The Dim-Post

March 28, 2014

Two point five points

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 11:41 am

Big discussion in the comments section of the last post about whether Kim Dotcom’s ownership of a signed copy of Mein Kampf is a legitimate story or just a right-wing smear. Someone linked to this comment at The Standard, which is fairly representative:

I am of East European Jewish descent and have visited Auschwitz to pay my respects to the victims of the Holocaust, where I don’t mind admitting that I felt incredibly angry and wept openly for the innocent men, women and children who had been murdered there.

Having said that, I see nothing sinister in Kim Dotcom merely OWNING a historically significant signed copy of Mein Kamph, particularly given that he’s a WWII history buff. I don’t think it’s fair to judge him without any real evidence, and I am far more disturbed by this shameless smear campaign by Cameron Slater and TV3 reporter Brook Sabin, son of National MP Mike Sabin. Hmmm, coincidence much? It might sound creepy or suspect to some, but that doesn’t make it so. I’m far more concerned about this increasingly authoritarian and sinister government in power than I am about Dotcom, they are starting to resemble the REAL NAZIS more and more every day with their attacks on the poor (working poor and unemployed poor) and sickness beneficiaries!

It’s impossible to attach any kind of universal meaning to possession of a mere OBJECT like a book, because we all view objects in the world very differently to each other, based on our cultural norms and personal values. Some see objects as being sacred, some think objects are an extension of our own identity, some see objects as ostentatious markers of wealth and privilege, some see objects merely as a collection of atoms and electrons signifying nothing

First point: this whole ‘I’m not offended by this so what’s the big deal?’ routine is identical to the one you hear from old white guys complaining about political correctness. ‘I’m not offended by Paul Henry, so what’s the big deal?’ And you’re free not to be offended by a political figure who owns Nazi memorabilia, just as old conservative white guys are free to not be offended by words like ‘nigger’ or ‘retard’, or whatever Henry says on any given day but the fact is that huge sections of the population are offended by all of these things and when someone is founding a political party there’s public interest in knowing that they hold values that many voters find revolting.

Secondly, if history had been a little different, there hadn’t been a raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion and he’d gone on giving huge cash donations to John Banks and the ACT Party and it came out that this right-wing donor owned a signed copy of Mein Kampf and appeared in public wearing an SS helmet, I kind of doubt there would be this huge outcry from the left about how it was a smear story, and that owning Nazi memorabilia wasn’t such a big deal. On the contrary, most of the very same people widening their eyes and asking with bewilderment ‘What’s the big deal about owning a book signed by Adolf Hitler? A book is just a bunch of sub-atomic particles!’ would be clawing at the air and screaming with outrage about the Nazi take-over of New Zealand politics.

Point fifthly, I really really hate it when people say ‘Hmmm’ or ‘Ummm’ in a comment.

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81 Comments »

  1. Look, sometimes you just want to buy a copy of Mein Kampf for historical interest and the only copy available is a signed first edition worth thousands of dollars. What’s a guy to do?

    Comment by Trouble Man — March 28, 2014 @ 11:45 am

  2. When I cracked one off to kiddy porn last night it was just the application of Newtons three laws of frictional forces coupled with light waves electrochemically decoded by bipolar cells.

    Daniel is right, defending Dotcom on this one just makes you look like a dick.

    Comment by King Kong — March 28, 2014 @ 11:54 am

  3. This reminds me of Bush v Gore in 2000. As someone I can’t recall pointed out at the time, it was pure spin. We were meant to believe there was some objective a Republican view and another objective Democrat view of the constitutionality of a hanging chad, presumably based on some legal principles. But if the facts on the ground had been reversed, the Republican lawyers would have been making the Democrat’s arguments, and the Democrat’s lawyers the Republican arguments. As you say, had the book been reported on TVNZ and The Standard in the context of John Banks, all the blog commentators (well, most, anyway) would be saying the exact opposite to what they are saying now.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — March 28, 2014 @ 11:55 am

  4. My view is and would have been that it wasn’t politics. It is just something for the media and other talkback fools to get wound up about.

    However because National used their sockpuppets at TV3 and Whaleoil to make it a story then Micky had to reluctantly write an opinion. It wasn’t even the banner until later yesterday when it’d picked up several hundred comments. So one of the editors sighed and bannered it.

    I sighed and started moderating it more closely.

    Ummm.. Do you think it is wise to provide information about how to wind you up?

    Comment by lprent — March 28, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

  5. MH@ 11:55am …all the blog commentators (well, most, anyway) would be saying the exact opposite to what they are saying now

    Including you?

    Comment by RJL — March 28, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

  6. It is well known Micky Savage is Cunliffe’s unofficial blog mouthpiece so it is a bit disturbing that the Labour leader believes the ownership of Nazi memorabilia by NZ politicians to be just a bit of a brouhaha.

