Tuesday 19 March 2024

Promiscuous Empathy: Chris Trotter Replies To His Critics.

Inspirational: The Family of Man is a glorious hymn to human equality, but, more than that, it is a clarion call to human freedom. Because equality, unleavened by liberty, is a broken piano, an unstrung harp; upon which the songs of fraternity will never be played. 

“Somebody must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested.” – Franz Kafka. The Trial. 1925.

THOSE who object to Chris Trotter comparing his troubles to Joseph K’s undoubtedly have a point. The Police aren’t knocking on my door – not yet. Nevertheless, there is something just a little bit Kafkaesque about finding yourself being misrepresented all over the Internet by people you have never met. Especially when their misrepresentation consists of disputing the veracity of Chris Trotter’s long-standing identification as a person of the Left.

There will be plenty of people who, having read that last sentence, will demand to know why being drummed-out of the ranks of the Left is being presented as a bad thing. Given the truly awful place where the Left of the 2020s has ended up, they would argue that my expulsion from its ranks could only be taken as proof that I still possess a respectable intellect and a functioning moral compass. Their advice would be: “Crack open a bottle of Champagne! Celebrate! You’ve had a lucky escape!”

But, no matter how tempting that sounds, I’m not quite ready to say “good-bye to all that”. Principally because my online critics are not only challenging my bona fides as a person of the Left, but are also insisting that I have become a person of the Right. While no longer bearing the imprimatur of the Left may not be all that grim a prospect, I’m not quite ready – not yet – to be branded a “crypto-fascist”.

My secret fascist mission, apparently, is to do all within my power to secure two objectives. First, to prevent the establishment of a bi-cultural, Tiriti-centric Aotearoa. Second, to assist the Zionist entity in its genocidal war against the Palestinians.

These charges reveal a great deal about the individuals levelling them. Clearly, their expectation is that a leftist-in-good-standing will refrain from interrogating the propositions put forward by … well, that’s one of the most serious problems with the contemporary Left, isn’t it? One is never entirely sure who is setting the Party Line.

In the case of Te Tiriti, exactly who are the leftists-in-good-standing supposed to follow? The late Moana Jackson? The very much alive Margaret Mutu? The team who drafted the He Puapua report? Linda Tuhiwai Smith – author of Decolonising Methodologies? The Greens? Labour? Willie Jackson? All of the above?

The answer, of course, is that, as an ageing Cis Pakeha Male, it is deeply racist of me to suppose that I have any say at all in matters pertaining to Te Tiriti, or the final shape of any society which might emerge from its fulfilment. My only role is to back te iwi Māori unreservedly and without question. My personal opinions are irrelevant. So, check your privilege, Mr Trotter, and shut the fuck up.

But, what sort of leftist could possibly surrender their right to question, challenge, and join any and every attempt to revolutionise their society? The idea that some people, on account of their ancestry, age, ethnicity, gender – or any other criterion beyond their personal control – should be denied the right to participate intellectually, culturally and/or politically in their nation’s affairs owes nothing whatsoever to the traditions of the Left.

Neither does the threat to unleash violence against anyone who proposes a thorough re-examination of the principles of Te Tiriti. Not unless one’s idea of the Left is drawn from the rigid orthodoxies of the Stalinist and Maoist communist parties, and the murderous totalitarian regimes they constructed to enforce them.

But that has never been my Left. As a democratic, dammit, as a libertarian socialist, my unwavering conviction has always been that it is only when people are free to receive and communicate information; free to discuss and debate all manner of ideas and policies; free to participate; that there can be any enduring hope for the human emancipation which has always been the true leftist’s desideratum.

All very fine, Mr Trotter, but what about your support for Israel’s genocidal violence in Gaza?

That’s easy – there is no such support.

This is what I wrote, just weeks after the atrocities committed by Hamas on 7 October 2023, about the best possible response Israel could make to the horror. This was the picture I painted:

Drones and reconnaissance aircraft would be sent aloft, circling like eagles above the jackals’ lair. But not one bullet would be fired at, and not one bomb would be dropped upon, the crowded streets of Gaza. Across that whole benighted enclave only the whoosh of Hamas’s missiles and the pop of Israel’s interceptors would break the pregnant silence […..] Only then would the Hamas commanders realise what had happened. Rather than the global media focusing upon Israel’s hideous retaliation, and nightly displaying the broken bodies of women and children. Rather than the streets of the world’s capitals being filled with pro-Palestinian demonstrators calling for the death of the Jews. Rather than remaining safely hidden behind a curtain of civilian blood, Hamas would realise, with a deathly chill, that the whole world was staring in horror and disgust, not at Israel – but at them.

My curse as a political writer – if curse it be – is an ability to view the constantly unfolding human drama from multiple perspectives; to be able to stand, as it were, on both sides of the wire. Where did it come from, this dangerous faculty for promiscuous empathy? I’ve thought long and hard about this and decided, predictably, that it came from a book.

No, not the Bible, but from a book of extraordinary photographs and wonderful quotations from writers and peoples from all over the world. Published by the Museum of Modern Art in 1955, The Family of Man made me a leftist. Not by persuading me of the correctness of an ideology or religion, but by revealing to me the sad and beautiful continuities of the human species – the human family. The book also made me the enemy of all those who would smash those continuities by setting one part of the human family against another. An addiction to which the extreme Left has fallen prey with a fervour more than equal to that of the extreme Right. Indeed, political extremism, like the mythical serpent, Ouroboros, seems driven, ineluctably, to devour itself.

The Family of Man is a glorious hymn to human equality, but, more than that, it is a clarion call to human freedom. Because equality, unleavened by liberty, is a broken piano, an unstrung harp; upon which the songs of fraternity will never be played.

And that’s it. The best I can offer to those who have been telling lies about Christopher T.

I very much doubt that it will be sufficient to get the people’s commissars off my case.

If it is a crime to want to build the nation of Aotearoa-New Zealand out of the dreams of all its people, then I must plead guilty. Likewise, if it was wrong to recoil from the horrors of 7 October as forcefully as we daily recoil from the crucifixion of Gaza, then I was wrong. If it is a crime to understand the Jews’ need to build a home of their own since, as History has amply demonstrated, they are not safe in anybody else’s, then convict me. Convict me, too, if it is “antisemitic” to understand the longing of the Palestinian to, at last, insert the key in the lock of his family’s bullet-scarred front door, and return home.

To my faceless, Kafkaesque judges, I offer these words. They were written by the English jurist, writer, and radical politician, Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, and are to be found among the many other wise words included in The Family of Man:

Fill the seats of justice
With good men, not so absolute in goodness
As to forget what human frailty is.

This essay is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blog.


Anonymous said...

If you think that will satisfy the fascist lefties, and assorted dim bulbs, on your case you are mightily wrong. But I suspect you already know that.

Anonymous said...

If you think the assorted fascist lefties ( no its not a contradiction) on the your case will be satisfied with that you are mightily mistaken. But I suspect you already know that.

annonymous said...

Wonderfully written. Wonderfully put.

I thank you Chris Trotter for your perspectives over the years, particularly the last three years!

Geoff said...

Excellent rebuttal of the "head loony " on The Daily Blog! ( whose medication I think needs a tweek )

I am an ACT supporter,differ from you on many things...but agree strongly with you on your thoughts re the future of NZ & the Gazan debacle.

You are both too intelligent, and honest to belong to the rabble now wearing the mantle "Left".
Keep up the good fight & best wishes.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

You may have noticed that I have not commented your on your blog for a long time Chris and it's my intention pretty much never to do so again. But I would just like to reply to your reply, because I've been following your critics. Not to the extent that I've noticed anyone calling you a crypto fascist, that would be stupid, but who knows I haven't followed them all – and I've been enjoying the break to be honest.
But it is noticeable that you seem to think that your left is the only true left. That takes me back to the 1960s of course when the left did nothing else but argue about who was the most ideologically pure. You have certainly contributed to this.
I would say this though. If it's left to accuse someone without any evidence of being a Hamas supporter and imply that they are anti-Semitic, then it's Stalinist left and you are certainly guilty of that.
If you're being criticised on matters of the treaty then surely you should consider that part of a wider debate between leftists, not people who are of the illegitimate left and yourself. But you seem to be guilty of that.
I haven't come across anyone who has threatened you with violence, but then I don't follow these things very closely necessarily. But in any large enough group of people there are bound to be some fuckwits, and if they have threatened you with violence you should perhaps complain to the police.
As far as Gaza goes, you are, as far as I can ascertain the only leftist blogger who has not condemned Israeli violence. Pretty much every leftist blogger in my purview has condemned both Hamas and Israel. So that leads me to believe that you are guilty of being okay with killing and starving innocent children. Difficult to believe, however you have done nothing to convince me otherwise. But as I haven't been following your blog I might have missed something, you could maybe correct me there.
Finally, the left generally purports to be in favour of science and evidence, and yet lately you have let all sorts of conspiracy theorists spout their bullshit all over your website – in the name of freedom of speech I guess, and libertarianism. No matter what the damage they might do to innocent people. That's not my sort of leftist, it shouldn't be yours either. But you seem to think you're the only leftist with an opinion worth anything these days. So you are also guilty of the arrogance you accuse others of.
Incidentally, I doubt if you should regard the proprietors of the Daily Blog as "faceless and Kafka-esque". Some of the commenters may be that many of yours are also faceless the Kafka-esque I can't speak to, I haven't been here for a while.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully written. Wonderfully put.

I thank you Chris Trotter for your perspectives over the years, particularly the last three years!

The Barron said...

The next decade may be one of the most crucial for those that are of the left and wishing to preserve social-democracy home and abroad. I believe that we have watched a failed imposition of neo-liberal economics and competition and decline of social services. If ever there was to be a call for unity, it is now. The history and evaluation Chris brings to social progress should be lauded, not decried.

As usual, I am a dissenting judge on some issues. These were raised by Chris, and I take up the right of reply.

Palestine / Israel - Chris suggests the Jewish people have no where else to go that is safe. I suggest this same reasoning should be applied to the Palestinians. As I have noted previous, both the Jewish Israelis and the Palestinians share heritage going back to the Iron Age. We can debate the setting up of the Israeli state (I personally think it was an indefensible international decision, but it was made) but we have to accept the state of Israel and the people, this does not require rejection of the Palestinians and their right to self-determination.

The reality is that the leadership of the Israeli state will not seek a solution that leads to long term peace and co-existence, nor will the leadership of Hamas. Dialectical analysis suggests that we look at the power relationships, the power clearly resides with the Israeli government as the people of Gaza cannot change leadership in the current situation. The first step to resolution is with the Israeli people to change leadership, which allows the Palestinians space to reorganize towards long-term solutions. I doubt Chris' analysis would be different if divorced from the emotions of 7/10.

Te Tiriti - Chris has a view of equality, I have a view of equity. The left should always look at systemic state disempowerment and seek redress. This is the case with Te Tiriti. Chris' view is closer to looking at society today, and a belief in legal equality. I see this as freezing inequity, in which the empowered remain empowered and the disempowered screwed. In this, the level of redress and historical disadvantage is given less emphasis. I also challenge that the imposition of one cultural model as a replacement for that which existed previous is the wrong way of forming a society. Te Tiriti gives an inclusive blue-print for the future. Chris may see this as taking away a NZ identity, I see it as essential in developing one.

Neither of these issues should lead to the shunning of a voice of the left, but for dialogue and discussion within the left. If the primary role is to look at redistribution of wealth and opportunity, it is compelling on the left to discuss all issues within this prism. It is also a requirement to view the working class as inclusive of cultures, genders, disability and other factors. My view is stronger than Chris as to incorporating those factors into structural analysis as to disempowerment.

