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Open mike 22/06/2020

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, June 22nd, 2020 - 131 comments
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Step up to the mike …

131 comments on “Open mike 22/06/2020”

  1. SPC 1

    We now face the issue of Hunt's relatives flying in from Oz and going into managed isolation and whether they will be allowed out.

    Which at one level is easy – once there is a negative to the test. At another not so much because there are false negatives, and them infecting others at the funeral would be a new low. 

    What would reduce the risk would be if only Kiwis from Oz were on the plane and in the Rotorua hotel now. But if it was an onflight including those from South Asia and the UK less so. 

    In that regard, its about time to separate the Kiwis from Oz coming here from those in on-flights from other areas of higher risk. 

    There is no real reason why Kiwis in WA/SA/Queensland need to go into isolatiom at all and those from NSW/Victoria with no others in their home to go to self isolation (with phone tracking or bracelets). 

  2. Sacha 2

    Drink up, Donnie

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Steve Bannon, former senior White House strategist and CEO of Donald Trump’s winning 2016 presidential campaign, believes China will be center stage at the upcoming US presidential election.  https://asiatimes.com/2020/06/bannon-tells-at-us-election-is-all-about-china/

    So what?  So he's framing Biden as China's candidate.

    The Democrats could not have selected a worse candidate to make an argument to the American people than Joe Biden… I think 2020 is shaping up in the last 150 days to be just this classic counter of the globalism of Joe Biden and the Wall Street faction of the Democratic Party versus the economic nationalism and populism of Trump and potentially some slice of the Bernie [Sanders] contingent.

    Why?  Good/evil.  The antique binary axis has ten times the moral authority of trad democracy (two millennia of moral hegemony versus two centuries).

    I think that the government of China is a group of gangsters… I think what they’ve done as far as taking away the Chinese people’s freedom and what they’ve done with the Uighurs, the Tibetan Buddhists, the underground House Church Christians, the underground Catholic Church, the Falun Gong and the democracy movement is outrageous.  And they should be confronted at every level by every government

    Civilisation at stake thesis.  Civil rights became a global scheme via UN adoption.  Dragon mythos is ancient, but success on the geopolitical stage depends on the communist regime adhering to it in defiance of the civilised world.

    The CCP is in a hot information/cyber war and a hot economic war against the United States. And they’ve been at that for a while. And President Trump’s the only president in American history that has stood up to the Chinese Communist Party. And I think now is the time to even take it up a notch. And I think you’re seeing this across the United States government. I think you’re seeing a whole of government approach led by people like Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo. You can see now in Congress, you’ve got people like in the Senate, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley.  The American government and the American people are now engaged in this confrontation

    Except now the chink electrogoons are targeting Oz, and ScoMo is trying real hard not to say so.  He's authorised headlines about the cyber attacks, while carefully not specifying their source.  Watch this space!!

    • RedLogix 3.1

      NZ is studiously ignoring what is happening in Australia right now in the vain hope the contagion won't strike us. Well it has become a real issue there and we'd do well to start paying attention:

      It’s not just about COVID-19. Or the 2016 US presidential election. Truth has been under constant and deliberate assault since the explosive rise of social media more than a decade ago.

      It has been called a fire hose of misinformation. Truth decay. Infowars. An infodemic.

      Local and federal politicians exploit it. Local, national and international corporations and lobby groups embrace it. Diplomatic corps deploy it.

      And that’s where Australia has resolved to draw the line.

      “As Prime Minister Morrison said in March this year … there are some who believe liberal democracies and free societies cannot cope with these sorts of challenges,” Payne said. “We will prove them wrong here in Australia.”

      Here is an important point to keep in mind; the assault is a one way flow. The authoritarian states, primarily China and to a lesser degree Russia, are able to control their domestic internet. China in particular completely insulates it's own people from the West and tightly controls what they are allowed to see and say. By contrast the democratic West is almost completely open, and thus completely vulnerable.

      Does anyone think asymmetry is not being exploited to our manifest disadvantage?

      • SPC 3.1.1

        After the consequence of glasnost on the Soviet Union, China decided it was a weakness they would not have, but exploit in others.

        Of course Russia under Putin, is on the same course – even adopting white race identity nationalism in both domestic politics and aslo as a way to connect to nationalists abroad – to take down the western multi-lateralist regime.

        • RedLogix

          even adopting white race identity nationalism

          Given the left created identity politics, it's hard to understand the outrage when others learn the lesson and use it for their own purposes. But it goes a long way to explaining my decade long objection here to the whole damned idea in the first place. Identity politics is nothing if not a perpetual motion grievance machine.

          Still this is a tangent to the point; the authoritarian states have seen this fatal weakness and are more than willing to use to intensify the natural diversity of the west into hopelessly bickering camps. So far it looks like it's working a treat don't you think?

          • SPC

            Personally I have no problem with all the people not white race men becoming activist for those of their group becoming equal citizens in a democracy. Sure there is contention over some of it, as there was over mitigating any injustice. This process has been going on for centuries now.

            The taking offence part is more novel, there its more the 1790's France, post 1917 Russia side to it. A form of PC vigilantism and group peer pressure. 

            As to who gains by it, it's a distraction from growing economic inequality, facing up to the need for monetary reform to sustain nation state capability and global collective action on planetary health. Well those who want to rebuild the fuedal order around capital and outside management of the underclass (high tech panopticon society regime – think China but Area 51 God rule style). 

            The major weakeness of the West, as to Russia and China, is not our own internal political divisions, but the greed within capitalism. That applies whether in its nationalist Trumpian form, or those who take access to China's market on their terms for the sake of short term shareholder profit. 

          • Sabine

            damn, all those people who are not white, not male, not heterosexual and good 'christians' that want equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal safety. 

            Damn, those darn gosh dangly doo liberals. Don't they know their place. 

            Oh to be living in the good old times of 1850. Before all that jazz about voting rights, rights to bodily autonomy, and distaste of  racially and sexually / gendered jokes. 


            • Cinny

              Nicely put Sabine 🙂  Love this bit…. darn gosh dangly doo

            • roblogic

              Don't diss pre 1850. The French Revolution of 1789-1799 "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité"  established the notion of universal human rights and led to the abolition of slaves throughout the British Empire (1833). Which also meant that the Treaty of Waitangi (1840) was founded on similar principles.

              It just took the USA a while to catch up (emancipation/civil war  in 1863)

          • RedLogix

            Personally I have no problem with all the people not white race men becoming activist for those of their group becoming equal citizens in a democracy.

            Now let's imagine a nice little democratic nation that isn't white dominated. One where say Latino, Blacks or Asians run the show. And ask yourself if these places might not have considerable 'systemic bias' against minorities of other ethnic groups. It logically follows from your argument these groups would want to demand to be 'equal citizens'.

            What if one of these minorities happened to be white, are they to be excluded from being equal citizens?

            And then take this thought experiment one step further and try and imagine the outcome of the small white minority in China demanding to become 'equal citizens'.

            • SPC

              Given the history of China is the expansion of the Han and assimilation of outer regions into their hegemony … and Russian security was premised on expansion of the Rus/Slav European across the continent to the Pacific … oh or colonial west aquiring American from sea to sea (including Mexican Texas and California) Aotearoa land to farm, there could be a brotherly self-recognition. Or maybe we are too alike, and have good reason not to trust each other. It being all so Darwinian. 

              The west sees itself as building a civilisation, post enlightenment. A new Greco-Roman age realising its period of colonialism/economic imperialism/global dominance. And China sees it as something to emulate to supplant western global leadership and Russia sees this as reducing its own economic and political isolation.

              Ultimately making our own society more just does not change the global dynamics of power in play. 

              • RedLogix

                Or maybe we are too alike, and have good reason not to trust each other. It being all so Darwinian. 

                That really gets very close to the question I've been trying to address here for years. 

                Here is a thought going through my head this morning; unity does not mean uniformity. What it really means is the capacity to achieve common purposes across large groups of diverse identity. (Yes identity is real, it's making it the centre of power games is what I object to.)

                It's that capacity, across the universality of all humankind which is what interests me. When we achieve it globally (and I think this is inevitable) we will unleash our true potential as a spiritual beings, we will astonish ourselves.

                Otherwise yes, a thoughtful comment SPC.

