Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Swine flu, terror and Susan Boyle

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    Swney Todd
    Marketing Auckland - not so much Cool as Chilling...
    all that "adspeak" just says Swney got sold a "Big Pup"

    and, ohmigod... if that is the "trailer" for the movie Auckland

    folks we have a winner for the next Razzies! in the highly contested Modern Urban Visitation Strategy section.
    usually consisting of UFO movies or the Second Coming, I doubt anyone will be even going once - well maybe the odd Remuaryan might venture into Gucci for socks...

    yrs
    Lo N. Li Mann
    waiting by Hope St for the bus
    to Downtown Perfection

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5071 posts Report Reply

  • dave crampton,

    Why [doesn't Grant] bugger off and annoy some other blog?

    Because he is a typical troll

    Not just here, either.

    http://www.humanitarianchronicle.com/2009/05/life-and-death-issues/comment-page-1/#comment-3180
    .

    welli • Since Jan 2007 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    well maybe the odd Remuaryan might venture into Gucci for socks...

    Not even,(raised there, and we have taste.). What I did find humorous was Russell telling him to shut up.There was a fine line between spin doctor and spinner. I think it became a shouting match after that. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6281 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Feel free to continue dancing on the head of your pin. A murder was committed, the police have arrested and charged a man and stated very clearly they are not looking for anyone else.

    I'm sorry, you're wrong. Journalists used to learn the difference between conversion and theft, killing and murder, etc. It's in the newpaper's style guide where a very close friend works. Is there a PA style guide? Does it even matter? I don't know. These things used to be important in journalism. Of course, journalism has a striking resemblance these days to the making of buggy whips.

    Your belief that I am somehow out of line in using the word "murder" could be easily dispelled by a visit to Google News. You'll find that everyone else is too, for fairly obvious reasons.

    Well, then it must be okay. Everyone's doing it. Sweet.

    I am well aware of the manipulative elements of the show. I've studied them quite closely. But these people aren't so clever that they could engineer the viral explosion of that first video. Boyle has been entering these contests for decades, often at the cost of her own humiliation, and she finally got her chance. There was actually something real there.

    If you're aware of the show's manipulative elements, how could it transcend mere commerce? Except wait, what is more shallow than commerce? Perhaps your transcendental appraisal is sound. And why does a viral internet explosion necessarily mean something profound has occurred? I really don't think there was anything real there. A more savvy producer, maybe. Someone who realised that horribly ugly uneducated fat people could make some money for them. What a genius. How real.

    I call bollocks.

    So do I. I wouldn't want to go pound for pound against your ability in policy minutiae or legislative backwaters Idiot Savant, but I said that "terrorism" wasn't defined but it used to be. I think I'm right. I'll look it up tomorrow. Act of terrorism is defined, as it would have to be.

    But what is terrorism? According to right wing South African jerk-offs I've talked to in Auckland, Jacob Zuma is a terrorist who has used terrorism. So has Nelson Mandela according to Dick Cheney. I'm really uncomfortable using politically loaded and emotive terms to describe the actions of a fringe lunatic. These are terms that were popularised by some of the most hateful and scary people ever to get into power. You want to use language that has been normalised by George Bush and Co? Go ahead. Count me out.

    I really liked Emma's recent point about replacing loaded words with "person" or "people".

    <quote>I take it you never watch sports on TV, then?<quote>

    Did you see the Warriors 14-0 win over the West Tigers on Sunday? I did. I was freezing my ass off. Live. But, if forced, I will admit to watching sport on TV. But at least there are no commercial breaks or fat freaks singing to make cigar smoking jerks who eat lunch for a living a pant-load of money.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Act 1969

    2. Interpretation

    (1)

    Terrorism

    [Repealed]

    Terrorism: this definition was inserted, as from 16 November 1977, by section 2(1) New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Amendment Act 1977 (1977 No 50).

    Terrorism: this definition was repealed, as from 31 October 2003, by section 3(2) New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 108).


