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Rotten Rulings: Julian Assange And The UK Supreme Court

Tuesday, 15 March 2022, 2:16 pm | Binoy Kampmark

Julian Assange, even as he is being judicially and procedurally tormented, has braved every legal hoop in his effort to avoid extradition to the United States. Kept and caged in Belmarsh throughout this farce of judicial history, he risks being extradited ... More >>

The Working Class Must Fight To Eliminate COVID-19!

Tuesday, 15 March 2022, 11:15 am | Socialist Equality Group

In recent weeks, the highly infectious Omicron variant of COVID-19 has surged across New Zealand and is now completely out of control, placing tremendous pressure on the already overstretched and underfunded public health system. More >>

On Luxon’s “Cost Of Living Crisis” Gambit

Monday, 14 March 2022, 11:04 am | Gordon Campbell

Clearly, no-one should underestimate the political pulling power of a suit offering tax cuts. Last week’s rise of Christopher Luxon and the National Party in the polls is consistent, at least. John Key, Luxon’s mentor, also rode into office on the ... More >>

Merger Charterchat – Part One

Monday, 14 March 2022, 10:14 am | Tom Frewen

(Charterchat is a variation of Doublespeak — a language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words — which is related to George Orwell’s Newspeak and Doublethink in his novel Nineteen Eighty-four, warning of ... More >>

50 Years Of Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Fraternal Ties

Friday, 11 March 2022, 2:37 pm | Pathik Hasan

March 04, 2021 marked the 50 years of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka bilateral ties. On the eve of Bangladesh's independence, on March 4, 1972, Sri Lanka officially recognized Bangladesh. The early recognition by Sri Lanka provided the newly emergent country ... More >>

Expectations From The KSA Foreign Minister’s Visit To Bangladesh

Friday, 11 March 2022, 10:26 am | Hussain Shazzad

The official journey of Bangladesh and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) relations started in 1975 when the KSA recognized newly born Bangladesh as a sovereign country. Since then, these two countries have been maintaining cordial and closer friendship ... More >>

Ukraine War – A Continuation Of Politics With The Admixture Of Other Means

Thursday, 10 March 2022, 7:47 pm | Ian Powell

Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the ‘moral’ and political aspects of war. He is a source of many succinct quotations with arguably the most well-known being “War ... More >>

On The Peace Flotilla And The Oligarch

Thursday, 10 March 2022, 3:16 pm | Gordon Campbell

As the peace flotilla converges on the Northland luxury resort owned by Russian steel magnate Alexander Abramov, the government is putting in place the full and final legal framework for extending the sanctions on Russia, which may (or may not) ... More >>

Foreign Policy Tripe: Scott Morrison’s “Arc Of Autocracy”

Thursday, 10 March 2022, 1:55 pm | Binoy Kampmark

Grand foreign policy speeches are not usually the specialty of Australian Prime Ministers. Little insight can be gleaned from them. A more profitable exercise would be consulting the US State Department’s briefings, which give more accurate barometric ... More >>

Do We Need To Start Sending In The CATs (Common-Sense Attitude To Testing) After The RAT’s?

Thursday, 10 March 2022, 1:51 pm | NZIMLS

From the perspective of a professional body that oversees most of the practising medical laboratory workforce, RAT’s have provided a vital stop gap to gain control back in our frontline diagnostic laboratory service. But the question needs to be ... More >>

Politics And Sports Do Mix: On FIFA’s Hypocrisy In Palestine And The Need To Isolate Apartheid Israel

Thursday, 10 March 2022, 1:01 pm | Ramzy Baroud

Israel’s war on Palestinian sports is as old as the Israeli state itself. For Palestinians, sports is a critical aspect of their popular culture, and since Palestinian culture itself is a target for the ongoing Israeli attack on Palestinian life in ... More >>

On Supermarket Rip-offs

Wednesday, 9 March 2022, 11:55 am | Gordon Campbell

If you make the land available, they will come. The cargo cult thinking behind the key recommendation of the Commerce Commission’s final report into the supermarket industry would have us believe that if land is made available, a white knight will ... More >>

How protesters demanding ‘freedom’ from COVID restrictions ignore the way liberty really works

Wednesday, 9 March 2022, 8:59 am | The Conversation

There is a difference between ‘negative liberty’ and ‘positive liberty’. Real freedom involves unavoidable trade-offs between the two. More >>

How will NZ's law targeting sanctions against Russia work – and what are the risks?