                • roblogic

                  the elevation of human rights and recognition of the individual as a sovereign, spiritual being, is an Enlightenment ethic peculiar to Europe, not shared by other cultures, and certainly not by tyrannical rulers. 

                  identity politics undermines that. western liberalism is in crisis because the capitalists (or other political forces) have weaponised division against the people.

                  (cribbed from Peterson/Paglia)

            • maggieinnz

              That moment when someone is so close……

          • Gabby

            When did 'the left' invent identity politics then?

          • maggieinnz

            "Given the left created identity politics"

            No they didn't. Identity politics has been around in one form or another for a very long time but primarily saw it's birth after the industrial revolution and capitalism began separating people from the core sources of their identity.

            I read your other comment regarding "truth decay" and want to address both comments together.

            Firstly, what that article is referring to is called FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt. Yes, it's a commonly used disinformation tactic used in sales, advertising, marketing, media, politics, religion and online in posts/social media; "a strategy to influence perception by disseminating negative and dubious or false information and a manifestation of the appeal to fear."

            Not everyone who uses it knows they're using it however because it naturally exploits our biases so is seldom recognised as a strategy.  It is very effective, especially in religion, politics and in social media. 

            It's also not new and has been around since the 1600s where it was a deliberate religious strategy to keep lay people dependent on priests for religious interpretation.  This is an important fact to remember because the initial utilisation of a FUD-based strategy was by religious authoritative figures to control the masses.  In that article you linked you'll find this quote which is a suggested 'remedy' to disinformation. 

            “Relying on clear and authoritative sources is one very important approach.”

            And who can we trust these days with such a task?  In whose hands would you be willing to place 'truth'?

            To be clear, you are right to be concerned about disinformation.  Jordan Peterson himself has dissolve the boundaries of truth down to a metaphor.  More concerning is that he places metaphorical truth over and above scientific truth.  Mind you, how else is he going to convince legions of lost boys to continue drinking the Kool-aid unless he can find some way of destroying the science getting in the way of his religion?

            But, back to my point. My main contention is that you seem to think that there was some magical time in history where we had 'truth', where we were critical thinkers who smelled BS a mile away, where we weren't being manipulated by people in power.  I'm guessing from your other comments that your come-back will be 'well, no but now the left have broken society into fragments which leaves us vulnerable'.

            I'd agree that we're divided and vulnerable but disagree that you can place responsibility for that in the hands of the left.

            What I noticed about your two comments is how you use the FUD article as a FUD strategy of your own to further your anti-left narrative.  You've skipped right over the fact that the article calls for censorship via the authoritative control of information and instead presented it as a fallacious appeal to fear.

            "When fear, not based on evidence or reason, is being used as the primary motivator to get others to accept an idea, proposition, or conclusion."

            Identity politics is not new and wasn't started by the left although I'll agree they utilise it.  But so does the right.  The fracturing of society and flourishing of identity politics is very much the result of massive inequality which pitted the white male against the 'other' – not because white males engineered it to be this way but simply because they were the ones pried from their homes and sent off to work in order to feed the capitalist machine and it is this machine (or rather the breaking of it with govt bail-outs) that has caused growing inequality and the fragmented society we have now.  To be clear, the white male is no more responsible for this than any other person or group of people.  

            So when you point at the left you're falsely diagnosing the fever as though it's the disease and not a symptom of it but worse than that you're perpetrating a FUD campaign of your own to drive home your point.



            • RedLogix

              While identity is extremely ancient and has always been core to politics, "Identity Politics" in the modern context is a specific term with a specific meaning, clearly associated with far left, post-modernist thought. The ruse of re-defining the term when it gets used in a way you don't like is a pretty but transparent dodge.

              My main contention is that you seem to think that there was some magical time in history where we had 'truth', where we were critical thinkers who smelled BS a mile away, where we weren't being manipulated by people in power. 

              One of Peterson's arguments is that while post-modernism has a sound technical point that there are an infinite number of ways to interpret any text, he also posits that the purpose of metaphor, mythology and religion is to show us the relatively few interpretations which are demonstrably successful in real life.

              And by success he means to reduce unnecessary suffering to the extent possible. He's quite anti-Utopian, which is why the left hate him so.

              And for what it's worth the search for truth is something each one of us must independently undertake for ourselves. 

              Anyhow cutting through all of the rest, as far as I am concerned, the identity politics game, whoever plays it, is a bad one with only bad outcomes. Call that whatever you like. And if you'd been around here for the 14 years I have, you'd know that I've been copping shit for this position long before Peterson arrived on the scene. 

              • maggieinnz

                "The ruse of re-defining the term when it gets used in a way you don't like is a pretty but transparent dodge."

                That's a pretty bad faith position to take not to mention a strawman.  It is easier to attack an argument when you can fit it in a box right? Consider the meme;  it is an altogether modern term yet it has existed for ages, been redefined to better describe what it is and what it represents.  Christianity, too, has been born again (a few too many times for my liking).  So the fact that identity politics as an ideological term was coined at one point in time does not mean it hasn’t existed prior to that time and I'm not alone in my thinking on this.  Francis Fukuyama says the politics of identity have been present in many countries at many times throughout history – sometimes grounded in religion, other times class.  To deny identity politics it's heritage to make it easier to cut up is disingenuous.

                "One of Peterson's arguments is that while post-modernism has a sound technical point that there are an infinite number of ways to interpret any text, he also posits that the purpose of metaphor, mythology and religion is to show us the relatively few interpretations which are demonstrably successful in real life."

                Nothing in my comment is related to, in support of, or against postmodernism. My comment about truth is that JP believes something can be scientifically true and metaphorically false and so becomes categorically false.  Furthermore, JP fails to acknowledge the role of environment; time and place in determining success.  What worked in the 1800s or even the 1950s most likely will not give us success today.  The guy is a nut-job with a saviour complex.

                I do find it a little amusing how you've redefined your truth statement though.  Whatever happened to "truth decay" and the desperate need to preserve 'it'?

                "the identity politics game, whoever plays it, is a bad one with only bad outcomes. Call that whatever you like"

                Well, I won't call it a game that's for sure. It's serious stuff that deserves serious consideration and discussion.  I've learned so much of my own ignorance because of it.  I literally cringe when I think of the shit I was spouting in my younger days. And whats more, I'm continuing to learn. I remember reading a quote that was particularly profound to me even though I'm an atheist.

                “Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”― Adyashanti

                And I don't think identity politics is, in and of itself, bad in the same way that a fever isn't bad – it's an indication of serious imbalance and once you correct the problem of massive inequality you'll find it settles down on it's own. Arguments for ending the ideology itself are far more harmful because they conceal and naturalise the dominance of the right, and in so doing remove the rationale for debate.

                I think this is something you're overlooking, Red. Identity politics and the grievance claims are empty chairs reserved for those who have been disenfranchised.  My biggest fear is not that the ideological right will win, it's that we will all lose. It was never about white men vs the world per se, it was always and only about the haves and the have nots. As this economic cannibalistic carnival continues to grow so does the economic disparity.

                "And if you'd been around here for the 14 years I have, you'd know that I've been copping shit for this position long before Peterson arrived on the scene."

                I have no sympathy for you, Red. You've chosen to stand where you stand.  You must like the climate.

                • gsays

                  Good thread, thanks Maggie and Red.

                  Part of what I am reading from Red is the shift from us to I.

                  Society, in my lifetime, used to have many groups, institutions etc to which we belonged- sports clubs, church, community groups (Scouting, Lions) etc.

                  There was an aspect of service, working and belonging to something bigger than us. That has dwindled over the last few decades.

                  The rise of the impotance of the individual, helped along by billions of marketing dollars has changed our thinking.

                  Century of the Self is a fascinating look at the rise of consumerism (amongst other ideas). 


                  Rushed, but I have to go or I will be late for work…

                  • RedLogix

                    The most powerful words ever spoken to me, a short few words in reply to a clumsy question about our purpose in life, were these:

                    "We are a people of duty".

                    At the time I really didn't appreciate them as I should have.

                    PS. Yes I really enjoy Adam Curtis. Much of what the left regards as the adamantine evils of capitalism are perhaps better thought of as the unaware blindness of materialism. Just a thought.

                  • maggieinnz

                    Thanks Gsays.

                    Part of what I am reading from Red is the shift from us to I.

