The whole affair will probably bolster John Key's popularity.
For some reason it seems news is to the New Zealand electorate as on-pack warnings are to cigarette smokers.
Why is there no smart, ruthless ,funny political satire in New Zealand (Snide columns in the SST don't coun't). There is so much to laugh at in this funny little place. If we can bring David Beckham to New Zealand how about Steve Colbert of John Stewart to give masterclasses. When Universities are offering degrees in bizarre subcategories why not satire?… Sorry if this seems off topic, but reading so much earnest comment and response is disappointing. Are McPhail and Gadsby still alive? Exhume them if they are not. Helen Clark deserves to be given the same prodding they gave Muldoon. The Election Reform discussion makes it seem an urgent need in the election year.
Naming someone a 'terrorist' in New Zealand should be viewed with ULTIMATE gravity. It is the worst appellation you can assign to an individual in the modern world. When a government does it then every other government listens.
No-one knows what the details of the charges against the recent accused are. But we need to. The idea that justice must be seen to be done is critical.
I have a feeling that the New Zealand taxpayer is looking at the biggest compensation payout in its history. It will be huge and will find support from the United Nations.
The government cannot continue to argue it is 'a Police matter'. The police minister cannot continue to argue it is 'an operational matter'.
Accusation of this magnitude have to come from the very top. The buck has to stop somewhere.
This action which has been conducted with flat-footed stupidity. It was, by definition, an act of terror on the the people of New Zealand. Creating hysteria, as it has done, brings disgrace to New Zealand's standing in the world when once we were famous for being the 'decent' society.
If the police are left to make these bizarre and consequential decisions about national security then we should all be vigilant.
Somewhere in this pointless morass there's a link to the Herald story reporting some doolally story about Tommy Lee and Kid Rock having a scuffle. Apparently because these luvvies who hold a weird positiion of privelige for having shagged Pammy Anderson deserve a different test of criminality than the average American criminal (not sure what the stats are but read…African American who can't afford a defense or PR consultant).
In some way a) the American system of justice seems to have precedence in the mind of partisans of a Labour persuasion - rather than our own Westminster System b) if we're going to rely on TV and celebrity to guide our understanding of events I highly recommend the late night show that screened late on Tuesday - not sure of the channel - based on CCTV camera footage of violent crime. According to British police the camera doesn't lie. Whether charges are laid or not by a complainant or victim - it doesn't matter if the unbiased eye is trained on the incident. In the Henare assault by Mallard it has nothing to do with Henare. Mallard confessed on national TV. Henare is unlikely to want to pursue it further - why not: let's start a list:
- He was the victim. He's humiliated. 'Oops there goes my mana.'
- He's a twat too - and not an elected member of Parliament - he was whipped in Te Atatu running under the National colours (he entered Parliament tagging for NZ First).
- He may also be culpable - tie grabbing is not very dignified. Actually it was probably intended to be a demeaning act.
Charge them both.
Expell them both.
Balance preserved. Justice served.
To bad neither can be voted out of Parliament. I know…it's a list thing.
Every single person charged with a minor offence in the district court who has been convicted for a minor disorder should appeal their conviction or cite the ' lobby of parliament privilege' defence…"I'm sorry, it was stupid…what's my reward".
Two phrases come to mind:
Deck chairs on the Titanic and Card Sharp.
Interestingly one of the techniques used by Card Sharps is called 'culling' - manipulating desired cards to the top or bottom of the deck (according to Wikipedia).
There ought to have been a cull of the more literal kind - the Mallard population seems to be out of control.
I've heard of Paul Holmes...wasn't he a television guy once? Or was it radio? Nah, TV for sure. Or was he famous for being on the Woman's Weekly cover - nose dived an aeroplane or something. Maybe he was a pilot. That's it! Pilot. Like John Travolta. Was he ever in an ad for Breitling? Did he give his undies to the head of TVNZ under the table at lunch? Sex tape - I hope not - doesn't seem the sort we want to see in infra red. Darn, it's bugging me now - he seems so familiar.
....was he one of the 9/11 pilots?
