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Open mike 05/10/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 5th, 2019 - 164 comments
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164 comments on “Open mike 05/10/2019 ”

  1. (did anyone get excited over that widely reported study this week that concluded 'eat more meat! – no worries..!'

    well..as it turns out – yeah – nah – eh…?..)

    'A surprising new study challenged decades of nutrition advice and gave consumers the green light to eat more red and processed meat. But what the study didn’t say is that its lead author has past research ties to the meat and food industry.

    The new report, published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, stunned scientists and public health officials because it contradicted longstanding nutrition guidelines about limiting consumption of red and processed meats. The analysis, led by Bradley C. Johnston, an epidemiologist at Dalhousie University in Canada, and more than a dozen researchers concluded that warnings linking meat consumption to heart disease and cancer are not backed by strong scientific evidence.

    Several prominent nutrition scientists and health organizations criticized the study’s methods and findings. But Dr. Johnston and his colleagues defended the work, saying it relied on the highest standards of scientific evidence, and noted that the large team of investigators reported no conflicts of interest and conducted the review without outside funding.

    Dr. Johnston also indicated on a disclosure form that he did not have any conflicts of interest to report during the past three years. But as recently as December 2016 he was the senior author on a similar study that tried to discredit international health guidelines advising people to eat less sugar. That study, which also appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was paid for by the International Life Sciences Institute, or ILSI, an industry trade group largely supported by agribusiness, food and pharmaceutical companies and whose members have included McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cargill, one of the largest beef processors in North America. The industry group, founded by a top Coca-Cola executive four decades ago, has long been accused by the World Health Organization and others of trying to undermine public health recommendations to advance the interests of its corporate members.'

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/well/eat/scientist-who-discredited-meat-guidelines-didnt-report-past-food-industry-ties.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

    • But what the study didn’t say is that its lead author has past research ties to the meat and food industry.

      Big whoop. It was obvious even without Johnston's study that the health scare-mongering about meat was based on weak correlations with disease. And even those weak correlations were probably achieved through extensive torturing of the results. Johnston's study just puts it in writing in a format that's harder for activists to dismiss.

      Which is of course why they immediately go for ad hominem (and gosh, what a surprise that you would participate in an ad hominem attack, Phil). Bleating that a scientist "has ties to industry" isn't an argument.

      • The Al1en 1.1.1

        He shoots – He scores.yes

        I saw the report and knew only one person would mention it and only then in an attempt to discredit it.

        It's like groundhog day here, every day, same old same old. Should there be a limit on how many times the same point gets raised over and over?

        • phillip ure 1.1.1.1

          yr authoritarian-gland is up and throbbing this morning..eh..?

        • weka 1.1.1.2

          tbf, I was going to post it, from a different perspective, but wanted to wait until there'd been some analysis of the study done.

        • Sacha 1.1.1.3

          Should there be a limit on how many times the same point gets raised over and over?

          Yes. Be happy to abide by that myself.

          • weka 1.1.1.3.1

            the first post seemed new and relevant (critique of some recent research). It's when the debate drops into ranty assertions of opinion with no substance that I find the conversation tedious. We seem to have gotten there already.

            • Incognito 1.1.1.3.1.1

              The passive-aggressive behaviour of some I find tedious because you can see that they are digging in and will never dig out. They are wedded to their own opinion that has become an existential part of them and giving in, in an online discussion, is to them like a face transplant and simultaneous amputation of their dominant arm.

              • weka

                Ideologues everywhere, not matter the sanctity of the cause.

                • Incognito

                  I find that the Socratic method can be very useful but for some reason I don’t fully understand it is not all that popular with ‘ideologues’.

            • Sacha 1.1.1.3.1.2

              True, Weka. I would probably describe it as a bad faith approach likely to incite negative discourse, from the get-go:

              did anyone get excited over – yeah – nah – eh…?

              Not conducive to good order in the house, as parliament would say.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.3.1.3

              Recommendations from the Annals of Internal Medicine paper entitled: Unprocessed Red Meat and Processed Meat Consumption: Dietary Guideline Recommendations From the Nutritional Recommendations (NutriRECS) Consortium

              "For adults 18 years of age or older, we suggest continuing current unprocessed red meat and processed meat consumption (weak recommendation, low-certainty evidence)."

              The authors are clear that they considered only data relating to individual health outcomes to arrive at their recommendation(s)/guidelines(s).

              "Our guideline also has limitations. We considered issues of animal welfare and potential environmental impact to be outside the scope of our recommendations. These guidelines may therefore be of limited relevance to individuals for whom these issues are of major importance. Related to this, we took an individual rather than a societal perspective. Decision makers considering broader environmental issues may reasonably consider evidence regarding the possible contribution of meat consumption to global warming and suggest policies limiting meat consumption on that basis."

              As the global human population and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, according to this paper BAU meat consumption is OK (recommended even), at least from an individual human health perspective. We meat eaters will clutch at this now, but consider how the 'scientific evidence worm' can turn (as illustrated @1.1.2.3).

