Sunday, October 05, 2008

Drugs, guns and casting couch diplomacy

I say, DJ, do you have any Apocalypso tunes?

While Katherine Rich might have described Simon Power as a fellow liberal Nat in her valedictory, there was bugger all sign of it on this morning's Agenda. Phil Goff and Simon sat there as Beadle One and Beadle Two. It was most acutely summed up when Bernard Hickey, clearly preoccupied with more pressing economic worries, threw in a possible re-examination of drug prohibition. The twins vigorously shook their heads. The idea was unthinkable.

Two industries thrive in hard economic times; religion and drugs. That's why the fundies and conservatives hate drug dealers so much. It eats into their target market; the desperate, the gullible, the mental, or those who just need some escape from their miserable reality. Well, there's going to be a lot more miserable people in the near future, and most of 'em aren't going to head to Jesus.

On Eye to Eye, you had Ron Mark declaring that's there aren't enough tools to police drug prohibition effectively. Thirty years of search without warrant powers aren't enough. If we just wipe out the gangs, the problem will go away. Bullshit. The market abhors a vacuum and something else will take their places. Any law than could sufficiently proscribe the Triads or Yakuza as gangs is a very open-ended law.

Good on Hone Harawira for calling it for how it is. You lock up the petty thieves and you give the big thieves a knighthood. When Ron Mark tried to draw attention to the Winebox inquiry that started NZ First off in the first place, all he managed to portray was how Winston has come full circle, a snake eating its tail.


This week's Real Time with Bill Maher was a doozy. Sarah Palin gets roasted in the intro. During the debate, she didn't blink but she did wink. A lot. We may well be witnessing the attempted collective seduction of the American voters by Sarah Palin. Perhaps casting couch diplomacy in Alaskan earmarks works the treat as an international negotiating technique too. Debbie Does the UN, or Hookers for Jesus or something...

Next up, Bill Maher gets Bob Woodward to lift the veil on how the Iraq surge actually works. Essentially, it's pre-emptive Black Ops which takes out anything that looks vaguely threatening.

The panel consisted of Garry Shandling, Alec Baldwin and CNN's chief international correspondent, Christine Amanpour. Part one of the panel continued the Palin bashing, with Amanpour trying to give some small credit to the major US parties for finally fielding women in leadership roles. Years after Margaret Thatcher and Benizir Bhutto, the land of the free is finally catching up to those uncivilised foreigners.

Part Two features Amanpour's opinion on US Foreign Affairs. Essentially, it is Obama policy. Engagement, soft power. There is mention of the God's Warriors documentaries that helped lead her to this conclusion, which I'll have a look at later on. Christian Warriors here, Islam Warriors here, a bit of Jewish Warriors here and at CNN's site here.

Part Three focused more on the credit crisis, with some good one-liners and astute observations. Unfortunately, Shandling and Baldwin got into a love-fest (Jeez guys, get a double ticket to a Hall of Mirrors and be done with it). Part Four continues on Iraq's cost and opportunity cost. There's also an Exit Strategy feature on Australia.

And then there's New Rules.