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Open mike 07/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 7th, 2021 - 117 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

117 comments on “Open mike 07/09/2021 ”

  1. weka 1

    I’ve just seen someone say that the LynnMall attacker targeted white people. Have I missed something? Is there evidence of this?

    • Gezza 1.1

      Yes, I saw a young Kiwi female witness on three news, who said she was there in the supermarket, appeared to be of Indian descent, and said that the attacker wasn't interested in her, that he seemed to be (she paused to think about how to put it) specifically going after white people.

      I was quite surprised they showed it.

      Can't remember now if it was the night of the attack or the following night. She's the only witness I've seen saying that. And I don't know if she's accurate – but I've seen someone else report this witness's claim in an online news article or possibly on Kiwiblog too.

      Might still be viewable on the on demand three news?

    • Ross 1.2

      Not that I'm aware of. But few of us are privy to his thoughts and writings. Those that had dealings with him, including his family and friends, may know more.

      He apparently wrote that if he was sent back to Sri Lanka he would seek out "Kiwi scums", whatever that means.

    • Jester 1.3

      Yes I saw the interview Gezza mentions and she said he seemed to target white people and ignored her.

  2. This lifted from last night's Daily Review, on a twitter thread:

    "The spanish flu killed 1% of Europe. It also caused permanent chronic illnesses in tens of millions of people. Kidney disease, heart disease, developmental disabilities, stroke victims, etc"

    We don't want to get Covid in any form. Anything the government does to keep it running rampant in our society is worth backing – and to hell with the economy!

    • francesca 2.1

      Think you might need a from in there Tony

      I agree

    • Alan 2.2

      wishful thinking Tony, it will be near impossible to keep covid out forever

    • Jenny how to get there 2.3

      Alan

      7 September 2021 at 8:58 am

      wishful thinking Tony, it will be near impossible to keep covid out forever

      "Near impossible" is not, impossible.

      Many experts say that achieving herd immunity is near impossible.

      Which of course means, achieveing herd immunity is possible, (but difficult).

      As John F. Kennedy said, "We don't do these things because they are easy, we do these things because they are hard".

      So what would it take?

      We don't know what level of the population would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19, because it has never been done before.

      But we do know that for measles, another highly transmissable disease, herd immunity is achieved when 95% of the population has been vaccinated.

      Is 95% vaccination coverage our target?

      Is that what we want?

      If that is what we want, can we the team of 5 million pull it off?

      Could 95% of us be vaccinated?

      Do we have the sort of visionary leadership that could inspire the team of 5 million to achieve that level of vaccnation coverage?

      Can 95% of us be inspired to go for it?

      With determined leadership, with inspiring messaging appealing to national pride, I believe it is possible.

      "Let's do this!"

      …..The percentage of people who need to be immune in order to achieve herd immunity varies with each disease. For example, herd immunity against measles requires about 95% of a population to be vaccinated. The remaining 5% will be protected by the fact that measles will not spread among those who are vaccinated. For polio, the threshold is about 80%. The proportion of the population that must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to begin inducing herd immunity is not known. This is an important area of research and will likely vary according to the community, the vaccine, the populations prioritized for vaccination, and other factors.

      Achieving herd immunity with safe and effective vaccines makes diseases rarer and saves lives.

      https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/herd-immunity-lockdowns-and-covid-19

  3. Ngungukai 3

    Can we please get Winston and NZ First back into Government and get some Sanity back into the Asylum in Wellington.

    • Ad 3.1

      In a queue of 100 for my first jab at a stadium, I'm not even sure what sanity would now look like.

      • Andre 3.1.1

        How'd it go?

        Got mine this arvo at the old Appliance Shed building. Just a couple minutes wait inside, no queues at all.

        Quickest jab ever. I swear, she nailed me with that harpoon and delivered the payload before the swab even hit the rubbish bin.

        Only side effect so far is I kinda stuck hard to the door frame getting in the car to leave. Wasn't expecting the magnet effect to be so strong.

        • Incognito 3.1.1.1

          I highly recommend good Anti-Virus software because you don’t want to get hacked. The monthly software updates can be tedious and the unscheduled patches are frustrating, but shit happens and not everything gets caught in beta-testing stage.

          • Andre 3.1.1.1.1

            Do you install it like this?

            • Incognito 3.1.1.1.1.1

              No, no, no!

              You have to lick the shiny surface of the CD-ROM to properly install it. Make sure you do this anti-clockwise or you might get a DDoS Error, which is not good and you have to reinstall everything from scratch. After that, you restart the system and wear it as in the photo to complete the installation and make sure it is working properly. Never ever eat cookies before you lick on the disk!

        • Ad 3.1.1.2

          Just had a CIA MIB knock on the door warning me about Pfizer's Ukraine testing lab.

          Seriously, Te Wanau Waipereira had 30 cars lined up by 8am for the 8.30am kickoff..

          Tonnes of polite staff, from traffic to parking to registation to jabs to aftercare.

          Having previously been registered for the now-defunct Elliot Street one, I was very happy with the service.

          • Andre 3.1.1.2.1

            Yeah, pretty slick operation with a positive friendly vibe all around.

            I'd expect nothing less from secret conspiracists trying to hide the truth that they're all in thrall to shapeshifting reptilian alien overlords trying to control our minds.

