Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Footnotes

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  • mark taslov,

    Seriously? That's your argument? A Communist Dictatorship is better than any form of Democracy? A new stadium outweighs my freedom to say whatever the fuck I like about the government, as loudly as I care to, to whoever I choose? Srsly?

    I'll keep it simple Rich. I never mentioned any dictatorship, Vietnam (the example I gave you to work with) is not a dictatorship. It's a one party system. You can contend the democratic system is better than the one party system vice versa. Ultimately Churchill's quote will be supported by those favoring the democracy and negated by those who don't. You seem to want to prove that the greatest success of non democracy is worse than the greatest miscarriage of democracy. I assert that's not case.

    in South Africa we saw democracy at it's worst.
    I contend that the current situation in Vietnam is now better than the situation we saw in Apartheid South Africa,

    If democracy in all its permutations had never been worse than all other forms of government then I would agree with Mr Churchill. But From time to time we have seen democracy drag our world to deep deep lows, As we did following the German election of March 1933.

    I can't work out what you hate about China or the Chinese or why you keep mentioning it and attacking the place, The only time I've referred to it today was jestfully in reply to scottY's post, it's not really part of the discussion.

    I also suggest you deselect the ad terrānum feature of your word processor.

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

  • Keir Leslie,

    Mainly its about how and when compromise is achieved. While consensus democracy (CD) and representative democracy (RD) are both able to accommodate compromise, CD seeks it in the first instance, whereas RD seeks it as a last resort.

    Um, I might be wrong, but aren't you confusing the way you choose the decision making body & how the decision making body works?

    (And I think the CD love in is misplaced. But.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Mark, if you're referring to me, I've never used that expression. For the record, it strikes me as a bit dickish.

    Sincerely sorry Joe, It was a misquote (for the second time) of a damn find shaddup.

    for Rich;

    If a man take no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.

    Confucius

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

  • mark taslov,

    Personally from that wikipedia link on the previous page I'd favour something along the lines of the German/Greek/recently introduced Japanese method with judges and laymen together as a feasible alternative.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_trial

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

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I've been thinking about Big Wednesday some more. People say they bought tickets because of the lure of the big prize. $35 million is a lot of money and winning it would totally change your life. But so would $25 million. So would $15 million.

    So would $500,000.

    Anecdotally, I've heard people say why they need a big cash windfall. It's never anything like "Because all my life I've wanted a giant swimming pool full of money and a bling-encrusted goblet."

    No, it's really simple stuff like, "Since we had kids we haven't bought any new DVDs," or "I have to work in a different city to my husband, so I'd like to not have to do that" or "I'd like to visit my sister and her kids in England."

    But problems like that aren't impossible to fix and don't cost $35 million to overcome.

    I guess what the lure of winning Big Wednesday is giving you isn't money but time. You don't have to spend your days working for someone else, saving up for the things that are important to you. You can have it all right now.

    But once you've got all that time, then what?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    But once you've got all that time, then what?

    Ask Gareth Morgan. Personally, I don't like motorbikes, but there are endless varations on a theme.

    I laughed that the mother in this instance is buying a new ambulance for the town, since she hashad to use the service in the past & their existing ones are "dungers".

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I enjoyed the exchange of comments with the mayor, clearly both good sports. A really nice story.

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

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Re the debate about democracy and representation, the following quote from this week's Word Magazine newsletter:

    QUOTE: "It is enough that the people know
    there was an election. The people
    who cast the votes decide nothing.
    The people who count the votes
    decide everything."
    ~ Joseph Stalin

    Shades of Zimbabwe and Iran?

    A good Media 7 last night but John Tamahere was a right nong!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I also suggest you deselect the ad terrānum feature of your word processor.

    It would help if Microsoft didn't keep putting it in a different place with every new release of Word. That drives me nuts, you smelly bastard.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kate R,

    We could fund, for example, the independent journalism venture we have talked about in the past.

    Off topic but this thread seems all over the place as it is, have you seen this?

    Swinburne University's Institute for Social Research has established a Not for Profit foundation to help develop new ways to fund and support journalism following a trend that has already found traction in the US.

    The Foundation for Public Interest Journalism will support investigative, interactive journalism while exploring ways of making good journalism sustainable in the new media age.

    Dr Margaret Simons, a journalist, author and lecturer at Swinburne, says the foundation was being developed because of concerns about the impact of the global collapse of the business models supporting traditional media forms.

    Dr Simons says this is a serious threat to journalism, and therefore to the health of our society.