    Comment by King Kong — March 28, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

  7. However because National used their sockpuppets at TV3 and Whaleoil to make it a story

    My understanding is that Dotcom gave the story to TV3 because he wanted to control how it broke.

    Comment by danylmc — March 28, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

  8. Hooton is actually reasonably right in his analysis but the reason for this interchangeability of ideas or attacks is because the Nats have surrendered on principle. Their abject failure to stand for anything has made NZ politics an unpalatable stew flavoured with ideas that should never be in the same pot at the same time.

    The fix is to restore some clarity and the way to do that is for the Nats to take a clear political direction. It won’t happen while the party remains under the control of the Key/Slater progressive faction.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 28, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

  9. RJL @ 12:09 pm

    Don’t know. Hope not.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — March 28, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  10. …and it came out that this right-wing donor owned a signed copy of Mein Kampf and appeared in public wearing an SS helmet, I kind of doubt there would be this huge outcry from the left about how it was a smear story,

    From the prvious thread, my comments:

    If he paraded around in his gin-palace wearing a Wermacht uniform, then yes, he’s a fetishist. Otherwise, nothing to see here.

    I stand corrected.
    While not a ‘dangerous individual’ KDC has crossed the boundary into distastful, fetishist territory.
    It’s still a smear story, but one that has legs and underlying value in terms of public discourse.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 28, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  11. “It’s still a smear story, but one that has legs and underlying value in terms of public discourse.”

    exactly

    much like the len brown story – the content and the manner it was exposed are two distinct and separate things – interlinked, yes. But trying to discuss both as if they fit in the same box will lead to everyone talking past each other

    if the tables were turned nothing would be different – the left would be condeming the act and the right would be condeming the way the act was made public – and both would probably have a point

    Comment by framu — March 28, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

  12. First point: this whole ‘I’m not offended by this so what’s the big deal?’ routine is identical to the one you hear from old white guys complaining about political correctness.

    I think of it as closer to the routine you get from people like me when religious types are horribly offended by some breach of their obscure rituals – someone puts a Mary statue in a condom, or draws a picture of Muhammad, or sits on a table or whatever. Yes, I get they find it offensive for reasons that make no sense to me, and that people who share their odd beliefs will want to know that a politician is happy to offend them, but I really, really lack interest in working up any sense of outrage over it myself.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 28, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  13. “there’s public interest in knowing that they hold values that many voters find revolting”

    There would be if we actually knew that Dotcom held values most voters would find revolting (say, if he actually had pro-Nazi sympathies). But, as that piece in the Standard says, we don’t have any evidence of that. Seriously, think about it like you’re doing your sciency day job: What sound inferences can we make from the fact that someone owns a copy of Mein Kampf? (Answer: Pretty much none). Sure, there’s a chance that he could sympathise with Hitler, but there are plenty of other plausible hypotheses (e.g., the fact that people in general are fascinated with evil, and with Hitler’s brand of evil in particular. Or that he might see the book as an investment. Or that he’s a wealthy and impetuous type who spends money without considering the consequences. Whatever.).

    Instead of arguing about what this tiny bit of evidence implies about Dotcom’s values, it’d be nice to see the media putting in a bit more effort into finding out what those values actually are. Outside of some fairly predictable stances about copyright and surveillance and so on, I was under the impression that we still don’t have much idea what he actually believes in?

    Comment by Matt — March 28, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

  14. First point: this whole ‘I’m not offended by this so what’s the big deal..?’ …‘I’m not offended by Paul Henry, so what’s the big deal..?’ …when someone is founding a political party there’s public interest in knowing that they hold values that many voters find revolting…”

    1. Your analogy with Paul Henry is facile. Dotcom did not parade his ownership of this memorabilia on public broadcast TV, or trade on it as a springboard to public life, or boast about how proud he was to own it, or brag about his possession of it. He purchased them before he entered the public sphere. He kept it entirely to his private life where he and it would have stayed, had not our government thrust him into the public eye. Your first point is hopeless banal.

    2/ Since when did you start being part of the Slateresque big lie? For someone who dismisses Dotcom as a joke you sure seem petrified he’s going to dent your wife’s future job prospects with the Greens. Dotcom has never uttered ‘nigger’ or ‘retard’ in public. There no evidence that Dotcom “holds values” that many voters find revolting, unless you think owning a copy of Mein Kampf is prima facie evidence of guilt until proven innocent that the owner is a Nazi. By Danyl’s new rules librarians are all closet brown shirts.

