Damage from legal highs use is booming in Christchurch, and the Government has washed its hands of the human casualties.
Peter Dunne has said that nothing will happen until a review of the Psychoactive Substances Act in 2018, meaning that the door is closed to further drug law reform until after the next election (when Dunne might well be gone).
This newspaper pointed out at the time that the purpose of the Psychoactive Substances Bill was to delay drug law reform as long as possible. This warning went unheeded by the moronic sheep in Parliament, who rolled over on their backs and passed it with their full support.
So it looks as though Peter Dunne, the whore of the tobacco and alcohol industries, has successfully stymied all drug law reform for the nine years of National’s three terms.
Remember when the mainstream media was heralding this criminal as a drug law reformer on the basis of a few words in a speech in Vienna? They’re still puking out Government propaganda, this time calling the drugs “synthetic cannabis.”
Has anyone, in the history of New Zealand, done more damage to the youth of this country than Peter Dunne, who not only brought the plague of legal highs upon Kiwis but propped up a Government that slashed mental health care funding?
With Dunne’s support, the National Party withdrew funding to assist the same mental health casualties they themselves had created through allowing legal highs over cannabis. Dunne is symbolic of a conservative Government that has washed its hands of the very same human suffering that it has created.
The linked Stuff article cites District Court Judge Jane McMeeken, who, typical of the Baby Boomer generation and their complete lack of imagination, says “No easy answers existed on how to stop people using synthetic cannabis. Prohibition did not appear to have worked.”
Any idiot knows that legalising cannabis would remove, at one stroke, most of the demand for legal highs. In Colorado there is no market for legal highs, and nor is there one in the seven other American states that have now legalised cannabis.
Why do we continue to let our youth suffer from the plague of legal highs when, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the entire American West Coast has now legalised cannabis?
What do you do if you have a fantastically successful ODI opening batsman whose skillset is not particularly well suited to opening in Tests but on talent grounds alone cannot be left out of the Test side? There was an easy answer when the batsman in question was Nathan Astle 20 years ago.
The answer back then was simply to bat Astle at 5. Astle played 100 Test innings at 5 or lower, and averaged over 37 there. His most notable innings was the then fastest Test double century – 222 runs off only 168 balls.
Although the team that Astle came into in 1996 was far weaker than the one Martin Guptill is trying to break into, it seemed natural for the free-spirited, hard-hitting Astle to begin his career at 5.
Guptill never had the easy luxury of simply slotting into 5, mostly because Brendon McCullum had that spot nailed down and partly because the Black Caps were so desperate to find a decent opener that anyone with notable skill was thrown into the breach.
Nathan Astle averaged 34 with the bat in ODI cricket, and three runs more in Tests. Martin Guptill averages 42 in ODI cricket – three runs more would see him averaging 45. Moreover, Guptill’s world-class fielding adds at least five runs to his value per innings.
A value of fifty runs per innings at No. 5 might sound fanciful given the returns we have so far got from him opening the batting. It should be emphasised, however, that opening the batting in Tests is not only very different to opening in ODIs, it is also very different to batting further down the order, as the opening Test batsman faces a swinging ball, first-choice bowlers who are not tired and an aggressive field.
Although the sample size is very small, Guptill has already played 6 innings at No. 5 – and he averages 68 there.
The other medium-term options for the Black Caps at 5 are Henry Nicholls, who has so far been less impressive there than Guptill was at opener, a promoted allrounder such as Anderson, Neesham or Santner, or blooding a youngster such as Will Young or Tom Bruce.
Guptill at 5 would be better than all of those options. Leaving a player of his talent out of the side because he did not succeed in a role not suited for him, when there is a vacant role perfectly suited to him, is madness.
Frustrated by the feeble responses from local law enforcement to requests for help cleaning out crystal methamphetamine dealers from their community, a street gang made up of mostly underprivileged youths takes the problem into their own hands with immediate and complete success, decommissioning a dozen meth houses within 24 hours. Something from the fringes of a dystopian cyberpunk novel like The Verity Key, set in the 2070s? No – this is the small rural Waikato town of Ngaruawahia, population 5,000, in 2016.
