‘An enemy race’

“It is said, and no doubt with considerable truth, that every Japanese in the United States who can read and write is a member of the Japanese intelligence system.”

— FBI Report

An interesting look back at the treatment of ethnic Japanese in the United States during World War 2 in Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps

The military seized her photographs, quietly depositing them in the National Archives, where they remained mostly unseen and unpublished until 2006

Dorothea Lange was hired by the U.S. government to make a photographic record of the “evacuation” and “relocation” of Japanese-Americans in 1942. She was eager to take the commission, despite being opposed to the effort, as she believed “a true record of the evacuation would be valuable in the future.”

The military commanders that reviewed her work realized that Lange’s contrary point of view was evident through her photographs, and seized them for the duration of World War II, even writing “Impounded” across some of the prints. The photos were quietly deposited into the National Archives, where they remained largely unseen until 2006.

I wrote more about the history of Lange’s photos and President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 initiating the Japanese Internment in another post on the Anchor Editions Blog.

Below, I’ve selected some of Lange’s photos from the National Archives—including the captions she wrote—pairing them with quotes from people who were imprisoned in the camps, as quoted in the excellent book, Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment.


“The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation Japanese born on American soil, possessed of American citizenship, have be come ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.

…It, therefore, follows that along the vital Pacific Coast over 112,000 potential enemies, of Japanese extraction, are at large today. There are indications that these are organized and ready for concerted action at a favorable opportunity.

The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken.”

— General John L. DeWitt, head of the U.S. Army’s Western Defense Command

“A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched—so a Japanese-American, born of Japanese parents—grows up to be a Japanese, not an American.”

— Los Angeles Times, February 2, 1942

“We were herded onto the train just like cattle and swine. I do not recall much conversation between the Japanese.… I cannot speak for others, but I myself felt resigned to do whatever we were told. I think the Japanese left in a very quiet mood, for we were powerless. We had to do what the government ordered.”

— Misuyo Nakamura, Santa Anita Assembly Center, Los Angeles, & Jerome Relocation Center, Arkansas


Manzanar Relocation Center, California 1942

Bill English NOT on Q & A

Bill English, our Prime Minister next week, will be interviewed and analysed On Q+A today:

New Zealand will have a new Prime Minister on Monday. We’ll have in-depth interviews and analysis on what a Bill English led Government will do and how the landscape for next year’s election has changed.


Panel: Dr Raymond Miller, Marama Fox, Michelle Boag and Matt McCarten

Boag is an English fan so may give us more gushing than insight.

It will be interesting to hear what Fox (Maori party has to say, and also McCarten given that he is organising Labour’s election campaign in Auckland.

UPDATE: Some false advertising by Q & A – English pulled out but they haven’t updated their advertising on Facebook.

Steven Joyce stood in for a brief interview.

McCarten starts the panel by saying that we now have ‘an even contest’. That’s between National and Labour+Greens+?

Fox says the Maori Party is optimistic, English has been will yo work with them and Bennett is part Maori.

David Seymour is next up for an interview. He is pretty much campaigning for ACT.

Next up is Andrew Little – and he is in campaign mode as well, same old recitals.

James Shaw addresses the issues of the day more, saying English+Joyce won’t change much, but then goes to standard dissing, saying National have been grey and doing a minimum that they could get away with doing.


Key’s ‘political capital’

A number of people commenting have said they wished John Key had used his popularity and ‘political capital’ to have done more as Prime Minister.

Duncan Garner:

I still think the biggest disappointment is that he didn’t do more with his vast political capital. Maybe that’s why he was so popular. Did nothing. And we’re a bloody apathetic bunch.
Bitter Bill and the day our next prime minister lost the plot

Michele A’Court:

And a prime minister who built tremendous political capital but wouldn’t spend it on hard choices like the housing crisis, or Pike River, and takes that capital out the door with him.

Bye, bye John Key

Oscar Kightly

I just wished he’d used his huge political capital to do more for the vulnerable in our society – even if doing so would have been unpalatable for traditional National supporters.

John’s gone so the fun has to stop

David Hall:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership looks sure to be scuppered: a legacy unrealised and a lost investment of substantial personal and political capital.

Key going as rules change

That last one isn’t about squandered political capital, it is a failure despite substantial effort, but the likely scrapping of the TPP was beyond Key’s or anyone’s capability apart from the US where it is a victim of Donald Trump.

