How Media Bias in New Zealand Contributes to a Prohibitionist Attitude

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The bias against cannabis in the New Zealand media expresses itself in a number of ways. Some excerpts from a recent Southland Times article called “Invercargill Teen Jailed for One Punch Kill” show how biased this sort of reporting is.

Thanks to a phenomenon called the serial position effect, psychologists know that, when presented with a list of items, a person reading them is more likely to remember the one that was first in the list. Keep this simple fact in mind when analysing this piece.

The article told the pathetic story of Tyrone Palmer, who killed a man named Matthew Coley with a single punch to the side of the head in Invercargill earlier this year.

Near the beginning of the article is the sentence “On Friday, April 8, Palmer had… used the class A drug LSD, cannabis, and alcohol.”

Understanding the serial position effect, we know that anyone reading that passage is likely to take away from it the message that “the class A drug” LSD and cannabis were at least as responsible for the sucker punch as the alcohol was.

Anyone with a clue, of course, will know that the LSD and cannabis had nothing to do with the violence for the simple reason that psychedelics do not make people violent. Moreover, there are hundreds of cases of unprovoked violence every year in New Zealand that involve alcohol and no cannabis, and there is never a case of unprovoked violence in New Zealand that involves cannabis and not alcohol.

“The judge was particularly concerned about the effect drug and alcohol use can have on young people. ‘I am intensely troubled by the reference in the narrative to the use of [LSD], cannabis and alcohol.'”

Apart from again manipulating the reaction of the reader by leading them to associate LSD and cannabis with the violence, this sentence also uses the common prohibitionist rhetorical device of distinguishing ‘drugs’ from ‘alcohol’.

The reason why this is done is because much of the impetus behind cannabis prohibition comes from the liquor industry, as the first thing any industry does in a capitalist system is to try and destroy their competitors, and the alcohol industry knows that a large proportion of people would rather smoke cannabis than drink alcohol.

The article waits until the very last sentence to mention that Coley’s mother “planned to keep warning New Zealanders of the dangers around youth drinking.” So the quote of the one person in the whole story who places the blame on the alcohol is shunted down to the very bottom of the story.

Incredibly, the final sentence for punching another human being to death was 22 months – the same as the sentence initially handed out to Kelly van Gaalen last year for cannabis cultivation.

The ultimate effect of the kind of dishonest rhetoric shown by the author of the Southland Times article is that growing a medicinal plant comes to carry the same penalty as killing another person.

Another Rain Affected Day Frustrates

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Third Day, First Test, Black Caps vs. South Africa in South Africa 2016

Rain destroyed the entire third day of the first Test between the Black Caps and South Africa.

By 2200 NZT, The BetFair odds heavily favoured the Draw. South Africa were paying $2.98, the Black Caps $15.50 and the Draw $1.59. Anyone who had money sitting on the Draw would have made a killing in this time.

By 0100 NZT, with it being clear that the day was to be washed out, South Africa were at $7.20, the Black Caps at $34.00 and the Draw in to $1.19.

– DAN McGLASHAN

Karl du Fresne: Thinker of Yesterday

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The Establishment is wheeling out all manner of propagandists in their last-ditch efforts to continue the War on Drugs, and after booze-sozzled losers like Mike Hosking and Paul Henry have had their say, the barrel is truly being scraped.

The latest pisshead Baby Boomer to do a King Knut impression is Karl du Fresne. His attempt to defend the indefensible is called “It’s the underbelly of society that lives with with drugs’ consequences.”

As you will see, only someone whose brain has been damaged by alcohol could write a piece of drivel like this.

The only one sentence that makes sense in the whole piece is the first one: “My generation has a lot to answer for.” Du Fresne was born in 1950, and thus is part of the generation responsible for the War on Drugs. Not for drugs, nor for drug use, but for the War on Drugs.

His entire article gets this simple truth arse about face.

“Drugs were one way of rebelling against a society they found dull and stifling.” Du Fresne accidentally makes an ironic point here – the generation of people who are young in 2016 take drugs specifically because the mainstream cultural narrative of New Zealand is set by people like Karl du Fresne.

