Open Forum – Thursday

18 May 2017

Facebook: NZ politics/media+

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Previous Post

45 Comments

  1. “Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast …

    Every age has its own collective neurosis, and every age needs its own psychotherapy to cope with it. The existential neurosis of the present time can be described as a private and personal form of nihilism; for nihilism can be defined as the contention that being has no meaning …

    Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions of stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.”

    – Victor Frankl, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’.

    • … OR stands up to them …

      • Gezza

         /  May 18, 2017

        Thanks for that.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  May 18, 2017

        Not sure how you can quote Frankl who was all about individuals overcoming their situation (whatever it may be), not dwelling on what has happened but forging ahead looking for work and finding meaning, with your consistent victim mentality over all things Maori and any perceived inequality.

        Frankl believed suffering is an inevitable part of life and the ultimate freedom is to choose how to respond to any given circumstances, even the most painful ones.

        He was grateful for the suffering he had to endure as it made him appreciate the good things so much more.

        “When we suffer, will have a choice whether we will revolt against our circumstances, or whether to accept them and find ways to grow in and through our hardships. Revolting against our hardships can take the form of bitterness, or it can take the form of passivity and hopelessness. In both cases, it is a missed opportunity. The opportunity we miss is the chance to accept our suffering as opportunities for spiritual growth.”

        I am pretty sure whinging was not one of the responses he encouraged.

        In fact his treatment was often summarised as “Get to work” .

        I didn’t see any book from Frankl demanding reparations from the Nazis and talking of how he needed compensation for past wrongs before he could ever do anything for himself.

        He knew that to succeed he needed to move forward and look to the future rather than dwelling in historical grievance.

        “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

        “The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity — even under the most difficult circumstances — to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not.”

        “Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.”

        Perhaps you could reread the book.

        • HFD, your comment would be vaguely interesting if it had anything remotely to do with anything I’d said in my comment; or if it was any kind of commentary on Frankl’s writings. But it’s neither. Its thinly veiled ad hominem based, presumably, on what you believe you know about me personally … or something … plus your own and other’s previous misinterpretations of other comments I’ve made …

          And all you do regards Frankl is try to use Frankl’s thesis against me …

          I’m very happy for you to quote me saying anyone “needed compensation for past wrongs before he could ever do anything for himself.” Go Right ahead …

          Along with “accepting our suffering as an opportunities for spiritual growth”, Man has the opportunity – the freedom combined with responsibility – not to inflict unnecessary suffering on others … Frankl mentions this too …

          “After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips”

          And show me a book about individuals that isn’t intrinsically or deductively political …

          Perhaps you could have just said what you really wanted to say? Something along the lines of “Get a job”!

          • High Flying Duck

             /  May 18, 2017

            I have no idea if you are gainfully employed or not, so would never presume to tell you what to do PZ. You are free to do what you wish.

            And my post was not ad hom at all, it was simply pointing out that you have strongly held views about who is to blame for the position some people find themselves in and that past injustices are strongly to blame for current circumstance.

            It is a strong and recurring theme in your posts.

            If I am wrong in this assumption, I apologise, but I believe it is the thrust of many of your comments.

            I have often read your musings and thought “this man needs to read ‘Man’s search for meaning'” purely because of its supposition that where you come from and what you have suffered should not hold you back on how you decide to live your future.

            Dwelling on the past is counterproductive, even if the grievances are genuine.

            It was this that prompted my reply.

            If i came across too forcefully, it was not my intent.

            I’m not sure about whether all such books are political, but would agree if you said they reflect a worldview.

            I do enjoy many of your posts PZ. Testing your own worldview against other perspectives is very important – and some of what you write has forced me to rethink some of my views.

            • Fair enough … and thanks for your honest reply.