In any case New Zealand could still benefit from the work that was done on securing the TPP deal with the other ten countries involved.

But what about the claims that Key failed to use his so-called political capital to do more?

He failed in a his attempt to change the flag, but he had a go at it. Key’s efforts and the process can be justifiably be criticised but this was as much a victim of petty politics as it was of Key’s stuffing up.

There are a number of things that Key and Bill English and their Government can be credited for, in particular managing the country through the Global Financial Crisis with the added huge cost of the Christchurch earthquakes.

They did what they had to, very well. New Zealand has emerged in better financial shape than most countries in the world.

Key put a priority on tourism, and that is now one of the country’s successes, contributing substantially to business and financial growth.

It is interesting to see that Key is praised more from Australia than in his own country.

Peter Hartcher in the Canberra Times: The only reason Malcolm Turnbull still has his job

Who is Malcolm Turnbull’s role model?

It’s John Key, he tells us, the NZ leader who this week rounded off a successful eight-year prime ministership by abruptly departing at the time of his own choosing. Key was the most successful conservative leader in the Western world.

Key has received other accolades like this from offshore but not so much in his own country, where pundits can’t see the forest for the trees.

When Turnbull was still new and still popular, John Howard had this guidance for him: “An iron law of politics is that if you have a lot of political capital at some point, you can be certain it will disappear. The question is, do you dissipate it through trying to do something for the long-term benefit of the country or do you dissipate it by sitting around and doing nothing?”Key took option A. He acted on this fundamental principle of political power. He took bold political chances on big, unpopular reforms and succeeded.

The NZ economy had been battered. It didn’t have a mining boom. The global financial crisis hit it hard. The country found that it didn’t have the borrowing power to use fiscal stimulus against downturn.

Recession hit. The three-decade long net migration to Australia, the notorious “brain drain” accelerated.

Among other initiatives, Key raised the GST rate from 12.5 per cent to 15. He sold minority government stakes in electricity companies to free the money for reinvestment. He liberalised trade.

None of these was a popular move.

But they succeeded. The country’s prospects are brighter. The exodus to Australia halted and has now reversed.

That reversed exodus is a significant reason for our high net immigration.

So has Key used his ‘political capital’ well?

He has sent our armed forces to the Middle East but hasn’t fixed things there. He has raised benefits but hasn’t fixed poverty in New Zealand. Nor has he fixed housing. He has improved our economy but hasn’t fixed income inequality. He signed up to something in Paris but hasn’t fixed emissions or the climate.

But he has left New Zealand in a better economic shape to address things that will always need improving.

Key has spent his political capital on financial and business infrastructure. Some of those efforts are benefiting us now, some may take time to show benefits.

Key has invested in the future more than is currently recognised here (they see it from overseas).

He won’t be able to look back and say “that flag is because of me” or “I convinced Trump in advance that the TPPA was a good deal”.

Bill English may be a benefactor of Key’s political capital, he now has the surpluses to address social issues that people have come to clamour for solutions for.

I think Key was a lot smarter than many give him credit for, and smarter than he portrayed himself as.

I have seen some say that due to his failure to achieve much of significance he will be quickly forgotten.

But if English can continue on with what he and Key have done then there could well be some payback for the political capital Key invested in the country’s future.

And if English fails to hold support to survive next year’s election I hope Andrew Little can see the forest that Key is leaving. And James Shaw (and he has enough influence as ‘co-leader’ to convince Metiria Turei not to blow the budget.

Or if National survives with NZ First’s support I hope that Winston Peters can allow the investment to pay dividends.

Economics and fiscal management are not glamorous, but it is essential they are continued soundly.

The modern world is not capitalism versus socialism. We need to find the best mix of both.

We need sound capital and political investment if we are to improve on the social issues that face us.

That may be Key’s most significant legacy – unsung now but humming along later.

Media watch – Sunday

11 December 2016


Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

As usual avoid anything that could cause any legal issues such as potential defamation or breaching suppression orders. Also remember that keeping things civil, legal and factual is more effective and harder to argue against or discredit.

Sometimes other blogs get irate if their material is highlighted elsewhere but the Internet is specifically designed to share and repeat information and anyone who comments or puts anything into a public forum should be aware that it could be republished elsewhere (but attribution is essential).

Open Forum – Sunday

11 December 2016

Facebook: NZ politics/media+

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you. 

