Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The next four years

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  • mark taslov, in reply to Rich Lock,

    In my opinion, making the distinction is crucial.

    It is, but being able to make such a distinction is a privilege, contingent on education among other things, in a country where 40% of black males graduate from high school. (NZ: Maori 31% Pacific 29%)

    As for the Pentagon’s incendiaries, they won’t need dusting off that’s for sure, we’ve been watching the world burn for quite some time.

    So when, for example, Trump talks about overturning Roe v. Wade, my first thought is for the thousands of Middle Eastern and Asian women the US has bombed and executed over the last 50 years, my second thought is for American Women having their access to abortion rescinded, and my third thought is that we have just inherited a Prime Minister who would – if he had his way – ban abortion, a Prime Minister’s wife who actively refuses to offer access to this basic medical necessity, who through her schooling with the nuns decided her calling was to study for 5+ years on the Government dime in order to gain a qualification that has enabled her to actively pursue God’s work as a gatekeeper between people and their bodies. A kind of angel of our Lord if you will.

    In localities with better human rights legislation for this issue she’d be struck off. And somehow – through the fractured lens of our media – this is glossed over as relatively acceptable behaviour – in this Gloriavale paradigm we’re instead fed narratives that these people – our Prime Ministerial couple – are not fundamentalist Christians but reasonable, coherent human beings whose oddball ideas don’t impact the lives of everyone with a functional uterus – as if it’s not absolutely normal in other localities for a person to go to a hospital, ask for an abortion and get one then and there, as a basic human right in the 21st century.

    You’ll no doubt have heard that New Zealand was the first country to win Universal Suffrage, we tend to talk about it quite a bit, we don’t get a lot of firsts, and we’re prone to overlooking that what is special about this achievement is not how marvelously quick we were but how we have the power to meaningfully improve the world by setting better standards.

    So the PM didn’t make it to the ’Tangi, but he did receive a call from the POTUS. One wonders though, if our PM had really had his mitre screwed on, he might have remembered that parable – one of the biggies – The Good Samaritan, and knowing that poor Donald is a profoundly compromised individual, he could have done him and our neighbours a solid and offered to take those 1250 refugees off their hands or at the very least offered to present this option to our country, for the greater good.

    Instead they talked about golf.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    ...but he did receive a call from the POTUS...
    Instead they talked about golf.

    No mention that Trump wished our country a happy 177th birthday either, no indication the US State department or his close advisers had briefed Trump with any useful information about our nation.

    As to the Australian 1250 refugees, one would think that if they passed the USA's 'heavy vetting' that they should be of fine enough character to stay in Australia - a nation ostensibly initially populated by refugees and convicts you'd think would have more compassion.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to mark taslov,

    he could have done him and our neighbours a solid and offered to take those 1250 refugees off their hands

    Exactly.

    The UNHCR’s most recent refugee report is a must read. Of those refugees resettled in 2015:

    Of the resettlement countries that received refugees
    during 2015, the United States of America admitted
    60 per cent (66,500). Other countries that admitted
    large numbers of refugees under their resettlement
    programmes during 2015 included Canada (20,000),
    Australia (9,400), and Norway (2,400).

    http://www.unhcr.org/statistics/unhcrstats/576408cd7/unhcr-global-trends-2015.html

    And in terms of non-refugee inward migration, the US has 46 million migrants (40% of all migrants the world over);

    Migration to North America

    The United States continues to be the main country of destination for migrants in the world. The number of African immigrants in the United States has more than doubled during the last 10 years, reaching about 2 million. Meanwhile, migration flows from developing Asian countries to the United States and Canada continue to increase steadily.

    Similarly, migration flows from most Central American and from many Caribbean countries to the United States have continued to rise steadily since 2011. A good portion of these flows are irregular. In fact, around 40 per cent of all irregular migrants in the United States, or an estimated 6 million, were born in either Central America or the Caribbean.

    A particularly alarming irregular migration trend, which has grown recently in the United States, is made up of immigrant children, especially unaccompanied, originating principally from Mesoamerica.

    On the other hand, the growth rate of migratory flows originating from Mexico to the United States has steadily decreased in comparison to the previous decade. Still, Mexico continues to be the principal country of origin for immigrants entering the United States and the principal migrant country of origin in the world.

    The United States is also the main destination country worldwide for immigrants originating from developed countries (North-North migration). In fact, the United States is part of the first, third, fourth and fifth most important North-North migration corridors in the world. In decreasing order, Germany, Canada, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, are the principal migrant countries of origin that make up these corridors.

    http://www.iom.int/world-migration

    If Americans need time to get their domestic shit together (and from what my relatives there tell me rising domestic crime/violence and widening inequality is a real problem) – I’m hopeful they will – and am happy for them to look inwards for a while.

