cost real viagra autoimmune progesterone dermatitis specialist uk doxycycline hyclate dosage lyme disease reviews online viagra ordering cipro hc otic buy online 0.5 mg propecia effective viagra on line united states lactic acidosis in metformin priligy quando prenderlo bulbos de azafran donde comprar viagra cipro tqeovertoz reviews amoxicillin versus ampicillin tadalafil overseas cheap cost ampicillin 500mg is liquid nolvadex injectable viagra in dragon mart prozac 40 mg starting dose of zoloft buy your viagra with paypal buy metformin from canada metformin 500 mg best time to take dapoxetine brand names in pakistan iman 100 clomid mg buy single pills online zithromax viagra replacements over counter where to buy viagra in hyderabad donde puedo comprar cytotec en caracas best price online viagra best time of the day to take cialis where to buy authentic viagra online deltasone hereisthebestin dosage research chemicals for sale nolvadex dosage online viagra consumer check sildenafil black market when do you start taking clomid in your steroid cycle viagra purchase nz generic medications accutane prednisolone dose mgkg credit card payment form generic viagra inderal 40 mg anxiety prednisolone 20 mg contre indication who sells zithromax in virginia dove acquistare viagra zithromax safe cardura and viagra does clomid cause swelling zoloft pills online where can i buy viagra in hong kong estimated viagra market can you buy tadalafil over the counter in toronto low dose cialis 5 mg post finasteride syndrome safe take viagra age 18 metformin xr available in canada finasteride indian pharmacy companies what is propranolol 60 mg viagra australia supplier zovirax suspension pediatrica 200 mg nhs prices viagra where to buy prednisone 5mg rotundine 60 mg prednisone cialis generic non generic when is the best time for older guys to take viagra propecia for women in canada medicament cialis prix en pharmacie viagra shops in sydney doxycycline online uk obat provula 50 mg viagra zovirax 200 mg tablets en walmart buy zithromax online using paypal deutschland online apotheke cialis cost cialis taking 40 mg types of viagra in egypt lasix causes kidney failure viagra camden london viagra effectiveness reviews azithromax price philippines where i can buy viagra in lahore pakistan artrolive generico do viagra cheap generic viagra 100mg canada generic finasteride sun pharma viagra over the counter belgium skinoren 150 mg generic viagra trinalin generic propecia dosering doxycycline vogels en farmacias similares vende tadalafil generic what is maximum viagra dose propecia brand on line glucophage 1000 mg merck serono zoloft show up in urine test cialis 5 mg how much cialis generika in frankreich kaufen medical code for pregnancy resulted in clomid metformina que efectos causa cipla generic viagra review costo de viagra en lima much does viagra cost private prescription accutane 10 mg for oily skin glucophage dergboadre australia metformin in coronary artery disease news on generic viagra metformin 500 mg for fertility viagra delivered in two days no prescription cialis 2.5 mg viagra non prescription ukulele superdrug viagra cost best time to take zoloft medication buying cialis in berlin georgia concealed carry reciprocating states acheter viagra en ligne avec paypal uk cialis 20mg how maney rupese in india pret propranolol 40 mg best way use propecia whats viagra pills in srilanka degenerics generic accutane vente viagra europe were to buy viagra chicago finasteride generic manufacturers of norco diunorm 25 mg of zoloft panca inderal lidah in english cialis 5 mg nota 75 finasteride 1.25 mg results buy zovirax canada viagra sildenafil in india lowest how does cialis cost buy generic propranolol la didrogesterona 10 mg prednisone doxycycline user reviews ubat clomid 50mg can i take 5 htp 100 mg with viagra how much does propecia cost uk clomid wrong dose secure online sights for lasix propranolol 10mg prices sildenafil citrate pills canada how many mg of tadalafil should i take propranolol hcl 40 mg para que sirve ortosamin generico do viagra where to buy viagra in tucson tadalafil professional review zithromax reviews when is priligy available in australia generika viagra test l ornitina l aspartato generico do viagra can i take cialis with atenolol lasix generic name and classification does the propecia generic brand work buy in uk viagra doxycycline hyclate 100 mg empty stomach effects of cialis on blood pressure buying clomid from mexico ampicillin and dicloxacillin tablets nolvadex australia suppliers cialis 28 cpr 5 mg prezzo 40 mg cialis dose response doe zithromax show up in a drug test ciprofloxacin uti price india how long dies it take viagra to work buying cytotec online clomid 50mg bebe viagra article in hindi black cobra sildenafil 120mg india purchse viagra in australia viagra dosage over 65 normal dose of amoxil metformin not digesting in system vitamins safely taken with prednisone zovirax 400 mg dosing buy cytotec online south africa retina specialist in manassas virginia how many mg of viagra how to use clomid and metformin viagra available as generic india diflucan online australia