              It's interesting (to me) that the focus of the ‘rationale section’ is on the "recommendation to continue rather than reduce consumption of unprocessed red meat or processed meat". A less biased recommendation would be 'to continue rather than reduce change consumption'.

              Wonder if the chosen wording might be linked to significant decreases in per capita meat consumption, e.g. between 2002 and 2009 a 25% decrease in NZ, and a whopping 35% decrease in Denmark. Presumably these decreases resulted in a contraction of local markets for meat farmers and processors.

              NZers (still) eat a lot of meat. Current average meat consumption could probably drop by at least 50% without compromising nutritional benefits, if the health of NZ vegetarians and vegans (not to mention Great Thunberg) is anything to go by. The paper accurately describes a major positive reason for BAU meat consumption: "In short, omnivores enjoy eating meat…" – simple!

          • Incognito 1.1.1.3.2

            Repetition is the mother of all yearning.

      • phillip ure 1.1.2

        um..!..did you even read the piece..?

        this scientist you place such credence in – was pimping sugar in 2016…

        did you read about his funders..?

        but still ok with all that..?

        and the evidence of possible negative health outcomes from flesh and bye-product consumption is getting stronger by the day..

        and doesn't the fact his pro-meat bullshit is such an outlier to the general medical consensus on meat/dairy consumption..that less is best and preferably none..

        just underline what a paid-for-schill he is..?

        but that's all aok with you..eh..?

        heh..!

        • The Al1en 1.1.2.1

          Yeah, yeah, we get it, you're a vegan, and an early adopter, too.

        • Psycho Milt 1.1.2.2

          um..!..did you even read the piece..?

          I did! It includes this piece of information that's relevant to your ad-hominem-based critique:

          Dr. Laine [editor of the journal that published Johnston's study] noted that people on both sides of the meat issue have conflicts of interest. “Many of the people who are criticizing these articles have lots of conflicts of interest they aren’t talking about,” she said. “They do workshops on plant-based diets, do retreats on wellness and write books on plant-based diets. There are conflicts on both sides.”

          and doesn't the fact his pro-meat bullshit is such an outlier to the general medical consensus on meat/dairy consumption..that less is best and preferably none..

          Nope. That consensus is based on bullshit social science (ie correlation = causation errors supported by confirmation bias), which is pretty much what his study shows. It would help if medical practitioners stopped trying to build "general consensus" based on weak correlations.

          • phillip ure 1.1.2.2.1

            heh..!..yr counter is the publisher of this putrescent pile of crap..?

            (that is funded by the beef industry)

            that's funny..!

            and her reasoning is evidence-free claims that 'others do it too'..?

            right ho..!..

            and that's all good enough for you..?

            • Psycho Milt 1.1.2.2.1.1

              Your comment demonstrates the same problem that Morrissey's do: instead of considering the information provided, you consider the ideological merits of the person providing it, with "merit" effectively determined by whether you agree with them or not. That said:

              If you really must argue from authority, then yes, the editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine is way more of an authority on this subject than you are.

              Her point isn't "others do it too," her point is that many of the people publishing in this area have conflicts of interest, that the conflicts aren't only on the industry side and that conflicts on the anti-meat-activist side generally aren't declared by those with the conflicts. It's not a very relevant point to the merits or otherwise of nutritional studies, but it's a highly relevant point in the context of your ad-hominem-based opposition to Johnston's study.

              • weka

                spot on PM.

              • wot..?..are those who have done the research to reach the general consensus..(y'know..!..bacon/cured meats carcinogenic..?..do you doubt that one too..?..)

                are these scientists/researchers secretly funded by the carrot industry..or something..?

                i'd be fascinated to hear yr guesses as to who may be secretly funding all these anti-meat conclusions..?

                is there some world-wide vegan conspiracy you have to alert us too..?

                i mean..are you fucken listening to yrslf..?

                yr claims are getting more and more irrational..

                you are a flat-earther on diet..eh..?

                (wd you like some bacon with that…?..)

                • First, a reminder that this sub-thread isn't discussing the merits of Johnston's study, it's discussing the merits of your ad-hominem critique (wouldn't want anyone to think I was accepting that ad hominem is an acceptable argument against Johnston's study).

                  i mean..are you fucken listening to yrslf..?

                  Oh, the irony. Your argument against Johnston is that he has a conflict of interest, in that his research has been partly funded by industry. You present this as a compelling reason to disregard his research.

                  However, when it's pointed out to you that many of his critics have conflicts of interest, in that they're vegan or vegetarian activists, you present that not as a compelling reason to disregard their criticisms, but as a wildly irrational conspiracy theory that only flat-earthers or similar could entertain.

                  "Are you fucken listening to yrslf?" Good question, how would you answer it?