    • Tricledrown 3.2

      With a Vacuum on the right it would be easy for any politician to make a mark how ever looking at Winston's ability to communicate has diminished and given its 2 years before another election .if he doesn't make the 5% threshold he will be useful in keeping National from the govt benches.His handbrake style of politics didn't go down well last time if National find a better leader Winston's protest vote will disappear .

    • Brigid 3.3

      If more people agreed with you, he would be.

      But they don't

    • Patricia Bremner 3.4

      Sanity is what this Government is doing. Insanity is "opening up" "living with the virus" before people are able to be vaccinated.

      Look at Britain. Now losing a "jumbo jet load" of people every three days. All their systems strained or curtailed.

      We are struggling to manage getting enough vaccine from producers and to get people to understand that each transmission means we may have a worse version to fight.

      What is required is patience and a collective effort to reach full vaccination, coupled with health approaches to limit outbreaks and to minimise their effects.

    • Morrissey 3.5

      Winston and NZ First: sanity? More like complete ignorance and incoherence. Here's the poor old fellow back in 2015 trying, and failing, to enunciate a position on a pressing matter…

      MIHINGARANGI FORBES: Winston, should New Zealand recognize Palestine as an independent state? Currently around a hundred and thirty-five U.N. countries do; we don’t.

      WINSTON PETERS: Well look this is a tinder-dry area and it’s extraordinarily, errr, ancestral in nature. Uh, there ARE people working on a long-term solution, errr, that wi- would be acceptable to both sides, but in the middle of it has come this event, for which none of us is seriously briefed, and, ahh, I’m not going to jump into an argument without knowing the details on both sides, but this will not be, would not resolve THIS matter. Ahh, there ARE people trying to get past the present impasse that’s gone on now for decades, and trying to bring it to a resolution, and that’s what we in New Zealand First and I believe, indeed, the Government supports.

      . https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-05072015/#comment-1038864

  4. FAB mouse 4

    What are the arrangements for politician to be at parliament at level 3?

    Dr Shane Reti on RNZ this morning mentioned sharing dinner with Judith and several Nat MPs last night. How many bubbles did that burst?
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/first-up/audio/2018811287/reti-not-sure-how-movement-around-ak-will-work-with-levels
    He mentioned it in response to a question about an attempted "spill". Was he naming Judith's supporters?

    • Gezza 4.1

      Reduced number of MPs as I recall. As long as they're socially distancing there needn't be a problem with that small group of participants described sharing a meal in a sizeable room.

      Poor Collins. I'm not politically tribal. I reckon the mainstream media really are rather unfair how much more they seem to be cheerleading to get her dumped by National as leader than I recall them being with Andrew Little before he handed over to Ardern.

      But Collins is her own worst enemy. Even when she's got decent political ammunition to work with, she's one of the worst, most awkward communcators I've seen or heard in interviews.

      She gets flustered when ambushed & frequently burbles nonsense. I've even heard her recently saying the complete opposite to what she meant. She remained blissfully unaware of it.

      Reti, by comparison, in that audio link is streets ahead of her as a communicator.

      • Gabby 4.1.1

        Well Little tended not to go at their throats like a pitbull with the scent of postie in its nostrils, which might explain it. Paw Judy.

        • Gezza 4.1.1.1

          No, but he did bark at every passing car & was often vague about Labour's solutions when questioned. I never agreed with the Angry Andy label his opponents’ supporters sometimes used. He came across as humourless.

          Collns by comparison tries too hard to be witty & often ends up just being gauche. She's hopeless responding to questions, vague, lacking detail & often inaccurate.

          She criticised Press Gallery journos in a recent tv one interview for not "asking the hard questions" of Ardern and just asking "how she feels".

          I've watched all Ardern's standups re Level 4. I know what Collins means. Several of the gallery journos give Ardern an easy ride, & are quite deferential, imo. But she DOES get asked tricky questions. And nobody has ever actually said "How do you feel?"

          Collins is too vague & flippant for her own good.

    • mac1 4.2

      Level 2 restrictions of 50 in a room won't affect National's caucus, then…………

      • bwaghorn 4.2.1

        Heh, shit they could just about all take there partners to .

        • mac1 4.2.1.1

          Half of them could and still have room for Mr Goodfellow and partner. 32 +16 +2.

          Mr Muller is already isolated from caucus to make 32.

          I wonder how many will be resigning before the next election? Nick Smith already gone. Who's next?

          Brownlee? Collins after being rolled? Bridges after his machinations have failed? Bishop who might find that life begins at forty? Brown who discovers the same at thirty?

          • Gezza 4.2.1.1.1

            Bishop often comes acrosss well but he's never going to live down that abominable performance as spokesperson for Big Tobacco with the sadly late Greg Boyed on Q+A. That probably rules him out as a leader prospect. If not for that he might be in the running.

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    Six Palestinian prisoners escape Israeli jail through tunnel

    Israeli authorities have launched a manhunt after six Palestinian prisoners escaped from one of the country's most secure jails overnight.

    The men are believed to have dug a hole in the floor of their cell at Gilboa prison, then crawled through a cavity and tunnelled beneath the outer wall.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-58460702

    • Gezza 5.1

      Yes, it's headlining on Al Jazeera tv.

      • Gezza 5.1.1

        Al Jazeera tv news: Palestinians are gearing up for trouble as Israeli security forces look likely to be entering their territories in force & going hard out to find them.

