Friday, December 31, 2010

the standard on 2010

" Well 2010 has been a year for some political surprises such as Brown’s landslide victory over Banks "

Um to who was that a surprise? It is like if you combined germany france and italy and were surprised that the german candidate won. Simply he was hte mayor of the largest area, he was also standing against a candidate who is very poloarizing and so inspite of his making a total arse of himself, people hated banks more than they hated him.

Why do I bring this one up? well it jsut annoyes me when the media sells a election as a surprise. they either do it to pretend that their story is interesting - or they do it to make their victory look more like a swing to the left/right and to ppaint themselves as winners.

I suppose both are true here. I wish that the media would just say the truth and emphasise the most relevant facts.

Various from no rightturn

Unsuppressed: Urewera 18 to be denied jury trial

1) I dont see why that would have been supressed so I agree with NRT there.
2) I dont agree at all with this
"Juries aren't just a fundamental protection for the accused, the ultimate check on abuses of state power - they are also the primary signifier of a fair trial in this country."
In fact I think the opposite is true. Juries are the way to get an unfair trial - if that is what you want. A lawyer would probably advise you to go for a jury trial if he figured the facts didn't support you If they did and were complicated he would suggest you go for a judge and if they do and they are simple it doesn't matter much.

If the public "just doesn't believe that." then there is a much greater good to be resolved here - one that will be harmed if one validates the belief that judges are unreliable by denying them this case based on them being unreliable. this is an issue even if juries are indeed better for some reason because as long as you plan to use judges for anythign you dont want to undermine the publics respect for them on anything other than the pure facts.

Various from Norightturn

First on the recent news story that the NZ soldiers were involved in a raid where civilians were killed

"So, can the NZ SAS soldiers apparently responsible for killing two civilians in a botched raid in Kabul on Friday be prosecuted? Not by the Afghans, they can't. The SAS in Afghanistan are working as part of the "International Security Assistance Force", and their presence there is covered by a one-sided Military Technical Agreement [DOC] imposed on the provisional government of Afghanistan by their occupiers. "

1) If the suggestion is that NZ should abide by standard local laws that would probably rule out any intervention like peace keeping in East Timor.

Well... I am opposed to that sort ofthing (as well as our presence in afganistain... but simply military should only be involved in very special cases and when it is that sort of special case they will obviously require special laws to act.

2) From what I have heard (and i could be wrong) the case in question is one of poor intelligence (which is of course sometimes wrong) resulting in the soldiers entering a building where some civilians with machine guns failed to hear them identifying themselves (or figured it was just a standard trick) and opened fire, then the NZders returned fire.

It sounds like more of the fault likes with the intelligence and possibly the civilians who opened fire (even if the latters reaction was to some degree understandable). Of course an investigation can look into that (and that should happen) but prima face I think we are looking in the wrong direction here.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Two things I've learnt abut Assange

1) His philosophy regarding Wikileaks is not just the usual conspiracy theory - it is actually quite realistic and intelligent take on the world , and while you might or might not agree
that those with power should use that power to control those without power (ie you might argue that they are smarter and thus will use that power in a good way - for example how we might not want the public of zimbabwae to know that their priminister supported sanctions against their country (even though all the politicians and your average westerner already figured that one out).

2) he is quite an arsehole when it comes to women with scant regard for their safety regarding STD. Probably to the point of being guilty. And I say that from carefully looking at the evidence. *

*That being said I dont think he will be found guilty - this sort of case is damn hard to prove beyond reasonable doubt and the Sweedish authorities would probably in the normal course of events drop the case if he was not who he is.