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Open mike 22/01/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 22nd, 2021 - 139 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

139 comments on “Open mike 22/01/2021 ”

    • Sacha 1.1

      From the sidebar, Colonel Trotter dons a straw hat to defend us all against the consequences of that Bernard Hickey chap's revolutionary incitements about housing prices. http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-economic-consequences-of-mr-hickey.html

      The answer is, of course, social, economic and political mayhem. Thousands of ordinary middle-class New Zealanders would be ruined. The country’s leading banks would teeter on the brink of failure. Credit would dry up overnight. New Zealand would be plunged headlong into a deep recession. Thousands of “millennial” Kiwis would lose their jobs, closely followed by thousands of redundant Gen-Xers. Poverty would surge upwards to engulf layers of society untouched by deprivation for more than eighty years. In short order, shock and disbelief would give way to unrelenting political rage – and a lust for inter-generational vengeance.

      • gsays 1.1.1

        Small price to pay to address one of the major drivers of inequality, third world health outcomes for some and mental ill health.

        • Sanctuary 1.1.1.1

          Hickey’s plan has as much chance of being adopted by either main party as you have propelling yourself to the moon using only farts.

          Like most people here I think he government should embark on a government funded house building spree AKA the 1950s and 1960s.

          But they won't. Labour is all about technocratic woke neoliberalism – and in this country that is an election winning combination, since our technocratic elites are competent and our liberal middle class who runs everything is woke as fuck.

          Of course, you CAN try and drain that swamp by voting for outsider candidates and get your revolution to cut house prices by 50%, but you are far, far more likely to end up with Donald Trump or Boris Johnson than you are with Che Guevara.

          So really, if we want housing change we are all going to have to start getting real about what levers a neoliberal government under pressure might pull to get more houses built. And that is only, in NZ, going to be through the NGO housing sector.

        • Nic the NZer 1.1.1.2

          Hang on there, are you actually claiming Trotter is right (a 1990s style recession eventuates from Hickeys housing policy) and that this is a political price worth paying?

          • gsays 1.1.1.2.1

            More along the lines of implement Hickey's suggestions and reap the benefits.

            As we have found, there are unintended consequences in radical times. After all, how many recent articles are there where economists have either got it totally wrong it didn't anticipate certain outcomes?

            • Nic the NZer 1.1.1.2.1.1

              That's actually a yes then.

              Would you like to elaborate on the benefits of the 1990s recession for us? I think Ruth Richardsons position was probably that the reforms getting passed justified the pain. But with 30 years of hindsight we might consider if the consequences were justified especially for those whose careers were interrupted by the high unemployment of that time.

              • gsays

                Sorry, I could have been clearer.

                I have as much faith in Trotter's reckons as any economists predictions i.e. very little.

                We do need a correction, a shift or a radical change. BAU doesn't cut it- wealth accumulating into fewer and fewer hands.

                • Nic the NZer

                  However its not a zero sum game. Whatever the cause the general fall out from a major recession would easily be worse than the on going property price rises.

                  Of note, last year the government had an opportunity to run that experiment just by implementing lockdown without the accompanying wage subsidy (which was proportionally the largest in the world). This would certainly have landed the economy in a recession and quite likely would have prevented the latest price rises.

                  Unless you think that was preferable (Labour would have lost the election of course in this case) then the reforms must avoid such a recession or have a plan to mitigate it. Pertinently Trotter is asking the economist (Hickey) what that plan is because its widely known this is a likely consequence of such a price collapse. Its also what happened across multiple countries when their property bubbles collapsed, we have somewhat more evidence its a real problem than just recons. Its also the kind of advice being given to Ardern and why she is telling the country she doesn't want to cause a price collapse.

                  The surface dismissal of what Trotter is saying without either engaging with the argument (or even just to state their belief that property market collapse wouldn't cause a recession) doesn't endear.

                  • gsays

                    I feel we are talking past each other.

                    Politically, you seem to be saying we must not frighten the horses. I am of the opinion they need a jolly good rark up. Maybe a gate or two left open.

                    Plus the the other part of housing affordability is the income/wages side of it. Incomes/benefits/wages need to rise.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Well I didn't have a sense of talking past each other, but if you want to move the discussion onto stables then we certainly are now.

                  • Sacha

                    Soaring house prices are from govt QE poured into the banking sector, not wage subsidies. Trickle-down nonsense again.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      This is incorrect, though a widely held myth. Soaring house prices are based on what the latest batch of house buyers are willing to pay for the houses they purchased. Often they borrowed to make those purchases, so also deposit and lending criteria, etc…

                      But in no way did government spending facilitate those decisions. The government could have funded itself in many ways including, normal DMO operations (though at higher interest rates) or OMF or if Grant Robertson found 60 billion down the back of the couch.

                      So how should the government have completed its deficit spending to avoid these recent price rises?

      • francesca 1.1.2

        And a calculated assumption that the poor, the homeless , the disenfranchised will not

        rise up or indeed be championed by the same middle class with property portfolios.

      • Sanctuary 1.1.3

        It seems to me Bernard Hickey is entirely unserious about solving the countries housing issues and instead he (along with a huge proportion of the vocal insolent left) prefers the high ground of oppositional politics. Why else would you propose a scheme which has zero chance of implementation?

        Either Bernard Hickey wishes to be taken seriously on the issue or he does not. If he wants his views to be relegated to the background noise of a increasingly petulant twitterati left then he can carry on proposing such pie in the sky policy prescriptions. Or he can start coming up with some concrete ideas that might have a chance of actually being adopted.

      • RedLogix 1.1.4

        As I've pointed out a few times in the past, the one thing worse than a housing market that's too hot, is one that's dropping.

