Dotcom response and legal speculation

There’s been a lot of discussion and speculation about the reasons behind Kim Dotcom losing his lawyers and soon after having his bail conditions tightened significantly pending a hearing next week that could put him back in prison.

NZ Herald reported in Court places tough limits on Dotcom’s movements:

The new conditions are in place only until next Monday, when Dotcom will appear for a bail hearing in the Auckland District Court.

Before the issue of bail, Judge Dawson gave Dotcom’s former lawyers – Queen’s Counsel Paul Davison and firm Simpson Grierson – leave to withdraw from the case.

The restrictions follow Crown lawyer Christine Gordon yesterday making an allegation that the Herald is not permitted to publish.

Dotcom has tweeted:

I have never breached my bail conditions & my compliance is exemplary. But without lawyers representing me the Govt just couldn’t resist.

He plays the “Government is against me” card, but there could be reasons other than complying with his bail conditions.

David Farrar implies a possible connection in The Dotcom legal team:

We also might get a decision at some stage soon in the John Banks appeal, where allegedly new witnesses have contradicted the evidence given by Dotcom.

A number of lawyers regularly contribute to discussions at Kiwiblog and they and others speculate in response.

David Garrett:

This truly is fascinating (and I have no inside knowledge). The most common reason for lawyers to get leave to withdraw is when the client is refusing – or is unable – to pay his bills. All the more interesting because Davison has no necessary connection with Simpson Grierson – like me Davison is a barrister who must have an instructing solicitor (Simpson Grierson in this case), but that instructing solicitor can be anyone…literally a sole practitioner from West Auckland could instruct Davison – so long as Davison is prepared to act for the client.

I somehow doubt Dotcom is unable to pay…another reason lawyers withdraw is when they find they have unintentionally misled the court because they have been told porkies by the client…as I say, I have no inside knowledge, but the fact that BOTH the instructing solicitors – to whom Dotcom will have paid hundreds of thousands in fees – AND the barrister have withdrawn smells very strongly of rat…even more so if SG have removed all reference to their former client…like any other big firm, Simply Gruesome are usually quite happy to be identified with a high profile (civil) client whose case presents novel and difficult issues…

Dotcom’s is the biggest copyright case this country has ever seen, or probably is ever likely to see…All very odd…

NB: Nothing in my comment should be construed as an allegation of wrongdoing by Dotcom, Simpson Grierson, its partners and staff, or Paul Davison QC

And…

I think the Herald website refers to “an allegation which cannot be published”…as someone above me said, curiouser and curiouser…Lawyers withdraw from cases all the time, but it is very rare for both the barrister and the instructing solicitors to withdraw at the same time…

Logic would suggest that this withdrawal is somehow connected to the tightening of Dotcom’s bail conditions…but as you say, that is just speculation…

Nookin:

One possibility is that the lawyers’ obligations to the court have been severely compromised by some inappropriate or improper action on the part of the client such that it is no longer tenable for them to continue acting. Curious that the issue arose contemporaneously with circumstances necessitating tightening up the bail conditions.

If this has happened and publication might prejudice the outcome of the extradition proceedings, it is appropriately suppressed. I can only surmise here, bearing in mind the fact that the extradition proceedings will be heard by a judge alone. I can understand suppression on these grounds of their was a jury but this is clearly not the case.

alex Masterly:

Nookin, I think that your first sentence is pretty much bang on target.

For the sake of completeness I note the CCC rules at clause 4.2.1 define good cause for termination of a retainer as including
– instructions requiring a lawyer to breach a professional obligation,
– inability of a client to pay a fee
– the client misleading the lawyer in a material respect,
– the client failing to provide instructions in a timely way.

David Garrett:

The rules are pretty clear: lawyers must not mislead the court, and cannot allow a client to do so. …which is one of the reasons lawyers usually never ask “Did you do it?” Because if the answer is “Yes, but my defence is I didn’t”, that limits the options for counsel…for example you cannot then put the client in the witness box knowing he would lie under cross examination.

If the lawyers became aware that a client was about to commit a crime then they are obliged – I think – (cant be bothered looking up the rules) to both withdraw and inform the police..

As I say, to have BOTH the instructing solicitors and the barrister withdrawing is most unusual…A colleague has suggested to me that one reason may be they think his case is hopeless, but I don’t believe that would be a valid reason to withdraw…it will come out…

Certainly some information has been put before the court which led to his bail conditions being considerably tightened…and as I have said, it would seem to be more than a coincidence that at the same time his lawyers both withdraw…

If he has a big enough speedboat he could get to Australia…or even further if he refuelled on some Pacific Island…

Scott1:

What sorts of things are included in “misleading in a material respect”?