    I can't get the actual language of the definition on-line so I'll have to go check tomorrow morning for the bit with the red crayon through it that the lady comes to put in every once in a while.

    But, Idiot Savant, parliament, once upon a time, intentionally and expressly defined the word terrorism. It decided that was a bad idea for whatever reason and preferred to define it as "Act of Terrorism" as you rightly showed.

    So "terrorism" at least conceptually and positively, has no definition in New Zealand. Neither then, it seems, does "terrorist".

    What is "terrorism"? What is a "terrorist"? I don't know. My first stab at it would be something with which the criminal law is incapable of dealing.

    This wouldn't apply to the brave doctor in Kansas, unfortunately. So, I continue to take issue with Russell having so characterised it.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    So "terrorism" at least conceptually and positively, has no definition in New Zealand. Neither then, it seems, does "terrorist".

    What is "terrorism"? What is a "terrorist"? I don't know. My first stab at it would be something with which the criminal law is incapable of dealing.

    That's asinine. I have a collection of dictionaries that offer to provide a definition, located right here in this country. The absence of a legal definition is neither here nor there. Lots of words we sling about every day, from love to hate to bullshit, have no meaning in law, and yet we find them of use.

    It seems to me that at the heart of the notion of terrorism is a deliberate campaign of violence intended to intimidate a group of people in order to achieve a political goal. We can argue around the margins (is it terror when it's state policy? how big does the target group have to be? if the violent ones observe some restraints does that count?) but the core of effecting change through fear of violence is undisputed, I would say.

    If your point is that "terrorism" implies disapproval of the people employing the tactic, I agree, but in this case I find that makes the term more, not less apposite.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Is there a PA style guide?

    Yes. It says, in its entirety*: "Don't be a dick".



    *Open to moderator interpretation. Judges' decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes. It says, in its entirety*: "Don't be a dick".

    Crap.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    That's asinine. I have a collection of dictionaries that offer to provide a definition, located right here in this country. The absence of a legal definition is neither here nor there. Lots of words we sling about every day, from love to hate to bullshit, have no meaning in law, and yet we find them of use.

    I wasn't saying there weren't everyday definitions of terrorism. My point, which your point doesn't answer, is that there was once a positive definition of it and there no longer is. That's significant because -- and I haven't dug into the materials -- my bet is that having an actual definition of "terrorism" was a bit yucky because it straight-jacketed a nebulous term that could be applied to animal rights activists, left wing radicals, anarchists and anyone else that failed the political smell-test.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Yes. It says, in its entirety*: "Don't be a dick".

    *Open to moderator interpretation. Judges' decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

    Ok, ok. That was fair. Shouldn't that be "Don't be a person", though?

    G'nite.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hi all,

    Just to explain, I had Grant banned (or, rather, his account frozen) a bit after 4pm, but I didn't want to say so because he's in until he logs out or his login cookie expires. I was going out and I didn't want him seeing that and acting out while he had the chance. Sad, but true.

    I also banned p forrester jarvie last week. He was a bit offended.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2009/06/of-course-its-terrorism.html

    A loon? Excuse? Minimise?

    I hate anti-choice freakazoids just as much as the next red blooded liberal. I'm not sure how my arguments can be taken as excusing or minimising.

    My simple point is that terrorism/terrorist is loaded and its definition has been erased in New Zealand -- and a repeal, as you'll know, is no slip of the pen.

    And I never said it was an isolated incident. My hero, Henry Morgentaler, wears an uneasy crown. His continued incarcerations (and lack of convictions) brought Canada's abortion laws into constitutional line. In NZ you still two frigging doctors to sign off on a termination. Christ, I called the doctor "brave".

    So much for your so-called "sewer". I hope it doesn't stink in there.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Media Matters found an O'Reilly radio show from 2006 where he starts riffing about if he could "get his hands on" Tiller. The money quotes are at the end, about 2.30, but students for the form might wish to listen to the preamble to see exactly how much of a ghastly bore he really is ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    terrorism/terrorist is loaded

    Yeah, it is. Loaded with extra pejorative weight. Isn't it nice to apply it to a deserving target?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, but do we need the pejorative weight, or does it in fact shift the debate where we don't need it to go, in an area of politically polarised semantics? I think looking quite clinically at this murder and the culture in which it was incubated, without grandstanding labels like Sullivan*'s "Christianist terrorism" (which is just as unhelpful as Islamist terrorism) could have some merit.

