Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Only in a relative sense

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  • Steve Barnes,

    Correct me if I'm wrong and I'm sure someone will even if I'm right.
    But is a "Cease and Desist" notice a civil matter? and therefore out of the realms of police procedure?
    I would have thought being "Bound over to keep the peace" would be more appropriate and already an option.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Not me, Tom. I've never 'got' the whole driving fast and dangerously thing and wanting a flash car. I just don't understand it. Never have.

    James, you are a big wuss.
    See you Friday.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Oh well, at least they are not getting themselves killed in Lancasters over Hitler's Germany, which was our great-grandparents remedy for over-enthusiastic youth.

    Oh and one other observation about compulsory insurance. It doesn't involve us adopting the full Blairite panoply of ASBOS's, CCTV, and other weapons in the U.K's baby boomer war on youth.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • James Liddell,

    James, you are a big wuss.

    Heh. Part wimp, part pussy. Perhaps. But I was thinking more of an intellectual elitist snob who masks with utter disdain his fear of things he doesn't understand. ;-)

    See you Friday.

    Which reminds me, I'd better book my flights!

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    As I understand it, compulsory third party insurance is covered in Australia through the vehicle registration process, which means that if you're registered, you're insured. It could get a bit fiddly to administer if you started having to make decisions about which people could register which cars. One easy way to get around things is to register a car in your parents' name, if you're a teenager, which people already do for insurance purposes.

    You could say that under 25s can't drive vehicles over a certain engine size (but what about all the little cars with medium engines but massive power/weight ratios that racers like?), but then would that mean a 20 year old couldn't drive dad's v8 home when dad's had a few too many whiskeys? It's fiddly, legally speaking.

    That being said, I've also run the Kent/Cambridge Terrace pedestrian gauntlet late on a Saturday night, and it's not fun, especially after someone's died doing exactly that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "...Not me, Tom. I've never 'got' the whole driving fast and dangerously thing and wanting a flash car. I just don't understand it. Never have..."

    Well, neither have I - but that didn't prevent a fifteen year old me and my three mates badly side-swiping a parked car in my Morris 1100 because we too busy looking at a group of girls from Sacred Heart, who had obligingly hitched their skirts up the minute they got out of school...

    With all the maturity we could muster, we fled the scene and made up a story for my parents. Since in the intervening decades the long arm of the law hasn't come calling, so I think we got away with it...

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If you want a really nice and really cheap bottle, try the cleanskins they have in Foodtown. There are usually 3 different S.b styles, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and reserve Marlborough.

    Woolworths has also had a few surplus wines with invented labels you've never heard of before -- including a really cracking $8.99 sauv blanc. But I fear I've said too much already ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • James Liddell,

    You could say that under 25s can't drive vehicles over a certain engine size (but what about all the little cars with medium engines but massive power/weight ratios that racers like?)

    Which is why legislation could also target power output / power to weight ratios. It wouldn't be that difficult to come up with some policy options around this.

    but then would that mean a 20 year old couldn't drive dad's v8 home when dad's had a few too many whiskeys? It's fiddly, legally speaking.

    Yes, that would be the case, and it's not at all legally fiddly. It does, of course, require dad to take some responsibility and make sure that he doesn't get inebriated enough to be over the limit. Or take a taxi.

    ...that didn't prevent a fifteen year old me and my three mates badly side-swiping a parked car in my Morris 1100 because we too busy looking at a group of girls from Sacred Heart, who had obligingly hitched their skirts up the minute they got out of school...

    Heh; that beats my crash stories.

    Surely there's a substantial difference between careless driving such as that (we all get distracted, and accidents happen) and intentionally driving quickly / dragging or pouring diesel on the road. The latter being inherently much more dangerous.

    But, more importantly, how did the girls react to your drivin' skillz?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    And on an entirely different point, your use of "sav" is another example in addition to "tute" of abbreviations spelt to fit English language conventions, not the word they were abbreviated from.

    I've always found it weird that people abbreviate "sauvignon" to "sav" in speech: after all, the long version isn't pronounced "savvignon". Maybe its because of the assonance in "Cab Sav", which has been thought of as a major grape variety for a lot longer than "Sav Blanc" has?

    Another example of re-spelling abbreviations is "brekkie" for breakfast. I saw a cafe chalkboard advertising "breaky" recently, and it's just wrong.

    And as for boy racers: wouldn't they have been blatting about on Harleys (or similar) 50 years ago? It's just cheap imports and ready credit that' smade it possible for them to do the same with cars. Time for another Mazengarb report?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Seems like teenagers of every era need to go fast and take risks.

    The trick has to be to figure out how to stop them hurting anyone else when luck fails them.

    A much harder (impossible?) trick is to prevent them hurting themselves. If we made it safe then it wouldn't have risk associated with it, duh.

    As for annoying us adults, if it didn't annoy us adults it wouldn't be as much fun.

    I'm not being facetious, it is a deadly serious issue for societies. Teenagers genuinely do need to engage in risky behaviour, it's probably even genetically wired in and probably for good reason, since societies need individuals willing to take risks.

    When you look at it from that perspective, "cease and desist" orders, apart from being probably indefensible from a bill of rights perspective are doomed to fail anyway. They want to take the risk of going to jail.

