Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The sole party of government

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  • mark taslov, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    36 hectares with livestock would be hard work, I don't know how I'd live with the whole animals as units thing, but I respect the work, it's the work of our ancestors, the work of humanity. One thing I didn't really take into account the other day, is that yes, if you have kids, then this whole surveillance revelation is obviously going to be far more cause for worry. But on that note, very little has or will change ever, at least change is so incremental that you'd never notice it anyway with the occasional skip, or in alternative histories the whole bar was shaken up as happened with the Maori. But in terms of these changes, for generations we've adapted, we lived in houses we built with our hands until as some point we were forced to sign the deed with the local authority, that's a form of surveillance. Or in the case of the heavy-handed enforcement of copyright legislation (KDC), in the past there was next to nothing to copy, music was what we played and sang amongst ourselves, we still have the freedom, but most people would rather flip on their isong or whatever it is the kids are buying.

    And then there's communications technology like telephones and the radio, and of course people have been tapping phones for decades and who knows what's been happening to our phone calls since digital audio technology came of age in the 70s. We've been shunted through schools and universities, writing essays expressly for the NZQA, people have been transcribing and illustrating their whole lives onto websites owned by huge corporations. And in all this time, over the last however many thousands of years our standards of living have improved, we have access to great healthcare, education, technology, entertainment and really, for quite a long time now, it's hard to argue that all these luxuries we enjoy have been anything but sanctioned by the powers that be on the one proviso that we don't pull a Mao Zedong.

    But things are less equal now than in the past century it seems, these new fortunes have arisen to keep the dynasties in Amani for centuries. And yet still, our problem is not that we are starving or thirsty, our problem is that we are bloated, and cynical and still ever fearful of change. Veges still grow in the soil, water falls from the sky and the sun still shines, but we'd rather sit online cruising cat pics and sipping milkshakes. I don't think we're heading into tyranny as much as we are heading towards idiocracy (check the movie if you haven't). That is if we haven't already arrived. -)

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

  • mark taslov, in reply to Steve Parks,

    Thanks Steve, I can feel how “they hadn’t determined” would be a bridge too far for most. During the campaign Cunliffe said ‘a month’ as I recall, but with that it’s still always going to favour those who can sell within the window: slow market-tax!

    Another problem I have is as is the case with most tax that the rich find a way to avoid it while the poor aren’t capable and the more taxes the Government introduces, the more ways rich people can find to evade them. So I’d far rather see a more aggressive top income tax bracket that can’t be exploited by trusts than any new taxes that could be applied to the lowest rungs of society, because it’s always the lowest rungs who get dealt the shit hand, with any new tax introduced. Increase duty on European cars and you can guarantee that money is coming from the 1%.

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

  • tussock,

    Hmm. Noticed another trend in my data digging.

    I suspect there's a good 250k people vote for anyone who will keep the Greens out of office. The dedicated anti-Green vote is still bigger than the actual Green vote. It's National this time because that was the only way to guarantee it. That dooms anyone trying to set up government with them.

    Like, the combined Labour-Green vote has been very high in the past, but only when Labour had higher stated preferences for forming a government, and then those anti-Green voters fled to Labour's other options just to keep the Greens out. I think it's real.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Pete,

    I haven’t seen a mention of it but some people I spoke to mentioned the Capital Gains Tax proposal as a reason to not vote Labour

    Turkeys and Thanksgiving..

    There will always be someone against any given policy. CGT is a ‘no brainer’ for Labour, though. It’s centrist (right-wing parties in other countries have a CGT policy), and one way to increase revenue so they can increase spending in certain areas that need it.

    I know people who are in favour of it because they don’t make money from capital gains but see other people doing so, and meanwhile pay tax on every dollar earned in their 9 to 5 job.

    I’m sure Labour did not lose this election because of their tax policy, per se.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Steve Parks,

    What’s your take on why they lost it Steve, or why they didn’t win?

    Currently 5,566 people have signed this petition declaring they think the election was rigged.

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

  • Steve Parks, in reply to mark taslov,

    I can feel how “they hadn’t determined” would be a bridge too far for most. During the campaign Cunliffe said ‘a month’ as I recall, but with that it’s still always going to favour those who can sell within the window: slow market-tax!

