Godwin’s flaw?

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, June 26th, 2018 - 213 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, internet, us politics - Tags: , ,

Recent events have led to some very interesting developments and comments that I thought I’d briefly go over.

The first is that comparisons to Nazism online have gotten so much more fraught than before that one of Mike Godwin’s clarifications on his eponymous axiom has made the LA times.

For those that don’t remember, “Godwin’s Law” is:

“As an online discussion continues, the probability of a comparison to Hitler or to Nazis approaches one.”

While the noted internet luminary does still stand by the law in its original form despite suggestions it can shut down discussion, (mostly due to application of the law as the “end of a thread” by moderators rather than its original formulation, given above) he has interesting and nuanced discussion that is both cautious of even today’s comparisons to Nazism, and appropriately scathing of the Trump Administration’s attempts to separate families. I highly suggest reading the article in full, as while it is very balanced and cautious, it achieves that balance without letting anyone off the hook, like the best sort of factual writing.

Also worth noting is that President Trump is now coming for judges in his perennial fight against immigrants:

The most troubling and revealing part of this is the tail end of his original comment about how appointing more immigration judges might result in corruption: “Now can you imagine the graft that must take place?” This indicates Trump’s real opinion of the judiciary: that they’re there to be bribed, not to make objective decisions. I’m torn between assuming he must be promoting cynicism in the branch that acts as his biggest check and balance, or that maybe this is reflective of his past tactics trying to deal with judges.

This is in response to suggestions that he should expand the number of immigration judges to simply avoid having to detain immigrants for long periods of time- a thoroughly reasonable suggestion if your purpose in immigration enforcement was actually to enforce the law, and not to punish people for political purposes. (ironically, so-called “illegal” immigration, which is more rightly referred to as “improper entry” to the United States, is responsible for a lot of the country’s core economic activity, and is the only reason its unreasonably low minimum wages are in any way sustainable. It’s also not a criminal but rather a civil violation at the moment)

Finally, there’s the case of one Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, who was recently ejected from a restaurant for her participation in the Trump Administration.

There have been a number of interesting discussions on the morality or respectability of shunning people with extreme political views from polite society. Republicans in the US seem to be treating this as the first pebble in a slippery slope, and as usual blowing any perceived slight way out of proportion.

It was also very interesting to see Andrew Geddis noting the legal implications of similar actions in New Zealand might be less benign:

https://twitter.com/acgeddis/status/1010621722574245888

(Naturally, not everyone was in agreement with Geddis’ reading of the law, of course) There’s also other takes in New Zealand that are a bit less charitable:

There’s some small validity to saying that it’s uncivil to seat a woman at a restaurant because she works for an administration you dislike, if dislike was all there is to it. But there’s also a lot more validity, in my opinion, to the position that shunning people who violate human rights from polite society is the cost of their own decidedly uncivil behaviour to others, and a perfectly valid form of protest in a democracy.

It’s worth remembering that in New Zealand we didn’t arrest a woman for throwing a sex toy at a politician, so we clearly have a sense that protest is allowed to be offensive, but so-called “sensible centrists” in the USA have a long history with privileging civility over protest, sadly. We should do better. Civility doesn’t mean letting people get away with breaking our democratic norms and hurting other people. It means behaving in a way that reflects our civic duties- which arguably, in a modern democracy, obliges us to protest the intolerable, however we choose to do so.

213 comments on “Godwin’s flaw?”

  1. Chris T 1

    As much as I dislike Trump, the people making comparisons between him and Hitler need grow the f up, and grab a bit of perspective

    • Matthew Whitehead 1.1

      He is literally using the same tactics against undocumented immigrants that the Nazi Party used against jews, creating propaganda where rare incidents of lawbreaking are treated as routine for the entire demographic, and using language that they are “infesting” the country and causing problems, when in fact labour provided by undocumented immigrants is the backbone of the economy in many critical areas of the US. He is sending people to detention camps and seperating families in them for no particularly pressing purpose, and with no particular effort to avoid doing so.

      I wouldn’t compare him with Hitler because I honestly think Hitler was smarter, but he is absolutely cribbing his playbook in certain areas, regardless of whether you think that makes him a neo-nazi or not, he is on record as saying there were good people on “both sides” in Charlottesville, for instance, and that other side that Trump was so keen on defending did contain self-identified neo-nazis.

      In other words, maybe grab a little more perspective yourself before dismissing accusations that Trump is acting like a Nazi- I am almost always against such comparisons, but Trump has now earned them. I was careful to stick to the term “authoritarian” before his election, but he’s thoroughly past that sort of courtesy.

      • Baba Yaga 1.1.1

        ‘Undocumented’ is a euphemism for illegal. The US has every right to control it’s borders, and I’m sure the American people are well aware of the disasters resulting from the open borders policies in Europe.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again.

      Mike Godwin.

      • Matthew Whitehead 1.2.1

        Worth noting is that Godwin in his article doesn’t claim to be an arbiter on the axiom named after him, just its originator. He would be the first one to say we should draw our own conclusions about when to make comparisons to Nazis, rather than arguing from authority by quoting him.

        Your point is totally valid, but we should focus on why comparing the Trump Administration to nazis is much more valid than doing so to, say, the Key/English government, which while it was bad in its own way, largely didn’t subject us to an authoritarian cult of personality.

        My general premises are:
        1) Trump’s government is actually authoritarian in its approach. Even George W. Bush didn’t want extra-legal deference to a conservative leader, he just wanted to legalize human rights abuses and accrue more power for the Presidency, and he was famously the inspiration for much of the action in the Star Wars prequels, for instance.
        2) The administration is encroaching authoritarian thought onto a notionally democratic nation.
        3) It is using the same policy strategies for some of the same stated aims as the Nazi Party did.
        4) It is defending and allying itself with white nationalists.
        5) It is using similar gaslighting strategies to propagandize and deflect criticism, it’s just not quite as nuanced with them in some ways, and less brazen for now in others because the takeover is less mature.
        6) People get confused about how authoritarianism comes about. They think it is all at once, rather than with a “strong leader” testing the waters slowly, dipping their toes in and only moving forward when they don’t get too strong a reaction from their own supporters. Trump is absolutely holding to the pattern.

        • Macro 1.2.1.1

          Matthew I totally agree with all you say here but would also add that Trump is now flying in the face of all previous US administrations in his withdrawal of the US from the UN Human Rights Council. The United States now joins Iran, North Korea and Eritrea as the only countries that refuse to participate in the council’s meetings and deliberations.
          Furthermore the tweet wrt to the immediate return of those improperly entering the US flies in the face of International Law wrt to the Rights of Refugees and asylum seekers.

          Non-refoulement
          The core norm of international refugee law is the principle of non-refoulement according to which no “state shall expel or return (” refouler “) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”35 This principle has found entry36 and has been developed in international human rights law. It is nowadays a norm of customary international law.37 Not only refugees, for whom the state of refuge has recognized a risk of persecution in the country of asylum, but also asylum-seekers benefit from the duty of non-refoulement, since their claim might be founded.38 In its jurisprudence, the Committee developed a concept of non-refoulement obligations under the ICCPR.

          http://www.unhcr.org/research/working/4552f0d82/protecting-refugees-asylum-seekers-under-international-covenant-civil-political.html

          This principle is a fundamental part of the The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 (ICCPR) which is one of the seven universal human rights treaties to which the US is a signatory.

          If TRump is to continue this approach in abrogation of Fundamental Human Rights he drags the US into the realm of a pariah state.

      • Richard@Downsouth 1.2.2

        to Quote Mike Godwin:

        View post on imgur.com

    • adam 1.3

      A steaming cup of perspective.

      Yeah trump is more like 1933 Hitler rather than 1945 Hitler. But the reality is you can’t do a direct comparison, the US empire in 2018 is a different beast.

      But fascism has a few fundamental tenets which this administration does seem to be doing a good job of tick boxing.

      Extreme right wing – check
      Opportunistic nationalism – check
      Militaristic – check
      Machismo – check
      Attacks on Intellectuals – check
      Militias – check

      • Matthew Whitehead 1.3.1

        Also worth noting:

        • Attacks on the press.
        • Accusing opponents of being criminal or traitors without evidence.
        • Insinuation that valid legal remedies against the administration are corrupt or “unfair.”
        • Attempts to steal elections despite a lack of popular support, although this is a long-standing Republican goal.
        • Integration of corporations with government- that one’s been checked off for decades.
        • Jingoistic integration of national pride and militarism- as above, decades gone.
        • Sense of victimization by foreign actors
        • Sense of victimization by “traitors” working for the opposition party
        • White supremacy

        Nobody’s saying the outcomes will be the same, the targets the same, or the leaders are the same. What people are saying is that all the warning bells you should be looking at for people trying to pull off a modern twist on nazism are ringing in the USA right now.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1.1

          The National Party isn’t as far down the slope as the GOP.

