Posts by Paul Prince

  • Hard News: Dude, what just happened?,

    For a moment I though I had logged on to Tumeke. I feel it is only a matter of time before someone starts chanting " the pigs, the pigs" or perhaps they did, I started scrolling about the time someone said "victimless crime". Some of the arguments here make WhaleOil's logic look good.

    I've recently had contact with a young guy who, until he moved to Dunedin, had never smoked pot. He's a poster-child for NORML and loves those 4:20 sessions, lapping up all the knowledge they have introduced him to, including that cannabis will cure his bipolar disorder. Currently, he is still struggling to deal with the small issue that having stolen money from his friends to buy drugs, they now consider him a thief with a drug problem. He finds this label terribly offensive.

    Or, dredging back into my childhood memory I could talk about the growers who, having found a farmer near their patch (on his land), opened every gate in the valley and cut fences, allowing stock to wander onto a state highway where they caused a car crash.

    Of course, these people would all have been law-abiding citizens if they could just have been allowed to grow their own.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • OnPoint: Iraq, from the air,

    I watched this video after hearing the news this evening. I thought that 17 minutes would be too long and I would switch off but it was fascinating (not in a good way) viewing. I can...sort of...see the point you're trying to make, possibly the whole "split-second decisions made in the heat of battle" argument? but I don't think it holds. The crowd appears to be 'unthreatening' (trying not to sound too naive) but the van could in no way be considered a threat.

    However, I think some of the WikiLeaks photos are disingenuous, not all RPGs are 4 foot long and indistinguishable from a camera as the website claims.

    Your argument about how we judge the footage is interesting though. Wikileaks has put its own spin on the footage. Do we view it differently knowing that there are journalists among the dead? The Collateral Murder angle suggests that we should feel more outraged because the person crawling away is a journalist. Surely we should feel the same regardless?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Busytown: A turn-up for the books,

    Am I the only one who hears the phrase 'historic fiction' and thinks of the lovechild of Bryce Courtenay and Jeffrey Archer?

    I didn't plagiarise in any of my essays when I studied... I was too lazy to read the original text, let alone something someone else might have written about the book, but anyway that was in the '90s, before plagiarism existed...

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Hard News: Undie Wankers,

    Your data might be a bit selective, st ephen. The third person mentioned in the odt article is a 19 year old female student who apparently went to Wellington Girls College, which is a decile 10 school.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Hard News: Undie Wankers,

    3 or 4 jugs? That's a pre-pre-drink appetiser... must have been a while since you were at a student pissup...

    The majority of students on Castle street are there by choice, with the flats tenanted as early as July of the preceding year. If they were poverty stricken they would be flatting in the NEV for half the price. The campus is a landlord's dream. People rent a flat in Hyde St for the year for the sole purpose of participating in a race to dress up and drink a keg as quickly as possible. It's arguable that the Castle St riots are actually landlord instigated, in order to keep the rents high, due to the novelty factor of having your house on the riot street.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Hard News: Undie Wankers,

    I stand by the rich, white and privileged comment...

    Rich enough to spend at least $120/week on a flat in order to be within 2 minute pajama walk of lectures. I know that $120/week sounds like a bargain if you live north of Dunedin but given that the loan is only $155 then extra money has to come from somewhere, I'm too cynical to believe that this involves working all summer...
    Castle St destroys the idea that all students are turning up at the foodbank, unable to get a job because their study would suffer.

    Students regularly receive discharges without conviction (after using up their diversion) due to a conviction harming their future career. Labourers are never so lucky. In my book this makes students privileged.

    Feel free to canvas Castle st for me but I'm happy to wager a fiver that the majority of the residents are white.

    If I was convicted of bottling a police officer I could expect to lose my registration, and subsequently my job, and profession. There are thousands of people in the same situation; nurses, teachers, doctors, lawyers. However, I've always believed it was wrong to throw a bottle at a person, police officer or not.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Hard News: Undie Wankers,

    Ah! Generation Y.
    Venting their anger at being so white, so rich and so privileged.

    "Poor diddums. Never mind, Mummy's here now, we'll ask the nice judge to discharge without conviction. It's the fault of the Police; if they hadn't been there, the riot would not have happened. And the Council, if they had organised some entertainment then diddums would have had somewhere to go to party. Mummy's here now, she'll make it all better."

    Sadly this is not the reality for Bazza the builder's labourer from Brockville. He will get a conviction. However, this will not stop him from helping to build some fine houses and possibly part of the new stadium.

    Just to dispel a myth; there is plenty to do in Dunedin of an evening. We have TWO major movie theatres now, as well as a couple of arthouse cinemas. There is the ice disco, several cafes and a range of trendy pubs with lots of nicely dressed girls in uncomfortable shoes. You can even get a taxi home. When the stadium arrives you'll be able to see all the biggest popstars; U2, Britney Spears and the Rugby World Cup. So you need never be bored again.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Island Life: The Guilt of Clayton Weatherston,

    The Criminal Procedures (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003 is what you're looking for.

    Is the person fit to plead? Do they understand the charges? If not then they may end up in hospital.

    If fit to plead then they face trial.

    If acquitted due to insanity they would then be placed in hospital (as opposed to prison) until such time as they were no longer insane. This is where it gets tricky; a person could be found not guilty by reason of insanity, be hospitalised, become well and be discharged into the community. They may not be a risk but it doesn't help the victim's family...

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Hard News: Drugs and Sex,

    Russell, you seem to suggest that select committees are the only place in NZ where evidence can be found; the evidence on marijuana and schizophrenia is already out there, some of us have read it and it looks bad for Metiria.

    A lot of the evidence came from the Dunedin study which predates the earliest cannabis use of the participants, the research having started at birth. Twice as likely to develop schizophrenia after using marijuana (as you say, still a small percentage overall but significant) and 140 times more likely to go on to use hard drugs. The idea that there is relief from schizophrenia is unbelievable; when I see the evidence I'll believe it. The results of the Flinders study have been nicely twisted and I doubt the research would even make it to select committee stage.

    Metiria Turel has hitched her wagon to the 'let us smoke pot crowd' and her argument for medical marijuana would be a lot more credible if she separated the issues.

    I do not doubt that some people gain relief by using marijuana. People everyday also gain relief from opium poppy derivatives; controlled and managed by health professionals, but people don't grow and produce morphine at home. What makes marijuana so special?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Hard News: Another entry in the Public…,

    A lovely piece of writing about your experience, thanks for sharing, Russell. As a Recovery nurse I laughed at your memory of Recovery, some patients wake up well and some wake up...less well. No-one will be thinking any less of you, it's an everyday occurrence.

    "So for me the pain is a 9 or 10, but for someone else......"

    A good point Stuart, but remember this, it is all about YOU. It doesn't matter if it is a stubbed toe or a broken leg. We can't measure your pain so therefore we can't judge it, but we might look at the other little signals. I may be slightly sceptical when you tell me the pain is 10/10 and you are sitting there resting comfortably. However, you won't be able to see my scepticism, I might just give you 1mg of morphine instead of 3mg... if I was wrong, you get another 3mg in 5 minutes time anyway. If you are snoring soundly in 5 minutes time then you will probably wake up on the ward again, forgetting you ever met me. My work is done.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report

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