Thursday, July 31, 2008

“Gangs are terrorists” – banning gang patches and other European NZ fantasies


Gang patch ban 'outweighs rights'
A jump in gang crime and the recruitment of youths by gangs means a city-wide patch ban outweighs any human rights considerations, Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws says. Speaking to Parliament's law and order select committee yesterday, Mr Laws said new police figures showed gang criminal activity had increased, with violent attacks almost doubling from 52 in 2006 to 99 in 2007. The Wanganui District Council Prohibition of Gang Regalia Bill, which was spearheaded by Mr Laws and Whanganui National MP Chester Borrows, would ban gang colours, patches and regalia from Wanganui's public places.
Mr Laws said gang members were terrorists, were New Zealand's largest drug manufacturers, and existed only to create mayhem and intimidate law-abiding citizens. Gang regalia was used to recruit children as young as seven who looked up to gang members as role models. "[The ban] is designed to remove intimidation and the potential for violence from public places. We're not solving the gang problem here but we are giving our police another facility to police a safer community."
Mr Laws said the main concern over the bill - that it infringed on gang members' human rights - should be put aside for the greater good. Former police gang specialist Cam Stokes said the bill would be ineffective and make policing gangs more difficult. "It makes it harder to identify those people without their patches. The quicker we identify them after they have committed a serious crime the quicker we catch them."


Oh Lord, where to begin? I used to like Michael, after reading his very good book, The Demon Profession , you got the real feeling that Michael was a very principled voice within NZ First and took his responsibilities as an MP very seriously, however since then he has bloated into Talkback reactionary dog whistle speech that seems more intent at creating heat than any light. This latest outburst demanding gang patches are made illegal is on par with last months call to set the Army on gangs. Setting the Army on NZ citizens because we have decided those citizens are ‘terrorists’ is perhaps the most ill thought out, backward, fear mongering bullshit I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. The Army? Michael wants to turn the Army on it’s own citizens? He then, without even understanding the irony, invokes the collapse of Zimbabwe as a reason why we should use the Army, of course in Zimbabwe Mugabe has in fact used the Army on his own citizens and managed to do that by painting his opposition out as traitors and terrorists. The way we deal with organized crime in NZ is by reforming the old SFO and attack the financial structures that allow Organized Crime to prosper and have the assets to keep ahead of the Police, as for street gangs, the societal alienation that drives much recruitment for gangs needs to be tackled while a much quicker Court system would hand out quicker Justice so that gang members do perceive that there is a direct counter reaction to their actions, with Court cases taking almost 2 years at the moment, there is no immediate effect felt. These are structural and resourcing issues and would go much further in finding solutions than the madness of suggesting we have the Army turn their guns on a splinter group within society and crush them in some type of bloodbath that Commissioner Laws envisions would be an Apocalyptic cleansing of the filth from the planet, only someone drinking deeply from their own well of bullshit could ever believe that is a solution. Likewise this call to ban gang patches, it won’t change a damned thing and only start a precedence where Michael can decide which group should be in society and which group can’t be in society, his evidence that gang violence doubled last between 2006 and 2007 also coincides with a massive economic downturn that is squeezing those on the bottom, economic factors tend to be more of an exacerbating factor with gangs in this country than some recruitment drive on behalf of the gangs – but Laws doesn’t even consider that, instead he wants them banned, damn the consequences. This is not wisdom, it’s malformed hate.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Critical Mass


Critical Mass is a spontaneous, leaderless bicycle ride that occurs on the last Friday of every month in almost every major city in the world. It is regarded by many participants as celebrations of self-powered transportation as opposed to a protest or organised demonstration. For the New Zealand remix hit: www.criticalmass.org.nz

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Networked

Teenager accused of smoking weed requires police helicopter overkill


Police deny overreaction
Police have denied they overreacted when arresting Bailey Junior Kurariki on Friday night, saying reports of staff numbers had been exaggerated. Kurariki is back behind bars after allegedly breaching his parole conditions by using drugs. Kim Workman, former national director of the Prison Fellowship, said Kurariki's family had told him between 30 and 40 police officers surrounded the house and a helicopter hovered overhead as he was arrested. But Counties Manukau police spokeswoman Senior Sergeant Denise Traill said there were nothing like 30 police officers present.

Note they don’t deny they used a Police helicopter to arrest a teenager accused of smoking weed, and why don’t the Police tell us how many cops they sent into arrest a teenager accused of smoking weed, if it wasn’t 30 – how many were there? How can any level of Police + copters to arrest an allegation of weed look anything other than over kill? We sentenced a child to prison for nothing more than being a look out in a mugging that went wrong, most NZers, based on the hysteria created by the Michael Choy killing, seem to think that Bailey himself beat Michael Choy for several hours, I questioned the hysteria at the time, I questioned sending a child to prison and I questioned the rehabilitation available to him with the media glare is so firmly fixated on watching him fail once released – and I sure as hell question sending a chopper and teams of cops – not 30, but teams of cops into arrest him on suspicion of smoking a joint, the wider attitude towards Bailey and the manner in which we are treating him is jaw dropping and on some level reeks of outright racism.

Choy’s death was a tragic mistake what we are doing to Bailey is a tragedy.

Things are almost half credible

Wtf anyone see the Herald today and their tripped out statement "almost half of women are willing to vote for John Key".

I don't know about you, but I like to say less than half. Which means most women aren't willing to vote for him. More proof that the press are riding his jock, sigh. We're not stupid. Maybe someone at the Daily Male has been reading The Secret and only wants to manifest a positive outlook.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Century of the Self

ok ok i know i havnt given you much time since the last documentary post but i couldnt hold it in. If you think "The Trap" and "The Power of Nightmares" were good, this one is gonna be the K.O, fatality hit. I watched the first episode last night and i was left in a discombobulated irrational logically informed disappointed extatic revolutionary panting state. "IT BLEW MY MIND" and thats not an understatement. This is a MUST SEE.

"This series is about how those in power have used Freud's theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy" - Adam Curtis




Courtousey of Dyingstaralliance

yes once again Adam Curtis has ingeniously presented the facts that you subconsciously have always know and suspected but were not quite informed of. Its not often i come across a documentary that actually "BLOWS MY MIND" unless you are already informed on this topic, IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.

Government = Democracy
Industry = Capitalism
Democracy + Capitalism = Democrataclisim.

Full list of episodes - Click Here

Feeling lucky, punk?



Call outs for bands are underway for the glory that is Punkfest, held annually in Wellington. Email punkfest@mail.com or hunt them down on Facebook under Punkfest Rulz.

Breaking up with Winston Peters


You know the weirdest thing about all this Winston Peters business? I actually feel disappointed in him, a man who has spent his political legacy railing against corporate influence and has demanded democratic transparency only for it to be now revealed that he has received massive corporate donations and has actively done all he technically can to hide that leaves me strangely disappointed in Winston. I listened to his claims of the winebox inquiry and watched with admiration his staunch taking on of the corrupt establishment of the corporate elite, and I agreed with many of his issues on foreign ownership and asset sales, but to see him obfuscate answers to such serious allegations in this manner is ugly and this isn’t the second time he has disappointed me. When he turned to race baiting Asians, that was the time I first realized it wasn’t going to work. Immigration does bring pressure to NZ – it always has, especially when the minority feels unwelcome in their new home, but you deal with that with compassion and understanding and resources into these communities to build strong links with every group, we don’t even hold classes for new migrants to help understand the social norms of their new country. You don’t respond to those challenges by evoking rage in one part of the community to ostracize and vent racist foam, which is exactly what Winston did.

So this is the second time he has disappointed me. Winston, I think it’s time we started seeing other people.