“Many of the people whose jobs disappeared in the 1980s sought escape in cannabis, glue and later, methamphetamine.” Many people did, after all, there were a lot of them. But none of the cannabis users came to the attention of the coroner – unlike the heroin users, which du Fresne neglects to mention (perhaps severe long-term alcohol abuse has damaged his long-term memory?).

Nor the pissheads, who will never get mentioned. The vast majority of people who became substance abusers on account of the economic policies of the 1980s became alcoholics. In terms of actual damage done, alcohol outstrips cannabis by 1,000 to 1. But du Fresne, like most alcoholics, sees the bottle as his little darling, never to be questioned, never to be sullied, above all criticism or blame.

“…it was the middle class that introduced society to the mind-expanding delights of drugs, but it’s mainly the underbelly of society that has had to live with the consequences.” With typical pisshead logic, du Fresne here blames the damage wrought by the War on Drugs on the drug users themselves. The middle-class hasn’t been as damaged by drugs because they haven’t been attacked by the Police or the Justice system to anywhere near the same degree as the working classes have.

It’s been known since du Fresne’s time that if a Police officer finds cannabis on a white middle-class person who speaks with a University accent chances are he’ll let them go with a warning, but if it’s a Maori or poor white person they get the hammer. So the “consequences of drugs” he talks about are the consequences of the Drug War, and nothing else.

Du Fresne’s delusional attitude to alcohol (the sure sign of an addict) shines through when he accuses the Drug Foundation, which presents factual research about the effects of drugs, of taking a “shrill line against alcohol”.

Never forget: to every pisshead, speaking the truth about the effect of alcohol is an unreasonable thing to do.

“But while there are valid arguments for decriminalisation of cannabis, and especially for its medicinal use, the reformers can’t ignore the baneful effects of drug use.” Why the fuck would any cannabis law reformer care about the baneful effects of methamphetamine, heroin, legal high, nicotine etc. use? None of those drugs have anything to do with cannabis whatsoever, so why are they lumped in the same category? And alcohol left out? It makes no sense at all.

“Neither can they ignore the risk that liberalising the cannabis laws will send the dangerous message that drugs are OK. They may be okay if you’ve got a university degree and live in a good suburb, but they’re not so liberating if you’re a hungry kid living in a freezing state house where any surplus money goes on P rather than food or heating.” Yes, that sentence really was that stupid. Du Fresne essentially argues here that cannabis law reform is bad because some poor people spend money on P. It makes absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever.

“A good starting point for the debate might be a more honesty.” An honest conversation about the damage done to New Zealanders by drugs would start with one word.

Alcohol.

Why is this not mentioned?

The answer is this: Karl du Fresne is a complete and utter fucking whore, and the alcohol companies that advertise in Fairfax media are his pimps (he has many pimps, reflecting his total lack of shame). He propagandises for putting medicinal cannabis users in cages by using rhetoric that would be illegal if it was applied to Maori or gay people. All the while knocking back gallons of the drug that does more damage to New Zealand society than all others combined.

We don’t need boozeroos setting the cultural agenda for young people in this country any more. New Zealand needs to give a voice to the stoners and trippers among the young, and put Karl du Fresne, and his entire worthless generation of drug warriors and out-of-touch geriatrics, out to pasture.

Rain Spoils Absorbing Contest in Durban

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Second Day, First Test, Black Caps vs. South Africa in South Africa 2016

With South Africa 236/8 overnight, the BetFair market gradually came to the conclusion that the Black Caps were now the favourites leading into the second day of the first Test in Durban. South Africa drifted from $2.74 to $2.98 overnight, the Black Caps stayed the same ($2.88 to $2.92) and the Draw came in from $3.45 to $3.05, perhaps reflecting a bad weather forecast or the likelihood that bad light will take several overs of play time out of this match.

The opening session of the second day began with the new ball swinging around corners. Despite the assistance, the last wicket stand of Kagiso Rabada and Dane Piedt frustrated the New Zealanders, who were able to generate several edges that did not go to hand.

When Piedt was out caught at the wicket off a wider Boult delivery, with the partnership worth 27, the South African innings ended at 263. At this time it looked as if all three results were in play, with South Africa paying $2.98 and the Black Caps $3.30. 263 was not a big total but as the New Zealand seamers were swinging it viciously it looked as if conditions would be good for Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander with the ball.

