Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The next four years

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Sacha,

    Speaking of Spam - I was depressed by one of Radio NZ's summertime radio attempts to educate the public - namely about Acronyms, they correctly identified 'Laser', 'Nasa', 'Scuba' as acronyms, next they used 'Radar' which is slightly more problematic and not a true acronym, more a contraction - but I'd let them away with it ...
    But then they said 'Spam' was an acronym when it is totally a contraction of Spiced Ham (and a trademark)!
    What is the point of illuminating the masses when truth gets lost in the shadows created. I don't like to see sloppiness creeping in to the heart of public service broadcasting.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    A glossary of technical terms for types of abbreviation.

    Initialisms = words formed from a sequence of initial letters (e.g. RSVP, TLA, WTO, YMMV ). Acronyms are, strictly, more specifically sequences of initial letters creating a pronounceable wordform (e.g. HART, JAFA, WHO ), though acronym is also used more loosely for any initialism.

    Clippings are formed by removing entire syllables, usually leaving just the first syllable (e.g. semifinal > semi, submarine > sub). Clippings may result in ambiguity (there's a few alternative expansions for both semi and sub.)

    Blends are created by combining sound sequences from several words into one wordform (e.g. brunch, frenemy, smog, spam ). Blends usually also have a meaning that combines the meanings of the original words.

    That being said, some abbreviations don't strictly fit any of these patterns (e.g. the written forms govt, intl, qtr .)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1938 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    A few years ago North & South magazine ran a piece about New Zealand’s own Temple of Higher Thought and the Order of the Golden Dawn. The article is worth reading in full, but for present purposes it’s enough to note that the leaders of these occult movements infiltrated New Zealand’s Anglican communion and posed as ordinary churchgoers.

    Like any important social lever, magic and witchcraft are inevitably deployed against political targets and other adversaries. As a result, not everything in political life is what it seems to be. Speech and behaviour are impeded and compelled; events are planned and synchronised. Serious crimes are being committed – people do get badly hurt.

    The problem was well known to our ancestors. As Christopher Faraone wrote in An Accusation of Magic in Classical Athens:

    Plato mentions itinerant magicians who crowded the doors of the rich and for a small fee promised (among other things) to harm their political enemies with incantations and binding spells. Plato’s suspicions were not without foundation; in recent years scholars have [shown] that these curses were being used by and against members of the Athenian upper classes, including some prominent Athenian politicians.

    If there’s a pattern in the media’s easy coverage of the witchcraft renaissance, it’s a determined refusal to consider what premeditated attacks on other people must mean for those affected and for society at large.

    May the many victims of these crimes find justice.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Thankyou WH; noting your online name airily uses the first and last parts of the word witch! I’m a slow reader so I generally steer away from the fantasy genre. But I enjoy reading your bite sized pieces.

    I am a practicing renascence witch. I practice the dark arts of the 15th century crafts. Some of the magic I work has adopted contemporary technology such as electric kilns, analytical pure graded elements, minerals and the macintosh computer. My spells are mostly aimed at trying to form romantic relationships with middle aged women. My latest cook up is Lead Tin Yellow, which is a paint pigment that Leonardo sneaked powder glass into. The pope didn’t condone the use of glass in oil paint, only windows.

    I know, that’s pretty bad stuff. But you can’t easily stop me because I live in a castle like structure that has radar.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Rob Stowell, 2 months ago
    I miss this space. So many options out there, but nothing quite like what public address was…

    steven crawford, in reply to Rob Stowell, 2 months ago Web
    I’m pretty sure it’s going to spark up again soon.

    linger, 2 months ago
    What, because of the coming election?


    Because all the other radio stations are shit.

    I remember reading how Spain became a more collectivist state, as a direct result of the last big financial meltdown, which hit them hard. Lots of unemployed people started hanging out together at local coffee houses. Creativity happened.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    So now we see how living in a bubble isn’t difficult at all for this wealthy country,. We all grabbed resources for our selves. Government officials meticulously planed for them selves before they went home. We now live in a different, more selfish place.

    I get text messages – “I got the government subsidy, I’m all good” To which I say “good on you, you deserve it” There are the vigilante curtain twitchers checking watching judging and glaring at other people who don’t have the same shape bubble. Those up the property ladder with investment properties looking for mortgage holidays, because they are entitled.

