Posts by Tim Darlington

  • OnPoint: My last name sounds Chinese,

    They have one piece of real data: “39.5% of last names in a list of house sales sound Chinese”

    Even that piece of data is well dodgy. How do they define "sounds Chinese?" Raymond Ching used to get people asking him about his Chinese heritage all the time, not that he had any. I'm reasonably well-educated by local standards, which means largely ignorant when it comes to anything to with east and south-east Asia, and your name sounds Vietnamese to me rather than Chinese, presumably because I've seen lots of Vietnamese names starting with 'Ng.' Hopefully Labour had someone more familiar with Asian cultures than me casting judgement on what names "sound Chinese."

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campbell interviewed, in reply to hamishm,

    Roughan’s smear sounds like the vision statement of a good TV current affairs programme.

    And the complete opposite of Fox News - can't see anyone characterising Fox's mission as "to side with people against power."

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Somewhere* it's National…,

    This librarian thanks you for getting what it is we do. If a book's being borrowed by our patrons and our distribution of it doesn't breach OFLC rulings, feel free to berate us for purchasing it, but keep in mind we don't give a shit, and can't if we want to maintain some professional self-respect.

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Didn't see that coming,

    The job of press secretary is one of composure, even if it seems the journalists are being annoying or even malicious in their angles. Anger, be it necessary, should be left for when cameras are not rolling, mics are not live and people are not listening.

    True, but I'm not sure it applies to a party like this one. I thought it was hilarious, and although I'm not their target market I bet plenty in that target market thought the same. The people it put off generally wouldn't be potential I/M voters anyway, and it made the party lead story on 3News (and presumably TVNZ, but I didn't watch) on the day National was doing its big policy release.

    Also: the PM's been saying for nearly two weeks that none of this stuff that was hacked is anything to do with him, so Dotcom's statement about hackers making PMs look bad couldn't possibly have the meaning these journos are ascribing to it, right? Well, unless they think the PM's lying, of course...

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not doing justice,

    Anti-Semitism, the racist fantasy that capitalism, inequality and exploitation can be blamed on Jews is one of the oldest and most destructive of the myths of race hatred that are pushed to divide the working class.

    A myth that reaches brain-hurtingly toxic levels of ironic stupidity when you take into account that, at the other extreme, fascists blamed Bolshevism on the Jews. Shot from both sides, as Howard Devoto might put it...

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely,

    So, a US official might have mentioned to the PM how useful it would be for their investigation of Mr Dotcom if he were successful in his residence application. And the PM might have told some lacky to see to it. Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't really strike me as some kind of wildly implausible conspiracy theory, it seems, if anything, wildly plausible.

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Gower Speaks,

    Thanks for this, it's great stuff. This is the first time I've seen Gower provide a reasonable explanation for what usually strikes me as risible propaganda when I'm watching it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Growing up in public,

    I won't be linking to the Daily Mail's trash stories claiming Lorde wore a "bondage bra" at her concert that night.

    Ignoring for a moment the industrial-strength creep factor inherent in tabloid journos writing about a 17-year-old's underwear, isn't a bra pretty much by definition a "bondage bra?" It's kind of the point...

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Making it up on smacking,

    And, overall, is using the criminal law as an agent of social change in this way – like we do with many other things, including marijuana use – likely to cause more harm than good in this instance?

    This one's actually worse than the marijuana example. There's nothing commendable about creating criminal law to "send a message," with no intention of actually prosecuting anyone for the behaviour being criminalised. It's not ony a waste of large amounts of the time and effort of very highly-paid individuals, it makes a mockery of criminal law.

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We need to talk about Len,

    Did you think the disclosure of the names of some of those who donated to Brash's National Party through the Waitemata Trust via Nicky Hager was a "fairly grievous breach of ... privacy"?

    Nope - and if a Herald journo got hold of the details they'd quite likely publish them. On the other hand, do you think Hager would have got very far claiming that Don Brash had some kind of moral obligation to release the identities of those Waitemata Trust donors? His book would have been a lot thinner if he'd gone down that route...

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

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