Open mike 12/03/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, March 12th, 2015 - 320 comments
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320 comments on “Open mike 12/03/2015”

  1. Paul 1

    The kauri tree will stay, proclaims the Herald.
    A small victory.

    But will the Herald actually look at the law changes this government made that took away protections from trees in our city?
    Doubt it.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11415759

    • mickysavage 1.1

      We need a binding promise from the landowners. The letter looks like a promise but when you reread it the letter looks more like an offer …

      • Yep, sounds like they are angling to sell the land to the council or similar organisation.

        • tracey 1.1.1.1

          I wouldn’t come down from the tree until the owners have written to council and asked to quash the RC and the council has done that.

      • tracey 1.1.2

        “…Normally a land use consent is granted for unlimited duration, as long as the development detailed in the consent has been implemented to a significant level within five years (or a different period as written in the consent). If not, your consent will lapse.

        Any land use consent that is granted is attached to the property (as opposed to a specific person)”

        auckland council website

        • vto 1.1.2.1

          There is a provision in the RMA under which a resource consent holder can request/require the Council to revoke the consent. Have used it meself

  2. Paul 2

    I notice the 1080 story has successfully knocked Winston Peter’s campaign in Northland off the top of the headlines.
    Oh that ..and Lydia Ko….a biker clocking 218 km/hr….a P smuggler cleared to teach ( another Herald attack on the teaching profession)…..jilted Eagles fans….

    The capitalist media in this country is quite a propaganda machine for the banking elite.

    • Paul 2.1

      As evidence, the Northern Advocate ( part of the APN corporate stable..same group as the Herald) dragged up someone from the Hawkes Bay to write an article slagging off Winston Peters….
      And this was their leading story!

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11415367

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.1.1

        Love the online below the story!

      • Rosie 2.1.2

        Paul, you know APN is now NZME. (New Zealand Media and Entertainment)

        Their agenda is clear:

        “Right now we’re seen as a publishing business, a radio business and an e-commerce business,” she said. “But clients don’t come to us and say ‘I want to buy publishing’. They say: ‘I have a brand, this is the audience I’m after. How can you connect my brand with that audience?'”

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11330863

        I still have difficulty understanding why people read the Herald.

        I’m off to listen to the Scoop report on the radio 🙂

        (And now we have Eveningreport.nz !)

        No need for rags like the Herald.

        • David H 2.1.2.1

          “No need for rags like the Herald.”

          How else would we keep our fish ‘n’ chips warm???

          • Rosie 2.1.2.1.1

            Or provide a lining for the kitty tray…………..

            • halfcrown 2.1.2.1.1.1

              “Or provide a lining for the kitty tray…”

              Hell no, would not think of using it for that. The poor thing might catch something

              • David H

                Best use ever for the Granny. Is to be crapped on by a small furry creature of the Genus Feline. (Or walking flea hotel which ever takes your fancy). Yep a very good use of the Granny, more likely to catch something if used for food warming. to say nothing of the taste of burnt paper.

        • GregJ 2.1.2.2

          No need for squalid little rags like the Herald.

          FIFY. 😈

      • millsy 2.1.3

        The establishment do not like him because he takes them on at every turn. Simple really.

      • Skinny 2.1.4

        Paul your quite correct with your claim.

        The editor of the local NZH rag veto’s (edits/bins) politically natured stories that he doesn’t like. Twice 2 separate reporters covering local events have said ‘if it gets past the editor’. I think he got kicked to touch as the Waikato Times editor. Wasn’t surprised to hear he is mates with the local Tory old boys network. In saying this 2 of their columnist’s are left leaning, and do publish criticism of the Tories, all be it a Gower type attack follows by one of his pets.

      • Sans Cle 2.1.5

        From the article: “Winston will be 70 this month, a pensioner for five years and still being paid a party leader’s salary by the taxpayer.”
        What drivel, ageism and meanness.

        While I don’t agree 100% with Winston Peters, I think he should be paid a royalty/stipend or call it a “democracy pension” for ALL the services he has done fir New Zealanders in Parliament, a watchful eye and calling people out when he sees or has heard untoward, undemocratic or plain corrupt practices.
        He has done more for this country single handedly than many of us collectively could do. Sure he is a rogue, but he has more mana than most other politicians.

    • TE 2.2

      @Paul P addicted smuggler teacher is allowed to stay on teaching, with the NZ teachers council disciplinary tribunal saying she is ‘talented’ enough to stay on with just a censure, and you say the herald is attacking the teaching profession….
      Really! are you for real or a teacher

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Listening to the pair of useful idiots Espiner and Furgeson going big on NatRad “with all the developments on today’s big story” (1080 scare) I wondered where it all went wrong in this country. Our journalists are all now somehow able to combine cynicism and naïvety and be bullies who cringe wide eyed in the face of their masters. There are no “developments” in the story. It isn’t of much interest to anyone offshore, who correctly see it for what it is – a cynically trumped up minor threat – and are doing what they normally do.

    Meanwhile, instead of quizzing Key about why he went public against advice, or why he is calling it terrorism and the police are not, or what political agenda Key might be pursuing, our media swallow the hook, the line, sinker, and the wharf.

    What a bunch of idiots. Espiner and Ferguson would spend their last show before nuclear armageddon repeating John Key’s assurances that he’ll remain PM from his spacestation, foreign press reaction, and the best way to make stone tipped weapons to fight off the mutants in the post apocalyptic world the survivors will emerge into than dare ask why we were being attacked of if the Key might be to blame.

    • b waghorn 3.1

      Nick Smith backed up dear leader on tv3 this morning ,calling the 1080 issue eco terrorism good to keep the fear alive I guess.
      Has any one thought it could be industrial espionage, the 1080 letters that is.

      • tracey 3.1.1

        of course not… Industry would never act otherwise in the best interests…

        an example below of the kinds of people that Hooton helps on a daily basis…

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11415707

        • David H 3.1.1.1

          See they don’t care who they hurt in the chase for the almighty fuckin dollar.

          There should be a court these pricks can be taken, and charged with crimes against children!

          • tracey 3.1.1.1.1

            they have a court, it is the one propose din the TPP, it will be made up of corporate lawyers… is that what you meant? 😉

            • David H 3.1.1.1.1.1

              No not really of was thinking of one for the Children. Not one for the corporate leeches. And the Tpp courts will be heaven for these leeches.

          • Murray Rawshark 3.1.1.1.2

            National does not seem to think crimes against children are all that bad really.

      • b waghorn 3.1.2

        Oops sabotage was the word I wanted to use not espionage. I’d imagine there are lots of overseas interests that would be happy to see the nz dairy industry fail.

  4. Whateva next? 4

    Wondering how Key got away with exchange between Anette King, Carter and himself in NZQT yesterday?
    Implying that Carter should not have let the question through??
    Implying he cannot be expected to be speaking as the PM at the PM’s post cabinet speach? Can somebody explain to him he is ALWAYS the Prime Minister, unless he is handing over to deputy PM.

    • Incognito 4.1

      Surely, it is time for Key to play a round of golf in Hawaii with Obama? Any good courses in Northland? He can’t hammer a nail but at least he can putt. Oh wait, Key is too busy bribing campaigning.

    • ianmac 4.2

      Yep. Key’s post Cabinet Press Conference it is not he as PM, when he is challenged by his words spoken at that session. Therefore no need to answer Annette’s questions. And when that does not stop her, then Carter says her supplementary question is too long! They must be rattled?

      • tracey 4.2.1

        If he speaks about GCSB or Iraq he is representing the USA, so in fairness he is not being our PM then…

      • David H 4.2.2

        Even I’m getting confused is he the PM, or the leader of the Nat party, Or a Husband, or someone who puts the cat out at night? We know he’s not a man because Bronagh reportedly gets a Man in.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.3

      I watched that. Carter and FJK both disgusted me.

