Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: How much speech does it take?

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  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    “what are our criteria, if any, for restricting speech?”

    Fear of association seems to be a common criteria..
    e.g.
    "I may secretly think what you say is fine but I fear others will be offended so I will side with the objectors for fear of association" so you stick with the rest of the flock.
    This can be a curse on intelligent discussion, even taking the position of "Devils Advocate" can find you treated as a pariah "The fact that you could even think that proves that..." and when the weight of public opinion gathers momentum then you become the enemy, never to be treated with respect again.
    There are things that were quite acceptable in the 50s that are frowned upon now and vice versa, I could give examples but then I may run afoul of those "Arbiters of Good Taste" amongst us and we wouldn't want that, would we?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    I'd note that the Human Rights Act is not the be-all and end-all in this matter either.

    In the example I made earlier about the Italian constitution, it must be noted that the that articles that protect against discrimination on racial and religious grounds do weigh implicitly on the one that ensures freedom of expression. But the framers said nothing about discrimination based on gender identity, and broadening the constitutional protections to those groups has been successfully stymied thus far. Which means amongst other things that nobody can bring to court Pope Benedict.

    (When the same issues came up with regard to the European Constitution, Italian philosopher and European parliamentarian Rocco Buttiglione argued that discriminating against gay people is a fundamental right.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Arbiters of Good Taste

    how do you get to be one of those?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    how do you get to be one of those?

    The position tends to be self appointed.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    I found this interesting. Even if you believe that these are accure statistics they make interesting reading when officially these two countries are at peace.
    US vs Pakistan.
    http://www.longwarjournal.org/pakistan-strikes.php
    I don't consider the Taliban as legit targets per se.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    * if we must simplify politics to geometry, I prefer the two dimensions of economic and social rather than the single Left vs Right.

    It is better, yes, but still flawed*. Economics is, of course, social.

    Relatedly, I never quite understood the “conscience vote”, which, if allowed, is usually “moral” in nature. As if lowering taxes on the rich (or not) isn’t a moral issue.

    * Edit: Not that it stopped me having a go…

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Rory MacKinnon discusses revisionist responses to Norway's political violence.

    The right’s dangerous new narrative tries to have it both ways: Breivik was a crazed man operating in a cultural vacuum — unlike Islamic extremists, who feed off a network of incendiary rhetoric and veiled threats by public figures which must be countered. Yet at the same time Breivik’s calculated acts are a warning, an appeal to hear Phillips’ “decent people who are boiling with rage at being disenfranchised by an entire political class which seems determined to destroy their civilisation.”

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    “decent people who are boiling with rage at being disenfranchised by an entire political class which seems determined to destroy their civilisation.”

    Boiling for as long as it takes to read the Sun?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Rocco Buttiglione

    This is a real name, eh? And people doubt there is a god :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    Rory MacKinnon discusses revisionist responses to Norway’s political violence.

    Let’s sum up the responses of the Teapartystan Knights Templar so far…

    - No True Scotsman (most common form of denial)
    - PC gone mad pushed Breivik over the edge (‘the Left had it coming’)
    - A Reichstag-burning plot by commies/jihadis (the ‘Alex Jones’/tinfoil hat response)
    - This would never have happened in Texas (’Gun control killed the Norwegian youths’)

    What Anders Breivik did pisses me off enough as it is. What pisses me off even more is the denial industry that has sprung up around him. How many Breiviks would it take to jolt the usual cunts out of their denialism?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Looking at Legislation we have "hate speech" defined as a form of disrimination under the Human Rights Act 1993, namely

    s61 - whioh makes it unlawful to publish or distribute what could be regarded as"hate speech" - "racial disharmony".

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0082/latest/DLM304652.html?search=ts_act_Human+Rights+Act+1993_resel&p=1

    &

    s131 - details the offences for which "racial disharmony" creates liability.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0082/latest/DLM305478.html?search=ts_act_Human+Rights+Act+1993_resel&p=1

    The liability in my mind should be limitless - in that it should be set by the courts.having regard to the impact or potential impact.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    “decent people who are boiling with rage at being disenfranchised by an entire political class which seems determined to destroy their civilisation.”

