Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Spinning and soldiering

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  • recordari, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    I just can't get my head around how this is not a curtailment of basic human rights.

    Proving my ignorance, I was even shocked to learn it is already the case for prisoners with sentences over 3 years. There are so many 'what if' scenarios running through my head, I need an aspirin.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to recordari,

    See Felony disenfranchisement for a list of countries that do not obey Wayne Mapp's logic.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I was put in mind of Sebastian Junger's latest book on his experiences with a US unit in Afghanistan, which gives a great insight into the psychological effects of being embedded in a combat unit (thus depending on and to some degree identifying with the soldiers protecting you).

    +1 from me. It's excellent.

    And is where I got the reference from that it is illegal for US military personnel to proof-read journalistic copy. As an aside, I haven't read 'Death in Belmont', but I highly recommend 'Fire', and 'The Perfect Storm'. 'Fire' also contains a few articles about the time he spent in Afghanistan with the Northern Alliance back in the 1990's when they were fighting the Taliban.

    Sam, have you seen the related film doco ('Restrepo')?

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

  • recordari, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Sweden and Zimbabwe... Germany

    Bunch of back-water Neanderthals! What would they know?

    Excuse the sarcasm, but yes, our representatives might have been expected to check, and Wikipedia now needs updating to show New Zealand in a less favourable light, than even Australia!

    There seems to be a few scholarly articles around it, now I have learnt the technical term. Thanks for that.

    Why oh why do we insist on following America's lead? On prisoner rights of all things.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Sam, have you seen the related film doco ('Restrepo')?

    Nope - although I'm very keen to do so. Is it officially available in NZ in any form yet?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to recordari,

    our representatives might have been expected to check, and Wikipedia now needs updating to show New Zealand in a less favourable light,

    I'm sure Wayne Mapp (well, his team ayway) did check and they know exactly what they are doing. It's just a cynical attempt at appearing tough on crime.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    It's just a cynical attempt at appearing tough on crime.

    Without actually doing anything to help reduce it.

    Just to highlight the opposing forces on this, here's two sides of the argument in Parliament last night. (HT David Slack)

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to recordari,

    I just can't get my head around how this is not a curtailment of basic human rights.

    Of course it is.... but so is putting someone in prison.

    It's not an argument I agree with, but I can understand someone thinking that if you have transgressed the behavioral norms sufficiently to warrant incarceration, might that also be justification to remove other rights? I mean, surely it's no surprise to you that in certain (barbaric) jurisdictions they remove the right to life itself for some crimes?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F, in reply to FletcherB,

    I just can't get my head around how this is not a curtailment of basic human rights.

    Of course it is.... but so is putting someone in prison.

    Agreed, and I can understand the thinking too - but one reason why I violently disagree with this thing is that it's a curtailment of human rights with little or no passable justification for that curtailment. Are people less likely to commit crimes knowing they won't be able to tick a couple of boxes every few years if they do get nicked? Has there been some previous rash of crooked politicians riding into Parliament on the convicted felon vote that we now need to put a stop to? If the answer to both questions is no, why the hell implement this policy in the first place?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to FletcherB,

    I mean, surely it's no surprise to you that in certain (barbaric) jurisdictions they remove the right to life itself for some crimes?

    All in good time. Baby steps.

    If the answer to both questions is no, why the hell implement this policy in the first place?

    Stop being so logical.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sam F,

    politicians riding into Parliament on the convicted felon vote

    this just has to be about restoring integrity :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah,

    why the hell implement this policy in the first place?

    Have you considered what happens when we build super massive prisons to deal with taggers and the buggers outvote the good burgers of the electorate they're visiting? Huh?

    You wanna have the boss of cell block D4 elected and pulling in $130000 a year minus $10 a day for not showing up?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Was this a conscious vote, or an unconscious one?

    Sorry, I mean conscience.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Good on Grant for his speech. Impassioned, argumentative, backed up by some logic and principles.

    Shame Calvert's speech apparently carried the day. How luke warm can you get?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to recordari,

    Why oh why do we insist on following America's lead? On prisoner rights of all things.

    In some states in the US, a felony conviction disenfranchises you for life, though this practice is fortunately not nearly as widespread as it was. It's also been upheld as constitutional. We're not quite there yet.