        • Gezza 5.1.1.1

          Aljaz tv news update: At the same time, Palestinians in the occupied territories are shown celebrating this small "victory over the Israeli military machine", and in Gaza they're handing out sweets.

          Israelis are concerned some of the escapees may be planning attacks.

          • Morrissey 5.1.1.1.1

            Israelis are concerned some of the escapees may be planning attacks.

            ??? You mean Israeli politicians and their media megaphones are claiming that. In the rational world, protests against the outlaw state continue…

            42-A6600405

            https://www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk/events/

            • Gezza 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, it was a voiceover by the AlJazeera reporter, with a quick comment by a middle-aged civilian car driver.

              Aljaz tv tends to be biased towards the Palestinian viewpoint, as am I. Pisses me off the US has done so much to defend the continual Israeli stealing of more & more Palestinian land & Trump made it even worse.

              But I have little hope of an eventual successful resolution of what to me is now an intractable problem in Israel/Palestine, Morrissey.

              Not while Hamas remains committed even in its 2017 Charter to completely extinguishing the Israeli state, which I don't think is appropriate, & it and Islamic Jihad are prepared to mount & encourage suicidal attacks among young Palestinians who now have no hope of their own sizeable state, & while Israel has got away with creating walled Palestinian territory bantustans, & making Gaza the biggest open-air concentration camp in the world, with Israel the uncontested & ruthless regional military & security superpower.

              The Brits & the UN have a lot to answer for. But the situation is now what is & I can't see how it will improve.

              • Morrissey

                Not while Hamas remains committed even in its 2017 Charter…

                ???? Have you ever expressed qualms about the United States Declaration of Independence, with its notorious racist ranting about "the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions"?

                If not, why not? Why do you single out the language of the Hamas Charter?

                Much of what you have written shows you to be a thoughtful and considered person; I would counsel you against being led by dodgy political commentators and right wing newspaper columnists into denouncing the democratically elected government of the Palestinian Territories.

                • Gezza

                  The US DOI is a separate issue, Morrissey. In these more enlightened days (well, for some) it's obvious that the European settler migrants & their descendants decimated, marginalised, & stole the lands & cultures of the North American first peoples. They have a hard road getting such damage redressed in any fair & meaningful way.

                  My view is that the Brits & the UN had no moral right to give Palestinian land to Jewish settlers for the re-creation of a Jewish state, without the prior consent of the Palestinian Arabs. But it happened. Largely because of the holocaust, Imo. The lead up to it was bloody & there were atrocities & massacres on both sides. The Israelis adopted many British practices (like blowing up the houses of Arab resisters & treating them like shit).

                  The Israelis had the best (British) trained & experienced army officers, & following their declaration of the establishment of the state of Israel they creamed the Arab armies who were hopeless by comparison. And they continued to do it until the Arab countries gave up attacking them.

                  The bigger Arab countries these days pay lip service only to supporting the Palestinians – not counting those who've concluded peace treaties with Israel.

                  Hamas & Islamic Jihad both have the fundamentalist Islamist objective of wiping Israel out. (So does Iran.) So even though Hamas was democratically elected in Gaza (because Fatah was perceived as corrupt, compromised by Israel, & impotent – unable to stop Israeli illegal settlement building & secure the Palestinian right of return of their diaspora) they end up looking like muderous fanatics.

                  Palestinians have no hope of matching military might with Israel. So Hamas is forced to use tactics like unguided missiles, suicide missions, sending young Palestinians to protests & loosing incendiary balloons into Israel, while Israel gets away with murdering Palestinian innocents by the score in brutal military response as "collateral damage" (only the yanks could come up with such a term). And the world basically doesn't give a shit any more, so long as Israel eventually stops slaughtering them after each major clash when the clamour against it gets too loud.

                  Too many Israelis have been born in Israel now. They can't be seriously expected to be eventually exterminated as a state as Hamas wants. Israel/Palestine is the UN's greatest failure, in my opinion.

                  • Morrissey

                    European settler migrants & their descendants decimated, marginalised, & stole the lands & cultures of the North American first peoples.

                    "Decimated"? They exterminated far more than one in ten.

                    Hamas & Islamic Jihad both have the fundamentalist Islamist objective of wiping Israel out. (So does Iran.)

                    Wrong in all three cases. You are simply repeating black propaganda.

                    …. eventually exterminated as a state as Hamas wants.

                    Again, you're repeating a ruthless lie. The only exterminationist ideology in that area of the world comes out of the outlaw regime in Tel Aviv, and its fanatical backers in the United States and Britain.

                    • Gezza

                      FGS. I didn't use "decimated"in the strictly Roman army sense. They were basically wiped out. Few I know would think otherwise.

                      Re Hamas, no I'm not. I don't believe most of what I hear from the Israel / US propaganda machine. And I don't believe them on this.

                      I've done my own extensive research over months into Hamas & its Charter or Covenant. Happy to agree to disagree.

    • Stuart Munro 5.2

      Colditz! Or at least Stalag Luft III.

  6. Tricledrown 6

    Listening 9 till noon Kathryn Ryan interviewing a research scientist about saliva testing for Covid .She is saying it is easier and just a accurate and that we need to be testing at higher rates around outbreaks and at borders once a week is not enough twice a week is much safer especially with the Delta variant.