      • logie97 4.3.1

        Do all MP’s get chauffeurs and body guards?
        Possibly a very important question, because presumably in each and all his capacities he is still maintaining full protections from those official body guards. Perhaps he needs to tell the nation in what capacity he is acting (someone parading around behind him carrying a banner declaring which.) Could save the taxpayer a lot in these straitened times

        • Murray Rawshark 4.3.1.1

          I’m sure if he had to do without the Praetorian Guard, he’d be prumstah 24 hours a day.

  5. tracey 5

    A small group of kiwis saved a Kauri from bureaucracy because they were heard by the developers who will be their neighbours. The developers will have to live amongst the people they have upset. Accordingly they have backed down (so they say) and the Kauri will stay.

    When people making decisions have to face each other, see the consequences of their decision-making etc theoutcome is often different to those who make decisions on high with the privilege of never actually becoming part of the process, of the people, of the environment.

    The Kauri is not “just a tree”.

    • Or both. I hope finally this can put the myth of Homeopathy to rest.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        I’m sorry to say: prepare to be disappointed. Contradictory facts harden false beliefs.

        Exhibit a: The National Party 😉

    • northshoredoc 6.2

      I’ve always thought it was as effective as placebo for some people.

      • Belladonna 6.2.1

        Homeopathy has worked amazingly well on my dogs and cats as a placebo. How did they know?

        • TheContrarian 6.2.1.1

          What homeopathy have you used on your pets?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.2

          Exhibit b.

        • northshoredoc 6.2.1.3

          More to the point how did you know ?

          • weka 6.2.1.3.1

            “More to the point how did you know ?”

            It actually doesn’t matter, but consider this. If you eat chilli and your mouth gets hot, how do you know the chilli caused that? And does it matter?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.3.1.1

              Yeah, it does. Who made the diagnosis, for example?

              • weka

                If you cut your finger at home, do you need a professional diagnosis before you put on a bandaid?

            • northshoredoc 6.2.1.3.1.2

              Capsaicin…… there’s some violent examples about for sale these days…dangerous going in and coming out !

            • David H 6.2.1.3.1.3

              Why do you think they give you a yoghurt drink in Indian restaurants? There’s something in milk that can dissipate the heat of chillies in the mouth. For the other end? Soft toilet paper.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.3.2

            Hey Doc! Check this awesome scienciness:

            In 15 cases, the owners reported no improvement following homeopathic treatment. In the other five cases, the owners believed that the homeopathic treatment was associated with a substantial improvement, and reported reductions in pruritus scores ranging from 64 to 100 per cent. These five dogs were selected for the second phase of the study…

            Sad and true.

        • Colonial Rawshark 6.2.1.4

          Homeopathy made my health worse once – consistently so throughout a course of treatment. During a month or so where I ceased homeopathic treatment, my health condition returned to its (unsatisfactory) norm. When I restarted the homeopathic treatment once more I got noticeably worse again. Quit the whole thing after 3 or 4 more weeks.

          But it was a great A-B-A type trial which showed me that homeopathic treatment can have strong biological effects.

          • northshoredoc 6.2.1.4.1

            Before I call complete bullshit……could you share what the treatment was and for what condition ?

            • Colonial Rawshark 6.2.1.4.1.1

              It was a bit of nasty infected eczema resistant to conventional treatment, including fluclox.

              You can hardly call bullshit on a patient’s reported experience though. They actually lived through it while you haven’t.

              • northshoredoc

                Actually I can quite happily call bullshit on you comment that

                “But it was a great A-B-A type trial which showed me that homeopathic treatment can have strong biological effects.”

              • wtl

                What control did you use to rule out the nocebo effect?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Exactly! Both the placebo effect and nocebo effect are very powerful phenomena. Traditional medicines understand it pretty well.

                  • wtl

                    Well, I have no problem with practitioners of ‘traditional medicine’ using the placebo effect to treat people, but they should be honest and upfront about it, rather than claiming that their medicine works because of ‘unknown forms of energy’ or other such nonsense.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Hmmm? How do you think the placebo effect actually works if not through energy, psychic or otherwise?

                    • wtl

                      The placebo effect has be something to do with the mind-body interaction. As the brain is part of the body, it is perfectible reasonable to suggest that the mind is able to influence the physiology of the body. But of course, I don’t know exactly how the placebo effect works, no one does. Regardless, it is possible to study the placebo effect using science, and such efforts are ongoing. This will allow us to eventually understand how it works.

                      Energy has a very specific scientific meaning. If you are using the term ‘psychic energy’ to explain the placebo effect, then I’m afraid you are venturing into pseudoscientific babble and I’m not interested into engaging with you.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Energy is directly proportional to mass and both mass and energy are measurable, can’t be accounted for, can be studied and have specific meaning.

                      Like wtl says “energy” in the way you are suggesting is just what I like to define as “woo” or “magic!”.

                      Basically fucking nonsense

                    • McFlock

                      Just to recap: homeopathy actually works because the placebo effect uses midochlorians.

                      Or maybe placebos just work on patient-reported symptoms like pain or nausea, but not really on tumour size or the actual condition being treated.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Energy has a very specific scientific meaning. If you are using the term ‘psychic energy’ to explain the placebo effect, then I’m afraid you are venturing into pseudoscientific babble and I’m not interested into engaging with you.

                      Then we’re both quite happy. Cheers.

                    • northshoredoc

                      @mcflock….no according to the america’s college of homeopaths, it’s great for cancer !

                      http://www.thehomeopathiccollege.org/cancer-treatment/homeopathy-effective-cancer-treatment/

                      The words “Batshit” and “crazy” come to mind.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ”Like wtl says “energy” in the way you are suggesting is just what I like to define as “woo” or “magic!”.
                      Basically fucking nonsense”

                      @Contrarian, what you display is the hubris common in science of dismissing as worthless or nonsense what can’t be explained yet.
                      Like when scientists first sequenced the genome and wrote off 98% as ”junk DNA” and then later were like Oh, actually it is pretty crucial to understanding how it all works.

                    • Pretty poor example, ER. Even if your summary of ‘junk DNA’ was correct, you need to factor in that there is only 30 years between its discovery (and Crick saying “little more than junk” about 97% of it) and you saying “pretty crucial”.

                      Homeopathy has been around for a lot longer and yet no evidence previously existed for it being anything other than junk. And the current analysis of everything that is known about it still comes up with, er, junk. And tomorrow, guess what? Yep, still junk.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Scientific and technological progress is starting to bump its head against some very serious limitations now. This civilisation is in the last one or two rounds of true scientific and technological advancement before virtually all that is left of truly creative, public science is all corporatised, commercialised, compartmentalised and/or put to use for the military intelligence industrial government complex.

                      And for those who fully believe in fossil fuel depletion and climate change, things are going to start sliding backwards very rapidly soon after.

                      That’s when alternative healthcare methods are going to be very, very useful to have around.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Homeopathy has been around for a lot longer and yet no evidence previously existed for it being anything other than junk. And the current analysis of everything that is known about it still comes up with, er, junk. And tomorrow, guess what? Yep, still junk.

                      If it doesn’t work for you, then don’t fucking use it. Just don’t presume you can dictate to others what works or does not work for them. BTW there’s a reason a lot of people give up on kinds of medical treatments which are backed by all the evidence – it doesn’t work for them.

                    • It’s not about me, you doofus. I don’t use the products of quacks. It’s about the tens of thousands of people who, out of ignorance or desperation, pay for this sad and useless perfumed piss. Often instead of real medicine that might actually help them. Just as I think pay day loan companies and cigarette manufacturers should be run out of town, I think alternative medical scam artists need to be exposed for what they really are; crooks preying on the gullible.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      You silly billy, traditional healing modalities were around while conventional medicine was killing far more people than it was helping, and traditional healing modalities will still be around when most people can no longer access modern medical care.

                      Get used to it.

                      Just as I think pay day loan companies and cigarette manufacturers should be run out of town, I think alternative medical scam artists need to be exposed for what they really are; crooks preying on the gullible.