David Garrett:

Scott: Oh: Things like “My total net worth is USD10 million” when in fact it’s double that; Claiming “I don’t have an account in Leichenstein” when in fact he does, and it’s got a shit load in it; claiming he wasn’t present at a crucial meeting where an illegal plan was discussed, and then a tape of the meeting comes to light establishing he was there; claiming a document is genuine when in fact it is a forgery…stuff like that.

Chris Diack:

Mr Dotcom is probably not paying his legal bills (and probably not paying many of his other bills either) That will be why SG want out. They continue to pay Paul Davidson QC and do legal work yet have probably received no payment recently. PD will stuggle to find an instructing solicitor that can back him like SG and of course they may well not get paid (so who would do it).

I doubt they were consulted over Mr Dotcom’s political donations ($4million) and so read about it in the newspapers. Would be galling if you are not being paid and being advised by the Client the money is short. More so now that it is clear that the strategy to get Parliamentary leverage did not work and has actually been detrimental to your clients interests. I suspect had SG been asked they probably would have advised against making such donations as counterproductive.

I doubt the Crown wanting to tighten the bail conditions has much to do with SG wanting out. Probably he has been breaking existing bail conditions (like using a copter). The allegation mentioned in the report is probably that the Crown has some evidence (maybe someone Mr Dotcom has spoken to or as a result of warranted surveillance) that he is considering doing a Smith. Wouldn’t be surprised if they produce a affidavit to that effect. That establishes the flight risk.

David Garrett:

Chris D: You reckon SG has been paying Davison’s bills with their own money?! I must say I find that hard to believe…but as instructing solicitors they have the responsibility of seeing that he is paid, so I suppose you might be right…

I am told Davison charges $1000 an hour for cases that he WANTS to do…if it’s something that doesn’t tickle his fancy I believe it is double that…Again, I have no inside knowledge…just scuttlebutt around the robing rooms…

Interesting fellow Davison…

We will find out more about this next Monday.

Whale Oil: And yet another medical use for cannabis

The momentum world-wide for allowing legal use of cannabis for medical use keeps building – but not in New Zealand. Whale Oil posts:

And yet another medical use for cannabis

I wonder when politicians will start to realise that they are on the wrong side of the debate when it comes to legalising cannabis.

More and more studies are proving that the plant has more benefits than issues.

This is an issue that I think can and should be be campaigned on across the political spectrum, in social media at least. Whale Oil, Kiwiblog, The Standard, The Daily Blog and Public Address are all sympathetic to relaxing use of cannabis for medical use at least.

Time to start a proper discourse, the only problem is finding a politician with some courage.

Time to put political differences aside and working cross-blog on this? It is difficult finding an MP or a party willing to address this, but a joint effort by blogs could build pressure on them to do the decent thing on this.

Not a right wing blog

This isn’t a right wing blog. Nor is it a left wing blog. It’s an open blog where I can post what interests me, promote what is important to me, and encourage wide ranging discussion – which happens to be one of my interests. A lot of our political discussion seems to be silo-ed into left or right but I think it’s important to debate across the political divide.

On some things I lean right – we need free enterprise and free trade. On some things I lean left – we need social welfare. One of the challenges of politics is getting a good balance. If we have more successful business and more and better paying jobs that reduces the need for welfare – but means we can afford to help those who genuinely need state assistance more.

My first interest in blogs was participation for several years at Aardvark - I just checked, Bruce is still sort of keeping things going there having just revived forums.

Then I found Kiwiblog and jumped in there. I was painted as a leftie but found the challenge there a lot of fun. I’ve been quite prolific in comments there but that has reduced substantially over the last year or two.

After a while I looked around and found The Standard. I was recognised as being “from Kiwiblog” so was immediately painted as a rightie. That made it even more challenging there and it has continued like that, they tend shun anyone deemed to be not one of them, regardless of what you say.

I’ve also dabbled on a number of other blogs including Whale Oil, Public Address, The Daily Blog, red Alert, and have been banned from all of them (and a number of times from The Standard). Criticisms have ranged from being to bland and boring (I’m sure I have been at times) and being to provocative and contrary – DPF’s “fomenting happy mischief” is a practice I sometimes enjoy.

I have generally enjoyed debates on the right more, because people on the right seem more inclined to argue the issues one to one on their merits. Sure it can get very robust, but that’s healthy in debate, especially in politics.