I have seen the left too often take the eyes off the prize. The left in NZ like to rail against issues overseas as a comfort zone instead of confronting the issues at home. Both have value, but sometimes proportionality is required. Knee-capping allies because of self-inflicted existential crisis is not proportional.

DS said...

I have a fair amount of contempt for what calls itself the contemporary Left as well. I am more than happy to criticise them.

But there's a difference between disliking the modern Left, and enabling a government that is actively hurting the poor and the workers at the expense of the rich, solely to (use the American phrasing) "Own the Libs." You seem to treat ephemeral Culture War nonsense as the defining issue of our time - but, alas, it is not.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, you are right in your beliefs. New Zealand embraced an Economic doctrine 40 years ago that it just can't kick-doesn't matter if it is Labour or National. An obsession with the Free Market and Deregulated Business Friendly policies. The big issues today need and deserve a much better response rather than the Neoliberal self interested answer that keeps being peddled out by Labour and National govts. This is becoming obvious overseas but New Zealand seems to think going for the low hanging fruit of Social Justice or Social Engineering gesture politics will be enough to divert the population from the true problems, we need the State back in the game and leading from the front instead of clinging onto out dated Thatcherite rubbish which is destroying England as I write this. Where is the fair mindedness that the country was renowned for and the fair go attitude that was meant to be for all, despite skin colour or religion? The country seems very Orwellian to me and you are right to call it out but you will be sent to the modern equivalent of the Gulag for it.

Jason Barrier said...

Chris. It is as Keynes famously said "When the facts change I change my mind. What do you do Sir?" You seem to be caught up in the shrill froth of some sort of Stalinist purge, (the type the Left has always excelled in), where those who cannot accept the fact... that the Labour party is no longer the party of dock workers and truck drivers but is now very much the party of teachers and bureaucrats...are thrashing about angrily at people who have the temerity to point this out. Stay true to your roots Chris, keep championing the little guy in small town New Zealand. Because when the froth has subsided there will again be great demand for those who represent the real working classes and not identity politics. This froth slates no thirst.

David George said...

Thank you Chris, you have my respect. Enjoy your freedom.
I've seen the "othering" and derision you've faced, perhaps they are secretly envious that you are free to speak the truth - the eternal enemy of the ideologue.
It can be a bit disturbing, and there will be haters, but there's a lot to be said for casting off your ideological manacles. Being able to more clearly see the truth not the least of them. That's our primary responsibility, I believe.

"To tell the truth is to bring the most habitable reality into Being. Truth builds edifices that can stand a thousand years. Truth feeds and clothes the poor, and makes nations wealthy and safe. Truth reduces the terrible complexity of a man to the simplicity of his word, so that he can become a partner rather than an enemy. Truth makes the past truly past, and makes the best use of the future's possibilities. Truth is the ultimate, inexhaustible natural resource. It's the light in the darkness.
See the truth. Tell the truth.”
― Jordan Peterson.

Basil Brush said...

Very good, sir. Carry on.

Mark Simpson said...

Thanks Chris. You speak for so many of us who are dismissed as unworthy of respect or credibility perforce we are white, elderly and male. Our common humanity is irrelevant whilst anger and hate are today the norm, replacing love and tolerance.
Mark Simpson

David George said...

"starving innocent children"
I don't know to what extent that's true but certainly from what I've seen of the captured Hamas terrorists they look to be very well fed judging by the man-boobs and muffin-tops on display. Perhaps they ate all the food. Sounds about right.

How much of any of it is true, coming as it does from practiced and compulsive liars. Remember the widely reported Hamas claim of "500" dead from an Israeli missile hitting a hospital and the "footage" that accompanied it? . Turned out that A/the hospital wasn't hit only it's carpark B/ there were only a handful of victims and C/ it was Hamas's own rocket that hit it!

Mark Simpson said...

Guerilla Surgeon
Your absence hasn't ameliorated your vituperative angst towards Chris.

"So that leads me to believe that you are guilty of being okay with killing and starving innocent children."

What an appalling accusation that says more about you than anything else you have said. You haven't been missed and I hope you stay true to your commitment to stay away.
Mark Simpson

Shane McDowall said...

If the Willy Jacksons and Rawiri Waititis want a bi-cultural Tiriti-centric Aotearoa, then why don't they go and form their own nation in,say, Northland?

Many Maori, myself included, would be delirious with joy if they did so.

Willy and Rawiri and the other professional Maoris can take their patch-wearing, wife beating, infant murdering, light-fingered co-Maori with them. New Zealand would be a much better place without the burgeoning Maori underclass that plagues our fair land.

I live in a city that has more than one third Maori and I can assure you life would be a lot better without them.

If the Palestinians do not want to be bombed and starved, might I suggest they refrain from launching missiles at Israel and cease making cowardly attacks on civilians.

Not once have I come across any one in the media suggesting that Hamas withdraw from Gaza instead of hiding in hospitals. The fighting would be over.

But No! Israel has to negotiate. Israel has to order a cease fire.

Good on you Chris, I like reading your views. You are the best political commentator in New Zealand. The fact that major papers like the New Zealand Herald do not print your columns while giving space to the right wing twaddle of Hosking and Prebble boggles my mind.

And as for you GS, I am glad that you no longer want to comment here. You are an arrogant, testosterone deficient, wokester who likes to hand out insults and bitch like a bitch when the insults come flying back.

Haere Ra and good riddance.

new view said...

Chris I find it amusing that some who dislike what you write and what you stand for still can't help themselves and follow your blogs. To me this whole left right thing is a nonsense that should be long gone. Some of social commenters fall down the rabbit hole labeled Left is good right is bad. left have a social conscience and the right doesn't. To me Chris is a social moderate. His knowledge and commentary on the Labour and socialist history of politics here and elsewhere makes him left leaning but that's all.
I voted for National and always have done except for one occasion I nearly voted for NZ1 and early in the six year reign of Jacinda Ardern when I briefly believed she could do the right stuff and make NZ a better place. If she had shown some capability of completing something I would have considered changing my allegiance. She didn't and I didn't. So as a national voter I consider myself a social moderate as well. Whats more, IMO the vast majority of people in this country are social moderates. As for Gaza and The Treaty co governance situations.
IMO the terrible death toll inflicted on Gazans lie at the door of the Israeli leadership who I believe have badly over reacted in their quest to rid the area of Hamas. And for those who only see Israel as the perpetrator, try casting an eye over all the other neighbouring Islamic countries and ask yourselves what role did they play in all of this, including the failure of a full functioning Palestinian State. I can understand why the carnage has been so great because simply Hamas have infiltrated the area so completely, but anyone who thinks letting them remain there is a recipe for peace is delusional. I believe there is more chance of a lasting peace and a chance for a functioning Palestinian State if they are rooted out.
As for Co Governance, my lack of support for it comes down to the idea that because a large number of Maori have been disenfranchised for of a number of reasons, you can't have a different governmental system just for them. Why, because although there is a lesser number, there are still large numbers of Pakeha who don't see a future for themselves as well and because of that it becomes a racial issue. The only way to beat this is to have health, education, and housing of a good standard and accessible to all. As a country we haven't achieved that and that's the failure.
Keep it up Chris. I like to listen all NZrs not just the left or right. I commented on TDB and enjoyed sparing with those there, but Martyn didn't like some of my comments so I often didn't get published. I also comment on KiwiBlog and find no difficulty with getting published but find many of the commenters a little too right for me. Both those sites can have an echo chamber effect which is why Bowalley road is refreshing.

Brendan McNeill said...


I for one have appreciated your ‘course correction’ over recent years, although you might reasonably claim to have retained your original views and instead it is your fellow travellers who have shifted into unreality.

David has highlighted your commitment to truth, and if there is one thing we share it is a desire to know the truth and to speak truthfully to one another. My observation of the political left, and presumably it’s a weakness of all ideologues including those on the right, is to value solidarity with the tribe above speaking and upholding the truth.

We live in a culture that has abandoned the notion of objective truth; for example personal decisions rather than oppressive structures are more likely to shape the destiny of those living in New Zealand today. This objective truth is denied by far too many on the left.

We all sense that our culture is disintegrating, that the institutions we once trusted have been hollowed out, that those in positions of power and responsibility are insufficient to the task.

Author Paul Kingsnorth in the clip below talks about this, suggesting every culture has a ’throne’ at its centre, that someone or something or some ‘big idea’ sits at the heart of the culture and provides the ‘meta narrative’ that holds the shape and form of the culture together. In his assessment for the West, the one sitting on the throne previously was Christ. That’s no longer the case today. We are in a time of transition where ‘others’ are competing for the throne. Who or what succeeds will greatly determine our destiny.


Only a continued quest for truth over ideology provides us with any substantive hope for the future.

Peter said...

Well done Chris Trotter: please keep up your excellent work!

Shane said...

Hang in there Chris - Illegitimi non carborundum

I for one always enjoy your posts and interviews and find the quite thought provoking.

I'm reminded of Muldoon's quip re moving to Australia, and it seems apt here with Australia being the New Zealand those in the left with influence seem to want to create. Great for those of us on the right.

If it helps, given where the left is heading, you could call yourself a centrist, and still be you without having to join the rest of us in the right :-)

Shane (yep - that one)

Chris Morris said...

Would it help your credibility with all the progressives if we all accused you of being a Commie at every available opportunity?
I know you aren't, but then neither are the accusations of those on the New Left (are they neo-socialists?) who rail against you.
Whether I actually agree or disagree with you on the point of your articles doesn't stop me reading them. They are well reasoned even if I think there are other factors which I think should be taken into account. That is more that can be said for the shallow platitudes your critics trot out.
Please don't stop writing. Ignore those who complain you aren't staying within the boundaries others think should be around your thinking.

The Barron said...

Miss your contributions comrade GS. Left me a lone voice on many issues.

Anonymous said...

"Finally, the left generally purports to be in favour of science and evidence" by Guerrilla Surgeon.
This statement is beyond belief because the left now believes that a man can become a woman by feeling it and Matauranga Maori is science. This seems to prove that Mr Trotter has a point and the current left has abandoned their traditional stance

The Barron said...

When Northland refused the Southland and Otago ranfurly shield challanges in 1978 I was in favour of expelling Northland from NZ

Nick Roberts said...

Chris I enjoy your comments and blog. I don't always agree with everything but it would be a tedious world if we all had the same view. As an outsider I have noticed the vitriol thrown your way and I admit to being confused by it. A lot of it seems to have happened post election where certain left wing blog hosts have simply jumped the shark in their screaming outrage and anyone that dares to criticise the left has now had a target painted firmly on them.

So I would say you have not changed. I would say places like TDB have. They have committed the true sin of abandoning their principles to instead chase popular rhetoric and have ironically become guilty of that of which they accuse people like Winston Peters. When the host of that blog starts using "zionist supporter" as a label against government ministers whose actions he doesn't like, then it just shows he has lost the plot.


CXH said...

I must admit to snorting coffee out my nose when I read that claim.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Oh well, I thought I'd keep an eye on this post because I figured it would get lively after I posted. God, I should have been appreciated on this site if only for the number of clicks and comments I provoked. Still let's deal with them one at a time.

"Your absence hasn't ameliorated your vituperative angst towards Chris."
The only post I can think of which might have been considered vituperative towards Chris as far as I can remember anyway, has been the one here. Perhaps you'd like to go through my old posts and find some more vituperation?
One thing I will say though and I apologise – not to you but to Chris, I should have said indifference rather than approval. Silence denotes at the very least indifference.
My criticism of Chris is mostly done with sadness although being accused of supporting Hamas made me extremely angry. Coming from one of the many Zionists here I wouldn't care. It's a typical hasbara way of trying to shut down the debate, as is accusing someone of anti-Semitism. But coming from someone I regard as a fellow leftist – it hurt. But even so that aside I am more disappointed than anything, that Chris has added to the moral panics around trans people, and the treaty.
Incidentally if anyone could go back over my posts and find any statement I have made about Hamas that suggests I support anything but their right to resist an occupation let them do it. But the very least Trotter should have done it.

