Martyn Bradbury

The culture of “shut up”

Jon Levett writes at The Atlantic about modern society’s propensity to shout down those who we don’t agree with.

A recent example is the ostracisation of the Mozilla CE for daring to democratically put his money where his personal beliefs lay, and for daring to support one side of a democratic argument.

Then there is the case of Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty being bullied off air, and the moves by the media and the pro-warming crowd to silence skeptics on global warming who dare to challenge their views on the matter.

Teacher unions and scientists use this technique all the time…”Shut up, when was the last time you were in a classroom teaching”…as if that is a valid argument for the right to have a say on education. “Shut up, what is your science degree in relation to? Was it in climate science” using the same childish argument to silence critics.

Homer Simpson once said that alcohol is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. And I kept thinking: That’s actually a pretty good description of the Internet and how it’s changing our discourse. It’s basically the cause of, and solution to, everything that plagues our culture.

That’s an exaggeration, of course. The Internet didn’t cause Donald Trump, and it certainly can’t solve Donald Trump. The way you defeat Donald Trump is by getting the ring of power into the hands of a pure soul, a hobbit, say, and that hobbit must journey to Mount Doom and release the ring into its fires. But the Internet: Did you know that every single day, the Internet produces more speech than was created between the dawn of civilization and the year 2006? You didn’t know that, because I just made it up. But it feels true. We are all bombarded. We are drowning in information. It’s no longer thrown on our doorstep each sunrise, or even just broadcast into our living rooms; it’s in our hands every waking hour; the endless stream of talking, as we spend all day moving our eyes from screen to screen to screen; it’s the first thing we see each morning and the last thing we see before we go to bed. The shower is the last safe space, which is why it’s the only place where we have decent ideas anymore.

In many ways this is good and getting better: We have unlocked the gates and we are removing the gatekeepers. We aren’t beholden to the views of the three green elders in the village. (See, I tied it back.) But what happens next—how we face the downside of so much connectedness—will determine whether or not this revolution empowers us, or once again empowers those gatekeepers. And I don’t want that to happen, because those gatekeepers suck. They’re arrogant and easily swayed by big, nice-sounding dangerous ideas; they’re ambitious and careerist and forgetful and unimaginative and shortsighted; they’re subject to groupthink, beholden to corporate interests, and enamored of fame and power.

I don’t want those voices to drown out the diverse and compelling voices that now have a better chance of making it in front of us than ever before—even as we still have a ways to go. And what I think we have to do, then, to protect this new wonderful thing of ‘a good idea can come from anyone anywhere’—is we need to stop telling each other to shut up. We need to get comfortable with the reality that no one is going to shut up. You aren’t going to shut up. I’m not going to shut up. The idiots aren’t going to shut up.

We need to learn to live with the noise and tolerate the noise even when the noise is stupid, even when the noise is offensive, even when the noise is at times dangerous. Because no matter how noble the intent, it’s a demand for conformity that encourages people on all sides of a debate to police each other instead of argue and convince each other. And, ultimately, the cycle of attack and apology, of disagreement and boycott, will leave us with fewer and fewer people talking more and more about less and less.  Read more »

Kim and Dim to have a meeting

I never thought Hone Harawira was this stupid.

Hone Harawira has kept the possibility of a deal with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party alive, confirming talks over the weekend to explore a political relationship.

Dotcom and the Mana Party leader have held discussions previously but Harawira ruled out a formal merger after a backlash from members of his party.

Long-time activist and former Green MP Sue Bradford is among those who balked at any prospect of a deal and threatened to quit.

In a statement this evening, Harawira confirmed talks with Dotcom in central Auckland over the weekend to discuss possibilities “for a relationship between the Mana movement and the Internet Party”.

He said the Mana executive had extended an invitation to Dotcom to address its AGM on Saturday,.  Read more »

Another perspective on Dotcom’s nazi fetish

Carrie Stoddart-Smith  at Ellipsister blogs on her thoughts about Kim Dotcom, the Interet party and his nazi fetish.

On its own, purchasing the copy of Mein Kampf and other WW2 memorabilia isn’t in my view sufficient evidence for claiming that KDC is a Nazi sympathiser. It might raise questions about his character, however, collectors do in fact purchase these kinds of items and we cannot ignore the news coverage of the raid on KDC’s mansion that referred to him as a collector of sorts.

But I think Giovanni Tiso is right about social norms in Germany and the improbability of German’s finding pleasure in collecting Nazi artefacts or posing for photo’s wearing Nazi memorabilia.  Tiso writes from his experience and understanding as an Italian, the difference between how neo-Nazism is approached in Italy versus Germany.

I blogged yesterday on Giovanni Tiso’s position.

I do have my reservations as to whether there would have been as much public interest or even outcry if only a single event tarnished KDC’s name. I’m sure there would still have been questions that lingered and general suspicions. Interestingly or even perhaps unsurprisingly, many bloggers who support KDC have limited their focus to a single factor attempting to minimise the weight attributed to the claims against KDC, including a post promoted by Vikram Kumar entitled The power of an open mind that hinges only on the fact that KDC owned Mein Kampf.

To my knowledge, KDC has not even made a decent attempt to apologise for his offensive behaviour or comments. Instead he dismisses the claims or events as unremarkable, or offers up excuses and weak justifications for his actions.  Read more »

What do Winston, Russel, Hone, Clare, Shane and David have to say now?

Kim Dotcom has been busted as a nazi sympathiser.

Don’t believe the lines about him being a collector because he likes to play WWII games. It’s a lie as I have shown already. There is more to come which will prove his lies out.

In the meantime all those politicians of the left who traipsed out to the Dotcom mansion need to now face some serious questioning.

Winston Peters went 3 times to take dictation for questions to ask in parliament on behalf of Kim Dotcom. What does he have to say now?