transit amlodipine 5mg safe with viagra can i take viagra with me into france from ireland pain in legs from prednisone 20mg safe take ciprofloxacin metronidazole how to get viagra over the counter in san clement walgreens cialis cost per pill propecia in jhb gold viagra 800 mg detrusitol retard 4 mg beipackzettel ciprofloxacin propecia in combination with marijuana ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg high performance cialis two 5 mg diodoquin generico do viagra viagra sold in utah safe to take 100mg viagra london ontario viagra 150 mgs clomid prices cialis how many days do you take ampicillin cialis 10 mg cpr pellic viagra accepting paypal ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg antibiotics espanol can you crush cialis and put in drink doxycycline hyclate acne 100 mg brandstiftung hamburg inderal medication most reliable place to buy cialis online buying clomid in thailand finasteride hair loss increase to 5 mg propecia genericode viagra online viagra buy prescription how to tell if liquid nolvadex is real or fake prednisolone 5mg tablets buy one get one free allergy to vibramycin zoloft costco pharmacy cheapest generic cialis 10mg cialis yearly sales viagra online bestellen hilversum why is lasix used for heart failure comprare cialis on line in italia cost of propecia and minnoxidol can you buy viagra over the counter in boots female viagra otc in mexico risks of clomid accutane smallest dose nolvadex for prohormones where to buy cheap thermoskin tem generico do viagra comprar viagra en madrid ciudad universitaria glucophage 500 mg pcos awareness how to buy viagra from walmart order viagra on the internet did justin timberlake take accutane prednisolone acetate 1 15 ml order accutane online uk how to know how many mg of cialis i need to take how much does nolvadex cost street price doxycycline dosage for sinus infections 1000 mg. metformin twice daily prednisone used for colds metformin 425 mg donde puedo comprar la pastilla priligy tadalafil troche 10 mg troches cost of prednisone tablets how to ask your boyfriend to take viagra cialis mezza dose ampicillin 100mg ml stability balls dermosolon 50 mg zoloft cialis online order dapoxetine brands in pakistan sick over the counter viagra countries with dual citizenship cialis 5 mg one day accutane acne treatments what happen when i taked 2 viagra in one day will 30 mg cialis hurt you propecia discount coupon prescription for clomid cost of doxycycline at costco isotretinoina 20 mg generico do viagra 25 mg viagra recreational capitalist socialism in islam religion amoxil injection price is lasix safe for breastfeeding how many cialis 5 mg can you take prednisolone acid 10 mg nebenwirkungen pille viagra purple triangle pill wholesale viagra sales revenue is ciprofloxacin safe in pregnancy ingesting tadalafil 20 mg first hour clomid challenge test with 50 mg clomid cialis daily how to use que es diflucan 200 mg is 160mg of prednisone be safe while pregant zithromax package insert pdf in powerpoint generic viagra how good is it getting a prescription for accutane prednisone and fluid in ear infecciones causadas por cytotec para que sirve metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg buying clomid 100 mg 10 pills propecia tablet price prednisone 40 mg dose where can i buy viagra over the counter in italy cialis depression treatment price clomid pasadena nausea after taking accutane can i take 2 pills of cialis in one day where to buy doxycycline with no prescription propecia price change why does metformin not dissolve in body cialis 5 mg apotek tadalafil counter cipro dergboadre canada zoloft in timpul sarcinii cialis de 5 mg uso diario aprovel tem generico do viagra cialis dosage 40 mg do you need a prescription for cialis in grand cayman rosacea treatment accutane where can you buy a viagra in sydney india online pharmacy zovirax 15g soft cialis usa generic of clomid propranolol 20 mg withdrawal from hydrocodone cipromed 500 usage cialis generic 5 mg como comprar cialis em portugal socialism in america author real name price of 5mg cialis how to get propecia in south africa clomid chemist warehouse reciprocating saw cordless sale indian viagra dropshipper shipped from usa generic viagra puede causar la muerte cytotec induction franca lai viagra generic buy sildenafil research raw powder zovirax in hong kong diflucan 150 mg used can clomid cause headaches cheapest generic viagra sent overnight cialis generic 10 mg without prescription cytotec for sale in kuwait shops vulvodynia specialists in clearwater florida communism vs socialism effects in world is viagra over the counter in jamaica viagra en mexico venta viagra monologues review consumo viagra in italia is 200 mg diflucan for yeast too strong what is diflucan used for in women generic finasteride or propecia cost viagra treatment for premature ejaculation cialis 4 hour erection how to get doxycycline in singapore viagra for sale in ottawa diffuse thinning propecia online pharmacy canada viagra pharmacy doxycycline without prescription in usa cialis daily use canadian pharmacies can you buy zovirax walgreens is fish oil safe to take with