The political left seems more abusive, exclusive and pack orientated, where “if you’re not with us you’re against us” seems a common mentality – but the right isn’t immune from that as Whale Oil is currently demonstrating.

The “Dirty Politics” attempt to swing the election has become a one-sided “right bad, left perfect” campaign.

I have experienced bad abuse from the right, and there’s a few dishonest regulars at Kiwiblog who lie and abuse to try and discredit, with little or no attempt to debate.

But abuse and harassment has been worse from the left, for me at least. They may not be as extreme and direct as Cameron Slater but the intent and the practices are just as dirty in their own way – they also try to discredit and drive away alternate opinions.

And until Whale Oil’s clampdown on dissent and alternative views the left was clearly the worst for censorship.

So I’m sort of in the middle politically but swing either way depending on what makes sense to me. I’ve voted both ways over the years – I think governing competence is more important than election campaign inspired policies.

And this isn’t a left wing or a right wing (or a centrist) blog.

It aims to offer something a bit different – open debate across the spectrum, with an emphasis on robust but respectful debate backed by as many facts as possible (one thing that seems to get up the noses of some blogs is arguing against them with facts).

Many in political blogging want to impose their opinions, their ideals, their favoured parties and politicians. And in doing that they often try to exclude alternate views, frequently through name calling, abusing and making false accusations.

Your NZ is for something different – debate from all sides is welcome and encouraged. We can learn a lot by exploring issues with the other side of the argument.

It’s a well used phrase but right or wrong versus right or left.

And accepting that right or wrong is often not simple or binary. Sometimes it’s looking for the least bad alternative, as in dealing with the ongoing problems in the Middle East.

This is not a right wing blog, but people who consider themselves right wing, or left wing, are welcome to contribute.

Bad language on blogs

Much has been made of a clamp down on bad language being behind the clampdown on comments and commenters at Whale Oil. In his announcement of Travis qutiting Whale Oil yesterday Pete Belt later conceded he over emphasised it. He initially said:

There has been a shift in culture, where we’ve changed a bunch of foul mouthed blokey commenters for (what they see) a knitting circle.

It all comes down to the ability for people to swear in the comments, and old commenters that could not change being resentful that they’ve lost “the only place on the Internet” where they felt at home.

Many pointed out that the issues were far wider and deeper than “the ability for people to swear” so later Pete conceded:

Travis has alluded to it – I deliberately oversimplified things. It isn’t just about swearing.

I’m puzzled by the over-emphasis on swearing.It seems to have been a simplistic approach that ignores a much bigger problem – abuse.

Note: I infrequently swear on blogs but was banned from WO for, apparently, using the phrase ‘man crap’. The word crap is used so obviously allowed on NZ Herald and Stuff online.

Attitudes to swearing have changed markedly in my lifetime. When i grew up swearing at school was severely punished and you just didn’t swear in front of adults. Print media, radio, movies and TV were very particular about what language must be excluded. That has relaxed a bit in print media and radio, and substantially in movies and in TV programs where nearly anything goes at times. It reflects real life.

Younger people in particular swear far more openly than they would have last century.

While I don’t swear much I usually don’t have a problem when people swear, I’m now used to it being common, including on blogs.

I don’t recall much if any criticism of Whale Oil for the swearing. There was a far bigger problem with personal attacks, regardless of whether swearing was involved. Non swear words are commonly used to viciously attack people.

One of Cameron Slater’s biggest moments of infamy was not for swearing – he was quoted without censorship for language in the Greymouth Star:

Blogger puts the boot in

Provocative right-wing internet blogger Cameron Slater was today standing by a headline that described Greymouth car crash victim Judd Hall as “feral”.

Mr Hall, a 26-year-old from Runanga, died when a car in which he was a backseat passenger left the road and crashed into a house about 11 o’clock on Friday night.

At 7.21am on Saturday, Mr Slater’s Whale Oil blog site carried a brief story on the crash under the heading, ‘Feral dies in Greymouth, did world a favour’.

When contacted by the Greymouth Star today, Mr Slater accepted that he did not know Mr Hall or his family, but justified the “feral” description by saying: “It is Greymouth, isn’t it? Didn’t Helen Clark say that you are all feral?”

He said anybody travelling at 140kph in a car in a 50kph area was ‘feral’, whether on the West Coast or in south Auckland.

He did not regret the headline and would not be apologising for it.

Mr Hall wasn’t even responsible for the crash. Many may consider calling the driver a fucking idiot far more appropriate than the language Slater used.

Excessive swearing can detract from blogs, as it can detract from conversations, depending on the context and the company you are in.