          Opportunistic nationalism – check
          Militaristic – arguable. The rhetoric doesn’t quite match the budget commitment
          Machismo – check
          Attacks on Intellectuals – check
          Militias – none that I know of although authoritarian centrist political violence certainly exists here
          Attacks on the press – check, cf: Dirty Politics
          Accusing opponents of being criminal or traitors without evidence – check
          Insinuation that valid legal remedies against the administration are corrupt or “unfair.” – arguable
          Attempts to steal elections despite a lack of popular support – do you count Simon Lusk?
          Integration of corporations with government – Thompson & Clark, also see Lusk and “a lucrative business career”
          Jingoistic integration of national pride and militarism – minimal as yet
          Sense of victimization by foreign actors – Key and daesh
          Sense of victimization by “traitors” working for the opposition party – Hager was labelled a traitor, no?
          White supremacy – endemic in all our institutions

          You forgot demonisation of outgroups. Check.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.3.1.1.1

            I figured White Supremacy encompassed the victimization of outgroups, but YMMV.

            Not sure I agree with all of your conclusions there, especially as my “attacks on the press” point was more open challenging the overall veracity of the news, ie. “fake news” or “Lügenpresse.”

          • Gosman 1.3.1.1.2

            “…although authoritarian centrist political violence certainly exists here”

            Where does it exist here? Please link to a news story involving that sort of activity.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1.1.2.1

              You live a very privileged life Gosman, if you cannot recall any of the threats made against eg: Golriz Ghahraman or Sue Bradford. Or perhaps you think rape culture isn’t political.

              PS: do your own Google searches you lazy slope-greaser.

              • Gosman

                Oh right. You’ve essentially redefined the term “authoritarian centrist political violence” to satisfy your own biased view. Congrats on doing that.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Are you saying it isn’t political, or it isn’t violence, or it isn’t a manifestation of authoritarian centrism?

                  I gave you a range of examples (there are more), by the way. That you conflated them into one is revealing.

                  • Gosman

                    How is it a “manifestation of authoritarian centrism”?

                    The people making abusive comments to the likes of Ms Ghahraman or Ms Bradford are individuals doing so via the internet. That is the opposite of authoritarian centrism as far as I can tell.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Oh right. You’ve essentially redefined the term “authoritarian centrism” to satisfy your own biased view. Congrats on doing that.

                    • Gosman

                      What is YOUR definition of “authoritarian centrism” then?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’m happy to use David Adler’s linked article as a guide. That’s why I linked to it. I hope this simple guide to the bleedin’ obvious can help you look less like a tool in future.

              • Chris T

                Who in National has made threats against Golriz Ghahraman?

                Or Bradford?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Is that the claim I made? No. I said “authoritarian centrist political violence certainly exists here”.

                  If you want an example of direct National Party involvement you need look no further than Mr. Simon Pleasants.

                  • Chris T

                    Going by that theory every country that has online trolls means

                    “authoritarian centrist political violence certainly exists” there

                    I hate to tell you this, but every country has online trolls

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      When those trolls are fed and watered by the Minister of Justice, however, you just got caught making a false equivalence.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  Depends if you’re talking MPs, members, or supporters.

                  If you’re talking supporters, a lot of people aligned with National attacked Bradford, Turei, and/or Ghahraman, and there was no effort to rein them in.

                  • Chris T

                    That depends on your definition of attacked.

                    If it includes criticising than yes you are right

                    But the claim was “threatened” which means “violence” so that is a pretty moot point

                    And you seem to be (hopefully not conveniently) that 2 Green MPs got turfed for criticising Turei and there plenty of Labour MPs doing it as well

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      And you seem to be (hopefully not conveniently) that 2 Green MPs got turfed for criticising Turei and there plenty of Labour MPs doing it as well

                      That is not why they got turfed out of the Green Party. They got turfed out for bringing the party into disrepute by not following the agreed consensus.

                    • Matthew Whitehead

                      I meant harassment, not critique. DTB has already corrected you that those MPs were in trouble for a related, but different reason than their disagreement with Turei- they had attempted to remove a co-leader through actions that were absolutely incompatible with them representing the Green Party. It is a point of principle that we don’t do coups in the fashion other parties do, and it was a dark moment that those two tried- even if their faction had had the numbers, they were wrong to make a play against a sitting co-leader in that fashion. The correct way is to either resign in protest or to campaign for a no confidence vote at the next AGM. (we vote on confidence in co-leaders every AGM anyway)

                  • Gosman

                    Rein them in how?

                    • Matthew Whitehead

                      Simply telling them to stop and that their comments do not reflect the values of the National Party/that specific MP would have been sufficient IMO. It’s not something I’d expect for your odd loony who charges in alone against your political enemies, but when it’s a persistent campaign of harassment, it’s time for leaders to step up and be better than their followers as soon as they hear about it, IMO. Of course, that’s probably expecting a bit much from National, given they don’t like to campaign positively. *shrug*

                      That said, I would also like Labour to do it a bit more than they do already, too. Unlike National I can actually recall Labour MPs acting like leaders and shutting down problematic discussions, so they’re certainly not as bad, but they could do with living up to Jacinda’s rhetoric on kindness a little more, IMO.

                  • Baba Yaga

                    leaving Bradford aside, are you saying its wrong to criticise someone for benefit fraud? Or embellishing their CV?

      • Bill 1.3.2

        Many of those checklisted items apply to the cultures and governments of liberal democracies that most people would say act as bastions against fascism. (I’ve gone through them with the UK, Italy, France in mind) For my part, I think there’s a mis-comprehension that fascism comes from outwith liberalism (hence the “bastion against”)

        Historically, liberalism has accommodated and promoted fascism (the accommodation of Spain and Portugal during and post WW2, the promotion of Pinochet and a clatter of others)

        It’s not very useful to take a punt on some arbitrary defining point where we might reasonably say that liberalism in any particular country has slipped over into fascism by way of comparison to previous expressions of fascism. Fascism and liberalism aren’t separate. They exist on a continuum. Surely that’s all we need to understand?

        All that Trump does is built upon groundwork laid by his predecessors. Politicians on both sides of the isle keep voting to give him extra presidential powers. (New powers of surveillance for example) What Trump does by way of his blunt or unsophisticated tweets and announcements is lay bare the actual face of liberalism as it exists, and has existed, in the states.

        • adam 1.3.2.1

          Could not agree more.

          But sometimes, it takes a list to get people thinking.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.3.2.1.1

            You should both probably consider those items we listed above more like a “here are possible indicators of fraud” list. (except replace “fraud” with “fascism”)

            One item is almost certainly not a case of fascism. Several items is suspicious, but you may not require too much to dismiss the need to investigate. Every single item looking like it’s true means you’ve almost certainly got yourself a neo-nazi or authoritarian regime.

            We may be missing things. We may have been overly broad with our wording of what we’ve included. But these are classic warning signs of authoritarianism that political scientists talk about all the time.

            • Bill 1.3.2.1.1.1

              This whole thing about where does liberalism end and fascism begin…it’s all very Ship of Theseus, don’t you think Matthew?

    • Daveosaurus 1.4

      The Trumpsters are setting. up. concentration. camps. for. children. on. American. soil.

      Fuck your civility.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    It’s worth reading the whole thread, but this tweet by David Roberts sums it up:

    WaPo editors say that accepting incivility (gasp) is a “slippery slope.” But that gets it exactly wrong. WE ARE ALREADY ON THE SLIPPERY SLOPE. It’s a slope that leads to illiberalism, violence, & collapse. It’s a slope greased [by] accommodation & civility.

    If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace.

    It’s heartening that US citizens are standing up against these nazis, and make no mistake, where the GOP has shown the way, elements in the National Party will surely follow. Across the ditch, Peter Dutton eats in peace. When push comes to shove, which example will Kiwis follow?

  3. Matthew Whitehead 3

    Apparently Marianne Elliot and I are creepily on the same page about civility, so if you liked my signoff, she expands on that same thought in this thread: https://twitter.com/zenpeacekeeper/status/1011321179947261952

    • Chris 3.1

      Not sure about “Political incivility can be required in a democracy & essential to resistance.” Surely more accurate is to say that political incivility is in some cases synonymous with doing nothing.

  4. Gosman 4

    You think it is okay to refuse service to someone because you find what they do morally repugnant do you?

    How is this different to a Cake shop owner refusing to bake a Wedding cake for a Gay couple?

    • Andre 4.1

      “Wilkinson also told the Post this crucial point — that she did what she did because Sanders was a public official and that she has regular customers who are politically conservative and has no problem serving them. Fantasies of separate restaurants for Democrats and Republicans are just that: fantasies.

