Posts by tussock

  • Hard News: UPDATED: Media Take: Election…,

    Eh, shitty misogynistic lyrics in a rap song: news at 11.

    I mean, I get your issue, Russell, Labour (and Green to some extent) are trying to run a positive campaign about how they are running a positive campaign, vs National's negative campaign, which they totally picked. It's similar in many ways to actual positive campaigns, but having random people on the internet get all off-message is more harmful to the tautological version.

    Having said that, it fails to express the obvious anger in society that goes totally unmentioned in the mainstream press. Fucking Christchurch, man, words fail me. The plan is to subsidise novice property developers. Really. Still hanging out for the invisible hand. Which is a metaphor for how God loves capitalism, and not an actual thing which exists and will help anyone. Fucking insurance companies still not paying out, that's your divine presence right there.

    Not to mention the classic National party 6% unemployment rate (plus single mums and all the sick and disabled now), falling real wages, the cute little trick in the budget of making health boards rent their hospital buildings from government to "balance the budget without health cuts" that are actually huge health cuts. Where labour talks about free doctors for more people and I'll still be paying $60-70, or rather just wont ever be going, and we all know how the long term there plays out.

    Not the corruption, the blessed ministerial family businesses and the surprisingly fortunate law changes and massive government subsidies for them, not the bridges and the fucking truck lobby, not the random $30 million dollar Bill finds every time some company helps them with their PR, just the ordinary gods-damned punitive bullshit they put on the poor and disadvantaged all the fucking time, and how it mounts up.

    And I get that sort of thing doesn't really help Labour's message here, which could be bad for actually getting National out of office, maybe. But you can't honestly expect the internet to not contain just a little bit of rage, and if some random guy sees the internet chanting "fuck John Key" and puts up his song to match it, that's what the internet is.

    Maybe vapid positivism just isn't going to cut it any more, even though it obviously did for Mr Hopey Changey in recent years, with technology having moved on, maybe there's never going to be just one message again.

    Or, you know, more National, more TV shows where journalists talk about how they feel for the poor in their nice suits, how maybe another gigantic subsidy to Fonterra will help single mums in Auckland while they're out looking for some zero-hour work to pay for the private daycare they're required to put their children into now, maybe save up enough for school one day (not).

    Since Nov 2006 • 360 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Crown appeals in criminal cases, in reply to mpledger,

    The finding seems pretty strait forward. Because there's no causative link between the assault and the death, both crown and defence agreed that the death cannot be used in sentencing.

    So it falls back on one kid finding his younger brother and another shaping up to fight, being egged on by a crowd, and he stepped in and quickly knocked the other one on his ass, then left. Assault with intent to injure.

    He's seen a court shrink for a year, he's never going to hit anyone again in his life, and the court does not believe he is a danger to society in any way. He's missed his NCEA, missed his last year of school, lost his peer relationships, and was under charge of manslaughter for 3 months.

    That's the only bit the judge can convict on. The issue being if that's worthy of conviction, on top of what's already happened to him, how would that conviction effect an 18 year old, as compared to the scale of the assault against everyday events. Proportion. Justice. Eh.

    Winkelmann J,

    But I wish to make a final remark. Nothing in these sentencing notes should be taken as an endorsement of your actions. Fights amongst school children may be common, but that does not mean we should tolerate them as a society. Every act carries with it the risk of unexpected, even grave harm. All too often the Courts deal with consequences of a single blow causing serious injury and even death. It may well be that schools should provide education as to the risks of fighting. This is especially so in a climate where so much violence, severe violence even, is portrayed in the media in drama programmes and even in sports on a daily basis. I hope that these events and other recent incidents are the necessary spur to action for that.

    quoth the judge, there's more good stuff in there too. Read it.

    Anyway, if kids tell you to bugger off, tell their school, their parents, their peers, the local shop owners, the local newspaper (letters to the editor and stuff), and before you know it there'll be those same kids turning up to apologise to you. Society is pretty wonderful if you let it know what's going on. P.S. some of the parents will tell you to bugger off too, that's something else you can let everyone know should it happen.

    Which is to say, use your words. Like M. should have known to, in a slightly better world.

    Since Nov 2006 • 360 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Didn't see that coming, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    National couldn't have asked for anything better than a reminder to wavering centre voters that the alternative to Key - dirty politics or not - is a government propped up by a bunch of nutty, angry activists.

    As against the ACT party? Who've discovered all science is wrong.
    The Conservatives? Who by comparison don't think anything is wrong.
    Winston? Who's discovered it's all China's fault, again.

    National? Who've declared everything they've ever done wrong is a massive left-wing conspiracy of epic proportions and also up is down. #Johnkey.

    How do they say it? "If you're not angry, you're not paying attention." IMP does seem to be chasing the angry and disenfranchised left vote, young folk and unemployed that get precisely fuck all from any other party for about twenty years now.