Achieving this was possible because the locations of and locations from which the dealers sold were all known. All it took was a public meeting organised by Tribal Huk President Jamie Pink (pictured above), at which he stated that crystal meth dealers had 24 hours to leave Ngaruawahia or they would be physically removed from the town.
This throwing down of the gauntlet has apparently resulted in a town free of dealers of the drug. The question then becomes: why could the Police not have done this?
The least secret reason is that the Police are the army of the rich, and the residents of Ngaruawahia do not make large tax contributions to the upkeep of the New Zealand Police force. Like all poor communities, therefore, they are of the lowest priority for protection by law enforcement.
Moreover, the rich generally do not have problems with P dealers making offers to their sisters and daughters as the rich drink alcohol.
The main reason, however, is this. The Tribal Huk actually has more community support among the disadvantaged than the New Zealand Police. This is a fact widely known and accepted by the poor whose neighbourhoods house the crystal meth dealers, and is much less understood by the wealthy.
The Police are not considered by the poor to be on their side because they put the poor in prison for cannabis offences, and because they give the poor car fines to keep the roads clear for the rich.
The opposite situation occurs in places where cannabis is not illegal and where the Police are properly funded through adequate taxation, such as the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, cannabis users (the proportion of whom in the population is less than 40% of the New Zealand figure) have no inherent reason to distrust the Police as their possession of cannabis is not a crime.
In New Zealand the Police are like an occupying army if you are a cannabis user. Distrust is the natural consequence of the accumulated fear brought on by the possibility that the Police might aggress against you in the enforcement of cannabis laws.
This community support might be a result of the Tribal Huk’s successful ongoing efforts to feed over 500 Waikato schoolchildren, something that the Ministry of Education has not been able to achieve. The Tribal Huk deliver their sandwiches to 25 different schools within the region.
There are no national food in schools programs in New Zealand because we don’t want to pay taxes to feed other people’s kids. There is not sufficient solidarity in New Zealand for such a thing to be acceptable.
Pink himself, in the article linked above, refers to the link between feeling hungry and feeling angry, something that is obvious to any poor child but is a lesson from another dimension to the crusty, distant old men who make decisions in this country.
Anyone with any sense knows that if you are a hungry child, being told to sit down in a classroom on concentrate on anything other than food is going to make you angry. Few adults could handle such a thing without anger.
And yet, despite a full stomach being absolutely necessary if a child is going to learn anything meaningful from school, the New Zealand Government has failed to provide something as simple as sandwiches.
Perhaps the Tribal Huk should have some Police and Ministry of Education funding diverted their way?
The conclusion appears to be that government works best when there is sincere mutual support with the people it governs, and the precise structure or ideology of that government is, next to this, unimportant.
Another way to put this is that government will only work when there is sufficient solidarity between the people being governed and the people doing the governing, and this is true whether the power structure involves the State or a local street gang.
There were local body elections in New Zealand last week. You probably didn’t know because no-one gives a fuck except for the control freaks that are fighting for power. They care so much about the low turnout that some of them want to make it illegal to not vote.
This means that if you choose not to vote you must either pay a fine or the Police will put you in a cage (and kill you if you resist). This seems extremely aggressive to those of us who do not benefit in any way from voting.
Take, for instance, my personal situation with medicinal cannabis. John Key will not change the cannabis laws and Andrew Little believes that cannabis use causes brain damage. So, no matter who I vote for, I will have a Prime Minister who thinks it’s fair for the Police to come and smash my head in and put me in a cage for using a medicinal plant they don’t approve of.
It’s much better to not vote and, by doing so, withdraw my consent to be governed by a political system that conducts a War on Drugs against its own people. Especially when the only people who have a chance of taking power under this system have already promised to continue this war to destroy people like me.