                    Yes, I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  What I find fascinating is that, to me, it appears to be so paradoxical… but I'm still straightening out some thought noodles on this so will leave it there for now.  I'm going to watch that doco now – looks interesting.

                • RedLogix

                  it was always and only about the haves and the have nots. 

                  Thank you, a nice response. Your last section I entirely agree with.

                  Political truth was always malleable, it always shifted as the ground moved under us. But in order to be useful it has to be anchored in at least some empirical, objective facts.

                  The article I quoted, asks the question, what happens when political truth becomes un-moored from the facts, facts that no-one can even agree on?

                  • maggieinnz

                    Political truth was always malleable, it always shifted as the ground moved under us. But in order to be useful it has to be anchored in at least some empirical, objective facts.

                    The article I quoted, asks the question, what happens when political truth becomes un-moored from the facts, facts that no-one can even agree on?

                    Can you expand on your first sentence, please?  I don't want to misconstrue what you're trying to say.

                    I don't know if I can go so far as to say there was ever a time of political truth, that anyone had it.  It seems to me that once societies got bigger and more complex the need for structure and control also created exploitable power positions. 

                    I don't think you can say that for political truth to be useful it needs to be grounded in empirical objective facts (even though I believe it ought to be) – well, historically anyway.  Religion did a great job of controlling the masses for a while but required deceiving people, keeping them ignorant.

                    You have to consider the inherent difficulties of empirically studying human behaviour.  It's not like we can grow a whole bunch of lab babies and raise them in certain environments to determine outcomes. It's in this fact that people such as yourself have levered their position yet, and ironically so, you're quite willing to flex away from empiricism when it comes to beliefs you're fond of. So why not extend the same flexibility to the left's ideology?

                    When shown massive amounts of data that prove systemic racism you dig your toes into research results like "no bias in cop shootings of black men" as proof of 'no racial bias'.  You can't zoom in and zoom out to frame things to your liking and claim objectivity.

                    Take, for example, this comment of yours:

                    Now let's imagine a nice little democratic nation that isn't white dominated. One where say Latino, Blacks or Asians run the show. And ask yourself if these places might not have considerable 'systemic bias' against minorities of other ethnic groups. It logically follows from your argument these groups would want to demand to be 'equal citizens'.

                    What if one of these minorities happened to be white, are they to be excluded from being equal citizens?

                    And then take this thought experiment one step further and try and imagine the outcome of the small white minority in China demanding to become 'equal citizens'.

                    In this "thought experiment" you say that it's feasible that there would be systemic bias against a white minority (and I'm not saying I agree or disagree with you). You basically flip the racial divide to make a point about China but fail to grasp that you've described the situation Blacks and other minorities actually experience now.

                    How can you 'see it' here but not when we're talking about BLM? Would the Chinese not simply say to you all the same arguments you've posited because in the above scenario, they are the 'haves' and you as the white minority is the 'have nots'? 

                    But I don't want to derail this conversation or make it about something it isn't so please understand I'm just offering that as an example.

                    My point is that the knowledge we have has always been subjected to a certain amount of bias due to a lack of diversity given that historically it's been men who've determined the course of knowledge to the exclusion of women and minorities.  Consider that such great minds as Aristotle and Darwin both expressed unchecked bias in their work so the question must be if they made such mistakes how did their attitudes toward and beliefs about women shape the knowledge we have today?  How did that bias limit or deviate to course of knowledge? What of other bias from other thinkers?

                    Whilst you can say well empiricism fixes that it doesn't really.  It does help in some areas, like chemistry, physics and maths, but as we're discovering more and more there are so many nuanced ways in which bias can pervert outcomes – right from determining who we do research on, how we structure our research and how we interpret the results because much of our current research relies on old knowledge held as objectively true which may not be.

                    Consider that religion, culture and science have all been shaped by subjective beliefs first and foremost and whilst I hold science in the highest regard I don't think it's perfect or infallible – just the best tool we have and tool most frequently wielded in the hands of powerful white men.

                    For these reasons I don't think you can claim to be the one moored to objectivity whilst the left are 'adrift'.

                • swordfish

                  Identity politics and the grievance claims are empty chairs reserved for those who have been disenfranchised … It was never about white men vs the world per se, it was always and only about the haves and the have nots. 

                  Yeah, my heart absolutely bleeds for that cadre of former Boarding School Girls & Boys – emanating from some of the most privileged Establishment families – who dominate the Woke movement both in NZ & throughout the Anglosphere. They truly are The Great Oppressed.

                  Really quite emotionally moving to see an empty chair reserved for the disenfranchised of Remmers as they rise out of their subaltern slumber (in between cocktails) to Speak Truth to Power.

              • maggieinnz

                "He's quite anti-Utopian, which is why the left hate him so."

                I think this is pretty dismissive and incorrect.  JP is not anti-utopian at all – I just think he has a different idea of what constitutes a highly desirable or high quality society. 

                This attitude of dismissal, of scoffing at the silly left with their inability to be reasonable (which is prevalent throughout your comments) is the same attitude men had of women for a very long time.  It proved foolhardy.

                 Because men didn't consider women to be anything other than pretty little women, children in adult bodies, they never considered that women had the potential to be just like them in the best and worst ways possible. (and no, I'm not saying there are no differences between men and women – we're obviously far better at breastfeeding!).


                • Dennis Frank

                  Not wishing to derail your fascinating dialogue, but it prompted me to read up on JP (having previously ignored him out of ignorance).  Rule 11 ("Do not bother children when they are skateboarding") suggests he doesn't get the relevance of context.  Such as if they are doing on the road.  Or at meal time.  Perhaps his chapter consists of a sequence of caveats to finesse such practicalities??

                  I do agree with you about identity politics being around forever (part of social psychodynamics).  Warriors identified each other by their helmets etc in the classical era, Roman senators by their togas, in the sense of tribe or class identity.  But RL using it in an academic sense is also correct of course.  Both/and logic applies.

                  Ethos is relevant, eh?  If you share it, you identify with others who do.  Thus I don't share that of the woke – yet I do share some of their values.  How one uses values (to divide, or to include) seems the crux (praxis).

                  • maggieinnz

                    Re: JP.  There's a running joke about JP where if you ask him a question his answer will invariably start with "Well, it depends on what you mean by X".  He's a weasel speaker whose ambiguous language means you can't really pin him down on anything he says.  If you pointed out his statement lacks the nuance of context he's say well it depends what you mean by context then launch into some ethereal waffle featuring religious symbology, evil feminine chaos dragons and lobsters.

                    I've read all his books, watched his videos.  It was painful but necessary.

                    I do understand Red's position and where he's planted his flag in terms of identity politics.  I am compelled by my inner brat to shake off all attempts to label and/or contain my beliefs to ideological boxes.  I know that makes me sound like some uber edgelord but I'm not – in truth I'm about as edgy as a wet sandwich.  My reluctance is more about the fact that common narratives tend to 'fit you up' – if you ascribe to one popular belief you're assumed to hold all the other beliefs commonly associated with that belief as well.  I'm still figuring out what it is I actually believe and don't want to be fenced in. So, whilst I reference identity politics I do so conceptually rather than politically if that makes sense.

                    Ethos is relevant, eh?  If you share it, you identify with others who do.  Thus I don't share that of the woke – yet I do share some of their values.  How one uses values (to divide, or to include) seems the crux (praxis).

                    This is interesting.  You're gonna have to tell me what your definition of 'woke' is because as a politicised label it's quite loaded and I don't want to infer meaning.

                    I don't think people intentionally divide.  I think perhaps people attempt to refine or define and in so doing can have divisiveness as a consequence but I think even that is a simplistic description of what's happening.  I'm seeing a lot of paradoxical connections that I'm not sure what to make of.  It's either that I'm misconstruing connections or there really is this whole other side that isn't divisive at all but rather about loss of democratic choices (something SPC said got me thinking). If I sound waffley it's because I'm not 'there' yet with the idea so I need to let it ferment a bit longer.

                    Perhaps you could expand on your point a bit more, let me see inside that head of yours? We've not engaged a lot so it's difficult for me to know what you're about to give your words context.