Dominion Post sanitizes the news


Immigration overhaul clears two hurdles
The Labour Department has admitted New Zealand has fallen behind other countries in border security as it moves towards a major revamp of the Immigration Service's computer system. The department issued a request for information from vendors on a new system at the same time the Immigration Bill - which would give Immigration the right to collect and use biometric data to identify non-citizens - cleared another hurdle in Parliament. The bill has been reviewed by the transport and industrial relations select committee, which made several changes to the proposed legislation. These include giving people denied residency, refugee status or facing deportation the right to see a summary of allegations against them.

The Dominion Post has sanitized this story, no where is it mentioned that secret evidence is going to be used by up to 14 departments to deport people back to regimes that allow torture – instead it’s some bullshit suck up to a press release about the technical needs to keep up with the worlds paranoia on security. Un-fucking-believable, the Dominion Post you have done yourself a disservice and it is outrageous that such a mammoth distortion of our civil liberties is being sneaked through under the guise of immigration reform. The people on the fringes are always the first to feel the heavy hand of repression, the Urewera ‘terrorists’, gangs are being sold as ‘domestic terrorists’ with new laws targeting ‘them’ and immigrants face immediate deportation based on secret evidence back to regimes that torture.

The madness of humans


Ninety billion barrels of oil revealed in fragile Arctic
The future of the Arctic will be less white wilderness, more black gold, a report on oil reserves in the High North has signalled this week. The first comprehensive assessment of oil and gas resources north of the Arctic Circle, carried out by American geologists, reveals that underneath the ice, the region may contain as much as a fifth of the world's undiscovered yet recoverable oil and natural gas reserves. This includes 90 billion barrels of oil, enough to supply the world for three years at current consumption rates, or to supply America for 12, and 47 trillion cu m of gas, which is equal to about a third of the world's known gas reserves.

Don’t you love this? Forget the Arctic is about to be ice free and the massive ramifications that body of open water will cause in terms of absorbing heat and turbo charging the planet closer to tipping points, these morons are squabbling who can get the oil out when the amount there would only feed the planets addiction for three years. If this is the debate, we deserve our fate.

WHARE RAUPO: The History of Reed Publishing



"In 2007 Reed Publishing Ltd celebrated 100 years of publishing in New Zealand. That same year the company was sold to Penguin and was forced to change their name to Raupo Publishing. This programme looks back on this iconic New Zealand family business and their huge contribution to Maori publishing. From iwi histories to dictionaries and publications on tikanga and myths, the documentary confronts the issues arising from a Pakeha company and Pakeha writers publishing matauranga Maori".

What:
WHARE RAUPO: House of Reed

When:
Wednesday 8:30pm Maori Television

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Power Of Nightmares

Another ground breaking documentary by Adam Curtis examining our governments and their manipulating regimes. The lies and ideologies that incites fear into society and restore power to the elite. Ultimately trapping society within the illusion of freedom.




Full list of episodes - Click here

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"You don't have to be of this world to be effective in it"

His faith may not compell the majority, his stylistic choices are seen as questionable and his politics have been criticised and laughed at since he strutted into parliament in his kooky hemp suit.

But you can't tell me this parting speech from Green MP Nandor Tanczos wasn't cutting, emotive and pretty next level. Even the coldest corporate gets choked up at the uplifting (and somewhat unexpected) finale.



I'm sure John Key has a seering comeback but he's probably too busy getting endorsed by the mainstream press for what the entire month? The man behind the name, the man who would be prime minister etc... the Herald even had a theatrical spread (cough for the second week in a row) with John Key holding a mask of his own face in his hands. I'm like dude this aint art school or Macbeth, this is the news and you WISH he warranted that kind of charasmatic representation.

The media will suggestively shape these emotive claims into fact as the mammoth underserved readership/viewers believe Key is the national mindset and pre-determined victor. Not round my parts - don't let em fool you friends, make an informed and unbiased decision and listen to your unlikely mate Nandor - expect more from your politicians!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Humanation

Here are my performance pics for the week. As per usual, they fall outside of the Eurocentric ideals of performance and serve specific ritualistic functions within their communities. Fuck western theatre. Na just jokes.


Aborignal dance is the illest, I love the beats as well. Check out Grace Jones in the cowboy hat.




Performed for Buddha with a thousand hands. Talk about spirit fingers. Mean.




And this guy, well he's just straight chanelling...

You forget what a pack of racist pricks National can be


Went and saw the Hollow Men doco last night at the Film Festival, (I also interviewed Nicky Hagar and Alister Barry for Green Core next Wednesday 8pm on Alt), and you forget what a pack of racist pricks National can be. The behind the scenes re-telling of our last election and being able to read what the men running Don Brashs campaign were really thinking and plotting makes you gag at times. Take Dons disgusting ‘Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaori get too much’ racist nonsense from his Orewa Bigot of the year speech – Hagar enlightens us that all the consultants and strategists knew from the beginning that what they were saying were lies, and that Maori are not some privileged elite, National tapped that dark vein of garden variety bigotry that lies sleeping in some European New Zealanders and attempted to ride that snarling feral step child of petty ignorance over the election line.

The doco was also interesting in it’s sense of history repeating; how the hard-hard-hard right Don Brash was sold as a moderate, just like John Key is being sold to us now; how three years ago National used the ‘we won’t privatize that in our first term’ claim as an inoculation towards policies National knew the Public would not accept, just like National claim on all their privitisation policies now; how their desire to implement hard right economic policy was actively hidden by being as loose and vague as possible, while this election look at the two lists below on what policy National have released with only a couple of months till the election…

Art and Culture
Broadcasting
Communications & IT
Community Affairs
Defence and Security
Education
Environment
Foreign Affairs
Health
Justice - Law & Order
Primary Sector
Social Services
State Services
Trade
Housing


...and National has no policy or anything close to it...

Auckland Issues
Building & Construction
Commerce
Consumer Affairs
Economic Development
Energy
Ethnic Affairs
Finance and Taxation
Immigration
Labour & Industrial Relations
Local Government
Maori Affairs - Culture & Development
Maori Affairs - Education & TPK
Pacific Island Affairs
Small Business
Tourism
Transport
Treaty Negotiations
Women's Affairs


…and let’s also point out that for the list where they do have policy, it is usually an e-mail with very little actual policy in it.

The last point that was interesting was regarding Crosby/Texter. They were involved in the last campaign, but the moment John Key won as leader he took them on to consult in his 3 year lead up to the election – the massaging and varnish to hide their true intent was a campaign long event last time, this time it has been a 3 year build up. Interestingly John Key has not held a fixed press conference where he could be drilled on policy for over a year, the last time was their health policy release where they forgot to announce that their policy would actually lift restrictions on the fees Drs can charge until it was embarrassingly pointed out to them during the press conference by journalists.

I supported Nicky right from when I first read the Hollow Men to make a doco with Alister because I understood what a huge impact the revelations of this once in a lifetime access to the internal thinking behind Nationals election attempt would cause if the wider electorate were informed. The book sold 10 000 copies and maybe a couple of thousand saw it in play form, a doco has the ability to go well beyond those numbers and the impact of the revelations have, I believe, still yet to be played out. If I were National or Crosby/Texter, I’d be very concerned with that happening.

Investigators swoop on Hanover


Investigators swoop on Hanover
Within hours of receiving complaints yesterday, the Commerce Commission took the unusual step of announcing an investigation into whether Hanover Finance had misled its investors and the public. "The investigation is into whether Hanover Finance has breached the Fair Trading Act by making misleading representations to prospective investors and/or the public generally," the commission said yesterday. A finance company expert yesterday told the Herald he was "not optimistic" about the level of likely returns to Hanover's debenture investors but it was far too early to make estimates. The expert, who did not wish to be named, said Hanover's lending was not "top notch".