This I do not only for myself but out of solidarity with all of the people dispossessed by the current New Zealand political system. If my only choices are to give my power to a cheating, lying piece of shit waving a blue flag or a cheating, lying piece of shit waving a red flag, then I will keep my power for myself!
Dr Bryce Edwards, a Massey University politics lecturer and a heavily indoctrinated and brainwashed man, says “[low voter turnout] is a terrible thing. I don’t think there’s really anyone saying lower voter turnout is a good thing”.
I’m saying that low voter turnout is a good thing, because it is a sign that the population does not consent to the abuses committed against it by the ruling class.
Is it any wonder we’ve lost faith in a political system that gives lighter sentences to paedophiles than it does medicinal cannabis growers? Why should we continue to vote and give our power to the same political system, and to the same clueless old narcissists that brought this atrocious state of injustice about?
Much better to not vote, and in doing so delegitimise the entire system. This is why the control freaks are ultimately afraid of – a population that does not fall for the illusion heavily enough to give away their power to the control freaks.
Not voting doesn’t just mean not voting – it means having the gumption to solve the social problems that politicians exploit to swindle power before that power is swindled. This means looking after vulnerable members of your community before the control freaks start making laws to ban everything that they have not explicitly given permission for.
It means mowing an old person’s lawn. It means smiling at the crazy guy with the haunted look. It means making a donation of time or money to the RSPCA. It means talking honestly with people you know about what’s really going on in the world.
If we all stopped falling for the lies, we could have a world in which the control freaks would dissipate into the gutter like the filth they are.
After some doubt, it now looks like the Third Test between the Black Caps and India will proceed as planned, at Indore between 08 and 12 October. For the Black Caps, for whom the series is lost, this match is about putting into practice what has been learned from the first two Tests towards the goal of winning some respectability.
The Black Caps have not been poor on this tour. Far from it. Barring a disastrous Day 3 in the 1st Test and Day 2 in the second, they have been India’s equal.
In Kanpur, the Black Caps looked well ahead at the end of Day 2. In reply to India’s 318 they were 152/1. Day 3 was a disaster, losing 9 wickets for 110 and then letting India get to 159/1 by stumps.
Likewise in Kolkata. The Black Caps had India at 239/7 at the end of Day 1, but a horror Day 2 saw India put on 77 for their last 3 wickets and then get the Black Caps 128/7 at stumps. Although the Black Caps lost by almost 200 runs they did take 20 wickets, which is a good sign for a visiting team in India.
If the Black Caps can get through this third Test without such a horror day they could well win.
There’s a solution to the Martin Guptill problem. It’s called Nathan Astle. The dashing ODI opener was not even considered for a Test opening spot, despite being good enough to score 16 centuries in the shorter format. Astle began his serious Test batting career at 5 and stayed there.
Guptill has been unlucky because positions 3, 4 and 5 have been sewn up for years and so the only realistic option was to open. Now with Brendon McCullum no longer with the side, there is a gap at 5 that Guptill could potentially fill. Not only will an older red ball will behave a lot more like the white ball that he is used to batting against, but he is simply far too talented a batsman to leave out of the side just because he was not a great success as opener.
With a Test average of 25, Henry Nicholls probably hasn’t done enough to cement the No. 5 position, and with several impressive young bats coming through he might not get much of a chance. Nicholls’s technique might be more suited to the opening position, and his 76 against Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander with essentially a new ball in South Africa recently suggests that he has enough potential there to be worth a look.
With Trent Boult fully entrenched as The Black Caps’s premier paceman and with Neil Wagner, who at a bowling average of 29.63 has much better returns, it appears that Tim Southee is now competing with Matt Henry for that third seamer spot.
Matt Henry may rightly be ahead of Tim Southee now. One match with six wickets at 17.50 could be written off as lucky, but anyone watching the Second Test might well have remarked that Henry’s pitch map was much better than Southee’s, forcing the batsman to play much more and without the regular boundary balls.
Tom Latham seems to have difficulty concentrating past a certain point. He is building a Flemingesque record with an average of 38.38, 9 fifties and 5 centuries. Whether or not he can overcome this will determine if he can become a great opener along the lines of Richardson or Turner.
