Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The next four years

456 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 19 Newer→ Last

  • andin, in reply to Jason Kemp,


    Just another acronym politicians use for calming the plebs and self promotion.
    As you say its bullshit.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    the rise of right wing populism

    There has been no such rise.

    I don't understand why people keep saying stuff like this. People keep promoting arguments to explain why Trump got more votes

    But Trump didn't get more votes - he got fewer votes.

    There is no rise in the right.

    Which does not change the fact that a large chunk of the voting population were perfectly happy, and in many cases absolutely delighted, to be able to vote for a man and associated administration who are one short step away from being outright fascists, and who, rather than doing the usual coding and dogwhistling of their normal unpleasantness, made absolutely no effort to hide it during the campaign, and were in fact happy to have it front and centre.

    And while that type of thinking may be limited in the population as a whole, the fact is that key positions in the Trump administation have been filled by far-right people, including a literal white supremacist.

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

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    shut down huge chunks of the dairy sector

    That will happen , probably for economic reasons, but animals will still be eating the grass, and voiding the inevitable nitrate ; but that will not be the major factor in the degradation of the rivers.
    Phosphorus entering the rivers will still be the biggest problem.

    The likelihood of a huge chunk of the export sector being closed down is ultimately dependent on an equal or larger segment of the import sector being closed down if we are not to continue consuming the future , and incurring the inevitable debts.
    We’re all in it together ; will urban consumers do their bit, and severely curb their appetite for imports?
    Highly unlikely , I suggest.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Rich Lock,

    So what?
    Plus ça change. . . .

    The game is still BRICS vs the “Five Eyes”. The ball is the global reserve currency. The goal is maintenance/ reduction (depending on which side you are on) of global dominance/ exploitation by our team.

    The score is still – Brazil sidelined ; India severely injured (via demonetisation) but playing on ; Africa under increasing Chinese occupation (to secure the abundant resources) ; Russia holding its own (and likely to continue doing so) ; and on the bench is rookie Iran (looking fresh with the nuclear deal).

    Players are fired up , but an all out brawl is not likely.
    Trump changes nothing. The masters of the universe will place their bets as usual.

    Follow the money.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report

  • andin, in reply to Farmer Green,

    The masters of the universe

    Sporting analogies used to reduce lives to broad brushstrokes, there are no winners in this game and we all suffer at the hands of fools, tools and the self important.
    No magi here.... their on sabbatical at some other end of some universe, maybe another universe, apparently there are multiverse's.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • Farmer Green, in reply to andin,

    another universe

    Their universe.

    Fools that they are.

    Of course , it is difficult to avoid the game ; but possible to have limited participation with zero committment.

    The sun will certainly “come up” tomorrow, and there is the promise of more rain, ensuring continuing life.
    Forgive the ebullience ; holding my sleeping 3-day old grandaughter for an hour yesterday, I observed that her world looks at least as good as that of her great-great- great grand- parents upon their arrival in Godzone

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report

  • Farmer Green,

    On a more serious note , I think that Trump could use a decent barber. Just an observation :-


    From one of Britain's finest.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,


    Gene Pool Satire?

    Trump could use a decent barber. Just an observation

    I think he is the 'heir apparent'...
    or is that 'hair a parent'?

    Pictured above: Trump's Scottish mother, 1997...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    A certain set to the jaw is apparent. :-)

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report

  • WH,

    In all seriousness, are we sure that this isn't some unhappy milestone on the road to the apocalypse? Cryptic crossword. Some of you know what I am talking about.

    I remember watching the old trees fall.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report

  • Farmer Green, in reply to WH,

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report

  • WH, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Maybe. I'm just not sure everything's quite as it seems.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report

  • WH,

    Out of the crooked timber of humanity no completely good thing was ever made.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report

  • Farmer Green, in reply to WH,

    I think that should be "no straight thing was ever made " But the meaning remains.

    But Kant also said :-

    "Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; erelong she shall appear to vindicate thee."

    We shall see.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to WH,

    Sgt. Piperaceae's Lonely Arts Club Ban?

    ...some unhappy milestone on the road to the apocalypse?
    Cryptic crossword.
    Some of you know what I am talking about.

    more some crusade to finish the unorthodox Coptic Krisword methinks...
    but I could be too down to get one across
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • WH,

    As long as it’s only one horse, right?

    Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know. Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity. Be like the Tao. It can’t be approached or withdrawn from, benefited or harmed, honored or brought into disgrace. It gives itself up continually. That is why it endures.”

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report

  • Conal Tuohy, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There seems little doubt that the arrival of more NATO troops in Poland is popular there.

    And Putin’s response – that Poland “is not even a European state” – will only have strengthened that view.

    I assume (because this weird misinterpretation has been circulated online) that you're referring to the statement by President Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov:

    "a third country is building up its military presence near our borders in Europe. That country is not even a European one,"

    > Kremlin sees deployment of US armor in Poland as threat - TASS

    The "third country" which Peskov is referring to is actually the United States of America, not Poland (Poland and its neighbour Russia are clearly the implicit first and second countries in Peskov's formula).

    Melbourne • Since Oct 2008 • 14 posts Report

  • mark taslov, in reply to Conal Tuohy,


    Our side, which is incontestably morally superior and not intimidating might be inclined to coin a catchy meme like “The Polish Missile Crisis”.

