Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Pills, not so many thrills

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  • insider outsider,

    Pilger’s always been like this. I’m not sure why there is a big surprise. He’s always had an agenda and always pushed that.

    At journalism school we used to carry around copies of “Heroes” like Mao’s little red riding hood book, because we wanted to change the world and we saw him doing that through his writing. Fisk might have taken that spot. We’ve grown up a bit since then and seen the world is not as clearly defined as we thought. The things kids and mortgages do to you…

    But I’m not sure if the article is as bad as you portray as an opinion piece. The theme here is continuity of US tactics not a thorough examination of Chavez’s record so the points you raise are not necessarily relevant. The point about South Africans you objected to seemed a very apt comparison, finding similarities in the way the holders of power and wealth lived. It wasn’t a dig at Chavez’s opponents in general.

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Kyle

    To rearm is to rearm. That Helen rearmed NZ is the same as Chavez rearming his nation.

    That USA has invaded oil rich nations for their oil is really without doubt, and is about defending the american way of life = cheap oil. This is a form of self defense to neocons.

    Militia v TF Army = TF evolved from Militia and so too our RF Army. I still believe a well trained & armed citizen self defense capability is the best, most moral form of defense. Kind of like cops shud live in the area they police.

    I take it Vietnam wasn't a war either?
    All peace keeping operations is simantics for they're not coming over the top YET.

    Kyle, come now. Foreshore and Seabed legislation is racist law to stop Maori testing rights in a court of law.
    The really horrible thing about this law is much the same stated ends could have easily been achieved with an amendment to the existing RMA. Outlawing human rights based on race is a crime - but Helens hero is Olly Cromwell - go figure?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    To rearm is to rearm. That Helen rearmed NZ is the same as Chavez rearming his nation.

    That's nonsense. See my point about Helen Clark not handing out AK47s. Upgrading military equipment for a standing army which largely engages in peacekeeping activities under the banner of the UN, is completely different than importing large numbers of weapons for military death squads and counter-insurgency units.

    That USA has invaded oil rich nations for their oil is really without doubt, and is about defending the american way of life = cheap oil. This is a form of self defense to neocons.

    I'm not sure what the relationship with this is, and Chavez and Helen Clark being the same.

    I take it Vietnam wasn't a war either?

    Helen Clark wasn't in government when NZ got involved in Vietnam. In fact, I think she was a university student protesting against it.

    Kyle, come now. Foreshore and Seabed legislation is racist law to stop Maori testing rights in a court of law.

    Has Chavez passed a similar piece of legislation? I again don't see how this makes them the same.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Graham,

    Invent a better mouse-trap and people will buy it, etc.

    That's not how modern business works though.

    Invent a better mouse trap and save it for when your current mouse traps aren't selling.

    For instance, it is rumoured that Intel is already producing processors on a 45nm process, but they are waiting for AMD to release their new processors.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    To rearm is to rearm. That Helen rearmed NZ is the same as Chavez rearming his nation.

    No it isn't. Handing out guns to your friendly militias has tended to end badly in other countries.

    All peace keeping operations is simantics for they're not coming over the top YET.

    No they're not. By definition, a peacekeeping operation exists to support a peace treaty, and cannot exist until such a treaty has been struck between warring parties. It clearly doesn't always work, but are you seriously saying it's equivalent to armed invasion?

    Kyle, come now. Foreshore and Seabed legislation is racist law to stop Maori testing rights in a court of law.

    No it doesn't. It provides for claimants to take a case to the High Court (but not the Maori Land Court) and for the court's finding to be presented to government in expectation of redress.

    Yes, it would have been better and fairer to stick with existing due process, and in a less poisonous political environment that might have happened. It might also have wound up demonstrating to most of the people who took to shouting "we have always owned the foreshore and seabed" that they in fact did not.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Helen Clark wasn't in government when NZ got involved in Vietnam. In fact, I think she was a university student protesting against it.

    IIRC, our involvement in Vietnam was sold to the public as a "policing operation", which it quite clearly wasn't.

    And yes, Clark marched in the streets, as she likes to remind people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Come now Kyle, a little consistency will go a long way here.
    You aknowledged Chavez rearming was due to an Armerica threat.
    We're with America and so have rearmed also.

