Sexy Britney Spears: Acceptable. Dead SVU victim: Acceptable. Skimpily dressed model stretching: Banned!

Before we start this post, please be advised that if you watch the video there is graphic language and sexual themes contained within, I could not find the censored version of the ad.

It’s interesting what gets banned in America, they have really tight laws around profanity and nudity…but not so much around violence.

Think about what you see on CSI, Criminal Minds, SVU etc…but also what get’s bleeped in interview based programmes, and you hardly ever see nudity in American TV.

Well the latest interesting development has just occurred in this seemingly imbalanced censorship with an advert for Zoo York staring model Kate Upton.

Amongst other channels, MTV has banned the advert…MTV…the channel that shows music videos that constantly include sexual themes…not undertones, straight out themes conveying many explicit ideas to their viewers. Just Britney Spears alone has had seven of her MTV friendly videos banned in other parts of the world due to content, so the idea that they would ban this advert is…well weird to say the least.

I am not condoning the advert by pointing out these anomalies, I guess what I am asking is where is the consistency?

What Criminal Minds murder scene is better than sexual innuendo by a cockroach? What Britney Spears ‘Toxic’ scene is better than a model in a skimpy outfit stretching.

It’s weird, but I guess to have all the above mentioned potentially inappropriate fodder before children would be worse, so I guess it is good there is a line somewhere.

I just wonder who the heck drew the line, and how they decided it was where it is?

Parity in celebrations

We often hear people saying “I wish we’d celebrate Waitangi Day, like those Aussie’s celebrate Australia Day.” Well now we do ;o)

A tough one when apparently two crimes have been committed.


Mellissa May

Mellissa May, the woman who pleaded guilty to assault on a minor, is seeking diversion.

Typical talk back call over the past few days saying, “She should go before a jury, they’d never convict her” or “the police should never have charged her”, well ‘they would’ and ‘they should have.’

Just because a jury sees something as ‘unfair’ doesn’t mean a guilty verdict would come out and this assault happened in front of the police, they were there, they saw it. Imagine the precedent that it would set if police did nothing about a woman, for whatever justifiable reason you think, hit a minor in front of them. Do we think that May would have admitted guilt if she thought she could have ‘gotten away with it?’ She pleaded guilty so she could apply for diversion; if there were any plausible scenario where she may have been found ‘not guilty’ in a court of law logic tells us she would have taken that path.

Here is the one indisputable fact in this case. This woman committed an assault on a 14 year old. That is no question about that. She hit a 14 year old…in front of the police…and now has admitted her guilt.

Now, as an experienced talk back host I must humbly advise ‘Owen’ from ‘Nelson’ of the point he should be making. What you are actually saying ‘Owen’ is that you think this assault is justifiable. There was definitely an assault, but you think that this mother assaulting the 14 year old girl was acceptable because she allegedly beat up her child. Well let’s investigate that.

The indisputable fact is that the assault took place, the disputable fact is that the girl who was assaulted, and her ‘friend’ assaulted the child of Mellissa May. Now let me be clear here, I am not saying that didn’t happen, but currently that is alleged as it hasn’t been proven in a court of law and we take those accused in NZ as innocent until proven guilty…another minor part of out society that I’d advise ‘Owen’ about before he convicts every person in NZ on a news item.

So now were at at the point where we can confirm that May assaulted a 14 year old, and that she has admitted her guilt. Those are facts. The remaining question is what happens now?

If the justice system allows her diversion, then we are setting another precedent here that if your kid gets beaten up, you can go an take revenge physically on the ‘alleged’ perpetrator…if she receives a sentence from the judge then people will be asking about ‘the right to defend ones child’…albeit a weak argument in this story.

To each of those questions I have no answer, if it was me who had the child who allegedly assaulted May’s child I’d be thinking one thing, if I was May I’d be thinking the opposite.

Tough one.

Family Group Conference works in ‘Turangi’ case

The 16 year old accused of horrific crimes to a 5 year old girl has pleaded guilty in court today.

Many were annoyed and sceptical of the process that was unfolding before our eyes as another family group conference was held to ‘sort the criminal activity out’.

Most roll their eyes when the mention of family group conferences with relation to criminal activity as it would appear in the media that there is a simple step from family group conference to ‘wet bus ticket’ justice, normally involving ‘community service’ i.e. painting a few fences at a local park.

I have to admit to being a little naive here on whether this scepticism is valid or not, is the ‘wet bus ticket’ result the norm…or the exception we hear about as it’s the one that makes the headline? Either way we can be sure that in this case the family group conference worked.


At the conference it was agreed not to ask for youth court jurisdiction, meaning the 16-year-old will be sentenced in district court.

The Judge said that youth court should not be dealing with this case due to the serious nature of the charges.

All who participated in the family group conference agreed that the youth should be sentenced as an adult.

One would assume that means the parents of the victim (or a representative), the offender and his family all agreed that this was a crime serious enough to be taken out of the Youth Court and the sentence was to be handed out by the District Court…and the Judge agreed.


