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148 comments

A proposition... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629457)

Dear Zealanders

Perhaps it would be wise to suggest to rename your country to Nanny Zealand or New Nannyland.

Your fellow European

Re:A proposition... (1)

psergiu (67614) | about a year ago | (#44629607)

Do you think you are not being monitored here in the Old Continent ?

Re:A proposition... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44629823)

That's a bit of a strawman argument. AC didn't say his country, whatever it is, is any better.

If I am on fire, I still may be able to accurately identify whether or not YOU are on fire as well.

Re:A proposition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630695)

Indeed. The use of the word "fellow" seems to suggest a similarly-cynical view on Europe.

Re:A proposition... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629805)

First they came for Bradley Manning, and I said nothing because I am not in the army.
Then they came for Julian Assange, and I said nothing because I am not a hacker.
Then they came for Edward Snowden, and I said nothing because I am not a defence contractor.
Then they came for the Guardian, and I said nothing because I am not in the media.

Then they came for me. And there were no whistle blowers left to say anything.

Re:A proposition... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629923)

So why were you endangering national security?

Re:A proposition... (5, Insightful)

Safety Cap (253500) | about a year ago | (#44630605)

So why were you endangering national security?

Every time you use teh interwebs, you are endangering national security.

Every time you leave the house, you are endangering national security.

Every time you stay at home, you are endangering national security.

---

Consider that they are tracking everyone.

Which means everyone is a suspect.

And they wouldn't be suspects if they weren't guilty.

---

Q. What do you call an innocent civilian?
A. A criminal who hasn't broken the law yet.

Re:A proposition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44632181)

Consider that they are tracking everyone. Which means everyone is a suspect. And they wouldn't be suspects if they weren't guilty.

..and thus is the circular logic of the Facist bastards running our countries, now. The logical outcome of all this, if left unopposed, is that our so-called "free" countries will become giant prisons/slave camps, and we, the people, are the inmates/slaves. After all, prisoners and slaves don't deserve privacy, do they? And we're all just perpetrators who haven't had the opportunity to commit our future crimes, aren't we? Oh no! You're breaking the speed limit law! You must be in a hurry to commit a terrorist act! Oh, my! You're parked your car illegally! You must have a bomb inside it! What, no bomb? Then you must be practicing for when you illegally park your car bomb! Better throw you into a windowless cell without due process, do a full body-cavity search, tear your house apart, sift through your bank account and other financial activity, interrogate and threaten your friends and family (because by association they must also be incipient criminals, can't let that happen!) and then when your life is in ruins, dump you unceremoniously onto the street like so much trash and not even so much as an apology -- because we know you're a criminal, you just covered your tracks too well -- this time.

Go ahead, mod me down to -1, Troll or something. It's not like I haven't been trying to warn you people for years and years now.

Keeping up with the Joneses (5, Funny)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#44629501)

Obviously post-Snowden, they realise how much they need to catch up to the American standard.

Re:Keeping up with the Joneses (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44629737)

Obviously post-Snowden, they realise how much they need to catch up to the American standard.

If Antonio Prohias were still alive he would have a field day with this.

Re:Keeping up with the Joneses (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44629745)

Indeed. If they do not know what their citizens have eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then they haven't gone far enough!

You could say they are in the business of knowing everything about everything. They just want the world to act in a practical, responsible matter, with no deviations from established behavioral patterns. [nocookie.net]

Re: Keeping up with the Joneses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629901)

They could just check Facebook or Instagram then. No need for a new bill

Re:Keeping up with the Joneses (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44629895)

the American standard

That's ok, you can get American Standards [americanstandard-us.com] pretty easily these days.

Borg, James Borg (2)

BreakBad (2955249) | about a year ago | (#44629549)

n/t

Codename? (5, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44629569)

US have a lot of names for their surveillance programs, which one will be the one from New Zealand? The Eye of Sauron?

Re:Codename? (2)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44629661)

I'd go with Rocks [staticflickr.com]

Re:Codename? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629799)

Sheep?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sheep
Description: 1,2,4,5,6,7 etc applies here.

Re:Codename? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44630287)

The Black sheep [wikipedia.org] ones

Can't allow foreign agents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629611)

to smuggle away the keel design for the next America's Cup.

Re:Can't allow foreign agents (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year ago | (#44629647)

Screw keel designs, they just need some way of stopping the boats from breaking in anything above 18kts.

Re: Can't allow foreign agents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630691)

In 18 knots of wind, TNZ is hitting 44 knots of boat speed! Unreal.

