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Guns

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, October 3rd, 2017 - 155 comments
Categories: International, law, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Another day another mass shooting in the United States of America.  At least 58 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured by a 64 year old armed with an arsenal of weapons.

With utter predictability the right is trotting out well rehearsed lines.  With a sense of ad nauseam the US right’s talking heads are claiming that this is the price of living in a free society, even though no other free society has this rate of gun inflicted deaths on innocent men and women.

Some are sticking by the insane proposition that the solution is more guns.  But you just have to think about 20,000 country and western festival goers shooting up the Mandalay Hotel in self defence to realise that this is not a solution.

The disparity in treatment of the killer is again evident for all to see.  From early reports the current killer is a lone white male and questions are being asked about his mental health.  If he was black or had any sort of link to Islam the word “terrorist” would have a place in every headline.

And the leader of the free world expresses “warmest condolences and sympathies” to the victims.  Meanwhile the Republican Party will bunker down and refuse to do anything about gun control.

Twitter had some of the best and most unusual responses:

https://twitter.com/MrDenmore/status/914811514711793666

155 comments on “Guns”

  1. tc 1

    15 years since Moore’s ‘Bowling for Columbine’ and it’s just as current IMO for insight into why this is just another day in the USA.

    How many other gun related incidents didn’t make the headlines ?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Yep Moore has always been on the money on this issue.

      He had this Awful Truth episode Gun Crazy that was put out in 2000. It starts off with Charlton Heston yelling out “Guns” to huge applause from a NRA meeting. It stuck in my mind and hence the blog post title.

      It is still crazy and still relevant thousands and thousands of deaths later …

    • Ed 1.2

      A key scene form that film.

  2. Sparky 2

    The US’s endless spate of violence has more to do with social and economic inequality than guns per se I’d suggest. I’m not a fan of guns but they are I believe really a symptom of a bigger problem. Keep in mind too that its not always been guns, there have been bombings too, for example Oklahoma City.

    • Andre 2.1

      America is so far out of line with the rest of the world in gun ownership, lax gun control, and resulting gun violence that tightening gun control laws and reducing gun ownership are the incredibly obvious first response to reducing the violence. Which makes the NRA the largest terrorist organisation currently operating.

      https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts

      https://www.vox.com/2016/2/29/11120184/gun-control-study-international-evidence

      • One Two 2.1.1

        ‘The USA’ is ‘the largest terrorist organisation in the world’

        Get it right!

          • Andre 2.1.1.1.1

            The description you’re looking for is “rogue nation”. Pretty much all definitions of terrorists specify they’re non-state agents.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              So, does that mean that ISIS is not a terrorist organisation? They do call themselves a state after all.

              • Andre

                And they perform a lot of the functions of a state in the territory they control. So there’s at least a bit of arguability there. But since no other state recognises them, I’d fall on the side of “not a state, therefore terrorist”.

      • Sparky 2.1.2

        To my mind that’s just treating the symptoms of a bigger problem. The real issue here is the US’s oligarchical government that entrenches inequality.

        • red-blooded 2.1.2.1

          This guy was a wealthy retiree who lived in a retirement village. He wasn’t suffering the effects of an oligarchical social and political power structure – he was benefitting from it! And the checks on his background show no links with extremist religious or political groups (although these checks are still at a pretty basic level, I suppose).

          It’s true that the US is a very unequal society, but there are other societies with huge social disparities that don’t suffer mass shootings (or regular mass killings by lone operatives without political motivations). While Britain has suffered bombings and more recently deliberate driving related killings, they tend to have political motivations and are more easily defined as “terrorist” because they Do tend to be committed by people who are excluded from power by race, culture, religion, immigrant status (and usually social class) and who belong to groups with identifiable agendas that include the use of attacks on random civilians.

          The fact is that the US sacrifices tens of thousands of its people each year to the great god of the gun. This article from 2016 says that the US rate of gun deaths is 160 times that of Britain, with 6 times the population.
          https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/06/16/gun-violence-united-kingdom-united-states/85994716/
          This chart has it at 109 times (using data from different years, and from a while ago now). Also note that NZ isn’t great – the US death rate is only about 10.5 times higher than ours.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

          • marty mars 2.1.2.1.1

            Good points – what does it mean when a person like this does this? I’m not sure if the ramifications of that will be able to be realised for a while.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.2

            He wasn’t suffering the effects of an oligarchical social and political power structure

            Actually, I was thinking he was – but in the reverse way from what you’re thinking.

            His wealth made him think that he could do anything he damn well pleased.

            Should also note that this was obviously a well planned action. He knew what he was doing for months before hand.

            Also note that NZ isn’t great

            NZ also has a relatively high gun to population ratio. Double that of the UKs.

      • ianmac 2.1.3

        There are more guns per head of population in Canada than in USA. The death rate in USA is much higher. A matter of attitude?

        • Andre 2.1.3.1

          Uh, no. The gun ownership per capita in Canada is very roughly 0.3 per person, in the US it’s very roughly 0.9.

          There’s a chart some way down in this article that shows gun ownership per capita for various countries.

          https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts

          But yes, there’s also a big cultural attitude problem in the US that makes the gun violence problem much much worse.

          • ianmac 2.1.3.1.1

            Thanks Andre but I couldn’t find the numbers other than for homicides. A way back I seem to remember Michael Moore visiting Canada and quoting that Canada per head of population had more guns but far fewer deaths from guns. And what was the difference in attitude?
            My weak memory I guess.

