In Solidarity with Sony

Written By: - Date published: 4:37 pm, December 20th, 2014 - 98 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, censorship, International, Media - Tags:

Because freedom of speech and expression is something to be protected and censorship is ultimately futile …

98 comments on “In Solidarity with Sony”

  1. batweka 1

    I’m confused, who are the baddies here?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      North Korea although I wish Sony had not have caved!

      • b waghorn 1.1.1

        Obama’s upped the anti now threatening pay back of an unspecified type

        • Weepus beard 1.1.1.1

          You’re kidding.

          For an email hack on a private company?

          First world problems, eh?

          • b waghorn 1.1.1.1.1

            6 years ago I truly believed Obama would change the world for the better. . sigh!

            • Weepus beard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              He’s not been good.

              A terrible orator. Sounds like he’s reading advertising copy when he speaks.

              As for not being able to reform health and reign in US global hegemony, well there’s a lot of racist rednecks to appease over there and he’s up against it.

              • b waghorn

                I don’t fully understand there political system but it seems bonkers for the people of America to elect Obama and then cripple him by giving his opponent s the power.

                • Weepus beard

                  I don’t understand their political system either. Who would want to apart from Leighton Smith?

                • Lanthanide

                  “but it seems bonkers for the people of America to elect Obama and then cripple him by giving his opponent s the power.”

                  Don’t you think left-wingers in NZ would vote in a counter-balance to National if they could?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  I don’t fully understand there political system but it seems bonkers for the people of America to elect Obama and then cripple him by giving his opponent s the power.

                  I think the American people intuitively get that both major parties act to the detriment of most Americans, and primarily for the benefit of major banks and corporations.

                  So introducing maximum gridlock into the political system to slow down the rate at which damage can be done to the people, is actually a pretty sensible strategy.

                  BTW Obama has been a worse destroyer of civil rights and abrogator of international law than GW.

                • b waghorn

                  the left wingers would have to convince enough people who voted for the right to change sides wouldn’t they

      • Weepus beard 1.1.2

        In the same way you must have been unhappy when TVNZ sacked Paul Henry.

      • batweka 1.1.3

        ok, so we’re taking the US govt’s word that NK are responsible for the hack/threat, and that the threat was credible?

  2. Weepus beard 2

    Larry Williams had a benighted crack at this the other day. The thrust of his argument was to equate the evil NK hack of Sony with the equally evil and militant left wing hack of Slater’s emails as if some angelic innocent victim had been wronged.

    The fact is, today, if you practice pure hate-speech (Slater), or international satire (Sony’s film and the Jyllands-Posten cartoons of a few years ago), you had better watch out for some backlash.

    BTW, free speech is not allowed in China yet we all bow with appalling hypocrisy before their economic might.

  3. Agree with notice and features. A bit like the modern day equivalent of the BBC banning God save the queen.

    Question have to be asked of N Korea’s true motive. It’s not like they’re going to let their people see the film, and many think of kim lil dong as a loony dictator anyway, so why the hacktivism?

  4. joe90 4

    I’m feeling the love for the American subsidiary of a Japanese multinational.
    /

  5. joe90 5

    In other news: Empire threatens Alderann-like massacre if new Star Wars released.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B5RA-r9IUAAIR6R.jpg:large

  6. Bill 6

    The North Korean complaint to the UN on July 10 ran To allow the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent head of a sovereign state should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism..

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/dec/18/sony-hack-the-interview-timeline

    Some may think that reasonable and some may scoff at it.

    But what if it was Barack Obama being assassinated in a movie slated for widespread commercial release? What would he (B.O.)and the US admin be saying then? Or what would those who would scoff at the N.Korean UN complaint say then?

    Or what if there was a video game slated for general release where the idea was to assassinate Barack Obama? Still freedom of speech? Or is that inciting violence and possibly terrorism?

    Bringing it closer to home and down many, many levels, when I used the throwaway phrase here the other day, that someone ‘needed a bullet’, which obviously didn’t mean that anyone ought to be actually shot, that part of the comment was edited out.

    Anyway. I reckons… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYSnZRDe7h4

    • The Al1en 6.1

      Like day of the Jackal? Did it get De Gaulle all stroppy back in 1973? Well not him, since he was dead already, but the French government at the time.

      “what if it was Barack Obama being assassinated in a movie slated for widespread commercial release? ”
      “Or what would those who would scoff at the N.Korean UN complaint say then?”

      Exactly the same over here as about this one, though lil dong probably wouldn’t figure in it.

