What will future generations condemn us for?

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, October 2nd, 2010 - 18 comments
Categories: accountability, Deep stuff, Environment, prisons - Tags:

This question is something that has been on my mind for some time. It seems as if there are endless things that we could be condemned for from where I’m standing, however my point of view is not necessarily that of my future grandchild. In this article, Kwame Anthony Appiah, a philosophy professor at Princeton, sets out four examples of current policy that he believes those in the future will look back and say “What were people thinking?”

The American prison system is the first example he gives, and before I get into my slightly different approach, I should point out that this example is quite relevant to our small isolated nation. Our incarceration rate is second only to the U.S.A, and as Professor Appiah points out, many of those incarcerated are in there for non violent offences such as drugs. We have an unsustainable view on crime, and incarceration. He also questions factory farming and whether this will be an acceptable practice in the future, another good point for New Zealand, as in the past few years there has been significant publicity around sow crates and other horrid practices that seem completely out of place within our vast and untouched country. The institutionalization of the elderly and the environment are also mentioned, and for further reasoning on these you would be best to take a few minutes and read the article.

Unfortunately, I believe Professor Appiah looks at the issue from a position where he has already assumed the most important, and least assumable consideration of the question, how those in the future will perceive their world. When I look at the question, before even jumping into specific examples, I explore the paths that are being paved by the social norms of the present, and then consider the obstacles that will inevitably arise along the way.

If one were to believe that the path we are on now will continue without encountering any of the expected hurdles, then it could be more plausible that humans (especially in English speaking countries) will actually expand on the concepts such as factory farming, exploitation of environments, and intensive incarceration. My theory in case of this eventuality (which I have to point out, is not what I predict), is that more than likely humans will look back at physical contact with disgust, having moved into a totally virtual sports world. Why? The backbone of this is created by the desire of key players to make a profit, and a virtual stadium is much cheaper, and could also look very pretty. Another consideration behind this possibility is the growing inability for people to socially interact in a real life situation. At that point in time, real life interaction and social media interaction will be indistinguishable. It is hard to imagine this eventuality, and may seem trivial right now, yet by merely plotting the course of our social evolution from a modern idealistic point of view, it sadly becomes quite reasonable.

There would be other things that would appear old fashioned or outdated, such as travelling near a stranger on a bus or train. Fear would rule civilization, and it would be abhorrent to think that anyone would travel within the immediate proximity of someone not part of their trusted network. Physical deployment of troops to a warzone would be a horrible thought, and those in the future would be unable to comprehend how a life could be thrown away so easily, of course this masks the fact that whatever is sent into fight in place of a citizen would still be killing real humans. Sadly enough, the use of unmanned drones is already quickly increasing, and the subjective value of an American soldier versus an Afghani civilian already clearly distinguishable.

These are all considerations that come about from an idealistic view of the future from our current position, however they don’t take into account any of the inevitable obstacles we will have to deal with, and assume that the path we are following is sustainable. So realistically, the examples I’ve given above can be written off just as easily as the thought that we’ll ever end up in a position where our current system will merely be a 2.0 version of its current self in one hundred years.

Dreams come crashing down when we begin to throw the words climate change, unaffordable debt, unsustainable population growth, water wars, and globalization in there. I believe that discussing the question of what our future generation will think of us is in itself the best answer to the question. Our future generations will not look back at this sort of article and ponder how close our predictions were, no, they’ll look back and ask why, no matter what conclusions we arrive at, no one acted. Apathy is what our future generations will despise us for, our disturbing greed, and our self belief that we are more intelligent than reality suggests.

They will wonder why we allowed financial institutions to create debt that we expected them to repay, as if they would one day benefit from our 3D LCD Television sets in the middle of an energy crisis, where the metals used to make those televisions could have actually served a purpose. They won’t have time to ponder this kind of issue though, for their world will likely be one where they have issues so severe that, were they to occur today and the mainstream media reported it, we’d never believe them.

I could go on to look at detail on specific practices that future generations will condemn us for, and depending on the path we end up taking, I could be very accurate, but that misses the point that raising such a question gives rise to far more fundamental considerations. In saying that, one must live in the now or insanity is inevitable, therefore the discussions that will arise from people being asked this question should be allowed, if not encouraged.

To finish an article started with a question, I thought it best to ask another of us all, one that is probably more relevant than most are willing to accept.

