Terrorist attack in Pakistan

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, December 17th, 2014 - 192 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , ,

While the events in Sydney were of course terrifying for those involved, and devastating for the family and friends of those killed, it was not in any usual sense of the word a “terrorist” attack. It was the work of a lone nutter, described as “terrorist” mostly by those with a political agenda, and Andrea Vance did a good job yesterday taking Key to task for this.

We didn’t hear nearly so much yesterday about the gunman who shot dead six people in America and is currently still at large. In this case the shooter is white, so a media circus and the “terrorist” label suits no one’s agenda.

Late yesterday there also unfolded a case of real terrorism, a horrible and shocking incident in Pakistan. Nine Taliban gunmen attacked a school, killing 141 people, 132 of them children. What an unbelievable atrocity. My heart goes out to the families and communities affected.

Condolences feel pretty meaningless in cases like this, but they are all that one can offer. Sincere condolences to all those affected in these incidents.

192 comments on “Terrorist attack in Pakistan”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    Real terrorism? So it is now a question of scale? Sydney was not terrorism yet this one is? One person acting alone cannot commit an act of terrorism yet a group acting in concert can? Two dead is not terrorism yet 141 dead is? How perplexing it must be for those in denial.

    • adam 1.1

      So the cross wearing idiot, that robbed my local dairy owner with a knife is now terrorist? Not a criminal, not a thief – but a terrorist? Where does the label stop?

      Tom Gould – propaganda is what propaganda tells you. I think you believe a lone wolf is a terrorist. What he did, did inspired terror and fear = but so does a drunk idiot driving all across the motorway – or a armed defender squad member shooting an innocent bystander. If you inspire fear and terror – which a home invasion will do, as will rape, as will most violent crimes – were does the label stop?

      Terrorist has lost it’s meaning because of the emotive reaction we associate with the words – terror and fear. I assume Tom Gould if you pissed blood this morning your would react with fear and a measure of terror – does that mean your own body is now a terrorist?

      What happened in Pakistan does deserve a more fulsome description than Terrorism, because the word has been so debased for petty political gain.

      What happened in Pakistan is a crime against humanity, against families and a crime which is horrific and degrading to the victims and their families. It will get lumped with the Sydney terrorism, and downgraded because of that. Tom Gould, it is your denial of a complex issue, that is perplexing in the extreme.

      • Tom Gould 1.1.1

        Both Monis and Taliban committed their pre-meditated acts of terrorism in order to advance their political beliefs and cause. Not complex at all.

        • tracey

          Taliban have claimed responsibility and motivation stating they did it to avenge the killing of their families by Pakistani military and to make people feel the way they do.

          We only have conjecture of Monis’ motivation.

          You may turn out to be correct about Monis’ motivation but as of this moment you are making great leaps to suit your agenda of fear. If you are right he will have left a letter explaining the political motivation of his actions otherwise what would be the point?

        • batweka

          “Both Monis and Taliban committed their pre-meditated acts of terrorism in order to advance their political beliefs and cause.”

          [citation needed for Monis]

        • BassGuy

          I typed in a long post about how broad your definition of terrorism is, and how easily that can be made to match anything, but I actually thought of something easier and more accurate:

          This is you.

    • tracey 1.2


      Why can’t it be heinous enough for you that a murdering sexual predator killed two people in Sydney without needing to fuel your own special version of fanatasism, namely the need to regard just about everything as terrorism?

      That you cannot see the difference between yesterday and today and that the only thing that really matters is that acts of senseless violence are

      a. robbing people of their lives and leaving many victims (including those who are related to perpetrators)

      b. only needing to be labelled as something particular to suit a wider political agenda

      Speaks volumes about you and the ease with which our liberties can be taken away to satisfy you swallowing the “terror” meme, real and otherwise.

      You and a few others here seem to confuse a desire to not rush to label things “terrorism” with some kind of excusing of senseless murderers. When it has been plainly stated that is not the case.

      Tony Abbott asks why he was not on a watch list when he really ought to be asking what was a wife killing sexual predator doing on bail. He doesnt want to address that because he is part of the society that doesnt rate women and sexual crime victims highly enough to not bail this guy.

      • adam 1.2.1

        Whilst misogyny is a common thread to both cases Tom Gould – you’re diminishing the issues and muddying the waters – just smacks of misogyny in itself. Where did Monis have a clear defined political motivation? All I saw was the rantings of a nasty criminal and a women hater. Desperate for death by cop. He didn’t have any political conviction – just a desperate man, trying to cover up their own bullshit.

        Whilst Tracy on the other hand – hits the nail on the head. At the core of much of this crap, is a hated of women. And societies that won’t deal with, or address this issue.

        • Tom Gould

          Aussie media have broadcast both Monis’ earlier letters and the videos he forced his terrorised captives to make. He makes his political motives for his terrorism pretty clear. As do the Taliban. Which, apparently, is real terrorism, as opposed to the “fake sheik” version?

          • Tracey

            and to think not granting bail to an aleged wife burner and sexual predator would have saved those lives

            • barry

              While not giving this man bail would have saved this particular event from happening, you have to be careful what you are asking for. If you are saying that everyone charged with a serious crime is denied bail then you are giving the police the right to choose who gets locked up (sometimes for years before trial).

              While we mostly trust the police to not abuse their powers there are certainly political cases where cases are trumped up to silence inconvenient voices. Allowing judges to grant bail, even for murder, is an important resatraint in a free society.

              In this case the judge thought that the case about his ex-wife was weak and didn’t think there was any risk in letting him out. Judges are not always going to get it right, but we can’t lock up everyone in case they do something bad. It is easy to criticise in hindsight.

  2. The Murphey 2

    Q. How many ‘events’ occurred around the world in the same time frame? How many continents were involved?

  3. tinfoilhat 3

    Just the final sentence would have been fine.

  4. Colonial Rawshark 4

    How can the Taliban still be operating with impunity like this? Hasn’t the US spent hundreds of billions in war effort over there over more than a decade to stamp out the Taliban? Hasn’t the campaign been a success? Pakistan also receives massive military and intelligence aid from the USA. What’s going on here, I thought the west was winning the “global war on terror”?

    • tinfoilhat 4.1

      Different Taliban


      Although the misogynist, religious lunatics in Afghanistan are still operating as well.

      • Manuka AOR 4.1.1

        This wiki link may be more appropriate:


        • tinfoilhat

          Why ?

          • Manuka AOR

            Anyone care to add up the numbers – the “collateral damage” of drone strikes – So many children… Care to add them up?

            • tinfoilhat

              Oh I see you’re busy trying to blame someone other than the perpetrators of this atrocity. Best you just say what you think.

              By the way I lay the blame for this atrocity at the feet of those who committed it.

              • Manuka AOR

                “I lay the blame for this atrocity at the feet of those who committed it.”

                Exactly. The atrocity is at the link I left

                • I think you must be confused, while I in no way support or condone drone strikes they were not part of this atrocity which was committed by murderous zealots, with their justification being revenge for the Pakistani military offensive in the north……not that there can be any justification for these murders.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Go ahead, pull this atrocity out of context to everything else going on in the region. For every Pakistan villager a US drone strike kills, ten more are radicalised into paramilitary action.

                    with their justification being revenge for the Pakistani military offensive in the north……not that there can be any justification for these murders.

                    The west is financially and militarily fuelling wars of empire and rebellion all over the world. Don’t get all prissy and moralistic over the unpleasant consequences of that.

                  • Manuka AOR

                    @tinfoil: Your saying “In the North” is a distraction – Virtually all these horrific military and drone attacks have been “in the North”, particularly in North Waziristan, with the city of Peshewar central to this. As well, drone attacks are not separate from the Pakistan military, who are carrying out their own drone attacks now. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_strikes_in_Pakistan

                    My point is that for all the horror events that have occurred there over the last decade, media maintained silence on most, making occasional brief references to a drone attack with its civilian casualties as ‘collateral damage’.

                    Yes, today’s reported events are horrific, they are yet more tragedy for a people who have been living under attack, caught up in war for a long time now. I hope that today’s news is not being used as justification for a new onslaught of drone attacks with yet more children and civilian casualties.

              • tracey

                Good for you, some people can hold more than one thought in their head at a time and consider multi contributing factors without diminishing the awfulness of the crime. It is thinking like yours in this comment that ensure all the trillions in the world won’t eradicate this behaviour.

                • tinfoilhat

                  Oh Tracey it must be so satisfying for you to be of such superior intelligence to the rest of us mere mortals.

                  • tracey

                    …better for you than addressing what I wrote I guess.