But I think are worse than swearing on blogs are abuse, personal attacks, harassment and stalking.  And message control censorship.

Whale Oil didn’t have a bad reputation for swearing, it had a bad reputation for attacking people, sometimes viciously. Slater led by example.

The Standard has a bad reputation for one sided abuse and attacks, protected and even promoted by the site moderation, with lprent leading the way.

Kiwiblog doesn’t have a bad reputation for swearing, it has a bad reputation for personal attacks. David Farrar isn’t criticised for his occasional swearing, he’s criticised for allowing too much free speech – and his recent moderation improvements have clamped down on abuse, not swearing.

There’s probably more annoyance expressed and complaints on blogs about bad grammar than swearing. I saw someone complaining yesterday about mixing brought with bought. For some people the misuse of apostrophe’s seems to be a major offence (and I deliberately misused one there).

So what’s more important on blogs, having swearing police or grammar police?

I’d prefer that people were allowed to freely express their opinions and feelings, as long as it’s not done to attack and abuse.

I’d prefer less religious or Bain argument on Kiwiblog than less swearing.

I’d prefer an even playing field on The Standard to less swearing.

I’d prefer less silent censorship on The Daily Blog than less swearing.

I’d prefer more honesty on Whale Oil than using swearing as an excuse to ban people to sanitise and propagandise  the comments.

Each blog to their own. Cameron got around his own swearing ban yesterday by using an acronym – FIFO. That means fit in or fuck off. I don’t think it’s the swear word that is cringe in that, it’s the intent. If you’re careful not to speak contrary to the Whale Oil authors or sponsors and you’re lucky not to strike Pete Belt on a bad day (which seem to be frequent) then you can keep commenting there.

Fuck, I’d rather promote free and robust (with respect) expression than be mob controlled with crap like that.

The most damaging language in society and on blogs is not swear words. Bad language isn’t controlled by using banned word filters.

I’d prefer no censorship and more relaxed language dictates – and as I have my own blog I’m free to have that.

Kiwiblog on Whale Oil

Friday’s General Debate on Kiwiblog had a typical thread of comments on what is happening at Whale Oil, reinforcing comments here over the last week or two.

Farmerpete:

Anyone else wondering what is going on at Whaleoil? I got slapped with a ban for commenting on a lopsided KiwiBank attack post and questioning the motives for such posts. All expressed in an acceptable way. I must have hit a nerve because the entire comment disappeared later on with no comment about how I had transgressed or how long I was banished for.

Now I see they are using a KiwiBank account to solicit donations. Seems quite ironic to me. I am a big boy and the ban doesn’t phase me but it has left me wondering if I was banned for a quite tame comment, how many others are being drop kicked.

I found some of the last posts suggesting a widespread media conspiracy to drive Cameron Slater to suicide to be quite bizarre. I am I in a minority on this?

Colville:

Famerpete. There are a couple of dozen who comment on here that have been banned from WO in the last few months.
Since Cam was outed as selling his “opinion” to the highest bidder his moderator has been on a ban without warning binge and the quality and quantity of comment over there has plummeted.

alloytoo:

@farmerpete

Welcome to the club, regrettable it’s not that exclusive.

Nostalgia-NZ:

As DPF climbs off the canvas to retake no1 spot as NZ’s most popular blog. I don’t think the media are trying to drive oil anywhere, he’s doing that nicely himself – with consummate ease apparently.

doggone7:

@farmerpete

It seems that paranoia is the latest affliction to be rife in that place.

@alloytoo; “Welcome to the club, regrettable it’s not that exclusive.”

And the ease of gaining membership is bewildering!

Griff:

When you look at the stats whale has not taken a hit in readership. Other than the decline from the peak generated by the election his numbers are steady as she goes at around 5 times KB
A Tabloid for passive readership seems to work when it comes to page views.

Here’s a chart of Whale Oil relative ranking from Alexa:

Alexa Whaleoil traffic

That shows  the ranking holding up after the peak of the election and then dropping substantially, with a slight recovery recently but still well below pre-election levels.

Open Paracute NZ blog sitemetee ranking for the last six months:

  • May visits 1,610,530 page views 2,737,869
  • June visits 1,758,095 page views 2,957,997
  • July visits 2,067,499 page views 3,424,236
  • August visits 3,437,487 page views 4,945,964
  • September visits 3,716,364 page views 5,309,045 (election on the 18th)
  • October visits 2,008,487 page views 3,275,031

So October is back to over June levels. This doesn’t show the number of comments which seem to have dropped significantly.

