Should intolerance be tolerated?

ToleratingIntolerance

Paradox of intolerance:

The paradox of tolerance, first described by Karl Popper in 1945, is a decision theory paradox. The paradox states that if a society is tolerant without limit, their ability to be tolerant will eventually be seized or destroyed by the intolerant.

Popper came to the seemingly paradoxical conclusion that in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

Stuff – raw, uncut, and error ridden

The Christchurch leader’s debate should be good. It is being promoted by Stuff:

‘Raw, uncut’ election debate to hit Christchurch

Organisers of Christchurch’s party leaders’ debate are guaranteeing it will be the “grittiest” of them all.

The debate on September 7 – one of four to be held around the country before the election – will feature Prime Minister Bill English facing off against Labour leader Jacinda Ardern.

The Press Leaders’ Debate has emerged as the most hard-nosed of the election debates because of its traditional soapbox style in front of a heckling audience.

But the Press could do with being less raw and uncut in their self promotional blurb.

Press editor-in-chief Joanna Norris, who will moderate the debate along with Stuff political editor Tracy Watkins, said it would be the toughest of them all.

StuffDebateStuffup1

Cunliffe participated in the 2014 debate.

The Christchurch debate between John Key and Phil Goff in 2008 went down in political history, Norris said.

“There was a real turning point in the debate when John Key said to Goff ‘show me the money’ and basically the debate descended from there where Phil Goff couldn’t get traction back because Key just kept saying that over and over again.

 “It was pretty powerful, dramatic moment which became a bit of a turning point in the whole electoral campaign.”

The debate between John Key and Phil Goff was in 2011.

“This debate is not about the personality of the hosts and that sets it apart again from the TV debates. It’s about the leaders themselves and we’re very careful to provide a neutral platform and ask hard questions from both leaders,” she said.

Norris should ask hard questions of her writers and editors about their accuracy.

US statues

There is a lot of controversy over statues in the US.

Pulling down statues is not revising history. History is recorded in many ways. There are not many statues of Hitler left in Germany, and many fewer  statues left of Stalin or Lenin in Russia than there once were.

St Petersburg being renamed Leningrad didn’t change history, it was a part of history. As was changing it back to St Petersburgh.

Symbols of the past can be provocative, they can be demeaning, they can be insulting, they can be divisive.

A statue of a British soldier in Parihaka would be quite inappropriate, even if it symbolises a part of that place’s history.

Statues and monuments in US towns and cities that symbolise slavery and white supremacy are contentious. It is up to those places to decide whether they are appropriate in a modern context.

Removing some of them won’t change history. But it could change the present for the better.

Another US civil war, as some extremists seem to want, would be dreadful for just about everyone, and solve nothing.

The NZ First poll jump fallacy

Does NZ First always get substantially more votes in an election than they poll? No, there have been a number of variations over the last few elections.

This sort of claim at The Standard is common:

NZF always get 5% additional votes at the Election cf to the polls so they are probably tracking at 16-17% which would appear to be about right at this stage ?

I’ve often seen journalists claim that NZ First get more votes than they poll. Sometimes selective poll results are used to try to justify the claims.

But the fact is that NZ First polling results and trends compared to election results has varied markedly over the last few elections. And there have been varying factors involved.

In 2008 the trend remained quite flat for NZ First – election result 4.07%:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_New_Zealand_general_election,_2008

In the months leading up to the 2008 election NZ First were embroiled in controversy over donations to the party. While Serious Fraud Office and Police investigated. Peters stood down from his ministerial roles (he was found not guilty of illegal wrongdoing).

In 2011 NZ First were all over the place, election result 6.59%

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_New_Zealand_general_election,_2011

Always the political opportunist Peters benefited from the controversy over the ‘tea tapes’ involving John Banks and John Key late in the campaign.

In 2014 there was a bit of a late upswing – election result 8.66%:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_New_Zealand_general_election,_2014

This wasn’t a huge rise. In March 2014 NZ First had poll results up to 7% and through the year they often got 6.0-6.5%.