If I am not selfish, why do I care nothing for my future grandchildren and their quality of life, after my grandparents sacrificed themselves to ensure I had the best quality of life? Or am I merely blinded by the veil of ignorance that droops over my plastic face to believe my current actions are in fact ensuring the best quality of life for my grandchildren?

18 comments on “What will future generations condemn us for?”

  1. r0b 1

    Good post. Depressing, but thought provoking. In my option the folks of the future, if any, will refer to us as “The Wasters”.

  2. ianmac 2

    A huge question Mr Guest. I think that the question should revolve around what is “normal.”
    How did we get to the point that we seem to accept what might have been considered obscene in the past and might be considered obscene in the future? For example the Earthquake Rebuilding Act? The explosion of dairying for economic gains? The building of mass pig or dairy farms for economic gain? The destruction of prime land for mining?

    How come we get to accept the obscene as normal?

    • Mr Magoo 2.1

      I think the post is vague and shallow and tends to attributes a moral superiority to those that are to come and have yet had a chance to display their own brand of inhumaneness.
      What if in the future people murder each other without a thought for a litre of clean water? They might even look back on us and be envious. Or perhaps they crate sows in a more efficient fashion?
      Maybe they even crate humans by then?

      I also don’t think any of the examples you have given bear the test of being obscene in the past. What exactly about our history in the last 10,000 years makes you think that sow crates and temporary absolute powers of the state are even worth mentioning in this context?
      Slavery? Facism? Dictators and despots by the hundred? (some of them still respected by many such as Genghis Khan and Napoleon)
      In many respects we are better than we have been.

      In others, not. Especially when it comes to expansion and over population which is at the heart of the major problems that most likely will plague/endanger our descendants.

      However thinking about the future we create and the long term problems we create is a good one and if this provokes thought and introspection – something we are not very good at as a species.

      I might blame Hollywood for our constant and very annoying belief that under it all every person is good. But I think it is actually part of the human psyche, perhaps a defence mechanism.

      • felix 2.1.1

        “What if in the future people murder each other without a thought for a litre of clean water? “

        Gee I wonder how they could possibly end up in that situation? /facepalm

        • Mr Magoo 2.1.1.1

          I think you missed the point. The problem is US (the species) and the way we look at and interact with the world. Our descendants may blame us for a lot but they most likely be no different from us, just with fewer resources with which to squander.

          We think that science or a new voting system or some other magical device is just going to fix things. If we all just find a green source of energy somehow we can get back to just being us.
          In fact the current reality is that we have billions of people in the third world desperately (and it seems unstoppably) trying to become exactly like us and succeeding.

          And the naive among us somehow think that the majority are going to somehow just play along in time to save us and not as we have already seen ignore or even fight against such change in a desperate attempt to maintain/improve their quality of life.
          Heaven forbid we end up taking a page out of China’s book and actually solve our over population problem! Most of us find that so offensive it is not even allowed to be mentioned.

          I mean just imagine what happens if tomorrow someone cracks the energy problem? Unlimited, cheap energy for all.

          What do you think happens then? Is that going to stop the war and the dictators and the rich, greedy bastards who attempt to run everything? Does that mean we now have enough of everything? Will we now be satisfied?

          I think not. In fact I think it makes it WORSE.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            I mean just imagine what happens if tomorrow someone cracks the energy problem? Unlimited, cheap energy for all.

            Uh, then the oil companies buy out the inventor, and when oil finally runs out, the oil companies will sell you the energy from their free source at very expensive rates?

            Just guessing.

          • felix 2.1.1.1.2

            “I think you missed the point.”

            Yes I think I did. Sorry.

          • A 2.1.1.1.3

            The problem is not, as you so eloquently put it, “US”, but only some of us: i.e. that percentage of the population who cannot or will not act responsibly towards the environment. The only solution is to prevent them exercising political power by the least nasty means sufficient to achieve that goal. Unfortunately, that will probably mean an end to the present democratic system.

            All else is mere talk.

            • Mr Magoo 2.1.1.1.3.1

              If in fact the end of democracy is required then the % of the population is in fact a majority I take it? Such a majority that it is not viable to turn enough people for it to become a majority.

              In which case the US I am referring to is US as in the collective US. Just because there are a few people that don’t agree does not mean that the collective US is not the problem.

              Individuals may be able to step back and say they were not individually responsible. That does not mean that are not a member of the species/whatever that is doing it.

              Also the number of people that are not part of what I am talking about is VERY small. Just because you think the ETS is a good idea and use efficient lightbulbs does not mean you are not one….

