Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Vision and dumbassery

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sacha,

    Character counts.

    Yeah character and knowledge combined are needed.

    They don't need to be in the same person but the person making the call needs to be able to ask and accept help when they lack the knowledge themselves, that sounds easy but it is incredibly hard to do consistently.

    Character is hard as well - to step outside your own personal ideology and truly represent the wishes and needs of everyone (not just the majority).

    Somehow I find it difficult to believe a simple popularity contest such as we currently run is up to the task of finding such people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • jack starrow, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I said I wouldn't post again and I intend to honour that pledge. But it has been pricking my conscience that an apology is in order. I apologise for that remark that Sacha has called me an "arsehole" for making. But in no way trying to justify that remark, I think it's fair to point out the sequence of posts prior to that ill-judged remark of mine.
    In response to me pointing out that I bet Australians right now are welcoming the reality of mass surveillance in whatever form, given it is certain to have played a part in capturing those people who senior police affirmed were involved in a plot to behead somebody in the street, a PA contributor posted that on "Planet Key, there must be no toilets because I am full of shit."
    Check that out if you so wish. I think selective morality does kick in at times on this site, but that's probably to be expected when somebody like me backed himself to buck the prevailing anti-Key sentiment.
    But I repeat, I apologise for making a remark that has offended.
    I think this site is very clever as I know Mr. Brown undoubtedly is.
    I just wish that such a cabel of clever people saw some merit in Mr. Key's effort as PM but hey, that's tooth fairy stuff.
    Over and out.

    Since Sep 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    the person making the call needs to be able to ask and accept help when they lack the knowledge themselves

    Hence humility has long been regarded as part of good character. None of this stuff is new. People are people. That's why we regulate power, including by teaching, recruiting, monitoring and enforcing ethical behaviour from those at various levels who exercise it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to jack starrow,

    Thank you.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Google flu trends has been much less effective in the long terms than it was first thought. but. Other sources like wikipedia search frequency have also been used.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    The first is mainline Confucianism, which, for all its patriarchal mysogyny, is essentially optimistic about human nature. All we need to do is make sure our kids are raised in a good environment and get a good education, and they’ll turn out good. The second leads to Han Feizi and Legalism, which then leads directly to rulers like Qinshihuang and Mao Zedong.

    Yep thats all we have, someone asks themselves this question which they then answer. And depending on the conclusion they come to, then insert themselves in some form in the process of humanity. You give Chinese examples, the western world has its own, of course.
    I am more inclined toward the ideas I have heard put forward by Robert Sapolsky(look him up) that we are all on a spectrum with extremes and most of us clustered round the middle. There are spectrums for the many traits of humans arising from our brain chemistry and then the environment we are born into and raised in.
    So its not as simple as good or evil. We have to start asking ourselves better questions.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1887 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Good to see everyone not talking politics today, then.

    Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to andin,

    Egypt or Bust – The Pedalling Machine Gunner (1998) – listen, I dare you.

    So its not as simple as good or evil. We have to start asking ourselves better questions.

    To be very clear about my attitude here Andin. I left New Zealand in 2003 because of New Zealand’s role in the Fiveeyes alliance, The New Zealand Government’s spying on New Zealand citizens, New Zealand’s support of the war in Afghanistan, the tacit auxiliary support of the war in Iraq. I left because I wanted no part in funding this expansionist and repressive ideology in “the name of democracy”. New Zealanders who have stood by for almost a year in the full and undeniable knowledge that at least 88 New Zealanders were spied on, stood by while Government(s) on New Zealanders, stood by while Kim Dotcom had his life fucked over, while you’ve shouted down people like Steve Barnes for suggesting there may be some wider conspiracy here, shouted down those lone voices who’ve from time to time emerged with allegations of Governments’ spying, while you’ve looked away during Operation 8, while a New Zealander was killed in Yemen for being a quote unquote terrorist. while even now with Edward Snowden’s evidence is released, even when Glenn Grenwald has stated:

    virtually nobody in the political process, anyone outside of the military structure, even knows these partnerships exist.

    Are you calling Glenn Greenwald a liar if you are, do so, don’t call me an asshole for making reasonable assumptions based on the massive body of evidence in the face of widespread apathy, that’s nothing but symptomatic of apathetic ostrich heading that got us here in the first place, and that’s how it happened. The chord augmented while you were liking someone on Facebook. Once again:

    virtually nobody in the political process, anyone outside of the military structure, even knows these partnerships exist.