                    • You support what Manuka AOR wrote i have already addressed that…. unlike many of the commenters here I don’t have a simple reflex to lay the blame at the feet of USA at every opportunity.

                    • Tracey

                      your reflex is to over simplify things to terrorism

                      nowhere did i write i support blaming the usa that is your default to simplicity to keep the world black and white according to your world view.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      tinfoilhat you cannot ignore the role of western empire and domination in this. Maintaining an empire is never a pleasant business.

                      Look at what they are doing to Russia today. They are willing to throw the economic lives of 150M people into turmoil just to play their power games using market weapons of financial mass destruction.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      Oh CV you should be sending that through to Vladimir Putin – although i suspect he’s probably getting the exact same message from his oligarchs right about now.

                      For all the USA’s flaws and faults of which there are many they are the current superpower and IMO were probably the best of the possible alternatives that there were before the downfall of the soviet union.

                      I know that’ll probably gain me a torrent of abuse and hurt my left wing credentials but it is my considered opinion.

      • tracey 4.1.2

        misogyny is alive and well in Australia and New Zealand and by granting bail to Monis it played a small part in yesterdays event in Sydney. Note I say a small part because the biggest part wa splayed by the murderer, just so there is no confusion.

        • tinfoilhat

          Yes it is, however it is a barely visible reflection of the vile misogyny that was practiced by the Afghan version of the Taleban.

        • The Al1en

          “misogyny is alive and well in Australia and New Zealand and by granting bail to Monis it played a small part in yesterdays event in Sydney.”

          Was misogyny the reason behind the bad bail call?

          • Tracey

            What i know alien, is the judge said the case against him for murder was weak. I cant find any reasons given for the bail being granted on over sexual assault charges. But here is the rub, the strategy of the current oz pm and his party to gain govt was a pretty misogynist strategy against ms gillard, so at the top of that system sits someone who views women as “less than” or is prepared to treat them that way to gain power.

            So, i am suggesting that yes, misogyny in the form of what is more recently called “rape culture” is probably a part of the reason behind the bail on over forty sexyal assault charges. Probably not by the judge, although not impossible, but within the guidelines on bail.

            Try as I might I just cant locate the reasons for granting bail on the sexual assaukt charges. Maybe the press just dont think it is important?

    • Chooky 4.2

      @CR…good questions …maybe they are trying the wrong way?

    • felix 4.3

      Think there’s a typo in your last sentence. Should be “of”.

  5. Chooky 5

    +100 Good Post Anthony Robbins…this was real terrorism

      • Chooky 5.1.1

        +100 Manuka AOR…good point!

        …really there needs to be an International Legal Agreement by the World Court on a definition of ‘terrorism’….it is such a loaded word….by the time there is international agreement on this and countries abide by it and are held accountable … will be the time Peace Breaks out…personally I think drone strikes are terrorism

        • b waghorn

          “Definition of terrorism” I reckon groups being funded and or trained to kill innocents in a foreign country should qualify someone as a terrorrist. Any thing in one’s own country is civil or guerrilla warfare

          • Crashcart

            Domesic terrorism is incredibly real. A civil or Gurilla war is not mutually exclusive to terrorisim. Simply terrorisim is the use of tactics that are designed to either erode the support for a Government by attaking the populace, or to dissuade a Government or group from attacking by attacking their civilian populace.

            This can be both domestic i.e. a civil war as you see in Syria and Iraq or it could be international as we have seen in the attack in Bali or the bombings of civilain populations in WWII.

            I am not also sure why these groups need to be funded or trained. There is very little training or funding required to strap a vest to someone who is willing to die for a cause. In fact the low cost low tech nature of these attacks is one of the reasons it is used by groups that have very little in the way of resources to strike at large targets.

            • b waghorn

              So London blitz , Dresden and Hiroshima are terrorist acts ? Very really does someone strap a bomb to them selves without some evil barstard above them providing the material and the training and in most cases the brainwashing.

  6. The Murphey 6

    Q. Superman where are you now…..?

  7. saveNZ 7

    The whole ‘war on terror’ is a complete mess. Like Vietnam it is for ideological reasons that the war was started (Iraq was never involved in 9/11, they were Saudi’s) and as more and more political forces and money is thrown in, the lobbyists, spin doctors, mercenaries (I mean security contractors our very own Dirty Politics Mercenary Mitchell chair of the recent surveillance bill among them) they are continuing and escalating this dirty war. The problem with Globalism is, unlike Vietnam those afflicted can travel, so stupidity in the Middle East can actually start to come back to those that bought into it. USA and the UK so far. I’m not sure I could call the Sydney attack terrorism as he is seems like a criminal lone wolf using the idea of terrorism to gain publicity for himself. Of course that is the problem it is inciting criminals to use terror as a tactic or use Islam to gain attention. It would have been prevented by bail conditions being imposed.

    The main victims are the innocent from this mess – these poor kids in Pakistan, the many killed so far in Iraq, Afghanistan, the poor people in Sydney. The scary thing is that far from trying to reduce the risk in NZ, the government can’t wait to spin it for their own ends. In my view the current surveillance bills are more likely to increase terrorism and lone wolf attacks. Any further involvement in Iraq by Kiwis will bring more terror to our shores. Violence just increases Violence. A diplomatic solution is needed – but hey that doesn’t sell arms for the far right.

    • tracey 7.1

      And the West won’t make a single move against the Saudis, despite their lack of democracy (the usually reason for invading is to bring this particular ideology of freedom to the poor inhabitants) and it being a haven for islamic mercenaries.

    • Economix 7.2

      A diplomatic solution is needed?…interested to get some insights into what particular diplomatic solutions you think might work? Do diplomatic solutions work when dealing with people whose idea of diplomacy is far more violent & barbaric than the West’s?

      Maybe all countries involved should sit around a table and have a big pow wow about all the bad things every country has done to one another over the last million years? And then what? problem solved? By the way, I’m happy for you to sit at that table, because I ain’t getting close to those fuckers.

      Maybe the US and allies should pump billions of dollars of aid into these countries for infinity because the leaders of these cults will know doubt distribute this evenly to people all over the land.

      • stargazer 7.2.1

        “Do diplomatic solutions work when dealing with people whose idea of diplomacy is far more violent & barbaric than the West’s”

        while i’m absolutely gutted at what has happened to those innocent schoolchildren in pakistan & the awful violence perpetrated there, i cannot let this kind of statement pass.

        because the “west’s” barbarity is happening in far away countries & not being reported on in the same way, doesn’t make it less barbaric. there have been children constantly being killed in northern pakistan. and don’t kid yourself that the invasion of iraq under the bush snr & jnr presidencies & the occupation under bush jnr hasn’t led to the deaths of thousands of children. you’ll recall that the US army did not allow freelance journalists to report in the second invasion (or would not guarantee their safety, & as a result many were killed). only “embedded” journalists could report & their reports were controlled. so just imagine what you have not heard of, that happened in those wars. what about the half a million iraqi children that died as a result of sanctions in iraq during the 1990’s – is it less barbaric because they died slow and painful deaths due to lack of medical supplies and basic nutrition? i could carry on with other wars & other countries, things like abu ghraib, guantanamo, hate killings by US soldiers in afghanistan, the torture conducted by the CIA etc etc etc.

        none of this is to put blame anywhere, nor to justify what happened in that school in pakistan yesterday. it is simply to challenge your notion of what qualifies as “violent & barbaric”, because it seems to me that as long as you haven’t seen the blood or deaths committed by certain armies, you treat those events as not counting or not existing.

        there are no words strong enough to condemn this latest attack. it happened in a geo-political context, and if we ever stand a chance of reducing this kind of violence, let’s at least have an accurate portrayal of that context.

  8. Economix 8

    Penny Bright & others of the same ilk, I’m assuming that this massacre is the result of unnecessary meddling by the US, Israel & their allies?

    Let me guess, your strategy would be to immediately withdraw from all battles against these extremist groups, with the justification that these are actually peaceful people who want to be left alone, and don’t have any intention of imposing their way of life on the rest of society.

    I call BS that the attack in Sydney was not a terrorist attack, the idiot had his victims hold up a black flag and requested an IS flag be delivered to him whilst negotiating. He had also previously written disgraceful letters to the families of those soldiers who had been killed in fighting. What more did he need to do to qualify as a terrorist? Tape his IS membership card to the window ffs..?

    • tracey 8.1

      thanks for your unemotional take on the events, much appreciated.

        • grumpy

          May be paywalled, here is the first paragraph.

