Thursday, April 29, 2010

Smoke Em

Dear Switched On Gardener people and other arrestees caught up in the police's Operation Lime, I hereby offer my modest legal research skills towards defending the charges you are facing. If you win, my price is a franchise in Palmy. I want to chew the cud with those Massey Food Tech peoples.

In the meantime, here's the Fun Lovin' Criminals playing Smoke "Em at the 15th Cannabis Cup:

After the reform

Kathryn Ryan has a long talk with Prostitutes Collective National Co-ordinator Catherine Healy. Subjects include the many benefits that have followed the legalisation of prostitution (safety, honesty, human rights) as well as the state of prostitution in NZ (pimps are rare, self-employment growing steadily).

Apart from the occasional brothel opening near a school, which upsets the censorious Soccer Mums for some reason, the Tim Barnett sponsored law has greatly improved the hard life that is the women's lot in the oldest profession.

There's some lessons to be learned by the social conservatives in there. The sky did not fall and the streets aren't ankle deep in hookers. It's the same lesson they should have learned after the Homosexual Reform Act in the 1980s. Working with reality is a more honest and effective approach than the moral tub thumpers who prefer to demonise and endanger the vulnerable.

Just like the gays and hookers, I hope one day NZ will come to its senses on the stupid, dangerous and futile drugs laws. But I'm not holding my breath. Too many holier than thous, too many well-funded vested interests protecting their budgets from competition (breweries) or obsolescence (police), too much inertia in parliament. But one day this country will be honest with itself, and we will all be the better for it.

More thoughts on Switched On Gardener

Photo suppiled by NZ Police Propaganda Office

Another facet to the Crown's case against Switched On Gardener is the important matter of censorship. The particular photo above is very telling. The NZ Police consider gun magazines OK but bud porn and human rights magazines not. There's a bad whiff of Internal Affairs and Customs about all of this.

I gather much of the case will rest on their undercover spies, who established a relationship with the owner operators of the various stores. Switched on Gardener, unlike their backstabbing two-faced entrappers, has never pretended to be anything other than what it is. It has operated for nigh on a decade in much the same fashion.

It might be argued that the illusion of tolerance for all those years allowed the peaceful homegrow market to grow up. This massive raid was nothing more than a cynical harvesting of some obvious hippies. Good for the PR, MSM, stats and other Key Performance Indicators. This was the raid on Hamsterdam-lite, shooting at fish in a barrel.

As Bomber pointed out on yesterday's Panel on NatRad, the civil forfeiture regime was sold on getting tough on gangs. I don't know if the police can maintain the lie that Switched On Gardener were gang members. Not unless they want to claim nursery centres, Mr Green and Hire A Hubby are gangs too.

Another thing that bugs me is hearing about how the Judas conversations about growing tips are being used as evidence against SOG. They're clamping down on not only arty magazines, but talking science as well? I thought the Bill of Rights Act had some pretty concise protections on the freedoms of expression. Conversation is not illegal yet.

The chatter about police narcs being sold clones is also an interesting thing. The Law Commission has some very interesting things to say about social dealing. From page 194 of Controlling and Regulating Drugs:
10.21 Although scale should generally be treated simply as a sentencing matter, there is a class of supply that we consider should be carved out for separate treatment. This class of supply is “social supply”, where supply is of a very low level, among friends or acquaintances, without profit or with a very small profit, and with no significant element of commerciality.

You can't get high off a clone. Not in the immediate future, anyway. Clearly, if you wanted to nurture the thing to fruition, there's a big difference. If anything, the undercover traitors should be arresting themselves. And how much would you give a friend or acquaintance for a guaranteed girl plant of known parentage anyway? The SPCA charge a tonne for speyed kitties. What do you think a pedigree is worth?

Final thought for the moment; the jury nullification precedent set by the Waihopai hippies. There's a chance that juries will throw the charges out, finding the offences absurd and penalties disproportionate. If I was on the jury, I know I would.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Crown v. Switched On Gardener

The recent bust surrounding Switched On Gardener is quickly shaping up to be a landmark test case in NZ law. The story so far; a two year undercover police operation focused on hydroponics supplier Switched On Gardener, as well as their customers. 750 charges against 250 people so far, caught in the nets of Operations Lime and Bitters. Under a more honest regime, it might have been called Gin and Tonic.