zoloft when is viagra available as generic classification of adrenocorticosteroids prednisone buy cialis pharmacy si puo usare zovirax gravidanza buy lasix without a perscription metformin er user reviews where can i buy online finasteride in liquid form u s cheap viagra novocaine buy online uk viagra getting viagra in las vegas viagra substitute over the counter at gnc cytotec argentinacomprar prednisone is for in leukaemia whats in cobra viagra 10 mgday accutane doxycycline hyclate 20mg tablets doxycycline hyclate cap 300 mg prednisone at walamrt prices buy doxycycline hyclate tablets without prescription sildenafil bubble gum price buyviagrapillsonline search does doxycycline hyclate 150 mg work for epididymitis how much does 1 30 day supply of 5mg cialis cost real viagra montreal finasteride take at night cialis dosage info does clomid or gonadotropins safer ridiculous high price of viagra using clomid purchase online lasix diuretic cost generic drug viagra inderal 40 mg and augmentin xbox one chile donde comprar viagra is sildenafil a generic drug kann viagra ohne rezept apotheke kaufen lopid 600 mg generico de cialis accutane in shanghai cialis soft tabs 5 mg zithromax 1 gm price cipro suspension generic manfaat vibramycin 100 mg tell fake viagra pills where buy clomid how many doses of cytotec is safe viagra in nassua viagraonline com viagra history in urdu lasix j code doxycycline online experience with generic tadalafil donde comprar cialis generico en colombia metformin 500 mg price philippines finasteride farmaco generico viagra availability in islamabad safety abra sildenafil citrate accutane acne generic venta de cytotec en costa rica most economical dosage of cialis to buy sildenafil from india finasteride in australia medicare feline doxycycline hyclate 100 mg 2 times zoloft 25 mg withdrawal from cymbalta viagra e ponte de safena liquid clomid numb tongue buy nolvadex post cycle therapy australia viagra availability in germany purchase metformin baownbeuv can a normal guy take viagra usar pastillas cytotec para abortar elite gain 350 viagra for sale finasteride indian.men cheap generic cialis c20 where to get viagra in qatar cialis on prescription in uk does clomid increase chances of getting pregnant espidifen nombre generico de amoxil what does a generic viagra pill look like viagra prices india us paracetamol cialis generika 20 mg kaufen dapoxetine in europe doxycycline mgkg 10mg accutane on cycle can buy viagra over counter australian viagra bad for you products with tadalafil in them average price viagra 100mg prednisone 50 mg for 5 days bronchitis medication diflucan cream available india hong kong viagra over the counter cialis raise blood pressure metformin 500 mg ne ise yarar order propecia men non generic metformin 1000mg generic viagra com can i bring viagra to costa rica how much liquid clomid for pct lasix used for pleural effusion drs who believe propecia is safe mechanism of action of propranolol in angina pectoris ebastine 20 mg comprimidos viagra clotrimazole 10mg generic cialis how long does a lasix renogram take usa pfizer viagra propranolol online kaufen boots sell viagra over counter can i eat cialis 2 20 mg can you safely take cialis and l arginine together comprar dapoxetine online want to buy cialis discount pills viagra for women available in lahore order tadalafil hereisthebestin can you buy viagra tenerife south zithromax 1000 mg liquid form peranex 20 mg prednisone viagra generika billig kaufen ciprofloxacin difficulty urinating in men viagra kamagra australia payment paypal betalol brand propranolol pengertian panca inderal lidah in english which european nations are socialist cialis 800 mg not real para que se receta el ciprofloxacino 500 mg zovirax suspension costo doxycycline sold online commonly found tadalafil tablets in india doxycycline 1 mg suspension for guinea pigs no script accutane 5 mg day lang en order free viagra sample betahistine long term usage of zoloft is testim safe to use with viagra propecia finasteride prezzo 2000 mg ampicillin voglibose and metformin hydrochloride tablets farmacie online per viagra coupon ciprofloxacino stada efg 500 mg camber zoloft 25 mg pill does doxycycline treat malaria discovery health viagra cialis 5mg kaina 2500 mg metformin how to purchase viagra in australia clomid cause delayed ovulation over the counter evuivalent to viagra can clomid cause excessive discharge tadalafil 20 mg description uso de doxycycline hyclate 100 mg best viagra pill splitter doxycycline swallowing problems metformin 4 mg viagra with out prescription paypal where can i buy doxycycline for humans dose kalenjin comedy propecia reviews can you buy viagra at stores viagra cialis in qatar kegunaan obat sildenafil tab 25 mg prednisone 10 mg dose pack 489 buy cialis auckland nz cipro antibiotic 750 mg prices 10 mg lasix bodybuilding does zoloft make you really tired thuoc viagra mua o dau is viagra available for pensioners in australia how much does 10 mg of cialis cost trustable generic viagra singapore where can buy viagra viagra in treatment of pulmonary hypertension fertility drug like clomid for sale Kiwipolitico