    Bringing together journalists, publishers, academics and community representatives, the foundation will develop and test new business models for the industry.

    http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/detail.chtml?filename_num=283765

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Big Wednesday...
    Cowabunga - Surfs up! - Yes, the great surf movie from 1978 - that one made sense...
    (what did happen to Jan-Michael Vincent anyway?)

    Serfs up! - the LOTTO version makes no sense to me, I watched the queues at the supermarket the other day - money is a drug!

    Why couldn't the LOTTO powers-that-be either have made it 35 prizes of a million dollars each
    or a pot of say $10 million for the big prize
    and spread the rest proportionally over the lower prizes for a change - that would've given everyone a bigger bite of the apple - otherwise it's just robbery by manipulation... (naif that I am...)
    and I would've thought the goodwill gesture would've been worth a 100 glitzy ads...

    maybe the theme song should be:
    We gotta get out of this place....

    - Friday Juke Box starts here : )

    yrs
    Eric & the Boys
    Beats of Burdon

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Mark, I suspect the gulf between us on this matter is utterly unbridgeable, and so, in a gentlemanly fashion, we should agree to disagree.

    You, in all apparent seriousness, appear to have put forward the proposition that it is acceptable to give up fundamental democratic freedoms, in order to stimulate a national economy.

    I find this idea so utterly, ridiculously preposterous that I am having the greatest difficulty understanding that yes, you are serious.

    Never, ever, not even for one nanosecond, would I consider that a good idea. For me, and I suspect the majority of people on this site, that idea is anathema.

    You can't seem to even begin to understand why (in the same way as I can't begin to understand why you would suggest it) which is why I think the gulf of understanding between us is unbridgeable.

    So this is where I'll leave this particular argument.

    I would however like to clear up a small misunderstanding.

    You have said that I 'hate the Chinese'.

    No.

    I hate the ruling Communist party of China. There is a difference - a big difference - between a people and those who rule them. I am quite able to make that distinction.

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

  • Brent Jackson,

    My, albeit limited, understanding is that prizes (apart from the jackpotted 1st division) will tend to be smaller when more people buy tickets. My reasoning is thus :
    - more people buy tickets => larger pool
    - only x% of the pool is returned (where x is 40 or 60 or similar)
    - the number of winners at each level is proportional to the number of people buying tickets
    - therefore, each winner is likely to get a smaller pay out (eg 60% larger pool spread over twice as many tickets).

    I agree that the jackpot limit is way too large. I reckon $5m is about right.

    Cheers,
    Brent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    in South Africa we saw democracy at it's worst.

    I really do despair.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Re the supposed obscenity of the Big Wednesday prize, this is what it is meant to be.

    Your standard saturday lotto is there to represent a 'reasonable' spread of the income generated from the tickets (minus operating costs, grants, etc) across a number of prizes, but the Big Wednesday is, as its name suggests, the 'big one' where a much greater proportion of the pool is available to a single level of winning.

    And as for the 'stupidity' of those buying tickets - they are investing in a few days (hours, in some cases) of hope - a commodity recently a bit thin on the ground in Aotearoa for a large proportion of the peeps.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Act MP has to apologise for his apology. I'm very entertained by his dickishness.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Act MP has to apologise for his apology. I'm very entertained by his dickishness.

    In theory it could go on forever. "I didn't mean Tongan law firms. I meant Samoan law firms." Ad libitum.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Act MP has to apologise for his apology.

    So there's nothing left to blame but those two (approx.) years on a Louisiana oil rig. Or, according to Garrett's Wikipedia entry, time spent in the Socialist Unity Party. Or even as a Labour Party activist.

    Expect Garrett to pull the Manchurian Candidate defence real soon now - "I was brainwashed in a hardline Trotskyite sexist cell, where elaborate Marxist metaphors of worker oppression and oral sex were all the go."

    Damn commies.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    In theory it could go on forever. "I didn't mean Tongan law firms. I meant Samoan law firms." Ad libitum.

    "Act MP working on offending everyone in universe before next election".

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Stephen Colbert had a routine where he offended this particular town (can't remember what it was called, let's say Springfield) and then the town would get up in arms, and he'd say oh, but I didn't mean Spriengfield in Kansas, I meant Springfield in Texas, that's the world cesspool, and then the Springfieldians of Texas would get on his case, and he'd move to another state and so forth. Kept him going for a while, I think in the end he reverted to the original site.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Well who knows Rich, as Winston Churchill said to Leo Amery, Secretary of State for India.

    * hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.

    attributed to Churchill as a remark, in an entry for September 1942 in Leo Amery : Diaries (1988), edited John Barnes and David Nicholson, p. 832

    Coupled with the fact in my initial post I clearly said

    Democracy is not the worst form of government compared to Nazism and there are better, lest we forget the tribesman of the Kalahari presented in the Gods must be Crazy

    I can't for the life of me figure out why you then continued asking me for examples. Is it that you don't like the Kalahari bushmen? You don't see them as developed enough for their Consensus system to be described as a form of government? It's too primitive for you?

    Traditionally the San were an egalitarian society.[14] Although they did have hereditary chiefs, the chiefs' authority was limited and the bushmen instead made decisions among themselves, by consensus, [15] and the status of women was relatively equal[1

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalahari_bushmen

    I can't for the life of me see how that is any worse than democracy.

    But that example just flew over your head Rich Lock.

    how about constitutional monarchy of Monaco or perhaps the absolute elective monarchy of The Vatican housing the Holy See, the oldest active continuous diplomatic service in the world, dating back to at least AD 325.

    Has democracy never been worse than any of these systems? Isn't it simply the case that it's not the system but those who maintain the system that decide if it is better or worse. Isn't this just a glorified Mac/PC (each to their own) debate and I'm saying they all have their moments and your maintaining that PC is best by attacking the Chinese communist party because you hate them.

    I hate the ruling Communist party of China. There is a difference - a big difference - between a people and those who rule them. I am quite able to make that distinction.

    Isn't this human capacity to hate the unknown precisely the biggest weakness in and yet the crucial pivot of democracy? Was Hitler's election a high point in our collective history? Would the antisemitism of the Nazi's have survived in a consensus system? Or was the mandate provided by democracy the catalyst for what followed? Would the same path have been traveled had Germany retained it's monarchy?

    a big difference - between a people and those who rule them. I am quite able to make that distinction.

    Strangely, what? Maybe you should write to President Hu's wife and tell her the differences between her and her husband are insurmountable. Essentially Rich you sound like you have led a privileged life. You have never known the darkness that haunts the nether regions of our own democracy. I guess perhaps you have never been unemployed and starving in New Zealand and had to resort to visiting the food bank for a four day ration of stale weetbix. or anything like that, so you consider your "freedom to say whatever the fuck I like about the government, as loudly as I care to, to whoever I choose" an essential measure of the value of your government. You seem to neglect to consider that this is a luxury of the privileged classes, and furthermore that there are as I write New Zealand citizens without homes, without food, for whom saying whatever the fuck they like wherever they like to whoever they like will earn them a night in the cells. I don't judge a system by it's greatest attribute but by its weakest link.

    you smelly bastard.

    What's with the abuse Giovanni?

    in South Africa we saw democracy at it's worst.

    Kyle

    I really do despair.

    In 1948, the National Party was elected to power. It intensified the implementation of racial segregation begun under Dutch and British colonial rule, and subsequent South African governments since the Union was formed. The Nationalist Government systematised existing segregationist laws, classifying all peoples into three races, developing rights and limitations for each, such as pass laws and residential restrictions. The white minority controlled the vastly larger black majority. The system of segregation became known collectively as apartheid.

    and that's better that the consensus system of the Kalahri bushmen?

    bullshit.












    o In conversation to Leo Amery, Secretary of State for India. This quotation is widely cited as written in "a letter to Leo Amery" (e.g. "Jolly Good Fellows and Their Nasty Ways" by Vinay Lal in Times of India (15 January 2007)) but it is actually attributed to Churchill as a remark, in an entry for September 1942 in Leo Amery : Diaries (1988), edited John Barnes and David Nicholson, p. 832:

    During my talk with Winston he burst out with: "I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion."


    Never, ever, not even for one nanosecond, would I consider that a good idea. For me, and I suspect the majority of people on this site, that idea is anathema.

    You can't seem to even begin to understand why (in the same way as I can't begin to understand why you would suggest it) which is why I think the gulf of understanding between us is unbridgeable.

    So this is where I'll leave this particular argument.

    I would however like to clear up a small misunderstanding.

    You have said that I 'hate the Chinese'.

    No.

    I hate the ruling Communist party of China. There is a difference - a big difference - between a people and those who rule them. I am quite able to make that distinction.

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

  • giovanni tiso,

    What's with the abuse Giovanni?

    It was a joke, you know, the ad hominem thing.

    I think you guys are having a very interesting discussion, do carry on.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    sorry, that whole portion under 'bullshit' is was not supposed to be included in the post. If any moderator could delete it, I'd be much obliged.

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

  • mark taslov,

    ok, RIP Michael Jackson.

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

  • Rich Lock,

    Like I said Mark, I'm over it and in my opinon we should politely agree to disagree.

    But I'm quite happy for you to keep posting. Please expose as many people as possible to what you really think.

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

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