A range of criminal charges are being brought under the Misuse of Drugs Act, including conspiracy to commit gardening. If you thought Easter was tough on gardeners, this is the Judeo-Christian jackboot stomping through the Great Satan's veggie patch. By God, we can't jail crooks like the Bridgecorp directors, but we can take a few small business hippies down no worries. You. fucking. cowards.

There are also many asset forfeiture notices being sought under the bright and shiny new Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act as well. Reasonable doubt? Pah. There have been a few minor test cases that the MSM has all but ignored. The sheer scale of assets attempted to be stolen seized by the government this time should keep the MSM's attention. Police accountants are just starting to tally their dibs list from the raid. Homes. Businesses. Jobs. Families.

There's also political consequences. Switched On Gardener is a prime advertiser in NORML News. They also helped sponsor J Day. I'm taking this as a personal attack by a government keen to shut down dissenting voices. It will not work. On a public good basis, I'm goddamned livid. Violent crime is going to go up as the other suppliers fight for vacant territory.

Oh, and breaking news. Parliament has passed an emergency bill raising the tax on roll your own tobacco by 50 percent over two years. Tariana Turia has supported a tax increase on half her voter base. That's taking the excise to around 75 percent of retail cost. The poor get poorer, the rich get richer. And so on.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Harm maximisation

Oh the vicious irony:

Huge drug bust results in over 250 arrests:

A massive undercover cannabis operation netting more than 250 suspects on 750 charges will break the cornerstone of the industry, police say.

Crackdowns on drug dealers led to rise in violent crime:

Police crackdowns to cut the supply of illegal drugs by removing dealers and criminal overlords actually lead to rises in drug-related violence, gun crime and murder, according to an international study. A review of 20 years of research into drug enforcement has found that attempts to snuff out the trade in illegal substances have the opposite effect to that intended, by creating a power vacuum when drugs barons are imprisoned which is rapidly filled by competitors eager to fight each other for the newly-vacated territory.

Wowsers to the left of me, control freaks to the right

Submissions for the Law Commission's Controlling and Regulating Drugs discussion paper close soon, but it's difficult to work up the strength to put thoughts to paper and send them in. I mean, what's the point?

The Commission's report on alcohol is due to be publicly released any hour now, although many of its recommendations were leaked by David Farrar last week. The conclusions suggest a curtailment of licensing hours for clubs and pubs, as well as limiting the hours off-license booze can be sold. The purchase age for alcohol should be raised, as should excise taxes, by up to fifty percent.

The Commission's position can be loosely associated with Labour party policy, which attempted to raise the age a few years ago, and were heading towards heavier regulation under their Nanny State platform before the general electorate dumped them in 2008.

National is continuing in their own fashion of Labour-lite conservatism control freakery. The bill that will make effective cold medicines a prescription only drug is wending its way through parliament. As Radio NZ reports, Attorney General Chris Finlayson has released a Bill of Rights impact statement critical of the bill.

Radio NZ also draws attention to a clause I wasn't previously aware of, namely making it a criminal offence to import or sell parts of a pipe or bong:

Every person commits an offence against this Act who—

  • (a) supplies, possesses for the purpose of sale or supply, or offers for sale a pipe, other utensil, or identifiable component of a pipe or other utensil whose sale, possession for the purpose of sale or supply, or offering for sale (as the case may be) is absolutely prohibited by a notice issued under subsection (1A); or

  • (b) supplies, possesses for the purpose of sale or supply, or offers for sale a pipe, other utensil, or identifiable component of a pipe or other utensil otherwise than in accordance with any condition under which that pipe, other utensil, or identifiable component of a utensil may, under a notice issued under subsection (1A), be supplied, possessed for the purpose of sale or supply, or offered for sale (as the case may be); or

  • (c) imports a pipe, other utensil, or identifiable component of a pipe or other utensil otherwise than in accordance with any condition under which that pipe, other utensil, or identifiable component of a pipe or other utensil may, under a notice issued under subsection (1A), be imported.

Pipes, bongs and "other utensils" are an effective harm minimisation tool, helping to remove tar and impurities that would otherwise be ingested by users. What's more, the lawmakers are missing a fundamental point in all of this. Kiwis with Number 8 Wire technology make this latest prohibition a Class A ass.

