Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: McVicar and the media

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  • ScottY,

    McVicar's idol, Sheriff Arpaio

    Would that be this guy?

    A US lawman has started a programme he calls "Pedal Vision," in which inmates pedal stationary bikes to generate electricity for television sets.

    The bikes are customised to turn on connected TV sets once inmates at Phoenix's Tent City Jail pedal enough to generate 12 volts of electricity. An hour of pedaling equals an hour of television.

    Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said inmates will only be able to watch television if they choose to pedal.

    He said he started the programme with female inmates because they seemed more receptive.

    Arpaio said the only exercise female inmates have been getting is speed-walking around the tent yard.

    He said Pedal Vision gives them a reason to get moving and a way to burn calories.

    How soon before we see McReverend's press release demanding we hook prisoners up to the national grid?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Is it really so shameful to let the public know from whence the money came?

    Shameful, maybe not.

    Potentially embarrassing? I'd put money on it.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    It is interesting to glimpse that unguarded TV moment when such apparent numbskulls sometimes reveal why they bother.

    Hopefully he’ll get sucked into an “I think my argument is so powerful that it's not necessary to talk about it” type moment.

    I'm hoping for more of an 'Emperor Palpatine' moment.

    Release your anger! Only your hate can destroy me!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    The trouble is that McVicar has a simple set of solutions which reflect the simple beliefs of a large section of the community and this support is a reason why successive governments have increased sentencing. My neighbour is a good Christian man - until he talks about punishment.
    The fewer than a hundred really dangerous people are well locked up. The other 7,900 should be helped, rehabilitated, taught to read, taught a job and so on. Somehow the SST makes it sound as though everyone in prison is one of the 100.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Russell, I believe that as long as you focus on process rather than content, you'll add value - more of the "why do you reckon journos come to you?" type questions that no one else seems to be asking (although it seems we have a pretty good idea of the answers).

    "How do you afford to put so much time into this?" might be a more palatable way of getting him into talking about funding, though I'm not optimistic.

    McVicar does not need another platform to tell us his beliefs about crime and vengeance, and it would be a waste of your limited time.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The fewer than a hundred really dangerous people are well locked up.

    Except unrepentent repeat drunk drivers, it seems. And others whose release on bail defies belief. Otherwise, quite agree more prison not helping anyone and wasting money better spent on education, health, employment.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Sacha: former MP Matt Robson dubbed them the "terrible few and the sad many".

    The hang-em-high brigade must eventually have some kind of Too-Big-to-Fail fall from grace.

    For Britain's union movement, it was the rubbish mountains and unburied corpses in the 1970s.
    For Telecom, it was Gattung's remarks about "confusion as a marketing tool".

    I can hazard a guess that for the hang-em-highs, it would probably be either this:

    Or even these:

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Could you ask McVicar when he's going to pay me back for the paper and toner he stole from my fax?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    I can find the post, but Editing The Herald once featured some correspondence between a Herald journalist and a reader asking why McVicar gets so much airtime. Her response was basically that anyone is free to start an organisation.

    That was me. The journalist was Simon Collins and it was about Bob McCoskrie, not McVicar (although the point stands). I asked why McCroskrie was referred to as a director of Family First, when he IS Family First (you can't join). I wrote:

    Please stop giving this man the credence he doesn't deserve just because he uses an authoritative-sounding name rather than just his own.

    Collins' response was:

    You're right, of course, he's a one-man lobby group, but it's one of the treasures of our small democracy that ordinary citizens can speak out and have an effect.

    I find this response astonishing. Not only is he admitting he's little more than a stenographer, it's also untrue – no matter what he says, the media thrives on confusing and controversial issues so anyone being rational is automatically excluded or marginalised. Collins may be happy to print whatever someone like McCroskrie thinks on an issue like the Section 59 amendment, but I wonder if he'd think twice about it if the issue was holocaust denial.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Going back a bit - The Listener. Sorry to start another bash-the-Listener angle BUT I'm fuming. Has anyone else seen the letter page in the current issue? There is an insert about a complaint to the Press Council made by Charlotte Paul re the Listener's treatment of the Cartwright Inquiry. The complaint was not upheld. A magazine is entitled to "adopt a forthright stance" the Press Council said.