Literacy seems to be a term that covers a multiude of sins. My seven year old daughter reads with ease at a level her teachers fete (and not a baby Mozart product in sight). But what counts most is not her capacity to consume the works of Theodore Giesel or Billy Shakespeare but her ability to navigate the world.
Her world is different to ours when we were her age. Her literacy enables her to sing along with gusto to an incredible repertoire of songs on SingStar. She is able to decode complex instructions like those on the excellent BrainPop.com website. She is able to discuss things and make wonderfully fresh connections between the various ideas she learns in her rich media grazing. While the things she reads are different to what we read (though I am glad to say she enjoys Where the wild things are - the key is that reading is the key that unlocks the world - not one that keeps people out.
I have a feeling she will never defer to an 'expert' opinion because she has always had easy access to another point of view. That is the future for us all. The Literatii with a capital L will no longer sit at the top of a hierarchy of thought (it was only in their imaginations anyway) in a world that is networked. Linear thinking and being 'The Smartest Guy In The Room' is over and out. The amazing speed of connections, formations and reformations in todays environment remind me of the floaty rotating coloured oil filters that the old Charlie Grey Theatre used to project on the curtain before the Sunday night screening of M__Oh Lucky Man__or The Song Remains The Same - joining, separating - always in motion.
With regard to Web 2.0; I think it is a little retarded to think that it is solely about blogging and file sharing. Seems to me that Web 2.0 is about using the web rather than reading it - the democratisation of the tools.
Ok, back to sitting cross-legged on the mat ...
Get a mac. They just work and get along with printers (and video cameras, and scanners, and still cameras...)
Conspiracy theory/theorist has emerged into the language in a dangerous way. It is a form of UnSpeak (as described by Stephen Poole in his excellent (and frightening) book of the same name: Unspeak: How Words Become Weapons, How Weapons Become a Message, and How That Message Becomes Reality.
To paraphrase one reviewer:
"…ubiquitous terms such as war on terror, pro-life, and Operation Just Cause, are examples of Unspeak. They attempt to silence any possible opposing viewpoint by casting an issue in only one light.
Unspeak phrases are not neutral but "smuggle in political opinion in a remarkably efficient way.
The implications of an ongoing effort by politicians and interest groups to manipulate our language, for example, substituting global warming with climate change as a way of recasting the debate about environmental pollution in less-frightening terms.
Similarly, what was once referred to as creationism is now called intelligent design by fundamentalists intent on passing off their religious beliefs as scientific theory.
… journalists often parrot terms handed to them by corporations and politicians, aiding in passing these phrases into mainstream usage.
…an insidious trend"
Conspiracy Theorist is a convenient expression to close down discussion and debate. I am not especially interested in the case of JFK or the related story of Marilyn Monroe's death (or Anna Nicole Smith for that matter), but I was fascinated to watch the documentary Loose Change about the events surrounding 9/11. I found much of the content plausible and incredible that mainstream media had determined that it was merely 'Conspiracy Theory'. This meme shuts down the discussion - as if to imply that finding doubt about official explanations of events would lump one in the padded corral with the Area 51 theorists.
Recently a teacher at Takapuna Grammar school was vilified by the Sunday papers for introducing famous 'conspiracy theories' into the classroom in an attempt, as she put it, to introduce critical thinking. I don't know what was really said but remarks about the scale of the murder of Jews by the Nazi's outraged some Jewish parents of a student. For the record I have no reason to doubt the enormity of the slaughter - and the entire conversation was hijacked with emotively charged remarks, such as forcing the victims to 'die again' (which as anyone knows, simply isn't possible and unhelpful).
Critical thinking is a crucial building block of a democracy. To examine a subject with an open mind is essential, in my opinion, for a generous, burgeoning and just (asin reasonable doubt) society.
Preserving dogma and the prevailing, primarily political, orthodoxy by branding doubters 'Conspiracy Theorists' simply reminds me of the treatment meted to 'witches' in the not so distant past...
Here's to the doubters and malcontents - their legacy is progress and innovation.
Indeed I understand that the Catholic Church conceded that the earth is not the centre of the universe after all...
S'funny how the truth has a way of shifting with time.