                  • 'However, when it's pointed out to you that many of his critics have conflicts of interest, in that they're vegan or vegetarian activists,'

                    heh..!

                    are you suggesting the medical consensus on meat consumption has been arrived at thru the nefarious doings of 'vegan/vegetarian activists..?

                    heh..!

                    i didn't realise there was so many of us..

                    but well done us 'vegan/vegetarian activists'…..!..eh..?

                    we are clearly winning – given that consensus we've managed to whip up…

                    fuck yur funny..!

        • weka 1.1.2.3

          "and doesn't the fact his pro-meat bullshit is such an outlier to the general medical consensus on meat/dairy consumption..that less is best and preferably none.."

          Nope.

          • weka 1.1.2.3.1

            Science journalist Gary Taubes wrote this article in 2002. His book was published in 2007 and present, in depth, from the the 1800s to the 2000s, the science done on cholesterol and how that was co-opted and misused to distort public health messages. Including large interference from plant food industries.

            https://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/magazine/what-if-it-s-all-been-a-big-fat-lie.html

          • Duncan 1.1.2.3.2

            If you go and read that Time article Weka you will see it is BS.

            No where did the study say to eat butter, it was more along the lines of "butter is no worse, or only slightly worse for you, than margarine".

            You should do a bit more research on it and how the dairy industry used that article and a fabricated shortage of butter to boost butter prices in the lead to Christmas 2016.

            And Fonterra's response was to increase butter production to show it was doing something, which turned out a total failure, because when you make butter you end up with skim milk powder which was collapsing at the same time, as Europe already had stockpiles it could not sell.

            So Fonterra ended up with no additional profit but a shed load of capital expenditure it never needed. Part of the reason it is in the shit. Misleading science and media reporting of that science.

            This is why you have to beware of industry led research.

            So while your arguments about Phil's ad hominem may be technically correct, any scientist will be sceptical of vested interests publishing research and to not do so is just plain silly and ignores repeated patterns of behaviour which shows such research is crap.

            • weka 1.1.2.3.2.1

              sorry, which research is crap? If you look at the Gary Taubes reference, you can see a science journalist who examines the fat hypothesis for over a century and finds that it too is based on vested interests and bad science.

              On top of that, even the mainstream peer reviewed medical journals have been writing about the corruption of the peer review process, and doing so for a long time now. The numbers of medical studies that are flawed or bought is alarmingly high. When I've commented about this in places like TS in the past, I've been met with pro-science people saying oh but science isn't to blame, it's value free, or science is still better than nothing, or it's ok for medical science to make mistakes because the damage is outweighed by the benefits.

              I'm sceptical of *everything, because it's not just industry capture, it's the bollocks that scientists and pro-science public have also allowed to happen and continue.

              I still haven't seen who funded the study released this week. If you know I'd be interested. As I've said elsewhere in the thread, I find the research interesting but I'm not yet convinced of its value.

              Re the Time covers, I was just looking for a quick, obvious way to point out the shortcomings of claiming that the mainstream scientific position on certain foods is meaningful, because later science changes its mind. 'Outlier' scientists have been criticising the fat hypothesis for almost as long as it has existed. They're outliers because of culture, not because their science is bad.

              As for Fonterra, they're up there with tobacco companies and Monsanto for greedy fucks who destroy things so they can make money. If they were stupid enough to base their business plan on that Time cover and vested interest manipulation, that's on them. NZ has long had the opportunity to invest in regenerative farming systems and still is not doing it, so I have waning sympathy for the people getting caught up in Fonterra's misfortune despite being generally supportive of farming as a critical aspect of human societies. Fonterra is all about making money and sfa to do with growing food or making a decent living.

              • Duncan

                That's a total fob off and deflection of what I said.

                That Time article is BS, and yet you say you used it to make a point.

                • weka

                  You said "No where did the study say to eat butter, it was more along the lines of "butter is no worse, or only slightly worse for you, than margarine"."

                  Can you please tell me which study you are referring to?

                  Here's the Time article for reference,

                  https://time.com/magazine/us/2863200/june-23rd-2014-vol-183-no-24-u-s/

                  • Duncan

                    Ah no I will not be drawn into your deflection.

                    If you want to use it as a reference then you cite the study and what the abstract says.

                    Not just use an industry generated headline as proof.

                    • weka

                      afaik Time didn't use a single study as a reference, so I was a bit confused by what you meant. Hard to know how the Time article is bullshit if you won't say. What others did after that is a different matter (but interesting as well, and I agree there are vested interests, I just think they're on all sides including the anti-fat one).

                      Fwiw, the message to eat butter can easily be read as if you want to eat butter instead of margarine then do so. Kind of like what's happening with the meat research this week.

      • weka 1.1.3

        How old are the ties? I'm thinking they should have been declared and then there'd be no drama.

        That said, if we put a spotlight on nutritional research where prior, or even current vested interests meant exclusion, many studies would have to be excluded (including pro-vegan ones) 😉

        What I'd like to see is some decent critique of the study itself.

        • phillip ure 1.1.3.1

          ‘How old are the ties?’..

          this notorious funding group funded this study – fresh enough..?..)