        • Herodotus 1.1.4.1

          As we have experienced a rise so meteoric in the last year – Part due to government action of quantitive easing and throwing $$ without taking action to counteract what this has done to property. The market has plenty of slack to allow for the market to drop to levels that we were experiencing this time last year. Problem is that our PM finds moderate increases as acceptable. To our PM: every period that rises are over and above disposable income increases guess what ? – It gets more difficult to buy a family home, or are many comfortable with a timid response ??

          https://www.interest.co.nz/property/108601/2020-capped-19-rise-house-prices-year-despite-sharp-jump-volumes-sold-prices-were#:~:text=New%20Zealand%20house%20prices%20rose,gain%20rate%20to%20%2B%24422.

          • McFlock 1.1.4.1.1

            So even if they dropped 20%, house prices would be back to the terrible times of… last year.

            • Herodotus 1.1.4.1.1.1

              Less terrible than were we are now 🤫, but those who comment regarding aversions to see property prices drops forget that a return to where we were 6months. What other options are there ? stagnant property prices for many years to come as wage growth of 1% allows for an improving the house affordability trend ?

              • RedLogix

                The point being that no-one wants to either buy or lend into a falling market, because of the risk of destroying all the equity and going underwater.

                If there is one thing worse than a house that's too damn expensive (there is a chance you can work with that), it's a house you dare not buy regardless.

                • McFlock

                  "No one".

                  I mean, people who want a house rather than an investment with a capital gain might be interested, mad fools they are. Who just buys a house to live in it lol

      • Gabby 1.1.5

        Do the Trotsker's vapours owe anything to his own house holding status?

  1. roblogic 2

    It’s a beautiful day in Auckland. Nice feeling to know that the USA is not completely crazy and liable to start WW3 any minute

  2. Andre 3

    Here's the missing reporting on the massive "stop the steal" protests at state capitols all around the US that the fake news media censored. (check the whole thread)

    • Poission 3.1

      Still sleepless in Seattle.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        The far left in the USA has been dumped by TeamBiden and will not be happy.

        They’ll be even less happy when the US business faction gets into bed with the Dem party leaders.

        • roblogic 3.1.1.1

          The “far left” being those who want the basics of a civilised democracy as opposed to the current oligarchy

          • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1

            While the Democrats like to think they're the 'natural party of government' in the USA, the reality is that they only very narrowly won this election. The entire popular majority for the President resides in just three states, California, New York and Florida. The swings virtually everywhere else were tiny; the fundamental voting patterns have barely changed in decades.

            And you may want to keep in mind, even when losing, Trump gained more Hispanic and Black votes this election than any Republican President ever. If it were not for the shambolic COVID response, Trump would have likely romped home.

            In the meantime the Republicans are now composed almost entirely of right wing populists of various nutty flavours, and their traditional support base among the business, national security and social conservatives has been completely frozen out. A smart Democrat leadership will move toward these groups, representing as they do real money and large voting blocs.

            Of course this analysis isn't intended to make you happy – it's a look at what is happening rather than what you might wish would.

            • roblogic 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Sure, the Dems need to actually win in order to get shit done. But they don't need to be as pathetic as Obama and pander to Wall St quite so obsequiously. 🤮

        • Poission 3.1.1.2

          Maybe they think themselves as true Scythians where revolutions are infinite and in continuous turmoil (and continuous revolutions have a second law constraint) see Zamyatin.

          The spiritual revolutionary, the genuine freeman and Scythian, is envisaged by Ivanov-Razumnik 1 thus: he “works for the near or distant future,” he knows that “the way of the revolution is verily a way of the cross.” We can almost agree with this defini- tion, but how often “almost” makes a world of difference. The true Scythian does not know of any straddling “or.” He works only for the distant future, never for the near future, and never for the present. Hence to him there is one way — Golgotha — and no other, and one conceivable victory — to be crucified — and no other. Christ on Golgotha, between two thieves, bleeding to death drop by drop, is the victor — because he has been crucified, be- cause, in practical terms, he has been vanquished. But Christ vic- torious in practical terms is the grand inquisitor. And worse, Christ victorious in practical terms is a paunchy priest in a silk- lined purple robe, who dispenses benedictions with his right hand and collects donations with the left. The Fair Lady, in legal marriage, is simply Mrs. So-and-So, with hair curlers at night and a migraine in the morning. And Marx, come down to earth, is simply a Krylenko . 2 Such is the irony and such is the wisdom of fate. Wisdom, because this ironic law holds the pledge of eternal movement forward. The realization, materialization, practical victory of an idea immediately gives it a philistine hue. And the true Scythian will smell from a mile away the odor of dwellings, the odor of cabbage soup, the odor of the priest in his purple cassock, the odor of Krylenko — and will hasten away from the dwellings, into the steppe, to freedom.

      • Andre 3.1.2

        That's how they roll in that part of the world.

        There's the newish dynamic prosperous urban centres of Portland and Seattle that attract a population that is young, progressive, diverse, energetic, possibly a little hot-headed, and they aren't going to take shit.

        Then there's the older backblocks that aren't doing as well as they think they're entitled to and think they're still in the 1800s when the constitution of Oregon explicitly forebade non-whites. (Washington state didn't quite do that, but the vibe was still pretty clear).

        So the regular rumbles between the various factions are now kind of a routine thing. Almost an expected ritual.

        • RedLogix 3.1.2.1

          If there is one thing guaranteed to lose support in the USA it's political violence. not only is it morally wrong and dangerous at every level, supporting it politically as many Democrat leaders have been doing all year is monumentally stupid.

          It's possibly the one factor that turned what should have been a slam dunk win over Trump into a nail-biter.

          • Andre 3.1.2.1.1

            Democratic leaders have been condemning all violence for the entire last four terms. Suggesting they haven't is amplifying a right-wing smear.