                      LOL have you ever noticed that over the last 100 years as the scientific medical types have poured both scorn and ridicule, and court cases, against traditional healing methods, that traditional healing methods have been becoming more and more used, and more and more accepted, and not less?

                    • weka

                      “Often instead of real medicine that might actually help them”

                      Citation for that please. I rarely meet people who have rejected conventional medicine out of hand. Most people use both.

                    • McFlock

                      CR: Con-artists and crackpots selling snake-oil have always been around, but now we have the evidence base to demonstrate that their treatments don’t work any better than magic or water. You deal with it.

                    • LOL have you ever noticed that over the last 100 years as the scientific medical types have poured both scorn and ridicule, and court cases, against cigarettes, that cigarettes have been becoming more and more used, and more and more accepted, and not less?

                      Fixed it for you.

                      But, seriously, so fucken what? P’s popular too. So’s drinking too much alcohol. So’s Justin fucken Beiber. None of the above are the least bit desirable and just cause they haven’t gone away doesn’t make them magically good for you.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      What are you on about? Smoking rates have fallen in most countries as knowledge of the harm has increased.

                    • weka

                      Yeah, ‘cos getting pissed is just like making informed choices about one’s health care.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      CR: Con-artists and crackpots selling snake-oil have always been around, but now we have the evidence base to demonstrate that their treatments don’t work any better than magic or water. You deal with it.

                      You have the evidence base eh? Big fucking deal.

                      The alternative practitioners I know get zero subsidies from the Ministry of Health and DHBs.

                      Yet patients keep flocking to them for their care, referring in their friends, family members and colleagues, taking their children in to be looked after, and these are patients all willing to pay full coin out of their own pockets, instead of (or often in addition to) using conventional medical care which is often less expensive (or free) due to tax payer subsidies.

                    • ER, smoking continues to rise in popularity globally. The bastards are focussing on the third world now that we in the first world have accepted the facts about tobacco. The West and its damn fixation on scientific analysis, eh! Always putting consumers first, lest they sue, bah humbug.

                      weka, making informed choices is exactly what I’m asking for. At the moment, it’s all about uninformed choices, which is why this morning’s news is so important.

                      Anyhoo, one thing I’m sure we all agree is healthy is sleep, so I’m off. Ciao for now.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, I never said that the con-artists and crackpots were bad at selling their bullshit. Just that it doesn’t seem to make the patients any better than a glass of water and a positive attitude can.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      The people who choose to reduce or minimise the use of pharmaceutical products and surgical procedures are often amongst the most informed patients there are around.

                    • McFlock

                      Keep telling yourself that.

                    • weka

                      “weka, making informed choices is exactly what I’m asking for. At the moment, it’s all about uninformed choices, which is why this morning’s news is so important.”

                      Actually you’re not. You are suggesting that people be denied informed choice. By all means tell people what the view is from the fundamentalist science box, but don’t pretend that you are in a position to judge alternative therapies when you patently don’t know much about them. That degree of patronising arrogance is one of the core reasons why informed consent became such an issue in the patients rights movements. It’s not about bowing to other people’s belief systems, it’s about sharing information and using empowerment models so that people can make their own choices to the degree that they want to. The holier than thou, you’re all stupid attitude taken by some in this conversation is the exact antithesis of informed consent.

                      Wishing you a good sleep nontheless 🙂

                    • weka

                      “Keep telling yourself that.”

                      McFlock, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you demonstrate an educated understanding of alternative therapies and the people who use them. Not that I read every comment you make, but I think it’s a fair representation of you to say that you’re working off second and third hand ideas.

                      I am however willing to be proven wrong if you would like to share your experience and knowledge of people who use alternative therapies.

                    • McFlock

                      an educated understanding of alternative therapies and the people who use them

                      Pretty much all the people I know who have used them have been desperate or dropped acid in their past. And yeah, that’s more than a couple of people I know.
                      Results have been about as mixed as one might expect.

                      Closest I’ve come is acupunture from a physio and a couple of herbal tea from a flatmate when I had a cold. But then neither claimed to cure cancer.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      from what I can make out they’re all gullible, easily misled, not very smart.

                      edit – oh McFlock out did me, I should have included, drug addled and fucked in the head.

                      BTW most physios who use acupuncture needles don’t actually do acupuncture.

                    • McFlock

                      Some were desperate.
                      All had their good points.

          • KJT 6.2.1.4.2

            Contaminated water?

        • Hayden 6.2.1.5

          Maybe they were just thirsty.

    • weka 6.3

      http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/mar/11/homeopathy-not-effective-for-treating-any-condition-australian-report-finds

      Vested interests use their considerable institutional power to protect their interests, what a surprise. Was there anything in that article that takes an even handed look at the metastudy? Of course not (they didn’t even link to the study ffs).

      “You decide …”

      Pretty hard to make decisions when such blatantaly biased information is all that is on offer.

      • northshoredoc 6.3.1

        I’ve always found this article to be a reasoned view on homeopathy.

        http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2012/apr/03/homeopathy-why-i-changed-my-mind

      • Psycho Milt 6.3.2

        From the Guardian article: ““There will be a tail of people who won’t respond to this report, and who will say it’s all a conspiracy of the establishment,” Glasziou said.”

        Guess he got that right. Given that this report basically endorses what the Cochrane Collaboration already found (twice!), and that the Cochrane Collaboration is the exact opposite of “vested interests using their institutional power to protect their interests,” I’d say it’s pretty conclusive.

        • weka 6.3.2.1

          Pull up 3 pieces of research on homeopathy that the Cochrane group reviewed, and I’ll critique them for you and explain why the meta analysis was flawed.

          • Psycho Milt 6.3.2.1.1

            Seriously? Anonymous internet commenter is going to explain to me how those mooks at the Cochrane Collaboration don’t know how to do systematic reviews properly?

            • Colonial Rawshark 6.3.2.1.1.1

              I guess the Cochrane guys are OK right until we get to their reviews which say that the flu jab has been overhyped and seriously lacks the evidence to support its many years of use and tax payers expense.

              • TheContrarian

                You mean like how homeopathy seriously lacks the evidence to support it?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Were you jilted by a pretty homeopath in your younger days?

                  • TheContrarian

                    Are you really this dissociated? Have you been into the ketamine tonight?

                    CR/CV/Tat: The flu shot seriously lacks the evidence to support its many years of use.
                    CT: You mean like homeopathy lacks evidence to support?
                    CR/CV/Tat: *Glib and irrelevant comment*

                    Do you have no internal dialogue that at least keeps you consistent?

            • weka 6.3.2.1.1.2

              weka, “Pull up 3 pieces of research on homeopathy that the Cochrane group reviewed, and I’ll critique them for you and explain why the meta analysis was flawed.”

              Psycho Milt, “Seriously? Anonymous internet commenter is going to explain to me how those mooks at the Cochrane Collaboration don’t know how to do systematic reviews properly?”

              That’s a pretty interesting reaction for number of reasons. I’m guessing it’s a defensive reaction because you’ve never looked properly at the Chochrane review on homeopathy and have no idea what the problems might be (you probably just picked up some ideas about the review off the internet). But more interesting is that you appear to believe in the absolute powers of the Cochrane group and that they are infallible and therefore beyond critique. Not even medical science believes that medical science is infallible. Only the fundies think that, and they are demonstrably wrong, including by the structures they put their faith in.

              There are very good reasons why medical research largely fails to study homeopathy well. Even if you want to consider one of the reasons to be that homeopathy has no objective efficacy, the genuine science mind would understand that that needs to be based on evidence not belief in a higher power. Thinking that any research or any meta analysis is all powerful is not really that different to believing in the omnipotence of God. Which is all well and good, it’s just not very rational.

              Back on point, I’m sure the Cochrane group knows how to do reviews properly. The problem is they’re reviewing research that often doesn’t understand what homeopathy is and fundamentally fails to study it in a scientific manner.

