Media watch – Tuesday

24 July 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

General chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.

Open Forum – Tuesday

24 July 2018

Forum

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you. 

If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers are welcome to summarise and link to their posts.

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.Comments from other forums can be repeated here, cut and paste is fine.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.

FIRST TIME COMMENTERS: Due to abuse by a few first comments under any ID will park in moderation until released (as soon as possible but it can sometimes take a while).

Sometimes comments will go into moderation or spam automatically due to mistyped ID, too many links (>4), or trigger text or other at risk criteria.

Free speech is an important principle here but some people who might pose a risk to the site may be limited.

World view – Tuesday

Sunday GMT

WorldWatch2

For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

USA versus Iran – big dicks with nukes

Hopefully this is just posturing, but there is a serious risk that one day brash posturing and threats could escalate into a real war.

Reuters: Trump warns Iran to ‘never, ever threaten’ U.S. or suffer consequences

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani:

Addressing a gathering of Iranian diplomats earlier on Sunday, Rouhani said: “Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret,” according to a report by the state new agency IRNA.

“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani said, leaving open the possibility of peace between the two countries, at odds since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Rouhani also scoffed at Trump’s threat to halt Iranian oil exports and said Iran has a dominant position in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping waterway.

Rouhani’s apparent threat earlier this month to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries came in reaction to efforts by Washington to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.

In a speech late on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…

…denounced Iran’s leaders as a “mafia” and promised unspecified backing for Iranians unhappy with their government.

A late night tweet:

Just what the world doesn’t need, big dicks with nukes.

 

Bridges still supports benefit sanctions ‘to motivate to work’

Beneficiary sanctions remain a point of difference between National and the government.

 

German football pride: Mesut Özil ‏ versus Reinhard Grindel

Mesut Özil is a German professional footballer who plays for English club Arsenal.  Hewasin the disappointing German team that failed in the recent World Cup in Russia. He was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Reinhard Grindel (born in Hamburg) is a German journalist, politician (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) and football administrator.

From 2002 to 2016 Grindel was member of the Bundestag (Lower Chamber of the German Parliament). On 15 April 2016 he was elected president of the German Football Association (DFB) and resigned as member of parliament.

Child sexual abuse – hate or condemnation

I think that most people in New Zealand would strongly condemn child sex abuse, if not hate it.

The handling of child sexual abuse in churches has justifiably attracted scrutiny and condemnation. The Catholic Church has been found guilty of aiding and abetting on going abuse through inaction, failure to perpetrators to account, and shielding them from the law.

The report from The Spinoff is also disturbing – Silent lambs: Child sexual abuse and the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Best known for their door-to-door evangelising, Jehovah’s Witnesses are on a quest to save the ‘wicked’ from damnation. For victims of sexual abuse within the organisation, however, that quest has seen perpetrators shielded from justice. Amy Parsons-King has met several survivors as part of an investigation for The Spinoff. These are their stories.

The sexual abuse began almost immediately, and continued across the years Parkes and his family lived in the flat. Even after he and his wife found their own home, still it continued.

When Naomi was 15, her father, a senior member, or “elder”, of their New Brighton Jehovah’s Witness congregation, became aware of the abuse. He was furious and asked fellow elders to investigate.

Why didn’t he ask the police to investigate?

Under Jehovah’s Witnesses protocol, when a member of the organisation is alleged to have committed a serious “wrongdoing”, elders are instructed to confront the accused. When presented with the allegations, Parkes admitted to sexually abusing her, Naomi says. Parkes confirmed the abuse took place when The Spinoff spoke to him earlier this year. At the time, Parkes’ confession meant a judicial committee was formed to determine his level of repentance, and what disciplinary action should be taken.

The hearing was held at Parkes’ congregation. Naomi attended with two male elders, as did Parkes. “I basically had to say everything that happened in front of four men and my abuser,” she says.

That’s an appalling way to handle it.

Despite Parkes’ confession, the blame was shifted onto her, Naomi says. “He made comments that I seemed older than what I was, and that I enjoyed the attention he gave me. I did enjoy it in the beginning. He’d brush my hair and talk to me, but I took nothing from that. There’s nothing I put out there as a 10-year-old girl to sexually entice him. He pretty much made me feel like I asked for it.”

Victim blaming is common. In this situation it is despicable.

Elders ruled that Parkes’ punishment for sexually abusing Naomi across several years was to be “disfellowshipment”, a sanction which sees a wrongdoer excommunicated, with members directed to cease all links. Protocol requires that elders advise the congregation that the disfellowshipped person is no longer a Jehovah’s Witness. In Parkes’ case, as in others investigated by The Spinoff,  church members say they were not made aware of the nature of the offending that led to the disfellowshipment.

The judicial committee’s proposed compensation for Naomi’s trauma, to “help get her through”, was extra Bible studies.

Parkes’s alleged offending against Naomi was never reported to the Police.

That’s just one example.

