Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Contains strong language

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Every Five years.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Every Five years.

    Of course. What would I do without you, Graeme?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18725 posts Report Reply

  • Nick M,

    Talking about bad media coverage such as the Venzeula example ("military regime"), has anyone noticed John Campbell refers to the "disputed territories" when referring to the West Bank and Gaza?

    Wellington • Since Mar 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    I recall a McGillicudy Serious type being hauled before a court in Hamilton many years ago, charged with failing to complete his census form. His excuse was that he'd been possessed by the spirit of an ancient pithecanthropus at the critical moment.
    The judge got him to admit that he'd deliberately invoked the pithecanthropus possession, and discharged him without conviction.

    Hopefully Mr. Haden will encounter a similarly emlightened judge.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3386 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    pointing out, among other things, that the station urged the violent overthrow of an elected government in 2002),

    And the evidence? And if this were true why wasn't the station shut down then rather than now?

    Chavez has now turned his attention on another independent media voice. Of course Chavez and his apologists are alleging much the same sort of thing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    re: sampling in the census,

    The US try to use sampling in the census as they have a huge problem with undercounting non-WASP-ish populations with traditional methods

    Although, as the 10 year census is used to allocate house of Reps seat numbers to each state, it is extremely political so their have been numerous cases in the supreme court agruing that the census bureau must actually count the people one by one, and not use any of that statistical sampling flim flam...

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    As far as the census goes, I'm still waiting for jack-booted Stats Nazis to kick my door down because I never have, and never will, answer any questions about my ethnicity (until they slip "mongrel" in there somewhere), and will continue not to answer any questions about my sexual orientation or religion. Just because I don't think there's any legitimate public interest in who I fuck or where I worship - and no, I don't think everything the public wants to know is a matter of public interest.

    And, yes, shame on TV3 for the flat out misleading beat-up about the parliamentary prayer. Personally, I'd like to see it abolished enitrely because it's obviously not doing any good - but, as you said, there was a lot less to that story than the breathless tone implied.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11877 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    we referred to census figures on religious affiliation in yesterday's discussion - I hardly think it would be appropriate to keep a register on that, although you'd suspect someone in Europe would try

    How about a poll tax on church membership? Something like $1000 per member, the proceeds to be used to fund the promotion of rational thought. That would enable accurate membership figures to be obtained.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4424 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    What would I do without you, Graeme?

    Have no-one to ask this question either, that's for sure - finally saw the TV3 article on the Parliamentary Prayer (had a look after reading comments last night, but could only seem to find TV3's footage of the prayer itself).

    A bit of a beat up - especially with the review out there for a while - but the question remains open: why does the House of Representatives have a Speaker, who has held that office for somewhere around five years, who does not know the difference between a session of Parliament and a sitting of Parliament?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    I never have, and never will, answer any questions about my ethnicity (until they slip "mongrel" in there somewhere),

    Tick other, write mongrel, there you are. Or write New Zealander, but I'm reliably informed by the PA commenterati the latter marks you as a racist white guy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    As far as the census goes, I'm still waiting for jack-booted Stats Nazis to kick my door down because I never have, and never will, answer any questions about my ethnicity (until they slip "mongrel" in there somewhere), and will continue not to answer any questions about my sexual orientation or religion.

    Which is ironic, since you freely volunteer this information online rather frequently.

    The whole US census sampling thing is comes up in one of the early Sorkin era West Wing episodes: 'Mr Willis of Ohio'.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    RB,
    Make no mistake; Chavez is a nasty little Castro wannabe thug who by not renewing RCTV's license is simply taking an opportunity to silence voices that might express opinions against him. He knows he needs to control information to further his "Bolivarian revolution", and this is one more step toward that control.

    My wife is Venezuelan; she is in Caracas with our son as we speak, so this subject cuts a bit close to the bone. I don't think things are really going to get too out of control, Chavez and his goons will beat and kill as many as it takes to keep control, but it is sad to watch a country with so much potential going down a path that only leads to poverty and suffering. Chavez models himself on Castro, and look how Castro has ruined Cuba.

    As for winning elections, Chavez won the first one fair and square, but after Chavez took control of the election authority I think it is anyone’s guess as to what the real results have been for the last few elections. There was strong evidence that he rigged the recall election a few years ago.

    While Chavez’s regime might not be a full blown military dictatorship yet, he is taking Venezuela in that direction. My wife and her family are very pessimistic about the future of Venezuela under Chavez. He has already done a tremendous amount of damage to the society and the economy, the only thing holding up his regime up is the high price of oil.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Danyl;

    Vulunteer being the operative word. I'm job hunting at the moment, and I don't see either subject coming up in interviews, and I certainly won't be volunteering or answering any questions along those line. Not that I think any prudent employer would ask.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11877 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    If you look at the prosecution guidelines I can see at least two reasons why this should not be taken to court:
    - the judge will most likely discharge without conviction, so there isn't a reasonable chance of a conviction.
    - Haden is trying to be a martyr (sole reason to commit the offence)

    Against this there is the possibility that failing to prosecute for non-compliance with census collection would result in large scale refusal.