    “…Secondly, if history had been a little different…”

    nice counterfactual. How about this one? If we didn’t sell residency here like we are a cheap crack whore he wouldn’t be here at all. How far back do you want to take this? If there had been no raid on the Dotcom mansion then once he got N.Z. citizenship Dotcom would have stopped paying what he clearly thought was protection money to corrupt local politicians, and got on with doing whatever the fuck it was he wanted to do here.

    I will stop using ummmm and hmmmm on the dimpost, even if it is pretty standard stuff on the internet since forever.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 28, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

  15. Lolz, my favourite is:

    – sigh -

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 28, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

  16. I have an irrational hatred of “methinks” or the phrase “methinks the ……. doth protest too much”. It summons up images of pot bellied, gold chain wearing, real ale drinkers who have every series of “top gear” on dvd. Fucking twats, in other words.

    Comment by King Kong — March 28, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

  17. Point fifthly, I really really hate it when people say ‘Hmmm’ or ‘Ummm’ in a comment.

    Hmmm … that’s revealing.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — March 28, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

  18. I personally loathe “Indeed.” – not that it repeats from any specific source or anything.

    Comment by Patrick — March 28, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

  19. Point fifthly, I really really hate it when people say ‘Hmmm’ or ‘Ummm’ in a comment.

    Should we be expecting Danyl’s blogging version of the Chris Finlayson guidelines? http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/to-tediously-bore/

    Comment by WH — March 28, 2014 @ 2:22 pm

  20. Mmmm. My considered opinion is…. Damn. Sanctuary says it so well at No 14 that I just leave it to him.
    (And I wonder if I should join the Internet Party as a protest against the narrow mindedness of some and the distaste with Whaleoil/National Party dirty tricks brigade.)

    Comment by xianmac — March 28, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

  21. I personally loathe “Indeed.”

    This!

    Comment by danylmc — March 28, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

  22. I am at a loss to understand why the left keep defending the crook. How many National voters do you think will vote for his fake party?
    The protest vote is all coming from your end of the swimming pool.
    If only John Banks had used a trust for his donations in a similar way to the fool who eventually got elected mayor we would not be discussing Banks ad nauseum. I hold no favourable thoughts towards him but at the end of the day he took a donation and then failed to live upto the standard of care that KDC believed he had purchased.
    Many of you, and particular Danyl have made much of the way Cam Slater handled the rooting mayor story. I expect he is holding a bit back here to see how far KDC will stick his neck out with denials. I know we will see more on the Nazi theme.
    There is no suggestion or evidence that KDC bought his residency, he had to pay a bond. Which I believe the crown still holds. It is not as if he is a Chinese wanted fugitive who bought a passport and got the full soggy biscuit club at parliament.
    In other unrelated news. Shane Jones has bought a beautiful home in Kerikeri just down the road from me.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — March 28, 2014 @ 2:48 pm

  23. One of the better lecturers at Victoria University, Alexander Maxwell, made an excellent point in a lecture on representations of Nazism in popular media. To paraphrase, “a regime like the Nazi regime probably will rise again, but they won’t waving swastikas or goose-stepping”

    Or to put it differently, we need to get over the symbols of the Nazi regime, and instead look at the ideology if we want to get worked up over it. Has Dotcom shown any enthusiasm whatsoever for Nazi ideology? Or is he just a German who owns an old book? Sadly, it appears that we haven’t moved beyond the stereotype of connecting Germans with Nazism regardless of what they do.

    Comment by Alex Braae — March 28, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

  24. “Has Dotcom shown any enthusiasm whatsoever for Nazi ideology?”
    The big question.
    Let him keep denying it.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — March 28, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

  25. Sadly, it appears that we haven’t moved beyond the stereotype of connecting Germans with Nazism regardless of what they do.

    Yeah, just because a German wears an SS helmet and spends $40,000 on a signed copy of Hitler’s book people try to link him to Nazism.

    Comment by danylmc — March 28, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

  26. Or to put it differently, we need to get over the symbols of the Nazi regime, and instead look at the ideology if we want to get worked up over it.

    Great idea! Unfortunately, we are human, and symbolism is…symbolic.
    Like any lasting brand, effective symbols create a stong, visceral, connection between myths / ideas and our emotional state. You have to possess a degree of sangfroid to set symbols aside, something that the majority of people are probably unable to do.

    Thats why a bazillion people still get on their knees every Sunday and fervently worship an idol, and a (thankfully) smaller bunch of people stomp about on the 20th April every year and worship the swastika.

    The big question. Let him keep denying it.

    Have you stopped beating your wife, Barnsley Bill?

