Posts by Bart Janssen

  • Hard News: These things we must now change, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it seems evident they’ve lied about it

    This does seem to be the new National Party normal.

    Just lie, it doesn't matter how outrageous, just lie and keep lying. It's weird.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: These things we must now change,

    Just a comment about the journalists and reporters who have or have not been in Christchurch or those who were or were not presenting as usual.

    These people are human too. And they are probably seeing much more detail than the public sees. My guess is that some folks just aren't able to cope. And they have families to care for as well. Your desire to see Hilary Barry in Christchurch is a nice compliment to her ability to connect with locals but it may be that very ability that makes it impossible for her to do it.

    Empathy is a two edged sword.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: These things we must now change,

    Thanks Russell.

    I think we really need to stop letting our racist uncles speak on the radio.

    Somehow we need to convince our media that just because a racist opinion piece (and writer) generates a lot of clicks doesn't mean it's good for the medium.

    We need to somehow get politicians that resist the easy racist line. Doing anything to get power in Wellington is not what we ask from our politicians.

    And damn but haven't we got such a good example of what we really do want in Ms Ardern.

    All those things will help. But we can't stop the way hatred infects and spreads through the internet. There will always be some who can't resist the easy line of blaming "others" for everything wrong in their lives.

    And because of that we need to stop pretending guns are a normal part of life. We banned tom thumbs (firecrackers for those too young). We can ban rapid fire guns tomorrow and all the accessories that make DIY possible.

    But to be honest I really don't see why we can't get rid of them all. Surely we can use some other technology for pest control or at the very least make their use the exception rather than the rule.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…,

    The thing I find disappointing about marijuana prohibition is that it means there is almost no quality research done on either social effects or medical effects.

    That leaves us with anecdote dominating the discussions.

    We really know relatively little about how cannabinoids in marijuana affect the body and brain. What is clear is that the cannabinoids we make ourselves play an important role in brain development. But given their importance in brain development and the prevalence of marijuana use you would expect much more research on the subject. But making it illegal has crippled research in the area. This is a good if slightly long read.

    As for the nonsense being spouted about the potential harms of decriminalisation or [sharp intake of breath] legalisation ... wittering is such a good word.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Midterms,

    Damn The Guardian results page is pretty.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Midterms, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Well, National just had 9 years in power and they did precisely none of the above.

    Except for when they did Prisoner voting

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Midterms, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Yes Gov. Gerry was a different thing but it was the same idea - that so long as you achieved power it didn't matter what you did. Voter suppression is the same logic.

    Still, I think the essential difference is that here, our attitude is "People can vote unless" and in the States it's "people can't vote unless".

    To some degree. And certainly true at the polling booths.

    But I don't think we have it right here either - note humans in jail had their vote taken away from them. Whatever argument you might make around that, it was a change that benefited National. There are various polling companies that frame questions in such a way as to make it seem pointless to vote. So I think we have voter suppression alive and well in NZ - it just isn't quite as overt - but I've heard National MPs talk about ID cards more than once.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Midterms, in reply to Emma Hart,

    But generally we do not give a shit about voter suppression!

    It is a very interesting history, Governor Elbridge Gerry saw a way of manipulating a system designed to be fair and ran with it. What followed was a sequence of methods to manipulate voting which everyone seemed to think "cool lets F this up".

    We haven't been completely immune to it here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Shots Fired,

    There was a really good long read (somewhere, but damned if I can remember) about Portugal's experience. Really clear that they were desperate to find a better way than having people dying on then streets. Really honest about what they got right and more importantly what they didn't get right and would like to change.

    I think that's a really important part of this - we really need a system that allows for change as we figure out what works well in NZ and what doesn't. Too often we establish a law and then leave no ability to modify it as we learn.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Reassure Me: cannabis,…, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    The larger the population sample the more representative of the community it becomes

    That isn't entirely true you actually don't need that large a sample before you accurately model public opinion. More importantly what you describe is a large sample of uninformed opinion.

    The idea of Iceland's system is that because the public are usually uninformed or ill informed on any particular topic the assembly must spend time listening to expert opinion with the intention that they become informed.

    At that point they make a recommendation informed by expert input but modulated by societal input.

    The key feature is to get both informed opinion and a representation of society's needs/wants/feelings.

    It's an interesting approach.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

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