Okay, put aside my numerous complaints about the merging of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into the Police and my criticism that this smacks of the Police trying to take the no right of silence power, put aside my point that if you really want to hurt gangs go after their financial structures with the original version of the SFO, put aside the fact that the new Organised and Financial Crime Agency will mostly be warped into pointlessly chasing gangs and letting white collar criminals off the hook oh and also put aside the fact that the former SFO Director David Bradshow told Parliaments law and order select committee that the SFO was being used as a sacrificial lamb for the Government gang crackdown – let’s just forget all those very salient points for a second – answer me this – why would we be dismantling the only specialized financial forensic investigation department just as the 25th financial company has been announced collapsing with another set of shady allegations against filthy rich corporate elite who live in mansions while the investors get cents on the dollar. Why dismantle the department that specializes going into complex financial deals constructed by very clever people and how come this decision has been made with so little debate?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Your Island Life dramas baby leave me out...

Back here in good ol' "Middle Earth", when describing Jamaica most of us would allude to the reggae music of Bob Marley, sun soaked beaches, coffee plantations, good ganja herb and having one of the highest murder rates per ca pita in the entire world.....(In 2005, Jamaica had 1,674 murders for a murder rate of 64.10 per 100,000 people)

NO WAIT! REALLY?? Yes young Padawons, Jamrock ain't all sunshine and Mango kisses.

Unfortunately when you owe millions of $ in international debt to the World Bank and IMF, have a corrupt political system and are generally considered third world - a few small cracks can turn in to deep gully's over time.

The major article in the Jamaican Gleaner this week reads that Human Rights activists are questioning some of the requests Bruce Golding (the Prime Minister) is trying to administer upon the general public.

His Xmas list goes a little something like this:

  • Amend law to allow a person to be detained for up to 72 hours without being charged once authorised by a police officer at the level of assistant commissioner or higher.
  • Refuse bail for serious crimes and repeat offenders for the first 60 days with provision for the prosecution to appeal against granting bail.
  • Right to non-invasive DNA, such as a mouth swab from a person charged with an offence
  • Establish a DNA database.
  • Amend evidence act to allow for witnesses to provide testimony via videotape. This system could provide protection for witnesses.
  • Provide for majority verdict in non-capital murder. The law would be amended to allow for conviction by a minimum of nine out of 12 jurors.

These are some of the "solutions" offered up to combat the level of violence on the streets of Jamtown. It has been reported in a recent survey done on a few Jamaican Secondary schools one in 4 students are armed with weapons ranging from knives, icepicks and unfortunately ....... Guns.

One guy in the thick of it is sociologist and senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies Dr Orville Taylor. He has given his time to talk with new entrance police officers advising the "need to expose good principles and not continue as slaves for the plantocracy that still exists in Jamaica".

He implored them "to spark the change, as each person they prosecute on the road must be thought of as they would see themselves". Considering the amount murders going on in the garrisons, its encouraging to know that positive steps are being taken to empower and educate the young municipal officers rather then arm them to the teeth.

This little Island has had a rough and patchy past, from the pirate ports of Montego Bay run by Capt. Henry Morgan to plantation slavery and the final surge of Jamaican independence in 1962. But what you don't see now is the aftermath of that reach for independence.

Jamaica is a layered hotbed of politics, parish's and poverty and the divide between rich and poor is too wide to fathom.

For more info about Jamaica's current financial strife check out Stephanie Black’s 2001 documentary "Life after Debt" here's the trailer ...



And on the topic of Jamaica check this video of an artist by the name of Bugle. If this doesn't spell out how tings agwan in Kingston then i don't know what does??





So the next time your at a Grey Lyn party and some hippie is trying to tell you that reggae music is all about One Love - you can shake him/her by the seashell infested dreads and tell em whats what!


Ma te wa Detoxers ... catch u up!

www.jamradio.co.nz


"Jam Radio is a distinct new voice for Auckland. The station presents a range of locally produced programmes, from music of many styles and interviews with upcoming bands of varying muscial genres to debates and issues affecting the arts, youth, human rights and the environment"

Rise in public support for police to carry firearms


New Zealanders have changed their minds about an unarmed police force. More than half of those in a new survey want the police to carry firearms. Just five years ago a majority were still opposed to the idea. Only 33 per cent supported it. Now 53 per cent would approve. The survey of 500 people by Research New Zealand has also revealed that 44 per cent of the public are more concerned about their personal safety than they were last year.

A report out last year that I discussed on Radio NZ showed that it was those who lived in poverty who were the major victims of crime, but it was the fears of the middle classes who didn’t experience crime that actually drove crime policy and here we see the effects of constant fear mongering of crime by the media – EVEN THOUGH OUR CRIME RATE IS ACTUALLY GOING DOWN. We must not arm police, it is a philosophy and way of being towards each other that must be preserved, we are NZers, we don’t immediately reach for a gun to sort outr our issues, I fell out with a large chunk of the activist community over my position on the Urewera 17, not because I thought they were terrorists, but because as activists you have no justification to pick up and train with guns – I am equally passionate that we don’t allow our Police to roam armed to the teeth – guns are not a solution, they only make the killing of other human beings quicker and easier.

Cops get their wish and have killed the right to silence


Judges' okay needed to use SFO's powers
Police Minister Annette King says the new Organised and Financial Crime Agency will have the same powers as the Serious Fraud Office it replaces, but judicial approval will be needed to use it.

There has always been a suspicion that the bloody cops who have always wanted to kill the right to silence, would try and steal the power from the SFO when it was stupidly merged into the Police, and Annette King has just spilled the beans – the question now is the ‘drift’ the Police will now try and use this power. Previously the SFO had very specific guidelines on how they could use that power against large and powerful corporations, but watch how the cops will manipulate that against gangs and we won’t be far away from a position when gangs – who are the new terrorists – will suddenly be forced with this power to answer questions that have nothing to do with serious fraud – and that will be what cops have always wanted because once they breach that legal point over a group of people NZers love to hate, it can then start being used against you and me. We are allowing our civil liberties to be eroded without even debating it, we are turkeys voting for an early Christmas without looking to see who is on the menu.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Work: The Enigma

Ahhh the workforce. It's a weird often conceptual thing. Jobs are scarce plus there is too big a gap to bridge in terms of what few New Zealanders make and what most New Zealanders don't. Yet we are also told unemployment is at an all-time low and supposedly its all sunshine and lollipops for people looking to get back into the workforce. I saw a human interest story on the news the other night about a 70 year old man who aced a swarm of young bucks to score a job at Dennys, a supposed rarity these days in the heartless 'age of agism'. It was heart-warming slash obviously patronising slash uber depressing slash confusing. Especially when his 3 managers were reminiscent of every behind-the-counter shrill and pubescent character on The Simpsons. The story obviously had a couple of dark ecomomic undertones too and caused the audience to not only judge the man's financial situation (which was supposedly healthy, he was just bored at home) but our own wacky recession that sees business seducing the elderly back into work (a direct request in Dennys newspaper ad). This is all while the mute swarm smile in line for their $15 cheese. I used to eat nachos when I was BROKE wtf is going on!

I am of two schools of thought today.
1) What I call the Henry Miller mind-set (a mind-set I am very privy to). The torchered American author who likened working to trying to fill a permanent leak says in his book THE AIR CONDITIONED NIGHTMARE “This world which is in the making fills me with dread… It is a world suited for monomaniacs obsessed with the idea of progress - but a false progress, a progress which stinks. It is a world cluttered with useless objects which men and women, in order to be exploited and degraded, are taught to regard as useful. The dreamer whose dreams are non-utilitarian has no place in this world. Whatever does not lend itself to being bought and sold, whether in the realm of things, ideas, principles, dreams, or hopes, is debarred. In this world the poet is anathema, the thinker a fool, the artist an escapist, the man of vision a criminal.”

2) I am also however prone to knowing the workforce is a reality for those of us who need to support themselves and their families. I learnt about a great charity where to cut a long story short you can donate your flasher more corporate gears to people who can't afford them and who are job-hunting. Not only do they have offices in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin and Northland - they have one in pretty much every major city in the world. Go to www.dressforsuccess.org or email your chosen city eg. auckland@dressforsuccess.org.

