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Stephen

Government considering anti-Hate Speech laws after Royal Commission of Inquiry report

2 min read

I'm sorry, but this is just ludicrous. You cannot legislate against hate speech without also removing the intrinsic right of freedom of expression and free speech. Making laws against so called "hate speech" is really the government using force to tell you what you're allowed to say. Or not allowed to say. That doesn't stop people thinking that way, doesn't stop people talking about those things in private. What it does do is create an underground where bad ideas grow and fester in darkness because they aren't ever exposed to scrutiny or opposing views until after they have blown over into something tragic. Such as what happened at the Mosque shooting in Christchurch.

So this idea from the Government, to even consider hate speech law changes, is just absolutely dangerous.

Government to take hate speech laws to the public after March 15 inquiry

The Government has accepted recommendations from the royal commission of inquiry into the Christchurch terror attack to amend hate speech laws and create new hate-motivated offences.

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said no changes would be made without consultation with the public and other political parties.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques on March 15, 2019, on Tuesday made public its 44 recommendations, including the need to make sure legislation relating to hate speech and crime is fit for purpose.

The commission found the current laws “neither appropriately capture the culpability of hate-motivated offending, nor provide workable mechanisms to deal with hate speech”.

You deal with hate speech by exposing it. You counter it. You explain why it is wrong. You teach people and allow them to learn and understand. But you do not make it illegal to hold an opinion. I cannot believe this is a thing. Did people learn nothing from history?

Stephen

Cancel Culture comes to NZ

Author's book removed from store for expressing opinion on social media

1 min read

I'm a realist. I know it happens, but I'd not seen it so blatantly before. This scares the ever-loving HELL out of me. I will NOT be buying anything through Mighty Ape again in the future.

Author Olivia Pierson has had her book removed from MightyApe because she dared voice an opinion about a politician that the woke leftist brigade doesn't like and deems to be racist.

This is now New Zealand. This is what has been enabled and emboldened by Labour's absolute electoral victory in our General Election in October.

Twitter thread in which Olivia Pierson has her book removed from Mighty Ape for expression an opinion on social media that the left deems racist.

This is not acceptable, New Zealand. Shame on you!

Stephen

Taibbi Gets It Correct

Why doesn't the rest of the media?

2 min read

Matt Taibbi gets it correct when he excoriates the Liberal Media in the US for failing to do their job and at least investigate and report on the Hunter Biden emails. It's not even about the contents of the laptop any more. The actions of Social Media, and the mainstream liberal media are the actual issue now. The fact that Matt Taibbi had to post this on a private blog says a lot. This is an award winning journalist that has been lauded and praised for his work. But he had to resort to publishing this OpEd on what is essentially a personal blog. Why is that?

With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story

Unprecedented efforts to squelch information about a New York Post story may prove to be more dangerous corruption than whatever Hunter Biden did with a crooked Ukrainian energy company

I really think the fact the media has gone to such efforts to try and squash the story is a major wake up call for everyone. It finally exposes what a lot of people have been saying for a long time. The mainstream media is NOT about journalism. It is about putting the story they want in front of everyone, no matter the cost to the public.

Glen Greenwald (the man that helped break the Snowden files) has a very good and succinct thread about it on his twitter feed. Well worth the read. It also includes the main points of the Taibbi post for those that don't have direct access to it.

Stephen

Where this division leads to eventually

What Antifa (and it's apologists) are pushing for

5 min read

So this morning a friend and I had an interesting discussion on Discord. One that I thought was worth sharing with those outside my discord server.

Things in the US are very tense right now. With the virus terrifying most people, and then the riots and violence on top, things are completely out of control. A LOT of people are very concerned with the way things have been this year, and what might happen next year.

 

[09:18] Friend: My question in all this is why is Twitter getting all the heat?  Shouldn’t Facebook get as much heat, if not more heat for this?  I think they are for more egregious in the blocking of information that makes the radical left look bad.

[09:19] Me: Because Facebook is not outright blocking the shares, they're just not letting it show in the feeds. You got to go to someones page to see it. On the other hand, Twitter is active blocking anyone sharing the "bad" stuff about Biden, including via DM, and even banning people till they remove the offending tweets.

[09:20] Friend: Nice

[09:20] Me: I wasn't banned from FB because FB was banning the news, I was banned because a bunch of people mass flagged me

[09:20] Friend: Fair enough then.  Twitter should get shamed then.

[09:20] Friend: Even better

[09:20] Friend: I can’t stand politics.  Making idiots out of everyone.

