Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Te Qaeda and the God Squad

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  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Remembers last time being called a conspiracist here re. EB's and Brash, wonders why bothers to ask genuine question at all

    Didn't all that happen about eighteen months before Public Address enabled comments?

    It's striking how similar the rhetoric employed by guys like James George and the various left-activists who've popped out of the woodwork over the last few days is to that of the various right-wing nutters dotted around New Zealands blogo-sphere - the absolute contempt for anyone that doesn't buy into their fragmented and delusional worldviews is identical.

    It must be very exhausting being the only one who knows the truth alone in a world filled with deluded sheep.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Didn't all that happen about eighteen months before Public Address enabled comments?

    Nope, but don't let that stop you from forming a few theories of your own.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    I think James has a pont here. That it is not conspiracy per se but acquiescence from an environment of fear.

    "The architects of amerika's Patriot Act set the method of play on this. They knew that all they had to do was keep the draft Act up to date and eventually they would run into the ideal circumstance which would cause the normally libertarian amerikan public to drop their guard."

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    It's striking how similar the rhetoric employed by guys like James George and the various left-activists who've popped out of the woodwork over the last few days is to that of the various right-wing nutters dotted around New Zealands blogo-sphere - the absolute contempt for anyone that doesn't buy into their fragmented and delusional worldviews is identical.

    I think it's popularly referred to as "being a bit of a prat", and it knows no political boundaries. What amazes me is how identical the activist anti-capitalist left is to the activist libertarian right about 90% of the time. They both seem to think that somehow conforming to their idea of ideological purity will magically fix all the woes of the world, and all of their discussions assume this conclusion as a premise for further argument. It's virtually impossible to actually have a conversation with them, because the minute you question this rather massive unsupported conclusion you're immediately labeled as a collaborator in some kind of vast left-slash-right-wing conspiracy that wants to enslave the world in its fascist grip.

    What I don't get is the seemingly irresistible urge these people have to misspell every word they dislike, and preferably with a "K" if one can possibly be fitted in somewhere. It's like they're working from the same corporate writing style guide...

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Read this recently in a different context, but it's somewhat apropos:

    You may demonstrate to a convinced syndicalist, believing in an ethic of ultimate ends, that his action will result in increasing the opportunities of reaction, in increasing the oppression of his class, and obstructing its ascent--and you will not make the slightest impression upon him. If an action of good intent leads to bad results, then, in the actor's eyes, not he but the world, or the stupidity of other men, or God's will who made them thus, is responsible for the evil. However a man who believes in an ethic of responsibility takes account of precisely the average deficiencies of people; as Fichte has correctly said, he does not even have the right to presuppose their goodness and perfection. He does not feel in a position to burden others with the results of his own actions so far as he was able to foresee them; he will say: these results are ascribed to my action. The believer in an ethic of ultimate ends feels 'responsible' only for seeing to it that the flame of pure intentions is not quenched: for example, the flame of protesting against the injustice of the social order. To rekindle the flame ever anew is the purpose of his quite irrational deeds, judged in view of their possible success. They are acts that can and shall have only exemplary value.

    Max Weber, Politics as a vocation

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Didn't all that happen about eighteen months before Public Address enabled comments?

    Nope, but don't let that stop you from forming a few theories of your own.

    This irritated me enough to take a look back through PA System - which proved to have kicked off in November 06 some fourteen months after the Exclusive Brethren story broke. The threads about 'The Hollow Men' appear to be blissfully free of merc drivel.

    I'm sure whatever imaginary arguments you made were very convincing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The threads about 'The Hollow Men' appear to be blissfully free of merc drivel.

    I think you're confusing me with someone who cares.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • nanoplanet,

    I like merc's comments.

    Here • Since Apr 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Thanks nanoplanet but I think you'll that Danyl's are more robust, well considered, researched and far less drivelly.
    I for one thank him for his erudition, unbiased critique of all things important and well frankly the sexy way he seems to so easily wrap his comments up in good old salt of the earth wisdom and well humour.
    More power to him, NZ is well served.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • nanoplanet,

    you mean like all the stuff that has turned PAS from what was once both informative, good humoured and witty, into something like a school project with snotty prefects?

    Here • Since Apr 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    This is interesting:

    (a) Maybe I just haven't noticed it before but the Herald have started to post videos of their interviews online - an interesting development as one of my only remaining reasons to watch TV news slips away.