Dont let images of cheesey young women looking skyward to a questionable future put you off. I know you've only worn that jacket twice so get over it and DONATE!

Police State wish list


What cops want: Troops, tasers, tough laws
Tougher bail laws, equipping police with stun guns and boosting frontline numbers are all on the Police Association's election wishlist. In a document released this week, the officers' union spelt out its policy proscription for political parties.
Its priorities include raising frontline police numbers, as well as numbers overall, amending bail laws to reverse changes made in October last year which set a higher threshold for imprisonment and equipping all police with Tasers. They also include giving police the power to take DNA samples from all suspects, introducing a new offence for starting a police pursuit punishable by up to 10 years' prison and forcing phone companies to archive text messages for six months so they can be used in police investigations.
The union also calls for:

* Adequate funding of the Government's new Organised and Financial Crime Agency;
* urgent passage of the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill;
* investigation of the effectiveness of British-style anti-social behaviour orders;
* allowing police to issue temporary "on-the-spot" domestic violence protection orders;
* lowering the age of criminal responsibility to bring 12 and 13-year-olds within the jurisdiction of the Youth Court;
* keeping 17-year-olds in adult courts;
* introducing mandatory third-party vehicle insurance;
* raising police numbers to match Queensland's police to population ratio by 2015;
* introducing changes to discourage vexatious private prosecutions of officers;
* giving police automatic name suppression in cases where they are being prosecuted for the use of lethal force.


And so begins the move towards a Police State – can you believe the powers the Police Association want here? Let’s go through the worst elements…

Tasers – the cops have just been proven that they can’t use Pepper Spray properly, why in God’s name would we trust them with tasers? The simplistic argument that a taser is better than a bullet just doesn’t stack up if there is no one policing the use of those tasers, as we have seen in America, Police now taser people for looking the wrong way and get away with it. With NZ lowering the physical requirements for being a Police Officer less confident smaller ill trained cops are reaching for weapons to enforce their authority and that leads to a culture of automatic conflict rather than resolution strategies.

Taking DNA from ALL suspects – how creepy – note you haven’t even committed a crime, you are merely a suspect and the cops want your DNA for mere suspicion, we aren’t talking your fingerprints or photo, we are talking your DNA – the Police have no right to that information unless by your convicted action you give them the reason to take it. Mere suspicion of a crime is not a good enough reason to take your DNA.

New chase powers of up to 10years imprisonment and immediate confiscation of vehicle. Forget the blurring of the line between the judicial and the police, this new power has the possibility now of exacerbating the existing desire to flee and I have great doubts it will convince people to stop fleeing in the heat of the moment. I also think trying to pass this law after a Policeman has died and using that death as the reason is a wee bit disingenuous especially when you consider the majority of those who die are the people fleeing the Police, not the Police themselves.

Adequate funding of the Government's new Organised and Financial Crime Agency, this is a joke and shouldn’t be taken seriously, the old SFO had more powers to deal with organized crime and this entire reshuffle is a farce, as the ex-director of the SFO has already told Parliament, this is a sacrifice caused by fear mongering da gangs.

Investigation of the effectiveness of British-style anti-social behaviour orders – another case of moving the evidential thresholds in this case the cops get powers to move anyone around or arrest anyone who has been given an ASBO, they are the friendly face of British fascism. If you break the law, you should be arrested and you have certain rights, when you have an ASBO, the cop decides if you’ve broken it and you have no recourse to legal rights. Oh and there is little evidence that these things do actually work, so you get an erosion of your civil liberties for no gain.

Lowering the age of criminal responsibility to bring 12 and 13-year- olds within the jurisdiction of the Youth Court – ummmmm, doesn’t this move criminalize children? Don’t we have enough evidence to show that putting kids into the criminal system only results in them becoming bigger criminals? Why do I feel like we are banging our heads against a wall half the time on this?

Oh and finally, with the Police demanding all these new powers and massive erosion of your civil liberties, they also now want to stop prosecutions against their officers and they want name suppression to any cop who kills while on duty, fighting crime in NZ isn’t easy, but unbridled police powers and mass erosion of civil liberties within a system that isn’t independently checked and balanced (the current complaints process is still 85% police investigating police) is no solution. These powers weaken a democracy and build the foundations for a Police State.

$200 million for a vaccine that only protected 30% for 7 months? Is the Ministry of Health run by a pack of fucking morons?


Full facts on jab 'would have helped'
Parents should have been told more clearly that the vaccine against New Zealand's epidemic strain of meningococcal disease provided only short-term protection, says the head of the trials that led to its mass use. Professor Diana Lennon, an Auckland University paediatrician, told the Herald yesterday that "it might have helped" to do this. "I would have liked to have talked about it a bit more at the launch. I think it is a reasonable statement to say more discussion would have helped at the time because the truth will out, every time, and it's important," Professor Lennon said. Her comments follow the Herald's report yesterday that medical experts had found the MeNZB vaccine given to more than a million under-20-year-olds in the Government's $200 million-plus campaign provided protection for a period of only months. In a draft paper for a scientific journal, she and colleagues say: "MeNZB vaccination was not expected to provide long-term protection. In the youngest age group studied (6- to 8-month-old infants) only 27.5 per cent had ... antibody [levels] likely to protect, at 7 months after the third dose of vaccine." But the Ministry of Health said leaflets given to parents, and to young adults considering having the vaccine, had stated: "The majority of people are expected to be protected but the vaccine may not protect every person who receives the three doses. Protection is expected to last for a few years but the exact period is unknown."

Many NZers have questioned this bloody vaccine and right from the start the $200 million spent on a disease that was sold to us as an ‘epidemic’ with awful pictures of babies with their limbs removed was used as an all encompassing answer when anyone tried to question the ‘epidemic’, the $200 million spent and the issues the vaccine had when it was rolled out in Europe. NOW it turns out that the bloody vaccine only protected up to 30% for less than a year – and the Ministry of Health now has the gall to believe that NZers are stupid and won’t recall all the hype THEY created over the vaccine and very lamely offer up their excuse as ‘"The majority of people are expected to be protected but the vaccine may not protect every person who receives the three doses. Protection is expected to last for a few years but the exact period is unknown." – this is the statement the Ministry of Health claim explained to everyone that the vaccine was only good for less than a year for only 30% of those who were given it – how in any way shape or form does the statement, “"The majority of people are expected to be protected but the vaccine may not protect every person who receives the three doses. Protection is expected to last for a few years but the exact period is unknown." – how does that statement add up to only 30% for less that a year? The Ministry is speaking out of both sides of their mouth, this whole farce was NZ being conned into buying a vaccine we didn’t need and now as the wheels fall off the wagon there is this bullshit explanation from the Ministry of Health – their explanation shows the utter contempt they have to being questioned on any public health issue where they have screwed up, just the way they have done with the chemical spraying in NZ from the domestic chemical cousins of Agent Orange. The Ministry of Health was sold a lemon and they made it our problem and this entire farce probably made the entire process more dangerous as parents who had the vaccine may have been lulled into a false sense of confidence and may not watch their kids as closely for symptoms, in fact I’d have argued a $200 million awareness of symptoms campaign would have been much more effective than a vaccine that only protected 30% for less than a year and never fully disclosed that, and I write this as someone who has actually had meningitis so I’m well aware personally of how awful it can be. The Ministry has a lot of questions to answer.

R.I.P DJ KSWIFT (1980 - 2008)


Sad news that one of Baltimore's finest club DJ's KSWIFT (Khia Edgerton) passed away a couple of days ago in tragic a swimming pool accident. I had never heard of her previously but on doing some research she was actually an incredible person! Not only was she one of the only female DJ's constantly rocking the biggest clubs on the eastern boarder but she was a radio personality, entrepreneur and understudy to greats such as Cocoa Channel and Jazzy Joyce .... all of this at the age of 28!!!!
What does this have to do with the Mental Detox kaupapa you may ask? Well I was just inspired by this lady as not only a DJ but a hard working kick as wahine!


