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Supply side Jesus

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, December 16th, 2015 - 74 comments
Categories: religion - Tags:

You’ll get the drift of what I mean by Supply-Side Jesus from this link.

Jesus, rather than being some commie big-state redistributor, was incredibly serious and canny about money, spending, and tax:

In Matthew 17 we learn:

After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked: “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

“Yes he does”, he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes – from their own sons or from others?”

“From others”, Peter answered.

“Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them as my tax and yours.”

Quite a trick, for such a small liability.

Reader, you’ll probably already know  bit where Jesus turns over a coin when asked whether to pay tax, and he says “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s”, the Pharisees replied.

Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

In both, Jesus shows a pretty clear understanding of both tax exemptions, tax liability,  charitable status, and the separation of state and church.

Paul makes tax liabilities even clearer in his letter to the Romans in Chapter 13.

Jesus was no Socialist. Sounds more like he was from Act.

Then there’s Matthew chapter 25.

The summary is: a Rich dude was going on a long journey. Gave one of the staff $5k, who went out and traded hard and made bucketloads.

Gave another $2k, and they doubled it.

Gave another $1k, who essentially stuck it in the bank.

Master finally comes back. Praises hugely the servant who traded hard. Praises well the one who doubled their amount as a “Good and faithful servant”.

Gets to the guy who did nothing with it, and lays into him:

For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Plenty of theology to unpack, but honestly Jesus is beginning to sound like a Young Nat.

Interesting to consider, while we’re shopping for all those Christ-Mas presents.

Next week, the Liberation Theology version.

74 comments on “Supply side Jesus ”

  1. vto 1

    ha ha, love it.

    silly fairies in the sky religions.

    • tinfoilhat 1.1

      From what we know of the historical Jesus of Nazareth he hardly comes across as silly.

      • vto 1.1.1

        sure, and neither did those that proclaimed the sun was a god.

        neither did Ghandi come across as silly, nor the dalai lama, nor the pope ….

        but it is silly

        totally silly

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          Maybe God, Santa, Vogel and Marx all had big white beards for a reason.

          Maybe the Pope should grow one, all Russian Patriarch style.

    • seeker 1.2

      The half shekel (four drachma) tax was paid annually by every Jewish male to support the temple. (The Oxford Annotated Bible circa 1967 very old from my school days).

  2. acrophobic 2

    ‘Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”‘

    John 18:36

    • vto 2.1

      that’s convenient

      • acrophobic 2.1.1

        It’s also consistent.

        • vto 2.1.1.1

          with what pray tell

          • Paul 2.1.1.1.1

            acrophobic uses the hit and run technique so often used by the rwnj trolls here. You won’t get an answer.

            His use of that quote is uses as he wants us to accept our miserable lot here while he and his corporate mates make off with the loot and destroy the planet here.

          • acrophobic 2.1.1.1.2

            With the rest of Jesus’ life. There’s a recent book been published on the life of Jesus called “Jesus Mean and Wild”. It breaks many of the cultural myths we have of this meek and mild guy wandering around Palestine 2,000 years ago. Its worth a read.

            • Tracey 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Does it identify the census document recording Joeseph, Mary and Jesus existence? Those Romans sure kept good records.

            • mac1 2.1.1.1.2.2

              I hope that “Jesus Mean and Wild” does not draw on the story of Jesus driving out the moneychangers from the temple. This is often used as a story to justify the use of violence.

              It does not explain how one man could chase away some no doubt mean and tough men with their even more so inclined minders; that is without exploring what righteous anger is and what effect moral strength has when confronting wrongdoing and wrongdoers.

              Nothing to do with being mean and wild.

              Interpretations of Jesus’ teaching often give a lot away about the beliefs of the interpreter. Following Hilary Benn’s misuse of the Good Samaritan parable, I was bemused to read that a modern moneylender used this parable to condone wealth and financial success because the Good Samaritan had the ready cash to help the waylaid wayfarer.

