Archive

Archive for the ‘Global’ Category

Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder

17 April 2014 3 comments

.

old-paper-with-quill-pen-vector_34-14879.

FROM:   "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE:    Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200
TO:     "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz> 

.

The Editor
DOMINION POST

.

A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more
precise - by a US drone attack in Yemen, and our esteemed
Prime Minister responds; 

"I think they are legitimate, at certain times, where
countries are trying to contend with very dangerous
situations and they are trying to deal with those terrorists
without putting their own people in harm's way... I think
all that shows is the things that I have been saying for
quite some time that we need our intelligence agencies to
track our people, that there are New Zealanders who go and
put themselves in harm's way have all been proven to be
correct".

The New Zealander concerned has not been convicted of any
offence. We don't even know the extent of his involvement
(if any) in any so-called "terrorist" organisation. 

His fate was simply signed and sealed by some unknown
person(s) in Washington.

This is what is known as an extra-judicial killing; where a
person is summarily executed by the State, without any due
process of the law.

This was not justice, it was murder.

And for John Key to wash his hands of this terrorist act
with sophistry shows the lengths to which he has abandoned
any pretense of justice and surrendered to faceless killers
in Washington.

God help us - who is next? And is this what we can expect in
the 21st Century?


-Frank Macskasy

.

(Address & phone number supplied)

.


 

References

NZ Herald: New Zealand, Australian men killed in Yemen strike


 

.

Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

.

.

= fs =

Cancelled passports and freedom fighters – what is John Key up to?

20 February 2014 Leave a comment

.

milking it

.

John Key yesterday ( 10 February) admitted that his government had unilaterally cancelled the passports of  “a small group” of New Zealanders, fighting alongside anti-  al-Assad forces in Syria. According to Key, others have had their passports cancelled so as to prevent them reaching Syria.

Key’s actions raise several questions.

Firstly. Cancelling a New Zealander’s passport essentially renders that person stateless; unable to travel; unable to return home; and liable to arrest. Such a move leaves New Zealanders in an untenable  position.

Secondly, it may also be illegal.

Unilaterally cancelling a New Zealander’s pass, without that person being convicted in a Court of Law, deprives that person of the right to travel. A citizen’s right to travel is a basic human right and up to now, only authoritarian governments have controlled such movements.

John Key has effectively lined up with the likes of North Korea and the former Soviet-bloc, in controlling the movements of New Zealanders who have broken no law, and been convicted of no offence.

Thirdly, John Key justifies his actions by stating,

“They obviously don’t put their hand up and say they’re going to be freedom fighters in Syria when they leave. They present a different set of reasons why they might be leaving the country. We have the capacity to cancel a passport if we believe somebody is going into a war zone, for instance, to fight in a way we don’t think is  sensible.”

How patronising of our esteemed Prime Minister that he has taken it upon himself to determine whether or not “somebody is going into a war zone, for instance, to fight in a way we don’t think is  sensible“.

Considering that – up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – successive New Zealand governments have not hesitated to committing New Zealand troops into war-zones, it it a bit late in the day for a Prime Minister to be worrying about “somebody  going into a war zone  to fight in a way we don’t think is a sensible step for them”. Tell that to the  18,500 troops killed in World War One; 12,000 killed in World War Two; 33 in the Korean War; 37 in Vietnam, and others since then.

Fourthly, the sheer hypocrisy of Key’s actions and comments defy belief. Not once has he, nor his predecessors, commented on those New Zealanders who have join and actively served on foreign armies.

Such as New Zealanders serving in the Australian Army;

.

Australia offers NZ soldiers $250k to swap armies

.

Note the comment in the above story,

“The NZ Defence Force, meanwhile, confirmed yesterday that it employs a similar “lateral recruitment” process to attract soldiers from around the world. A spokesman said it was “fairly standard practice” for international armies to trade staff…”

And New Zealanders serving in the British Army;

.

Soldier killed by US friendly fire was a New Zealander in British army

.

The above story also refers to other New Zealanders serving in other armies,

“He is the fifth New Zealand-born soldier to die in action in Afghanistan.

Two were serving with Australian forces, one with US, and one with New Zealand troops.”

Plus New Zealanders joining the Israeli Army;

.

Canadian youths leave home to join Israeli army

.

Or the curious case of Tony Resnick, who departed New Zealand under a cloud, and ended up in the Israeli Army.

So there is nothing particularly unusual about New Zealanders taking it upon themselves to enlist in the armies of other nations. Quite a few even end up on battlefields where some are killed

Has John Key ever cancelled their passports?

Is Key  also worried about New Zealanders returning from foreign Army involvement?

“From time to time, we need to track the activities of New Zealanders, we need to be sure of their whereabouts and we certainly need to be clear that if they return to New Zealand, whether they pose a threat to other New Zealanders if they have become radicalised.”

Key has also been reluctant to disclose how many New Zealanders have been affected by this potentially illegal decision. He said “a small group“.

Ali Akil, of Syrian Solidarity New Zealand, has said in a NZ Herald story that he was aware of only two brothers who had been affected – and the cancellation had not been instigated by the GCSB or SIS,

“According to my sources, their parents are the ones who called up and asked for them to be stopped,” he said, accusing Mr Key of “scaremongering and providing twisted information for political gain”.

Ali Akil also added,

“John Key has suggested very few people have [gone to Syria], and mentioned they have gone there to fight against the Assad regime which is actually something that we should honour them for, not strip them of their rights for,” he told Morning Report.

He questioned why Mr Key would “criminalise” those who decide to fight against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which is known to have used chemical weapons against civilians.

“The New Zealand Government has actually sent our own New Zealand soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan to liberate them from dictators, or so we were told. Isn’t it ridiculous to now criminalise those who choose to do exactly the same thing in Syria?”

It is rather strange for Key to be harassing freedom fighters who are wanting to topple one of the worst dictatorships in the Middle East, as it was only last year that Key condemned the Syrian government for using chemical weapons against it’s own people. In fact, Key was reportedly critical of the UN Security Council not doing enough;

Key, who made a stinging attack on the Security Council in his address to the UN General Assembly yesterday, said the resolution did not go as far as New Zealand would have liked in holding the Assad regime to account.

“But it does do the most important job which is set out a programme for how chemical weapons will be collected up in Syria, destruction of those chemical weapons and hopefully a process for ensuring Syrians are kept safe form weapons that should never be deployed from anybody.”

He stated in no uncertain terms;

“This organisation would not also have been a powerless bystander to the Syrian tragedy for over two years if the lack of agreement among the Security Council’s Permanent Members had not shielded the Assad regime.”

Mr Key called for the Security Council to take strong action by passing against Syria for its use of chemical weapons.

“These are war crimes.”

“War crimes”!?!?

New Zealanders want to fight a regime that has committed war crimes – and Key repays their willingness to oppose this evil by stripping them of their pass ports, and in other cases, actively preventing them from leaving the country?!

Especially when, on 30 August last year, Key himself voiced support for the United Nations using force against the Syrian regime,

.

PM won't rule out NZ support for military strike on Syria

.

He quite clearly said,

“We think that’s the right thing to do but we wouldn’t hold our breath that that would receive the unanimous support that would be required.”