              • I think the homeopathists’ problem is that a lot of researchers do understand how to research it in a scientific manner, which means they exclude anecdotes involving post-hoc fallacies, don’t for a moment consider whether there might be some woo they aren’t taking into account, and lack all interest in how long this treatment’s been around or how many people think it works.

                Cochrane put plenty of effort into weeding out studies that didn’t meet a scientific standard or didn’t take enough steps to eliminate potential bias. They certainly aren’t infallible, but they’re as good as we’ve got.

    • Ergo Robertina 6.4

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-11/homeopathy-no-more-effective-than-placebos-major-study-says/6302722

      A link in this story shows the leaked paper in 2012 that revealed the council was considering taking the position homeopathy was unethical before looking at all the evidence.
      So this politically motivated hit job need not be taken seriously.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.4.1

        Exhibit c.

      • TheContrarian 6.4.2

        uhh, the evidence that homeopathy is complete bunk has been around since before 2012 and debate about the ethics of it because of its ineffectiveness has been around since before 2012 also so, no, it isn’t a “politically motivated hit job”.

        • Ergo Robertina 6.4.2.1

          What? That makes no sense.
          You were the one hailing this as the great debunking, after which you ”hope finally this can put the myth of Homeopathy to rest”.

          • TheContrarian 6.4.2.1.1

            Yes because it is ANOTHER widely circulated study which shows it is complete bullshit. There have been MANY of such studies so I am hoping that FINALLY this will hammer it home.

            Your “politically motivated hit job” is complete crap because homeopathy has been known to be false for decades.

            • Colonial Rawshark 6.4.2.1.1.1

              That’s just a stupid statement right there. You’re not going to invalidate peoples usage of this treatment modality – if it works for them. A big part of the homeopathic effect may be related to the placebo effect – but that is exactly the same for major aspects of medical care.

              • northshoredoc

                “A big part of the homeopathic effect may be related to the placebo effect – but that is exactly the same for major aspects of medical care.”

                Ummmm no….. for medicines to be registered they must be proven to be safe and efficacious above and beyond the placebo effect. although perhaps you were referring to some other aspect of medical care ……. do tell ?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  I wasn’t talking about registered medicines! I was talking about medical care. Seeing someone in a white coat in a nice professional office setting with lots of diplomas framed up on the wall.

                  • weka

                    +1

                    Northshoredoc, do you believe that placebo has any positive action in your practice?

                    Do you believe that the quality of the interaction between you and patients has any impact on outcomes?

                    “Ummmm no….. for medicines to be registered they must be proven to be safe and efficacious above and beyond the placebo effect.”

                    Pretty sure some anti-depressants have made it to market that don’t fit tha efficacy criteria. (Lots of drugs have failed the safety test but that’s a different conversation)

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Some anti-depressants haven’t met efficiency criteria, so toss them in the trash with the sugar pills.

                      PS: do the quacks use specially blessed organic sugar or just the regular evil ‘refined’ stuff? 😈

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Some anti-depressants haven’t met efficiency criteria, so toss them in the trash with the sugar pills.

                      Huh? Which ones are you thinking of that have been removed from the market for that reason?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I was (mis)quoting Weka – for efficiency read efficacy.

                    • weka

                      I have no idea what you are talking about OAB and to be honest can’t be bothered asking for clarification (aka to tired for the clever dick routine). You know how to communicate well, so when you do that clearly I’ll take it as a sign of good faith in the conversation.

                    • Northshoredoc

                      @ weka

                      Northshoredoc, do you believe that placebo has any positive action in your practice?

                      NO

                      Do you believe that the quality of the interaction between you and patients has any impact on outcomes?

                      NO .. very nebulous question though… who measures the quality and what is it ?

                    • miravox

                      “Do you believe that the quality of the interaction between you and patients has any impact on outcomes?

                      NO .. very nebulous question though… who measures the quality and what is it ?”

                      I have to go with weka on this one – if only because the quality of the patient-GP interaction can have a massive effect on:
                      1. what the patient believes
                      2. their sense of well-being
                      3. their future healthcare decision-making

                      It can also affect how the GP interprets the patient’s concerns.

                      1 & 2 can be a result of education & reassurance and therefore may be explained away as a placebo (good enough for many worried patients with illnesses/concerns that will disappear without medical intervention). If you’re talking about eventual clinical outcomes in your ‘NO’ answer then you’ve missed the crucial importance of No3.

                      Delays to appropriate medical care might be one way of measuring the effect of quality of GP-patient interactions. I’m sure there are many others.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      @northshoredoc – One measure is how highly communication issue complaints figure in health and disability commissioner’s statistics. I’m pretty sure they outrank treatment complaints, but would need to check.
                      Consultation quality clearly affects patient outcomes, and is poorly acknowledged in my view.

                    • northshoredoc

                      @miravox…most of my patient contact is whilst they are unconscious ……….

                      for some light relief on the day we’ve lost a great writer can i direct you to two comedians on the subject of homeopathy.

            • Ergo Robertina 6.4.2.1.1.2

              So if it’s ”known to be false for decades” there was in your view no need to conduct this study?
              You reveal your own lack of respect for the scientific method that you claim a moral purchase on.
              For those helped by homeopathy, they probably accept it doesn’t work in a mechanistic way, and its results can’t be aggregated to suit evidence based medicine.
              By the way, have you checked out the serious doubt over the effectiveness of antidepressants; do you rail against them too?

              http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045

              • TheContrarian

                “So if it’s ”known to be false for decades” there was in your view no need to conduct this study?”

                No there shouldn’t be any need to conduct this study but unfortunately it still has to be done because homeopathic “remedies” are still being stacked along side actual medicine.

                “You reveal your own lack of respect for the scientific method that you claim a moral purchase on.”

                Yeah the scientific method actually works and shows homeopathic remedies are bullshit. And yes, I have serious concerns over antidepressants. But don’t introduce a irrelevant red herring – this is about homeopathy, not SSRI’s.

                • Ergo Robertina

                  It’s not a red herring, it points out a double standard.
                  At least sugar pills don’t harm people. The same can’t be said for psychiatric medicine.

                  • TheContrarian

                    No one is talking about SSRI’s – this conversation is about homeopathy and about how it is proven, once again to be utter horseshit.

                  • DoublePlusGood

                    Says something is not a red herring. Provides another red herring. Oh dear.
                    And sugar pills don’t harm people, but neither do they have any positive effect. Homeopathic pills are different because there is an expectation that they may have a positive effect and so are dangerous when they are used instead of a proven medical treatment.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      And sugar pills don’t harm people, but neither do they have any positive effect.

                      WTF? “Sugar pills” (inert placebo) pills have positive effects all the time!!! This has literally been documented in thousands of studies.

                    • TheContrarian

                      If homeopathic remedies are effective as placebo’s then that should be made clear on the labeling – “Has no active ingredient – some placebo effect may be experienced”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      When doctors prescribe placebos

                      Among these doctors, there were various motivations, including the wish to generate psychological treatment effects, to calm patients, to appease patients’ wish for a treatment, and to treat “non-specific complaints.”

                      with good results.

                      Patients can benefit from being treated with sham drugs even if they are told they contain no active ingredient, scientists have found. The finding suggests that the placebo effect could work without the need for any deception on the part of the doctor, as had been previously thought.

                      A doctor who prescribed a placebo for heart disease, on the other hand, would probably be mistaken or negligent. A quack, on the other hand? What skill their diagnoses?

                    • TheContrarian

                      Not to mention putting flashy looking placebos without any warning that they are actually placebos and have no medicinal effect whatsoever next to actual medicine is kinda misleading and unethical

                    • DoublePlusGood

                      Reply to CR: obviously placebos have positive effects. They even have effects relative to other placebos, such as blue sugar pills vs red sugar pills for different ailments. None of this in anyway means that giving someone a homeopathic treatment is anything other than quackery, just like anything else where science has comprehensively demonstrated is fraudulent – like crystal healing, faith healing, colour therapy, reiki, chiropracty, naturopathy, anything that makes reference to qi, osteopathy, bloodletting, trepanning…the list is endless really.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Karate makes reference to Qi. Just saying.