              No doubt a version from the “God has blessed me with wealth so I must be a good man” school.

    • Richard Christie 2.2

      ‘Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. … my kingdom is from another place.”‘

      So did Darth Vader

      • Ad 2.2.1

        Well, that and “Luke, I am Your Father”
        After which Darth had to do further psychoanalysis, with Julia Kristeva.

    • Ad 2.3

      Just you wait for the next version, before going all Matter V Spirit on us.

  3. Rosemary McDonald 3

    For the life of me I can’t figure out why someone would be posting about a guy called Jesus at this time of year.

  4. BM 4

    I never understood how intelligent educated people could believe in gods?

    Because I’m struggling to grasp how anyone could base their life around some jewish chap, born over 2000 years ago who apparently had super powers and was sent to earth by his god father to be slaughtered in a attempt to demonstrate that we’re all very sinful and naughty.

    Seriously, how bizarre is that?

    Or is religion more about the friendship and socializing than the believing in gods and miracles stuff.

    • Ad 4.1

      What are the sources of your beliefs?

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Silly is what you get when you read it literally.

    • emergency mike 4.3

      “I never understood how intelligent educated people…”

      You’ve answered your own question.

      • Once was Tim 4.3.1

        🙂

        The challenge in trying to understand

        What’s the answer to life and the universe again? Was it 42? Was that with or without GST?

    • tracey 4.5

      You believe John Key is a good leader and forgive him all lies and deceptions. You believe climate change doesn’t exist until the wate ris lapping under your door. You elieve the veneer that key is selling you. “Silly” is in the eye of the beholder.

      • ropata 4.5.1

        Yes that is what pisses me off about Colin Craig’s version of Christianity: while not exactly heresy it is profoundly ignorant and not in accord with the message of Jesus. A large percentage of voters agree with CC’s views and feel that National or other RWNJs are the more “moral” option. 😡

        I was considering writing a guest post on why Christians should vote Left and how right wing neolib austerity is unbiblical and wrong (but hopefully Ad will do this soon)…

        The current Pope is outspoken about inequality and injustice, and the churches have been complaining about the plight of poor to MANY successive governments, yet their ignorant parishioners keep voting for more.

        I am glad that American style gun-toting science-denying trump-voting big-box consumerist christianity is a minority in NZ

        • acrophobic 4.5.1.1

          Hi Ropata…thank you for your thoughtful posts. I’m not sure I agree being a Christian necessarily leads to a left leaning political association. The excesses of the left have resulted in spiritual and economic deprivation of hundreds of millions of people in the past 200 years alone. The call of Jesus to help the needy and protect the vulnerable is at the very heart of a compassionate capitalism that I believe works. Keep up the good work.

          • Ad 4.5.1.1.1

            That’s half the point of doing these two posts together; Christianity is ideologically slippery. So we may as well take the time to figure out what of it can still nurture an impulse for being and doing good. Fully agree that helping people is not the preserve of the left.

  5. NZJester 5

    The problem with what is in the bible is it was rewritten so many times by hand by men with their own ideology deliberately or through jaded eyes misinterpreting translations of bible passages as it was translated from one language to another. The christian church early on came under the control of the very misogynistic Romans and the ideology of the Christin church changed to that of a more misogynistic roman ideology.
    Did they rewrite the roman involvement in the death of Jesus shifting the blame from themselves to the Jewish people? Did they put in the bits about the offering to the church to encourage more people to donate to the church? There are more questions than real answers when it comes to how reliable the history of Jesus is as written in the bible.

    • ropata 5.1

      There are certainly a lot of Euro-centric traditions surrounding the interpretation of the Bible and the way that some teachings are emphasised over others. But it wasn’t always thus:

      Before Saint Benedict formed his first monastery, Nestorian (churches) existed at Nishapur and Tus in Khurasan, in NE Persia, and at Rai. Before England had its first Archbishop of Canterbury, Nestorians already had (church districts) at Merv and Herat, in the modern nations of Turmenistan and Afghanistan, and churches were operating in Sri Lanka and Malabar. Before Poland was Christian, the Nestorian sees of Bukhara, Samarkand, and Patna all achieve metropolitan status.