                    • Dennis Frank

                      tell me what your definition of 'woke' is because as a politicised label it's quite loaded and I don't want to infer meaning

                      I don't define it – I've acquired a hazy sense of what it means.  Politically-correct herding seems to be the mass psychology involved.  I also see group narcissism there – a presumption that, having arrived at a consensus around social values, all those who haven't done so are wrong.  So we get that projection of moral supremacy from them collectively.

                      Mature folks watching are liable to see this exhibition of syndromes as juvenile or puerile.  Character is developmental, and it is unreasonable to expect anyone to figure stuff out simultaneously with others.  We all have different social niches to form our values, we learn from different experiences and at different rates.  It's a wonder we ever share culture at all!

                      So broad-mindedness & tolerance of diversity is opposed by woke narrow-minded intolerant preference for monoculture.  Greens believe in biodiversity.  Woke Greens are frauds!

                      Identity politics polarises.  The future, for humanity, lies in the commons.  Identifying common ground is real hard for a partisan.  So possessed by group narcissism and the compulsive requirement of conformity to separatism, the woke activist will always shy away from the necessity of acquiring humanity.  Yet doing so is a survival skill.  Thus the woke will not survive as a social movement.

                  • maggieinnz

                    Thanks for that, Dennis.

                    I understand your frustration with the current social movement.  It can be incredibly destabilising to see established norms broken down and labelled as 'bad' or 'wrong'. Having our behaviour and beliefs pointed out in a critical way often feels like a personal attack because we're emotionally invested in them. This isn't a bad thing; it's actually necessary and the result of our successful biological evolution.  As a social species being able to cooperate and have shared values is essential to survival as you rightly pointed out.

                    I think it's important to consider that other people are under the very same evolutionary influences, are subjected to the same evolved psychological tendencies. I'd like to make two key points here.

                    Firstly, the minds of young people – those aged 12-25 are in a state of developmental flux.  Puberty and its associated hormones triggers a shift in how the brain perceives barriers and boundaries – this is important for two main reasons.  

                    Firstly, it helps break the familial bond.  As a child grows up their primary source of learning comes from the family unit which creates strong emotional bonds but in order to develop a healthy sexual appreciation for the opposite sex they must effectively break the bonded information from its emotional ties.  So we see younger people start to value peer group sources for learning over familial groups.  The added benefit of doing so reduces the chances of repeating 'stupid parent' mistakes by broadening his or her perspectives of "normal" and "acceptable" behaviour and beliefs.

                    Secondly, this dissolution of boundaries exposes the adolescent brain to greater influence from their peers with the end goal of learning how to say no to peer influence.  Basically, the teen is forced into an environment full of temptation in order to develop the strength to resist it.  This is essential in order to avoid falling into 'stupid group' behaviour at a time when they need to be stable and disciplined in order to be a good parent.

                    Because of these influences I think it's important we don't assume there are fundamental flaws in what they're doing but keep their behaviour in context.  What's more, we can learn from their apparent destruction of social norms by considering the validity of things they're exposing.

                    Social norms are vital to group cohesion and success yet they must also be fit-for-purpose and given our environment changes so rapidly (especially since the industrial revolution) we must frequently test our norms to see if they're still relevant.  I, for one, am grateful for these challenges because without them we might still be selling slaves and imprisoning women suspected of having STDs.

                    The other point I'd like to make is in regard to how we perceive the actions of others.  Biases, of which we have over 200, are often alluded to as flaws in thinking or are pointed out as a means to discredit the perspectives of others. Whilst I acknowledge that I'm pointing out bias in your perspective I'm doing so with the caveat that I'm also biased as is everyone, always.

                    Wikipedia starts its page on cognitive bias with this statement: "Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation from norm[al] or rational judgement" This statement suggests that rationality is the norm. However, if you go to the linked reference material you find the authors actually say cognitive biases are not deviations but rather the normal way we process information.

                    "The conclusion that many biases are not the result of constraints or mysterious irrationalities also speaks to the ongoing debate about human rationality. Our perspective suggests that biases often are not design flaws, but design features." (source:The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology by David M. Buss, pg 725)

                    So everyone is subjected to the same biased thinking and we are all burdened with the responsibility of employing critical thinking when making judgments. https://youtu.be/AK0GYBTNx5Q
                    I think this is really important because if you consider your perspective from a rational POV you can see that what they're doing and pointing out has been done right throughout history – the challenging and breaking down of old social norms in order to test for relevance. Whilst you might say they're focusing on differences rather than commonalities they do so to break down the criteria for sorting, not to destroy sorting.  

                    The old way was just as separatist in that men and women were relegated to strict and separate social norms, racial segregation kept whites and blacks apart as fundamentally different and religious separation kept Christians apart from "heathens".  What's more, they're challenging the old sorting criteria in order to find better more reasonable ways of ensuring equal access to resources, fairer application of laws and legal protection and a more refined and nuanced understanding of what it is to be human first and foremost.

                    In this way, you can look at their behaviour as a sort of ethical spring cleaning and like spring cleaning, you often have to make a mess to clean one up.

                    Now, I'm not saying I agree with all of the outcomes or actions – certainly this 'cancel culture' is problematic but I argue that it isn't representative of the entire left nor is it the demands for firing or silencing opposition for a vocal minority that is problematic but how we're responding to it.

                    Why are companies and institutions bowing to public pressure so quickly and without proper due process?  Could it be that in an age where being profitable is so highly dependent on popularity that we've exorcised critical thinking as dissension's bastard? Perhaps then this 'mess' we have is the consequence of the capitalist tendency to monetise everything which has left society vulnerable to the demands of an increasingly vocal & irrational leftist faction who are now no more representative of the political left than neo-Nazism is of the political right.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Thanks for that thoughtful response Maggie.  Nothing there I'd dispute.  I suspected it was a peer-group driven movement (primarily, with some traction of solidarity amongst those who went pc during the '90s).

                      And I'm aware of the emotional rooting that bias emerges from, having had to transcend various of mine in the past!  I'm willing to tolerate the woke but may have to express irritation from time to time if the phenomenon persists – I suspect it is already waning. 

                      And yes, conflating it with the left isn't sensible, except it regard to the critique that the left tend to be privileged (middle-class) nowadays whereas in the 19th century they were identified as lower-class (wrongly, I've learnt from reading about the activists of that era).  Idealism in regard to the better world envisioned is widely shared, so any critique of the woke can't focus on that.  It must focus on behaviour.

                  • maggieinnz

                    I appreciate the rational discussion Dennis. All to often I find myself caught up in conversations where I'm constantly having to say "I didn't say/mean that" and I admit my tone is often the cause of such misunderstandings. I'm not very good at predicting how others will take me as I tend to be blunt AF.

                    I've had to wrestle with my own bias and was a pretty radical feminist some time back.  Whilst I still support feminism I've become far more moderate and have broadened my perspective by leaning in to MRA conversations and listening to their POV. This helped me understand that most people want the same things but tend to speak from their pain points in order to express those desires.

                    And I'll continue to wrestle my biases which flair up like a bad rash every now and again.  Conversations like this one make that easier to do so cheers 🙂

                • RedLogix

                  JP is not anti-utopian at all

                  Well I tend to take people at their word when they say so.



                  and here.

                  • maggieinnz

                    When it comes to understanding true motivations of a person I never take a person at their word.  Like, ever.  Truth is found in between their words, in what they hide, not what they put in the shop window.

                    Everything about JP says to me that this guy is desperate to preserve an ideal culture in which he feels he has value. And that's not a criticism of him.  It's something we all do to certain degrees.

                    We all write narratives in which we are winners.*  Even if we cast ourselves as victims we do so to make a claim that redeems us from blame, we become survivors (and thus mythological heroes of our own history) by pointing out our victimisation.  Those who’ve ‘succeeded’ in societal terms do the very same.  What mightier hero is there than one who’s escaped their chains and slain sloth to rise above the mediocre. 

                    The right point at the left and label them hysterical whilst comforted by their own “rational” narrative but if you read the majority of right leaning editorials and opinion pieces the “hysteria” is no less present.  It just walks along to the monotonous nod of a well-scripted narrative; they just produce better arguments (but not truer ones).  The right are the "lawyers" of political discourse – finders of loopholes, committed to winning, not truth.

                    *Note: I feel the need to clarify that these narratives don't invalidate any suffering or victimisation a person has suffered in their lifetime.  This isn't about real life experiences and whether they're justifiably painful but rather the narrative construct – the fictionalised reality we cast for ourselves in our minds.