              • Chooky

                @ Ergo …re “For those helped by homeopathy, they probably accept it doesn’t work in a mechanistic way”….well it worked in a mechanistic way on my 8 year old

                ….after going to local GPs for a week and being misdiagnosed as stomach flu ….and being misdiagnosed in hospital for several days… he was eventually reluctantly given an operation to check for appendicitis…he was found to have a leaking gangrenous appendix ( an emergency ) and after being on intravenous antibiotics for several days he was released from hospital still ailing and pale and listless….a neighbour left the appropriate homeopathics for the aftermath of such an operation in the letterbox to try ( my son had not had any homeopathics prior in his life) …. i gave them to my son without telling him what they were or making a song and dance about it….the recovery was almost immediate ….and the specialists at the hospital , who still expected possible complications and a long convalescence and possible return to hospital, were surprised at his robust recovery

                ….so yup imo homeopathics also work in a mechanistic way ….as well as placebo effect ( this is not to say they are a substitute for other medicine or surgery)…how they work is another question….but the effects are mechanistic

                i have also used homeopathics in India and Tibet…and am convinced they work ( not as a substitute for Western medicine …but sometimes they work better than Western medicine) especially for gut diarrhea and chest bronchial issues ( in fact we were advised to use homeopathics by a NZer who had lived in India for years…and who had found Western medicine did not work for gut issues)

                • northshoredoc

                  🙄 😆

                • TheContrarian

                  “so yup imo homeopathics also work in a mechanistic way ”

                  Your opinion goes against the entire body of science on the subject.

                  • northshoredoc

                    +100 😆

                    • Macro

                      You can laugh all you like but there re many people who have had similar experiences as Chooky. My self included. I have a degree in science and the scientific method, have always considered conventional medicine first (and will continue to do so) but I have seen remarkable results in my 2 month old grandson who had floppy airway and serious reflux – so bad he was in hospital under observation for a week. He was given the conventional medicine (can’t remember the name now) but he vomited it up every time. He had a monitor on him at all times for his heart beat and blood oxygen levels. A single treatment of belladonna brought about an immediate change.
                      Now don’t tell me homeopathic treatment is ineffective.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “A single treatment of belladonna brought about an immediate change.
                      Now don’t tell me homeopathic treatment is ineffective.”

                      That’s not homeopathy

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      @Contrarian. What – so now you get to define the nature of an effect you don’t believe exists??

                    • weka

                      It’s a distinct feature of conversations like this, that the science fundamentalists argue against something when they don’t even know what it is.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Because Homeopathy is distinct.

                      Merely using belladona is not homeopathy. It’s about dilution and using like to treat like. You should know this

                    • weka

                      You think they treated a 2 month old baby with the herb belladonna? LOL. Look it up TC and understand the daftness of what you just said.

                      It’s pretty obvious to anyone here who knows what they are talking about that Macro was referring to homeopathic belladonna (a well known homeopathic remedy).

                      Here, I’ll save you the google http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atropa_belladonna

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Don’t worry about these fundies weka, they can keep going on stuck in a self righteous intellectual rut whereas others can use the best of both conventional orthodox medicine and alternative healthcare modalities, depending on what is more suitable and effective at the time.

                    • weka

                      True, but the belladonna comment TC made was classic, and a very good example of the irrationality of the science fundamentalists.

                      And Macro’s story was a great read.

                    • McFlock

                      🙄
                      So the baby was not given belladonna, it was given water.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I presume the baby was given a belladonna homeopathic preparation.

                    • McFlock

                      that’s what I said.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Yep. And you were 99.999% right.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, I was competely right.

                    • Macro

                      Yes was given a homeopathic dosage of Belladona – and just the one one treatment.
                      We had a public health nurse visiting regularly – he saw a doctor almost every week. Very few babies had as much medical attention as he had in his first few months. He was born with transposed greater arteries, visited 3 hospitals, had 2 helicopter rides, and an operation in his first 24 hours, and open heart surgery at 4 days old. At about 6 weeks old he was again admitted to Hospital in the middle of the night – his breathing was irregular and his blood oxygen levels were low. He was diagnosed with the floppy airway and this was being aggravated with severe reflux – something he would grow out of at around 6 months when his airways enlarged as he grew older. The point was the conventional medicine did not work.
                      The public health nurse who visited and the hospital paediatrician both acknowledged the effectiveness of the treatment. The ear nose and throat specialist didn’t want to hear. She like so many in her profession have cloth ears and can’t accept that medical science hasn’t all the answers.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Oh what’s a billionth between friends eh.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Macro, ta for the detailed field report.

                    • weka

                      “Macro, ta for the detailed field report.”

                      +tahi.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh what’s a billionth between friends eh.

                      Nothing, if the “billionth” is almost certainly not in there.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      @Macro – that’s great. It must have been a huge relief for all concerned.
                      What works in practice is so much more important than what a textbook says should work when there is suffering.

                    • Macro

                      @ Ergo Robertina
                      Yes it certainly was a huge relief. My daughter and the grandchildren were living with us in NZ at the time. The family were in between returning to NZ and then returning back to Perth where her husband works at Rockingham Hospital. (It’s a long story – but essentially the Govt changed in 2008 and we waived good bye to our loved ones! – Not what the Nat Bill board said! ). I’m currently in Perth at the moment – just had a 36 degree day today – don’t tell me that the world isn’t heating. Baby sitting the said young monster who is doing very well. 🙂

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Wow – that is hot. I was sweltering in Dunedin and I think it got to around 20, although I didn’t hear the official top temp.
                      I have family in WA too and often find myself saying it actually feels hotter on summer days than the official temp says, but maybe I’ve just acclimatised.

                  • Chooky

                    “Where is the line of demarcation between “descriptive” and “mechanistic?”

                    ….”the epithets “descriptive” and “mechanistic” are epistemologically related and differ quantitatively rather than qualitatively. In other words, observations become regarded as progressively less descriptive and more mechanistic as one probes more deeply into a phenomenon. In fact, one might argue that there is no real line of demarcation between descriptive and mechanistic science but that the difference is rather a matter of depth and one’s preferences.”

                    http://iai.asm.org/content/77/9/3517

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-ullman/homeopathic-medicine-euro_b_402490.html

                    “Numerous surveys over the past 150 plus years have confirmed that people who seek homeopathic treatment tend to be considerably more educated than those who don’t (1). What is not as well known is the fact that homeopathic medicine is the leading “alternative” treatment used by physicians in Europe…and growing numbers of the citizenry”……

                    • miravox

                      ““Numerous surveys over the past 150 plus years have confirmed that people who seek homeopathic treatment tend to be considerably more educated than those who don’t”

                      One of life’s great mysteries, not proof that homeopathy works better than a placebo.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      If it’s a great placebo and it resolves health issues for a person without the risk of liver or kidney failure, what’s the problem???

                    • wtl

                      If it’s a great placebo and it resolves health issues for a person without the risk of liver or kidney failure, what’s the problem???

                      As TheContrarian pointed out above, it is misleading and unethical to use the placebo effect to treat someone without being honest and upfront about it. Or worse, being deliberately deceptive and coming up with pseudoscientific explanations to trick people into using (and maybe paying for) a treatment when it is only functioning as a placebo.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Firstly because a placebo can’t resolve you of anything like, say, cancer or a virus like a flu – it might make you feel better but it won’t cure you.

                      Secondly, it is unethical to sell something that is actually placebo while pretending it has a health benefit it doesn’t. I mean you have all but admitted homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo – is it not unethical to actually market it as something else?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Tell me, how do you ascertain whether or not it was the placebo effect of going to a medical practitioners office which helps a patient get better or the prescription the patient was given (which may or may not be filled)?

                      If on another visit the doctor suggests to the patient that they will probably feel better with a day or two rest, and it actually happens – how do you know that’s not the placebo effect?