Public opinion doesn't matter (5, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year ago | (#44629627)

For a long time, governments of modern democracies have been rather afraid of public opinion and the press, and have avoided doing things that would result in protests and opposition.

Then at some point they realized they could bribe the press, and that the public's opinion doesn't really matter, nor does it amount to much or lead to much violence in a society of over-fed TV addicts. Today's protesters are all bark and no bite, and the powers-that-be know it full well. So they do whatever the fuck they want without even trying to be discreet about it.

That's where we're at right now. Welcome to a new form of tyranny, in which dictators are "democrats" who resort on soothing words and the complicity of mass-media to pussify the populace and keep it in check. Violence and outright dictatorship is so yesteryear...

IF the public reacts violently? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629837)

It supplies an excuse to REALLY "pacify" a protesting populace (with a B1 Bomber): Violent protest - It's the LAST RESORT, & should always be (when you have nothing to lose and everything to gain only). They'll use it, since those in power will scratch, claw, + scream to keep their power - and won't hesitate to use such methods to "set an example" to others. Then comes martial law for everyone and the FEMA camps get put to use (with their newly acquired 450 million rounds of ammo, and more ordered for them - gosh what do THEY need ammo for? Ask yourself that - it's called planning for civil unrest/revolt). FEMA camps where the barbwire points INWARD (meaning it's a prison, designed to keep people in, not intruders out). Use your head here, think about it. After all - you said it: "they do whatever the fuck they want without even trying to be discreet about it". Trust me - the "powers that be"'s think-tanks have carefully thought all of this out.

Re:IF the public reacts violently? (1)

davecb (6526) | about a year ago | (#44629871)

Check out "responsibility to protect", which is the hook less-insane countries use to hang a duty to not kill your own citizens on (;-))

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629941)

It's even worse.

In a traditional dictatorship, most of the population suffers and stand behind a revolution. The revolution itself is justifiable.

In modern demotatorships (sic, democracy + dictatorship), most of the population doesn't know that they suffer or they don't care. A revolution would be considered by this sheep as terror and unjustifiable 'cause "democracy" and "the system works, just elect someone else".

Most people are happy that they have beer, watch TV, drive a car, fuck their heart out and can comment and rage on the internet (hello!).
Everything else is irrelevant for most people.

Modern dictatorship is much worse than before. Much more hideous and hidden behind mindless consuming.

That's the system. Peasants we are. Working 40 years for the system till death. Mindless consuming. And being absolutely powerless. Rinse, repeat.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630857)

Bullshit. You're just rationalizing the fact that you're too goddamn lazy to do anything by telling yourself it is hopeless.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (4, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44630017)

I wonder if it had something to do with better security at public events and better investigative techniques. As recently as around WW1 it was common for unpopular politicians to be assassinated and the killer could get away with it without too much trouble. Over time it became harder to kill politicians and get away with it, until we're in today's situation where there are anti-sniper teams around these appearances, the buildings the politicians reside in are armored and it's practically impossible. They're safer from the angry masses than the 1700s French aristocracy could have ever dreamed of. They have nothing to fear.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44630115)

Assassination isn't part of the democratic process.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44630179)

It certainly shouldn't be, but maybe it was acting as a hackish fix for a very flawed democracy and giving a better outcome than the system would have had without it. Now we have no way to address overwhelming public disapproval, especially in the face of limited alternatives (another big flaw in current democracies).

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44630897)

If public disapproval truly is overwhelming rather than rhetorical, it can either be fixed at the next election or by recall election (if available). If you want to try to portray assassination as a legitimate tool of redress in a democratic system you should probably stop complaining about "rule of law" issues.

Democracy is known to be a flawed system of government, it is the worst, other than all the rest.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44631225)

Congress has a 10% approval rate and a 90% re-election rate, because the system has been gerrymandered to hell. No amount of elections will solve the problems we're seeing today, because the elected choose who gets to vote for them.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (1)

RevDisk (740008) | about a year ago | (#44630185)

You must not be familiar with the democratic process or history.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44630323)

You must not be familiar with the concept of voting, and the law.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#44631089)

You must not be familiar with the concept of voting, and the law.

You must not be familiar with how the 2-party state really works.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (3, Interesting)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year ago | (#44630231)

Yeah, but we don't have a democratic process. I'm not sure about New Zealand, but the US is a plutocracy now.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44630305)

A plutocracy? I didn't catch that. What is the minimum income level to vote now?