          “On the face of it, the demands of hostage-taker Man Haron Monis seemed modest: an Islamic State flag and for the media to describe it an as Islamic State attack upon Australia.

          And, possibly, a conversation with the Prime Minister.

          These might have been easier to grant than a million unmarked dollars and a helicopter to freedom, but NSW police negotiators would have rated them as very sinister requests indeed.”

        • Tracey

          posted on it previously and remarked yesterday several times that he may be a terrorist but only when more facts came in. witness reports are more facts. the police knew the demand and were still reluctant after it ended to characterise him as a terrorist.

          my comments have been based around non fact based speculation by many not prepared to wait and consider other labels.

        • Murray Rawshark

          The Murdoch gutter press found an idiot in Queensland who gave them the story they wanted? FFS, that’s as bad as referencing Whalespew as credible evidence.

      • Realblue 8.1.2

        Tracey being unemotional about the murder of 130 children is a characteristic of a psychopath. Enjoy your high ground.

        • Tracey


          • Realblue

            Nice come back

            • McFlock

              It’s pretty reasonable when tories suddenly pretend to give a shit about suffering.

              • Realblue

                It’s never reasonable to compare the murder of 130 kids with your own perceptions of suffering in this country. FFS get some perspective, instead of making excuses for a cold and unfeeling individual like Tracey.

                • McFlock

                  Maybe you should read what is written, rather than the illegible scrawl on the back of your eyelids.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Good god Realblue, you have no credibility in making moralistic pronouncements. Go away and take your croc tears with you.

                  • Realblue

                    Credibility criticisms from you are laughable as claiming back cracking is health care. I even heard some of these people claim to be doctors, remarkable the lies that people will live.

                    • McFlock

                      I tend not to agree with CR on healthcare and suchlike, but everyone has one or two topics that maybe on which they’re not so reasonable. My opinions on smoking and cyclists tend to be a bit out of kilter with the norm, for example (putting it mildly).

                      Any time you wish to demonstrate competence and credibility on any topic, feel free. So far all your comments that I’m familiar with have been firmly in the “not so reasonable” camp.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      1) Manual manipulation of the joints has been a form of healthcare for several thousand years.

                      2) Chiropractors use the title “doctor” in part due to a historical and academic legacy from the USA, not to signify that they are medical practitioners.

                      Hi McFlock 🙂

            • Tracey

              Sorry, you expected a sensible response to your contrived nonsense?

              How about

              “…You and a few others here seem to confuse a desire to not rush to label things “terrorism” with some kind of excusing of senseless murderers. When it has been plainly stated that is not the case. …”

              as a response to

              “…being unemotional about the murder of 130 children is a characteristic of a psychopath. Enjoy your high ground. …”

              Let me know if that answer satisfies your bizarre judging

              • Realblue

                No it doesn’t. I’ve come to expect the constant diversions and reframing of anything to suit your world view as the norm. i wouldn’t normally care but you’re arguments are so tedious. I find you staggeringly boring and utterly predictable.

      • Economix 8.1.3

        Thanks for your unemotional take on anything to do with surveillance. They should have surveilled the shit out of Monis, and I look forward to seeing you supporting additional surveillance measures to keep these people under watch.

        • les

          so why didn’t they?Not shortage of powers was it? ….he had red flags hanging out of everywhere!

          • Economix

            “So why didn’t they?”..That will come out in time les.

            Again, if it is found that they in fact need additional surveillance powers to keep an eye on people like Monis, then if I read between the lines of your comment les, you would support this. Good to see les.

            • les

              you are no good at ‘reading between lines’ economix!Apparantly there are about 7 suicides a DAY in Australia….any thoughts on the powers needed to address this tragic number?

              • Economix

                A rather distinct difference les. Those who tragically take the option of ending their lives generally do not choose to take innocent people with them (and hence should not be under the type of surveillance I am referring to). They should be under the care of the various agencies established to work through issues like suicide.

                Terrorists on the other hand, try to take as many people with them whilst committing their “suicide”.

                You are drawing a very long bow les, and I suspect you knew that.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Oh look, another Surveillance and Security State Authoritarian.

                  One which ignores how the Surveillance and Security State continues to fuck up no matter how much money and powers and jurisdiction you give it. Look at the Boston Marathon bombers. Previously interviewed by the FBI, flagged by Russian intelligence to US officials multiple times. Utterly and totally missed.

                  Just the new corporate rort to increase the control and the wealth of the 0.1%.

                  The health system, social services and criminal justice system are the keys to preventing future incidents by disturbed individuals. Not the building of a secret police state.

                  You moron.

                • les

                  I suspect the incident in Sydney does not really match the m.o you prescribe for genuine terrorists…the number of hostages still alive suggests that.

            • red blooded

              To be frank, it’s hard to see how surveillance powers come into this situation. This guy wasn’t operating under cover, or making plans with others. He was spinning out of control, out on bail for a series of crimes that should have had enough red flags hanging off them to keep him off the streets until his trial date.

              I think Moni would have loved to be called a terrorist – it seems to be what he was hankering for. The more I look the more I see a misogynistic nutter, desperate to make a mark on the world and to dress up his criminality as some kind of activism. That doesn’t diminish the awfulness of what he did or its impact on his victims and his society. His actions were unforgivable.

              As for the appalling events in Pakistan, the cycle of pain and revenge becomes embedded in a culture so ravaged by war and, yes, I believe the awfulness of drone strikes and “collateral damage” must have played a part in damaging a group of people so badly that they shake off their humanity and, like drones, kill everyone in sight. But here, there was no direct target other than the children, nothing that could possibly be achieved other than carnage and slaughter of the innocent. This was a coordinated attack designed to promote the agenda of a group of people using the children as proxy targets as a way of attacking their real targets -their government, the US and others fighting in the “War on Terror”.

              It might be argued that both sides in Pakistan are using terrorist tactics. Certainly, this was a dreadful event, and one designed to create dread. It shouldn’t require courage to send your child to school, or to be a child sitting a classroom.

        • framu

          he was a known violent sexual offender with a massive chip on his shoulder and he was posting on facebook you idiot – the increased spying is kinda pointless when your shouting it from the roof tops

          why are you so keen to elevate monis to the label you claim he sought? – why are you doing his work for him?

          Monis’ criminal act could be described as terrorism, and we can play semantics till the cows come home on that. But maybe we would get further if we constrain our application of labels to crimes on issues of how we as a society react?

          theres a reason that we define taking hostages at gun point and terrorism as different things – not because they are different to the victims, but because it changes how we react both as a society and as a justice system.

          Thats the BIG point here – no-one is saying that the victims werent terrified or that monis wasnt a violent criminal – were saying that how we label the crime will affect how we react, and leaping about the place shouting terrorist is doing vastly more harm than any kind of miniscule good

          • Tracey

            and that recognising sexual crimes are not ok and warrant detention until trial. no bail. easy. no spying needed.

            people are seeing this according to their world view, including me.

            i am open to all options


            strange how many seem to NEED it to be terrorism.

            meanwhile we have an seemingly unequivocal action resulting in so many deaths… and which wasnt prevented by trillions of dollars of war like strategy

            • Colonial Rawshark

              There is a whole corporate security state machine out there which needs to justify its own ever expanding budgets and powers.

              Pretty soon we’re going to start seeing surveillance state justifications for helping catch people speeding, parking illegally etc.

          • Economix

            Framu, we will no doubt forever agree to disagree on this. I find it very hard to see how this was not a terrorist act for reasons I have already stated in this thread…demanding IS flag etc. Agreed, pointless arguing semantics with you.

            We come from different angles – I believe this was a terrorist act and am in favour of allowing agencies to gather information on people like Monis. I believe that we need to take the fight to IS and other extremist groups as I don’t for a second believe, that if left alone, these groups will let the rest of the world live in peace.

            I don’t think that I am “doing vastly more harm than any kind of miniscule good” by stating (not shouting) that this was a terrorist act. I think this is the reality of the world we now live in.

            By burying heads in sand, and believing terrorist acts only happen across the battlefields of Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. may also in fact do more harm than any kind of good. As an aside, the #illridewithyou was fantastic to see and a true testament to the Aussies, but terrorism is real and needs to be addressed.

            • framu

              “By burying heads in sand, and believing terrorist acts only happen across the battlefields of Afghanistan, Pakistan etc”

              im not saying this – where did you get such an incorrect idea from?

              Could you try and address my point – how we label a crime shapes how we react – and does it help to place monis in the terrorist or the lone gunman category?