            • ianmac 2.1.3.1.1.1

              You are right Andre.
              USA =112 per hundred people
              Canada= 30.8 per hundred
              Australia = 24 per hundred
              NZ = 22 per hundred

              • Andre

                Interestingly the percentage of households and percentage of individuals that own guns doesn’t have as wide a discrepancy. None of the data I saw looked that solid, but for households with guns in Canada the numbers in various sources ranged from around 18% to 25% and for the US it was 30% to 40%.

                Part of the reason for the extremely high guns per capita in the US is the few utter fukn loons that collect an arsenal.

    • CoroDale 2.2

      Correct Sparky – and to say it more directly, the USA is off-the-charts-crazy, and after decades of extreme right fascist govts, it’s no surprise that some many Americans have done the maths and bought a gun.

  3. One Two 3

    Guns are not the root of the problem!

    • No but they are a route of the problem imo

    • left_forward 3.2

      It seems so obvious that the proliferation of machines that are designed to kill people is very much the root of the problem – so what are you saying is the root? – something limp like lack of personal responsibility .

    • Molly 3.3

      Given the distance to the music festival, it would be hard to see how bare-handed combat would have resulted in the same devastation.

      Use of assault weapons made one man’s actions – a lethal random killing spree.

  4. Wensleydale 4

    I feel sorry for the average sane American just trying to get by. It must be incredibly stressful living in the midst of a homicidal circus where the clowns carry assault rifles, and the ringmaster is a petulant toddler with a persecution complex and the empathy of a cinder block.

  5. Ed 5

    Charlton Heston
    From my cold dead hands

  6. Ed 6

    Bowling For Columbine Trailer

  7. mac1 7

    Crosby, Stills and Nash sang “Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground. Mother Earth will swallow you. Lay your body down.” in response to their question “When everyone’s talkin’ and no-one is listenin’, how can we decide?”

    My response to Bill O’Reilly above who wrote that the mass shootings were “The price of freedom” would be to ask just how high is the cost, and how much is too high a price? Who pays the price? Freedom to do what? Freedom from what?

    If these deaths are the price that is asked and paid by innocents for the freedom of others to own weapons which can in the hands of one deranged man kill and wound 600 people, then it is too high, and O’Reilly’s views are too simplistic.

    “How can we decide?”

    America needs to reassess its values. It needs to consider and answer that question.

    We also need in New Zealand to re-consider our gun laws and how we control and register both guns and owners. Time to listen to the lessons from America, as CS&N’s song “Find the Cost of Freedom” suggests.

  8. Sabine 8

    The non carrying population of the US lost the conversation on guns with the Sandy Hooks shooting. Once the US decided that gun rights are more important then the right of safety for some six and seven year old kids it was over.

    The very sad thing tho is that those that survive will now have pre-existing conditions and will have little to no access to affordable healthcare. They might still have a bit of access now under the ACA but once that is starved out of existence they are on their own. All hail to the ownership society where automatic weapons have more rights then people.

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

  9. adam 9

    And yet we are not aloud to say this terrorism, is it becasue he is a male and white?

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      These are revenge fantasies. I’m not sure terrorism is the word.

      • adam 9.1.1

        Look at a dictionary Stuart Munro, look at what his act has done to people, the gun man has succeeded in terrorizing people. He is by that definition a terrorist and the media should treat him as such.

        • Stuart Munro 9.1.1.1

          My problem is probably that I look at too many dictionaries. Strictly, a terrorist is a supporter of state violence, specifically the state violence of la Terreur, which in 1793 and 94 put tens of thousands to death and intimidated many more.

          The modern use, since 9/11 or so, relates more to anti-state actors. It would have been more accurate to call them anarchists (in the Bakunin or Kropotkin tradition), or pterrorists, since the use of flight was a non-trivial component of their modus operandi.

          Now Paddock was one scarily murderous son-of-a-bitch – but I haven’t yet heard a political explanation for his actions, and lacking a political motive makes him a mere over-achieving mass murderer. Perhaps a new term is needed for mass killer, but he doesn’t fit the ordinary contemporary meaning of terrorist.

          • AB 9.1.1.1.1

            Yep – if we call something “terrorism” even though it lacks a political or religious motivation, we weaken the word “terrorism” to simply mean “anything that causes people to be terrified”.
            And I don’t think that is very useful in terms of helping our understanding of what’s going on.

    • Andre 9.2

      It’s not being called terrorism, yet, because so far there’s no public evidence there was any political motive or intent to modify a population’s behaviour.

      • weka 9.2.1

        Not having public evidence hasn’t stopped the MSM before.

        • Andre 9.2.1.1

          But even outlets that call out atrocities like the Pulse nightclub as terrorism long before the MSM are refraining from calling this terrorism. So far.

          • weka 9.2.1.1.1

            not sure what you mean by outlets there (no the MSM?). The Orlando shooter wasn’t white.

            • Andre 9.2.1.1.1.1

              While the definition of terrorism is fairly loose, it’s not quite one of those words that mean whatever the user wants it to.

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

              So here’s a longer explanation of why it’s not (yet) being used for this atrocity.

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/terrorism-federal-law-las-vegas-shooting_us_59d26166e4b06791bb121828?section=us_politics

              • weka

                Yes terrorism has a set of definitions. I took adam’s comment to be about media coverage not definitions.

              • mickysavage

                I dunno if killing 58 people in cold blood with automatic weapons is not terrorism then what is?

                • Andre

                  Mass murder by an unhinged nutcase with a massive unformed hostile rage against his fellow humans?