    Stirling said, "Plainly by describing Bryder's conclusion as 'the truth', the Listener has accepted that we prefer her analysis ... to that of the Cartwright Inquiry. That is our call and we are entitled to make it."

    So Pamela Stirling is qualified to judge one book as 'the truth' while the Inquiry 'got it wrong'. Publishing a few letters is all the balance needed ...

    So I don't think it is just the cover imagery that is wrong, all wrong. This time the cover hyperbole is matched by the "considered" opinion of the editor.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    fewer than a hundred

    Where does that number come from? This weekend I caught up with a mate of mine who's a corrections officer, and while I suppose he has professional reasons to emphasise the need for his services, I'm pretty sure that there are more than 100 people in New Zealand prisons who will deal random and serious violence, because he sees this all the time. No doubt the prison environment causes a lot of this, but I don't know how much.

    I share the view that long sentences are a poor way to deal with crime, and I think think we should seeking alternatives to imprisonment wherever we can, and trying to rehabilitate those who can be. But, claims that "fewer than a hundred" are really dangerous need some serious justification before I believe them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    So Pamela Stirling reveals herself as a most gullible fool. Not sure that's news but unlike her position, it is based on observable evidence.

    The Press Council deserve a rocket too if they think that Bryderesque lying and sloppiness is now fine and dandy in the publications they have been granted rights of review over.

    The press have been given certain protections based on corresponding standards of expected behaviour. If they want to welsh on the deal, then let's remove their protection from prosecution for publishing lies.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    The point I made in the 'David Garrett' thread a little while ago still stands, I think.

    If you put damaged, dysfuntional, violent people in jail with no hope of release, or incentive for behaving well (time off their sentence), then what possible reason would they have for changing their ways?

    Personally, I do think prison should serve a dual purpose of punishment and rehabilitation. But the emphasis at the moment is far too heavily on punishment, and far, far too little on rehabilitation.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    fewer than a hundred

    more than 100 people

    Soo, any number then? Other than 100. ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I guess someone could research the number of prisoners who have had access to rehabilitation opportunities yet have been convicted of ongoing multiple offenses that seriously harmed another person, or some measure like that.

    I suspect it's more than 100, but less than the full muster. Doubt there's a neatly published statistic already. Also doubt it would make the slightest impact on current climate.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I guess someone could research the number of prisoners who have had access to rehabilitation opportunities yet have been convicted of ongoing multiple offenses that seriously harmed another person, or some measure like that.

    Those stats probably wont prove the reasons for the bad behaviour. Other factors not sorted out by rehabilitation access will rear as soon as an inmate steps outside,
    I recall there is stats on diagnosing mental illness amongst prisoners, but I haven't checked for it tonight. I do suspect that has been a major part of the problem to begin with. Retribution (or the pay-back) must also play into this when, people like Corrections Officers, know and accept the status quo (which I completetly understand) so an inmates cycle of lifestyle repeats wherever they go.
    Released into a society that complains via the likes of SST because nobody wants a half way house at the end of the street. Then society thinks they should just know to be better now that they were told it's wrong. Yeah, grow up, get a hair cut, and get a job. Easy for some.How come?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Those stats probably wont prove the reasons for the bad behaviour

    If indefinite imprisonment is justified on the basis of protecting others rather than punishment then I doubt the reason matters much, just the pattern of behaviour. But then I'm no criminologist or expert on justice.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • David Cauchi,

    Prisons should be abolished, along with the police.

    Seriously.

    Why is no-one arguing this position? It amazes me.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Quick, someone find a libertarian!

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    If indefinite imprisonment is justified on the basis of protecting others rather than punishment then I doubt the reason matters much, just the pattern of behaviour.

    Yes you are probably right good sir :) It is probably more about us than them. Bottom dollar. As someone suggested further back, who are ya gonna please this week? Votes count. Other than that I see the never ending story.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • David Cauchi,

    Quick, someone find an unthinking politically loaded dismissal!

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sorry David but young Rick Giles has somewhat queered your pitch

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Though I'd personally be interested in hearing any coherent ideas about what could replace prisons and police

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Whatever David.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • David Cauchi,

    Who is Rick Giles?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 121 posts Report Reply

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