    She is saying that other opinions from renowned scientists was being shut out by the NZ health response this needs to be looked into by this govt urgently maybe some bone for Collins and Seymour to pick on that's real and not made up for a change.

    • McFlock 6.1

      when folks start saying scientists are "renowned", I start getting suspicious.

      We do need more testing (mostly to boost the odds of detecting the index case in the wild, rather than a couple of transfers down the line), but it depends where the bottleneck is. If it's the number of swabs, fine. If it's the number of pcr machines, supplies, or accredited techs, switching tests won't improve anything.

      Collins and rimmer will pick at antything. There's nothing with meat relating to the covid response, though – all the govt needs to do is point to the rest of the world.

      Unfortunately, that also applies to shit where improvement has been too slow: housing, for example.

      • Forget now 6.1.1

        Dr Anne Wyllie and her team of researchers at Yale University in the United States pioneered the SalivaDirect test, given the green light in the US last year, which attracted global attention.

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tvnz.co.nz/news/story/JTJGY29udGVudCUyRnR2bnolMkZvbmVuZXdzJTJGc3RvcnklMkYyMDIxJTJGMDklMkYwNiUyRnNhbGl2YS10ZXN0

        However, last year is a long time ago in the field of SARS-Cov-2 research. There have been considerable developments in the past month which seem to be living up to the hype (and a seriously dope acronym – SHERLOCK = Specific High sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing)):

        The diagnostic device, called Minimally Instrumented SHERLOCK (miSHERLOCK), is easy to use and provides results that can be read and verified by an accompanying smartphone app within one hour. It successfully distinguished between three different variants of SARS-CoV-2 in experiments, and can be rapidly reconfigured to detect additional variants like Delta. The device can be assembled using a 3D printer and commonly available components for about $15, and re-using the hardware brings the cost of individual assays down to $6 each.

        https://wyss.harvard.edu/news/a-test-that-detects-covid-19-variants-in-your-spit/

        The CRISPR tech involved is fascinating. But the important point is that the test is done in the unit, and does not need to be sent off to a PCR lab.

        So the SalivaDirect team seem to have sent their resident kiwi in to flog their obsoleted product onto the NZ government while they still can. At least it's better than Shield.

    • Gabby 6.2

      She was talking about one specific test wasn't she. What do we know about its price and availability?

  7. Byd0nz 7

    https://sptnkne.ws/HjYA

    Legitimate worry.

    Standby for predictable reply from Ad.

    • Andre 7.1

      Have you enough independent thought of your own to give us a brief tl;dr in your own words?

      Y'know, a few hints as to the topic etc. Rather than just dropping a (frankly seriously dodgy-looking propaganda) link as a bit of flame-bait?

    • Incognito 7.2

      So, you post a non-intelligible link just so that you can needle someone else here?

      • Byd0nz 7.2.1

        It is a legitimate worry, so it's a legitimate comment. I can't help it if it needles the anti all Russian brigade.

        • Incognito 7.2.1.1

          What exactly is “a legitimate worry”, in your opinion?

          Without any commentary or explanation, it is not “a legitimate comment”.

          Why do you find it necessary or justified to needle another commenter, i.e., Ad, to be specific?

          If you have an issue with Ad’s Posts and/or comments you need to address those in a proper and adequate way. You seem to be unable to do so, or just not willing to put in the mahi.

          Why do you say that “[you] can't help it if it needles the anti all Russian brigade.” when you deliberately and intentionally wrote it in such a way that it would do exactly that?

          Why are you playing the victim?

          Why are you being disingenuous?

    • Tricledrown 7.3

      Russia are the biggest hackers in the world who would know if this is true or not I would suspect not given Russia's c invasion of former Soviet states.The US would not want research falling into Russian hands.

    • Stuart Munro 7.4

      There's this little leap your source has made, from biological to 'military biological', which they evidently cannot verify or they'd have raised it under the UN Biological Weapons Convention. Credulity r us.

      • francesca 7.4.1

        Not much of a leap as it happens

        “The Central Public Health Reference Laboratory was inaugurated in April 2011, and Andrew Weber, the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs took part in the ceremony (http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23257). Washington allotted $100 million for its construction, according to unofficial information (http://civil.ge/rus/article.php?id=23744). US officials openly stated that the laboratory would participate in the analysis of strategic biological risks. “The US Army plans to place specialists there that will work on these issues alongside the Georgians,” US Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland noted (http://nregion.com/pda/txt.php?id=44549

        https://jamestown.org/program/georgian-authorities-take-over-joint-us-georgian-biological-research-facility-under-russian-pressure/

        • Stuart Munro 7.4.1.1

          from your link

          Georgian authorities have finally realized that Russia is irritated not by the type of scientific research being carried out at this laboratory, but by the very existence of a Georgian-US military facility in the post-Soviet space—which then-President Dmitry Medvedev famously referred to as Russia’s zone of “privileged interest”

          So, rather than a 'legitimate worry' even your link confesses that this is merely Russian agitprop – not US aggression to take seriously, but Russia imposing its will on states unfortunate enough to have so belligerent a neighbour. Like the satirical boggies, hearts and minds play no part in Russian diplomacy:

          any small, slow, and stupid beast that turned its back on a crowd of boggies was looking for a stomping. ~ Bored of the Rings

          • francesca 7.4.1.1.1

            You were disputing the military involvement , calling it a little leap

            I don't recall using the term "a legitimate worry"

            • Stuart Munro 7.4.1.1.1.1

              No, that was your fellow traveler Bydonz – your link debunked his thesis, such as it was.