                  The thing that distinguishes this from terrorism as it is commonly understood is that the murderer doesn’t seem to have intended to send any kind of message with his monstrous acts. On whats come out so far, he apparently just killed for the sake of killing.

                  edit: and if you go by the old cliche “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist”, well, he doesn’t appear to have been fighting for or against anything in particular.

                  • Yes that is my reading of it – he wanted to kill as many as possible.

                    The term terrorist has always been misunderstood and misused and in any real terms is difficult as a descriptor not least because it has also been used by governments.

                    • Andre

                      I guess another reference point in the “terrorism or not” debate is
                      I don’t recall David Gray of Aramoana infamy being called a terrorist.

                • UncookedSelachimorpha

                  I dislike the word “terrorist” generally – best to simply call all people who do this sort of thing (whether politically / religiously motivated or not) ‘criminal murderers’ in most cases, I think.

        • Psycho Milt 9.2.1.2

          Any examples you can cite? There often seems to be speculation of the “possible terrorist incident” or “was this a terrorist attack” kind, but the same applies to this incident after Da’esh claimed he was one of theirs. Of course, that claim’s taken more seriously for someone called Khalid Masood than it is for someone called Stephen Paddock, but the principle’s the same.

          • weka 9.2.1.2.1

            I think the dudes who occupied that forestry rangers building is a pretty good example of how there’s is different framing of incidents based on race and class. Also the original Montreal shooting years ago, journalists at the time weren’t allowed to talk about the gendered nature of the attack (shooter targeted women on campus). Not sure why the attitudes of the dominant culture wouldn’t be at play or why that’s in contention.

            • Andre 9.2.1.2.1.1

              If you’re referring to Y’all Qaeda occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, then yes, that should have been called terrorism. It met the elements, there was violence by non-state agents in service of a political agenda. Similarly those who murder and harass people that work at and use the services of abortion clinics should be called terrorists.

              But if terrorism as a word is to retain any meaning, it shouldn’t be used in situations where it doesn’t fit. And the evidence so far is it doesn’t fit this atrocity.

              • weka

                yes, but I don’t think that’s the only reason it’s not. Racism is a thing that influences the media.

      • adam 9.2.2

        That’s my point, in many cases there was no public evidence of political motive or intent to modify a population’s behaviour but still the media ran with it.

        BUT, only if they were Brown.

        That said, 58 people dead, if that not an act of terror, I’m confused at what is.

        • marty mars 9.2.2.1

          The political motive defines it.

          It is also obvious that this ‘everyman’ in terms of the dominant society will be treated different to the ‘other’ however imo the ‘everyman’ will generate more terror than any terrorist could.

          • Andre 9.2.2.1.1

            “…the ‘everyman’ will generate more terror than any terrorist could.”

            Rationally you’d think so, if your neighbour or co-worker that looks just like you might suddenly go on a murder rampage that should be scarier than if it’s only identifiable “others” that do that.

            But when I think back on how my workplace reacted after Oklahoma City and the 1993 WTC bombing, there was a nervous high alert that stayed high for a long time after WTC (carried out by Islamists), compared to a definite relaxation that happened as soon as it was determined that white boy Timothy McVeigh did Oklahoma City.

            • red-blooded 9.2.2.1.1.1

              But surely that’s able to be understood better when you consider that a bombing organised by a group leaves open the possibility of other attacks as part of a campaign by the same group, or closely aligned groups (‘cos after all, if there’s a group then the same anger and change-agenda are shared, rather than belonging to just one individual). An attack by an individual with psychological issues or a mental health problem is easier to see as a “one off”.

              Of course, that ignores the fact that any society is going to contain people with extreme problems who might become attackers – and, getting back to the focus on guns, that a person with access to firearms is more likely to attack and kill while feeling this way.

              • Andre

                I really dunno. It seemed odd to me at the time, given McVeigh’s connections to Ruby Ridge type nutcases so there was a wider movement of mostly whites that was at least as dangerous as a foreign group. It was also the time when “going postal” entered the lingo, and IIRC the perps in those cases were white.

                But yeah, easy access to guns makes the consequences so much more tragic when someone goes off the rails.

            • marty mars 9.2.2.1.1.2

              Interesting – i wonder if his age will make a difference or his perceived position within society.

              I really worry about the rachet effect as bigger, worse atrocities have to occur to get noticed and if you want to be noticed then, well, not good.

          • adam 9.2.2.1.2

            No marty mars the act defines it. The actions were the actions of a terrorist.

            • Union city greens 9.2.2.1.2.1

              They were apparently the actions of a man with lots of guns who had a breakdown and went on a shooting rampage.

              Terrorism usually comes with a cause attached. So far there have been no such causes claimed or identified.

              Unless later proven this is definitely not terrorism. It is of course terrifying, and terrorist do cause terror, but that’s a different thing altogether.

            • marty mars 9.2.2.1.2.2

              No Adam that is incorrect – this is a well known concept not really up for Adam World interpretation but whatever you seem to be creating a new pathway even when a new one isn’t needed.

              • adam

                Here https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/terrorism

                The language is a bit broader than you think.

                • Okay, what was the political aim or goal of the murders? What were they supposed to achieve?

                  Why do you want to call It a terrorist act anyway?

                  • adam

                    Isn’t the personal political? Terror can happen without aims, and most times it does.

                    • Are you for real? Maybe the next hurricane we can name hurricane terror because people will be terrified when it hits populated areas.