[09:21] Friend: Actually, it’s the media and social networks making idiots out of everyone haha

[09:22] Me: Yeah, I think Social Media and the MSM are absolutely the cause of the vast majority of the problems being faced at the moment.

[09:24] Me: The problem is that social media has allowed the creation of self confirming bubbles of ideology. Groups where everyone thinks and believes the same things and is never exposed to the views of others. So these start a feedback loop and these people, over time, radicalise themselves. You get people that will actively argue that "free speech" is the same thing as "white nationalism" because it was an idea created by the white patriarchy.

[09:25] Me: Then the mainstream media is guilty of fueling that fire, then using it to source it's own news and spread it further. Look at CNN as a perfect example. Or Vox, or Buzzfeed, or many of these organisations. They pander to the people in their bubbles on Twitter first. Which is an echo chamber. And outside views are actively squashed.

[09:28] Me: How much of the news from the NYTimes about Trump has been from "unnamed sources" rather than from cited people? The whole Tax leaks thing was completely unsourced. But that was permissible because it was against Trump.

The NYPost, an even older news organisation, comes out with cited and sourced material that can be traced back to the Bidens, and has since been confirmed by MULTIPLE people, but that is being actively blocked and squashed with the vast majority of those on the left saying "it's not a verified source."

Is like ... bish... Really? The NYTimes did a piece with no sources at all, but that's true and valid? But a cited and sourced piece from the NYPost is purely Russian disinformation?

[09:35] Me: I mean, it gets worse. Consider ...

Twitter is actively banning anyone and everyone that is arguably right of the "twitter" line. So those people go to somewhere like Parler or Gab or others.

Banks are bowing down to the Antifa hate mobs and actively removing people and blocking services to them if they're considered "hateful" by the mob. For example, the Proud Boys have been banned from nearly ever banking institution, with the list growing daily.

Shops are bowing down to the mob rule. Sainsbury's in the UK now actively discriminates based on race for things like hiring and promotions. But it's couched in the language of "diversity" and critical race theory. Discrimination isn't racist if it's against white people.

So what happens? Society splinters. New infrastructure for those removed from the general services starts to grow. New banking services get started, or people just move to crypto currency. New shops pop up servicing those that have been "cancelled" by the mob. Eventually, the 2 factions no longer interact at all.

[09:36] Me: Now you have 2 sides that are completely separated in society except for the places they live. But they don't talk online, the don't interact in shops, they don't bank together, they don't do anything except move past each other on the street.

[09:36] Me: Where does that lead?

[09:36] Friend: It's like the early 1800's upside down.

[09:37] Me: Yeah. It's a powder keg just waiting for a spark.

[09:44] Me: For me, that's kind of why November's election is so important. It will genuinely be a defining moment in history. I don't think there is any way to avoid violence. The "leftists" of Antifa and their apologists have been very clear on that. But this time I think the "right" are not going to just stand back passively. I think they will respond if attacked. It will make Portland look like an oasis of peace.

I think that sums up my thoughts on the situation at the moment kind of nicely. What do you think?

Stephen

This has to stop! The insanity of the far left and Antifa is NOT the way to solve the problem

1 min read

WTF People.... 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 were warnings, not HOWTOs !!!!!!!!!!! STOP with this insanity.
 
Now the mob comes after you for any perceived slight. If you don't think the right thoughts, if you don't say the right things, if you follow the wrong people on social media, they'll cancel you.
 
People are LOSING THEIR JOBS because they're in some way related to people involved in any of the shootings. Worse yet, others are losing their jobs simply because they follow the wrong people on Twitter!
 
Oh, and if any book, movie, or TV show, has ever said or done something in the past that people now deem to be against the new narrative, they're burning it or removing it from culture. Including books that were calling out racism and trying to show just how it affects people an communities.
 
 
We are living in a time where, if it hasn't already been forgotten, history is being purged.
 
 

Stephen

Auckland DHB Chairman promotes racist post-Covid19 policy

3 min read

Wow. Just wow. Talk about blatantly racist against Pakeha and non-Maori or Pacifica peoples.

I'm sorry if this hurts feelings, but any policy that relies on ethnicity in any way is racist. Doesn't matter which group it gives a boost to, or which group it holds back. If it allows for any decision at all to be made where ethnicity is a contributing factor, that policy is immediately discriminatory against people based on ethnicity, which is the very definition of racism.

Fortunately there was some push back by 2 members of the board, but apparently only 2 members of the DHB board disagreed with this suggested policy. Pretty much everyone else agreed with the idea.