They were – Steyn and Philander were at least as good as Boult was yesterday. Steyn accounted for both Latham and Guptill with superb bowling; Latham caught at slip and Guptill trapped in front.

A brief passage of intense cricket of the highest quality ensued as Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor fended off an arsenal of swing and seam trickery from Steyn and Philander, but rain intervened to spoil the day, which ended with New Zealand at 15/2.

At this point, South Africa was paying $2.44, New Zealand $6.40, and the Draw was the favourite, perhaps in anticipation of more rain, at $2.28.

– DAN McGLASHAN

Boult Masterclass Helps Make it the Black Caps’ Day

First Day, First Test, Black Caps vs. South Africa in South Africa 2016

Pre-match odds had South Africa favourites at around $2.30, the Black Caps at around $3.80. The Black Caps went out slightly when South Africa won the toss and chose to bat, but not by much (to around $4.30), probably reflecting the degree of uncertainty around the pitch and weather conditions.

The Black Caps went with four seamers, appearing to agree with the argument presented earlier this week that Ish Sodhi offers less value than either Henry or Bracewell. They decided to go with Bracewell over Henry, possibly for the good reason that this is not a development tour.

Trent Boult was magnificent in the first session before drinks, taking the wicket of Stephen Cook with a perfectly placed ball that took the edge through to Watling. Boult bowled 8 overs for figures of 8-1 before drinks in a masterclass of accuracy. Southee and Bracewell were less effective, Southee struggling for rhythm and Bracewell looking rusty. At this point the Black Caps had gone out to $4.50 and the Draw had come in to $2.66.

Williamson shuffled his bowlers after drinks but Southee continued to bowl poorly, giving away too many wide balls outside off without building any real pressure. By lunch, South Africa were 94/2 with Hashim Amla looking imperious. He was on 42 off 41 balls with nine boundaries. There was no aggression from Amla, just waiting for bad balls and then hitting them hard into gaps. The Black Caps were paying $5.80 by this time, with South Africa in to $2.16.

The passage after lunch was marked by the intense battle between Amla and Boult, the best batsman and best bowler on either side. After Duminy was caught hooking off a Wagner short ball, Amla found the going much more difficult than before lunch, with Boult continuing to throw down accurate deliveries with excellent shape at a good pace. Eventually Boult dismissed Amla with a straight ball that swung in and took the inside edge through to Watling. At 131/4 at the second drinks break, the odds for the Black Caps had come in to $4.10, with the Draw fading to $2.86.

After the drinks break the second session was attritional, with only 15 runs coming off the last 14 overs of the session. Faf du Plessis was extremely defensive and ended the session with only 18 runs from 74 balls.

The moment of the third session, and perhaps the day, came just when it started to look like the redoubtable South African defence had started to tire the Kiwis. A wide half-volley from Neil Wagner was smashed by Faf du Plessis and cannoned towards the boundary until plucked from the air one-handed by a flying Kane Williamson at gully with a catch that Chris Harris would have been proud of.

This left South Africa 160/5 and the odds for the Black Caps were then $3.55, still the outsider but lower than at the start of play.

The third session continued with a South African counterattack, with Temba Bavuma and Quentin de Kock taking on the Black Caps bowlers. Their aggression was checked by a Mitchell Santner double strike, with de Kock caught slogging in the deep and Bavuma out trying to sweep an arm ball that had him lbw.

From that point it seemed that the South African innings was in its death throes, with Philander out chipping Wagner tamely to mid off. Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn were left when bad light stopped play, after 77.4 overs, with South Africa 236/8. Perhaps surprisingly at this point, South Africa were still favourites, paying $2.74 to the Black Caps’ $2.88 (the Draw was $3.45).

The player of the day was probably Trent Boult, narrowly over Neil Wagner, with Hashim Amla in third place. The play of the day was definitely Kane Williamson’s screamer at gully to dismiss Faf du Plessis.

