of government. Not only did it fly under the radar of some poor bastard in the GCSB, who is likely to end up the scapegoat one way or another; the order got the royal wave by the Queen's Hand of Crown Law and passed through the In Tray of the DPMC, before getting the ministerial John Hancock.

Throw in the suspicion that the police sent the GCSB request knowing full well that it was illegal, hoping the SIGINT wonks would trust the paperwork was in order and unwittingly cut the corner for the cops anyway. I found police mouth Greg O'Connor's comments during the Tuhoe Raids Arms trial illustrative of police ethics. His stance was that if an action is not explicitly illegal, then it is permissable. It is cavalier attitudes like this that permit cops to think they can fly close to the sun and not get burned.

And that's not the half of it. There might also be some top spin from MFAT in the mix, getting some cold revenge on McCully's Folly. Or there might be some shared back-end issues between the GCSB and the SIS, now that they're sharing office space in the shiny new Citadel of Defence and all. Then there's the matter of timings, who knew what and when, that were beyond Neazor's carpal tunnel horizon. So many unanswered questions, conspiracy theories and wild suppositions can run rife.

Hopes aren't high for more light than heat on the matter. There's so many foxes in charge of the henhouse reviews, it makes the related party lending in the finance company collapses look positively non-nepotistic in comparison. Putting even the bravest face on all of this, no-one is walking away smelling of roses. On the contrary, there's more than a hint of Rotorua in the air.