International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘The Standard’

The Standard bans Peter George

Peter George is a regular at both Kiwiblog and The Standard. He’s pretty middle of the road and usually has something very sensible to say.

His last comment on The Standard was no exception.

micky, you may not have noticed but the overwhelming majority of flame wars are one sided attempts, and often with only one aim, to attack me regardless of what I post. If you look just below here I posted something and the usual trolls attacked, and the exact same topic was deliberately re-raised and discussed.

If you want to be an exclusive club of hard lefties that harrasses off anyone you take a dislike to then you need to be more upfront.

He then points out that the blog was supposed to be founded to push the ideas of the bloggers to a wider audience. Fair enough.

The response? We’re sick of you – you’re out of here.

What you seem to fail to understand is that as well as putting up ideas for criticism, there are objectives of the site includes pointing out the flaws of political policies, flawed economics, political idiots, brown-nosing journos, and outright thickheads like yourself. This is because those are also part of the political process, which is something that you seem to prefer that others do not do. Most people around here have long since concluded that is because you hate mirrors….

I’d ask if you get the point, but it is quite apparent that you never do think on what others say. For some reason you appear to think that examining and expressing your own unthinking and often bigoted ideas about the left is a preferable technique to listening to others or actually thinking.

Permanent ban for yet again trying to tell us what we should be doing with the site. I’m tired of it and I really don’t think you’re capable of either learning or holding your end up in any kind of discussion.

Interesting to read the thread myself – I didn’t see a single person who seemed upset by this.

(Oh, and Lynn – if you’re going to come here and express your weird fetish for preaching that The Standard is just a computer program and doesn’t have opinions etc etc – don’t bother humiliating yourself.)

Conservatism and Progressivism

The Standard have a nice post – apparently we conservatives are all stupid, stick in the muds.

Conservatism is all about maintaining the status quo. It assumes that the status quo is essentially ok, while change is best avoided. The idea comes from philosophers like Edmund Burke who figured the reason conventions and structures get to endure in the first place is because they work. Of course if you’re in the middle to upper strata of society and reasonably comfortable, then maintaining the status quo is more desirable than it is for those getting a raw deal.

Strangely, Progressives are all about good things.

Progressivism on the other hand takes the view that regardless of how things are now they can always be better, and that civilised societies have a duty to improve the lot of all their citizens, not least of which the weakest members. Progressivism is much more problematic as a guide for political decision making because it involves modifying existing structures, or making altogether new ones, to achieve a better state of affairs…

So Progressivism requires a lot more thought on behalf of its adherents, … Fortunately on the whole it also seems to attract smarter, more compassionate people.

Strangely however, these compassionate, intelligent people (who spend all their days thinking about how things might be better) only ever want to go back to failed policies of the past, Communism generally or some derivative, getting the government involved in everything possible.

Another strange fact is that while much more caring*, Liberals don’t actually translate that caring into any actioneven while they earn more.

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:

• Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

• Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

• Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

• People who reject the idea that “government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.

Hey, could it be that Conservatives work to make their society better, that when they reduce the size of the government they take responsibility to meet those needs privately (and in a wider variety of ways than any government could ever dream of) while liberals just get the government to do the dirty work….

…then walk away, patting themselves on the back for being so gosh durn charitable.

That’s the thing about being conservative – we do, while they talk; we work while they tax; we build while they regulate; we face reality while they talk about ideals.

I’ve seen first hand the results of this “caring” and no amount of “liberals are moving forward” talk changes the facts.

But it fools enough people to keep going for the meantime.

Update: WordPress reminds me of this old post, addressing a “study” “showing” that conservatives are less smart than liberals.

Reality, and who’s in touch with it

The Standard have quoted Lyndon Hood‘s silly satire about anonymous bloggers…

The power-sharing arrangement Helen Clark has permitted after the opposition National party’s election victory may dissolve into violence at any time, reports an anonymous blogger who continues to insist New Zealand has become exactly like Zimbabwe.

There is increasing concern for the blogger, who appears to be trapped in the imaginary alternative universe where he lived for the last two terms of the Labour government.