In August to December 2012 NZ First had poll results from 1.8% to 7%, often getting 5-6.5% (8 times in that range).

Every election differs, especially for smaller parties who can hardly be seen during the term and then get some attention during the campaign.

Some pundits have suggested that this election has similarities to 2005, except with major party roles reversed. National under Don Brash’s leadership had recovered from an abysmal 2002 low and went very close to beating Labour under Helen Clark.

A lot of late campaign focus then was on the two largest parties, and while NZ First ended up calling the coalition shots and ending up in government (remember the ‘baubles of power’) they lost ground late in the campaign.

In 2005 there was a late drop – election result 5.7%:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_New_Zealand_general_election,_2005

In June and August NZ First had been getting up to 10-11%.

Peters may find an issue that resonates over the next five weeks and NZ First may get more votes than they have been polling. But they could just as easily stay flat, and a controversy could see them slide like the Greens just have.

Many different things could happen.

Labour are currently resurgent and could suck support away from NZ First.

Voters could fear a Labour+NZ First+Green coalition and rally behind National.

TOP may have a late surge of ‘stuff the others’ vote at the expense of NZ First.

Age and the rigours of having to campaign in an electorate and nationally may catch up on Peters – there are signs of strain showing. He could have a health scare.

Shane Jones may do or say something stupid (he’s been quiet lately) and scare voters off NZ First.

Nicky Hager could launch another book.

Cameron Slater may score a vital hit against National (he’s been trying hard enough, largely in vain).

Jacinda Ardern could be found wanting in election debates and voters may desert Labour, some to NZ First.

Election campaigns inevitably throw up surprises, and that can mean opportunities for smaller parties like NZ First – and can also deprive them of oxygen.

One thing is certain – a significant number of voters make late decisions about how they vote, and this means there can be significant shifts in support – as there have been over the last month.

Making presumptions based on selected past poll trends is futile.

Recent polls for the Greens

The big dip in Green support shown in the Colmar Brunton poll published on Thursday caused consternation amongst Greens, with the usual claims of it being a bogus poll, or an outlier.

Some thought that it was proven inaccurate by the Roy Morgan poll published yesterday (Friday), but they failed to notice that while published after Colmar Brunton’s poll just about all of the RM polling was done before CB.

Both those pollsters plus Reid Research have show Green dives this month. Recent polls for the Greens:

  • RR 15 June: 12.5%
  • CB 1-5 July: 11%
  • RM 26 Jun-9 Jul: 13.5%
  • CB 22-27 July: 15%
  • RR 20-28 July: 13%
  • RR 2-8 August: 8.3%
  • RM 31 Jul-13 Aug: 9%
  • CB 12-16 August: 4.3%

All three polls show a significant dip in Green support in August, at the same time as Metiria Turei’s story as a beneficiary unravelled and disunity in the party became apparent.

RNZ’s last 4 poll average chart:

From Ardern turns the worm, but Green losses threaten left

The CB poll this week is the only one to be done after the resignations of Turei as co-leader and the withdrawal from the list of two Green MPs. We can’t be sure whether it was an accurate snapshot of Green support this week, or if it is an outlier.

It could be rock bottom for the Greens, as James Shaw claims, they and could bounce back by the time we get another poll.

Newshub (Reid Research) may be next to publish another poll, that would be useful to get an idea of how bad things are for the Greens.

Can you separate Muslims from ISIS?

ChristiansKKK

Are all Muslims complicit with wars in the Middle East?

Are all Christians complicit with the KKK?

Are all Christians responsible for the terrible act done by James Alex Fields Jr. in Charlottesville?

Are all Christians Nazi sympathisers like Fields?

Are all white male Americans white supremacists? All white Americans?

Are all white males Nazi sympathisers?

Some people blame everyone who they think aren’t like them, or all of a group they don’t like.

Are all Muslims responsible for ISIS terrorist acts?

All 1.6 billion Muslims? Why not all 3.75 billion males? Or all 7.5 billion humans?

Bannon leaving White House

The revolving door at the White House will slap Steve Bannon on the backside as he leaves in another turnover of senior staff.