Naomi’s experience is not unique. It fits a pattern of experiences recounted in recent years by people who allege they were sexually abused as children within the Jehovah’s Witness organisation. In her case, and in others, the process by which such allegations were dealt with emphasised internal investigation, judgment and punishment, without recourse to criminal prosecution.

It should be the victim’s prerogative whether they report abuse to the police, but in this sort of church situation it would be very difficult for children and young people to do.

According to one former Jehovah’s Witness elder the child protection policies within the organisation are so lacking that some estranged members describe it as “a paedophile’s paradise”. Paul Quilter, who spent 35 years as a member of the organisation, including 10 years as an elder in a Hamilton congregation, told The Spinoff that when he first saw that description used on an ex-Jehovah’s Witness forum he thought it was outrageous.

“But then when you actually read the reports of victims and you see how they were told to only trust fellow Witnesses because, everybody outside the organisation was worldly and ‘bad’ and therefore not to be trusted, you realise this type of mentality makes reporting child abuse to authorities almost impossible.”

And this is based on Biblical adherence.

The organisation demands strict and literal adherence to its Bible, The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. Any perceived wrongdoing of Jehovah’s Witnesses including “fornication, adultery, homosexuality, blasphemy, apostasy, and similar gross sins” are investigated through what is called a “judicial committee”. For such a proxy court to even be established, a 2000-year-old biblical principle is applied to substantiate the wrongdoing. This “two witness rule” derives from scriptures such as Genesis 19:15, which states: “No single witness may convict another for any error or any sin that he may commit.  On the testimony of two witnesses or on the testimony of three witnesses the matter should be established.”

The Church should not be investigating at all, let alone using processes that having nothing to do with modern law.

Naomi says she is appalled to hear Parkes, much like Debbie’s abuser Owen Tutty, has been reinstated within the Jehovah’s Witnesses. “There are plenty of children in the congregations, there always are,” she says.

“He could be sitting next to one right now.”

If claims in the Spinoff report are credible – and there seems to be sufficient cause for concern – there should be something like a Commission of Inquiry into this.

‘Hate speech’ – hateful expressions, or knowingly stirring up hate

I’ve seen this term used a number of times: “You don’t hate people.”

I have always seen ‘hate’ as a very strong term, but there seems to be a lot of hate today, often for trivial things.

The Oxford dictionary tends towards it being a strong term:

hate (verb)

1 Feel intense dislike for.

   1.2 Have a strong aversion to (something)

Hate (noun)

1 Intense dislike

   1.1 Denoting hostile actions motivated by intense dislike or prejudice

People seem to have intense dislike of fairly trivial things these days. There was an item last night on Sunday on road rage which showed extraordinary and violent reactions to relatively minor incidents on roads.

‘Hate speech’ has been a big talking point lately.

Do people really hate things that others say?

Or do they just hate that people say things they disagree with?

I suspect there’s a lot more tendency towards the latter.

John Roughan: Forceful speech is not always hate speech

Some things a parent says to a child go in very deep and stay for life. I can still hear my mother telling me, “You don’t hate people.”

I quickly forgot who it was I’d just announced I hated because her reply was more interesting. “You hate what they say or do, you don’t hate them. You don’t hate people.” Her tone was matter of fact not moralistic, and I worked out what she meant. It was simply a fact, there was goodness in everyone.

I agree to a large extent, although I thing hate could be justified for some people. Despicable actions can be hated, and despicable people can also be hated.

Hate is a heavy word and I rarely use it…

Same for me, but I see and hear the term used a lot.

…but it is getting quite an airing in this very important debate we are having since Phil Goff closed Auckland Council venues to Stefan Moyneux and Lauren Southern. This week supporters of the mayor have decided “free speech is not hate speech”, which, on the evidence of the banned pair’s internet posts, seems unfair.

Southern hates Islamic attitudes to women and for that reason she hates Islamic immigration. I think my mother would permit that, probably agree with it. I’m not sure what Molyneux hates…

I don’t know whether Southern hates Muslims, Islamic attitudes to women or Islamic immigration. But she certainly seems to stir up feelings of hate, both in support and in opposition to what she says,

I strongly disagree with some aspects of the Islamic religion, but that’s in general terms. I strongly disagree with aspects of the Christian religion, and the Jewish religion, and other religions.

I strongly disagree with some Islamic attitudes to women  – and also to some Kiwi attitudes to women as expressed online.

However I don’t hate Islamic immigration, nor do I fear it. I have no reason to do so. I don’t hate Muslim immigrants, and I certainly don’t hate Muslim people I pass on the streets of Dunedin (that happens quite often). I have no reason whatsoever to hate these people.

But some people do seem to hate Islam, hate Muslims, and appear to hate Muslim immigrants.

If Southern and Molyneux play on some people’s hates and fears, if they provoke expressions of hate, then are they guilty of hate speech?

Or is it just speech that they know will provoke feelings and expressions of hate? Are they trying to generate and propagate a frenzy of hate?

It is possible to stir up hate without using specifically hateful phrases in their speech.

Perhaps that’s what others hate about Southern and Molyneux.

 

Media watch – Monday

23 July 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.