      Sooo…who were the real heretics? The Western church (Roman, Orthodox) condemned the Eastern church (Nestorian, Jacobite)…but who’s to say? These churches in the East were thriving while the European ones were embroiled in bitter wars, barbaric exorcisms, and witch burning. What would have happened if the hegemony of Europe hadn’t been established? Might we have been far more pluralistic, had a greater appreciation of paradox, and taken seriously the role of faithfulness to the *practice* of Christ?

      https://sensualjesus.wordpress.com/2009/01/16/the-lost-history-of-christianity/

      • Ad 5.1.1

        As I was growing up I used to think that the return to the source or origin of a movement would be where it was truest. Gore Vidal did an excellent novel on point, showing the decay and deformity of originary charism.

        And the attraction of counter-factual histories – like Nestorianism – is that they provide a projection to the imagination; a kind of dulled utopian wishing.

        But then Judy Dench repeats this great set of lines from Tennyson, which can be applied to any movement past its prime:

        “We are not now that strength which in old days

        Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

        One equal temper of heroic hearts,

        Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

        To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

        There are ways through melancholy that I think are more productive than the counter-factuals and the still-born utopias.

        Namely; to remember those ideals you fought for,
        to have fought for them win or lose,
        and to continue with new battles worth fighting;
        that is more useful and more uplifting than to remember only what might have been.

        • ropata 5.1.1.1

          Great point, and nice quote. I’m continuing the good fight … despite utter failure and despair, God has poured out grace and mercy and his Spirit is active in the world to this day (even in the ephemeral lives of humans like me)

  6. Bill 6

    Thanks for the late morning smile Ad.

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    It is interesting how great oral texts become the foundations of religions – Ramayana, Kalevala, Odyssey/Aeniad, and Torah/Bible/Koran. But belief is neither particularly mysterious or foolish, though it can be designated irrational. By far the greater part of human mental processing is subconscious – the rational conscious part is (a bit like contemporary governments) epiphenomenal on the whole. A healthy habit uses the rational as a check on the rapid but sometimes erroneous impressions of the subconscious and vice versa.

    That rationality might need such checks is a job for John Ralston Saul http://www.scottlondon.com/reviews/saul.html

    Religion in wise hands is a tool for living better lives, responding to whole consciousness assessments of various phenomena. But, like economics, it is often not in wise hands, but diverted by kleptocrats to enrich or empower themselves.

    A contemporary tragedy is that an ignoramus like Richard Dawkins is many people’s standard for judging religion. Dawkins never studied theology and his views are as singularly uninformed as his Huxleyite revisions of sociobiology.

    • emergency mike 7.1

      Well said Stuart.

    • Ad 7.2

      What those fools like Dawkins cannot get to is the grand intersection and origin of religious movements and political movements, which is this:

      To be inspired and willed daily to improve the world, and to do so in concert with everyone.

      From that common human impulse comes this screen we get to project ideals onto, and then generate whole machineries of organization to give effect to them.

      If Dawkins or anyone like him understood, as Marx did, that “The point of the world is not merely to interpret the world. The point is to change it”, they would have understood some of the permanent and growing attraction of religion as a core human impulse.

    • Rodel 7.3

      Stuart I have always enjoyed your posts. I can’t believe your latest nonsensical babble especially the attack on Dawkins who probably knows more about theocratic philosophy than you will ever know.

  8. The Fairy Godmother 8

    Having done a bit of theological training this year I’ll share a bit of what I learnt. First of all there are four approved gospels which made it into the bible. They all have different persectives and contexts. Matthew which you quoted from is belived to be from a more stable Jewish community and his concerns seemed to be about spiritual wellbeing rather than social justice. In contrast Mark and Luke are very concerned with social justice. Basically if you don’t feed the hungry clothe the naked and visit people in prison you are dedtined for hell. Everyone will be tempted to pull out a few verses to prove their point – a trait of the fundamentalists who are so rabidly homophobic and anti abortion but unfortunately just like with any other book you really have to read each book of the bible in its entirety and as it is an ancient text study its context before you have any hope of understanding what it might mean both in the past and for us today. I would say Jesus was more likely to have been a mana supporter than an act one. He and his followers in the early church were very socialist.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Thanks Ad.