  8. francesca 8

    Yah boo sucks!

    Sputnik say no more

    Lying Russians

    Us only interested in keeping shipping lanes open , women and girls protection, human rights, democracy , freedom of the press

    They're the least militant nation on earth, never use sanctions as an economic weapon,

    have only the well being of the planet and humanity in mind

    Russians are bad, its their nature, they can't help it.They also have low home ownership rates, have been brainwashed and have bad teeth and awful hygiene habits

    The Ukrainians opposition members complaining are secret Russian sympathisers

    Need I go on ?

    And need I add the sarc tag?

  9. Incognito 9

    The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners is urging the public to be smart about misinformation highlighting untested and unapproved treatments of COVID-19, such as Ivermectin.

    Dr Bryan Betty, the College’s Medical Director says "The spread of misinformation is frustrating and can be highly dangerous, as recent media reports have shown.

    "The use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 is being researched through clinical trials but it is very important to note that at this point there is no evidence that supports the use of this medicine in the treatment of COVID-19.

    "Simply put, off-label* use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 is strongly not recommended," says Dr Betty.

    https://rnzcgp.org.nz/RNZCGP/News/College_news/2021/College_of_GPs_comes_out_against_Ivermectin_for_COVID-19_treatment.aspx

    In simple terms, until new data comes in and until further notice, stay away from it.

    • Andre 9.1

      I gotta admit, I kinda get frustrated by the usual wording of "no evidence supports". It makes it sound like it's still a completely open unresearched question.

      The actual situation with respect to ivermectin is that there have been two large scale well-designed, well conducted trials (Lopez-Medina in Colombia, and the Together trial by McMaster University) with significantly different dosage protocols, that both found negligible benefit over placebo.

      To me, a better wording would be something like "the best evidence to date shows no benefit from using ivermectin".

      • Anker 9.1.1

        "no evidence to support" is a phrase used in medicine, psychology etc and is well understood in those circles.

        "The best evidence to date" could carry the implication that the evidence being spoken of is high quality. Very often, particularly in psychology evidence can be poor e.g. sample seletion biases, lack of randomized control, errors in methodology.

        You would not want to imply that this is the "best evidence to date"……….its would suggest the evidence is high quality.

        • Andre 9.1.1.1

          "no evidence to support" is indeed the common professional phrase almost universally used within the profession.

          But when there is in fact strong evidence that something is ineffective, such as the evidence ivermectin is ineffective against covid, continuing to use that specific phrase rather than something stronger is misleading to non-professionals.

          It also makes it easy for misinformation artists to misrepresent the true state of understanding.

          • Anker 9.1.1.1.1

            It sounds like you know better than those whose work involves accessing evidence Andre.

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.2

            A bit like the "evolution is just a 'theory'" line.

          • Incognito 9.1.1.1.3

            Clinical trials are not designed to show that something is ineffective, as it would be unethical, for one. Demonstrating efficacy is not easy and often the P-value for so-called statistical significance is set at 0.05, which might be a wee bit too high. It means that there is a one-in-twenty chance that the ‘efficacy’ was caused by random noise in the data. Another way of putting is that if you were repeating the trial 20 times, one would show ‘efficacy’ when in reality there is none. This is better odds (happens more often) than throwing a specific number twice in row (e.g. two 6’s) with a dice (i.e. one-in-thirty six).

          • RedLogix 9.1.1.1.4

            One of the ways you know you are being lied to is when professionals who know perfectly well that Ivermectin that has an impeccable 40yr record of use in both animals and humans – in the order of billions of doses with virtually zero harm – is now suddenly a dangerous drug that has to be avoided.

            Right there is the red flag. These people are knowingly lying to you.

            There are two camps in this crisis – one is saying COVID is not real or not serious and are concerned that it's being used as a fig-leaf for authoritarianism. The other group believes COVID is serious and everything is about public health. Both groups are wrong in my view.

            COVID is of course real and dangerous but at the same time it's becoming clear that it's being used as an excuse to impose an unjustified removal of human rights and a creeping authoritarianism.

            And one of the main tools of that authoritarianism is the shouting down and smearing of people who object to it. It's plain this is no longer a science discussion – it's become an obdurately ideological one.

    • Andre 9.2

      Oh my.

      If the strong trial evidence ivermectin doesn't work is unconvincing, and reason that antiviral concentrations are impossible to actually achieve in humans doesn't persuade people to not take ivermectin, maybe this will:

      However, a recent report showed that 85% of all male patients treated in a particular centre with ivermectin in the recent past who went to the laboratory for routine tests were discovered to have developed various forms, grades and degrees of sperm dysfunctions including, low sperm counts, poor sperm morphologies (two heads, Tiny heads Double tails absence of tail’s, Albino sperm calls), azoospermia and poor sperm motility [6]. Several studies done on animals also showed similar findings [7, 8]. However, study on human on the effect of ivermectin therapy on male fertility is scanty. It is therefore the aim of this study to investigate the effect of ivermectin on the sperm functions of onchocerciasis patients.

      https://www.scholarsresearchlibrary.com/articles/effects-of-ivermectin-therapy-on-the-sperm-functions-of-nigerian-onchocerciasis-patients.pdf

      A brief squiz with google suggests this actually is legit research and not just a wind-up someone just hokied up.