In my travels around the country, I have marvelled at the ingenuity that kiwis use to make improvised marijuana devices. Coke bottles and bread bags, corn cobs and big buckets, fish knives and hot stoves, beer cans and bottomless wine bottles, the list goes on. One more stupid law won't make a damned bit of difference to whatever the point was in the first place.

Both the main parties, Labour and National, are of the same narrow mind. If they just write a few more laws, or equip the police with just a few more invasive powers, they can stop 400,000+ NZers a year from smoking pot. The government's war on its citizens continues.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Breaking news with artistic licence

Because all military helicopters look alike. That's not an Iroquois. NZ doesn't even have one of the above models. If you have no real art, you just don't make shit up to fill the narrative. Why not just feature a thopter from Avatar next time? You'll get even more click-throughs.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Friggin in the riggin

David Farrar has been fomenting happy mischief over Labour's leaked research marketing. This is a bit mischievous, coming from National's preferred pollster. All Labour was doing was polling their members, which is common enough practice with all political parties. F'rintstance, I've seen some pretty cringe-worthy party polls from Act.

Truly awful questions are always at risk of being leaked by the opponents' spies in their ranks. Admittedly, Labour's data this time is absurd. I mean, what the funky? What meaning are they gleaning from retro? You want words to describe Labour's blues right now, here's a few suggestions.


Helen Clark ruled for so long and strong, decapitating any pretenders to her throne, that there exists a complete leadership vacuum within the Labour Party. There's a Mexican stand-off between the old guard, the unions, and the ambitious young ones. They can't move on until there's blood on the floor.


When Labour lost Helen, they lost Heather Simpson. Every party needs a Malcolm Tucker. John Pagani lacks the balance between incisive brutality, rat cunning and strategic juggling.


It's bad enough that there's no captain charisma and stout first mate to steer the ship of Labour. They've lost their map and compass as well, and are sitting somewhere around the obscure 30 degree doldrums. Every so often, a Green Party glider or a Maori Party waka might spot them, but the Labour crew tell them loudly to fuck off. If the winds of change knows what's good for them, they will return to the beleaguered Labour boat pronto. They may be some time.


Keeping with the boating analogy, there's an awful lot of stowaways on board. They should have been dropped overboard long ago. Labour can't afford to lose any of their crew though. No matter how useless any of the list is, they're still better than that toxic layabout, Judith Tizard. She's next up if anyone drops off, and Labour have enough anchors on board as it is. 2011 might allow a slight change in crew roster, but I fear they'll be getting Taihape sailors.

Short sighted

I presume there's quite a bit of existential angst within the Labour hierarchy. There's not much mana in defining oneself as not-Nat and no more than that. There's no promised land on the horizon to head towards, no plan. It's all very much day to day living. The members relying on the unions for a bump are in for a nasty surprise.


There's one thing Labour always had an advantage of over the Nats. Imagination. Unfortunately, that imagination must be attached to some form of general knowledge, and Labour has never been kind to economists. The left wing are myopic to matters of balancing the books. Is David Cunliffe still alive? I haven't seen him in a while. No hurry.

Hub and hubris

Brian Fallow takes a critical look at John Key's blue sky thinking that NZ should be a financial hub back office. Frankly, I can't see it either. In the Nineties, call centres were supposed to be NZ's future for working class jobs. They're all shutting down and setting up in SE Asia these days. Any hub would be as short-lived. It's not a goer.

A backlog of private members bills were voted on in parliament last night. National voted against the NZ Head of State Bill being sent to select committee, choosing to stick with the unambitious status quo. The Nats don't want to miss their turn to choose their own pet Governor General next year, eh. Good on the Greens, Labour and United Future voting in favour of sending it to select committee.

National did support the first reading of Paul Quinn's stripping of voting rights of short-term prisoners bill though. The Electoral (Disqualification of Convicted Prisoners) Amendment Bill is a repellent little bill that displays little improvement in public good and a whole can of petty, nasty disenfranchisement. A hex on the Nats, Act and United Future for supporting this grubby vote-stripping thing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

For the record

I remember back in 1979 when I was nine years old, my father took my sister Uptight Rodriguez, then 16, on an around the world tour. A large part of her character was built on that trip; the incentives of what money could buy were fused into place, as well a crash course in a foreign culture. The old man left her lost in Rome for over a day, her without one word of Italian to her credit. She lived.