Judge Jocelyn Munro said case had been moved to District Court level because of “the seriousness of the offending was such that no sentence in Youth Court could be adequate.”

The 16 year old himself seems to be taking some responsibility for these action, whilst obviously nothing can correct or justify his revolting crime, it is good to see someone taking come form of accountability with his responses of the past few weeks. He offered an apology in court, he told of how embarrassed he was of his actions and he has written a letter of apology to the parents of the victim.

None of this means he should be let off one iota when it comes to sentencing, but it is pleasing to see a ‘youth’ offender apparently taking the kind responsibility that we would like to see criminals take who are much older than he.

America, fast becoming the used car salesman of the world

Last week I wrote of the juxtaposition that is the United States of America. Today we have another glaring example.

Last month America was in an uproar as it was revealed that remains of dead American soldiers, both in intact ‘pieces’ and cremated ashes were sent to a dump in Virginia.

This sparked outrage…and rightfully so.

For days and days the 24 hour news channels were speaking of the disrespect of the dead, especially those who have given their lives to defend their country. “There can be no greater honour than to die in battle” was the catch-cry so to be discarded and disrespected in such a way was treasonous.

When the Pentagon first said it didn’t have the time or resources to investigate how many body parts went missing, Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.) had three questions for the DoD: “What the hell?”

“We spent millions, tens of millions, to find any trace of soldiers killed, and they’re concerned about a ‘massive’ effort to go back and pull out the files and find out how many soldiers were disrespected this way?” he asked the Post. “They just don’t want to ask questions or look very hard.”

“My only peace of mind in losing my husband was that he was taken to Dover and that he was handled with dignity, love, respect and honor,” widow Gari-Lynn Smith adds to the Post. “That was completely shattered for me when I was told that he was thrown in the trash.”

Well today we see this story

The US Marine Corps will investigate a video showing what appear to be American forces in Afghanistan urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters.

The video, which was posted on YouTube and other websites, shows four men in camouflage Marine combat uniforms urinating on the bodies of three dead Taliban.

One of them jokes: “Have a nice day, buddy.” Another makes a lewd joke about a shower.

Apparently if it’s not one of ‘our boys’ the same rules don’t really apply.

If you want to see the video, and it is graphic, you can go here

They worst of American society

Gabrielle Giffords

12 months ago a horrific event happened in America when a man came into a public meeting being held by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and shot the place up. He killed 6 people and injured 12 one of which was Giffords whom he shot through the head.

At the time Sarah Palin caught some heat as she had a map on her homepage with rifle ‘crosshairs’ on Giffords electorate. Some accussed Palin of flaming the fire and influencing this event. If it was as simple to get rid of ‘crazy’ by simply removing an image here, or not have a pundit ‘blame the opposing political view’ there, then ‘crazy’ would be gone very quickly, however no matter how careful we are, crazy always find a way.

The reports of the last few days though have saddened me, demonstrating the ‘eye for an eye’ mentality coming out of America.

Jared Loughner is the man who fired the shots, Jared Loughner murdered 6 people in cold blood, Jared Loughner is a drop out from society and a loner. Jared Loughner is also a sick man, he is schizophrenic.

Loughner has been found by two medical experts to be ‘mentally incompetent to stand trial.’ He is schizophrenic now, and was in a schizophrenic episode at the time of the shooting.

There is debate  around Loughner about forcing him to take his meds. He is currently in a mental health facility and American law does not allow the doctors there to force meds onto him. Therefore he is still in a pretty bad way. As a general rule, if someone is impaired to a point where they cannot make healthy decisions for themselves, I think it’s usually okay for medical intervention, with family consultation, to help that person. So initially I thought these medical professionals should intervene to help this man get better. But that is not the reason that people wanted Jared Loughner to ‘get better’.

They wanted him to ‘get better’ so they could kill him.

They call ‘getting better’ from schizophrenia ‘being restored’ and some are waiting for him to be ‘restored’ to some level of acceptable mental state to then fry him.

Legal experts say it is quite common for defendants suffering from schizophrenia to be restored to competency and proceed to trial. That is just a matter of time.

“The level of competency is not very high,” said Lynda Frost, planning and programs director for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas-Austin. “It’s a minimal level of functioning and most people can be restored.”

This ‘eye-for-an-eye’ mentality is the worst of America. The society who helps the world when it’s in trouble, at the same time as invading a country that did them no harm. The country that won’t elect a president unless they ‘love Israel and God’, but happily put to death hundreds a year. America is a series of juxtapositions, saying one thing and doing another.

My one hope is the example in this sad story of the parents of 9 year old Christina-Talor, one of the people killed one year ago. John Green is a ‘believer in the death penalty’ and whose wife Roxanna has just written a book called ‘It’s not going to bring my girl back’, was asked if the death penalty here would bring him comfort. His response was “Not really.”

Just two little words that for me, bring some kind of hope to the reality that the tragic death of someone, is not fixed, solved, or closed…by killing another…even if they deserve it