    (Kind of puts the whole "paying your debt to society" thing in perspective, doesn't it?)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Has any nation in the world imprisoned so many people, that the IMF pays a visit and wags a few fingers?

    Seriously though, we're probably not far off a Special Patrol Group/sus law, NZ-style.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    That'd only happen if the prisons were run by the state. State-operated is bad, privately-operated is good. The IMF wouldn't bat an eyelid if half your GDP went on prisons, provided they were run by good capitalists.

    ETA: We're also a long, long way short of the high-water mark set by the US's rates of incarceration.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    ETA: We're also a long, long way short of the high-water mark set by the US's rates of incarceration.

    Oh, that's fine then.

    For the record, our imprisonment rates are - as I'm sure you know - 5th out of 30 in the OECD.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to 3410,

    Yes, I do know. Actually thought they were higher. And my point was that if the IMF haven't wagged their finger at the US they're definitely not going to wag their finger at us.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Fair enough. :)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    American Violet.
    The other staggering fact that this film highlighted was that 95% (can't check right now as restricted to thumbs) of US prisoners accepted a plea bargain rather than going to trial. Of course they were all guilty of something, right?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Is [Restrepo] officially available in NZ in any form yet?

    Don't know, but was shown on the discovery channel two days ago, and will apparently be repeated this Sunday and Monday.

    You might also be interested to know that the US military has now pulled out of the Korengal Valley. But don't worry! MinPax has assured us that we're still winning, and that this is merely a tactical advance in the reverse direction.

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

  • Jan Farr,

    Oh no - the voting has taken place and this morning I found the most wonderful word in the Sunday Star Times, p. A14!
    'Last week Eric Holder, the US attorney-general, said he was personally involved in the US investigation into the [Wikileaks] website. "People would be misimpressioned if they think the only thing we are looking at is the Espionage Act," he said.
    Misimpressioned! How prodelicious! I'll save it for next year.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Manning, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Going off topic, Russell....is any one making a connection between these shark attacks in Egypt and the likely thousands of refugees put into leaky boats by people smugglers in the Mediterranean.

    I was reading Lloyd Jones latest book which estimates drownings possibly in the thousands annually. Maybe he's exaggerating, or maybe I'm mad to be making the connection. But why else would ocean going sharks be making repeated attcks on humans, not their usual target food, unless they had somehow grown accustomed to it.

    And this Libya thing helping out Italy to lessen its refugee problem (read somewhere when I tried to google this connection between shark attacks and people smuggling) is also put in a very disturbing light in Jones's book.

    Mangere Bridge • Since Dec 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • James George,

    Inevitable that this thread would be reduced to the "who's up who & which one is paying the rent?" tenor of every thread. After all why waste time on something boring like whether or not we should know if the peeps on the other side of the world who are being stood over courtesy of kiwi taxpayers, like it, want it or see it the same way we do?
    Not when there are z list has beens and wanna be's to push our sticky-beaks into.

    Did ya see the govt is in the process of making us pay by way of taxpayer subsidy on the fiber to the door plan, for being oppressed by the same old Telecom monopoly. Crown Fibre has announced that Telecom are gonna be the preferred supplier of the fiber to the door everywhere except Christchurch (much already covered by saturn all those years ago when the Nats were last too cowardly to drive the wooden stake thru T'coms heart), Dunedin (minor regional centre), Hamilton (sop to some of the blokes who put the project together, they will get eaten up by Telecom eventually) and Whangerei (that bustling hub of kiwi commerce).

    Apart from that the rest is pretty much Telecoms, thereby reinforcing a monopoly that fiber was meant to destroy naturally thru competition.

    But we won't talk about that either because we don't wanna do anything to upset the crooked little comnspiracy nestled at the heart of NZ government, now do we? Especially not when there are some slightly famous people to gossip about and now xmas is so close. You don't think that was why the news came out now do ya? That nice mr key wouldn't do that.

    I'm surprised - I guess the Key and the Stiassny families won't be having a good old knees-up this xmas, after all, eh?
    5 to 2 any response will be on the last little throwaway irrelevancy.

    Since Sep 2007 • 96 posts Report Reply

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