Weatherston guilty, what about provocation?

datePosted on 11:31, July 22nd, 2009 by Lew

Clayton Weatherston has been found guilty of murdering Sophie Elliot, to nobody’s great surprise, perhaps, except his own.

First thought: good.

Second thought: should this be taken as evidence that the provocation defence doesn’t need to be abolished?

L

What is (or should be) NZ’s international role?

datePosted on 22:32, July 20th, 2009 by Pablo

News that the National government has in principle accepted the US request to deploy the NZSAS in Afghanistan once again raises questions as to whether NZ has a dog in that fight, and if so, why it got there. I am already on record in this forum and elsewhere as believing that the NZDF presence in Afghanistan is just on both moral and practical grounds. But many others disagree. That brings up the larger point, which is what, exactly, is (or should be) NZ’s international role? The paradigm shifts and dislocations that followed the Cold War stripped NZ of many of its traditional foreign policy referents, some of which were already being eroded prior to 1990 by the nuclear-free declaration and embrace of market-driven macroeconomic principles. As Lew mentioned in a previous post, trade now appears to be the basis for most contemporary NZ foreign policy, particularly under National governments. I have argued at various times that NZ foreign policy is a mixture of principle and pragmatism, but as of late I am not so sure that the former obtains in any significant measure.

Thus the questions begs: in a fluid international environment such as that which exists today, in which traditional alliance structures and security partnerships have been replaced or overlapped by new trade networks and the emergence of a raft of non-traditional security concerns and policy issues, what role does NZ play? Does it remain a committed multilateral institutionalist? Or is more of a junior partner to a variety of larger countries on a range of selected issues? Should it take the lead in pursuing matters of international principle like the pursuit of non-intervention, disarmanent, non-proliferation, climate change and human rights, or should it wise up and curry favour by getting with the bigger player’s projects, be they Chinese, American or Australian? Does realism or idealism drive NZ foreign policy, and if it is a mixture of the two perspectives, which should dominate given current and near future conditions?