"She was special because she was more than just a DJ, she was role model for young people. They looked up to her,” said Nikki Howse, program director for 92Q, the Baltimore radio station where Swift earned her fame.
If you don't much about B-more's club scene I suggest you do some digging ... its one of the most raw sub genres of dance music in the world. Its kind of like a mix of 90's Detroit house tech, hip hop, hints of Chicago soul peppered with a heavy dose of ghetto attitude.
So it is with much regret that one of the best DJ's on the scene had passed away so early in her career ..
Rather then act like I know her history its best to check this link and find out how cool she was yourselves....
Moe mai e hine ......
Peace




Monday, July 21, 2008

ETHNO-TECHNO HYBRID ART




This freaky bastard is Guillermo Gomez Pena, a mexican performance artist who has greatly influenced me over recent years. His work confuses the way in which we think about culture by creating hybrid presentations of stereotyped identities. Pena has come up with 14 commandments for artists to follow. I kinda like them. Check it:
1. Work against formulas. If your art becomes easy to repeat, you are on the wrong path.
2. Challenge all forms of authority with an open and critical mind.
3. Share important information, like essays, hot websites, grant proposals, job applications etc.
4. Crossover with dignity into other territories (academia, the media, activism, etc)
5. Devote equal energy to work and play.
6. Be accessible to others.
7. Don't take yourself too seriously. Our work is both important and unimportant...like water.
8. Get your hands dirty; get involved in every aspect of production, from fundraising to designing lights and sound. Don't be a prince(ss).
9. Don't be a mindless bohemian. Always state your case, speak up, articulate your position, and engage in dialogue. If you don't speak for yourself, someone else will speak for you.
10. Support younger or less fortunate artists. Don't be selfish.
11. Keep your work seperate from your personal life. Never bring lovers or spouses to rehearsals or on tour. One day they will get jealous and set fire to your car.
12. Don't become sexually involved with your collaborators. Uncontrolled desire can turn the sanctuary of the collaborative process into hell for others.
13. Respect your elders and your predecessors. Treat us with tenderness, and then, when the time comes, kill us ritualistically.
14. Get involved with and make yourself useful to your local ethnic, gender-based or professional communities. if you don't have a foot on them, the wind will blow you away.
- Gomez Pena and his performance art group La Pocha Nostra have an off the hook website. You gotta see it...

Prime climate doco found to be misleading but not offensive




Climate documentary 'broke rules'
The Great Global Warming Swindle, a controversial Channel 4 film, broke Ofcom rules, the media regulator says.
In a long-awaited judgement, Ofcom says Channel 4 did not fulfil obligations to be impartial and to reflect a range of views on controversial issues. The film also treated interviewees unfairly, but did not mislead audiences "so as to cause harm or offence". Plaintiffs say the Ofcom judgement is "inconsistent" and "lets Channel 4 off the hook on a technicality."


This ‘doco’ (and I use that word so broadly it loses definition) has been let off on a technicality, The Great Global Warming Swindle played on Prime and was possibly the most embarrassing piece of television Prime have ever produced with Leighton Smith of all people getting so many facts wrong that even the host Eric Young started to look worried about how this would effect his credibility and chances to ever get back to TVNZ. Leighton is a fucking moron and Primes claim by playing this ‘doco’ that the Earth is NOT warming because of man made pollution is the sort of thing only rich old white men who have benefited from the rampant unsustainable capitalism that has caused the problem would believe because who wants to ever think they are partially responsible for the destruction of the planet, could someone like Paul Henry ever admit that the greenies were right all along and he was wrong? As the science mounts that we really are in trouble the denial thrown up by those who have benefited from the system starts to reek not only of self interest but a certain level of bigotry towards an environmental movement they have spent a lifetime condemning.

100 months to save the planet


'100 months to save the planet'
A "Green New Deal" is needed to solve current problems of climate change, energy and finance, a report argues.
According to the Green New Deal Group, humanity only has 100 months to prevent dangerous global warming.
Its proposals include major investment in renewable energy and the creation of thousands of new "green collar" jobs.

In an article for the BBC News website's Green Room series, Mr Simms, policy director of the New Economics Foundation warns that the combination of the current credit crunch, rising energy prices and accelerating emissions are "conspiring to create the perfect storm".

"The UK and the global economy are entering unchartered waters, and the weather forecast is not bad, but appalling.
"Instead of desperate bailing-out, we need a comprehensive plan and new course to navigate each obstacle in this new phenomenon."
The group's recommendations include:

• massive investment in renewable energy and wider transformation in the UK
• the creation of thousands of new "green collar" jobs
• making low-cost capital available to fund the UK's green economic shift
• building a new alliance between environmentalists, industry, agriculture and unions


100 months left to make changes, beyond that we will not be able to prevent run away climate change, that is the claim from a group that includes Friends of the Earth, European Green Party and the New Economics Foundation. That we are now at the point where groups are counting the months off will be derided as doom merchants from our friends on the right but the reality is that climate change is happening much faster than predicted and that we risk catastrophic global climate changes that will not allow business as usual.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home Made



Don’t move house! Be sure to feed hungry ghosts and keep your sugar bowl full next month! August is the month of the Ghost Festival or ‘Chinese Halloween’ - the time when spirits of the dead visit the living...

Kerry Ann Lee's newest exhibition, 'Home Made - Picturing Chinese Settlement In New Zealand' opens at 5:30 - 7pm on Thursday 31st July 2008 at the Toi Poneke Arts Centre (61 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro, Wellington)

Kerry Ann creates ‘playful and conversational’ worlds out of paper, scalpel and glue. Her collection of collages, paper-cuttings, and three-dimensional dioramas explore personal and local experiences of Chinese settlement in New Zealand, both the Chinese face behind the takeaway counter and the home customs housed behind the plastic ribbon curtain. At the centre of the exhibition is a lavishly illustrated artist book solely comprised of cut-paper, paint, found text and images, a kaleidoscopic tale told from a third-generation Kiwi perspective.

Artist Talk : 6pm, Thursday 14th August

Gallery Hours : 9am - 7pm, Monday to Friday

When smart bombs go dumb


Coalition 'bombs Afghan police'
A foreign airstrike killed nine Afghan policemen in western Afghanistan overnight after a clash in which both sides mistook the other for Taliban militants, Afghan officials said. The incident is certain to reinforce Afghan perceptions that international troops do not take enough care to avoid hurting innocents and comes after a string of mistakes that Afghan officials say killed dozens of civilians.

So last week they bombed and killed civilians, the week before that they did the same thing and last month they accidentally bombed another Afghan wedding party that killed 50. As the West start losing the war and with few troops on the ground they are becoming more dependent on air strikes to win the day and despite what the military PR claims this precision strike capability still can’t determine who a legitimate target is or isn’t and every death only provides more recruits to the Taliban. The West have failed Afghanistan again, we failed them when Churchill demanded the use of aerial poison gas against the Afghans, we failed them when the US backed Islamic fundamentalists against the soviets leaving them armed to the teeth leading to the rise of the Taliban and we have failed them again with this ill thought out invasion. The only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn anything from history.

Yo Majesty

"If 2 Live Crew was made up of some badass lesbians, they might be as hot as Yo Majesty"



Read their interview here

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pimping all over the world...

I have been doing some digital digging, as you do... check out this, from a not so far part of the pacific, a chat with a Hawai'ian philosopher.

I found it interesting that I could relate a lot to this and that his sentiments sounded so familar

For more, go to http://www.FreeHawaii.info/

I also thought to myself I am so happy that we have Maori television at our fingertips. Mauri Ora.

expandablearth

This is definitely debatable, but the beauty of it is, is that it's debatable. So it must attain some form of truth or logic. You be the judge. Neal Adams theory, "The Expanding Earth".



