Indonesia

Is Wiremu Curtis a terrorist, fanatical dreamer or a genuine man of peace?

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The full video is available here: TVNZ Ondemand

Recently TVNZ’s Sunday program screened an article on Wiremu Curtis a former Black Power member, also known as ‘Haroon’. Haroon who insisted he was going to the Middle East to get an ‘education’ was allegedly stopped at the airport by SIS agents, and according to Haroon allegedly shown papers that show he had in what he describes in his own words “weapons of mass destructions.”

Now I’m going to be honest, I didn’t actually watch the program when it screened at the time, but after having my attention drawn to it from other sources prompted me to watch it and analyse it a little closer. Immediately things struck me as a bit odd, such as his comment that the SIS showed him papers proving he had “weapons of mass destructions.” It is all well and good asserting these types of comments in the public domain, as the SIS will never publicly comment on operational matters.   Read more »

Opposition to idiocy of plain packs laws is mounting

The evidence is building that Australia’s plain packaging law for tobacco is failing is now prompting other countries to learn from the Australian debacle and ditch plans for plain packaging.

New Zealand should be looking at ditching our ill conceived proposed law as well.

Ireland’s government recently took steps toward becoming the first EU country to require plain packaging for tobacco products, and the UK would like to follow its lead. In light of recent reports coming out of Australia, the only country to enact the measure, showing the law is not achieving its intended effects, it is paramount these governments reconsider.

Free market and taxpayer groups are concerned about the consequences of such extreme laws, not just in terms of health and safety of consumers, but their impact on national treasuries. As reported in the Sun newspaper the UK Government faces a potential compensation bill of between £9-11 billion if it proceeds with the removal of internationally protected trademarks and intellectual property.

Already Indonesia is threatening to introduce plain packaging for beers, wines and spirits. And if other countries followed their lead this could have a significant effect on the Britain’s £38 billion alcohol industry which directly employs around 650,000 people.

But the Ireland and the UK still have a chance to stop this bad policy.

The stated purpose of plain packaging is that once you take away tobacco companies’ branding, people will be less inclined to buy their products.  The results thus far appear to be the opposite.  More than a year after Australia enacted the policy, studies by London Economics and renowned professors at the Universities of Zurich and Saarland (Switzerland and Germany) concluded it’s not deterring adults nor adolescents from smoking.

In fact, according to the tobacco industry’s sales volume data, cigarette sales increased by 59 million sticks in Australia during the first year of plain packaging, offsetting a four year downward trend. The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores even reports that its members’ sales grew by 5.4 percent.

Why are more cigarettes being sold when the goal of plain packaging was to reduce smoking? As any elementary course in marketing will teach you, a product becomes commoditized when it is stripped of its branding. The industry is forced to compete on price and consumers buy cheaper cigarettes, less expensive loose tobacco or even turn to the black market.

This is exactly what The Australian, a leading newspaper Down Under, recently reported is happening: nearly half of the country’s cigarettes are now purchased from the lowest price segments, up from just a third before plain packaging was introduced.

As the leading taxpayer rights group in the United States, the number that is even more offensive is the AUD $1.1 billion that KPMG reports Australia’s Treasury lost last year due to the growth of the black market for tobacco products.

While these tax dollars should have been in the government’s coffers, they were not because a record number of Australians purchased one of the cheapest type of cigarettes: those manufactured in branded packs and smuggled into the country.  The market for these “illicit whites,” as they’re called, saw a shocking 151 percent rise during the year.

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They are coming for your booze now with plain packaging

Christopher Snowden tweets:

This is the news that Indonesia is moving to implement plain packaging for alcohol, using the same arguments to support their laws as those used against tobacco products.

This weekend it was reported that Indonesia is stepping up plans to introduce plain packaging for alcoholic products. Should the country press ahead with its plans, the prediction by IP associations that plain packaging will creep into other industry segments may be realised sooner than expected.

The Jakarta Post and Food Navigator Asia both report that the Indonesian government is considering regulation that would require beverages with an alcohol content in excess of 20% to either carry graphic health warnings or to use plain packaging.   Read more »

If Kim DotCom would do a runner from New Zealand, how would he do it?

kim-dot-com-top

Let’s do a bit of crowd-sourcing.

If Kim DotCom would do a runner from New Zealand, how would he do it?

