Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Random

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  • Neil Morrison,

    Obama's a smoker too?

    yes, but don't say his trying to quit could be an advantage with young voters who might find something they can identify with. If you do then that's a Clinton smear campaign. Honestly, i'm not making it up , that's what some people are trying to argue.

    And don't say that his background could be an advantage in foreign affairs. He can say that, and does, but no one esle can since it's really a Clinton smear.

    and that's just some of the nonesense from the left part of the political spectrum.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Random Blogs eh? How about Chase me, ladies, I'm in the cavalry the comments are pricless.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    the comments are pricless.

    Fnaa Fnaa my keyboard's at it again prickless tee hee.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Re Amy Winehouse: I was at a party in London last week standing in a group where two people were comparing stories about how the deelightful Miss W had turned up trashed at their respective parties and vomited all over the place. A mixed blessing clearly, on the one hand you get a good (but increasingly common) celebrity story, on the other hand you've got to clean up some chick's puke.

    Girl can sing though.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    As I said on another thread, people respond to Obama because they believe he can change the game, while Clinton is the status quo.

    There's also a school of thought that holds that the more people see of Obama the more they like him -- and the more they see of Hilary, well ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It's just not good enough to position yourself as the only person who can stand up against the Republican smear machine, and then have your own campaign workers caught taking a leaf out of the Rove play book. It just lays you open to questions about whether you can run a country when you can't even keep your primary workers in line. At worse, you're raising the perception that you're a hypocrite who doesn't even have the guts to sling your own dirt, but will tacitly condone expendable proxies doing it instead.

    Yes true. But a year ago Hilary's organisation probably consisted of a dozen staff. Now it probably consists of hundreds, with thousands more volunteers, and if she wins the nomination then staff is going to be thousands, and volunteers is probably going to make... I dunno. six figures?

    That sort of quick growth when she's not actually running the campaign - there'll be a campaign manager somewhere who actually employs these people. Just feels like she can't always be responsible for what one flunky that she's possibly never met did in forwarding an email, and her response - kicking them out of her organisation - is the appropriate response. If bosses were held completely accountable for every screwup that happens below them, then no one is going to last long as a boss, particularly in politics.

    Of course, if she's encouraging that sort of dirt slinging, then as you note, it should stick all over her. And it wouldn't surprise me if she has, her campaign against Obama certainly seems to be trying to fling as much mud as possible

    But I'm with you on Obama/Clinton. My wish is that politicians inspire me, primarily from the left, but I'd appreciate the right doing it as well on occasion, which doesn't happen very often, certainly not in America. I haven't seen much of him, but the little I have he's heading that way.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    It's just not good enough to position yourself as the only person who can stand up against the Republican smear machine, and then have your own campaign workers caught taking a leaf out of the Rove play book.

    When my parents were last in the US, they were told by religious conservatives of their acquaintance that Bill Clinton had arranged for large numbers of people to be killed to cover up Whitewater, that Hillary was an evil and power mad lesbian, et cetera. When I subsequently read Blumenthal's The Clinton Wars, I was surprised to learn that those rumours were being spread by people who were working with the Republican establishment and conservative media to remove Clinton from office (a very public campaign, which as you may recall, was defeated in the Senate in the face of mounting public disapproval). This was termed "the vast right-wing conspiracy".

    So is it really accurate to suggest that Hillary Clinton is borrowing plays from the party of the Southern Strategy (and the people responsible for what Bush did to John McCain in 2000, SBVFT, Al Gore is insane, and Obama is a Muslim)? I would suggest that this is a false equivalence.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    __As I said on another thread, people respond to Obama because they believe he can change the game, while Clinton is the status quo.__


    There's also a school of thought that holds that the more people see of Obama the more they like him -- and the more they see of Hilary, well ...

    apart from image would there be any great difference between Clinton, Obama and Edwards?

    That school of thought might not be terribly in touch with the US electorate. According to Rasmussen Clinton started the year on 22% and is at present on 38%. For Obama that's 21% and 27%.

    Angus Reid publish a range of polls with much the same picture.

    Support for both candidates fluctuates and the early primaries are a bit of a mystery but more Dem voters perfer HRC.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    If Obama is a smoker, this surely will be great for our FTA with the US as him and the appropriately named Winston will be able to make major advances while hanging out outside the back door of the White House.

    Helen may not approve though...

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    WH:

    With all due disrespect to Sydney Blumenthal, I read The Clinton Wars with the same extreme skepticism that I' applied to Alistair Campbell's diaries. The self-justification of courtiers is a literary genre with a long pedigree, but usually more enjoyable as fiction than history.
    And that's really unfair to any half-way competent novelist, who can keep the internal contradictions and implausible characterisation in their narratives to a minimum.

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

  • WH,

    I would accept that the book is not perfect. Whatever his shortcomings as a writer may be, Blumenthal was there, and you and I were not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Burton#Vincent_Foster

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Whatever his shortcomings as a writer may be, Blumenthal was there, and you and I were not.

    When the book is laced with incredibly detailed accounts of conversations that he wasn't privy to unless one of the parties was wearing a wire, I'll take that with the proverbial seasoning. I've got John Campbell's excellent two volume biography of Margaret Thatcher, and with all due respect to the lady herself I find it a little more plausible in many respects that her own memoirs. Sometimes, its better to put your trust in people who aren't there, and aren't quite so heavily invested in a putting a favorable spin on things.

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

  • Ben Austin,

    I've met a few Americans who believe the Foster theories, although admittedly in political situations, so I don't know indicative they are of the general American population.