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yoko Ono vs Beth Ditto from The Gossip




Two of my favourite power-houses face off and have a nice little korero this month for the UK Guardian. See their interview here

First Afghanistan pull back


US troops abandon Afghan outpost following attack
US troops have pulled out of a remote outpost in northeastern Afghanistan, three days after Taliban militants tried to overrun the base and killed nine US soldiers. Nato played down the significance of the withdrawal, but Taliban militants are sure to claim victory in driving foreign forces out of the wooded valley, close to the Pakistani border. Taliban militants briefly breached the incomplete defences of the newly established base in the Wanat district of Kunar province on Sunday and hours of fierce fighting ensued that killed nine US soldiers and many more insurgents. It was the biggest single loss of life for US forces in Afghanistan since 2005.

No Army has ever been able to occupy Afghanistan, the arrogance of the West to believe we could do it where so many other occupiers have failed is starting to bear fruit. We have not been able to deal with the Opium crops and this has flushed the Taliban and Al Queda forces with cash and they are gathering strength. Invading Afghanistan was ill advised and stupid in the first place, and it’s possible failure in the future is a ruinous tragedy inflicted upon the people of Afghanistan once again by the forces of the West. I wonder why they don’t like us much.

Nas the "Untitled" Album



Since this my first post for the Mental Detox I decided to write each week on a specific topic that is currently blowing me away ... most times it will be a piece of music or perhaps a useless piece of information that I deem useful - and try to justify here.

Nas has just released his ninth studio album Untitled and after months of controversy surrounding its true name and content we now get a chance to go over all its corners cuts and smoothed down surfaces. This is not an album review of such from but more of an opinion as what the album means to me and funnily enough our times...

Before we get started lets get a few things straight:

#1: Hip hop is not me "culture" so don't get it twisted
#2: I don't have any vested interest in keeping it real - I keep it surreal
#3: I'm too school for cool

If you don't know who Nas is here's a good place to start. Son of a Jazz player, child of a Queensbridge ghetto landscape with a New York state of mind. During what is now deemed the GOLDEN ERA of hip hop (80s-90's) Nas was a street disciple. With his uncanny knack of capturing images and sewing them together he could give a unique observation into trappings of the projects. Yet as he grew so did creativity and we as an audience were introduced to other sides of Mr Nassir Jones aka ...Kid Wave, Nasty Nas,Escobar, Nastradamus, Godson, N

On his 9th and most daring studio album to date, Nas confronts and pulls apart the indifference's surrounding the word Nigger in all its facets. He goes through the emotion of being a black man in America, rapping with a new found hunger.

From the get go Nas lets go... considering the amount of pressure he was under, whether it was getting shit from the one time Civil Rights leader (and fulltime self appointed spokesperson for ALL Blacks) The Rev Al Sharpton, sanctions from the white house and Walmart, the 'keepitreal" screams of Ethuggin backpackers, blackbackslappers, mean muggin backbitters, crackwhiters and KKKracksnipers you can appreciate what he has managed to accomplish with"Untitled".

In a recent interview with Melle Mel of the hip hop super group The Furious Five when asked his thoughts on others questioning Nas' for titling the album Nigger, he had this to say

Quote: " we all gonna be considered niggers no matter how you look at it.... I think for black people to have an opinion about what comes out the next man's mouth, I think that's awfully white of them"

It is a sad thing when people look to artists for all the answers . This is very much the case for Nas in regards to his whole rap career. But when I listen to the first single "Hero" and the chorus rings out loud in my cans it makes my loose it my fucken mind!!

"Chain gleaming/Switching lanes/Two-seating
Hate him or love him/For the same reason
Can't leave it/The games needs him
Plus the people need someone to believe in
So in Godson we trust'
Cause they know I'm gonna give 'em what they want
They looking for . . . a hero
I guess that makes me . . . a hero"

This song is epic... techno synth pads and a huge 808 kick coupled with the sweet harmonies of new R&B diva Keri Hilson makes this one of the most radio friendly tracks that Nas has flipped in a while. The rush of urgencey in Nas voice over this now classic beat by platinum producer Pollow da Don pushes this song past normal self gratification into a realm where not many can exist. We are all too familiar what may happen to black men in America who go against the wholegrain - it can become a solitary space. Americans are constantly searching for Hero's but it seems they always come from the most unlikely sources. Kids in many black communities look towards rappers as being either role models or parole models. Nas points to this in his verse rapping "If Nas can't say it, think about these talented kids with new ideas being told what they can and can't spit".

In a land where Obama is now the favoured Democrat leader and Kanye West is forever testing the limitations of polarized blackpop on a white backdrop, Congressional politics and street politics are one and the same. On the track "Black President" the hook is sampled off Tupac's line "And though it seems heaven sent,we ain't ready to see a black President " Nas reflects on whether America is ready, and if in fact Obama will be able to solve his country's deeper social and racial problems.

In fact I can honestly say that on every track provided Nas leaves me with an honest open ended discussion of his position as a Nigger in new America. He doesn't try to preach on a pulpit or hide behind studio spuedogangsterisms. I applaud Nas for his consistency and for his choice of people he worked with on this project. People such as Sticman from Dead Prez , the enigmatic Jay Electronica, DJ Toomp of T.I's production fame, and mainstay producer Salaam Remi to name a few. Also a few surprises with vocal contributions from Eban Thomas of the Stylistics, The Last Poets, The Game and Chris Brown ...........

Now a lot of traditionalists are scratching their heads as to why someone like Chris Brown could get on (and I for one am not a big fan of the guy) but let me just say that the song in particular "Make the World Go Round" is pure genius by all parties. Chris absolutely nails his chorus and Nas even calls him the " young Micheal Jackson" while the Game holds more then his own spitting heat like

" 5-0 they catch me at the pro bowl /on the field diamonds choking the jockey on my polo"

Other notable mentions on this album for me right now would be "We're Not Alone" where Nas streams a mix of state paranoia and extraterrestrial conspiracy theorem over haunting melodies courtesy of Sticman once again. I cant recall the last time a mainstream artist rapped about Aliens since Outkast? I mean who has the balls to do this on a song these days?? This album gives Nas a structure to which he can work within. He moves to and fro on each track going from his throwback days of rapping multi conceptual verbatim switching his flow on either side of the 4 bar meter. On other tracks he breathes easy in almost spoken word digressions.

SO thus concludes my blog on the Nigger album... I hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as I did and if you sit around complaining that hip hop ain't what it used to be then don't buy this album ...... go buy a time machine instead and fuck off back to the 90's
Kia Ora

PS Heres the link to Melle Mel's full interview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPBikz0r7Rw&feature=related

PPS Here's the songs I mentioned in the blog from Nas album
http://youtube.com/watch?v=DirBbksulqQ
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ikM6_l4A5Kw
http://youtube.com/watch?v=VdgjGvjQKVQ
http://youtube.com/watch?v=v3PNwcZQFoQ&feature=related

PEACE, Im out!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why should people get involved with human rights?


Why should people get involved with human rights?

Because our generations have pulled the short straw I’m afraid, sadly for you and me, we will in our life time see the perfect storm of peak oil colliding with the worst climate change has to offer.

This week the Wilkens Ice shelf finished collapsing into the waters off Antarctica, it had started the collapse in March, most troubling is that this massive melt has all happened in the middle of Antarctica’s winter and the Arctic sea ice which was once predicted to melt by 2100, is now 50/50 as to whether it will be ice free THIS SUMMER! Scientists were worried at the speed of the 2100 ice free prediction, they are freaking right out by the possibility it will be ice free this year.

Global warming is happening at a speed unseen for in hundreds of thousands of years and the only people who don’t seem to believe it is man made are oil companies, people convinced Greenpeace are making the whole thing up and Leighton Smith.

