Posts by Steve Withers

  • Hard News: From Zero: Weed,

    Legalising dope is one of those issues that polarises people. It's not hard to see why. If you go to small towns around NZ (the north of the North Island, in particular) and walk their main streets at the quiet times, you frequently see some pretty stoned people walking around. Usually very fat and brown. Often unclean and malodorous.

    This is the public face of dope smoking for many people. They don't like it and won't vote for it.

    Never mind drug policy as put forward by the Greens is rational and founded on solid evidence. Doesn't matter. It just can't compete with these images from everyday life.

    To that extent, it's a shame that progress on every OTHER policy should be crippled by public attitudes to this one. A party could be forgiven for simply refusing to do anything about this because it's a loser issue.....and they have other priorities. I'm thinking of Labour here.....but they won't be alone.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 308 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Obscuring the News, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I rarely read either Stuff or the Herald now. They are either so fluffy it’s a waste of time or so brazenly biased (Auckland local bodies vs Bernard Orsman) as to not be worth the irritation engendered. I used to be of the view I refuse to pay for such nonsense…..now I’ve evolved to the point where I simply refuse to even read it.

    I read and listen (and watch) RNZ. I read and donate money to Scoop. I subscribe to Bernard Hickey’s “Hive News”. I put some money into The Spinoff War for Auckland. I’ve occasionally donated money to Public Address when you’ve asked. I’m happy to pay for media that’s actually doing a credible job and doing it with some semblance of intellectual integrity.

    That doesn’t include Stuff or the Herald most days…..with special exceptions for Matt Nippert and a few others. But I’ll have to catch those links on Twitter or elsewhere. I don't see them on the Herald unless they are encountered somewhere other than the Herald.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 308 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: "Meth contamination": the…, in reply to BenWilson,

    I own a few houses. I have no idea what might have occurred in them in the past. In one case, there is a lockup under the house with no windows, lined with plastic sheeting. The previous owner was a builder who ran out of money.

    To remove all doubt about what may have occurred in the past I wanted these houses tested for meth. It's a prudent precaution to determine both risk and possibly liability. I'm not worried about low readings due to (possible) use. But I wasn't going to be all "she'll be right" and ignore the possibility of contamination. I simply did not know. I wanted to know.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 308 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The unstable Supercity, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I've seen this sort of thing before. The top guy does something apparently crazy and takes the fall for it......but he was actually working to an agenda. It's worth looking at what happened next for the individual concerned. What was the reward for doing something apparently crazy, but which had some obvious beneficiaries?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 308 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The flagging referendum, in reply to Craig Young,

    Me, too. The new flag is a better beach towel than the old one. The UJ is worse than the fern. I’m no Key fan (as anyone who knows me will attest), but I do actually try to take every issue on its merits….which still ends up lopsided against Key and National because their values often simply do not align with mine, but on THIS occasion, I prefer the fern to the jack.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 308 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny, in reply to Patrick Reynolds,

    Correct. First Past the Post is the problem. Just as it recently gave 100% of the seats on the AECT to C&R, it allowed many Council members to be elected with barely a 1/3rd of the votes cast….in both 2010 and 2013.

    I looked at this at the time. http://goo.gl/m4pWhX and again 2013.

    I posted about it pretty much everywhere I could think of, including here, but there wasn’t much interest the fact that well over 50% of votes cast didn’t elect anyone at all (over 62% in 2010).

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 308 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny, in reply to Steve Todd,

    Are you in Auckland, Steve?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 308 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny, in reply to Sacha,

    Brewer isn't running again, last I heard.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 308 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny, in reply to Phil Lyth,

    I'd be interested in campaigning for a change to STV for Auckland Council.

    The last two elections saw more than 50% of the votes cast elect no one at all.

    2010 result analysis: http://goo.gl/m4pWhX

    2013 result analysis: http://goo.gl/RiO8OJ

    The last election saw two wards not vote as not one person stood against the incumbents.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 308 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Art with a job to do,

    I'll vote to change the flag. The proposed one is basically the same as the current one, except the Union Jack is swapped out and replaced by the black and white fern.

    Good enough™

    I'm for it.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 308 posts Report Reply

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