Wednesday, 9 March 2022, 8:57 am | The Conversation

The scope of a new law targeting sanctions at Russia will need to be clear on many critical issues, including military aid to Ukraine. More >>

No, catching Omicron is not 'inevitable' – here's why we should all still avoid the virus

Wednesday, 9 March 2022, 8:49 am | The Conversation

As Omicron cases soar in New Zealand, most people can still avoid getting infected. Even if you share a household with an infected person, catching the virus is not at all inevitable. More >>

How Pakistan Could Find A Development-First Path To Peace In Balochistan

Wednesday, 9 March 2022, 8:47 am | Globetrotter

By Justin Podur / Globetrotter The disappearances and killings of Baloch activists living in Pakistan and abroad under mysterious circumstances have made headlines in recent years. The surge in cases relating to these “ enforced disappearances ... More >>

Cutting Ties: The West, Ukraine, And The Russian Academy

Tuesday, 8 March 2022, 3:22 pm | Binoy Kampmark

Working with Russian academics and institutions. The attack upon Ukraine by Russia. These are two features playing out heavily in university discussions. As typifies such chitchat, nuance features rather less than cant and sanctimony. As writer and ... More >>

Fighting An Unclear War

Tuesday, 8 March 2022, 3:01 pm | Keith Rankin

The war in Ukraine possibly represents the most dangerous episode in the history of humanity in historical times; especially but not only because it comes on top of two other overt global crises – climate change and pandemic – and another ... More >>

On The Flaws In The Ukraine Sanctions Response

Tuesday, 8 March 2022, 11:26 am | Gordon Campbell

The Achilles heel in the West’s punitive sanctions against Russia has always been pretty obvious. Russia may be highly dependent on its oil and natural gas exports - but alas, Europe is just as addicted to cheap Russian energy. Germany for instance, ... More >>

Russia’s Demands Have Changed

Tuesday, 8 March 2022, 9:40 am | David Swanson

Here were Russia’s demands for months starting in early December 2021: Article 1 : the parties should not strengthen their security at the expense of Russia’s security; Article 2 : the parties will use multilateral consultations and the NATO-Russia ... More >>

Advertising Gimmicks: Australia’s Nuclear-Powered Submarines

Monday, 7 March 2022, 3:41 pm | Binoy Kampmark

Never trust anything that comes out of a politician’s mouth in an election year. Pledges are made to be broken; promises are made to seduce, not convince. When the subject matter involves fictional submarines, even greater care should be taken. ... More >>

On Luxon’s Tired Tax Plan

Monday, 7 March 2022, 12:08 pm | Gordon Campbell

Like a broken record, National Party leader Christopher Luxon is offering a 40 year old formula of tax cuts that (inevitably) will be paid for over time, by cuts to public services. His tax cutting plans would hugely and disproportionately benefit ... More >>

Cancelling Disabled Children

Monday, 7 March 2022, 11:36 am | Keith Rankin

I watched the very short movie Forgive Us Our Trespasses on Netflix last weekend. Set in Germany in the 1930s, it starts with a schoolteacher giving an arithmetic lesson to a class of children. The question posed was that the cost of caring for ... More >>

Peaking Of Omicron?

