Posts by Craig Young

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  • Hard News: And one war ends?,

    Personally, while I strongly support medicinal cannabis and derivative access for those who need it (because I'm a gay man, because there's a strong evidential basis for its palliative effects in the context of HIV/AIDS and other medical conditions), I sometimes despair of NORML and ALCP ever being able to arrange it on our end. At times, the pot decriminalisation lobby in NZ has been its own worst enemy. I'd want safeguards against distributing it to people with schizophrenia, given that it'd risk cannabinoid psychosis in their specific instance due to genetic reasons, but otherwise, I'd be comfortable with decriminalisation on recreational grounds.

    Although I'm a complete alcohol and drug teetotaller through individual choice, let it be noted! Never supped or inhaled, never intend to. However, I'm no paragon of morality and I won't stop others from doing so in cases of low risk.

    Why can't we just get rid of Class C MOD drugs and concentrate our attention on Class As?

    Craig Y

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: So long, and thanks for all…,

    Robertson/Ardern, with Cunliffe as shadow finance spokesperson.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: U: It's about the combos,

    I'm debating whether or not to switch to digital at all. The only things I'd miss might be either Doctor Who, Walking Dead or American Horror Story: Asylum, The Nation and Q&A.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Council Elections: STV Q&A,

    Rich, from what I understand, the Auckland supercity enabling bill expressly did not allow for STV in Auckland Council elections, so the current state of that council is attributable to FPP in local council elections. Part of the problem is that the electoral reform movement gave up after achieving and then defending MMP at central government elections, given that New Zealand is a centralised, unitary state with a negligible history of devolution.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Who else forgot to get married?,

    Could I object to this association of Bob McCoskrie with clowns? Clowns can be scary. However, McCoskrie is about as terrifying as a wet dishcloth and less politically effective than one...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Competing for Auckland,

    Personally, I'm unhappy with Brown's mayoralty for quite another reason altogether...its tendency to listen to the bully pulpit when it comes to their recurrent attempts to recriminalise soliciting and street sex work on Hunter's Corner in Papatoetoe and Northcrest Car Park, and seemingly no-one else.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Thatcher,

    On Pinknews, Peter Tatchell has said this about Thatcher’s own connection to right-wing dictatorships and authoritarian regimes in the eighties:

    Throughout the 1980s, Thatcher colluded with the right-wing dictatorships in South Africa, Iraq, Pakistan, Chile, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, Indonesia and the Philippines. She and her supporters have glossed over this less than seemly side of her freedom crusade.

    Ever the Cold War warrior, a country’s stance in the East versus West struggle for global hegemony was the principle basis of her foreign policy and diplomacy. She also indulged dictators if there was money to be made; hence her love of that bastion of freedom, the House of Saud. She sold them weapons and bought their oil. It was a necessity of realpolitik, she said by way of justification. There was not a jot of concern expressed by her about the plight of women or religious minorities under the iron-fisted rule of King Fahd. Freedom for Saudi women and Christians did not concern her.

    At a time when human rights organisations were condemning Saddam Hussein’s tyranny, her government sought to sell arms components to the Iraqi dictator in 1981. Ignoring his poison gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988, which killed at least 3,000 people, she dispatched her envoy to offer Saddam £340 million in export credits; thereby helping sustain his brutal regime and arguably helping make it possible for him to attack Kuwait and ignite the first Gulf War.

    Thatcher was also one of the closest allies of the apartheid leaders in South Africa. Although not personally in favour of apartheid she defended their regime because she saw it as a bulwark against communism. To this end, she believed that black freedom in South Africa had to be sacrificed to what she saw as the more important goal of halting the spread of communism in Africa. She smeared Nelson Mandela as a terrorist when she denounced his liberation movement, the African National Congress, as “a typical terrorist organisation” and vetoed Commonwealth sanctions against the apartheid government. During the savage repression in South Africa in 1984, she hosted the apartheid leader, P W Botha, for tea at Chequers. Just a few years before the fall of apartheid, her spokesman scoffed that it was “cloud cuckoo-land” to suggest that Mr Mandela would ever win power. She was an apologist for the white minority regime, right to the end.

    Likewise, for the same anti-communist reasons, Thatcher backed the Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, even after his military government was exposed for interning, torturing and killing liberals and democrats. More than 2,000 Chileans were murdered and over 30,000 tortured. She declined requests to speak out for freedom in Chile; preferring to heap praise on Pinochet’s adoption of her monetarist economic mantras.

    Even after the Cold War was over, in 1999, when Pinochet was detained in London on charges of human rights abuses, Thatcher denounced his arrest as “unjust and callous” and praised him for “bringing democracy to Chile.”

    Despite similar grave human rights abuses, General Suharto of Indonesia – who murdered 500,000 suspected communists following his 1965 military coup – won accolades from Margaret Thatcher. She hailed him as “one of our very best and most valuable friends” and never spoke out against his arrest and detention of journalists, students and human rights defenders. Far from objecting to the military occupation of unfree East Timor and West Papua, she sold Jakarta weapons that were used to suppress the people there. Hundreds of thousands were killed.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Thatcher,

    No one's mentioned Thatcher's specific antigay period, during Clause 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, in response to the inclusive policies of the Labour Left-led Greater London Council. It may have been a paper tiger, but UK Christian Right groups like the fundamentalist "Christian Institute" later tried to use it to stop local councils from supporting local HIV prevention programmes, and providing ameliorative social services to lesbians and gay men, as well as inclusive educational curricula.

    It fell to her successor, John Major, to preside over the long overdue reduction of the gay male age of consent from twenty one to eighteen, and for the Blair administration to legislate for age of consent equality at sixteeen, a mistake that New Zealand fortunately never made.

    Here's my take on her legacy:

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A good soldier dies,

    Having updated my own blog on the issue, I can only agree with you, namesake. Apparently, two of Cpl Hughes' straight colleagues ended their lives during the same tour of duty- which leads one to consider that indeed, there obviously are some urgent general operational issues that need to be addressed in this context. Damned good article in the Herald on this subject:

    ”Defense deaths tied to training gaps” New Zealand Herald: 05.03.2012:

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A good soldier dies,

    According to a recent article on Gay Star News, LGBT military suicide appears to be a serious problem in the United States:

    “Closeted gay soldiers more likely to attempt suicide” Gay Star News: 01.03.2013:

    Granted, we officially ended military service discrimination twenty years ago, back in 1993, but do military policies and procedures reflect that state of affairs? And apparently the NZ military is being shortchanged by the government...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 354 posts Report Reply

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