    So they seek to destry it themselves

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Credit Line tamers...

    So they seek to destroy it themselves

    twitch, I have to go all latin and ask cui bono?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    twitch, I have to go all latin and ask cui bono?

    Well, it certainly ain't Pro Bono

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    “decent people who are boiling with rage at being disenfranchised by an entire political class which seems determined to destroy their civilisation.”

    So they seek to destroy it themselves

    Quite. There's plenty to get angry about, and a lot of it relates to disenfranchisement. But the anger is being directed at the powerless, rather than the powerful. Who have benefitted enormously over the last few decades, and who continue to benefit very nicely indeed from deregulation, globalisation and low corporate taxes.

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

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich Lock,

    But the anger is being directed at the powerless, rather than the powerful. Who have benefitted enormously over the last few decades, and who continue to benefit very nicely indeed from deregulation, globalisation and low corporate taxes.

    Robert Reich, in his "Truth About the Economy" video, stated that the middle classes are so insecure about their position that they're too busy doing a Peoples' Front of Judea - "union vs non-union, public vs private, native-born vs immigrant" - than against those who drove down their salaries in the first place. Classic divide & rule.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    As George Carlin said some time during Bush senior's presidency, the function of the lower class is to scare the shit out of the middle class. And not just in the United States.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    You gotta be a really rich country to have a financial crisis.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to merc,

    You gotta be a really rich country to have a financial crisis.

    You could put that on the brick wall and it would look great. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russel Brown,

    But on Monday morning, I read out passages from the Kiwiblog thread to a distinctly “multicultural” group of university students and it didn’t seem so funny. I was ostensibly present to extoll the virtues of citizen media, but I felt obliged to point out that the great digital town square was also crowded with angry, paranoid racists. Even in New Zealand.

    I’ve received correspondence about this and I feel I ought to address it. With the benefit of hindsight I’m willing to acknowledge the validity of comparisons to the kind misfire only David Brent would attempt. I was obviously well outside my brief, the dramatization of excerpts from Kiwiblog being the biggest lapse in judgement on my part. As one critic suggested, “this information could probably have best been provided in the form of a URL, or at the very most a slide”, and no I wasn’t just killing time.

    In answer to those who accused me of “mansplaining to the converted” let’s be clear, my conclusion above is in no way intended to imply that any of the university students party to my presentation would be unaware of paranoid racism as it exists in New Zealand, either online or off.

    A Government subsidised lecture on the virtues of citizen media is not an appropriate time to be reading out excerpts of hate speech from marginalizing websites, I am concerned that my actions and some of my subsequent conclusions have been unduly influenced by my conflation of Anders Behring Breivik’s incendiary document and the atrocity he committed. For this I apologise.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I presume the above post is not actually by Russell Brown. Just noting for any overseas readers before it gets confirmed in the morning.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Woah. Hacked!

    Password changed.

    The sorry thing is, the person responsible could have said the same things as an actual commenter, but chose to do it the creepy way. Ugh. Not the best way to make a point, methinks.

    Update: Duh. Of course. Not hacked. Just some ninny using my Gravatar and a misspelled name.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The sorry thing is, the person responsible could have said the same things as an actual commenter, but chose to do it the creepy way. Ugh.

    {REDACTED - SEE RUSSELL'S REPLY BELOW}

    And folks wonder why I’ve got issues with anonymity on-line…

    ETA: Hey, ‘Russel’, why don’t you come here make your point under your real name and apologise to Russell and everyone else here at PAS for being a dick? You might not care, but I quite like PAS being a place where this kind of creepy nonsense doesn’t happen.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Still, nice to see university students (and I assume this person was in the room for your talk)

    No, I don't think so. It's just a drive-by by someone with a weak argument.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart,

    Indeed. One ell on ‘Russel’; wrong twitter handle. Cunning enough impostor to pass the initial sniff-test, but not much more. Might be worth matching the ip to previous activity.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 109 posts Report Reply

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