    We are in this together, to save lives – vulnerable peoples lives. But only from the Covid-19 virus, nothing else. not type-2 diabetes, we encourage it with advertising. Not alcoholism, we encourage it with advertising. Not even domestic violence and suicide, we are in our bubbles, we only care the virus pandemic. We are in this together, unless you need anything from the supermarket for ourselves. We are in this together segregated into slums and beach houses. This was all meticulously planed from high rise buildings in Wellington. Everyone is included, especially vulnerable people (but only if its covid-19 virus related vulnerability). Everyone is all good, just as long as we stay in our bubbles and don’t talk to each other, unless of course we get paid to do so.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Social divide

    Government officials have since coined a term that is echoed in their daily media stand-ups: “Stay home, save lives”.

    But Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesman Ricardo Menéndez-March said that was a line only for the privileged.

    I’m privileged, I have a healthy place to be. And I also know that vulnerable people particularly children are potentially enduring traumatic living situations during these lockdowns. They are effectively being held captive and if the bubble is an abusive one these vulnerable people could be left scared for the rest of their lives. Imagine trying to escape under these state of emergency conditions. You can say, oh, that would have happened anyway because poverty and bad people. Well yes, kind of like baby boomers will die anyway, virus or not.

    Associate Finance Minister and Green Party co-leader James Shaw said people shouldn’t think about the lockdown as a binary choice between complete shutdown and things as normal.

    “If you had not gone into lockdown and you had 70 per cent of the population getting infected and of those 20 per cent requiring at least some time at home if not hospitalisation, then your workforce is hugely idle,” Shaw said.

    “It’s not like the economy was going to keep running as if nothing happened.”

    James Shaw says don’t think about the lockdown as a binary thing, then goes and talks about it as a binary thing.

    Even the Green MP is locked into arguing the rational about fighting the virus by pointing to the sophisticated and snazzy computer modelling graphs on the internet as more important than maintaining the economy as it was. But offering no vision for what the economy could become. Just that this brutal approach to managing one particular pubic health emergency is justified. And that the ‘economy’ as it was is something to try return to as quickly as possible.

    As if the economy was actually healthy as it was. It wasn’t! it was bloated like having a sugar addicted and greedy junky. Hundreds of thousands of people live in relative poverty in New Zealand. There isn’t enough affordable housing, so thousands of children don’t have stable environments to grow up in. So they become traumatised and unable to be productive later. And there is James Shaws “hugely idle workforce”. It’s already there.

    I’m not saying the forced segregation of the population was the wrong thing to do. But I’d like to see some more detailed management to mitigate of the negative outcomes. Just saving lives isn’t good enough on its own, If we end up with greater numbers of casualties which are not as easily quantifiable and require more science than graphs on people twitter.

    I’m not seeing any nuanced management of anything. I started to notice nothing going on upstairs when it was announced that my taxi is an essential service. But that nether NZTA or Ministry of Health have any information how to best operated during a state of emergency. There are protocols for operating a passenger vehicle. Don’t show up wearing a mast for starters. Don’t discriminate. That means don’t turn down a passenger because they are unwell and so on add lots of human interaction complexities. And since we are in a state of emergency, restrictions to travel mean I could inadvertently assist someone to break these draconian laws.
    I could be a useful asset to this pandemic response. I could get people to doctors appointments and get medical people to places they need to go, and generally be helpful.

    But my car is instead sitting idle in the driveway. There are no civil defence hubs where I can sign up to be on call. No Ministry of Health interest, no nothing. And Uber ( I can also operate independently) has not sent out any emails. Not anything nothing!

    So I’m growing very very skeptical, I strongly suspect we are being managed thru this emergency by political feel good rhetoric alone. and thats a bit of a worry. Whats going to happen when the novelty of “stay home, save lives” wears off what will happen when we don’t return to normal, and we fucking wont. There are going to be scores to settle between employers and employees. And the extent of the inequities in our society are more observable than ever.

    This is like the Titanic. The first class passengers grabbing life rafts while the deckchairs get rearranged by the essential services as the underclass drowns.

    I know some things about trauma. Trust me, this isn’t going to end well for any of us if we don’t also think of the children.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    My futile attempt to get any meaningful conversation out of the Internet is starting to make me look a little ill. So be it, I’m comfortable in my own bare feet.

