Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Swine flu, terror and Susan Boyle

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  • Brickley Paiste,

    I'm sure this fool will still be at it when I return.

    Oh dear. Play nice. No ad hominem arguments. Unless of course you were talking in a Mr T voice. He called lots of people fools and often extended them his pity. Were you doing that?

    Ditto. OTOH, calling the alleged shooter a murderer(as opposed to an alleged murderer) would be prejudging the outcome of the trial.

    So why would the same thing not apply to calling the act a murder before that has been decided? You're half right. Go the extra mile. It works both ways.

    I/S set-out in full the current definition of "terrorist act" which I won't repeat but will break down below.

    Under the previous definition, inserted by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Amendment Act 1977, and was in force force until 2002, it was defined thus:

    'Terrorism' means planning, threatening, using, or attempting to use violence to coerce, deter, or intimidate--

    (a) The lawful authority of the State in New Zealand; or

    (b) The community throughout New Zealand or in any area in New Zealand for the purpose of furthering any political aim.

    So, let us compare statutory provisions, as Leonard Cohen once wrote.

    The current provision defines a "terrorist act" (TA). An act is such an act if it falls into the subsection two buckets or breaks an international convention or falls within s4(1).

    Subsection 2 is a mouthful.

    An act is a TA if it is intended to cause in any country one of the things in subs 3 and is carried out to advance an ideological, political, or religious cause with the intention (a double intention now) to induce terror (terror isn't defined in the Act) or to to unduly compel or to force a government or an international organisation to do or abstain from doing any act.

    What of subs 3? Killing one person or more; serious risk to health and safety; messing up finances or environment if it will lead to death or serious risk to health and safety; messing with infrastructure if likely to endanger human life; releasing diseases if likely to devastate the national economy of the country.

    The best part is subs 5 which says that strikes and protests are not "by themselves" sufficient for falling under the definition unless it satisfies subs 2 and 3. (This really does allow an argument that a general strike would be a terrorist act since it would be an action to force a government to do something and it could threaten the safety of the population if it included essential services).

    And what of the old definition of terrorism?

    It was really simple -- it focused on using violence to coerce, deter or intimdate the lawful authority of the State or the community throughout New Zealand to further political aims.

    That is what terorrorism was until 7 years ago. Now it has no legal meaning. Instead, we have a rather baroque provision that includes a trojan horse against the trade unions.

    I/S, go look up the select committee minutes on why this was repealed. I reckon it would probably be pretty vague.

    Since Mar 2009 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    But now we know the creature's weakness: it has to sleep.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And feed on attention, precious regard..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    My 2 cents worth.
    Brickley Paiste is Robbery :)

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

  • Rich Lock,

    I get the impression that Mr Paiste is arguing in good faith, unlike Mr Dexter and Mr Jarvie.

    It's just that no-one gives a stuff about the semantics he wants to resolve. Russell's analogy of angels on the head of a pin was pretty spot-on - regardless of the answer, no-one cares and it isn't important.

    More damagingly, and regardless of good or bad faith, it does distract from a discussion of the more important issues.

    So can we all agree that a finalised, fully accurate textbook definition of 'murder' and 'terrorism' is not what we want to talk about, and move on to something else?

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

  • Steve Parks,

    Ditto. OTOH, calling the alleged shooter a murderer(as opposed to an alleged murderer) would be prejudging the outcome of the trial.


    So why would the same thing not apply to calling the act a murder before that has been decided?

    Because there's a difference between saying a particular individual is guilty of an act, and saying the act has occurred.

    (Sorry Rich, couldn't resist.)

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    I get the impression that Mr Paiste is arguing in good faith.

    Thanks. Indeed, I was.

    It's just that no-one gives a stuff about the semantics he wants to resolve.

    Yes, it would seem you are correct.

    Russell's analogy of angels on the head of a pin was pretty spot-on - regardless of the answer, no-one cares and it isn't important.

    Why, that makes it sound as if you care! Shall I re-hash my arguments for you? Well, let's see. First...

    So can we all agree that a finalised, fully accurate textbook definition of 'murder' and 'terrorism' is not what we want to talk about, and move on to something else?