Do I detect the rank, rotting odour of hypocrisy (again) from our Prime Minister?

There is more to this issue than some young men wanting to join a fight to rid the world of a despotic dictator and his bloody regime (and this blogger will not shed a tear with the inevitable demise of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his criminal stooges).

Key obviously has a hidden reason for releasing this information, and I doubt very much if it relates one bit to any so-called concerns for the well-being of these young men.

Key has his own agenda:

1.

It is no coincidence that Key’s press conference and dramatic revelations are taking place during  an election year. I remind the reader of a blogpost I wrote on 30 June, last year;

So what does John Key and his National Ministers do? Do they, make the law more explicit that the GCSB “may not authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident”?

No.

Instead National has amended the law – in effect  legalising the illegal “88 cases identified as having a question mark over them since 2003” (source) through a new  Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill.

National is also enacting the new amendment  – under Urgency – which will give the GCSB the right to now spy on a person  who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.

Remember – there is no Cold War. That ended 24 years ago.

But you wouldn’t think so.

Instead, Key now makes references to other “threats” to New Zealand,

  • There are people within our country who have links to offshore terrorist groups.” -  John Key, 15 April 2013
  • …covert attempts to acquire New Zealand’s science and technology for programmes related to weapons of mass destruction or weapons delivery systems.” - John Key, 15 April 2013
  • This shows New Zealand’s public and private organisations are facing increasing risks of cyber intrusion which could compromise their operations and could result in the theft of valuable intellectual property.” – John Key, 7 May 2013

When asked to be specific about these claims, Key replied,

I cannot tell New Zealanders everything our intelligence agencies are doing, or what the details of their operations are.” (Source)

And as reported, Key was less than forthcoming about other matters relating to the GCSB’s activities,

He refused to say what the support was that the GCSB provided to the Defence Force, police and SIS.
“I’m not going to go into the details of what they do.”

He also refused to say whether information on New Zealanders was passed on to foreign agencies.

Acknowledgement:  John Key – PM releases report into GCSB compliance

But he did admit that not one of those 88 New Zealanders spied on by the GCSB has been prosecuted for any wrongdoing whatsoever.

Not one, as Key admitted,

Police have conducted a thorough check of all their systems. Police advise that no arrest, prosecution or any other legal processes have occurred as a result of the information supplied to NZSIS by GCSB  .”

It is an old, tried-and-tested, simple plan; spook the public using a variant of a reds-under-the-bed bogey-man “threat”, and watch them run into the ballot booth to tick the ‘National’ box.

It worked in 1981, when Muldoon portrayed the anti-Tour protestors as “commies” and a threat to the “Kiwi way of life”.

2.

Will up-coming Edward Snowden revelations refer to New Zealand, including material that is absolutely damaging to John Key’s government?

And is the so-called threat of New Zealanders being ‘radicalised’  in a Middle East conflict, and returning home to wage an implied “Jihad”, a scare-tactic to justify whatever shonkey or illegal activities that the GCSB/SIS/government has been engaging in?

3.

Is this yet another distraction during election year (see #1 above), with more to come?

Because – and here is the point -  governments very rarely (if ever) disclose what the SIS and GCSB have been up to.

So – what was the motivation of standing up at a media conference, in front of the entire nation, and telling everyone what our security/intelligence agencies have been engaged in?

There is much, much more to this than Key has let on.

And it has bugger all to do with Al Quaeda bogeymen or a bunch of idealistic young men who want a dictator gone.  Remember – this is John Key we’re talking about.

What was it that  Ali Akil, of Syrian Solidarity New Zealand, said about John Key? He accused…

“… Mr Key of “scaremongering and providing twisted information for political gain”.

It didn’t take long for this immigrant to our country to suss our Prime Minister, did it?

.

*

.

References

NZ Herald: Australia offers NZ soldiers $250k to swap armies

The Telegraph:  Soldier killed by US friendly fire was a New Zealander in British army

The Jewish Agency for Israel: Canadian youths leave home to join Israeli army

NZ Herald: At home with the Mossad men

Radio NZ: Govt cancels passports for would-be fighters

Radio NZ: Prime Minister rejects accusations of racism

NZ Herald: We’ll watch returning fighters, says Key

NZ Herald: Kiwi fighters being misinformed, says Syrian

Fairfax media: Key: Syria deal doesn’t go as far as I’d like

NZ Herald: John Key’s scathing attack on UN failings

NZ Herald: PM won’t rule out NZ support for military strike on Syria

NZ Radio: Syria action ‘may be outside law’

Previous related blogposts

Surveillance laws, Strikebreaking, & Subversive groups

.

*

.

john-key-george-bush-and-the-bogeyman

.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 12 February 2014.

.

.

= fs =

Japanese Whaling Ships can just p*ss off!

16 February 2014 4 comments

News today that  Japanese whaling boats entered our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Southern Ocean is not just cause for concern and an insult – but shows the extent to which Japan will go arrogantly pursue it’s goals to kill whales for the patently bullshit pretence of “scientific research”;

.

Diplomat summoned over Japan whaling

.

The best place for whaling boats from any country is not in our EEZ – but at the bottom of the sea. These mass killing machines have no place in our waters and the Japanese government must be told in no uncertain terms that the next incursion will result in precisely the same response that Japan gave to China in August 2012;

.

The Japan-China Territorial Dispute is Serious, and Escalating

.

The Japanese government was furious at the unwanted incursion of Chinese vessels in their EEZ waters and promptly despatched naval warships to “escort” the intruders out of their waters.

So any suggestion that New Zealand has no moral and legal (?) authority to do likewise is self-serving hypocrisy by groups such as the NZ-based, Japanese-funded so-called “Institute of Cetacean Research“. The Japanese government wasted no time in expelling Chinese vessels from their waters- New Zealand should do the same next time.

If there is a third occassion of an intrusion, any whaling ships should be seized; impounded; and the captain prosecuted. Seized Whaling vessels should end up scraped and the proceeds either used to off-set governments costs, or donated between Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully, should take note,

“… Japan’s deputy foreign minister summoned the Chinese ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and delivered a formal protest over the Chinese “intrusion”.”

That is a good start.

Meanwhile, it is outrageous that the  so-called “Institute of Cetacean Research” – a front for the Japanese whaling industry – has justified the incursion and has suggested that Japanese whalers may repeat the exercise if instructed by their owners;

“Japan has no choice but to keep an eye on them…

But the request from the New Zealand government is merely that, it’s jusdt a request, it’s not a legal right.”

[...]

“Well again, the, the exclusive economic zone  – ah, Japan’s vessels,   and any bodies,  and any other vessels has a right to enter anyone’s ah, exclusive economic zone.”

This is an affront to our notions of sovereignty.

The “Institute of Cetacean Research” should be put on notice that it is on shaky ground and could be complicit in any further illegal activities by whalers. Perhaps they should just be closed down and their lackey,  public relations agent Glenn Inwood, sent packing. Listen to his arrogance here,

.

Japan's whaling research body responds to Foreign Minister(Please click on image – and let me know if it doesn’t work for you!)

.

