Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Contains strong language

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    That's for them and their conscience.

    Well, I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree and I'll praise you for your generosity in assuming Adams and Paisley have anything that could be mistaken for a conscience. I've seen little evidence of it.

    They may have been a part of the problem to begin with but once they became a part of the solution then that's when it's time to move on.

    Hum... at the risk of invoking Godwin's Law, I'm sure G√ľnter Grass would agree. So would Leni Reifenstahl come to that. Personally, I'm thankful some people just aren't willing to move on when history - and truth - becomes inconvenient to present needs and personal reputations. Look as I said, sure it's better having these two inside the tent pissing out, rather than outside trying to burn it down. All I'm asking is that we don't 'move on' from the suffering those two defended and encouraged.

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

  • Stephen Judd,

    My sympathies are not with those who make a habit of making life unpleasant for others.

    Neither are mine. However, I care about civil liberty even more. ASBOs have a fundamentally arbitrary element, coupled with a neither-fish-nor-fowl legal character, and I think that makes them ripe for abuse.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    My sympathies are not with those who make a habit of making life unpleasant for others. There is only so much irritation people can reasonably be asked to bear.

    So the litmus test of whether I belong in jail or not is whether I irritate you?

    You obviously assume you don't irritate anyone else, much, I assume, as other backers of this creepy, fascistic legislation.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    All I'm asking is that we don't 'move on' from the suffering those two defended and encouraged.

    Good on you. I ever-so-humbly submit that you make your point very effectively when it isn't couched in a tone of towering moral superiority.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Myhre,

    For what t's worth, ASBO's were thought up in part to address the fact that it's unbelievably difficult for a landlord to evict tennants in the UK, no matter how they are behaving or even if they don't pay any rent.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squatting#United_Kingdom

    This doesn't apply to NZ though, so I agree entirely with the post - keep ASBO law in the UK please. I suppose I just want to emphasise that the UK has waaaay more problems than ASBO's.

    UK • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    You obviously assume you don't irritate anyone else, much, I assume, as other backers of this creepy, fascistic legislation.

    That is not very nice, rodgerd.

    If you don't believe that anti-social behaviour is a proper target of regulation, that is your right. If you don't believe that breaching a Court order made pursuant to properly enacted legislation (and generally subject to the criminal standard of proof) warrants the imposition of criminal penalties, so be it. You are also entitled to think that the UK Labour Party is "creepy" and "fascistic", for all that helps to advance your case.

    But I'm not convinced that you are right, and I am prepared to reject your apparent assumption that you are on the moral and/or legal high ground.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    James said:

    . . . look how well Chile has done on the path Pinochet put it on . . .

    And hasn't America gone ahead since Bin Laden jolted it out of its pre-9/ll complacency.
    Once you've subscribed to the acceptable-collateral can't-make-an-omelette-without-breaking-eggs line, no analogy is too sick.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah,

    There's an awful lot of properly enacted legislation in this world.

    When the court order can be as broad as don't use any doorbells in city limits, or don't enter any building taller than 3 stories, then no, I don't think that the imposition of criminal penalties is warranted.

    Criminal proof may be necessary to impose penalties, but it's a hell of a lot easier to prove that someone entered a medium rise building than that they did so with any intent to build a pirate radio station on top of it.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    That is not very nice, rodgerd.

    Nicer than your desire to send people to prison for irritating you.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah,

    bah, criminal standards of proof.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    There's an awful lot of properly enacted legislation in this world.

    Quite. I'll refrain from the obvious example of the Nuremburg laws, but one may consider the case of stoning gays to death in Iran because, hey, it's properly enacted legislation in a democracy!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Venezuela, yawn. It's only because the US doesn't like the place that Chavez is a household name. In every other way it's a just another South American country, strongly inclined to fascism, dealing with third world problems that developed nations can barely appreciate. There are much worse fascists than Chavez who aren't on the hate lists, or are actively supported. Some of them even *are* developed nations.

    Census, just do it. This is not the third Reich and they're not collecting the data so they can find all the Jews. If you object to the odd question, don't answer it.

    ASBOs???? NOOOOO! There's already plenty of ways of dealing with nuisances without undermining the Bill of Rights.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • nz native,

    .......... The census.

    If you dont want to fill one out its quite simple.

    You tell the person dropping of the forms an incorrect (lower) number of people who reside at the dwelling than is true.

    In the last 20+ years I've filled out 2 census and there was some good fiction in those.

    ....... and I only filled out those 2 because it wasn't me who answered the door when the bloody things were delivered.

    Since May 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    I'll refrain from the obvious example of the Nuremburg laws, but one may consider the case of stoning gays to death in Iran because, hey, it's properly enacted legislation in a democracy!

    I've always thought exaggeration should be a crime. Rest assured that if I was in charge I would give you an ASBO, rodgerd. Your mother! :) Thats another thing that should be a crime - electronic smileys.

    Fair point, Tim.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    There's already plenty of ways of dealing with nuisances without undermining the Bill of Rights.

    And there's my objection to importing one of the Blair Government's more dopey ideas in a nutshell. And here's something else to think about: I'm chronically irritated by most of the human race most of the time. (And, Weston that's no exaggeration.) Would you want me handing out ASBOs any time soon?