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (3, Informative)

Tim99 (984437) | about a year ago | (#44630925)

Plutocracy means the wealthy are the rulers. You do not have any realistic chance of putting up a candidate who is not wealthy in their own right, or does not represent the wealthy. America the greatest democracy that money can buy.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year ago | (#44630959)

A plutocracy? I didn't catch that. What is the minimum income level to vote now?

Theres a minimum income level to be voted for; have to pay for the advertising. Its not cheap.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630773)

Assassination: the vote that counts!

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about a year ago | (#44631431)

They have nothing to fear.

But plenty to hide. :-)

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44630253)

Then at some point they realized they could take over the press, and that the public could be manipulated more effectively than ever before

FTFY.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630381)

Violence and outright dictatorship is so yesteryear...

Except in the Middle East.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about a year ago | (#44630423)

"When in the course of Human events......"

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (2)

davecb (6526) | about a year ago | (#44630719)

This is what Plato wrote about, and the Romans invented a cool variant on: "bread and circuses". The latter led to / supported tyranny, the Empire.

Plato observed a cycle in Greek city-states: aristocracy to timocracy, to an oligarchy, to a democracy, to tyranny and thence back to aristocracy.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630945)

You say that, and I can't help but agree a good bit. However, I'd like to see this full scope. I'd like to see a great action by way of PRISM. I want to see it move. Until then I think it's all a scam to make people afraid of BIG BROTHER. This type of hype is exactly what bullying is all about. I say the emperor has no clothes, prove me wrong.

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44631157)

For a long time, governments of modern democracies have been rather afraid of public opinion and the press, and have avoided doing things that would result in protests and opposition.

When would that have been, exactly? The first US president to shove an unpopular policy (a whiskey tax) down the throats of the masses was George Washington - leading to one of the 2 times in US history that an American president has actually commanded troops as president. The French revolutionary governments were so unpopular that they decided to scrap the whole thing and put Napoleon in charge. The Italians, Germans, and Romanians tried it in the 1920's and bungled it so badly that many thought the fascists were an improvement.

Democracies are probably more responsive to their people than dictatorships, but that's not saying much. An interesting point someone made recently: In order to become president of Iran, a candidate has to be accepted by the unelected ayatollahs. In order to become president of the US, a candidate has to be accepted by the unelected Wall St tycoons. How different are those systems, really?

Re:Public opinion doesn't matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44632161)

In order to become president of Iran, a candidate has to be accepted by the unelected ayatollahs. In order to become president of the US, a candidate has to be accepted by the unelected Wall St tycoons. How different are those systems, really?

The difference is that one only appears to be true because the voters make it true. American voters are lazy. Lazy in how they vote, lazy in their political understanding and lazy in how they spend their dollars. This allows corruption to continue. I don't believe that they can change the system overnight but as long as they want to "vote for the lesser of two evils" or "not waste their vote on third parties" this kind of abuse will continue.

Good on the politicians. They figured out how to keep Americans in check and keep their eye on corporations and not the way the government whips them into feeding the meat grinder. So many people already think that the politicians are the unwitting victims of corporate dollars. It's like shooting fish in a barrel to the DC elite. Americans deserve what they get for being lazy.

First world problems. (2)

sd4f (1891894) | about a year ago | (#44629629)

Living in the first world is starting to make me feel slightly enslaved. More or less my existence is limited by what our elected overlords have deemed permissible. I think now I get the futurama quote of "I don't want to live on this planet anymore". I certainly don't like living in a state of Australia where the constitution states that the parliament can make a law for whatever reason it wishes (with a couple of minor exclusions).

This form of representative democracy is in effect tyranny and more importantly treasonous, it is slowly relegating us to serfdom

Re:First world problems. (4, Interesting)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about a year ago | (#44629787)

The real question is what are we going to do about it? I'm getting increasingly interested in the political process - I've written my MP and the opposite candidate about my views on these things. I've told them my vote is contingent on a roll-back on policies such as this (along with airport scanners).

I'm starting with the soap box, and the ballot box will soon follow. We'll see how many boxes it takes until we see change. Part of the problem with the West is that we've lost the realisation that change is possible and is driven by public choice. We get the government we deserve, and I am damned well going to make my vote in September count.

Re:First world problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629935)

Well I tried to get a bunch of folks to put on anonymous masks, pick up a vacuum cleaner and start vacuuming everything they could find of everyones desks, in the street, passersby, to get the point across that we should sanitize before the GCSB does. The sad reality that no one seems to acknowledge is by the time this law change is repealed we will be data mined to Pike River. It won't matter anymore. Get secure about your shit. Where's David Lange when you need him. David Shearer is a wimp and everyone is too poorly informed.