    The one month comment was poorly thought out, that's true. It was something that Labour wanted to leave to their expert advisory panel, which is fine if they had at least a reasonable minimum time they could have put up. Basically they just had to reassure people that there was no intent to get a tax off someone for, as you say, "... inopportunely dying before having liquidated the asset".

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to BenWilson,

    They didn’t search for their souls because that would be futile. Not because they’ve got no souls (undecided on that), but because even if they do, the search is futile. It’s not their souls they want to find, it’s the levers of power.

    How true!!!!!

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Reform of the RMA starts in Epsom.

    Yes!!!!!

    Try out ACTs proposal - no RMA - no RULES - an Epsom planning free, free market.

    I'd LOVE it.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to mark taslov,

    I don’t think we’re heading into tyranny

    And of course the intent of a constitution under a liberal democracy was to protect individual rights by placing constraints on the exercise of the 'will of the majority' by our representatives. The tyranny of the majority, in other words, is what Western democracies have been seeking to moderate since their inception.

    The problem for democracy these days is that collectives (citizenry) need protection from the will of the minority. So, I'd say many Western democracies are heading toward tyranny (by a minority) - a feudal sort of state.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    So, I'd say many Western democracies are heading toward tyranny (by a minority) - a feudal sort of state.

    Or as Fareed Zakaria calls it, illiberal democracy like in Singapore and even Russia. And it seems the same is happening in the West, especially in the English-speaking world.

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

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Or as Fareed Zakaria calls it, illiberal democracy like in Singapore and even Russia. And it seems the same is happening in the West, especially in the English-speaking world.

    Correct.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    illiberal democracy

    Thanks for this word, I noted today you conflated it with inverted totalitarianism, which I’d only heard recently too, but illiberal democracy is a better summation for now, and I’d think very carefully, as unpleasant as this thought may be that rather than this being something that is impending, it is something that is in full flight. The cicadas of corruption are making one hell of a racket in the treetops this evening. I can hear them from here.

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

  • Michael Meyers,

    Looking at these graphs in the comments of votes, there are two thoughts that struck me.

    People are complaining that a smaller percentage of the electorate voted for National yet apparently the voter turnout went up. This doesn't tally up for me and I wonder if maybe the special votes have been forgotten about.

    Also, those who didn't vote are irrelevant. Sure it'd be good if more of them voted but they didn't. And it's likely that a good portion would voted National anyway. So your missing million includes half a million National voters.

    I voted but as a general policy I don't vote in local body elections. I just don't care enough to be well informed about council elections . Is it really such a crime not to vote?

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    Vote? LOL Dude, when you’ve got no less than 88 name suppressed individuals admittedly spied on, residents arrested at gunpoint without warrants on charges issued 12,000km away, and when that kind of shit is going on in a so-called democracy, look at the clock. There’s no freedom left, there’s no true equality, and there’s no safeguard from the authorities doing exactly whatever the hell they want, there’s no protection from the authorities taking your stuff, taking you, there’s no accountability, there’s no strength in mass, there’s no independent advocacy for what is right, there’s nothing there any more to vote for, no cohesion, no spirit, no integrity, no empathy, no resolve, no safety, no independence, no protections, and certainly no democracy. So vote? Like the Germans did? Yeah, Nah bro, it’s time to be busting out those swastika armbands and getting your goose on.

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

  • mark taslov, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    And of course the intent of a constitution under a liberal democracy was to protect individual rights by placing constraints on the exercise of the ‘will of the majority’ by our representatives.

    Sorry I missed this earlier, yes, it's a funny one, reading through all this you'd almost imagine the thread was written in relation to something of Democratic importance. Oh, there were two threads today, both for the most part making some effort attempting to impress this illusory perception that the democracy churns. Never be fooled by this, very few here care about Democracy, sure they'll lament the loss of their party, and cry foul at the antagonism of the perceived adversaries, but when nuts comes to bolts, this is the farce, so inextricably connected to why they have no good news to share with one another. Some are noble in intent but disintegrate at the prospect of anything more. Some are two-faced turncoats, some are rigid, and simply lack that necessary spark of humanity required for their ideals to be anything more. Others are none of these.