The soaring price of oil is down to supply issues because of our unsustainable exploitation and wasteful use of petrol, the number of countries that now produce less oil than the previous year has increased to 60. Even more importantly, only 44 countries managed to export more oil than they consumed in 2007. Of these, only 14 increased net exports, meaning that overall exports from oil-producing countries declined by a million barrels a day.

Last week, the Australian scientific institute, CSIRO put out a report that oil prices would top $10 a litre within 10 years, interesting to note though that we are already two years ahead of their peak scenario, all the while we are spending billions of dollars on roads that most of us won’t be able to afford to drive on within a decade.

So what does any of this have to do with Human Rights? As oil prices rise the production of everything we have grown accustomed to sharply rise, global warming is interrupting the agricultural calendar with mass crop failure and increasingly erratic weather patterns that will see millions become climate refugees. Mass global economic meltdown coupled with the gradual collapse of law and order in a food rioting third world will increase talkback reactionary red neck calls for civil liberty restrictions and increased police powers in the West. In the wake of September 11, many nations eroded civil liberties by passing Terrorism powers, we saw the effect of those in NZ last year and how appallingly written they were, you can rest assured that the security spiders are currently weaving much tighter restrictions of your liberties as we speak.

As fear is fanned by a mainstream media more ratings driven by heat than light, the calls begin and have begun for more police powers against elements within society that are now the enemy against a back drop of looming global issues difficult to explain within a 30second sound bite squashed between the sports headlines and an advert for a new SUV.

Gangs are the new terrorists, seeing as Tama Iti’s charges wouldn’t stick, let’s target a group we all don’t like and who are constantly headline sensationalized to pass through new legislation that would allow the Police to break into your home, plant a spy camera and record you for 4 days without any judicial oversight whatsoever. That debate is occurring in NZ right now, that is what the Police are pushing for right now, using the fear of the gangs to pass legislation to erode our rights that we would never agree to if we weren’t frightened, this is happening in your country, now. That’s the power of fear at work.

In some cases it isn’t fear that mutes criticism of the abuse of human rights, the abuse is so sugar coated by corporate sponsorship we become inoculated to the human rights abuse. The Sudanese regime are deeply responsible for the horror of the genocide in Darfur, and it is only with the support from countries like China who sell Sudan weapons and prop them up with aid, that the murder and rape crimes of the Sudanese regime continues unabaited.

While debate rages as to whether Veitchy should’ve hosted the Olympics or not and while we have all these TVNZ adverts with NZ songs played in the background montaged with shots of dewy eyed Olympic athletes looking up to the heavens where the sponsors logos glow, while that’s all happening, the Chinese backed Sudanese continue their genocide in Darfur. Questions of Human Rights abuse by the largest dictatorship on the planet are glossed over as corporate sponsorship blurs into propaganda and for fear of rocking the boat we politely keep quiet and allow ourselves to buy into the official sponsor mastercard adverts. Priceless.

So it comes to you, the most marketed generation of all time, bombarded by corporate brainwashing that manipulatively targets your fears of alienation to sell you how you should look, what you should wear, how to have fat lashes and skinny thighs, it is up to your generation to take up the challenges facing us in a period of consequences, it is you who will have to resist the fear and the call for more police powers while erasing human rights on a planet facing serious threats to its continuation as a civilization.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom - A massive international report due out at the end of this month claims that Humanity stands on the threshold of a peaceful and prosperous future, with an unprecedented ability to extend lifespans and increase the power of ordinary people – but is likely to blow it through inequality, violence and environmental degradation. And governments are not equipped to ensure that the opportunities are seized and disasters averted.

Backed by organisations ranging from Unesco to the US army, the World Bank to the Rockefeller Foundation, the 2008 State of the Future report runs to 6,300 pages and draws on contributions from 2,500 experts around the globe.

It says "The future continues to get better for most of the world, but a series of tipping points could drastically alter global prospects." Citing advances in medical science and, in particular, the participatory nature of the internet's information flows, the UN argues that we are in a unique position to democratise the world by providing citizens the power to participate in discussions they would otherwise be excluded from. The only danger, however, is that most nation states are likely to destroy these prospects through a quest for individual wealth, greed and poorly planned long-term policies.

Brothers and Sisters there is a way forward, and that is if we dispel the fear and accept that we need to work together to overcome the worst elements of our nature and enshrine human rights at a time when fear will demand that we allow ignorance and anger dictate how we follow through on the challenges ahead of us.

And that’s why you should care about Human Rights.
This is a speech I gave to the Amnesty International Youth Forum I was asked to speak at today

Manurewa perspective


For 15 years we have watched the little terrors (shits) on our block grow up into big pains in the arse!

Everynight we arrive home only to find a hoard of bored looking young teenagers all dressed in red colours with dark shades and branding their bandanas on their heads ( nappy heads ) or swinging the flags from their hip pockets...

Not detered from their hard stares as we get out of our vehicle to open our gates (right next to where they're standing)

Our gaze meets, give the head nod for recognition of our history as neighbours then proceed to drive our car in the gate.

I say history because when we see these "gangs" we remember back to our house being robbed, fences tagged on, dog teased, urinating through our fence, jumping our fence to take the dog on, leaving their empty bottles of alcohol where they stand after a night of ganster rapping outside our gate. (These raps that the young teenagers recite are direct insights into their futures and their history..."MUTHER FUCK THIS MUTHER FUCK THAT, I DONT GIVE A FUCK, HE DONT GIVE A FUCK"

We tell them where to go with their attitude and their rubbish, but in fear of retailiation on our mum or house whilst we are at work, we would rather increase security measures (leave multiple baseball bats hidden around the property, buy more dogs) and have the police on speed dial (not that dialing that number helps these days).

This is our everyday life in the heart of Manurewa Clendon South Auckland...where in the past 2 months 3 murders have taken place, three "P" labs have exploded and countless children try to take their lives by stepping out onto the street 'without noticing' the bus heading in their direction!

Gangs in the neighbourhood are becoming more and more noticable...more so then 10 years ago...who remembers the rise and fall of Bloods an Crips? why did this occurance happen and why did this occurance stop? And why is there now a resurgance from the youth towards Bloods and Crips?

Poor parenting? Poor education? Poor government? Or just plain poor?

For far too long gangs have driven good people who just try to live and let live out of the neighbourhood leaving only the Rats that infest and pollute our very environment. We are the only house on the block that is paid in full and we have no intention on moving.

In our fence line our sanctuary exists, however the screams of the house alarm sirens constantly remind us of our reality...

How many others are in this situation? What to do?

This what we have been doing for the past 15 years..

Keep your head up and be staunch, but smart enough to avoid confrontation...

If confrontation occurs...police dont do much except patrol the streets at the wrong times and in the wrong places...dont expect the police to be at the scene within the hour...by then who knows what can happen...

I say call your cousins...best friends...uncles...aunties, at that fact form a united front and take the fucks on!

After all is said and done at least you will have the satisfaction of letting them know that your not just gonna roll over...
I used to say "increase the peace" now it's "peace is what happens after war".