The old man always had a habit of disappearing at inconvenient moments that would make the guy who left his kid outside Mermaids look positively parental. While my mother was popping out Uptight in the Palmy Hospital Maternity Unit back in '64, the old man had disappeared into the bush without warning for over a week; hunting was his alibi. He once rationalised his actions, saying that he was a better father than Barry Crump. For overseas readers, it's a bit like saying George W Bush was a better president Nixon. Not a high hurdle, capito?

Among the treasures brought back from this world tour into Fortress NZ, as it was back then, were a few pirated tape cassettes picked up for bugger all in Bangkok by my sister. She got something like a dozen tapes for the price she'd pay for one in NZ. The cassette case for Abba's Arrival was plain white cardboard with a small photo of the original album cover glued onto it.

I'm not sure whether they lasted shorter or longer than the legitimate copies. The Range Rover's tape deck liked to snack on either, chewing through songs so often, you'd be listening to each song as if it was for the last time. I think the Abba carked it later that year at a race meeting outside Fuck Knows. The Range Rover doubled as a Child Care Centre back then too. My favourite toy was the cigarette lighter. We were at racecourses for so much of our non-school hours, if thirteen year olds were allowed to bet, my brother Randy would have made a fortune. He knew the form.

Damnit, this post is supposed to be about copyright, but it keeps veering off into Dad. He's creaking around upstairs louder than normal, what with him dead nine years tomorrow and all. I never took my chance to bury him out behind Matata back then. He was never as accessible as the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Besides, Matata needs the phosphate. I hold him partly responsible for the Matata landslips in 2005 though. I imagine him tunnelling beneath the ground with his artificial hip bone, searching for just one more rabbit to kill.

Screw it. I'm not deleting any more paragraphs. We'll just have to see where this one goes. The plot is copyright.

Back to those Bangkok pirated cassettes. Those dodgy tapes saved a little of me and my brother's sanity. It saved us both from high-rotation Pat Benatar, which was Uptight's sole music tape before the pirates delivered their booty. The mobile childcare centre (ie the Range Rover) was ruled by the eldest, and besides, neither of us boys owned a tape between us. We only had vinyl, and at the time my collection consisted of one Star Wars LP, so Uptight played pedantic DJ in the cage.

It's not Guantanamo Bay, but put me in a room with non-stop Pat Benatar, the effect is similar. So, let's hear it for the cheap knock-offs of South East Asia! Variety at unheard of prices. And where was the harm? Second World citizens (NZers) helping to fund the Third World (Developing Countries in NowSpeak) through commerce.

It's not as if the four Abba artists were missing out on a lot. There's not much change between three quarters of fuck all (royalties) and nothing. In fact, seeing as how Uptight already had the LP of Abba's Arrival, the pirate tape was just a pre-internet version of format shifting. Abba and the label lost nothing. They has already grabbed their skim.

Abba don't feature in this Four Note Medley (HT HuffPost), but they quite easily could have:

The point of all this ranting and tangents is entirely due to the entertaining (and freely observable) blog fight between the subjective objectivist NotPC and the realistic economist Offsetting Behaviour over copyright. In the 1D binary RandWelt of NotPC, copying is theft. Meantime, Crampton entertains the trade-offs.

According to Cresswell, the Axis of Awesome featured above should be paying a craptonne of licensing fees for pointing out the pop folly of four notes. How anyone can entertain a copyright on a musical progression in perpetuity is a nonsense. It's like claiming copyright on the alphabet. Nat Torkington pointed out the absurdity of this position at PublicACTA, when he said that every time someone sang Happy Birthday, they should be paying their due royalty.

According to Cresswell's creed, Lady Gaga (who does feature in the medley) should be paying due credit to all the many and varied music and fashion tropes she based her success on. Which is bunkum. She is due credit for a limited time, novelty value if you will, before it enters freely into the public domain, where it will be masticated into something else. That's life.