    It's not a happy story, obviously. It's most often just a collocation of phrases and idiom, colloquial loaners like "schadenfreude" or "shite" picked up along the tightrope, dragged through lean and rough for just such an eventuality. And dispensed with the due care of negilgent water carriers.

    Their epithets for the most part are hollow, their epitaphs won't flex or grasp as anything more than lives lived in the shadows of monsters. The ugliness is not in the effort itself but the insular fear and misguided sense of self-preservation that issues forth like the sound of a numbly silenced fart through the trousers of a preaching vicar, screwing them shut tight as jam jars in a reticent spring thaw.

    The object was never to win or prevail in any sense beyond a mere splattering of colour on a narled hunk of sandal wood. A grouping of pigment dressed in a skimpy lingerie of lofty motive and intellectualised opium. To them this day reveals their stash was rotten and seeded, sparking, still resolving to inhale nonplussed.

    One katamarine of pride for an instant hung between, its bows grouped, gripping the waves, intoxicating the larynx, the blunted pointed psyche drawn inwards towards a common destination.

    won't the wind shift the hazelnuts.
    Won't it.

    On the perspex canvas of mystified chaperones, reaction and impetus,once again sprayed the branch to wavelength 450–495 nm, frequency, 670–610 THz. The Ostrich tipped and quaked and shunted itself out to in, and dreamy damage flicked it's middle finger 'pon the tender filthy snout.

    denial reconvened and dusted off its arad bookshelf, feeble cursing cum stained fingers ripping gusting through the worn and shredded spine.

    Expected outcomes for all and shady hidden sketchy motives slipped again so swiftly, wetly, remorsefully inside the yellowed orifice of hankering and jonesed out pomp. The guilt of non-acceptance sharply piercing nipple through a tantamount to conspiracy. corruption. collusion. and offal.

    election cried they lost! but none now knew nor cared their numbers sparse and nimbly shrunk. For no great moment past just now despite the war cries and the roars issued from the last left colleseum. capitulate, conceded.

    Erect beneath a languid Kauri moonlight burned a fleeting grimace on that signpost reading 20, 20 what? 20 Jan, 2 0 1 2, the day this day no longer was. The coiled shafts of feacled shit they'd kicked astray as bravery ran for cover shepherding a storm.

    And yet still further still beyond the ranges and the sunset hung the plaque, it's numbers dimly lit by screams of red between the limbs of Tuakura. Twenty-O-Seven, Fifteen Ten the chant. Twenty-O-Seven, Fifteen Ten the bleet that lubricated apathetic dismal burning rape. Get with it hummed the chorus.

    Last still along the road, by now but ours by telescope, to lithe Pohutakawa's bark afixed by cellotape a worn and piss-stained photograph, a long forgotten refugee. beaten bruised and limping wanking to the rhthym of the SIS man's grin

    hocks a loogey. it meant something once, the fox in me, the pox repeat, the cox you see was nowhere near the scullers as they tamed the river's mouth. hypocricy, no no no, but like it, the rocks of me, still vacuumed closed and pervy. Botox police, red socks machine, despot the clean. then still at once:

    Democracy! democracy! the bleeding sceams of which burst through the cloud of misty beastiality. the member pounding in an out its gaping, chafing,
    buggered hole. it's horns we grip and wrench from side to side as burps and wails tumble past it's shawn and jagged lips, as penis cock impales its deepest dream and burns its wince upon our deafened ears.it's blinded munted cunt of sex rebounding to our thrusts. the milk which once sustained now puddled stinking on the gravel. And on. And through, and past we fuck the bile out its eyes the shit expunging through its nose the balls of indifference clanging on its hind, just pummeling the septic gash of freedom with our hunger wanton filthy gagging sheepish niggardly puffed up yesterday engorged of all but itself.

    and now we head to work, our sheepskins shine.
    Our adages but repugnant indignance culpable and running with the wolves.

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

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    People are complaining that a smaller percentage of the electorate voted for National yet apparently the voter turnout went up.