      Wilkinson acted to punish a political official for a specific set of severe wrongs, not to harm an average customer whose political views she happened to disagree with. A slippery slope to politically segregated dining, this is not.”

      From an opinion piece with part of it devoted to exploring that question:

      https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/25/17499036/sarah-sanders-red-hen-restaurant-civility

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      Yes! Because being gay is exactly like imprisoning children, eh Gosman. Thanks for pointing out that totally valid comparison.

      Whatever would straight white men do without you to help us look like shitheads?

    • Matthew Whitehead 4.3

      Yes, I think refusing to do business with people you don’t think treat others ethically is absolutely the morally correct thing to do.

      It is different because it isn’t based on discrimination- for instance, if someone happened to mention voting for Trump, I wouldn’t necessarily say they deserve to be boycotted, because they might not have known what they were getting. (to blindly boycott them would be discriminatory, in my view, and arguably so for any party supporter, as opposed to people actually enthusiastically collaborating) But taking a considered view that someone’s actions are so heinous that they need to be shunned from polite society is an action with long precedent among democratic societies, and it is a natural outgrowth from freedom of association and the right to refuse service.

      I would also note that Huckabee-Sanders isn’t the only one being refused service, either, although all the tales so far I’ve heard have been targetting women in the adiministration. I hope people willing to deny service are also keeping track of prominent men working for Trump, too.

      • Gosman 4.3.1

        It isn’t different. The people who refuse to serve Gay people think they are morally repugnant (I disagree with their views but acknowledge they have their valid reasons to think that). The owner of the restaurant that refused to serve Ms Sanders also thought what she was part of was morally repugnant. You are trying to argue that one view is actually morally repugnant while the other isn’t. The trouble with that is you end up imposing YOUR version of morality on others.

        • Matthew Whitehead 4.3.1.1

          No, I am happy for them to have a different morality. Where I draw the line is treating people like they’re not people. That includes kidnapping people’s children and adopting them out, all before they’ve even been convicted of breaking the law in any fashion.

          If I wasn’t happy for people with different partisan beliefs than me to exist, to have the same rights, etc… then why would I be on record as being annoyed at the disenfranchisement of NZ voters for NZ First and the Conservative parties, especially when I am here right now pointing out that I think some of the things they believe are ingredients to a dangerous ideology?

          Because I support pluralism, and believe there is a line between just being disagreeable and being a legitimate threat to democracy that no NZ party has yet crossed.

          • ropata 4.3.1.1.1

            So you think it’s ok to hound a cake maker out of business because he refused to obey the dictates of compelled speech. in the name of “pluralism”

            what a crock

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Masterpiece Cake Shop is still very much in business. Also, I don’t think Matthew said that.

              • Matthew Whitehead

                Two for two. All I said was that you can support boycotting Huckabee-Sanders without also supporting confectioners discriminating against people in same-sex relationships.

            • Baba Yaga 4.3.1.1.1.2

              Yes the tolerance of the left is a very limited beast.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.1.2

            No, I am happy for them to have a different morality.

            Which is actually a major problem itself. There really isn’t any more than one morality and accepting the false case that there is allows things like the present US administration and the previous National government to exist.

            • Matthew Whitehead 4.3.1.1.2.1

              There are absolutely differing personal value systems, which form the basis of morality. I’m not saying some of them aren’t wrong in my opinion, just that I personally don’t care to try and force my opinions on people, I’d rather convince them through democratic debate and application of superior policy in government.

              For instance, by saying that denying queer people their human rights is stupid and bigoted, but so is enabling authoritarians to kidnap children.

              • Draco T Bastard

                There are absolutely differing personal value systems, which form the basis of morality.

                Personal value systems are not a viable way to determine morality. That way lies the totally debunked Moral Relativity.

                If we want an actual moral system then we need to use logic.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  Oh don’t try and Phil 101 me DTB, I’ve been to that class too.

                  Moral relativity is saying things can’t be wrong or right because of differing personal values and belief structures.

                  What I was implying is that persecuting or attempting to legislate against everyday people for having those differing personal values, where they are normal, non human-rights-violating ones, is wrong, not that we can’t try to make imperfect human attempts at absolute statements about what the trends and patterns in our slightly different personal values imply for an objective yet socially conscious morality.

                  There are worlds of difference between those two. It’s the difference between “the colour red isn’t logically possible,” which you clearly think I said, and “using the colour red should still be legal, even if overall I’d prefer we didn’t use it,” which was what I was going for.

                  Accepting that there is a relative component to our perceptions of morality is not itself the full argument for moral relativity, and you should know that if you understand the premise of that argument correctly, especially as the existence of certain commonalities between those perceptions (eg. a vast majority of people agree murder is, of itself, wrong) is one of the counter-arguments to moral relativity.

                  • McFlock

                    I did that class, too, but that’s a much better explanation than I could come up with here. Nicely constructed.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Moral relativity is saying things can’t be wrong or right because of differing personal values and belief structures.

                    Which is what you said here:

                    No, I am happy for them to have a different morality.

                    And which you then contradicted yourself when you said:

                    non human-rights-violating ones

                    Which implies an absolute morality based upon the UDHR.

                    What I was implying is that persecuting or attempting to legislate against everyday people for having those differing personal values, where they are normal, non human-rights-violating ones, is wrong…

                    The law needs to allow moral action and make immoral actions illegal. The way to set those laws is through logic. What the law shouldn’t try to do is force people to have the same opinion. After all, it’s only when they act upon those opinions and thus against the law that it becomes a problem.

                    It’s the difference between “the colour red isn’t logically possible,” which you clearly think I said, and “using the colour red should still be legal, even if overall I’d prefer we didn’t use it,” which was what I was going for.

                    No, I think you said that all moralities are valid which is both wrong and logically impossible.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.2

          The people who refuse to serve Gay people think they are morally repugnant

          And they’d be wrong. No logic around would support such a position.

          The owner of the restaurant that refused to serve Ms Sanders also thought what she was part of was morally repugnant.

          And in that she is correct. What the US Administration is presently doing is morally repugnant and completely unethical and thus should not be supported.

          You are trying to argue that one view is actually morally repugnant while the other isn’t.

          That’s because one is and one isn’t. Morality isn’t something you get to pick and choose. It’s something that comes from a valid logical process.

          The trouble with that is you end up imposing YOUR version of morality on others.

          That only happens if we follow the RWNJ practice of moral relativism which is bunk. Morality is something that can be supported logically. Thinking that gay people are morally repugnant can’t be.

          • Gosman 4.3.1.2.1

            I’m sorry Draco but when it comes to moral arguments there are very little in the way of absolutes. Many religious people believe that certain behaviour is immoral and they should not condone such behaviour. You might like to disagree with them on this but there is no sure fire logical way you could convince them that their ideas are wrong and your views are correct.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.2.1.1

              Many religious people believe that certain behaviour is immoral and they should not condone such behaviour.

              If they can back it up by logic then all good. It’s when they can’t and they still try to force that immorality upon others that it becomes a problem.

              You might like to disagree with them on this but there is no sure fire logical way you could convince them that their ideas are wrong and your views are correct.

              Although true that doesn’t make them or their beliefs right.

    • Arthur Freeman 4.4

      People chose to be liars.

    • Arthur 4.5

      People chose to be liars.

      • Gosman 4.5.1

        I’m pretty sure Ms Sanders doesn’t think she is a liar. Regardless you are imposing your own moral judgement on other people’s behaviour. In my view that is your right as it should be your right to decide not to engage with these people including in a commercial setting. But if you accept you have the right to do that you also accept that other have the same right to do so for behaviour you yourself may not find morally reprehensible.

        • Gabby 4.5.1.1

          I’m pretty sure she knows she’s a liar and doesn’t care gozzer.

          • Wensleydale 4.5.1.1.1

            She’s a liar for the cause, and she’s totally down with that. The war being waged inside her head to justify what she does with what she professes to believe must be epic. Wall to wall blood and body parts I’m guessing.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.6

      How is it different?

      First they came for the gays, and now they’re coming after the children. So that’s one way it’s different.

      • Chris T 4.6.1

        Who is coming for the gays?

        Some bloke from a cake shop?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.6.1.1

          I was thinking more of conversion “therapists”, and -subsequently – that African Americans probably have a stronger claim to be at the front of the line.

          • Chris T 4.6.1.1.1

            “I was thinking more of conversion “therapists””

            Ahh

            Tbf they have been around for centuries, let alone since Trump turned up

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.6.1.1.1.1

              No-one’s making the claim that Trump represents a new phenomenon. Quite the opposite.

    • Cemetery Jones 4.7

      Imagine if the left had prevailed in that case.

      “Hi, is that the Islamic cake shop? I want a Mohammed cartoon cake, please.