          "What I'd like to see is some decent critique of the study itself.'

          on the day it came out – wallace chapman interviewed a professor of nutrition ((ak uni) on rnz..

          said professor cd not have been more scathing..

          and he was not talking about the funders of the study..

          he was talking about how the study was constructed/run..

          and the conclusions reached..

          and as i said..he cd not have been more scathing/dismissive..

          will he do for yr 'decent critique'..?

          (rnz website shd have the interview..i think it was chapman sitting in for jesse mulligan on afternoons..)

          • weka 1.1.3.1.1

            "this notorious funding group funded this study – fresh enough..?..)"

            What notorious funding group?

            • phillip ure 1.1.3.1.1.1

              the funding group cited in the article i linked to…who funded this study..

              the lead researchers' financiers..

              'The industry group, founded by a top Coca-Cola executive four decades ago, has long been accused by the World Health Organization and others of trying to undermine public health recommendations to advance the interests of its corporate members.'

              (hope that clarifies that..)

              and is that professot of nutrition from ak uni i cited as piring contempt on this bullshit credible enough for you..?

              • weka

                Sometimes you are hard to understand phil, so let me summarise this sub thread:

                1. a study was published (multiple authors, multiple papers)
                2. there's critique of undeclared conflicts of interest ('ties to industry')
                3. the lead author may have ties in the past
                4. the study may have been funded by industry

                I asked how old the ties between the lead author and the industry are. I don't think that's been answered yet.

                You said that the study was funded by industry, but your link and quote is talking about a previous study (on sugar consumption?) that the lead author was involved in, that was funded by an industry group.

                So we know from that that the lead author's previous work in 2016 was connected to the sugar industry. Apples and oranges there phil?

                My response to that is that it's relevant, but only in the context of understanding that the anti-fat health science of the last 50 years has similar connections to industry. Vegan research has similar ties.

                This doesn't help us assess the value of the study published this week.

                • i officially give up on this conversation..

                  it isn't an industry-group..it's a corporate-propaganda group – wodely discredited for publishing corporate-supporting lies..

                  this guy was pimping sugar in 2016..(credibility much..?..)

                  and every medical organisation that has looked at this has rubbished it..

                  i have twicw pointed you at a professor of nutrition from ak uni..who poured comtempton this pile of steaming bullshit..

                  but all of that has you still believing what supports yr addictions to eating animal-flesh..

                  so i can't do/say any more – yr denial of the evidence is gobsmacking..

                  so i'll just leave you to it..

        • The Al1en 1.1.3.2

          From the Dal uni website page Behind the beef a comment says it's funded by

          The review was funded by International Life Sciences, a scientific group backed by companies with a vested interest in the review's results, including Coca-Cola, General Mills, Hershey's, Kellogg's, Kraft Foods and Monsanto.

          But another comment to the piece rightly states

          What does animal welfare have to do with the the raw data… the raw data like it or not says that there is no or limited risk…. The social engineers would have you believe you will drop dead of cancer because you killed an animal.

          • weka 1.1.3.2.1

            Catching up. Read this,

            The research also sparked fierce criticism from organizations like the the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with the latter suggesting it could “cause harm to human health and erode public confidence in nutrition science.”

            No shit. This is precisely why it's still not being talked about, fear that when people find out the truth they will stop trusting the people who've been giving them such bad advice.

            • The Al1en 1.1.3.2.1.1

              Thing is it's not like bad pro smoking or anti climate change science, bought and paid for with corporate cash, it's analysis of raw data from several studies.

              But no surprise to see push back from those advancing what could now be the wrong message for years.

              • weka

                I was meaning that there has been corporate capture in nutrition science, and when people find out that the fat is bad hypothesis is so wrong I think it's reasonable to be critical of the science and the institutions involved. Public confidence is a critical issue here.

                Not sure about the raw data argument. All data has to be processed through human brains and thus gets layers of interpretation and bias naturally. For me it's more about being able to examine those biases and be honest about them. Kind of like politics.

                • The Al1en

                  I guess, like most things these days, it will come down to what fact or alternate fact people choose to believe.

                  • weka

                    Most people don't have the scientific literacy to either work directly with raw data, or critique published studies that do. Most rely on their GP, and public health messaging and the MSM. It's a huge issue, and many pro-science people have been strong on not talking about it.

                    This study looks interesting to me, but I still haven't seen a clear set of analyses that convince me who I should believe. That's an indictment of science culture as a whole, and it sucks that we should all be in this position of having to choose which facts we believe.

                    • Editractor

                      The study was published only on Oct 1, so it will take a little while for meaningful critiques/analyses to come out, and much longer for peer-reviewed, published articles.

                      But in a way we don't need these. Look at the "Recommendations" section in the abstract and the recommendations are categorized as "weak" based on "low-certainty evidence" (link to study at the bottom of this post).