There is a strong isolationist streak in NZ that spans the spectrum from Left to Right, one that sees nonintervention in foreign affairs to be the preferred standard when approaching the international community. In contrast, the trade liberalizers in both major parties and the foreign party bureaucracy speak of trade openings as the end-all, be-all of NZ growth and thus a reason for ongoing and deeper engagement with a multitude of partners. But what happened to principle in all of this, particularly the notion that as a good international citizen NZ has a duty and obligation to support with its active involvement actions that are sanctioned by the UN and other international agencies (the principle that I just happen to believe in when it comes to the foreign policy behaviour of small democratic states)? The ISAF mission in Afghanistan is just one such action, but there are a multitude of others that are seldom mentioned, much less discussed by the NZ political elite or public.

Given the hard economic times of the moment and the folly of recent great power interventions in international affairs, what exactly is or should be NZ’s response to recent international trends, and thus its role in the international environment? Should it lead, follow, be neutral, selective or withdraw when considering its potential range of international commitments?  What should be the criteria for foreign engagement, and to what extent or degree? Should certain existing international commitments be dropped and new ones adopted? Should the traditional pro-Western foreign policy perspective shift to a more Eastern view?

I post this simply as a general reminder that the role of NZ as an international actor gets far too little play in the public discourse, yet is one that it absolutely crucial not only to its international reputation and stature, but also to its continued well-being as a small, vulnerable and dependent nation-state. The question must therefore be repeated: what role should that preferably be?

The role of the judiciary is to judge

datePosted on 00:29, July 19th, 2009 by Lew

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over Dame Sian Elias’ remarks about the prison muster. Nevertheless, this is what Chief Justices (and their equivalents elsewhere) do from time to time – make pronouncements about the law and the state of the justice system, which carry no policy mandate but tend to get people talking.

I would note that the speech was much broader and more considered than ‘let the prisoners go free’ as it has been dramatised. But that Dame Sian has made a pronouncement so far out of step with government policy and public consciousness demonstrates either a remarkable sense of personal responsibility for the justice system or a desire to legislate from the bench.

There are three ways to slice it:

  1. The judiciary is right to involve itself in this sort of thing and you agree with the position taken
  2. The judiciary is right to involve itself in this sort of thing and you disagree with the position taken
  3. The judiciary is wrong to involve itself in this sort of thing, and should stay the hell out of wider matters of justice regardless

I’m the first, with Toad and most commenters on Eddie’s post on The Standard. Labour Justice spokesperson Lianne Dalziel is too. In another case I might be the second. Danyl Mclauchlan seems to be either in the first or the second; Idiot/Savant and Bomber are clearly the first; Madeleine Flannagan, herself a lawyer, seems somewhat grudgingly to be in the second camp. Peter Cresswell definitely is.

But it’s tricky; the third is a cover for the second. I think Simon Power and Garth McVicar (along with DPF and some stalwarts of the KBR hang’em-flog’em brigade) are taking the third position for rhetorical purposes when, if they were honest, they’d be defending the right of the judiciary to participate in NZ’s discourse of criminal justice but disagreeing with Dame Sian’s argument in this case – the second position. Dean Knight points out that, when it suits, the government does actually consider the judiciary’s views as integral to justice policy.

If the particulars of the Chief Justice’s speech had been different, I reckon they’d be singing from a songsheet other than the one which reads ‘butt out, you lily-livered liberal panty-waist’. Perhaps the one which reads ‘I disagree with your position but, as the head of NZ’s judiciary, you are entitled to take it’.

The flipside, I suppose, is whether those of us who agree with Dame Sian’s general position today would be supportive of her right to take it if we disagreed. We should be; all of us.

Edit: Andrew Geddis is in the first position; Stephen Franks is in the second.

L

Duelling imperatives

datePosted on 11:00, July 17th, 2009 by Lew

So, the National Business Review has decided to (partially) monetise its interweb presence.

In a rather petulant letter, publisher Barry Colman takes aim at the enemies of journalism and backs his team to be able to make a paid content model work where very few have done so before, and never in such a tight and competitive media ecology as we have in NZ.

As you know, there has been endless discussion for a number of years about the crazy model adopted by newspapers in most parts of the free world in which they pay the enormous costs of running professional newsrooms only to give their content away free – while at the same time slashing newsroom numbers to save money as circulation and advertising revenues fall.
And to add to the madness it has been the aggregators that have profited the most from the supply of that free news copy. Worse still the model has spawned a huge band of amateur, untrained, unqualified bloggers who have swarmed over the internet pouring out columns of unsubstantiated “facts” and hysterical opinion.
Most of these “citizen journalists” don’t have access to decision makers and are infamous for their biased and inaccurate reporting on almost any subject under the sun (while invariably criticising professional news coverage whose original material they depend on to base their diatribes).
It is only a matter of time before the model collapses. The alternative is newsrooms decimated to the point of processing public relations handouts or unedited government propaganda from their fully staffed team of spin doctors.

