Posts by Rich of Observationz

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  • Speaker: Play by Discretion,

    How can you fire Boycott for being a "boorish old git". That's like firing a plumber for installing pipework and taps. Boycott was a boorish old git while he was playing for Yorkshire under 14's and hasn't changed since.

    Still, he's only a cricket commentator. In NZ he'd be an MP, or mayor of some hick town.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4507 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Spectacular but useless,

    Maybe I should take up smoking dope. I mean, if nothing else gets me in the next 812,533 years, I'd rather die of being stoned than from the sun exploding?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4507 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Norms,

    Maybe we should try and swamp the system with meaningless referenda. Can you have a multishot petition:

    - Taxation should be completely abolished for hard-working Kiwis

    - Pensions should be increased to 150% of average wages

    - Every Kiwi family should be entitled to a 4 bedroom house on a quarter-acre section

    - Every Kiwi child should leave school with a well earned honours degree

    - Crime should be abolished

    - Every Kiwi should be entitled to a bach on the coast

    - Every Kiwi should have the right to go fishing and catch at least one snapper per evening

    etc.. Oops, is that the leaked United Future manifesto?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4507 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Spectacular but useless,

    I'd also be grateful if anyone who feels there are methodological or technical flaws in the index could explain them in some detail.

    Tomorrow.

    But in short:
    - the assumption that all inputs associated with the production of drugs are not economically useful underlies the whole "study". We don't make this assumption with many products of negative social benefit (alcohol, gambling, flash cars, suburban living) so why drugs?

    - the cost of anti-drug enforcement has been factored as a cost of drug use, rather than a cost of prohibition

    - it is assumed that when an offender cites drug use as wholly or partly responsible for their behaviour, this is 100% "drug-related" offending. This ignores any chance that the offending would have happened anyway or that drug use is being cited purely to offer a mitigation.

    - the "study" makes frequent reference and extrapolation from opiate abuse. Since this is fairly unusual in NZ, this casts doubt on a lot of the numbers. (For instance, without opiates, the number of drug related deaths in NZ drop close to zero).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4507 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: If we only had time,

    I think holding the election by post, possibly in January, shows the contempt that the whole concept of CIRs deserved.

    We elect a Parliament with multiple parties on the basis of those parties complete set of policies. If people (like the Kiwi party or whetever they are called) feel like starting a party of their own, they can, and try to get 5% support.

    Referendums should be limited to major constitutional change.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4507 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Spectacular but useless,

    Those things for sale.. they aren't vases..

    Mikee - drug paraphernalia is illegal, and consequently Bad. I'm sure people bear that in mind and use legal rizlas instead.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4507 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: Oliver's Army,

    Arguably the US, by intervening in Iraq in such a f...d up fashion, has poisoned the well for where a reasonable response could be justified.

    (after the fashion of Uganda, where Amin was finally dealt to by the remarkably efficient Tanzanian army, after making the mistake of moving up from attacking his people to attacking his neighbours).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4507 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Spectacular but useless,

    Jim Anderton said alcohol was “far and away” our most destructive drug.

    He is at least consistent on this. He said (in an email to a friend) that "if I could ban alcohol, I would". I wonder if the drinkers in his constituency are aware of this strict temperance stance, however.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4507 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Spectacular but useless,

    Aren't we measuring 'social harm' rather than impact on the treasury balance?

    No, it's looking at the economy as a whole, which is broader than the impact on government finances but narrower than trying to put a value on whether Johnny would be happier if he didn't do drugs.

    Say marijuana was legal to grow and sell, and taxed to keep the price roughly the same as today, just as a for instance. The industry would become a lot more productive (through being able to farm overtly with less people, not needing to evade police, etc). The revenue from this would accrue to the taxpayer and offset healthcare costs.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4507 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Spectacular but useless,

    I reckon that by using their methodology, you could make a good case for banning rugby. Add up all the money put into paying players, coaches, use of valuable land and resources, rugby related crime, rugby injuries and deaths. Take off a bit for increased fitness (but add on for people who eat like athletes when they're not).

    Billions, I reckon.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4507 posts Report Reply

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