Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Vision and dumbassery

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  • Jake Starrow,

    Jake's a derivation of Jack. Starrow of Cornish stock.

    Since Sep 2014 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Paul, it is worse than that. Jake is a fourth generation New Zealander, and the government frowns upon people not registering Births or Deaths or Marriages. So as there has never been the Starrow family recorded in New Zealand, his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are all in trouble with the law.

    Make a good supermarket checkout magazine article though, "I was an alien in my own country"

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Ah - I bet he's one of the wizard's mob then

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Stop it. I know you’re not the only doing the ad-hominem baiting, but you are the only one on your third pseudonym in two weeks. Do not push it.

    So, that's his final, final warning, then? ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2931 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison,

    Hey Jake. You’ve got to work these threads.Your not working out your audience.

    Also Fran OS is not a great political journalist, come on, as this 2008 piece of absolute rubbish will attest to.

    ” What’s the difference between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama?One is a well-turned-out babe, a spunk and, let’s be frank, a pretty sexy piece of eye candy.The other kills her own food.After all the sanctimonious, highly chauvinistic and patronising columns slating the qualifications of the Alaskan Governor to be the Republican’s vice-presidential nominee candidate, the above gag had lethal cut-through, deflating the pomposity of US pundits and editorialists who had written the 44-year-old mom-of-five off well before she electrified the Republican convention with a speech that hit all the conservative touchstones.Palin’s forthright address to the Republican convention was a glorious respite after weeks of watching the Obama presidential machine wallow in a welter of visionary cliches that boil down to little more than a return to Big Government and hugging US enemies close. Big mistake.In Palin, the Republicans have their own smiling assassin who adds authenticity to the view that, as a result of the surge, US troops in Iraq have now brought victory in sight.While Obama indulges in breast-beating about the international opprobrium President George W. Bush courted by authorising the Iraq invasion in the first place, Palin prepares to farewell her own son to join the troops.This telling family story underlines, in a way that Obama cannot, that Palin is a heartland American, one of the many small-town parents who have farewelled loved ones to fight our wars, following in the tracks of her running mate John McCain in Vietnam.

    New Zealand elites tend to scoff at this syndrome.

    Palin’s messages are refracted through a liberal but horrendously politically correct lens that views the US as a war criminal for invading Iraq and would rather the next administration packs its tents ASAP and dog tails it back to Washington.

    The reality is New Zealand does not have a viable defence force that is equipped to meet “higher threat situations” as was brought home this week in a cringe-making official report.

    This country will be reliant on the US superpower to come to our aid if the notion that we live in a benign strategic environment is ever seriously challenged.

    The Palin doctrine that America must be strong in a dangerous world is one of realism. New Zealand is in no position to take a higher moral ground when we so shamefully neglect our own interests.

    Her underlying messages were stealthy. She’s proud of America in good times and bad (Obama isn’t). She’s an average hockey mom (Obama is an intellectual elitist).

    She’s putting government on the side of the people (Obama isn’t).

    If this is dog whistle politics, it’s something that we could do with hearing a lot more of here.

    But unfortunately New Zealand’s conservative leader John Key would rather indulge his crush on Obama, than directly mix it by contesting Helen Clark with a clear agenda of his own.

    Palin is pushing an energy independent future for the US – no longer at the mercy of foreign suppliers, producing more oil and gas at home.

    Laying pipelines, building more nuclear plants, creating jobs with clean coals and investing in a raft of newer energy alternatives which will be brought by American ingenuity and produced by American workers.

    Key’s spokespeople deny New Zealanders that same clear choice by shrouding policies in global warming cant. Who says Kiwis would rather save the world by opting for policies that drive our emitting businesses offshore rather than put our economic future first?

    Key has yet so say so, yet the gap is there.

    In his bones, the National leader is more aligned with the McCain/Palin world view, but he lacks the courage to make the case for policy clarity.

    Take government spending. Key has “reduced headcount” during his days as a top Merrill Lynch manager.

    But he shies away from extrapolating those experiences to the manner in which he will tackle government spending by advocating a sinking-lid policy rather than cutting non-productive departments and jobs.

    Unlike Palin, he has not made the case for why National is really on the taxpayer’s side.”

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    Jeez, I was just about to have my dinner, you've turned me right off!

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to CJM,

    Sorry .

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    Relax everybody, your team might still win. It’s no certainty either way .

    It's not a game.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    No worries. I went out and shot a mousse. I'm just wiping it off the driveway now…mmm..chocolate...

