Posts by Steve Withers

  • Hard News: Will the grown-ups ever…,

    I first ran into Bob Jones back in the NZ Party days. He was often funny, but I rapidly found he tended to be an arrogant, petty, disrespectful misogynist. His columns are worth reading only because they provide insight into the minds and values of people like him. It's not pretty.....but it is good to better understand how they (often don't) think.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 284 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Look in the Mirror, New Zealand,

    Its a tough question. Do you give safe harbour to people who could later introduce into their new country the conflict that displaced them from their own country? Do we allow thousands of people from countries virtually destroyed by corruption and violence to live freely among us? Sure, we can deport them if they do serious wrong....or imprison them for decades if we can't send them anywhere.

    But this is a serious question about immigration generally. How much of other peoples' trouble do we want to import?

    How much is too much? This week saw two huge drugs busts with millions upon millions of dollars worth of meth-amphetamine in the pipeline. The people named appeared to be mostly Chinese speaking, but of Vietnamese extract. Perhaps children of the wave of refugee boat people to Hong Kong in the mid / late 70s?

    Refugees come with baggage and there are consequences. Let's not ignore this fact. It explains much about why we haven't increased our refugee quota for decades. You can't tell the good from the bad. We don't want or need the bad.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 284 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To defame and deflect, in reply to Adam H,

    Modern conservative parties are essentially fascist....though they lack the historical understanding to see themselves that way. They aren't Hitler, after all! (As though that makes any difference).

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 284 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Sky is the limit,

    The “business friendly” party has demonstrated over and over they aren’t very good at business.

    For example: The partial privatisation of public assets returning rates higher than the cost of the debt they planned to retire with the sale cash. D’oh. That completely unnecessary and counter-productive process cost over $100m to boot. Add that pile of wasted cash to this one…and let’s not talk about roading vs public transport.

    Billions wasted there on several roads with dubious rates of return.

    If these aren’t mistakes, they are a crony-cash lolly-scramble at our expense.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 284 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Digital Natives,

    I’m one of those who sees Dotcom as a flawed person in many ways, while also recognising that to greater or lesser extents we are ALL flawed people. What I am absolutely grateful to him for is exposing the extent to which our own government was turning a blind eye to the law governing spying on us all. Further, he exposed the extent to which our own government allows other governments to spy on us all…and do it with impunity.

    Give the guy a medal. He’s done more for the cause of civil liberties in NZ than anyone else in recent times, despite the fact the government responded by eroding our freedoms even further. At least we now see them for what they really are.

    But I’ll be voting Green because they are the only major party that hasn’t sold out on exactly these issue. Sue Bradford, Keith Locke and the other Green MPs past, present and deceased – Rod Donald – have been our consistent champions for the past 25 years. I respect and support that.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 284 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: School bully,

    National misleading people for the benefit of the - usually foreign - corporates? Really? How could anyone think the Multi-National 1% Party (NZ) would ever do such a thing? They must know too much history.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 284 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Web, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Ask Jeeves was pretty good until they started ranking paid-links ahead of the links one might be looking for. Several search engines went that way. Google resisted and was then able to persist. Certainly this is why I kept using Google. They provided results we wanted. But now they only provide the results they are allowed to provide and what we search for is being watched by the security agencies of several countries. So far, I’ve refused to allow that to “chill” my internet freedom…..but at the same time I’m aware that one day my stubbornness may be used against me or my loved ones.

    I remember the lessons of WW I conscription. First people were required to register for conscription. Then later they were conscripted. It was MUCH harder to hide if you had registered in the first place…and much easier to hide if you avoided the whole thing right from the start.

    I keep that lesson in mind every time I open a web browser…aware that for me, it’s already too late. In for a penny…In for a pound.

    Aside from all that....USENET Newsgroups were the battlefield upon which I regularly made a dick of myself, firm in the belief that if someone said something wrong on the Internet it was my sacred mission to put them right. I'm much humbler now and I learned about trolls, too. The web.....it's awesome.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 284 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Spring Timing, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Looks like Peters may be there either way.....

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 284 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All John's Friends,

    Elections in NZ have devolved into a contest between "Me" and "We" factions. The split is too close for my liking. I thought NZ had more regard for "We" than recent elections demonstrate.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 284 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Making it up on smacking, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Love that Wiki article. Thanks for posting the link.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 284 posts Report Reply

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