Readers had believed the blogger to be freely interpreting real world events, and expected the tone to settle following the election of a National-led government. But they have now realised he is in fact mentally locked in “a whole nother universe”.

Now, the funny thing is that they then point to a cache of the old “kill the bill” site.

The only “anonymous” blogger on that site was David Farrar, Cam Slater, oh wait it was me.

Now, I’ve been caught – after all, I’ve said lots of stuff like this.

There was only one response to the Exclusive Brethren’s campaign: laughter. It was a joke, badly executed and quickly unmasked. It not only failed to meet it’s objective, but it backfired in multiple ways. National lost out, big time.

Labour on the other hand, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars and got away with it scot-free. She’s been quite open about doing it again too.

If Helen implements this law and wins the next election, we will have crossed that line that Mugabe crossed all those years ago. We will have murdered our democracy in the name of stamping out a private campaign that was a laughing stock and tripped up it’s own objectives, while ignoring actual crimes committed in the name of buying power.

So what is the next step for a government that has crossed line after line, stealing money, assaulting opposition members, creating a nation wide climate of fear in parents, and generally destroying systematically our hard won checks and balances?

What will a government do that is prepared to shut down the right of voters to talk through a megaphone?

The voters who remain Labour supporters throughout all this have a stark choice in the next election: democracy or power?

I’m not holding my breath, I’m too busy packing my bags.

I never did pack those bags.

I thought that this was a nod to reality thought.

See, while I know that ultimately Helen will give up power when she looses, be it next year or later, (or sooner) I keep seeing things they’re doing that push towards what happened in Zimbabwe. Subtle changes initially, followed by crossing a few lines, then as things get more desperate, pushing hard against fundamental principles of democracy.

Another media organisation is now speaking out against the Electoral Finance Bill. Pretty soon, every major media organisation will have done so. There can be no doubt of that. The question is what will happen then? Helen will have a choice – drop the bill and suffer an embarrassing defeat (and she is not in the mood for that, she’s just blown up trans-Tasman relations on a whim) or carry on with the original intent. Given they were bold enough to introduce this legislation in the first place, one can only assume they will just push harder to get it through.

Carrying on against fierce opposition will be incredibly dangerous for our democracy. After flouting the rules last time and escaping punishment, one can only wonder what rules will be flouted this time – because we know that this law will not be enough.

When will they stop? That is the question. Today they shut down free speech, tomorrow??? If they do not intend to have armed gangs roaming the streets, beating up National supporters … why are they prepared to steal large sums of money, buy elections, legislate themselves into legality, and shut down free speech? What line do they intend not to cross?

Fair cop. At least I’ve not been claiming that concern over a $2.5B hole in the ACC accounts is a beat-up over nothing, or that the problems in Thailand are some sort of desperate “3am” crisis, or complaining loudly about a honeymoon that’s lasted less than a tenth of the time my party’s did, or hyperventilating for months about “secret” agendas that only exist in my own head…

Short Term Thinking?

The Standard criticises National for not keeping Labour’s deal with the Greens to get the ETS through. This was to put aside a lot of money to insulate homes.

A study, ironically carried out under National and mentioned to me by Nick Smith, showed that insulating a State house saves $2 in health costs per $1 of insulation – it actually saves the Government money to invest in insulation. But National would cancel the plan. Their priority is tax cuts right now, not a myriad of benefits in the future. I suspect for Nick Smith, personally, this is another ‘dead fish’ he has to swallow to get back into power.

I think we should take their suggestion, let’s think long term. 9 years to be precise.

9 years ago, Labour came to power. They didn’t insulate homes.

They didn’t 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, or 2 years ago either. If it weren’t for the Greens, they still would not be.

Hardly credible to attack National for dropping the policy, it’s not like Labour thought it was urgent.

The Standard are a Bizarre Lot

The Standard are a bizarre lot, frequently posting graphs showing how well Labour is doing, but in reality showing that Labour continued a winning trend.