    The rest of the world where there are fewer domestic crises need to step up.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 786 posts Report Reply

  • WH, in reply to mark taslov,

    You can probably guess who wins the contest between you and Winston Churchill, guy. I hope progressives have the good sense to ignore the road you'd have them take.

    Since Nov 2006 • 761 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to WH,

    Do you have anything to contribute but an ad hominiem squeak?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Sure. Would you prefer to discuss white supremacy in New Zealand, religion, the Prime Minister’s wife, abortion, or the inadequacies of Winston Churchill?

    I don't own the internet and it's ultimately your decision.

    Since Nov 2006 • 761 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to WH,

    I'm all ears.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • WH, in reply to mark taslov,

    Did you watch the Super Bowl?

    Since Nov 2006 • 761 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to WH,

    ...the Super Bowl?

    I just like to add that the superb owl is a symbol of transition...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to mark taslov,

    I’m all ears.

    Children of the corn?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/05/donald-trump-lies-belief-totalitarianism

    Interesting article, but worth remembering that Nick Cohen clings to the increasingly outmoded 'radical middle'. He still justifies the 2nd Gulf War with little concept of blowback, instead continuing to bang on about 'self-hating Westerners' and other 'regressive Leftists'. And like other radical middle types, he seems to downplay the economic distress factor that's partly behind Brexitrump.

    That said, Cohen has a point about Brexitrump "compulsive believers". Going by past history, it has often taken ruinous world events to de-program compulsive believers - Hiroshima and Berlin in 1945, Chernobyl in 1986, and so forth. The Great Recession could have been a chance to implement a 'New New Deal' of sorts, instead there was a Weimar-type leadership void that illiberal (but not yet Fascist) strongmen have been too happy to fill.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5385 posts Report Reply

  • WH, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    It’s been an interesting 12 months in sport actually.

    The Cavs broke the 52-year Cleveland sports curse. The Cubs broke the 108-year Curse of the Billy Goat. Leicester City won the Premier League against bookmaker odds of 5000:1. The All Blacks lost to Ireland for the first time in 111 years. The Herald’s take on it all is here.

    For those with a sceptical cast of mind, this video shows a Rayon Sports’ striker removing juju from the opposition goal shortly before equalising in the 52nd minute.

    The use of juju in Rwandan football has now been outlawed.

    Since Nov 2006 • 761 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to mark taslov,

    So when, for example, Trump talks about ...[snip]... for an abortion and get one then and there, as a basic human right in the 21st century.

    Your argument veers dangerously close to the sort of argument that bloviating windbags like Piers Morgan here in the UK throw up all the time: 'why are you protesting [bad thing X], when [bad thing Y] is also happening?'

    He recently attempted to take down reporter/activist Owen Jones by sarcastically asking him why he was so keen on protesting Trump's visit to the UK, but didn't protest visits by other oppressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia. In response, Owen Jones pointed out that he had in fact organised a protest against the Saudi visit.

    The exchange is here, for reference (scroll down to the text below the video).

    The first point would be that you can do both - protest and work against [bad thing X] and [bad thing Y].

    The second point is that this comes up in comment sections all the time (along with it's sibling 'why-are-you-writing-about-[frivolous fun thing]-when-[lots of bad things]-exist?'

    I'm always rather tempted to ask if I missed a memo from some sort of global summit where every bad thing ever was catalogued and ranked, and that all True Followers of The Way are hereby instructed to make their way throught the list systematically and without deviation. While imagining that the person asking has stripped their life to the bare bones, spending every waking hour in their monastic cell fighting the good fight, only pausing to choke down a bowl of gruel or take a short nap on their spartan cot when fatigue and hunger force them to.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2727 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Your argument veers dangerously close to the sort of argument that bloviating windbags like Piers Morgan here in the UK throw up all the time: ‘why are you protesting [bad thing X], when [bad thing Y] is also happening?’

    It may well do, but again one might argue that making the distinction is crucial, because I don’t lack answers as to why anyone would protest Trump, I’ve spent more than enough time over the last year debating people who wish to see their country “made great again”, who want to “build a wall” who want to “make America white again”, who’ve called me a chick with a dick for my trouble, I’m not sure what kind of rebuttal you may have experienced in your travels but for me PAS is a sanctuary from all that, somewhere to explore things in more depth and I’m not the absolutist you’re attempting to paint into a corner.

    I’m not in that box Rich.

    With all due respect, I’m mindful of parallels and equivalence and how protesting these issues in our own regions need not be mutually exclusive of protest elsewhere. I mentioned excessive Godwins, not because I don’t see parallels, but rather that the one oft-trotted reference has lost its potency and is insufficient when there may remain as many parallels as one may care to educate oneself about. The more parallels, the more equivalencies, the more awareness and the more vigilance the better IMHO.