    (For those with reading difficulty) It couldn’t be any clearer.
    (unless of course your take is that he's just another left-wing conspiracy theorist)

    asshole
    Agreed. While the rest of it was annoying, that and the diatribe immediately prior was simply nasty.

    No. I tell you what nasty is. Mass surveillance is nasty, Imperial expansion is nasty, spying on New Zealanders is nasty, successive democratic Governments fronting for foreign military and corporate ambitions….is nasty. Denying the truth is nasty, alienating those who for no benefit to themselves go out of their way in an attempt to wake you up to the truth is nasty.

    That’s nasty.

    Especially when these New Zealanders the you’re calling assholes and nasty are the New Zealanders who’ve been activists against this shit for well over 15 years. Livid, screaming at this shit. Wake the fuck up guys, it’s not and never has been me that was spying on you.

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

  • mark taslov, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The lack of empathy, the ease with which pain is caused in others for his (assuming here) own entertainment. It’s all part of a larger picture that defines the things we need to change to become a genuinely caring and responsible country.

    Empathy, by definition, is not dismissing anyone, at all. If there’s a specific point you feel I have misrepresented, debate it. The cranks, the conspiracy theorists, the tinfoil hat brigade, have been disenfranchised, dismissed, mocked, discredited, alienated for decades in the name of your empathy Bart. 700,000 people have left New Zealand, at least a few of whom may have left because they knew as I did that they were being spied on.

    And even now, at the nexus, you’re still standing with the silent majority, dismissing people as assholes for doing nothing more than suggesting in the strongest possible terms that any conclusive reconfiguring the status quo is beyond the reach of just the Government. The strongest assurances of elected representatives in New Zealand to the contrary will never again stand up to the evidence they dispute. Millions worldwide see this and know this to be true.

    Cunliffe has already ruled out granting asylum to Edward Snowden.

    He dismissed the idea as ludicrous. I’m just not prepared to ever feed the denial, to standby and sanction the harbouring of illusions or unrealistic expectation. New Zealanders deserve to know exactly what’s up. Dismiss Greenwald, dismiss Snowden, dismiss the illiterate, dismiss Hagar. Dismiss everyone who goes to any effort whatsoever to inform or ignite discussion on these issues because you don’t like their tone, attack us, ascribe disingenuous motivation to us and keep kidding yourself that this Surveillance New Zealand that you funded and are leaving to your ancestors is just an inconvenient side effect of your brave new empathy.

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

  • Joe Wylie,

    Gower otter. Spooky.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    In the 50's we went to war in Korea on the promise the Yanks would buy our wool for their military uniforms. The associated wool boom made a lot of people quite wealthy (farmers got £1 per 1 lb. on coarse fibre).

    In real terms that's nearly four times the modern price. It largely paid for the modern farm layouts still found in NZ, drainage, fencing, roads, all sorts, at least up to the modern dairy days, which have not yet been paid for at all.


    There's similar deals in all our war efforts, butter, lamb, logs, whatever we've over-produced recently. The US simply buys allies for credibility, and we are reasonably cheap. In some cases it's the Aussies buying us for political cover, England in the days of old.

    Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Meanwhile, in Australia:

    The government will further seek powers to proscribe visits to cities or regions where terror groups are active.

    People travelling to such areas without a valid reason could face prosecution.

    "There's legislation that will shortly come before the Parliament to boost the range of offences," Abbott said on Thursday without providing details.

    "It's not always easy to prove that someone has been engaged in terrorist activity overseas.

    "It's often very hard to get witnesses ... so we'll be strengthening offences in this area."

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to tussock,

    Thanks for that Tussock, and obviously not referring to you, I am mortified that any so-called athiest or agnostic is so willing and able to believe and accept anything but the dirty rotten deepset truth here.

    deniers.

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

  • mark taslov, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    And sorry Bart, I see the “asshole” you were referring to was not the “asshole” andin called me. Perhaps too many “assholes” being thrown around, perhaps too many assholes. I’m more than a little sensitive and overly passionate about this and just fucking angry watching this election result.

    I meant no nastiness in my comment to Craig at all, I was agreeing with him. But the supernational surveillance itself doesn’t bother me half as much as how that data is being put to use by individual Governments (if that's still actually a tangible thing). My apologies for misdirecting my vitriol Bart.

    nzlemming:

    And we’re generally non-strategic – except in terms of signals intelligence. We’re ideally placed to intercept quite a large proportion of satellite traffic and that’s the only reason we’re part of the 5Eyes programme.

