Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Still crazy after all these years

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  • Peter Ashby,

    @Islander

    More boys than girls are born, that there are more women than men as you correctly said doesn't change that. The rule of sex ratios in the mammalia is very plastic depending on circumstances and if skewed is usually done so by mechanisms after conception.

    I have known a number of strains of lab mice that have a distressing bias towards males. Distressing when you are doing developmental biology and need a few stud males and a pile of females. Distressing because of what happens to all the unwanted males.

    But then it is the lot of the mammalian male to live fast and die young. All this muscle takes resources to maintain. Which when we're talking pseudonyms hints at mine in other forums. For the record I am Peter Ashby, one of them anyway (it's a bit freaky when you get, out of the blue, an email from 'yourself').

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    The lowering of the taxes on the top earners is just a jab to the jaw for everyone else to distract you from the kneeing in the nuts the rise of GST is for everyone else and especially the poor. It works like this, when you are forced to spend everything you have just to stay afloat a large proportion of your tax is paid as GST, you can't avoid it. When you have discretionary income you can choose either to spend it or bank it (which covers investment), so a GST hike just makes you reassess your options.

    But as Islander has pointed out, that is what you voted for when you were voting for that nice Mr Key who would never do something as nasty as that.

    Here in the UK we are sleepwalking down the same path. The Tories have a JK figure in Cameron, all smooth salesman, butter wouldn't melt in my mouth etc But the same old unreconstructed Tories lurk behind him resisting the media attempts to out them shamefully by such subterfuge as asking them about policy details from their portfolio. Just like Key they are trying to say as little as possible on the policy front, firstly so they can just wait for a lame duck too term Labour govt to wear out its welcome and because they don't want to scare Basildon man or White Van woman with the reality of what will follow.

    The Right always follow the money, rewarding those that have it and punishing those who do not.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The Right always follow the money, rewarding those that have it and punishing those who do not.

    Thanks, Peter. Always nice being condescended to as a malicious drone so early in the morning. I often find it amusing how political partisans don't even bother hiding their contempt for the ideologically impure proles who must be either stupid or evil.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11617 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Thanks, Peter. Always nice being condescended to as a malicious drone so early in the morning.

    You have an almost superhuman ability to always make it about you.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    2 journos corroborating each others story can now make serious sexual assault claims against a named person, with no history or previous record for these types of charges, in the media, while remaining anonymous themselves and prior to the charges being investigated through the appropriate channels ?...and no one says BOO ?

    You do have some points there. Ideally, the paper wouldn't have have reported allegations that were going to be the basis of a police complaint. And the reporters are enjoying an informal name suppression that their paper would be unlikely to respect itself.

    But these two women are victims of an alleged indecent assault, and, as I said, I'm not about to go outing victims.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17967 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Maybe Gio, but this?

    The Right always follow the money, rewarding those that have it and punishing those who do not.

    Like Dick Hubbard and Stephen Tindall you mean?

    Funnily enough often the people who stay here to fight it out against all the geographical, small market, high tax, disincentives (not to mention toll poppy envy killings that go on under the guise of socialist indignation) are the ones with some moral fortitude. Not all, but IMhO, many.

    The pricks have long since run away from Auntie Helen to set up tax havens or manufacture beer where labour is cheap, and life is cheaper.

    The tax changes are flawed and disproportionate, but that is a government problem. Why slag off people who for all you know might be re-investing 99% of their income to grow their companies or provide more employment? We're not all driving Lamborghinis and flying people out to Mercury Island on Helicopters to cook us lunch, just so you know.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Funnily enough often the people who stay here to fight it out against all the geographical, small market, high tax, disincentives (not to mention toll poppy envy killings that go on under the guise of socialist indignation) are the ones with some moral fortitude.

    Yes, like finance company directors for instance. Where would we be without the moral fortitude of these benefactors? And I tell you what, if there is a single business person who has left New Zealand because they felt besieged by tall poppy envy or socialist indignation, I want to meet them so I can laugh at them in person.

