Posts by Craig Ranapia

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  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This US map from Tucker FitzGerald makes a very salient point. Not that that paranoid half of American politics will grasp it.

    The double down irony burn is that Governors have no legal power to "refuse" anyone legally in the United States shit. It's empty posturing, though I can't help but note a fair number of those governors are facing some combination of gubernatorial elections next year, the ever-present threat of primary challenges from the right or tough state house and senate elections for their parties.

    To them, a red state is a good state…

    With all due respect, nzlemming, let's not forget the Mayor of Roanoke who excreted this shameful turd is not only a Democrat, but mayor of a city Obama carried by 23.4 points in 2008.

    I'm reminded that President Franklin D Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and it appears that threat of harm to America from [IS] now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.

    Sadly, nobody bothered to remind Mr Bowers not only were over 60% of Japanese internees in 1942 American citizens, but the overwhelming majority of those who weren't were issei, first generation immigrants who were forbidden by law from American citizenship no matter how long they'd lived in the United States.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Iyad El-Baghdadi tweeted about how the “cut off the funding” thing doesn’t apply so much any more. Isis is largely self-funding – and two thirds of its money comes from extortion.

    Also, “cut off Saudi Arabia” is a rather naive and simplistic answer when we take a look at who the world’s biggest arms exporters actually are and little will, or even ability, there is to check where they end up. Hint: Saudi Arabia isn’t one of them.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs,

    ICYMI, enormous good sense coming from a frontbench minister across the ditch:

    Commentators should stop issuing “pejorative demands” to Muslim leaders to condemn terrorism each time it occurs, the government frontbencher Christopher Pyne said during a Q&A program dominated by discussion of the Paris attacks.

    Pyne was responding to a question from a young Australian Muslim and former Iraqi refugee, Mohammad Al-Khafaji, who said that every time there was an attack he and his community were called upon to condemn it and explain themselves.

    The industry minister and leader of the house told the ABC program that Muslim communities condemned such acts but “they shouldn’t be called on to do so because it suggests that they didn’t want to do it”.

    “I’ve never known one of these things to happen where Muslim leaders in Australia didn’t come out and condemn them, but by the very act of demanding they come out you suggest that they didn’t want to, and that is something that we must stop happening in Australia.”

    “Whoever is doing that must stop it, because it is pejorative demand. I don’t know any Muslims in my community who would think that the acts in Paris or in Lebanon or anywhere else were reasonable, and their leadership should react exactly the same way as everyone else’s leadership, which is to be horrified and aghast by it.”

    There's plenty of stuff to give the Australian Government stick over, but at least on this I'm thankful Turnbull is setting the tone not Tony Abbott.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    The found passport bothers me too. If you were going to go and carry out an attack like this, why would you have your passport with you?

    Well, yes – when we were in Europe three years back, I always (securely) carried my passport because it’s the only internationally recognized form of photo ID I have. Given that the attacks were in places full of foreign nationals, it makes perfect sense to me that a lot of people would be carrying their passports.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think it’s appropriate to be wary about that. Some reports suggest that the passport may in fact have belong to an audience member – the other named attackers are older and French-born. Also, it is apparently very easy to obtain false Syrian passports.

    Yes it is, and here’s a good piece from The Guardian’s “Migration correspondent” Patrick Kingsley explaining exactly why.

    Not least this statement of the bleeding obvious:

    Investigators still need to verify the Syrian passport was carried by an attacker rather than a dead bystander (one Egyptian passport-holder initially believed to be an assailant turned out to be an injured victim). They will then need to be certain that the passport’s carrier was the same as the passport’s legitimate owner.

    Has New Zealand so quickly forgotten this? Identity theft is an growth industry.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs,

    To be fair to Senator Cruz, if you're going to get into a tone-deaf douche-off you will be Trumped:

    “When you look at Paris, toughest gun laws in the world, nobody had guns but the bad guys,” the Republican presidential candidate said during an appearance in Texas, in remarks broadcast by CNN. “Nobody had guns. And they were just shooting them one by one, and then they broke in and had a big shootout and ultimately killed the terrorists.”

    “And I will tell you what—you can say what you want, if they had guns, if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would have been a much, much different situation,” Trump added.

    OK, you expect the guy who had no idea China isn't party to the TPP to have a clue that France's gun regulations are far from the "toughest in the world". (Instead what France does have is a pretty sensible and rigorously enforced licensing regime, and doesn't recognize some inalienable human right for civilians to possess military-grade automatic weapons.)

