Nonsensical Sentencing Trust plays the Obi-Wan card
So, the Nonsensical Sentencing Trust wants to set up an anonymous website criticising the decisions of NZ judges, because any guilty verdict handed down to a poor brown person which doesn’t result in hanging is obviously too lenient.
Naturally, this has caused some consternation among the legal fraternity.
But don’t worry, folks, because the SST has now made it clear: they do not support vigilantism.
For the sake of your braincells, you may choose to append the famous Jedi maxim, “from a certain point of view” after that sentence.
Because this is the same SST whose leader went on the record to defend a rich white dude who chased down and stabbed to death a 15-year-old for the iniquitous crime of tagging a fence. What was it you said, Garth?
Emery had to “pay a price for what he did” but the 52-year-old was a “different type of offender”.
“I didn’t think he should have gone to jail,” said Mr McVicar.
“That young offender [Pihema] had been doing graffiti before and Emery had been becoming extremely frustrated with it.
But of course, let’s be sensible. Clearly, Bruce Emery, who saw two young men tagging his fence, took out a knife, and chased them 300m down a road to confront and kill one of them was not a vigilante.
You have to be wearing a mask to be a vigilante.
But let’s credit the SST with this: at least they’re straight-up, ethical types who never try to weasel out of previously-made statements which are now politically inconvenient.
“We have never supported or advocated vigilantism and we never will” said Ruth Money of Sensible Sentencing Trust this morning. “Garth McVicar has never said that, I have never said that, and no person speaking on behalf of Sensible Sentencing – as opposed to their own personal view – has ever said that” Ms Money said.
Random recommended reading
A short post on rape prevention by Orlando at Hoyden About Town
When people scoff at the message that we need to teach people not to rape they make the assumption that the lesson goes: “Rape is bad. Don’t do it.” That is not what the lesson looks like.
Is lead in petrol America’s (and the Western world’s) real criminal element? at Mother Jones
A popular science-meme Facebook page is revealed to be the work of a feeeeeeeeemale. The Internet promptly breaks.
Julie Anne Genter MP on the horrendous proposed Basin flyover and Wellington City Council’s chickenshit antics.
#safetytipsforladies has been one of my favourite things of the past week. Here’s the highlights.
Mojo Mathers MP on how to spot palm oil in the products you buy.
Hypocrisy, now with bonus revictimisation
NRT reports that our Police, who definitely needed a sex-crime-related reputation pick-me-up, have decided to stop publicly reporting domestic violence statistics. A move which will, in a happy coincidence, make our crime statistics look better.
Domestic violence is a significant area of crime which is growing (partly due to better awareness and reporting, and partly due to the government’s recession). Not recording it publicly will mean a drop in recorded crime and in assaults on children, and voila!, target achieved. Of course, its fundamentally dishonest, not to mention sending a clear message that this sort of crime – which used to be a priority – “doesn’t count”.
I’m sure our NACT government will get right on changing this. After all, it so used to outrage them to see similar antics being performed on our hospital waiting lists.
Sweet, sweet law&order smackdown from Kim Workman
David Fraser, author of newly released book, ‘Badlands NZ: A Land Fit for Criminals’, who describes himself as an ‘international law and order expert’, is unknown within the criminal justice community, says Kim Workman, Director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment.
“In an interview with the NZ Herald (14 June 2008) , he acknowledges sending the manuscript for his first book to 60 publishers before it was finally accepted by Book Guild Publishing in Surrey. After reading it, I understood why. His lectures and debates disregarded the contemporary academic literature, and were bereft of logic.”
What’s that you say? A Nonsensical Sentencing Trust diehard who’s basically just a thug obsessed with harsh punishment of criminals (where “criminals” is carefully defined so as to not include white businessmen who kill brown teenagers) but has no actual evidence to back this up as a practical, effective method of reducing crime?
I am shocked, Mr Workman. Shocked.
Everything is waffle
[This post, like its forerunner Everything is a lie, was originally posted at The Standard.]
There isn’t just one hard truth to NZ politics at the moment. The second is equally unpopular with people, but if it doesn’t offer a clear way forward it at least suggests a fixable problem. At the same time, it’s not the kind of thing Labour/the Left want to have bandied about too publicly in an election year.