    And good on them, as the Greens continue their drive to serve the safe centre of reasonable people who don't have any actual problems. To some extent, you might almost consider it a huge conspiracy of former greenies to make the Greens look more reasonable by comparison. Eh? If you're a National voter or some other brand of crazy person.

    Since Nov 2006 • 360 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: In The Green Room,

    You can stop the whole OIA guessing-game and leaks system by pro-actively publishing everything that can normally be requested. Just make it part of briefing Ministers and such that a properly redacted copy is put on the public server.

    There's still data compilation stuff that could be requested, but if departments routinely did the sort of raw data dumps that, say, the census people put together, where the privacy concerns are all removed ahead of time, it should be workable.

    That gets pretty expensive of course, and anything else I can imagine would reveal the requests, which is a privacy issue again. You can't actually know if someone's queue-jumped without seeing everyone's requests, after all.

    Just getting the bastards to actually fill requests ASAP, that would be a big start. A lot of the departments delay until the last allowed minute, especially when they're cheating, to start the process of dragging out any complaints as long as possible. It's not supposed to work like that at all.

    Since Nov 2006 • 360 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to "chris",

    Isn’t this charged charge of ‘indoctrination’ arguably applicable to a range of subjects, is it not merely just another facet of education itself.

    No. Absolutely not. There is a real world which people from different backgrounds can study independently and come to the same conclusions about. Spelling, math, science, all sorts. Nihilists are factually incorrect, so don't be a nihilist.

    Indoctrination is where you take a self-serving point of view about something without evidential backing and teach it so as to get other people to share that view. Often by misleading them about other views, and actively denying the validity of all others.

    It is in fact normally used as an antonym for "teaching". So we teach spelling and math, but we indoctrinate right-wing politics. Yes, the right, as the real world has a substantial left-wing bias.

    Obviously you indoctrinate religion, rather than teach it, what with it being not conducive to the sniff test. Which is to say, bullshit.

    Since Nov 2006 • 360 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to linger,

    Let us ensure that no group is disadvantaged by our actions and decisions.

    There's a few lessons in the problems of Pareto efficiency that's going to run into very quickly. Comes down to Arrow's Impossibility Theorem, that there's a lot of possible social choice sets where every possible outcome disadvantages the majority of people, let alone just one group.

    What you might try is "ensure that no substantive group is consistently disadvantaged in areas where it can be shown they are already disadvantaged." Which you might think is really weak, but it's probably still impossible in the real world, because there's so many possible groups and contradictory definitions and sensations of advantage.

    Even junk like "don't be Evil" doesn't seem to mean anything once things get rolling. After all, we're already doing something somewhat similar, so the new thing can't be Evil either, because we've already defined ourselves as not being Evil.

    Wouldn't it be nice if they'd just promise not to loot the place? Not that it would stop them, obviously, English is far too fuzzy of a language, "not stuffing all this money in my pocket would be them looting us", but nice anyway.

    Since Nov 2006 • 360 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: In The Green Room, in reply to andin,

    the dairy "industry"

    If it walks like a Ponzi scheme, and it quacks like a Ponzi scheme, ....

    Since Nov 2006 • 360 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: In The Green Room, in reply to Stephen Keys,

    So why are they the only Green Party in the world not actively promoting "steady state" economics?

    I think you'll find the New Zealand situation fairly unique in our potential for massive growth in renewable energy, at least compared to Europe. There's room here for a bigger economy with far more local manufacturing and added value on our exports while also improving the local and global environmental impacts.

    Which is to say, we've more room to grow than others. The concept is that infinity is an unwise target, not that we can't ever catch up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 360 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: In The Green Room, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Bottom lines, and actual priorities.

    I don't think that's realistic, is it? Labour hasn't even finished writing all their policies, the Greens have no firm idea on the composition of the next government or their own share of the vote, there's no indication of how strongly various other parties feel about their own policy set.

    Like, they could have some primary goals, but even then if they need NZFirst support and Winston puts his foot down against it, it's still not going to happen. Left wing governments have tended to be case-by-case and law-by-law for a long time now: consensus or GTFO.

    My question: who do you feel are your best candidates for ministerial positions, should you be a formal part of the next government? Or perhaps, less softball, which ministries are you most keen on running?

    Since Nov 2006 • 360 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Never mind the quality ..., in reply to Brent Jackson,

    Are prisoners allowed to write for newspapers?

    Well, they're not allowed to vote, so does that make them impartial ?

    Speaking of, does anyone have the numbers on how many people are excluded by that, or likely excluded because they'll be put off the roll too close to get back on even when out?

    Or how many got turfed in the last couple years and never got back on? Or data on how hard the prisoner population voted against National in the past? Obviously they don't vote Nat, or we wouldn't have the new law.

    Be interesting if it turns out a close election, which it's looking like given typical poll shifts in recent cycles.

    Since Nov 2006 • 360 posts Report Reply

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