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to steven crawford,

    It’s not a game.

    Ah, but it is to people like "Jake". That's the problem. For them it's all about win/lose, zero-sum. They can't contemplate win-win because then the dreaded libruls would gain something and that's not permitted. It doesn't matter to them that families have no heating, can't afford food, can't find employment, because those aren't their people - they won't vote for the Right, so they don't matter. In "Jake's" worldview, when you're in government, you govern for the people that put you there, and everyone else can wait until their "team" holds the Treasury benches.

    That's why you can't hold sensible discussions with them - they're not interested in anything but their own opinions, and they only come here to promulgate them and to distract us from our own discussions. Troll is as troll does. The best thing is to not engage. As mentioned on another thread, it's like wrestling with a pig - you get dirty and the pig runs away. Whether it's the three-headed "Jake" or one of the other Pseuds that have popped in here recently, they're not worth the effort.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2931 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Marks, in reply to SteveH,

    One answer could be that it’s the GCSB that want the tapping here. That would give them primary access to the information beyond what gets shared through 5 Eyes systems.

    Yes, I suppose it would give GCSB access to Australia/Hawaii traffic and that can only come from the cables. Presumably totally legal as part of GCSB's mission to spy on people overseas. Useful intel, but very expensive to obtain - presumably GCSB would have to pay the entire cost (we'd be spying on America and Australia amongst others and I doubt if NSA would support this ....)

    Another answer is redundancy. Perhaps the NSA is confident of their continued ability to monitor the US ends of the cable. They have received a lot more heat over the Snowden leaks than the GCSB seems to have.

    They've got some redundancy already (at least of traffic between AU and Hawaii). I reckon that the sweet spot for NSA is to get all NZ traffic, i.e. within NZ as well as international traffic. If they were after that it would have to be a tapped within NZ and by its nature include international stuff. If they are going to spend the money they might as well capture everything... If that were the case the only reason for tapping Southern Cross would be to get even more redundancy of the already obtained NZ-international traffic which they have in AU and Hawaii anyway.

    So I'm still not convinced of why they need to bother tapping cables within NZ territory

    What I find interesting is that the moment of truth:

    - promised to reveal bulk surveillance of people in NZ . I took that to imply that bulk surveillance means everything, not just international traffic.

    - only delivered documentary info relating to the tapping of overseas traffic, much of which was already in the public domain already.


    I think it's hilarious how they forced JK's hand; on the morning of the event JK sits down with Hoskings, talks about how how everything is "overseen by the inspector general" and says "it's a sound and light show tonight" and "there's never been mass surveillance undertaken by GCSB on New Zealanders". He then proceeds to release declassified documents that plausibly deny mass surveillance (and seem to give proof that we came really bloody close to setting up the necessary infrastructure for bulk surveillance ?!? ) Makes you wonder who's the "looser"

    JK is questioned today and "comfortably" says:
    - (re NSA carrying out bulk surveillance within NZ) "well I don't believe they are, I'd be absolutely stunned if they were"
    and
    - "the Inspector General looks at the information that NZ agencies use and how it's sourced"

    I think he's pretty much admitted that GCSB use information from XKEYSCORE, but is maintaining that the NZ information therein was legally obtained (i.e international traffic only)

    It seems that any impropriety would need be related to NZ Authorities using information from XKEYSCORE that's related to communications within NZ (i.e. not just international). If this is shown then it would follow that NZ authorities are aware of bulk surveillance within NZ (and that this information is freely available to the other 5Eyes partners).

    So let's cut to the chase - I'd like Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn to request that GCSB show her XKEYSCORE and prove whether or not shows internal NZ communications. Perhaps she could start by asking them to demonstrate how much of her own email correspondence, web browsing history, phone records and text messages are held by the NSA and available to the spies in Australia, US, Canada and UK. Can't be that hard, after all, Snowden said he could look at Obama's stuff.

    Waterview • Since Nov 2012 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to st ephen,

    Who are the people we are spying on? Or is that too much information? Maybe, just
    why are we spying on them?

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    Jake - if you do want to argue here in good faith, as you've stated, then bear this in mind:

    We're all Russell's guest's here, but many regulars have been around for a long time, and have got pretty comfortable, as has already been stated. When a new guest comes to the party, starts talking loudly, acts a wee bit obnoxious to the extent that they can't give a straight answer to a question like 'what's your name?', then it's going to put a few backs up. I'm sure you can understand that.