    To hold the UN up as some moral authority has the same vaidity as saying God is on my side.

    Can we add up the atrocities of the five perm Def members?
    http://www.un.org/sc/members.asp

    Labour stood valiently to the side when Indo annexed Timor & USA gave the Solomons a hostipal pass during WWII - It's their fault!

    I was comparing Helen with Olly Cromwell. To my knowledge Chavez is ahead on the score board in ethnic laws/cleansing.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Perhaps I'm just not an uppers kind of guy. Or perhaps I'm too critical to let a placebo effect work on me.

    Did E do anything for you?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    gave me a massive smile, a massive erection, and had me running around the club looking to score more ... which scared my wife who immediately took me home ....

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Russell
    The key difference is their threat is on their home soil from USA backed insurgents. It's only since vietnam the TF don't take their weapons home. Granted a level of corruption and abuse may well exist as in the Rotorua police where lines of control have been cut.

    Police operation/Peace Keeping/War they're all levels of military intervention. And as you pointed out Russell Politicians lied to the public to sell it.

    Russell this is pretty bloody clear to me that it does give control to Maori. The most irksome aspect being that Wairua Maori have engaged in aquaculture since well before Europeans arrived and yet the racist Marlborough DC consistantly banned them from mussel ventures (but allowed Pakeha).

    Article the second [Article 2]
    Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession; but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Preemption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

    By 1887 Maori were outlawed from commercial fishing ventures, which priviously feed the growing numbers of settlers.

    It is a racist law and Helen should be dragged through the Hague.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yes, it would have been better and fairer to stick with existing due process, and in a less poisonous political environment that might have happened. It might also have wound up demonstrating to most of the people who took shouting "we have always owned the foreshore and seabed" that they in fact did not.

    Then again, it might not. But I agree, and only with the benefit of hindsight, that it would have been better to leave it to the courts. Labour could try being the first party in history to repeal it's own Act! That could be a very interesting way to turn the tables on National, and force Key's hand on at least one issue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Did E do anything for you?

    Hard to say for sure, which in my book really means no. I once had a good night, but that particular night was good anyway.

    There's still a couple of uppers to try, but I'm on a bit of a health kick recently, and I've found that the mood-altering effects of exercise and sleep are the strongest I've experienced in over a decade. Perhaps always being an exercise nut does mean the uppers have less effect, certainly I get a strong adrenal response to good training, and finding some pill to be weaker than that makes me wonder why I would bother.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Come now Kyle, a little consistency will go a long way here.
    You aknowledged Chavez rearming was due to an Armerica threat.
    We're with America and so have rearmed also.

    ...

    Labour stood valiently to the side when Indo annexed Timor & USA gave the Solomons a hostipal pass during WWII - It's their fault!

    I was comparing Helen with Olly Cromwell. To my knowledge Chavez is ahead on the score board in ethnic laws/cleansing.

    You seem to have lost track of the origins of this discussion. Here's where you started:

    Is he doing anything different than Helen Clark has actually achieved (& wants to continue)?

    Half the stuff you're putting out contradicts this. So I'll leave it there.

    And, rightly or wrongly, the articles of the Treaty don't govern law in this country.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    gave me a massive smile,** a massive erection**, and had me running around the club looking to score more ... which scared my wife who immediately took me home ....

    You sure she rushed you home beacuse she was scared?

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Kyle I wish you would point out my contradiction, as I have yours & Russells.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Kennedy,

    Meanwhile, panic in Limerick over BZP-based party pills in Ireland's head shops. It's a reasonable guess that they are New Zealand-made products.

    Not quite sure if panic is the right word, Limerick – known to the rest of Ireland as “stab city” highlights the dark underbelly of the Celtic tiger, not a place to venture out to a party by yourself after dark.

    And you don’t need to go to Venezuela to find an AK47

    “AK-47s, sub-machine guns and long-range rifles have all recently been found in estates just a 10-minute walk from The Track.”

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1544218,00.html

    also, the thick end of a NZ$200 million Lotto win puts the NZ offering in some sort of context

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 224 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Kennedy,

    "sort of context" should be "sort of perspective"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 224 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Apologists always make me a little angry, not just for what they excuse, but also for the ammunition they give the extremists on the other side of the spectrum.

