Sadly you are almost certainly right. But still, leadership is essential. Obama repeating the same “isn’t this terrible” speech hasn’t been that.
Dude, with all due and insincere respect, I’m happy to give you a one-on-one seminar on how the Constitution of the United States was constructed to separate the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
And if you think the GOP gives a deep fried rat’s arse what Obama thinks about anything – let alone gun control – you really haven’t been paying attention for the last nine years.
Meanwhile, if you want to know what happens to Republicans who get on the NRA’s shitlist – ask Richard Lugar, whose impeccably conservative record was terminally blotted in the gun industry’s eyes by his support for an assault weapon ban and voting to confirm Supreme Court Justices Sotomayor and Kagan over their objections. Do you think the NRA endorsed his primary opponent, and ran hundreds of thousands of dollars in attack ads for the shits and giggles?
The Senate Republicans last year voted down a measure that would have prevented people on terrorism watch lists from buying guns. Unbelievably.
All too believably because the National Rifle Association may be contemptible shit-weasels, but they’re brutally efficient lobbyists and when they put money into your campaign you tend to stay brought. Or else. Hell, earlier this year the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pretty much came out and admitted nobody on the NRA’s shitlist would get confirmed to the Supreme Court as long as the Republican Party had any say in the matter.
Three assault rifles, high-capacity clips (bound together for fast reload, according to people who know about these things), five gallons of explosive material. Fuck.
*shudder* As I've pointed out elsewhere today, more than once, this is shit my father didn't have access to when he was a solider fighting honest to God Nazis in a real war.
James Wesley Howell, was arrested wth multiple assault weapons and bomb-making ingredients, before he could carry out his intention to “do harm” to those who gathered at Los Angeles’ annual Pride march.
And its depressing what doesn't happen when a heavily-armed white man is arrested intending to commit a violent crime.
NOBODY instantly assumes he's a "radical Christianist," or has links to radical right-wing hate groups.
NOBODY instantly assumes he's an immigrant.
NOBODY instantly calls him a terrorist.
It was going to be the Flying Nun book, the definitive history of the label and its music. That would have been madness. People at the centre of cultural history are rarely the right people to thoroughly document it as history. Apart from anything else, they’re quite rightly not all that invested in the detail. They were there, man.
Well, exactly – a good memoir and a good work of cultural history/commentary are two very different beasts. The cultural historian is valuable precisely because they they can take a step back and fit the pieces together (as much as that’s ever possible) then put it in a context.
And I don't know about you, but the memoirs I enjoy most (and find most insightful) are the ones that are perfectly upfront that they're never going to be the whole story. That's not how memory works.
I’ve no interest in parading Veitch through the muck again. But I think he should stop writing self-serving columns if he can’t truly take responsibility for his actions.
Meh, I take Michael Field's point but only as far as it goes. But I'm also thoroughly over the media doing some blame-shifting and enabling of its own. Tony Veitch didn't sneak into the Herald newsroom in the middle of the night and use his mad hacker skills to get that column printed. Choices were made, and I get why people in the media don't like saying that too loud. After all, the media village in New Zealand is a very small one and you don't shit where you eat. But someone has to start speaking truth to power, because the media is never going to be part of the solution until it genuinely own how big a part it is of the problem.
I don’t believe anyone’s saying “you should work longer hours because family” but, when you advertise your bank as equivalent to any other bank, you need to mean it.
This. And I don’t think I’m a corporate tool for believing that if you’re going to offer a service (and charge handsomely for it) you should support it properly. Cue the first world problems eye-rolling (I sympathize) but David and I are going to London for a friend’s wedding in August, and will be stopping over in Hong Kong to visit family. And we're going to be on a very tight budget all the way. Don’t really want to miss a flight because we can’t close out a hotel bill.
It’s healthy for someone to be keeping the pressure on, but I’m not sure Willie actually serves Te Whakaruruhau by focusing almost exclusively on it.
Well, you missed your calling in the diplomatic service there Russell. :) Honestly, Willie is entitled to his opinion but I really wish media would stop presenting him as some kind of disinterested observer because he just isn't. Perhaps inevitably, given New Zealand's media scene is a village and its not as if mainstream/Pakeha media outlets don't sledge the competition with unedifying glee. But watching him sledging public radio, and prosecuting some kind of bizarro vendetta against Mihi Forbes in particular, isn't adding anything worth having to the korero.
We have fully-staffed Treasury and IRD with the requisite analytical skills, public duty and powers to address these issues
But you know what Treasury and the Inland Revenue Department does NOT (and never should have) the public duty or powers to do? Write tax legislation.
I reckon Facebook and Apple are two good cases to make an example of. You don’t necessarily need a law change – more aggressive enforcement of existing laws, including testing grey areas in court, could get us on a good path.
Which is all very nice, and I don't disagree, as far as it goes. But you actually need to properly resource "more aggressive enforcement" and if you don't, corporations that make hundreds of billions every years from aggressive global tax avoidance will sure as hell pay for a downright feral defence.
I wonder if the fact that IRD etc do nothing about it has anything to do with politicians holding shares? or am I being too synical
I think you're being way too cynical, or cynical in the wrong direction. Because I don't see any government going into an election year trying to make the political case for a sharp increase in Vote IRD.
I'd also note that we're talking about tax avoidance here NOT tax evasion. It's pretty rich blaming civil servants for lax enforcement of a tax code that was all to often deliberately designed to be riddled with "grey areas" from the start.