            In stark contrast to Darth Hater, who had been encouraging violence and dog-whistle cheering it on, with an occasional feeble hostage video repudiation when even his sycophants thought he had gone waaay too far.

            https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/08/13/fact-check-democrats-have-condemned-violence-linked-protests/3317862001/

            https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-biden-condemn-violence/fact-check-joe-biden-has-condemned-violent-protests-in-the-last-three-months-idUSKBN25V2O1?edition-redirect=uk

            • RedLogix 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Democratic leaders have been condemning all violence for the entire last four terms.

              So cheerfully paying bail monies to arrested 'protesters' is somehow consistent with this?

              • arkie

                From your link:

                At least 13 Biden campaign staff members posted on Twitter on Friday and Saturday that they made donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which opposes the practice of cash bail, or making people pay to avoid pre-trial imprisonment. The group uses donations to pay bail fees in Minneapolis.

                Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement to Reuters that the former vice president opposes the institution of cash bail as a “modern day debtors prison.”

                But the campaign declined to answer questions on whether the donations were coordinated within the campaign, underscoring the politically thorny nature of the sometimes violent protests.

                Bates instead pointed to Biden’s comments that protesters have the right to be angry but that more violence won’t solve justice problems.

                Note: not Democratic Leaders; their campaign staff, in an unofficial capacity; donating to a third-party that bails out protestors; and a statement by Biden calling out violence.

                • RedLogix

                  The fact that left wing protests regularly turned into violence of one sort or another virtually all damned year – and that protest leaders and Democrats did little but token hand-wringing to stop it is something the left owns now whether you like it or not.

                  • Andre

                    BLM and other leftish protests regularly turned into violence (at a rate of about 4% to 6% of all protests) mostly because of police and white supremacists initiating violence.

                    The police had an obligation to ensure protestors could exercise their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble: the police abjectly failed, and indeed, were often the proximate cause of the violation of the protestors rights. In direct contravention of their obligations and oaths.

                    That RWNJs are now furiously gaslighting to deflect blame doesn’t change the facts.

                    edit: here’s just one link of many that are easily found just be googling police brutality blm protests.

                    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-07/police-brutality-caught-on-film-black-lives-matter/12330672

                    • RedLogix

                      So the link to the Antifa protest yesterday that sparked this thread, is a deep fake video? Or white supremacists reacting to police provocation?

                      And if BLM want to base an entire movement on the basis of less than 20 unjustified deaths per year (out of tens of million of police encounters), then your 4 – 6% of protests that turn ugly cannot be dismissed either.

                      The simple truth you keep dodging is that while I don't have to hassle any brain cells to rank the order of importance between the Capitol invasion and the the burning down of a Seven11 – the ongoing news clips showing political violence done either in the name of or under the cover of ostensibly left wing protests all year cannot be erased from the voters mind either.

                      And unless I've missed something, I have yet to see any pro-BLM/Antifa people here on this thread actually condemning the Antifa violence seen even yesterday. What we get instead are denial, minimising and deflection at every step.

                    • McFlock

                      A lot of those spnosored bail bonds will be to people who were victims of police violence, but apparently it's still all the fault of the "left wing".

                    • I Feel Love []

                      You got it McFlock.

                  • arkie

                    The fact that you continue to misrepresent what your own links say, to demonise civil rights protests, makes clear the rabidity of your own partisanship, whether you like it or not.

                    • Sacha

                      If them antifa folk would stop running headlong into police batons and redneck fists, peace would descend. Saw it on Faux News so it must be true.

              • joe90

                Just in case it's not clear.

              • Ad

                Four of the five permanent members of the Security Council all began their modern states with bloody revolutions.

                All four founded those revolutionary states on principles that they thought were universal.

                • RedLogix

                  So if or when the trial of Derek Chauvin fails to deliver the outcome the mob wants, do you think the USA should burn?

                  • arkie

                    It's a bad faith form of debate to use loaded questions to force opinion.

                    • RedLogix

                      So you want to reserve the option to both allow the left to condemn political violence for reasons of respectability, but at the same time cheer it on when it suits because 'racism'.

                      Does that cover it off?

                    • McFlock

                      As we all know, the springbok tour in '81 was called off because people frowned pointedly at it.

                    • RedLogix

                      @McF

                      Does this mean you support political violence when you think it's justified?

                      And does this extend to when other people think it's justified?

                    • McFlock

                      Of course I support violence when I think it's justified. Why would I oppose justified violence?

                      Does it extend to other people's idea of justification? Within reason. Individual circumstances are not always precise, nor is the level of violence chosen.

                      I'm a great fan of a "reasonable person" assessment. I know it doesn't fit with your desire for categorical imperatives that can be adapted as rules for your positronic neural network, but that's the difficulty of being human.

                    • RedLogix

                      The category of political violence is absolute; it's either allowable or not.

                      And even Uncle Joe thought he was being reasonable.

                    • McFlock

                      Did he really? Or was he just a bastard?

                      And as we previously discovered, what you count as "political violence" is not as categorical as you claim. Damaging property and threatening people with assault in order to protest materialism is fine, if it's "performative" enough.

                    • RedLogix

                      Of course you can claim the 'cleansing of the Temple' was political violence because it suits your argument. I think it was a legitimate protest, disruptive yes, but not violent. (There is no evidence from the account anyone was hurt.)

                      That's my point, you think you're being reasonable, when I don't. So which one of us gets to define what is acceptable or not? It just becomes a matter of opinion, and the fucking nazis are just as free to have their opinion as Antifa.

                      My argument is simply that whenever there is any doubt, political violence must be out of bounds. The most watertight definition is the most reliable one.

                    • solkta

                      violence

                      noun

                      1 Behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

                      1.1 Law The unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.

                      (oxford)

                      No need for hurt.