Good luck to them. Unfortunately, blaming competitors (yes; bloggers are competitors for reader time and attention) for the (slow) failure of one’s business never made the business suddenly work better, and this sort of competition-blaming is typically the refuge of people who believe they have an ordained right to profits. As Dan Conover says:

This spring and early summer has been a continuous parade of naked emperors and specious arguments. There’s the Cable TV argument. The iTunes argument. They’ve argued the Watchdog Case and the Piracy Case. And as the combined knowledge of the network ground each of these quickly down to dust, the salespeople moved on to the next one. Did the “blame the bloggers” approach flop? OK: Blame Google.

(Conover has links in his post, which you can follow if you go there. He was a newsman; now he’s a blogger. Go figure.)

Blame anyone except the industry itself for failing to sufficiently move with the market. But perhaps that’s what Barry Colman thinks he’s doing. There are good reasons behind the decision, chief among which is the importance of maintaining a strong and well-resourced newsgathering apparatus. He’s aware that a move to a pay model needs to be accompanied by a dramatic increase in quality, and posits the fairly reasonable idea that people will pay for it.

The trouble with artificial scarcity is partly highlighted by Cactus Kate:

For the pay-per-view am I to be reading low paid first-jobbed twenty-something children repeating the news, or will I read serious senior business journos actually breaking stories that matter?

Good question. If you withhold your best content from the market, you’re cutting off your nose to spite your brand. The imperatives which drive your business conflict: you want to put your best content in front of as many people as possible because it’s the best content (not the ordinary content) which drives your readership and reputation; by locking it away, you hide your light under a bushel so few people know about it, and even if people chance to find out about it (from those relatively few who do have a subscription) then they can’t access it anyway. This is not the way to become a news or commentary source of record. And if you don’t, And if you don’t put your best content up there, then what are you offering again?

At best it seems like this model will rob Peter to pay Paul – that is, the NBR’s ordinary content (and readership) will suffer for the benefit of those few subscribers. This is also what online commenters the NBR site seem to think, and online opinion is predictably scathing.

There has to be a better way.

Edit: I should add that artificial scarcity can potentially work if the content is strong enough. Fairfax’s Australian Financial Review is probably the best daily newspaper in Australasia, and because of its exceptional content, extremely strong commitment to journalistic practice and authoritative market position it is able to dictate such strict terms of access that it causes major headaches for media analysis companies, archivers and researchers. The AFR has no real competition, and that’s what enables it to call the shots. But the NBR is not the AFR – nowhere near, more’s the pity.

L

Doing filtering right

datePosted on 09:20, July 17th, 2009 by Anita

Once upon a time quite a long time ago I was involved in the implementation of a porn filter at a public institution. At the time part of my role included “inappropriate use” investigations. I’ve spent far too many hours sifting through web and other access logs, writing up material for handover to the authorities, seizing equipment and seeing the flow on effect of a search warrant executed on someone’s home. I’ve sat across a table from someone I knew and made eye contact while I explained how I had discovered evidence he had repeatedly accessed a bestiality porn site. I wish I wasn’t so aware of just how bad porn has to be before it becomes illegal.

I strongly support voluntary at the border filtering for child porn, if I ran an ISP I would implement it and I would be grateful for any help the government provided. But… the government’s support and actions must be scoped, controlled and open to public scrutiny.

DIA should be doing this, but they should also be doing it right:

  1. The process should be public
  2. The scope should be public
  3. Both should be open to public scrutiny and comment (including a without prejudice process for challenging the filtering of a site).

Releasing the list of sites would be counterproductive but we do have a right to know what they’re up to. Is their mandate only child porn (2(a) of the definition of objectionable) or the other criteria as well? Who will make the decision? What is the review process? Will any monitoring be undertaken? Could that trigger an investigation? Will they guarantee it is only objectionable material? Is there scope for political interference? What does “voluntary” mean? Will there be negative consequences for ISPs that don’t opt in?