  10. Anno1701 10

    Mark 10:25

    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

  11. vto 11

    David Kirk 12:01

    You only receive in life what you can take

    (ex-AB captain. Yes I know, unbelievable. But an insight to right wing thoughts.)

    • Ad 11.1

      Michael Jones, commenting on tackling, said: “It is better to give than to receive.”
      Merry Christmas!

  12. joe90 12

    The problem with bibly –
    /

    The centuries passed. Much in this manner:

    First century: Christ and the apostles are alive. People who knew Christ and the apostles are alive.
    Second century: People who knew people who knew Christ and the apostles are alive.

    Third century: People who knew people who knew people who knew Christ and the apostles are alive.
    Fourth century: It’s anyone’s game.

    http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/014838.html#014838

    • Ad 12.1

      That’s simply a problem with any movement,
      let alone a religion,
      let alone Christianity.
      It’s far more surprising how much of the good stuff in it has survived and can still be found.

    • weka 12.2

      Kinda sounds like the Labour Party 😉

  13. red-blooded 13

    Hey, there may have been some good people with some strong values who believed, 2000 years ago, on the basis of what was then understood about the world and the universe around it, that they were receiving the word of an entity they believed in and that only a belief in this entity and in the messages they believed they were being sent could give meaning to life (and, somehow, conquer death). OK, I can accept that. Why these beliefs should still be seen as valid and should be somehow beyond criticism in our more scientific age is much harder to understand.

    I was heartened to hear on Radio NZ this morning that our government has approved The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in its application to perform Pastafarian marriages (presumably by a Pasta). Why these guys believe that the glorious FSM wants them to dress like pirates is harder to grasp, but no harder than plenty of other religious doctrines…

    http://www.venganza.org/

    • ropata 13.1

      Faith gave us jihad, crusade, and inquisition. Science gave us mustard gas, involuntary sterilization, and nuclear weapons. Faith gave us international charities that feed starving children. Science gave us clean water. Gregor Mendel was a Christian monk. Muhammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was a devout Muslim. Oppenheimer did not think of the Bhagavad Gita by accident.
      Don’t characterize people involved in a community, or claiming adherence to a certain way of thinking or doing things, as stupid, or evil, or blind. Don’t characterize a way of doing or thinking as universally good or evil- it blinds you to the evil or good that exists in it. If you think these men advanced science *despite* having faith, then you are interpreting the evidence to suit your assumptions. Accept reality; for these men, faith and science were not demiurgic oppositional forces, but simply two ways. We shouldn’t dismiss faith as “magical thinking” that can’t exist in the same mind as critical observation.
      http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2073476&cid=35747130

    • Ad 13.2

      “Why these beliefs should still be seen as valid and should be somehow beyond criticism in our more scientific age is much harder to understand.”

      Let’s do a little exercise then and subtract the Christian movement away from New Zealand right now. What would happen?

      – Four less public holidays, from the 9 we have currently – and with it a third of the retail sales for the entire year, and over half of the holiday industry

      – No Salvation Army, so a huge swathe of social welfare collapses

      – No Community of Refuge Trust, or Presbyterian Social Services, or etc etc, so huge numbers of people are put on the streets, and the mental health problems spill onto the streets really fast

      – No Tear Fund, or CORSO, or World Vision, or indeed most of the large aid agencies, so most of the entire NGO aid agency effort dies.

      – Half the film industry dies, because the whole framework of demons, angels, Star Wars, vampires et al disappears

      – Half of the submissions to Parliament on bills vanish

      – a great weekly communitarian force of fellowship, cultural identity, working-bees, shared meals, and good will simply dies

      etc. Christianity today has no small impact.