                      Then look at the "Evidence Summary for Harms and Benefits of Unprocessed Red Meat Consumption" and "Evidence Summary for Harms and Benefits for Processed Meat" sections. The evidence for reducing consumption is categorized as low or very low certainty.

                      Finally, read the "Rationale for Recommendations for Red Meat and Processed Meat" section.

                      From my reading, the authors are opting for the status quo because the evidence is not good enough to confidently decide either way.

                      https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2752328/unprocessed-red-meat-processed-meat-consumption-dietary-guideline-recommendations-from

            • phillip ure 1.1.3.2.1.2

              @ weka..

              'u said..'This is precisely why it's still not being talked about, fear that when people find out the truth they will stop trusting the people who've been giving them such bad advice.'

              wow..!..that is how you read all those takedowns of this bullshit..?

              as a big conspiracy by them..?

              not as a warning about lies being peddled that have health inplications for those believing it..?

              are-you-kidding-me..?

    • Andre 1.2

      The appropriate reaction to almost every nutrition study should be "Meh, whatevs". This piece explains why:

      https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/10/4/20897383/nutrition-advice-science-meat-psychology-replication

      tl;dr The effects of any particular dietary change (if there even are any) are sufficiently small and the accuracy of measurements and data collection is so poor that it's hard to get any meaningful results. Someone's diet has to be pathologically extreme, or that person has a specific health condition relating to specific foods, before there are likely to be significant health consequences from removing or adding specific foods to even a moderately balanced and varied diet.

      • weka 1.2.1

        There's pretty clear evidence that shifting whole people's off their traditional diets onto high carb diets correlates with high levels of chronic disease very quickly. There's also reasonably good work showing causative factors.

        I see a *lot of people reporting ill health from vegan diets. Maybe that proves your point (being vegan is extreme), but it does just remove specific foods.

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          I also think that telling people to avoid eating animal fats is extreme, but that's the mainstream advice and I'm not sure what your point is. That people should eat what they want?

          • Andre 1.2.1.1.1

            My point is that if your diet includes portions from all food groups (ie, at least moderately balanced, if not well-balanced), then from a personal health perspective there's unlikely to be big benefits from any big changes such as eliminating red meat. Or eliminating animal fats.

            Vegan diets are not even moderately balanced, there's entire food groups missing. That makes vegan an extreme diet. So while it is possible to be healthy on a vegan diet, it takes a lot of knowledge and care to ensure it includes a full set of nutrients. There are a significant number of vegans that don't and thereby suffer ill-health as a result.

            Similarly, excessive refined carbs falls into the category of extreme diets with other foods massively under-represented.

            Then when it comes to specific ethnic groups that have had generations to evolve around specific diets, that's a whole 'nother conundrum. For instance, the Maasai diet is mostly milk, blood and meat, and it apparently works for them. Switch a Maasai onto a diet that's well-balanced for a european, and I'd expect it would have adverse effects for the Maasai.

            • weka 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Cheers, agree with most of that.

              Excessive refined carb diets is also known as the standard American diet (SAD). NZ does better because I think we still eat less refined, and industrialised foods, but relative to human history our diets are still very high carb. This is one of the consequences of the low fat messaging, people just ate more carbs. It's not quite as straight forward as this but what happened next was a spike in heart disease and diabetes.

              So when we talk about extreme diets, that's most people in the West.

              • @ weka..

                ' NZ does better '

                um..!..only incrementally..?..surely..?

                we in nz are right up there in the obesity stakes..

                • weka

                  yes, in part because Māori and Pasifika peoples have been shifted off traditional diets onto high carb ones thanks to anti-animal fat messaging (amongst other factors eg colonisation). Pākehā are having similar problems.

                  Obesity isn't the problem (it's not an illness). Diabetes and heart disease are, and there are clear correlations between them and high carb diets.

                  My point was more that NZ can probably shift to a less extreme diet more easily than the US who now seem to eat a very extreme diet with many people not knowing what good food even is. Whatever its limitations, NZ's traditional meat and three veg dinners now look positively healthy by comparison (and probably really are).

        • phillip ure 1.2.1.2

          @ weka..

          u said: 'I see a *lot of people reporting ill health from vegan diets.'

          got any (credible) linkls/evidence of that..?

          i know a lot of vegans – over decades.. u can usually pick them out in a crowd – 'cos they look healthy..

          that is why i ask for evidence of this repeated claim of yrs..

  2. Cinny 2

    Nick is an awesome person, he really is, I've run into him a few times, he's a great guy who wants to see more tiny houses in our district. What has happened to him is crazy and will put so many people off getting a tiny house and that in itself blows, big time.

    They left the wheels behind it's as simple as that, but the TDC are being absolute arseholes about it. In Motueka there are currently 30 families on the waiting list for housing, we need more small houses not roadblocks. Meanwhile ALL OVER our district are house trucks, buses etc that haven't moved for years, probably aren't even capable of moving now, but no one goes after them.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/116242040/motueka-man-in-battle-with-council-over-tiny-house#comments

    The tiny house that Nick has is from Eco Cottages in ChCh and it's beautiful, check out their work, amazing!

    http://ecocottages.co.nz/

    • gsays 2.1

      Hi Cinny, it is so frustrating to watch. An ideas, creative person, comes up with a fantastic product/service then gets stymied by bureaucracy.