So what we can take away from this is that the majority of the Auckland DHB board are fine with racism if it's going to boost Maori and Pacifica peoples simply because of their race and ethnicity.

Health system 'reset': Auckland DHB debates prioritising Māori and Pacific patients for elective surgeries

"Suppose we began our new approach with a special focus on referred patients who are Māori and Pasifika with ethnic specific interventions where the judgment of our clinicians supports this making a difference?" Snedden wrote in his paper to the board.

"What if we decided that over a 12-month test period we would seek to make the clinical pathway to treatment more visible, faster and more supported for these citizens by intervening early to improve their life course outcomes?

"We want our clinical assessment process to be intrinsically evidence-based and fair to our population within the resources available. But it hasn't been and we can't avoid that."

Snedden is aware of how controversial prioritising some groups of patients would be - but said the fact our health system is designed to advantage the Pākehā majority is also a trade-off, but one most people aren't aware of.

I do not agree with any policy that promotes Pakeha, or anyone else, based on race or ethnicity. I do not agree with any policy that disadvantages any race or ethnicity based on race or ethnicity.

I have had to deal with the Auckland DHB a lot in the past few years. First I got to see it in action while they were treating my brother for Cancer, and then I've had the pleasure of it's services multiple times since having a stroke nearly 18 months ago. In all my interactions with the DHB, I didn't get any preferential treatment.

In fact, in all cases I've had to chase the DHB myself to get any sort of action at all on my referrals from my GP. Could it be that other people are spending a lot longer in the queues and lists because they're not chasing it? They're not given priority because they themselves don't make chasing up their health issues a priority?

Racism is never excusable. No matter what the intentions. There can be NO justification for racism and the DHB better understand that even considering such a policy is a VERY dangerous path to take. Especially when the positions of the DHB board are elected, not appointed.

Stephen

Thoughts on a possible electoral voting system

3 min read

In NZ we have a general election coming up in September. There is the possibility of it being delayed because of the current virus problem, but worst case it can't be pushed any later than the last Saturday of November. This particular election is important because there will be 2 referendums that will impact everyone in the country happening at the same time. So this has had me thinking about the state of our elections, and the ability of people to cast a vote and know that it's going to be counted.

Keep in mind, these are just thoughts that I'm typing as I have them. ;-) Do not presume this is anything more than spitballing an idea.

I'm sure someone is working on it already, but the design of the blockchain (immutable recording of transactions) really does make digital voting a possibility. For example, use the existing RealMe service provided by the DIA to tie a single identity to a cellphone, then allow the cellphone to cast a single vote for each issue. Any person with multiple cellphones would be unable to cheat the system because the RealMe verification would catch multiple identities/cellphones.

Then, using existing blockchain technology, a verified identity could case a single, immutable vote. Attempts to double vote would be caught as the count happens, and because the chain would not disclose the actual identity of a person, merely the unique identifier, the chain could be disclosed in the same way the electoral roll is today to allow for public verification. eg. You could verify that your vote on record is the vote you actually cast, but no one else would know that identifier belongs to you, so they couldn't link your vote back to you unless you exposed that information yourself.

Using such a system would then allow for digital voting machines at a polling place to record votes, or allow people to cast a vote directly from their phone as a "Special Vote" and treated in the same manner as a mail-in vote, or other similar votes in which a person is unable to attend a polling place.

Further, at the polling place, the voting machine could display a QRcode, which the voting app on your phone scans to authorize the vote. This can be a standard cryptographic system that is already used in many places today. The phone scans the code, signs the code with it's own private signature and sends that packet to the authorization servers, which then use the public signature to verify that the code was signed correctly and so on...

We have a lot of this technology already. The RealMe system that already exists in New Zealand could handle a lot of this process as far as verifying only a single vote per person. It would not be difficult to use it to sign a cryptographic certificate issued to individuals, in much the same way Certificate Authorities like Digicert do for website certificates. Then that certificate could be used as a voting identity.

So maybe it's time to start implementing such a system to ensure our elections remain fair, and only people that have the right to vote may do so, and only as is appropriate for that person.

Stephen

Political Bias in Tertiary Education

3 min read

A lovely lady, who also happens to teach at a tertiary level, sent this to me. A study was performed in which academics from the US and Europe were asked about bias in their universities. The results, while not entirely surprising, are in fact very telling.

Left-leaning academics are more willing to reject a outcome of a study or experiment if it has a perceived "right-leaning" result. They are more likely to not invite "right-leaning" scholars to events. They are more likely to deny funding to academics perceived as "right leaning," and will more often than not refuse to even hire someone that is considered "right leaning."