"the left now believes that a man can become a woman by feeling it and Matauranga Maori is science."

This hardly deserves a serious reply but – no we don't and – no we don't. I would suggest that you have never spoken to a trans person and almost certainly don't know any. I'd say you should possibly talk to a trans person and find out a little bit about them – but you won't.
As far as Matauranga Maori goes, it can be but it doesn't necessarily have to be. But I guess you don't do complexity.

"How much of any of it is true, coming as it does from practiced and compulsive liars."

A typical statement from you David containing nothing of substance. Muffin tops among the leaders does not preclude starving children. But you imply that it does. Starving children have been verified by outside agencies with people on the ground. To condemn Hamas lies without mentioning the lies of the Israeli government, particularly about 40 beheaded children is egregious – but then you are simply a Zionist useful idiot. To refuse to see that lies are useful in wartime for both sides is just ignorant.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Barron – I feel you deserve a separate reply, I wouldn't want you mixed in with the rest here. Thank you for your kind words. But I feel you and that new Chris, as long as they stay around are doing a better job than I could, largely due to your extensive knowledge, and patience. I will admit that there are times when I am less than polite – but I sometimes get angry. I think I've probably beaten my head against a brick wall for long enough. It's maddening – typical example, some clown says "Vaccine mandates are against human rights law." You tell them that courts both national and international have said that vaccine mandates are perfectly fine in certain circumstances and you provide examples of these decisions, and yet they're back a couple of weeks later saying "vaccine mandates are against human rights law." Of course, he's one of those who has "done his own research". Unfortunately 90% of the people who do their own research have no idea what research actually is, and simply seek out sources which confirm their biases.
Anyway I'm not sure I have the patience for it anymore, where is you seem to have the patience of a saint. If I do pop back every so often to read the posts here it will be largely to read yours, and the occasional post by Wayne Mapp, who if he is a Conservative, is far and away the most rational of those who post here.
I must say though that of the dozen or so blogs I follow this is the one where politeness like yours rarely exists.
I admit I sometimes tend to provoke but this is pretty much the only place where I have suffered Mark Simpson's "vituperation" apart from one run by a free speech absolutist, where I was told that as an atheist I didn't possess the wherewithal to mourn my dead son. Nothing here has come close to that, but Chris's idea of a civilised blog is honoured more in the breach than the observance it seems to me. Anyway I digress – good luck in your future posts here. I'm sure you will add a touch of rationality sadly lacking.

Anonymous said...

Chris, may I join in thanking you for your always clear headed, logical and interesting contributions, both in your blog, and with Sean Plunket on the Platform. I agree with you on a lot, but not everything. That's allowed, even to be encouraged, in a properly functioning liberal democracy. The "Left" that criticizes you so harshly seem to have very much adopted the Stalinist view of dissent, and how to deal with it. Or, to use the proper technical term, they've gone batshit crazy.

I sometimes look at the Daily Blog, and want to laugh at the self-satirizing foaming at the mouth it has sunk too. The laughter is limited by the awful realization some people take this ranting seriously. (As all three parties in the coalition government have agreed to review the laws on genetic engineering, may I suggest to the head looney he could add "genetically engineered" to his strings of ridiculous epithets about the government).

A comment I heard recently that resonated with me is that living in New Zealand now seems to be scripted by the horror writer Stephen King. The sort of Stephen King novel that starts with small town life seemingly boringly normal, but then the vampires (or ghosts, or aliens, or zombies, or a virus, or a mind rotting social contagion) arrives. Things start slowly getting weird, before the pace picks up, and things get really scary and dangerous. The good guys have to rapidly work out how to deal with it, if they are to overcome it, and/or escape with their lives.

Thank you for your support, and use, of free speech, functioning democracy, civil discussion, reality based decision making, and your contributions on these and other subjects. It's the political equivalent against the "left" crazies of daylight, garlic, crucifixes and holy water against the vampires. To mix vampire stories a bit, we need all the political van Helsings, like your good self, that we can get.

The Barron said...

As the great poet John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) once said "anger is an energy "
Keep contributing, and thanks for the words, although I think I pretty near the bottom of any list for beautification.
Kia kaha

The Barron said...

Clearly neither of you understand the term science and simply substitute prejudice.
Matauranga Maori, through scientific trial and error, navigated one third of the globe and extract every nutritional and medicinal benefit from the fauna.
As for gender, anthropology is a social science and has shown gender liminality through time and cultures.
I would recommend familiarity with enlightenment and modern understanding of what constitutes science.

David George said...

Anonymous: "The good guys have to rapidly work out how to deal with it, if they are to overcome it, and/or escape with their lives."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a new essay that attempts to understand the decline:
"When and why did American life become so coarse, amoral and ungovernable? In his classic 1993 essay, “Defining Deviancy Down”, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan offered a semantic explanation. He concluded that, as the amount of deviant behaviour increased beyond the levels the community can “afford to recognise”, we have been redefining deviancy so as to exempt conduct we used to stigmatise, while also quietly raising the “normal” level in categories where behaviour is now abnormal by any earlier standard. The reasons behind this, he said, were altruism, opportunism and denial — but the result was the same: an acceptance of mental pathology, broken families and crime as a fact of life."


bale said...

Yes that’s it. Nail hit on head. Thanks for all of your contributions Chris. I am not a leftist by any stretch, but your writing very much informs my ideas.

Jan said...

A good friend of mine, who hates the current Democratic party in the USA, has a lot of time for Robbert F Kennedy, as he sees him as an 'old school Democrat'. Likewise I se you as 'old school Labour', a party that had a consicence and a purpose. The current Labour party has neither, and my guess is this is why you no longer consider yourself to be in that camp. If I can attribute one reason to that, I'd say you have far too much intellect. Very well written and carefully considered article.

Kit Slater said...

Well, as many have been quoted, if you’re not a socialist at 25 you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at 50 you have no head. I think it’s wrongly assumed that people change their politics over time, and that what does change are firstly societal mores, and secondly an individual’s acquired wisdom, a coherent narrative, and an appreciation of conservative values. The last includes the best that has been thought and said, and the institutions, values, and virtues of civilisation, itself best described as a process of incremental improvement. One’s politics are of an age - to understand the man you have to know what was happening in the world when he was twenty. Your confrère Karl du Fresne suffered similar indignities inflicted by the juvenile moral authoritarians of the Left, engaged in their own purity spiral.

Incremental improvement – that’s progress. Not the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions, that’s for the ‘progressives’, who are attacking the very foundations of the greatest civilisation ever. And waiting in the wings is an ideology every bit as pernicious and totalitarian as Communism but with a longevity enforced by religiously-mandated violence.

O tempora, o mores! Plus ça change…

David George said...

There's a real danger in becoming a mere avatar of any ideology. While I tend to think of Chris T as a left leaning, liberal conservative even that very broad field is inadequate. As it should be.

Perhaps the reaction to Chris's perceived transgressions against the Left's shibboleths is best thought of as a manifestation of the culture war. The war that's, apparently, only happening in the fevered imaginations of the dreaded "Far Right".

Very handy that; attack and undermine your culture and it's institutions at every turn; declare war on it, in effect, then claim it's not happening, that you're imagining things, that you're the one with the problem, that you're "stoking the culture war". GFYS

Paul said...

Chris, keep on writing. I always enjoy reading your blog even when I disagree with bits.
Good to have a voice that is not right wing critiquing what’s going on with Treaty trends.

Anonymous said...

Same anon. as March 21 at 11.21 here again. If I might, I'd like to comment on one of Guerilla Surgeon's comments in one of his long farewells. He wrote "I would suggest that you have never spoken to a trans person and almost certainly don't know any".

Well, sometimes you really, really don't want to even try to speak to Trans Rights Activists and their "allies", let alone get to know them. I arrived late on March 25 at Albert Park. I missed the disgraceful thuggish shutdown of free speech, but was in time to see the purple haired rabble doing a "victory" lap celebrating their "victory". (A tactical victory on the day, they did indeed succeed in preventing women speaking on that day, in that place. A strategic defeat, in the longer term, adding to the backlash that saw Labour roundly electorally rejected).

I foolishly first thought of trying to engage in discussion with some of apparently calmer people there. Fortunately, I rapidly worked out that could be hazardous to my health, before opening my mouth. Also fortunately, I wasn't wearing the suffrage colours (green, white and purple) that apparently scream "TERF! Punch them in the face!!" to the TRA mob.

Having been late to Albert Park, I made damn sure I was two hours early for the Let Women Speak event outside the Auckland court in September. (The one Kellie-Jay decided not to come over for, but which went ahead, very successfully, without her). The TRAs were both outnumbered, and held back, (at last!) by the cops.

But I would actually really like to hear from the TRAs, if they can debate the issues rationally. They should not resort to ad-hominem verbal attacks, followed by physical attacks, if they want to advance their cause. They've tried that, and it's set them back (thank heavens!). Let's hear them try to win public support for, say, mediocre biological male athletes pretending to be female to steal prizes from elite sports women. They've lost Grant Robertson as the sports minister who was supportive of that ridiculous view. Let the TRAs use their free speech, and right to organise, to build a public campaign to pressure the current minister to adopt their policies. If they can.

Michael Johnston said...

Calling trial and error 'scientific' does not make it so. Science is characterised by systematic observation and data collection designed to falsify (prove incorrect) generalisable theories. There is no evidence that the Māori navigators did this, notwithstanding their astonishing accomplishments.

The Barron said...

I think GS' point is that most that identify as trans simply wish to live their lives without a requirement to justify their identity and existence to the anonymous.
While the TRA is a collective body, it is prejudicial to judge an entire sector by the actions of a few.
I am a believer in dialog on defined issues where 2nd wave feminists have concerns over spacial safety, but that demand cannot be imposed on every individual person that identifies as trans, nor every 2nd wave feminist.
Both sectors are rights and identity based. Dialog and understanding is needed across the sectors, but GS has the point that knowing people on a personal level should promote this, but most simply wish to live and let live.

The Barron said...

Quick definition-
Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.
That is exactly what Polynesians and Maori navigation and use of fauna was doing.
Easy example, cultivation of kumara. It only grows normally in frost free environment. It has been reasonably concluded that would mean Northland the only place it could be founded
Maori then invented the kumara pit as a technology that would allow kumara to grow in environments that are not frost free. This scientist innovation allowed kumara to spread as South as Lake Ellesmere. South of there is evidence that southern Maori were beginning to domesticated the Tii tree at the time of contact.
Medicinally, to extract the properties of plants comes with research and sacrifice.

Jonzie said...

Interesting that you don't appear on the Daily Blog any more. You must be too far left for them hahahaha

David George said...

Just so you know you're not alone, Chris, We're All Far Right Now.

A new song from Dominic Frisby.


David George said...

Yes Michael, Polynesian navigation was not really what we would describe as scientific. Many years ago I read the book We the Navigators: The Ancient Art of Landfinding in the Pacific by Dr David Lewis. He successfully navigated from Tahiti to New Zealand using traditional Polynesian methods.

Much of Polynesian navigation was an intuitive process. The navigator would lie down in the hull, or even leap into the sea, to feel the different wave patterns and try and deduce the direction of possible land, for example. Knowledge was passed on from the master to apprentice by rhyming chants and woven star charts. Much of that knowledge consequently died or was, perhaps, never fully developed. The value of a written language, the ability to transmit precise knowledge across time and space, is often foolishly underappreciated.

Gary Peters said...

Michael it matters not how many arrived but how many set off when you are looking at their skill.

Those that did not make it tell no tales and the reality of the instigation of the journey has been well buried in the annals of time.

In my opinion.

Anonymous said...

The left have cancelled Chris Trotter??