                    • RedLogix

                      So I provide three links where JP explains in detail one thing, and you assure us you know that he must really mean something else.

                      No wonder you didn't understand a word he said.

                  • maggieinnz

                    "So I provide three links where JP explains in detail one thing, and you assure us you know that he must really mean something else.

                    No wonder you didn't understand a word he said."

                    "us" Odd choice of pronoun there, Red. Is it a priest or psychiatrist you need because I'm pretty sure you're not speaking for a collective.

                    You, know, sometimes I just lurk and read the conversations on here.  You learn so much about people by watching how they interact with others, when they get pissy, over what and with whom. It paints an interesting picture of the inner emotional and psychological world of the speaker.  🙂

                • swordfish

                  This attitude of dismissal, of scoffing at the silly left with their inability to be reasonable

                  Don't conflate the irrational, uber-relativist Intersectional Cult with the broader Left movement it's trying to hi-jack.

                  Because men didn't consider women to be anything other than pretty little women, children in adult bodies

                  Gross generalisation that I'd expect from the more ideologically insular, historically-ignorant & dogmatic extremes of the Feminist Movement. Doesn't tally with the familial relationships of my forbears at all.

                  The irony being that the Woke of both sexes do tend toward – not so much children – as petulant teenagers in adult bodies. Narcissistic, demanding & controlling. Presumably a corollary of significant affluence & massive over-indulgence when growing up.

      • francesca 3.1.2

        Perhaps a better education system for all that really emphasises critical thinking is the best solution.

        the assault is a one way flow.

        Oh come on ! Do you think we don't have outright propaganda directed at us via the Murdoch press for instance !!!

        An example being the way the Murdoch press harps on about anti semitism whenever anyone crticises Israel ,while Murdoch himself has oil interests in the Golan Heights he'd be able to exploit if the GH were annexed.


        The Dream Genie Team

        President Trump has a direct personal interest in Genie energy through Ira Greenstein a Kushner family Lawyer and former President of Genie Energy who has worked for the Trump administration as a Legal aide.

        "Genie Energy was founded by Howard Jonas a telecoms billionaire; staunch supporter of Netanyahu and long-time friend of the Kushner family. For a company anonymously located in a very shabby part of New Jersey, that few people have even heard of, It is probably the most influential on the planet, its strategic advisory board reads like a Who’s who of Geopolitical Puppet masters comprising some of the Western World’s most influential figures including Former American Vice-President and President/C.E.O of Halliburton Dick Cheney, Ex-CIA Director James Woolsey, Banking tycoon Lord Jacob Rothschild and Media mogul, Rupert Murdoch."


        The way Syria is being represented in the Murdoch press is heavily influenced by Murdoch's interests .Just one example .We're not above being lied to by our media Iraq another 


        • RedLogix

          Well that is the exact point I linked to and quoted; propaganda is nothing new, pretty much everyone does it. But where do we draw the line?

          Are we going to allow the authoritarian states … who's only goal is maintaining and expanding the power of it's leaders for life …. to openly undermine the ideals of the democratic west?

          Just to put this into perspective. Of the 200 odd nations on earth, barely 30 truly count as developed and decent places to live, countries where the freedoms, rights and rule of law we take for granted are commonplace. Although partly as a consequence of these characteristics these nations are also very successful and prosperous, it's a mistake to imagine they are also invulnerable to internal damage.

          • francesca

            Who counts them Red?
            I wouldn’t personally be counting the US at the moment
            Are these countries undermining democratic ideals or pointing to the deficits of those countries ?
            Any democratic ideals in the UK are tarnished by the unbelievable treatment of Assange, and the media’s abdication of any responsibility towards free journalism

            • RedLogix

              Who counts them Red?

              There is of course no binary distinction here; all the nations can be placed on a spectrum from best to worst. And then there are multiple dimensions of desirability we could use. But one way of measuring it was done by a recent Gallop poll (I've linked to it before) that showed some 750m people, 10% of the human race, would migrate right now if they could.

              And almost all want to go to the Anglo/Euro nations of the developed world. That's called voting with your feet.

              I'd certainly agree the US is by no means the best of this group, it was toppled from that position decades ago. And this is a deficit they certainly need to address; it will take a decade of turmoil to show results.

              • McFlock

                But let's not look any closer are why those nations are wealthy and desirable. It must be democracy most of them have had for less than a hundred years or so, can't possibly have anything to do with the three or four hundred years before that. Or anything they did while being so "democratic".

                • RedLogix

                  But let's not look any closer are why those nations are wealthy and desirable. 

                  It's a very good question; one that I believe Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel gave a very good answer to. If you really want to understand modern geopolitics this book is the essential starting point. (It ain't perfect, nor complete, but it remains a solid foundation.)

                  Empire, exploitation, slavery and the oppression of minorities is nothing new. It probably dates back to at least when modern humans probably eradicated Neanderthals in Europe, and it has to be fully acknowledged that the intersection of this ancient paradigm, with the industrialised technologies of 17 and 18th century Europe, took it to a wholly new, intense and deplorable level.

                  But that colonial era came to a functional end at the close of WW2. Colonialism is no longer the sole or even best explanation for their ongoing success and desirability, at least compared to much of the rest of the world.

                  • McFlock

                    no, shh, it's totes just "democracy", right? Nothing to do with the geopolitical dominance the colonial powers maintained post ww2 (replacing "colonialism" with "hegemony") or geopolitical proxy wars and destabilisation campaigns.

                    Let's just leave it that "democracy" is the primary reason the colonial powers are still largely dominant (and desirable migration destinations).

                    • Sacha

                      One vote feeds a whole family..

                    • RedLogix

                      The left likes to imagine the US got rich on the back of it's global security dominance in the post WW2 era.

                      Apart from the fact that it was the US manufacturing dominance that was a very large reason why the Allies won WW2 before they set up their security hegemon, it's also wrong on the data. In reality the US actually trades relatively little with the rest of the world as a percentage of it's GDP.

                      Indeed from the US perspective, if the rest of the world outside North and Latin America were to sink beneath the waves tomorrow, they'd barely notice, much less give a shit. Many would breath a deep sigh of relief and go back to being prosperous thank you very much.

                    • Sacha

                      Being world trade's default currency was no advantage at all.

                    • RedLogix

                      Being world trade's default currency was no advantage at all.

                      An advantage that cuts both ways. If say Argentinians want to trade with Egyptian's … neither country has any use for each other's currency, so having one dominant hard currency that everyone could use was a tremendous benefit to everyone.

                      And providing a global security environment, freedom of trade and shipping for all nations, (even their enemies) came at no cost either?

                      I'm not arguing the post WW2 US led trade order was the ideal arrangement, or that it was without flaws. But it was almost certainly better than anything that came before. A fact that we are about to discover quite brutally as it disintegrates before our eyes over the next few years.

                    • McFlock

                      Look, stop the distractions, it must be the world's lack of democracy.

                      No need to bring up things like that multinationals don't necessarily patriate all their overseas income derived from CIA-backed dictatorships (although the value is reflected in their share prices), and the US leases for military establishments were routinely cheap because they were acquired from those dictatorships or countries they had just defeated (Rammstein, Subic, Guantanamo, Yokota), or the outright colonial possessions for their allies (in the case of Diego Garcia).

                      And then we have no need at all to mention the CIA practise of destabilising any government (no matter how democratic) that showed any effort to lower inequality in its population, because "communism".

                      You put your finger on it: the rest of the world is less desirable to live in only for the reason that it doesn't have (or only recently was gifted via B52) democracy. Any other explanation must be false (otherwise you might have to accept reality).

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Indeed from the US perspective, if the rest of the world outside North and Latin America were to sink beneath the waves tomorrow, they'd barely notice, much less give a shit.

                      So, how does ~5% of the world's population use ~25% of the world's resources?



                      Click to access natresor.pdf

                      Seems to me that the US is totally dependent upon trade.


              • francesca

                Its called going to where the jobs are, not necessarily because of democratic ideals .Why are the jobs there ..Empire and wealth accumulation were got not from democracy ,but military advantage and plunder going back generations .It's why Hondurans to this day go to the States

                And a large proportion will be going where there is a common language..English…taught pretty well universally .Why?

                Colonialism and Empire mean English became the language of trade.and therefore taught .