BetFair does not consider the Black Caps to have much of a chance: they are paying $6.20 to win at the exchange, compared to India’s $1.60 (the Draw is $4.60).
The most absurd thing I ever saw in my life was in Brisbane in mid-December, 2001. On a sweltering Queensland summer day I walked to the corner dairy to buy a soft drink. The neighbourhood I was staying in was having a competition; the object being to best decorate your house for the season.
What the season apparently meant to Queenslanders was evident by the piles of fake snow, strings of bright lights and plywood sleds replete with papier-mache reindeer and a Santa in a thick red coat. It’s no better in New Zealand, because the core problem is that we celebrate Christmas in entirely the wrong season.
Christmas is known as Yule in Northern Europe, from where we inherited the cultural tradition. The Yule festival is celebrated at the same time of the calendar, which is of course the middle of winter in Northern Europe. The reason why this festival evolved in the cultures of the North is because, on the 24/25th of December in the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun noticeably begins to climb from the nadir it reached a few days previously at the Winter Solstice.
This means that Christmas has a spiritual meaning that makes perfect sense to a Northern European in late December: the time of peak darkness has passed, and now light returns to the world. This is why the Yule festival is characterised by lights. The lights symbolise the human spirit that burns brightly in even the darkest times. And now that the darkest times are over, it’s time to rejoice.
The reason why Christmas is the “season of good cheer” is precisely because it represents a point in the natural cycle of the seasons at which the most difficult period, as measured by length of the day, has been overcome. It’s also the natural time for people to come together because it is very cold. Coming together in the cold to celebrate the return of the light in the days after the Winter Solstice has probably been a tradition for thousands of years before Abrahamism came to Europe and called the festival Christmas.
Therefore, celebrating Christmas in the middle of summer playing cricket and drinking cold drinks at the beach while stinking of sunscreen makes no sense at all. If anything, midsummer is a time of mourning in the European North.
Likewise Easter. The reason why we celebrate Easter with chocolate rabbits even today is because Easter is a fertility ritual (the word Easter is connected to the word estrogen, the female fertility hormone, and is celebrated at the full moon, the Moon being also a symbol of the feminine).
Celebrating a fertility ritual in early April makes sense if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. It is, after all, the advent of spring there, and after a long and dreary winter people are coming outside again and noticing how nice the girls look with less clothing in a bit of sunlight, especially if you’ve just spent a long winter with nothing but your sisters, mother and grandmother for company. In Northern Europe this is still commonly celebrated with a dance around the maypole (although this happens on Midsommar in Sweden and not early May), an obvious phallic symbol.
Halloween is another example that makes no sense. Although this is not a public holiday and is not likely to be, the theme of it suits the Northern Hemisphere and not the South. The last day of October is also about six weeks after the Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, and therefore marks the day when the warmth begins to follow the light into the depths of winter.
This is why it is themed with symbols of death and foreboding. The point of the ritual is to treat the small death of winter as something fun and light-hearted, in order to lessen the sorrow one feels towards one’s inevitable big, and final, death. One enjoys Halloween to the degree that one is unafraid of death – this is why it is usually celebrated mostly by the young and by the old.
In New Zealand it feels ridiculous to drive down a street in late October when the evenings are just becoming very bright and to see young people in dark clothing trying to look spooky. We ought to celebrate Halloween on the last day of April, when the shadows are becoming long and the trees are red and yellow. This would make sense as the approaching winter would provide the right backdrop for a ghoulish festival.
My conviction is that New Zealanders of all cultural heritages must accept that if they are loyal to this country then they are Polynesians first and any cultural traditions from ancestral lands must be adapted to Aotearoa. The penalty for failing to do so is cognitive dissonance and a deeply unfortunate disconnection from the spirituality of the natural world.
In so far as we celebrate British seasonal events in a Southern Hemisphere country it appears as if our hearts are still back in Britain. The first thing we should correct in order to fix this is to celebrate our public holidays on days of the calendar that make sense for New Zealand, not for London.
