Texas bomber blows himself up

After a spate of bombings in Austin Texas the police identified the suspect and approached him. It is reported he has detonated a bomb and killed himself.

Reuters: Texas bombing suspect kills self, reported to be unemployed man, 23

An unemployed 23-year-old man suspected of a three-week bombing campaign in Texas that killed two people and injured five others before blowing himself up on the side of a highway was identified by local media on Wednesday.

A series of bombings beginning on March 2 left Austin, a fast-growing city of 1 million people, on edge as the bomber moved from parcels left on doorsteps to one activated by a trip wire to at least two sent via FedEx.

By Sunday, bewildered investigators had publicly asked the serial bomber to reach out to them. By Tuesday they had identified a suspect, Texas Governor Greg Abbott told Fox News.

Police tracked him to a hotel about 20 miles (32 km) north of Austin and were following his vehicle when he pulled to the side of the road and detonated a device, killing himself, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters near the scene.

“We’ve known for a couple of days who the suspect likely was,” Abbott told Fox. “Law enforcement is at his house in Pflugerville where we are learning whether or not that was the location he was making his bombs.”

The governor added that the suspect is believed to have lived with two roommates, who are not currently considered suspects, and was not a military veteran.

Manley said the suspect was believed to be responsible for six bombs around Austin and in Schertz, near San Antonio, all but one of which detonated. He said the motivation for the bombings or whether the suspect had help was not yet known.

Residents of Austin will be relieved the bomber has been disabled, but…

Manley warned residents to be cautious since it was not clear whether any more bombs had been left around the city.

So unease for a while longer in Austin, but otherwise this will now probably quickly fade away as just another example of internal violence in the US, with the only difference this time being bombs instead of firearms being used.

Manchester bomber identified

The Manchester bomber has been identified, and ISIS have claimed responsibility.

The bomber has been named as a 22 year old British born Libyan Salman Abedi, who comes from South Manchester (thanks Missy).

The Telegraph: Salman Abedi named as the Manchester suicide bomber – what we know about him

The suicide bomber who killed 22 people and injured dozens more at the Manchester Arena has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi.

Born in Manchester in 1994, the second youngest of four children his parents were Libyan refugees who came to the UK to escape the Gaddafi regime.

His parents were both born in Libya but appear to have emigrated to London before moving to the Fallowfield area of south Manchester where they have lived for at least ten years.

Abedi grew up in the Whalley Range area, just yards from the local girl’s high school, which hit the headlines in 2015 when twins and grade A pupils, Zahra and Salma Halane, who were both aspiring medical students, left their homes and moved to Isil controlled Syria.

There were unconfirmed reports in Manchester that the whole family apart from the two elder sons recently returned to Libya.

PDB says:

If true it shows the difficulty one faces in stopping terrorism when the terrorists are home grown 2nd or third generation immigrants.

It shows that terrorism is not just a Middle East problem, nor just a recent immigration problem.

Abedi was named by Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins on Tuesday.

“As you would expect the police response to this across Greater Manchester has been significant as we support people to go about their daily business.

“Part of this response has seen us arrest a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack and we have also carried out two warrants, one in Whalley Range and one in Fallowfield that included a controlled explosion to enable safe entry.

“We understand that feelings are very raw right now and people are bound to be looking for answers. However, now, more than ever, it is vital that our diverse communities in Greater Manchester stand together and do not tolerate hate.”

I doubt that generating more hate has ever been a successful response to hateful crimes.

“I can confirm that the man suspected of carrying out last night’s atrocity has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. However, he has not yet been formally identified and I wouldn’t wish, therefore, to comment further.

“The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.”

On Tuesday, it was reported that the Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Difficult times for Manchester and for Britain. Just like they couldn’t remove all people of Irish descent from England during the Troubles, they can’t wave a wand to erase everything Muslim from the country.

If led well the majority of people will rise together against terrorism and against hate, and stand against the divisive aims of the terrorists.

War for Auckland

The Spinoff has announced ‘the war for Auckland’ (they now have a separate ‘Auckland’ menu):

War?! We know, we know. But what else would you call the vastly differing visions for Auckland presented by Auckland 2040 and Generation Zero? We feel like the next few months will define this city’s future, and will thus cover the Unitary Plan and the subsequent election with a rare fury. Read on to hear our justification – and to find out how you can help.

Today The Spinoff launches a new pop-up section. For the next three months, alongside Television, Sports, Politics and all that, we will also have an unashamedly campaigning new part of the site called The War For Auckland.

The name is a little provocative, sure. But we think it’s what we’re living through.

