Both Facebook and Twitter are failing to provide consistency in their business models. No matter what side of the free speech divide you are on as a customer you expect a business to enforce its rules fairly and dispassionately. Furthermore, you expect its rules to be simple and easy to understand so they are easy to enforce.Mike King has alerted Facebook to a serious issue that is still unresolved. It should not be this hard to get a suicide video removed and it reflects the worldwide problem of social media giants who are unable or unwilling to moderate their forums adequately or consistently.Ironically Facebook has a suicide prevention feature but it has failed to remove a video of an actual suicide.
I’ve watched with interest as the left-wing goes troppo over Police actually doing their job.
Until we change the law, helping someone take their life is murder. Cops have used a creative way to gather intel. Well within their scope.
The checkpoint was used to gain information on those they believed were importing drugs for assisted suicide.
The coroner advised police at the end of August that a death in June he was looking into involved a Class C controlled substance, and that the death had no suspicious circumstances surrounding it.
Police began an investigation into several other deaths which looked like they may involve aiding and abetting suicide, which is illegal and punishable in New Zealand by up to 14 years in prison.
Earlier this month, police stopped seven cars leaving the pro-euthanasia meeting and interviewed about nine people over the following days.
Police insist the checkpoint was not an investigation into pro-euthanasia advocates, but rather an essential part of the case investigation.
As we know, Maori lead all the wrong statistics, and there is no exception when it comes to suicide.
Te Puni Kōkiri is providing just under $2m to 28 organisations nationwide to run rangatahi suicide prevention initiatives.
Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says the projects are urgently needed given the high rates of Māori suicide.
“The suicide rates for our rangatahi are two and a half times higher than for non-Māori youth, so we need solutions that are tailored for Māori in the modern age.
A requirement of projects receiving funding is that rangatahi leadership must be central to their design, implementation and delivery.
Mr Flavell says there is currently a lack of strategy to address the alarming suicide rates, and too little research into how best to prevent rangatahi suicide.
“These are matters we will address with the interagency steering group tasked with updating the current New Zealand Suicide Prevention Strategy (2006-16) and overseeing the development of a new Action Plan,” he says.
$1.95m has been allocated to the projects across Aotearoa.
An evaluation that captures the critical success factors of the funded projects is expected to be completed by 2017, and will contribute to a body of knowledge about what works best in preventing rangatahi Māori suicide.
It must be pointed out that the nation’s social support and health system is accessible to Maori as well. So whatever is spent on Pakeha suicide, Asian suicide, etc, is clearly sufficient. Read more »
The Swindler, The Cyanide Pill and The Underwater Ballroom
The Story Behind Britain’s Most Bizarre Folly
Upon first glance, Britain’s Witley Park in Surrey is just like any other extravagant mansion, but there’s much more to this Victorian masterpiece than meets the eye. From the secret underwater ballroom to dramatic suicide deaths, the story behind the man who built the mansion is surprisingly tragic.
The story of the underwater conservatory at Witley Park begins with James Whitaker Wright (1846-1904). Wright was a former printer, Methodist minister, and a company promoter and swindler.
Wright’s family immigrated to Toronto, Canada after his father died in 1870. From there Whitaker found his way to Philadelphia, where he found a lucrative career promoting silver mines.
However in Wright deals, only the promoters appeared to be making money. Mines in Leadville, Colorado and Lake Valley, New Mexico failed to yield the promised dividends or returns to investors.
For Wright the short-term success yielded short-term pleasure. With the great gains came great losses; he was left penniless after his interest in Gunnison Iron & Coal collapsed in 1889.
Whitaker was undeterred, as performance of his American investments were simply a means to an end. His greatest desire was to make a name for himself in the vaunted English Victorian Society.
He returned to England in 1889 and continued the schemes of promoting mines, this time on the London market. To this end he formed the London and Globe Company in 1890, to float stock and bond issues for his mines in Australia and Canada. Also propped up by Wright were the British and American Corporation and the Standard Exploration Company.
