September 15, 2005

Soylent Greener Lip Redeemer

A Chinese company is making beauty products (mainly collagen-based) using the skin cells from the faces of dead convicts after they have been exectuted.

Campbell Live has been running those "what I would do as PM" segments, so I thought I would throw a few ideas into the ring:

Benefits: At least part of the benefit should be voucher-based. Having $70 worth of food stamps a week (and, say, $10 that can only be used to buy fresh fruit or vegetables) would be an excellent thing. You can't buy tobacco or alcohol or lotto tickets on a food voucher. The system is already set up with the supermarkets to accept WINZ food vouchers, and this way we'd be making sure that kids are fed before alcohol is purchased.

Farmed Kiwi: I would like to see Kiwi being raised privately on farms. I know this sounds slightly off but, the bird is dying out in the wild and usually the best way to preserve something is to make it commercially valuable.

Parenting Licences: Parents of children should be required to take and pass classes in good parenting - prenatal, antenatal, ages 2, 4, 7 and 9. If they chose not to, they go on a CYFS watch-list. I don't want to legislate against people having kids, but so many of us nowadays have not been well-parented ourselves, so unless active education of the new generation of parents is conducted, how can we expect to parent well ourselves?

Outlaw Tobacco: It does nothing good or interesting unless you're already addicted to it. It kills not only those who smoke but those around them. If you want to smoke, you should have to become a criminal, just like all (us/those) poor dope smokers.

Hands-Free Driving - cellphones should be handsfree only, and for pity's sake, don't smoke with one hand while you're trying to turn a difficult corner. The driving age should be raised to 16 for a learner, 17 for a restricted, and 18 for a full licence.

Books In Homes - I think every child should recieve a birthday present from the government each year consisting of a paper-back age-approproate kid's book for the first 6 year's of life. It would mean that everyone would have the same early books, but at least they'd have some. Ashton Scholastic or Penguin and NZ Post might want to make it part of their "good citizenship" marketing and PR.

Law N Order: I think there should be much more wide-spread use of the electronic tag for non-violent crimes. That way, people could even continue working, parenting and producing as citizens while being kept tabs on by the authorities. If they violate the terms of the ET, then they are put in prison.

Battery Farming: Battery farming of chickens and pigs should be outlawed completely in the name of cruelty to animals. In a civilised and humane society, I find it hard to believe that people can eat a meal that has been systematically tortured its entire life. I know that for a while, the price of chicken and pork might go up, but lamb and beef would be materially unaffected, and the market should even up on the white meats after the new law comes into effect.

There. That's all the agenda I can think of for the moment. What would you guys do? reminds me of decorating my house in The Sims.

Posted by phreq at September 15, 2005 08:04 AM | TrackBack

I like the idea about raising kiwi (and other native birds, eg kakapo) on farms. It wouldn't have to be for food - imagine if we had enough that we could export them as pets!

Kakapo might be a bit hazardous as pets. Imagine your pet kakapo getting horny at night and booming. The neighbours would probably burn your house down within a week.

Posted by: Pearce at September 15, 2005 10:54 AM

Totally with you on most of that.

As for increased use of home detention, I agree in principle, but I think it is already being used in what I would consider to be all appropriate cases. Courts legally must consider non-custodial sentences before applying a custodial sentence, and must give a good reason if they choose to give a custodial sentence.

I would suggest instead that we spend more money on psychological treatment in prisons, and less on keeping offenders in for longer. Nobody should come out of prison without having had some sort of treatment. There are also way too many people in NZ serving long custodial sentences for non-violent crimes such as burglary and drugs. Actually I'm not sure if there is much of an argument for custodial sentences for non-violence crimes.

What do you mean by farming Kiwi? For meat or feathers or...? I sort of like the concept but I don't know if it would work. They have enough problems breeding the fuckers in captivity.

I particularly like your parenting courses idea.

Posted by: suraya at September 15, 2005 10:57 AM

I was thinking of them for exotic pets, cos it would take a rather large shift in thinking to use them for feathers and meat... yet.

And they could sell any unfertilised eggs as the best scrambled eggs ever. I've never eaten a kiwi egg but I have had a swan's egg and my god, that scrambled egg was the best taste ever. Like chicken egg but much richer, and with a smooth strong flavour, almost like a vanilla custard. So yum! And so big, you only need one.

Posted by: phreq at September 15, 2005 01:17 PM

With you on most of this -

Particularly on the parenting courses. These should be compulsory. Although I'm guessing that all the parents who would go would be the parents who didn't need to. sigh.

A word of warning on the food vouchers though - where these have been tried, problems arise with people who receive these trading them with others for a lesser amount of cash. So it still doesn't get aroudn the issue of people spending money on the wrong things and then not having any left over.

On the subject of battery farming, apparently dairying is also quite cruel for cows. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

More to the point, do any of you vegetarians out there have any suggestions on alternative sources of calcium (i.e. the ones that aren't endlessly advertised on the telly?)

Posted by: tree at September 15, 2005 04:33 PM

The 'trading' objection to food vouchers is a non-issue. The food vouchers would obviously bear the intended recipient's name, who would have to show ID when presenting them at the supermarket. WINZ already issues food vouchers in this way for occasional food grants.

As for not getting at the problem of people spending money on the wrong things, at least it diminishes the affect that this has on their families by forcing them to spend a certain amount on good things. It also sets a standard - a lot of people who have these problems are just too stupid to understand what they should spend their money on, and/or have problems with self control for various reasons. Whilst better services help the latter, you can't do jack shit about the former.

Posted by: suraya at September 16, 2005 02:19 AM

Non-organic standard dairy farming is pretty crappy if you're a cow -unnatural calving cycles and all that.

As for vege calcium sources - Tahini! Actually anything with a heaps of sesame seeds in it. Yum :)

Posted by: Siobhann at September 16, 2005 12:25 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?