              What irks me, I guess, is that you seem to be saying, “We must simply ‘get with the prevailing program'” … “buckle down and adhere to the ‘current circumstances'” … even if you do also mean (and take Frankl to mean) “use them as an opportunity for spiritual growth” …

              For me, there’s a lot more to it than this, and there’s much more to Frankl’s writing than this, both explicitly and by implication, vis –

              “The categorical imperative of logotherapy, which is: “Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!” … nothing … would stimulate a man’s sense of responsibleness more than this maxim … to imagine first that the present is past and, second, that the past may yet be changed and amended. Such a concept confronts him with life’s finiteness as well as the finality of what he makes out of both his life and himself”

              “But let me make it perfectly clear that in no way is suffering NECESSARY to find meaning. I only insist that meaning is possible even in spite of suffering – providing, certainly, that the suffering is unavoidable. If it WERE avoidable, however, the meaningful thing to do would be to REMOVE ITS CAUSE, be it psychological, biological or political. To suffer unnecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic”

              Indeed, upon these two statements of Frankl’s I rest my case, and will continue to act according to my own will to meaning based on the premises that “the [present] past may yet be changed and amended” AND much of the suffering of our current circumstances is ENTIRELY avoidable …

              Otherwise, perhaps the neoliberal paradigm, bent on restricting us to the two lowest levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, rendering us ‘efficient’ units of production & obsessive-compulsive units of consumption – diverted from love & belonging, self-esteem and self-actualisation – is a form of ‘concentration camp’ after all … ?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 18, 2017

      Without freedom there is no responsibility.

      • Gezza

         /  May 18, 2017

        Thanks for that too.

        Freedom’s just another word for nothing else to lose.

        Also, a foam carpet cleaner.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  May 18, 2017

          And a furniture shop. Don’t forget the furniture shop – I think that’s the one Al was getting at.

          I know I never felt responsible until I owned furniture.

          • Gezza

             /  May 18, 2017

            I know when I made the gold carpet brown spots into white spots with Freedom carpet cleaner my Mrs said I was responsible.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 18, 2017

          I always thought that was a silly line, G. Pandering to losers who don’t want any responsibility.

          • Gezza

             /  May 18, 2017

            Hippies Al. Actually, it should’ve been “… nothin’ left to lose” – but I didn’t want to say “left” in case it started you off about loonies.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 18, 2017

              I’ve nothing against loonies, G, except when they expect me to believe what they believe.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  May 18, 2017

            To be fair Al, the line was probably just what rhymed with Bobby singing the Blues…

            But as to your important point you are right. And conversely, unless you take responsibility you can never be free.

            Gezza’s Mrs knew this too.

            • Blazer

               /  May 18, 2017

              ‘unless you take responsibility you can never be free.’…responsibility for what exactly…and free’ from what…exactly?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  May 18, 2017

              Your banalities would be a good start.
              Free to decide your own future without intervention from outside sources, predominantly Government.

            • Blazer

               /  May 18, 2017

              @HFD…so a ‘predictable’ fantasy…no man is an island…Duck.For someone so in step with the status quo,the establishment it seems …’ironic’.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  May 18, 2017

              I am only a fan of the establishment insofar as it enables me to run my life and raise a family as I see fit.
              And of course that requires community to an extent but the NZ way of life is very tolerant of individual freedoms and expressions if one is willing to take responsibility for their own circumstances.
              I’ll keep my real world while you rail against the system in your own fantasy…as you have every right to.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 18, 2017

    This is classic media mis-analysis: flexible plumbing pipes causing disaster damage when they fail. Wrong. The disaster is caused by using crap wood chipboard flooring which disintegrates as soon as it gets damp. Irresponsible lunacy to use it in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries but people do. Learn something, you idiots!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/92711698/homes-flooded-by-leaky-flexible-braided-hoses

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  May 18, 2017

      I lived in an old 30’s house once with no chipboard at all, just natural timber. But it had been re-plumbed with that grey pipe that ruptures at the seal. That shit product ruined that house, as all the joints burst on a monthly rotation and plumbers cut holes in walls, and carpets got flooded etc.
      A crappy pipe is far worse than crappy wood – the pipe is supposed to hold water.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  May 18, 2017

        Sounds as though the jointing was defective – incompatible with the pipe or incorrectly crimped. I’ve never heard of that kind and level of failure and lived with plenty of grey plastic pipe.