On a wider front, NotPC's dogma bears little resemblance to reality. Life is not fair. Creators have never got their just dues. Johnny Depp got more money from his Alice film than Lewis Carroll ever saw from his original work. Van Gough and Picasso never saw any of the money that the art wankers now charge for their works. Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, two men who changed the world for the better more than any dozen US presidents, died in poverty. Vulcanised rubber guy went the same way. Socrates was poisoned.

The McDonald brothers were conned out of a proportionate cut for inventing the industrial fast food model. It was milkshake maker salesman Ray Kroc who grabbed the idea, after wondering how the brothers were chewing through his deluxe 5-spindle milkshake model so quickly, and bought them out for a million bucks a piece. Here's the same fact strained through The Wire:

Suffice to say that copyright is an illusion and that copyright holders aren't always right, no matter what the law says. Common usage counts too. More recently, we have witnessed changes in ACTA process with the penultimate lifting of secrecy today, as well as the surrender on Three Strikes. But I don't quite think the Very Large Rights Holders are prepared for free yet. And neither is NotPC.

Christ, I need a prog rock enema:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Petitioning the wowzers

There are many things worse than sitting in a Wellington park on a warm summer evening with a bottle of wine and a pretty girl, watching the world go by. Unfortunately, this pastime is now illegal in Wellington, at least in the CBD and around the waterfront. Very soon the Wellington City Council will extend this alcohol free fatwa to the entire city.

Every single councillor, with the exception of Iona Pannett, supports a complete ban on drinking in the greater city region. This has been justified on the grounds that homeless drunks have made life unpleasant for pedestrians and Soccer Mums. In reality, I suspect it is a commercial rort to favour bars and other licensed premises from wholesale competition from the off-licences.

Submissions are open until May 5th. You can also register your displeasure at this killjoy bylaw by signing the e-petition here. The Local Government Act 2002 has been the worst thing for public freedom. All those little Napoleons shitting on the freedoms of expression and association. If it's not the damn jam it's the thrill of mildly intoxicating moments.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I never knew jam poisoning was such a big deal in NZ, but the safety nazis have struck again on the home-made preserves racket. Radio NZ reports that the Kapiti district council is clamping down on unlicensed kitchen condiments:
The council's manager for assets and services, Gary Simpson, says all others must have registered kitchens, no matter what their size. This, he says, is to guard against outbreaks of illness. But the market's convenor Sherryl Gray, who describes the new decree as a kick in the guts, says the cost of setting up a commercial kitchen is prohibitive. She says the cooks are furious because their food, such as cakes and preserves, has never generated a complaint. She also says the market has given $63,000 to community causes since 1996.
This is just nutty red tape. I take stuff like this pretty personally. It's crap like this that keeps rooting my business ideas. Last time it was Labour's school tuck shop ideas that ran over my cunning plan before fruition. Now it's the bloody cake and jam banners.
The rigours of setting up a commercial kitchen to match the high standards of the certifiable cardy clipboard carriers puts a few start-ups right off. We can't all be like Cookie Time, who started off lucky enough to borrow some else's commercial kitchen on the downtime. Or maybe that's a new use for off-peak restaurants. It has happened before, after all. Wishbone keeps fluking it too.

But there really should be an exclusion for advertised home-sellers, such as at markets or stalls. Maybe insist home-bakers stamp their goods with a big green "U" for unlicensed to give due notice that it's buyer beware. None of this "charity cooking only business" either.

You want to kick start the economy on the cheap, here's an idea. Short lease out all those CBD For Lease gaps on the street to the home-cookers. I'd be keen to start some kind of Mexican food joint myself, serving nachos to the suits for lunch; just a fridge, sink and stove for basic kit. But oh, no. There'd have to be much more gleaming stainless steel and sealed linoleum before the boxed are all ticked.

Speaking of jam of another kind, here's the story behind the YouTube caching clusterfuck at TelstraClear. Two thumbs up to Geekzone for the information, as TC weren't exactly updating their customers on the obvious problem. I've had a gutsful for six months, YouTube vids taking three times longer to load than the length of the clip.

Between Telecom and TelstraClear, it's like choosing between the last two girls on the dance floor at closing time. Both lonely and sad and a bit desperate, but at least getting rooted by TelstraClear is still not as painful as the Telecom *.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Wellington Declaration

There's a lot of noise out there about the Wellington Declaration. Bang, Crash, Blammo, Boing, Fnard, Choing, Whizz, Oi, etc. I was fortunate enough to be part of the day that produced such a coherent, concise and basic language public treaty on the dire threat to freedom that is the Top Secret Copyright Treaty ACTA. I urge everyone to sign the petition in support of this declaration.