    *Is that guy a tool or what?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Brickley, you said there was no definition for "terrorism" in NZ law.

    I/S pointed you to the definition of "terrorist act". That definition is very much in force (I checked).

    Your attempt to argue that "terrorism" is not the same as "terrorist act" is an exercise in semantics.

    Especially considering the legislation you pointed to clearly replaces the term "terrorism" with "terrorist act" to be consistent with the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, reflecting that as far as the legislature is concerned, the two terms mean much the same.

    Sometimes it's just better to admit you're wrong. It's okay to do so in this forum.

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Yeah, it is. Loaded with extra pejorative weight. Isn't it nice to apply it to a deserving target?

    Said Helen Clark of Mr Zaoui?

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A loon? Excuse? Minimise?

    I hate anti-choice freakazoids just as much as the next red blooded liberal. I'm not sure how my arguments can be taken as excusing or minimising.

    You seemed to be putting a lot of energy into some tenuous arguments. Roeder shot Tiller in front of witnesses (who I assume have at least given descriptions, if not IDd photos of Roeder), the police have him in custody, they've charged him. While he won't be convicted of murder for a while yet, I really can't see the problem with calling it a murder.

    My simple point is that terrorism/terrorist is loaded and its definition has been erased in New Zealand -- and a repeal, as you'll know, is no slip of the pen.

    Again, I'm not sure where you're coming from. What was that I/S quoted to you, if not a definition of terrorism in our law?

    You're also determinedly ignoring the extensive history of such attacks, on the same people, by people with the same beliefs and connections as Roeder. I don't think you're a loon, I just don't understand your argument.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    do we need the pejorative weight, or does it in fact shift the debate where we don't need it to go, in an area of politically polarised semantics

    The pejorative weight may not be helpful.

    But really, and this is a question for you and Brickley I guess, is there another convenient shorthand term I can use if I want to convey the notion that violence is intended to send a message, intimidate, or otherwise achieve a goal with a wider audience?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    That definition is very much in force (I checked).

    Mazzeltov.

    Your attempt to argue that "terrorism" is not the same as "terrorist act" is an exercise in semantics.

    No, it isn't otherwise they would have stuck with the old word and old definition. My point is that they didn't want to say what "terrorism" is only what constitutes "terrorist acts". As I said above, I can't find the old definition on-line. I'll find it tomorrow.

    You have to accept that "act of terrorism" and "terrorism" are not the same. That's like saying "act of coitus" and "sexuality" are the same. It doesn't add up.

    Sometimes it's just better to admit you're wrong. It's okay to do so in this forum.

    Well, I will certainly do that. I don't think I'm wrong and I'm really really enjoying the debate. But thanks.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I'm not against using the word terrorism, I'm just wondering if yet another shorthand is what we need, and if it addresses the specificity of the act and the moral complicity of its enablers.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    So Brickley, are you trying to make a narrow claim about whether NZ has a legal definition of "terrorism", or a broader one about whether "terrorism" is a useful word at all? I am frankly confused.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I'm just wondering if yet another shorthand is what we need

    If it's going to tie us up in a bunch of tiresome debates about what particular words mean, I'm happy to abandon it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Said Helen Clark of Mr Zaoui?

    She never said he was a terrorist. Without wishing to defend Labour's handling of that saga, what Clark actually did say, early on, was that Zaoui's party, FIS, had links to al Qaeda.

    She did so on police advice, and fairly shortly afterwards said she could not "corroborate" what she'd been told and it was probably untrue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Point of information! Terrorism is, "the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims." Mac OS 10 Dictionary, its like the rules according to hoyle.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2752 posts Report Reply

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