Today Auckland Council will receive a final set of recommendations from its Independent Hearings Panel on the Unitary Plan. That sounds like a wonky, impenetrable thing. But we think it happens to be a pivotal moment for the Unitary Plan – the single most important publication for this city in our lifetime. Potentially the most important it will ever know.

What I’m saying is: if we lose this fight, we might as well all leave. We think that’s a deeply depressing thought. We don’t want it, and won’t give up the city without a fight. That’s why we’re getting worked up and belligerent in naming the section.

They are also seeking funds to run finance the war.

So this post is to announce our intention. But it’s also to say that, if you believe this is important too, then we’d love your help. We’ve funded every part of our coverage of this election and the housing crisis ourselves to this point – from satirical takes to deeply reported features. It’s part of how we give back to the community which raised us. But it’s also exhausting, and expensive.

So for the first time we’re opening up the opportunity to contribute to The Spinoff financially via our PledgeMe campaign. We’re asking for money for this specific project, from both businesses and individuals, to chip in either publicly or anonymously. What we’re saying is: if you think it’s important that we live in a modern city which is fit for purpose into the future, then we would love your help to cover this election with that in mind.

The money we get will be ploughed into paying contributors, increasing the social reach of election-specific posts, creating collateral, developing election-specific parts of the site, paying fact-checkers, creating video – basically anything we can think of to make the young and the interested care more about the election, and get them voting.

But someone has tried to bomb the war effort.

SpinoffVersusBomber

Chloe King is right, Bradbury and The Daily Blog have long had a reputation for censoring comments that don’t fit their narratives and for banning people they don’t like, so that’s very ironic.

And yes, Bomber’s tweets are unavailable to me as well as The Spinoff and probably a lot of others that are seen as in the wrong army to the far left revolutionary’s.

The Spinoff ‘war for Auckland’ seems to have sparked a war on online fund seekers and attention seekers.

Bomber in Germany alleged IS allegiance

On Sunday night a Syrian man blew himself up and injured 15 people outside a music festival in Ansbach, Germany.

A video pledging allegiance to Islamic State has been found on his phone.

He had been refused refugee status by Germany.

RNZ: Ansbach bomber pledged allegiance to Islamic State – minister

A Syrian man who blew himself up in southern Germany, wounding 15 people, had pledged allegiance to Islamic State on a video found on his mobile phone, the Bavarian interior minister says.

Joachim Herrmann said that according to a provisional translation of the video the man testified allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and announced an “act of revenge” against Germans.

“I think that after this video there’s no doubt that the attack was a terrorist attack with an Islamist background,” Mr Herrmann told a news conference.

The ISIS connection in this case will further raise tensions in Germany in particular after recent killings, although not all appear to involve ISIS.

The 27-year-old arrived in Germany two years ago and claimed asylum, a federal interior ministry spokesman said. He had been in trouble with police repeatedly for drug-taking and other offences and had faced deportation to Bulgaria.

On searching the bomber’s room, Nuremberg police found diesel, hydrochloric acid, alcohol, batteries, paint thinner and pebbles – the same materials used in the bomb – and computer images and film clips linked to the militant group, they said.

Nuremberg police chief Roman Fertinger said the influence of Islamic State could be seen on the bomber’s computer. “There was also a laptop that showed pictures and film sequences that glorify violence and are unequivocally linked to Islamic State,” he told a news conference.

This shows that German authorities are not hiding any ISIS links in acts of violence.

The attacker killed himself and inured 15 others when he detonated a bomb outside a music festival in Ansbach, a town of 40,000 people southwest of Nuremberg.

I know Ansbach. I know people living in and near Ansbach (they are all ok). This puts a different perspective on acts of terror, when you have some sort of connection.

Germany obviously has major issues dealing with immigrants, refugees, and now a spate of violent incidents, some of which are connected to ISIS and Syria.

But we have to be careful (or we should be careful) getting drawn into fear and paranoia, and blaming people and groups of people who have nothing to do with what are a small number of incidents.

We should be concerned, but we need to keep in perspective that our cup is more than half full.

Terrorism plays on the inclination of people to become obsessed with searching for and over-reacting to the dregs in a cup.

And we should keep in mind that the situation in New Zealand is very different to how it is in France and Germany.

UMR polls

More has been posted (at The Standard) on the UMR poll that Martyn Bradbury went crazy over – see “BREAKING EXCLUSIVE SECRET POLL” – by Swordfish, who is a fairly reliable source and who analyses polls far more sensibly than Bomber.

Note however that we still don’t have any actual details published of UMR polls, we are only given a few raw numbers.

Swordfish:

The UMRs tend, on average, to be slightly better for Labour and the Greens and slightly worse for National compared to the main Public Polls.