It’s truly a fucked up world …….

The Barron said...

Much was learnt from a traditional Caroline Island navigator. I am sure astronomy is science, bird migration patterns us science and phosphor luminescence.
It is strange how we develop our prejudice. Both Cook and Banks saw Tupaia as a scientist, and much of Cook's navigation owes a debt to him, as did Banks botany, which founded Kew gardens.
As for preliteracy, all plants and animals that provide the world's nutrition were domesticated by preliterate people. This includes agricultural invention in New Guinea temporaneous to the fertile crescent and mesoamerica.
No historical anthropologist or archeologist have any doubt Polynesian settlement was deliberate and planned, two way voyaging continued for a period, and that Waka design and navigation was world leading.

The Barron said...

Yet there is no oral history from Maori or any parts of East Polynesia of lost voyages. Opinion should have at least some basis.
What does exist is consenus acceptance that Polynesians not only reached the Americas, but returned.
Most nations take pride in the achievements of the founding population yet some here feel denigrating Maori achieved amplifies those that were to later settle. Sad

Michael Johnston said...

That definition isn't complete. As I said in my earlier post, scientists test generalisable theories by attempting to falsify them with evidence. You're right that it requires systemtic methodology, but not just any systemtic methodology. A scientific method must be designed to prove a theory wrong.

Māori certainly invented and discovered things. I'm not disputing their cleverness or capacity for innovation. Those are human universals courtesy of our highly developed prefrontal lobes. But science is not universal. It was the mid-twentieth century before Karl Popper fully articulated the principle of falsifiability (although scientists had already effectively been operating with that principle for about 100 years).

The Barron said...

It should be noted David Lewis was a respected - indeed remarkable, adventurer. While a qualified Doctor, he was not a scientist or anthropologist. "We the Navigators" was published in 1972. In the subsequent 50 years study of Polynesian navigation has developed greatly. Lewis wrote in line with his time, now there are few experts that take a position that any island discovery was 'fortuitous', and accept deliberate voyaging with highly developed navigation

David George said...

Getting off topic but, yes Barron, the lack of temperate climate crops was a real problem for the first settlers; their partial adaption a credit to them. Things were not so bad when we first arrived during the medieval warm period and kumaras, yams and taro could be much more widely cultivated. The mini ice age saw the end of that and some genuine food insecurity; the demise of the moa and accessible seal colonies a probable consequence.

Jarrad Diamond, in his book "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" argues "that the gaps in power and technology between human societies originate primarily in environmental differences, which are amplified by various positive feedback loops. When cultural or genetic differences have favored Eurasians (for example, written language or the development among Eurasians of resistance to endemic diseases), he asserts that these advantages occurred because of the influence of geography on societies and cultures - for example, by facilitating commerce and trade between different cultures."

Perverse as it may seem, isolation is ultimately a very risky business.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

You got my point exactly Barron. One of the conservatives' "strengths" in any discussion is the art of nut picking. They will pick the most extreme point of view in any group and extrapolate that to the rest of the group. I suspect some don't know what they're doing but some do and it's disingenuous at the very least. Oh well, we on the left could always use Hitler quotes I suppose.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

The left have cancelled Chris Trotter??"

The left have criticised Chris Trotter – as they are entitled to do – and he is entitled to reply. I don't see anyone refusing him a platform. He seems to have taken himself off the daily blog – up to him. The right throw those snarl words around a bit too often it seems to me. Particularly since they do most of the cancelling.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"“If you haven’t heard of Diamond’s book, these ideas may nonetheless seem familiar. That is because they are essentially the same arguments made by Franz Boas and other early anthropologists who focused on human cultures as primarily differing for ecological and geographic reasons. Diamond adds a strongly Marxist element, placing the mode of production and its geographical prerequisites as necessarily causal…”

In fact, this utterly misrepresents the history of anthropological theory, how most working cultural anthropologists think about the human story, and the bases of anthropological anti-racism. Franz Boas was very clear that “we have no evidence of a creative force of environment… It is sufficient to see the fundamental differences of culture that thrive one after another in the same environment, to make us understand the limitations of environmental influences” (Race, Language, and Culture 1982 [1940]: 255-256)."


You (CL) said ... "The answer, of course, is that, as an ageing Cis Pakeha Male, it is deeply racist of me to suppose that I have any say at all in matters pertaining to Te Tiriti, or the final shape of any society which might emerge from its fulfilment."

Oh Come On! I'm surprised at you CT.

To quote again "... to suppose that I (CT/Us/Pakeha!) have any say at all in matters pertaining to Te Tiriti",

OF COURSE you and I/We ... have every! right to enter the Treaty Debate! We are NZ'ers for Crissake!!! ALL of us must take places in this contest of ideas, futures and dreams

Do you see any US citizen resiling from participating in their! constitutional issues- debates? NO ... you don't ok! ... same for us.

We can hardly moan and grizzle if the Tangitawhenua hold the floor and monopolize coverage of these issues in our absence (if we let them).

There will likely never be complete unanimity of both sides-views.

Twee, naive, soppy as it sounds, I go 100% with Dame Whina who said ... "The Nations must learn to love one another".

Who can suggest better.

The Barron said...

Hopefully my last comment on the subject. Science was not invented in war time Christchurch, nor did it only begin a century before.
Popper"s falsication was about scientic proof. If Europeans thought all swans are white ot was because they had not seen all swans. Therefore, they could not conclude the knowledge of swans. This did not mean their knowledge of swans was zero, it simply wasn't conclusive.
Similarly, the Australian first nation people had incomplete knowledge of swans if they thought all swans are black.
Regardless, Galileo, Newton, Pythagoras were scientists, as were the inventors of the double hull. It is interesting that when rich yachtees modify double hulls it is called "Nasa level science ', while we watch the Fijian Drua play rugby without acknowledging the base technology.
It should finally be noted Mike, the definition I used is the one provided by the science council. I guess you are falsified

Leofric said...

Bugger the bloody Maoris and that effing treaty. I'm sick to death of everything to do with both of them.

Tom Hunter said...

Heh. Well that kicked up more comments than usual.

I thought you might appreciate this rather lengthy essay by one Freddie De Boer, Dreams that didn't come true, which takes a look at the last couple of decades of Social Justice screaming, including recent indications that it may be dying on the Left, courtesy of a NYT essay written by someone who got #MeTooed in 2018 and now said this of that incident:

“I left Amazon Studios in 2017 (after accusations I dispute), and five years later….”

De Boer points out that this piece would likely not have even been accepted by the NYT in 2018 and if it had been the counter-screams, especially about that push-back on his accusers, would have been deafening and lasted a long time. But in 2023 it was not only published but there was almost no reaction.

And just to entice you to read here are a couple of quotes - the first one amusing to me because based on some of what he's written in the past attacking Left with powerful blasts, I assumed he was on the Right.

Of course many or most would slot me into that world without thinking about it. This is, as I’ve frequently said, a record of the poverty of this whole approach to politics, of this moment. I am a lifelong socialist who has engaged in more actual left-wing organizing than probably 80% of the people who yell about politics online; more importantly, the people who classify me as a reactionary never rise to my challenge of telling me what actual issues of substance we disagree on, and they don’t because they know they can’t.

They just happen to believe that my position on substantive political questions is irrelevant when it comes to how I should be taxonomized by others. The only thing that matters for that kind of categorization is the various signals one displays that are then passed through a social filter, a process which results in a Venn diagram where “who you like” and “who’s your political ally” overlap perfectly. Like I said, a record of poverty. I am the left. I was born here. I decide what the left is. If you find that fact annoying remember the inherent insult is that nothing I want is anything I ever get.

Sound familiar? Anyway, he concludes with something that both you and Bradbury have agreed upon (despite the current antagonism).

I am saying that it’s an interesting case study in a broader culture where people finally seem exhausted of the constant yelling, where more and more young people appear to grok that the definition of left politics as hectoring obsession over language and moral hygiene has been a disaster for the left and its constituencies.
Even accepting all of its values and beliefs, the social justice approach to politics of the past fifteen years has utterly failed on its own terms. And I don’t understand why more of the smart people who are genuinely dedicated to social justice values don’t ask hard questions about why there’s been so little progress, by their own reckoning.

Because screaming moral superiority at people is just too much fun in our instant-feedback social media world? The good news for you is that he reckons people have simply become exhausted doing that.

I can tell you this, though: too many people in the business are trying to make late-2010s rules work in the mid-2020s. “This Thing is Problematic” isn’t walking the dog anymore guys, sorry. Nobody gives a shit. Nobody is clicking on yet more pieces that say “You know that thing/person you love? Here’s why it’s 100% pure evil.” The audience has stopped caring about what you personally find beneath your exalted moral standards. There are too many real problems in the world. Nobody cares.

greywarbler said...

I think your posts are questing and with good references, not just opinions, Chris T. Questing isn't a word I see very often as I read around me. But I think we have to look at things in the way that I do at my usual supermarket,
high and low, 360 degrees.

It is stacked full from floor to 6 feet high. I have methods for getting things down from the high shelf, I don't give up. And I might have to kneel for the low shelf and pull the price screen to me, the figures are so small, and I might have to extend my arm fully to get my stuff. It's a challenge and how things are; I ask for help from other shoppers, and I may chat about the latest difficulties. ask for advice, preference. And I talk to the checkout workers, get help from the supervisors, thank people, wish them good weather.
Although I don't really approve of supermarkets, they are great people places, equality of adequate cash is the main thing.

If we can help and learn from each other, hearing different viewpoints, and asking that magic word 'Why' and listening to the answer and being guided by what is plainly good advice, we will struggle through the coming harder times.. But there are people who despise others; they are worse than birds of prey for maliciousness. I have been sent screenshots of shoppers in I think, a USA supermarket who are untidy, fat, disabled; the disdain of recording them to show others is so malicious. Save us O Lord from our lofty pretensions; there cam be a wonderful quirk under an odd exterior. The bloke on the footpath begging for his dinner looks up with a grin and three teeth missing. His eyes sparkle and we exchange greetings. Good-will and practicality - what we need.

DS said...

Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.

Too many people have this binary between science and nonsensical woo-woo. Aristotle was pursuing knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence. But he wasn't using the scientific method (not invented for another two millennia). Aristotle was engaged in what he and his ilk termed natural philosophy.

Maori were similarly not engaging in science. But nor were they engaging in nonsensical woo-woo. Avoiding binaries is important here.

David George said...

I'm not sure I understand you're point, "Guerilla Surgeon", but the principle of economic and cultural progress through interaction and exchange is widely accepted.
The common latitude belts of the Eurasian continent, spanning half the earth, allowed the transfer of crops, livestock, materials, human genetic variation, diseases and, perhaps most importantly, knowledge and ideas. That that made those communities able and willing to embrace and adapt them stronger and more resilient is hardly contentious. Perhaps you're just trying to be disagreeable.

The great epochal shift that occurred after the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago (from hunter gatherer to agriculture, civilisation and human progress) passed many scattered communities almost entirely. They've suffered, and continue to suffer, as a consequence; although failure, decline and conquest can, of course, befall the mighty as well.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

'Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.'

'Science is characterised by systematic observation and data collection designed to falsify (prove incorrect) generalisable theories.'

The first statement is pretty much what Maori did, the second is nonsense seemingly propagated by someone who's never done science, or someone who is completely naïve about what scientists do. Science is much more messy than that. That statement is simply a lie-to-children – a simplified, and often technically incorrect, explanation of technical or complex subjects employed as a teaching method.

'And I don’t understand why more of the smart people who are genuinely dedicated to social justice values don’t ask hard questions about why there’s been so little progress, by their own reckoning."

No idea who the guy is but he should maybe think a little harder. Much of the social injustice is systemic, and the decisions needed to get rid of it are often unpalatable, especially to conservatives. They prefer to believe that injustice is down to individuals, so they can pretend that it's nothing to do with them.