Tarquin North:

Farmerpete – if it’s any help I got banned for bugger all and as alloy2 says it’s not a very exclusive club to be in. I’m told you can grovel back, I won’t and don’t think many others will. Welcome to a far nicer place populated by good people who don’t mind a robust discussion with respectful people who can take a joke.

Colville:

I really think the WO site is like a big tree that has been ringbarked.
Its dying from the ground up but its too dumb to know its happeneing.

iMP:

FarmerPete re WO, I’ve been banned 4 times for the most minor infringements (any kind of, even mild, critique of Cam’s inconsistencies; once for simply linking). Finally gave up and came to talk to the Adults (well, I’ve always been here…WO was a wayward cavort). WO is not really interested in a free exchange of ideas. Pete’s great; but there is a fragility to The Camo Shooter bordering on ego-tistical or perhaps narcissistic, paranoia and control.

The irony is, that The Camo Shooter’s treatment of others, would get him banned a thousand times from his own site. Most poli.s accept it as toxic. It will eventually beach and start to smell. I think it already is.

Paulus

Farmer Pete and Tarquin

I am banned from Whale on what I consider a trifle comment – Pete is above himself I think.
Like you I will not crawl back.

peterwn:

As others have commented, a few observations on WO blog:
1. Numbers are down – but that is to be expected following the election.
2. Cam is embroiled with legal action on 2-3 fronts and this has temporarily curtailed his involvement – Pete his right hand guy has admitted as much. Because of legal concerns there would be some topics he would dearly love to have a go at but cannot.
3. His using Kiwibank for donations does seem ironic, my theory on this is he perceives Kiwibank less likely to bow to pressure to close the account than the four ‘high street’ banks (he had to stop publicising a solicitor’s trust account he was using). In this regard, years ago, ASB (before it was Australian owned) closed a savings account that Rob Muldoon had since a child because the management did not like his utterances.
4. As far as moderation policies are concerned, the owners of blogs can do what they like. Human frailty being what it is, if a blogger and helpers are under pressure, moderation practices could well become both idiosyncratic and erratic.
5. “May you live in interesting times” – applies both to WO and MSM

Whale surfingPete Belt surfing a whale?

Climate change at Kiwiblog

An unusual ‘request’ or challenge to post on Climate change from Lyn Prentice at The Standard.

I can think of that happening several times in the past, and not just in the climate ‘skeptics’ area. There is one ‘fact’ driven ‘political’ site that appears to specialise in it. Now if we could just persuade PG to write a post on climate change maybe these idiots could find a hero to follow…..

I wonder how I could do that :)

I suspect Lyn is making assumptions again and has no idea what my views are on climate change, despite me having debated climate change for years at Kiwiblog – often as a lone voice against the entrenched “nothing’s wrong, do nothing” hard core there.

But the vocal few are not the Kiwiblog opinion.

David Farrar occasionally posts on climate change. His last is Fisking deaths from climate change in which he concludes:

As to the facts:

Professor David Spiegelhalter has already savaged this one elegantly on his blog.  All the projected increase in temperature-related deaths in the UK is due to the increase in the number of elderly people.

If you compare people of the same age, the projections say cold-related deaths will fall by about twice as much as heat-related deaths rise, as his graph of the numbers from the paper shows.  That is, the paper actually predicts that global warming will reduce the number of temperature-related deaths in the UK.

Will Stuff run the truth as prominently as the original story.

Finally a point worth noting:

In the USA or Australia, let alone Africa, India, and other less-wealthy tropical places, there is going to be a real problem with temperature-related deaths from global warming.  In many more parts of the world, there’s a potential for weather-related deaths from drought, flood, storm, and ‘tropical’ disease.

Heat waves in the UK are not in the top ten list of things to worry about from global warming. Pretending they are is likely to be counterproductive.

Indeed.

Previous to that he posted a Climate change update quoting a new report from the Office of Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee is on . He concludes

The key projected changes for NZ are:

  • Ocean acidification: pH changes are greater in cooler waters
  • Temperature: The midrange of projections is an average temperature increase of 0.9°C by 2040, 2.1°C by 2090
  • Wind: Increase in strongest winter winds by 2100
  • Precipitation: Little change for the overall mean, but large geographical variation
  • Extreme weather: Heavier and more frequent extreme rainfalls, but also more droughts. On average, 2 or more extra weeks of drought annually by mid-century for much of North Island and eastern South Island.