I’d take issue with Bomber’s assertion that: “The latest UMR internal Polling has shown a massive drop in support for Key.” (by “Key”, of course, Bomber means National).

It was typical Bomber bull and bluster.

In reality, the Nats slumped earlier this year (in the UMRs, in National’s Internal (Curia) Poll and, to some extent, in the Roy Morgans) – particularly in the wake of the Flag Referendumand the Panama Papers controversy – and since then it’s simply experienced a slow decline:

UMR
April 2016
Nat 43%
Lab 30%

June 2016
Nat 42%
Lab 28%
Green 16%
NZF 10%

July 2016
Nat 41%
Lab 33%
Green 12%
NZF 10%

So the latest UMR poll shows a the barest of declines for National (that could be a fraction of a percent and well within the presumed margin of errror) and a more significant shift of support from Greens to Labour Greens down 5, Labour up 4).

We’re in a similar situation to mid-2015 when a couple of the Roy Morgans and 3 UMRsplaced combined Lab+Green support a little ahead of the Nats.
(although – unlike the last few UMRs – the recent RMs still record a mild Nat lead over Lab+Green).

Then a swing back to National and the Right in the later months of 2015 / early 2016 – and now a swing back towards the Left (and, of course, NZF).

So these poll swings and round abouts are not unusual. Neither is Bomber’s frantic ranting.

Going by these numbers National should be getting a bit concerned but they shouldn’t need opposition polls to tell them that, it’s been obvious they have been having problems.

The next Roy Morgan poll which may be out next week will give us a better idea of how much weight can be put on the UMR poll results.

Bomber promotes war, fear and terror in NZ

Fear, terror, hate, evil, war.

Don’t worry, what this Bomber promotes is unlikely to be felt by anyone. He is as lethal as a water bomb using a hundred year old balloon.

From a Martyn Bradbury post at The Daily Blog: Andrew Little + John Key declare war on Hone Harawira and MANA movement

There has been no official declarations, just more wishful thinking. But the language used is trying hard to promote conflict.

John Key and Andrew Little have immediately opened up a war of words…

No they haven’t, they responded to news that Harawira was standing in next year’s election with more like ‘yeah, so what’.

Both Little & Key have very specific reasons for attacking MANA…

…it highlights how both political parties fear a populist peoples movement…

For Little, his attack on Hone is part of Labour’s terror

…Labour who illegally sent the terror squad…

Labour hate being reminded…

For Key. his attack on Hone is fuelled…

The fear Hone has caused by just announcing he is back…

…a reminder of how terrified the establishment are that the poor could gain genuine political representation.

…to overthrow this evil Government

Bomber against the world. The same old revolution repackaged with rusty old rhetoric.

Someone recently referred to him as Cadbury, but his chocolate mind has been in the sun too long.

Morphing the Mana Party into the MANA Movement may make some headway, but with friends like Martyn there won’t be many parties quaking in their political boots.

Not much to fear here.

Why Bomber’s claims are totally meaningless

In his latest rant against our intelligence agencies Martyn Bradbury has bombed with a mass of misfires.

The headline: Why the ‘protections’ in new spy bill are totally meaningless

There is no new spy bill. And Independent Review has just released a report that makes observations and recommendations.

Let’s get this straight – our intelligence agencies have been caught illegally spying on NZers, were caught helping the PMs Office smear the leader of the Opposition months before the 2011 election with falsified lies, were caught being racist, were caught spying on our trade partners to try and get John Key’s mate a job, were caught out by Edward Snowden telling the NSA that legislation had loopholes to allow mass surveillance, were caught out by Edward Snowden planning to tap the Southern Cross internet cable and were caught possibly aiding the CIA rendition torture program.

Most of those claims are questionable. Some of those issues are still under inquiry so it isn’t know whether anyone has been caught doing what Bradbury asserts.

So how does Key respond to intelligence agencies drunk on their own power?

Bradbury is drunk on hyperbole. The intelligence agencies are being reported on, not requesting changes.

Why he is suggesting even more power.

No he isn’t. He is suggesting a multi-party approach to assessing the recommendations of the independent review and deciding what might be done.

Why the hell would we give the GCSB and SIS more power when they can’t manage the power they currently have?

The report says “It was clear to us from our discussions with GCSB staff and from the GCSB’s own internal policy documents that these restrictions are interpreted and applied conservatively.” Is Bradbury wanting them to apply policies more aggressively?

The reality is that the so called 3 tier system of protections being suggested by the new legislation are utterly meaningless. The loophole built into the suggested legislation allows the spies to disregard all 3 of those tiers IF they believe there is an emergency or risk to life,  they then get 48 hours of warrantless surveillance.