      Both parties need an interface. By that I mean the creative (heart) party needs a head type person to deal with the council. The council needs creative types to accept proposals and find a way or compromise to assist their public.

      The risk averseness of councils can go over the top.
      Edit, I am getting my wires crossed with another story about a chappie who is having council issues at the production end of the chain.

    • weka 2.2

      Taking the wheels off seems indicative of intention for it not to be mobile. A caravan would only have that done if it was not road worthy or was being repaired. Who would transport a caravan on the back of a truck when it can easily be towed?

      It's also not a caravan if it's 3.1m wide. The legal width for vehicles is 2.5m. If you want to move something on the road wider than that you have to get a permit.

      I agree councils need to change given the housing crisis (and TDC are probably being stupid here), but I'd think there are reasons why tiny home people are getting into these difficulties when housebus people aren't (and let's hope TDC doesn't start going after the buses). I'm also wondering what the tiny home builders are saying to clients, because it looks like this man was given bad advice.

      • McFlock 2.2.1

        Haven't these "trailers" come up before?

        I'm all for innovation, but they really do look like an attempt to dodge building regulation – and we all know where that ends up. Only instead of leaky buildings, in the case we end up with a trailer park full of uninsulated, untransportable (because the chassis rusted) slum homes.

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          It looks to me like people trying to skirt building regs with those oversized ones. Otherwise build an actual caravan and live in that. You can make it look like a house if you want, but it still needs to be something that would transport easily on the road. Definitely a buyer beware situation for resales. Ideally people building should be keeping records of what materials they used, and how they were constructed. But people buying caravans don't have the protections of building regs, so I think it's ok to build tiny homes with the same expectations. More honesty about all this would help.

          I would expect ones built by companies where you can see who the owner/manager/builders are will be sound. I also think there are plenty of owner builders, or housebuilders who can now build them competently. But there's already ripoffs happening from crooks taking people's money and then not completing building. And there will be a certain % of bad builds too. People are desperate for housing, and many seem naive going in (hence we have building regs for housing).

    • Sacha 2.3

      council had been obligated to investigate when a member of the community had informed them of Hughes' construction plans

      Their motivation would be interesting to hear.

      • weka 2.3.1

        the complainer or the council's motivation?

        Councils have an obligation to investigate breaches of bylaws if they are brought to their attention.

        • Sacha 2.3.1.1

          The complainer. Reporting something before it has even happened seems dedicated.

          • weka 2.3.1.1.1

            People complaining because they fear their property value will be affected seems common.

            "Choat said council had been obligated to investigate when a member of the community had informed them of Hughes' construction plans in April."

            Odd given the build happened in Chch. Maybe he started landscaping? Putting in utilities?

            Could be he just has a neighbour that doesn't like him.

  3. Ad 3

    Anyone got on-the-ground gossip on the mayoral races of either Dunedin or Queenstown Lakes?

    • weka 3.1

      Ad, did you see the Spinoff snakes write up on the Dunedin mayoral candidates? 🐍

    • Graeme 3.2

      Peter Newport has been running candidate videos on his Crux site and has produced this analysis based on engagement https://crux.org.nz/community/pitiful-voter-turnout-so-far-by-qldc-and-codc-residents/

      Interesting that Alexa Forbes has come out with an endorsement of Jim Boult.

      Nick Kiddle started off as single issue candidate opposing the visitor levy, he's a motelier, but has picked up a lot of support from hospitality cost accountants, and people who are called street pavers in our household. They come here thinking the streets are paved with gold and set up, then bumble along. About 5 or 6 years later they discover the streets really are paved with gold, just that it was their gold. At present this is a sizeable subset of the Queenstown Lakes population and may include Mr Kiddle.

      My pick is Boult for Mayor, but close and a council favouring controlled growth.

      Over the hill in Wanaka it's Airport Airport Airport, and will be interesting how that comes out. Wanaka is a very seperate race to ours in Whakatipu, but issues and motivations are the same, just we are several cycles ahead of Wanaka.

      Central Otago looks like Tim Cadogan by heaps, interesting guy and doing a good job. Big issue is about where and how Cromwell expands. They built a Motorsport Park on the southern edge of town which is where the town should be expanding. Lots of arguments around reverse sensitivity and huge population growth and demand making fiery race for Council and Community Board.

  4. (this is a good read – how portugal solved their heroin overdose epidemic..)

    'In 2001, Portugal was experiencing an opioid-involved overdose crisis, similar to the one gripping the United States. The country used criminalization and incarceration to try to manage drug use, while HIV rates among people who use drugs were the highest in Europe.