      Yes, the Democrats have convinced the Supreme Court you have to.”

  5. Ad 5

    US Supreme Court has confirmed you don’t have to serve a gay person’s wedding by baking a cake. Omg.

    It’s all on.

    Nothing ‘civil’ from the left about Occupy, BLM, or #metoo. Among others.

    New Zealand can afford its politesse and getting excited about being called Pinkos, but it’s 34 years since we saw any unrest.

    The US has a whole bunch more at stake. Their contest is

    “from ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
    Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”

    Meaning: racism.

    It’s not European 1930s fascism.
    It’s militarized immigration with a really precise intelligence state, and it is seeing the decline not only of the global left but of open democracy itself.

    • Gosman 5.1

      If you agree that the restaurant owner had the right not to serve Ms Sanders then you also support the right not to serve gay people.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        The Supreme Court yesterday threw out a case about a florist about a claim that there had been deliberate discrimination against a same-sex couple for refusing to make flower arrangements for their wedding.

        There’s a lot more to come yet on commercial expression.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.2

        Some more Trump officials just got kicked out of another restaurant, Gosman. Why don’t you bake them a cake.

      • Matthew Whitehead 5.1.3

        You can say that ’till you’re red in the face, Gosman, but it’s simply not true. There is a big difference between taking away someone’s human rights through discrimination, and refusing to do business with someone who helps to take away people’s human rights as part of a senior government appointment.

        The relevant comparator is not queer people wanting wedding cakes- it would be more like a kiwi business owner who opposed the TPP refused to serve David Parker.

        • Bill 5.1.3.1

          Any business owner can refuse service to any potential customer, and doesn’t have to provide them with a reason.

          If they give a reason, and that reason contravenes human rights legislation around discrimination (say), then they’re up for grabs.

          • David Mac 5.1.3.1.1

            I agree Bill, contrary to their wishes, I refuse to do business with some people.

            They nearly always come back with “Why, is it because I’m ……………….?”

            My response to that question is crucial and can be the difference between the end of the matter or having charges leveled against me.

            I say “I’m sorry I’m not at liberty to share that information, cheerio.”

            Frustrating for the other party but enables me to manage risk and choose who I work for.

        • Gosman 5.1.3.2

          That is merely your own interpretation. As Ad has pointed out the Supreme Court in the US looks like it disagrees with your view and supports mine.

          • Matthew Whitehead 5.1.3.2.1

            I don’t particularly give much credence to the views of the US Supreme Court, they interest me more in how they (usually detrimentally) affect the application of the law in the US.

            And yes, that is my interpretation. I am pointing out that you are claiming something as established fact that is very much a point of debate.

            • Gosman 5.1.3.2.1.1

              Exactly. Your views are very much debatable. It is certainly not a given in the way you suggest it is.

              • Matthew Whitehead

                Um, you were the one asserting that you’d sorted the debate, not me.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.3.2.2

            That is merely your own interpretation.

            No, that is the reality. A reality that you will refuse to accept as it goes against your beliefs.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.4

        No. The two are definitely different.

        A gay couple affects no one else.
        A supporter of Trump affects everyone else and, for the majority of people, that effect will be negative.

        • McFlock 5.1.4.1

          Yeah it’s the gossie classic: find a single similar facet shared by two issues, use that to pretend the entire gemstones are identical, ignore the key differences between the two.

        • Andy 5.1.4.2

          Your claim that a supporter of Trump will be negative for most isn’t backed up by (a) the results of the 2016 election or (b) the economic recovery happening in the USA right now which is having beneficial effects across most demographics

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.4.2.1

            A) He actually lost the 2016 election
            B) I haven’t seen any evidence so far that what he’s doing is what’s causing the US’s economic recovery. High tariffs is certainly what allowed the development of the US economy in the first place though.
            C) Such tactics cause damage even if it’s only discovered later.

            • Andy 5.1.4.2.1.1

              ” he actually lost the 2016 election”

              Which is why he is President, I presume
              Even based on the somewhat dubious assertion that he lost the popular vote (given the large number of accusations of vote rigging before the election) the election is not determined by the popular vote. It is determined by the Electoral College, which was set up so that the large states didn’t have an overly strong bias in the overall result.

              Similarly, Labour “won” the NZ election even though they got far fewer seats than National. I accept the results for what they are, even if I don’t like the current coalition.
              I don’t claim that National “won” the election.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It is determined by the Electoral College, which was set up so that the large states didn’t have an overly strong bias in the overall result.

                That may have been the reason at the time but:

                But it’s not just that certain states are over-represented. Specific segments of the population get to wield far more power under the Electoral College than they would otherwise. States identified as Republican strongholds, for example, are more over-represented, on average, than states of any other partisan bent.

                I can see why you support this antiquated and heavily biased system.

                Similarly, Labour “won” the NZ election even though they got far fewer seats than National.

                Ah, you’re continuing with that lie. Typical of a RWNJ.

                Labour didn’t win and National lost. We have a coalition government of three parties that represent over 50% of those who voted. National failed to be part of that coalition.

                • McFlock

                  FWIW You got distracted too easily. Andy was blowing hard about “most” and backing it with the 2016 results. So the popular vote doesn’t support the “most” claim, and they drag you into the electoral college argument.

                • Andy

                  “I can see why you support this antiquated and heavily biased system.”

                  I don’t “support it”. I am merely describing how it works.

                  I don’t live in the USA. I don’t vote for US politicians. I merely have an armchair view of things.

                  What is it with you guys that you have to have a position on everything?

                  What is your position on Guatemala’s electoral system, for example?

                  For or against? I really need to know

              • Anne

                …based on the somewhat dubious assertion that he lost the popular vote (given the large number of accusations of vote rigging before the election)…

                What a load of piffle! Like the Clinton email allegations which were proven by the FBI to be false (they found nothing other than a few “careless” comments) so were the accusations of vote rigging. The Chump and his mates have a massive record of lies, lies and more lies. And every day that passes Chump adds to the ever growing list.

                What a gullible fool you are.

                • Andy

                  Gullible fool? I saw the videos of the voting machines changing results BEFORE the election results

                  As for your lot claiming that Trump lost the election, I really am a little lost for words.

                  It is possible to lose a game of tennis yet still get more games than your opponent.

                  Anyway, in your mind the Rapists Wife aka Clinton aka the Most Corrupt Woman in US politics ever, apparently “won” the election.

                  Whatever. I’m no fan of any of them

            • Richard McGrath 5.1.4.2.1.2

              No, Trump won the 2016 election by 304 to 227. Popular vote don’t mean jack shit.

      • dukeofurl 5.1.5

        Gosman
        The Wedding Cake Shop case was more nuanced than that.

        The owners were happy to sell the gay couple one of their standard pre-made cakes but refused to ‘create’ a personalised cake which required them to sort of endorse gay marriage. That related to wording and design elements.

        It never was an issue of only ‘refusing to serve to serve a gay couple’

        A similar issue here might be a tattoo parlour that was happy to do one of its standard designs but might refuse to do a design of the clients with nazi symbolism

        • Andy 5.1.5.1

          One could think of many cases where religious freedom impinges on others.

          For example the Muslim checkout operator who won’t server pork products or alcohol. The solution is fairly easy in this case – go to another checkout. In the case of Sarah Sanders, she won’t be back at the “liberal” restaurant, so the solution is easy too.

          The religious case is a bit more cut and dry though. Randomly segregating people on perceived views which that person may or may not have isn’t the same as a woman demanding that a Muslim barber cuts her hair.

          The US Democrats are good at segregation though so it’ll be just like the good old days for them

  6. ianmac 6

    I heard part of a radio interview with Katherine I think, where the guest illustrated Trump actions as being like Hansel and Grettle. They are living an awful life with many bad things when suddenly the focus is on the wicked witch. She becomes the reason for the problems that the kids face. So the story produces a happy outcome by attacking the wicked witch rather than the awful life.
    Hence all our problems in USA are because of those wicked immigrants. Get it? How unscrupulous of D Trump.

    • Matthew Whitehead 6.1

      Yes, that’s very illustrative of Trump’s political strategy, and it is classic stuff that the Nazi government did with jews, homosexuals, political dissenters, people of colour, and other “undesirables.”

      • Andy 6.1.1

        The Left own Identity Politics. Sorry if Trump stole your playbook

        • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1

          That is a ridiculous comparison.

          • Andy 6.1.1.1.1

            Others have said that Trump is copying the playbook of Alinsky. Is that ridiculous too?

            It does rather seem that Mr Trump is the reaction that the public had to decades of divisive identity politics. Not ideal, but you reap what you sow

    • Bill 6.2

      I think that interview (it was on Kim Hill) was pointing to Trump being treated as the wicked witch, and that perspective being “swapped in” to explain away and effectively ignore all the problems besetting Hansel and Gretel.