                • RedLogix

                  Empire and wealth accumulation were got not from democracy ,but military advantage and plunder going back generations 

                  In that case why are Spain and Portugal, or the core nations of any of the historic empires not centres of world power to this day? The reason is simple and obvious, the passing of time has eroded away any advantage. The last empire of the type you are thinking of ended with WW2

                  It's why Hondurans to this day go to the States

                  Again the problem of having only one tool in the box. Honduras will always be poorer than the USA for a whole range of geographic reasons that have nothing to do politics. Similar to why Greenland will never be a wealthy nation. Geography matters.

                  English…taught pretty well universally 

                  Well yes. The need for a universal language in a globalised world is so urgent and necessary that we defaulted to the one most at hand. It could have easily been Spanish or French but for a few accidents of history.

                  Esperanto was once considered a popular alternative for just this purpose. In an ideal world we might eventually arrive at a universal language acceptable to all. 

                  • McFlock

                    Spain and Portugal lost the bulk of their colonial empires in the 19th century. The US and UK built the bulk of their empires in the 19th century. The Spanish and portuguese lost favoured trade relations with many of their former colonial powers. UK has the commonwealth, and the thirteen colonies gained much of North America in the same time period that Spain lost hers, and US only lost some of their richer dominions in the mid-late 20C (e.g. Cuba, Philipines) (and both expanded their systems of trade, until particular unpleasantries recently entered office in their respective capitals).

                    Additionally, modern imperialists exercise a more distant style of control that colonialism, but it is still imperial control. Look at Gough Whitlam or Allende if you want to argue about that. It's the dominance of the Roman Republic, not the dominion of the "United Kingdom" (yes, the roman republic differed from the empire because the roman empire had an actual emperor, but this is geopolitical terminology not classical studies).

                    But even so, I wonder how many ships get tied up at portuguese or spanish docks that were paid for by their own Colstons. I doubt that no advantages remain from their own days of empire.

                    • RedLogix

                      Additionally, modern imperialists exercise a more distant style of control that colonialism, but it is still imperial control. 

                      Again your reflexive bias against anything American means nuance becomes impossible. Just slap the word 'imperial' on it and job done.

                      The US hegemon is actually quite different from the British Empire that proceeded it. There are for a start no real colonies of any significance. Certainly there are military bases and a few small island nations, but absolutely nothing compared to the scale of the British.

                      Secondly, the British model (and all others prior to it) compelled almost all trade to be directed to the centre, for the benefit of the centre. And they navy necessary to defend this trade, protected imperial trade and no-one elses. The American model has been quite the opposite in this respect, all nations are able with relatively few constraints to trade with almost all others. And remarkably enough the US Navy provided the 'freedom of navigation' for everyone to do this at no cost.

                      Even when as I point out the USA actually trades remarkably little with the wider world. Imports are only 15% of GDP and at least half of this is within NAFTA. ie Canada and Mexico. (Incidentally Mexico is now their biggest trade partner, not China.) 

                      Throw in energy independence, and the USA has comparatively little need to trade with the wider world, beyond a few specialised raw materials they can easily manage to source if necessary. This is a key point that was overlooked by everyone, the USA hegemon was never about making the US wealthy in the old imperial 'suck all the resources in to the centre' model. The unique geography of the US made them so natively wealthy that it was never necessary.

                      The purpose of the hegemon was to defeat the Soviets in the Cold War. The Americans knew they did not want to fight the Russians on the ground, so they essentially bribed up a global alliance which said, "we will let you trade with anyone, protect your trade, provide the finance, get you out of poverty, get rich even, but you have to be on our side against the Soviets".

                      And so long as you played by their rules the Americans generally left you alone. With some exceptions of course, but for the most part they used the least force necessary to ensure everyone stuck to the bargain. 

                      Am I defending this US model as ideal? Of course not, everyone is aware of the mistakes and disasters along the way. But the crucial point is that compared to anything that came before it, the Americans, almost accidentally, created something the world has never seen before. It took us in the direction of the ideal, of a truly federalised world of equal nations. And for all of it's shortcomings the US trade order has delivered an astonishing modest prosperity for billions …. for the first time in human history fully half the human race is middle class by local standards. (That's quite an achievement for something so half-arsed, imagine if we did it properly.)

                      I realise the far left hates this narrative, but if we are serious about the universal elimination of poverty it is deeply dishonest to discount it.

                    • RedLogix

                      I wonder how many ships get tied up at portuguese or spanish docks that were paid for by their own Colstons. 

                      The economic life of most fixed assets is around 50 – 80 years. So no, any economic advantage anyone gained from slavery is long gone.

                      And if you want to argue for some other less tangible advantage gained from slavery somehow passed down the generations, keep in mind that the briefest of overviews tells us that until the Industrial Revolution ended it, slavery in some form or another was ubiquitous. Where do you want to draw the line? Only when white people did it?

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, I wasn't just thinking of the yanks. As soon as limpet mines and assault rifles made revolutionaries near-peer adversaries for anyone with boots on the ground, the imperial model du jour moved back towards client states rather that outright occupation.That's why the yanks transitioned from occupying the Philippines until 1941 to merely having client dictators throughout most of the Cold War.

                      But aren't we lucky that the yanks only dominated clients to stop the soviets, and were in no way continuing their imperial expansion from before WW2. I mean, they found another excuse to keep the hegemony going after the cold war, too, so there's that.

                      You're so full of shit that the boots you lick so frequently must have been wading through it.

                    • RedLogix

                      You're so full of shit that the boots you lick so frequently must have been wading through it.

                      What exactly do you think you are doing?

                    • McFlock

                      losing patience with someone whose blinkers cause them to blatantly misrepresent history.

                      But tell us again how the yanks aren't an imperial power. It'll fascinate folks from Puerto Rico to Hawaii, the long way around.

                    • RedLogix

                      But tell us again how the yanks aren't an imperial power. It'll fascinate folks from Puerto Rico to Hawaii, the long way around.

                      Maybe you got confused when I said above:

                      "Certainly there are military bases and a few small island nations, but absolutely nothing compared to the scale of the British."

                      Absolutely every claim I've made I'm willing to back up in extensive detail. But I'm not wasting the effort on someone who can't even read the most elementary points without getting lost and losing patience.

                    • McFlock

                      Vietnam was a small island nation or a few bases?


                      The Philippines? Client regimes like Argentina, Greece, Iran, Iraq, and every other nation that received billions in military aid and advice on torturing political opponents?

                      Seriously – you believe that the post-ww2 US foreign policy consisted of a few islands and military bases (which would have been similar to any number of global outposts of the British Empire, even if that was the limit of similarity)?

                  • francesca

                    Red, a case study of how Honduran wealth and the ability for peasants to survive in their own land was stripped by the US and their banana companies https://theconversation.com/how-us-policy-in-honduras-set-the-stage-for-todays-migration-65935

                    The mainstream narrative of such movements of people often reduces the causes of migration to factors unfolding in migrants’ home countries. In reality, migration is often a manifestation of a profoundly unequal and exploitative relationship between countries from which people emigrate and countries of destination.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yup, as I said above, the global US trade order was not without it's failures. I've never argued it was a perfect or ideal system; just better than anything that came before it.

                      The problem for Latin America, Honduras, Nicuargua and Cuba in particular, is that early century US business interests essentially undertook a proto-colonial foray into the region. A similar parallel can be found with say the British East India Company in India several hundred years earlier.  But at the same time no US Federal govt was ever interested in going the next step of turning them into full territorial colonies.

                      This has meant the unfortunate peoples of these countries got the worst of both worlds, all the merchantile exploitation with none of the stable governance.

                      Then of course there was the Cold War, and we too easily forget the intensity of that period. The US repeatedly overreacted to perceived communist/socialist threats and footholds in their hemisphere. Their hugely advantageous security position was their big strategic advantage over the Soviets, and they were not going to relinquish it lightly.

                      Put these two realities together and  yes Latin America is the zone where the US global trade order functioned badly. That is a legitimate objection, yet in many ways the contrast with how events unfolded elsewhere in the world where these factors did not apply … is instructive.

                      Also easily overlooked is that the USA itself is founded as an exercise in anti-colonialism, the great break-away from the British Empire, and this has always formed a large element of their foreign policy ever since. The fact that there are 200 odd independent nations in the world now, and no great imperiums of old, is largely due to the US imposing their own alternative reality on the ground.

