A few stories from New Zealand over the past few days:
“I’m bloody horrified, but not surprised at their tactics,” [Maori Party MP Hone Harawira] said. “There’s now overwhelming support from New Zealanders to get rid of tobacco in this country and companies are doing their best to hook as many people as possible now, so they’re lowering prices and upping nicotine and marketing into places like Aranui and Otara.”
“What they are doing is maximising their profit before their demise and they don’t care that they’re killing New Zealanders to achieve it,” he said.
Local government leaders are seeking a law change to allow other councils to follow Whanganui’s lead and ban gang patches.
Whanganui was given the right to pass a bylaw last year banning all gang insignia except tattoos from public places, but other councils wanting to do the same must get their own enabling law through Parliament.
Police and customs officials are worried a party drug linked to the deaths of two teenagers in Britain is now circulating in New Zealand.
It is feared the banned drug mephedrone, also known as M-cat, meow and plant food, is growing in popularity as a substitute for ecstasy. (…)
Although no cases have turned up at hospital emergency departments as yet, potential side effects of the drug range from vomitting, nausea and nose bleeds, right through to hallucinations, fits, paranoia, anxiety and depression.
The long-term side effects are still not known.
“It is time to confront the issue of ‘corporate pedophilia’ and the ‘raunch culture’ which is harming the self-esteem, body image and academic performance of our young people,” says Mr McCoskrie.
The findings were clear – every additional pokie machine in a community results in .8 new problem gamblers. Further, there is no evidence that this plateaus.
Graeme Ramsey, Problem Gambling Foundation CEO, says research such as this should inform gambling policy.
Stand by for regulation.
In my opinion the best way to change the laws, in practical terms, is through counter-institution building and through counter-economic activity outside the state’s control: in other words, to render the laws so irrelevant and unenforceable, by our efforts outside the state, that even the state must make concessions to reality.
It seems to me that statism will ultimately end, not as the result of any sudden and dramatic failure, but as the cumulative effect of a long series of little things. The costs of enculturing individuals to the state’s view of the world, and of dissuading a large enough majority of people from disobeying when they’re pretty sure they’re not being watched, will result in a death of a thousand cuts. More and more of the state’s activities, from the perspective of those running things, will just cost more (in terms not only of money but of just plain mental aggravation) than they’re worth. IOW, the decay of ideological hegemony and the decreased feasibility of enforcement will do to the state what file-sharing is doing to the RIAA.
The most cost-effective “political” effort is simply making people understand that they don’t need anyone’s permission to be free. Start telling them right now that the law is unenforceable, and disseminating knowledge as widely as possible on the most effective ways of breaking it. Publicize examples of ways we can live our lives the way we want, with institutions of our own making, under the radar of the state’s enforcement apparatus: local currency systems, free clinics, ways to protect squatter communities from harrassment, and so on. Educational efforts to undermine the state’s moral legitimacy, educational campaigns to demonstrate the unenforceability of the law, and efforts to develop and circulate means of circumventing state control, are all things best done on a stigmergic basis.
A thousand times “Yes!”
I urge all Americans to vote for Nobody in 2010. If you’re outside the States, you can also vote for Nobody in your local election. Nobody runs everywhere, and you don’t even need to turn up to the polling booth in order to vote for Nobody.