    But that's not the point: the point is that a government that comes in, cuts the taxes to the wealthy, then proceed to cut services to anybody else on the grounds that there isn't enough money, has made its priorities obscenely clear. Are we ever allowed to question these priorities, or is that too offensive to the poor dears?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I find it more useful to think of Prebble and Douglas as neoliberals from the start, when they were still with Labour. To me a neocon is a Project for the New American Century supporter. Not even Prebble and Douglas would go there. The closest document we have to match that kind of thinking is the 2025 taskforce report and it's substantially different in many respects.

    Quite: economic (neo)liberals and neocons should be quite different beasts.

    But there were plenty of them making feeble-minded pitches for American exceptionalism in the early noughties.

    Here's Prebble:

    Act Party leader Richard Prebble says New Zealand should commit to sending troops to war against Iraq.

    In a speech in Auckland on Wednesday Prebble predicted that the government will - for the first time ever - reject a call for military help from the United States, Britain and Australia.

    He says Germany leads the nations which are unwilling to go to war, and the government is supporting the anti-American policies of a nation New Zealand fought against in two world wars.

    Prebble says it would be internationally significant if New Zealand commits to sending troops and would bolster an American populace reluctant to go to war alone.

    There was a lot of rot spoken and written in those quarters at that time.

    The Herald was even letting Denis Dutton write columns, including one that was such a paranoid, ahistorical piece of shit that I was obliged to administer maximum pwnage on it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17967 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I actually remember that.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    And I tell you what, if there is a single business person who has left New Zealand because they felt besieged by tall poppy envy or socialist indignation, I want to meet them so I can laugh at them in person.

    Yes all right, I was being incite-ful, but Owen Glenn, maybe?

    There isn't enough money. Exactly. Would it be better if we continue to borrow ourselves into oblivion, like Greece has done, and is now paying a much higher price?

    Of course we should question the priorities. I have done so here myself. They are allowing themselves to be influenced by the 'wrong white crowd', but that doesn't by inference make all entrepreneurs or people who lean to the right greedy criminals.

    PS. Must remember not to enter these discussions before my second coffee. Bloody Gio and his early morning rationalism. I'm still waking up... sniff sniff. Ahh, coffee!

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    There isn't enough money. Exactly. Would it be better if we continue to borrow ourselves into oblivion, like Greece has done, and is now paying a much higher price?

    How about we don't cut taxes?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Of course we should question the priorities. I have done so here myself. They are allowing themselves to be influenced by the 'wrong white crowd', but that doesn't by inference make all entrepreneurs or people who lean to the right greedy criminals.

    Sorry to pick this particular quote out of the conversation, but I'd like to point out it's entirely possible to be an entrepreneur (or businessperson, or whathaveyou) without being right wing in the slightest, and I think the tendency we have to conflate the two isn't helpful.

    Gio's thrust seems to be similar to my own on the original point, though-the fundamental basis of most right wing ideology is that reality is fundamentally fair without government intervention, so those with greater material wealth are people who are obviously "better at life" than the poor. Further brands of right wing thought tend towards the idea that wealth should automatically entitle its holders to greater social and political influence, either subtly (via improved living conditions over the poor) or overtly (via increased visibility and weighting of political opinions). The logical conclusion leads towards a kind of meritocracy where wealth indicates an individual's merit.

    Now obviously, when baldly stated like that, hardly anyone on the right actually holds those views, but it's very hard for people like Gio and myself not to join the dots and see this as the practical effect of right wing philosophies.

    Edit: Sorry for linking your opinions with my own, Gio, I'm also only +1 Red Bull this morning so I may not be completely rational.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Funnily enough often the people who stay here to fight it out against all the geographical, small market, high tax, disincentives (not to mention toll poppy envy killings that go on under the guise of socialist indignation) are the ones with some moral fortitude. Not all, but IMhO, many.

    You started so well ... but taxes here are not high, and being a "tall poppy" doesn't stop anyone doing business (I'm buggered if I can recall any metaphorical "envy killings" either).

    I agree with your basic point -- we should admire and value those who stay here and create and develop New Zealand businesses -- but I don't buy some of the handicaps you cite.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17967 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    You have an almost superhuman ability to always make it about you.