      The problem with the US is Trump (apparently). No it’s not. The problem with the US runs much deeper and broader than a mere figure head and rides the front of a long historical context.

      • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.1

        That is an absolutely valid point. You don’t get to authoritarianism in one foul swoop. The problem with Trump is that he’s the final step, not that he’s to blame for everything- there is absolutely no way you get a Trump without a W Bush or a Reagan.

        It’s also fair to say that a US centre-right consensus that has ignored popular concerns in many different parts of the political landscape enabled Trump, especially rampant wealth inequality. The democrats being terrible at their job is arguably just as large a contributory factor to his rise as the recent history of Republicanism in the US.

        That said, none of this changes that Trump’s authoritarianism is also a problem that needs to be addressed- it just puts it in the correct context of “give the people genuine left-wing populism, or you’re get authoritarian right-wing populism.”

    • Lucy 6.3

      So you are saying that the issue isn’t the wicked witch aka Trump the issue is the parents who abandoned their children in the forest which led to the witched witch aka people losing their jobs, the military complex, billionaire’s sucking up the countries wealth, the banks for their predatory practices, racism of the institutions aka the morass that is the US! I would agree that Trump is not the cause he is a symptom of the problems facing the US and the world

      • Bill 6.3.1

        As I recall, the interviewee was saying that living in an isolated dark wood in poverty and with no food was the problem. The wicked witch is just a convenient repository for, or proxy for immediate problems – that can then be ignored.

        So Trump is the wicked witch. Get rid of Trump and la-la land blossoms. Except, kind of overlooked, is the fact that la-la land threw up Trump in the first place.

        • ianmac 6.3.1.1

          Agree Bill with your first para but not where you say that Trump is the Wicked Witch. No. Trump is blaming the Wicked Immigrants for all the problems. No jobs? Crime? Lets blame those pesky immigrants.

          • Bill 6.3.1.1.1

            Yes, Trump is scapegoating. That’s hardly novel behaviour for a politician. And as you know, I’d put more or less all of them in the same boat, and with the same “farewell” sentiments in mind as the boat was pushed away from dry land.

            My response to your comment was more about trying to clear up the point Kim Hills interviewee was trying to make with her “wicked witch” analogy.

    • Gabby 6.4

      Still, probably best to give a wide birth to cannibals who live in cake houses iany.

      • ianmac 6.4.1

        Then Gabby what will I do about that nasty Wolf who is giving my friends the Piglets and a Red Hoody wench hard times?

        • marty mars 6.4.1.1

          RRH looked very young in most of the illustrations – I suppose she may be a prostitute as you say.

          • McFlock 6.4.1.1.1

            Either way, there’s at least one wolf-proof brick house that a good socialist piggy will share with the others.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    The meta of this incident is it shows how dangerously polarised the United States now is politically.

    We are seeing the end game of the Nixonian “southern strategy” of whipping up white identity politics to flip the south, and the re-emergence of the racist Confederate mind. – and the wider personalisation of the debate that mirrors the 1850s and 1860s USA.

    https://www.fairobserver.com/region/north_america/donald-trump-resurrected-confederate-worldview-88232/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caning_of_Charles_Sumner

    in 1861, the end result of all this was civil war.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Is civil war a valid response to Nazism?

      • Stuart Munro 7.1.1

        Bonhoeffer seems to have come to that conclusion.

      • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.2

        Well, it was viewed as a valid response to slavery back in the day, and it was a valid reason for a world war, so I think it’s not unreasonable to warn that these are the sorts of things wars are fought over if they’re not resolved through (relatively) peaceful political rapprochement.

        While the parts of US culture we don’t like do line up with some attitudes that are Southern, they’re present in the North as well, just more insidiously so. The real issue is that reconstruction was never really finished as a project due to various electoral shenanigans, so the South has never really healed culturally from the civil war, (and wasn’t coupled with economic uplift like the Marshall Plan did in western Germany) and therefore many view reconstruction as an act of authoritarian violence enforced on them rather than an attempt to save a nation from the evils of white supremacy.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.2.1

          Civil war is terrible indeed. I hope the USA can avoid it. The Nazis are vastly outnumbered but would still inflict great losses; they already have.

  8. Wayne 8

    The comparison of Trump to Hitler is made daily by those who oppose him. So I guess on that basis it is easy to justify all sorts of action against him, his officials and his supporters.
    But Trump has done nothing that would compare to Erdagon’s actions in Turkey (wholesale war against the Turkish Kurds, mass arrests, etc).
    However I guess we expect more from the US. Trump’s use of Twitter seems so unpresidential, and full of simplistic solutions.
    But so far there is no effective political response to him.
    To what extent is he just a passing aberration, or has he wrought a fundamental political change in the way politics is done?
    Hard to say.
    We saw a little of excessive reactions against Key, which became known as Key Derrangement Syndrome. But that was confined to hardcore activists (and Internet Party supporters). It never really got into the mainstream.
    With Trump it is different. He comes across as so much of a narcissist, that it is hard to take him seriously. But that also makes it easier to demonise him. Any good things he does are almost instantly offset by some crazy policy.
    NZ will just have to ride it out. To my mind there is no sense in the NZ government calling him out on all the things he does. There are plenty in the US who will do that.
    Jacinda seems to have leant that lesson following the Manus Island issue, of which we hear no more from her. Usually our friends and partners don’t like to be told how to run their countries.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      on that basis it is easy to justify all sorts of action against him, his officials and his supporters

      In your opinion, is the comparison valid, and if so, what actions are justifiable and/or unjustifiable?

      Are there perhaps some very fine people on both sides, in your view?

      • Wayne 8.1.1

        OAB

        I think the comparison to Hitler is grossly overdone. Trump is more like Berlusconi.

        I personally think not serving Sanders-Huckabee went too far. The reaction in the US indicates that. In the food service industry (or any other customer service) you should just accept your customers as they come, without giving them a lecture or refusing to serve them. That is, if you say you are open to the public then that is what you are.

        Elsewhere in this thread there is reference to not serving the likes of Titford and Capill. Easier to understand if people refuse in that circumstance. But even then it is debatable. If everyone choses not to serve serious criminals, having served their sentence, where does it end?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1

          Ah, sorry, I just spotted the initial misrepresentation in your argument. The comparison is not between Trump and Hitler, but between Trump’s behaviour and policies and nazism.

          So I’ll ask you again: is the comparison valid, and if so, what actions are justifiable and/or unjustifiable?

          Are there perhaps some very fine people on both sides, in your view?

          After all, you’d happily do business/have a normal diplomatic relationship with Berlusconi, eh.

          • Wayne 8.1.1.1.1

            New Zealand did have normal business and diplomatic relationships with Berlusconi’s Italy.

            As indeed we do with Saudi Arabia and China, both of which are self evidently more repressive than the US.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1.1.1

              is the comparison valid, and if so, what actions are justifiable and/or unjustifiable?

              • Andy

                I would like to keep discussions civil and open even if we disagree strongly on certain points. If we shut people out because of who they work for, those avenues become closed off

    • Bill 8.2

      To what extent is he just a passing aberration, or has he wrought a fundamental political change in the way politics is done?

      He’s a product of what went before. So, not an aberration. And surely questions around what politics is, and its mechanisms, is far more important than questions about mere style – “how politics is done”?

      • Wayne 8.2.1

        Bill

        So much of what Trump does is political theatre, and presumably intended to be so. He seems to like the fact that he infuriates his opponents.

        The tweets in particular seem to do that. For instance most countries deport illegal immigrants without the benefit of a court hearing. Turn up at Auckland Airport without the right visas, and you are likely to be on the next return flight out (unless you make a credible claim for refugee status). No court hearing.

        But the way Trump puts it in his tweet makes it sound like the US has abandoned the rule of law, even though what he is proposing is virtually standard practice anyway.

        Trump presumably knows this, but it gets his opponents running after a false hare.

        So what is substance and what is theatre?

        Quite a lot of what he does (in policy terms) has been done many times before by previous presidents. But none of them boasted about it in the way he does.

        Immigration and trade wars for instance. In both cases he deliberately uses inflammatory rhetoric. He wants a trade war, he wants immigrants to be seen as invaders.

        Obama had the issue of unaccompanied minors crossing the border in 2104, but he never made it seem like an existential threat. But his policy was actually quite tough.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1.1

          Kidnapping children en masse is theatre. He’s good at it. Amazing what a centrist can blithely wave away.

          • Bill 8.2.1.1.1

            Pretty sure I just read of a woman in Australia who is about to be deported and separated from her son as a result. Also thinking that many of the Windrush cases, as well as a clatter of other deportation cases in the UK, would fall into a similar ball park (separating families and loved ones).