I doubt he would go to South America, he seems to have a preference for the Asian lifestyle (girls etc), and its closer. Though I am told that after getting extradited from Thailand and having to do a runner from the Philippines over unpaid gambling debts that he is frightened of Asia.  Read more »

Plain packaging encourages counterfeiters and criminals

The Sun in the UK has exposed foreign crime gangs behind multi-million racket flooding UK with dangerous fake fags — and plan to make more if plain packaging comes as planned in UK next year.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images JAKARTA, INDONESIA - Atun, a trained monkey, wears a doll head and clothing during a street performance in Jakarta.  Many of Jakarta's performer monkeys are captured from the Sumatran forests, and then brought to the city or nearby villages to be broken by trainers and taught to perform. A good portion of these monkeys are trained and sold in East Jakarta's South Cipinang Besar slum, one of many "monkey villages" that supply handlers with performer monkeys.

Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images
 Atun, a trained monkey, wears a doll head and clothing during a street performance in Jakarta. Many of Jakarta’s performer monkeys are captured from the Sumatran forests, and then brought to the city or nearby villages to be broken by trainers and taught to perform. A good portion of these monkeys are trained and sold in East Jakarta’s South Cipinang Besar slum, one of many “monkey villages” that supply handlers with performer monkeys.

 

Trick or Treat

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Looks like John Key was right about boat people

via Keeping Stock

When National rushed through legislation about stopping boat people through parliament the opposition and their lap-bloggers squealed that it was unnecessary.

In 2010, Labour MP Phil Twyford attacked John Key on Red Alert:

Does John Key really think New Zealand is about to be hit by a wave of boat people?

“What I’ve said to the Australian prime minister is that we recognise there is a problem, and we recognise that from New Zealand’s perspective it’s a problem that is coming towards our shores at some point in the future.”
Mr Key said that from all the intelligence he had received, this was “a real issue”.

Has he looked at a map recently? There is a lot of ocean between us and them. Short of us putting out the welcome mat for people-smugglers it seems very unlikely they will make it this far.

In 2011, former Green MP Keith Locke accused the PM of scaremongering in this post on the party’s Frogblog:

John Key’s scaremongering about boat people flooding into the country damages New Zealand’s race relations, Green Party immigration spokesperson Keith Locke said today.

“While John Key’s approach may increase the National Party’s ‘redneck’ vote, as happened to John Howard in Australia, it will be at a cost to race relations in New Zealand,” said Keith Locke.

“Racial dog whistling about refugees is unbefitting of a Prime Minister.

And just last year, those bastions of left-wing reason at The Standard accused John Key of invoking the “yellow peril”:

Bad jobs numbers and a succession of collapses of major businesses weighing your government down? You need: distraction! How about an old classic from the New Zealand politician’s playbook – the Yellow Peril!

Passed on by Richard Seddon and Winston Peters, Yellow Peril’s now being wielded by John Key as he talks of vague, unsubstantiated threats that boatloads of Indonesians are heading for our shores (no, I’m not sure what terrors are meant to eventuate when they land, either)

Of course, the closest any boat people have actually come to reaching New Zealand was when our mates, the Aussies, thought about helping them

[…]

Never mind that Indonesia is literally 1/6th of the world away,* John Key wants us to know the ‘threat’ from boat people, threat of what I don’t know, is very real and something we should all be worried about. Far more worried than we should be about, say, the threat of losing our jobs. (* At nearly 4,000 miles the distance from the closest parts of Indonesia to New Zealand is the distance from Europe to North America and back. Most boat people make trips from Indonesia to one of Australia’s offshore islands, a journey of a couple of hundred miles. So, we’re being asked to believe that boat people are planning, for no apparent reason, to make a journey 20 times longer and over colder, rougher, open seas in the Tasman, when Australia’s right there, literally in the way – doesn’t seem like a profitable business venture for the people smugglers for a start, 20 times the operating costs.)

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Told you plain packaging will extend beyond cigarettes, now it will be a trade weapon

I’ve been talking about it for ages, and commenters and other including politicians scoffed…Don’t be silly Cam, plain packaging legislation is for tobacco only.

Except it gives the antis a toehold and now we are seeing the results of that. On top of that tobacco producing countries can use it to conduct a trade war against our exporters.