                      What happens when the US fully stops imposing that reality over the next decade is the urgent question we should be thinking about.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        China in particular completely insulates it's own people from the West and tightly controls what they are allowed to see and say.


        Taiwan News said that "the communist regime is said to have noticed an authority vacuum in online multiplayer games, which enables people to socialize without monitoring freely. Local metropolises are scrambling to draft laws to expand the scope of online censorship in video games and even prohibit gamers from meeting and chatting with people on the other side of the Great Firewall."

        Apparently, even allowing people to chat with the West is now frowned upon by the Chinese authorities.

        Does anyone think asymmetry is not being exploited to our manifest disadvantage?

        I'd hope not but there's going to be someone out there with the belief that, no matter what China does, allowing permanent residence with voting is all good and they simply won't believe that China will use this as a way to attack us.

    • SPC 3.2

      In making your comment about Australia being targeted by a foreign nation's cyber goons, you seem to have channelled the language of an earlier time, when that nation ran a white population policy. 

      Of that earlier time pre Asian students (the first here may have been Chinese Malaysians under a Commonwealth programem back in the 70's when Malaysia began a Malay first into their universities policy) and changes to our own immigration policy (1986 or so).  

      Of course you may have been going for chink in the Oz cyber security armour, or noting how political campaigns of the Bannon type are nationalist in nature and returning us back to the past. 

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        Or all of the above simultaneously.  Literary references have ever been a minefield of controversy, eh?  A standard method for ensuring that readers never die of boredom, even.  And postmodernism has the upside of providing an ever so thick layer of icing on that cake.  Readers can indulge their knee-jerk subjective reactions to their heart's content.  An immensely satisfying recipe.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Is deliberate use of ethnic slurs wise, in praxis?  Maybe it just slipped out/up?


          Seems unlikely, but not impossible that it was your intention to cause offence.

          I do hope the dancing cossacks bogeyman mentality doesn’t get a firmer foothold in NZ – lately ‘Eyes on China’ has been promoting ‘its concerns.


          • Dennis Frank

            Nah, just habitual slang use from way back.  No intention to traumatise.  If the moderator gets freaked out, happy to see it corrected to Chinese or communist or both!  The idea that folks get traumatised by slang usage is so wacky that it never enters my head.  🙄  And I will now investigate your link thanks…

            Well, that was a waste of time. Some org that only wants to recruit facebook users. Terminally-shallow brainwashed army has been done many times previously, why bother??

        • francesca

          Covering your butt?

          Literary references should probably be put in italics to make the writer's stance a little clearer

    • The Chairman 3.3

      Speaking of  Bannon, have you seen this?


    • Gabby 3.4

      So Bannon's still full of shit, good to know, good to know.

  4. Except now the chink electrogoons are targeting Oz,

    What the hell Dennis!!

    I haven't heard the word chink since we were a bunch of ignorant primary schoolers

  5. Anne 5

    I think the time has come for the Prime Minister to seriously consider ceasing her weekly interview with Mike Hosking. This morning's performance was a litany of disrespect, misogyny, dishonesty and rudeness to the point of verbal abuse. He effectively called her a liar.

    It is all very well maintaining a remarkable level of equilibrium in the face of such belittling attacks, but he is slowly but surely painting Jacinda as a PM out of her depth. It is part of the overall National Party attack strategy of course and their media puppets like Hosking know exactly the role they are to play within that strategy. 

    She has every excuse to bypass him with a pandemic in progress as well as leading the country out of the economic recession in its wake.


    • Sacha 5.1

      as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking go head-to-[dick]head

      • mac1 5.1.1

        I loved the bit where Ardern left him defending essentially his position which was "I don't get it".

        Hosking: That doesn't mean anything.

        Ardern: I have made my point – you continue to make yours.

    • tc 5.2

      Nah the hosk would scream like a baby if she didn't attend like the presumptuous born to lecture everyone twat he is.

      Ardern gets to be classy while rantyboy vents his spleen. Pure theatre for red neck radio rantland.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Pompeo, the secretary of state, called Bolton a traitor. Peter Navarro, the White House trade hawk, labeled The Room Where It Happened “deep swamp revenge porn”.   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/21/the-room-where-it-happened-review-john-bolton-donald-trump

    Bolton was recruited by James A Baker III, like McCain a Republican lion, Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff and George HW Bush’s secretary of state. To quote Baker, “John’s an extraordinarily bright guy.”

    So what's happening is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party.  Recall that George Will resigned from the party when it selected the huckster as candidate.  Principled rightists may be a minority, but they've long been at the heart of the US political establishment.  Ever tried to do a count of right-wing US think-tanks??  I once did and encountered so many I hadn't known about that I became mildly depressed.

    According to whistleblower Christopher Wylie: “Bolton Pac was obsessed with how America was becoming limp-wristed and spineless and it wanted research and messaging for national security issues.” In his book, Bolton’s description is more modest: “In late 2013, I formed a Pac and a Super Pac to aid House and Senate candidates who believed in a strong US national security policy.”

    Bolton as would-be dragonslayer.  Trump as paper tiger.  What to do?  Last week Colin Powell went public, declaring he will vote for Biden.  Other influential Republicans, similarly disaffected, are more likely to stay home than vote for Trump or his China stooge opponent.

    • The Chairman 6.1

      Speaking of Pompeo, Lou Dobbs was fuming with him the other day.

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        Red storm rising seems somewhat melodramatic for a framing headline, but I guess media have to raise consciousness, and the contrast between Trumpian rhetoric and action follow-through has to be examined.

        The concern expressed by Banks impressed me via his moderate, level, yet empathic tone.  I hadn't seen Dobbs since he was fronting the money segment for CNN way back, but he's matured into less of a moron than he was.

        Four breaches of Taiwan air-space in nine days is clearly a sustained attempt at forceful messaging.  Banks told us Pompeo's meeting with the Chinese hierarchy in Hawaii was at China's request.  Thus a two-pronged strategy by them.

        • The Chairman

          China's breaches of Taiwan air-space are just part of China's growing aggression raising global concern.

          The up and coming US elections raises the question who will stand up to China if Trump fails to win? 

          • Dennis Frank

            Which may well be the primary question in their election.  I can imagine zillions deciding to vote for Trump while holding their nose, if he puts that question into their heads in the final week or two of the campaign.

            • The Chairman

              Which may well be the primary question in their election.  I can imagine zillions deciding to vote for Trump while holding their nose, if he puts that question into their heads in the final week or two of the campaign.

              Indeed, Dennis.

              Furthermore, it is a question many around the world are asking while thinking what will it mean for them/us living in a China dominated world? 


              • Dennis Frank

                a China dominated world

                Those paranoid folks anticipating such a future need reassurance.  The future is way more likely to be multipolar at the level of geopolitics.

                The US foreign policy establishment is huge.  If Biden wins and attempts to wimp out on his responsibilities to them, they will find a way to pull his plug.  Expect him to die in office in that future (natural causes, due to stress, most likely).  His VP, a black woman, will have been already primed on how to present as authoritative and persuasive.  Velvet glove.

    • Gabby 6.2

      If Bannon the liar is to be believed, which he isn't.

  7. Reality 7

    Anne, in some respects Hosking is turning people off by his extreme interviewing.  I know several people who have lately commented they have been disgusted by him.  I have never heard them previously make any comment.

    I don’t know what editorial policy is in place for media to be balanced.

    However, no wonder people so admire Jacinda for her stoic putting up with him.  He is filled with hate and bitterness.  It would not be so bad if he put the opposition through the same barrage.  What a vile man.


    • Cinny 7.1

      hosking, is a bitter, angry has been, desperate for attention.

      Have been impressed lately with both Jack Tame and Ryan Bridges, either of them would be fantastic as an adjudicator for the leaders debates.

    • tc 7.2

      Balance doesn't exist in mediaworks / radio works empire. It's agenda driven, always has been. 


    • Peter 7.3

      Editorial policy about being balanced?  The balance they're interested in is whether the books balance.

      Last week a banner headline had it of a Mike Hosking interview, Hosking v Whomever.  The whomever was the particular politician he interviewed that day.

      When interviews are to be sporting fixtures and about winners and losers we need to get real and see them and the media presenting them for what they are.