Today’s graph is “Crime”. Read the following carefully:

“Crime fell 1% in the last year from 1025 recorded crimes per 10,000 people to 1014. This is part of a pattern that has continued since National was booted from power and living conditions for the poor started to improve.”

Note this phrase in particular:
a pattern that has continued since National was booted from power and living conditions for the poor”

So they admit the pattern continued, but launch without so much as taking a breath into an attack on those who started it.

Now that’s spin!

One is left wondering why they don’t find something that people are concerned about that Labour improved that National did not. I suppose we can take their inability to find such data as an admission that National actually did a pretty good job.

The Standard, John Key and the Dog that Does Not Bark

I realised something in the last few days.

I’ve been reading The Standard, and once you muscle past the bile… actually there’s only bile.

But I believe they have something of a point about John Key – he should have done a lot better managing his conflicts of interest with Tranz Rail.

There is post after post trying to establish wrongdoing, but what I haven’t seen on those posts is what should be done with Key. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t anywhere see calls for Key to resign.

Pretty obvious why – if you’re party refuses to do something about a corrupt minister, how can you ask for someone who was careless with their conflicts, but is otherwise squeaky clean, to resign. You can’t. Neither can a party leader who deliberately stole near to a million dollars from the public to fun an election campaign to stay in government demand integrity on what is a smaller matter by an order of magnitude from her opponent.

I agree with The Standard

“- People were sucked in by the shallow, vague policies which National has offered in place of its real plans but that is changing quickly.”

That is completely true. They have changed from voting for National because of their “copied from Labour and improved” policy platform to voting for them because the oppose corruption, a-la Winston Peters.

The Standard Gets Busy

I feel like a fisk. The Standard this time.

In four separate interviews this week, John Key used more or less exactly the same line

Gosh, the same line. Quite unusual for politicians – Labour in particular would never do that! Of course, if a description is true and accurate, why not use it more than once?

to divert from questions on his use of Crosby/Textor: ‘I’m the Leader of the party and I’ll set the tone of the campaign. And it will be a positive, ambitious, outlooking campaign because that fits with my personality

So he said that he will set the tone, that he will be in charge. Shocking, shocking stuff.

OK, everyone can see that’s classic Crosby/Textor – hollow and misdirecting – but where is this supposed positivity?

Actually, no one has any idea what a “classic” Crisby/Textor line would be, any more than they would have any idea what a “classic” UMR line would be.

For the entire remainder of those four interviews Key is entirely negative:

Oh, that sounds like a classic UMR line to me. Or maybe Labour made it up themselves?

He calls the Government vindictive (again a pre-prepared line, identical language in each interview and Key doesn’t use words like vindictive)

Pointing out that Key doesn’t change his story – clearly that’s a classic UMR line.

But Key is clearly out of line here, it’s not on to call the government “vindictive” when they are in the middle of a series of personal attacks.

He paints himself as a victim of smears,

Starting a sentence with telling the truth – another classic UMR line I imagine.

when people are only challenging him to represent himself honestly, rather than do what his Aussie handlers tell him to do.

Suggesting that the opposition is under the thumb of the lastest imagined boogyman, now that is classic Labour spin. Isn’t it great to see them demonstrating their own tactics while pretending to deplore their opponents?

He attacks the rail deal

That would be the deal where we vastly overpaid for rail, while letting Toll keep the profitable trucking business?

He attacks SPARC, using figures that have been proven incorrect

It’s well known that SPARC only has a $5.5m web site budget this year – clearly not enough to keep the information up-to-date. I suppose you’d need at least $20m for that.

In fact, when was the last time you can recall Key saying anything positive at all?

May I suggest getting rid of the Labour government? Polls show most people would see this as a huge step forward.

All I can think of him doing is making dishonest attacks and never, ever offering a real solution, only vague promises that he will magically make everything better.

Yes, and those dishonest attacks are even more dishonest when you realise that major newspapers are joining in spreading them, suggesting that when Labour admits to overpaying for rail, that they did a bad thing.