              “Agreed, pointless arguing semantics with you. ”

              comminication is a two way street – stop being an arsehole

              • Economix

                Framu, I am sorry but I am not going to label Monis as a “lone gunman” – because he wasn’t. He was a terrorist…this is reality.

                Not everyone responds to a terrorist attack by shouting “kill all Muslims” from the rooftops….as #illridewithyou quite clearly demonstrates, and so there is no need to be so frightful of claiming this was a terrorist act.

                Get real on terrorism, that’s all I’m saying.

                • framu

                  how about you actually read what being said to you

                  your being either incredibly dense or deliberately avoiding things

                  • Economix

                    Thought I had addressed what you had said? What have I missed?

                    • framu

                      all of it

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I love it, one guy Monis, and two tragic victims, is going to be justification for spending hundreds more millions on Australia’s surveillance and security state. It won’t make a difference of course, other than to further curtail democracy and civil liberties.

                      How about spending hundreds of millions more dollars on social services and mental health eh?

                      Why is it that you believe the answer to these violent incidents is an authoritarian security state response, instead of making our society more livable and proactive?

                    • Tracey

                      Do you really believe you addressed all the issues raised by framu?

                • Murray Rawshark

                  #illridewithyou, while a positive development, is also an admission by Australians that many in their society are bigoted asswipes and that innocent women need protection from these asswipes. If there were not heaps of idiots shouting “kill all Muslims” or words to that effect, #illridewithyou would not even be thought of.

            • stargazer

              economix, the agencies already had plenty of information on monis. plus his activities have been covered by the media for years. the agencies had more than enough evidence to take to a court to get a warrant for surveillance. therefore, to use this instance to try to justify increased surveillance powers is so wrong. australia already has warrantless surveillance. the question isn’t about giving more powers, it’s about why they didn’t use the powers they already had, especially when the community had been warning authorities about this guy for weeks (possibly months).

        • Tracey

          it was easier than that. dont bail sexual predators charged also with murder. no surveillance needed.

          • Economix

            Tough on crime now Tracey? Agreed, sexual predators and murderers should receive life sentences without the possibility of ever being paroled. Agree Tracey?

            Why this man was on bail beggars belief and no doubt some agency is going to be in strife over this.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Nope – the possibility of parole must always be there in a humane society. A sentence of preventative detention is always available to the worst of the worst.

              However – you are not a person with any kind of true social conscience, so why are you even yapping?

            • Tracey

              But you said his action required surveillance powers strengthened, that you cant understand why he wasnt under surveillance and now you are agreeing that all that was required is better bail laws.

    • tricledrown 8.2

      Econotrix wasn’t this nutjob a Shia Muslim as well.
      Isis is a fundamentalist Sunni movement.
      I don’t see the outcome of withdrawing all troops from these countries as having any better outcome than whats happening.
      I am sure the Iranians and Israeli’s would sort it out!
      Pakistan could sort out their Northern provinces with the right help.
      Nothing is improving in Afghanistan or Irag.
      Nothing will improve!
      The only ones Benefiting from staying are the arms industry.

      • Economix 8.2.1

        “Pakistan could sort out their Northern provinces with the right help”….And the “right help” is what exactly? Men & women dressed up as fairies running around Pakistan handing out free sweets to the kids? Get real.

        You sort of lost me at “wasn’t this nutjob a Shia Muslim”…wrong.

      • exStatic 8.2.2

        He had renounced his Shia beliefs and converted to Sunni. He wanted the police negotiators to instruct the media to describe his attack as being by ISIS and wanted an ISIS flag.
        Does that clear things up for you?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Let’s see, a disturbed individual facing the end of the road sees all the fuss being made on TV by PM Abbott and the rest, about ISIS and the threat of Islamic terrorism.

          He figures that this is going to be a way to get headline news around the world; he’s out of options in his life anyway. Why not go out as the centre of attention, suicide by cop on a grand media scale.

          Does that clear things up for you?

          The very “war on terror” machine feeds what it fights. That’s what makes it so insidious.

    • saveNZ 8.3

      Well Economix – diplomacy certainly worked for Northern Ireland.

      Your prefered solution of the last last 13 years of torture, invasion and terror and surveillance don’t seem to be working out for the average civilian? What is your far right solution? Let me guess spend tax payers dollars on arms and troops into the Middle East bankrupting the country (the US can’t even organize after disaster Katrina as having privatized all the civil defense services and need we mention Christchurch) oh yes, while those go hungry and homeless in NZ. Don’t worry that the sea is going to rise 30cm in NZ or that we are borrowing billions. That mythical surpass that National promised that never occurred – lucky it happened on a day to bury bad news.

      I know, round up all Muslims in NZ and put them in camps or a Giant Wall between us – nice one brainiac troll – that didn’t work out for the Nazi’s and it’s not really working for the Jews either in Israel. Most of whom don’t hate the palestinians and are arrested by their own people for speaking out for peace.

      I guess you could try genocide – just like Uganda or Yugoslavia. See once you blow everyone up in anger, you realize that you really create more terrorists and it escalates the situation. The scary thing writing this is that all these stupid red neck solutions have actually been tried before. They have not worked, surprise surprise.

      I guess if only attack politics can get more ‘Mercenary Mitchells’ through National, kill all the Feral’s in the South Island and trick Labour into supporting their far right solution as some sort of lovely compromise, then we too in this country can be another Israel or mid century Germany. OH Yay!

      By the way apparently Mondis was accused of burning his wife to death but was out on bail. Have not seen that come up in our Propaganda Herald. Left that little fact out but the Taliban burning a teacher was front page. In Australia the tragedy is that they had him out on bail with nothing to lose and a huge ego to destroy people with.

      • Economix 8.3.1


        I don’t class Islamic extremists/terrorist as Muslims (just like I don’t class far right cults as being Christian). The only Muslims I have met are peaceful, law abiding citizens.

        A focussed attack on the likes of IS, using the most skilled and highly trained men and women in the armed forces is what’s needed. If those before us had let the Nazis continue on their merry way, what would the world look like today?

        I haven’t seen any solution from you regarding what the world should do to address terrorism….wait your solution was to ignore it and focus on global warming and the budget deficit?

        • saveNZ

          Ignoring it is a great start. Just like the Swiss – be neutral.

          Rushing in our troops and pathetic surveillance laws will not help things – hey the government can’t even pay teachers in this country so I’m pretty sure the US and UK troops are also not really counting on Kiwi’s to save the world by warfare. As for surveillance after the WINZ privacy debacle – and the government’s continued poor IT security leaks – I would’t trust them to keep me or my information safe. They can’t even stop themselves from being hacked. From dictators all around history, Saddam Hussain to Kymer Rouge they love surveillance – part of the control.

          If the US want’s to fight in the middle East – it is their right – just don’t drag NZ into it. And NZ should be getting out of the mass surveillance game too, cos just like any project – surprisingly people like to justify their budget and paint a bright face on why they are so important. SIS, GCSB and defense contractors are creating busywork to justify their existence. They can’t even advise the PM that the ‘terror’ attack on Sydney was a lone wolf criminal who is implicated in murdering his wife and sexually attacking others so not sure on their amazing INTEL more like SPIN. Put the money into tightening up Bail and sexual violence would be more appropriate in this country to stop another Monis Attack from happening here. Or maybe do something about the Tully Attack – they guy who first tried to write to his PM before turning to unacceptable violence on WINZ staff. Not sure how you can break into a homeless mans home to surveil him but I guess details are not important.

          But just add a flag and it is political and you can claim more funding! Spying on every kiwi without a warrant – in my mind that is going too far down the road to – what was the term – Nanny State. Hey we can all be on John Key’s Nanny Cam making sure the good little kiwis are working hard on zero hour contracts and being a cog in the wheel of their slogan Working for New Zealand. Soon to be Dying for New Zealand or maybe Torturing for New Zealand.

          While our politicians txt to far right hater Slater, play at dirty politics and joke about chit chat as the pretense of democracy in this country.

        • saveNZ

          Yes that focused attack – how many civilians killed again in the Middle East with these focused attacks – millions? The focussed attack has already been going on 13 years and now it is not just the Taliban it is ISIS and more.

          The difference between terrorism and world wars is that terrorism is committed by a few people. Unfortunately going in all guns blazing and killing and torturing people on mass, creates more terrorists and does not actually solve the problem. It seems to increase it.

          And the people that fight in these wars – well you can make so much money as a private security contractor i.e. mercenary – but if you are just a mere pleb government troop. Well Robert O’Neill’s who helped kill Bin Laden – he receives no pension or medical care for his troubles. Lucky he left before all his limbs were blown off.

