Social Issues

ACC Privacy Breach Report released

ACC’s report to Minister Judith Collins has now been released.

It is apparent that there was a massive media overreaction now the full details have emerged. It is still bad that someone made this error, and I am sure that they are truly remorseful.

What is also in the report is that the person who received this data, also tried to extort ACC.

The outrage is not the breach of privacy, which now on the face of it was mild, but trather that this person tried to extort a guaranteed benefit payment for two years and threatened ACC with release of the data.

Hopefully Police will now prosecute the person.

Botulism kills more birds than Rena

Remember all the fuss over the 1000 birds that died from the oil spill as a result of the MV Rena running aground?

Check out the liars at Greenpeace, they still claim that:

The Rena has left a real mark on our national consciousness. It also left a very real mark on the Bay of Plenty coast. The Bird Recovery Centre estimates that so far up to 20,000 birds have been killed by the Rena’s fuel oil. The death toll amongst other wildlife, like whales, seals and fish, will likely never be known. Fishing and dive tour operators have been hit hard by the accident – the Rena hit one of the Bay’s best diving spots.

Maritime New Zealand has the real numbers not the lies of Greenpeace:

A total of 2118 dead birds were found in the six weeks after the Rena grounded in October and spilt an estimated 350 tonnes of oil. Two thirds of these dead birds (about 1400) were oiled. Of these, nearly 1000 had oil over more than 50 percent of their bodies.

But things are way worse for the poor birds of New Zealand and it isn’t from oil from the MV Rena.

A suspected avian botulism outbreak in Christchurch’s wetlands has killed more than 4000 birds, taking the death toll to above that from the Rena oil spill.

Increased sewage levels in the Bromley oxidation ponds, the Avon-Heathcote Estuary and the eastern wetlands caused by the earthquake may be responsible for the outbreak, according to a conservation officer.

In an email obtained by The Press, council ornithologist Andrew Crossland told council staff and conservation organisations that more than 10 per cent of the area’s population had died due to the outbreak.

The email, which used figures from December 20 last year, said that 3877 dead birds had been collected in the area.

The worst-affected species were the paradise shelduck, which lost more than 85 per cent of its population (1415 birds), the mallard/grey duck (49 per cent, or 385 birds), and the grey teal duck (13 per cent, or 495 birds).

The deaths meant there would be a “substantial decrease in numbers” in Avon-Heathcote and Bromley, as well as at “source areas and migration/dispersal destinations”.

Several other significant species, including the scaup, shoveler and royal spoonbill, had also been suffered losses, “but not at levels that the population can’t recover from in one to three years”.

Perhaps Lucy Lawless and the rest of her lying Greenpeace cohorts might like to climb down off the ship they are currently illegally occupying and haul their arses to Christchurch to save Ducks from botulism.

Domestic Violence is wrong

The Manawatu Standard editorial yesterday talked about the plague of domestic violence:

Perpetrators of domestic abuse have been shielded by silence, but that’s changing. Fewer people are averting their eyes and saying “It’s not my business”; more people are having the courage to speak up and say it is not acceptable in any circumstances to inflict violence on another person.

There has been a cultural shift in our society and, while there is still a long distance to travel, we are heading in the right direction.

We should also hold those who keep silent to account. While it is acceptable to remain silent on domestic violence women and children will continue to suffer. If you know of someone who has committed domestic violence look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you should do something about it.

In many instances our courts system protects the abusers with the shield of name suppression. Many domestic violence issues remain hidden by the use of the Family Court to resolve issues and the resulting blanket name suppression meaning abusers get off scot free leaving the wreckage behind them, and it isn’t just children and spouses that are affected either, in some case it affect their pets.

If you know others who have remained silent sit them down and tell them silence is not good enough. The “It’s Not Ok” campaign should be extended to say “It’s Not Ok to remain silent”.

Portugal’s Fix

Here is a short doco from SBS about Portugal decriminalising the use of all drugs, from marijuana to heroin, but has it worked in tackling the country’s drug problem?

A decade ago, Portugal took the bold step of completely decriminalising the use of all drugs. At the time, the country was suffering the highest instance of drug-related AIDS deaths in all of Europe. Drastic action needed to be taken to reach out to the addicts. But opponents warned the course that Portugal took would turn the country into a drug abuser’s paradise and that usage would soar. 10 years on, how well has the policy worked?

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Will rubbers kill the US Porn Industry?

There is a push in the US to further regulate the porn industry by applying stringent health and safety requirements including insisting all performers wear condoms:

This week, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation launched a new war against porn’s potentially reckless ways, proposing a strict initiative that would require male porn stars to wear condoms during vaginal and anal intercourse.