Re:First world problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630837)

Vote Green!

Captcha: vetoed

Re:First world problems. (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year ago | (#44631717)

The real question is what are we going to do about it? I'm getting increasingly interested in the political process - I've written my MP and the opposite candidate about my views on these things. I've told them my vote is contingent on a roll-back on policies such as this (along with airport scanners).

All that accomplished was to push you up the list of subversives to keep an eye on. This is why Lenin and Alexander Hamilton used pseudonyms.

Necessary Amendments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629657)

1. Term limits, including for justices.
2. Repealing Amendment 17 and returning the election of senators to state legislatures
3. A congressional supermajority to override Supreme Court decisions (overruling what could be a stacked court)
4. Spending limit based on GDP
5. Taxation capped at 15%
6. Limiting the commerce clause, and strengthening private property rights
7. Power of states to override a federal statute by a three-fifths vote.

Re:Necessary Amendments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629801)

None of that is applicable to NZ, mate.

We don't have Senators, States,Congress , a Supreme Court etc

Re:Necessary Amendments (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about a year ago | (#44630471)

No, but they will do exactly what the US tells them to do and we do have Senators, States,Congress , a Supreme Court etc

Re:Necessary Amendments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630455)

I guess you are from the bible belt?

Re:Necessary Amendments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44631945)

"I guess you are from the bible belt?"

That is more properly called the Arc of Republican Poverty. It's amazing how people can be convinced to vote against their own best interests...

Catch up on what the neighbours are watching (2, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44629671)

Q: Do they get a gun?
A: No, the army has got the gun this week and it's the turn of the police next week.

To be a bit more serious they are probably only catching up on what Australia and the US are getting out of NZ communications via the Australian company Telstra that owns most of the NZ communication networks now. Telstra have already admitted that they give US agencies access to their networks without a warrant.

Re: Catch up on what the neighbours are watching (2)

oob (131174) | about a year ago | (#44630567)

Telstra was only ever a minor player in the NZ telecommunications market.

And last year, they sold the entirety of their operation to Vodafone New Zealand.

What in NZ is worth monitoring? (-1, Troll)

krovisser (1056294) | about a year ago | (#44629675)

Eh?

Re:What in NZ is worth monitoring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629847)

Sheep. They are up to something. I saw it in this documentary: Black Sheep. The government is trying to tell me it's just a movie but that's because they are responsible for it!

Apparently they have a reason (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44629691)

Al Qaeda-Trained Terrorists in New Zealand, Prime Minister Says [foreignpolicy.com]

Earlier this month, as the United States rushed to shutter embassies in response to a terrorist threat, New Zealand's prime minister made a remarkable but largely overlooked assertion. According to John Key, there are al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula-trained individuals at large in his country.

"In New Zealand there are people who've been trained for al-Qaeda camps who operate out of New Zealand, who are in contact with people overseas, who have gone off to Yemen and other countries to train," he told a radio program in New Zealand on Aug. 1. "Some are still offshore and some are in New Zealand."

Re:Apparently they have a reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629861)

The only terrorists we have had in NZ were French.

Remember the Rainbow Warrior

Re:Apparently they have a reason (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44629903)

How would they know that if they don't have enough spying powers to know that?

Re:Apparently they have a reason (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44630087)

Once you travel to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia or a few other such places for any reason, you immediately become one of the most suspicious people on the planet. Few things could raise a bigger red flag. The "terrorists" are probably just middle-easterners visiting their families on vacation.

Re:Apparently they have a reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630103)

What bugs me more is that Key's conversation with Banks is private, but anything and everything I do should not be. Why not? Because we can trust John Key, even though he's a two-faced lying probable sociopath.

Re:Apparently they have a reason (5, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44629949)

So what. Fuck 'em. Life is a bit dangerous, time to accept that and stop pissing away rights and stop jumping at every shadow the government points at. The terrorists don't actually do much damage, just spread fear; Hence the name... You're far more likely to die in an auto accident or of heart disease... Where's all the fear of automobiles and fast food? War is what causes damage, that and all the stupid fear-mongering.

Protip: There were no WMDs. The Red Scare was just fear. A Threat Narrative is what's used to manufacture consent, it doesn't have to be truthful, just scary. The governments and media are the biggest terrorist, depending on what word you use to mean "the spread of terror to achieve political goals". So, yeah, you can't turn on a TV without seeing a terrorist. Big Fucking Deal.