                    • McFlock

                      I think it was a legitimate protest, disruptive yes, but not violent. (There is no evidence from the account anyone was hurt.)

                      So if nobody is hurt it's not violence? The dude made a whip, ffs. Not sure anyone was hurt (by protestors) in the "violence" at portland yesterday, either.

                      That's my point, you think you're being reasonable, when I don't. So which one of us gets to define what is acceptable or not? It just becomes a matter of opinion, and the fucking nazis are just as free to have their opinion as Antifa.

                      Neither of us do. There is no central Decider who makes the determination. We are judged by our peers, voters, judiciary, and history. All of them get to change their minds at any time. You might despise that sort of ethical melieu, but the objective isn't a categorical line in the sand. The objective is to not go down in history as being too much of a dick. John Brown is another dude who I'd rather be like than someone who just frowned at slavery and did nothing.

                      My argument is simply that whenever there is any doubt, political violence must be out of bounds. The most watertight definition is the most reliable one.

                      Have you not been paying attention? There is always some shred of doubt. By your rules, anyone who tried to kill Hitler in the 1930s was wrong, as well. Bullshit.

                    • solkta

                      This is where these discussions usually end up, with RL making up his own definitions for words.

                    • RedLogix

                      solkta is now using a modern dictionary to parse events that took place 2000 years ago.

                      If you think that era was at all touched by the concerns of the modern woke, you really need to read some history.

                    • arkie

                      solkta is now using a modern dictionary to parse events that took place 2000 years ago.

                      If you think that era was at all touched by the concerns of the modern woke, you really need to read some history.

                      Setting aside the historicity of the bible narrative here are some examples of the 'woke'-ness RL so derides:

                      How Jesus broke down racial barriers:

                      • Jesus went to Samaria to save the Woman at the Well. Most Jews went around Samaria just to avoid “those people.” There was total segregation between them (Jn. 4:9), but Jesus had a divine appointment with a broken woman who desperately needed Him. The disciples were shocked that Jesus even spoke to her (Jn. 4:27), yet He took the time to reveal His Messiahship to her (Jn. 4:25-26). As a result, a two-day revival broke out in Samaria (Jn. 4:39-42).
                      • Jesus healed a Roman Centurion’s servant (Mt. 8:5-13). There was much racial tension between Jews and Romans. The Jews despised them for occupying their land, controlling their lives, and overtaxing them. Jesus was willing to go to his house, but most Jews wouldn’t even consider going near the house of an “unclean” Gentile. The Centurion said Jesus could just speak the word only. He knew how the chain of command worked. Then Jesus commended his faith and healed his servant.
                      • Jesus delivered the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter (Mt. 15:21-28). Jesus went beyond the borders of Israel to meet this Greek woman. At first, He ignored her (Mt. 15:23). Then, He excluded her—“I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mt. 15:24). Next, it seems, He insulted her—“It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs” (Mt 15:26). (Jews often referred to Gentiles as dogs.) She must have been a bulldog because she refused to take no for an answer (Mt. 15:27). Jesus was so impressed with her faith that He delivered her daughter from demons.
                      • Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10:30-37). Samaritans were the “bad guys” to the Jews, but Jesus made one the hero of this story to show there is good in people we may not like. Notice the priest and the Levite (two “good guys”) did nothing to help the victim. Jesus redefined who is our neighbor is—not just the person on our same street, but any person of any race who is in need.
                      • Jesus went out of His way to include the Gentiles and break down racial barriers. After all, He wasn’t just the King of the Jews. As the Samaritans testified, “We know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the WORLD” (Jn. 4:42).

                      https://mountaineagle.com/stories/how-jesus-responded-to-racism,26438

                    • McFlock

                      RL:

                      solkta is now using a modern dictionary to parse events that took place 2000 years ago.

                      Because we're using English, not Latin or Aramaic.

                      Violence, violentiam, βία: it's the same in any language from any era.

                    • RedLogix

                      Well that of course is why Christ is remembered – he did challenge the norms of the era and set in place a moral framework that still informs the modern world.

                      But if you imagine the account of the 'cleansing of the Temple' would have stacked up as 'violent' in terms of how people thought in those quite different times, I think you and McF are suffering a quite bad dose of presentism.

                      Notably Christ's approach to the issues you list is based however not in identity politics and power struggle, but through the 'rebirth of the soul' within the heart of each individual. That's my problem with woke – it takes good causes and uses them to cloak bad actions.

                    • RedLogix

                      By your rules, anyone who tried to kill Hitler in the 1930s was wrong, as well. Bullshit.

                      Well that's because we know what happened subsequently in the 1940's. Now how would you feel if someone had tried or even succeeded in assassinating Trump?

                    • solkta

                      My copy of the bible is in English.

                    • solkta

                      RL, why can't you just admit that you were wrong? Why are you so incapable of that?

                    • McFlock

                      Now how would you feel if someone had tried or even succeeded in assassinating Trump?

                      Hmmm. In 2016? Probably would have been a bit ambivalent about it. Less ambivalent if I knew literally hundreds of thousands of lives might have been saved.

                      But then if Hitler had been assassinated in 1935 and I was reading about it in a history book, same deal.

                    • RedLogix

                      RL, why can't you just admit that you were wrong? Why are you so incapable of that?

                      In the 14 yrs I've been commenting here I never thought to demand that of anyone.

                      My point is simple – if you are going to insist on reserving the right to use political violence in the name of your own cause, then you will have no defense when your opponents do the same.

                      Or indeed any other form of violence.

                    • RedLogix

                      Probably would have been a bit ambivalent about it.

                      I would have condemned it absolutely outright. As would indeed the vast majority of 'reasonable' people I suggest.

                      You've completely forgotten the very purpose of politics. It's to substitute dialog and negotiation for coercion and war.

