Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Burning down the house to feel better

115 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • andin, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Josh Marshall is right on the money,

    just the sort of introspective tosh which will infuriate any Trump supporter</sarcasm/>

    In short he wont/cant sort out his personal problems – he doesnt think he has any anyway- so he going to inflict them on everyone else. Who seem to lap it up whatever. And he's assisted by his psychotic cohorts.

    Yep way to go Donny Drumpf. I’ll just think of him as Fuckface Von Clownstick henceforth

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    despicable tactics on all sides.

    Domestically, marginal MSM* opinion makers are flaunting more alarmist doctrine, both on the left

    "Donnie Darko makes George W. Bush and his war on Iraq look like a mere skirmish."

    and the right.

    "Liberal feminazi doctrine considers the notion of being pro-women and pro-life as an incompatible evil."

    *Stuff.co.nz

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Lynn Yum,

    Wait, isn't that a good thing?

    Well, as Russell's post just above this points out, there is less-than-zero effort to do the same on the other side. There is a constant attempt, not to find balance, but to pull the entire centre of gravity as far to the right as possible. It reminds me of an old story I was told about different cultures and personal space and distance in conversation. An Italian businessman talking to a British businessman will want to talk at far closer range than the uptight Brit is comfortable with. So at your meet-and-greet cocktail party, the pair find themselves completely unconsciously sashying from one side of the room to the other, as the Brit shuffles a few inches away, followed by the Italian shuffling in, followed by the Brit shuffling away, etc.

    From my own 'micro' point of view, if I want my liberal bubble burst, I just have to go and stand in the queue at the local supermarket, and while I'm waiting have a quick skim of the front pages of The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Express, The Telegraph, The Times, and so on, and let the vitriol wash over me.

    Nearly all the weight is on the right-hand side of the scale already. I don't think we particularly need more pushed from the left towards the middle.

    Michelle Obama said 'when they go low, we go high', which, ok, yes, fine. But that tells you your opponent will go low. By all means keep your own arguments Marquis of Queensbury, clean and above the belt, but never forget that they'll be aiming to kick you in the nuts as hard as they can at every opportunity.

    There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning

    So I applaud the Guardian for being more contrarian, and trying to see the argument from the other side

    More specifically, this isn't what they're doing. They are printing think pieces without comment, and without providing any context on who the author is and what their connections are, and then leaving it to their BTL commentators and bloggers like Russell to pull them apart. That's not 'trying to see the argument from the other side', especially given that most online readers won't go below the line, and zero hardcopy readers will see the comment counterpoint.

    Here's an example from December last year, published shortly after the US election. Hmm, Professor, eh? 'One of the 20th Century's leading Philosophers', you say? Must be a clever chap, probably knows what he's talking about. Yeah, perhaps not so much...... I think the only thng that stopped me putting my fist through the wall after reading that was the pile-on in the comment section.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    America’s growing political and cultural divisions have finally split the United States apart. Now, as the former blue states begin to collapse under the dead weight of their politically correct tyranny, a lethal operative haunted by his violent past undertakes one last mission to infiltrate and take out his target in the nightmarish city of Los Angeles, deep in the heart of the People’s Republic of North America.

    Holy shitsnacks. Did he drop too much acid one night while 'Escape from LA' was playing on cable?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    As Jonathan Freedland notes in another column in the same paper, it ironically falls now to liberals to do what used to be the job of conservatives: to defend order.

    As I’ve said to you many many times, Russell, I haven’t considered the GOP (or most of their supporters) anything but right-wing radicals for many many years. Conservatives conserve, Trumpets don’t even have a firm grasp on what they’re trying to burn to the ground.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Farmer Green,

    That's putting it mildly. The invective is stepping up, more than a notch:

    Lest we forget that Kurt Schlichter outdid himself when he pulled a Godwin on pro-Obama/Kerry Jews, and the Auschwitz Memorial called bollocks on him.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    As I’ve said to you many many times, Russell, I haven’t considered the GOP (or most of their supporters) anything but right-wing radicals for many many years. Conservatives conserve, Trumpets don’t even have a firm grasp on what they’re trying to burn to the ground.

    Trumpsters and other alt-Reich fellas could be likened to those who loot during a riot. And how far can the GOP jump off the deep end, before someone in The Hague classifies them as a terrorist organisation?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Scott G,

    The book of Revelation has always been a popular choice in America.