Everything Labour does is waffle.
No, seriously, everything.
Where my previous post argued that NACT are motivated by a clear and demonstrated drive to financially benefit themselves and their class and keep the true “middle New Zealand” distracted by shiny, often illusory toys (beneficiary bashing, north-of-$50 tax cuts), this one poses more of a question I wish I didn’t suspect the answer to:
What the fuck is Labour doing except waffling?
Waffling, swaying, flip-flopping, whatever today’s pop-propaganda term is, from one statement to the next, one lukewarm denunciation to the next, since the 2008 defeat Labour has basically been a yacht captained by people who figured hey, it was their turn so they might as well have a go, desperately seeking the right current to sail them into Getting Elected Harbour and getting caught on the treacherous reefs of No1curr and Fuck You’re Uninspiring every single time.
Everything is waffle. Waffle doesn’t win elections.
A first pre-emptive rebuttal: Key/National did not waffle their way into victory in 2008. They made explicit, just-qualified-enough statements which set them firmly and believably (to the middle-voting public) in the role of Just Like Labour Only Without The Sense You’re Being Put On The Naughty Spot.
But what the fuck does Labour stand for at this point?
Waffle. Whatever the headless chickens and soccer-fan octopi in the strategy team think is a winner this week.
What month is it? Are we panicking about the loss of the “centre” vote and rehashing really obviously-going-to-backfire Brash/Orewa dogwhistles? Hmm, fuck, that didn’t go so well (hint for Labour strategists: when Idiot/Savant is telling you you’re fucking hypocrites, be worried). Best throw some “I can’t believe it’s not a real leftwing policy” bones to the fanbase! A fanbase who, possibly in serious need of some reassurance that the Apocalypse had not in fact left them in a better-treed version of Transmetropolitan, thought “fuck yes! A real turnaround!”
‘Cause you see, “the many, not the few” involves such fantastically leftwing setpieces as “listen to the stories about gang members ripping off WINZ, those fucking bludgers!” and “young offenders need intervention and literacy skills AND a kick in the pants, am I right, holla at your boy Garth McVicar!”
But some celebrated nevertheless, right until the rightwing research unit bots said “Oy, bitches, how’s 1985 treatin’ ya?” and silence descended, because not all the pretty speeches in the world from Goff count for shit until he utterly disowns that Rogernomics crap. Prediction: never going to happen.*
January 2011. Election year, baby. And someone gets it through HQ’s hivemind that maybe being a bit fucking bold could be a good idea! Let’s do it! Let’s face down those NACT bastards with their relentless “the left doesn’t understand how the economy works” meme and release completely uncosted tax policy! How could this go wrong???
Oops, even one of the staunchest left bloggers in the country came to the conclusion: waffle.
Which is not to mention that whole not condemning Paul Henry’s vile fucking racism thing – can’t upset the white underclass since we’ve thrown those nasty identity politics types under the bus (oh wait, but the Big Gay Out’s on this weekend!). Or the neverending quest to try to turn a stern, serious, career politician into his affable, smarmy, shallow opponent (because of course the only way to defeat an opponent is to become him … wait, what?). And let’s not forget that this isn’t just a Goff problem when suddenly Annette King tooooootally wants to help out those poor people who incidentally Labour royally fucked by defending a discriminatory policy tooth and nail.
Not just waffle. PowerWaffle.
To put it bluntly, fellow lefties: we are in an election year with a main-left-party leader who thinks the appropriate response to “I told my mate Tony Veitch that Liz Hurley’s a hottie” is “I think she’s hot too butIlovemywifebecauseI’mabetterfamilymanthanyou.”
You thought we were fucked before?
We are so fucking fucked.
*I’m like Ken Ring, only I admit I make shit up off the top of my head and act smug when I’m correct anyway.
Pay no attention to the “oversensitive” blogger with “obvious issues” behind the curtain
[TW: ableism and ableist language used with vicious sarcasm]
Oh, who would’ve fucking guessed it: it’s actually complete and utter bullshit to assume that violent people are mentally ill or that people with mental illness are more likely to be violent.
Or, just in case this isn’t clear, it is simply impossible to watch someone’s YouTube channel and psychically diagnose them with paranoid schizophrenia.