    Sorry no answers from me but anything that is suggested needs to take into account the biology going on in teenagers as much as it does the needs/desires of er grownups.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • James Liddell,

    Teenagers genuinely do need to engage in risky behaviour, it's probably even genetically wired in and probably for good reason, since societies need individuals willing to take risks.

    Research shows that risky behaviour probably is genetically hard-wired in, as there appear to be evolutionary antecedents for delinquency, particularly in non-human primates and rats. (See this study for a good example.) And it does probably serve some maturation purpose in terms of differentiating / breaking away from the familial group. (Good for genetic diversity in a species.)

    Thankfully, only about 5% of delinquents will become persistent offenders.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And as for boy racers: wouldn't they have been blatting about on Harleys (or similar) 50 years ago? It's just cheap imports and ready credit that' smade it possible for them to do the same with cars. Time for another Mazengarb report?

    That did occur to me when I heard John Key going on like it was the most pressing problem the nation faces this morning. Which isn't to minimise the annoyance, and even fear, some of these kids cause in their communities, but it's just political marketing to make that much of it.

    It does, however, have a way to go before it reaches the level of social panic generated by the bodgies and widgies of the 50s, or even the frenzy around "bikies" in the early 70s.

    I've long been fascinated by the 1960 Hastings Blossom Festival, where there were youth riots and even (allegedly) public fornication.

    They got the town fire engine out and turned the hoses on people. Although, judging by this picture, that wasn't very effective.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'm sure I have seen kids books featuring that style of fire engine. Cute.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Research shows that risky behaviour probably is genetically hard-wired in

    Biological determinism alert! Next you'll be claiming that human beings are actually mammals as well as cultural agents...

    But yes, risk-taking is a huge part of the transition from dependent childhood to independent adult. I just wish we could get them to prove their bravery by sending them off to kill a lion with a spear, rather than charging around the city streets.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Apropos the teenage need to take risks - I vaguely recall reading something about modern restrictions on risky play for younger children leading to teenagers who have worse-calibrated senses of risk. Eg, if you never fell out of a tree as a 7 year old then you won't have the deterrent lesson of bonking your head.

    Then there's the problem of driving video games...

    So my dinner party theory is that if we want to solve the boy racer problem before peak oil takes care of them, we need to rip up all those rubber tiles under the playground and put the concrete back. And then we need to make video game controllers that give you an electric shock when you crash.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Which is why legislation could also target power output / power to weight ratios. It wouldn't be that difficult to come up with some policy options around this.

    I've personally always been in favour of speed limiting on cars sold for private use; let's face it, if the speed limit is 100kmph, there is no earthly reason why you could possibly need to go over, say, 120. It's not going to solve the problem, by any means, but it would certainly cut down on the most egregious speeding.

    I'd also be in favour of, after the second impounding, people being forced to sell their car and use the money to pay off any outstanding fines. It avoids the dubious aspects of Judith Collins' crushing proposal while still enforcing a penalty.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Spraying a festival crowd 'o' hippies with water on a hot Hasting's afternoon. THAT'LL SHOW 'EM

    Imagine the unmitigated glee if that fire engine turned up at 4pm at the Big Day Out and turned the hose on everyone.
    Crowd Control. U R (unwittingly) doing it right

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    From the Island of Wine, Waiheke, last year our local Woolworths had a bottle of indeterminate Spanish wine for sale for $3.50. I just had to try it. I mean, how can you sell it for that price after carting it halfway round the world, bottle it, label it, distribute it, pay alcohol excise and GST on it, and mark it up for Woolworths' profit?

    Can't say it was a top wine, taste-wise, of course, but one got used to it after half a bottle.
    Wasn't half as bad as some NZ Sav blancs - I detest that variety and I can't think why NZ would want to be known around the world for tnat pissy sweet taste.
    Call me chardonnay socialist, but call me.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Call you? Heck, if you have a line on wine that affordable, I'm on the next ferry. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I've spotted spanish red wine in Woolworths for $4 on occasion. It made perfectly good sangria.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Crushing cars. from the New Zealand minister of police. What a nutjob.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Crushing cars.

    For as yet unspecified offences. It ain't going to be speeding (cause, you know, middle-aged National voters do that too*), or drink driving.
    It may be dangerous driving but I doubt that many boy racer antics fall under that law.

    So if it's "having a loud modified car and driving it loudly" then we're going to end up with the excellent position of that crime being punished much more severly than driving while intoxicated or speeding. Both, I would suggest, demonstratably more dangerous. So, unlikely to happen. Makes for great car-crushing footage behind Paul Henry though while it gets talked about.


    * oooooh, what a bitch

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Imagine the unmitigated glee if that fire engine turned up at 4pm at the Big Day Out and turned the hose on everyone.
    Crowd Control. U R (unwittingly) doing it right

    It's like a hardcore version of the mist tent!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I've spotted spanish red wine in Woolworths for $4 on occasion. It made perfectly good sangria.

    Should be good for Calimocho.

    Wasn't half as bad as some NZ Sav blancs - I detest that variety and I can't think why NZ would want to be known around the world for tnat pissy sweet taste.

    Hear hear! In fact, the best approach to pronouncing "sav" or "sauv", if you want a decent wine, is to simply say "Ries-ling".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • James Liddell,

    For as yet unspecified offences.

    Good to know that I'm not the only one concerned that this policy development process is completely f*cked up. Hey let's start with a punishment, and work backwards to find an offence to fit it...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

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