                    • TheContrarian

                      You skipped both points –

                      Getting better and feeling better are two different things.

                      Secondly, and actually more importantly, (I’ll actually be verbatim here), it is unethical to sell something that is actually placebo while pretending it has a health benefit it doesn’t. I mean you have all but admitted homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo – is it not unethical to actually market it as something else?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      You answer my question of why the medical profession is allowed to use the placebo effect in clinical situations, and not tell patients about it, but no one else is.

                    • TheContrarian

                      So I ask you something, you completely dodge it so I ask again, then you put up a question that I must answer first despite having failed to address anything I have said?

                      Hmmmmmm, why don’t you actually address the points as they are raised instead of putting up these silly barriers to actually answering what is put to you?

                      I’ll ask you again and I’ll make it easy on you – just one point which I’ll drill down into a simple format:

                      You have all but admitted homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo – is it not unethical to actually market it as something else?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Why should I play your silly games about what you personally consider ethical or not? Or to abide by your stupid rules of acceptable rhetoric.

                      Homeopathy was around while orthodox conventional medicine was killing far more people than it saved, it will still be around long after orthodox conventional medicine is no longer regularly available to the vast majority of the population, and it is a form of healthcare which doesn’t need tax payers subsidies to survive.

                      Again, medical practitioners use the placebo effect every day, why are you fine with them doing that but not other professions?

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Or to abide by your stupid rules of acceptable rhetoric”

                      Not my rules buddy – you’d be shit in the house.

                      “doesn’t need tax payers subsidies to survive.”

                      And your position on the TPPA and Pharmac is…?
                      Not to mention it wouldn’t survive is the labels honesty and ethically stated “Contains no active ingredients” instead of making claims of efficacy which are proven to be incorrect. You yourself have all but admitted it is a placebo – why don’t you address false advertising and unethical marketing?

                      Oh yeah because I ask you something, you completely dodge it so I ask again, then you put up a question that I must answer first despite having failed to address anything I have said.

                    • KJT

                      Just goes to show that more education does not always make people wiser.

                    • weka

                      “Firstly because a placebo can’t resolve you of anything like, say, cancer or a virus like a flu – it might make you feel better but it won’t cure you.”

                      That’s unlikely to be true. There’s a lot of work being done on the mind body connection which demonstrates real effects via the brain, nervous, immune and endocrine systems from things like meditation. It’s not just about “feeling better”, whatever that might mean, it’s about the roles that improved physiology plays in healing. This is why complementary medicine should be one of the core focusses of cancer research, because it can both improve chances of survival and mitigate side effects of conventional treatment.

                      Belief can effect physiology.

                    • miravox

                      “You answer my question of why the medical profession is allowed to use the placebo effect in clinical situations, and not tell patients about it, but no one else is.”

                      Do you have any instances of where it is ‘allowed’ to prescribe placebos as a clinical remedy without advising patients – i.e. prescribing a bottle of sugar pills?

                      – Or are you saying advice and reassurance are placebos that are like selling a homeopathic remedy?

                      – Or are you saying the medical profession that refers people to say, osteopaths, acupuncturists and chiropractors without telling them about the likelihood of it working shouldn’t be allowed to because these are (with a few possible exceptions) not clinically proven therapies?

                      – Or are you saying that, for example, anti-depressants are being prescribed without any efficacy above the placebo effect and patients don’t know this?

                      I’m with you on the last two points, but not the first. And if it is something similar to the last two options that you’re complaining about – I suggest it would make more sense to advocate for these practises to cease rather than saying that other treatments with low efficacy should be added to the clinically proven health toolbox.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I wonder what all the science fundies think of phenomena like breast cancer going away by itself without treatment. Do they think its impossible? That it must have been some kind of mistake? That its a one in a million fluke?

                      Its a very strange world they live in where big pharma products heal, but the body doesn’t.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Do you have any instances of where it is ‘allowed’ to prescribe placebos as a clinical remedy without advising patients – i.e. prescribing a bottle of sugar pills?

                      I talked about use of the placebo effect, not use of placebo treatments. A patient walks into a professional office, diplomas on the wall, a sincere sounding person with an air of authority in a white coat, and experiences a good interpersonal interaction, there’s a fuck load of placebo effect going on right there.

                      BTW “proven evidence based therapies” fail a shit load of patients in one way or another. Some very badly. If they didn’t, most of these people wouldn’t be seeking out alternative therapies would they.

                    • weka

                      miravox, many patients will have no idea of the efficacy above placebo rate of the meds they are on. Pre-internet it would have been most patients.

                      Here’s something I just pulled off the internet about SSRIs and placebo rates. I haven’t analysed it, but let’s use it as a starting point. There are huge ethical issues around psychiatric prescribing that are far more serious than any ethical issues around homeopathic practice. No-one really talks about it though, funny that.

                      http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=185157

                    • weka

                      “BTW “proven evidence based therapies” fail a shit load of patients in one way or another. Some very badly. If they didn’t, most of these people wouldn’t be seeking out alternative therapies would they.”

                      I think unless one is in circles of people who use alternative modalities, or one is an alternative practitioner, it’s very hard to understand just how many people routinely use healthcare outside of mainstream medicine because mainstream medicine has failed them (i.e. after mainstream medicine has failed them).

                • Ergo Robertina

                  That wasn’t my point Chooky. There are other ways in which things work other than mechanistic or placebo.
                  Not every energy force is understood.

                  • TheContrarian

                    “There are other ways in which things work other than mechanistic or placebo.”

                    Yeah but in the case of homeopathy it doesn’t work – as proven time and time again.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Oh dreary contrarian, repeating your sneer merchant mantra will not alter the fact that just as many people will gain health benefit from homeopathy as before this slanted politically motivated hit job was published.

                    • Dead right, ER, exactly the same number will benefit. Zero is a number, isn’t it?

                    • TheContrarian

                      Same denailist tactic as a global warming denier: ignore all the science, claim some kind of political conspiracy, ignore every piece of evidence to the contrary.

                      Fact: Homeopathy has never shown to be effective and never will because it is scientifically impossible as proven over and over and over and over….

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      TRP – No, a great many people receive benefit. And better informed detractors acknowledge the fact.

                    • TheContrarian

                      People better informed than the overwhelming majority of the medical community? Who are these amazing polymaths?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      You do know what the term ”detractor” means?
                      I think you misunderstood the comment.
                      Anyway, enough procrastination for me, work is calling.

                    • TheContrarian

                      I do.

                      Can you list any of these detractors?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      You guys seem a bit stressed. Rescue remedy anyone?

                  • DoublePlusGood

                    So, was this the strong nuclear force or the weak nuclear force? Gravity? Or are you just making stuff up because you want mystic crystal new age mesmerism nonsense to be real?

                    Every single time homeopathy is comprehensively shown to be a fraud, people still blithely go ahead and ignore all the evidence in favour of make-believe.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Not every energy force is understood.

                    Very many are not.

                    • But homeopathy had no ‘energy force’ because it is compete bullshit. Magical thinking….

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Well, homeopaths don’t need government subsidies to stay in business. So you better convince patients that their practitioners are bullshit, that they themselves are gullible saps, and to quit going to them and ***willingly paying 100% out of pocket***

                      I’ll tell you what true “magical thinking” is – that more science and more technology is going to be able to answer the major health concerns of society over the next few very difficult decades.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “I’ll tell you what true “magical thinking” is – that more science and more technology is going to be able to answer the major health concerns of society over the next few very difficult decades.”

                      Yeah because science has totally failed to improve our life span, eradicate disease, and provide a better life for the sick and in-firmed. Yeah lets forget the eradication of smallpox, transplant technology, polio vaccines, extension of life-span, that being diagnosed with HIV is no longer the death sentence it was, 3-printing of limbs and organs, microscopic surgery, greater understanding of diet, research into stem-cells, research into being able to transplant pig organs into humans, hand transplants, rebuilding peoples faces, greater understanding of locked in syndrome, pacemakers, anesthesia, studying into using LSD and other alkaloids for PTSD, early detections of melanoma, breast cancer and bowl cancer drastically improving the survival rates of those afflicted, vaccinations, early childhood care, recognition of previously swept under the carpet mental disorders so people afflicted can now have better lives, Stephen Hawkings fucking chair.

