Scoop Feedback: Pre-Election
The following is a selction of feedback and other unsolicited email received by Scoop recently.
They do not appear in any precise order.
To whomever it may concern:
I was appalled to read your article, "Laissez-faire Polygamy Condoned In Utah." Why you may ask? Because you are giving my religion a bad name. It is not my religion that currently practices polygamy, it is certain religions that have broken off or left my religion, such as the TLC that practices this. Yet throughout the entire article it is referred to as "Mormon Polygamy." That is a misrepresentation of my religion. It is only the LDS church that people refer to as Mormons. So to associate the TLC church as Mormons gives everyone the wrong idea.
I would like to tell you of a girl that I know who just moved to the United States from New Zealand this summer. She told me of how all her friends back in New Zealand were now refusing to be her friends because she belonged to a church that practiced polygamy. I could hardly believe it, because we don't! But after reading this article, I can now see why. When you portrait two completely separate religions as one, no wonder confusion occurs!
Also I would like to point out that baptisms for the dead are not "magic." They are sacred ordinances. And whether the practice is right or not, should we not try? If we are right, then those who have passed on before need these ordinances. Heavenly Father is not unjust, he will give everyone an opportunity to receive the truth. (Oh, on a side note, more people than just the prophet can authorize and perform these ordinances. And seeing as how you apparently do not know, the LDS president is Gordon B. Hinckley) Also the prophet does not control exaltation, every person has the ability to control their own exaltation.
But anyway, I guess my point is, the article did not make clear the difference between the Mormon or LDS church and those churches or cults that do coerce women into sex. I have no doubt that it happens, but I do not appreciate the negative name the article gives my religion just because an author did not clearly separate the two.
I am pleased that today you are covering a possible moral policy link between Exclusive Brethren and Don Brash
I would also draw your attention to a large advertisement on Page A20 of the New Zealand Herald this morning contains the names of the usual prominent Exclusive Brethrens among a list of 49 names.
Am I right in my belief that Exclusive Brethrens have historically been conscientious objectors, abstaining from a duty to defend our country in World War 2?
They are now publishing their support NZs armed forces with the following messages:
"The final sale of our air force strike wing is the height of folly ..."
"Labour's discredited student loan scheme would pay for a real Air Force many times over ..."
"New Zealand'd pacifist policies will never meet the aggressive growth and demands of nations such as China, Russia, Japan or Iran"
The underlying message seems to be this. The Exclusive Brethrens may have a pacifist policy, but they require other New Zealanders must be armed to defend them !!!!
Are they really conscientious objectors?
PS Given their attitude to the Green Party, it also seems rich for them now to say:
"Protect our Vast Resources"
New Zealand is in great danger of electing the George Bush of the Southern Hemisphere.
Brash and National sustain support for the same people. The exclusive Brethren and the American Billioniare Julian Roberston supported Bush as they did Brash with hundreds of thousands of dollars used for libelous smears. Brash said two years ago "I would have done what President Bush did (in Iraq)".
Both support increasing military spending and scrapping our nuclear policy.
Bush and the Republicans have strategically their all in their power to crush unions. Brash wishes to return an even more conservative version of the Employment Contracts Act.
Both National and the US Republicans use racial scare tactics as a motivating force.
Brash, George Bush, and the prince of Monaco would be among only 7 leaders who reject the Kyoto Protoco as opposed to the 153 nations who support it… while the waters rise. .
Now both offer sweeping tax cuts tilted towards the wealthy; though, if elected the radical right winged policies of Don Brash would even trump Bush's in blatant disregard for the public need in health, education and all other vital services.
The tax cuts that the National Party are promising may indeed have no overall effect in putting money in the pockets of ordinary hard-working New Zealanders.
Consider the proposed temporary 5 cent reduction in the Petrol Tax. What is to prevent the petrol companies from using their usual excuses to raise the price at the pump just a bit more than they would otherwise. Over a fairly short period of time they could wipe out the effect of a 5 cent tax reduction while making it hard to prove that they are doing it. So the price at the pump could be just as high, but with more of it actually going to profit for the petrol companies.
"Petrol companies would never take advantage of a situation to improve their profits."
Consider the proposed changes in the income tax brackets. What is to prevent employers from saying, "The forecasts for the economy are for it to slow down. We cannot afford to offer raises. In fact, we may have to reduce your compensation. But, don't worry, you are getting a tax cut, so you aren't really being hurt."
"Employers would never take advantage of a situation to improve their profits at the expense of the employees that actually make them money."
With regards to the Northcote pick, I'm intrigued by the information being put forward about Jeremy Coleman. Before going any further I'm not affiliated to any party, I'm not a member of any party/political organisation, but I do follow politics closely, particularly on the North Shore, because I live there. If I do a Google on Ann Hartley, I get a lot of information about her from a variety of different sources, as you would expect from someone who has a long career in the public eye. If I do the same with Jeremy Coleman I get nothing other than information from the National Party website, and his own campaign website. I would have thought something would have come up from the NZMA, or Price Waterhouse where he works, or indeed just details of the Saturday surgery he gives in South Auckland according to his campaign information. Is this an oversight on my behalf?
Hi there...just thought I'd tell you that whilst I thought your "Don't swallow Just anything" video had a msg, it was too 'yuk' for this 'reader'...maybe without the vomiting sound effects it would have been more acceptable to me...now I just want to get it out of my head! Anyway, thats some feedback, for what it's worth. Never seen your site before so it's interesting having a look.
bye for now
hi , i liked your website until i saw the advertisement for the green party.it could have been advertising for labour or national, the point is that it caused me to speculate on whether the website is politically neutral/unbiased, which is important to me when i'm trying to find out what's really happening .