    I suppose. I'll take the matter up again with that rather stony faced chap who dresses up as a pilot and stands in front of the Flight Centre. He's always willing to listen.

    Since Mar 2009 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Because there's a difference between saying a particular individual is guilty of an act, and saying the act has occurred.

    Steve nailed it. Are we done with this already?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Knowledge Bro,

    Pulls on tinfoil hat.
    Evidence suggests that Ms Bribiesca has put 2 and 2 together and come up with the square root of 16, the following are all facts.

    Robbery is a Bass player. bass players are part of a rhythm section which includes drummers. Drummers use cymbals, Paiste makes cymbals.
    Not enough?
    Ok .
    Rob is robbery's real name, Bob is short for Rob which is short for Robert. Bob Roberts is the name of a film in which a character called Brickley Paiste, a democratic senator played by Gore Vidal.
    QED, init?

    Behind the fridge • Since Mar 2009 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    QED, init?

    Except for the syntax.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Pulls on tinfoil hat.

    don't be such a cock,
    if you guys are so insecure in your beliefs that you need to shout down or ban arguments that differ from yours then bring it out in the open and do it. be proud of it, call it private address if that's what you want it to be. don't pretend to be a public forum if in reality you're really only looking to have a chit chat amongst people who agree.

    Brickley has a point and it's one of a trend to use hyperbole and generalisation to describe situations.
    if you want to be intellectuals then you're going to have to get your terms correct however inconvenient it might be.

    While I disagree with grants position he was objecting to people lumping his grandma who disagrees with abortion in with the twat who shot and killed the guy yesterday. It may not be a distinction you care to make through laziness or disinterest but its the kind of distinction you're be only to happy to have made when you get lumped in with people you don't agree with.

    on that note don't lump me in with people who's views have nothing to do with mine. ie don't drag me into it.

    sofie - got to say, I expect more of you, some others not so much, but you,...

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Brickley has a point and it's one of a trend to use hyperbole and generalisation to describe situations.
    if you want to be intellectuals then you're going to have to get your terms correct however inconvenient it might be.

    Sigh ... Brickley's argument was fairly tendentious, but I think he has been arguing in good faith. But other people do have the right to take issue with him.

    While I disagree with grants position he was objecting to people lumping his grandma who disagrees with abortion in with the twat who shot and killed the guy yesterday.

    And as everyone but he and you seems to grasp, no one was saying that. He was quite clearly behaving as a troll.

    I'm not going to bother restating all the specific evidence offered about anti-abortion violence in the US over the past quarter of a century. You won't acknowledge it anyway.

    sofie - got to say, I expect more of you, some others not so much, but you,...

    Did you just drop by to offer patronising observations on a debate to which you have offered nothing yourself?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And you, scarecrow, I think I'll miss you most of all.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    While I disagree with grants position he was objecting to people lumping his grandma who disagrees with abortion in with the twat who shot and killed the guy yesterday. It may not be a distinction you care to make through laziness or disinterest but its the kind of distinction you're be only to happy to have made when you get lumped in with people you don't agree with.

    As was said to Grant several times above, nobody actually did lump all prolifers/antiabortionists in with yesterday's killer . You're a stalwart defender of unpopular views here, and I genuinely think that's a Good Thing, but I'm just not sure why you need to lend moral support to Grant in his complaints about alleged 'lumping' which as far as I can tell never took place.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    And you, scarecrow, I think I'll miss you most of all.

    And the murder was in Kansas! Oh, it's all too, too apposite.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    but I'm just not sure why you need to lend moral support to Grant

    Read my post, i'm not. I said that.
    I read grants posts as making clear that there was a difference, as him distancing himself from the people who do these shit things.
    I don't have to read any aspect of pro life pro choice into it.
    I think its fair he make the distinction painfully clear. I don't happen to agree with his position on the overall argument as I pointed out with the line

    While I disagree with grants position

    I don't feel threatened by it either. He has the right to disagree with me, and me with him. apparently on here he doesn't have the right to disagree with some.