"Don't push me...cause i'm close to the edge...I'm trying not to lose my head"

(This was sent to me by south sider Exile - thanks for your awesome contribution e hoa)

Putting your money where your mouth is

I've just gotten off an interview with three NYC documentary makers filming a doco about China as the new rising power. I have to say I was kinda blindsided - their brief was that they were gonna ask me about the NGO I'm working for, which provides services to Tibetan refugees, both those fairly settled in Dharamsala and those newly arrived in India from Tibet. But the whole interview ended up being hardhitting political. Their questions led me to strongly criticise (in a diplomatic way) the Chinese government and its failing Communist ideology, the US government, George Bush as a war criminal, the US propaganda machine, ignorant US citizens, the US media, those kiwis who are ignorant about the Tibet situation, my previous volunteer stints in Thailand and El Salvador (leading to more biting criticism levelled at China and the US), my Chinese identity (and how I haven't told any Tibetans here that I'm Chinese), my mother's experiences in the Chinese cultural revolution, and the list goes on.
I came out of the interview reeling. It's one thing to rant to your friends about the two biggest powers in the world. It's another, for someone who has had no previous involvement with the media, to rant on camera to a film crew that will be showing their doco in the States...and which, it is highly likely, will make it to China, what with a working title "China: The Rebirth of an Empire".
But I'm a New Zealand citizen, I live in a democracy, I have human rights, and I have freedom of speech to say whatever I like about repressive regimes and human rights abuses. Tibetans don't have that freedom, so the rest of us have to speak on their behalf. Luckily, the filmmakers will be blacking out the faces of the Tibetan students that they caught on camera during my interview.
Let's just hope that I don't start getting hate mail or phone calls in the middle of the night...or worse. But in the end, I had a responsibility to the Tibetans to put my money where my mouth is.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Trap

The Trap of Freedom
(courtesy of http://www.youtube.com/user/melah65)

The Trap is a series of three films by Bafta-winning producer Adam Curtis that explains the origins of our contemporary, narrow idea of freedom. Although some of the ideas are debatable the overall idea is nailed.

"Individual freedom is the dream of our age. It's what our leaders promise to give us, it defines how we think of ourselves and, repeatedly, we have gone to war to impose freedom around the world. But if you step back and look at what freedom actually means for us today, it's a strange, limited, narrow minded kind of freedom or trap.

This Documentary has been broken up into 10 minute sections on youtube. Its quite long but I recommend it to all those thinking of revolution. "Fuck you buddy" is part 1 and I believe will be enough to hook you.

Use the force


'Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi'
'With your food basket and my food basket, the people will flourish'


To celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Maori 2008, the team at TangataWhenua.com are delighted to announce the worldwide launch of Google Maori. This much anticipated language tool will enable users to utilise the Google search tool completely in te reo Maori.

Over the past 16 months, a dedicated team of volunteers have translated over 1600 terms and phrases (over 8,500 words) to allow the Google search site to be viewed in te reo Maori. With the support of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori - the Maori Language Commission, the translations are complete and we are now ready to launch this exciting initiative into the digital World.


The Google Maori whanau are formally launching this search engine this weekend in Rotorua which is pretty sweet.

One day I stumbled upon elvish and jedi google groups on the web - so it's cool to see that the Maori language is now represented along with the fictitous and intergalactic.

The war between Chinese guns and Tibetan hugs

From McLeod Ganj, where the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-In-Exile reside, Tashi Delek! I'm in the eye of the cyclone that is the ultimate David and Goliath battle of the 21st century.

This battle is different from any that I've ever come across...cos it's a social experiment of the highest order...and I'm wondering whether, in my lifetime, or the Dalai Lama's, we'll be blessed enough to see the outcome. China is pummelling Tibet with anger, violence, torture, human rights abuses, insults against the Dalai Lama, threats of annihilation...and the Dalai Lama and his loyal Tibetan people have been responding with an innovative approach to international relations of active, yet non-violent, resistance for almost fifty years now.

Violence begets violence. It is a neverending cyclic nightmare that has never truly worked to solve the world's problems in the past. The Dalai Lama and his people are the only ones doing something to try to change the way people have been conditioned to behave towards each other for centuries. The world turned its back on them a while back, but they continue to fight on peacefully regardless, with or without the world's support.

Though the materialistic world generally thinks China will win cos of its economic might, Tibet knows better. China is going through a massive identity crisis, and, as a result, is behaving like a petulant, immature teenager. Communism is disintegrating before the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) very eyes, and it is trying to hold onto an ideology that is no longer relevant in China or the 21st century. It is now clutching at power through other, more desperate means...the booming economy and xenophobia...since when did Communism embrace consumerism??? And since when did non-religious Communists decide to pick who would be Tibetan Buddhism's next Panchen Lama, attempting to sabotage the Dalai Lama's job? All of China's actions smack of desperation, and it goes to bed at night cuddling its economic teddy bear, thinking that this will keep it safe from the world community's reprimand.

Think about it another way... in terms of numbers. The CCP has been clinging to power in China and various outlying "minority" areas such as Tibet that it has "liberated" for about 60 years. The Dalai Lama has been the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people for about 600 years. The CCP and the world have seriously underestimated how far the roots of spirituality and religion go in the Tibetan people's psyche, and no amount of economic bribery that China is supposedly providing to them in Tibet will buy their acceptance of CCP rule (whether this economic bribery is actually reaching the Tibetan people in Tibet, or in fact the Han Chinese people, whom the CCP is trucking over to Tibet in the millions - the effective "sinocization" of the Land of Snows - is open to debate).

Most of us are so brainwashed by economic wealth, by concrete, tangible factors and materialism, that we assume that, since the world's not listening to Tibet due to China's economic might, it means that Tibet has lost. The Dalai Lama can play the waiting game for years...he knows the psychology of patience inside out, Tibetan Buddhism being equal parts science, religion and philosophy...and if the CCP doesn't crumble in his lifetime, then it will in his reincarnation's lifetime (assuming, the Dalai Lama says, that the next generation of Tibetans still wants a Dalai Lama). The Tibetans have never really desired material forms. Westerners are, on the whole, materially rich, but spiritually poor. The Tibetans have always flipped life the other way around...they are, as they profess to me, simple people leading simple lives, with few material possessions...for it is not material possessions that make them happy and whole. Tibetan Buddhism has already taught them how to be happy...they have the greatest inner strength and mental calm of any people I have ever known. They crack a mean joke and laugh straight from the heart.

That's why I know they'll be alright. No matter what Tibetan material forms die out, their spirit will always live on in some form...long past the CCP's demise...and it will, one day, flow right back into Tibet.

Right, on that note, I'm off to the weekly McLeod Ganj candle march.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Curb Justice


Cop killing boosts tougher chase laws
Support is mounting for harsher penalties on drivers who fail to stop when pursued by police. Policies governing such pursuits have come under the spotlight after the death of Porirua police sergeant Derek Wootton, 52. He was struck and killed by a car on Friday as he laid road spikes in Titahi Bay during a high-speed police chase. A 32-year-old man was remanded in custody. He faces charges including dangerous driving causing death. National Party police spokesman Chester Borrows said a new aggravated dangerous driving charge could help stop deaths during police pursuits, letting police seize vehicles and impose instant fines. He has written draft legislation but it has yet to be approved by his caucus colleagues. Police Association spokesman Greg O'Connor said such laws would be supported. The association will issue a policy document in Parliament on July 22 seeking political backing for the changes.

The death of a Police Officer on duty is always a shocking and saddening event, all of society is effected negatively by it, but to attempt to use loss of life as a reason to expand police powers with little debate is a tactic that leads to bad policy becoming implemented. This is a bad idea for the following reasons – you can’t allow a situation to develop where the road side cop has all the powers of the executive in one and allowing them the power to seize vehicles without any judicial oversight creates a very one sided view of process. There is also the effect of these laws, I was vocally opposed to boy racer legislation that tried to push for these recommendations in 2003, if the problem is police chases, what effect will the knowledge that the cop who arrests you will seize your vehicle immediately have on the average 18 year old NZ male? Will the Male a) pull over, apologise to the Police Officer and hand over the keys to his precious car or b) try and drive off? Seeing as the majority of deaths from Police chases are in fact the public and not the Police Officers, using a Police Death as the reason to look at procedure over and above the much higher level of public fatalities seems a touch churlish on the behalf of the Chester Borrows. Perhaps we need to look at the level of training given to chase suspects, in NZ it is a couple of weeks, in the UK it is 3 months. The Police have to have the powers to chase and catch suspects, but when those powers could in fact exacerbate the problem and they are pushed through in the emotionally charged environment where a Police Officer has lost his life, I doubt deeply that this is the best time to debate this issue.