Sunday, 6 March 2022, 7:32 pm | Ian Powell

MartinJenkins consultancy director Nick Davis continues to produce interesting and relevant data on Covid-19 pandemic trends. This is even more so when they provide insights into what is happening or might happen in Aotearoa New Zealand. He has done ... More >>

As ‘La Françafrique’ Comes To An End, Russia Is Ready To Replace France In West Africa

Sunday, 6 March 2022, 6:42 am | Ramzy Baroud

Finally, France will be leaving Mali, nearly a decade after the original military intervention in 2013. The repercussions of this decision will hardly be confined to this West African nation, but will likely spread to the entirety of the Sahel ... More >>

The Ukraine War And The “Good” Refugee

Friday, 4 March 2022, 3:43 pm | Binoy Kampmark

“These people are not people we are used to… these people are Europeans.” Kiril Petkov, Bulgarian Prime Minister, Associated Press , March 1, 2022 In the history of accepting refugees, countries have shown more than an erratic streak. Universal ... More >>

On The Impotence Of Onlookers

Friday, 4 March 2022, 2:35 pm | Gordon Campbell

Against its will, the world has become conditioned to driving by acts of genocide and peering at them through the window with alarm – before driving on home to dinner and a relatively untroubled night’s sleep. The heinous wars in Yemen and Syria, ... More >>

The War-Profiteering Gangsters Will Kill Us All Unless We Unite Against Them

Friday, 4 March 2022, 2:17 pm | Globetrotter

By Roger Waters   I figured something out after tossing and turning all night. We on the left often make the mistake of still looking upon Russia as a somewhat socialist enterprise. Of course, it isn’t. The Soviet Union ended in 1991. Russia ... More >>

Capital Value Rating A Local Government Election Issue?

Friday, 4 March 2022, 2:14 pm | Andy Loader

Local body rates increase every year, often not only much faster than inflation but a significant contributor to it! A recent article published by Stuff https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/127908609/can-christchurchs-next-mayor-slow-councils-runaway-spending?cid=app-iPad shows a 60% rise in rates for the Christchurch City Council since 2014. Every wannabe ... More >>

Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine: Outing The Iraq War White Washers

Thursday, 3 March 2022, 2:38 pm | Binoy Kampmark

The guilty can be devious in concealing their crimes, and their role in them. The greater the crime, the more devious the strategy of deception. The breaking of international law, and the breaching of convention, is a field replete with such figures. Vladimir ... More >>

How The Californian Wine Industry Stayed Afloat During Covid

Thursday, 3 March 2022, 10:54 am | Hugh Grant

As the fourth largest wine distributor in the world, the Californian wine industry soared to new heights despite the ongoing pressure of the pandemic. Many industries have been shaken up by the pandemic, and the Californian wine industry is no exception. ... More >>

Failed Organic Drive Further Derails Sri Lanka’s Shaky Economy

Wednesday, 2 March 2022, 3:11 pm | Mark Ross

The Sri Lankan government is bailing out its farmers and being blamed for a food crisis, due to a ban of agrichemicals and chemical fertilisers. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa introduced the ban in May 2021 to realise his ambitious goal of becoming ... More >>

On The Protests, Putin’s Pyrrhic Victory, Plus A Playlist

Wednesday, 2 March 2022, 12:05 pm | Gordon Campbell

The protest encampment at Parliament long ago ceased to have any rational purpose beyond perpetuating its own existence. Social media has already condemned the way the protesters have put their children in harm’s way, and used them as human shields ... More >>

Coroner’s Inquiry Begins Into New Zealand’s Far-right Terror Attack

Wednesday, 2 March 2022, 11:08 am | Socialist Equality Group

By Tom Peters From February 22 to 24, the Christchurch Coroner’s Court held an initial hearing to determine the scope of its inquiry into the deaths of 51 people in the terrorist attack on March 15, 2019. The hearing was held remotely due to the ... More >>

USA Sees Russia’s Operation In Ukraine As Blessing In Disguise: Does China See It As Blessing For Action Against Taiwan?

Wednesday, 2 March 2022, 10:03 am | John Stanton

The United States is now in a state of war with Russia. Every country in the NATO military alliance is providing billions in anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to the Ukrainians (of course, every country in the NATO alliance is owned by the United ... More >>

Sea Change Needed

Wednesday, 2 March 2022, 8:47 am | Helen Clark Foundation

by Matt Shand Ahead of The Helen Clark Foundation’s webinar today about how to progress the High Seas Treaty, we visited The Noises Islands in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park to witness the impact of overfishing on the marine environment. The scrape ... More >>

The She’ll Be Right Mate Syndrome: Australia’s Doomed Koalas

Tuesday, 1 March 2022, 3:15 pm | Binoy Kampmark

In a country expert in killing off mammal species at a rate exceeding that of others (to be fair, there are so many more to destroy, with more to come), Australians now face the prospect that the koala, one of its most singularly recognisable animals, ... More >>

Can Iran And The U.S. Breathe Life Back Into Nuclear Deal?