                      When you allow violence to creep in through the cracks – you will inevitably find it betrays democracy and civilisation. Everything you thought worth saving.

                    • McFlock

                      I would have condemned it absolutely outright. As would indeed the vast majority of 'reasonable' people I suggest.

                      Yeah, his repeated early moves on race-based immigration didn't worry many people you'd regard as "reasonable". But they were pretty fucking strong portents of looming fascism.

                      I'd have been against it a bit because maybe he hadn't met the threshold of harm that warranted assassination, but for it a bit because he looked like he had a good chance of going there. Ambivalent. Hell, I'm still ambivalent about whether it would have been a good thing at the start of his presidency. Would Pence's Gilead have been worse than 400k covid deaths and open fascism? Can't say for sure.

                    • roblogic

                      What happens when the State claims a monopoly on violence, but then that State goes rogue, ignores the democratic will of the people, and indeed begins oppressing its own? From the Declaration of Independence:

                      But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

                    • solkta

                      @RL In the 14 yrs I've been commenting here I never thought to demand that of anyone.

                      Some people are able to admit when they are wrong about something and this enables them to learn new things. Others just want to prance around like a peacock.

                  • Ad

                    A little singe now and again.

                    The focus of BLM had gained good impact in the new administration already. They generated massive marches and some fires on the streets.

                    Whereas attacking the Senate has massively damaged the Republicans. Hopefully it splits them and there's a nice new splinter party formed.

                    So you do need the sense to put your sights on the right target if you're going to set fires.

                    • RedLogix

                      A little singe now and again.

                      Well compared to say Yeltsin using tanks to shell the Kremlin, how does the 'storming of the Capitol' stack up? Just a little singe?

                      My point I think is this; unless you have categorically ruled political violence out of bounds, then you (or anyone else) will always find a reason to justify it to suit themselves.

                      But not the other guys.

                    • McFlock

                      Wasn't Yeltsin putting down a coup, not fomenting one?

                    • RedLogix

                      Well most of the people at the Capitol thought exactly the same; they were there to defend the Constitution not overthrow it.

                    • McFlock

                      Do you think that this belief was reasonable?

                    • RedLogix

                      I don't think it was reasonable – but I'll bet the vast majority of people who went almost certainly thought it was. The accounts I've read support this.

                    • McFlock

                      So? They are unreasonable. Who decides that? People in general, over time.

                      What do we know, through careful examination of the facts? The insurrectionists got much of their plan wrong. They lacked reason. They livestreamed their crimes. Lack of reason. They had faith in dolt45. Lack of reason.

                      Yelstin: there was an attempted coup. Coup plotters had arrest lists and military forces. He organised resistance to the coup. Coup plotters didn't surrender, he shelled their position. All reasonable actions.

                      If you doubt your own ability to assess reasonable actions and arguments, that's your problem.

                    • RedLogix

                      If you doubt your own ability to assess reasonable actions and arguments, that's your problem.

                      I'm not the one who is willing to commit violence in the name of your always reasonable cause, nor condone an assassination if it suits your political view.

                      I've assessed that violence represents the abdication of politics, the point at which you've plunged into the abyss.

                    • McFlock

                      No dude.

                      You will be the good man who stands by and does nothing because you can't trust your mental faculties and you might therefore be wrong. Frowns don't stop nazis.

                    • RedLogix

                      They are unreasonable. Who decides that? People in general, over time.

                      Which is why we reserve violence for the state; it alone has the capacity to make the collective determination you're asking for here.

                      And if the state has degenerated into an intolerable tyranny then it can be resisted by defying it courageously. Ghandi, Mandela and King showed how it’s done.

                      Resorting to mob violence is the cowards way out.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, if you think Mandela was a pacifist then you're probably right to mistrust your judgement.

                      BLM protests aren't the riots you paint them as, but even if they all were, MLK said "riots are the language of the unheard". He didn't approve, but he understood. He didn't just fire off categorical imperatives as an excuse to dismiss the issue.

                      Gandhi was also not as categorical as you: "where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence." Apparently also recruited Indians to serve as British soldiers in WW1.

                      Let's see: Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Jesus… none of them lived up to Redlogix's pacifist ideals.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yet each of these leaders are held in such high esteem precisely because they achieved their remarkable goals with the bare minimum of disruption and force necessary. Their primary leverage was a moral not physical.

                      The general trend of human evolution has been away from coercion and violence to resolve conflicts of interest, toward dialog and negotiation. In this process we have slowly ceded our right to personal forceful action upward to higher authority. First to the clan, the tribe, the warlord, the city state and now the nation state.

                      At each step we've gained increasing freedom in our daily lives from violence. At this point in time humans are probably the least violent we've ever been. Pinker has made this case very well.

                      This is not necessarily because our personal capacity for violence has diminished, but because we have created social structures that regulate and moderate it on our collective behalf.

                    • McFlock

                      Meanwhile, in the real world nobody lives up to your categorical imperatives, St RedLogix. Not even the people you list.

                      I agree, minimum force should be used. I worked under that rule for 20 years, always knowing any instance could be put to a test of reasonableness in court. But "never"? You're setting absurdly high goals for any movement, there, let alone one you seem to oppose.

                    • RedLogix

                      And in my view the principle of non-violence must take precedence. There is no more excuse for individuals resorting to violence for a political purpose than there is for domestic violence.

                      It's the same logic, just taken to the next wider social level.

                    • McFlock

                      A view not shared even by more than half the folks you name-dropped to support it.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yet manifestly they're all celebrated precisely for the success of their non-violent approach.

                      It's a very odd thing that you should now be consigning them to the same dustbin history along with all the assorted thugs, warlords and failed revolutionaries who only ever reached for violent means to prosecute their cause.

