Posts by BenWilson

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  • Hard News: Auckland: where only one man votes,

    One of them was also named Mick, so your name kind of jumps out. Most likely they get asked if they have anything to do with you a lot too. Had to ask, as you were, everyone.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8941 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Auckland: where only one man votes,

    I'm glad to hear from Nick every time. Whatever he gets in arguments here will surely find their way into arguments with his colleagues. So the aim is surely to make those arguments high quality - if it helps to make ACT just a little bit more moderate or realistic, then real good is served.

    But naturally he has to expect to be treated as a hostile witness a lot of the time.

    Nick I've been wanting to ask this for ... ever. Is there waterpolo in your family?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8941 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A solution in search of…,

    They were remarking about the lack of road signs in this country.

    Tell them to look on the left side of the road?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8941 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A solution in search of…,

    What views would have been blocked, Sacha? Currently when I walk along that area, all I see is a massive pile of containers, some gigantic unloading vehicles, and some enormous ships. If I move back, or to the side, or higher, I can see more, just as it would be with a stadium. But with the stadium, I'd also see the stadium (which might have been more to my taste than an industrial zone), and I might even be able to go there. Presumably I might even have been able to walk around it. Also, inside it, I might have been able to have a good view of something too.

    Yes, the consultation was weak. But that could have been improved, more time could have been spent. It was being railroaded because, as it turned out, time was pressing. Unfortunately the whole thing turned into something that everyone saw as a cheap (and strangely multipartisan) opportunity to have a crack at Labour, and they lost their bottle. The real losers were actually us. Or were we that way in the first place? It left me feeling quite bitter on Auckland and NZ, to be honest. We will never get an opportunity like this again, especially when the world sees what an appalling effort was made for an event of the magnitude of the RWC.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8941 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Death of Evidence,

    "There's not a single, solitary chance that as long as I'm the Minister of Justice we'll be relaxing drug laws in New Zealand," he said.

    Somehow that actually seems more honest to me than "There is a chance, after I weigh up all the evidence, that any drug shown rigorously and scientifically to cause no harm whatsoever to anyone ever, might not get banned, if I feel like it, after all that". That just seems like a more effective way of stonewalling.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8941 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A solution in search of…,

    Kingsland station can only take one train every five minutes and I'll believe that frequency when I see it.

    I second being rather skeptical about the dent our rail system will make in the crowd moving problem.

    And I second an ongoing disappointment that we never got it together to build an actual stadium for the RWC, which is likely to be the biggest sporting event NZ will see in decades. It could have been on the waterfront. It could have been in a lot of places. Instead it was in no place. Fair enough 6 years is not enough time for NZers to build such a thing. But why did we bid for the RWC then? It's not like it makes actually getting into a live game easier, the barrier still being the cost of the tickets. It's not like we made any real effort to show off to the world about how we can really put on a good show. It's not like it's going to make us any money. Well ok, retailers, particularly of piss, will do well for a couple of weeks, but the rest of us (I refer to Aucklanders since the rest of the country was instrumental in not fronting up with shit too, but they don't have to put up with having their city thrown into chaos for a month) look like we'll just be picking up the tab.

    Now it looks like the extent of our putting in will be to erect some tents on an old wharf for a sausage sizzle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8941 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Death of Evidence,

    You mean, experimenting over an extended period with its legal distribution -- creating an unprecedented new legal class for novel recreational drugs -- and only banning it on the basis of evidence? No, no other countries have done that.

    There were degrees of opinion on BZP -- and Auckland Hospital didn't see nearly the same level of acute problems as Christchurch did -- but Anderton did actually solicit and act on advice.

    And yet, somehow, for all of that, still managed to ban something that was mostly harmless and fun. Soliciting and acting on advice is entirely dependent on who you choose, and subjective evaluations of how much harm is required to block something massive numbers of people like doing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8941 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Death of Evidence,

    But that's not the topic and I didn't really mean to derail.

    It's not really a derailment, it's a valid point. But I do think it's also to that point to show that tobacco consumption is much higher on average amongst addicts than cannabis consumption is. Cigarette smokers are on it all day long, even when they're 'cutting back'.

    Part of that is because the science of brain chemistry and brain biology hasn't really been up to the task of figuring out what might be safe.

    Especially since it's a definitional argument anyway. The only thing that is truly safe is something that causes no harm whatsoever to anyone, any time. But very little of the things we are actually involved with follow such a high standard.

    And yet, the most socially accepted and omnipresent drug in our culture -- alcohol -- is also the most widely abused and the most damaging.

    True, but it could be a lot worse. A friend of mine tried making his own spirits and nearly killed a girl who bought some from him. It's a deadly poison if made the wrong way. Being legal, it's not made the wrong way, even if it is consumed the wrong way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8941 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Death of Evidence,

    (And OTOH, a government untempered by public opinion would be worse. We had enough of that pre-MMP, thankyouverymuch)

    I forgot to say: Word, I/S. I'm a lot happier with a National government that's too chicken to do anything precipitous. It's a hopeless dream that they might actually go through with the tiny bunch of promises they made that I approved of.

    I'm certain it will change at some point. Perhaps they're waiting for the right time, the right set of events to enable them.

    It could well be that they're just waiting for the economy to turn around, to give them confidence for bold moves. Which is probably wise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8941 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Death of Evidence,

    He wasn't perfect, but he did things no one had done before him.

    Yes, no one banned BZP in exactly the same way that he did it.

    boggle - you are kidding right Sacha - do you really believe there is a safe amount of smoke?

    I doubt that's what he's saying. It's more like "if you smoked 20 joints a day lung cancer would be the least of your worries". The biggest stoners I know would never have that much, and they are already high all the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8941 posts Report Reply

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