Neil Wagner’s bowling average is now under 30, and with Southee looking insipid (his 18 painful overs going for 63 runs with no wicket) it might be that Boult is now clearly the leader of the New Zealand pace attack. Boult looked far more dangerous than Southee today and on another day could have had five wickets.

The Black Caps will look to take care of South Africa with the new ball tomorrow and then bat until the close of play.

– DAN McGLASHAN

You Won’t Understand John Key on Cannabis Unless You Understand Sadism

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Now that New Zealand has finally gathered the gumption to have a national discussion about cannabis, the end of prohibition is in sight. The reason why it was so hard to get a conversation about cannabis started is that prohibitionists have long known that as soon as it did, inevitably the forces of freedom would win, as they had both evidence and compassion on their side.

But what does compassion have to do with it?

As it turns out, everything. You simply cannot understand the cannabis law in New Zealand unless you understand the compassionate-malicious spectrum of human personality, for cannabis prohibition will not end in New Zealand until it is seen for what it is: naked sadism.

It’s time for a look into the ghoulish horrorscape that is the mind of a prohibitionist.

“In plain words, what moves them is the psychological aberration called sadism.” – H.L. Mencken

H.L. Mencken was an American philosopher-king active in the first half of the 20th century. Realising that satire was one of the only ways to get a complex message through the thick skulls of his fellow Americans, he took the piss out of the cultural peccadilloes of his time, one of the stupidest of which was alcohol prohibition.

In a small, self-published volume in 1926, Mencken observed that “Prohibition has made the use of alcohol devilish and even fashionable, and so vastly augmented the number of users.”

The infuriating thing for anyone who has tried to get the law to reflect justice and compassion, is that exactly the same is true of cannabis today.

What’s the past-year usage rate of cannabis in New Zealand, where growers are jailed? 14.6%.

What’s the past-year usage rate of cannabis in the Netherlands, where it’s sold openly? 5.4%.

That data is from 2008 – if you want something more recent, there’s a report that states teen cannabis use has not increased in Colorado since measures were taken to legalise it a few years ago.

It can be seen that cannabis prohibition has not reduced the number of people who use it – if the objective was to reduce the health problems that cannabis ostensibly causes, then prohibition is, prima facie, a failure. So why has the Drug War raged on for decades despite the lack of evidence that it is effective?

Because it is not effectiveness that is the issue.

Cannabis prohibition does not have to help the nation to be supported by prohibitionists. It only has to harm the sort of person who uses cannabis.

This is why John Key can so glibly claim that the Police are not really prosecuting anyone, and so there is no hurry to change the law – the Police are not prosecuting National voters. Most National voters own their own homes, and so can smoke cannabis in privacy away from people who might dob them in. Most Labour voters live in shared housing, and more often have to risk smoking in public.

Make no mistake: the point of the cannabis law is intentionally to fuck over the sort of people most feared by the control mechanism and its lackeys – the freespirited, the creative, the spiritual, the kind, the young, the rebel, the unbrainwashed.

Why is John Key vicious like this? Perhaps this is revenge of the nerds, Kiwi style. Key, like Peter Dunne, was severely bullied at school, and perhaps supporting cannabis prohibition is one way that they wreak their petty revenge on the braver kids who experimented with life rather than striving to get ahead.

Another possible explanation is the the old, uptight white male that John Key represents deeply resents the ruthless historical process that is stripping him of his privilege and is lashing out.

When I was a barman, the worst customers were not the young men who suffered most of the demonisation but the male menopausal men who felt their plummeting testosterone and the lack of physical dominance that came with it, and knew that their best days were in the past. Perhaps John Key is of an age where his erectile health is no longer reliable, and he bitterly resents the young people who know that using cannabis enhances the pleasure of lovemaking.

The truth is probably that cannabis prohibitionists are simply malicious, petty-minded bigots who support harm for harm’s sake, as long as it isn’t happening to them.

Is it Time to Make Winston Peters the King of New Zealand?

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It’s a question on the lips of very, very few people: should New Zealand replace Queen Elizabeth II with Winston Peters as our Head of State?

Many people are talking about the day when New Zealand finally casts off the last vestiges of British cultural dominance. For some reason, the obvious thing to do when this day comes is widely considered to be to become a republic. A man no less knowledgeable than David Lange said that New Zealand will inevitably become a republic.