    British And American ‘Imperialisms’ Compared

    Nowadays it is also backed up by a new kind of historicism: the idea that modern America exemplifies the ‘end’ of history - that is, its final destination (Francis Fukuyama); and, powerfully, by religion. America, said George W. Bush in August 2000, has been ‘chosen by God and commissioned by history to be a model to the world.’

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Lynn Yum, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Michelle Obama said ‘when they go low, we go high’, which, ok, yes, fine. But that tells you your opponent will go low. By all means keep your own arguments Marquis of Queensbury, clean and above the belt, but never forget that they’ll be aiming to kick you in the nuts as hard as they can at every opportunity.

    Sure, the other side plays dirty, But the best lies are half truths. If we take the high road, the truth has to be fished out from the muck and be taken seriously. This is also a useful tactic to persuade the other side: when you are meeting them half way it shows that you are debating in good faith. However, if someone spits at this kind of good faith, it is a sure sign that debating with that particular person is a waste of time.

    However Trump don't do pitched battle, this is a running war. We see new dead cat every day (or with every tweet). At some point we have to stop being lawyerly and stop replying to every single unsubstantiated claim. Instead we need to ask why some people are still listening to Trump. If we want to go high we have to meet these people half way. Or at least, meet the ones who also show good faith. The Guardian publishing an article from the Trumpian right is one way to show good faith.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2016 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to mark taslov,

    ‘chosen by God

    Well he’s not the only one claiming that sort of thing :-)

    As Lynn says above :-

    "At some point we have to stop being lawyerly and stop replying to every single unsubstantiated claim. Instead we need to ask why some people are still listening to [ . . .].
    If we want to go high we have to meet these people half way. Or at least, meet the ones who also show good faith."

    So . . .

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You just have to let them get on with whatever it is they’re doing and hope no one gets hurt.

    Good luck with that one. I doubt that disengaging is the answer.
    But that’s just me :-)

    I treasure that line from Sacha :- "one untips one's hat".

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,

    to know a vail…

    “one untips one’s hat”

    Just yesterday I learnt that ‘vail’ means to “take off or lower (one’s hat or crown) as a token of respect or submission."
    ;- )
    </aside>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    And how far can the GOP jump off the deep end, before someone in The Hague classifies them as a terrorist organisation?

    Yep , the Great White Fleet was just a bunch of guys out for a bit of sailing :-)

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    </aside>

    That was a concise summation of the dilemma.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    In regards to the bathrobe nonsense – Winston Churchill stayed in bed until 11am, had his first drink shortly after he got up, had a two to three hour lunch featuring more liquor, had a 90 minute snooze at 5pm, then had a four hour plus dinner with freely flowing alcohol, and took two long baths a day. In other words, a certain sybariticism doesn’t preclude effective leadership.

    Having spent a lot of time talking – and more importantly listening – to my many American friends, several of whom voted for Trump, this what I have concluded: First, Illegal immigration is a gigantic issue and is hated by Trump supporters mainly on ideological grounds. We forget the Puritan thread that runs through much of American society at our peril. Wage class Americans are generally more conservative than we are and they revere values of being law abiding and hard working combined with thrift and self-discipline. Illegal immigrants are simply dismissed as law breaking queue jumpers and freeloaders. Throw in a bit of lazy racism (encouraged by the rabble rousers of the conservative US media) and a huge dollop of male resentment at the loss of manly dignity that come with the loss of breadwinner status that comes with a steady, good paying job and you’ve got a huge cross section of the people who voted for Trump.

    Secondly, the liberal & salaried professional/managerial class right across the English speaking world is completely clueless as to how hated it is by those in the precariat/wage class below it. The liberal managerial class have a lifestyle untouched by globalisation and from their positions of power in HR departments, middle management and consultancies they are the human face of a class war waged by them on the poor, the precariat and the low waged on behalf of their neoliberal corporate masters. The professional elites response to that hatred has largely been one of smug arrogance and condescension, which has made the class and cultural war even worse. This cultural and class war element cannot be emphasised enough.

    This article in the Havard Business Review is the most accurate assesment of the mood of Americans I know that I have read, and it offers suggestions for the way forward for the left that are, in the light of Poto Williams calculated attempt to undermine her leader and sabotage Labour’s attempts to widen it’s appeal in the name of discredited liberal identity politics, particularly pertinent.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    and took two long baths a day.

    I've heard he took meetings in the bath as well...