Re:Apparently they have a reason (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44630661)

You're far more likely to die in an auto accident or of heart disease... Where's all the fear of automobiles and fast food?

Indeed. About 3000 people have died from terrorism *since* 2001 [nbcnews.com] 10 times more people die (PDF warning) *each year* [cdc.gov] by suicide. The numbers and justifications for all this "yeahbut think of teh terroristss!!" malarkey is just that. Malarkey. Malarkey based on irrational fear, scooped up and eaten by a drama staved public.

Re:Apparently they have a reason (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#44631045)

Nope! Turns out, Senator McCarthy was right. There really were Communists in the State Department. But they did such a job on him that his name entered our language as a synonym for falsehood, which sadly continues yet today. When will Hollywood come out with a movie that shows the truth?

Re:Apparently they have a reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44632005)

Yeah. Maybe Dalton Trumbo can write the screenplay. I hear he's good.

Re:Apparently they have a reason (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44630045)

They've come for the sheep!

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629695)

This isn't really news anymore. If a government decided NOT to grant themselves highly abusable new powers, now THAT would be news.

ammo subsidies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629721)

We need ammo subsidies for high volume purchasers and clubs - to encourage gun safety and accuracy. This is both a public safety measures, a critical national defense objective already codified in law, and "for the kids".

A further measure, a lifetime tax credit for people who lawfully shoot and kill career criminals in self defense.. The scope credit would be indexed to the stiff's past record of recidivism and violence.

So much for retiring there (5, Insightful)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44629829)

*removes New Zealand from Top 5 places I want to retire to*

Re:So much for retiring there (-1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44629883)

Were you planning on turning to terrorism in your old age?

Re:So much for retiring there (4, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44630117)

He just values his privacy and liberty, quaint old concepts that had to be sacrificed for safety in our safer-than-ever world, I know.

NZ is still in my top 5 list of desirable locations but it's been accelerating down for a while now.

Re:So much for retiring there (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44631553)

that a pretty pathetic troll attempt

Re:So much for retiring there (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44630043)

*removes New Zealand from Top 5 places I want to retire to*

Have you got a working Top 5 of places which don't have this? Because I'm having a hard time thinking of them, and I'd dearly love to know. :(

Re:So much for retiring there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630055)

It doesnt seem to be ANY country left on this planet who doesnt want fuck over its people.

Re:So much for retiring there (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year ago | (#44631075)

*removes New Zealand from Top 5 places I want to retire to*

As long as you don't mind living on an unstable piece of rock in the middle of nowhere. Honestly, it could just slide into the sea tomorrow or the Taupo supervolcano go off again and pave the whole country under volcanic ash. Again.

Its not a place to plant long-term roots.

Re:So much for retiring there (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44631661)

Oh it's not that bad. And it's a good sight better than the yearly tornado season I live with now.
Actually I'd love to retire to a small farm. In NZ, or some other such place. Such as: http://img.scoop.co.nz/stories/images/0908/canterbury_plains_2.jpg [scoop.co.nz]
And NZ is at the top of the list because it's got all the climates I like and enjoy, and in such a small area, so can easily get to em. And it's got interesting critters.

Re:So much for retiring there (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year ago | (#44631927)

Oh it's not that bad. And it's a good sight better than the yearly tornado season I live with now.
Actually I'd love to retire to a small farm. In NZ, or some other such place. Such as: http://img.scoop.co.nz/stories/images/0908/canterbury_plains_2.jpg [scoop.co.nz]
And NZ is at the top of the list because it's got all the climates I like and enjoy, and in such a small area, so can easily get to em. And it's got interesting critters.

Tornado season isn't going to wipe out almost all life and make the place uninhabitable for decades, perhaps centuries.

Christchurch is still in deep shit and that wasn't even a very big quake.

As long as gov't is allowed to redistribute... (0, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#44629969)

There is nothing that even a vocal minority can do to stop government from usurping power from the individuals as long as the government enjoys silent or vocal support for its powers to take away from some people and redistribute to others.

There is absolutely nothing, short of a bloody revolution, that can be done about that and it has been shown true in every case.

Basically once there is a large segment of the population that likes government taxing, regulating, subsidising, redistributing, money printing, 'insuring', supporting..... you can't do anything to remove that government, no matter how just your cause you may feel you have.