    I actually think this is made less likely if the prosecution had been spiked at the first possible moment.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4424 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Of course Chavez and his apologists are alleging much the same sort of thing.

    I don't like Chavez much either but I wonder why all the attention is given to him when Columbia's much nastier boss man enjoys the Bush arm around the shoulder.

    I guess the answer is that one's primary export is black, the other's white.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    Why do we see TV3 claiming prayer is in danger? Because we're racing to the bottom here in New Zealand news. The only news that captures attention is that which has immediate consequence, one where there's a clear crime and obviously there's a lot of tut-tuting that can be done.

    I think of it as "spot the cunt" reporting--when you get a story, you look for the villain and do a beat up on them. Good against evil is a wonderful old story that resonates well and we can use it again and again simply by varying the characters. Talkback radio loves this.

    Case in point: KiwiSaver. On budget day the news stories were all about that villain Cullen dipping into our pocketbooks and how business would have to screw the employees more because of something Cullen cooked up on vacation.

    The real story only slowly emerged later--that Australia's buying up our companies using the capital from compulsory savings schemes and if we want a hope in hell of reversing that trend then we'd better get our own domestic cash pile. Employment relations and the power of Governments are great good v evil makers--everyone knows that employers are cunts, just as politicians are.

    Now we have Mercury Energy. Morning Report was full of "someone came to turn off the power, must have seen her on the life support and ..." melodrama. That's got the cuntometer redlining! Run with it! There's a bit of social justice there, too--not just poor people but poor Islanders too! So the guy turning off the power was a proxy for BIG WHITE CAPITALIST CUNTS. Oh it just gets better!

    And so to Jesus. Lately (and Tamaki of the Destiny Church Mad-As-a-Loon Tamakis, here I'm looking at you) fuckwits have realized that Faith is another great polarizer into good vs evil. Shit, they INVENTED evil! God is good, obviously. He says so Himself. So, just as obviously, anyone opposed to Jesus is evil. A cunt, you might say.

    So now the "X will fuck with your Jesus" story is becoming the fast-rising variation on "X will take money from your pocket"/"X doesn't care about the little guy" stories we're used to. I have to give credit to Morning Report on this one, though. Sean Plunket was delightfully incredulous in his conversation with Brian Tamaki, describing "Destiny Church protesting religious tolerance". 10/10 for spotting the story Tamaki was trying to push as just as story.

    For the record, I see both sides of the employer and employees employment contract/wage issue, I think nobody should die because they can't pay their power bills, and I think Brian Tamaki's a dildo. If you're a Muslim MP, you should swear your oath of allegiance on the Koran. As an atheist, I could happily swear on a Bible in the name of God that I was Rufus Q Monkeyballs, 418 years old, with a rightful claim to the title of King Bigdick of the Pendulous. Make me swear on a bottle of Speights Old Dark in the name of me Mum, though, and I'll have a much harder job of it.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled cunt-spotting daily news cycle. Nothing to see here, move along.

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    sorry...__Colombia__

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    This is not to defend Chavez, but there is a precedent in democracies for such behaviour. Mrs. Thatcher effectively shut down the independent Thames TV by refusing to renew there license. The move came as a result of a documentary, Death on a Rock, about the SAS shooting of a number of IRA suspects in Gibraltar.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    and look how Castro has ruined Cuba.

    Maybe it's just me, but Cuba looked pretty ruined before Castro got anywhere near it, unless you were a Mob stooge or part of the dictatorship's apparatus.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Chavez models himself on Castro, and look how Castro has ruined Cuba.

    yep that universal free health care and universal free education is a bummer, and all those people in Pakistan, Java and Iran who benefited from those teams of Cuban doctors after their various natural disasters are well pissed off they were so good at their jobs.

    After Java many of the Cuban doctors came to Bali and freely gave of their time to the local kids instead of taking the free R&R given to them by the Cuban government before they returned home...

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Maybe it's just me, but Cuba looked pretty ruined before Castro got anywhere near it, unless you were a Mob stooge or part of the dictatorship's apparatus.

    Indeed - Cuba ain't perfect but then you compare it with it's regional neighbours - Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic - it starts to look pretty good.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    <quote>I don't like Chavez much either but I wonder why all the attention is given to him when Columbia's much nastier boss man enjoys the Bush arm around the shoulder.<quote>

    Wonder no more.

    There are no good sides in the Colombian conflict, just the most popular bad guy. But Chavez has troops attack peaceful protests with teargas and rubber bullets, so it is a very easy call as to who are the good guys - hint: not Chavez.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    There are no good sides in the Colombian conflict, just the most popular bad guy

    Ahhhh...the good right wing death squads.....not the first time the USA has found those in Latin America....our death squads are better than your death squads

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    it is a very easy call as to who are the good guys . . .

    Best you don't ruin a good bedtime story by following up on the BoingBoing link provided in Russell's piece.
    Hint - informative, messy & complex.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3386 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    our death squads are better than your death squads

    Yes, the great charm of Venezuela is there are no death squads, just Chavez smashing the press & beating up peaceful protesters in the street - so marvellously free of ambiguity.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

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