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Supply side Jesus

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, December 16th, 2015 - 73 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.

73 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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  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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