Tuesday, 1 March 2022, 11:40 am | Globetrotter

By Prabir Purkaystha / Globetrotter The possibility of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—or the Iran nuclear deal—being revived, though difficult, seems to have brightened in February 2022. The U.S. may now also believe that the potential ... More >>

On The Tentative Response To Putin, Plus Putin’s Mentor

Monday, 28 February 2022, 11:57 am | Gordon Campbell

Plainly, Russia’s war on Ukraine isn’t something Vladimir Putin dreamed up overnight, or did on impulse. With hindsight, Putin has been working for years to prepare Russia to withstand the economic sanctions that have been the only way the West has been ... More >>

Antarctica: Where Realpolitik And Science Meet

Friday, 25 February 2022, 3:15 pm | Binoy Kampmark

A frozen continent. Another potential frontier for conflict and competition. Antarctica is a part of the world were realpolitician meets scientist; the desire for finding exploitable resources meets environmental expectations and fears. Countries have ... More >>

On Ukraine, And Blokes In Peril

Friday, 25 February 2022, 10:06 am | Gordon Campbell

A great darkness is falling over Ukraine, and it will last for decades. In launching a full scale invasion, Russian president Vladimir Putin is doing what bullies routinely do. He’s beating up on a smaller, weaker adversary while claiming he was provoked. ... More >>

On Ukraine, And Blokes In Peril

Friday, 25 February 2022, 10:04 am | Gordon Campbell

A great darkness is falling over Ukraine, and it will last for decades. In launching a full scale invasion, Russian president Vladimir Putin is doing what bullies routinely do. He’s beating up on a smaller, weaker adversary while claiming he was provoked. ... More >>

Bipartisan Consensus As Myth: The Manchurian Candidate In Australian Politics

Friday, 25 February 2022, 6:28 am | Binoy Kampmark

A few dragons have been breathing fire of late, and these need to be slayed. One is the notion that Australia has had some miraculous sense of bipartisan understanding about national security, its politicians well briefed, cooperative and objective ... More >>

Time To Tax Property Speculation

Friday, 25 February 2022, 6:16 am | Ian Powell

When she became Prime Minister, following the September 2017 general election, Jacinda Ardern’s government established a working party to advise on taxation, including a possible capital gains tax. This was actioning a Labour Party election commitment. ... More >>

Omicron Covid And Political Narrative

Thursday, 24 February 2022, 4:28 pm | Keith Rankin

The mainstream political narrative that emerged in late March 2020 was a 'narrative of fear' which set up the Covid19 coronavirus as a 'tricky' enemy that was out to get us by finding ways through our defences; and that we had to build collective ... More >>

The Next Step In Palestine’s Anti-Apartheid Struggle Is The Most Difficult

Thursday, 24 February 2022, 3:14 pm | Ramzy Baroud

When Nelson Mandela was freed from his Robben Island prison on February 11, 1991, my family, friends and neighbors followed the event with keen interest as they gathered in the living room of my old home in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. ... More >>

On The Accelerating Omicron Surge

Thursday, 24 February 2022, 11:22 am | Socialist Equality Group

Tom Peters New Zealand’s COVID-19 surge continues, with case numbers rising sharply every day, placing immense pressure on the rundown healthcare system. Daily reported infections have nearly tripled in the past week, from 1,160 on February 16 to 3,297 ... More >>

Russian Ambitions? Transnistria And Kaliningrad

Wednesday, 23 February 2022, 11:22 am | Keith Rankin

Having watched Vladimir Putin's somewhat rambling speech on Al Jazeera yesterday, I think we can be sure that he does have a clear ambition to create an empire based on the ethnic concept of the Viking 'Rus' (refer my recent Living with Ambiguity ... More >>