Inwood’s arrogance is breath-taking! In a few sentences he has ripped away the sovereignty of the country he was born is, in favour of Japanese hegemony (the country now paying his salary).  I would not be unhappy if this fellow packed his bag and buggered of. Good riddance.

Murray McCully was right to describe Japan’s whaling activities  as repugnant by the vast majority of New Zealanders.

Now Minister McCully has to follow up with action. Next time, no stuffing around; send in the Navy. Sink the bastards.

.

*

.

References

Radio NZ: Diplomat summoned over Japan whaling

Radio NZ Audio: Minister says Japanese whaling ships in EEZ disrespectful

Forbes: The Japan-China Territorial Dispute is Serious, and Escalating

.

*

.

Whaling

.

.

= fs =

Google takes a subtle (?) swipe at Russian homophobia

7 February 2014 1 comment

Flicking on to Google, I noticed the colourful header on the page;

.

olympic rainbow

.

Then I took a second, closer look. The Google logo was in rainbow colours…

.

olympic rainbow

.

Big. Gay. Rainbow. Colours!

Then I read the ‘blurb’ beneath the Google Search and I’m Feeling Lucky buttons,

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter

Duh! How could I have missed that?!

Big ‘Ups” to Google for sending a message to the Kremlin, that the world is watching and taking note of their officially-sanctioned homophobia.

The Russians may have spent an obscene amount of money on the Winter Games, but it will all be for nought  as the world sees rampant bigotry as official state policy. No amount of money will buy a good reputation.

.

.

= fs =

Ariel Sharon

12 January 2014 1 comment

This piece from ‘The Nation’ outlines Ariel Sharon’s bloody past,

.

How Ariel Sharon Shaped Israel’s Destiny

Source

.

Well worth a read before people start lamenting his passing too much…

I have little time for those who commit or actively support, acts of genocide. Whether they be Nazis, Stalinists, Khmer Rouge, fascists, or nationalists of one description or another – mass-murderers stand to be tried and condemned, whether in a Court of Law, or the Court of History.

Sharon’s legacy will be written in the blood of innocent people.

.

*

.

Other blogs

The Daily Blog: A brief word on the death of war criminal Ariel Sharon

The Daily Blog:  The death of Ariel Sharon – Gaza’s prison warden

Robert Fisk: Ariel Sharon: Peacemaker, hero… and butcher

.

.

= fs =

Categories: Global Tags: ,

A letter to our Aussie cuzzies…

8 September 2013 14 comments

A condolence letter sent to our Aussie cuzzies…

 

.

from:     Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to:     Sydney Morning Herald <letters@smh.com.au>
date:     Sun, Sep 8, 2013 at 4:13 PM
subject:     Letters to the Editor

.

The Editor
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
.

Sir/Madam,

Now that Australian voters have made their decision at the ballot box, they can look forward to a change in government.  They can also look forward to tax cuts promised by incoming PM, Tony Abbott.

But what else do Australians have to look forward to?
Well, if his government is anything like the National government we’ve had since 2008, Australians can also look forward to cuts in Federal government spending; massive redundancies in the state sector; a rise in unemployment;  cuts to social and other government services; union-busting and fall in wages;  and a resulting recession as a drop in spending flows through your economy as a whole.

Here in New Zealand, that is precisely what has happened, with cuts to everything from early childhood education to border bio-security control (with resultant influx of foreign pests).

As for tax cuts – beware of sneaky governments. They tend to raise charges, sales taxes, fringe taxes, and other government fees to make up for the revenue shortfall.

So welcome to our world of fiscal austerity; entrenched high unemployment; and lower and lower wages.

You seem to have caught our ‘bug’ – the “New Zealand Disease”.

I wish you luck. You’ll be needing it.

 

.
-Frank Macskasy

(Address & phone number supplied)

.

.

= fs =

USA, Vietnam, Peter Dunne – Pot, Kettle.

.

US criticizes Vietnam new Internet control decree

Source: NZ Herald – US criticizes Vietnam new Internet control decree

.

The US Embassy in Vietnam goes on to state,

“Fundamental freedoms apply online just as they do offline,” the embassy said in a statement. “We are deeply concerned by the decree’s provisions that appear to limit the types of information individuals can share via personal social media accounts and on websites.”

Source: IBID

Yes, of course our American cuzzies want the Vietnamese people to allow ”  information individuals can share via personal social media accounts and on websites”.

Then their National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s GCHQ can mine that data via their PRISM,  XKeyscore, and god-only-knows what other systems are used to store data on citizens.

.

XKeyscore - NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'

Source: The Guardian – XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’

.

The government of Vietnam is right to be concerned with what it’s citizens may put online. With British and American spy agencies trawling the planet for information, it is now a matter of national security that nations protect themselves from this illegal spying.  The internet poses a real danger to victims of this rampant,  out-of-control spying.

The sheer hypocrisy of the US Embassy when it piously states that    “Fundamental freedoms apply online just as they do offline” is breath-taking in arrogance.

It’s like Big Brother throwing a tanty when someone refuses to share their personal information, thus thwarting the spooks who are patiently waiting to hoover up the data.

Meanwhile, the Opposition parties, led by the Greens, have succeeded in stalling the passing of the GCSB and Related Legislation Amendment Bill for two weeks.

Their ‘filibustering’ has successfully stalled the passing of the Bill, as this Radio NZ report explains,

.

Legislation covering the Government Communications Security Bureau won’t pass all the way through Parliament this week as had been hoped by the Government.

The bill is now in its committee stages, where MPs debate it clause by clause.  The opposition has employed delaying tactics since Question Time on Tuesday afternoon.  An urgent debate on the Fonterra contamination scare delayed the debate further.

The Government will have to wait at least two weeks to pass the controversial legislation.

Source: Radio NZ – GCSB bill won’t pass this week

This gives opponants to the GCSB and Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bills an opportunity to grow opposition and to educate the public what is at stake.

As for Peter Dunne, who is complaining about protesters targetting his home – my sympathy for him is zero.

.

Dunne lashes back at noisy protesters

Source: Dominion Post – Dunne lashes back at noisy protesters

.

Protester, Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati is 100% quite right when she says that their presence is to  “to give him a taste of what it feels like to have your privacy intruded on“.

Mr Dunn doesn’t like being surveilled?

Neither do we.

Do the right thing, Mr Dunne – vote the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill and GCSB and Related Legislation Amendment Bill down.

It’s the decent thing to do.

You still have time.

Don’t be John Key’s errand boy.

.

314770_10150396588331397_707526396_10526548_1193185338_n

.

What would George Orwell – author of ’1984′ – have made of all this, I wonder?

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 8 August 2013.

 

.

.

= fs =

Detroit – neo-liberalism’s “Grand Success”

29 July 2013 3 comments

.

Detroit files for bankruptcy

Source: Radio NZ – Detroit files for bankruptcy

.

America’s grand experiment in neo-liberal capitalism has claimed it’s third bloody sacrifice; Detroit (after Jefferson County, Alabama, and Stockton, California).

Detroit now owes US$18.5 billion in debt. It has declared itself officially bankrupt – the largest US city ever to do so.