And these academics reported this themselves in this study. It is simply amazing.

We all have our own in-group bias. But this study shows just how that bias has affected colleges and universities in Western societies in a dangerous manner.

https://heterodoxacademy.org/social-science-ideological-discrimination-philosophers/

As in other academic disciplines, these philosophers were predominantly left-leaning (74.8%), with fewer reporting a right-leaning (14.2%) or moderate (11.0%) ideology. They correctly perceived their colleagues as predominantly left-leaning but also estimated that their colleagues were more left-leaning than they were themselves.

Across the political spectrum, participants reported experiencing ideological hostility, occasionally even from those from their own side of the political spectrum (particularly within the left-leaning camp). But more right-leaning philosophers reported experiencing more hostility from their colleagues (for the statistically inclined, r = .47), a pattern confirmed by third-party reports: participants reported seeing more hostility against right-leaning philosophers than toward left-leaning ones. And participants reported that they would be more reluctant to defend their own argument if it led to a right-leaning conclusion than if it led to a left-leaning one.

On average, participants reported greater willingness to discriminate against right-leaning perspectives and individuals than against left-leaning perspectives and individuals. And although both left-leaning and right-leaning individuals reported a willingness to discriminate against their ideological opponents, left-leaning philosophers confessed greater willingness to do so than right-leaning philosophers (in contrast to research suggesting that liberals and conservatives are similarly discriminatory toward ideologically dissimilar others). More specifically, left-leaning philosophers reported greater willingness to discriminate against their right-leaning colleagues in grant applications, symposia invites, paper acceptances, and hiring decisions than right-leaning philosophers reported in regards to their left-leaning colleagues. The figure below depicts the percentages of right-leaning, moderate, and left-leaning philosophers who responded at or above the midpoint in willingness to discriminate against their ideological friends and foes within the four discrimination categories.

This is a major indictment of modern academia. I strongly suggest you read the whole post. The conclusion posits some pretty significant issues for the future of education. Especially if right-leaning individuals are being targeted and ostracised such that they are unable to receive funding for their research.

Stephen

Now is not the time

3 min read

This is in response to a couple of media personalities that have been making noises against the NZ Prime Minister and the way she has been handling things regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. This was originally posted on Facebook, but I wanted to share it here as well.

 


I'm not a fan of our PM. I think I've been very clear about that. Right now the world is dealing with something that is unprecedented. Think the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic combined with the 1930s Great Depression with a dose of the 2008 Great Recession on top. That's not hyperbolic. That's just the state of things today in a very fluid situation.

So when I say that people criticising our PM for going on national TV and Radio and explaining the new alert system are not helping any at all, I really do mean it. Whether you think it was a good or bad idea is irrelevant right now. She did it. Further, it was something people need to be aware of. While a few of us might have the time and ability to read up on everything coming out of the NZ MoH and the World Health Organisation, that's not the truth for most people. While I may be in the lucky position of being able to stay informed from sources I consider reliable and trustworthy, most people do rely on social media and their local news for information.

The PM telling us all about the new alert system and explaining the 4 levels and what they mean was a VERY good thing. The PM telling people to stay in touch via Facetime or phone calls is a good thing. The PM telling people via the TV AND the Radio at the same time was a good thing. The PM telling people to get informed from the Ministry of Health directly at the new https://www.covid19.govt.nz/ website was a good thing.

So no. While I appreciate the way some are linking her actions with the way Muldoon handled things in the early 1980s, I do not think now is the time to be having that discussion. Believe me, it's taking a lot of restraint on my part to not criticize our government's handling of this event at the moment. The main difference is, I know it's not productive or constructive at the moment, and I don't have a massive radio show, newspaper, or website to publish such opinions on for clicks and to get paid.

You should all, absolutely everyone, ignore the media's OpEds right now, and focus solely on the actual news. Ignore what is happening overseas in places like Italy and the US, and focus on keeping yourself and your family safe. Stay up to date with what the Government is releasing on the covid19.govt.nz website.

And most importantly of all, DONT PANIC BUY GROCERIES! Society isn't collapsing. In fact, panicking is a good way to collapse society. Hoarding products at this point doesn't help you, and very likely makes those less fortunate than you go without the necessities they need.

Stephen

The UK election has social media heads exploding

6 min read

posted this in the worldnews subreddit and fully expect to get completely brigaded by the downvoters once the liberals wake up and get over their hangovers.

It really blows my mind. So many people in here ragging on the fact that the Tories won by such a massive margin. But apparently people think that's an anomaly and they must all be wrong?

There can be no doubt left. This *WAS* the second referendum on Brexit, and the majority of the nation absolutely wants out. No one can say they didn't know what the consequences would be this time around. No one can say they didn't understand what they were voting for. This absolutely puts the truth of the masses to the Parliament and completely bursts the Westminster bubble of the Liberal Elites in the mainstream media and the twitteratti.

But social media is still bemoaning that they didn't get their way? This is apparently yet another anomaly? Similar to 2016. Wait till November 2020 and see how much of an anomaly this really was. Maybe it's the left, the liberals, the progressives, that need to reflect on their values and do some serious soul searching. Just a hint, maybe instead of arguing about the person, or the personalities, focusing on presenting a coherent argument for the platform might be a better tactic.

(And yes, I fully know I'm going to get brigaded by the downvote squads. Doesn't make what I said any less truthful though.) 

What do I think?

I think the media and the liberal bubble got burst in London. The Westminster bubble finally got handed a resounding thump for the way they've behaved in Parliament over the past few years. People absolutely recognised that the LibDems and Labour were holding the country to ransom after May resigned. This election was most definitely about telling them off for that, and because they're just sick of the whole Brexit issue and want it done.

What does this mean for 2020?

Well, in the US, I think the media absolutely needs to stop and reevaluate their current thinking. This election has shown that despite the Brexit Referendum, despite the 2016 US election, and despite the 2018 congressional elections, the media still doesn't have a handle on how the average person feels and what they think about the state of our governments. The mainstream media is still trying to tell people what they should think and believe, and presenting some very clearly biased coverage.

Example: In the lead up to the UK election, nearly all the media was calling for a hung parliament. Further, in the last week or two, extremely partisan outlets like The Independent were outright begging for people to vote for Corbyn, even if you didn't like him.

So I am left feeling like we're going to see similar in 2020 in the US. Organisations like MSNBC are going to be running hyper partisan opinions disguised as news. CNN is going to tell people they're not allowed to read something because only the media is allowed to tell you what to think. The NYT is going to run Trump hit pieces disguised as bombshells, and WaPo is going to do everything it can to get leaks from the Trump campaign. And Fox News... Well, they're partisan, but they are also arguably the most truthful of the major news media in the US.

Keep in mind, Bloomberg News has effectively ruled itself out entirely as a possible source of election coverage because Michael Bloomberg has explicitly said they're not allowed to investigate him. He said that for News staff, their paycheck comes some requirements and caveats. Buzzfeed recently hired former Obama staffers, and Vice can't even pretend to be impartial at the best of times.

The mainstream media is going to do everything they can to influence the 2020 election away from Trump, and I think it will seriously backfire in much the same way the UK election has for Corbyn, the Guardian, the Independent, and all the other MSM in the UK that have completely failed to read the electorate.

What about social media?

People on the various social media platforms are currently losing their minds in reaction to the UK election. As I said in my post on Reddit, the Twitteratti has lost their minds. They're resorting to name calling and abuse of anyone that voted for the Tories. Rather than looking in at why people didn't vote the way they expected, they're resorting to abusing people for not doing it.

The biggest issue I have is that those on the far left are identitarians. They rely on identity politics. They attack the person or the personalities, rather than the platform or the ideas. Rather than argue why the people should vote the way they want them to, they resorted to calling anyone that wanted Brexit a racist, and anyone that supported Johnson over Corbyn were absolutely vilified. "You want to sell our NHS to Trump!" (A patently ridiculous argument that wasn't even remotely true.)

A friend also pointed out that a lot of people voted against Corbyn for a very simple reason. His socilist policies. People like to be able to keep the fruits of their labour. They like having an incentive to work by keeping the profits.

Rather than offer real policies that would improve everyones lives, they offered candies to bribe people. "Nationalise the entire broadband network and give every household free broadband." Didn't matter that the cost of just that alone would be near impossible to fund. The government doesn't have "free money." It gets all it's money from the pockets of the taxed. That's entirely different. Labour basically promised billions of pounds of bribes that they wanted people to think would be "freebies" while they pumped taxes higher.

I think the next few weeks will be very interesting. Will be very interested to see what Boris does with regards to Brexit. And even more interested to see what happens to Labour after the Christmas break. Will Corbyn shuffle off rapidly? Will Jesse Philips push him? Or will there be a massive blood bath as everyone battles to get the position?