                      The definition of terrorism includes the aim – that’s the point of the word mate.

                    • adam

                      Wow, points for misrepresentation there marty mars. I see you add more to your comment after I responded. “Why do you want to call It a terrorist act anyway?”

                      So to your point the killing of 58 people is an act of terror. The motivation is beside the point, the point is the media are not even going there. Mainly becasue the shooter was white, and as people have said on this thread already, the usual response to a white mass murdering terrorist is mental health.

                      Can’t call him anything else, might be to much for people to think about. Want to save that terrorist word for the Arabs right? Want to have a go to word we can use to strike fear into people, so we can blame the other. Rather than confront the issues within our own communities, or would you rather I put aside that violence in and of itself at this level is an act of terror?

                    • You misunderstand.

                      I know your points – i read the article too. Your barking up the wrong tree buddy simple as that. There doesn’t have to always be a big conspiracy behind the shit that happens sometimes the way it is is the way it is until more information comes along.

                      Edit I often adjust what I write – nothing to do with what you wrote Adam – build a bridge mate

                    • adam

                      I get you follow the media, that’s all I get.

                    • (Deleted) and somehow I’m not surprised (deleted).

                      edit Thanks for finally admitting you don’t get much – good on you.

                    • adam

                      When did you go all beige marty mars?

                      I’m trying to pin down the date…

                    • Lol Jesus youre a fuckwit adam no surprises there lol

                    • adam

                      well it takes one…

                    • Okay this is the last thing I’m saying to you on this

                      Yes I am a fuckwit sometimes and many times I irritate people and say the wrong thing from their point of view. I’m sure I’ve fucked you off.

                      What you write fucks me off sometimes.

                • McFlock

                  Every definition in your link includes the motive as well as the act:

                  […] in order to achieve political aims or to force a government to do something.

                  […] to achieve some goal

                  […] to demoralize, intimidate, and subjugate, esp. such use as a political weapon or policy

                  • adam

                    terrorism in British
                    (ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm )
                    noun
                    1.
                    systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal
                    2.
                    the act of terrorizing
                    3.
                    the state of being terrorized

                    • McFlock

                      what goal?

                    • adam

                      violence

                    • McFlock

                      Violence is what was used to achieve the goal.
                      What was the goal?

                    • weka

                      to control, or effect change in a desired direction.

                      I think there’s a case to made for calling domestic violence terrorism. Could probably even broaden it out in some cases to being political e.g. MRA goals.

                    • weka

                      According to federal law, an act of “terrorism” is an act that is “in furtherance of political or social objectives”, whereas Paddock’s motives remain unknown.[33] Under Nevada law, a terrorist only must intend violence to cause great bodily harm on the general population.[34]

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Las_Vegas_Strip_shooting

                      Bearing in mind it’s a wiki page on an event that is being updated a lot. Haven’t followed the references.

                    • McFlock

                      In some cases domestic violence might be terrorism – in others “slavery” might be equally or more valid.

                      But (Nevada law notwithstanding) not all mass violence is terrorism, and not all terrorism is mass violence. Immediately dropping the “t” word at the slightest excuse is why I have to play “don’t set off the metal detector” any time I need to jump on a jet, and provides no semantic difference from a fuckwit wanting to skew foreign policy and a fuckwit who just wants 15 minutes of posthumous fame.

                    • weka

                      I agree, but I would say the problem there isn’t in defining terrorism but that the definitions have been misused by states and the MSM for so long that there is now inherent cultural bias. In the case of the US, white = not terrorist if they can help it.

                      I don’t know if Paddock’s actions fit formal definitions of terrorism (hard to tell when we don’t know his motives). But I think it’s a problem that as you say any fuckwit wanting his 15 mins of posthumous fame can use terrorism to that end. The unwitting terrorist, because I’m sure people there are feeling fear and changing their behaviour accordingly.

                    • McFlock

                      I think the word still has a distinct meaning that we have no pithy substitute for.

                      Additionally, calling a sad, lonely fuckwit a “terrorist” simply because they wanted notoriety (or even just to lash out) actually gives them the status they were seeking – validating massacre as a way of getting respect.

                      We should be very careful, I think, about throwing dramatic words around, even if others aren’t so careful.

                    • weka

                      I agree with that. The tricky bit is that the MSM etc are still throwing the word around too much when it comes to non-white people.

                      If some sad sack yells out something about Allah as he kills people, do you think the MSM won’t use the word terrorist?

                    • McFlock

                      That’s actually what I liked about the aus response to the sydney cafe siege. ISTR the cops, pollies etc were very careful to keep the “terrorism” tag as far away from the guy as possible, despite his best (albeit confused) efforts to claim otherwise.

                      But yeah, there is often an ethnic bias in the language that is used. I tend to follow the path of resistance, rather than having an infinite number of words that all have exactly the same, broad, meaning.

                      It’s the opposite techinue to Orwellian “Newspeak”, but the outcome is equivalent: we lack the ability to express complexity because the very language we use is incapable of describing our thoughts.

                    • If some sad sack yells out something about Allah as he kills people, do you think the MSM won’t use the word terrorist?

                      Is there a reason they shouldn’t? If someone claims to be killing people on behalf of Allah, I don’t see any reason not to take him at his word.

                    • McFlock

                      If someone claims to be killing people on behalf of Allah, I don’t see any reason not to take him at his word.

                      Well, the Sydney guy did that, but it seems that he was more just a pathetic, sad dick with personal issues rather than being an individual with specific sociopolitical goals.