                    • McFlock

                      If that's your genuine take-away from the discussion, all I can do is be thankful that you have enough awareness remaining to doubt the reasonableness of your beliefs.

                  • Ad

                    Now I'll have to generate a post on revolutions.

                    • RedLogix

                      You may want to consider that what we think permissible, changes with time. My view is that the boundaries on violence are being gradually extended from virtually no limits at all – toward ideally a total prohibition in any form.

                      Which direction do you want to take?

                    • Forget now

                      RL, your view seems not to correspond with reality. The difference between those engaged in violence in support of a fascist coup and others fighting oppression seems quite clear to other commenters. For one thing; the oppressors expect to get away with their crimes, whereas the oppressed expect to be harshly punished, but do it anyway.

                      This is the best I have seen it stated:

                      There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

                    • RedLogix

                      The difference between those engaged in violence in support of a fascist coup and others fighting oppression seems quite clear to other commenters.

                      It's a remarkable conceit to imagine that you're always on the side of the angels and the other guys are always the oppressors.

                      It's the idea that the left can never do any wrong that doesn't correlate with reality.

                  • Morrissey

                    You think that only "the mob" wants justice in the Chauvin case?

                    • RedLogix

                      Everyone would want to see the correct legal outcome that most people considered just; but it would be a mob that went on a rampage afterward if they didn't like it.

          • Morrissey 3.1.2.1.2

            political violence. not only is it morally wrong and dangerous at every level, supporting it politically as many Democrat leaders have been doing all year is monumentally stupid.

            Democratic politicians are outspoken supporters of the most extreme violence by insurrectionary mobs in Venezuela and by Israeli snipers against unarmed protestors in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank.

            Where on earth do you get the idea that Democrats oppose violence?

      • Forget now 3.1.3

        I am not that familiar with twitter, but this Disclose.tv thread looks a bit dodgy there Poisson.

        Hopefully, in the next few days, we will see some details about those eight arrested. I wouldn't be quite so quick to ascribe the actions to "Antifa", though I guess ICE is arguably fascist enough for people to be anti it. But Anarchist is not the same as Antifa, despite sounding similar, and sometimes sharing similar objectives. The J20 protests the previous 4 years have certainly seemed a bit larger, but also featured flag burning. From 2017:

        The day's events began with a contentious American flag burning event that was organized by a small group of anarchists around 2:30 p.m. No arrests were made at that time, but Portland Police took several wooden poles and other materials from protesters that could have been used as weapons.

        https://katu.com/news/local/portland-protests-large-crowd-begins-to-gather-at-pioneer-courthouse-square

        But it's not entirely clear if the group is the same as those of previous years with McKelvey, then leader of "Portland's Resistance" seeming to have moved to Atlanta in mid-2018. And there are no repeated names in the lists of arrested between the two years (can't be bothered hunting up 2016,18&19 details – have enough tabs open as it is). Also not the only protest in Portland that day:

        Another demonstration involving a different group of people got underway at 4 p.m. at Northeast Portland's Irving Park.

        Portland Police said they were aware of a third protest, set for 8 p.m. at South Portland's Caruthers Park.

        https://katu.com/news/local/protesters-at-j20-demonstration-march-through-southeast-portland

        https://katu.com/news/local/portland-organizer-gregory-mckelvey-accepts-job-in-atlanta-living-room

      • Gabby 3.1.4

        No police in sight so they're probably snofwake trumpkins.

  3. Ad 4

    Grainne Moss has just stepped down as boss of Oranga Tamariki.

    Sir Wira Gardiner is the new Acting.

    All fine to get the scalp of a senior public servant if that's the game you hunt.

    But now the Maori leadership who hunted her will be owning the results.

    • Sanctuary 4.1

      Pretty much. When the government got serious about child abuse and changed the law to allow uplift where the threat was clear Maori activists and leaders couldn't see past their reflexive sense of grievance.

      Maori leadership has chosen not to see James Whakaruru as the victim of child abuse with painful questions about Maori culpability, preferring to focus on the easy portrayal of the likes of Te Rangi Whakaruru and Benny Haerewa as victims of colonisation. As you say, now they will get their chance to own the results.

    • Pat 4.2

      It is highly probable that all roles will be reversed….hopefully not to the detriment of those the organisation is expected to protect.

      • Ad 4.2.1

        The report on this from last year is pretty hard work:

        https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/01/increasing-numbers-of-m-ori-babies-being-removed-from-families-despite-falling-rates-of-abuse-report.html

        The 2020 report found that moving Maori babies into state care happens earlier than it does for non-Māori – with the decision increasingly being made before the child is even born.

        "There were eight times more concerns reported for unborn Māori babies in 2019, as compared with 2004. In that same time, reported concerns for non-Māori increased only 4.5 times.

        In 2010 there were 36 approvals for unborn Māori children to be removed from their families at birth – by 2017 that had risen to 93, despite findings of actual abuse decreasing over that same period.

        In 2019, 0.67 percent of pēpi aged three months or under were taken into state care, but only 0.13 percent of non-Māori.

        Urgent decisions to remove pepi doubled over the last decade, but stayed the same for non-Māori."

        Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft had words to say about that.

        "And 48 percent of pregnant women whose pēpi were taken into state care before birth had been in state care themselves at some point."

        "From 2014 to 2017, the removal of Māori babies ordered into state custody before birth almost doubled."

        • Pat 4.2.1.1

          Yes , the stats are difficult reading but that wasnt my point (and it may be premature in any case, the organisation is still state led)….I was suggesting that rather than Maori highlighting the failings of the state organisation, it is likely that the state (and certainly others) will highlight any failings of a Maori led response….and my concern is the objective is lost.