I totally support DIA’s stated intention, but the way they are approaching it is just plain wrong.

Following on the theme of my posts on the Honduran coup, but from a different angle, this month’s “Word from Afar” column at Scoop: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0907/S00170.htm

Missed opportunity

datePosted on 11:44, July 15th, 2009 by Lew

… to reuse a proper old-fashioned consonant headline.

This Stuff title could have read “Bigger than Potter”, to better match the more-famous misquote of Lennon’s statement about Jesus, or better yet, could have stolen the headline best employed by the promoters of Twilight: Hotter than Potter, because ultimately that’s what this story (and image) are about: Emma Watson as the new see-brainy-girls-are-hot-too icon.

2595686The choice of secondary image in the story itself (at right) possibly hints at a different characterisation: quirky, awkward-but-in-a-cute-way, ordinary, unthreatening.

Watson might have better career prospects according to her fans but I reckon Daniel Radcliffe, by taking on serious and apparently demanding adult roles such as Equus, has made stronger moves to avoid ending up typecast.

It seems that life after Potter will be easily more interesting than the series itself.

L

Provocation and victims of domestic violence

datePosted on 19:39, July 14th, 2009 by Anita

[I just wrote a rather long comment at The Hand Mirror about battered women and provocation, in response to people suggesting we need to maintain the partial defence of provocation to protect battered women. I am reproducing it here as it shows that the provocation does not help battered women, in fact it only protects their abusers]

The Law Commission has done a lot of work on this, and it appears that the provocation defence is not of value in “battered women syndrome” killings, so we lose no protection for women victims of domestic violence by repealing it.

Some Criminal Defences with Particular Reference to Battered Defendants

The Law Commission did a piece of work which focussed solely on defences for battered defendants completed in 2001 (Some Criminal Defences with Particular Reference to Battered Defendants – NZLC R 73. It shows that provocation is not an effective defence for battered women, and even that it has been successfully used by a perpetrator of domestic violence.

In R v Tepu a man successfully used provocation as a partial defence when he beaten his wife to death – her provoking act? going to the Police when he severely beat her

Partly in response to recommendations in that report the mandatory life sentence for murder was abolished in 2002, and judges have sentencing discretion for battered defendants.

The Partial Defence Of Provocation – NZLC R 98

From 2004 to 2007 the Law Commission did work specifically on provocation (The Partial Defence of Provocation) resulting in a recommendation for its repeal. As part of that they rechecked there would be no disadvantage for battered women and, in fact, did some handy stats.

Of the 81 homicide trials they looked at (2001 to 2005, Auckland and Wellington) in 15 provocation was used as a defence. In only one of those was provocation used as a defence by a woman. In that case, while the killer had experienced domestic violence, she killed her husband because he said he was leaving her. I won’t copy the description here (see p103 of report if you really want to), but it’s exactly the kind of killing-someone-because-they-say-they’re-leaving that we shouldn’t allow to be called manslaughter.


So there were go, the Law Commission has worked really hard on the issue, and provocation is not helping battered women who kill to protect themselves.

It is what it is.

datePosted on 13:52, July 13th, 2009 by Pablo

Having returned to my Asian redoubt after 5 weeks in the USA at the family homestead, I can now take stock and reflect on the tone and tenor of American public discourse. Every time I make the yearly pilgrimage back to my native country I notice changes in how people phrase the moment. A few years back, when Dubya was leading his crusade against evil-doers, it was all about “bring it on,” and “opening a can of ass-whuppin.” Last year it was about, paradoxically, ‘change we can believe in” and “being thrown under the bus.” This year’s social motif is caught in the phrase “it is what it is.”