    In response to this emergency, Portugal launched its decriminalization program that year, and the rest is history. Overdose deaths have plummeted by 80 percent, while the percentage of drug users diagnosed with new HIV infections fell from 52 percent in 2000 to 7 percent in 2015. Rates of problematic drug use and drug-related incarceration have also fallen, while numbers of people voluntarily entering treatment for substance use issues have increased.'

    https://filtermag.org/portugal-decriminalization-drug-use-explained/

    • Very interesting. A triumph for practical and kindly legal action, instead of moralising, punishing societal controls encouraging corruption of the pocket and the soul, of both offenders and those dealing with them.

    • Dukeofurl 4.2

      Why dont you say it Phil "decriminalization program"

      Its wasnt a legalisation at all. So Sad .
      Instead:
      “If police find you with illicit drugs, you’ll be arrested and taken to a police station where the drugs will be weighed. If the amount is above the strictly enforced threshold limits — designed to be a 10-day supply for personal use, or 25 grams of cannabis, five grams of cannabis resin, two grams of cocaine, or one gram each of ecstasy or heroin — you can be charged as a trafficker. If convicted, jail terms range from one year to 14 years.
      if you arent an addict – just recreational ! then ignore harm reduction at your peril

  5. joe90 5

    Indigenous people targeted for doing what we should all be doing.

    Nearly three years after two women began allegedly plotting to disrupt the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is charging them with several federal crimes that could land them behind bars for 110 years

    […]

    Now, Reznicek and Montoya face up to 110 years in prison for these alleged crimes. If convicted, they would be the latest to go to jail for protesting the pipeline. All of the other individuals have been incarcerated are indigenous, Carl Williams, the executive director of the Water Protector Legal Collective, which is representing them in court, told Earther. There were 761 arrests made during the protests, but only five individuals have served time. Some are still in prison, but others are out on parole and, as Williams put it, “still under the control of the federal government.”

    https://earther.gizmodo.com/two-years-after-confessing-dakota-access-protestors-ch-1838783498?IR=T

  6. joe90 6

    Friday night dump – it wasn't just a blockage.

    /

    • Sacha 6.1

      Hopefully he puts staying alive first. Especially being only third in that other race.

    • Andre 6.2

      Aww. c'mon. Dr. Evil Dick Cheney was the manipulative power behind the throne Veep after multiple heart attacks. Surely the Bern can match that.

      But seriously, several people close to me have had stents put in. Afterwards, the changes I was most concerned about were not so much physical as cognitive changes, probably due to the medications they went on. For all of them, it took years of adjusting the doses of statins, beta-blockers etc to find a combo of specific brands and doses to get them back to upstairs functioning similar to pre-heart attack.

      • Dukeofurl 6.2.1

        Cheney was only VP when he had his major attack – (he had a heart transplant in 2012 while out of office) but not his first.

        The VP job is nothing like the responsibility of being President.

        Oh and the other matter Sanders is only running for the democratic nomination…hes neither President or VP yet.

        They need to be more forthcoming about Sanders condition…what artery ..what type of stent..

        The pressure is only going to increase till the election in a year or so, and then ramp up again if elected.

        • Andre 6.2.1.1

          The VP job is nothing like the responsibility of being President.

          Yeah. 98% of the job description is just continuing to have a heartbeat in case the president suddenly doesn't. So having already had three heart attacks by the time he was chosen wouldn't have seemed the ideal qualification. But hey, I'm no HR expert, what would I know?

    • The Al1en 6.3

      It looks more and more like the end of Bernie Sanders for 2020. Even if he make a remarkable return to full health and decides to continue, I suspect the damage will be fatal for his nomination hopes. It's all very well to aim to be over 80 at the end of your term as president, but after a health scare like this, it'll be hard to win over more than the hardened Bernistas.

      At least a lot of his policies are compatible with Warren’s, so those looking forward will have a ready made home for their votes.

  7. Elizabeth Warren represents a new politics in which by challenging the power of the oligarchy she has the potential of reclaiming the white working class for Democrats and uniting them with the coalition of professionals single women gays and minorities who elected Obama

    Elizabeth Warren raises $24.6m in latest quarter, just behind Bernie Sanders

    Elizabeth Warren raised $24.6m over the past three months, relying largely on a massive small donor operation to solidify her status as a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

  8. joe90 8

    The rats have noticed that the lower decks are awash.

  9. Had to do a couple of trips to Auckland airport and back to Hamilton last week, and boring drive aside, with some regular running to work and back and around town included, I managed to eek out 43mpg from 49lt after 742km travelled.

    I don't love inanimate objects, but I do have a serious crush on my just shy of 30 years old MX-5.

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        6.6L per 100km 🙂

        • Grant 9.1.1.1

          Equals 42mpg. Not bad for a 30 yr old car considering my golf7 does 5.8 l / 100km or 48mpg. Mind you that’s mainly urban stop start driving and not trying too hard 😉

          • The Al1en 9.1.1.1.1

            460 of those km were motorway, the rest urban, so not bad at all. I've got higher just from long runs only, but like you say below, light car with judicious use of the throttle gets you that sometimes.