On What Ukraine And The West Bank Share In Common

Wednesday, 23 February 2022, 11:16 am | Gordon Campbell

Russia’s tactics in Ukraine are not new. In August 2008, Russia fought a brief war with Georgia after the breakaway region of South Ossetia declared itself independent and invited in Russian troops. To this day, only Russia, Venezuela, Syria and Nauru ... More >>

Innate Warmongering: Seeing Conflict In Ukraine As Inevitable

Tuesday, 22 February 2022, 4:53 pm | Binoy Kampmark

US President Theodore Roosevelt never had much time for peace, seeing its returns as distinctly less than those of war. Despite his love of military conflict and its touted benefits, he was rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in brokering More >>

Vaccine Mandates Are A Far Cry From Apartheid

Tuesday, 22 February 2022, 10:28 am | Gregory Fortuin

Many of us who have survived police states and police brutality are in awe of the New Zealand police’s handling of the volatile explosion of emotions that have descended on Parliament. Commissioner Coster and his team are surgically navigating a political ... More >>

Oh The Irony Of The Wellington Protest: Peace And Love And Executions

Tuesday, 22 February 2022, 10:06 am | Lynley Tulloch

There is a dangerous anger on rapid boil at the protest in Wellington. It is a stew of dispossession and unrest alongside various delusional beliefs and violent threats. Two weeks into the protest and the police have had to endure human waste and acid ... More >>

There Is No Vaccine For The Climate Crisis

Tuesday, 22 February 2022, 9:31 am | Vegan Society

The recent weather events are a reminder that the climate crisis has not gone away. We need leadership on this issue and it is not forthcoming! As individuals there are certain actions we can take to help mitigate our part in it. Research shows that ... More >>

Biden’s Real Challenge Is Not Russia Or China, But Poverty In America

Tuesday, 22 February 2022, 6:49 am | Ramzy Baroud

Mainstream US media continues to celebrate the supposed strength of the US economy. Almost daily, headlines speak of hopeful numbers, sustainable growth, positive trends and constant gains. The reality on the ground, however, tells of something entirely ... More >>

Wellington Now Faces A Public Health Emergency

Monday, 21 February 2022, 8:31 pm | Ian Powell

There have been many things said about the escalating debacle involving the occupation in and around Parliament grounds in Wellington. I’ve already blogged an assessment in my previous Political Bytes post:  Rights, responsibilities and far right ... More >>

The Wellington protest is testing police independence and public tolerance – are there lessons from Canada’s crackdown?

Monday, 21 February 2022, 4:43 pm | The Conversation

The de-escalation strategy of Canadian police didn’t shift the protesters in Ottawa. With public confidence in the New Zealand police on the line, the political ramifications are serious. More >>

Paralysing Afghanistan: Washington’s Regime Change Agenda

Monday, 21 February 2022, 4:37 pm | Binoy Kampmark

Nation states are habitually doomed to defeat their best interests. Conditions of mad instability are fostered. Arms sales take place, regimes get propped up or abandoned, and the people under them endure and suffer, awaiting the next criminal regime change. ... More >>

On The Ottawa Precedent For Police Action

Monday, 21 February 2022, 10:24 am | Gordon Campbell

First contain, then clear. This morning’s belated “traffic management operation” by the Police is clearly a containment exercise meant to create boundaries beyond which the protest will not be allowed to expand. Once established, that perimeter ... More >>

Elections In Colombia: Prospects For Change And Lack Of Guarantees

Saturday, 19 February 2022, 8:12 pm | Globetrotter

With legislative and presidential elections coming up in Colombia, the supposedly “oldest democracy in Latin America” will see if it can consolidate the most precarious and recent peace on the continent. By Lautaro Rivara / Globetrotter The Latin American ... More >>

The Western Allied Nations Bully The World While Warning Of Threats From China And Russia

Friday, 18 February 2022, 7:50 pm | Globetrotter

On January 21, 2022, Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach attended a talk in New Delhi, India, organized by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses . Schönbach was speaking as the chief of Germany’s navy during his visit to the ... More >>