New Zealand’s wine and dairy producers will be forced to export their products without branding in retaliation for Government’s introduction of plain packaging of cigarettes, tobacco firms are warning MPs.

A senior Indonesian official has been reported saying New Zealand exporters will pay a price for draconian law changes which will require tobacco producers to sell their products in plain packs with standardised fonts and colours.

Tobacco firms and lobbyists repeated the warning to a Parliamentary committee yesterday.

Emergency Committee for American Trade president Cal Cohen told MPs that plain packaging was likely to lead to restrictions of trademarks for other goods such as wine and dairy.

Tobacco giant Phillip Morris pointed to a letter by Indonesia’s former Minister of Trade Gita Wirjawan to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, in which he said plain packaging breached WTO rules and would have an impact on New Zealand exports.

Wine and dairy…ouchy…I wonder what Fonterra and all the exporters of dairy products think about that…especially those exporting branded baby formula to China.

What about sugar containing products…will they be the next victims in the war of business?

The former minister, now the Indonesian Director General for International Trade Co-operation, made a similar warning in a local news report: “If the cigarettes we export there are not allowed to have brands, then the wine they sell here shouldn’t also.”

New Zealand’s exports to Indonesia were worth nearly $900 million, half of which came from dairy. Food and beverages made up 70 per cent of total exports.

Trade Minister Tim Groser said New Zealand was “exercising its normal rights” through the plain packaging legislation.

He told the Herald: “I’ve met numerous Indonesian officials since we initiated that action and no concern has been expressed to me personally.

“So I would be very surprised if I hear talk in the future of that.”

Be surprised Groser…it will happen. The health busybodies will move from tobacco to sugar, to alcohol to dairy…they will use the same tactics, the same denigration and on top of that use state funding and taxpayer money to do it all.

If tobacco producing countries retaliate they will use the very same arguments Groser is advancing…that [insert country] was “exercising its normal rights” through the plain packaging legislation against alcohol…which from a muslim country like Indonesia is perfectly defensible on religious grounds without any pesky scientific evidence, which is severely lacking in tobacco legislation.

Corporate New Zealand better gear up for a war with the state funded health busybodies, it is coming whether they like it or not and their silence against plain packaging simply emboldens them toa ttack harder.

Doors closed in Australia, no matter let’s try NZ

People smugglers are giving up on trying to get people into Australia now, the government of Tony Abbott has succeeded in stopping the boats.

The people smugglers though are not to be deterred and are now targeting NZ.

Michael Bachelard at The Guardian reports:

People smugglers in Indonesia are mounting their first credible attempt to ship asylum seekers on the hazardous voyage to New Zealand and circumvent the Abbott government’s Operation Sovereign Borders.

Four men – two from Bangladesh and two from Afghanistan – were caught last month by the Indonesian immigration department in Jayapura, West Papua, on their way to get a boat to New Zealand.

Their capture appears to have stalled, for the time being, a plot to send up to 100 people, but sources in West Java say people smugglers in the town of Cisarua are still advertising for places on a New Zealand-bound boat.

The smugglers are showing asylum seekers a grainy picture, obtained by Fairfax Media, of the boat they say they have bought for the venture, which is larger and sturdier looking than the typical fishing vessel and has covered cabins and navigational antennae.  Read more »

Schapelle Corby admits to being a drug trafficker. That settles that then

Ah, the truth finds a way.

913511-dtstory-lawrence-corbySchapelle Corby had trafficked drugs into Bali three times before her arrest, and “acted crazy” to get her sentence cut, her former Australian cellmate Renae Lawrence claims.

Lawrence, one of the Bali Nine drug couriers, was secretly videoed making the allegations that were broadcast on Network Ten yesterday.

She said Corby, who was released from Bali’s Kerobokan jail on parole in February, was good at keeping her secrets, but “let one slip one night”.

“She said that she knew the marijuana was in the boogie bag, but the person who was supposed to be at the airport at the same time didn’t turn up,” Lawrence said.

“She told me and the other prisoner that she’d done it more than this time.

“She said she’d brought the drugs [into Bali] before three times.”

Lawrence also claimed Corby “acted crazy” to get her sentence cut.

Well, can’t say I blame her.  It saved her from life imprisonment, or worse.  You do what you have to do.  But the whole “innocence” routine was as fake as the rest of her.   Read more »