There are no doubt several reasons for Detroit’s current economic decline and its inevitable urban decay, but it is a dying city nevertheless,

The governor painted a picture of a city in collapse. Citizens wait 58 minutes for the police to respond to calls, compared to a national average of 11 minutes. Only a third of ambulances were in service in the first quarter of 2013. There are approximately 78,000 abandoned buildings in the city. The unemployment rate had nearly tripled since 2000 and the homicide rate was at its highest level in 40 years, he said. Detroit is unable to meet its most basic obligations to its residents, let alone its creditors.

Source: UK Guardian - Detroit becomes largest US city to file for bankruptcy in historic ‘low point’

Jobs in the industry have dropped by 40 percent since 2000, from 1.3 million to 800,000“, wrote Evan Soltas for Bloomberg.

Michael Snyder, writing in theeconomiccollapseblog.com, posted  17 Facts About The Decline Of The U.S. Auto Industry That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe,

#1 The average age of an automobile in the United States has gone up more than 50% since 1990 and is now sitting at an all-time record of 10.8 years.  The average length of a marriage in the United States that ends in divorce is only 8 years.

#2 Germany made 5.5 million cars in 2010.  The United States made less than half that (2.7 million).

#3 When you add up salary and benefits, the average auto worker in Germany makes $67.14 an hour.  In the United States, auto workers only make $33.77 an hour in salary and benefits.

#4 Back in 2000, about 17 million new automobiles were sold in the United States.  During 2011, less than 13 million new automobiles were sold in the United States.

#5 Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe?  Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts with the rest of the world of $110 billion.

#6 Japan builds more cars than anyone else on the globe.  Japan now manufactures about 5 million more automobiles than the United States does.

#7 In 2010, South Korea exported approximately 12 times as many automobiles to us as we exported to them.

#8 According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to new tariffs.

#9 U.S. car companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars building shiny new automobile factories in China.

#10 In 1970, General Motors had about a 60 percent share of the U.S. automobile market.  Today, that figure is down to about 20 percent.

#11 The combined U.S. market share of the “Big Three” American car companies fell from 70% in 1998 to 53% in 2008.

#12 Detroit was once known as the “Motor City”, but in recent decades automobile production has been leaving Detroit at a staggering pace.  One analysis of census figures found that 48.5% of all men living in Detroit from age 20 to age 64 did not have a job during 2008.

#13 Today, only Chrysler still operates an automobile assembly line within Detroit city limits.

#14 Since Alan Mulally became CEO of Ford, the company has reduced its North American workforce by nearly half.

#15 Today, only about 40 percent of Ford’s 178,000 workers are employed in North America, and a significant portion of those jobs are in Canada and Mexico.

#16 The average Mexican auto worker brings in less than a tenth of the total compensation that a U.S. auto worker makes.

#17 In the year 2000, the U.S. auto industry employed more than 1.3 million Americans.  Today, the U.S. auto industry employs about 698,000 people.

Item #9 is off particular relevance to New Zealand, because we are doing precisely the same thing;

U.S. car companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars building shiny new automobile factories in China.

As Forbes posted in May 2010, in an article  U.S. Companies That Invest Big In China,

General Motors and Volkswagen have invested billions in China, starting more than a decade ago. Ford is rushing to catch up by adding production capacity and expanding its dealer network in China. Ford and its joint-venture partner, Chang’an Ford Mazda Automobile, plan to start producing next-generation Ford Focus models at a new, $490 million plant in Chongqingin 2012.

Essentially, the United States car manufacturing industry has been busy exporting it’s production facilities and jobs to other low-wage  countries – China and Mexico to give two examples.

Here in New Zealand, we’ve done pretty much the same thing; gutted  our manufacturing sector by  busily exporting it to China (and elsewhere) where wages are low, in comparison to New Zealand workers*,

.

Rakon blames job cuts on high dollar

Source: Radio NZ – Rakon blames job cuts on high dollar

.

This, essentially, is the end-result of eliminating tariffs with so-called “free trade” agreements. Except, these agreements are not  “free” at all. They cost jobs.

For every pair of cheap Skellerup  “Red Band” gumboots you and I buy at The Warehouse – New Zealander’s jobs were sacrificed,

The first pairs of Red Band Men’s gumboots retailed for twenty five shillings and 11 pence. Red Band gumboots continued to be made at Skellerup’s Woolston factory in Christchurch until the late 1980s when economic considerations forced the company to move production offshore.

Source

So how cheap are those gumboots made in China?

The economic cost of  people out of work is astronomical: $805,759,000 for the 2012/13 period alone (Unemployment Benefit and Emergency Benefit (M63) – Vote Social Development – Estimates of Appropriations 2013/14)

The social cost is beyond a dollar value.

And yet, it was not always like this. Once upon a time, we had full employment.

In 1973, the numbers of registered unemployed (not including overall jobseekers) stood at 2,321. (source)

By June 2008 the number of registered unemployed (not including overall jobseekers) had increased to 17,710. (Pre Global Financial Crisis recession.)(source)

Forty years later, by June this year, after de-regulation, free trade treaties, abolition of tariffs, and the dismantling employment legislation and the trade union movement, the number of registered unemployed (not including overall jobseekers) increased to 48,438. (IBID)

The actual numbers of jobless, according to regular Household Labour Force Surveys, is much higher (currently at  146,000). (source)

It could be said that the cost of those  cheap, foreign-made Redband gumboots (and other consumer goods)  is costing taxpayers $805,759,000 per annum.

Conformist middle class consumers, if they read this, would probably shrug and dismiss it from their minds. Such matters as Detroit and the pernicious consequences of  the “free” market (which, as I have shown, is not “free”) on our employment, economy, and social fabric is beyond their ken.

It doesn’t affect them directly so they blot it from their minds.

They simply look at a pair of  Redband gumboots and see the printed pricetag.

After all, the capricious nature of neo-liberalism such as the fate of Detroit could never happen here, right?

.

Wellington Dying - John Key - 7 May 2013

Capital a dying city says Prime Minister – Dominion Post – 7 July 2013

Source: Dominion Post (scanned hard-copy)

Related story: Dominion Post – Shearer slams PM over capital dying quip

.

* Yes, there are other serfs in the world paid less than Kiwis.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 24 July 2013.

.

.

= fs =

Can you feel it?

.

 

People

.

The Arab Spring, the Occupation Movement, Turkey, Brazil… something is happening. We are witnessing history being made. Those who Rule and those who Profit are being challenged…

The 21st Century is where it begins… (apologies to ‘Torchwood’ for nicking their slogan)

.

.

= fs =

Categories: Global Tags:

The “right to bear arms”…

20 June 2013 6 comments

… does it include death ray guns?

When the USA’s Second Amendment was adopted on 15 December 1791, the “right to bear arms” referred to weapons like these,

.

1797 flintlock pistols

.

1797 flintlock rifle

.

I wonder what the American Founding Fathers would have thought of 21st century weapons like an Xray “death-ray” weapon?

.

 

FBI Foils Plot To Build Strange X-Ray Weapon, Possibly Targeting President Obama

Acknowledgement: ABC News – FBI Foils Plot To Build Strange X-Ray Weapon, Possibly Targeting President Obama

 

.