    Comment by Gregor W — March 28, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

  27. I am at a loss to understand why the left keep defending the crook.

    Don’t think of it as “defending,” think of it as “failing to join the lynch mob.” The government would love to see Dotcom become a wildly unpopular figure – its actions against him (illegal surveillance, over-the-top AOS raid, dodgy search warrant, illegal handover of evidence to the FBI etc) are singularly embarrassing for the government but would be far less so if he became personally unpopular and could be swiftly dispatched to the US. Slater, Farrar et al are doing their best to support that project, but there’s no reason why anyone on the left should be an eager participant. We’d much rather see Dotcom continue to embarrass the government, and wish him the best of luck with it.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 28, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

  28. owning a copy of Mein Kampf is prima facie evidence of guilt until proven innocent that the owner is a Nazi

    If the Prime Minister was in the same situation, what would our assumption be? That he was either a sympathiser, or a man with extremely poor judgement.

    Comment by George — March 28, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

  29. Yeah Barns, Whale is promising more, as he always does. Whatever happened to the ‘more affairs’ that Len was supposed to have had? Maybe if WO was half the tabloid smear maestro he thinks he is you might still have that gig at Truth.

    But I think Alex Brae touched on a good point. There are people talking at cross purposes. There are all sorts or really fucked up reasons someone might want to own the book, being a Nazi is just one of them. DotCom seems to be more likely to be fitting in the ‘massive egotist who gets a kick out of being a bad boy who doesn’t give a shit about your PC nonsense bullshit lol’ category than a nazi.

    I really do think that’s what the evidence looks like. I don’t think that’s a good thing to be, but it’s not a nazi.

    I get that people might think it doesn’t really matter whether he’s a fuckwit or a nazi, as long as we make it clear that being a fuckwit re nazis is extra gross and not something we shhould vote for or ignore.

    But I also think that it’s important to keep the distinction clear. Because the right is going to go gangbusters on the ‘he’s a nazi’ thing, and before you know it, evidence or not, the GCSB will have saved us from the Nazis.

    And it’s also wrong to call people nazis, when they are just garden variety gamer 4chan haxxor fuckwits.

    And too; If an ACT party type had Mein Kamph, it would be factored into a discussion about ACT getting support and cash money from proud and out racists, and how jokes at ACT conferences regarding ‘hunting indigenous people like the aussies did’, get laughs. Context is a thing, right?

    None of which is to say that he isn’t a fuckwit, or that his fuckwittedness isn’t an issue, or that fascism doesn’t matter, or that symbols aren’t important.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 28, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

  30. The continued efforts to link the government to the police raid mystify me.
    Did John Key and Gerry Brownlee rappel down ropes with ninja suits on… Actually that is preposterous. Strike the Gerry Brownlee bit.
    We are not cursing Helen Clark for the Tuhoe debacle and we should not be having a pop at National for the Coatesville raid. As convenient for the left as it is. It is a ridiculous premise.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — March 28, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

  31. Some of us were extremely unhappy with the Clark government over the Tuhoe debacle, because the government was responsible for the legislation and the organisations involved. Same applies to Dotcom.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 28, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

  32. Hypocrite test for commenting – before posting, ask yourself:

    “If this situation involved [ Michael Laws / John Banks / John Key / Russell Norman / Tariana Turia / Helen Clark / Archbishop Desmond Tutu / Jesus / My Mum ] instead of this person that I [ think is awesome / hate ], would I say the same thing?”

    Comment by rickrowling — March 28, 2014 @ 4:11 pm

  33. @Matthew Hooten

    As someone I can’t recall pointed out at the time, it was pure spin. We were meant to believe there was some objective a Republican view and another objective Democrat view of the constitutionality of a hanging chad, presumably based on some legal principles.

    Those views were all based on “some legal principles”. It’s only niave people who think that the law is an objective, neutral body of clear rules that all point to one indisputably correct answer in every situation who would think Bush v. Gore was anything different to what it was: politically motivated partisans seeking to use any means available (including legal argument) to achieve the ends that they want.

    Now, that doesn’t mean everything in the law is open to contestation or ideological manipulation. But lots and lots of it is.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — March 28, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

  34. I personally loathe “Indeed.”

    Quite.

    Comment by steve — March 28, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

  35. We are not cursing Helen Clark for the Tuhoe debacle

    Speak for yourself, sunshine. It was Clark who sent armed police onto a school bus full of children, and pre-empted the courts by declaring those charged to be guilty. Lest we forget, FFS.

    Comment by Joe W — March 28, 2014 @ 4:27 pm

  36. There are all sorts or really fucked up reasons someone might want to own the book…

    There’s the quite simple reason that if he was living in Germany and wore an SS lid in public, it would be a crime under Criminal Code s86a, which given what we know of KDCs public persona probably supports the ‘KDC is a douchbag \ badboy \ nazi fetishist’ hypothesis rather than the ‘KDC is an honest-to-god crypto-fascist’ one.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 28, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

  37. Myself, I hate it when people describe themselves as “musing”, but that’s probably not relevant.

    Speaking of relevant, Danyl, I find it interesting that you need to mention that he’s a German. If he was from some country that didn’t historically have a fascist regime, would you think of this as less of a story?