      • red-blooded 13.2.1

        So, there’d be no good people or charitable organisations without religion? Bullshit.

        I (& many others) have given years of service to groups like Trade Aid and CORSO (which had no religious affiliations when I was an activist), acting on humanist values without any religious leanings. And don’t forget the huge harms done by religion and religious groups. I’m never going to forget the hate campaign run by the Salvation Army at the time of homosexual law reform, for example. A few years ago it was the “enough is enough” brigade. And what about the tithes imposed on the poor to support church hierarchies? The oppression of women in many Christian and non-Christian churches? The idea that only the select few who believe in whichever version of religion is seen as the “right” one are chosen by “God” and are “saved”? (How judgemental is that?)

        I’m not denying that some religious groups do good things; of course they do. So do plenty of others. Some religious groups do bad things. (And yes, so do others.) You can’t cherry pick a few examples and say that they prove that religion is a force for good. Religion confines and distorts people’s thinking and values, and as far as I’m concerned that, in itself, is s bad thing. That’s not the same as saying that all religious people are bad people or that all religious teachings are bad.

        • Ad 13.2.1.1

          Nope, didn’t say that there’d be no aid agencies.
          Only that you’d notice the absence.

          If you want to do a full Cost Benefit about Christianity, knock yourself out.

          Helpfully, I never said religion doesn’t to bad things.
          Evaluating that would be a whole different set of posts.

          • red-blooded 13.2.1.1.1

            “Nope, didn’t say that there’d be no aid agencies.”

            … Well, you did Mention specific groups like CORSO, and said there’d be
            “no” groups like them.

            “Helpfully, I never said religion doesn’t to bad things.”

            And you did mention groups like the Sallies, saying “and a huge swathe of social welfare collapses”. Maybe (here’s a radical thought) we could stop farming out social welfare to private agencies? This work doesn’t have to “collapse” – it would be great if people didn’t have to work for (or feel obligated to) religious groups when it’s actually a core government service that they’re providing, or accessing.

            • Ad 13.2.1.1.1.1

              The aid agencies I mentioned were the ones with Christian foundations, which was the point.

              As for ‘maybe it would be nice not to have the Sallies’, well, maybe.
              Here’s an even more radical thought; there’s some things that they do better than the state. Remember: the state has only been the primary distributor of social welfare for a couple of centuries. The state is hardly in a position to give advice on optimum social welfare performance, even in NZ.

              That’s not an argument for welfare privatization. Only that statists giving advice on social welfare to Christians is like a sapling giving advice to an Ent.

  14. Ant 14

    Stripped of all the hype and anthropomorphic projection the Nazarene’s teachings draw attention to a ‘light’ within us and the need to mobilize it through acts of cooperative living. This would require willingness to let go of the tight little world of ‘self’, to transcend the mundane and to enter into a field of consciousness hitherto only sensed at rare moments of exhilaration or extreme emotion.

    That this was a process he underlined in the numerous parables of seeds germinating, growing and developing. For those who have tried it (not exclusively via Christianity by any means ) comes the realisation that the mysterious Essence urging the inner search is both benign and common to all of us; thus ‘to love your neighbour as yourself’ is not the road to spiritual growth but the outcome of it.

  15. Kevin 15

    Why is there existence?

    On the grand scale.

  16. tracey 16

    Blessed are the Cheesemakers

  17. red-blooded 17

    …and their thinking is curdled.

  18. mikesh 18

    What about the parable of the labourers in the vineyard?