    But few had the chutzpah to be as informal as Sir Winston Churchill. "He used to talk to visitors while he was in bed and in the bath – sometimes quite important people," Mr Blick said. During a Christmas visit by Churchill to the United States in 1941, President Franklin D Roosevelt called on Churchill in his White House quarters and found him naked after his bath, pacing about the room giving dictation. The President made to leave, but Churchill stopped him with the line: "You see, Mr President, I have nothing to hide from you."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/at-least-david-cameron-kept-his-kit-on-unlike-winston-churchill-the-surprising-history-of-the-prime-9101651.html

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Labour’s attempts to widen it’s appeal in the name of discredited liberal identity politics,

    Would you expand ?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Lynn Yum,

    The Guardian publishing an article from the Trumpian right is one way to show good faith

    Let's assume for the moment that I accept your argument.

    Can you provide an example of an article on The Guardian that meets this goal?

    I'm not saying they aren't there, but the number of articles I've seen that do what you say needs doing (aimed at Trump voters, extending a hand halfway, in good faith), is zero.

    And the ones I have seen, which I'm complaining about, fall into two categories: 1) insane 'post-fact' gibberish like the one I linked to, or 2) articles aimed at their existing liberal/lefty/metropolitan elite readership, literally called things like 'burst your liberal bubble'. I mean, really?

    This month in Cosmo, 19 ways to achieve orgasm while bursting your liberal bubble!!!1!!!11!!! You won't believe number 12!11!!!1!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    "You see, Mr President, I have nothing to hide from you."

    Churchill's one previous meeting with Roosevelt, held in virtual secrecy in August of 1941 at the interestingly named Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, was rather less the stuff of hagiography. After braving the u-boat infested North Atlantic aboard the HMS Prince of Wales, which was later sunk by Japanese bombers two days after the attack on Pearl Harbour, Churchill was very much the supplicant, sounding out the US in "neutral" territory on its then hypothetical terms for entering WW2.

    Roosevelt drove a hard bargain, demanding that Britain guarantee to divest itself of its colonies once the war had been won. Naturally that was a hard call for a diehard Tory like Churchill, but Roosevelt had him over a barrel and was determined to press the advantage. While the eventual agreement was couched in the noblest of terms, the reality was that Britain effectively ceded its remaining great power status to the US's advantage. No doubt that was on Churchill's mind as he delivered dictation in the nuddy.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    This article in the Havard Business Review is the most accurate assesment of the mood of Americans I know that I have read, and it offers suggestions for the way forward for the left that are, in the light of Poto Williams calculated attempt to undermine her leader and sabotage Labour’s attempts to widen it’s appeal in the name of discredited liberal identity politics, particularly pertinent.

    Yeah, funny how the only working class worthy of consideration around Harvard Yard is the white one. I guess the only brown people who work in Trump's America are those Schrodinger's Immigrants who someone manage to steal white people's jobs while simultaneously sitting around on welfare.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Gosh Tom, you've articulated what I've not been able to quite figure out as an ex-pat American living/working here since 1978 - and the link is a must read as it really does capture it well.

    I had always been confused with the growing gulf in social/ethical attitudes between myself and my siblings at home. I thought the values we were all raised under were somehow being slowly corrupted/eroded in them. I put it down to the ill-effects of US consumer capitalism having blurred their sense of goodness and compassion. Then a year or so ago, I watched this lecture by Elizabeth Warren and a penny dropped;

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Elizabeth Warren

    She was muzzled yesterday in a fine piece of Catch-22ism (and ugly gamesmanship) – for allegedly impugning the reputation of another senator – although the senator was in this context a nominee for another position, Attorney General.
    So she should be able to raise any matters pertaining to his suitability for the job.
    ‘Not so’ say The Men!

    Under Donald Trump, the GOP has completed its transformation into the party of white resentment, the party of white reaction, the party of Redemption.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/02/why_mitch_mcconnell_muzzled_elizabeth_warren_and_coretta_scott_king.html

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Farmer Green,

    So . . .

    I’m sorry FG, I missed the inference - I appreciated the intellectual honesty of Dr Porter’s conclusion.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Yes, saw that - unimaginable but predictable from the Republican establishment - and her sin? - she was quoting from a letter from the late MLK's wife, Coretta King.

    I felt she made the biggest political blunder at such a crucial point in the history of US political struggle - keeping silent when it was a Bernie v Hillary contest.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

This topic is closed.