        • Murray Rawshark

          The Nazis were left to continue on their merry way, even after they’d invaded Poland. It wasn’t until they attacked in the west that France and Britain tried to effectively fight back. Hitler could have been stopped much earlier by the German working class, organised by the Social Democrats and the Communists. That didn’t suit anyone’s purpose though, so he was left alone.

          The difference with ISIL is that they threaten the profits of the Western companies that were gifted the Iraqi assets taken by force. That’s why Key wants to be there. No other bloody reason whatsoever.

        • Lloyd

          In view of the recent mass murder of innocent children, surely the Taliban (in North Pakistan, at least), can be labelled “the anti-Muslim” Taliban, as these animals do not appear to be following the teachings of Mohammed?

          Would not the wide application of the “anti-muslim” label be as least as effective in reducing support for these so-called jihadists as all the anti-terrorist legislation introduced by the West’s far-right governments?

    • Wayne 8.4


      As far as I can see there has been war between the Punjabi and Pashtuns for centuries. And of course in the colonial era, this was the North West frontier, always a border area that resisted the British. Maybe the two groups should not be both in one country, but the Punjabi majority in Pakistan does not look like they are about to give the Pashtuns their own country any time soon.

      I do wonder if this terrorist act is of such a scale that Pakistan will now massively mobilize the army, recruit hundreds of thousands of soldiers and comprehensively occupy the North Western provinces.

      As David Shearer pointed out in his book, the surest way to end a civil war is for one side to win. Will this be the trigger that will transform the current level of fighting, that would lead to such an outcome? There is a very good article on the BBC site on this (sorry not good at linking). But in reality over the centuries the Pashtuns have been resilient, so a “win” may not be possible.

      But it has nothing to do with the Israelis.

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.4.1

        The attackers were said to be speaking Arabic according to witnesses, as reported by the Guardian. Foreigners, in other words.

        • Wayne

          But the Pakistani Taliban (mostly Pashtun) claimed credit for it (or at least they have excused it). Did they have to use foreigners to perpetrate such an outrage since it was too hard to convince local people to do such a thing?

  9. There’s sure some backwards thinking sh1t going on in the minds of these cavemen.
    I can’t imagine how killing 132 children could ever be seen as a knock on the front door of heaven ready to claim 72 virgins.

    • Bill 9.1

      It’s all perfectly encapsulated for you here…


      a snippet…

      Our God says “This is the way!”
      It says in the book:
      “Burn ‘n destroy. ..
      ‘N repent, ‘n redeem
      ‘N revenge, ‘n deploy
      ‘N rumble thee forth
      To the land of the unbelieving scum on the other side
      ‘Cause they don’t go for what’s in the book
      ‘N that makes ’em BAD
      So verily we must choppeth them up
      And stompeth them down

      • The Al1en 9.1.1

        Sums it up about right Bill.

        Not deliberately being controversial, but brain damaged the lot of ‘em, is my take on all faith merchants and believers.

        • batweka

          who runs the food banks in NZ again, while the rest of the country sits by and lets poverty entrench?

          • The Al1en

            Just ’cause you’re in the god squad doesn’t mean you can’t be human too and want to do the right thing for others.
            The two aren’t joined at the hip or pre requisites to each other. You should know that.

            Perhaps I should have written brain damaged to varying degrees.

            • batweka

              you misunderstand. My point is that it’s the religious people in NZ that have consistently organised around things like food banks, not the human people in NZ.

              edit to tidy up duplicates,

              The ‘humans’ as you categorise them, have been largely sitting on their arses.

              • The Al1en

                I donate food parcels to the sallies every so often and I’m a committed atheist.

                • batweka

                  good for you. When is your atheist organisation going to organise? Oh that’s right, you don’t have one.

                  • The Al1en

                    I get it. You don’t like being labelled a mental. Fix – Don’t believe in fucking fairy tales.

                    How about some brotherly love for a sinner 😆

                    • batweka

                      I don’t mind being labelled mental, some of the best people I know are mental. I think writing off all religion and religious people is ignorant (and usually based on belief systems just as fairy tale as god ones), and politically unhelpful.

                    • The Al1en

                      It’s not very palatable, to some, but not really ignorant either.
                      I believe that in order to accept creationism and divine beings one has to be suffering from a form of mental illness. The bigger the believer, the bigger the problem. No fairy tales there, just good logic.

                      And if it’s not a mental illness, then certainly some form of character/personality defect.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Sorry mate but our scientifically and technologically dominant world is the unnatural and inhuman one – and is the cause of massive ill health including actual mental illness.

                      Put another way – if you want a saviour, you can be sure that science and technology are going to do more to destroy this planet than to save it.

                    • The Al1en

                      A bit off topic, not having mentioned tech or science, but our scientifically and technologically dominant world is the world human’s have made for themselves. It may contribute to ill health and mental illness, but it also ends/aids suffering and cures/prevents disease.

                      Although I don’t need a personal saviour, I would like the tech and science be put to better use, for example help save us from climate change.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      science and technology today are the servants of corporate and commercial desires. That’s the world that has been created around us.

                    • McFlock

                      Religion and delusion-based healing (from homeopathy to faith-healing) are also abused by capitalism.
                      At least science allows for comparison with the real world.

                    • emergency mike

                      I don’t mind atheists, (although the irony of criticising others for basing a belief on faith while claiming categorically to themselves believe an unproveable negative always amuses me), each to their own. But the bigoted ones who put anyone who thinks differently in the same narrow cartoon caricature of ‘religious’ so that they can call them names are annoying.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      At least science allows for comparison with the real world.

                      Acupuncture, homeopathy and chiropractic will be around long, long after the depletion of energy and financial surpluses make “modern medicine” inaccessible day to day to the vast majority of the worlds people.

                    • batweka

                      thanks mike, that sums it up neatly.

                    • The Al1en

                      I don’t usually mind religious people, atheists and or agnostics either, but always defer to my fall back position of take as I find.

                      Spurious argument, to call me for an unprovable negative for not believing something that’s been made up in the first place and isn’t provable/unprovable anyway.

                      And to be fair, I wasn’t really calling believers names, just sharing my opinion on their sanity or lack of it as it were.

                    • batweka

                      “It’s not very palatable, to some, but not really ignorant either.
                      I believe that in order to accept creationism and divine beings one has to be suffering from a form of mental illness. The bigger the believer, the bigger the problem. No fairy tales there, just good logic.”

                      lolznui (just learnt that one this morning). Mate, your logic has holes in it so big we could drive the whole left blogosphere through it.

                      eg that crazy Mother Teresa, such a problem for the world, not sure why we put up with her.

                    • The Al1en

                      “thanks mike, that sums it up neatly.”

                      Or it fits in with my opinion so I’ll grab at it 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      Acupuncture, homeopathy and chiropractic will be around long, long after the depletion of energy and financial surpluses make “modern medicine” inaccessible day to day to the vast majority of the worlds people.

                      Will they still be making efficacy claims that cannot be verified in the real world? Not arguing that acupuncture and chiropracty might not have some benefits, just that they don’t necessarily match the benefits claimed by some of their professional organisations.

                      Modern medicine is more than just CNT scanners and patented pharmaceuticals. Smallpox will still have been eradicated, malaria understood to be insect-borne rather than transmitted by bad air, and treatment methods will still be tested against results.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      At least science allows for comparison with the real world.

                      The Archdruid has been writing on this very recently. Dark age America and the suicide of science:


                    • The Al1en

                      “lolznui (just learnt that one this morning). Mate, your logic has holes in it so big we could drive the whole left blogosphere through it.”

                      Except you’re the one who made the case that just cause one is a religious mental they can’t also do good or dedicate themselves to doing good in it’s name. Don’t attribute that to me, cause that’s rather disingenuous.
                      I haven’t, I’ve just said people who believe in gods are mentals and you object.

                      I and other atheists and agnostics in NZ give to the sallies cause they distribute the food when winz don’t. Very admirable and a well needed resource for hungry kiwis struggling because the state has failed them. It doesn’t mean it’s not good of them, even if radio rental to my thinking, but to say human’s do fuck all is pretty stupid.

                      I’m beginning to suspect you’re just another bit of a fuck wit with a grudge, mate. Am I correct?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Will they still be making efficacy claims that cannot be verified in the real world? Not arguing that acupuncture and chiropracty might not have some benefits, just that they don’t necessarily match the benefits claimed by some of their professional organisations.

                      It’s better and harsher than that. In the future people will only go for things which work for them. They won’t put their own very scarce resources and time towards things which don’t. That’s the final test.