    Did you just drop by to offer patronising observations on a debate to which you have offered nothing yourself?

    read my post, don't drag me into it.
    I'm not really wanting to contribute to this debate, again, don't drag me into it, and by extension don't try to devalue my arguments in other threads by associating me with people I have absolutely no alliance with. Like Grant doesn't want to be seen as a terrorist, I don't want to be associated with him. fair point? I find it offensive.

    And as everyone but he and you seems to grasp, no one was saying that.

    it wasn't necessarily his point. not that I want to defend his position at all, just his right to have one.

    He was quite clearly behaving as a troll.

    itchy trigger finger.
    I think he was quite clearly behaving as a newbie, he had a point but didn't know how to make it. you see it differently,

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    itchy trigger finger.

    Hardly.

    I think he was quite clearly behaving as a newbie, he had a point but didn't know how to make it. you see it differently,

    Grant wasn't a newbie. He'd made more than 250 posts (as you should have been able to see before making that claim), and I've previously let go comments that were very offensive. But what he was doing was classic troll behaviour, as Rich and others pointed out.

    Now that you've made this thread a discussion about yourself, ignored what others say, sneered at the forum itself and attempted to set people against each other, perhaps you could consider that your work is done here and either go away or stay and discuss the topic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Man, when the going gets weird...

    My point wasn't in the least bit tenuous, Russell. It was really simple and I find it unfortunate that an accomplished journalist such as yourself fails to see the ethical issue staring you in the face.

    Point the first:

    It all depends on whether we are using murder in the colloquial or legal sense. However, since murder is defined as the intentional and unlawful killing of one person by another - and since nothing is considered unlawful until a jury says so or someone pleads guilty - I am more correct. Best way to talk about it would be to call it a "killing" or say that the accused has been "charged with murder".

    However, I realise that journos are not lawyers, and the use of the term murder would be colloquially acceptable but I would have thought journalists, being wordsmiths, would avoid loose language, especially when discussing things legal.

    I guess I'm wrong. Chalk one up for the Talkbackification of all things journalistic.

    Point the second:

    Terrorism has no positive definition in NZ. It used to. Now we have a definition of "terrorist act" that is insanely complicated. Terrorism is a term popularised by American fascists. Therefore, I don't use it. End of point.

    That's all I've been saying.

    Point the third (new!):

    I do find it fascinating on how hard the other bloggers -- Paul, I/S -- have circled the wagons when I made a critical evaluation of Russell's post.

    I read every post at Hard News and would be seriously less informed if I didn't. But it does seem that the chat rooms, or at the very least this thread, are more of a Gen X love-in than a forum for honest debate. That's too bad. I would have thought we could avoid the maudlin and really focus on nutting out issues, especially those that have arisen out of a post.

    Since Mar 2009 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    but I'm just not sure why you need to lend moral support to Grant

    Read my post, i'm not. I said that.

    For Gawd's sake. I meant support for his claim that all pro-lifers were being painted with the same brush, not support for his personal moral stance on abortion.

    Did I phrase it that badly?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Did I phrase it that badly?

    yes, and its a distinction you'll have to make very clear,

    but you can't tell me there is absolutely no element of point scoring against the opposing side on the abortion issue when one of em acts like a evangelical mad man. Grant appears to be sensitive to that and I can understand that, if not his position on the overall issue.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I guess I'm wrong. Chalk one up for the Talkbackification of all things journalistic.

    Oh come on . Actual working lawyers have responded to your point in this thread. You've simply ignored them.

    I don't expect you to change your view on it, but I'd also be grateful if you weren't to sulk because other people disagree with you.

    I would have thought we could avoid the maudlin and really focus on nutting out issues, especially those that have arisen out of a post.

    But you don't seem to be discussing the issues. You seem more determined to have a debate about the meaning of "is".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Terrorism is a term popularised by American fascists. Therefore, I don't use it. End of point.

    But ... but ... but ... you've just spent pages and pages not only using it but demanding that everyone accept your point about how important its proper definition in law is. WTF?

    I'm honestly not trying to have a go at you, and I'll let your unwarranted snark about the forum pass. I just genuinely don't get it.

    Perhaps we could let this go now, because it really is pointless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    a Gen X love-in

    Dude, we're waaayyy too apathetic for that sort of carry-on.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

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