            What the Trump admin is doing is fcking despicable. But then, what other liberal democracies are doing, though the particulars or scale may be different, isn’t really any less despicable.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Is that how it’s going to become normal? One case, or even Windrush-scale callous incompetence, equated to forty* two thousand deliberate kidnappings. We’re just taking your child for a bath.

              “Darling. they’re just taking you for a bath”.

              “Liebling. Sie nehmen dich nur zum Baden mit”.

              “Querido. solo te llevan a bañarte”.

              I love you. Say it with lamp-posts.

              *they planned for 40k.

              • Bill

                Is that how it’s going to become normal?

                No. I think it is normal (not necessarily the particulars, but broadly speaking) and has been for a number of years. And away from the immigration front, states have been stealing children since whenever, Roma being the most obvious, but the children of indigenous peoples, or in the case of English children sent to Australia post WW2, the working class. Call it class war or just institutional callousness or whatever, but we’ve been happily, or for the most part, ignoring it.

                Trump provides a service by not bothering with the mask of gentility that his predecessors were wont to grab, and so ‘allows’ us to see the basic nature of liberalism that we’ve been habitually turning a blind eye to.

                Trump didn’t come out of the blue (he was “spawned” by liberalism) and he isn’t doing a damned thing that isn’t a traceable continuation of policies from before his time in office. He may be taking some things in a different direction than others would’ve taken, but he can only venture down paths made possible by what has gone before, and if you doubt that, then maybe ask why it is that both Republicans and Democrats who condemn him on particulars or for being a noxious expression of humanity, nevertheless use their votes to give him more power.

    • Matthew Whitehead 8.3

      Trump not yet being an Erdogan doesn’t mean he isn’t on the same path. I am really tired of lazy right-wing defences of Trump that do not have critical analysis of the way authoritarianism works underlying them. It is a gradual process at first prone to sudden acceleration, and saying someone is currently not a Hitler is a bit like saying people should all be allowed to smoke in a fireworks factory, because hey, it hasn’t yet caused a fire!

      I’m fine with saying that Trump’s demeanor and narcissism make him easier to criticize, but that doesn’t excuse him from actually doing the things that political scientists warned he might do back in 2016 as a cautionary tale and were roundly dismissed and laughed at. Remember when people were telling us there’s no way he was serious about his border wall because it was impractical and he would drop it and be more Presidential after the election? Because I sure do.

      Trump has been the ultimate case of right-wing shifting goalposts for unacceptable behaviour. I think a lot less of you Wayne that you’re willing to engage in such rationalization.

      • Anne 8.3.1

        I think a lot less of you Wayne that you’re willing to engage in such rationalization.

        Same here. I’ve given Wayne credit in the past for showing a creditable level of sophisticated thinking. Its amazing how otherwise intelligent people can kid themselves to the point of total blindness. I presume they tell themselves that the ‘unthinkable’ can’t possibly happen any more. Look what happened last time Wayne… people turned a blind eye to it all until one day they woke up and it was too late.

        One day Wayne you will be forced to eat humble pie.

        • Wayne 8.3.1.1

          Anne
          I wasn’t defending Trump or his policies.
          I was trying to analyse how he operates in theatre of politics. He is very different to what we are used to in long established democracies.
          I also think the Hitler comparison is invalid. There are many articles which hypothesised doing all sorts of things to stop him before 1938/39. Thinking that Trump is Hitler makes the same sot of thing conceivable.
          But the US in 2018 is not Germany of the thirties. Way too many checks and balances.

          • Stuart Munro 8.3.1.1.1

            Hitler was something different – Alastair Cook heard him several times:

            “A small ambulance standing by seemed [an] unnecessary come-on, but at the end of the twenty-minute speech I heard, two or three women had fainted, for the good neurological reason that he could hypnotize even a small audience with omens of a dire future. He did this not with the hysterical bawling which was all we saw in the newsreels before and throughout the Second World War but with a style of the most artful variation of mood, from tenderness to whimsy to outrage. He convinced me, for one, that we had had it.”

            But Trump is the fascist demagogue of our time, to be defeated just as surely as our greatest generation defeated his predecessor.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3.1.1.2

            …the same sort of thing conceivable.

            The non-privileged sectors of US society have been living with ‘the conceivable’ for some considerable time now. What ‘civility’ are they afforded?

  9. Jimmy 9

    I’m not a Trump supporter but I think the owner of the Red Hen was really stupid to ask her to leave. My restaurant will serve National, Labour, Greens, NZF etc supporters…hell even vegetarians!

    • Bill 9.1

      It’s the owners prerogative to refuse service, but it was silly to provide a reason as to why she was refusing service.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2

      What about Alan Titford or Graham Capill?

      • Jimmy 9.2.1

        Yes both of them and Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville if he was still here. Doesn’t mean I have to like them or agree with them or even really want their continued custom, and no their food would not be spat on.

        • McFlock 9.2.1.1

          Wow. Frankly I’d hope I’d have the courage to tell the lot of them to fuck off to some other place.

          • Jimmy 9.2.1.1.1

            Professionalism would be maintained at all times even to disliked customers.

            • McFlock 9.2.1.1.1.1

              We’re not talking “disliked”. You basically said you’d cater a pedophilia convention. Professional obligations never overrule human obligations. You’re a restaurateur not a lawyer. Sitting at your table isn’t an essential part of preserving human rights and preventing an irreversible miscarriage of justice.

    • Matthew Whitehead 9.3

      Sure, and you are absolutely entitled to make that decision yourself. I think the owner did the right thing, and is being heaped with unnecessary scorn.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    From the John Hart thread: The paradox of tolerance

    • Gosman 10.1

      Hence why we should restrict Muslims

      [In the future I would strongly suggest against adopting two contradictory positions in the same thread. It is a strong suggestion you’re simply trolling and thus is begging for moderation. -MjW]

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1

        Some Muslims behave like cake shop owners, therefore we should restrict all cake shop owners. We should also restrict members of ACT, and everybody else too.

        Asinine much.

        • Gosman 10.1.1.1

          I think you missed my point. If you are not going to tolerate intolerance then it leave a lot of room for intolerance. I can make a pretty persuasive case that Muslims are intolerant. Would you like it if I decided to use Draco’s argument against tolerating intolerance against Muslims?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1.1

            Don’t flatter yourself Gosman. You can no more make a case that Muslims are intolerant than you can Christians:

            But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

            Luke 19:27.

            Saith the Lord, and that’s why every Sunday I get murdered by a mob of angry bible-thumpers 🙄

            • Gosman 10.1.1.1.1.1

              If you want to make a case Christian’s are intolerant go for it. I’m focusing at this stage on the Muslims.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Yes, and you haven’t made a wet paper bag, let alone a case.

                • Gosman

                  Your case against the Christians consisted of a single Bible verse. Are you claiming that I can’t find at least one verse from the Quran supporting the view of intolerance from Muslims?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I wasn’t making a case against them. Just emphasising your failure to make a case for discrimination against people based on the books they read.

                    • Gosman

                      You made quite a compelling case against Christians though.

                    • Bewildered

                      OAB

                      You are an awfully smart bloke but you make the same mistake those with trump derangement syndrome do, you can’t fight hate with hate, the new testament will tell you that ( not that I am overly religious ) The tenor of most of your arguement albeit well crafted are tinged with hate Kim Kardashian worked out how to get something out of trump in regard to releasing that black women, She did not use hate filled hyperbole and Godwin arguement against him but a bit of respect and stroke the orange ones ego and what do you know the right result The nutty left need to change thier stratety to Trump taking him on head on ain’t working, They need to understand what do they really want and the devise the appropriate strategy to achieve the outcome and not disenfranchise half the population along the way with adding hate on hate

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Bewildered. Don’t go cap in hand to Trump begging for indulgences: get off your knees and suspend him from a lamp-post by his heels.

                      This isnt some normal petition to a benevolent government. “Oh please Sir, won’t you stop torturing children Sir?” We sent troops to Afghanistan for less.

                    • Bewildered []

                      Yep and your strategy is working a treat

                      The problem is that the elite left think they are representing the silent majority, the so called victims or even the working class even though in most cases they are just as removed from there so called constituency as their elite opponents Hate is just hate no matter where it comes from and never solves anything

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So it’s hateful to say that torturing children is wrong, a crime against humanity. The Police marksman who shoots the would-be murderer does so out of hate. That self-defence and the defence of others is motivated by hate.

                      Your moral compass is broken.

                      Oh, and by the by, the deluge of disgust that followed the release of an eight minute audio tape of screaming children is the first thing that has seen this vicious centrist serial rapist back down.

                      His people are pledging allegiance and sharpening their guns. I’m picking he’ll be setting fire to a Reichstag real soon. Some careully chosen “terrorist” attacks. Something along those lines.