                      The people of Otago and Southland have been supporting chiropractors in private practice since ~1920, fees paid out of their own pockets.

                      These aren’t the kind of people who are given to flights of fancy and fad treatments.

                    • batweka

                      “Will they still be making efficacy claims that cannot be verified in the real world?”

                      Do you really believe that RCTs are the sole method of understanding health and illness, or were you just arguing that way for effect.

                      The things you list are all verifiable outside of the narrow confines of modern medicine. Doesn’t matter if you think faith healing is delusion based (you are entitled to your beliefs after all). What matters is that some people are helped. Which they obviously are.

                      The reason I brought this whole thing up in this particular thread is that I believe that tolerance is needed to resolve violence. Calling every religious person on the planet mentally ill doesn’t move us towards that.

                      (neither does calling people delusional, esp when you are almost certainly speaking from a place of ignorance).

                    • The Al1en

                      “The reason I brought this whole thing up in this particular thread is that I believe that tolerance is needed to resolve violence. Calling every religious person on the planet mentally ill doesn’t move us towards that.”

                      I doubt by your aggressive stances here that you have any real desire to resolve anything, especially violence, unless it’s to suit the point or topic de jour.
                      I believe that learnt experiences have formed your opinion and obviously now frame your position. Unless you are willing to put those to one side and break that programming, and there’s no reason why you should have to for me, there is always going to be a large rift between us, especially over this issue.

                    • emergency mike

                      Ah, so there is no god because there is no god, and calling all believers brain damaged mentals isn’t calling them names.

                      Yeah your logic is amazing. So you must be right. QED.

                    • The Al1en

                      “Ah, so there is no god because there is no god”

                      Rather than me having to prove something which doesn’t exist doesn’t exist, how bout you prove that something you think does does.

                      “calling all believers brain damaged mentals isn’t calling them names.”

                      Not that I’m a physician, but when Dr s diagnose mental problems it’s not to be mean. I do think them mental or defected or programmed but I’m okay if you don’t agree. It’s just an observation on the god fantasy and those who fall for it.
                      I did state it wasn’t intended to be deliberately controversial, though I did state it’s probably not palatable to believers and remembering the context of the lunacy of killing in his name etc… Don’t get too hurt by it.

                    • McFlock

                      Do you really believe that RCTs are the sole method of understanding health and illness, or were you just arguing that way for effect.

                      In fact, RCTs by themselves are insufficient.
                      The full spectra of evidential gathering is required in order to form a coherent picture of what is going on.

                      But what’s a non-scientific way of determining whether something has real medicinal value beyond the placebo effect?

                      The things you list are all verifiable outside of the narrow confines of modern medicine. Doesn’t matter if you think faith healing is delusion based (you are entitled to your beliefs after all). What matters is that some people are helped. Which they obviously are.

                      Actually, no. What matters is that more people are helped (by the placebo effect or unknown relationships as the case may be) than are harmed by charlatans and nutters.

                    • northshoredoc

                      @Mcflock kudos for fighting the good fight…….. I no longer have the patience to debate with CV on these matters.


                      “And these would be the southern folk who voted for a 24y.o. tobacco lobbyist as their MP. Yeah, nah.”


                    • McFlock

                      It’s better and harsher than that. In the future people will only go for things which work for them. They won’t put their own very scarce resources and time towards things which don’t. That’s the final test.

                      So anecdata and the placebo effect becomes “the final test”?

                      And these would be the southern folk who voted for a 24y.o. tobacco lobbyist as their MP. Yeah, nah.

                    • emergency mike

                      “Rather than me having to prove something which doesn’t exist doesn’t exist, how bout you prove that something you think does does.”

                      Al1en, nope, you are the one who claimed to be a ‘committed atheist’, I haven’t claimed any particular stance. Yet the only justification you’ve offered so far for your stated belief that there is no god, is that there is no god. Which seems somewhat of an unconvincing argument to me, but if that’s how you roll then hey.

                      Here’s a hint, asking someone for proof of their faith-based belief doesn’t make any sense.

                      “Not that I’m a physician, but when Dr s diagnose mental problems it’s not to be mean.”

                      Riiiight. There’s a rather big difference between a doctor making a clinical diagnosis about a patient, and a guy on a blog calling anyone who believes in God brain damaged. You might think you weren’t being mean by slagging off billions of people you’ve never met as ‘brain damaged’, but I gotta tell ya Al1en, it didn’t exactly give me a warm and fuzzy.

                      “I do think them mental or defected or programmed but I’m okay if you don’t agree.”

                      Look at those goalposts shift… Now you’re pretending that by ‘brain damaged’ you might mean ‘programmed’, (who isn’t ‘programmed’ in some way or other?) You’re entitled to your opinion Al1en, but saying “I didn’t say it to be controversial,” doesn’t magically absolve you from criticism of wildly controversial statements.

                    • Nice mike – you sum it up well imo.

                      Allen you can believe or not believe whatever you want and I’ll not abuse you, pity you cannot do the same eh.

                    • The Al1en

                      “Look at those goalposts shift… Now you’re pretending that by ‘brain damaged’ you might mean ‘programmed’, (who isn’t ‘programmed’ in some way or other?)

                      Been consistent all the way through from “but brain damaged the lot of ‘em, is my take on all faith merchants and believers.”
                      I’m not pretending anything, especially what you attribute, but the religious in failing to attempt to break their learnt behaviour is a factor in the debate. For the record, I wasn’t bought up an atheist, I worked it out by myself. If you wish to challenge my position, provide some irrefutable evidence to show I have it wrong.

                      I don’t think there is a god or gods so that makes me an atheist, and for a long time, so committed is probably right. You can slag off my unconvincing argument, which I note you also follow with “to me”, but the offer is always open to prove something that I say doesn’t exist. Imagine my embarrassment as motive even if you are non committal.
                      As someone who clearly doesn’t believe in the non existent, the onus isn’t mine to validate. It must fall on the god believers to prove, otherwise, ‘to me’, it’s just nutbars and fairy tales.

                      “but I gotta tell ya Al1en, it didn’t exactly give me a warm and fuzzy.”

                      Is that a declaration? But regardless, it changes nothing. though I do recognise it’s unpalatable. If there are hurt feelings, well sorry about that, but I still think the religious are cracked in the head for reasons stated even if you think it’s weak. You can call me a mental back if you want to try and even out the internet score on all their behalf’s… But then if you’re a christian you wouldn’t dream of it, right?

                    • The Al1en

                      To finish, is it a belief that Santa doesn’t exist, do I have to prove it and are adults that say yes quite sane?

                    • The Al1en

                      “Allen you can believe or not believe whatever you want and I’ll not abuse you, pity you cannot do the same eh.”

                      But you have and will continue to abuse me for my beliefs, so hollow, exposing words mars.

                    • emergency mike

                      “Been consistent all the way through from “but brain damaged the lot of ‘em, is my take on all faith merchants and believers.””

                      “I do think them mental or defected or programmed”

                      So to be clear re consistency, since ‘programmed’ is surely not the same thing as ‘brain damaged’, then can I take it that your view on religious persons is that they are a) brain damaged AND b) mental or defected or programmed?

                      “The religious in failing to attempt to break their learnt behaviour is a factor in the debate.”

                      So given that this debate is largely about whether or not it’s reasonable to call religious persons ‘brain damaged’, are you saying that failure to break a learned behaviour is evidence of brain damage? This differs from my understanding of behaviourism and neurology, and sounds a bit kooky. To me that is.

                      “For the record, I wasn’t bought up an atheist, I worked it out by myself.”

                      I was brought up in a totally non-religious family. Just for the record.

                      “If you wish to challenge my position, provide some irrefutable evidence to show I have it wrong.”

                      What position? That there is no god because there is no god? That’s not an argument that’s a tautology. Hmm, what kind of proof would you like me whip up exactly Al1en? Seriously, what exactly would it take to make you believe?

                      You ignored or didn’t grasp what I said earlier. Asking someone for proof of their faith-based belief doesn’t make any sense. You’re asking for empirical evidence of the non-empirical. It’s a choice, if it you don’t see why you should believe based on your experience of the world, then fine don’t believe, that’s your choice. But to call people names because they make a different choice to you is bigotry, plain and simple. You’re welcome to your opinions, but that’s mine.

                      “As someone who clearly doesn’t believe in the non existent, the onus isn’t mine to validate. It must fall on the god believers to prove, otherwise, ‘to me’, it’s just nutbars and fairy tales.”

                      Again what proof would be good enough for you? Choir of angels? Return trip upstairs to meet the big guy? What are we talking exactly?