By happy happenstance, PublicACTA was held on the 300th anniversary of the first copyright law, the Statute of Anne. My interest in ACTA has been more focused on the not-so-distant past. The last really big technological leap before the Internet that disturbed the copyright barons was the Xerox copying machine. The Copyright Act 1976 was a direct consequence of the photocopier. That breakthrough introduced the idea of Fair Use, where various limited non-commercial uses were excluded from persecution. After all, they couldn't really regulate what a photocopier copies. Reality prevailed.

One effect of the Internet is to create an Infinite Xerox machine. Instead of responding to the new reality, the Very Large Rights Holders spent time and money on DRM, or lobbying the US government into passing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The general public ran rings around these restrictions, the former with DRM crackers, the latter with sheer numbers.

Not content with duping the supine American public, the US media giants tried pushing the World Intellectual Property Organisation into a global DMCA. When WIPO refused to do everything the American way, the Yanks walked out and decided to do it their way instead, unilateral pressure disguised as multi-lateralism and called it ACTA. The Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement that isn't.

There is no quid-pro-quo within the ACTA treaty, at least from what the leaks have implied. On the contrary, the Very Large Rights Holders have been litigating elsewhere to maintain exclusive use of many copyrights that should naturally have been released to the public commons.

One example springs readily to mind; Disney's monopoly on Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, and others. Disney refuses to stop milking Mickey Mouse. Matter of fact, they've even got NZ Customs doing their enforcement work. Only Disney can make derivative works from these old characters, which is a great shame. Anyone who has seen Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland could knows the truth of this. Failing that, spend a few minutes watching the mindless crap on the Disney Channel, where the new dead-eyed ghosts of old classics spout over-processed drivel. All the carefully chosen words of AA Milne have been forgotten in a miasma of nothing. Lewis Carroll's insanity rendered sensible, profitable.

There is nothing fair about ACTA. Please sign the Wellington Declaration.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Three Green Fingers

Three totally sound pieces of Green media:

1. Paul Krugman sums up the whole climate change thing very well. HT No Right Turn.

2. James Lovelock writes with just the right amount of misanthropic humanism, saying humans are too stupid to do anything about climate change. HT Kerry on Facebook.

3. Good green advice from street-level America. HT Andrew Sullivan:

Malcolm McLaren has signed off

Alas, poor Malcolm. I met him once.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

More on War

Both my grandfathers fought in the World Wars. My dad's dad fought in WWI, mum's dad in WWII. The first came home with shrapnel in his gut, the second came home sick in the head. Not Section 8 crazy, just the typical wife-beating, alcoholic, control freak type of crazy.

The first one, Soldier Bill, died in 1974. I have few memories of Soldier Bill, a gentle old soul by and large. He had his moments though, and lived a disturbed life of booze and his army rifle by the bed way before my days. Seven years before Soldier Bill cashed out, Ivo died on an operating table in Hamilton. All I know of Bad Ivo are a few horrific second-hand glimpses of domestic violence. He died three years before I appeared, and that's fine by me.

A large sum of Mum and Dad can be explained by the war experiences that their fathers witnessed. And so on echoing down the line to the present, still twanging some psychic string through me. If I had to put words to the vibe, it would be:

This is what war does. This is what war does.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

War Crimes

The video of Collateral Murder has sprung up in Wikileaks. This released military footage shows the massacre of unarmed people by the US military. Reuters journalists are mistaken for insurgents, cameras are mistaken for arms. The arms grow into AK47s, then RPGs, in the eyes of the US crusading psychos. The group is killed. A van arrives and tries to retrieve the dead and wounded. The SUV Bongo is then fired upon too. Children are shot. And then the US military hushed it all up until someone leaked the truth.

Here's some stills. Click the image to enlarge:

Andrew Sullivan and Boing Boing have picked it up. Aardvark has some interesting comments surrounding the story (although it took a few attempts before I could reach the page. I got a half dozen blank impressions the first few clicks to the link. Strange, that). It comes not long after the US admitted trying to cover up the massacre of women in Afghanistan in February 2010, including digging bullets out of their corpses.