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

  • Katharine Moody,

    As an American living here since 1978, I really enjoyed the blog post, Russell and all the comments in the thread.

    I just keep thinking back on my shock when Obama, despite his similar 'for the people' campaign rhetoric (which in many ways echoed a lot of the same anti-establishment sentiment of Trump) - did this on getting elected;


    From the get-go, Obama appeared to have sold the citizenry a pup in terms of his appointments (Hills included... very odd, that one). For me a politician being true to his/her word post-election is what really matters. Obama in hindsight wasn't the change-agent he won the nomination and then the presidency on. One can kind of understand why the swing states swung, so to speak.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Trump declassifies a whole lot of information that he now becomes privy to, if he thinks the people should know about it. That inaugural speech was pretty haunting to my mind - I have an uneasy feeling he might be a Pres that decides to deliver an ugly truth about certain things. He seems to have made a point of painting a very dismal picture of the more recent Washington establishment - I could see him using the office now to prove it to the people.

    It seems the truly powerful don't like him one little bit. I'm not sure exactly what I should take away from that, but regardless, I have an uneasy feeling... it's just near impossible to trust in anyone or anything anymore where big picture geopolitical stuff is concerned.

    I'm just hoping Helen was right when she referred to us as living in a benign strategic environment. Head down and leave it to the Americans living in America to make their own judgment is going to be my strategy as an ex-pat. Not normally emotional, I did have tears rolling down my face when Lee Greenwood sang God Bless the USA today on a live-feed ... and I wondered whether it was because I believed they really, really are going to need it.

    Thanks again Russell - look forward to your next post on "it" i.e,, the phenomenon of whatever the hell it is we are witnessing.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Obama appeared to have sold the citizenry a pup in terms of his appointments

    Yep. If anybody doubted who was in charge, that should have done it. More of the same to come. Capitalism's last big bash.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • WH,

    The most famous Christian prophecy ever made is a story about witchcraft in politics. Those wacky nutters.

    David Bowie. Led Zeppelin. Kate Bush. Madonna. Anything on the harder side of Black Sabbath. Some of it is literally hiding in plain sight.

    Jay-Z. Bjork. Katy Perry. Azealia Banks. Peaches Geldof.

    It’ll never happen.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report

  • tussock, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Seriously, when the does Russia stop getting to use Operation Barbarossa as a free pass for being everyone’s neighbour from Hell? It’s been seventy-five years.

    You mean when the most powerful army on earth tried to commit genocide against the Russian peoples starting at Leningrad and annihilating all human life beyond for being insufficiently Aryan?


    Russia's not a nice country, they're poor, socially conservative (it's seriously like the 80's there, punk rock and all), their democratic government fell over a while back and there was no food in the shops for a year, and the guys who fixed it were either going to be the criminal fraternities, the army, or the spies. And the spies won that and now run Russia (the criminal families got the oil, the army got the electric network and generation, the spies got the government, and they sometimes work together now).

    Russian foreign policy starts with how they will never fight another war on Russian soil. It's just not negotiable. Attempted genocide against a people changes the national psyche. People who militarily oppose them or talk shit about removing Russians do not get to have armies on their borders, end of story. That's not a government thing, that's just everyone, you don't get to be government in Russia unless you agree with that.

    Like how Israel starts with Jews being the majority in a country, and that country not ever being invaded or they will end the world for real, and any other solutions to their problems are completely off the table. Because of the genocide in WWII.

    Like how China is very serious about people not splitting up China as the imperial powers did from the late 19th century, because that ended in the attempted genocide of the Chinese people by Imperial Japan in WWII.

    None of this is an excuse for the reactionary and disruptive behaviour of those countries, but you must be able to understand it because it is not going away.


    And it's not really all 75 years ago for Russia, the cold war involved a great many assassinations and proxy wars on their borders for a very long time, including recently with the fundamentalist religious types that the CIA/Saudi alliance funded on their doorstep.

    The same as it's not really all 150 years ago for Māori, eh.

    The same as France is still super serious about a civil government and that whole liberty and fraternity and equality thing, or the USA is about not splitting the union, or Germany is about it being politically impossible for them to start a war in Europe through various trade and common policy treaties, or England is about not being ruled from Europe, even though the last one is rather many centuries out of date and not particularly true.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report

  • andin, in reply to WH,

    witchcraft in politics.

    All the links you provide are about music/ musicians. With tenuous links to a darker side of spirituality, something the simple minded might somehow see as linked, though the dots are hardly there. As for any link to politics ??

    While there is definitely a link between human stupidity/gullibility and politics.
    Its a hard line, directly wired.

    Anyway I heard Sympathy for the Devil was inspired by some of the Stones or their extended entourage reading The Master and Margarita . The opening lyrics follow the opening chapters better than anything Crowley wrote.
    And you left out Motorhead

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • David Hood,

    In 1967 the modern formulation of the Trolley problem (ethical thought experiment) was made. Now, fifty years later, the Trolley problem is pretty thoroughly talked out, and instead we have the "when is it ethical to punch a Nazi" problem.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report

  • WH, in reply to andin,

    As for any link to politics ??

    The Schutzstaffel was the force behind the development of Generalplan Ost. The name is sometimes abbreviated in Armanen runes.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 19 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

This topic is closed.