Saturday, December 23, 2006

It should have been me!

Fifth Columnist of the Year – Michael Bassett

In 'The Hollow Men' - a book filled with skull-duggery and political intrigue Fairfax's former supposedly independent columnist Michael Bassett certainly stands out. When the good Dr Bassett is not sticking the knife into then National leader Bill English whilst advising the man gunning for his job Dr Don Brash, he's off busily attempting to make life miserable for New Zealand's poorest citizens. According to Mr Hager's tome Dr Bassett added inflammatory phrases to Dr Brash's Orewa II speech regarding beneficiaries 'ripping off the system' and using 'stand-over tactics' to get benefits. For this Dr Bassett receives a special additional honour:

Louis 17th medal For Hatred of the Poor – Michael Bassett

Hey. That's not fair. I deserved that award. I mean, Michael might be more widely read them me but I blog everyday about the exploitation and failure of welfare!! I mean, I wasn't even invited to accept it on his behalf!

Look. I know people who are 'ripping off the system' and I am not going to describe them in any other terms. It doesn't follow that I hate them. If I did I would dob them in. Neither does it mean I have to approve of them abusing the system. Is that what Scoop wants from writers? Craven, chickenshit platitudes? PC politeness or worse - peddling the old Kiwi me-tooism - everybody does it mate, so what's the fuss?

What a pathetic attempt at a putdown. Whoever dreamt up this award deserves their own for mental mediocrity. Wake up.

....and the rest

Stuff reports from 1996 to 2005, total crime committed by youths remained static at about 31,000 recorded offences according to the report titled Conviction and Sentencing of Offenders in New Zealand.

The Stuff figure obviously omits 'child' crime, that committed by under 14 year-olds. Current youth and child offences number around 48,000 per year and that is only what the Police resolve (resolution rate is 44%)

(BTW. Any 'old' blogger not able to access their blog, use the 'new' blogger link. It has only taken me 24 hours to figure this out:-()

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bad legislation

The NZ Law Society has slammed the amendments to Sue Bradford's repeal of section 59 bill saying they create more uncertainty and appear to be a hasty political compromise.

Making the meth problem worse

The government's having a hard time solving the meth problem because the government helped create it.

So says Radley Balko of Reason in this piece from Fox News

(Some of the measures adopted in the US are also in place here.)

Too fat to father

China has imposed new restrictions on prospective foreign adopters. They can't be too old, too fat, too depressed or too ugly. (It's a shame Americans can't or are unable to adopt some of their own hapless babies).

Stretching it

Reading about the proposed ban on party pills on the front page of the DomPost I learn that they are used by one in five New Zealanders.

Oh really. That's over 800,000 people. The population aged 15-29 is only 813,618. Sure, there will be people older than that (and a few younger) using party pills but I figure the concentration of use will be in that age group.

Where did these figures come from? Let's see. Massey University researchers.

The survey consisted of a random national household sample of 2,010 people aged 13-45 years old collected using the Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SHORE) and Whariki’s in-house computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system.

Prevalence and patterns of use
One in five (20.3%; 18.4-22.3) of the sample had ever tried legal party pills, and one in seven (15.3%; 13.6-17.1) had used legal party pills in the preceding 12 months. Levels of last year use of legal party pills were highest among the 18-24 year old age range with 33.9% (25.3-43.6) of 18-19 year olds and 38.0% (31.3-45.2) of 20-24 year olds having used legal party pills in the preceding year.

So run that past me again. One in five surveyed 13-45 year-olds had tried party pills at some time, has become, one in five New Zealanders use party pills. Brilliant.

Fantastic....if you are looking for alarmist figures to persuade the gullible that they must be banned.

(Xmas just came right on time for the Mob.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

DPB to In Work Payment

An anonymous commentor has suggested I lodge an OIA request under "code 38" to find out how many people have moved off the DPB and onto the In Work payment. As I cannot directly comunicate with anonymous I will have to do so through my blog.

The following are the questions and replies already sent to and received rom MSD. I do not know what "code 38" is but the Ministry claims the information I seek does not exist. Are you saying it does? (I am pursuing more information from the IRD).

"Fewer on dpb" - more on WFF

Dear Editor,

You report a fall in DPB numbers (DomPost, Dec 19) to below 100,000 "for the first time since 1993". The reasons why are not given.

One is, those people who were on a partial DPB payment due to working part-time have transferred onto the new In Work payment, some with no change to their hours worked. Change the name, change the numbers.

But more worrying than this smoke and mirrors exercise is that numbers have only fallen this far. In 1993, the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent. Today it is 3.8 percent yet we have the same number of people claiming the DPB. That is the real story.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Knee jerk reactions

According to NewstalkZB, in the wake of the Ipswich murders,UK Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Harriet Harman, is considering making it illegal for men to pay for sex. In the wake of Columbine perhaps attending high schools should have been made illegal or in the wake of Aramoana, developing small comunities should have been banned.

Set for life

Massey University researchers find that in poor schools as many as one in four children are incapable of learning.

"Where there is a lot of stress on a family or there has been neglect or they have been misguided in some way, they don't have the resources to do any thinking at all, because everything is focused on personal survival and getting to the next day."

This applies to grown-ups in the same environment. How else would we expect their children to be?

Anyway, who needs an education when you can live off the state.

What is "Far Right"?

From Richard Long's DomPost column today;

The media frequently refer to ACT as "Far Right". I remember vividly my own mother saying to me, "You never used to be a right-winger". One can get tired of trying to explain oneself. But I will try again.

What would a "Far Right" party look like?

Here's my list;
Xenophobic, anti-immigration, authoritarian, anti-democracy, pro-drug prohibition, anti-freedom of speech, anti-individual rights, militaristic, anti-gay, anti-prostitution, pro dictatorship control of production and wealth through taxation.

Such a party would be an anathema to me.

What I am against is force, the rights of the collective overriding those of the individual, and state redistribution of wealth.

ACT is the parliamentary party that best matches my views.

Richard Long is lazy. It is easier to dismiss what it takes time to explain. Especially when it suits his purpose.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Best-by date past

Middle-aged male? You're a suspect.

In profiling rapists who use drugs to sedate their victims an expert says;

Mr Henwood says drug-rapes are committed for many different reasons.

Other offenders resort to drugs because they are unable to attract a partner.

For example, they could be past their prime, perhaps in their 40s or 50s, "so they are going to be on the list".

It's gonna be a long list.

Internet lie detectors

Would you want to have a conversation with someone whose computer just told you it was monitoring your call for lies? I have Skype but if I get this message I'll hang up.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Purple policies

I think I will start of list of "purple policies" - those that are a combination of, or common to, both the red and blue parties. Look out for this breath-takingly boring emblem which will alert you to new additions. Contributions welcome. For instance;

The Sunday Star Times reports on the Working For Families package. A single mum working part-time can now afford to get her hair done at the hairdresser and buy luxury food items.

Along comes an intrepid individual who said, he and his wife, who chose not to have children, were being forced to support those who choose to reproduce.

"I wouldn't disagree with having a safety net, my gripe is the very high thresholds at which it is set. People who are earning very good levels of income are now getting welfare simply because they have children, which is silly."

"Why should I be buying her high priced items of food?"

But National think he should.

Already there are signs that National realises it will be difficult to unwind what has been a revolution in family assistance. Revenue spokesman Lockwood Smith said any changes would not leave anyone worse off.