    Personal disclaimer. I admit I am a bit biased on this whole thing – I have a small collection of Soviet memorabilia, so Danyl thinks I’m a Stalinist.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 28, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

  38. I really don’t give a flying one if somebody jewish makes their views made and it doesn’t coincide with mine. I don’t inhabit a world in which a person’s ethnicity or religion, or race cowers my view into submission. All it proves is that stupidity is an equal-opportunities employer.

    Comment by Lee C — March 28, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

  39. “The continued efforts to link the government to the police raid mystify me.”

    Which poltiician has sole ongoing oversight of the ‘intelligence’ agencies who helped coordinate the raid?

    Comment by Sacha — March 28, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

  40. Damn the frikken keyboard fell off my knee and posted my first fraft. Now I have left my comment with a perfect phrase with which someone can ridicule me with.

    I hate being ridiculed.

    If it’s any use to anyone I don’t like it when

    Comment by Lee C — March 28, 2014 @ 6:45 pm

  41. fuck

    Comment by Lee C — March 28, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

  42. Speaking of relevant, Danyl, I find it interesting that you need to mention that he’s a German.

    What?

    Comment by danylmc — March 28, 2014 @ 7:29 pm

  43. @Danyl: I think I laid it out pretty clearly, but let me repeat – if Dotcom was not a German, but a citizen of some country that hasn’t ever been fascist, would you be more inclined to view his owning Nazi stuff charitably? Like, now I’m not clear on whether these rules about inferring one’s political preferences from one’s personal possessions apply to everyone, or just to Germans, Italians, Romanians, Hungarians, Spanish people etc etc.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 28, 2014 @ 7:36 pm

  44. Hmmmm. Offence is such an interesting thing: there is pleasure in giving offence and pleasure in taking offence. Everyone thinks there is ‘legitimate’ offence (usually the things that offend us) and things that are just silly to get offended about; offensive subjects that should be avoided and offensive subjects that should be exuberantly celebrated. Offending people and asserting that one has been offended can both be potent weapons in public discourse, and for that reason people who have specious or self-serving arguments to make (or people who want to avoid reasonable debate altogether) are likely to resort to them. People who have solid, well-thought-out and persuasive arguments seldom attempt either to offend their opponents or protest that somebody has injured their feelings. Overall I think it’s generally polite to try to avoid offending other people where possible, but it’s also decent to try to avoid taking offence unnecessarily or using your own wounded sensibilities as a weapon.

    So, five last things about Kim Dotcom and Nazis:
    1) this is indeed a cheap political smear, but
    2) the story doesn’t reflect well on Mr Dotcom’s character – however
    3) it probably merely confirms what most people have already decided about the man, and therefore
    4) I don’t imagine it will have any effect at all on anyone’s decision whether or not to vote for his party.
    5) Ummmm…… that’s all.

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — March 28, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

  45. I can’t get why anyone can be bothered defending him. It is certainly weird the way Slater and DPF hate him so much – it leads me to the conclusion there must be a meme that he has the ability to damage the government further.

    But, unless the left broadly also think this, what is in it for them to defend him? Surely people don’t actually like him? This guy has the sort of personality 99% of NZers don’t like. Maybe non-Aucklanders weren’t subjected to having to look at his face on every second bus for months on end (Auckland has a lot of busses). I must have seen his face with the flower 100 times, every time disliking him a little more.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am sympathetic to his treatment wrt his extradition, as I am sure many others are, but that doesn’t change the fact he is thoroughly unlikable.

    Comment by Swan — March 28, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

  46. @Swan: Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Dotcom – in fact, if you’ve got enough time on your hands, you’ll see I was pretty dismissive of his chances as a politician a few days ago. But a ridiculous accusation is a ridiculous accusation, and “He is German and owns Mein Kampf, therefore he’s a Nazi” is ridiculous. Danyl has a bad habit of repeating Slater and DPF’s attack lines. It would be hypocritical of me to ignore it when it’s a politician I don’t support, so… here we are.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 28, 2014 @ 9:15 pm

  47. I don’t think it makes him a nazi I don’t think it makes him anti-semitic. I just think it makes him a dumb arrogant egoist. I recall a crack about Salman Rushdie writing a follow-up to ‘The Satanic Verses’ called ‘Buddha was a Wanker’ – no doubt KDC’s ‘follow-up’ is in the wings. Then we can all refer to anyone knowing of it as (horrified gasp) ‘a smear’. I mean, are we to imply that the story KDC released and then fronted up to claiming it was a ‘smear’ was anything less than the result of someone pointing out to him that owning a signed copy of Mein Kampf might – in some quarters- be considered – you know – distasteful? I would love to have seen his face when they told him ….