After all, if there’s one thing that New Zealanders of all ancestries can agree on, it’s that New Zealand is dark in June and cold in August, and bright in December and warm in February.
Suggestion for a 14-day public holiday schedule:
(1) 01 JAN – New Year’s Day.
(2) 06 FEB – Waitangi Day.
(3) Some weekend in late March to serve as Queen’s Birthday Weekend (we don’t actually celebrate the Queen’s Birthday on the Queen’s Birthday so can change this).
(4) 25 APR – ANZAC Day.
(5) 31 APR – A Southern All-Souls Eve along the lines of the Northern European Halloween.
(6) Matariki in late May/early June – this is extremely important as it represents the first efforts of anyone in New Zealand to associate a time of spiritual practice with a regularly occurring natural phenomenon (the rise of the Pleiades cluster when viewed from NZ).
(7, 8, 9) 3 days over winter to replace Christmas, probably the 24 – 26 JUN. This would mean we have time off to celebrate having survived the winter with our friends and family.
(10) 09 AUG – This is the day that George Nepia played his last All Blacks Test. The point of a national holiday on this date would be to celebrate New Zealand’s sporting achievements in all disciplines and to celebrate how sport has broken down barriers of class and race in New Zealand. It would also break up the period between Christmas and Easter.
(11, 12) 2 days for Easter – the Friday before the weekend closest to the first full moon immediately after the autumn equinox in late September and the Monday immediately following that. This sounds complicated but it’s literally the reverse of what is done now. This would therefore fall in late September on most occasions.
(13) 4th Monday of October – Labour Day.
(14) 31 DEC – New Year’s Eve.
The return of Jimmy Neesham to the Black Caps Test side, announced this week, might go some way towards filling the Brendon McCullum-sized hole at No. 5 as the Black Caps begin their tour of India later this month.
It’s very difficult to pick exactly what Black Caps side will take the field when the first Test begins in Kanpur on September 22.
For one reason, the bowling attack will likely be very different to that which played in Africa. The last time the Black Caps were in India they opened their World T20 campaign with a shock win over India themselves – and spinners took the first nine wickets (Santner 4, Sodhi 3, McCullum 2).
Gavin Larsen suggested that it was of value to the Black Caps side to have two seam-bowling allrounders in Neesham and Doug Bracewell. If both play, along with the expected two spinners, one of the regular pace trio of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner will have to sit out.
Of interest is that the workhorse of the pace attack, Neil Wagner, is up to 9th place in the Test bowling rankings. This puts extreme pressure on Tim Southee’s position, as Trent Boult is generally considered the more dangerous of the new ball pair. Boult is also 10th on the rankings – Southee is a creditable but not compelling 15th.
If two of Santner, Craig and Sodhi play, there may be only room for one seam-bowling allrounder (likely Neesham) and two of the regular pace trio.
This is unless something changes with the batting. Although Martin Guptill might be the Black Cap with the most pressure on his spot, his primary challenger, Jeet Raval, has been dropped from the squad (along with Matt Henry). That probably means that Guptill will have the whole India tour to make good on the immense potential he has shown as an ODI batsman.
Henry Nicholls was not impressive in Zimbabwe, making only 18 and 15 and playing some rash shots. He didn’t get to bat in the first Test against South Africa. Then, in the second Test, under immense pressure from the strongest bowling trio in world cricket right now in Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada, he outscored even Kane Williamson, coming in at 3/5 in the fourth innings and losing Williamson soon after.
The promise shown against that world-class attack might be enough to dismiss talk of Neesham batting at 5 in order to strengthen the bowling options.
Also, because India at home with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja is an incredibly difficult challenge right now, the logical thing to do might be to strengthen the batting.
It’s possible that we will see a team that looks like:
3. Williamson (c)
6. Neesham (2)
7. Watling (wk)
8. Santner (5)
9. Craig (4)
10. Wagner (3)
11. Boult (1)