    (b) This interview is with Paul Buchanan (who presumably has some time on his hands) about the recent arrests. He suggests that the lack of involvement of the SAS counter-terrorist unit suggests that the police claims of terrorism are not terribly serious.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    What amazes me is how identical the activist anti-capitalist left is to the activist libertarian right about 90% of the time.

    I don't think that's amazing at all. The continuum of political ideology isn't a straight line tending at either end towards infinity; it's a circular kinda thing. A Lazy Susan (TM), if you will, of reason. An Ouroborosian Serpent of dogma and ranting.

    I'm really, really sorry for saying "Ouroborosian".

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    I thought the person who tried to turn away the car on a country road in the Ureweras on 'Campbell Live' last night came across as particularly unpleasant and belligerent. I thought the interviewer of Frances Mountier fom the Save Happy Valley Coalition on "Closeup' last night came across as particularly unpleasant and belligerent.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Which is interesting because I thought Frances Mountier came across as naive and incoherent.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Did either strike you as a Terrorist?
    Not me.
    We should remeber the vid on Campbell was from a specific action of occupation by Tuhoe that has since ceased.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    Which is interesting because I thought Frances Mountier came across as naive and incoherent.

    She's probably not that used to having nasty fuckwits getting all up in her grill, in her own living room.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Which is a shame. Media handling, PR and communications are pretty vital in changing the world. And I'd hardly call that "a nasty fuckwit getting up in her grill" - it was practically a love tap. It certainly didn't play as anything serious.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    it was practically a love tap. It certainly didn't play as anything serious

    Strokes, folks.. I was watching it with two women and we were all appalled and incredulous at the way the interviewer was conducting himself. Was he high on cocaine?

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    I'm really, really sorry for saying "Ouroborosian".

    Please don't be - it's one of the things that makes the interwebs special. You hardly ever get six-syllabled words in the MSM.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    __What amazes me is how identical the activist anti-capitalist left is to the activist libertarian right about 90% of the time.__

    I don't think that's amazing at all. The continuum of political ideology isn't a straight line tending at either end towards infinity;

    My partner went to a talk yesterday by a freshly minted professor, John Duckitt, the subject of which was the psychology of the conservative mind. She related this to me over a few glasses of wines so my recollection is slightly impaired but the gist of it is that (scientists have shown) that there are 2 distinct types of conservatives.

    Now I can't quite remember the exact difference but along with that is that each is harmless unless majorly confronted with a different threat/stimulus. One being The Other (immigrants etc) and the other being, what could be called The Lesser - poor people, solo mums etc - people they feel superior to.

    All interesting. Now, the lecture didn't talk about the psychology of teh Left and how that goes wrong from time to time such as with Indymedia. My partner had a few theories, one being that they can’t tell the two types of conservatives apart. Certainly they can’t make a distinction between Helen Clark and certain fascist leaders.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Creon Upton,

    Online pugilism really isn't my thing. But I was foolish enough to start....

    So, first, let it be said: All this arguing involves ideologies informing interpretations about the “real” when nobody actually knows anything much real. No wonder things get confused.

    (And no wonder people fall back on their knee-jerk ideological perspectives. But, on that conversation: it seems to me that the radical defense of the status quo can be just as small-minded and viscious as any form of left/right extremism. And, yes, lots of activists are full of themselves. Just as lots of mechanics are full of themselves. And lots of doctors are full of themselves. Ego. We all got one.)

    OK.

    Russell asks: “at what point *should* the acquisition of weapons accompanied by rhetoric about making war and a degree of organisation become of interest to the police? Should police even carry out surveillance of such activities or just leave everyone to get on with it?”

    This is a real-world question. Yes, so the police have a certain mandate that would encourage them to follow such activities. And seize weapons or whatever if they perceived a genuine threat. Fine. I don’t really care (ideologically), but fine.

    But in this instance, my ideologically driven point of view: They don’t need to try to glorify such mundane cop-work as “chasing up terrorists,” and when they do, this is clearly politically motivated. (See James George's post – which, incidentally, struck me as a fairly rational account of things, hardly the mad ranting that some here are characterising it as. Not saying I agree with every word, though.)

    As for my “ludicrous yardstick.” The point I was making is that there is no terrorism going on here. If there were, we’d know about it. Like, the hunters might be dead, not scared. Like, Bomber wouldn’t be allowed into the dumb-arse meeting and, if he were allowed in and then told all, um, he’d be dead too. Or at least regretting his big mouthed ways. Rather than receiving terse missives from cretins who take themselves too seriously.