From public officials, to celebrities to the (wo)man on the street, the answer to most thorny questions or complex issues is captured in that phrase. This is remarkable because normally Americans have a strong sense of optimism and unbrindled faith in controlling their own destinies. But the public mood this year is one of resignation and fatalism, if not powerlessness and pessimism. People appear universally resigned to being pawns in a larger game, to be at the mercy of “powers that be,” to being unable to shift the course of their lives based on hard work and idealism alone. Cynicism abounds, apathy is on the rise once again, and people just expect to be disappointed by their leaders or do not expect much from that at all. Somewhat perversely, this debased threshold of consent gives the Obama administration added cushion or leeway when pursuing its policy reforms–anything it manages to accomplish in the policy field will appear to be unexpected and seemingly heroic. Coupled with Obama’s personal charisma, this means his administration really has to do very little in order to impress the mass public.

For the moment the dark mood is pervasive. When asked about personal indiscretions or ongoing subservience to corporate interests (most evident in the stilted debate on national health care), politicians reply: “it is what it is.” When asked about lawsuits, deaths and scandals, celebrities reply: “it is what it is.” When asked about job losses, foreclosures and stifled dreams, average Joe replies “it is what it is.” When asked about the utility of either of the the two wars the USA is fighting, the universal response is that “it is what it is.”When asked if Sarah Palin’s resignation speech was drug-induced or merely incoherent, the reply inevitably is “it is what it is.” This is the 2009 version of the 1970’s adage “s**t happens.” In each instance the point of the phrase is not only to convey resignation; it also signals an end to the conversation on a particular subject.

There also has been is a signal turn in the American social psyche. In a country that already saw little value in public intellectuals and critical discourse, the turn symbolised in this one-sentence fatalism is a sign of despair. It also may be a sign of social rot.

In that spirit I am compelled to ask a few questions myself. Why is it that the Republican Party is the party of moral hypocrites, racists and corporate thieves? What happened to the party of Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Rockefeller? Why does it not have any responses or initiatives to counter the Obama administration’s projects on a variety of fronts? Why does it continue to cater to religious extremists, social bigots and media charlatans? Why does it allow Dick Cheney, of all people, to be the defender of the faith? Why is it mired in McCarthyite fear of “socialism” or “communism?” Why does it deny any wrong done by the Bush 43 administration, be it the constitutional subversions of the “war on terror,” the trillion dollar national debt, the national financial melt down or the erosion of US international prestige and power? Why does its de facto leaders openly call for Obama’s downfall, in an abject display of disloyal opposition? Why does it not see the need to undergo serious self-examination and rejuvination along new ideological lines given the abject failures of the Bush 43 administration and the electoral massacre suffered in 2008? 

All of this is the stuff of Democratic dreams, and short of arrogance born of unchecked power, the Democrats pretty much have a free run through 2012 (and beyond) so long as the Republicans continue to pursue their 1950s Barbie and Ken dreams in a country where Barbie is increasingly of mixed race and Ken just might be gay. Therein lies the problem, because devoid of a real political opposition that offers substantive alternatives on matters of policy to them (and which extend beyond the tired opposition to abortion and gay rights), the Democrats will, inevitably, succumb to their own greed and indifference. We might call the latter the Clinton syndrome.

The question then is why, in an age of fatalism, the Republican Party does not respond to the challenges of the moment in something other than retrograde fashion?The answer it seems is that it is what it is.

From this morning’s DomPost

Nineteen young women have been sexually assaulted after partying in Wellington’s central city this year, with most too drunk to remember what happened.

Police say the number of attacks on drunk young women is growing. “They are binge-drinking, make poor choices and can’t keep themselves safe,” Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Borrell said. “That’s a worry and that’s the preventable part of it.”

I won’t even try to compete with Queen of Thorns ability to express (out)rage, so this is after several deep breaths.

Is Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Borrell seriously intending to say that women are responsible when someone sexually assaults them? And that addressing rapists’ behaviour is not the way to prevent rape?

To be fair to him, he does go on to say that

“It’s up to friends of victims and potential offenders to do something about it. In my view, if something does happen, all of us have failed that person.”

So apparently it’s not entirely the young victim’s fault, it’s also the responsibility of her friends and (yay) the rapist’s friends, oh and pretty much everyone except the rapist (whose behaviour is apparently unpreventable).

I’ll leave the final words to Helen Sullivan, Wellington Sexual Abuse Help Foundation general manager, who says what the Police should have

“Why should the whole responsibility for a situation be put on women? The bottom line is we should be able to walk down the street or do anything without the threat of sexual violence.”

123... 767778... 9899100PreviousNext