In the years and decades to come, as technology produces  more and  more highly advanced direct-energy (ray guns) weapons – capable of god-knows-what destruction – will the American appetite for guns finally be quenched?

If I was the NRA, I’d start to be worried.

Some buildings make awfully good targets. Especially for those who are pissed of at the gun lobby after losing loved ones to gun violence…

.

NRA

.

.

= fs =

KGB, CIA, STASI, SIS… Facebook?!

18 June 2013 5 comments

Now I’m being interogated by Facebook with demands for information,

.

Facebook questions

.

!?!?

.

Bugger off!

I’ve no doubt Facebook already has more than enough info on me. I sure as hell am not giving them one iota more of personal info.

.

.

.

= fs =

Categories: Global Tags:

For Edward Snowden…

14 June 2013 1 comment

… send a message to President Obama!

As State power increases around the world, more and more citizens are going to stand up and say “No more! This far, but no more! I’m not going to be part of this shit any longer!”

We can each do a little bit to help the Bradley Mannings and Edward Snowdens who are making a stand on our behalf!

.

edward snowden (1)

.

edward snowden (2)

.

Join the global movement – help put pressure on President Obama to do the right thing with Edward Snowden.

Sign the petition

.

> Click here <

Note to GCSB, SIS, NSA, and any other “intelligence security” agency reading this,

  1. This is not a “terrorist” blogsite
  2. Be a good chap and sign the petition for Edward Snowden
  3. When will you join Bradley and Edward and become a whistleblower? Join the people. It’s time to reclaim our privacy and roll back the Surveillance State!

.

.

= fs =

NRA response; more guns. Common sense sez otherwise.

22 December 2012 44 comments

.

Wayne LaPierre

“If we truly cherish our kids, more than money, more than our celebrities, we must must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained – armed – good guy.”

.

The NRA’s, Wayne LaPierre, finally fronted up to a shocked global society by offering their nightmarish solution to gun-shootings in American schools; more guns. Specifically, armed guards in every school in the United States.  (See: NRA chief breaks post-Newtown silence to call for armed guards at schools)

Aside from the bizarreness of this proposal, the sheer cost would be astronomical.

According to one source, in 2009-10 there are 138,925 educational institutions ranging from “Elementrary” (our primary schools) through to Universities. (Source: National Centre for Education Statistics: Educational Institutions)

If a minimum of one private, full time, guard was placed in every  institution, at a median cost of  US$28,834 per person, (see:  Salary.com: security guards) the full would be an astronomical US$4,005, 763,450 per annum. Many institutions because of their size would need two, or more guards.

Considering Republican’s (who are allied to the NRA)  lack of appetite for increasing taxes, it is hard to see where the money would come from.

No wonder that there was protest at Wayne LaPierre’s speech yesterday,

.

.

It is highly doubtful that  arming teachers or hiring security guards would achieve anything. Being the United States, how long would it be before the first mentally disturbed security guard or teacher pulled out his/her legally-sanctioned gun and started blasting away at the people they were mandated to protect?

Or, the guard was simply in another part of the school grounds?

Or, more likely, was the first victim of any deranged shooter?

Only in the US would one countenance the totally lunatic proposal that more guns equates to more safety.  This is the United States; a culture where guns are revered in their entertainment value as the solution to complex problems. Mass murder can even be made to look cool, with cool clothing, cool sunnies, and cool background music. Killing becomes a fashion-statement – in the US, anyway,

.

.

Is that how mass-murderers see themselves?

Meanwhile, Wayne LaPierre’s suggestion fall flat on it’s distorted face  when it is pointed out that Columbine High School did indeed have an armed guard on duty;  Sheriff’s deputy, Neil Gardner.

On 20 April 1999, despite Mr Gardner’s presence, twelve students and one teacher were gunned down  by two deranged students.

The NRA are not the solution – they are intrinsically part of the problem.

And unfortunately we have our own gun nuts here in New Zealand. See:  Firearms – Libertarianz

.

*

.

Additional

The Guardian: This sacred text explains why the US can’t kick the gun habit

The Guardian: Wayne LaPierre and the NRA: so defensive it was downright offensive

The Guardian: NRA chief breaks post-Newtown silence to call for armed guards at schools

Slate: Wayne LaPierre Wants Armed Guards at Schools. Columbine Had an Armed Guard

Wikipedia: Columbine High School massacre

.

.

= fs =

How many more? For god’s sakes, how many more?!

15 December 2012 9 comments

.

Mass shootings at US elementary school

Full story

.

How many more?

How many more people must die in the United States before the body count becomes too much, even for the most obsessive, hardened,  gun-”fans”?!

Twenty children plus six adults. Is that the price of American’s “right” to own lethal weapons?

God help your nation.

Because it sure seems that you people are incapable of it.

.

.

= fs =

Categories: Global Tags: , ,

Exclusive: Provocateurs attempt to disrupt March for Palestine, in Wellington!

24 November 2012 120 comments

.

.

Wellington, 24 November – A Solidarity-with-Gaza protest march in Wellington today was briefly marred when two young men wearing Jewish Kippah/Yarmulke walked at the front of the procession, and had to be led away by a lone police constable for their own protection.

The protest march, numbering approximately 100 to 150, marched along Wellington’s main streets, calling for justice for Palestine and for the ending of the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Organisors of the protest call themselves “Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine“.  They are New Zealanders who  stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

They say,

We support Palestinian self-determination and Palestinian refugees’ right  of return. We advocate a just solution  to the conflict that allows Palestinians, Jews, and others to live in peace and equality regardless of religious or ethnic identity.”

.

.

According to a conversation overheard on a Wellington bus driver’s radio, the Police had not been alerted to the protest march  – though it was well-organised and  moved peacefully through the city,

.

.

The messages on placards and banners was simple and direct,

.

Frank Macskasy  Frankly Speaking  blog fmacskasy.wordpress.com Free Palestine support Gaza Wellington Oppose Israel aggression Protest 24 Nov

.

.

Students of history will recall that Nazi occupiers throughout Europe referred to various localised resistance movements as “terrorists”,

.

.

.

.

Men, women, and children – the procession moved peacefully through the streets of the city, with their  chants echoing through the concrete-and-glass-walled canyons of the city,

.

.

One lone police car parked on an intersection, to slow down and divert on-coming traffic,

.

.

At this point, this blogger witnessed a lone police constable hauling two young men away from the front of the march,

.

.

My first thoughts were that individuals within the protest march had caused an ‘incident’, and were being arrested. Then I noticed their head-gear,

.

.

I also overheard snippets of conversation between the constable and the two young men; they had been pulled away from the protest march not because of breaking any law – but for their own safety. The constable was adamant that the pair would not be permitted to return to the protest march.

One of the young men responded that it was his right to freedom of expression,

.

.

The constable replied that either they walked away,  or they would end up in a police car – for their own protection. She was in no mood to be playing silly-buggers with this pair of fools,

.

.

As the two young men walked away from the protestors, this blogger caught up with them and tried to find out what their intentions were,

.

.