      • batweka 6.1.1

        A drama film made in 1972 about a planned assassination of a president who is already dead in RL, and made by a country that’s an ally, it’s not quite the same is it.

      • Bill 6.1.2

        Like day of the Jackal?

        No. Not like ‘Day of the Jackal’, that took actual events and then offered up a fictionalised post assassination plot. Also, as you point out, De Gaulle was already dead by the time of the book publication and the subsequent film adaptation.

        Day of the Jackal corresponds more with historical portrayals of attempts on the life of Hitler or other already dead people.

        Just absently wondering how many people have had comments alluding to assassination from facebook used against them by so-called anti-terror agencies, and yet here we have a Hollywood studio doing it on steroids. Actually, wasn’t somebody grilled in court and labelled as some sort of terrorist or danger to society for saying something along the lines of how they wanted to drop a bus on John Key?

        • batweka 6.1.2.1

          not to mention the people in the Tuhoe raids who allegedly said they wanted to kill Helen Clark and the police took that seriously.

          • b waghorn 6.1.2.1.1

            tama iti was runnning around the bush with guns that was enough reason to go get him and see what he was upto.

            • batweka 6.1.2.1.1.1

              His name is Tame, and no I don’t think running round in the bush with guns was reason for the terrorism charges. Besides, afaik he’s not the person who was caught on surveillance joking about killing Helen Clark.

              • b waghorn

                While i don’t see Tame as a threat it’s something that needed nipping in the bud , btw the i am in no way condoning the insane level of the cops behavior.
                I had a little batch in tuai at the time and my neighbour got turned over .!

                • batweka

                  People joking about killing the PM needs nipping in the bud? Really?

                  If the cops wanted to look at the firearms issue they could have asked to see Iti and co’s licence. Everything else was bullshit.

                  • b waghorn

                    No playing out gun fantasies in bush needs nipping in the bud and as i said the cops went over the top .

                  • b waghorn

                    the rolling round on car bonnets footage

                    • greywarshark

                      What I’d like nipped in the bud is the exciting spotlighting at night close to public or private areas where they it is actually banned. A real life killing took place a few years ago as someone cleaned her teeth outside a hut. That’s manslaughter and egregious because the shooter should not have been operating in that area.

                      Then the killing of animals on farms in meat hunting or rustling operations, the perps probably have firearms. A not-accident waiting to happen. Tuhoe running round their own areas with guns is hardly a notable event. As far as the Tuhoe raid goes, I think the operatives had been told to look closely for a suitable place for a raid and they could hang one on Tuhoe. A practice run. To fit in with other maneouvres of an international forces nature in Timaru. So there would be a state of readiness by all forces if anything did happen I suppose. The scenario set up for the Timaru get-together was interesting.
                      And gave an idea of what could occur.

                    • tracey

                      wasnt that rickard, former police officer?

        • The Al1en 6.1.2.2

          So not like the day of the jackal, fair enough.

          What about ‘Johnny English’ with it’s plot to steal the crown jewels and replace/kill the Queen? That’s got to be the same hasn’t it?

          Edit: Actually don’t think it is about a plot to assassinate E2R, but usurp.

          • The Al1en 6.1.2.2.1

            But this should qualify and upset no one on here.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_a_President_%282006_film%29

            “Death of a President is a 2006 British high concept mockumentary political thriller film about the fictional assassination of George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. President, on 19 October 2007 in Chicago, Illinois.”

            I think we can call this one busted.

            • batweka 6.1.2.2.1.1

              who made it?

              • The Al1en

                Google is your friend, but

                Directed by Gabriel Range
                Produced by Gabriel Range Simon Finch Ed Guiney Robin Gutch
                Written by Gabriel Range Simon Finch
                Starring Hend Ayoub Brian Boland Becky Ann Baker
                Music by Richard Harvey
                Cinematography Graham Smith
                Edited by Brand Thumim
                Production company FilmFour Borough Films
                Distributed by Optimum Releasing (UK) Newmarket Films (U.S.)
                Release dates 10 September 2006 (Toronto Film Festival)
                9 October 2006 (UK TV)
                27 October 2006 (U.S.)
                Running time 93 minutes
                Country United Kingdom
                Language English, Arabic
                Budget $2,000,000[1]
                Box office $869,352[2]

                • batweka

                  google likes to pretend it’s my friend but it’s really not.

                  So, a film made by the US and its allies about killing its own president. Still not the same is it.

                  • The Al1en

                    Film about the assassination of a sitting leader is apparently the issue. This production nails that.