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

  • Heather Gaye,

    You are also entitled to think that the UK Labour Party is "creepy" and "fascistic", for all that helps to advance your case.

    I don't think the ASBO is a particularly enlightened legislation, but didn't really think much of it. However, with talk of introducing national identity cards (with the eventual goal of not allowing anyone to get a passport without one) and transport tracking (for the purposes of reducing carbon emissions), the UK government starts looking creepier by the month.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    James,
    As I said, the French put a whole team onto these Castro / Coke ties for several years and came up with nothing. That National Review story you posted is pretty damn nutty in places, no? Did you actually read that PBS story? Convicted drug smugglers and anonymous gangsters? Please? Once again, you post a wild claim, with actual figures (I think you said a fairly precise $6-700 million). as fact, but are unable to back it when asked

    Noriega sits in a US prison.

    But I guess asking the question why clouds the issue somewhat.....

    Some of it was in the "zero sum game" environment of the cold war

    Less than a kilometre from where I sit now, in 1966, a whole village was marched out and executed one by one, men, women and children, as the the US Embassy sent messages of support to the perpetrators, and released food credits and weaponry. Papers available since the mid nineties show that not only was the Embassy aware of what was going on across the nation (perhaps the biggest massacre in history) but actively encouraged it. The perpetrator was bolstered and supported until the populace managed to oust him in 1998, whilst the US Embassy worked to keep him in office. Since the 65-66 bloodshed the same man had invaded East Timor, with the express approval of Gerald Ford, an invasion that cost the lives of one third of Timor's populace. All of this you brush away as the "zero sum game" environment of the cold war.

    There are similar tinpot fascists operating in Central Asia right now under the US wing. And you have the balls to accuse Chavez of "dismantling democracy".

    As I said, I'm not a fan of the man but you could almost hear the universal roar of approval as the man made his famous sulphur statement in the UN...couple that with the fact that he's caused a damn sight less pain, bloodshed and destablisation, and is no more tainted by glaring corruption than the administration you happily wave a flag for........

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    However, with talk of introducing national identity cards (with the eventual goal of not allowing anyone to get a passport without one) and transport tracking (for the purposes of reducing carbon emissions), the UK government starts looking creepier by the month.

    Don't forget the CCTV cameras and the spy drones.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    You know, I've long suspected that James B is on Russell's payroll.

    Every topic he gets into sparks rabid debate and posts tend to exceed the hundred mark fairly quickly...

    You cunning bastard Brown...

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Simon, what a bumout. The only massacre near where I live would have been on the moa, and at least that was for food. Who could say no to a drumstick that size?

    Were those massacres when Wolfowitz was ambassaor to Indonesia?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    In the last 20+ years I've filled out 2 census and there was some good fiction in those

    What the hell do you people have against the census!?!

    Oh, no the gubnament might know my pay range!!!
    Oooooo they might have an indication of the ethnic profile of my meshblock!!!
    Save me from the centralised government actually caring what New Zealand really looks like before forging ahead with policy!!
    Hee hee I lied on my forms so the now the FatCats in the Beehive won't have a clue how any people actually live in Hamilton!!!!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Save me from the centralised government actually caring what New Zealand really looks like before forging ahead with policy!!

    Just as a matter of interest, could you please tell me what the frig anyone's religion - or lack thereof - has to do with public policy? Serious question, serious answers appreciated because I'm open to being convinced not to object to state next time around.

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

  • Rebecca Williams,

    here's some on-the-ground info about ASBOs - this century, i worked with teenagers who lived in south central london for several years. all of them had serious drug problems. all of them had an ongoing relationship with the police, and more than half of them had an ASBO or three. the universal attitude to ASBOs is that they are a total joke. i worked with one family where the grandmother, the mother and the teenaged daughter all had ASBOs. they boasted about them!

    let's not have ASBOs here. please.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    could you please tell me what the frig anyone's religion - or lack thereof - has to do with public policy? Serious question

    It's a good question too. I can't think of one off the top of my head. (To be honest Craig you picked the one question I wouldn't worry too much about if it was dropped, I like all of the others a lot though).

    I can think of stuff for a number of other fields in the census (including sexual orientation*). But religion, can't think of one.

    However, everyone can use the Government's stats. So perhaps a particular church organisation wants to know where it's people is at. Or people looking for communities of interest maybe.

    Beyond that it helps in discussion around state religion.

    *I would really like to see this question in the census, currently the GLBT populations are guessed using awful proxies.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Were those massacres when Wolfowitz was ambassaor to Indonesia?

    No, they were in the post coup period 1965-66. Exact numbers are hard to come by but the figure ranges between 500,000 to 1,000,000. The best evidence is that is was a faux coup orchestrated by those that then crushed said coup, and their offshore backers, who then went on a rampage across the country hacking and shooting anyone who was perceived to be dissident to the incoming new order. It remains largely undocumented in the west, despite the well documented complicity, although Geoffrey Robinson's Dark Side of Paradise, out of Cornell in the late nineties is very good on this.

    Wolfowitz was Ambassador in the eighties

    His statement to Congress in 1997, supporting the dictator includes the statement that Suharto, who had just stripped between $15 and 30 Billion from one of the world's poorer nations, provided "strong and remarkable leadership"

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

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