    • red-blooded 9.3

      Most atrocities labelled as terrorist are committed by men. And if we think a little outside the immediate present (eg IRA) there have been plenty of white people labelled as terrorists. I think it pretty obvious that this guy didn’t have a change-agenda. Some mass killers do (eg the guy who killed all the young Labour Party activists in Norway) and some don’t (eg the Sandy Hook massacre). To be labelled a terrorist, I think there needs to be a change agenda and an identifiable group whose cause is being promoted. That’s what makes something like the London Bridge massacre a terrorist attack.

      • adam 9.3.1

        I think you are way off red-blooded,

        to terrorizes or frightens others is a terrorist.

        Terrorism is the act of terrorizing.

        Yes it can have a political component, but the act itself the 58 dead and 200+ injured is terrorism pure and simple.

        • red-blooded 9.3.1.1

          You’re just arguing around in circles, adam. Whenever someone puts up evidence, or a counter-argument, you come back with:
          – “I think” (So what? Words have shared meanings – that’s how they work.)
          – or the fact that people were terrified. (Yup, and I used to be terrified of my cousins who regularly hurt me for fun. They weren’t terrorist, just bullies. Similarly, a rapist terrifies his victim, but he’s not a terrorist – he’s a rapist. It’s possible to be a violent, oppressive thug who causes terror without being a terrorist.)

    • And yet we are not aloud to say this terrorism…

      You’re not? Who imposed this ban, and why are you accepting it?

      …is it becasue he is a male and white?

      Most people aren’t calling this terrorism because words have meanings. If something turns up to suggest this incident fits that word’s meaning, no doubt there’ll be plenty of people calling it terrorism. However, it’s unlikely that their assessment of whether the word fits will involve having a look down his pants or checking his ethnic background.

      • adam 9.4.1

        If words have meaning then killing 58 and wounding 200+ is an act of terrorism.

        My point is exactly that, why does the colour of his skin and his gender stop the media calling this what it is, an act of terrorism.

        • marty mars 9.4.1.1

          (Deleted) Sad.

        • Andre 9.4.1.2

          Are you suggesting that if the perpetrator had been female, authorities and media would be faster to call it terrorism? Okaaay…

          Meanwhile I’ve just gone back to look at coverage of the San Bernadino shooting. Even days after the shooting, with the shooters known to be radical Islamic and of Middle-Eastern ancestry, authorities and media were very circumspect about not using the word terrorism.

          eg http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/02/us/san-bernardino-shooting/index.html

        • Psycho Milt 9.4.1.3

          If words have meaning then killing 58 and wounding 200+ is an act of terrorism.

          Non sequitur. Killing lots of people is mass murder. Terrorism features a political or ideological motive, neither of which is so far evident in this case. If you want to revise the meaning of terrorism so it covers multiple murder or attempted murder in general, you’re not going to get a lot of takers because it would be a nett loss in semantic value,

          • adam 9.4.1.3.1

            So a semantic value is more important if the person is white. I’m getting you are missing my point Psycho Milt, almost every time it’s a white person, the media do not use the term terrorism, in any meaning of the word.

            If they are white, it almost always defined as mental health, and given the semantic issues over the coupling of those two words, don’t you think we should look at things with a bit more of an open mind?

            Rather than fall into patterns and stereotypes of: white = mental health, black = gang, Latin = drugs, or Arab = terrorism.

            • In Vino 9.4.1.3.1.1

              Adam – this is partly because of the groups that rush to claim credit. Isis have already tried to claim credit for this one, but look like making fools of themselves this time. If the investigation finds that this guy had no connections with the Red Brigade, Islamic fundamentalism, Vegetarians, etc, then it would seem that his murderous behaviour was simply psychopathic. I would say the same about any mass murderer of any colour. I agree with Psycho Milt that terrorism is done with a political or military purpose. We have to wait and see why this guy did it. If he did it for a purpose, then it will be terrorism. If he did it because he was bananas, it wasn’t. If he wanted it to mean something, he may have left evidence, otherwise it seems totally futile.

              • adam

                So the act of terrorizing people is not an act of a terrorist? To be a terrorist, one needs to have political motivation? So individuals who terrorize now have a free pass not to be called heinous terrorists, becasue they need to have some sort of political motivation?

                • Stuart Munro

                  I know of plenty of people who were terrorized by their ex-partners. Nevertheless we do not call them terrorists.

                  Language is a strange thing – its changes are decided by usage. There is nothing to stop you calling Paddock a terrorist, but the correctness of the designation depends on whether a large number of strangers eventually agree. He was certainly a bad ‘un, they might. And if they do, the current meaning will change to include him.

            • Psycho Milt 9.4.1.3.1.2

              …almost every time it’s a white person, the media do not use the term terrorism, in any meaning of the word.

              Correlation != causation. In cases where White people have engaged in terrorism (eg the RAF, IRA, ETA) the media haven’t hesitated to use the word terrorism. In cases where a White guy engages in mass murder because he’s a psychopath who’d like to be famous, the media doesn’t use the term terrorism because it doesn’t apply.

              There is racism involved here, just not in the way you think. Why is there so little terrorism by White people reported in the media? Because the people who are running things generally don’t have reason to engage in terrorism. There’s your racial privilege playing out. And when it’s society’s rulers who are using violence to achieve political goals, there are different words that apply, so yeah, not a lot of White terrorism out there to cover.