    But perhaps he'd keep his Dirty Harry fantasies to himself, speaking in a country where there's been a string of high profile gun violence in movie theaters -- the most recent a little over three months ago.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs,

    While victims were still lying where they fell, US Republican presidential aspirant Ted Cruz responded by rejecting ”outreach or declarations of tolerance” in favour of airstrikes with more “tolerance for civilian casualties”.

    I know it's never going to happen, but I'd love to see Hollande and Angela Merkel (who's far too nice to refugees for the American right's liking) to hold a joint press conference and say something like this:

    "When we want the advice of American politicians on our gun regulations, policies towards migrants or, basically, anything else? We will ask for it. But we strongly recommend not holding your breath until then."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: An Orwellian Alice in Wonderland, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I had a bizarre Twitter conversation yesterday with a guy who was insistent that John Key wants to keep the bad men in Australia and Labour want to bring them here. No amount of explanation, linked stories etc would dissuade him from this understanding.

    What makes it particularly bizarre is that precisely nobody worth paying any mind to is arguing Australia doesn't have the right to deport people. That's so self-evidently absurd, it's not worth dignifying. What a lot of people have perfectly reasonable issues with is... you know... detaining people without prompt and timely trial, and over a year ago people were saying before it was passed that the Section 501 "character" grounds were broad and vague, the Minister had excessive discretion without proper oversight, and it would destroy lives and families without any genuine security or social benefit for Australia,

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: How I Learned to Stop Worrying…, in reply to DeepRed,

    In an interesting synchronicity, the second volume of Charles Moore's biography of Margaret Thatcher is waiting for me at the library.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: How I Learned to Stop Worrying…, in reply to Deborah,

    Perhaps relevant to this, Variety’s new television writer Maureen Ryan has done a depressingly excellent (but avoid the comments at all costs) feature on American TV’s gaping diversity deficit for directors, with links to a lot of the interviews she did for the piece.

    Particularly interesting is this Q&A with Empire showrunner lene Chaiken:

    Most of “Empire’s” directors were African-American and female in season 1. Can you talk about how you got there? Because “Empire’s” stats are basically the opposite of how most shows’ stats look.

    First it starts with the premise and the will to do it, because it’s not a given. When you start with the premise that 30 percent is the leftovers — the leftover [diversity] slots — that’s not a good place to start. I start in the other place. And “Empire” is unique. [The director roster began from] my worldview and my approach to staffing anything that I’ve done, but also [co-creator] Lee Daniels made it very clear how important it was for him that most of the episodic directors on “Empire” are African-American. So that was our starting premise. “We need to find the best black directors who do episodic television and staff this show primarily with those directors.”

    As we were mounting the show in the first season, [co-creator] Danny Strong said to me, it’s really, really important to him that we staff as many women directors as we can. It’s also really important to me. So clearly there are fewer black directors and fewer women directors than there are white guys, but they certainly are out there. It’s always the case that the really good directors that we want for our shows are very busy, and certainly since there are fewer black directors and fewer women directors [since many shows] have a wish to diversify, those directors do get booked very, very quickly. But we just made sure to get out there and find the best directors that were right for the show and book them.

    Did you look at people who were already in the DGA, or did you cast your net more widely than that? How did you actually get those people onto your radar?

    Some were already on my radar, but I also talked to people, largely people on my writing staff, who had worked on other shows. Also the studio and the network recommended people. Francie Calfo at Imagine recommended people. We made a deep list. We made sure that we were aware of everybody that would be right for the show and exciting for the show. And we went to great effort to make sure that we had all of those people on our radar.

    Please note this has nothing to do with “tokenism” or lowering any bars. Lee Daniels and John Singleton are both Oscar-nominated directors. Sanaa Hamri, Rosemary Rodriguez and Debbie Allen have extensive feature, television and music video/advertising experience. If a white woman like Chaiken can make a bloody effort (on a show that’s a huge critical and ratings success, no less), nobody else has any excuses left.

    And not just in America. Call The Midwife make a conscious effort to at least have gender-balance – or even a majority of women directors, and a majority of women on the writing staff. Creator/co-producer Heidi Thomas makes no bones about saying that was no accident.

    You know what? If shows like Empire and Call The Midiwife are expanding pop culture beyond "straight white middle-aged middle-class men talking to and about themselves," then I thoroughly approve of whatever "quotas" get it done.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

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