Posts by Tom Semmens

  • Hard News: These things we must now change, in reply to steven crawford,

    Because semi-autos allow you to dice the animal as you kill it? Our laws will still allow five and seven shot magazines.

    Given that there are some people who think the only acceptable weapons with which men should fight boars is a plastic spoon and a couple of hellhounds named “Adolf” and “Satan” that even their owner won't pat unexpectedly, anyone who can’t hit an angry pig with a seven round mag deserves to be tuskered.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: These things we must now change,

    I was wondering how it would take things to get back to normal. As it turns out, about two weeks.

    it is all well and good for the Herald and it’s owners to throw their hands in the air in horror and exclaim “how did we get here????” but the reality is they contribute to the febrile atmosphere of entitlement, anger, othering, intolerance and all the rest of it every damn time they publish a rant by this asshole and all the rest of the clickbait assholes in their stable.

    The MSM need to own their contribution to the growth of hate. There is a direct cultural line linking Mike Hosking and all the other angry shock jocks to the logical outcome of constant ravings against the “enemy” and that logical outcome is the Christchurch shooter.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Questions, but no answers,…,

    When I was younger and did a spot of deer stalking we would kit up in our swanndri bushshirts and shorts, grab our trusty bolt action rifles plus 20 rounds and hike into the ranges to perhaps bag ourselves a deer, but mainly to get away and eat simple food and drink some rum in a rusty hut. A nice gun was nice, but an old sporterised .303 would do just as well. It was tool, for a job to be done should the opportunity present itself.

    A few years back, I noted a guy about to go bush standing on the side of the Taupo road. He looked like a Serbian warlord, full matching Russian style camo, jungle boots, and military style webbing and he was equipped with two SKS self-loading rifles. I wondered at the change in the type of bloke who goes shooting these days.

    The point is that the contagion of the US obsession with firearms as a marker of the wider culture war around identity -with all the attendant attitudes – for a particular section of society has certainly now got a decent foothold in NZ. So there isn’t much point in “negotiating” with the gun lobby in the assumption they are a bunch of aesthetic collectors, grizzled farmers and salt of the earth hunters and trappers who will see reason when you tell that as a result of a massacre you will require new rules around some of their tools. The gun nuts are fundamentally unappeasable, because gun control is just another front in the endless culture wars.

    Military style weapons in particular have become a symbol of power and ego for the gun nuts, and by extension crazy crackpot white power types.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…,

    The chances of getting any serious buy in from the National party for decent drug law reform seems to diminish by the day. For the right, the power of the culture wars seems just to much. Simon Bridges was at it again today, when asked attacking the Greens (in relation to the creation of an astroturf Green party) for supporting drug reform.

    All in all, the focus groups and polling must be telling National their are votes in provincial and suburban NZ in scare mongering up a culture war on drugs. As long as National remain committed to political expediency on this issue, the chances of meaningful and sensible reform our drugs laws are not good.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…,

    The growing adoption (everyone from the screamingly loony Stephen Franks to the insecure Simon Bridges) by right wing radicals (I won't call them conservatives, the real conservatives these days are the centrists who run Labour) in NZ of Breitbart style talking points Trumpian culture war rhetoric shows how the US environment of a toxic right wing media that brainwashes it's audience has consequences beyond the borders of the USA itself.

    The danger these people pose to social order is ominous.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Midterms,

    All those "tight" races going to the Republicans? Vote suppression and Gerrymanders work.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Midterms,

    How well entrenched though is our democracy from the sort of voter suppression shenanagins we are seeing in the USA?

    What would stop a National government led by a candidate selected from their Auckland Tea Party faction (Judith, anyone?) and infected by hard right GOP inspired radicals hell bent on trashing our democracy simply stacking the electoral commission with cronies, introducing onerous voter ID rules, then (on the advice of it's said cronies on the electoral commission, of course) almost completely de-funding the electoral commission, making the running of elections entirely up to volunteers? Remove a cheeky 100,000-200,000 of your your oppnents voters and suppressing the turn out would mightily help National to rule alone forever...

    National MPs would simply be so delighted at the idea of permanent rule that they'd look the other way, like so many GOP congressmen and women have done.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: An epic day at the park,

    The crowd size and response was interesting given John Kirwan's recent comments about the need to revamp the season in NZ. I have no idea as to the financial viability of Kirwan's plan but I do know that Super Rugby is killing the game. Super Rugby has been around for over twenty years and despite every effort of the NZRFU to kill off grass-roots provincial tribalism and convince the punters that watching a disassociated genetic freak show of players selected from a "production line" (a widely used term that assumes human beings are treated the same way farmers treat their prime cattle) that values money and results over participation and identification is the best thing since the man said "why don't we slice the bread?" people STILL clearly love their provinces. They like teams made up of at least some locals who have played local club rugby and who you can see around town. I guess boils down to a philosophical battle about the role of rugby and sport that was long ago won by the almighty dollar.

    But the NZRFU has to be aware that it's single minded pursuit of centralised elite rugby and revenue maximisation contains the seeds of the games downfall. Rugby in NZ is desperately over-exposed with far, far to much rugby on TV from February to November, and it's audience has been confined to an increasingly aging and narrow band of people who bother with Sky for far, far to long. The enthusiasm of the Tongan's who came out for the Rugby League should be a huge red flag to the the NZRFU as to how much is losing the hearts and minds of communities that should provide it's heartland. Instead, those communites are treated like a colony to be mined for recruits who in turn are increasingly behaving like a sporting Condottieri who will decamp offshore the minute they decide the offer is better.

    I miss the days when a big Ranfurly shield game was the talk of the land, and where even a Hawkes Bay vs. Waikato game was a big deal for the respective provinces with All Blacks on display, selectors in attendance and a sold-out park of fevered supporters, and players put it all on the line for nothing more than their jersey.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The better place,

    and Tze Ming Mok explain what’s wrong better than I could

    A nice article, but it is hard to call something excellent when it contains a basic error of fact, viz:

    "...Putting aside whether Mr Zhang (MNZM, gonged by Labour)..."

    Zhang was "gonged" by National. The timing of the release of the honours list meant it was published under the new government.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Rob S,

    Dirty politics in the context of the Nats hasn’t gone away.
    Jason Ede, Whaleoil, Lusk, all those other bottom feeders are still out there and with this bandage ripped off we can see how they operate all bankrolled on a nod and a wink donations with a pat on the back in the honours list.

    What frightens me is how much the Nats are completely for sale to the highest bidder. If the money from China is good enough, they’d turn Quislings and sell us all down the river then retire to a mansion somewhere without the slightest qualm.

    Someone once said the National MPs primarily saw NZ as a place to make money, as opposed to primarily a place where they lived.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

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