[Editor Replies: The advert is a
paid advert... and has no influence on the editorial
stance.. you will see that in the parliament wire you can read
exactly what is going on... from everybody.
[We can only guess what this person is talking about. But the compliment is accepted.]
Hilarious Great collage!
Re: Will Don Brash Meet the Merrill-Lynch Prediction?
Privatization of education would mean the end of Western civilization as we know it. The notion that parents should be allowed to choose a school -- public, nonpublic, online, charter, home, specialized, basic, etc. -- is a nightmare scenario.
Education should be a iron-clad government monopoly. Anything less courts disaster.
Tom Shuford, retired teacher
Lenoir, NC, USA
I have only recently found and started visiting the Scoop website, but I had heard previously that it was good source of independent view points and intelligent news.
I visited last week hoping to escape mainstream media's obsession with the bretheren story. I truely find it such a commonplace and trivial issue. When I see it over and over-reported I only see a transparent drive to bash one party.
I would rather see intelligent investigation of the many real and often overlooked important issues, whatever poltcal party they may favour.
I may be mistaken but I am less inclined to visit Scoop now.
The mistake the X Brethren made was "not signing" their brochure I reckon. They have a right to their opinion nevertheless. Brash was a nincompoop to not have come clean on it, even to his own politicians.
Re: ACNielsen-SST Poll: Nats 44.1%, Lab 37.2%
Which gives a Lab/Green/Prog coalition 56 seats, Nat 55 with UF (3) & Maori (4) undecided and NZF (6) going with the 'majority' (coalition grouping or party? Winston will decide). If this persists the formation of the new govt is going to be messy although the rules say the party with the most votes, in this case the Nats is invited to form a govt and the Nats would be home & hosed if their invitation to NZF & UF to guarantee confidence and supply was accepted as it very likely would be.
With an election just a few days away, it may well be time for the New Zealand voter to compare their perception of where our country is, verses where it may go if we maintain the status quo under a Labour Government. A vote for Labour is a vote for the state becoming the parent of your child; a vote for Labour is a vote for more taxes (22 new taxes so far this term alone); a vote for Labour is a vote for same sex adoption; a vote for Labour is a vote for the Government legislating what you can and can't say (so called "Hate Speech"). Freedom under National, or Fascism under Labour? Your call.
The television media has been stating that Don Brash lied about his knowledge of the Exclusive Brethren's responsibility for the so-called smear campaign. However, this is an unsubstantiated claim. He admitted that he knew that the Brethren were going to do some anti- Labour advertising, but, as he claims, he did not know that the Brethren were responsible for those particular pamphlets. He said that he knew that they could have been responsible for the pamphlets but that he did not know for sure - that is not knowledge of responsibility.
So how do we know that Don Brash is not lying further when giving these explanations? The reality is we don't. We have no true evidence to suggest that Don Brash's side of the story is false. Yet the media is still stating like fact that he lied about his knowledge of the Exclusive Brethren's responsibilty for the pamphlets. It is clear to me that the media has made a mistake - they have stated as fact something that they did not nor do not know to be true.
Don Brash also apologised for creating confusion. This means he apologised for failing to say: "I know who might have been responsible, but I don't want to point the finger because l don't know for sure". The media decided to state that this means: "I apologise for [and therefore admit to]telling lies" - and that is simply not true. In fact his apology was generous because it was primarily the media that created the confusion.
I would say that the only reason why the National party has not taken TV 1 & 3 to court is for political reasons. We need some kind of watch dog to keep the media accountable for when it makes false deductions. I think this Brethren fiasco is case of "group think". When an assumption becomes socially reinforced, nobody bothers to analyise the facts to check for errors.
Barbara Sumner Burstyn's Brethrenesque World Order article is interesting, but fails to acknowledge a very important point. Governments in general, and our latest government in particular, are actually imposing their world view on the citizens of this country. This amounts to nothing more than their doctrinal belief, the foundations of which are what is known as secular humanism, a belief system all of its own. We have a State that behaves as if it's God. Particularly in the moral area, deciding that all lifestyles are equal, no matter how immmoral. In our education system they teach the State sanctioned doctrine and make it compulsory instead of optional. For example, State schools claim to be secular, but, by law, must teach and participate in tikanga Maori (basically beliefs and customs). Also evolutionary theory, another belief system, which is wideley known as dubious, is taught as given fact. I am not EB, but it is evident to me, that many folk who believe in and follow the Lord Jesus Christ obviously hold different views to the 'mainstream' of society (whatever that means). Therefore they find it very difficult, sometimes nigh on impossible operating in a world that continues to changes the laws of the land to suit itself or particular pressure groups who are militant enough and persistent enough to get their way. My personal belief is that Christ taught not to go about things in this way (i.e. lobbying to get your own way), but why should other groups in society force their beliefs on everybody else through the use of legislation. No group should be doing that, Christian or not. I again refer to my example of the school curriculum as a case in point.
By the way, I enjoyed your research and articles on the MenzB campaign in conjunction with Ron Law. These were very informative and very helpful to people like us.
Know who you're voting for? Get informed @ www.nzvotes.org.nz
When I visited this website I found that it only contained a selected number of candidates and not the complete list as shown on NZ Elections.org, or on other sites like stuff.co.nz Any website providing an edited list of candidates surely must be misleading the public,especially one that suggest that it is independant and balanced.