    Once again a fleeting flash of genius on twitter. A retweet or a link or a gif or fuck all of nothing.

    There is an explanation for the sense of dereliction I feel.

    It’s not past trauma. I’m not delusional, or heading into a real psychotic state. Something really is very broken around me.

    As he explains by phone from his state of isolation in the hillside suburb of Brooklyn, there was a crucial moment when his thinking about Covid-19 changed.

    “We had the plan everyone else has, the influenza pandemic plan,” he says. By “we”, he means New Zealand. “This is written on the basis that you cannot stop influenza. We were thinking you would roll out the standard mitigation measures to minimise the harm. That’s all the stuff about flattening the peak and protecting the most vulnerable.”

    What changed? He and Wilson were persuaded by a World Health Organisation report on China that emerged at the end of February. It told them containment could work. Rather than mitigation or suppression, New Zealand could instead aim for elimination. That is the idea that grew into a strategy during March.

    So a small bunch of very intelligent well educated people decided that it was a good idea at the time to copy what China did. But with out any idea what this might mean outside their field of interest. Or some idea but able to not give a shit. And they are now managing this from the comfort of the own middle class homes. Sorry, I beg your pardon? fuck you!

    And all the good communicators of our time, fuck around posting selfies on twitter, while our social fabric is on fire.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    This is Channel 4’s interview with Richard Kerr, victim of one the UK’s notorious VIP paedophile rings. In this instance, young boys were taken from the Kincora Boys Home in Northern Ireland during the Troubles to service elite paedophiles in London.

    The report outlines that MPs at Westminster were sexually abusing young boys, that British Intelligence and the MI5 were aware of and complicit in these crimes, and that British police threatened the victims with arrest. The case is reminiscent of the British establishment’s involvement in Jimmy Savile’s reign of terror at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.

    Sheryl’s Crow’s revelations about Michael Jackson, Cory Feldman’s recent allegations about Two and a Half Men(!) star Charlie Sheen, and the deaths of Kevin Spacey’s accusers suggest something is very wrong. As Cindy McCain said of Jeffrey Epstein:

    Epstein was hiding in plain sight. We all knew about him. We all knew what he was doing, but we had no one — no legal aspect that would go after him. They were afraid of him. For whatever reason, they were afraid of him.

    There’s a lot that can’t be said in a forum such as this one. Suffice to say, a re-evaluation of the value, meaning and real origins of Aleister Crowley’s magical teachings – that explicitly encourage the sexual exploitation of young people – is long overdue.

    Those who have supported the degradation of the innocent and unsuspecting will one day have to answer for what they done.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    The role of British intelligence and British police in these matters deserves special scrutiny. The following video discusses the role of MI5 and Special Branch in covering up the serial sex offending of Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith.

    Similar kinds of corruption exist at the highest levels of the British public service and at the most senior levels of the legal profession. The problem extends to members of the English judiciary.

    Lastly, former US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill died on 18 April. He will be remembered for disclosing that the Bush Administration had been planning the invasion of Iraq and the distribution of its oil fields prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Radiohead’s take on the 1973 film The Wicker Man.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,


    Above: Ghislaine Maxwell and Kevin Spacey on the Queen’s thrones at Buckingham Palace in 2002

    President Trump has commuted the sentence of former campaign aide Roger Stone, who was convicted of witness tampering, making false statements to Congress and obstruction of justice in 2019. The commutation leaves Stone’s criminal convictions intact.

    Amid renewed criticism from Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller has defended the integrity of the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election that formed the basis of Stone’s prosecution. As Mueller puts it:

    Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons: He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers.

    We now have a detailed picture of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The special counsel’s office identified two principal operations directed at our election: hacking and dumping Clinton campaign emails, and an online social media campaign to disparage the Democratic candidate. We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel — Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities. The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.

    The story’s replete with Russian spies, the US national security agencies, corrupt campaign officials and an all-in brawl amongst the identitarian left, the pluralist centre, the libertarian right and a depraved cultural elite.

    It’s not easy to interpret the seething mess beneath the thinning veneer of political life – this fashion show of villains, dubious agendas, innocent victims and terrible reprisals. As unsuited to the presidency as Donald Trump finally is, he’s not the only guilty party. The dishonesty goes a lot further than anyone’s going to admit.

    Don't vote for Donald Trump.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

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