They began with a curious comment that they did not want to be recorded because it was their “Holy Sabbath”. When pressed what they meant, the following conversation was recorded,

Him: “I’m gonna ask you not to record anything today.”

Frank: “Well it can’t be too much of a Holy Sabbath if you’re down here to protest [the] march, and walking in front of it.”

Him: “Well, they chose that day unfortunately. I’m talking, I’m allowed to talk.”

Frank: “Well that’s right, so, what have you got to say for yourself as to why you were standing in front of them? What was your message?”

Him: “I don’t want to be recorded on my sabbath. Is that… Can you respect that?”

Frank: “Alright, well, ok, but can I ask you then-”

Him: “I can give you my email address. You can memorise it, write it down, whatever you want. You can email me, you can interview me later, how’s that?”

Frank:  “Ok. Do you think it was appropriate to put yourself  in front of that protest march? Any comments, sir?”

Him: “Who are you?”

Frank: “I’m a blogger-”

Him: “Ok, you can take my email address if you want, but no recordings.”

Frank: “-I’m a blogger, Frank Macskasy, and I’m covering this.”

Him: [no response]

Frank: “Ok, thanks gentlemen.”

Him: “Thank you.”

The pair then walked off,

.

.

This blogger then returned to the body of the march; the passionate chanting and  vocal  demands for justice for Palestine still very strong,

.

.

Standing beside one of the protestors, she informed me that “they’ve been here the whole time… they often come to these things“.

She asked me what they had said, and I repeated their refusal to go on record with a taped interview, claiming it breached their Sabbath. Did it stop them chanting their own pro-Israel slogans in front of the march?

“Oh no,” she replied.

Perhaps the two young gentlemen felt shy in expressing themselves – without backup from the Israeli Army?

The protest march made it’s way to Wellington’s civic centre,

.

.

.

.

.

A young Palestinian, Mohammed, addressed the crowd, which had swelled along the way to the Civic Square,

.

.

In part, he said,

“… Since 1948, when they stole our land, killed our people, and displaced millions of us. And up till now Israel continues their massacres, their discriminations against Palestinians, again and again.

More then ten thousand prisoners, waiting for their human rights, waiting for freedom in Israel’s jails.

[cries of 'Shame! ' from the crowd]

Last week they started their attack, their war over Gaza, over the civilians in Gaza. And they killed 162 civilians, including children, women, elderly, and men. More than 1,200 severe injuries. This attack on Gaza is by no means the last crime of Israel on Gaza.

Once the ceasefire agreement has been signed with the [distorted word] government of Israel, they arrested more than fiftyfive people in the West Bank and their ‘mistake’  was just to be demonstrating  against the attack on Gaza. Yesterday two young people were shot by Israeli forces around the border with Gaza.

[cries of 'Shame! ' from the crowd]

Even the seige of Gaza is still going on which prevents essential needs to be delivered to the people of Gaza. And quite simply I would say, as any Palestinian says, we’ll never forget our people who are killed by Israeli  forces. We will never forget our land. We will never give up.

Thank you so much for joining us today in solidarity with Palestine, especially the Gaza.”

Despite english being his second language, those listening to Mohammed understood the meaning and pain inherent in his words.

How many times have we heard similar words from  around the world, where people are repressed with harsh brutality.

In the past, New Zealand has played it’s part in rejecting repressive regimes, and standing firm with people suffering from suppression. We’ve done it before, we can do it again.

The Palestinian people deserve our support and friendship.

.

.

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”
- Abraham Lincoln

.

*

.

Copyright (c)  Notice

All images are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

  •     Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
  •     At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals.
  •     Acknowledgement of source is requested.

Contact

vicpalestine@gmail.com

.

.

= fs =

Anonymous hacks Israel’s Vice Prime Ministers Twitter and Facebook A/c

21 November 2012 5 comments

.

See: Twitter account

.

Anonymous has hacked Israel’s Vice Prime Minister, Silvan Shalom, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Whilst the Face book page has been closed to public view, as at 1.50pm today (21 Nov),  Anonymous still  has control over Shalom’s Twitter account.

See: https://twitter.com/SilvanShalom

It’s little comfort to the oppressed Palestinian people, but it’s a global in-your-face to one of the war mongers within the Israeli government.

The first Anonymous message seems to have been posted an hour ago,

.

Silvan Shalom ‏@SilvanShalom

MY HEART GOES OUT TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING IN PALESTINE. STOP THIS WAR NOW!!! END THE OCCUPATION. #GAZA

IT’S TIME TO STOP OCCUPYING PALESTINIAN LAND. TIME TO END THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL. FREEDOM TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE. #GAZA

END THE MURDER OF INNOCENT BABIES, CHILDREN, WOMEN AND MEN. STOP THE BOMBING AND SORT YOUR HEADS OUT > ISRAEL #FREEPALESTINE#GAZA

ORGANIZE YOURSELVES. STOP BELIEVING THE POLITICALLY BIASED MEDIA! TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR IMPACT ON OUR PLANET. #FREEPALESTINE#GAZA

CALLING PEOPLE OF THE WORLD. BOYCOTT ALL ISRAELI GOODS. PROTEST EVERYWHERE AGAINST THIS UNJUST WAR AND OCCUPATION. #GAZA

FREE PALESTINE FROM ISRAELI MURDERERS. END THE OCCUPATION. BRING DOWN THE WALL. SEND SUPPLIES, MEDICINE AND FOOD. POWER TO THE PEOPLE #GAZA

Who can bare to see the horror, the deaths of children and innocent people trying to protect their occupied land? STOP THE WAR #GAZA

I FULLY SUPPORT PALESTINE AND DENOUNCE THE ZIONIST ISRAELI REGIME. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. WE NEED PEACE!!! #GAZA

and to my sociopathic wife Judy > FREEDOM FOR PALESTINE IS THE ONLY WAY TO ACHIEVE PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST. #GAZA

ISRAEL < STOP KILLING PEOPLE YOU FUCKING TWATS!!!! FREE PALESTINE #GAZA

WE NEED PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST. THE WORLD IS NOT BLIND TO THE LIES OF ISRAEL. STOP THE BOMBING OF PALESTINE #GAZA

BOYCOTT ISRAELI PRODUCTS WORLDWIDE. END THIS MASS MURDER OF PALESTINIANS. END THE WAR. END THE OCCUPATION. ZIONISM WILL BE DESTROYED #GAZA

Benjamin Netanyahu is a Zionist murdering psychopath. FREE PALESTINE!!!! STOP THE MURDER. END THE OCCUPATION!! SUPPORT HAMAS. #GAZA

FREE PALESTINE! END THE OCCUPATION! STOP THE MURDER OF PALESTINIANS NOW!!!! #GAZA

.

Excellent work, Anonymous. You are on the right side of history and justice.

.

*

.

Acknowledgement

S Woo Satya Yuga

Related

US Navy orders Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group to head to Israeli shores

.

.

= fs =

Categories: Global Tags: , , ,

O is for Obama, H is for hypocrisy…

20 November 2012 7 comments

.

.