I assure you, dear readers, I am wearing my shocked face right now.
Rather than looking at individual cases, or even single studies, Fazel’s team analyzed all the scientific findings they could find. As a result, they can say with confidence that psychiatric diagnoses tell us next to nothing about someone’s propensity or motive for violence.
But you know what? This is a lot like an issue which comes up in fat acceptance when people are discussing studies showing this or that.
It actually doesn’t fucking matter.
It’s not actually fucking relevant, because even if there were a clear connection (just to repeat for all the douchebags clinging to stereotypes to justify their douchebaggery, there isn’t) you would still be a gigantic asshat to make assumptions about people’s mental health based on their actions and your prejudices about how humans are meant to act.
For those who are still refusing to get it:
You do not get to make the call about someone else’s mental state unless you are that person, or their duly appointed medical practitioner.
You do not get to assume that “only a craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy person” would do xyz.
You do not get to whinge that “it’s obvious” and at the same time pretend that you’re using words like “insane”, “craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy” and “nuts” in some kind of Totally Nonjudgemental Clinical Way, especially when you are operating in a linguistic culture that frequently uses those words in entirely non-clinical ways.
Right now you may think that this is just some over-sensitive crap from someone with obvious triggers around mental illness, and you, Marty G, may somehow sincerely believe that that statement is not in of itself buying into prejudice around mental health, is not full of nasty little implications*, is not inherently gendered.
You’re fucking kidding yourself, dude.
You also, Scott, don’t get to say “maybe this guy did this thing in a vacuum because he’s insane.” Guess what, folks? People with mental illness strangely have this thing where they still live in our society, they still receive societal messages about things, and they still get influenced by “normal” stuff just like you.
You don’t get to imply that none of the prevalent language of violence and hatred and freaking gunsights over people’s homes might just all be nothing to talk about because hey, we all know that mentally ill people just randomly shoot people because they’re craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy. And somehow this isn’t you buying into demeaning stereotypes?
Could someone please explain that one to me again, and try not to just repeat “But I watched his YouTube channel and he’s clearly craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy” because I’m just not sure how that’s meant to be any kind of argument against you being a judgemental asshole with no qualifications to make that call basing your opinions on ableist stereotypes.
Less-ranting related reading: Discussion of an assassination: ableism & the failure of sociological understanding, just in case my obvious triggers and oversensitivity totally harsh my cred.
*I do just want to deal with this one directly; Marty, you see, just thinks I “have strong reactions over anything to do with mental illness and [he doesn’t] know or care what the root cause of that is“. Fuck off, Marty. If I say “Marty obviously has some issues dealing with stroppy women who won’t fellate his intellect” I’m not going to whinge that I’m totally not calling you a sexist pig, I’m just, you know, observing a pattern of behaviour and I don’t care what the reason is! Your implication is obvious. Have the fucking spine to own your assumptions when it’s someone you [vaguely, internet] know and not just the Progressive Bigotry-Scapegoat of the Week.
Psychic online psychiatry drinking game time
A challenge, dear readers (which you probably shouldn’t take up if you are in any way low on spoons or wanted a restful Sunday evening): read any post on the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and take one (1) drink for every comment which states the shooter “must be nuts” or “is clearly insane” (double shots for wonderfully specific diagnoses like “evident paranoid schizophrenia”!).
If by the end of the comments section you are not hospitalised, please send me the link as I could do with a break from explaining why this is fucking offensive to people who should know better.
Then, I only have myself to blame, looking back at the previous form of some.
#Mooreandme: make a difference offline too
No matter how much we can raise, it won’t be enough. But by donating, we demonstrate two things: First, that every rape survivor, every rape survivor, is exactly as important as this one WikiLeaks member (and keep in mind that the organization of WikiLeaks, no matter how you feel about it, could in fact keep going without Assange). Second, we communicate the same thing we’ve been saying all along, which is: If you are a rape survivor, we have your back. We care. We don’t care who comes at you, or how hostile the culture is to you, or who you are: We care about you, about your right to live in a world without rape culture or rape apologism, about dismantling rape culture and rape apologism, about providing you with the support and resources you need, about opposing those who would smear or endanger or hurt you, and just, basically, making sure that if you need a hand we will give it. We care about you.