              • adam

                Look I know your trying to spin it away from the USA, but it happened in the USA, so the context is the USA and their media. Which I hoped was obvious, the fact you have to reach out the USA to counter me, makes me feel some what vindicated.

                The USA runs a particular line around terrorism, or acts of terror. They can’t be done by white people. That is and always be my point, bombastically I may have started this thread – but my point stands, act of terror done by white people in the USA are not covered the same way that acts of terror if perpetrated by Blacks, Hispanics, nor Arabs.

            • Psycho Milt 9.4.1.3.1.3

              Also:

              So a semantic value is more important if the person is white.

              Nope, a semantic value is important full stop. Attempting to obscure, dilute or obfuscate the meanings of words for political purposes isn’t anti-racist, it’s anti-communication.

  10. Exkiwiforces 10

    The problem with the USA is it’s stupid out dated constitution aka the “right to bear arms to form a militia” which is ok back in day when you were using black powder firearms and before the war of 1812 the USA had no standing Army until they got bashed my some of relatives in serving in the British Army of Canada/ Canadian militia when the White House got burnt to the ground.

    The current NZ Firearms act is a good piece of legislation by world standards, but problem is the NZ police do not properly enforce the act like they do here in Australia. But you will still have the issue of the underworld obtaining firearms which mostly side arms or sawed off shotguns/ rifles which are easier to conceal than a long arm aka rifle/ shotgun regardless how tight the firearms legislation is.

    • Andre 10.1

      The second amendment isn’t the problem, since there’s a lot of room in how it’s interpreted. It says “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (with or without some more commas, depending on which version). So it doesn’t actually say anything about an individual right to bear arms, it could just be about preserving states’ rights to keep arms against the federal and foreign governments. Particularly when you look at other parts of the Constitution that are about state’s rights.

      The problem is there’s a small part of the population that’s rabid about their guns, and the NRA has become particularly skilled at whipping them into a frenzy. And that the majority of the population that wants gun control is nowhere near as motivated about it.

      • Exkiwiforces 10.1.1

        Yes, how one interprets the second amendment is the problem and having spent time along side the yanks over the years. I’ve heard various versions of the of the 2nd amendment to a point some us don’t know what true or what false and then you get some yanks saying that it’s your personal freedom and your right in a democracy to bear arms to protect yourself from government. And you are right about NRA as will.

        To me to own a firearm or firearms is a privilege not a right in a democracy.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.1.2

        “The problem is there’s a small part of the population that’s rabid about their guns, and the NRA has become particularly skilled at whipping them into a frenzy.”

        To some extent – but I think direct profit seeking by the US firearms industry is playing the biggest role, including funding lobbying and the NRA.

  11. Once was Tim 11

    “With utter predictability the right is trotting out well rehearsed lines. ”
    Of course they are Micky!. It’s all they’ve got. Their “founding fathers” gave them the right to bear arms – utterly unaware of technological advances – such as a future that would bring the semi-automatic; the assault rifle; and all that kaka (I’m not arms expert).
    It’s become orthodooxy – much like a neo-liberal economic agenda. A faith, a religion, a TINA, a cult.
    Maybe the fact that its all going tits up is something that HAD to happen.
    But if you expect my heart to bleed for 58 dead and 500 injured, juxtaposed against a million Rohingya, you’ll be waiting a long time.
    In a mini-me sort of way, there’s a gaggle of Natzi Party tishuns and fawning media that are expecting much the same sort of sympathy.

    • Cinny 12.1

      That’s way way messed up Katipo. Weapons manufacturers will be rubbing their hands in greedy glee. Far out so lucky to live in NZ

      I heard from a redneck friend over Florida way that many carry weapons because they are too scared to get into a punch up due to blood and HIV fears etc.

      Guns are used for one thing, killing, people can make all the excuses in the world that it is for protection, but all firearms have one basic function, to kill.

      It’s terrifying how normalised firearms are in ‘Murica

  12. rhinocrates 13

    Typically, first and foremost is ‘This is a tragedy and no time to talk about gun control.”

    On a parallel here, Trevor Noah on when a black person should protest:

    The ammosexuals are already going through the bullshit bingo grid. I’m sure someone can arrange this, and add a few of their own:

    Now is not the time to talk about this
    This is the price of freedom
    False flag!
    Crisis actors!
    It was a sad act by a disturbed individual (if the perpetrator was white)
    We must pull together against this terrorist threat (if the perpetrator wasn’t white)
    How dare you politicise this!
    It wouldn’t have happened if the victims had superior firepower
    But her emails! (this can be used anywhere, anytime)
    They deserved it
    Hitler tried to ban guns too!
    Gun control only helps the criminals
    Second Amendment!
    Thoughts and prayers
    Why aren’t you crying?!
    The solution is in the Bible and only in the Bible

    • rhinocrates 13.1

      Oh, and Pat Robertson’s already come with another grid square I should have thought of: Atheism caused it!

  13. Ad 14

    Now is not the time for a gun control debate, according to the White House:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/02/white-house-trump-las-vegas-gun-debate-243371

  14. joe90 15

    Barking.

    It’s been illegal to carry a toy gun on the Las Vegas Strip since 2012, when Clark County commissioners passed an ordinance banning “dangerous objects” from the Strip.

    The ban, intended to make the sidewalks safer, prohibited flame throwers, blades over three-inches long and toy guns.

