Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Those Men Again

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    ...And, although Hager strongly disagrees, that its crackdown on independent advocacy in election years is too onerous.

    Are we sure he disagrees? At least one available interpretation of the bill as drafted will require The Hollow Men to be withdrawn from sale next year...

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    impairment by whatever means

    Yes, but how do you bust people for being tired for instance. Or for having a distracting load of children. Or for just being too stupid to drive a car.

    Incidentally, does getting a "P" endorsement to drive a taxi involve a higher level of test than the basic one? Because I had a cabbie the other day who basically couldn't drive. He was weaving around on the motorway and continually braking/accelerating. I don't think he was impaired - he was just driving in the fashion of a 15 year old kid on his first lesson.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4356 posts Report Reply

  • kowhai montgomery,

    Thanks for all the links Russell. It really is appreciated.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I'm a strong supporter of the modest performance right fee that APRA levies on businesses that use music, such as cafes and gyms

    If only the levy was harsh enough to prevent gyms from playing any music at all... nothing ruins my workout more than the inane dance music that predominates in every gym I've ever belonged to.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2917 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I don't feel comfortable with anything about banning BZP. Not how they're doing it. Not why they're doing it. Not when they're doing it.

    "How" is by stealth, by expanding the categories of illegality. Why this isn't a question for the people, as it always was with alcohol, I can't figure. Is it too complicated for us poor souls? Or is there just a chance that the vote might come out the wrong way for the wherever it is in the South Island that wants to hold National drug policy to ransom? Couldn't they just have a bylaw?

    "Why" is just to steal swing voters of the conservative kind from National, and the "When" is clearly timed for that.

    Having said all that I think NZ in a referendum would vote to ban party pills. The overwhelming majority of the vote would come from people who have never tried them, ever, and yet had been blind drunk many times.

    But at least we'd know that then. We'd have had a debate in which all those people might have had to think a little bit about the fun-nazis they were being, and take some responsibility for it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    The (only) thing I admire about the Destiny political party is their honesty and full participation in the democratic process. It least you know who they are and what they stand for.

    The hypocrisy of the the EBs, their hidden agendas, secrecy and, ultimately, refusal to vote is stomach churning. Their willingness to character assassinate all who oppose them whilst comparing themselves to persecuted Jews if anyone dares criticise is beyond the pale.

    At least one available interpretation of the bill as drafted will require The Hollow Men to be withdrawn from sale next year...

    And that, of course, would be a bullshit interpretation.

    The sort of advertising that might fall under it would be this effort that appeared in yesterdays NZHerald: http://www.feg.org.nz/NZ-place.html. Whilst "not associated with any political party" it and the web soite go to great pains to criticise Labour and Helen Clark.

    No doubt the "Foundation for Economic Growth" will be squealing about their freedoms in the run up to an election.

    I am always somewhat bemused by this libertarian approach to "freedom". It seems that the equivalent of curtailing their rights to own slaves, or, if you read Redbaiter, to seize power at the point of a gun is a bad thing.

    That's not what freedom is about. It is about the freedom of society not to be subject to powerful and self interested forces in an undue manner.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    And, although Hager strongly disagrees, that its crackdown on independent advocacy in election years is too onerous.

    Actually, I think he agrees with this too. In the transcript, he notes that he supports the lower spending limits onthird parties "as long as the definitions are clear that they’re not spending it on their general political advocacy, but on campaigning".

    Fortunately, that bit is the most likely to change - the offending subclause (iii) is likely to go - and the bill will be better for it.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And that, of course, would be a bullshit interpretation.

    Well, bully for you - and Winston Peters says the same about the decision handed down by the three High Court justices who threw out his electoral petition. Doesn't an independent judiciary suck? :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    The point is, Craig, there are some many "one interpretation" made by folks such as a gentleman called "Whaleoil" that have nothing to do with reality and heaps to do with a certain political agenda.

    I understand the problems and disappointments with the EFB but to suggest The Hollow Men or yet another book about Richard Prebble's life, handily published at election time, would breach the act is pretty far out there.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The sort of advertising that might fall under it would be this effort...

    Change the might to a should, and you might get agreement.

    Of course the law shouldn't stop the Hollow Men being sold. Of course that can be easily fixed. But it might just be a BS draft as it stands.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I am always somewhat bemused by this libertarian approach to "freedom". It seems that the equivalent of curtailing their rights to own slaves, or, if you read Redbaiter, to seize power at the point of a gun is a bad thing.

    OK, Don, so anyone who has an issue with the EFB is morally equivalent to a slave owner or the residents of whatever alternate universe Redbaiter lives in? OK... this is where I break the habit of a lifetime and don't rise to the bait.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson,

    That's not what freedom is about. It is about the freedom of society not to be subject to powerful and self interested forces in an undue manner.

