Posts by mark taslov

  • Capture: Movement,

    Attachment

    ;)

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: What has Neoliberalism Done for…, in reply to tussock,

    Mark, your skills list is terribly out of date...It’s not the 1950’s any more.

    You got me there :)

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: What has Neoliberalism Done for…, in reply to DeepRed,

    I managed to secure a subsidised treatment plan via the DHB system

    I'm glad to hear that. I hope it gets sorted in a timely manner.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: What has Neoliberalism Done for…, in reply to DeepRed,

    If you start one of those pledge/ donation accounts I'd be happy to donate a bit for you to get the treatment you need. Not that I can afford much, but I know from experience how much of a distraction and frustration teeth can be and would be more than happy to help.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: What has Neoliberalism Done for…, in reply to steven crawford,

    That's right Steven, I recall Joe and Ian providing some links last year, I've no idea how such things would work in less communal terms, or exactly what the deals offered then were, I can think of avenues that could be explored such as Government sponsored building work-schemes for school graduates, in return for a house on graduation from the scheme or whatever. I imagine there's any number of ways such skill-sets and knowledge could be harnessed, least of all for our own peace of mind and safety post-natural disaster.

    Primarily I'm interested in the role education plays in shaping our futures, the skills we should be expecting to come out of our compulsory education system with - skills not wasted on the youth - and the values we wish to instill. I noticed I ommitted any number of other courses I'd like to see in my list above, anything from furniture manufacture, automotive engineering, tiling, basically anything that can empower significant numbers to build and maintain rather than just consume.

    DeepRed's having difficulty with his teeth, while there's some info online for DIY dentistry you don't hear about many people offering such a service - not on the streets, despite dentists being, for the most part, exceedingly well paid sculptors.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: What has Neoliberalism Done for…,

    I'd like to see a country where everyone is equipped to build a house, via primary and secondary education, to build, to pave, to wire, connect, power and plumb, to regulation standards. Compulsory or at the very least offered. I'd like a Government prepared to set aside land - which they have a bit of - in order for us to build on, with reasonable proviso, as is there fundamental task. In preparation for humans who to want to shelter ourseLves. And cooking, domestic johs, handiwork - sewing. Compulsory or at least offered right through till year whatever in our 'Education' system.

    So that we are equipped to cook like Gordon Ramsey, or at the very least confident to enough to attempt to cook Gordon's or Jamie's, Alison's dishes. This media driven shame doesn't help much either, the second class citizens unable to afford to eat out. Via Jones. Old Jonestown Jones. Not everyone wants to be Amish but it'd nice to have more options, like being able to build our own, modern, shelter.

    Perhaps an education system promoting these basics might be less likely to produce the personality types who would exploit these basic human needs, at the very least it would make it considerably harder to do so.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: What has Neoliberalism Done for…, in reply to BenWilson,

    Now a violent resetting of the world order really isn’t an option.

    As a total global event it never has been, but as a localized action it absolutely is an option. It’s no secret that our army is made up 4290 full-time specialist professionals, we have over 11,000 police staff, we have about 230,000 licensed firearms owners with about 1.1 million firearms and we have 3000 gang members.

    Likewise it’s no secret that the over the last 15 years, successive Governments have collectively put countless hours towards legislation surrounding electronic surveillance, terrorism, foreign fighters, warrantless surveillance etc. So many hours and so much emphasis has been put on these issues that it’s not unusual for an average voter to suspect that the thrust of this time consuming legislation is geared not so much towards keeping tabs on 1 or 2 (30 or 90) radicals, but to keeping tabs on the population as a whole. We hear terms like mass surveillance bandied about and we allow politicians to allay our concerns, but at the end of the day, who are we kidding? With the figures quoted above and the time and effort already spent preempting violent action, I think it’s admissible to speculate that our Government at least construes the violent resetting of our country to be a very real option.

    That significant time which could have been better spent creating more opportunity and equality is instead being repurposed to protecting the status quo is ample indication as to just how much confidence successive Governments have in the direction they are leading the country, which is not an advocacy as much as an observation. The observation is simply that when you’re running utopia in the manner it’s accustomed to then you shouldn’t be wasting a decent portion of that valuable time looking over your shoulder. Which is all rather by the by in terms of your original quote Ben, but a branch presented itself and for me the crux is that for the haves, violent action will never present itself as a viable option, however regardless of this, when a society produces enough heads with a feeling of nothing to lose (and nothing to gain) then the scales will tip, for the have-nots that option is never off the table.