    But what it didn’t prohibit was real guns.

    http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/nation-world/article176655566.html

  15. Sabine 16

    275 days of the year, 273 ‘mass shootings’

    http://www.newsweek.com/mass-shooting-almost-every-day-us-675334

    and the police relays on this to trace guns

    https://www.gq.com/story/inside-federal-bureau-of-way-too-many-guns

    Quote” “ I get e-mails even from police saying, ‘Can you type in the serial number and tell me who the gun is registered to?’ Every week. They think it’s like a VIN number on a car. Even police. Police from everywhere. ‘Hey, can you guys hurry up and type that number in?’ ”
    “It’s a shoestring budget. It’s a bunch of friggin’ boxes. All half-ass records.”
    So here’s a news flash, from Charlie: “We ain’t got a registration system. Ain’t nobody registering no damn guns.”

    it should be called terrorism, legalized domestic terrorism by those that want guns to have more rights then people, and that use their guns to enforce their wants and needs.

  16. Stuart Munro 17

    I think the concentration on guns may be partly mistaken in the US context because as Moore points out, gun ownership is relatively high in Canada too, but with significantly fewer gun deaths. The same observation can be made of Switzerland.

    So, what is it that makes guns so much more dangerous in American hands? Part of the answer lies in a judicial stance that legitimizes (or even idolizes) armed self defense. In NZ we have doctrine of equivalent force, whereby you may use a weapon of similar threat level against an armed intruder, but gunning down a knife armed assailant exposes you to a significant risk of a murder charge. The lack of an equivalent feature in the US is part of the problem. It relates to minimalist conceptions of government that casualize or underfund policing instead of maintaining a full nationwide system.

  17. Exkiwiforces 18

    The thing about Switzerland is that when you have completed your 18mths National Service Training, you return home with your assault rifle and also you are bomb up along with your combat gear etc. Also they are very strict on who has a firearms license. So if someone did play up? There is a chance that your next door neighbor might knock you off before the police do.

    • Stuart Munro 18.1

      I’m guessing if you ‘played up’ in Switzerland the least bad result would be you’d find yourself living without firearms in a community with them who think you’re an asshole.

      The “neighbor shoots you first” is more the US logic.

  18. Exkiwiforces 19

    I tend to feel safe in most European countries than I do in the states, because it almost feel like if you say the wrong word to some muppet he or she will pull a firearm on you and the further you get away from the major US centres the the more unsafe I feel. Even the US police are bordering on a shoot first ask questions later approach as everyone seems to have some sort of firearm or firearms within arms length away.

    • Stuart Munro 19.1

      Yeah Korea’s like that, super safe – and their cops are all armed. They shoot about 9 people a year – less than us – I had a chat with a cop there about it. He said no-one wants to shoot anyone ever – the paperwork’ll take you over a year even if you do everything right. Mind, compulsory military service takes the cowboy thrill off firearms there too.

      • Exkiwiforces 19.1.1

        I would agree that in certain countries that having National Service would mostly take out that cowboy thrill factor out of weapons training, but I know my own experience you get the odd one who thinks he or she John Wayne or Mae West. In the most Western European countries it was the landed Gentry, Game keepers, Jägers, Poachers that had access to firearms and then it was a privilege not a right to have firearms.

        Even with my own firearms that I Iost as result of PTSD. I lost my privilege to have access to or ot used them ATM and even back in NZ it was always drill into by my next of kin etc that it was a privilege not a right to own firearms.

        • Stuart Munro 19.1.1.1

          There’s also the thing about who needs them – in a farming area they’re a tool but there used to be a saying to the effect that it is not possible for a saint, dwelling in Mayfair, to possess a .303.

          It’s starting to look like the US will eat itself if it doesn’t reform – and their current president is not really ready to lead in the public interest.

          Sounds like your kin were on the ball too. No-one wants a firearms tragedy on their conscience.

          • Exkiwiforces 19.1.1.1.1

            The yanks I’ve work alongside on operations can’t or seem to understand Australian or New Zealand firearms ownership is a privilege not right. Either side of both families (Oz and NZ) are from land, bushies, miners, hunters or in the military to maintain a high standard in marksmanship. Even my partner says I have a lot of respect for firearms and the way I teach and how I under take my own firearms training.

              • Stuart Munro

                Seems like he was ready to go full Oklahoma City.

                The Beast has uncovered what may have been his motive – his father was arrested for a bank robbery in Vegas when he was seven. If that was the reason it would be sort of in the nature of a blood feud.

                • RedLogix

                  The common thread is that most are socially isolated loners, often aggressively so. Paddock may be a bit unusual in that he appears to have had a partner, but initial reports suggest a pattern of rejection.

                  To be quite honest, with the degree of social dysfunction in the USA I’m surprised these big massacres don’t happen more often.

                • Exkiwiforces

                  Yes, it does appear he was about to do the full Monty and he picked the right state to do it in.

                  • RedLogix

                    “Going Postal” may be a fit too.

                    Untangling all the motives and aspects to these mass murders is beyond my understanding or wit; but it’s clear that while all societies have their share of unhinged zealots and sociopaths, the USA uniquely enables them into action.

                    The open question is … just how big a massacre will it take before real change happens? Or is it going to spiral down into total madness?

                    • Exkiwiforces

                      To tell you the truth, I don’t think gun control in the US can be achieve as I think they are now pass the Point of No Return and it may well get worst before it gets better. Possible worst case a all out civil warfare with each state having it own National Guard Units things could very well spiral down into total madness.

            • RedLogix 19.1.1.1.1.2

              In my limited experience people who have professional police/military training with weapons tend to be the most cautious and restrained about their use. Because along with their training in their use, they also learned about consequences.