          Though as already noted it would be difficult to do any worse than the existing structure

  4. gsays 5

    Even though it is a low bar, surely things can only improve with new management. Less of the corporate/'market' driven focus.

  5. Adrian Thornton 6

    email to RNZ…

    Professor Stephen Hoadley starts his talk about the state of democracy in the USA by stating that Venezuela is a third world county and implying that it's democracy and thereby it's elections are and where undemocratic.

    Jesse I would have thought that you would have enough knowledge around world politics to push back on this false narrative Mr. Hoadley openly used, which is widely known as fake news.

    Ecumenical observers declare Venezuela’s elections transparent and efficient
    https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/ecumenical-observers-declare-venezuelas-elections-transparent-and-efficient/

    Venezuela's Maduro invites UN, EU observers to December elections
    https://www.france24.com/en/20200903-venezuela-s-maduro-invites-un-eu-observers-to-december-elections

    International Observers Back up Venezuela's Elections Results
    https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/International-Observers-Back-up-Venezuelas-Elections-Results–20201208-0006.html

    Please read a correction on this matter to correct the record for RNZ listeners.

    Best
    Adrian
    Hawkes Bay

    • Red 6.1

      If true (which I doubt) it says a lot about the IQ of the average voter in Venezuela, ie the ones that are left with half the county voting with their feet vs a fraudulent ballot box

      • Morrissey 6.1.1

        What evidence do you have that it was fraudulent, Red? You sound like Trump.

        • Red 6.1.1.1

          The BBC, ( no right wing attack dog) The US state department all think it was a bit dodgy plus the millions who have left Venezuela just as a start Putin, China North Korea and Cuba said it was ok so that all helps to affirm it was dodgy

          • Adrian Thornton 6.1.1.1.1

            "The BBC, ( no right wing attack dog)"you are quite right, the BBC are Liberal free market attack dogs, so have a common enemy in Venezuela.

          • Morrissey 6.1.1.1.2

            The BBC, ( no right wing attack dog)

            ???!!?? You are obviously unfamiliar with their role of megaphone for the right wing British regime—most shamefully in the persecution of the dissenting journalist Julian Assange. The BBC's short-lived democratic deviation in 2003, when Andrew Gilligan went rogue and actually told the truth about Blair and Campbell's manipulation of documents leading up to the destruction of Iraq, was soon ended.

            The US state department all think it was a bit dodgy

            The Trump regime, that is.

            plus the millions who have left Venezuela

            They left a country under brutal, and illegal, sanctions. That shows what suffering has been inflicted on the country by the United States, the U.K., and Colombia; it does not imply they are opponents of their elected government.

            just as a start Putin, China North Korea and Cuba said it was ok so that all helps to affirm it was dodgy

            ???? You have no evidence to back up your claim, other than the word of the Trump regime.

    • Morrissey 6.2

      Well written, Adrian. Steve Hoadley is an extremely unsavoury commentator, not a lot different from the likes of Michael Bassett and Waikato's notorious Dov Bing. During the November 2012 escalation in Israeli terror against the citizens of Gaza, named with brutal sarcasm "Operation Pillar of Defense", Hoadley went onto Radio Rhema and expressed his support not for the victims, but the killers.

      I fear that you're wasting your time trying to reason with Jesse Mulligan; he's one of the more susceptible and easily bamboozled broadcasters. He was, and presumably still is, a true believer in the Russiagate nonsense, as we can see in this 2016 interview with another dodgy academic, Al Gillespie….

      JESSE MULLIGAN: Why do ceasefires break down, Al, if uh, if no one enjoys war? [snickers nervously]

      PROFESSOR AL GILLESPIE: There’s no trust on the ground. No one believes that it’s safe to bring in aid, water, or food, and so unless you can get the most basic modicum of trust, you can’t build up.

      JESSE MULLIGAN: So how do you CREATE it?

      PROFESSOR AL GILLESPIE: You get the teams, well you need two things. One, people have to get tired of fighting, and neither side has to believe that they can WIN. At the moment, there’s so much money, men, and ammunition going into the fight, both sides believe that they still have the upper hand. And then you need to have confidence-building measures, and right now they can’t even achieve THAT.

      JESSE MULLIGAN: [speaking very slowly, to convey thoughtfulness] Sometimes when I read this stuff I get the sense that Russia are L-L-L-LOOKIN’ for trouble, are L-L-L-LOOKIN’ to create tension with the U.S. Is that fair?

      https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-05102016/#comment-1240290

      [This is another one of your comments that’s just a litany of ad homs and snide remarks about people whilst dearly lacking in content. To give it some appearance of realism and gravity, it is ornamented with one of those boring transcripts, which is no better than those puerile images that you’re so fond of. Lastly, it is about something utterly trivial that happened years ago.

      Cut out the crap and stop the ad homs for the sake of it. Add some substance and contents to your comments, make it interesting and relevant, if you can, or keep quiet. This site is not a personal sandpit for you to indulge in your pet likes & dislikes. This is your warning – Incognito]

      • Adrian Thornton 6.2.1

        Yes listening to Mulligan (which I only do very rarely these days) is like listening to a slightly sophisticated teenage radio show…along with most of his music choices, morning report has pretty much sunk to that same level now as well. It seems like serious unbiased news is well and truly a thing of the past on RNZ now (with the rare exception of course)…lucky we still RNZ concert.

      • Incognito 6.2.2

        See my Moderation note @ 3:29 PM.

        • Morrissey 6.2.2.1

          This is another one of your comments that’s just a litany of ad homs and snide remarks about people whilst dearly lacking in content.

          Adrian Thornton made the comment about Prof. Hoadley's unfounded and politically incendiary claims about Venezuela—Adrian called them a "false narrative"—and he also expressed his disappointment at the quality, or lack of quality, in Jesse Mulligan's performance. I simply reinforced Adrian's points by providing evidence of even worse performances in the past by Hoadley and Mulligan. Both of the examples I provided were accurate; they were neither ad hominem nor snide.