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.2

            sorry yeah that was the conversion.

            Not sure what my wee moped gets, but I suess it's about 3 or 4L per 100k

        • weka 9.1.1.2

          cheers. That's better than anything I've driven.

      • The Al1en 9.1.2

        Yeah, miles per gallon. I'm old, so it more meaningful to me to use old money than litres, as McF notes.

        • weka 9.1.2.1

          it was more the juxtaposition of imperial and metric 😉

          • The Al1en 9.1.2.1.1

            Covering the bases for those kids who first went to school the year the decimal system came in subsequently use cm on rulers but envisage feet for distance. lol

    • Graeme 9.2

      There's a lot of older small cars that are surprisingly economical, mainly because they are so much lighter than modern cars since they aren't carrying around all the safety stuff a 2019 car has. So 5 – 7L / 100km isn't hard to achieve in the right 80's or 90's car.

      The idea of blanket age bans, like Japan, on efficiency grounds could throw a few babies out with the bath water. Japan's 5 year regime is more about supporting their manufacturers so not relevant here but an incentive to get rid of guzzlers has merit.

      Our commuter, 50km into Queenstown and back, 7 days, is a 1986 Honda City. Consistent 5l / 100km with 300,000 km under it's belt and original mechanicals. I run a 1971 Landrover for my fencing work which makes up for the City, I don't bother counting how much fuel that consumes, but overall running costs (repairs, depreciation, insurance and fuel) are considerably less than the modern 4×4 utes the farm manager drives around in and it's as reliable. Repairs on his J rego Navara were horrific.

      • weka 9.2.1

        If we wanted to do right by nature, what we could have done is audited the NZ car fleet, looked at which cars were worth keeping on the road, promoted less car driving alongside major investment in alt transport (public, walking, biking), and brought in EVs as needed but with regards for the GHGs created in their manufacture.

        Trying to replace the whole fleet with EVs and BAU usage is the same daftness as demolishing good but older housing instead of retrofitting, and then building theoretically more energy efficient houses but ones that are larger (thus use more power) and have significant embodied energy and GHGs in their build. We really are still at the stupid end of this stuff.

        • Sacha 9.2.1.1

          Because our regulators refuse to do the job properly. Half-arsed tinkering won't be enough.

        • Graeme 9.2.1.2

          My reasoning for running the fleet we do is that once the shit hits the fan those decisions are going to be made for us, and humanity isn't going have any redress. Up to that point there are so many uncertainties about how it will pan out that any decision could be totally wrong.

          We probably not much different to the very early transition from horse to motorcar, when there were lots of different technologies, battery electric, steam and countless ice ideas floating around, but it wasn't until a quite basic, but reliable concept and manufacturing breakthrough of the assembly line came together with the Ford Model T, that the horse went out to pasture. We're probably at about 1903 when the best thing was the steam car, and cities were having to deal with mountains of horse shit

          We still have to stay alive in the current world and have an eye for how the world is going to change into the future, but as that world changes so do our options which may be what we see now, or may be something totally different depending on what technological opportunities or climatic realities emerge.

          Getting rid of the worst emitters and substituting with a lower emitter, if there's a viable substitution, is a no brainer. Gross technology changes by could be fraught if we make the wrong choices.

          Any decision to power down won't be made by us, consensus won't happen until the decision is made for us by nature. Unfortunately humans aren't wired like that.

    • Macro 9.3

      Hmmm my 2007 Prius does around 4.5 l/100 K over a similar route Thames to Auckland return. On a long run – down to Wellington with 4 persons it did around 4.2 l / 100 K. Around town I can drive to the shops and half way back on EV before the motor kicks in as the return journey is up hill.

  10. Isn't it just so refreshing to know that our 'officials' are on to it all (going farward):

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/116350054/ministry-of-health-fronts-as-cyber-attack-leaves-patient-data-exposed

    August – September – October. And rest assured, y'all can be assured your GP files are safe and sound.

    Tse tse tse tse! Them bloody Spanish anarchists eh. Geez they’re a bit of humour.

    (/sarc)

    • OnceWasTim 10.1

      Obviously "not a big issue" ….. until it suddenly is.

      The demonstration of competing egos and cleverness – (above) – is obviously far more important.

      QI this site eh? It could be used as a case study in MDIA and SOSC 101 studies.

      I sometimes think that whilst the Tory comes with an inherent expectation of being deserving, these days the Left (as it has evolved and stands today) deserves itself

  11. aj 11

    I read today "All Blacks: World anger as captain Kieran Read in clear after no arms tackle"

    I thought I stayed awake through the completely fawning coverage of our national sport on TV1 6pm news last night and and tonight. I did not see one reference to this matter (correct outcome or not). For the so-called main news channel in New Zealand, this is pathetic and the reverence accorded to rugby is way over the top.

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