                      “Is that a declaration?”

                      What? Are you lawyer?

                      “But regardless, it changes nothing. though I do recognise it’s unpalatable. If there are hurt feelings, well sorry about that, but I still think the religious are cracked in the head for reasons stated even if you think it’s weak.”

                      Your remorse is powerful, I thank you.

                      “You can call me a mental back if you want to try and even out the internet score on all their behalf’s… But then if you’re a christian you wouldn’t dream of it, right?”

                      I’m sure a true Christian would refrain. Myself I save my online bad words for those who truly deserve them.

                      “is it a belief that Santa doesn’t exist, do I have to prove it”

                      Nah you don’t have to prove it, I’m with you on that one, but if you told me that you don’t think Santa exists because Santa doesn’t exist, I’d laugh at that too.

                      “and are adults that say yes quite sane?”

                      I’ve never met such myself, but if I did, yeah I’d be worried about their mental health if they were sincere in that belief. But I tell you what, I’ve met and known lot of people who believe in God, and the vast majority seemed quite sane to me. I’ve known a couple of crazy athiests. Is any of this helping?

                    • The Al1en

                      “Is any of this helping?”

                      You more than me, probably, ’cause I thought we were done a while ago, being diametric and all, but glad you agree about santa. Just stretch that line of thinking to gods and their heavens and we’ll reach common ground in no time.

                    • Lloyd

                      Religious faith is based on cognitive dissonance, just like belief in the economic competence of the National Party for example. When you need or want to keep on believing in something when the facts disproving this are being presented, you have to close your eyes or look away from the power-point display and have to chant “La La La La’ to drown out the spoken facts that may disrupt your belief system – or do something internally that has similar effects. The fact that we still have a National government after the last election shows that a majority of New Zealanders have a belief system that depends on cognitive dissonance too allow them to think John Key and the rest of the Gnats are the best people we could have to run our country. Similarly almost everyone who has religious faith has to ignore facts presented by the world around them to continue their belief in the unbelievable mumbo-jumbo that is the basic core of all religion.
                      Using cognitive dissonance is a learnt behaviour that can hide a person from making conclusions and doing things that would otherwise involve some sort of emotional stress. I would make a guess that everyone uses the behaviour every day to some degree – nut jobs or not.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Religious faith is based on cognitive dissonance, just like belief in the economic competence of the National Party for example.

                      You mean cognitive dissonance like how pouring more money and energy into scientific and technological advancements as well as educating a population which is the most well educated in its history somehow leads to communities having increasingly difficult and barren lives, as well as a biosphere edging ever closer to self-destruction, despite promises to the exact contrary if only we would progress and advance enough? OK.

                      Please feel free to ignore that though. According to you, that’s a useful survival mechanism.

                    • The Al1en

                      Good post @Lloyd, and cognitive dissonance you say.
                      Wonder if that’s less, more or equally as unpalatable and prejudiced as mental or brain damaged apparently are?
                      Hold on to your hat.

                      “In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values”

                      “Dissonance is felt when people are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs. If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one’s belief, the dissonance can result in restoring through misperception, rejection or refutation of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others.”


          • Bill

            Most notably, the same agencies that suck up almost the entire funding allocated to non-governmental social service provision. Who are the same agencies that, generally, have a deservedly horrific reputation as employers. Who are also amongst those agencies that are almost guaranteed to make positive submissions on any proposed, regressive employment legislation.

            It’s a shame that some good people work for them and act, unwittingly but essentially, as fig leafs.

            • batweka

              We must interact with different parts of the community then. Sure there are ones doing the things you are saying, and then there are others who aren’t. Kind of like most human endeavours. Thus my point about the political unhelpfulness of writing them all off, across the board, for belief based reasons, stands.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Faith based organisations are more resilient than secular ones. I expect that in any serious societal decline, they will be the ones to keep going in some form while others simply go away or give up.

              • The Al1en

                “Thus my point about the political unhelpfulness of writing them all off, across the board, for belief based reasons, stands.”

                Sure, in your mind, but then as an apparent believer you would say that wouldn’t you, you have no other option.

                • batweka

                  I’m not religious. I see you can’t address the actual points.

                  • The Al1en

                    So your getting all bent out of shape for something you don’t believe in because I wrote something you don’t believe in. 🙄 😆

                    • weka

                      Pretty sure this is my regular shape and you just don’t know how to talk about your beliefs very well when challenged on them. What I am doing is normal for a political blog but I suspect you will continue with the ad hominems and deliberate misinterpretations because your basic premises are unsupportable.

                      Honestly, I thought you were better than this.

                    • The Al1en

                      Whatever 🙂

                      I’ve outlined my observation on the mental state of the religious based on their learnt behaviour and inability to think outside of their programming, which to me, equates to a personality defect or flaw.
                      You said some shit about mother theresa.

                      Just another day at the office.

                    • batweka

                      Nah, you’ve just made your prejudice more visible, and then avoided dealing directly with criticims of it and instead have resorted to ad homs and misdirection.

                      By all means express your prejudice here on ts. Just know that people will call you out on it.

                    • The Al1en

                      I’m quite cool with what I’ve written. You can frame it however you like. It’s what you do 🙂

                      Though lets be clear about my ‘prejudice’. I’ve not been racist, sexist, a misogynist or any ist that should be so staunchly condemned. I’ve said people who believe in divine beings and creationism are nuts. The shame of it.
                      At least it gave you an excuse to get ‘even’ for calling you out the other day.

                    • batweka

                      “I’ve said people who believe in divine beings and creationism are nuts.”

                      Actually, what you said was that all religious people have brain damage. That’s the prejudice. You treat all religious people as the same (despite the fact that not all religious people believe in creationism and not all believe in a divine being) and then label them with a pejorative and quite an undermining one at that. That’s no different than the isms you list. Prejudice is about treating all people in a class as if they have a certain characteristic simply by being part of that class, and then applying inaccurate negative generalisations on the basis of that, that are designed to make the people and the class lesser.

                      “At least it gave you an excuse to get ‘even’ for calling you out the other day.”

                      That comment says far more about you and how you operate than anything. All the way through you’ve just posted ad hominems and misrepresentations, and pretty much refused to address the points raised.

                    • The Al1en


                      We’re done. I’m not enabling you any more tonight.
                      You’re all about the payback and I’m not your whipping boy so you’ll just have to throw it out there and hope it sticks in the cliques.

                      Only you and a couple of others have got involved, so far, so I’m picking it’s a bit of a fizzer of a topic any way and not the great prejudice you’re winding up for effect.

                      Like I’ve maintained, I’m quite okay with calling all believers nutjobs, mentals and brain damaged as it’s what I genuinely think and have at no time backed away from or tried to mitigate or minimise the ‘fallout’. I’m in a good place with it all.
                      So enjoy the framing session and revenge dig 🙂

            • BassGuy

              As you note, many have a deservedly poor reputation as employers nicely illustrated by this gem from a couple of days ago in the Otago Daily Times:

              Almost 30 staff from an Otago-based Anglican child and family support service claim to have been suspended without pay just 10 days before Christmas.


              The moved followed “very low-level industrial action” including staff refusing to wash company cars, answer their phones outside of company hours, or train any new staff.

              As an anecdote, a few years back a friend of mine worked for one of them as IT support. One evening, about 30 minutes before he was due to finish, his boss turned up with a single Windows install disc and asked him to reload and update a few (15 or 20 I think it was) Windows computers. He thought it should only take half an hour. My friend worked until well after midnight (another friend stepped in to help him). Of course, it was unpaid – they’re a social support organisation, they don’t have money for overtime!

              That wasn’t an isolated incident, either.

              • The Al1en

                They sound like a good christian bunch to work for.

                Wonder if the management at Anglican Family Care sit up in the front pews in church and sing hymns the loudest too.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Poor leadership and management abound in NZ. You can’t write off an entire organisation and its people on that basis.

                • The Al1en

                  That’s why I didn’t. I was exclusively commenting on the management at Anglican Family Care, responsible for suspending workers 10 days out from christmas during a low level industrial dispute as reported.

                  If that wasn’t clear, then it is now.

                • BassGuy

                  Unsure if you were replying to me (but it looks like you were). I wasn’t intending to slight them all, I was just supplying a deliberately vague account of one friend’s experiences with them, and a relevant newspaper story.