                      You give me one fucking example of your magical thinking providing anything like the above. I fucking dare you.

                    • northshoredoc

                      @thecontrarian

                      I believe CVs answer to such questions is….’because ‘merica and multinationals !’ ….mmmmmmkay ?

                • DoublePlusGood

                  So your kid recovered from a serious medical condition after receiving appropriate medical treatment. Also, your kid took a fake remedy that did nothing.
                  Any further suggestion is a post-hoc fallacy.

                  • Homeopathy is built on “post hoc, ergo propter hoc.” I got better. Also, I took this homeopathic remedy. Therefore, I got better because I took this homeopathic remedy. Works for faith healing, too.

                    • TheContrarian

                      And note how those who argue for the efficacy of homeopathy rely purely on anecdotal evidence without a shred of actual evidence

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      The evidence is yourself or your child getting better when medical options struggled to offer anything workable.

                      Get off your intellectual high horse.

                    • Chooky

                      +100 CR…i really dont know why I was so rash to have joined this discussion with these regulars who pretend to be doctors….lol….really they are very threatened!….. that is the only conclusion one can have ….plus they are control freaks….it is a wonder they have any patients left ( that is if they are doctors, which i doubt)…they are so contemptuous of anyone who can think for themselves!….and I know a number of ordinary medical practitioners who offer an alternative in homeopathy treatment …so it is not a big deal…a waste of space arguing here….i also suspect vested interests in BIG PHARMA…homeopathy is very affordable

                    • That’s a special kind of crazy right there Chooky. But homeopathy isn’t cheap – it’s very expensive water.

                      You are no better than a climate change denier

                    • …these regulars who pretend to be doctors…

                      Identifying a post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy isn’t the same thing as “pretending to be a doctor.” In fact, there’s no reason to assume doctors have any particular expertise at identifying logical fallacies.

                    • TheContrarian

                      …these regulars who pretend to be doctors…

                      As opposed to those here knowing they aren’t doctors yet think they can over-turn the vast, overwhelming majority of doctors and medical institutions as well as decades of research that disproves homeopathy in its entirety based upon their own personal anecdotes.

                    • Chooky

                      @ TheContrarian…you dont know who is a doctor and who isnt a doctor here!…or are you psychic?…there are many medical practitioners who use homeopathy both in NZ and overseas

                      …you are full of bullshit

                    • TheContrarian

                      That’s really quite a transparent dodge and avoidance of actually addressing what I said.

                      Are you are a doctor? I’m going with no until you actually state otherwise. So in not being a doctor what makes you think you are qualified in doubting the completely overwhelming medical and scientific evidence that homeopathy has no value whatsoever?

                      I would hope you could actually address the argument.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      So in not being a doctor what makes you think you are qualified in doubting the completely overwhelming medical and scientific evidence that homeopathy has no value whatsoever?

                      Oh that’s very simple, the studies are not reflective of the actual real life experiences of people in their day to day healthcare.

                    • northshoredoc

                      @CV 🙄

                    • McFlock

                      Oh that’s very simple, the studies are not reflective of the actual real life experiences of people in their day to day healthcare.

                      But only a day or two back you were whining that you didn’t have access to studies that you couldn’t understand anyway, so how would you know?

                    • TheContrarian

                      Shorter CV:

                      “Those studies are flawed because they didn’t ask my neighbor about his personal anecdote”

                      The same as saying

                      “Global warming is false because it felt cold during summer”

                    • “Oh that’s very simple, the studies are not reflective of the actual real life experiences of people in their day to day healthcare.”

                      The studies were, for the most part, the usual blind tests (ie a mixture of homeopathic ‘remedies’ and genuine placebos. In addition, information supplied by the industry was studied. Both sources are examples of studies very much based on the “real life experiences of people in their day to day healthcare.”

                      That’s actually the way such studies are done.

      • The Murphey 6.4.3

        Australians and their establishment do not tolerate conventional Doctors or free speech either

        Sherri Tenpenny

  6. logie97 7

    Observation.
    the RWNJ’s often call-out the Left-wing-Radio-New-Zealand-National.
    Yesterday’s Standard discussion re Kathryn Ryan made some references to her politics.
    So what evidence do we have of current/former politically aligned left leaning week-day RNZ hosts.

    Maggie Barry – National MP
    Mike Hoskings
    Sean Plunkett

    Can anyone add to this list of outed rabid left wing hosts?

    • Once was Tim 7.1

      I think they base their claim on suspicions rather than actually knowing, and usually amongst those who usually have nothing to do with news production – but media analysis (e.g. Colin Peacock, Jeremy Rose – those bloody Media Studies ‘types’), and others who they suspect are just aging hippie ‘types’ (Phil Obrien, Simon Morton, etc). Disagreement with the current junta simply means they left-wing kinsprissy thereists.
      What I find interesting is that Dear Leader used to avoid RNZ like the plague until the Natzis were able to start stacking the deck through their appointments, and the recruitment of Espiner and programme ‘reshuffle’.
      Its time that appointments such as to RNZ Board/CEO/etc. should be non-partisan – that is, have cross-party approval.

      • logie97 7.1.1

        They attacked Espiner on Monday because of his questioning of Key. Espinner – left wing??? I reckon that he would be a shoo-in for a safe Nat seat.

        • Naturesong 7.1.1.1

          Espiner has always appeared to me to be moderately right wing.
          I have family members who are further to the right than Espiner and I consider them moderate.
          He does have blind spots and bad days (we all do).

          My impression is that he also approaches his job in a reasonably considered way – as opposed to someone like Gower whose modus operandi seems to be; hassle people in order to get a response that he can edit into a racy sound bite and an exciting sounding heading (facts and context? Don’t be silly).

    • tracey 7.2

      I made a post yesterday about Kathryn Ryan. I do not know what her politics are.

      • Once was Tim 7.2.1

        yes I saw that. I’m loathe to give an opinion on Ms Ryan other than I think she should stay away from political discussions, and that I find her affectations bloody annoying to listen to. I also noted some comments about her ego and being ‘difficult’ to work for – I couldn’t possibly comment – it’d cause issyouse
        I find nine to noon much better when Lynne Freeman is standing in. (But then that might be because she’s one of those artyfarty ‘types’ so she must be a bloody leftie /sarc)

        • tracey 7.2.1.1

          I agree @ Lynne Freeman BUT I am usually happy enough with Kathryn Ryan but yesterday was a step too far for me…

      • Chooky 7.2.2

        Kathryn Ryan is bloody good imo…of course the interviewees dont get done over the way Kim Hill did….but Ryan is a considered interviewer , sometimes brilliant and sometimes not…she tries to walk a neutral line between Right and Left…..she is certainly no slouch…and as much as Lynne Freeman is a nice person and good on the arts ….i think Kathryn Ryan asks sharper questions all around….the only person who comes close to Ryan’s quality imo is “Summer Noelle” (not her real name)

        • tracey 7.2.2.1

          did you listen to this interview? Cos that’s the one I have the beef with. Any move to radically change the system regarding sexual violence will meet some opposition as it did when some chose to misrepresent labour Policy pre election (including Little mis-representing it)… and so an important issue got sidelined and turned into a myth.

          Boshier had a chance to speak to those proposed changes and was largely sidelined by Ryan. IMO

    • alwyn 7.3

      “So what evidence do we have of current/former politically aligned left leaning week-day RNZ hosts.
      Maggie Barry – National MP
      Mike Hoskings
      Sean Plunkett”

      Perhaps you can enlighten me as your statement is news to me, and I suspect others?
      What RNZ week-day programs do these three people you nominate appear on?