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  • What Happened to the Team?
    Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s “team of five million” performed well; team discipline was maintained and we all worked well together. This year, however, has been a different story; team discipline has weakened, and many people have on numerous occasions behaved badly and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Another legal victory
    Across the world climate change activists have been going to court, seeking to make their governments act to protect future generations. And hot on the heels of victories in the Netherlands and Germany, there's been another one in France: A French court has ordered the government to make up ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Invasion Of The (Covid) Body Snatchers.
    It's Here! They're Here! We're Here! Help! It’s as if we’re all living through a Covid version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What has become of Jacinda? Where have they taken her closest Cabinet colleagues? The people on the stage of the Beehive Theatrette look the same, but they ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 15 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Associate Professor Grant Duncan, Massey University, Auckland “The NZ Politics Daily email is very helpful in giving me a quick overview of current events and opinion. It allows me to pick out important or informative columns that I may otherwise have missed. I recommend NZ Politics Daily to anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Missing From The Anti-Covid Action.
    The Invisible Man: Where has the NZ Council of Trade Unions been during the Covid-19 Pandemic? Why hasn’t its current president, Richard Wagstaff (above) become a household name during the pandemic? Up there with Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker, Shaun Hendy and Siouxsie Wiles? WHERE HAVE THE UNIONS BEEN during the Covid-19 ...
    4 days ago
  • “Go West, Young Virus”
    The Auckland Coronavirus Outbreak potters along, not helped by the perception that the Government is disturbingly enthusiastic about “managing the virus” or loosening the border. Health Minister Andrew Little said today he envisages 90% vaccination rates (which we don’t have) eventually leading to 5,000 cases in Auckland a week… ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2021
    How to fill a glass and thereby drink— from a fire hose So far this year, New Research has published listings for 3,291 papers concerning climate change from one aspect or another. Each edition includes two dozen or so articles describing freshly and directly observed effects of global waming. These ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: UKanians supports cuts
    The Guardian reports a study on emissions reduction policy from the UK, which found that UKanians overwhelmingly support stronger action than their government: The UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: “A View from Afar” on PRC-Taiwan tensions.
    In this week’s podcast Selwyn Manning and I discuss the upsurge in tensions between the PRC and Taiwan and what are the backgrounds to and implications of them. You can check the conversation out here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s 2023 election manifesto
    This morning Health Minister Andrew Little effectively unveiled Labour's 2023 election manifesto: 5,000 cases a week in Auckland alone: Thousands of people will be infected with Covid-19 every week even with vaccination levels at 90 per cent, and hospitals face being overwhelmed once restrictions are eased and borders opened, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Don't Blame James.
    Emissions Impossible! So, don’t be too hard on poor James Shaw. His pathetic little To-Do list is, indeed, totally inadequate to the crisis. But, you know what? He’ll be lucky to get half of the items ticked-off. There’s just too many entrenched interests – not the least of whom are ...
    5 days ago
  • The “Pulpit of Strewth”
    Barry Soper is one half of one of one of those right-wing husband-and-wife duos in which the Herald seems to specialise. In today’s issue, he has a piece that doesn’t quite reach the heights (or depths) of a Hoskings-style anti-government hostility, but which does provide an interesting example of the ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the epic fails of Kris Faafoi
    Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 14 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Many e-cigarette vaping liquids contain toxic chemicals: new Australian research
    Alexander Larcombe, Telethon Kids Institute   From October 1, it’s been illegal to buy e-liquids containing nicotine without a prescription from a doctor everywhere in Australia, except South Australia. But vaping with nicotine-free e-liquids is not illegal in Australia (though in some jurisdictions the e-cigarette devices themselves are illegal). Vaping ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    6 days ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
    Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Hit hard by the pandemic, researchers expect its impacts to linger for years
    Sora Park, University of Canberra; Jennie Scarvell, University of Canberra, and Linda Botterill, University of Canberra   The impacts of COVID-19 on Australian university researchers are likely to have consequences for research productivity and quality for many years to come. According to an online survey of academics at the University ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
    Future Tense? Okay, so that’s where we are in 2022. Living in a New Zealand where all the usual rules of politics once again apply. And, guess what? Jacinda’s government, once again, isn’t doing very well – not very well at all.LET’S PLAY A GAME. Let’s pretend we’re half-way through ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    1 week ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    1 week ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago

  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
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