      (h/t polecat at DailyKos)

  10. francesca 10

    The lamentable safety history of biolabs in the US

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/05/28/biolabs-pathogens-location-incidents/26587505/

    Russian propaganda from USAToday?

    Imagine how more lax would be the standards in the ex Soviet countries

    The labs may be perfectly innocent in their intent, but safety?

    I wonder

    And I wonder how well the US would tolerate Russian founded similar laboratories close to their borders

    • Byd0nz 10.1

      Good comment, and we know what the US military regime's reaction would be to your last paragraph.

    • RedLogix 10.2

      I've commented on this before but it's worth saying again – while living in Tawa during the 00's my partner socially encountered two separate people who both contracted a serious illness while working at NZ's own CRC biolab in Porirua. In both cases management covered it up.

      These places leak like sieves.

  11. Anne 11

    This is interesting. From RNZ live:

    Positive results for Sinovac booster shot

    A booster dose of Sinovac Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine reversed a decline in antibody activities against the Delta variant, a study showed, easing some concerns about its longer-term immune response to the highly contagious strain of the virus.

    The study comes amid concerns about the Chinese vaccine's efficacy against Delta, which has become the dominant variant globally and is driving a surge in new infections even in the most vaccinated countries.

    _ Reuters

    Because it is a Chinese vaccine some will wish to refute the study on political grounds.

  12. francesca 12

    Could someone with a bit more science savvy than me (not hard) explain how immunity can dwindle .I'd understood that once having encountered the Covid synthetic spike proteins, our immune systems have learnt how to fight the virus, and recognise and remember when they are exposed to the virus again

    Does our immune system somehow forget?

    I get that the original vaccines were developed to fight the existing strains around at the time and might not work so well for new variants, but how does a booster of the same vaccine help in that case?

    • Brigid 12.1

      It seems that the current vaccines are effective against the new variants.

      You might find this interesting

      https://starship.org.nz/health-professionals/starship-update/?fbclid=IwAR3hiKcz9-fTNRgUo-oh8SPqXT7YQI-zvnKvhE_MgA8XVkvemmaOLyeskMk

      As for why vaccines loose their efficacy, I don't know. I'll see what I can find

      • francesca 12.1.1

        Thanks Brigid

      • lprent 12.1.2

        It isn’t the vaccine that loses its efficacy, it is the multiple disease specific immune responses in the recipients of the vaccines.

        All any vaccine does is to point out disease proteins and structures to the bodies immune system, and let it recognise that disease. The body manufactures its responses to defend against those intruders.

        In a holistic sense what happens is that it costs the body quite a lot of to maintain a high level of immune alert, so over time without the presence of the disease, the bodies defences will slowly diminish to a watching brief. That can get overwhelmed if the body is exposed to a high viral load in the environment or if the bodies immune responses get diminished (for example when getting drunk too frequently or getting adult onset diabetes).

        The reason why these vaccines are done in series is to keep the threat alive for the bodies defences which over a series of shots over time builds up a higher ‘priority’ and longer term defences. It is a way of ‘talking’ to the immune system to say over and over again – ‘watch out for this!’.

        A very rough example of the process (ie the numbers are bogus but in the right kind of order for the current vaccinces) – you get a shot and it give you something like a 80% effectiveness. You get second shot 6 weeks later and you get 95% effectiveness. That slowly diminishes over 6 months to 85%. You get third shot then and it puts you up at 95% again – and it now takes 12 months to drop to 85%. Repeat as required.

        Now you could probably make a one shot vaccine that triggers a 95% response immediately. But that would probably make a number of recipients quite sick.

        You get a high immunity, but it also gives 4% chance of a adverse reaction rather than 0.04% chance. That is because your immune responses tend to be pretty dumb, and the often over-react to what look like severe infections and diseases.

        Obviously then risk from the cure is worse than the disease from that treatment – so a more attenuated vaccine is used.

        There should always be a strict statistical and careful analysis of any treatment, especially vaccines, because there are virtually no treatments that don’t have side effects. You need to figure out the risk/benefit profiles and balance them across whatever population you’re trying to treat.

        Which is why using a parasitical treatment in horse sized doses for a completely different purpose is so bloody stupid. So far it appears to have no significiant benefits against covid-19, and in large quantities or to the wrong person it has some significiant risks. There aren’t the systematic studies to indicate what those risks and benefits are.

        That is the gist of the logic behind all vaccines. Vaccines are way of getting peoples bodies a better chance at fighting off a specific disease. The extent to which they work really depends on just how responsive and individual’s immune system is. Which is why there are a list of conditions about who should not use each of them – based again on statistical risk/benefits.

        • roblogic 12.1.2.1

          If only Ivermectin cured brainworms as well as bodily parasites.

        • McFlock 12.1.2.2

          It's not just the dose size, it's also the release profile once taken and whether the other contents of the pill are to us the equivalent of chocolate to dogs.

          Like, I have been prescribed two types of dicolfenac: 12.5mg and 75mg (with a max of 150mg/day). Pharmacist pointed out that one 75mg isn't the same as half a dozen 12.5mg pills because they're quicker release for acute pain, rather than a treatment for chronic issues, and it's a great way to screw your kidneys or something.