Anonymous said...

Your "gender critical" (i.e. reality based) Anon. from 23 March at 11:58 here again.

I would like to comment on The Barron & GS's suggestion the majority of trans people want to be left alone to live quiet lives. That could well be true. But, if it is, those trans people are very poorly served by the most visible, noisy and aggressive of the Trans Rights Activists. Who tend to shut such quiet trans people up, if they ever do stop being quiet and dare express their opinion. In the same way the TRAs attempt to shut up anyone who disagrees with them.

Looking back, I think part of the smoothing of the path to that idea of "quiet trans" acceptance was the storyline in Coronation Street of Roy and Hayley Cropper. Hayley was born Harold, and is still pre-op when she first meets Roy. She transitions, they marry, and she becomes fully accepted, even beloved, by the Street. (Not without first being told the truth along the way by a real woman. That is, that no matter how many drugs she takes, or what operations she has, she'll never be a real woman. That was a while ago, such TERF talk probably couldn't be aired on TV One today). Part of the reason it worked on screen was that Hayley was played by a real woman. Casting a natal male in the role would have strained suspension of disbelief, even in a soap that regularly does so.

And, if I may, I will do some "nut picking" criticism of support for trans athletes. I think it is, if not downright nutty, at the very least highly inconsistent, to say you support both women's sport, and trans inclusion in women's sport. What sort of person claims to admire strong women, (beginning with his mother), and to be a committed advocate for more exposure of women's sport, and for greater involvement of girls and women in sport? A principled supporter of women and girls, I would say. But then, in the same speech, the same person passionately defends Gavin Hubbard beating actual young women in weightlifting by simply asserting he's a woman. So, a middle aged, privileged white male, from a family with a successful business, cheats two young Samoan women out of first place. And this is defended and justified as "inclusion", and being "kind" to Gavin. The "nut" in this case is Grant Robertson, in his valedictory speech.
(Available on You Tube).

Well Grant, I think you effectively just handed over a shovel to the rest of your caucus, with encouragement to keep digging an ever deeper hole.

I'm looking forward to seeing who, if anyone, from Labour is prepared to campaign in South Auckland on defending Gavin, and expect to increase the Labour vote by doing that. I wonder what Dame Valerie Adams thinks of Labour supporting Gavin. And even if, for whatever reasons, she says nothing out loud, how Labour now resonates among Pacifica women voters in general.

I think Chris Hipkins has finally realised some attempt at damage control is needed. He claimed to Sean Plunket on The Platform that he never said he'd have been at Albert Park if he could. I'm sure that was what he did say, before the event. He also feebly protested to Sean that everyone should have free speech, and no one should have thrown anything. I'm pretty sure he wasn't saying anything even remotely like that before the event. Interestingly, Hipkins also confirmed to Sean that Shaneel Lal is now employed in a Labour MP's office at Parliament. So, mixed messages, to say the least.

Grant Robertson spoke in his valedictory of the "nine long years" he was in Opposition. Well Grant, I think your valedictory, and legacy, helps ensure Labour is going to get as long, if not even longer, in Opposition now. I sincerely hope so, or, preferably, that Labour never regains the Treasury benches.

David George said...

Thanks DS, that's a pretty good summing of my thoughts as well.

There's no reason why a Maori genius couldn't have come up with, say, the principle of gravity (or perhaps they did?) but it took already developed sophisticated language to explain and communicate (and think it through?) and established mathematical principles to allow it's development into Newton's brilliant gravitational constant; a universal formula for the movement and orbits of the heavenly bodies.

Of course this campaign for the recognition of, and reverence for, Maori knowledge has little to do with finding anything of real value. It's best understood as (mostly?) an artifact of the culture war; yet another effort aimed at devaluing and denigrating Western culture.

Michael Johnston said...

I didn't say that Popper 'invented' science. Modern science coalesced during the Enlightenment with scientists like Newton and Lavoisier. It's roots go back to Aristotle. You seem to be defining science as any human discovery. You can do that if you like, but you're throwing out a very useful epistemic distinction if you do - that of theoretical versus non-theoretical knowledge. And falsificationism is not about proof - precisely the opposite in fact. It's the recognition that no theory can be proven, only disproven. And finally, I am not impressed by your invocation of the science council, which is now a highly politicised organisation. I'll take my definition from Popper and the world-class scientists by whom I had the privilege to be trained.

greywarbler said...

@Tom Hunter
Nobody cares? Nobody that you know probably, and you know such a lot - of things and people. However there is generally a structure in human affairs, a few people at the top, another group beyond, and so on, creating a ripple. So
a few people can make a difference. And those who care can carry memories of great people with them as exemplars, even when they are dead. Small groups can make a big difference. It is so important that the few spread the right sort of inspiration that will favour them and the public in a 'good' way, and discussing what constitutes 'good' is on the baseline of civilised modern society.

David George said...

Easter Message.


"What is the absolute hypothetical limit of human attainment when vulnerability and ignorance are fully and completely accepted, when the unknown is squarely confronted, and when consciousness is given its due at the very center of the world?

That's Christ's acceptance of the crucifix.
That's his willingness to be betrayed, subject to the evil of his closest companions and the state and his embrace of brokenness and death.

It is pure truth that even a small leaving of humility and courage engenders resilience progress and growth. It is pure truth that resentful rejection of the price of finite being multiplies suffering endlessly and unnecessarily.

What is the ultimate expression of those truths taken to their final conclusion?
Who is to say who we are and what we might be capable of achieving if we develop the courage to accept our terrible fates, live in truth, and stumble uphill?"

"It is through identification with the process symbolized by Easter that we are each redeemed and our culture revivified and salvaged.
We are all the slaves of pharisees and lawyers, of those who place dogma above spirit at the cost of spirit. We are all subject to betrayal by ourselves and by all those who surround us. We are all facing extinction in the most tortuous of manners.

But there is a spirit within us with sufficient courage to confront the true horrors of existence forthrightly to allow the transformation, even death, that such confrontation catalyzes to occur and to leap forward renewed."

"And the Christian command?
To act out the proposition that courage and truth and love are more powerful than
death and despair and to accept what transpires as a consequence.
That is Easter and the death and resurrection of Christ."


swordfish said...

The Usual Suspects ... performative sanctimonious upper-middle class wokedom in general ... & the absurdly pompous Rusty Brown Brigade in particular.

Anonymous said...

Same anon. as 23 March at 11:58. If you're happy to keep the flow going, Chris, I'd like to do some "nut picking" criticism, in response to Guerilla Surgeon.

One speech I heard recently seemed illogical to the point of nuttiness to me. The speaker claimed to be a supporter of "strong women", starting with his mother. He also claimed to be a strong advocate for women and girls participating in sport, and sporting administration. He expressed his pleasure at seeing women's sport in general, but the women's football world cup in particular, enjoying increased exposure and popularity. Fine sentiments, from an apparently wholehearted strong supporter of women and girls.

But his first comment on "women" in sport, preceding the fine sentiments, was a passionate defence of Gavin Hubbard masquerading as a woman. While doing this cosplay, Hubbard beat two young Samoan women weight lifters into second and third places. How "inclusive!".

So, a privileged middle aged white male, from a successful business family, only a mediocre athlete among other males, can publicly humiliate young women of colour, and Grant approves. The real women have to just accept that, as being justified by being "inclusive". Also sensitive, because, of course, no one would want to hurt poor Gavin's feelings.

Well, if you haven't guessed already, that was Grant Robertson, speaking in his valedictory speech to Parliament. I think that speech was along the lines of handing a shovel to his colleagues with a "keep digging!" message. Grant himself scrambles up a rope, dropped from the University of Otago, to get the hell out of the hole they've dug together.

I really look forward to Grant's colleagues accepting his challenge. Let them campaign among working class women, explaining how they have to now accept any man who says he's a woman in their changing rooms, showers and toilets. Let them explain to young women wishing to emulate Beatrice Faumauina or Valerie Adams that, unlike their role models, they will have to accept they may be displaced by mediocre, shameless, men. I'm sure messages like that will help Labour keep their South Auckland seats, win back Mount Roskill, and restore their majority in Mount Albert.

Adding Shaneel Lal to Labour's parliamentary staff should help ensure they stay "on message", and really help to restore Labour's fortunes. A masterstroke!

Chris Hipkins didn't help, though, when he spoke to Sean Plunket on The Platform. He did confirm publicly that Shaneel Lal is indeed now employed in a Labour MP's office. But when challenged, he claimed he never said, before March 25, he'd be there with the protestors, if he could. I'm pretty sure he did say that. Hipkins also feebly claimed free speech should have been allowed, and no one should have thrown anything. Way to lose votes to the Greens, without winning any from the center!

I wish Grant Robertson a long life, and domestic happiness with his partner, now he should be able to spend more time at home. I just also hope that in that long, and otherwise happy, life he never sees Labour recover, and they never regain the treasury benches. Working people need a new party, based on our unions, and in the traditions Labour long ago abandoned in practice, to look out for our interests.

Andrew Osborn said...

You seem a bit bewildered Chris! Allow me to explain my version of what's happened and your expulsion from the Left will become clear. In essence you haven't changed but they definitely have.

Let's go back a hundred years. At that time Marxism was in crisis because Marx's predictions of the workers rising up hadn't eventuated. Instead, the working class were fast becoming a fairly comfortable middle class, at least in the West. However, Mussolini noticed when fighting against the Austrians in WW1, that while the peasants weren't particularly motivated by their class status, they definitely were motivated by their nationality and culture. Thus, Fascism was born: A variant of Marxism in that it divides by race/nationality/ethnicity rather than by class. NOT the opposite of Socialism as the Left tries to portray it now. All with the same authoritarianism, centrism and collectivism.

With that piece of history in mind take a look at where we are today, especially in the USA, where these fashions tend to originate. The Left has become race obsessed to the point of wanting segregation. They are sponsored by today's billionaire industrialists just as both Mussolini and Hitler were in their day. Antisemitism abounds. Their foot soldiers operate and dress just like Mussolini's Black Shirts.

The only conclusion I can make is that once again Marxism has metastasized into Fascism. Therefore, your instinct to call it out was sound. I just hope it doesn't end the same way this time around.

John Hurley said...

The reality is that the leadership of the Israeli state will not seek a solution that leads to long term peace and co-existence, nor will the leadership of Hamas. Dialectical analysis suggests that we look at the power relationships, the power clearly resides with the Israeli government as the people of Gaza cannot change leadership in the current situation. The first step to resolution is with the Israeli people to change leadership, which allows the Palestinians space to reorganize towards long-term solutions. I doubt Chris' analysis would be different if divorced from the emotions of 7/10.
I suggest we look at Jacinda’s speech (recently and at the UN): “but [Sapolsky] also asks: “what if we change what us means..”.
The Holy Grail of the left is the ethnicless society, yet human has been the competitor species of human for 300,000 years. What is clear is that the dominant academics in NZ believe society is plastic. Mother sorts society into tangata whenua “in terms of recognition” and “migrants” (whalers to Koreans) in the other bedroom; NZ On Air will read stories.
These days those at the top are (as Chris described in The Post), are the John Keys (who flies his kitchen to his Hawaii home from Spain) and leftists who see themselves as floating like froth above the masses (Trevor Richards in Paris; Jacinda Arden, “having a lovely time -somewhere in the Mediterranean”). The progressives are the cognitive elite whose grandparents were sorted into P1 (not P2 or P3 or T1, T2 or3 T3 etc) and married someone from P1. Their descendants live the dream life of the white saviour; a photo of the big city from a natural shore gives them the warm fuzzies as they can control the beast.
The problem the coalition of progressive and Slum Corp (Cessna Citation) is that the other has to be ally (I note Malcolm McCracken referring to a block of apartments as “not sausage flats” – he doesn’t believe population is an issue).
As the gas bottle man says: “I’m just a dumb fella, but I can see that they are coming here because their place is overcrowded” and while he didn’t study English literature at Journalism School he has a sharp ability to detect patterns and “who is rooting who”. Cognitive dissonance makes him feel there is lead in the nation’s water.
Helen Clark, who tried to sell herself as “come[ing] from a region of great diversity” (previously 93% European), having been right, is now promoting 5 minute cities and the dense Barcelona model. The planner from New York says to “just do it” (something Helen is famous for).
There you have power; your proxy for public opinion.
Power is about who can have a say and what questions you can ask of power, Eg “Five minute cities will be nice, but show me my house” and “I’ll be able to walk, or close to a bus stop, but where will I want to go?”
[Comments Closed]

John Hurley said...