Bannon’s association with Trump, especially his appointment as a senior White House adviser, has always been controversial.

Is this a clean up of someone unsuitable for his position, or the exit of someone else  disillusioned with the potential of Trump’s power?

Fox News: Steve Bannon out at the White House

The White House confirmed in a brief statement that Bannon, a hardcore populist who often sparred with his West Wing colleagues, would make Friday his last day — just over a year after he joined the Trump presidential campaign.

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

One White House aide told Fox News the departure was a long time coming, and that Bannon actually submitted his resignation in writing two weeks ago.

This would have been just days after Kelly joined as chief of staff. Kelly was said to have been the driving force in the ouster of former communications director Anthony Scaramucci, and speculation swiftly centered on Bannon as perhaps the next one to go.

Sources say Bannon has become increasingly isolated in the White House. Adding to the pressure, some critics also publicly attacked Bannon in the wake of last weekend’s Charlottesville violence, in which a counter-protester was killed at a white nationlist rally. Trump came under intense criticism for his response to that violence, and some blamed Bannon for the tone — though it’s unclear how much influence he had in any of Trump’s remarks.

Earlier this week, Bannon gave a candid interview to a liberal magazine where he slammed some of his adversaries inside the administration.

Speaking to The American Prospect, Bannon contradicted the administration’s statements on North Korea. He said despite threats to attack the regime, “There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday rebuffed those remarks.

Bannon’s controversial comments in the interview last week seem to have been made with the knowledge that he would be leaving  Donald Trump’s administration.

Trump briefly addressed the speculation about Bannon’s future during a wide-ranging Q&A with reporters at Trump Tower on Tuesday afternoon.

“I like Mr. Bannon, he’s a friend of mine,” Trump said, while downplaying his impact in the 2016 campaign. “I like him. He’s a good man. He’s not a racist … but we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.”

The departure eased criticism of the administration only slightly.

On Thursday, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone wrote a column saying that while he liked Bannon, he thought it was time for him to go.

“I am one who had publicly defended Bannon from false charges of racism and anti-Semitism yet I have concluded he is a spent force, never being willing to spend his political capital to help his friends and in some cases helping empower the very globalists he claims to oppose,” Stone said.

It is being reported that Bannon will go back to Breitbart News.

More from NY Times:  Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After Turbulent Run

Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped President Trump win the 2016 election but clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers, is leaving his post, a White House spokeswoman announced Friday.

Earlier on Friday, the president had told senior aides that he had decided to remove Mr. Bannon, according to two administration officials briefed on the discussion. But a person close to Mr. Bannon insisted that the parting of ways was his idea, and that he had submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, to be announced at the start of this week. But the move was delayed after the racial unrest in Charlottesville, Va.

The loss of Mr. Bannon, the right-wing nationalist who helped propel some of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises into policy reality, raises the potential for the president to face criticism from the conservative news media base that supported him over the past year.

Mr. Bannon’s many critics bore down after the violence in Charlottesville. Outraged over Mr. Trump’s insistence that “both sides” were to blame for the violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally, leaving one woman dead, human rights activists demanded that the president fire so-called nationalists working in the West Wing. That group of hard-right populists in the White House is led by Mr. Bannon.

More on Bannon’s interview a few days ago.

Mr. Bannon’s dismissal followed an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect. In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”

He also bad-mouthed his colleagues in the Trump administration, vowed to oust a diplomat at the State Department and mocked officials as “wetting themselves” over the consequences of radically changing trade policy.

Of the far right, he said, “These guys are a collection of clowns,” and he called it a “fringe element” of “losers.”

“We gotta help crush it,” he said in the interview, which people close to Mr. Bannon said he believed was off the record.

Privately, several White House officials said that Mr. Bannon appeared to be provoking Mr. Trump and that they did not see how the president could keep him on after the interview was published.

If Bannon had already handed in his resignation the interview may have been a parting shot.

Is the White House gradually becoming a part of the Swamp?

General chat

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

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

Media watch – Saturday

19 August 2017

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.

Open Forum – Saturday

19 August 2017

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