    The turnout didn't go up, it went down. How much depends on how you count it, but as a proportion of all possible eligible voters, the turnout dropped from 68% to 62%.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to mark taslov,

    When the going gets weird…

    And dispensed with the due care of negligent water carriers.

    as a Monkey Aquarian,
    I actually resemble that statement…
    …with almost anthropomorphic accuracy!

    ;- )

    PS I can imagine an audio version of this visceral requiem for lost innocence and the new age – "a Howl out on Highway 1’ – having quite an impact…
    it builds a head of steam and drives forward, a little tuning, a welling drone – show time!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Election web site tells me here that there were 2405652 votes including specials yet to be counted. Your population estime for 2014 was 3378138. That’s 71.2%.

    In 2011, it was 2257336 votes and population of 3326842. This is 67.5%

    Even if you only include the known special votes and exclude the overseas specials you’ve still got 70.0% turnout. You can only get down to 62.5% by only counting the election night votes which isn’t comparing like for like.

    The known special votes are 254630 according to this page and overseas specials estimated at about 38000.

    I’m pretty sure that I’m correctly understanding how special votes work here so I’m still thinking that turnout on a population basis went up.

    Edit: I think I've got your population figures all wrong so YMMV. I can't find your 2014 population figure and I'm typing this on my iPad so it's a bit too hard to fix it up. Maybe 70.7% as a rough estimate?

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to CJM,

    On top of this shit sandwich of a result….
    Went out this morning, pissed down with lashing rain soon as I closed the door. Liverpool lost 3 fucking 1 to West Ham.

    Things weren't all bad then! :-)

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    So that makes you a Winstonite, then?

    Never ... ever :-)

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

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    In any case it’s a slippery slope towards illiberal democracy/inverted totalitarianism.

    Arguably , it has been since the Greeks abandoned the practice of electing a government by random ballot of the citizenry - for one term only.

    The development of a political class , dedicated to retaining power, could only ever have the consequence that we witness. And there is no way back now.

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

  • Alfie, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Low voter turnout (apathy) is a very big worry in academic circles/literature that I've been associated with. Just goes to show how many adults of voting age are disenfranchised, and of course they are raising children who will be similarly disengaged and disenfranchised.

    The Online Voting Working Group released a report last month examining the feasibility of online voting and it's generally positive. Paul Matthews, CEO of the Institute of IT Professionals writes that he was initially skeptical but is now convinced that they can produce a workable system. They propose trialling the concept in the 2016 local body elections.

    NBR link

    I believe that online voting could massively increase voter turnout. After all, it's not really "turnout" if you can do it while you're sitting at home in your underpants.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Alfie,

    I understand that , in this election, ex-pats were able to do exactly that from the comfort of their beds.

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

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Farmer Green,

    I understand that , in this election, ex-pats were able to do exactly that from the comfort of their beds.

    Only those of us who'd been back to NZ in the last three years.

    I strongly dislike any suggestion of any kind of electronic voting, be it machines in the booths or online. Seems to me the more technology is involved the more ways there are to game the system. Online, especially. Good old fashioned pen and paper works.

    And talking about how some fancy-arse new technology is magically going to increase voter turnout is massively missing the point re: disengagement. My classrooms have computers, screens and projectors as well as blackboard and chalk, but using the fancy newfangled stuff instead of blackboard and chalk makes not one blind bit of difference to how many or which students pay attention, and talking to other teachers suggests it's not just me that notices this. Technology is just tools. It should be used where appropriate, and the right technologies used for the right jobs, but it ain't going to get those non-voters voting.

    The current pen-and-paper system of voting works. The system can be gamed, yes, all systems can, but the opportunities to game the system are limited. Putting voting online where anybody can hack at it? No way.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    As Hager quoted Slater (spit) – sturm udn drang like Dirty Politics depresses turnout and the right benefits.

    Seems to me the left needs:

    - an ongoing enrollment process for their potential voters, starting today
    - up the pressure on the dirty politics thing – nail the Nats as the weasily slime they are far out from the next election so that it is in effect over by the time the next election has come around

    Remember Nixon got reelected after Watergate, it was after that his world fell in

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

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