The left have criticised Chris Trotter – as they are entitled to do – and he is entitled to reply. I don't see anyone refusing him a platform. He seems to have taken himself off the daily blog – up to him. The right throw those snarl words around a bit too often it seems to me. Particularly since they do most of the cancelling.
I recall people on RNZ saying "we like Chris Trotter", I also recall a picture of a group (including Chris) and the comment "there he is" (as if they were looking at a bug on the corn).

The Barron said...

I stay with the science council definition. The idea that science is derived from the enlightenment is eurocentric and dismisses the scientific achievements of China, Persia, India, the Arab thinkers,Greek, Roman, Egyptian, mesoamerica and indeed Maori and Polynesian
I note you have changed the premise from science to "modern science ".
Your starting point was that Maori matauranga is not science. Your finishing point is that it is not modern European science. You conceed Maori "invented" and "discovered " things. Presumably through the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world.
Indeed, as it is in the definition, a simple translation of matauranga is knowledge.
The knowledge of nutrition and medicinal properties of all fauna in a temperate climate by people from the tropics over about 500 years is remarkable. It also shows systematic transfer of knowledge through wananga / wanaka and tohunga.
It should be also observed that many Maori scientists involved in "European" "modern " science, from Sir Peter Buck , Te Rangi Hiroa, seamlessly intergrated matauranga with their scientific discipline.
I really don't care your claim to be trained by world class scientists, all you're left with is prejudicial and unsustainable theory as to global knowledge and thought.

The Barron said...

Of course the real thing that is happening, Michael, is that you wish science to be an exclusion zone. By maintaining a monocultural model the result is not engaging or including those from different cultural heritage from education in science. This then replicates the same demographics in science and misses the potential of others, primarily indigenous, as participants.
It is a process of systemic and institutional exclusion. At school level, using the science, indigenous or "modern ", of navigation of the Pacific or innovation and use of fauna, would engage those that can identify, expand the intake in science and broaden ontological basis
That inclusion and expansion requires a departure from a chauvinistic world and intellectual view.

Mixhael Johnston said...

I did not and do not deny the contributions of all the other cultures you mentioned. Yes, science has developed over at least two millenia, with all kinds of influences. The problem with the science council definition is that, as I said in my previous post, it classifies all human discovery as science, which is epistemologically naive.

I begin to suspect that you're more interesting in being seen to 'win' the exchange than in arguing in good faith. Some of your comments betray you as the kind of leftist that Chris has criticised: The minute you feel your argument to be on shaky ground, you turn to ad hominem, with your silly accusations of ethnocentrism and intellectual chauvinism. You put the most uncharitable construction you can on my points instead of engaging with them thoughtfully. You put words in my mouth - another common rhetorical device of people bereft of solid arguments. What a waste of time.

The Barron said...

What a swirl of nonsense.
You begin by making yourself spokesperson for the non-TRA trans people, divert to your knowledge of trans being derived from Coronation St, conflate issues of sport with everyday living, then critique the Labour Party for having different views than, presumably a non-member and doubtful supporter and claim speak for South Auckland pasifika people on gendered identity.
I would suggest you're less "gender critical ", and more opinionated about the lives of others.

John Hurley said...

By The Baron's definition the earliest human tool makers were scientists, therefore you could find an undiscovered tribe of scientists in the Amazon jungle; by Michael's definition there is a wider theory and process emanating in much broader fields of knowledge [a material difference]?


Guerilla Surgeon said...





Pre-much everywhere there are right-wing governments, this sort of thing is happening. So tell me again how it's the left that's the fascist danger to democracy.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

David. I'm tempted here to go out on a high. You are a full rich man who ignores science in favour of fringe nutcases. Particularly on vaccination. To the extent that people have listened to you and refused to be vaccinated, you have damaged those individuals and society. Maybe not as much is that prick Alex Jones, all that utter nutcase JFK junior, but enough. I sincerely hope that when you shuffle off this mortal coil – although I wouldn't wish it to happen any sooner necessarily – it's from a disease that you have refused to be vaccinated for, and I also hope that your last words are something like "I guess I should have taken the vaccine."
Having said that, Diamond is probably one of the least nutty theorists US powers. He made a genuine effort to account for the advantages Eurasians had over the rest of the world in a nonracist way. However there are criticisms, and research that shows that his approach is to say the least simplistic. You should maybe look them up. There is a particularly sophisticated one on the transmission of technology/ideas, but there is also criticism of his use of the Mercator projection map of the world which exaggerates the width of Eurasia and minimises the width of Africa.
But you won't cause you have "done your own research." Just as you've done with vaccines. I must say though that is someone who has actually done proper research, you wouldn't know research if it bit you in the bum.
The Barron would no doubt put all this much more politely, but I've run out of patience – with you, with Chris, with this site.
Chris, I notice you have said nothing about the false accusation about my sympathies with Hamas. There was a time when you could apologise to someone when you got something wrong. Has your sense of your own correctness which some have characterised as arrogance grown to the point where you can no longer do this? As far as I can see you should provide the evidence from my posts which you have on tap, or apologise and STFU in future.
And perhaps overcome your indifference to the 30,000 innocent civilians killed by the Israelis in their overreaction to the Hamas invasion. Or are you just going to stubbornly dig in and double down? "The world wonders".

The Barron said...

And here you go again, changing definition. No where is the word "discovery" there. Discovery is science if it is "in the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding ...
following a systematic methodology based on evidence ".
All you have done is pretzel logic, twisting from science to "modern science " and twisting the science council definition.
All to try a justification of excluding Matauranga Maori from science
This of course has real world impact if we are setting school curriculum and wishing science to be inclusive and to meet the potential to those sectors previous disengaged.
Definition for exclusion is a right wing tool for ensuring that if knowledge is power, only recognize your definition of knowledge and limit the access to this.
Straight from the right education lobby book.

The Barron said...

Newton was a genius of physics and maths, but it is worth remembering he also tried to use those disciplines to prove the existence of God and alchemy.
"Real value " is relative to time and culture. The double hulls and sail design had some influence, the contribution to understanding of trench warfare against artillery shells has been overstated, but undoubtedly added to strategic development. Labs today are researching medicinal qualities of fauna known to Maori.
The parallel here is 2400 years of traditional knowledge of the bark if the willow. This knowledge had been developed and generationally transferred, in 1853 a German chemist built on the traditional knowledge and developed the aspirin.
As attributed to Newton, "If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of gaints"
Some of those we're unknown traditional holders and users of the knowledge and science of their time.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Guerilla Surgeon.

I commend you, GS, for condemning Hamas for the atrocities it unleashed on 7 October. I wish I had seen them before I accused you of being - objectively - an Hamas supporter.

For that misrepresentation, you have my apologies.

Andrew Osborn said...

Guerilla Surgeon I recommend you hold your fire regarding vaccination status because this story is far from over.

I am vaccinated for Covid, but I've now got to the point where I regret I ever got the jabs. In the long run I would have been better off suffering from being a social outcast for the duration of the evil Ardern regime.

This is because there is a steady stream of research coming out of (mainly Europe because it is suppressed elsewhere) which is bringing into question the safety of mRNA vaccines. There is now peer reviewed and published research from Germany and Italy showing serious harm has been done and is still doing to some people. I personally know two people here in NZ who were hospitalized by their first jab, so how many more are there? Nobody in the media wants to ask that question...yet.

There is suppression of this in mainstream media. Nobody on TV wants to ask awkward questions about why so many countries including ours are still experiencing 'excess deaths' years on from the pandemic. Nobody wants to talk about athletes dying from myocarditis or pericarditis. But come out it will, just you wait.

David George said...

Thanks GS, I was vaccinated for the covid virus, among other things, I'm not antivax.
Science is, broadly, a search for truth so it certainly bothers me when science is proscribed; discussion and dissent disallowed - our doctors effectively barred from questioning the narrative for example. The mantra "Follow the science" is not science but it's immolation.

In the kerfuffle over the incorporation of folk law into the science curriculum there was a petition (from actual academics) to have the questioning professors fired for their blasphemy. That the petition was promoted by people that had just told us to "follow the science" should be of concern. Where the hell is science being led? Richard Dawkins was unequivocal:

"Origin myths are haunting and poetic, but they belong elsewhere in the curriculum. The very phrase ‘western’ science buys into the ‘relativist’ notion that evolution and big bang cosmology are just the origin myth of white western men, a narrative whose hegemony over ‘indigenous’ alternatives stems from nothing better than political power. This is pernicious nonsense. Science belongs to all humanity. It is humanity’s proud best shot at discovering the truth about the real world."

What's driving this? Part of the war on the west - it's science, it's foundational religion, it's history and it's heroes? The tragedy is that our universities and legacy media have subordinated the essence of science to their pernicious dogma and called that the truth.

John Maynard Keynes said of Newton":

"He was the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance .....He was not [so much] the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians."

Are the magicians taking over again?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

The annual convention of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) opened on 2024 Feb. 21 with a panel discussion moderated by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. The audience enthusiastically cheered remarks by panelist Jack Posobiec, whose previous claim to fame was promoting the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

“Welcome to the end of democracy. We are here to overthrow it completely,” Posobiec said as the event began.

“We didn’t get all the way there on January 6, but we will endeavor to get rid of it and replace it with this, right here,” he said, gesturing to the crowd and holding up his fist.
As he spoke, Bannon laughed and said, “Amen!”
Posobiec then said, to cheers from the audience, “All glory is not to government. All glory to God.”

Tell me again how it's the Fascist left that are the danger to democracy.

I'm still digesting your apology Chris.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"I would suggest you're less "gender critical ", and more opinionated about the lives of others."

Conservatives seem to have a vital need for some group to be afraid of, and therefore angry about. Years ago, black and brown people were considered to be subhuman. Still are in some circles. But the majority of normal people got over that, and then it was women who needed to be subordinate to men. Some people still believe this. But again normal people came round. Then it was "teh gays", who were corrupting our youth, and turning them into homosexuals. Eventually people found out that wasn't the case. Now it seems to be trans people and drag queens. I tell you what, I know a couple of trans people although no drag queens, but I'd sooner leave my kids in charge of them than any number of religious*. Statistically at least it's a no-brainer.

*noun,plural re·li·gious. a member of a religious order, congregation, etc.; a monk, friar, or nun. Just in case someone wants to get sarcastic about my grammar.

The Barron said...

David G, I always enjoy your research, albeit sources that I personally have reservations on. Differing source material makes for a wider understanding of debate.

GS has covered Jared Diamond, a populist that draws too many bows, but is worthy of analysis / counter-discourse. Dawkins is problematic. His specialist area is as a biological evolutionist, but he advocates for inherited behavior and intelligence. Such presumptions go back to Francis Galton, but over the 150 or so years since Galton there is no conclusive studies which show either despite a weight of attempts. Such becomes more focused with bordered and isolated communities, such as we have in the Pacific. The best example is the island of Niue. The gene pool is limited and dominant genes appear, Sir Colin Tukuitonga is world acclaimed in the medical field. There is no evidence this is reflected elsewhere in the population, or specifically there is no deviation from what would be expected in any population. Professor Jim Flynn showed this with IQs amongst populations improving with environment and education.