    Yeah, and you're just going to eat shit and smile if I go on some idiotic rant about everyone on the left being tools of the Liarbore dykeocracy relentlessly indoctrinating stupid sheeple into their Stalinist, anti-male, racist, Christian-bashing anti-business, hoddie-hugging radical homosexual secret agenda.

    If you've got no respect whatsoever for over a million people who didn't cast their ballots to your liking, fine. But please don't expect thanks for my part of the discourtesy.

    I'll certainly pay the nine hundred thousand odd folks who voted Labour/Green in 2008 the basic courtesy of not assuming they're either rogues or fools.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11617 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    it's entirely possible to be an entrepreneur (or businessperson, or whathaveyou) without being right wing in the slightest

    You mean like our host, Mr R Brown? But...but....Kiwiblog told me he was a socialist?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2292 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Edit: Sorry for linking your opinions with my own, Gio,

    On the contrary. Plus you are of Italian descent, right? I think we should form a mini-hive mind just for that.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    You started so well ... but taxes here are not high, and being a "tall poppy" doesn't stop anyone doing business (I'm buggered if I can recall any metaphorical "envy killings" either).

    Look, I apologised once already. At least you got it was a metaphor ;-)

    Now switching to iPhone for the post I was writing during second coffee... Hold the phone!

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Sorry to pick this particular quote out of the conversation, but I'd like to point out it's entirely possible to be an entrepreneur (or businessperson, or whathaveyou) without being right wing in the slightest, and I think the tendency we have to conflate the two isn't helpful.

    I think the 'or' let's me off the hook? Yes, I'm fully aware of that. In fact the right/left tags generally leave me cold. Just following Peter's lead.

    It is actually pretty tough for anyone trying to build worthwhile businesses at the moment. In spite of blowing on it, the pie is shrinking. If you aim to grow your share by investing in service quality, rather than blitzkrieg advertising, it's not actually the cheap option, and, as discussed elsewhere, seems to be a dark art studied in academia rather than enacted in real life. Not convinced anything done in this term, or the last, is going to make things easier.

    As for Gio and Craig, speaking of 'Defence against the dark arts', can I make you a coffee, or do you prefer Red Bull?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Robbie Siataga,

    But these two women are victims of an alleged indecent assault, and, as I said, I'm not about to go outing victims.

    ...it'll all come out in the wash, but these two gutless "victims" deserve to be publically raked across the coals IMO.

    What point is there in Bailey trying to defend a not guilty plea? Its 2 against one and these "victims" are credible reporters, so of course they wouldn't lie to sex up a story, especially if their jobs are on the line should it be found they misled the public.

    so those with greater material wealth are people who are obviously "better at life" than the poor.

    get rich or die tryin

    :)

    Since Feb 2010 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You mean like our host, Mr R Brown? But...but....Kiwiblog told me he was a socialist?

    I read on Trade Me once that I was a "hardline Marxist". Truly, I did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17967 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manner of thine own
    Or of thine friend's were.
    Each man's death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.

    John Donne 1624

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    How about we don't cut taxes?

    Actually I think we should, but it should be by making the first 14,000 threshold tax free. And if you want to keep the rich in check, make it means tested so it stays in place if you earn over 70k (the upper threshold). But I have no idea how much that would cost.

    Think I better go read some Neocon propaganda, this place is turning me into a bloody Marxist.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Comrade Russell's covert plan must be working then. Ops, I said too much.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    You guys are way behind on your Kiwiblog. You're now all Progressives. I don't know when the official conversion happened. I think it's meant to be slightly worse than socialist, which only commits crimes against the Free Market. Progressives commit crimes against moral decency, permitting such outrages as promiscuity, homosexuality, and solo parenting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8027 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Actually I think we should, but it should be by making the first 14,000 threshold tax free. And if you want to keep the rich in check, make it means tested so it stays in place if you earn over 70k (the upper threshold). But I have no idea how much that would cost.

    Oh, so you pull the entire bottom tier out of the cake shave most of it off, and that's OK because even though you can't pay for shit at least you're still screwing over the rich pricks? I'm sure there's a logical train of thought on the tracks somewhere, but it's running awfully late...

    You guys are way behind on your Kiwiblog.

    I can live with that. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11617 posts Report Reply

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