    West Kansas is non-strategic too, but the US will never allow them to secede. Change the name, amend the laws, dispute facts, ignore findings, discredit journalists, defame whistleblowers, protest the wars, sign petitions, vote left, vote right, change the government, believe the politicians, delete the troll, but at the end of the day, despite everything:
    FiveEyes4life.

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

  • mark taslov, in reply to jack starrow,

    I just wish that such a cabel of clever people saw some merit in Mr. Key’s effort as PM but hey, that’s tooth fairy stuff.
    Over and out.

    He’s a liar, his legacy as PM has been increasing debt New Zealand by 80b, there’s currently 48 billion dollars in farming debt. In amassing the national debt he has cut welfare and assistance to people in need, enlarging the gap between the rich and the poor in a country whose leading trade partner barely took a scratch from the Global Fincancial crisis, whose second biggest trading partner was again almost unaffected. Under his watch rivers have filled with more shit, unions have been castrated, and he has to date still failed to successfully intervene to restore housing in a city of less than half a million people a whopping 4 years of a national disaster, whilst engaging in character assassination, overseeing questionable ethical action and extremely dubious practice.

    He’s a fucking disgrace.

    But to everyone else here. commiserations on this shit.

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

  • mark taslov, in reply to mark taslov,

    LOL and reading back again just now I see Andin. you didn’t call me an asshole either, So no one called me an asshole, which is always a good day, and I’ve just attacked both you Andin and Bart over 2 lengthy vitriolic posts for calling me an asshole. That’s unfortunate.

    An incredible blunder on my part and I’ve no idea how I’m going to rectify this, but please note, my points stand with the regards to the ineffectiveness of our Government to influence this, but not in relation to you guys, who I admire and respect, and so on that note. I’m an asshole.

    But not as much as Denis.

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to mark taslov,

    He’s a liar, his legacy as PM has been increasing debt New Zealand by 80b, there’s currently 48 billion dollars in farming debt. In amassing the national debt he has cut welfare and assistance to people in need, enlarging the gap between the rich and the poor in a country whose leading trade partner barely took a scratch from the Global Fincancial crisis, whose second biggest trading partner was again almost unaffected. Under his watch rivers have filled with more shit, unions have been castrated, and he has to date still failed to successfully intervene to restore housing in a city of less than half a million people a whopping 4 years of a national disaster, whilst engaging in character assassination, overseeing questionable ethical action and extremely dubious practice. He’s a fucking disgrace.

    I'll just repeat this for good measure. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    WOTY: Dumbassery! It refers to so many for so long and Jesus ,does it work.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to mark taslov,

    And sorry Bart

    No worries Mark. I was AFK being a yuppie (more correctly a dink since I can no longer be called young) yesterday after voting, so it all went over my head :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to mark taslov,

    I see the “asshole” you were referring to was not the “asshole” … called me. Perhaps too many “assholes” being thrown around, perhaps too many assholes

    we all need reminders of the
    Eternal Riddle of the Sphincter
    er, Sphinx:

    "A thing there is whose voice is one;
    Whose feet are four and two and three.
    So mutable a thing is none
    That moves in earth or sky or sea.
    When on most feet this thing doth go,
    Its strength is weakest and its pace most slow."

    we’re only human…

    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7896 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to mark taslov,

    An incredible blunder on my part and I’ve no idea how I’m going to rectify this

    I did wonder where the hell you were going with this ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to mark taslov,

    I’m going to rectify this

    rectify??? really?? you went there?

    What an asshole*.

    Sorry I just had to call you that in order to complete the circle :)



    * and just in case I fail on tone - no I don't mean it at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The main reason I don't write that stuff is that my spellcheck won't let me.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4341 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to mark taslov,

    reading back again just now I see Andin. you didn’t call me an asshole either,

    Umm No but glad you got it sorted :-)
    A lot of people's self interest at work in this election. To be expected I guess.
    Its the great motivator for all of us. As to whether that's good or bad depends on your pov I s'ppose
    Apropos of our previous conversation, a Sapolsky vid gets very interesting about 4 mins in. And I'm not sayin' anyone's a baboon

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1887 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to andin,

    Thanks Andin, I wikied him at the time but as is patently obvious I wasn't too much in the mood for reading yesterday so I'll have a watch of this after work.

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

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