One thing I will give them: Key is vague about what he’s going to do about it. I guess he learned that from Labour’s 1999 campaign.

I really can’t go past Inventory2’s comment though:

…In case you hadn’t noticed, or are ignorant about these things, John Key is the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. That means, by definition, his job is to OPPOSE the government!

Many media commentators have commented on Key’s “grace under fire” when the PM launched her vitriolic and false attack on him on Wednesday. I have yet to see a post on The Standard condemning Clark for her behaviour, or that of Winston Peters. This was a planned attack, given the detail that Clark trotted out in her answers to the patsy questions from Peters and Tim Barnett.

But that’s not the ultimate irony. “Fairfacts Media” gets a ban threat for making comments that read rather like the post itself. In fact, it’s a very pointed challenge to put up and shut up.


[lprent: trolling isn’t something that I support. How about writing something that makes sense and that fits your name. Otherwise I’ll ban you as you are not ‘fair’, don’t give any ‘facts’, and abuse my ‘media’.]

Where’s Dear Leader’s positive campaign.
She seems intent on just smearing.
Just like you guys.
Is that all Liarbour has to offer.
Negativity and yet more tax

Lefties Don’t Admit Mistakes?

Having a look through some left-wing blogs, I note that they all post on Key’s “Gaffe”.

The Standard

Such ignorance is not befitting of a man who would be Prime Minister. I don’t care how nice your smile is; if you don’t know the first thing about New Zealand history, you’re not in a position to be running this country. Being one dimensional is the cornerstone of Brand Key, but it’s not something we can afford in a Prime Minister.

No Right Turn

But then, can we really blame him? He’s simply repeating the myths he was told at school back in the 60’s and 70’s, an era when our education system wasn’t exactly known for its accurate portrayal of New Zealand history. And OTOH, this is a man who wants to be Prime Minister, who will have to negotiate with those who suffered those terrible injustices if he is to advance his ambitious Treaty settlement programme. And he can’t possibly do that in good faith while pretending for his almost exclusively Pakeha supporters that those injustices never really happened.

I See Red

John Key has tainted the week of historic Treaty Settlements by suggesting that “we are not a country that’s come about through civil war or a lot of fighting internally”.   The Standard have a good piece here on why Key is so wrong.  But even worse, instead of just admitting his mistake, he is trying to spin away his ill informed comment by suggesting that he was referring to the period before the Treaty was signed.  But even this comment has been criticised as being revisionist by Pita Sharples.

Tony earlier says “And to National’s credit, they supported the settlements.”. Interesting statement concerning a party that made far more progress than National – it’s Labour who are now supporting the framework that National laid down.

But I digress.

My point here is that Key’s comments were not ignorant of history. Elsewhere in the interview he mentioned the land wars, so he’s clearly aware of their existence. I’m sure that there were skirmishes before the treaty was signed, but they core point is that the foundational document of this nation was signed without civil war or major fighting.

Then we find out that the same point has previously been made by the Governor General and Michael Cullen. (Surprisingly, National Radio’s Checkpoint covered this story the best when it broke.)

But do we have corrections? No.

And it’s not like they haven’t had opportunity. Tony updated his post to refer to NRT’s. The Standard even wrote a post defending Cullen’s comments. It’s bizarre.

There’s a technique that sits at the heart of conjuring tricks called misdirection – the act of drawing attention away from the trick itself. You all know how it works: the conjurer will flourish a brightly coloured handkerchief in one hand, while the trick is quietly taking place unnoticed in the other.

The same thing happens in spin when a politician wishes to draw attention away from an issue, and National are particularly adept at it. Yesterday’s example of producing a decontextualised quote about the treaty from Cullen in order to draw attention away from Key’s comments was a classic example of misdirection in action, …

Like the Electoral Finance Act?

So it’s ok to take a comment out of context if it’s John Key, but if it’s Cullen it’s evil.

I would like to think that most blogs on the right would correct a mistake like this – it’s a fair cop. Sadly, correcting mistakes seems to be a skill that’s not excercised very often on the left.

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