US President Obama stated today,

“Let’s understand what the precipitating event here that’s causing the current crisis and that was an ever-escalating number of missiles that were landing not just in Israeli territory but in areas that are populated, and there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”

See:  Obama: Israel has ‘every right’ to defend itself from Gaza missile attacks

Really?

I wonder how Pakistan feels about US drone missiles raining down on it’s citizens, from outside it’s borders?

.

Full story

.

Obama – you are no better than Mitt Romney or John Key.

.

.

= fs =

Palestine: justice denied for one, is justice denied for all

17 November 2012 5 comments

.

.

A debate on a Facebook page last night reminded me why the struggle to support oppressed people is the responsibility of all of us – not just those people facing oppression at the hands of nations that happen to be well-armed; well-financed; and looked upon faviourably  by mainstream media.

On this Facebook debate, I offered two examples of how  the Palestinian people were facing illegal and unjust repressive acts at the hands of the Israeli government,

  • the illegal blockade of Gaza by Israel,
  • the illegal building of Israeli settlements on the West Bank

My post vanished within minutes, and the page authors expressed “lack of knowledge” at my  missing post.

It struck me as curious that the two administrators of that Facebook page felt so threatened by my fairly innocuous comments that they felt the need to remove it. Apparently my support for the persecuted Palestinian people challenged their somewhat one-eyed pro-Israeli convictions.

To re-cap,

1. The blockage of Gaza by Israeli naval and other forces is illegal – and anywhere else in the world would be tantamount to war,

.

Full story

.

The above article states,

Israel says its Gaza blockade is a precaution against arms reaching Hamas and other Palestinian guerrillas by sea.”

And at the same time reports,

About one-third of Gaza’s arable land and 85 percent of its fishing waters are totally or partially inaccessible due to Israeli military measures, said Olivier De Schutter, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, another of the five.

At least two-thirds of Gazan households lack secure access to food, he said. “People are forced to make unacceptable trade-offs, often having to choose between food or medicine or water for their families”.”

In a special U.N. report in 2007, it was determined that,

Israel remains an occupying Power in respect of Gaza. Arguments that Israel ceased its occupation of Gaza in 2005 following the evacuation of its settlements and the withdrawal of its troops take no account of the fact that Israel retains effective control over Gaza by means of its control over Gaza’s external borders, airspace, territorial waters, population registry, tax revenues and governmental functions. The effectiveness of this control is emphasized by regular military incursions and rocket attacks.”

Source: UN Special Rapporteur, Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967

What pro-Israeli individuals forget is that if you brutalise a people in the worst possible way – do not be surprised when they react brutally toward  to their oppressor. This is simple, human nature.

Do pro-Israeli individuals feel the need to put that  truism to the test?

2. Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

It defies belief that sycophants to Israeli imperialism can even begin to justify Israel’s gradual colonisation of the West Bank.

In fact, the entire area of the West Bank is dotted with illegal Israeli settlements encroaching bit by bit into the Palestinian territory,

.

Source

.

It’s fairly clear to anyone in possession of their full faculties that Israel is engaged in a slow, methodical land-grab on the West Bank, as it slowly pushes local Palestinian inhabitants into a smaller and smaller territory,

A number of international bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, the International Court of Justice, the European Union, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and many legal scholars have characterized the settlements as a violation of international law, but other legal scholars, Israel, and the Anti-Defamation League disagree with this assessment. (See Legal background)

See: Israeli settlement

After the assassination of  Hamas military leader, Ahmed al-Jaabari, on 14 November, the response of Palestinians was predictable; the launching of rockets at the Israeli state.

Which, when you think about it, is no less than any other nation on Earth would do in response to an unprovoked attack.

God knows how many drone missiles the United States has launched into areas of Pakistan, Yemen, and other countries.

It is fairly clear that decades of military aggression and suppression has brutalised Palestinians in a manner that we can barely begin to imagine or comprehend.

I wonder how we, as a nation would respond, if an aggressor forced us out of our cities into an area a little over 4% of the  size of the South Island; blockaded vital imports; and then set up  settlements within that small zone, protected by the invader’s military forces.  Imagine if we resisted in any manner, resulting in a rain of bombs falling upon us for daring to resist the occupiers.

And imagine our indignity of the world media depicting us as the terrorists for daring to fight back?

I don’t think we’d be too happy, eh?

This blogger supports the right of Palestine to exist as a state.

This blogger supports the right of Israel to exist as a state.

But at the same time, Israel must support the same right for Palestine to be a fully  independent State; the blockade to be lifted; political prisoners to be released; and  Israeli settlers to be withdrawn from the illegal occupation of the West Bank.

And while they’re at it – Israel needs to be  rid of this abomination,

.

.

.

The Wall did not work for East Germany, it most certainly will not work for Israel.

There can be no peace whilst Israel plays the role of the aggressor and imperialist coloniser. One thing history teaches us is that the human spirit is indomitable. And Palestinians have that spirit by the truckload.

As for those individuals here in New Zealand who support Israel – you are doing them no favours. Postponing the inevitable is not what a friend does for another friend.

It is an inevitability that Palestine will be free one day. That day cannot be averted unless Israel slaughters every Palestinian man, woman, and child in Gaza and the  West Bank.

And we know what that’s called, don’t we?

.

*

.

Related

Kia Ora Gaza

Facebook: Auckland protest against Israeli strikes on Gaza

Israeli settlements

Palestinians carry the body of Ahmed Al-Jaabari

.

.

= fs =

.

.

= fs =

Fiji, Canterbury, and deferred elections

7 September 2012 1 comment

Announced in July 2010,

.

Full story

.

So let’s see if this blogger has sussed this correctly…

Postponing an election in Fiji is a bad thing, with Dear Leader demanding that the Fijians tow the line,

Nothing I’ve seen would mean that Mr Bainimarama would have any reason other than to hold elections in 2014 if he’s a man of his word.”

“Man of his word”! Good! Well said, Dear Leader, well said. Coup  leaders who over-turn democratically-elected institutions need to be held to account.

Uh oh…

Announced today (7 September),

.

Source

.

???

But… but…  Prime Minister John Key said that pledges to hold an election should be honoured!?

What’s going on here?

Surely, Dear Leader is not having one standard for our Fijian cuzzies, and one for himself? That would be… hypocritical.

Let me say one last thing – Nothing I’ve seen would mean that Mr Key would have any reason other than to hold elections in 2013 if he’s a man of his word.

.

*

.

Other Blogs

Christchurch a guinea pig for National’s absurd idea’s

.

.

= fs =

Appeal to Solidarnosc!

8 March 2012 2 comments

An appeal to our Polish cuzzies,to support Auckland’s port workers,

.

Attack on New Zealand Trade Union – Can you assist?

.

Date: Thursday, 8 March, 2012 3:44 PM

From:  “Frank Macskasy” <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>

To: zagr@solidarnosc.org.pl

Subject: Attack on New Zealand Trade Union – Can you assist?

Fraternal greetings from New Zealand!