          To give it some appearance of realism and gravity, it is ornamented with one of those boring transcripts

          I provided 14 lines of a larger transcript to illustrate my point about Mulligan's credulous and ill informed comments. It is indeed realistic, and any lack of gravity is entirely due to the two people involved in that awful conversation.

          Add some substance and contents to your comments, make it interesting and relevant, if you can, or keep quiet.

          I kept my comment rigorously to the point. It amplified the comment made by another poster. How was it not relevant?

          This site is not a personal sandpit for you to indulge in your pet likes & dislikes. This is your warning – Incognito

          You are wielding your hammer again, and threatening me, for what? My comment was directly relevant to the points made by another poster, I made nothing up, I used no foul language.

    • Brigid 6.3

      A 'third world' country that sends oxygen to it's extremely rich neighbour. Simply because people need it.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/healthcoronavirus-brazil-venezuela/venezuela-to-send-oxygen-to-brazil-for-covid-19-treatment-idUSL1N2JQ0T4

      • Red 6.3.1

        The poor suffering Venezuelans are more concerned with more basic commodores like dependable utilities and food A shortage of Oxygen is the least of their worries A bit of virtue signalling by Maduro and his henchmen that’s all this is ie a puff piece

        • Brigid 6.3.1.1

          'shortage of Oxygen is the least of their worries'

          I think your knowledge of Venezuela is minimal, and that your bigotry drives you to simply makes things up to support what you opine.

          ' poor suffering Venezuelans '

          As if you really cared a jot about Venezuelans.

  6. Forget now 7

    I found this an interesting viewpoint from an USAn who is usually not too political (except where being trans in Trump's Amerika is involved – so yeah; quite political now I think of it). It's unscripted, and the second half is mostly about Star Trek; because that's a lens through which she finds the world makes sense (the; Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, slogan certainly gets many repetitions). This quote starts at 5:39 and seems worth transcribing before the progression of the algorithm eclipses it:

    …It is easier to radicalize a person on the right to the far left, than it is to take a person in the center to the left. Because… there is lot a similarity in that there is the recognition of a problem that this society is not working in the way it should… The only difference really is the solutions that have been offered.

    Which got me thinking about some people who went from the (not too far) left to acolytes of conspiracy theories this year. Faith always seems to trump evidence (pun not intentional, but not removed either). Extremism's counter is not contrary extremism but centrism? Unfortunately the Earth's biosphere may not have time for a return to the status quo.

  7. Stuart Munro 8

    @McFlock

    Wasn't Yeltsin putting down a coup, not fomenting one?

    It's an interesting question isn't it. Before that incident, Gorbachov was in charge, but afterwards, it was Yeltsin. So realpolitik analysts consider that the real coup was Yeltsin's

    • McFlock 8.1

      lol I suspect it was more that the coup destroyed the Soviet Union, but left Russia intact. But fair call, he did walk out on top.

      And so did the KGB. Nice thing about being the greasy eminince is that you can switch favourites when things look bad, I guess 🙂

      • Adrian Thornton 8.1.1

        Yep, just another case of good ol' fashioned US election meddling…(1996 election)

        Overriding Democracy: American Intervention in Yeltsin’s 1996 Reelection Campaign

        https://journals.librarypublishing.arizona.edu/uahistjrnl/article/id/622/

        US agents helped Yeltsin break coup

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/us-agents-helped-yeltsin-break-coup-1436470.html

        • McFlock 8.1.1.1

          lol

          k whatevs.

            • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Funnily enough, it's not that I actually doubt either claim, the link of his that was relevant to my comment seems reasonable. I just can't be bothered getting into a debate about whether it was right or wrong to [checks notes] assist in some small way to stop communist hardliners gaining power through military force.

              The other link was quite sweet – I was almost tempted to be the fourth person to download the article just to see if what Adrian thought it said was actually what it said. But if I can't be bothered to debate a link that was relevant to what I'd said, I'm not going to go off on a tangent.

              I'm working on just letting more bullshit go these days.

              • The Al1en

                I'm working on just letting more bullshit go these days.

                A good exercise in not getting drawn into pointless time wasting adventures.

                Sometimes it's just easier to laugh, especially when it involves the usual half dozen russian defence squad.

                • Brigid

                  Surely you know Mcflocks's 'lol' was not brought on by his finding anything humourous but as attempt to ridicule the author of the comment he was replying to. I doubt he was laughing.

                  What I found slightly amusing was his need to further explain himself because he thought your 'lol' was similarly meant for him, and you further having to assure him that you weren't seeking to ridicule him.

                  Dare I suggest a room?

                  • McFlock

                    If you really want to interpret my motives for commenting, try considering whether I am more inclined to interact with Al1en rather than Adrian.

                    Open Mike is a handy enough "room", thanks.

  8. Adrian Thornton 9

    This isn't a text chat room for teenagers you two, at least try to speak like grown ups.

  9. aj 10

    This documentary has never been more relevant than it is today, and in the context of the last 30 years it's no wonder that Chomsky is still clinging to 'hope' for political change in the USA. The media's complicity in the political process has never been stronger. It used to be called propaganda but it's also called 'Manufactured Consent'

    Produced in 1992, it runs for 2hr 47min and considers the propaganda model of communication and the politics of the mass-communications business, with emphasis on Chomsky's ideas and career. He's a brilliant communicator, and this alone makes watching and following this documentary quite easy despite it's length.

    In the context of some of the discussion above quoting media sources, this is a must watch.

    Perhaps it will be shown on the Maori Channel sometime, it's virtually the only NZ TV station to run intelligent and thought provoking programs that challenge the status quo.

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