Posts by Rob Stowell

  • Hard News: The Midterms,

    Governors: Kobach and Scott Walker out are great results. Some good new talent. But still a bit flummoxed and sad about a few races. Gillum losing to De Santis in FL especially – and DeWine winning in Ohio. With those republican governors, ending the gerrymandering in key states isn’t going to be easy.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Midterms,

    Ouch. This is painful already! McGrath loses KY-6. And early optimism fading fast in FL :(
    USA still deeply divided. Trump will tear us apart - again.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Lost Men, in reply to nzlemming,

    It’s always been this way in NZ. Mental illness was something that you hid away, in asylums or in cottages out the back of the farm. The whole “man alone” bullshit was about striving and winning against the environment, other people, the Wellington rulemakers etc. Nothing’s changed except that we closed the asylums and put people on the street where they can be seen.

    Truth in that - but still, things have changed. I grew up with a strong sense of a govt 'safety net' - and no sense that only winners mattered and failure was a crushing personal responsibility. I don't think today's teenagers feel the same way.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The big vision and the small problems,

    "....PM says nothing about the risk takers, entrepreneurs and small business owners that fund her Government’s largesse..."

    “This is a tough country to live in. If you’re not a competitive person, and I’m not, it’s not easy. ... All our lives, we’re given this false notion of ... superiority, that we’re supposed to be superhuman.”

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Lost Men,

    Must read the comments ... :) But this hit me hard
    “This is a tough country to live in,” he tells her. “If you’re not a competitive person, and I’m not, it’s not easy. Americans like a winner. They don’t like people who aren’t winners. All our lives, we’re given this false notion of American superiority, that we’re supposed to be superhuman.”
    NZ is also moving the wrong way with suicide. and we've adopted this mantra - essentially since Rogernomics, but it's moved to totally occupy the subconcious/deepvalues/mindset of the nation.
    If you fail, it's your fault. Success is good. Mediocre is BAD. In effect, it's telling us that only a few people have any right to feel good about their lives.
    It's a blight.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Russian Underground part 1,

    Just stunning.
    Thanks!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: On joining the international…, in reply to mark taslov,

    Thanks Mark – lots to ponder on this.
    I find myself broadly agreeing about the distinction between ‘de-platforming’ and denying free speech. Especially when people go on all sorts of media whining freely about this, as if a radio programme or a rally venue were theirs as of right. Hey, most of us never get close to having such a platform.
    But … there has to be a point where the distinction disappears. If we stopped (in the old days!) a group from meeting anywhere or banned their publications – that would surely qualify as restricting their speech. Without getting onto a slippery slope, I’m not sure exactly where the line is drawn – or quite how it should be.
    Especially in today’s internetofeverything. Which we need to talk about, because it seems to have changed both freedom (you can pretty much say anything, at least in the right forum …) and speech (sadly, people do say just about anything. It’s fascinating to watch the 1080 “debate” – intensely polarising, and exchanges can very quickly turn to slanging matches.)
    Watching Goff denying the canadians the use of council facilities, I was struck by the resonance with some of the things Josh at TPM has been saying about how private companies (notably facebook) have taken over the ‘public square’ – the place where issues are talked and argued – and how they impose their own ‘regulations’ on speech. (Cant’ seem to google the latest – but he’s had a lot of insight into google and facebook’s influence on publishing generally.)
    While to some degree facebook’s ‘mores’ are designed by the public (unwittingly, maybe, by how we click) for the comfort of the public, they are essentially unrelated to any principles of freedom of speech, and highly related to algorithms of profitability and advertiser preference. Our angry outbursts and public posturings are (it seems weird to even say it) being sold to advertisers. (Or putting a different spin on it, advertisers are paying for the space we conduct our public debates.)
    Where Goff has to face the public; facebook is accountable mostly to accountants.
    At any event, some of our fundamental ideas about freedom of speech may need overhauling. Hard to do while we’re all shouting at each other.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dilemmas: the drug-driving ad…, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Jase wouldn’t mind, as long as he was on TV.

    He does mud-wrestle in that very clip, so you're probably right. But he's a kinder (and funnier and hipper) bloke than you'll see on TV. At least he used to be.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: On joining the international…,

    “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”
    Sounds great. Didn't realise PC was a term of praise - where do join up?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Reassure Me: cannabis,…,

    Bottom line is its pretty easy to grow - a lot simpler than making a good beer, at least in my experience. That's part of why it's so hard to control, and also likely to keep a ghastly corporate plastic-high from taking off - or at least taking over.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

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