In terms of the recent temperature trends, the report notes:

  • Over short time periods, natural variability has a significant impact on the global warming trend
  • Short periods of no change or even slight cooling are to be expected, despite a continued long-term warming trend; 
  • At times natural variability may even amplify warming;
  • Global surface temperatures are only part of the picture, the ocean is a much larger heat sink than the atmosphere;
  • The reported recent ‘hiatus’ in the rate of rise of temperature does not signal that climate change has ‘stopped’ or is no longer a concern

The report is around 20 pages long, and for my 2c is very well done. I suggest people actually read it, rather than jump to conclusions about what it does and does not say.

This is similar to my approach on climate change – concerns but with some cautions about overstating and over-dramatising potential problems.

In contrast some of the Kiwiblog regulars react to this last post. Andrei:

The report is around 20 pages long, and for my 2c is very well done.

I haven’t read it but will though my prediction. from your extracts, is that it will be twenty pages of gobbly gook and double talk trying to paper over the well proven fact that political airheads have been sucked in by charlatans, willingly in many cases since they have used crap science to justify new taxes and what politician can ever resist a chance to implement a new tax?

Manolo:

Wind: Increase in strongest winter winds by 2100

Cannot see a year ahead, let alone ninety! Laughable, fucking laughable.
Let’s tax stupid NZers now is what this Labour Lite government is saying.

I dabbled in that debate but didn’t get too involved, I’ve learnt the futility of trying to argue with entrenched denial. Debating with the likes of Andrei and Manolo is like whispering in a Dunedin southerly blast.

Both those comments had 31 likes, and they had 7 and 8 dislikes. That’s probably fairly indicative of the active opinion on climate change at Kiwiblog.

Comments along the lines of “it’s cold today, what happened to global warming” are common. There was such a dig in the snow yesterday by Kea:

Yet another frigid winter in the Northern Hemisphere. I just heard, on the radio, some cities have vastly increased their coal supplies to deal with the cold.

“Waves of Cold, Snow to Invade Midwest and East Into Next Week

After a weekend with record cold and snow, more waves of cold air and snow are on the way through the middle of November from the Midwest to the East.

A storm last weekend produced the earliest snowfall on record in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday. Freezing temperatures settled over much of the South and, when combined with the snow in the southern Appalachians, allowed some ski resorts to open early.

Snow buried part of New England later in the weekend, as the same storm pushed off the coast, turned northward and ramped up.”

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/cold-shots-snow-midwest-east/36784624

Nasska obliged with a response:

They must have got it wrong Kea. Just the other day, on these very forums, someone reckoned that the temperatures have been soaring & that it’s probably too late to save the planet.

Can you check that link….it could be one of those sceptic sites.

…”The freezing snow and ice is on the ground”….

Quick! Carbon taxes must increase….only they can save the planet.

Griff does most of the counter debate at Kiwiblog these days:

Yet another frigid winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Nope yet another cold blast in the north eastern usa The south western usa and Alaska is still baking
From the site you linked to.

A powerful storm is slated to move over the Bering Sea this weekend, possibly becoming one of the most intense storms to ever impact the region.According to Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, “In brief, when a typhoon curves away from Asia it causes the jet stream [steering winds] farther to the east across the Pacific and into North America to buckle and amplify days later.”This is the case for the remnants of Super Typhoon Nuri as it has already curved away from Asia and tracking northward toward Alaska.As a result, arctic air is expected to invade the Plains, Midwest and Northeast next week.

Dry conditions will persist over the Southwest well beyond the upcoming weekend, as the drought intensifies and fire danger continues.

http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/winter-weather
The usa is experiencing climate change. Stronger storms. More extremes in precipitation. More drought in dry areas.

That will fall on deaf ears despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that the world has a potentially very serious problem with climate change.

Climate is very complex but local signs and global science suggest it is changing and it’s very likely humans are partly responsible.

The main questions for me are on the degree and the severity of the changes, no one can be sure about that (the IPCC quote confidence levels of varying possibilities), and whether we can do anything effective about it.

A blog post on CBC News an hour ago:

Urgent IPCC climate change warning demands action: Bob McDonald

IPCC report is that doing nothing will cost much more than taking action now

By Bob McDonald, CBC News

The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the loudest shout to come from the scientific community about the urgency to do something about global warming. Yet less than a week later, it’s barely talked about.

The 116-page report is a synthesis of the last four reports – intended to act as a summary of where we are – leading up to the next big UN climate summit in Paris next year. Normally, the wording of these reports has been somewhat cautionary, using phrases such as, “very likely,” or “strong evidence,” when referring to changes taking place in the Earth’s atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  

Not this time.

The message from the scientists is now clear. Fossil fuels must be gone by 2100 or we will pass a tipping point into a future calamity.  