  3. Joe Bloggs

     /  May 18, 2017

    Former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s been appointed as Special Prosecutor for the Russian probe.

    The gravity of what is happening right now in US politics just got bigly heavy

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/333977-dems-hail-master-stroke-mueller-pick-for-russia-probe

    • High Flying Duck

       /  May 18, 2017

      Does this not completely undermine the howls of outrage that Trump sacked Comey to put an end to this investigation?
      As a few sane commentators mentioned, the sacking had no affect on the investigation at all.
      And so it has transpired.
      We’ll await the next scandal du jour – especially when these memo’s turn into a damp squib.

  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  May 18, 2017

    And more interesting still… the White House was only given 30 minutes notice before Mueller’s appointment was announced, and Sessions wasn’t told until after the letter had been signed appointing Mueller according to Jim Acosta, CNN.

    This should dispel the notion that Sessions can be trusted anywhere near the Russian probe.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  May 18, 2017

      Or Jeff Sessions had recused himself and therefore removed himself from the process.
      And the appointment was made that way as it needed to be independent.

      Rosenstein said. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”

      Rosenstein, who is acting attorney general for the Russia investigation since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, said a special counsel was chosen to maintain the confidence of the American people.

      Remember it was Rosenstein who had recommended Comey be fired in the first place!

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  May 19, 2017

        Remember it was Rosenstein who had recommended Comey be fired in the first place!

        Except that Rosenstein has admitted that he knew trump was going to fire Comey before he (Rosenstein) began writing his memo.

        And Sessions recused himself but did not remove himself from the process – remember that Sessions penned a memo to support Rosenstein’s recommendation – that’s a Clayton’s Recusal if ever there was one.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 18, 2017

      Spin, spin, spin.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  May 19, 2017

        outstanding contribution – you should be proud of your insight …. now, back to reality

    • Gezza

       /  May 18, 2017

      I’ve been trying to work out where & how the Director of National Intelligence fits into this shambles. Trumpy appointed a chap named Dan Coats to this job with Senate confirmation on 16 March 2017. The FBI Director reports to the Director of National Intelligence, & the DNI then reports to the President, according to Wikipedia? He seems to be staying well under the radar. Christ what a buggers muddle their Intelligence Community is.

  5. lurcher1948

     /  May 18, 2017

    Stop sounding like an old whiner, trump and grow a set…
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/17/donald-trump-presidency-media-coverage-russia-scandal
    Potus orangutan insanus

    • PDB

       /  May 18, 2017

      Pot-kettle-black?

      • lurcher1948

         /  May 18, 2017

        I say it as it is and PG has the right to pull me up on it.

  6. lurcher1948

     /  May 18, 2017

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/west-coast/92669729/The-sleeping-dragon-Researchers-find-blazing-heat-beneath-the-Southern-Alps I read this and thought every 300 years there’s a force 8 earthquake and its 300 years since the last one…hum

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 18, 2017

      Yes, bound to be food for thought when planning a geothermal power farm on the alpine fault.

  7. PDB

     /  May 18, 2017

    Chris Cornell is dead………..

  8. TOP has released their ‘The Real Deal Cannabis Reform’ policy …

    http://www.top.org.nz/top8

    … and to their enduring credit, they’ve comprehensively addressed the biggest single component of the issue, recreational use …

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 18, 2017

      Yes, first thing I’ve heard Morgan propose that actually makes sense.

      • Gezza

         /  May 18, 2017

        Don’t know how practical it is to allow home growing of only up to 2 plants. If you’re growing them from seed you have no idea how many male & female plants you’ll end up with until they start to head or flower. I suspect most home growers will want 4-6 until they know they’ve got a heading plant or two.

        • Gezza

           /  May 18, 2017

          Oh, I see you can clone them by cuttings.