I also have a problem with his approach to atheism. His 'science' makes for pre-determination that is positively Calvinist.

I have provided definition from the science council and why Maori Matauranga fit within the definition. I will just take a chance to show consequences to the other side of the discourse. A classroom in Auckland is likely to be multi-cultural. Imagine a teacher expounding the science of the west. The pupil of Chinese heritage proudly shares the science that originated in the East, the student of Indian heritage notes the origin of zero and how advanced mathematics is reliant, the pupil with heritage in the near-East notes Babylonian and Egyptian science the Greeks drew from, then the Maori and Pasifika children advance the navigation, the astronomy, and the knowledge of medicine and nutrition from all fauna, that this covered one-third of the globe. That their ancestors reached the Americas centuries before Columbus, that Tupaia's voyaging knowledge made Cook jealous and gave Banks the base knowledge that would lead to the founding of Kew gardens and foundation of British botanical study. And the teacher says "but none of that is science, your heritage is without methodological knowledge".

An above comment suggested Maori limited to "cleverness or capacity for innovation", this is no further than the cunning native. All education disciplines require to be moved from institutional bias or we are simply destroying the potential of the inheritors of the science of remarkable ancestors.

Anonymous said...

I think you and I are of a similar age, Chris. Do you also remember when fireworks were (too) freely available in the run up to Guy Fawkes? With the instructions to "light blue touch paper and retire"? You have certainly gotten some metaphorical fireworks going here!

I feel I owe you an apology, for basically getting you to post the same post twice, the one from me "nutpicking" Grant Robertson's valedictory speech. I thought my first attempt had failed, and impatiently posted again, without first waiting for you to update the comments. A confused old man, struggling with modern technology, as well as the weirdness of the modern world? Yes, yes, guilty as charged.

But I wanted to comment, if I may, on the problem of being labelled as "right", for having the temerity to criticize the orthodoxies of what is passed off as "left thought" these days, and using "right" platforms to do so.

Evolutionary biologist Colin Wright is one of many who have encountered this. He was an atheist before he studied evolutionary biology. He was motivated to do so to emulate his intellectual hero, Richard Dawkins. Colin wanted to be as informed as possible to debate creationists. Then along came the "no, sex is a spectrum, not a binary" nonsense, to back up the trans nonsense. Colin once again lept to the defence of biological orthodoxy, that sex is indeed a binary. That binary has been honed by some two billion years of evolution, evolution that favours the most successful methods of reproduction.

Bad career move for any academic career in any mainstream American university these days. Such "transphobia" makes you unemployable there. To succeed you have to publish papers where you have to torture the data until it confesses, in favour of the spectrum. (And, of course, we all know confessions extracted by torture are totally reliable).

But Colin had the experience of then being platformed by the creationists he previously debated, as they agreed with him, that sex is indeed a binary. Differences were set aside for the moment, to form a joint opposition to trans ideology, and the clear and present dangers it poses. I'm with Colin on this, sex is indeed a binary, honed by evolution, and ideologues are attacking this to further their own agendas. (For the latest examples of their real agenda, see the whistleblowing WPATH leaks).

Chris, please continue to follow Colin's example. I enjoy your contributions to The Platform, and it's a much better than no platform. Do not be deterred by those condemning you for not showing rigid conformity. And only on The Platform, of all current media, as far as I know, could you hear a drag queen respond to Hannah Tamaki. Sean interviewed Hannah Tamaki on the protests against drag queen performances in libraries. One of the drag performers then phoned in herself to give her side of the story. And I do mean her, she's a female performer in a greatly exaggerated version of her femininity. It was a fascinating discussion, but I think it's behind a paywall now.

And finally, may I thank both The Barron and Guerilla Surgeon for their contributions here. There is no chance of this becoming a boring echo chamber while they express and defend their views. And they may think I'm far right, but that's much preferable to being, like them, far wrong.

Anonymous said...

Just can't stay away, can you GS?

Still, with the Daily Blog even more batshit crazy than usual and OnlySky giving up the ghost, I imagine you need somewhere with a decent standard of commentary.

Frankie Lee

David George said...

Yes Andrew, I agree.
I had two shots, against my inclination, because we needed to make a trip we were committed to. I resent the coercion and my doubts have proven to been validated; this particular "vaccine" was never properly tested and has proven to be neither safe nor effective and the mass vaccination program was a mistake in principle.

The extraordinary increase in heart and cancer deaths can't be ignored so it's great to see the new government committing to a comprehensive enquiry.

"the oncologist had told Blackman’s mother the disease was “ripping through” young outwardly fit and healthy people and the doctor had 12 other similar cases on the go.

In a similar turn of events, it was “surreal and shocking” when doctors gave Argyle the devastating news that she was also dying from bowel cancer, and could have just eight weeks left.

“As they were telling me, Jade’s story was in my mind. One of my doctors said it was alarming the amount of younger people that were not finding out it was too late,” she said.

“The speed at which it happened was hard to take in. How can this be? This should not be happening in this country that we have this terrible killer disease. It’s striking down previously healthy young people, who have had nothing in their lifestyle such as drinking, smoking or bad diet to cause it. There needs to be urgency to save lives. ”


The Barron said...

This is a more considered post anon. and I will treat it so.
While conceding there are some dissenting views, few would disagree mammal evolution is reliant on male / female sexual dimorphism for reproduction. Science has in some cases allowed alternatives. The reason is that the science has enabled those that cannot have children "conventually" have children.
Your initial view that male and female are specifically reproductive roles, leads to the devaluing of women that may not, by biology or choice, have children. Further, it replicates the artificial tie between fertility and masculinity.
The next area where this becomes problematic is that there has always been those born intersex. Whether chromosomes or genitalia, there are those born neither male nor female within your view of 'sex'. It is illogical to try to impose a binary lable. It is also wrong deem invisible those.in our society.
We should then make a distinction between what you are referring to as "sex" (categories based on birth chromosomes or genitalia) and gender.
Gender is about identity. The debate is about who has the right to decide someone's gender identity, the state or the individual. This intersects with group identity. I have noted previously that gender liminality has been present in most cultures throughout time. As with women who choose not to have children, those that self-identified within gender liminality have not accepted imposed (patriarchal) expectations.
The problem is that western, and post-colonial institutions and spacial arrangements are primarily based on gender binary. I accept that 2nd wave feminists that have fought for safe space and institutionsal change have anxiety about what can be seen as a challenge to those spaces and institutions just after the achievement.
This should not deter from an acceptance that it is the individual not the state that chooses their gender identity. Indeed, it is complimentary if we truly view non-binary as a spectrum of gender liminality.
I note anon. your persistence of debates for those with gender liminality having to defend their being and place in society. I find this curious. I think issues such as accommodation into traditional female space is a genuine discussion between those within the sectors. But, no-one should be expected to publicly defend themselves and everyday place in society.

David George said...

The racial, tribal or cultural source of knowledge is not really the point though is it Barron, not if you accept that human knowledge is a gift to humanity as a whole. The science students in India, for example, are taught on the the basis that:

"Science is the constitutive feature of modern society. It has not only changed the world but has also changed the way we understand the social and natural world. Apart from alleviating us from the traps of ignorance, illiteracy and penury, it has challenged the centrality and dominance of metaphysical beliefs in society. The attributes of science like rationality, and open-mindedness, and scientific worldviews are universal values, essential for the growth of an individual as well as the society. In post-independent India, our Constitution adopted the goals of establishing a society based on scientific temperament, humanism and spirit of inquiry..... science education is central to our modernity project and the idea of society predicated on scientific rationality, democratic values and open-mindedness."

So why are folk lore and mythology being promoted in our Kiwi kid's science curriculum?
I can't believe it's just because some kids might feel left out since it clearly doesn't address that (imaginary?) problem. It's the weaponisation of woo-woo in the culture war; that's what it is.

"In the realm of facts science reigns supreme, in the realm of values we have to look elsewhere" Jordan Peterson.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Have you seen me post anywhere else on this site Frankie Lee? I'm staying away quite well thank you.:) To be honest, I don't think the standard of commentary on this site is any better than anywhere else – perhaps a tad better than the daily blog, but then it attracts the sort of same sort of incoherent leftists as this one seems to attract rightists.
I came here to see what Chris said about his critics, and to try to find an answer as to why he is the sole left-wing blogger of my acquaintance to completely ignore the slaughter of Palestinian children. Haven't seen an answer to that one yet.

More of your own research I see David? Cancer has surged for the last 30 years, none of it as far as I know could be sheeted home to vaccines. Indeed the highest increases seem to be in the US which is hardly the most vaccinated of countries. As usual you post anecdotes which are completely meaningless in this context.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Incidentally, I was sad to see only sky go, but I've been telling them for at least a year now that if you want people to come to your blog site you have to actually write – regularly and often. Maybe five or six people did this. Some of them had only posted once in two years. Still, they were supposed to be merging with American atheists and some of them may well like Hemant, migrate to substack. There is also plenty of meat in the comments at Lawyers Guns and Money – although the content is heavily American. There is also humour, which you don't find much of in NZ blogs.

Tom Hunter said...

Could be worse Chris. You could be this poor bastard. He was a solitary Left wing guy who DMd a 17-year old girl a few years ago during the lockdowns and then the #MeToo pile on happens and destroys his comic book/art work and everything else about his life:

Now it’s all gone. Art show evaporated. Was about to sign a $75k deal for Switchblade Shorties with Abrams, Cartoonist Kayfabe ends with Jimmy’s “shocking revelations” statement (those words hurt). I have no friends in this life any longer. I’m a disappointment to everybody who liked me. I’m a pariah. News organizations at my door and hassling my elderly parents. It’s too much. Putting our addresses on tv and the internet. How could I ever go back to my small town where everyone knows me?

That's from his suicide note. As one commentator said of his 1000 online attackers, several of which are well known for cancelling others in the comic book art world

Another comic book - a rightie who was not a friend, in fact even a bit of an enemy, Ethan Van Sciver, was said by these cancellers to be a friend of the victim, just to make sure he was further excluded from his Lefty groups. Van Sciver said that his idea he'd get vengeance on his tormentors with his suicide is just wrong; they're evil people who routinely do this in hopes that their targets will commit suicide. They're proud of this. They're counting this as a big win.

Cancellation has consequences. Everyone I know who's been cancelled, and has talked about it, has reported having suicidal thoughts.

But the cancelers will continue cancelling. As I said: This is the goal they are seeking. They don't want anyone coming back from a cancellation. They hate when people come back, even if just a little, from a cancellation.

They want the cancellation to be PERMANENT.

And that means: They want the suicide. They want the body

Or how about the guy who created the TV comedies, Father Ted and The IT Crowd, Graham Linehan. He's been cancelled because of his opposition to the Trans demands.

And for this, he says, he has been frozen out by friends, lost commissions, and even found himself having his collar felt by the police: in 2018 he was given a warning by West Yorkshire police for ‘deadnaming’ Stephanie Hayden, a trans activist, on Twitter.

Linehan says he has ‘never seen anything like the authoritarianism on display’ in the trans movement, which is keen to shut down debate and smear opponents. ‘I think there’s just a stink around me’, he told The Sunday Times: ‘The stink of bigotry, you know, that has deliberately been created, by radical trans-rights activists. It has had a chilling effect.’

On every other issue he was about as Left as you can get, and that still didn't stop his "friends" from destroying him when he stepped out of line. That quote is from a Spike article about him - except they point out that prior to this he was all-in on cancelling other comedians.