While this message from scientists has been growing more urgent since the first report in 1990,  the response from politicians has been slow. Global carbon emissions continue to rise, along with rising temperatures in the air and the oceans.

I’ll post that on Kiwiblog this morning. The response there will be more predictable than the weather, but that won’t change to facts and the need for action world wide.

Bob McDonald concludes:

The most important part of the message from this IPCC report is that doing nothing will cost much more than taking action now. That’s an economic argument.

Let common sense prevail.

Common sense is unlikely to prevail at Kiwiblog on this topic but at least both sides of the arguments are allowed and debated there.

Prentice “lies” again

Lyn Prentice has posted an attack on Cameron Slater at The Standard – The bad blogger, which is in response to a Whale Oil post I’m alive and have something to share.

He makes some fair points, Slater does seem to be playing the sympathy card in a legal defence fundraising drive.

But there’s dark irony as well.

He has been willing to lie and walk over the legal bounds that govern everyone in this society in the process. That isn’t the actions of a responsible blogger or “journalist”. It is the behaviour of someone that I don’t want besmirching the reputation of blogging.

Prentice is not the best example of blogger reputation himself. Like Slater he often brags about being nasty, and he abuses and bullies and fosters a bullying and abusive environment at The Standard (while Slater has actually clamped down on abuse at Whale Oil).

And Prentice appears willing to lie, or at least repeat claims that have been frequently refuted and for which he has provided no evidence.

He is quoted in a Stuff article Should Left-wing bloggers just shut up?

“Unlike Slater’s or Farrar’s professional efforts on behalf of National, we don’t get paid either directly or indirectly for our volunteering to work for politicians or writing blogs and never have,” Prentice says.

“We” presumably meaning all the Standard authors. There have been claims, including by John Key and Labour member Josie Pagani, that Labour staff have had posts at The Standard. In fact the other Standard trustee (prentice is one of two) was employed in the Labour leader’s office as recently as last year.

Slater has responded to this accusation, repeating denials that Whale Oil is funded by National.

Nice of Lynn Prentice to defame me again, this time in a major publication. I have not ever, nor will I never take money from the National party. There is not a professional relationship with them, their never has been.

But that just suits Prentice’s narrative. Unfortunately for him I will start telling the truth about him as frequently as he tells lies about me. The “World’s Greatest Sys-Op” isn’t so clean either. Prentice himself wouldn’t know the first thing about serving an audience, he allows defamations to stand, if it is against an enemy, he allows hate and loathing to cloud his better judgement and he is precisely what he accuses me of being. He really should look in the mirror.

David Farrar has also denied any party funding of Kiwiblog. He provides a detailed disclosure statement (unlike Prentice or any Standard author).

Prentice will be well aware of previous denials but continues to make the assertions. Dirty is as dirty does.

Having just written that last senence I thought I’d research it – and coincidentally found a post heading that on Whale Oil.

Dirty is as dirty does

Nicky Hager reckons I play politics dirty.

He is right, I do….So what?

Slater has often bragged about doing politics dirty. While he claims to be clean in some ways Prentice is no better.

Blog stats drop post election

The blog stats are out at Open Parachute for October and all the major blogs are well down after the September election surge.

Whale Oil Beef Hooked

  • September: visits 3,716,364 page views 5,309,045
  • October: visits 2,008,487 (54.0%), page views 3,275,031 (61.7%)

The trigger happy banning binge pre-election may be starting to bite at Whale Oil as well.

Kiwiblog

  • September: visits 695,190 page views 1,093,806
  • October: visits 373,637 (53.7%), page views 604,405 (55.3%)

David Farrar has been on holiday in South America for the last two weeks and has posted much less frequently and on less topical issues which will have impacted at Kiwiblog.

The Standard

  • September: visits 429,438 page views 868,342
  • October: visits 255,449 (59.5%), page views 561,703 (64.7%)

The Labour leadership issues followed by the contest between four candidates will have reduced the normal post election reductions at The Standard.

The Daily Blog

  • September: visits 504,304 page views 813,779
  • October: visits 210,877 (41.8%), page views 347,647 (42.7%)

The Daily Blog has the biggest slump to well under a half the visits and page views – this doesn’t surprise me. Leading into the election Martyn Bradbury et al were full of hope and hype but were stunned that the election result showed that voters were on a different planet.

The failure of the Internet Party and the ejection of Mana from Parliament is reflected in a substantially diminished demeanour  at The Daily Blog.

Dim-Post has also dropped to well under half but Danyl went on a Hiatus  mid-month (with an end of month temporary return).