    I'm happy to hear decent, coherent counter-arguments to my prevailing view. If you want to make them, be my guest. But I'm not going to accept baldly-stated conclusions. You have stated:

    1) Fran is a well-respected journalist (with an implication that because of that there's nothing wrong with her latest column).

    OK, why? Facts, arguments, conclusion, please.

    2) You think John Key is a good PM.

    Same again, please. And I'm not interested in 'he's popular', or variants thereof. Lorde, Ritchie McCaw and Lion Red are all popular, but no-one's suggesting they should run the country. So why is he a good PM?

    Like I say, I'd be delighted to hear a good fact-y argument. If you can't or won't provide one, then the rather inescapable conclusion is that you're just at this party to annoy people, because I'll do you the courtesy of assuming that you know that dropping into a group having a conversation and loudly and repeatedly stating an opposing and unsupported conclusion does nothing but annoy people.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Sorry, I think I've been reacting badly to the influx of apparently bad actors in what had seemed a safe place. Apologies for my part in the troll baiting.

    On the upside, we've seen an influx of interesting new people in the chch as well as the dirty politics threads.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Hey!
    That’s my shtick…

    Ya just gotta watch out for
    those Factitious characters, though…

    I promise my intent wasn’t to be fractious (although maybe a little factious), and we’re all aware that your shtick is 24 carrot.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    No, none of that, but in that column she’s gone completely tribal in election week in a way (Snowden using “stolen National Security Agency files”) that betrays her own good work every time she has reported on the basis of leaked documents.

    And I'll say it again to everyone: Fran O isn't stupid or deranged, but she is a willing cog in the Machine.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5428 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    'Jake' or 'Jack' or whatever; whacking kids is popular amongst some sectors of the NZ public but that ain't no reason for voting it back in.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Left with little doubt as to her persuasion, that link came as a surprise, I can respect the transparency. A much needed context for her descriptions of Key as being credible or having integrity.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Dave Marks,

    I think he’s pretty much admitted that GCSB use information from XKEYSCORE, but is maintaining that the NZ information therein was legally obtained (i.e international traffic only)

    I'm not sure. But my international traffic includes:

    - All my email
    - My Facebook messages
    - My Twitter DMs
    - A lot of my web browsing. Including my use of my own website,
    - Etc.

    We just need to know more than we're currently told.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’m not sure. But my international traffic includes:

    - All my email
    - My Facebook messages
    - My Twitter DMs
    - A lot of my web browsing. Including my use of my own website,
    - Etc.

    We just need to know more than we’re currently told.

    Exactly. This whole trend to "the Cloud" means that everything we do passes through international servers. At one point, sending email from Auckland to Wellington went via Sydney because TelstraClear. Anyone doing a traceroute can see that there is no effective difference between "international traffic" and "domestic traffic".

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2931 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to CJM,

    Just desserts...

    I went out and shot a mousse.
    I’m just wiping it off the driveway now…
    mmm..chocolate…

    is it a tort
    or a torte?
    or both...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Depending on its flexibility, it could even be a taut tort(e).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    I thought you better taught...

    (but then I taut I taw a puddytat)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2931 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Ur torte (very rich). Not having seconds was torture.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    I won't compromise on my Key-admiration status.

    I do wonder what this admiration is based on.

    I'll tell you why I don't admire him, not at all. I suspect a few others on this site share my sentiments.

    I have not seen a single statement of his that was delivered with conviction and which he stuck to despite it being unpopular or inconvenient. Not a one.

    - He does not tell you the truth, instead he tells you what he thinks you want to hear. If he doesn't know what you want to hear he stalls and comes back with an answer tomorrow (probably, we now know, after some rapid Curia polling).

    - He does not answer questions honestly and truthfully, instead he says whatever he thinks he can get away with. Until he can't get away with it any more, when he changes his answer to whatever looks like it will work in the light of new data. And again the next day. The daily changes to the position on GCSB surveillance are just the latest in a whole series of these volatile positions; it's the M.O. which we have seen over and over again for the past six years. As Bob Amsterdam rightly said, the man is a trader. His experience is in volatile markets and that's the experience he draws on in his present office. Honesty doesn't matter, what matters is being ahead at the end of today. And tomorrow. The positions change, the competition, the game, doesn't.

    The fact that people like you, and evidently they make up a majority of the people responding to opinion polls, find this personal characteristic something to admire is really rather horrifying. It's just a further demonstration that, faced with a comfortable lie or an uncomfortable truth, almost everyone opts for the comfortable lie. And almost everyone prefers the comfortable liar.

    I think it's shameful, myself.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

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