Ouroboros strikes again. I did like this end of the Spiked article:
As Brendan O’Neill put it on Spiked at the time of the deadnaming incident, ‘It is the free-speech warrior’s lot that he always finds himself defending tossers. Neo-fascists. Cross-burning white supremacists. Finger-wagging Islamists. Graham Linehan.’

Anonymous said...

Well you've made several comments on this thread GS, after saying you were going to stay away....if you're not careful you might get sucked back in !

You were right about OnlySky. A little while ago, out of curiosity, I went through the roster of contributors to that site and found that the majority had been silent for six months or more, and several had only ever posted one or two articles. Really,they have no one to blame but themselves.

Frankie Lee

Chris Trotter said...

To: Guerilla Surgeon@ 16:41

I must confess, GS, to being thoroughly perplexed.

That you have taken such offence at being described as a supporter of Hamas, and yet are prepared to accuse me of being "the sole left-wing blogger of my acquaintance to completely ignore the slaughter of Palestinian children".

Scroll back through my posts on the Israel-Hamas War, GS, and you will find plentiful references to the desperate plight of Palestinian children - and their parents. How this could have escaped your attention baffles me.

Could it be that you missed these references because you were so enraged that I refused to sheet home the blame for their suffering upon Israel alone? Was it that I condemned Hamas for their strategic use of defenceless civilians as a means of shifting global attention from their own atrocities onto the inevitable consequences of Israel's military campaign to extirpate them?

It is difficult to come up with a better explanation for your blindness.

Pronouncing upon your readiness to falsely accuse someone of ignoring the slaughter of children, I leave to a higher power.

Finally, although your use of a pseudonym makes it difficult for me to be certain, to the best of my knowledge, GS, we have never met. Something tells me that I would remember becoming acquainted with you, in much the same way as young Pip remembers becoming acquainted with Miss Havisham.

The Barron said...

I view the contribution to global science from the subcontinent invaluable, and India maintains some of the greatest scientists operating today. The science curriculum, however, is affected by hindu nationalism.
My point regarding Maori and Polynesian science is not that of myth or folklore, but verified achievements. That does not mean myth and folklore are not important in understanding preliterate people.
I would challenge anyone to replicate Maori and Polynesian achievements without application of scientific methodology.
As for Jordan Peterson, if only he could distinguish his own opinions from fact

David George said...

Chris: "I must confess, GS, to being thoroughly perplexed."

You haven't figured out that what you've got poisoning your blog is a near perfect example of the female psychopath?

"Many female psychopaths seek to destroy others however they can. A female psychopath may undermine your self-esteem using innuendo, or bully you and turn friends and family against you by poisoning your reputation behind your back. There is no end to what she might do to shatter your life. Many female psychopaths are pathological liars who are more cunning and manipulative than male psychopaths."

"The female psychopath desires to be the center of attention and demands center stage. Listen closely to her style of speech—how she also manages to play the victim. She may shed crocodile tears to play on your sympathy, and the next moment her tears can transform into raucous laughter. Her personality turns on and off like a neon sign.

Histrionics and Other Tactics
Dare not challenge her. This could trigger a ballistic response.

The psychopathic woman is often known for histrionics and her award-winning performance can be convincing enough to persuade her audience to believe her side of the story—even after hearing your side first. She may resort to whatever means necessary to get what she wants and will use any tool possible—including flirting with your partner or otherwise co-opting through seduction.

In the end, a female psychopath is often loyal to no one. She may believe she is entitled to everything, while it pleases her to give you nothing. She might gloat over your misfortune and, while she is gloating, you may even notice a smirk on her face. After all, why should you have more than her?

She might steal or deliberately damage a treasured possession—and if she gets caught, she will never apologize because it is really your fault. As a matter of fact, she distorts all stories in her favor and blames you for what she does.

Driven by Envy and Personal Inadequacy
At her core, the female psychopath may not like herself. But it rarely helps to feel sorry for her. No matter what you do for her, no matter what you give her, she will remain ungrateful. She is likely extremely envious and desires to obtain everything that she wants since she believes she was cheated out of life’s bounty, and it is up to her to even the score.

What she wants is impossible to get: Why aren't movie producers banging down her door? Why doesn't she have the long legs of a Rockette? Mind you, what she wants has no end and brings her no satisfaction. She appreciates nothing.

Beware if she offers you gossip as confidential information. She is telling others the same stories, many of which might be half-truths or even full-blown lies. She may be highly adept at sidling up to people. She will size you up in a moment while you are still trying to figure her out."

David George said...

Sorry Barron, I was a bit hasty in my response.
Your point about science (in its broader sense) being inclusive of it's various ethnic and cultural roots is, of course, valid.
It seems to me, however, that the introduction into science (and elsewhere) of attachment to hereditary identity is of itself a corruption and a danger. Not something we should be promoting, least of all to children that are ill equipped to recognise it for the "pernicious nonsense" that it is. "Science belongs to all humanity. It is humanity’s proud best shot at discovering the truth about the real world." as Dawkins says.

Dawkins describes himself as a cultural Christian, there's some good discussion about that on UnHerd at the mo. I guess it's contrary to scientific thinking to accept the miracles and metaphysical claims of religion. Fair enough but what are we left with if our religion is reduced to mere culture? Christianity is grounded in a metaphysical belief, the recognition of the divinity of man. Everything falls apart without that.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Perhaps I missed your condemnation of the slaughter of Palestinian children because I removed myself from your blog site because I had "taken such offence at being described as a supporter of Hamas". Or perhaps they were just fleeting references who knows? They certainly weren't the result of any refusal on your part to sheet home the suffering on Israel alone.

But going back through your posts until just after the event, and doing a couple of word searches I can only find two references to Israel's reaction, and then only one brief sentence or two about the children of Gaza, and that seems to be pretty much excusing Israel. Perhaps you could point me in the right direction? Or perhaps you've written elsewhere about it. Maybe you regard yourself as a counterweight to the publicity it has received another left-wing publications, I don't know.

It's possible that the left-wing reaction is as it is simply because the Hamas attack was over with fairly quickly but the Gaza problem is ongoing? But certainly other bloggers seem to have written far more than you on the subject.

We certainly haven't met, and I confess I don't understand your Miss Havisham reference, but if we are going to be insulting as its intent seems to be, I would put our relationship as closer to Roosevelt and Stalin. In other words, I have possibly been too trusting.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Guerilla Surgeon @ 7:26

From nothing at all to "a few sentences".

There are only 272 words in The Gettysburg Address. As Abraham Lincoln proved, you can say quite a lot in "a few sentences".

And, if I may paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen's show-stopping response to Dan Quayle:

I know quite a lot about FDR. Guerilla Surgeon, you're no FDR.

I know quite a lot about Stalin, too, and as anyone who has read my posts over the years would be well aware - I'm no Stalin.

What is it with you and insults, GS? I make an obviously humourous reference to Miss Havisham, and you come back with Stalin. You just can't seem to stop yourself, can you?

Anonymous said...

I'm relying on memory here, Chris, but I think I remember you making the point politics isn't a straight line, it's closer to a horseshoe shape. Rather than "far left" and "far right" being completely opposite ends of a line, the're more like the ends of the horseshoe. They are closer to each other than either side would ever want to admit.

I've been thinking it's maybe more like the literal polarization of planet Earth. There's a single tropical zone, and two poles, geographically far apart, but with close resemblances as well.

In the political tropics would be something like the bipartisan consensus of New Zealand in the fifties. A representative democracy, a mixed economy, economic prosperity, and political and social stability. National still didn't like the welfare state, but administered it rather than move to abolish it. Labour still didn't like capitalism that much, but had moved well past pledging to abolish it, and had become quite OK with administering it.

The political poles would be, replacing conventional "right" with North, and "left" with South, Hitler in the Northern polar regions, and Stalin in the Southern polar regions. Both poles are similar in many ways. Permanent ice caps (so far, at least!), extreme cold, 24 hour daylight in midsummer, and 24 hour darkness in midwinter. Similarities between Hitler and Stalin include dependancy on ruthless and efficient secret police chiefs (Beria for Stalin, and Himmler for Hitler). And both used Jew hatred, (Hitler much more obviously so than Stalin).

But there are real differences between the poles as well. The North pole is over an ocean, and therefore low lying. It has polar bears (at least for the moment) but no penguins. The South pole is elevated on the Antarctic continent, and Antarctica has lots of penguins, but no polar bears.

Hitler's political rhetoric was very much for national unity in the face of the enemy, especially the Jewish enemy. At least formally, (very much less so in practice) Stalin claimed to exercise power in the interests of the exploited classes against the exploiters (who included,of course, the Jews). Hitler, obviously, had no Jewish enemies within the Nazi party to purge. Unlike Stalin, with many Jewish old Bolsheviks among his enemies).

In this analogy, the Greens, Labour, and TPM have, relatively recently, been overtaken by a desire to move well south from the southern temperate zone they originated in. Maybe they have seized on one simple idea: the South Pole will be last place on Earth to become uninhabitable due to global warming. Therefore, as the globe warms, salvation lies in moving south. Anyone who disagrees is a "norther", most likely a "far norther", who are all global warming deniers, anyway. They seem to be determined to venture into the southern ocean at all costs, in the face of all difficulties, and against all urging of caution.

Politically, they are moving towards the "southern", Stalinist, version of Jew hatred, while, of course, loudly decrying the "northern", Hitlerite, version of Jew hatred.

They want to use traditional methods of course, to head south. They don't want to know there is no solid evidence anyone got south of Enderby Island by using traditional methods, and lived to tell the tale. Or face the practical difficulties of survival in the roaring forties, let alone the raging fifties.

In their eyes, you, Chris, have become just another "far norther". You have not. You are where you have always been, somewhere in the southern temperate zone, advancing the merits of that zone, clearly seeing, and warning of, the dangers of heading further south, among much else. I remain pretty much in the Southern temperate zone, too. Maybe you're still in the South Island, and I'm across in Rakiura (Stewart Island). (Like all analogies, this one has it's limitations).

I thank you for remaining a voice of continuing sanity amongst the growing madness.

Anonymous said...

Same anon. as 8 April at 12:36. I'd just like to specifically add "and welcoming to Jews" to the qualities of the political "tropical zone" of New Zealand in the fifties. It was generally welcoming to Jewish survivors of, and refugees from, the Holocaust. Including John Key's mother, as I recall. Memories were still fresh of the Holocaust, and "never again!" resonated. As part of that, Jewish survivors who had come to New Zealand trusted the Auckland War Memorial Museum to include incorporating their stories into a Holocaust memorial.

If the old, "northern", swastika waving, Holocaust denying, Jew haters had besieged the Museum for lighting up in Israeli colours after October 7, there would have been a fully justified outcry. The Museum would have carried on with the lighting.

But the new, "southern", Hamas supporting, Palestinian flag flying, October 7 denying, Jew haters turned up instead, and succeeded in shutting down the Museum lighting. (I don't for sure of it happening in New Zealand, but there certainly have been swastikas at least flashed on phone screens, if not openly waved, on "Palestine" marches overseas).

Who are the far more dangerous Jew haters in today's polarized world? To me it seems crystal clear, it's the new, "southern", ones.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Well Chris, as I said I'd didn't understand your reference to Ms Havisham, and possibly reacted a little harshly. I perhaps wasn't in the mood for seeing the joke – if there was one. But one thing you do have an common with Stalin is that you accuse people of wrongdoing without evidence. I don't think you realise quite how pissed off I was about that. It might have been just a quick shot to you – but not to me. It was also a cheap shot.
And as I said, in a few sentences, you seemed to be defending the right to a disproportionate response. Compared to the screeds you've written about the rights of Israel to defend itself. It was hardly "I have a dream". And you're hardly Martin Luther King.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Incidentally, just as I missed your reference you seem to have missed mind. The point was that at the end of World War II, Roosevelt trusted Stalin to do the right thing. He was disappointed.