You can't win a war like that.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Special K mimics the Goodnight Kiwi Experience

It's been known for some years that human bodies are loaded with dangerous drugs. We've known for yonks that our internal systems are filled with a dizzying array of opioid receptors. In the early Nineties, marijuana clone anandamide was discovered riddling our bodies. It's also a chemical found in chocolate.

According to Slashdot, scientists have now concluded that those religious moments during Near Death Experiences are caused by a physiological response which acts a bit like ketamine:
Surveys of NDE accounts show great similarities in the details, describing: a tunnel, a light, a gate or a door, a sense of being out of the body, meeting people they know or have heard about, finding themselves in the presence of God, and then returning, changed. Scientists have theorized that NDEs occur as a kind of physiological self-defense mechanism when, in order to guard against damage during trauma, the brain releases protective chemicals that also happen to trigger intense hallucinations. This theory has gained traction after scientists realized that virtually all the features of an NDE can be reproduced with a stiff dose of ketamine, a short-acting, hallucinogenic, dissociative anaesthetic.

Ketamine is also known a horse tanq, which begs the question; What do horses see during their Near Death Experiences? Next up, scientists will uncover the secret behind St Paul writing the Book of Revelations; a large plate of psychedelic mushrooms.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Blood from a stone

Two tales of water usage in exactly the wrong places:

Karl du Fresne looks at the explosion of dairy farms in the parched lands of Canterbury and Otago.

Yasha Levine at eXiled online looks at the 2009 opening of a Dr Pepper bottling plant on the edge of the Mojave Desert.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The plagiarising monotheistic monopoly of Easter

The Christian religion is the ultimate copyright thief. It nicked the sun god halo and other bits and pieces from the pagans and attributed them to Jesus. They rebranded the summer solstice as Christmas and stole the Harvest Moon and called it Easter.

It's that time of the year when the Harvest Moon is upon us and it's business time for the gardening pagans. Roaming labour inspectors will persecute garden stores that choose to open over this weekend as flocks of green thumbs set to their earthy communion. They will only be crucified a little bit, a $1000 shakedown for blaspheming against the parasitic Easter Christ myth.

"Easter" is blatant theft filled with impossible twists. Friday afternoon to Sunday morning is not three days and three nights. It's cultural vandalism too, as it promotes a legally superior distinction for the Jesus brand compared with other religious beliefs. Easter breaches the Bill of Rights, damnit.

It never pays for any in the Western sphere to get too haughty about Islam either. It wasn't too long ago that Christian dogma had mad dog bark and bite. Here's the Secret Life of Brian. Listen out for the bit about the Muslim extras:

UPDATE: Peter Bromhead says much the same over at the Herald, albeit with more bunnies and buns.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

National's Crime FAIL

The police have released their stats for 2009 and it's not a good look for Judith Collins' War on Crime. The murder rate has jumped up 20 percent for two years in a row. David Farrar tries to dismiss the increase in violent crime as trend that began in 2004. He begs for more time for National's War on Crime laws to have an effect.

Another stat which is resistant to juking is drug crime. Unlike violence and murder, which can be blamed on a range of distractions, drug arrests are the direct ownership of the government at the time. Judith Collins' War on Drugs has had immediate effect, with cannabis arrests increasing twenty per cent in 2009. If you think the greater emphasis had been on the P trade, think again. There's also a twenty per cent increase in P arrests (not sure whether it's classed as New Drugs or Drugs Not Cannabis, but either way it's up twenty across the board).

Total arrests on New Drugs and Drugs Not Cannabis charges account for less than 5,000 people. Cannabis offences were registered for nearly 20,000 people. That's 20,000 people who's lives, travel options, careers and employment prospects are ruined with the threat of jail and a permanent record on the Whanganui computer. 20,000 people is half the population of Whanganui.

Alcohol offences rose twenty percent in 2009 as well, with 12,644 arrested people. While cannabis growers continue to be jailed, former Independent Liquor suit Doug McKay has just been made CEO of the new Auckland Super City. Soft drugs get you locked up, soft drink drugs gets you the most powerful unelected job in the country. The government's futile, dishonest and expensive War on Reality continues.