                      This isn’t the time for hate, it’s the time for cold steel and calculation.

                    • RedLogix

                      @OAB

                      Well yes … just as you no doubt might discriminate against people who read Mein Kampf and assiduously apply themselves to following the precepts therein … you can see that some ‘books’ matter.

                      We aren’t talking Thomas the Tank Engine here; religious scripture has across time deeply informed and shaped our value systems. And it’s entirely banal and negligent to simply dismiss all religious narrative as the more or less equivalently insignificant witterings of ‘sky fairies’. Self-evidently they are not, or we simply would not be having this conversation. The very real differences between the Islamic and Christian world-views are significant, have massive political import and worth discussing.

                      The biggest challenge is that most Westerners are simply not all that informed about Islam; we don’t understand the substantial ground we share in common, while simultaneously failing utterly to apprehend the critical differences. Worse still the Q’uran is an exceptionally difficult book for Westerners to grasp; for the most part it either baffles or repels us.

                      Nor do we have much grasp of the complex history of Islam and it’s even more difficult relationship with Europe. And even in the modern context, the multiple strands of Islam stray over a difficult landscape, much of which is quite alien, hostile even, to western sensibilities. Exercising discrimination could well be an entirely rationale response.

                      What is of course truly weird is this alliance between the Western radical left and a modern Islam which radically leans toward fundamentalism; two ideological systems that superficially appear to share little in common. Until at least you understand that both are utterly convinced of their moral completeness and totalitarian scope.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      most Westerners are simply not all that informed about Islam

                      I doubt this incomprehension has a worse effect upon society than say, run-of-the-mill privilege and prejudice. Lao Tsu observed that “religion enthralls generation after generation”. I posit that racism is a similarly pernicious habit.

                      That being so, it is vain and arrogant to conclude that we can reason with and thereby constrain the harm done by racists, Nazis, authoritarian centrists, call it what you will.

                      Our job is to pre-empt and otherwise resist them.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    @Gosman You made quite a compelling case against Christians though.

                    No, I didn’t. You just think it’s good because it’s all you’ve got in yours.

                    It’s a shit case: I cherry-picked a single verse (or whatever they’re called) as though it is the entire litany. To bring it to Earth, the murder of doctors by Christians is a crime, but it’s murder, not faith, that’s being prosecuted.

      • Matthew Whitehead 10.1.2

        Wait, so discrimination against gay people is a reason why we should oppose direct action against authoritarian human rights abuses in other contexts, but discrimination against Muslims is fine? Make up your mind.

        For context, the inherent discrimination in Islam is of a similar level to that in Christianity and Judaism. It’s just that practicioners are disproportionately people of colour and economically disadvantaged, and so are viewed as valid scapegoats for their social conservatism, which would otherwise probably have made them your best buddies.

        You’re lucky my internet went down this afternoon, or I would have been around to caution you that you were coming dangerously close to trolling- consider this your warning for future threads under my posts.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      Ouch 😆

      That said, as Clive James pointed out in Cultural Amnesia, cartoonists found an easy target in Hitler. And then he murdered them all.

      • Sabine 11.1.1

        yep, the dissidents, the communists, the socialists, the handicapped children, the sick children, the homosexuals, the jehova witnesses all ended up dead as well as the jewish european citizenry, the roma, the sinti and and and.

        Anyone is fair go, and the US will wake up to this revelation sooner then later.

  11. Ad 12

    Speaking of fascism purportedly growing in American soil, is anyone watching The Man In The High Castle?

  12. Sabine 13

    this is a good read, from a non white us american ( so as long as they still have the right to say something )

    https://www.theroot.com/%5Bobject%20Object%5D

    Quote: “According to the prevailing narrative expressed by citizens from across the political spectrum, ostracizing people because of their political beliefs is a slippery slope that could lead to business owners selectively choosing whom they will or won’t serve.

    I agree with those people. Republicans gotta eat, too. This country should not devolve into a place where our personal preferences become scarlet letters that determine how we navigate the world. I’m sure America would not allow that to happen in the land of the free.

    (Sidenote: This piece will refrain from mentioning the North Carolina bathroom law, the recent Supreme Court homophobic bakery decision, the Freedom Riders, sit-ins, Jim Crow, the NBA and Super Bowl champions disinvited from the White House, or the people elbowed in the throat at Donald Trump rallies.)

    But that’s not what happened here.

    Kirstjen Nielsen was not heckled for what she believes. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was not booted from the restaurant because of her politics. They were singled out because of things they actually did. And that is the difference.” Quote end.

    • Matthew Whitehead 13.1

      This is precisely the distinction I was making to Gosman up thread, btw. Good quote, thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. Observer Tokoroa 14

    What naughty Babies !

    The American people who bombed the heavens out of Japan, Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, Iraq – and crippled many other countries, are now being attacked by Babies.

    America really is the sick nation. Cruelty, Murder, Hatred, and Greed are its fundamentals and daily bread.

    The free world owes nothing to imperial America, or to any American. They each think they are God’s Gift. When in fact they seem mental to the bone marrow.

    Each decade they sink further into disgrace and denial. If you hate Harmony, but like destruction, bottled sugar, Greasy Fat, Obesity, drugs, worldwide pollution – become American.

  14. Siobhan 15

    The worst thing about Trump is he seems to have derailed almost all coverage of important Political and Economic fight back and conversation in the MSM and even Leftish media and Blogs both overseas and in NZ.

    Even here we have scant coverage or detailed discussion of everyday worker, beneficiaries and family battles, and certainly next to zero coverage of any overseas protests or political stands and shenanigans compared to endless raking over the coals of Trump and his destructive tendencies.
    Ironically, given the obsession with Trump, there is, in fact, no real talk about the actual lives of poorer or even average Americans, or even coverage of the reality for migrants under stay together policy (ie as with Obama, ankle bracelets and repatriation without acknowledgement of valid claims).

    Sure, Trump has let some ‘Genies out of the Bottle’, and its a sudden very visable deterioration in America’s moral code not seen since 9/11, but it will be interesting to see if the next President makes any real attempt to undo the damage or whether it will be the usual tinkering at the edges and glossing over how America is perceived.

    Certainly the Democrats can’t think Trump is too bad or Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t have voted to give him greater spying powers.

    The man could be vaporised tomorrow and The Centre Left would have little to offer other than “well at least we’re not Trump”.

    Unfortunately that seems to be all that’s on offer these days.

  15. Sabine 16

    and another good one on the civility debate

    https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a21931194/sarah-huckabee-sanders-red-hen-civility/

    Quote” This debate is stupid. It’s also dangerously beside the point. SarahHuck is the lying mouthpiece of a lying regime that is one step away from simply hauling people off in trucks. That she was politely told to take her business elsewhere is a small step towards assigning public responsibility to public officials that enable a perilous brand of politics. There are bigger steps to be taken, but everyone in official Washington is too damn timid to do what really needs to be done about this band of pirates.

    So, Sarah, since I know it is hard for you to understand even short sentences, I’ll put it as briefly as I can: Take a hike.”Quote end

    • Bewildered 16.1

      Left wing hate plus right wing hate equals just more hate, both sides need to tske a chill pill as the silent majority just look on in dismay and disengage

      • Matthew Whitehead 16.1.1

        There is no left-wing hate here. The left are not suggesting we seperate people from families, or start widespread discrimination against Republicans, just that appaling actions merit real protest that might actually disrupt their lives a little.

        • RedLogix 16.1.1.1

          There is no left-wing hate here.

          My long experience ‘here’ informs me otherwise Matthew. Indeed it’s the underlying reason why I’ve scaled back my participation dramatically the past few years. (You can take pleasure in that if you wish, but I’m speaking to my experience, no-one else’s. ) It is of course expressed quite differently to the sort of ‘hate’ perpetrated by extreme right, but that doesn’t make it morally superior or politically effective, as Bewildered has concisely stated above.

          For the most part we like to pretend it doesn’t exist because it’s in such conflict with our professed values, but the denial wears thin after a while.

          • Matthew Whitehead 16.1.1.1.1

            Well if you’re gonna allude to personal anecdotes and then tag out, I can’t exactly speak to anything you’re saying, only say that I haven’t observed the phenomenon you’re talking about in public.

            I was thinking at an institutional level of policies, political groups, and political strategies. I think the fact that there are individuals on almost any given side in politics that will take things past all bounds of reason is a given, the question is whether they’re at the steering wheel or on the fringes. My experience so far is that they’re at the fringes in left-wing movements, but if your experience has genuinely differed I am very sorry to hear that.

            • RedLogix 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Most people only see what they expect to see, most of the time, so I’m not going to try and convince you of what you cannot see. But there is plenty of unwarranted belligerence and resentments swilling about the bilges of The Standard.