    The far right in the US have been going to town on the leftist support for the Sardinistas for the last 20 years or so, I see no reason why they wouldn't for Chavez apologists.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    That being said, anyone who wants to pin the police repression tag on Chavez is going to have to do the same to Lula too. I've always had my doubts about Chavez and I've always been a huge fan of the PT (Lula's political party - heck, I liked them so much I wrote my masters thesis on them). But police repression is, in all probability, every bit as high in Brazil as it is in Venezuela. And there's not a whole heap that Lula has been able to do about it (in many Brazilian cities the police function more or less as a gang in their own right). I suspect the same is true in Chavez's case too.

    Not that I know a great deal about Brazil, but I would assume that in the case of Venezuela police actions are more directly related to Chavez's politics whereas in Brazil the problems with the police are long standing ones that Lula would be attempting to deal with.

    But it's another contrast that shows Chavez in a bad light. Not only is Lula doing better without all the oil money he's also having to this in the face of a far more violent society with a very high murder rate which is related to gangs and poverty. It really does show that it's Chavez's personality that is the problem not the inherent conditions of Venezuela.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    "if something better was available, it would have already been put on the market"

    bit much faith in the ol' market there methinks... hydrogen cars, anyone? why bother improving the product if it's already shifting big units...

    Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and this caught my eye in your quote from that Press story (emphasis added):

    Social Tonics Association chairman Matt Bowden said the group was working with Chen Palmer on its select committee submission and proposals to the Law Commission and Ministry of Health on a regulatory framework for new pills.

    OK, am I the only person who feels a little uncomfortable with a law firm that does extensive work for the government and government departments on the one hand, acting as lobbyists for special interest groups on the other? Just a little too 'K Street' cosy for my blood.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Hydrogen cars are a smoke screen. I've just bought a new bike (love bikes) http://www.barras-baker.co.nz/kronan/kronan.htm

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    OK, am I the only person who feels a little uncomfortable with a law firm that does extensive work for the government and government departments on the one hand, acting as lobbyists for special interest groups on the other? Just a little too 'K Street' cosy for my blood.

    I think the major bulk of their work is in public law for non-government clients -- including some (like the gaming industry) that might be deemed distasteful, so this is pretty much in line with what they do. Matt Bowden used them to get the original approval for Ease.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Bowden,

    Hi

    The technology is definitely here to improve on BZP as far as drug effects go. We have plenty more, but I don't want to put them out without some control over them this time around.

    Improving on the "26m pills consumed on 9.5m occasions by 400,000 kiwis over 7 years" safety record is a different story.

    In the past we used to just prohibit substances on some moral basis, blindly following the USA war on drugs philosophy, today we don't buy into USA wars, we look for evidence.

    BZP has been a matter of fighting the old politicians on every point to make them do it by the book, and they have cheated. They accepted biased and poor quality research to hype up the harms of BZP and suppressed information they didn't like.

    The Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs were uncomfortable with the pressure on them and were divided 5/4 on whether the evidence provided to them was solid enough for a ban. Anderton knew it wouldn't stand up in court so abandoned his process and introduced new legislation to ban it instead.

    We got 7 years out of it though and it's challenged the system so much that the entire Misuse of Drugs Act is getting reviewed to place the onus on industry to provide demonstrably safer alternatives to drugs.

    At the end of the day the drug problem is a technology problem, some drugs are dangerous, the solution is safer drugs, and that is not something a politician can deliver.

    NZ will lead the world in progressive drug policy.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    NZ will lead the world in progressive drug policy

    No, the Netherlands lead the world in progressive drug policy.

    Good luck, but I doubt party pills (ones that get you high) will ever be legal again. That's be because getting high is wrong, immoral, and should never be legalised. Party pills are the gateway to harder drugs. What's wrong with you kids, why can't you just enjoy a drink like everyone else? Liquour has served this country well for over a 100 years ... wah wah wah

    I don't believe that either, but as long as politicians refuse to abolish The Lords Prayer from Parliament you'll never get any joy with a progressive drug policy.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

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