    Perhaps he purchased a book which translates as ‘My Struggle’ thinking it was advise on how to diet and exercise properly.

    sorry.

    As far as being arrogant and unthinking, come to think of it he’d probably fit right in in the Beehive. He should have spent that cash on purchasing his citizenship.
    At the risk of seeming like a toady, or accidentally endorsing the view that ‘ridiculous; is as ‘ridiculous’ does, I think Mr. Danyl shows remarkable independence of mind.

    It’s all getting a bit like an episode of ‘Curb your Enthusiasm’ isn’t it?

    Comment by Lee C — March 29, 2014 @ 6:45 am

  48. if Dotcom was not a German, but a citizen of some country that hasn’t ever been fascist, would you be more inclined to view his owning Nazi stuff charitably? Like, now I’m not clear on whether these rules about inferring one’s political preferences from one’s personal possessions apply to everyone, or just to Germans, Italians, Romanians, Hungarians, Spanish people etc etc.

    Nah – it’s just Germans. If a kiwi politician wore an SS helmet and owned a rare copy of Mein Kampf I’d be totally fine with that.

    Comment by danylmc — March 29, 2014 @ 6:47 am

  49. It’s all getting a bit like an episode of ‘Curb your Enthusiasm’ isn’t it?

    There’s certainly a lot more gentlepersonly finger-wagging of late. Even poor old Redbaiter sounds like someone’s mum since he stopped dropping limpdick into every other sentence.

    Comment by Joe W — March 29, 2014 @ 8:03 am

  50. @danylmc

    Slater has put up two posts with linky love for you.

    DotCom owns a rare copy of Mein Kampf – stored in another hemisphere.
    DotCom wore an imitation SS Helmet at a Gumball car rally.
    DotCom is an attention whore.

    It is not a well thumbed copy of Mein Kampf, with lots of book marks and notations, sitting on his night stand or coffee table. The Helmet was not real, worn in context at the rally about rich people being ostentatious and driving expensive cars while being silly and thinking they are cool (seems like he was in his element). I suspect he was trying being Ironic and funny.

    Waiting for further revelations from Slater.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — March 29, 2014 @ 9:03 am

  51. Offense is never given it can only be taken.

    Anyway in the one party state for the left Dotcom is pure escapism. Its either Dotcom or going over the policy differences between Bill English & David Parker. Delusional.

    Comment by Simon — March 29, 2014 @ 9:17 am

  52. @Danyl: You’re really committed to digging yourself deeper on this, aren’t you.

    So, just to recap: German! SS helmet! Mein kampf! Am I missing anything?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 29, 2014 @ 9:50 am

  53. I know we’re down the rabbit hole when:

    1. Danyl writes 2 threads that are Godwins right from the get-go.
    2. Sanctuary and Redbaiter have the same opinion about it
    3. It’s about the appropriateness of someone’s private possessions, the worshipping of false idols.
    4. Stylistic guidelines for internet commentary are thrown in.

    It is, hmmm, indeed, ummmm, difficult not to write satire. That very verse is the end of a rag on Crispinus, Ancient Rome’s Kim Dotcom, at least in the eyes of Juvenal.

    I sense a deeper game here, you’ve all been DimPunked.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 29, 2014 @ 11:43 am

  54. is that a swastika?

    Comment by Lee C — March 29, 2014 @ 4:20 pm

  55. @Ben: I do have a friend who claims that Danyl’s smug urban liberal persona is simply a five year long satire. If so, my hat is off.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 29, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

  56. Offending people and asserting that one has been offended can both be potent weapons in public discourse, and for that reason people who have specious or self-serving arguments to make (or people who want to avoid reasonable debate altogether) are likely to resort to them. http://qr.net/rtcX

    Comment by MariaCong6er6 — March 30, 2014 @ 7:43 am

  57. It is silly to ask me to be outraged because someone else is offended.

    This is like when two children are fighting in the back of the car over something ridiculous. The only thing that is annoying to us is the child whining about how the other kid did something that offended them.

    What is also annoying is when the media draw connections that are obviously rubbish as if they think we are idiots or simply they are idiots.

    lee’s argument is fine – arrogant egotist, I can certainly believe that – but he is not alone in parliament.

    Comment by Scott1 — March 30, 2014 @ 9:05 am

  58. The book is just one of a long line of things that ring alarm bells for me at least.

    But it’s become important now because of how it’s been spiun by the left and right.

    DPF clearly believes KDC is bad for left.

    Whereas quite a few on the left see KDC as their one and only hope of getting rid of Key. Or at least one major part.

    I’m inclined to to think he’s bad news for whoever gets involved with.