If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers are welcome to summarise and link to their posts.

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
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Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised unless obviously malicious from anyone breaching site protocols, or spam.

Harmonics in Space

Visions of Harmony: Inspired by NASA’s Mission Juno

This Apple Music original celebrates the space agency’s groundbreaking journey to Jupiter—and the intersection between science and art.

While this is new harmony and space isn’t.

In 1619 Johannes Kepler publisahed Harmonices Mundi ( The Harmony of the World).

While medieval philosophers spoke metaphorically of the “music of the spheres”, Kepler discovered physical harmonies in planetary motion. He found that the difference between the maximum and minimum angular speeds of a planet in its orbit approximates a harmonic proportion. For instance, the maximum angular speed of the Earth as measured from the Sun varies by a semitone (a ratio of 16:15), from mi to fa, between aphelion and perihelion. Venus only varies by a tiny 25:24 interval (called a diesis in musical terms). Kepler explains the reason for the Earth’s small harmonic range:

The Earth sings Mi, Fa, Mi: you may infer even from the syllables that in this our home misery and famine hold sway.

The celestial choir Kepler formed was made up of a tenor (Mars), two bass (Saturn and Jupiter), a soprano (Mercury), and two altos (Venus and Earth). Mercury, with its large elliptical orbit, was determined to be able to produce the greatest number of notes, while Venus was found to be capable of only a single note because its orbit is nearly a circle.

At very rare intervals all of the planets would sing together in “perfect concord”: Kepler proposed that this may have happened only once in history, perhaps at the time of creation.

Kepler reminds us that harmonic order is only mimicked by man, but has origin in the alignment of the heavenly bodies:

Accordingly you won’t wonder any more that a very excellent order of sounds or pitches in a musical system or scale has been set up by men, since you see that they are doing nothing else in this business except to play the apes of God the Creator and to act out, as it were, a certain drama of the ordination of the celestial movements. (Harmonices Mundi, Book V).

Kepler discovers that all but one of the ratios of the maximum and minimum speeds of planets on neighboring orbits approximate musical harmonies within a margin of error of less than a diesis (a 25:24 interval). The orbits of Mars and Jupiter produce the one exception to this rule, creating the unharmonic ratio of 18:19. In fact, the cause of Kepler’s dissonance might be explained by the fact that the asteroid belt separates those two planetary orbits, as discovered in 1801, 150 years after Kepler’s death.



PM English, deputy Bennett

Simon Bridges has withdrawn from the contest to be deputy Prime Minister, leaving the second top spot to Paula Bennett.

Herald: Simon Bridges withdraws from deputy prime minister race

Bridges confirmed he was stepping out of the race at a press conference in Auckland this morning.

“While my numbers were good, they weren’t good enough.”

He said he had a third of the votes, but he didn’t have half.

Bridges said Bennett was a “massive talent” with huge strengths who would make an excellent deputy.

“I know that Bill English and Paula Bennett are going to do a fantastic job.”

Bridges spoke to Bill English this morning and discussed his withdrawal.

He was pleased to have been in the race and that there was a real contest.

So next week we will have Prime Minister Bill English and Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett.

It will give the government a bit of a new look at least.



Bridges versus Bennett continued

The current state of the race to the deputy prime ministership as recorded by Claire Trevett:


More at the Herald:

Paula Bennett is on the cusp of becoming Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, but may have to lobby for a few more votes over the weekend to secure the job.

Based on publicly declared votes, Bennett has 23 National MPs on her side, though numbers are changing often. Simon Bridges trails behind, having secured the support of 10 MPs. A candidates needs 30 votes to become deputy to Prime Minister-in-waiting Bill English.

If no clear winner between her and Bridges is found by Monday – when a caucus vote will be held – it is understood both candidates will give speeches to the party before a private ballot takes place.


‘Secret ballot’ by social media drip feed

It seems quite odd to me that what I thought was supposed to be selection of a Prime Minister and a deputy Prime Minister by secret ballot next Monday have instead been a procession of pronouncements through the week by social media.

I guess National MPs can do their selecting and their voting however they like, but does anyone know if they have ever selected their leaders so publicly before?

Who remembers how John Key’s selection as National leader and leader of the opposition in 2007?

