ACT: finally standing for something?

The ACT party has never really stood for anything. Even in its early days when Prebble and Douglas were setting the direction, in the public eye it was mostly a vehicle for yelling about tougher prison sentences, lower tax, and less positive discrimination. This inconsistent set of policies turned it into the Big Meanie Party and let the media reduce it to nothing more than a mini-National, but meaner.
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A way forward on prosecuting sexual violence

My initial reaction to the police decision not to prosecute any of West Auckland’s young rapists was a cry of despair.

Nicola Gavey at Sexual Politics Now has a much more constructive response: an assessment of what went wrong and what could and should happen next.
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What have we done to our daughters?

So the police have decided not to lay charges against the “roast busters” statutory rapists of West Auckland. They cite a lack of evidence, with very little eyewitness testimony and most of the available evidence being of the “hearsay” type that judges tend to disallow.

One contributing factor to this lack of evidence was a lack of victims willing to make formal statements:

Police said 25 girls who were believed to be victims of some form of sexual offending refused to provide formal statements.

However, a further five girls approached by police did make formal statements. Those five joined two girls who had already contacted police but whose complaints had languished until media attention brought the case to prominence.

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Defining masculinity positively

Someone on Twitter posted this the other day (sorry, I forget who). It’s terrific:

… you’ve inherited the responsibility of creating a new answer to the ancient question of what it means to be a man. The old answers are no good.

Whether you believe that’s true because sexism harms men as much as women, or because feminism has undermined men too much, the article is a sterling read. Go look!

How to treat a woman wearing headphones like she’s not human

So apparently today the Prime Minister conveniently found some evidence of terrorist activity in New Zealand to justify the law change he’s about to force through to reduce our freedoms even further and also make the terrorist breeding-grounds of the world even more likely to target us because of the creepy little-brother thing we have going on with the USA where we unquestioningly follow them into every ridiculous conflict they interfere with, so today instead of getting any more depressed about civil liberties, we’re going to have a laugh.

Dan Bacon is a self-styled “dating and relationship expert”. I’m not going to link to him. You can look him up if you like.

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What happened to our civil liberties?

Tomorrow morning the Prime Minister will be talking to Cabinet about changing the law to make it easier to prosecute New Zealanders who work with terrorist groups overseas. Graeme Edgeler on Public Address points out this is unnecessary; the existing law does plenty already to make terrorism illegal.

I don’t know much about the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, so I went and had a read. Turns out we no longer have freedom of association in this country. Continue reading