    He’s a con artist. One thing I find interesting is it’s some of the most ardent espousers of the “don’t trust authority” ultra skepticism who have so quickly been well and truely suckered.

    Comment by NeilM — March 30, 2014 @ 11:18 am

  59. @55. I wouldn’t call him smug, and he’s been an urban liberal for a lot longer than 5 years. Which is hardly an unlikely combination. In fact, I’d even say most people in this country, urban or not, are liberals. A lot of people like to think they’re not liberal, because they like to get down on other people’s life choices. But when people get down on their choices, they appeal to the right to freedom of choice, a liberal concept. So essentially what they really are is hypocrites.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 30, 2014 @ 11:46 am

  60. FWIW, I don’t really give a shit about the book, but I think Dotcom has a fascist streak from other evidence. The idea that he’s organized the constitution of his party to accord him a special place from which he can’t be unseated, the “visionary”, strikes me as a control freakish thing to do, and quite unnecessary to boot. He has this position anyway, and it doesn’t need to be formalized – his continued sponsorship of the group makes it practically impossible for them to ignore is “vision”, since he could just withdraw it, and the whole thing would collapse. And the way he runs his businesses doesn’t exactly sound magnanimous.

    It could still be a useful party in NZ politics, though. If it gives a voice to group that didn’t have one before, I’m in favour of it, even if I’m not in that group. Even if it ends up just being an internet-consumer-rights advocate, at least it’s that. For that purpose, Dotcom has excellent credentials.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 30, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  61. If it gives a voice to group that didn’t have one before, I’m in favour of it

    I’m pretty certain that wealthy, well connected (both inter-personal and inter-net) white males already have plenty of voice in parliament.

    Comment by Phil — March 30, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

  62. The target demographic of heavy internet users, though, is not solely restricted to rich old white males.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 30, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

  63. Kim Dotcom grew up in a slum in Germany with a drunk father, not the same as growing up in a state house in Christchurch with a solo mother because KDC has not become a banker, amassed a huge fortune, become PM of a country, and essentially enslaved all the working class citizens in it. Due to his upbringing, it’s natural that he wants to learn more about the history of his native country. It’s probably a common practice for Germans that are not either Jewish or Nazi sympathisers to buy Nazi memorabilia out a natural curiosity and interest. This is a moot point. He cannot stand as a political candidate because he only has residency and not citizenship here and he has stated that he is the incubator for the Internet Party, not necessarily one of the people that will be carrying it on. He is merely a front man and an ideas person for his political party and, while it may be prudent to look at toughening up on laws pertaining to membership fees (flat membership fees across all parties, for example) and on rules pertaining to becoming a member of a political party, this would apply to all political parties and there are no reasons so far that are substantial enough to warrant Kim Dotcom, the Internet Party, or Kim Dotcom’s personal possessions, to be singled out and to come under different rules than any of the other wankers that masquerade as politicians in this country.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — March 30, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

  64. @Ben Wilson
    You are correct that the internet is not the sole-domain of wealthy white males (you probably wouldn’t want to test that hypothesis with the readership of the Dimpost) but I am yet to see or hear anything, like a speech, a policy position, an interview, a blog post, or a whatever, related to KDC that suggests the Internet Party will be anything more than a vehicle for his own self-serving interests.

    Comment by Phil — March 30, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

  65. @Phil
    I saw and heard on Q & A that Kim Dotcom has a policy position of decriminalising cannabis and of the wealthy continuing to pay more tax than the poor. These are apart from his usual and predictable policies of not wanting the TPP to go ahead; wanting the disbandment of the GCSB; and wanting New Zealanders to have access to cheaper internet access; and other such individual rights and freedoms.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — March 30, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

  66. “It’s probably a common practice for Germans that are not either Jewish or Nazi sympathisers to buy Nazi memorabilia”

    It’s illegal in Germany, so no.

    Comment by Sacha — March 30, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

  67. @Ben: It’s theoretically possible, if the internet party became successful enough, for it to attract enough donations from other sources that they could tell KDC to haul off. Very unlikely, though, even if you have a much more optimistic view of the Internet Party’s successes than I do. I think it’s a bit much to call Dotcom’s attempts to keep control of the party “fascist”, but it isn’t very encouraging. As I said before, I actually think the guy has nothing significant to offer New Zealand politics, I just think this whole “He’s a fascist” thing is a very long bow to draw.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 30, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

  68. All this conspiracy around the control of the internet party… If you launch your party with an app that any random can download for membership, you have to be sure you have an organisational model that has some way of stopping your opponents all signing up and hijacking your party.