      We get the glib expressions about 'holding politicians to account.' We get those like Hosking and Peter Williams seeming to think they are doing God's work. It is a travesty that it has got to the stage that politicians have to appear in regular time slots on radio and tv.  Surely they should be accessible and answer question but now people like Hosking has them over a barrel. Not doing so has them pilloried, and slammed for not fronting.

      If during the time of pandemic Beehive pressers Ardern had said to Hosking she wasn't available to him how would he have performed?  I can imagine him being one who slammed her for doing those sessions.  If she'd said, "My availability is through that session, you're welcome to attend and ask questions," how would he have treated?

      Of course Hosking should not chair any TV leaders sessions for the election. He is not a journalist, he is an opinion giver who has continually poured scorn on Ardern. He has an agenda. 

      • Tiger Mountain 7.3.1

        Our glorious ex leader Mr Key refused to appear on RadioNZ for most of his first term, and few were too concerned, because they were tuned to ZB or the Edge where he did appear, to share his “shower urinating stories”. 

        Which is a round about way of saying the PM needs to be where people are. Figure out a better method of slapping down Maserati Mike perhaps rather than banning the ripped jean tosser.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Boris is being machiavellian:  using leftists to eliminate wokeism.  Are wokesters really such a deserving threat?  I doubt it.  Ordinary folk think they're a joke.

    Munira Mirza, formerly of the Spiked website, a successor organisation to the Revolutionary Communist party (RCP), is urging him to rebuild his shattered popularity by launching a “war on the woke”.

    Mirza is setting up Johnson’s hastily arranged race inequality commission and you do not need supernatural powers to know it will conclude that institutional racism is a “myth”.  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/20/the-far-left-origins-of-no-10s-desperate-attack-on-all-things-woke-

    Spiked:  "we cover current affairs from a radical, democratic, pro-freedom and humanist perspective."  https://www.spiked-online.com/about-spiked/

    Founded in 2001, as the UK’s first online only political magazine, we have carved out an international reputation as, in the words of the New York Times, an ‘often-biting British publication fond of puncturing all manner of ideological balloons’ — fearless in challenging orthodoxy and fighting for free speech.  

    Leftist believers in free speech were everywhere when I was young.  Good to know a bastion remains in the UK.  I wonder if they use a castle & moat?

    Go for the libtards, the PC, the leftists and the bleeding hearts, the head of the No 10 policy unit urges. Use tiny threats to Winston Churchill’s statues to whip up your supporters’ cultural fear and divert their attention from a country ravaged by disease and descending into a slump.  The presence of the ex-revolutionaries in a rightwing debate shows the distance from asinine far leftism to paranoid conservatism is nowhere near as great as the innocent imagine.

    Political culture wars as mass entertainment is a looming trend, obviously, so we can expect things to get even more Alice In Wonderland for quite a while yet…

  9. xanthe 9

    BOYCOT ZB  BOYCOT HERALD until they remove hoskins

  10. greywarshark 10

    Back to the future – some thoughts about climate change results written in 2015 – what we can look forward to – Covid-19 is part of the problems we have to adjust to.    The anomic-atomic business world wished for 'disruption' as being good for business.   They have got that, so what do they want to do with it?

    I thought this was thoughtful about 1-2 metre level of sea rise expected this century:      http://hot-topic.co.nz/the-encroaching-sea-new-nz-sea-level-rise-maps/

    Bob Bingham says:   April 13, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    The danger [from] one metre is mostly economic in that so much infrastructure will be lost that it will cripple the economy and also that of most countries around the world. My blog points to some of the city losses in NZ but a lot of Florida disappears, a huge amount of farmland in the UK and of course Holland.
    The biggest worry is the displacement of hundreds of millions of people which will cause civil strife as families are displaced and will cross borders looking for a safe place to live. Worrying about the occasional flood is the least of your worries when you are sharing your property with twenty refugees and the economy is bankrupt.    

    Also  –   http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/

  11. observer 11


    9 million cases globally*. The most recent million took just 7 days. The previous million took 8 days. The million before that took 9 days.

    (*reported by countries – some more honest than others)

  12. observer 12

    This story says so much about National's scare campaign on quarantine. Their MPs (Kaye, Woodhouse) have sided with a small number of well-off residents at the Stamford Plaza in Auckland, and against the hotel staff who could lose their jobs as a consequence.

    Herald report here

    It's the same as Todd McClay in Rotorua, who is up in arms about the local hotels being used. Meanwhile National do want the hotels used for quarantine in Queenstown. They are all over the place.

    • Gabby 12.1

      It sounded like McLazy's whinge was about lack of training for hotel staff. Not sure how valid that is.

    • AB 12.2

      Lisa Owen gave Kaye an easy ride on Checkpoint. Didn't even raise the charge of aiding and abetting nimbyism for the political advantage of claiming that things are 'chaotic'.

  13. ianmac 13

    Abraham said at the weekend that concerns about those in residential parts of the complex mixing with quarantiners were based on false information.

    "The hotel and the residences are separate and distinct components. Any common access points between the hotel and the residences will be closed during the applicable period, can be effectively locked to ensure that residents and the intended guest of Stamford are kept separate at all times," he said.

    Entrances were clearly separated with no opportunity for the residents and the intended guests of the Stamford to interact, Abraham said.

    Are we surprised that the residents of Stamford Plaza being advised by Woodhouse got the story wrong? This lead to the transfer of detainees to Rotorua instead which then was aired by Woodhouse as he claims, being so wrong.


  14. Sacha 14

  15. McFlock 16

    What happens in the states, we copy eventually. This is from a few years ago, on US community policing practises.

  16. ianmac 17

    Very clear definite Press conference from Jacinda and Woods on now. Well done over the essentials.


  17. arkie 18

    After Tulsa, now Jacksonville. Less a dogwhistle, more of a human whistle:

    President Trump’s planned convention speech in Jacksonville, Florida, on Aug. 27 falls on the city’s 60th anniversary of a brutal KKK-orchestrated attack on black activists known as “Ax Handle Saturday.”


  18. Eco Maori 19

    Kia Ora 

    The Am Show. 

    I think it's is correct to charge people who go into quarantine in Aotearoa.

    People don't like being stuck in the 12 hours a day treadmill just to stay afloat in Aotearoa.

    That's Global Warming. 

    That's is good Ethiopia planting billions of trees. 

    Conserving is the best way forward for Aotearoa all resources should be used wisely. 

    Ka kite Ano 



  19. Eco Maori 20

    Kia Ora 


    It will be cold in Te Waka A Maui. 

    That's is good NCEA credits for learning about personal finances for students one of the most important subjects for one's prospeary. 

    Ka kite Ano. 


  20. Eco Maori 21

    Kia Ora 

    Te Ao Maori News. 

    It would be awesome to see more Tangata whenua owning horticultural enterprises like Back in the day. 

    That will be great when Kapa Haka resumes. 

    It is good to see that times have changed so it is no longer acceptable to mispronounce Maori names.

    That Te reo is like waiata to my ears. 

    Ka kite Ano. 


  21. Eco Maori 22

    Kia Ora 

    The Am Show. 

    If you're not using The 21 century communication devices to market your goods or service you will not be reaching the highest heights of your busines. 

    That's is cool the bonsai small forest being planted around Europe trees do much more than just sequester carbon.

    Electric cars are improving all the time in time they will be cheaper than gas guzzlers. 

    Ka kite Ano. 


  22. Eco Maori 23

    Kia Ora 


    Times are changing. 

    That's awesome the fishing bans to protect our Maui and Hector's dolphins. 

    The lost of Glacier Brewsters ice is a big problem Global Warming 50 to 100 years is not that long and most Glaciers will be gone

    Ka kite Ano. 

  23. Eco Maori 24

    Kia Ora 

    Te Ao Maori Marama. 

    Ka pai to Iwi investing in Whare it is a great investment to secure Te Mokopuna futures.

    It would be good to have statue and Carving telling Te tangata Whenua stories around Aotearoa. 

    Awsome A Maori based education game that educates about our environment. That's the future Internet.

    Te puia opening again is good. 

    Ka kite Ano 

  24. Eco Maori 25

    Kia Ora 

    The Am Show. 

    A Dry July sounds good alcohol causes so many negative effects its not funny. 

    Ka kite Ano. 


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