                    • batweka

                      You think if the film was about assassinating Obama that the US govt would have hacked Sony*? Who made the film, and which country the president is in is entirely pertinent.

                      *ok, yeah, bad example, but I’m sure you get the point about the difference between allies and non-allies.

                    • The Al1en

                      I don’t know, maybe. They probably would have definitely released a statement exclaiming poor taste, though I’d imagine tea party members would be the first to express their dissatisfaction if the film was going to be prohibited from screening.

          • Bill 6.1.2.2.2

            How’s about a film was made in Pakistan that was a piss take on some Pakistani journos assassinating Narendra Modi?

            More to the point, what about the rank hypocrisy of people in power, who seek to slam their own citizens in jail for no more than making jokes on facebook, getting all high and mighty when an official enemy takes umbrage at a popular film that seeks to take the piss out of the assassination of their head of state?

            • The Al1en 6.1.2.2.2.1

              I don’t care about that or Rogen’s film, it’s others than are getting pissy and wanting to censor film content.
              Should the N Korean’s react the way they did, sure, if it bothers them that much, though I don’t believe artists should have topics that are off limits, even if some find those limits offensive.

              • batweka

                who exactly want’s the censor film content? Apart from Sony.

                • The Al1en

                  Everyone who says that the film’s plot is a reason for the film not being distributed or even being made in the first instance. That’s censorship.
                  And sony says it wants to release but theatres are backing out because of the threats of retribution.

                  • batweka

                    “Everyone who says that the film’s plot is reason for the film not being distributed.”

                    That doesn’t make sense. That’s people observing what is happening. You seem to think that there are people who are pissy about the film and want it censored. Apart from the hackers and Sony, who would that be exactly?

                    • The Al1en

                      Yes it does. Makes perfect sense.

                    • batweka

                      That’s people observing what is happening. You seem to think that there are people who are pissy about the film and want it censored. Apart from the hackers and Sony, who would that be exactly?

                    • The Al1en

                      Nope. I’m observing what’s happening and yet I’m not guilty of backing censorship, because even though I see the same reports, I don’t agree with it [censorship].
                      Those who say ‘the film should never have been made’ or ‘the film should not get a release’, because of it’s plot line, are agreeing with the N Korean narrative, and reinforcing censorship as it’s their intention to block it’s release.

                    • batweka

                      Yes, but I’m still not clear who you are hearing say that?

                    • The Al1en

                      You weka, it’s you. I’m hearing you say it 🙄

                      But there are a couple at the bottom of this page that agree with censorship based on the content of this film which validates my position.

                      And you weka, it’s you 🙄

                      😆

                    • batweka

                      and yet I made a comment below* that I’m not suggesting censorship of the film.

                      Maybe you are using the term censorship differently than me, I mean that someone in a position of power prevents the film from being shown (Sony, the US govt). Sony censored the film. I don’t have an opinion about that really because I don’t know how credible the threat was.

                      * eg where I say specifically “This isn’t an argument for censorship,”

                    • The Al1en

                      “Maybe you are using the term censorship differently than me,”

                      Yeah, I’m sure that must be it.

                      Sony haven’t censored the film at all. The film isn’t being shown because theatres are scared to play it because of threats of retribution. If that isn’t censorship by intimidation then you’ll have to google to try and find a better definition of it.

                      ————————————————————————————————-

                      ^ That’s me drawing a line under it. If we’re at a place where we can’t even agree on what constitutes censorship, then I’d rather be playing with the xmas present I bought myself today than going any further with this little game.

                      :halo: 🙂

                    • batweka

                      I don’t know why Sony withdrew the film. But let’s say for the sake of argument the threat was credible, then I agree they were coerced into censorship (as you have just said).

                      I still haven’t said I think the film should be censored for other reasons though, and you are misreading my comment below if that’s what you think I meant. Asking for clarification always seems to work better than making assumptions. And if you had pointed to me the first time I asked, then we might have gotten somewhere more interesting. Just saying.

              • Bill

                So okay, can we move on from the tittle tattle and on to the double standards at play by ‘our’ leaders in all of this?

                They sanction the cops to bash down the doors of kids for not much else than jokes written on facebook. Our media report on some of it with (laughably) a straight face, as though there is something to be answered for.

                And now we have them doing a 180 turn and wanking on about freedom of expression.