“The fact that these workers’ health and safety has been neglected is a very dangerous situation,” AHF president Michael Weinstein tells The Daily Beast. “It’s a matter of fairness. Why is this the only industry not afforded protection when they go to work?”

Immediately, the porn world was up in arms over the initiative. “Hey, dicks, it’s really quite simple,” says Jeremy. “We don’t mind wearing rubbers, but no matter how you slice it, the viewers don’t want to see them.”

Since California is one of two states in which porn is legal (the other is, only recently, New Hampshire), could this be the end of porn?

…This all raises the question: If condoms are enough to drive viewers away, who’s going to pay money to watch people go at it while looking like CDC agents?

Present the Poofs

Rick Santorum’s daughter is claiming Santorum has gay friends, Dan Savage says present the poofs:

When someone who seeks to write anti-gay bigotry into the US Constitution, ban adoptions by gay couples, ensure that gays and lesbians are barred from their partners’ bedsides during medical emergencies, deport gay and lesbian foreign nationals legally married to US citizens, reinstate DADT, etc., claims to have gay friends and supporters, the burden of proof rests squarely on the anti-gay bigot’s shoulders. As I said yesterday in my response to Elizabeth Santorum: Claims by anti-gay bigots of gay friends and supporters should not be reported as fact, political reporters, unless the bigots are able to present them. The proof is in the poofs.

Why don’t they just turn it off?

Apparently some genius German workers have cut a deal with their bosses to stop getting management emails on their Blackberrys after hours:

The tyranny of the out-of-hours email from the boss has plagued workers the world over ever since the introduction of the BlackBerry.

Now, after years of subjugation, one group of workers has struck a blow for freedom: 1000 employees of the German car giant Volkswagen.

In a move designed to restore the sacred Teutonic concept of “feierabend” – strictly no work out of factory hours – the vehicle maker’s works council, backed by its most powerful trade union, this year struck an agreement with the company that from now on email will be disabled for the selected BlackBerry-equipped staff when they are not in the office.

These employees now receive emails only from half an hour before the start of working hours and half an hour after they end. They can still receive and make phone calls.

Hans-Joachim Thust, a workers’ spokesman, suggested that mobile phones and BlackBerry handsets could disrupt family life and lead to employee burn-out. “The new possibilities of communication also contain inherent dangers.”

Volkswagen staff were said to have become fed up with being treated as if they were permanently available to their bosses. There were reports of employees having romantic evenings or a relaxing bath disrupted by infuriating management messages.

As is usual from a race of people who don’t even have a word for fluffy, they have over engineered the solution. Why couldn’t these cunning German workers simply have turned off the phone?

Next Labour will be actually saying “Gay Marriage”

Rappers are giving up on homophobia.

[I]t’s not just hip-hop veterans with impeccable street cred and catalogs of platinum hits who are speaking out against homophobia. Even up-and-coming artists such as Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky are voicing discontent with anti-gay attitudes. Never mind that back in the day, such a public stance would have been a professional liability. “I used to be homophobic, but that’s fucked up,” A$AP Rocky told the influential music site Pitchfork in October. “I had to look in the mirror and say, ‘All the designers I’m wearing are gay.’”

If hard core rappers can give up on homophobia then maybe the Labour party can say “gay marriage” instead of nervously skirting around the issue.

Lawyer: The kid was asking for it

Unbelievable! The lawyer for the mother who systematically tortured her children has basically said the kid was asking for it:

“That little girl was a timebomb waiting to explode and was put back into the care of her mother.”

She said that at one point her client wrote to the Prime Minister about her daughter’s problems and received a letter from Social Development Minister Paula Bennett promising six additional counselling sessions and sporting programmes.

“Sports activities are not what this child needed.”

No quite right sports activities weren’t appropriate at all, no, what was really needed clearly was:

…assaulting the girl with a machete and hammer, kicking her in the crotch while wearing workboots, tearing off her toenail and pouring salt and boiling water on wound, and writing abusive comments on the girl’s body.

The woman’s husband has pleaded guilty to three charges of assaulting the girl, two of which involve the use of a vacuum cleaner pipe and a broomstick.

The girl was 9 years old FFS and the boy was 7! Trying to blame authorities for treating their own children like animals makes me seriously question some of my beliefs about redemption and forgiveness. Seven years prison hardly seems fair tot eh children for the reprehensible crimes performed against them.

Gay couple find out they are going to be grand-dads

via Boing Boing

This is why it is ridiculous to die in a ditch opposing gay marriage and gay adoption. Family First should be embracing families not opposing them. These are certainly not type pf person about to put their kids in a dryer or thrown them on the roof or beat them to death.

As one commenter said on Reddit

“Those pesky gays, ruining the family structure what with all the genuine, unconditional love and affection they shower on their kids/grandkids.”