    Where would 11 months of unrestricted government 'information campaigns' with no effective right of reply sit in relation to this definition? I don't think that the ruling party and their political strategists could be considered not self-interested

    My major problem with the EFB is the wholly assymetric approach - if it is 'speech' by the government (or in effect the governing party) then it is all good and basically unrestricted. Anyone else (excet from political parties) who wants to spend more than a trivial amount gets the full bureaucratic workover and extremely low $ limits.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    Please, to everyoen who is against the BZP ban please make a submission, even if its simply a brief one to oppose the ban. either fax it to the select committee or if you want email to me (in word document form) earley.michael@gmail.com

    With
    * your submission
    * your contact details
    * whether you wish to appear in person before the committee

    And I'll make sure this gets to the right place.

    These need to be in TODAY or TOMORROW.

    Also - email Jacqui.Dean@parliament.govt.nz Tell her how you feel about her lack of evidence in any of her drug policy. Tell her how you feel about criminalising NZ's youth. etc

    Don't just blog it. Do somethign about it.

    Kingsland • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    APRA's British equivalent appears to have jumped the shark by taking a car repair firm to court because its mechanics listen to radios that are audible to members of the public. Unless there's something I've missed about this, it seems silly and counterproductive.

    You need to come down from your Ivory Tower RB and spend a little time in the real world. Why, only yesterday I observed a half dozen youths loitering on the footpath outside Beaurepairs, listening to Mai FM booming from the workshop. I can't be sure, but I think one of the young punks was actually recording it for later use - possibly to burn on to CD and sell at his local school for $10!!

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Agree with what Thomas said.

    And the EFB does not stop there. At the same time as censoring non-connected groups it allows "powerful and self interested forces" to donate behind closed doors vast sums of money to political parties.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    The focus, as she says, should be on impairment by whatever means,

    but that is the focus. If you don't abide by the warnings of a prescription then you're equally in trouble.

    I completely disagree with the Greens position. There is clearly a difference between prescription drugs and illegal drugs. The only reason to take illegal drugs is for the express purpose of changing one's brain state which always has the effect of decreasing one's ability to drive.

    Whereas take prescription medication appropriately is not done with the deliberate intent to drive less well.

    This sounds just as much like special pleading as their position of regulation of natural medicines.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    there are so many "one interpretation" made by folks such as a gentleman called "Whaleoil" that have nothing to do with reality and heaps to do with a certain political agenda.

    Don, if you are concerned with my political agenda in relation to the EFB may I suggest you look at this PA piece or my written submission on the Bill.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Anyone want to play spot the dodgy reasoning?

    The only reason to take illegal drugs is for the express purpose of changing one's brain state which always has the effect of decreasing one's ability to drive.

    I'd like to see a few more stats relating to that 'always' there. And I have some issues with that 'deliberate intent to drive less well' bit as well.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 832 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    Jeremy, One would hope that the NZ public just disount every piece of verbal effluent that comes from Dean, this was the woman who is on record for asking if the EACD planed to classify the Dangerous Drug - Water.

    As a side note, Water has caused significantly more harm to Toddlers than BZP ever has, and ever will. So maybe the reasoning wasn't that dodgy at all :-)

    Kingsland • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    The only reason to take illegal drugs is for the express purpose of changing one's brain state which always has the effect of decreasing one's ability to drive.

    The ex-team doctor for Ferrari made claims in early 2005 that 30% of the field were using cocaine to improve driving performance. And the FIA includes tests for speed and cocaine in its procedures.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    No silly a Ferrari is coke.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Supposedly the US Airforce in WW2 got a lot of meth too. There's a reason that a lot of truck drivers take it. Not that it's a good habit, it encourages you to push limits that will eventually catch up with you. Or you could argue that driving a truck on contracts does that, and meth is just one way of pushing the limit. Coffee is another popular choice for truckies.

    I personally think there's a time and place for substance that can have this effect. When you've got a cold and are feeling really shitty and tired, but have a lot of work to do, for instance. The important thing is for people to realize that you must sleep regularly and properly. But sometimes (and I've been in this position a lot of times in my work) sleep is not an option. I personally nurse my long-term caffeine addiction to new heights at those times and suffer the horrible withdrawals over a few days afterwards as I bring the usage back to sensible levels. I tried BZP once for this purpose, but I found the up to be an unpleasant one, quite weak, even if it was longer lasting. It felt more like a physical up than a mental one, which was the opposite of what I needed.

    I will not miss it myself. But to even have the option to experiment was important. I at least know for sure that I don't like it at all, and it didn't cost very much to find out, or require me to deal with the underworld more than I have to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Supposedly the US Airforce in WW2 got a lot of meth too.

    The USAF today gets a lot of meth. During the initial bombing campaign against Afghanistan they were flying very long-range missions, and prescribed "go" and "no-go" pills to help them cope...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    prescribed "go" and "no-go" pills to help them cope...

    Well, if it worked for Judy Garland... oh.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    It's a bit messier if you end up bombing your allies while high. The Canadians were quite pissed about it.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

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