As throughout the world, New Zealand is experiencing it’s own share of industrial conflict.We have experienced lock-outs of workers at meat-processing plants (http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/business/6523789/Affco-to-lockout-more-workers); strikes by aged-care workers who are on low wages(http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6536400/Resident-joins-resthome-workers-on-strike); and just recently, 300 maritime workers were sacked by their employer, Ports of Auckland Ltd – a company that is owned by the Auckland City Council (http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/business/6537074/Fight-on-as-Auckland-wharfies-made-redundant).

http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/workers-lose-their-jobs-day-of-shame/

The employers (POAL, Ports of Auckland Ltd) is attempting to smash the maritime union’s presence on the Port and is attempting to casualise the workforce and contract out the work to private stevedoring companies.

This would effectively reduce wages and destroy unionised representation on the wharves in Auckland City.

In 1981, when Solidarnosc was under attack by the Kremlin’s puppets, New Zealanders rallied to help the people of Poland. When General Jaruzelski declared martial law, New Zealanders marched in support of Polish workers – with an estimated 10,000 people taking part in Wellington City.

We ask that Solidarnosc offer some measure of support to striking maritime workers who have lost their jobs, and that you ask the Mayor of Auckland (Len Brown) and the Prime Minister of New Zealand (John Key) to intercede to save these workers’ jobs;

Len Brown
Mayor of Auckland
Len.Brown@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

John Key
Prime Minister of New Zealand
john.key@parliament.govt.nz

Any moral support that you can provide will be greatly appreciated and will contain great symbolism, considering New Zealand’s support for Solidarnosc in the 1980s.

In solidarity with our Polish cousins,
-Frank Macskasy

Blogger, “Frankly Speaking”
fmacskasy.wordpress.com

.

.

Blogger’s Lament – The Ultimate Sacrifice for Freedom

29 February 2012 3 comments

.

Rami al-Said - Blogger, Citizen Journalist, and a gutsy bloke

.

Last week, a Syrian blogger and citizen journalist,  by the name of Rami al-Said paid the ultimate price; he was killed by the military forces of despotic dictator, war criminal,  and disgusting excuse for a human being,  Bashar Assad.

Rami al-Said was reporting from the Syrian city of Homs – which as most of us know by now – is being pounded to rubble by a mad dictator’s army. Rami al-Said refused to leave, and instead chose to report on the genocide that was taking place.

One of  Rami al-Said’s last posts on his Facebook page stated,

“”Baba Amro [a suburb of Homs] is being wiped out now, complete genocide, I don’t want you to tell us our hearts are with you because I know that, I want projects everywhere inside and outside I want everyone to go out in front of the embassies in al…l countries everywhere because we are soon to be nothing, there will be no more Baba Amr – I expect this is a final letter to you and we will not forgive you.””

People have an instinctive fear of harm, injury, violence, and death. It’s part of our sense of self-preservation – that intrinsic, evolutionary urge to stay alive and stay out of harm’s way.

But every so often, human beings set aside that sense of self-preservation; their anger and indignation at an injustice overcomes their most basic fears (or at least pushes it to one side); and individuals and groups refuse to run away. They stand, and by the gods, they fight back.

History is full of such deeply heroic people. Whether they be poorly armed resistance fighters in various occupied countries during Europe’s darkest days under the tyranny of  Nazism; or young Hungarian teenagers facing tanks from the Soviet Red Army in 1956; or unarmed citizens in China’s Tiananmen Square in  1989 – there is an indomitable spirit that refuses to bow down and surrender.

I don’t know what it must feel like to experience such a sense of self that confronts bombs, bullets, torture, and death. Living in a comfortable, peaceful, existence here in New Zealand, it is an utterly alien concept to me. I can’t even begin to guess at how and why such ordinary, heroic, people can set aside their fear of death to stand up to bullies who can bomb a city into dust.

But I can – and do -  feel a deep abiding respect and admiration for people like Rami al-Said, who died when he could have escaped Homs; and whose only “fault” was being there, and reporting to the outside world what crimes were being committed against ordinary men, women, and children.

.

Rami al-Said

1986 – 2012

Blogger & Citizen Journalist

Husband & Father

- One of the good guys  -

.

Rest assured, Rami – one day Syria will be free. Your death – and those of your fellow Syrians – will not have been in vain.

.

***

.

Additional

Syria blogger reportedly killed in shelling

Syrias citizen journalists: we expect to be killed

.

.

Categories: Global Tags: , , ,

What would Jesus do?

3 January 2012 6 comments


.

The U.S. economic recovery – based on what amounts to a trade in death,

.

Full Story

.

Aside from the morality of selling weapons of destruction to other nations,  is the seemingly crazy notion of providing more arms to the planet’s “tinder box” – the Middle East.  Just what the world needs; more destructive fire power in one of the most unstable regions of the world.

With several of these nations at war with their own people, one has to wonder if the governments of arms-exporting nations are not, themselves, a little bit crazy. (Or a helluva lot crazy.)

The major arms exporters,

.

Source

.

Who in turn sell to the biggest clients,

.

Source

.

So many of the weapons from the West end up being used against ordinary  citizens,  by repressive regimes in the growing Arab Spring,

.

Source

.

The tear-gas cannister above contains first-aid instructions. How very “civilised“.

I cannot convey to you the disgust I feel, knowing that our allies in America and Britain are selling deadly weapons to repressive regimes, who in turn,  feel no qualms at turning them against their own people,

Global spending on arms in 2010 were an estimated 1.6 trillion dollars, with governments in the Middle East dishing out more than 111 billion for weapons – raising questions as to whether Western arms suppliers circumvented international treaties by exporting to repressive regimes.

Last year, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt accounted for over 75 percent of U.S. arms sales – with Saudi Arabia ordering more than 60 billion dollars in weaponry, making it the leading buyer.” – Ibid

At the same time, poverty continues to blight our entire Human civilisation – including what should be the richest, most prosperous nation on Earth.

This is a trillion-dollar business.  Those involved are politicians; arms manufacturers; military leaders; arms exporters; and the good people of America, Britain, France, Germany, etc, who permit it to happen.

.

.

I’m under no illusion that there would also be a number of New Zealanders who would gladly support a domestic arms-industry, if it meant turning a profit. For some people, money is more important than anything else – including lives.

Perhaps the great irony, though, is that the USA is supposedly a Christian nation. They pride themselves on their “special relationship” with their god.

They swear allegiance to their Constitution, invoking their god,

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

It’s  on their currency,

In God We Trust

And it is part of their patriotic fervour,

.

.

Yet, in 2010  the United States exported US$8.6 Billion worth of deadly weapons to various clients around the world. Much of this firepower is often levelled against innocent people.

And just as obscene – $8.6 billion could have been used to alleviate drought, famine, and poverty in many parts of the world. How many lives could have been saved and made better with $8.6 billion?

Which leads me to the obvious question that begs to be asked,

What would Jesus do?

Because this is an apparent contradiction that I fail to understand…

.

***

.

Additional

World’s Largest Weapons Exporters

NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Export Controls

.

.

Categories: Global Tags: , ,

Two camps…

14 December 2011 Leave a comment

.

.

Which one should we be really horrified  at?

.

.

Two worlds…

14 December 2011 Leave a comment

.

.

Puts things into perspective, I think.

.

.

One Little Blue Marble…

14 December 2011 Leave a comment

.

.

.

Categories: Global, Social Issues
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 592 other followers