              This guy is a good example:

              http://www.stonekettle.com/

              http://www.stonekettle.com/2012/07/the-seven-stages-of-gun-violence.html

              Thirty years ago I joined the military and spent my entire life there. I know more than a little about guns. I’m a graduate of the Smith & Wesson Rangemaster Academy, the nation’s premier firearms instructor school. I’m a certified armorer and gunsmith. I’ve graduated from nearly every boarding officer and gun school the military has. I hold both the Expert Pistol and Expert Rifle Medals. I’ve taught small arms and combat arms to both military and civilians for nearly thirty years now. I’ve fired damned near everything the US military owns, from the old .38 revolver to a US Navy Aegis Guided Missile Cruiser’s 5” main battery – and everything in between.

              • Exkiwiforces

                I have two good books that I use to base all my weapons training on plus my own experience and others within our section.

                On Killing “The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in and Society” and On Combat “The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace”

                By Lt Col. Dave Grossman and I believe copies are now up to their 4th or 5th edition.

                • RedLogix

                  Just skimmed through the contents section … dark and powerful material.

                  • Exkiwiforces

                    Yes its very dark and powerful, but very useful information. He has put an awful lot of work into both books and members of my treatment team both here in Darwin and down in St John of God Hospital in Richmond NSW do read Lt Col Grossman information.

  19. joe90 21

    Horrible factoid of the day.

    Number of Americans killed on battlefields in all wars in history:1,396,733Killed by firearms in the US since 1968:1,516,863(NYT)— richard bacon (@richardpbacon) October 2, 2017

    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/aug/27/nicholas-kristof/more-americans-killed-guns-1968-all-wars-says-colu/

    • Macro 21.1

      Yep the rate of firearm fatalities in the US is horrendous – 10.6 deaths per 100,000 U.S. citizens.
      They are killing themselves at a rate just short of 10 per day. In 2013 there were 33,636 deaths due to “injury by firearms”. And that does not include the numbers of injuries. In the same year there were 73,505 nonfatal firearm injuries.
      It’s utter madness.
      But it took 59 deaths for one Gun toting proponent to wake up to the error of his ways when he finally realised the stupidity of thinking guns provided “protection”
      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/02/las-vegas-gun-control-caleb-keeter-josh-abbott-band

  20. joe90 22

    Thread.

    Las Vegas shooting isn't deadliest mass shooting in US history. The deadliest mass shootings were acts of white supremacist terrorism. (1/x)— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) October 2, 2017

    1919: Elaine "race riot" in Arkansas where a mob of white men shot and killed 100-800 black people "on sight." https://t.co/P7CaVVwc7X pic.twitter.com/92yfFfbpjg— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) October 2, 2017

  21. Andre 23

    A good reason not to call this terrorism (until there’s good reason to think there is some kind of politics behind it) – it feeds horseshit and fake news like ISIS claiming responsibility.

    https://www.vox.com/world/2017/10/2/16403958/las-vegas-shooting-isis-claim-responsibility

  22. joe90 24

    Dawkins has the wingnuts exercised.

    Durn tootin’, great shootin’. Cool dude sertin’ he’s 2nd Mendment rahts. Hell yeah! Every country has its psychopaths. In US they have guns— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) October 2, 2017

  23. Incognito 25

    .

    • Ed 25.1

      Silence is golden?

      • Incognito 25.1.1

        Yes, there are no words and the full stop signifies the end of a wordless silent moment. It also symbolises the need to put a full stop behind this kind of madness.

        TBH, this was not my intention by WordPress (?) did not allow me to post just empty space(s) …

      • joe90 25.1.2

        A single full stop to express there are no words / words are not enough.

  24. joe90 26

    Predictable.

    Easily shedding the trappings of reality, Jones concocted a customarily lurid and complex tale involving the Islamic State group (ISIS), former Vice President Albert Gore and former CIA official Philip Mudd, among other imagined malefactors. Jones also alluded to “the literal grandchildren of the folks that financed the Bolshevik Revolution out of New York and London,” an elaborate allusion to Jews that none of his devoted fans could have missed.

    Jones suggested the attack was staged to coincide with the past weekend’s release of former football player O.J. Simpson from the High Desert State Prison, not far from Las Vegas:

    They released O.J. just 20 hours before the attack took place so all the media would come and be in place to cover this event. The whole thing has the hallmarks of being scripted by deep state Democrats and their Islamic allies using mental patient cut-outs.

    http://www.newsweek.com/alex-jones-deep-state-behind-las-vegas-attack-676016

  25. Ed 27

    I notice the bombers at Manchester are called terrorists and the semi-automatic rifleman is called a ‘lone wolf’, a ‘shooter’ and now an ‘attacker’ by the corporate msm.

    If one was at Las Vegas, one would be just as terrorised as one would have been in Paris.

    Could the media not politicise violence please?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11929469

  26. Siobhan 28

    This wee gem from a few days back. The issue is not just American violence, its something they export, and they want to export even more..

    “Gun companies are suffering a sales slump under the Trump administration.
    But a regulatory change could give them a boost overseas.
    The administration is considering shifting oversight of gun exports from the State Department to the Commerce Department. The proposed change would treat handguns more like commodities and less like military weapons, and loosen the bureaucracy for gun manufacturers.
    “They are currently hamstrung by considerable red tape,” gun industry analyst Rommel Dionisio wrote in a report for Aegis Capital.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/27/news/companies/gun-exports-trump/index.html

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    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
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    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
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    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
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    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
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    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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