Whitaker might have lacked a moral compass, but he was a consummate salesman. In 1896 he raised £250,000 ($373k) – or about £24.8M ($36.98M) in 2015 – to purchase shares of a company established to dig mines in Western Australia. Investors were lured by Wright’s sly use of the word “consol” in the name of the opportunity, thus creating the impression of a reliable investment.
[ Consol: British government security without a maturity date. The name is a shortened version of “consolidated annuities.” This form of stock originated in 1751 and was generally considered to be one of the safer investments at the time. ]
Whitaker Wright’s deception would not go unpunished. But before he would face judgement, he created Witley Park.
R. Budd Dwyer
Kenn Marshall recalls edging toward the door when he saw the enormous handgun being held aloft by State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer.
Marshall’s movements on that snowy January day 29 years ago weren’t entirely motivated by fear. He was thinking about calling his editor, which is not to say he wasn’t scared.
“To be honest, after what he had just gone through, the thought crossed my mind that he could just turn that gun on the people in the room,” said Marshall, who was then a reporter for The Patriot-News. “I certainly felt threatened.”
Instead, he and a roomful of journalists watched in horror as Dwyer put the barrel of the .357 magnum into his mouth and pulled the trigger, a public suicide that set off a firestorm of coverage and controversy.
The reporters who gathered in Dwyer’s office on Jan. 23, 1987, thought they were there simply to hear Dwyer announce his resignation from office. “My mission was to stay there until he said those words, then call in a new top for our story,” Marshall recalled.
As a row of video cameras whirred, Dwyer delivered a rambling polemic about the criminal justice system. He then handed out a final type-written page, which contained several grammatical errors and this chilling line:
“I am going to die in office in an effort to see if the shameful facts, spread out in all their shame, will not burn through our civic shamelessness and set fire to American pride.”
As reporters were just starting to skim the final statement, a frantic-looking Dwyer picked up a large manila envelope and pulled out a .357 Magnum revolver.
“I remember the gun, because it was huge,” said Eric Conrad, then a reporter for The Patriot-News and now the director of communications for the Maine Municipal Association in Augusta. “I had one of those moments where I was up in the air, looking down at myself, almost an out-of-body experience.”
Up until the gun appeared, recalled free-lance photographer Gary D. Miller, “It was just kind of a long-winded, sad event.”
Miller captured one of the signature photos of the event, with Dwyer holding the gun in his right hand while his left arm is extended toward the camera, as if warning off bystanders.
“I didn’t consider running at all, because I didn’t consider that it was real,” Miller said. “I was stunned, but I kept taking pictures. It happened very fast.”
Just for comparison, the latest public provisional stats that I could find for NZ are 11 per 100,000 (2013)
A new report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that the suicide rate in the US has surged to its highest level in three decades.
In 2014, 13 people out of every 100,000 took their own lives, compared with 10.5 per 100,000 in 1999.
According to the report, the number of suicides in the US has been on the rise since 1999 for everyone between the ages of 10 and 74 but the increase was particularly pronounced among the country’s white middle-aged population.
The report showed that the overall suicide rate in the country rose by 24 per cent from 1999 to 2014.
The suicide rate for white middle-aged women, ages 45 to 64, jumped by 63 percent over the same period and it rose by 43 percent for white men in that age range. Read more »
After reading something on The Nutters Club Facebook page yesterday I felt compelled to share the story. I met Mike King, whom Cameron knows well, when he and Cameron were on a panel together on Maori TV. He is a genuine bloke who cares passionately about helping people with depression. Since I have experienced depression up close and personal myself, I have a lot of time for Mike and The Nutters Club.
Suicide seems to be the last taboo. Journalists are still not allowed to report honestly about it. When someone kills themselves weasel words have to be used to avoid using the taboo word.
