Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Crash and Contempt

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  • giovanni tiso,

    He does use the "out of wedlock" phrase occasionally on the stump (discussing abortion rights), but I really can't see where he's bashed Palin with it, anywhere.

    And you won't find me claiming he did, anywhere. But when I read that phrase in The Audacity of Hope, I confess thought to myself - boy, is this guy going to run for President or what?! Not the only passage in that book - including the many that deal with his family and his faith - that felt designed to push just the right buttons of conservative readers. Whether or not it points to him being a closet conservative, of course, is another matter, but you could hardly accuse him of choosing his words casually, now, could you?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7348 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    By the way hunters in NZ use silencers on rifles to avoid scaring the other targets eg rabbits.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    By the way hunters in NZ use silencers on rifles to avoid scaring the other targets eg rabbits.

    Cool. What do peace activists use them for?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18663 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Cool. What do peace activists use them for?

    Active pacification of moose?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11855 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Cool. What do peace activists use them for?

    To silence guns. Could somebody explain to me very slowly how seeking evidence against somebody under the Terrorism Suppression Act does not tar that person with the suspicion of being a terrorist?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7348 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    I think you'll find that the police didn't "slander" anyone as a terrorist, and in fact carefully avoided using the term. They were obliged to advise people that warrants had been issued in relation to potential offences under the Terrorism Suppression Act and the Arms Act.

    I'm sure that you know more about this than you'd rather say right now, but a couple of things bother me.
    First, the police obviously were able to act with some degree of discretion, as was shown by their decision to bypass their own local liaison people in the Urewera.
    Second, Ahmed Zaoui's innocence was widely proclaimed on this blog and elsewhere, long before he was released and effectively exonerated. Surely there are people caught up in last October's clumsily wide-ranging raids who will be shown to be no more terrorists than was Zaoui. They're waiting an awful long time for their names to be cleared. Some of the same fine 'security and intelligence' minds involved in building a case against Zaoui were no doubt involved with last October's events.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3357 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Could somebody explain to me very slowly how seeking evidence against somebody under the Terrorism Suppression Act does not tar that person with the suspicion of being a terrorist?

    And seeking evidence under the misuse of drugs act tars them as a drug user, and a police car pulling someone over to tell them that their tail light is out tars them as a speeder. Welcome to reality.

    Police warrants require the police to state on what basis (ie law) the warrant is being sought. If the police thought that the people were conducting activites that could be considered to be domestic terrorism, it's not a far stretch to put that law down on the warrant.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Sorry, but anyone who wants to seriously claim that Obama hasn't been subject to any scrutiny since he entered the Democratic Primaries last February is either delusional or just lying. (You may want to choose your own description.)

    Craig,

    Yes - Obama is subject to substantial negatives in experience, foreign affairs, religious affiliation, cross party cooperation as a result of his long examination in the press. Every time these subjects are broached in the run up to the election they play favorably for McCain over Obama. Any chance that highlighting them might cause Biden to annihilate Palin, seems somehow less important.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    If the police thought that the people were conducting activites that could be considered to be domestic terrorism, it's not a far stretch to put that law down on the warrant.

    It pays to be right, though, no?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7348 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Could somebody explain to me very slowly how seeking evidence against somebody under the Terrorism Suppression Act does not tar that person with the suspicion of being a terrorist?

    The police had cause to believe there were potential offices under the Terrorism Suppression Act and the Arms Act. In order to obtain warrants to investigate those potential offences, they were required to cite both acts, both to the court that granted the warrants (on the basis of the affidavit) and to those named in the warrants. It's called legal process.

    I think we should drop the subject. The only place to go from here is a discussion of the suppressed contents of the affidavit, and there's already an editor in court for doing that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18663 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Yes - Obama is subject to substantial negatives in experience, foreign affairs, religious affiliation, cross party cooperation as a result of his long examination in the press.

    So, we can concede that James has, yet again, reversed the usual flow of greenhouse gases in the human male.

    But, once more, I don't really get your point -- because as far as I can see, you're arguing that McCain and Palin (who is back in media lockdown) shouldn't actually be subjected to any questions at all. Really smart strategy. Not.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11855 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It's called legal process.