      • Vicky32 2.1.2

        “Especially when it comes to expansion and over population which is at the heart of the major problems that most likely will plague/endanger our descendants.”
        Possibly not… the population is actually decreasing in all developed countries, and starting to do so in others. A particular writer in New Scientist (Fred Pearce) is getting very exercised about it, in a rather disturbingly racist way…
        Deb

  3. Draco T Bastard 3


    A peek behind the figures

    The ‘global extinction crisis’ has been in the news for a while now and conservationists are constantly throwing figures at us to illustrate the overwhelming scale of biodiversity loss. “Twenty-one percent of all known mammals, 29 percent of all known amphibians, 12 percent of all known birds, 35 percent of conifers and cycads, 17 percent of sharks and 27 percent of reef-building corals are threatened with extinction” – many of us could lose sleep over this alarming data. But what exactly does it mean?

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Autotune.

  5. Puddleglum 5

    I’m sure that, in the future all sorts of things we do now will be looked upon with horror.

    But that’s not the point and such speculations about what others might condemn us for are only of concern if we assume they (in the future) are right to condemn us – which presupposes that we already know what we should be condemned for.

    To that extent, of far more importance is the contest over what we condemn ourselves for, right now. One of Appiah’s points was that, in the past, people already knew what practices were or weren’t wrong (e.g., arguments against slavery had been rehearsed for thousands of years – in fact the way he uses the example of slavery suggests he’s read ‘Bury the Chains’ by Adam Hochschild. Well worth a read if you want to know something about long term struggles by a movement.). The point is to make that sense of what’s wrong lead to action and change by preventing people from ignoring it or justifying it with incidental arguments.

    One such incidental argument that springs to mind is the argument that markets are efficient distributors of resources. That is, of course, entirely beside the moral point that people suffer greatly in economies based on individual pursuit of resources. (They also suffer greatly in other economic forms – but not in all other economic forms).

    One of the features of a modern, differentiated economy is that people, as individuals, don’t experience all the consequences of their actions. People buying cling-foil wrapped blades of meat in a supermarket have not had to slaughter an animal so, of course, they have little regard for how animals are slaughtered. Fewer and fewer people have had to raise pigs to get bacon so, of course, consumers of bacon have little regard for how pigs are kept. The soothing arguments of pig growers to the effect that (a) we’re so much more humane now, and (b) well, if we didn’t have industrial pig raising you’d all miss out on your bacon allow this separation to continue despite the fact that almost no-one, today, would say that pigs have a great time being industrially farmed (i.e., the moral point of it all).

    The same goes for most things we know are wrong. We know it is wrong to pollute but by transferring the pollution and waste quickly to somewhere out of sight and out of mind we can ignore it and then erect ever so rational defences for doing what we know is wrong.

    We know it is wrong to consume endlessly and then discard things at ever increasing rates but the shop fronts in our CBDs and malls are designed to help us ignore the immorality of such levels of consumption and we are encouraged to swallow arguments about the ‘jobs’ created and the technical fixes our boffins will come up with in the nick of time. All incidental arguments that distract us from the moral point that it is simply wrong and that we know it is – in fact the wrongness of such over-indulgent spoilage has been pointed out for as long if not longer than has the wrongness of slavery.

    When it comes to the moral wrongness of actions there is nothing new under the sun. The difference today is that we have social structures that are incredibly efficient at allowing us to do wrong by creating structural ignorance and incentives to accept incidental arguments for maintaining a status quo we know to be wrong.

  6. jcuknz 6

    As a normal human always looking for the bright side, the chink of light at the end of the tunnel, I view the possibility of humans avoiding contact with each other as positive in the search for an answer to the current population explosion … it will then be easier to reduce the population in a humane way by not providing fertile eggs to be implanted and providing the experience of motherhood by implanted electrodes fed by a central databank. Otherwise the ‘killing for a litre of water ‘ becomes a very real possibility since we are so much water, we cannot do without it.

  7. Vicky32 7

    Looking ahead, I see my (so far only grandchild, who is being brought up by dim people), not being bright enough to be upset about very much other than his inevitable un or under-employment… But living in hope that there will be people in his generation brought up by cleverer and less short-sighted people (perhaps even future grands of mine from the younger kids!) I think and hope that they will be horrified by our
    1. Gullibility
    2. Acceptance of war as a normal human activity (due largely to # 1!)
    3. Wastefulness, as r0b said..
    Deb

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 hours ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 hours ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    1 day ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 day ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    3 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.