There are two schools of thought about suicide. One school of thought that seems to be prevalent in New Zealand society, is that to talk about suicide or report accurately on suicide can cause people to kill themselves. This school of thought sees open discussion of suicide as a risky move and one that can do more harm than good. I suspect that this may be what motivated a principal to prevent a student from presenting a speech about suicide here in New Zealand.
The Tragedy of the Von Erich Brothers
Kevin Von Erich on being the last of his brothers left alive..
“My brothers and I lived real dangerously.
We were a really reckless group always showing off for each other – like walking on bridges in Japan and taking every chance we could. We were just young kids. I’m really surprised that I survived…
We used to have this thing called the ‘chance of the day’, where every day we’d take a chance on our lives. Dave was always too smart for that, so he’d just watch. We’d jump on wild bulls’ backs, jump on trains going fast. We’d get on a roof of a car at highway speed. You start thinking nothing can get you and you’re indestructible. That’s part of being in sports. We were blessed with good bodies and good balance. We felt like we could do anything and nothing would hurt us.
My father was not a real brutal man like they try to play him out to be in some of those gossip rags. I was there. I remember back when my dad was a bad guy in wrestling…my brothers and I would go to school and the bigger kids would watch wrestling on Saturday night and get even on Monday. We fought together and the family who fights together would not only get good at fighting, it gets really close.
I don’t remember my parents being really super strict or abusive in any way at all. I remember a real happy childhood full of running in the Texas sun, just us and nature. We didn’t even wear clothes until we went to school. We were so far out in the country. We didn’t even have any school chums.
Mike was into painkillers. All the brothers had painkillers prescribed by doctors. Kerry was the only one who got into illegal drugs [that weren’t prescribed.]
The best way to handle pain is to grit your teeth and put ice on it. If you take one pill, next time it’ll be two of them and the next it’s going to be three. It’s just a crack in the door. It’s just the crack in the door that gets wider and wider…
Kerry figured he didn’t have anything to live for. He was rootless. He had no home. Seeing me with my family made his pain greater. It reminded him of what he was missing. It was such a sad, tragic thing. He had his two beautiful daughters and a wife he loved, but then he’d come home and all his stuff would be moved out. She’d move all his stuff out. Kerry was no saint [but] they both treated each other kind of rough. He had pretty much come to an understanding the day he killed himself. He just left having lunch with Kathy, his wife. Kerry was going to jail and he was afraid of never seeing his girls again.
He said, ‘Kevin, I’m about to kill myself…’
The Black Widow
Sandra Bridewell was on her way up in Dallas society. She was beautiful, alluring, rich. But her husbands kept dying. So did one of her best friends. Her first husband’s death was ruled a suicide, though there were those who raised questions about that finding. Her second husband died of cancer, but Bridewell didn’t appear terribly attentive to his needs in his final weeks.
Her third husband was found shot to death in his vehicle in Oklahoma not long after he was supposed to have met with Bridewell (at that point, they were estranged.) And then there’s the case of her friend Betsy, the wife of the cancer doctor who treated Bridewell’s second husband. Betsy was found dead of a gunshot wound in her car in a Love Field parking lot. That too was ruled a suicide, though the circumstances were suspicious.
In a spacious apartment near the San Francisco Yacht Club, over-looking the bay, there lives a pretty woman who mostly stays to herself. She is 43 years old but looks younger. Always dressed immaculately, she carries herself in that calm, refined way of those who have known the comforts of money for a long time. Whenever she goes to the shops down the hill, her magnificent dark eyes lock onto the gaze of those she meets, and her smile is so natural that it can make men, even at a first meeting, feel oddly enchanted.
But here in Belvedere, a quiet shoreside village in posh Marin County, the woman keeps her distance. She comes to pick up her mail at a private mail box, and occasionally she eats lunch at one of the little restaurants that face the water. In the afternoon, she picks up her children at their school. Few of her neighbours have even met her. “She had this beautiful voice,” recalls long-time resident Silvia Davidson, who briefly leased a home to the new woman, “and she looked beautiful. But — how do I say this? She was like a mystery. She would say very little about herself.”