    I'm aware of that, and I see the merit in insulating the police and prosecutors from the crime of slander when they happen to get it wrong. But, as I say, it pays to be right. I lived in a country that had anti-terrorism laws (and with plenty more justification, since we had, you know, actual terrorists) and for a lot of people who had done zilch it wasn't a lot of fun.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7348 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    I'm aware of that, and I see the merit in insulating the police and prosecutors from the crime of slander when they happen to get it wrong.

    But you seem to be arguing for a position where police can't search for evidence unless they already have enough to convict, which seems a little arse-backwards to me.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    But you seem to be arguing for a position where police can't search for evidence unless they already have enough to convict, which seems a little arse-backwards to me.

    Perhaps. But if you go in all guns ablazing like that you'd better be pretty sure you're going to secure a conviction, I would have thought.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7348 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm aware of that, and I see the merit in insulating the police and prosecutors from the crime of slander when they happen to get it wrong. But, as I say, it pays to be right.

    Sure, but the only way of discussing how wrong or right the police were would be to assess the evidence. And even when it finally gets to court in 2010 or something, an important part of the evidence won't be presented.

    This is sort of the point I was trying to make. Assuming that everyone's not sick to death of it by 2010, I'd be all for an official inquiry into it that could take account of all the evidence.

    The police may have acted badly, but you can't really argue that without knowing what they knew or believed at the time of their actions. At present, all we do know of that is what's been (allegedly) published in contempt. And I'm not keen to test the patience of the solicitor general by further discussing that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18663 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And Angus, just as a thought experience, can you share with this conservative exactly what the positives of McCain-Palin are -- apart from he was tortured four decades ago, and Sarah Palin has a vagina and a disabled infant.

    Does the McCain-Palin campaign have any economic policy? Any plan on strengthening civil defence? How about a 'McCain Doctrine' Sarah can remember?

    Or is it just tell lies about how the scary black man (whose father is a Moose-lum, don'cha know) is going to make toddlers learn how to fuck before they can read?

    You know what I've found most depressing about dealing with the likes of you, Sage and James Bremner? It's the way you've whole-heartedly brought into the kind of post-modern politics where reality -- simple matters of objective fact -- have become an optional extra. And it's an option you're just not interested in when politically inconvenient.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11855 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And I'm not keen to test the patience of the solicitor general by further discussing that.

    Zipping it starting... now.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7348 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    But, once more, I don't really get your point -- because as far as I can see, you're arguing that McCain and Palin (who is back in media lockdown) shouldn't actually be subjected to any questions at all. Really smart strategy. Not.

    I am arguing that questions of the McCain campaign should be couched in references to the economy. How it is that 8 years of Republican mismanagement has led to this slump? What changes to long-standing practice are needed to regulate the financial sector? Who is most likely to be a force for changing the system of regulation some old guy who has been in Washington since 12 BC or fresh faced Obama?

    Anything that can be framed as a long standing screw up favours Obama. His negative inexperience becomes positive freshness if it can be seen that McCain has spent his long Senate career helping to create the conditions for this recession. (Incidentally freshness will also favour Palin, but she is the Veep and does not matter.)

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Anything that can be framed as a long standing screw up favours Obama. His negative inexperience becomes positive freshness if it can be seen that McCain has spent his long Senate career helping to create the conditions for this recession.

    I was thinking about this this morning. The scale of the problem is such that it demands an intellectual heft that I think is simply beyond McCain, whatever other qualities he might claim.

    Obama has much more of the intellectual grunt and, importantly, the quality of advice (see the list of Obama's economists ) to address the problem.

    Whether you "blame" McCain, or regard him as tainted (or for that matter, his opponent as "fresh") is just the same old infantile politics that the Republicans have been trying to make campaigns about. That's not the issue. The issue is who's better equipped to take on a problem in which the world has an interest, and that's very clearly Obama.

    Of course, that all requires Americans to stop voting for the person they think they'd like to have a beer with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18663 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    And Angus, just as a thought experience, can you share with this conservative exactly what the positives of McCain-Palin are -- apart from he was tortured four decades ago, and Sarah Palin has a vagina and a disabled infant.

    Craig,

    I weight any assessment 90%McCain/10%Palin, because he is running for President not her thus effectively discounting Palin. You don't seem to which I cannot fathom. No swing voter is going to base their decision on the relative merits of Palin v Biden or even Palin v Obama.