          • Gezza 12.1.2.2.1

            Yes, a lot of the most common anti-inflammatories are nephrotoxic over time. My late wife's kindeys were destroyed by 30 years of them. She had a particularly painful & aggressive kind of arthritis in her major joints. Her last 9 years were spent on peritoneal dialysis.

            • lprent 12.1.2.2.1.1

              Yeah, one of the reasons that medical trials for general release treatments are so large is because they're looking for the optimal dosing regimes as well.

        • Gezza 12.1.2.3

          Got my 2nd Covid 19 jab today. Only had a mildly sore upper arm the following day last time.

          We were rather late getting the initial invites to apply as 65+ cohort in Wgtn. My invitation came by text the evening after Ardern had announced that afternoon that all in that cohort had now been sent invitations.

          (Level 4 lockdown was announced as coming into effect the next day after I got home.)

          I'm happy enuf. My lungs are pretty stuffed. If I get Covid 19 unvaccinated it's likely to be "all over Rover" for me.

          • lprent 12.1.2.3.1

            My first jab is scheduled for Friday. That was the first date that I could get a couple of months ago within an easy cycling distance after the first age cohort under 65 was opened.

            I'd have chased one earlier (I have a stent from a previous heart attack), but as a computer programmer with a limited interest in a social life, I live a reasonably constrained life anyway. As an ex-medic and a person with an interest in the history of epidemics, I am really cautious about infections. Plus we went straight into level 4.

        • RedLogix 12.1.2.4

          Which is why using a parasitical treatment in horse sized doses for a completely different purpose is so bloody stupid.

          Using the wrong dose of anything is completely stupid, and on that basis you can discredit all therapeutic treatments – even the vaccines themselves. All you're attempting there is smear by association.

          And of course there are many drugs that turn out to have multiple actions and a diverse range of uses. The term 'off label" doesn't mean useless – it just means that clinicians find broader uses for a drug beyond the original official approvals. This has been common practice for decades.

          And finally the one aspect of this whole discussion that totally irks me is the notion that the entire human immune system consists of vaccine induced anti-bodies and nothing else. Again we've known for decades that it's a much more complex system than this and that when it comes to virus's the antibody component of the system is relatively unimportant. Virus's are nothing more than bits of RNA that enter cells and hijack them from the inside – while antibodies are very large molecules that are outside the cell. The two actually don't meet each other directly.

          If you recall the AIDs epidemic you should remember that what is actually important in destroying virus infected cells are a completely different part of your immune system, the T-cells. The dangerous aspect of HIV was that it defeated the T-cell system and opened up the body to opportunistic attack from other virus's. The point to bear in mind here is that T-cell lymphocytes and B-cell antibodies are different aspects of the immune system and that measuring antibody response only captures one aspect it.

          The reason why the immune system is so complex is because there are so many classes of threat – bacteria, virus's, parasites and fungi are the main four. As a result we've evolved a complex immune system that has many components each working in tandem – and in the case of virus attack the lead actor are the T-cell lymphocytes (white blood cells) that recognise and kill virus infected cells. The B-cell antibodies are best thought of as the clean up crew. This NIH article is a good description:

          All six previously known coronaviruses spark production of both antibodies and memory T cells. In addition, studies of immunity to SARS-CoV-1 have shown that T cells stick around for many years longer than acquired antibodies. So, Bertoletti’s team set out to gain a better understanding of T cell immunity against the novel coronavirus.

          The researchers gathered blood samples from 36 people who’d recently recovered from mild to severe COVID-19. They focused their attention on T cells (including CD4 helper and CD8 cytotoxic, both of which can function as memory T cells). They identified T cells that respond to the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid, which is a structural protein inside the virus. They also detected T cell responses to two non-structural proteins that SARS-CoV-2 needs to make additional copies of its genome and spread. The team found that all those recently recovered from COVID-19 produced T cells that recognize multiple parts of SARS-CoV-2.

          Next, they looked at blood samples from 23 people who’d survived SARS. Their studies showed that those individuals still had lasting memory T cells today, 17 years after the outbreak. Those memory T cells, acquired in response to SARS-CoV-1, also recognized parts of SARS-CoV-2.

          Finally, Bertoletti’s team looked for such T cells in blood samples from 37 healthy individuals with no history of either COVID-19 or SARS. To their surprise, more than half had T cells that recognize one or more of the SARS-CoV-2 proteins under study here. It’s still not clear if this acquired immunity stems from previous infection with coronaviruses that cause the common cold or perhaps from exposure to other as-yet unknown coronaviruses.

          In the context of COVID the presence of B-cell antibodies is a good measure of whether or not you have been infected or vaccinated recently – but probably doesn't say anything much about the ability of your immune system as a whole to defeat another exposure.

          • lprent 12.1.2.4.1

            All you're attempting there is smear by association.

            Read it again. In particular the paragraph preceding your quoted section where I said…

            There should always be a strict statistical and careful analysis of any treatment, especially vaccines, because there are virtually no treatments that don’t have side effects. You need to figure out the risk/benefit profiles and balance them across whatever population you’re trying to treat.

            That is the crucial step in determining if a treatment should be used – because in the end there is simply no other effective way at present to determine the risk profiles and benefits of a treatment.

            With invermectin, so far what small and largely anecdotal studies have been done (once you exclude the bullshit study that got withdrawn because analysis showed that the numbers were largely made up) the statistics don't appear to show any significiant benefit even as a Hail Mary treatment in reducing mortality. There is now however considerable anecdotal evidence that taking horse sized doses on invermectin is dangerous to all sorts of systems on humans – which is presumably why clinical studies on that kind of dose haven't happened..