Clare Curran went at least twice, and spoke frequently to him on the phone as my insiders at the mansion have told me. Labour’s ICT policy was largely written by Kim Dotcom, what does she have to say now?

Russel Norman went out there twice. What does he have to say about an accommodation with Kim Dotcom and the Internet party? He was prepared to cut a deal to prevent Dotcom’s extradition…what about now?

Shane Jones went out there too…and his real close pal who lives at the Metropolis hasn’t yet been revealed but that will prove embarrassing too. What does he have to say?

Hone Harawira was pulling back the covers ready to jump into bed with Kim Dotcom until he was busted. What does he say now?

Then we have the fawning and compliant media. there are many, many questions there now. Why were these details left out of the hagiography, dictated to David Fisher and approved, every word and line by Dotcom? Why wasn’t Kim proud enough of his ownership of Mein Kampf and a Nazi flag that he didn’t mention it for the book?  Read more »

Shane Jones outed as another Dotcom visitor

Shane Jones has been outed as yet another politician who has been out to the mansion, and more importantly is it was a recent visit as Jones informed his leader David Cunliffe.

Adam Bennett reports:

Labour’s Shane Jones said he visited the mansion late last year. But the discussion was limited to rap-music – and he had told leader David Cunliffe about the visit.

This confirms information that I have received from business interests concerned about Shane Jones’ actions with regard to Kim Dotcom. Labour insiders assure me that Jones is not doing any sort of deal with Dotcom, but I’m not convinced yet. After all who travels from their luxury accommodation at SkyCity all the way out to Coatesville to talk about rap music….surely they could have done that over Skype or the phone?

Journalists though now have further confirmation of Dotcom’s meddling in the politics of New Zealand and also confirmation that David Cunliffe has been aware of visits by his own MPs.   Read more »

NewstalkZB, interview with Larry Williams about Kim Dotcom

I was on NewstalkZB last night with Larry Williams talking about Kim Dotcom and his threats to his underpaid security guards.

I’m waiting to see what the parade of left-wing  politicians who bent their knee to Kim Dotcom say now after it has been revealed that he is a slave wages scumbag employer.  Read more »

Harawira confirms cozying up to Dotcom

Earlier this morning I broke the news of a cozy deal between Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party and the Mana party.

Now Hone Harawira has confirmed that he is yet another MP who has bent his knee to Kim Dotcom.

“Last year I was invited to meet with Kim Dotcom, but I declined because I didn’t want to get swamped by the Labour, Greens and NZ First pilgrimages to the mansion,” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

“But when the invitation was extended again earlier this year I decided to accept, but not at Coatesville. I met with Dotcom at my mates place on the Shore where we discussed a number of issues:

• How much we both dislike the way John Key has allowed NZ’s intelligence services to be used as pawns by American big business against a New Zealand resident;
• How much we both dislike John Key’s cavalier dismissal of the rights of ordinary New Zealanders;
• How well things are going in the Bundesliga;
• How bleak NZ’s future under National will look if John Key keeps floggin’ off our key assets;
• What MANA would like to see in a positive future for Aotearoa;
• What Dotcom might want to see happen in Aotearoa; and
• What wonderful beaches we have in Aotearoa.   Read more »

Radio Live interviews on blogging and bloggers

RadioLive’s Wallace Chapman was looking at bloggers,new media and the elections this year. He talked to a few bloggers.

This was my interview.

Read more »

Sheesh, it’s not like I’m laundering donations for politicians

I see the media are on a witch-hunt to find out who talks to me or sends me information.

Cabinet Minister Paula Bennett is denying she’s passed information to political bloggers, but won’t release communication records from her office.

Newstalk ZB sought the records after the Prime Minister admitted last month he’d had contact with bloggers including, Whaleoil’s Cameron Slater.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is adamant she’s not passed on any information.

However she’s turned down an Official Information Act request covering such communications not because the information doesn’t exist, but because checking the records would involve too much work.

Ms Bennett says she hasn’t passed on any information, but isn’t making the same assurance about her staff.

“Well I’m confident that I haven’t but I’m not sure what every staff member does every day.

“It’s just so irrelevant to be honest.”  Read more »

Selwyn Manning is pretty bloody annoyed with Len Brown and his poll tax

Selwyn Manning is one of the few on the left of NZ politics that I have a lot of time for.

For the life of me I can’t work out how he manages to work with Martyn Bradbury. Probably says a great deal about his patience and fortitude. In any case I consider Selwyn to be part of the honourable left in NZ politics.

For that reason it is worth reading when he gets agitated, even more so when he is agitated by Len Brown and his poll tax.

Len Brown, this Mayor, this week raised the specter of a bastardised version of Margaret Thatcher’s poll tax (which he prefers to call an income tax). He also had the cheek to say the current system is “inherently unfair”.

Fairfax Media further cited the Mayor as stating the rates system is unfair ‘on people living on fixed incomes and paying high rates because of the value of their properties in areas like Devonport-Takapuna.’

Len Brown added that ‘only property owners pay rates but the Council is spending money on infrastructure and services for everyone’.

What absolute nonsense.

For those who rent, they too pay their fair share to keep this city’s infrastructure maintained, its facilities oiled, its bureaucrats, and administrators, and CEOs, and parks staff, and rubbish collectors, and communications officers, and strategists, and advisors, and secretaries, and librarians, and ethnic policy advisors, and art gallery workers, and Mayors in paid employment.

And yes, I know, they don’t pay rates directly to the Auckland Council, but by God they pay it to their landlords who in turn pay the Council for the privilege of owning a house in this good city.

Everyone… everyone already pays. What Len Brown needs to realise is we all know what he needs is more money, this idea isn’t all about fairness and equality. Far from it.   Read more »