Posts by Tom Semmens

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  • Hard News: The Letter,

    This is a very dumb idea.

    I am not sure if Labour has much choice, or much to lose. They have no choice because this orchestrated farrago of lies and innuendo from the Herald and the National Party cannot be allowed to simply die and leave a bad impression. Not three months out from an election. At least taking legal action – if only until after the election – will get the message out to the electorate that the Herald concocted a smear. And given the collusion between National and the Herald on this, Labour has little to lose by declaring to the general public that it considers the Herald to be a hostile witness.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Radio New Zealand: changing…,

    This government hates public radio and has frozen its budget forever. It’s hatchet man CEO Paul Thompson says the future is online and (on thin evidence) declares broadcast radio dying.

    The end game is obvious. Sell off the frequencies, and all of RNZ will become an internet only shell. It’ll be the converged digital revolution, just not the way anyone expected.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sectarian Bloodlust 2.0,

    ” they face precisely no legal or reputational sanction for publishing.

    This is, of course, the same morally bankrupt media culture that in this far flung iteration decided that Cameron Slater is blogger of the year.

    See, people love that stuff. My flatmate can’t get enough of it on live leak, and he is by no means alone – in fact, I would say he is in the majority. The sheer number of people who spend their lives alternating between the gruesome, unedited highlights of death live leak style and similar online sites and the (to me) incomprehensibly popular CI channel seems to me to adequately explain the enduring influence of people like Garth McVicar.

    it is a form of pornography, and since no one can do much about that I can’t see how we can stop people flocking online to watch the latest hideous ISIS video execution.

    Ratings, dear boy, ratings.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: It has started,

    Brazil play like crap but cheat like champs. But none of that will matter anyway because the refs have all been told by FIFA that Brazil are going to win the tournament.

    But then saying FIFA has fixed the tournament to ensure a hometown win is half believed by everyone already.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Softly, softly,

    For what exactly? Are you really implying that the only way of achieving a stable nation-state is through achieving racial/cultural purity?

    All the empirical evidence of the last 200 years - in Europe at least - points to that. So the answer to your question is yes, that is what I am saying.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Softly, softly,

    There is a dirty secret in Europe - the ethnic cleansing of Eastern Europe that occurred during and in the immediate aftermath of WW2 worked. Everyone was in on it. Here are the Ukrainians slaughtering the Poles in 1943-44, for example.

    Where strongman communist rule meant it didn't occur in 1945 in the ex-Yugoslavia the slaughter and the cleansing was merely put off for fifty years. With the break up of the USSR it was inevitable that the interlaced ethnic groups would fall into the sort of violence that characterised pre-WW2 Europe and ex-Yugoslavia.

    The (unpalatable) solution is a mass transfer of populations to newly defined borders by agreement, rather than by massacre.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Budget 2014: Yeah okay.,

    Ultimately, I think this budget is fine, and National really is doing a reasonable job of managing the finances.

    This opines the authentic self-satisfied liberal middle class.

    Nothing for the poor. Not a cent for the bottom.

    Still, I guess we got gay marriage.

    Francis Fukuyama was right. The neo-libs won.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Snowden and New Zealand,

    Fletcher also said:

    "First of all it would be illegal if we were doing that and we don’t act outside the framework of the law, that’s a really important point to start with”.

    Which sadly when spoken by an intelligence chief of a five eyes nation nowadays simply brings to mind the old observation that the Nazis never acted outside the framework of the law, either.

    "The kind of security I am referring to is not censorship, nor really anything to do with content. Rather it is the kind of framework of law and order, supporting our ability to go about a lawful business, which we have built up so painstakingly and painfully in the analogue world, really since civilizations began."

    Which sound awfully like justifying the use of surveillance allowed under anti-terror laws to chase copyright and intellectual property criminals, whom presumably our little Yankee lap dogs are more than happy to re-designate as terrorists. After all, you send a squad car to arrest a copyright infringer who fails to appear in court after a summons. You launch a helicopter raid on a terrorist’s mansion.

    Anyway, I have absolutely no doubt our GCSB is as guilty of surveillance over-reach as all the other intelligence gathering agencies in the five eyes countries have been proved to be. The GCSB would never wanted to have been exempted from taking part in mass surveillance. Why would you trust their denials now? The British and Americans and Canadians lied repeatedly about their spying, lying then constantly exposed by Snowden’s revelations. They are all part of the five eye hive mind, behaving like a federation of deep states. If there is one thing we know about the culture of our intelligence community and their minister it is they all desperately want to be in the United States cool kids club. I have zero doubt that Fletcher’s words contain (for him at least) some sort of mendacious weasel words rationale that will allow to claim he wasn’t lying when the truth comes out. And it will come out, eventually. In a democracy you can't keep all the spooks silent all the time. Just ask Edward Snowden.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sphere of influence, in reply to nzlemming,

    hat strains more than a straight answer from Key.

    I agree, but the biggest problem now facing National is the web of informal power by which the establishment elites do business, and which largely favours National, has been partially exposed and is being questioned in the media.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sphere of influence,

    Yeah, nah. I can’t see how that relates to Donghua Liu.

    Holyoake Industries, owned by rich-lister Noel Holyoake, is a large supplier of air conditioning and ventilation systems and is a big player in the construction industry. Liu was given citizenship at least partially on the basis of a proposed $70 million construction project.

    I wonder who Liu planned to give all the ventilation and air conditioning contracts to...?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

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