                The issue isn’t the film, or what is in the film, or why Sony have withdrawn distribution, or whatever threats might have been issued by whomever. The issue is that ‘our leaders’ lead far too much of public opinion by the nose and no-one ever questions the fucking glaring inconsistencies in their attitudes. But hey…

  7. xanthe 7

    cmon we all know it was kim

  8. Macro 8

    I’m with bill on this. IMHO the film was crap and offensive and could well be taken as an inducement to assassination by misguided individuals, and there are plenty of them about these days, as the US well knows to it continual cost.
    We live in the “age of stupid” and this film is the epitome of it. So I have no problems with it being canned. Good riddance. Freedom of speech also brings with it responsibilities about what we say, and how we say it.

    • b waghorn 8.1

      Can i ad that to my knowledge none of the other movies mentioned here plotted to kill a president while he was still in office.

      • Macro 8.1.1

        One would have thought that the US in particular would have been more sensitive to this issue. It wasn’t until relatively recently that if you were a President elected to office in a year divisible by 20 your chance of dying in office either by assassination or natural causes was 100%.

      • nadis 8.1.2

        Death of a President released in 2006, about GW Bush (PResident to 2008).

        When released (and shown in the US) the White House declined to comment on it.

    • batweka 8.2

      I also can’t help thinking about the plethora of films from Hollywood studios that consistently misportray countries and cultures outside the US, esp films that are political in nature, and where those misportrayals reinforce US prejudices about the rest of the world, or actively promote US hegemony. And do this in a world where the US’s foreign policy has been fucking with the international stage for its own political, cultural and financial ends.

      We can argue the freedom of speech thing but eventually we get to a point where we have to acknowledge that Hollywood influences culture domestically and globally, and in that influence it is perpetuating cultural imperialism. This isn’t an argument for censorship, but I can understand why eventually some people are going to get sick of it and take things too far. In the west we might argue that it’s just entertainment, but not everyone has the same cultural values. If the US and the west want globalisation then they need to understand they don’t get to control everything and as you say Macro, there are responsibilities that go with the freedom.

    • Rodel 8.3

      Macro I agree.Sony and the US belief they have a right to this kind of so called ‘free speech ‘ is in my view an illustration of an amoral and arrogant attitude present in some sections of American culture.

      To paraphrase Pam Corkery some years ago,”that’s why we love you uncle Sam.”

  9. Weepus beard 9

    Well said Rodel. Free speech is all fine when you control the speech. Not so much otherwise.

  10. Tom Jackson 10

    Making an offensive movie about the leader of a country that has not hesitated in the past to use terrorism to punish its enemies is not a good idea. The North Koreans aren’t going to take it as a joke, and they don’t really have a lot to lose. The North Koreans are also inclined not to make much of a distinction between what US companies do and what the US government does (they might be on to something there). This was a diplomatic disaster.

    Sony Pictures put its employees in harm’s way by making this movie. It was a phenomenally stupid idea.

  11. One Anonymous Bloke 11

    Did Salman Rushdie deserve it too?

    That’s the argument, isn’t it? That saying something that might upset psychotic right wing trash makes their psychotic reaction your fault.

  12. I support freedom of speech like no other but again this might not be what it seems.

    First of all North Korea denies that hacking attack and is in fact offering a joint investigation into where they really came from and secondly it seems to be used to push for massive injunctions against freedom of speech and more monopolizing of cultural expressions with copyright laws.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      I suspect making death threats against cinema goers and screenwriters is exactly what it looks like, no matter the source: someone doesn’t like this free speech, and wants it to stop.

      Unless you’re going to argue that bad people don’t deserve the UDoHR, that is. The character (or otherwise) of the speakers is irrelevant.

      • travellerev 12.1.1

        Oh, I agree with you but you might want to follow the money or Hui Bono. Sony and fellow big amusement industry corps have been wanting to sew up the amusement industry with their copy right laws for a very long time (Kim Dotcom knows all about that) and this is being used to do just that. Thing is if they can blame it on North Korea the sheeple will follow where ever they are led. So who hacked Sony?

  13. No1kiwi 13

    You guys are all assuming this hack was done by the North Koreans.

    How do you know this?

    Because the merican government said so….LOL.

    This is the same guys who said Iraq had WMD…LOL.

    I would not believe a word the US Government said..especially not the FBI, or the CIA.

    The hack was most likely a disgruntled employee…an inside job.

    PS. The Movie is inflammatory, and reckless. Free speech has consequences.

  14. hoom 14

    Nup Fuck Sony. I got no sympathy on this.

    This whole hacks & threats thing screams marketing campaign/propaganda via CIA black-ops or something.