    Personally I am more interested in watching the Ron Paul candidacy, now those guys really are adding something new (if kind of scary and weird) to the primary season. There is a vicious little internet war going on between his supporters and opponents, which occassionally produces amusing pictures like this.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    sometimes its better to put your trust in people who aren't there [to witness the events]

    Well I can't argue with that logic. Perhaps Sensing Murder could do a Clinton Impeachment edition :) It is a fascinating show.

    the one hand you get a good (but increasingly common) celebrity story, on the other hand you've got to clean up some chick's puke. irl can sing though

    I need to get some better work stories.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    WH:

    Well when I assess who bears the closest resemblance to a a fake psychic out of John Campbell and Sidney Blumenthal... well, I'll pick the hack courtier over the well-respected biographer every time.

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

  • Neil Morrison,

    ...the Ron Paul candidacy, now those guys really are adding something new (if kind of scary and weird)

    Ron Paul makes Huckabee look, if not sane, then understandable.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Well I can't argue with that logic. Perhaps Sensing Murder could do a Clinton Impeachment edition :) It is a fascinating show.

    Heh. I watched one a couple of weeks ago because of a family connection. Apparently the police officer who is in charge of the case now made two comments. 1. How the hell did they figure all that out without being told? 2. The information that was provided was next to useless for the police. They got given a name, but no judge is going to give a search warrant based on a name given by a psychic, so unless the offender watches the show and decides to give themselves up...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    How the hell did they figure all that out without being told?

    One very obvious answer is that they WERE told. Or that there were multiple takes, and all the takes with bad guesses were left on the floor. Or that many of the participants are actors working to a script.

    What is more likely - that this is entertaining bullshit, or that it is true?

    It amazes me that people watch shows with psychics and believe the premise that the psychic is working cold.

    There are plenty of accounts of so-called psychics being caught with accomplices passing information or using plants.

    This show makes me very angry, actually. It's a fraud on the public, promoting superstition, and a nuisance to the justice system.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    How the hell did they figure all that out without being told?

    At the beginning of every episode of Sensing Murder, they say that during the psychic sessions, only correct information is confirmed to the psychic by the production crew, which suggets it could go like this:

    Psychic: I'm sensing a woman. Is it a woman?
    Crew: ...
    P: Oh, it's a man's mother telling me about her son. It's a man.
    C: Yes!
    P: Is his name Andrew?
    C: ...
    P: Is his name Barry?
    C: ...
    P: Is his name Craig?
    C: ...
    P: Is his name Dave?
    C: Yes!
    P: Mm, his mother is saying, "My boy Davey, he was murdered!!!"

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    It amazes me that people watch shows with psychics and believe the premise that the psychic is working cold.

    Yeah, like, if they can somehow divine where a person was killed - as they've claimed to do in both the episodes I've seen - then how come they don't ever make thwemselves useful by finding the body of someone who is still missing, huh?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    One very obvious answer is that they WERE told. Or that there were multiple takes, and all the takes with bad guesses were left on the floor. Or that many of the participants are actors working to a script.

    Those are the obvious answers. Assuming it's not a complete fraud, and the psychics aren't 1. told, or 2. actors (I suspect that would get out if it were, but who knows) or 3. already knew about the case, then the editing would be the primary factor in moving it from how it was filmed to how it appeared on tv.

    But editing can't cover everything - my father didn't have an explanation as to how the psychic was able to point to the place that the victim lived on a map, and referred to it by the name that the victim would have used, not the name that an adult would have used, first time. That was just weird, and he's not exactly lining up to get his palm read. He was interviewed on camera for the show, and while he wasn't involved with the psychics at all, he didn't get any impression that the show was a complete crock of shit, or he wouldn't have agreed to do it. 35 years in the police force and CEO of a large organisation, he's got a fairly strong bullshit detector and doesn't put his face on TV for larks.

    I don't believe in psychics, and I certainly don't believe in edited TV shows getting family's hopes up with information that's no good for the police. The mother in this case was angry with the police for not following it up, and the show didn't provide the police's valid reasoning for not doing so.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    This show makes me very angry, actually. It's a fraud on the public, promoting superstition, and a nuisance to the justice system.

    Well, this sound strange from a Catholic - which would pretty strongly imply a belief in the supernatural - it makes me very angry too. Because it's bloody cruel. I cant even begin to imagine not only having a loved one killed, but not even having the closure the perpetrator caught, tried and convicted. I'd probably grasp at anything, even a sideshow flim-flam artist - and the producers of this thing must know it. At least with most ghastly reality shows, the participants know what they're walking into, and if they want to degrade and humiliate themselves for (dubious) fame and fortune... So be it. But exploiting people's pain and horror like this. Ugh.

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

  • Stephen Judd,

    Kyle, I don't think it's a safe assumption that it's not a complete fraud. That is how psychics work.

    For example, some psychics have stooges in the waiting room outside theatre auditoriums who report back with overheard conversation. Some use listening devices.

    Even without that sort of deception, maybe some researcher did background work on the family.

    It's not surprising that they seemed legit, even to your dad - maintaining that appearance is their business.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    As Robyn pointed out, it's difficult to assess what is really happening without seeing the exchanges between psychic and crew.

    No doubt alternative explanations can be put forward, but it is interesting when the psychics put forward explanations that depart from the police's version of events (ie, that could not have been transmitted via the police file-interviewer-psychic mechanism), or when they apparently recite facts the police say have not been revealed to the public. And names of suspects makes for such great television.

    Unless it can be disproved it can't be discounted. People do tell some interesting stories about these sorts of things that I would be reluctant to chalk up to simple gullibility.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    "Unless it can be disproved it can't be discounted."

    That's a recipe for gullibility. I would rather discount things that can't be proved.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

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