    You see, there’s quite a big difference between saying things and doing things.

    And, seriously, if the cops were really onto something big (with all the information they apparently have) they'd make damn sure they caught the guys as close to red handed as possible. (See James' post for the logic here.)

    Ok, so Russell and Bart point out that my "Romantic" view might involve people being hurt and killed. Now we’re really getting into ideological territory. So, excuse me, but, well, yes, hurt and killing is what happens when people get violent. And that does happen sometimes.

    I guess I just think that running a slight risk of being injured is one of the costs of privilege.

    Because really pissed off (and understandably pissed off) people are the necessary products of power.

    And shoring up that power in an attempt to militate against the risk of being injured, and thereby pissing people off even more, is stupid and counterproductive.

    And using that power to attempt to bully and intimidate pissed off people is just plain nasty.

    But thankfully nobody seems pissed off enough to get violent quite yet.

    And if the police genuinely believed they were….(see above).

    That's all I got. Ridicule and mock. I don't mind. But I won't respond.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Creon thoughtful & a nice reality check

    "As for my “ludicrous yardstick.” The point I was making is that there is no terrorism going on here. If there were, we’d know about it. Like, the hunters might be dead, not scared. Like, Bomber wouldn’t be allowed into the dumb-arse meeting and, if he were allowed in and then told all, um, he’d be dead too. Or at least regretting his big mouthed ways. Rather than receiving terse missives from cretins who take themselves too seriously."

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    You see, there’s quite a big difference between saying things and doing things.
    And, seriously, if the cops were really onto something big (with all the information they apparently have) they'd make damn sure they caught the guys as close to red handed as possible.

    Which means when they have enough evidence: not just waiting until they were in the middle of blowing up something or kidnapping someone.

    Politically motivated? I keep hearing that, pretty much right across the political spectrum. I'm no fan of the current govt but I don't, at this stage, think there's any evidence for that.

    My understanding is the cops invoked the Suppression of Terrorism Act for technical legal reasons: so they can bring charges under that Act later on if they can get enough evidence to. In the meantime, though, there was enough evidence to bring charges under the firearms and other laws, which they have done.(others more up on the law may want to correct me here).

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I also thought some of what James George said was at least interesting, perhaps correct, time will tell. But the tone was definitely that of someone who felt themselves to be in hostile territory, surrounded by angry enemies. A lot of people reading might agree with a lot of what he said, if that tone didn't get in the way. And I think in that respect, he sounded much like his ideological opposites.

    For instance, referring straight off the bat to the shallow facile insights of the gallivanting Brown. Or the endless references to whitefellas. Or the constantly plugged comic-names like Helen of Beehive or amerikan.

    Ignoring such non-argument, he's written quite an essay on why the cops did what they did, when the cops have hardly told us anything about it themselves. Hence my question about whether he had some juicy inside gossip. But, as with Bomber, I suspect that hinting is all that's going to come out. It's a good way of boosting your hit-count, to promise tidbits which are never actually forthcoming, or just boil down to Truth magazine-like sources like 'vice girls say'. Investigate magazine has perfected this art, promising every month some shocking revelations which turn out in the end to be hearsay from angry partisans.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    informing interpretations about the “real” when nobody actually knows anything much real.

    What nonsense. We know a lot about what is real, and what is not. This is a fatuous, postmodernist atttempt to claim that everyone's "truths" are somehow equal. They are not. We know that the ground beneath us is solid, that water boils at 100 centigrade at sea level, that William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, that Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed in 1840.

    I will certainly buy the idea that we don't know all that much about what is going on at the moment, and as I have said before, the police had better be damned sure that they are right, but it is ludicrous to dress up a reasonable scepticism about what is going on with scepticism that we can know anything whatsoever.

    So, excuse me, but, well, yes, hurt and killing is what happens when people get violent.

    And it's wrong. Full stop.

    The thing is, we have many, many channels available for protest and change in this society. Notably, the Waitangi Tribunal, the possibility of election to parliament, appeals through the courts, protests, submissions to select committees, an educated and informed citizenry, an educated and informed public service, an independent media. None of these channels have been exhausted.

    And that makes resorting to violence even more wrong.

    I'm going to buy your line that many, many people are seriously pissed off. But given the institutions through which power can be contested in this country, playing around with guns and paramilitary training is just bizarre.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

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