    The idea that NK would have the capability of taking down a big film studio in such an obviously Hollywood way is pretty much ludicrous.

    I mean if there was any indication that the contents was somehow actually important artistically or as commentary on the current state of NK or even USA, then by all means but I’ve seen nothing indicating that to be the case.

    As someone said on RNZ, a movie that was almost guaranteed a cinema flop is now essentially guaranteed a huge DVD/BR release.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      The idea that NK would have the capability of taking down a big film studio in such an obviously Hollywood way is pretty much ludicrous.

      That’s some lovely shiny prejudice you got there. North Koreans can’t code?

      • hoom 14.1.1

        North Korea has a very low number of computers, extremely limited internet (physical infrastructure, state control of content & very likely death for being caught hacking)

        A quick google shows there are under 3,000 IPs assigned to North Korea.

        Its about the least likely place in the world to have bred a bunch of master hackers.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.1

          Oh, do they breed? I thought they learn those sorts of skills at Westminster University.

        • batweka 14.1.1.2

          hoom, do you think the NK government has no IT specialists skilled enough for this?

          • hoom 14.1.1.2.1

            Well they are much more likely to be found in countries with largely unrestricted internet access in the millions…

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. Now, I know some of you are going to say, “I did look it up, and that’s not true.” That’s ’cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that’s how our nervous system works.

              Stephen Colbert.

  15. Bill 15

    Just been skim reading across the web on this and am wondering if people are rolling across the floor clutching their sides…somewhere in Beijing.

    What a nice riposte to all the US web based sabotage and snooping it would represent, if indeed, N.Korea’s main sponsor proved to be behind all this malarkey.

    Like I said up thread, it’s not the film or its contents that I see as the issue, but the contortions being undertaken by the US admin as it seeks to gain moral high ground in the presence of a void.

    • batweka 15.1

      The one I’m finding interesting is Obama coming out saying Sony was wrong to pull the movie, and in the next breath saying the internet is the wild west and needs to be controlled more 🙄

      (apparently the US movie industry is about to do another big push to legally remove net neutrality)

  16. Morrissey 16

    “In solidarity with Sony”?!!??!?

    You must have a screw loose. You cannot be serious. Sony, in case you’ve been in a Hobbit Hole for the last two years, is a part of the gang attacking Kim Dotcom….

    The record labels are understood to be Warner Music, UMG Recordings, Sony Music and Capitol Records, while the film companies are 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Columbia Pictures and Warner Brothers.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11270566

    • Murray Rawshark 16.1

      Pretty much my thoughts as well. I bet the film isn’t funny either. I’d expect 90 minutes of racist stereotypes.
      I suspect the whole bloody thing is a marketing ploy anyway.

  17. Rolf 17

    You need to ask yourself too i war propaganda, sedition, and defamation is part of free speech, and if not, where is the boundary. Obviously the film has been found seriously insulting to another country and that country’s leader.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      …insulting…

      Um, yeah, and so is any decent comedian worth their salt. Your point is?

      • RedLogix 17.1.1

        Even comedians know there are some places you shouldn’t go. As more than a few jesters have found just after their head got handed to them.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1

          Cruel despots have also been known to suffer similar fates.

          When they came for the comedians, I spoke out, even though I’m not a comedian 😉

  18. tracey 18

    I am still trying to understand why so many people said hager was exploiting stolen emails but all our major media pounced on the hacked/stolen sony emails to sell their press ads and space.

  19. xanthe 19

    There is really no evdence apart from FBI say so that NKorea sponsored the hack. There are however very good reasons why sony would promote that myth. They are faceing huge civil damages for lax security of employees personal data. Look at the timeline of the hack and releases of info. There was no wiff of geopolitical motive but a strong theme of corporate overreach untill suddenly it was all about some low budget “comedy”. This is damage control (by increasing the damage!)

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1

      So that’s drawing quite a long bow, assuming Sony has that much control over the FBI. You’d have to assume the evidence for said control would be part of the hack, eh.

  20. Draco T Bastard 20

    This guy asks an important question.

    • RedLogix 20.1

      SONY is no longer just a Japanese corporation – it’s a global one and as such operates very much within the US sphere of influence.

  21. Phil 21

    Scott Adams makes some good (and some long-bow) points on this.

    It’s not the Job of Sony to protect the american constitution. It’s also also not their job to put the lives of their employees, and the lives of their clients and associates employees, in unnecessary danger.

    http://dilbert.com/blog/entry/sony_and_the_hackers/

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    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    3 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    4 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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