We are going to keep pressuring Michael Moore (@MMFlint! #MooreandMe!) for an apology, an explanation, and a donation of $20,000. But we can help rape victims, too.
More background on #Mooreandme here and here.
I’m a privileged girl. I have plenty of time to kill on the weekends watching hashtags and stirring up trolls online.
I can also make a difference in real life by contributing some of my disposable income – a byproduct of my unearned privilege as an educated, employed middle-class white person – to help support other victims of rape and sexual abuse.
I’m giving $40 to Wellington Rape Crisis. And given the wonderful way that violence towards women and children tends to go up during the silly season, Women’s Refuge gets the same next payday.
I know many people cannot afford to contribute in this way – capitalism, ho! – but I can. And if you can, let the world know that you too will stand up for rape victims and refuse to let them be shamed and silenced.
How could this possibly go wrong? Cops with guns / Greg O’Connor needs to fuck off edition
The horrendous attack on Senior Constable Bruce Mellor has conveniently been used as an excuse to call for wider arming of our police.
And God forbid our media actually subject this idea to basic logical analysis (even when the Police Commissioner himself seems to get it. Doesn’t stop him calling for more guns in cop cars though.)
So here it is, as simply as I can put it.
Scenario 1: Bruce Mellor has gun in lockbox in car. He doesn’t get it out because it’s a basic freaking traffic stop.
Bruce Mellor still gets attacked from behind by young thugs with a machete, Bruce Mellor still ends up in hospital.
Scenario 2: Bruce Mellor gets gun out of car for routine erratic-driving stop.
We now live in a South Africa-esque environment where cops treat every interaction with civilians as a potential gunfight. Young people who are randomly and viciously violent continue to be randomly and viciously violent towards lone cops.
Scenario 3: Bruce Mellor doesn’t pull his gun at every opportunity, but vicious youths in car are “more aware” that as a cop he may be armed.
Apparently this is the entire point of giving cops more access to guns. Congratulations, O’Connor, Broad and Collins, because in this one the attackers don’t reach for a machete, they get their own guns and shoot Bruce Mellor in the back.
Scenario 4: Greg O’Connor/Judith Collins fantasyland edition
Citizens are humbled by authority of mighty police force! Curfews for all! Bow before your uniformed gods lest they smite you down! Paradise on earth ensues, at least for smug white privileged people! New Zealanders “grow up” and just come to accept Police shootings so Greg O’Connor’s gun/authority-boner may be satisfied! Beatings shall continue until morale improves, and then having been demonstrated an effective morale-booster shall continue on! ALL HAIL GLORIOUS POLICE STATE OF AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND, LAND OF THE LONG WHITE PEPPER-SPRAY RESIDUE.
A different, whiter, richer type of offender
Bruce Emery is to be released from prison after serving two years.
Which seems totally reasonable seeing as all he did was get a knife, chase down a
teenager evil Satan-worshipping vandal, and stab him to death.
At least, the hang-’em-high-and-throw-away-the-key lobby thinks so.
Sensible Sentencing Trust head Garth McVicar – who usually backs the victims of crime – supported Emery’s early release.
He said Emery had to “pay a price for what he did” but the 52-year-old was a “different type of offender”.
“I didn’t think he should have gone to jail,” said Mr McVicar.
“That young offender [Pihema] had been doing graffiti before and Emery had been becoming extremely frustrated with it.
Let’s think about that for a minute, kiddies.
Garth McVicar – who talks the big talk about victims living in fear and crimewaves crashing over the country in a suspiciously Polynesian-looking tsunami – sees no fucking problem with Bruce Emery walking the streets.
He takes no issue with letting a man, who cannot control his frustration, whose temper is on such a hair trigger that he stabbed a teen to death for tagging a fence, roam the streets of New Zealand.
Bruce Emery killed Pihema Cameron over a fucking fence. He chased him down and killed him. Over a fucking lick of paint. And he has just been informed by our justice system and our biggest, most self-righteous crusader against crime, that what he did was not that bad. That he was justified in killing a fifteen-year-old over a fucking tag.
Boy, I know I feel safer right now.