            And finally the one aspect of this whole discussion that totally irks me is the notion that the entire human immune system consists of vaccine induced anti-bodies and nothing else.

            Which is why I tend to say immune system rather than anti-bodies or t-cells or anything else. There are a lot of systems involved from the auto-destruct genes that fail when the cell itself perceives damages inside cells through to the bone marrow immune cell manufacturing sites.

            Immunity levels vary based on the bodies assessment of threat levels. On differing times scales – sure. But if you grab any multi-cellular and drop them into a sterile environment for a while, then the whole set of defence responses drops. If the organism doesn't need something them it pushes resources into something else..

    • Brigid 12.2

      It seems it's a conundrum not yet fully understood.

      "Yet no one knows precisely how VLPs prod the immune system to make LLPCs. Schiller points to the work of Nobel Prize winner Rolf Zinkernagel of the University of Zurich in Switzerland and his then–graduate student Martin Bachmann. They reported 25 years ago that dense, highly repetitive proteins on the surfaces of viruses trigger the strongest antibody responses. A VLP is just such a structure. In theory, that allows the viral antigens to "cross-link" to many receptors on the surface of B cells. That, in turn, triggers a cascade of signals in immune cells that lead to strong, durable antibodies. How? "That's the million-dollar question," Slifka says."

      https://www.science.org/news/2019/04/how-long-do-vaccines-last-surprising-answers-may-help-protect-people-longer

      • francesca 12.2.1

        Thanks Brigid

        Thats a very good link

        “Researchers are ramping up efforts to figure out why some vaccines protect for mere weeks but others work for life.We simply dont know what the rules are to inducing long-lasting immunity,says Plotkin, who began to research vaccines in 1957. For years, we were making vaccines without a really deep knowledge of immunology. Everything of course depends on immunologic memory, and we have not systematically measured it.”

        Slifka has also done work on the diptheria and tetanus boosters for adults, finding them unnecessary if all shots were received in childhood

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200225075120.htm

    • Tricledrown 12.3

      Francesca covid is a flu like virus like the flu its continually mutating outsmarting our defence mechanisms.

      • Brigid 12.3.1

        I think she knows that. If you read the link I offered you'll better understand what it is she's asking

    • Editractor 12.4

      This article does a pretty good job of explaining it in a relatively plain language way – What We Actually Know About Waning Immunity https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/09/waning-immunity-not-crisis-right-now/619965/

      “Does our immune system somehow forget?”

      Essentially yes, because the cells that do the remembering can die off over time.

      • francesca 12.4.1

        So this would be in the case of viruses rather than bacteria for instance?

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200225075120.htm

        • Brigid 12.4.1.1

          We need a resident immunologist to answer all these questions.

          Every blog should have one.

      • francesca 12.4.2

        Good link, explained well

        The benefit of boosters are still not clear.

        I'd want more info before a third jab., not that the first 2 were any hassle at all, but some countries haven't nearly enough supplies as it is

        https://www.politico.com/news/2021/08/31/biden-booster-plan-fda-508149

        FDA getting a bit pissed off with Biden's rush to roll out the booster this month before they've had the time to study the benefits.

      • Brigid 12.4.3

        " because the cells that do the remembering can die off over time."

        Not really correct. In some cases the T cells, which are replicating continually, pass the relevant information on to the next generation and when prompted to provide immunity do so for a considerable time.

        In some cases this doesn't happen particularly effectively. If it was known why and this could be mitigated, somebody could get immensely rich

  13. Gypsy 13

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2021/09/auckland-cycle-bridge-missing-from-government-s-24-billion-transport-funding-package.html

    Hopefully there will be a quiet announcement in the coming weeks that this silly idea has been dumped.

    • Jester 13.1

      Of course the cycle bridge will never go ahead. Even 70+% of Labour voters think its a dumb idea.

  14. Incognito 14

    There’s a rather thick wrap-around blanket service for each and every ICU patient that is expensive, but it takes more than just (!) money to run and expand.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/the-detail/story/2018811173/increasing-icu-bed-numbers-is-not-that-simple

    • Brigid 14.1

      I think it is simple.

      New Zealand trained ICU nurses are already some of the best trained in the world.

      They just need to be paid more. Along with the attendant "… physiotherapists, pharmacists, speech and language therapists … dieticians, healthcare assistants, orderlies, all the people who increase the functioning of an organisation."

      “In terms of the training we provide, unfortunately for us, if you train in New Zealand in ICU you’re in high demand in the rest of the world.

      “Particularly for nurses, who are leaving to work in Australia for 30 percent more salary.”

      • Tricledrown 14.1.1

        I doubt if any ICU nurses want to head into NSW any time soon.Given there is no travel either.

      • Incognito 14.1.2

        ‘kay

        Remember the very recent nursing strikes? What was that all about then?

      • Adrian 14.1.3

        It takes about 2 years experience to be well trained just on ventilators and the myriad other very special bits of equipment in the units, lots to look out for, lots to do and that is on top of all the other ICU/HDU skills and protocols required.

  15. Stephen D 15

    Is it just me, or is Nick Leggat a whiny little [wood pigeon] who loves the sound of his own voice?

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