There’s a problem with this cozy narrative, though: most republics around the world are shit.

Indeed, if you say “The Republic” to a New Zealander they will probably think immediately of South Africa, which is hardly a country New Zealand wants to emulate. By almost every measure: wealth, crime, education, corruption, healthcare, justice, race relations – New Zealand is a much better country than South Africa.

As Plato could have told us, the basic problem with a democracy is that when the head of state represents the mob, you inevitably end up with a tyranny, as the cruder elements of human nature, left unchecked, express themselves in abusive government.

This is why the Roman Republic ended up with the assassination of Caesar and civil war, why the Weimar Republic gave us Hitler, and why the death throes of the American Republic has presented us with a choice between the buffoonish Donald Trump and the execrable Hillary Clinton.

Not only do republics run a serious risk of being shit, but constitutional monarchies (as New Zealand is) fill most of the list of the decent countries in the world. Almost every decent country in Europe – Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Monaco and Liechtenstein – is a constitutional monarchy, as is Canada, Australia, Japan and Thailand.

Constitutional monarchies, in which the head of state is a monarch whose powers are laid out in the form of a constitution, have some massive advantages over Presidential systems. The foremost, as mentioned above, is that they can avoid putting all power in the hands of a representative of the lowest common denominator.

Another is that, because monarchs have no term limits, the monarch (and their various consorts, princes, dukes etc.) will remain engaged with the government over the course of many decades. The British Government benefits immensely from the wisdom offered by Queen Elizabeth II, who, in the natural course of her business as Queen, has had the opportunity to meet an unprecedented number of influential people.

In this way, the monarch offers a link to the past that allows for a higher, more detached perspective. This is only possible because the monarch does not sully themselves with an undertaking as filthy as politics in the first place. Would any group of American intellectuals call upon the wisdom of George W Bush?

If the argument for a constitutional monarchy is accepted, why Winston Peters?

First and foremost, Winston Peters is actually a Kiwi. He is not a German who lives in England. All other things being equal, this makes him vastly more qualified than Queen Elizabeth II, for whom New Zealand might as well be on the Moon.

Peters is also both Maori and Pakeha, and therefore better represents the blood whose vital energies founded and gave rise to the nation than any foreign monarch could. Not only that, but also more than any Kiwi who was not themselves both Maori and Pakeha. Even better is that he does not identify solely with either group, having previously made a big deal about ending the “grievance industry” beloved of black magicians among Maori elites.

Aside from his crude racial qualities, Peters is of auspicious family: two of his brothers have also been MPs.

Despite that, Peters is far from an upper-middle class twit. He was previously captain of the Auckland Maori rugby side and played in trials for the New Zealand Maori. This makes him a man for all people, from the rugged colonial who hewed the country out of rock and kauri to the gentle statesmen of modern Wellington.

That is not the only way he represents what is innately good about the Shaky Isles. He is also an explorer, like everyone who immigrated to here over the years. He has been to North Korea to meet their leaders when he represented the nation as Foreign Minister in the Clark Government. This is something that can be said of no other Kiwi, and probably few of us would have the gumption to travel to North Korea as a representative of the nation.

His wisdom has been demonstrated by the Winebox inquiry, being right about the need to switch to a Western European pension system, and by being right about the effects of mass immigration on social cohesion. Since most of the impetus behind letting so many immigrants in is to make quick money as soon as possible, Peters’s attitude represents the kind of long-sighted calmness everyone needs in a king.

And his commitment to the nation is unquestioned. Even losing his Parliamentary seat in the General Election of 2008 was not enough to cause him to give up. In this regard he is equalled only by people like Richie McCaw and Edmund Hillary.

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Crucially, none of these things necessarily qualify him for a place in Parliament, which is, of course, a nest of scum-sucking, lying, parasitic whores, and never more so than right now under a John Key Government.

This proposal raises obvious questions regarding whether the position be hereditary or not (it could be ceremonial), and the precise limits to monarchic power.

It seems that the time has come for New Zealand to stand on its own two feet and make Winston Peters the King of the constitutional monarchy of Aotearoa.