This allows fishing expeditions for the spies.

Again, there is no new legislation. It should not allow fishing expeditions.

We must demand more protections for ourselves from this ever growing ultra secret deep state. A modern day stasi that answers to the NSA doesn’t make our democracy safer, it makes it far more dangerous.

Demanding more protections for ourselves is fine, but protecting ourselves from others requires some secret surveillance powers.

Likening New Zealand to a “modern day stasi ” is just pathetic.

Bradbury has bombed this with his hyperbole – “an extreme exaggeration used to make a point”. The problem is this sort of hyperbole doesn’t make any point other than the lack of credibility of the ranter.

Prentice, Bradbury and Slater feuds interspersed with Standard history

There seemed to be a bit of a lull in the Lynn Prentice (The Standard) versus Martyn Bradbury (The Daily Blog) feud but it has flared up again with the two trying to demonstrate who is the most bitter and obnoxious. The ongoing Prentice versus Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) feud is also in the bizarre mix of history and hissy fit.

In an otherwise interesting history of the origins of The Standard – A short history of The Standard – Maoriland Worker – Prentice managed to lace it with vitriol aimed at Bradbury and Slater.

In fact he made his attacks on Bradbury the main focus of the history.

There were some ridiculous statements by Martyn Bradbury at The Daily BlogBombast earlier this month continuing his snide comments about this site. His claims that the Labour activists founded the original Standard back in 1936 are bullshit. He gets there by ignoring the history of parent publications and where they formed from.

Clearly the bombastic author of that post was written by someone who spent his education in obtaining a master of  ill-informed juvenile ranting rather than learning much of history of the local labour movement (or much of anything else). So I dug around to see what I could find on the net about The Standard 1.0 and it’s parent publications to give that Mr Bombastic some remedial education in the local history that he is so clearly lacking.

Why the hell Prentice laced what could have been a great historical reference with feud fodder is hard to fathom.

A bit of history about The Standard follows, then a shot at Slater.

This can be seen quite clearly in the distortions that are the history of the Whaleoil blog. Because of its obsessive need by a broke (after his insurance disappeared) Cameron Slater’s need to please his larger funders of money and influence, the site would wind up getting into trouble doing the types of stories that please those funders. This is why Cameron Slater spends too much time in court. They’re still doing it today as far as I can tell.

Then a blast at both Bradbury and Slater.

The Standard 2.0, was deliberately designed by authors and myself who run it to be more like the early Maoriland Worker than Whaleoil or The Daily Bombast.

We haven’t taken money from any organisation including the PR industry, political parties or even from unions like the Daily Bombast does.

The repeated references to ‘Bombast’ in relation to someone else are ironic.

A bit more history and back to the feud.

We can do it with no tolerated external interference apart from obeying the current law (something Cameron Slater apparently has issues with) and the odd polite request from organisations we respect like unions or leftish parties.

And his conclusion includes a double barrelled blast.

Having learnt the lessons of the past (and those of other blogs in the present), that is what we intend to continue to do. That is what having sense of the history does for you. You don’t fall into the same operational organisational traps that the Bombast (set up and still supported by union funding) and Whaleoil (apparently mainly arsehole funding) appear to have tripped into.

That’s a bit of a shame because it would have been a good historical reference without the vitriol.

And it seems to have provoked a vitriolic response from Bradbury:

Your magnificent pettiness Lynn helps explain why the Labour Party had such a pitiful election last year. You have the social skills of a cancerous tumour.

When I say ‘The Standard is a Labour Party Blog’, I don’t mean that MPs feed Standard Bloggers information for black ops purposes. They are in no way shape or form similar to how the Nats use Slater. I’m sure there is pressure and terse words at the way the Standard conducts itself at times, but nothing more than that. When I call The Standard a Labour Party blog, I mean in the sense that…
-the original Standard in the 1930s was set up by Labour activists
-the latest incarnation in 2007 was seeded by the Labour Party
-And like the Labour Party, the Standard can be an alienating, tantrum throwing, bitter pus pit who can’t play well with others.

Grow up

Bradbury has a valid albeit overstated point saying “the Standard can be an alienating, tantrum throwing, bitter pus pit who can’t play well with others” but he obviously has a bit of difficulty playing well with others too. He could follow his own advice and ‘grow up’ but it doesn’t look like happening.

Prentice has achieved quite a lot with The Standard, but respect of himself and of the Labour left are not part of his successes.

Prentice and Bradbury represent the largest two political blogs on the left in New Zealand. Slater represents the largest on the right.