Not all blogs supply Open Parachute with site statistics, notably Public Address.

Open Parachute September and October Sitemeter rankings.

Nookin on Norman

‘Nookin’, a regular at Kiwiblog, has commented on Green co-leader Russel Norman.

Dr Norman seems to be getting a completely free ride with the news media and yet his latest behaviour should really be a major red flag for anybody who considers that he should play any part in a government.

He has become totally obsessed with the dirty politics, so much so that his entire engagement with the government since its election has been focused solely on that subject and has taken the form of ad hominem attacks without any evidence.

His comments about the police searching the Prime Minister’s home were prattish in the extreme. This is the sort of comment that you would expect to get in a preschool playground, not in Parliament. His comments lack any element of rational justification and the sole purpose of the comments can only be to have a very personal dig at the Prime Minister.

Norman’s driving force appears to be his dislike of Key and, particularly, his antipathy towards the USA. Have a look at his comments on the article about new security measures. Despite the fact that he has no access to security information, despite what has been happening in Britain, Australia and Canada let alone Afghanistan and Syria, he is more than happy to announce to the world that there is no need at all for any additional security measures and that the only basis for the government taking such measures is to play poodle to the USA.

It does not seem to matter to him that the director of SIS endorses the need and emphasises the security risk.

Of course, the easy answer is that she worked in the Prime Minister’s office and is a prime ministerial appointee – therefore a prime ministerial lapdog. In presenting such an argument, however, he would have to put aside the fact that it was Rebecca Kitteridge who prepared the report which exposed GCSB (much to Norman’s salivating delight).
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10687081/The-new-terror-threat

Norman hammers the human rights and fundamentals of democracy at every opportunity. However, read the following article by Fran O’Sullivan. There is one person standing between New Zealanders and their opportunity to see world leaders addressing our Parliament (our representatives).

That one person is Russel Norman. He does so on the basis that allowing the likes of the President of the United States, the Chancellor of Germany and the Premier or Deputy Premier or whoever he is of China address Parliament will subvert our democracy. Pardon?

The dictate of one man who represents 10 percent of the population is democratic? I mean, when did he ask us our opinion? He has a right to say and determine once and for all whether world leaders can address our representatives in our house of parliament? And he justifies that by saying that he is protecting our democracy?
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11351410

Norman has emerged relatively unscathed from the election campaign and its aftermath. That, however, is more attributable to the fact that he has not been put under any degree of scrutiny. He has been described as a “smooth operator”.

That, I suggest, is exactly what he is – an operator. He has an agenda. It is time the MSM really subjected his behaviour, his views, the alliances and allegiances that we will lose or have foist upon us if he succeeds and his apparently complete refusal to compromise under much closer scrutiny.

One almost gets the impression that the dirty politics campaign may have been part of the Greens’s agenda. He simply refuses to let it go.

It does appear a bit like all that.

A Labour Day wish list

Clemgeopin has posted a “Thoughts for Labour Day” wish list at The Standard and also at Kiwiblog.

Thoughts for the Labour day:

8 hours for Work
8 hours for sleep
8 hours for self/family/friends.

Now, that is fair, healthy and makes one’s short life on Earth worth it.

I also think

* That the lunch break of half an hour should be a paid break.
* Travel time to and from work should have a payment for at least half an hour.
* All workers should have a certain share/bonus in the profits over and above their normal pay.
* Business that work more than 8 hours or 24/7, must have different shifts, employ more people and have restricted overtime safeguards.
* Employers that say they can not manage, should leave, start a different business or become employees. The vacuum will soon get filled by other employers that can.

* Uncontrolled free market fueled with unfairness and greed is the biggest real problem of this modern world in which the income and wealth gaps are fast increasing. That needs to change urgently with fair but strict controls enforced.

The government, the employers, and all of us should realise that
* We work to live and not live to work.
* We are all fellow humans and should look after each other better.

I don’t think everything you want should be imposed on all employers. There are many variables in employment and business situations.

I don’t think eight hours work a day with a five day suits all occupations. My official hours are actually seven and a half hours a day. My daughter often works twelve hour shifts but gets more days off per week on average, she’s a nurse. I’d quite like that work structure but it doesn’t suit my occupation, I need to be available as much as possible when our clients want us, which is traditional work hours.

The best way for workers to dictate optimal conditions, especially profit sharing, is to set up their own businesses (many try this) or co-operatives.

Success wouldn’t be guaranteed, but that’s how it is for every employer, which is a major reason why many people choose to remain employees.

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