This is all the National Party constitution says about leadership selection:


81.The Parliamentary Section of the Party shall consist of the members of the Party elected to the House of Representatives. Should at any time a member of the Parliamentary Section cease to be a member of the Party he or she shall cease to be a member of the Parliamentary Section. Leader

82.  (a) The Parliamentary Section shall appoint its Leader as soon as practicable after each General Election.

(b) If at any time the leadership of the Parliamentary Section falls vacant, the Parliamentary Section shall appoint a Leader to fill such vacancy. Notwithstanding Rule 82 (a), the Parliamentary Section may at any time between General Elections confirm or change its Leader.

(c) The Leader of the Parliamentary Section shall, upon receiving the approval of the Board, become the Leader of the Party. The Board shall consider such approval as soon as practicable after the appointment by the Parliamentary Section of its Leader.

Maybe the secret ballot idea is incorrect and the National caucus just selects it’s leaders however they feel like at the time.

From the Herald:

If no clear winner between Bennett and Bridges is found by Monday – when a caucus vote will be held – it is understood both candidates will give speeches to the party before a private ballot takes place.

Threat of extreme Islam

Nicolas Pirsoul, a doctoral candidate in politics and international relations at the University of Auckland, writes in the Herald about Salafism, an extreme and intolerant strain of Islam that inspires terrorists organisations like Isis, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.

He warns of this risks this poses to New Zealand, and why extremism thrives on division, so “New Zealand should remain an inclusive and tolerant nation by embracing its diverse Muslim community”.

I wouldn’t use the term ’embrace’, I have no intention of embracing Islam or Catholicism or Brianism or and other religion.

But tolerance of religious practices,and encouragement of the peaceful practicing of religion here, are important things that New Zealand should stand for.

Nicolas Pirsoul: Warning for NZ in rise of extreme form of Islam

Salafism is an extremist, literalist, and intolerant form of Sunni Islam. Its origins are hard to trace, but it is commonly argued that 13/14th century theologian Ibn Taymiyyah strongly influenced the development of modern Salafi thought nearly five hundred years later.

Salafism obtained the important political power it continues to hold today when Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab formed an alliance with the al-Saud family during the 18th century to give birth to the Saudi version of Salafism, Wahhabism, the state religion of the current kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

As Saudi Arabia developed as a major political force, due in large part to its oil production and its status as one of the West’s principal allies in the Middle East, Salafism further expanded its political and geographical influence. Saudi Arabia has continued to use its wealth to propagate Wahhabi ideas thorough the Islamic world and Muslim communities in the West.

New Zealand needs to be wary of the threats of extreme Islam.

It is important to recognise the existence of a problem and not to underestimate it. The recent hate speech controversy, involving a cleric from the at-Taqwa mosque in Manukau, is only the tip of the iceberg and follows a well-established pattern of other events involving Salafi clerics preaching in New Zealand, such as Egyptian cleric Sheikh Abu Abdullah a couple of years ago. It would be naïve to think that our nation’s Sunni oriented mosques are immune to Salafi ideology and its intolerant and sometimes violent interpretation of Islam.

It would equally be naïve to believe that New Zealand is free from economic ties with the Saudi Kingdom, as the controversial Saudi farm deal recently underlined. The extent to which these economic ties influence the ideological makeup of Islam in New Zealand is uncertain.

It is important that New Zealand does not imitate the leniency of other Western nations towards these issues.

We don’t have the same problems that European countries have. We have a fairly thorough immigrant checking system, and we distance, and we have a very large natural moat.

Second, it is important to understand and adopt the right attitude towards the problem of Islamic extremism. Extremism thrives on division. Mainstream stereotyping and discrimination against Muslims has helped Salafism, and its Manichean worldview, to grow in Europe. It is therefore critical that New Zealand should remain an inclusive and tolerant nation by embracing its diverse Muslim community.

The majority of Muslims, conservatives or not, reject violence and intolerance. They are allies in the fight against terrorism.

By creating a New Zealand model of multicultural citizenship, where Kiwis of all ethnic groups and faiths live with and are supportive of each other, we can become a role model for the world and avoid replicating other nations’ mistakes.

We need to avoid division and driving Muslims in New Zealand towards extremism.

Extremists and terrorists want to provoke extreme reactions. We need to understand this and avoid being used by them to increase hatred and fear.

We need to promote positives like peace and tolerance as Kiwi ideals to be aspired to, and this will reduce the chances of negative and violent reactions to ostracism.

Most people want to live in peace and harmony. If we advocate strongly for this we are more likely to achieve it.