Even if a country falls apart due to complete economic disaster caused by various collectivist policies (USSR as an example), if large portion of the population wants subsidies for whatever lifestyle they have, then a Mafia will rule the place apparently, which will steal as much as possible and will provide just enough of a subsidy to keep the majority of the population on its side.

Dogs or pigs, somewhere in between there... People are in between there.

Re:As long as gov't is allowed to redistribute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630311)

Dogs or pigs, somewhere in between there... People are in between there.

Indeed, comrade! Those capitalist PIGS are foolish to believe they will ever succeed! It's human nature to seek socialism and collectivism.

It makes you wonder? (5, Interesting)

kurt555gs (309278) | about a year ago | (#44630001)

Who does all this spying serve? Really. Who?

Re:It makes you wonder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44630129)

Who does all this spying serve? Really. Who?

I will bite. My money is on the money, and whoever holds a greater portion of it, because at the end of the day it is always about cheques and (bank) balances.

Re:It makes you wonder? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#44630693)

My money is on the money

It's money all the way down.

Re:It makes you wonder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44631279)

It serves the very wealthy. The Bush years in the US saw a public sector jobs and a replacement of those jobs with private contractors and mercenaries. This downsizing is typically what is actually meant by "smaller government". The private homeland security sector became massively wealthy and attracted techies who were no longer able to ride the tech bubble.

These techies created algorithms for facial recognition, sentiment analysis, network analysis and other data analysis concerns. Some money was to be made selling to advertisers, but there was much more to be made selling to government agencies. The agencies, having been starved of manpower, saw these technologies as a way to get their jobs done. The Bush era pushed through a lot of the laws that made adopting these technologies possible and streamlined communications among the agencies so that private sector firms could operate more efficiently (cheaply).

These private firms are international corporations, and they see the US government as only one client. Every other country is another client. NZ's vote is a corporate handout to these firms.

Re:It makes you wonder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44631491)

Why ask, since you know the answer: them.
If a good candidate comes along, they can destroy him. If the race is close, they know who to contact to "get out the vote" and put them over the top. To reporters and other such people, they can "make offers they can't refuse" in exchange for favorable coverage and ignoring the nasty stuff. If they have the right statistics, they can re-shape the electorate by "getting tough on crime" by making misdemeanors into felonies (which, coincidentally are disproportionately committed by the voter base of the of the other party) [note: felons cannot vote]. Information is a tool for perpetual power. That is it's only purpose in their hands.
Fighting terrorism (or any other kind of -ism) indeed - lol.

Let's just cut to the chase... (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44630033)

Can we just pass a law already that everybody has to walk around naked except for an always-on camera that sends its feed directly to government servers?

Well, not "everybody," of course. That would be ridiculous. Our wise government officials should be exempt from this law as their privacy is critical for national security.

Re:Let's just cut to the chase... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44631117)

shudddup already. don't give 'em any ideas.

Astonishing (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#44630061)

I didn't know all of those sheep [stats.govt.nz] were so interesting that they warranted expanded surveillance.

It figures (0)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#44630467)

New Zealand. Land of SHEEP.

Look, I know it's not fair; we haven't had time to see what the backlash might be yet; and my own country is controlled by the same kind of vile fascist animals and is not in open revolt. But you didn't expect me to miss the obvious opening did you?

Stop Pretending to be Subjects! (1)

ilikenwf (1139495) | about a year ago | (#44630875)

If it's a real representative government, the average folks of NZ could band together and stop this. Same goes for the USA. Instead of yelling about it, people need to take action and continue yelling about it.

Modern Democratic Process (1)

AttillaTheNun (618721) | about a year ago | (#44631437)

I'm Canadian, but I speak on behalf of those who live in any representative democratic political system.

This is just about enough. It's one thing to have a representative democratic form of government, but laws should not be passed that the majority do not want - and it shouldn't require a monumental effort to overturn. Apathy is too easily leveraged by those with less than honourable intentions.

Representative democracies were instituted for a number of fundamental and practical reasons, including the assumption that those with a passion, skill and education in the political process could be trusted as visionaries and representatives to form laws that are in the interest of the public majority, and it was otherwise too costly and, thus, impractical to subject every bill to a public vote. This is no longer the case and is time to empower citizens their fair share of participation in the system.

In this day and age, there is no reason why we cannot delegate the elected representatives to draft and sponsor bills, but they should not be passed without being first subject to majority vote online before they are invoked as law. If less than 50% respondents fail to approve, it is vetoed.

Similarly, the public should have the ability to repeal existing laws via a similar process, perhaps backed by a system to empower citizens to campaign for support on any issue.

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