              It took me a long time to realise the left has no inherent ethical or moral superiority, over the right. We both have our fringe-dwellers who go too far.

              • Dennis Frank

                Human nature, eh. Can one transcend it? Sorry, deep philosophical question, wrong blog, consider it rhetorical!

                I like your exhibition of balanced overview here. I read The Moral Animal when it appeared in the nineties, think the evolutionists are getting some traction with deriving morality from nature (even if often overstated). Christians having lost moral authority during my lifetime, postmodernists having consistently signalled that they’re too stupid to make a contribution, we the people are left having to reinvent this wheel. We do it via blog discussions like this because intelligent discourse in groups no longer happens in physical proximity..

                • David Mac

                  I agree Dennis, I think that’s a beaut comment by Red L.

                  The internet. 20 years ago I’d have to guess what was on the minds of the people that contribute to this forum.

                  Intelligent discourse got supercharged…..as did the dumb stuff.

                  Trump’s tweeting continues to amaze me. It has a ‘The president popping over for a cup of tea and a chat’ flavour to it.

  16. Richard McGrath 17

    The Red Hen had every right to eject Sarah Sanders from their premises. They have the right to eject anyone, for any reason, because they own the property. Guests remain there with the permission of the owner(s), which can be revoked at any time. Whether that’s going to be good, bad or neutral for business, and the jobs of the employees there, is another matter, as the Red Hen will discover in due course.

    • Sabine 17.1

      I have a feeling that she will do fair business. Not the rightwingers and their enablers and such, but all the others – you know the liberals, the african americans, the mexicans , the people coming from shitholes, the women, the gay, the lesbians, the canadians etc etc.

      Sometimes following once conscience is good for business. 🙂

      • RedLogix 17.1.1

        No question it’s highly satisfying to watch a highly visible member of Trump’s staff encounter some personal blow-back like this. I can even appreciate the justification in the short-term.

        Longer term it would be a good deal less edifying to see this incident spread into general practise; restaurants and diners needing “No Dems” or “No Repugs” signs on the footpath outside.

        • McFlock 17.1.1.1

          Depends on how much more polarised things get.

          I’m actually more concerned about social segregation becoming re-entrenched than political segregation. The US really seems to be falling into (largely) an urban/rural schism that is becoming more and more hostile and violent, in addition to the social problems they already had.

        • Ad 17.1.1.2

          🙂

          From a guy who had plenty of experience not getting served in plenty of lunch bars, Martin Luther King gives a quick outline here of his praxis between love and resistance; non-resistance is a whole different thing to non-violent resistance:

          The trick for the left isn’t to follow the same fractal path of splitting that the hard right does. The left can’t afford it, and the Reverend knew that.

          The left will only win if it skillfully includes more and more small groups into larger groupings. That’s the thing called solidarity.

          Or, if you like, coalition government.

      • Andy 17.1.2

        You mean the African Americans that no have the lowest unemployment rate ever? I’m sure they’ll come flocking to a restaurant run by a bunch of white beta-manlets wearing pink hats

    • Matthew Whitehead 17.2

      You’ve gone a bit far past the mark here, Richard. The Red Hen do have a right to eject guests, but not for discriminatory reasons. That said, I don’t believe their ejection of Ms Huckabee-Sanders is discriminatory, based as it is on her actions on behalf of her employer, and the fact that those actions constitution collusion with some pretty extreme and unacceptable human rights violations against children, but “for any reason” is not legally correct even in the US.

  17. Observer Tokoroa 18

    Hi Siobhan

    Abraham Lincoln: on Democracy

    “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

    But Abraham did not count on the corruption of Greed that has become the blood and sinew of every American.

    So a true saying is:
    “Government of the poor, by the wealthy for the wealthy, shall not perish within America.”

    We, as well as the so called United Kingdom and other low wage limping nations, must not serve Capitalism. In fact, each nation must abolish capitalism – thereby establishing reasonable equality within a nation.

    In the year, Oct 25, 2017 over half of the jobs in America paid less than $18 hrly. Which is less than one would expect of a wealth laden USA. (Ref Washington Post).

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      If you aim at Capitalism your attack is easily evaded, for Capitalism is an ephemera, an ideal that exists only in textbooks.

      Aim instead at human rights and environmental abuses, corruption, and those who grease the slope.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1

        Aim instead at human rights and environmental abuses, corruption, and those who grease the slope.

        QFT

  18. Nick 19

    I believe Trump is simple to work out. Trump is for Trump. Nothing else matters to him – racism, economics, politics, people etc, the subject matter is not important to him (he floats above it all and has no feelings or emotions, so he easily changes direction when needed) , it’s only based on whether his actions and words help him to become Trump the king of the world. That’s his one simple goal.

    • Matthew Whitehead 19.1

      That might be a key goal of his, but it’s not his only goal. He is also for white supremacy, something which even from his own point of view gains little for him personally now he’s president and ostensibly on top of the food chain.

      There’s also a good argument that he wants to break the law and use the presidency to have conflicts of interest that make him money because he was broke AF before he was elected. That may be true, as it’s practically certain at this point that he’s not as rich as he says he is.

      I believe Trump is a comprehensible political figure, but that doesn’t mean he’s a one-note character. He cares about things other than turning the US into an elected monarchy, but he certainly believes as President he should have more power than even the most greedy of Presidents have previously aspired to.

      • Dennis Frank 19.1.1

        “He is also for white supremacy”, asserting your personal opinion as if it were fact – never an effective way to make a political point. If Trump were ever to have validated it by issuing the statement “I believe the white race is supreme”, there’d be a consequent headline to prove you right, right?

        This whole authoritarian centrist thing morphing into nazism is mere paranoia. Putting Trump supporters into jackboots could give it credence – no sign of that happening. In fact the small fat leftist leader of North Korea still supplies us with the most exemplary displays of mass goose-stepping this side of Hitler, at his military rallies every year. Perhaps to remind us that Hitler began his political career as a left-wing agitator (and then applied the socialist tag to his german workers party). Yeah, gotta watch these leftists…

  19. Grafton Gully 20

    “That’s his one simple goal.” At 72 and with problematic cardiac health that’s a big ask.

    • Nick 20.1

      Apologies Ggull, I meant King of the World in his own mind and how he views the world, spelt ‘America’.
      Yes Matthew, he is a white racist but that is just a vehicle to money and power, which mean more to him… He will enslave anybody (just ask the Republican party) lol.

  20. peterlepaysan 21

    In all the hiss and roar about godwins law above did anyone notice the chump tweet that ended with “most children arrive without parents”

    Presumably these children are also the same actors that a a chump apologist referred to.

    I cannot recall anything in Hitler’s actions that resembled that apart from his blaming of jews, czechs, assorted slavs for alleged assorted malignance.

    chump blames children for immigration woes?

    hitler never stooped so low.

    • Sabine 21.1

      children were the first one to be gassed, shot, or had their heads bashed in.
      pretty teenaged girls often ended up in brothels.
      teenaged boys might be worked to death.
      blond babies with blue eyes often were given to ‘deserving ‘ parents.

      children were always separated from their parents on arrival at the death camps.

      Hitler stooped very very low and left the country buried under several millions of skeletons. A deed which to this day is still causing shame in Germany.

  21. Sabine 22

    Elisabeth Warren’s account of a her visit to a ‘processing centre’

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/6/26/1775524/-Here-s-what-I-saw-at-the-border

  22. Observer Tokoroa 23

    To : One Anonymous Bloke

    “Aim instead at human rights and environmental abuses, corruption, and those who grease the slope.”

    Yes I agree with your statement. We have been through a number of severe meltdowns constructed by the American Banks. None of whom have been held to account.

    We have only in the past week discovered that our Banks (Australian) have literally been stealing money off their Depositors. Nothing will happen to them.

    Money Money Money – is the disease. All Capitalists should have a strong light shone upon them for they are the Rotten in our world. We need to bring back Capital Punishment. If I may say so.

  23. Sabine 24

    This is a lovely find from 1934 New York times urging Jews to be civil to the Nazis.

    https://twitter.com/studentactivism/status/1007301941540655106/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailykos.com%2Fstory%2F2018%2F6%2F26%2F1775487%2F-Historian-Pulls-Up-NYTimes-Editorial-From-1934-Urging-Jews-Be-Civil-Towards-Nazis

    the whole thing is worth a read.
    I would link to the New York times archive but one needs a subscription and I can’t be bothered.

  24. corodale 25

    Interesting to see the Polish de-criminalising history (to district court, rather than high court), and getting on with life. Also updating Judge Appointment, sparking confusion in some EU lands.
    http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/370269,Polish-MPs-vote-to-relax-disputed-antidefamation-law

    Note: Appointments in NZ:
    Judicial appointments to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General, who by convention receives advice from the Chief Justice and the Solicitor-General.

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