    Life doesn’t grind to a halt because the US has a new president, and posting on these boards doesn’t erase others posts. I believe we are capable of far more nuanced communication; that we can discuss Trump and Brexit and Calexit and Bannon, the Alt-Right, white supremacy and white supremacists, intersex and abortion rights, misogyny and religion, foreign policy and domestic policy in as many countries under as many administrations, all within the same context.

    It might be worth keeping in mind that it is you yourself that took issue with my comparison between a white supremacist and the white supremacy of structural discrimination in New Zealand, In linking to the author of The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It I imagine you’d be familiar with his work and have a reasonable idea as to how these forces transcend borders. As such, binary dichotomies of this nature hold less interest for me than intersectional analysis:

    Does that not cause you any concern at all?

    Because we’ve heard it all before:

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Mark, the reason I keep replying to you rather than ignoring you is because I think you are arguing in good faith and are receptive to arguments. So I'm not trying to paint you into a corner or trap you in some sort of gotcha!

    But having said that, I really don't understand the point you're trying to make. We kicked off this conversation because you appeared to be conflating structural inequality with White Supremacist ideology, a position you now appear to be defending while at the same time wanting to discuss 'nuanced communication'.

    I'm perfectly happy to discuss intersectionality or whatever, but the ideological gulf between a set of people that includes John Key, Boris Johnson, David Cameron, or George Bush as examples, and literal neo-fascists is huge. I cannot overstate this. They're different leagues. The beliefs of the first group veer between 'doesn't see that there's an issue', and 'perfectly happy to line my pockets and align the system towards doing so', while the outer ends of the second set start at 'people with darker skin than us are less than human', and end up at 'let's literally exterminate them'. If you keep putting them in the same box, then any discussion we have is going to keep stalling on this point.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2727 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Rich Lock,

    I imagine being someone in Iraq who has lost her mother, her husband, her son and her daughter in a US bombing. I count death tolls. Death upon death upon death upon death. Some profess to have this or that ideology but the result, the outcomes, the actual impact on human beings like you and I’s lives is the same. Unarmed and black, we might get shot by cops. Pakistani, we might be sliced in two by a drone. Syrian, we might choke to death on chemicals, Yemeni, we might get disintegrated by a 500lb laser-guided US-made bomb at a funeral. Things are very bad and they have been for a long time.

    “I do not admit… that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia… by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race… has come in and taken its place.”

    I distinguish between being a white supremacist and a warmonger (ideologically driven or otherwise), and it’s the latter capacity in Bannon that scares me most – that and as a propagandist.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-has-killed-more-than-20-million-people-in-37-victim-nations-since-world-war-ii/5492051

    I guess having heard a number of first hand accounts of the genocides that took place in a largely monocultural China, I’m acutely aware that genocide is genocide – if it’s not race, there’s always some “subversive community” to target and exterminate – and every life matters.

    I don’t mind stalling, I appreciate the good faith with which you engage Rich.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I often feel that PAS is a a kind of League of Notions...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Whitehouse.org is back - it was on holiday while Obama was president.

    http://whitehouse.org/

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 468 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Donny-Do-Right hasn't quite mastered a separation from his and his family's business concerns it seems...
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/89220464/donald-trump-criticises-nordstrom-after-store-reportedly-curbs-deal-with-ivanka-trump

    "It's never great to have these questions about dual allegiance," said Jordan Libowitz, communications director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan watchdog group.
    "But certainly we've never seen before a president using the power of the presidency to pressure businesses for the obvious benefit of his family."

    - I was also majorly surprised to hear on Morning Report that he tweeted this during a CIA briefing!! I'd have thought those would be held 'in camera' with devices excluded.

    Nor has he fully realised that he is but one leg of a three-legged government
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/89220384/donald-trump-calls-courts-so-political-as-travel-ban-faces-scrutiny

    "I don't ever want to call a court biased," Trump told hundreds of police chiefs and sheriffs from major cities at a meeting in a Washington hotel. "So I won't call it biased. And we haven't had a decision yet. But courts seem to be so political. And it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read the statement and do what's right."

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I was also majorly surprised to hear on Morning Report that he tweeted this during a CIA briefing!! I'd have thought those would be held 'in camera' with devices excluded.

    The tweet was sent from an iPhone. Cheetolini usually uses an unsecured Android device.

    Draw your own conclusions.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2727 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rich Lock,

    The tweet was sent from an iPhone. Cheetolini usually uses an unsecured Android device.

    Yes, it's usually his staff who use the iPhone. That said, he's also said that he dictates his tweets and someone else sends them, so who the fuck knows?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2896 posts Report Reply

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