    My strongest feeling reading through the posts here is that there is a decent split between those dealing with economics and those focused more on anthropology. Perhaps it’s my bias, but some of these economic focused posts do seem to be dealing primarily in negatives, losses, and for whatever reason I do feel that to an extent some are neat manifestations or perpetuations of neoliberal ideology, to the extent that our woes are presented as economic as are their solutions, which in its way could be taken as indicative of scant regard for underlying ideological issues; underlying issues which economic stopgaps won’t heal, underlying ideological issues which provided the necessary foothold for neoliberalism’s adoption and localisation.

    One quote that caught my eye was Stephens’s

    New Zealand once boasted one of the most egalitarian societies in the world

    Though I’m unclear as to who you were quoting Stephen, I’d love to know more about this, as your response to the quotes resonated with me. As a frowny lad growing up in the ‘84 I have a - boohoo- vivid recollection of getting mocked in class – because my parents were too poor to buy me a BMX – by a kid whose mum went on to run a provincial newspaper and whose dad went on to become a prominent councilor – again it’s a negative economic/ materialist point but…- as such I have absolutely no recollection of this time when New Zealand was one of the most egalitarian societies in the world, or how that must have felt. What was different, when did the change occur? Political intrigue aside, what was the propulsion system? Dallas?

    More specifically, beyond economic considerations, I’d particularly love to hear more about the attitudes, aspirations and culture of that egalitarian era in order to better understand how they fermented to produce an environment in which mantras such as “greed is good” could develop such magnificent legs and flourish accordingly.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Campbell Live, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    <sob>

    Most ‘normal people’- I use that term pretty loosely – would recoil in horror at the prospect of there being a handful of people who considered them to be liars.

    It takes a special type of monster to cynically gamble on the probability that no more than 50% of people over the age of 18 will call them out on this compulsion. Most sapiens might hesitantly throw caution to the wind and just tell the truth, yet still we vote for this ilk + jesters like they’re going out of fashion.

    I'm glad to see that Hooton's vacuousness remains a reliable source of lightweight entertainment.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What would a harm reduction…, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    I guess another question would be:

    None of this is to say we should have an unregulated market. Freedom to use does not require an unfettered freedom of access to purchase, we need to be sensible about distribution and promotion. The nicotine model of availability in every dairy/supermarket/service station is a huge problem

    Is it really? For whom? It is certainly a problem for the buyer who has to ask for a menu at every purchase, but I’ll assume that the problem to which you refer is that declining smoking rates are not declining fast enough?

    Hesitantly I’d assert that the availability of tobacco products online or the illegality of selling electronic nicotine refills over the counter in New Zealand are arguably far bigger problems than the availability of tobacco every dairy/supermarket/service station.

    In 6, with insufficient detail, I’m assuming that you are promoting the transfer from one cartel to another, from the black to the white. Looking at this servo tobacco menu I notice that vast majority of the brands are foreign and looking at a RYO tobacco pouch I find no mention of the chemicals, ingredients or process. I have no easy way of ascertaining whether high nitrogen content fertilizer was used in cultivation. Without the branding I’m not sufficiently educated to visually identify a higher burley tobacco – a factor which may result in higher TSNA levels. Basically as a tobacco user, in terms of what I’m actually inhaling, I’m in as dark a place as I could possibly be, and that has nothing to do with the availability.

    Basically, with the TPPA looming, I’m skeptical about any proposal of a regulated cannabis market that doesn’t also venture to account for developing a domestically-sustaining industry.

    For personal use I’d like to see this precedent carried over:

    Here in New Zealand you can buy tobacco seed, grow the stuff, and, if you want to, smoke it quite lawfully. You may not lawfully sell it, barter it or give it away. The same regulations govern brewing, wine making and the distilling of alcoholic beverages. If you live elsewhere check your local legislation to ensure that you comply.

    Industrially we have this type of precedent to develop upon:

    In 2005 the Government approved regulations to allow the commercial cultivation of hemp (cannabis sativa) in New Zealand. Hemp farmers still need to apply to the Ministry of Health for a permit to cultivate, deal, breed, import or sell seed, and must pay a fee of NZ$500 per license, but no longer need to call their crop an experiment.

    In terms of education:

    5. As appropriate, transfer funding from law enforcement / healthcare related to War on Drugs policies into research and education initiatives (with a strong emphasis on metrics that measure the actual impact of the law reforms).

    Most notable about this paragraph is its brevity. Education, as if just typing the word is an answer in itself. Ideally, with the amount of drugs on the market (including those currently legal), and the vast amount of information available, one could suggest that a government issued (flying) licence (acquired in much the same way as driving licence – by passing a theory examination drawn from the most recent drug-code) would be the only way to adequately ensure the users had sufficient awareness. No doubt our Government would love this kind of income generation. Pragmatically something like that would flounder at the obvious hurdles, but this should give some sense of the extent of the education required.