We are poorly served in political debate online by the three of them. No wonder the general voting public is turned off by politics.

UPDATE: And Prentice blasts back.

You have said that before in the post that I responded to. Is that all that you have? Parroted slogans?

You are wrong in all of your final three assertions. As I said in my post, you could do to learn some actual history rather than making up silly myths.

– The original Standard was setup by unionists, and run by them for 50 years from the Maoriland Worker to The Standard 1.0. Sure there was Labour party activists involved throughout (once the Labour party got formed). You’d kind of expect that to happen because they were also labour movement activists. People don’t fit neatly into the discrete labels that simple fools want to slogan them into.

– The current Standard was similarly set up by labour movement activists. Some were Labour party members, many were unionists, some had no party or union affliations. This is also not unexpected in a site from a labour movement that was pretty damn diverse back in 1910 and has been diversifying ever since.

– We tend to respond to your pettiness and snideness with pointing out the facts, in this case in 2000 odd words. If I creep a little terseness in because I doing it to educate a lazy fool, then you can hardly blame me. Fix your own stupid attitude and you’ll get less attitude from me. I’m getting really tired of having to respond to your stupidity.

“Fix your own stupid attitude” could equally apply to Prentice.

Where exactly is the backing for any of of your assertions. When did you invent these? Or are you just parroting someone else’s opinions – like Cameron Slater? Because that appears to be what you are becoming.

Ironic. The three of them can be as bad as each other.

Bradbury refutes claims on journalist images

Martyn Bradbury has emphatically denied claims that he viewed images of a journalist and said they could ruin her career. After the release of embarrassing photos of RadioLive political editor Jessica Williams and accusations that Ben Rachinger had used them to pressure/blackmail it seems that some people have put one and one together with vague memories claimed a ten. It was then claimed on Twitter that Martyn Bradbury (Bomber) had “let’s also remind viewers Bomber had seen the material and intimated it might ruin the journalist” (Giovanni Tiso) and “Martyn Bradbury blogged about having seen the revenge porn images and how it would ‘ruin the career’ of Ben’s ex” (Coley Tangerina). Bradbury has posted a strong denial of this in The latest Rachinger twists and turns and Wellington Emerald Stormtroopers.

Here’s what I actually wrote…

I will say this about Rachinger, if the comments from a certain female political journalist ever see they light of day, they will never work in the industry again

..I had heard about comments made by a Journalist to Rachinger, that is what I was referring to. Claims by ‘Coley Tangerina’ and Giovanni Tiso that I viewed anything are a total lie.

That clearly doesn’t mention images or photos at all, just comments. But it is also potentially confusing, especially without seeing the whole context. It’s not clear whether “they will never work in the industry again” refers to Rachinger, or to the journalist. It could be easily taken either way. I’ll try to get clarification.

I removed that comment as people involved felt it was offensive, which was not my intention at all. The point I was making was the Left have a tendency to see traitors everywhere…

Sure Ben hasn’t helped his cause one inch, but not hacking the Standard deserved some recognition, not pitchforks.

I have no idea of how and what has occurred here, and am as surprised as anyone that there were images released, but the ongoing smears and misinformation by some on Twitter not only reinforce the original point of the blog I wrote about the Left on Twitter, but it’s also childish.

A fairly clear statement that Bradbury was unaware of the images. It could be construed that he was aware of the images but was surprised they were released by my assumption from reading this is that Bradbury did not know the images existed until they were posted on Monday.

However “a total lie” and “misinformation’ may be a bit strong, it’s more likely to be imprecise memories and jumping to conclusions, which are common in social media. But for the wider story Bradbury’s clarification removes from the jumble of evidence one ‘proof’ that existence of the images was common knowledge amongst journalists prior to their publication this week.

As a side story, @b3nraching3r seems to be off-line again.

UPDATE: Martyn has given me some clarifications (at The Daily Blog):

1. The Journalist

2. I’d heard many different things after that blog, I was surprised by their release, not their existence

I had seen nothing, I had heard something that a Journalist had said to Rachinger, that was what I was referring to in the blog. Suggestions by Coley and Tiso that I did are a lie

http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/06/11/the-latest-rachinger-twists-and-turns-and-wellington-emerald-stormtroopers/#comment-289636

Unsurprising news – Boston murderer found guilty

There’s lot of attention to the guilty verdicts for the ‘Boston bomber’ – the terrorist who murdered innocent people.

I’d have been very surprised if he wasn’t found guilty. But this news is an ‘oh yeah’ sort of thing.

It will be of a bit more interest if he is given the death penalty. I have no sympathy for someone who callously murders but in general I don’t like the idea of killing for killing.