                  Personally, I’ve yet to work for a manager who even attempts to obey the law, regardless of religious outlook. Just to be fair, I’ll list a few that I’ve experienced since I joined the workforce:

                  Mandatory unpaid overtime
                  Wage theft and no public holiday pay
                  Employer not keeping accurate hours on time sheets
                  Religious harassment (by a Christian against me as an atheist)
                  Compulsory stacking of boxes to within half a metre of the ceiling (boxes had to be marked so if the business was fined for breaching fire safety regulations they’d know who to blame, but I doubt that would have stood up)
                  Employees forced to lift boxes loaded well outside of safe limits (I was injured as a result of this, ended up on the old Sickness Benefit for 6 weeks, I was casual so didn’t qualify for ACC or something like that, 20 years ago so I don’t recall)
                  For my Christmas holiday, I was once told that I was on call for the entire break so I wasn’t to go out for even a whole day.

                  The bulk weren’t related to religion, although more than half of them were enacted by the same Christian (as well as others) most weren’t a result of his faith, simply his incompetence as a manager.

                  Not being very clear there, but I’m late leaving for somewhere so must leave it at this.

              • Molly

                Your comment reminds me of a deliberately used method of acquiring unpaid overtime that was used by Walmart managers to keep labour costs low. Referred to in Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices.

                They would often give workers about to finish their shifts a job that took two or three hours, and tell them to complete it before they left – which was scheduled to be in half an hour. A completely indefensible abuse of workers.

  10. tricledrown 10

    Alien,How many countries have tried to invade Afghanistan.
    Poverty the War on Drugs are the biggest drivers of fundamentalism in Afghanistan.
    Its the backwards thinking of redneck shallow charlatans like George W Bush and yourself Alien.
    It was Reagan who armed and trained these gorilla warfare specialists!
    Then the same administrations started the War on Drugs,which has suceeded in putting the price of Opiates ie Heroine up and driving the impoverished farmers into this trade.
    Damaging European youth and keeping Afghanistan under the control of the Warlords and financing the Taliban.
    Had G W Bush sent in the CIA and SAS instead of bombing the beJesus out of the Afghani people,The Taliban would not be the out of control force they are today!

    • The Al1en 10.1

      Cool story bro, but what’s that got to do with me or anything I’ve written?

      “Its the backwards thinking of red neck shallow charlatans like George W Bush and yourself Alien.”

      Lol, but really? I made these murderers kill 132 children because of the red neck you presume I have? And no matter what the biggest drivers of fundamentalism in Afghanistan are, that makes this atrocity better in what way? Oh, and it happened in Pakistan 😉

      Looks like you’re rather perversely justifying the unjustifiable on a day you just shouldn’t even try hard to fail on.

      What a political, right on comrade for effect wanker. 🙄

  11. In this case the shooter is white, so a media circus and the “terrorist” label suits no one’s agenda.

    In this case, the shooter killed a bunch of people he had some personal grudge against, something which no-one, anywhere, as far as I’m aware has ever labelled “terrorism.” Maybe that’s why it hasn’t been labelled terrorism, rather than some paranoid gibberish about it “suiting no-one’s agenda?”

  12. tricledrown 12

    Redneck bully Alien the Taliban moved to Pakistan to avoid being hunted down by the coalition.
    The Taliban were the Mudjahadeen who the US Trained and supplied to fight the Russians.
    The US even helped build concrete bunkers in caves in the mountains.
    Where the Taliban now hideout.
    Brain scans of right wing fundamentalists prove they don’t think deeply in your case hardly at all.
    Facts not Fury Alien!

    • The Al1en 12.1

      Again what’s that got to do with me or anything I written?
      I don’t doubt your take on the history of Afghanistan. but it just isn’t relevant to my comment. You’re coming across as an apologist for this shocking crime against humanity. There’s no fury in that fact.

      Do you have a serious response to my post? A valid critique? Anything at all?

      “There’s sure some backwards thinking sh1t going on in the minds of these cavemen.
      I can’t imagine how killing 132 children could ever be seen as a knock on the front door of heaven ready to claim 72 virgins.”

      If not, you’ll have to find someone else to play redneck shallow charlatan with.

      And for clarity, condemn the murders of these innocent children and slag off the evil fucktards who carried them out.

      I’ll even be pro active in garnering a meaningful response.
      Do you not think it backwards shit that killing 132 kids will get you 72 virgins in heaven? Or is it something you can identify with?

  13. Bill 13

    A few people pointed out the possibility that Moni egotistically sought to ‘piggy-back’ his personal agenda onto a terrorist one due to the general publicity around the latter.

    I wonder if the same logic is taken to apply equally the other way around?

    There are atrocities committed every day in Pakistan and Afghanistan among other places. And yet, there is relatively little ‘cut through’ in the media.

    School shootings in the west grab headlines though, yes? So…way to send a message far and wide.

    Another thing. Do drone attacks differentiate between combatants and civilians or adults and children? No, of course not. Not the first time children haven’t been ‘off limits’ then. Maybe they never will be again… that’s if they ever really were in the first place.

    • Tracey 13.1

      Interestingly the Taleban quickly trumpeeted the callous slayings, with reasons, no matter how fucked up. A poster here yesterday said an organisation would soon be wanting to take responsibility for the sydney slayer… That is one big difference from a self egrandising attention seeking callous murdering sexual predator and a Terrorist. For clarity, because for some here it is apparently needed, I consider both the massacre of students and adults and the two in Sydney as equally appalling. So many victims out of all this, those who escaped death, the families of all the dead and injured, and the families of the murderers.

  14. Murray Rawshark 14

    Here’s a statement on it from Shaykh Yasir Qadhi:
    I don’t get it. I really just don’t get it. I am in shock and unable to write clearly.

    Attacking a school? Killing children?! Over 126 people massacred?

    For what? Who could do this? Are these people human?

    If the Taliban is really behind this, I have no doubt in my mind that this one incident will be the end of this group, once and for all.

    Those who defended other incidents in the past, all in the name of fighting drone attacks and American aggression and your long, never ending list: I’d really like to see you defend this one. Actually, scratch that, if you feel this act is defensible I don’t think this world is a place for you to live in, and I don’t want to hear anything from you or about you.

    As the father of four children, my sympathies and duas go out to ALL of the families of that school.

    For how long will we tolerate and defend fanaticism? Do people not see that when you open this door of allowing innocent deaths, the logical conclusion will be such an attack?! Do ISIS supporters and al-Qaeda types not understand that their rhetoric inevitably causes their own followers to become deaf, dumb and blind, and that this leads to such fanaticism and psychopathic bloodshed?

    Who cares if the parents of these children were Pakistani military and that it was a school for the children of the army – WHAT HAVE THESE CHILDREN DONE TO DESERVE SUCH A CRUEL AND DASTARDLY DEATH?? Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, justifies this massacre.

    “And when the young girl buried alive will be asked: For what crime was she killed?” [Takwir: 8]

    • Maisie 14.1

      More to the point – it’s the children’s education that needs protecting, not the schools. Schools are targets for the Taliban. So why one earth are people building them and filling them with children?
      Instead of spending vast amounts of time and money on buildings and security, we should be putting the resources and aid into getting all kids tablets and organizing a safe, online education programme. This will allow them to gather in small groups in neutral places that can’t be identified as ‘schools’ and so can’t be targeted.
      This is the only (relatively) safe way to educate children (or anyone) in war zones. And they’ll probably get a much better education too, with access to a vast amount more information.

  15. Iron Sky 15

    Its just one fucked up dysfunctional little planet, sigh. Pick your way through these stats… Who is the the good guy? I am fucked if I know anymore……

    1, The CIA launched two drone attacks, …….these two attacks killed … 76 of them children.

    2. Every year 200,000 babies die in Pakistan in the first one month of their birth.

    3. The Pakistani city of Peshawar is burying its dead after a Taliban attack at a school killed at least 132 children and nine staff.

    4. The US began its semi-covert campaign of drone strikes in 2004 to kill Al Qaeda and Taliban forces based in Northern Pakistan. These strikes have killed about 3,000 people, including many civilians, as of March 2014.

    5. Over 350,000 Killed by Violence, $4.4 Trillion Spent and Obligated
    The wars begun in 2001 have been tremendously painful for millions of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, and the United States, and economically costly as well. http://costsofwar.org

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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
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  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
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    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
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  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
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    1 week ago
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
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  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
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    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
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    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
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  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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  • Are GNUs extinct?
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    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
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    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago

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    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
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  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
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  • Police trial new response to high risk events
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    1 day ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
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    1 day ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
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  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
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    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
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    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
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    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
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    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
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    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
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    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
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    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
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    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
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    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
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    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
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    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
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    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
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    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
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    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
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    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
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    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
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    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago