The US gun industry is a $28 billion a year business.In comparison, the whole US film industry has only $42 billion in annual revenues.Most congressmen can be bought for a few thousand dollars, and the corrupt American political system allows them to be so bought. That is the difference between New Zealand and the US. New Zealand’s political system may have its problems, but most politicians who behaved there as they do in the US would go to jail for taking bribes. As Taito Phillip Field.
In the USA the anarchy of free-speech has destroyed reasoned debate and replaced it with misinformation to maintain division in an apparent transparency only. Those with the bullhorn in hand are now trying to lessen the laws of surveillance only of the 1%. Enhancing the state of secrecy. Trump news WSJ and Breitbart have the bullhorn. Guess AUS is dictatorship too.(ODT)
After the Christchurch shooting by a racist gunman the president played down the threat of white nationalism but his record speaks louder than words
What is the best way shallow thinkers and Right-Wing Nut Jobs can deflect blame for the awful things their words and deeds have wrought? Why, blame the Left, of course! We’re so awful, just trying to distribute power and wealth more evenly and fairly in our society, and all.
Thursday’s bloody massacre of peaceful Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, appears as I write to be the be work of an expatriate Australian cell of white supremacists who wrote on the internet their admiration of Donald Trump. In his manifesto, the alleged ringleader called Trump the “symbol of renewed white identity.”
But this phenomenon of white nationalists inspired to violence by Trump is hardly new or unusual. The Charlottesville white terrorist who killed Heather Heyer, and his colleagues among Neo-Nazis who chanted “Jews will not replace us,” were in part celebrating that Trump had come to power. He declined to condemn them, insisting that there were very fine people “on both sides.” One side was Nazis.
The 2018 white terrorist who shot up a mosque in Quebec City spent the hours before his murders scouring the internet for Trump quotes and was obsessed by an imagined threat from immigrants.
After 9/11, America’s challenge was al-Qaeda-style asymmetric terrorism. Today, almost all terrorism in the United States has a white nationalist character, and the person promoting stochastic terrorism by the Far Right is the president of the United States.
Israeli leader personally phoned New Zealand’s foreign minister to warn him that Wellington’s co-sponsorship of a UN resolution was a “declaration of war”.
While I’ve been in the US this year, the issue of food insecurity has become a pressing issue. We can’t let Malcolm Turnbull lead us down that path
A PROPOSED free mobility labour zone between Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada has strong support, according to a poll.
Dylan Fraser has lived in Australia for 17 years but after spending two years in prison, was deported to New Zealand, away from his family and friends.
Politics in a different key
On economic reform and now on national security, New Zealand can see beyond scare campaigns and political opportunities – unlike their cousins across the ditch, writes Barrie Cassidy.
There’s no doubt about the Kiwis. Sometimes – well often in fact – they show a political maturity streets ahead of their cousins across the ditch.
Just this week Prime Minister John Key delivered a speech to the Institute of International Affairs on national security and the IS threat.
In that speech he talked about his obligations to secure the country and to support stability and the rule of the law internationally, and that’s just as you would expect.
But Key – the leader of the conservative National Party – and prime minister since 2008 – spoke at length as well about a longer term strategy; dealing with the root causes of extremism; and that’s something that gets precious little attention from the major parties in Australia.
Key said defeating IS (also known as ISIL) “will mean winning the hearts and minds of those vulnerable to its destructive message.”
“There is little doubt,” he said, “that a lack of movement towards a two-state solution in relation to Palestine, and the recent high number of civilian casualties in Gaza, serve to make the task of recruiters to extremist causes a significantly easier one.
“The unresolved issue of Iran’s nuclear capabilities hangs over the region as well.
“We also need to redouble efforts towards reaching a political solution to the violent stalemate in Syria. This has been another cause of ISIL’s rise, and has seen almost 200,000 killed, and led to more than three million Syrians fleeing their country.”
He went on to say that “the seeds of ISIL’s success lie in the failure of the Maliki regime to adhere to acceptable standards of governance, and to treat all citizens, regardless of ethnicity or religion, with respect.”
Key emphasised that military support is one thing, but the new al-Abadi government will need significant international backing if they are one day to fight their own battles.
In Australia, Tony Abbott talks incessantly about a “death cult”, or if you’d prefer, just this week, “an apocalyptic millennial extremist ideology”, that essentially beheads and crucifies people simply because they don’t like us. He likes to keep it simple. And the Labor opposition too steers away from sophisticated discussion about root causes for fear something they say might be interpreted as a lack of bi-partisanship. That could cost votes.
But then again, New Zealand is the country that introduced a GST at 10 per cent in 1986, increased it to 12.5 per cent in 1989, and then finally to 15 per cent with big personal tax cuts as compensation. And then Key got re-elected. In Australia, a GST was introduced in July 2000, at 10 per cent, and both the base and the rate have stayed the same since.
The debate in New Zealand was not particularly acrimonious and the public broadly, if not grudgingly, embraced each increase. Why? Partly because the politics being played out was not as self serving and destructive as that experienced here whenever the issue is raised. The electorate apparently understood they were not being asked to pay more taxes; but rather to accept a more efficient and sustainable mix of taxation.
On economic reform – and now on national security – they can see the issues beyond scare campaigns and political opportunities. The New Zealanders somehow manage to find a place in the world that is commensurate with their size and influence, and at the same time, retain a strong degree of independence.
And just by the way, the threat of a terrorist attack in New Zealand is officially “possible but not expected