    Education is the most important part of the exercise and arguably needs to be the first stage in the process, regardless of the legality of any of these products, education reduces harm. What we are seeing from the majority of elected representative currently could be dismissed as constituting the opposite of education.

    As a user of drugs, legal or otherwise, I contend that the Government is doing the barest minimum to provide a full and comprehensive education as to the harms, effects, benefits, processes and manufacture of the drugs I’m consuming. If they are providing this information they are doing the barest minimum to publicise this provision.

    As an omnivore, I contend that the Government is likewise doing the barest minimum to provide a full and comprehensive education as to the harms, effects, benefits, processes and manufacture of the food/drink I’m consuming. If they are providing this information they are likewise doing the barest minimum to publicise this provision.

    Education is easily glossed over, just ask Peter Francis Dunne, he is as big an obstacle to responsible education as you’re ever likely to encounter. That’s his legacy.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What would a harm reduction…, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    The first thing we need to do is to stop using the language of prohibition. To speak of “harm reduction” is to be colonised in the head by the War on Drugs.

    Great suggestions Mikaere. I’m not politically minded enough to discredit the process you outlined. From my limited perspective your process doesn’t strike me as being at odds with the way things could roll. However your post was food for thought and so I’d like to air a couple.

    “Colonised in the head” is perfect, and as a phrase it’s worth expounding upon. Our heads have been colonized, our bodies have been colonized and our land and property have been colonized in this war.

    However I hit a bit of a roadblock at your 3rd point, perhaps in only that I’d like to know more about the reasoning behind that, this would be helpful, for me at least.

    As an agriculturalist from an agricultural country I tend to look at things from the ground up. For my purposes I think I’d also like to make a distinction between raw products, value added products (processed) and synthetics. My thoughts are specifically related to raw products, entailing life of whatever variety, from Cannabis to Erythroxylaceae, from Echinopsis pachanoi to Lophophora williamsii, including and not limited to Copelandia,Galerina, Gymnopilus, Inocybe, Mycena, Panaeolus, Pholiotina, Pluteus, and Psilocybe.

    1. In terms of seed/ spore distribution, the significant harm to the cultivator and distributor at this point is arrest and incarceration; paranoia induced stressed, confiscation of property and fines.

    2. In terms of actually growing these plants the significant harm to the cultivator and distributor at this point is arrest and incarceration; paranoia induced stressed, confiscation of property and fines. Though there is the remote chance of a member of the public feeling the effects upon inhaling a whole plantation’s worth of dust in season; that’s a bridge better left to cross once, and only if, it’s built. Even then a court could rule for glasshouses in such a scenario. As far as I can ascertain it is not illegal to grow mistletoe, holly, Jerusalem cherry, yew, Ivy, Wintergreen, Manzanita and other plants that have been shown to be demonstrably more harmful. There are problems but plant cultivation is not significant amongst them.

    For all intents and purposes the chief harm in either of these steps is criminalization.

    Obviously the question would be, what becomes of these products once they have been harvested?

    Legalise cannabis

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, bastardise this word ‘legalise’, and claim that cannabis is already legalised, albeit legalised for the black market, in as much as it is addressed and restricted by legislation, the reality doesn’t eliminate cannabis from the market. Governments sitting on this legislation should be in no doubt that:

    A) It remains on *the market* (albeit not the white side of the market).
    B) It forces all would-be purchasers to procure the product from criminals.
    C) This increases crime.

    If seed/ spore distribution and cultivation were decriminalised what changes might we be likely to see? Would harm be reduced/ or safety promoted, or would this change have any impact whatsoever with regards to harm? The trends that may emerge from such a sea change could provide priceless data in terms of paving the way forward. At the least I’d be hesitant about forecasting any significant increase in harm from such a step.

    Given that New Zealand is run as an experiment – at least to the extent that it lacks much in the way of long term precedent (legal or otherwise) – I think rather than hypothesising ad infinitum, six steps ahead of ourselves, like nervy lab techs, we’d be best served by actually taking tangible coherent steps; the first being eliminating all references to seed/spore distribution and plant cultivation from our penal code. I venture that this might be a reasonable alternative to your 3rd step, though in doing so I would concurrently implement your step 5:

    5. As appropriate, transfer funding from law enforcement / healthcare related to War on Drugs policies into research and education initiatives (with a strong emphasis on metrics that measure the actual impact of the law reforms).

    Once these steps have been implemented, then our Government could continue to adapt and adjust according to *our* (their) abilities, taking into account all forms (direct or otherwise) of harm reduction with a longterm goal of minimising drug related cases clogging up the justice system amongst other potentially positive outcomes, done so with a large does of pragmatism, but I’m reluctant to suggest anything that would get too far ahead of the current game, because doing so or having done so would seem to be half the problem at this stage.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1765 posts Report Reply

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