    Objectively McCain is more experienced, has a greater knowledge of foreign affairs and a better track record on bi-partisan actions than Obama. He is probably more of a fiscal conservative than Obama, without actually being a fiscal conservative in any real sense.

    Of the two, if they were running in NZ, I'd probably pick Obama.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I am arguing that questions of the McCain campaign should be couched in references to the economy.

    Well, sure - and I think it's entirely fair to point to the fact-based record of the "maverick" Senator and the "reformer" Governor, and then say "This is what they did, and they're being vague on what they'd do. Here's where I stand, and it's going to include one or two inconvenient truths you won't want to hear. But should."

    In the end (and acknowledging the limits of my financial expertise), Russell has a point. You can bitch and bicker until the sun goes cold about who is to blame -- when the truth is there's plenty to go around all sides. What I'm interested in is who has a reality-based idea of how to move forward, and McCain-Palin hasn't sold me that they would do a better job than Obama-Biden.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11855 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Objectively McCain is more experienced, has a greater knowledge of foreign affairs

    you mean apart from the bomb bomb bomb Iran stuff and the shoot from hip "We are all Georgians" stuff which had a lot of slightly more worldwise folks in DC, Europe and beyond grimacing. Oh, and the "Alaska is next door to Russia" stuff. I go back the interview in the Singapore Straits Times earlier this year where he said China needed to be contained with carrier groups.....

    Having fought in a war a few decades ago, and not that well (he was a very brave prisoner but not a very good naval aviator it seems) his foreign affairs expertise seems stuck in a bygone era, forever re-fighting Vietnam which he is on record as saying is what he measures all FP against.

    The world doesn't need that, and at this place in history, with the major shifts in global power axis we're seeing, Obama is a far more attractive option. The world does not need a backward looking cold war warrior, who doesn't quite get it.

    Oh, and that bounce seems over, Angus. And its the fading Palin star that seems to be one of the bigger drags for McCain. I'd put your assessment at closer to 50/50.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    RNZ confirms (no link yet; here's WaPo): Fed Tentatively Agrees to Provide $85B to AIG

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 546 posts Report Reply

  • HenryB,

    Re the crash, Guyon Espiner has a peculiar take on the recent exchange on the subject started by Cullen who, quite rightly, points out the connection between John Key, his old firm and the current crisis . According to Espiner, Cullen's comment is "a bit like saying that because a top life guard got swallowed up by a tsunami he was never much of a life guard anyway". Is Espiner serious in this comparison? Has it occurred to him to ask what caused the earthquake that caused the tsunami? The likes of John Key are responsible for the current tsunami. They, with their practices of making money out of money instead of honest labour, are directly implicated in creating the current crisis (tsunami). Just because Key has retired from the field doesn't mean he can wash his hands of the shared culpability that rests with all those who didn't blow the whistle on the funny money that they were instrumental in creating.

    Espiner advises Key to "vigorously defend his record at Merrill Lynch; state how proud he was to have excelled there". Maybe Key is showing uncommon good sense by not taking this advice which would be like trying to walk on very thin ice.

    As Dean Barker puts it: "The first target for reform should be the outrageous salaries drawn by the top executives at financial firms. The crew that lost tens of billions at Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and the rest have received tens of millions, possibly even hundreds of millions, in compensation for their "work" over the last few years."

    Taxpayers money in the US, Britain and Eurpose is being used to try (who knows whether it will succeed) and bail out the problems caused by these people. And as Barker notes, many of them will, of course, have salted away their millions. This (tax) money is coming out of the pockets of ordinary working people whilst the crisis itself is destroying their savings.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    As Dean Barker puts it: "The first target for reform should be the outrageous salaries drawn by the top executives at financial firms. The crew that lost tens of billions at Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and the rest have received tens of millions, possibly even hundreds of millions, in compensation for their "work" over the last few years."

    Fixt: these people probably no longer have jobs, as of yesterday.

    Surely, the first target for reform should be the stock exchanges which allow these bizarre derivatives to be created. People like John Key got very rich because they gambled with their employers' money in a fantasy world of their creating. It was all fine while everybody believed the fantasy but now the... [insert Wizard of Oz reference here]

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

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