    The interesting thing about Dotcom’s app is it is the first to point the way to the “Slacktivist” future, in the way Obama was able to mobilise the internet for micro-contributions: 99c here, a directive to flood kiwiblog or the dimpost with comments there, maybe a poster to download and stick up at work. All safely done with a level of engagement you can control.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 30, 2014 @ 10:12 pm

  69. Kim Dotcom doesn’t live in Germany and a lot of people who were born and raised in Germany do not live there anymore. They have moved to other countries and they have a natural curiosity about their native country. They buy the memorabilia because they are interested in the history of their land. If they were Nazi sympathisers, they wouldn’t buy it as an adult because they would have had the books passed down to them and/or already know its contents.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — March 30, 2014 @ 11:41 pm

  70. “a lot of people who were born and raised in Germany do not live there anymore.”
    – citation needed.

    “They have moved to other countries and they have a natural curiosity about their native country.”
    – citation needed.

    “They buy the memorabilia because they are interested in the history of their land.”
    – citation needed.

    “If they were Nazi sympathisers, they wouldn’t buy it as an adult because they would have had the books passed down to them and/or already know its contents.”
    – citation needed.

    Comment by Sacha — March 30, 2014 @ 11:51 pm

  71. Daniel doesn’t need facts, Sacha. They’re too confusing.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 31, 2014 @ 9:54 am

  72. We haven’t seen too many citations either way, on the subject of how we classify Nazi sympathizers. Daniel’s not unusual here in just giving an opinion. The only bit of it I find hard to swallow is suggesting that they only run in families so adult sympathizers would already have all the memorabilia they need. I’m sure there are some sympathizers whose parents weren’t, and plenty of them would still be buying up whatever artifacts that they could afford, when they come onto any market they can access. But yes, the owning of memorabilia of this kind is pretty weak evidence, especially in a rich man. They collect all kinds of crap. The only thing that’s a bit unusual is that it’s a signed copy. But that’s really just a bit like eating off a silver plate, and driving a ridiculously expensive car. Neither is actually better for purpose than cheap alternatives, but super rich people don’t think that way. It’s a point of pride that whatever they’ve got costs more, or is more authentic, etc.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 31, 2014 @ 10:21 am

  73. They collect all kinds of crap.

    True dat.

    Comment by Joe W — March 31, 2014 @ 10:56 am

  74. Well, I am an old white guy, and I am deeply offended by words such as ‘nigger’, ‘retard’ etc. I was raised a catholic and was used to religious prejudice growing up, so I find discrimination to be very distasteful. On the Nazi subject, I can’t buy the memorabilia angle. A student of WW2 history can access information lots of ways without shelling out $21k+ for an autographed copy. I had a lot of sympathy for Dotcom originally, given the raid seemed to lack in due process. No I see him interfering in our political processes and I don’t like it. Imagine the hue and cry if he was Chinese!

    Comment by Pete — March 31, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

  75. “I was raised a catholic and was used to religious prejudice growing up, so I find discrimination to be very distasteful.”
    Indeed. My grandmother married a CofE man. She was excommunicated. Doesn’t religion make you smile.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — April 1, 2014 @ 2:23 pm

  76. Daniel Lang, I occasionally drop by the Standard and read some of the posts there and there is a whiff of the delusion I see there in this

    “Kim Dotcom grew up in a slum in Germany with a drunk father, not the same as growing up in a state house in Christchurch with a solo mother because KDC has not become a banker, amassed a huge fortune, become PM of a country, and essentially enslaved all the working class citizens in it”

    I’m really baffled at the left defending him but if you can will yourself to believe that KDC hasn’t amassed a fortune and Key has essentially enslaved the working class on NZ I suppose you can rationalize saying that buying a signed first edition of Mein Kampf is a perfectly normal way of learning about the homeland he is curious about.
    I would love to see yours or the Standards response if say Judith Collins was found to have a signed copy of the book on her nightstand.

    Comment by Del Griffith — April 2, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

  77. Adolf Hitler grew up in penury with drunken father, left the fatherland at a young age, and had a keen interest in German history- if one is using these as a rationale for claiming someone can’t be a Nazi, and somehow inferring it improves one’s immunity to question compared to someone who has Jewish heritage, I fear the argument is at best, weak = and at worst, anti-semitic.

    Comment by Lee C — April 2, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

  78. Wow, a new Godwin: “anti-Semitic”. Although it is generally thought in extreme rightwing circles that many progressives’ pro-Palestinian bent is actually a weak form of anti-Semitism, in the real world, we know it’s not. But you keep on being right-on, Lee.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — April 3, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

  79. I really really hate it when people say ‘Hmmm’ or ‘Ummm’ in a comment.
    There is a time and a place for bee impersonations, but I do not rate for them in blog comments.

    Comment by herr doktor bimler — April 5, 2014 @ 1:08 am

  80. HDB, what about those sleeping bees: lolzzzzzz?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — April 5, 2014 @ 4:08 pm


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