      • logie97 7.3.1

        Maggie Barry had the Nine to Noon block.
        Hoskins – Morning Report
        Sean Plunkett – Morning report.
        Suggests National radio is a breeding ground for the right.
        They were all “impartial” broadcasters fronting news and current affairs.
        And read the comment again and you will see that I said weekday – weekday.

        • alwyn 7.3.1.1

          Yes you did say weekday. I was not aware that they had different management for the weekday as opposed to the weekend programs though. Surely they aren’t like the Herald?
          On the other hand I have never seen any overt political leanings on the part of Plunkett and I wouldn’t really see him as overtly political at all.

          The other two don’t work there any more, do they?
          Perhaps leaning right is a little like being gay in the old days. Provided you stayed in the closet you kept your job.
          When Barry and Hosking “came out” the lost their jobs?

          Leaning left was OK for RNZ as the case’s of Edwards and Laidlaw illustrate though. They were hired after they showed up as failed left-wing politicians.

          • Once was Tim 7.3.1.1.1

            I think the point is @ alwyn that there are those that are prone to letting their own political persuasions affect their journalistic integrity, and those that do not. You might be quite surprised at where say Kim Hill or Wallace Chapman ‘lean’ (I’d say leftish on some things, rightish on others). We know Hosking and ilk make stories more about themselves and what THEY think (as did Yessirree Paul and others).
            Ryan peeves me because of her affectations and she appears to have an inflated sense of herself, but I note a number of her guests are impressed with her style (usually during non-political discussions (one can often hear them say “that’s a very good question”.
            Let’s have PSB with a bipartisan approach overall – at the moment – weekdays it definitely leans right of centre plus plus and on weekends centre to left of centre.
            You can’t deny tho’ that the Natzis have been stacking the deck with appointments since they took office.
            It’s a wonder that some have survived. How about that bloody Bollinger. I almost expect a few redundancies sometimes due to another ‘reorganisation’ of their schedule. In such as reorg, we could expect a Bollinger to go (because he comes from a line of commie bastards), and maybe a Matine Idle to bite the dust to be replaced by everyman”s best friend Mora. Talkback even – on the grounds that Natrad is taking heed of the people’s voice!
            And of course let’s not forget the number of people who once were ‘lefties’ until they discovered the benefits of American Express Gold (The Act Party is full of ’em from Roger the Dodger to Donna H). And look at Joyce ffs! Once the student radio advocate – now the Apologist in Chief for those with fascist tendencies. They often use the excuse that they grew up and got real and responsible – which is often a euphemism for they got comfortable, lazy, complacent, holier than thou and selfish (life is easier that way – they often get phat too)

            • tracey 7.3.1.1.1.1

              “often hear them say “that’s a very good question”.”

              Agree, which is why the boshier interview annoyed me so much… but I think that telling her it’s a great question sometimes leads her to think she knows as much as they do and either through personal interest she begins to slip into an exploratory for her own benefit. I know I would find it hard not to divert as things piqued my own interest but I am neither trained not to or paid not to.

      • logie97 7.3.2

        … and “current/former”.
        As for the weekend magazine shows, – different genre altogether.
        Chris Laidlaw and Brian Edwards were excellent interviewers – not the aggressive creeps of the aforementioned closet Tories.
        And besides the listener was aware of their political affiliations long before they were on radio.

    • alwyn 7.4

      I suppose we could add a left-winger or two.
      Why was Chris Laidlaw ever allowed near the Sunday morning program. Former Labour MP wasn’t he? Would you say that he should have been banned?
      Perhaps Brian Edwards should have got the boot. Former Labour candidate after all wasn’t he?
      Why is Mike Williams on RNZ. Former Labour Party President of course.
      At least we know, like Maggie Barry, their politics. When did Sean ever come out on behalf of a political party?
      Are you really of the McCarthy school of politics?

      • tracey 7.4.1

        I agree with all you have written except for the Mike Williams bit cos his political affiliation is declared each and every time he appears … no matter how misleading introducing him as a voice of the left may be 😉

        • logie97 7.4.1.1

          My initial observation was that the RWNJ’s continually assert that RNZ is a left-wing dominated network. I asked how many journalists on RNZ have turned out to be left wing zealots but indicated at least three immediately come to mind who have turned out to be Tories. Incidentally none lost their positions but resigned for commercial reasons.
          Laidlaw and Edwards were magazine show presenters – not news/current affairs broadcasters with editorial input to emphasis/angle on news. Williams features on a panel as a foil for Hooton in a political forum.

  7. Clemgeopin 8

    NORTHLAND : The learned judge declares the winner :

    [1] KEY (in spinning loop ) : http://i.imgur.com/9M2KqSs.gif

    [2] PETERS (in macho cool ) : https://t.co/QZAgTYC28f

    [3] AND THE WINNER IS (in unforgettable victory) :

    http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/1823/821/original.jpg?w=600&h

  8. Philip Ferguson 9

    As the new Greek government attempts to reverse the vicious austerity policies of the previous New Democracy/PASOK (in NZ terms, National/Labour) coalition, the troika (EU heads, ECB and IMF) and Greek capital are applying maximum pressure on Syriza to bend to their will.

    There’s an interesting article by a Syriza central committee member on the way forward that went up on Redline last night: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/the-road-forward-for-syriza-a-view-from-a-central-committee-member/

    Phil

  9. Philip Ferguson 10

    The response of the US-trained Iraqi army when faced with ISIS has often been to run away. It is the Kurdish militias that have stopped ISIS and pushed it back.

    The fact that the PKK, whose forces have done a whack of the fighting and whose armed forces include a significant number of women, is on the terrorism list in this country is indicative of the lies of successive NZ governments about the region and their involvement in it.

    If the NZ government was primarily motivated by the desire to help defeat ISIS in order that the people of the region could improve their lives, they could just hand over a load of weapons, medical supplies and money to the Kurdish fighters, with no strings attached.

    Instead, they have made it illegal in this country to help one of the key Kurdish movements which stands for people’s liberation and that has thrown back the ultra-right forces of ISIS.

    Several things can be done here:
    1. Demand that the PKK be removed from the NZ government’s list of terrorist organisations
    2. Demand that people here be able to raise funds and other support for the Kurdish liberation movement; and people could raise support and funds for them anyway, regardless of what the government does
    3. Demand the government not send NZ forces but hand over to the Kurdish forces the equivalent in funds and/or equipment of what they would spend on having NZ armed forces there; this to be handed over with no strings attached. In other words, if the deployment of NZ forces to Iraq was going to cost X million dollars, then X million dollars should be handed over to the Kurds.

    The Kurds have been screwed over continuously by western powers – for instance, when France and Britain carved up the Ottoman Empire after WW1, the Kurds never got a country.

    Some pieces:
    The Kurds: treated as pawns by the western powers: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/the-kurds-treated-as-pawns-by-western-powers/
    The ‘other’ Kurds fighting the Islamic State: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/the-other-kurds-fighting-the-islamic-state/
    PFLP calls for international support for Kurds fighting ISIS at Kobane: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/pflp-calls-for-united-revolutionary-support-for-kurds-at-kobane/

    Phil

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      If the NZ government was primarily motivated by the desire to help defeat ISIS in order that the people of the region could improve their lives, they could just hand over a load of weapons, medical supplies and money to the Kurdish fighters, with no strings attached.

      Turkey, a key NATO member, wouldn’t like that. Neither would the Shiite authorities in Baghdad.

      • Philip Ferguson 10.1.1

        I’ m sure they wouldn’t!

        And, of course, no NZ government this side of a revolution would do any such thing.

        But if they were motivated by what they pretend to be motivated by, that’s what they’d do.

        Phil

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2

        A lot of the reason for the US and other Western nations not liking/supporting a group like the Kurds is because it will change the established borders. Basically, it comes down to geopolitics and the fact that they know damn well that if those borders are changed in the way that the people there want them changed they will lose power and wealth.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      In a related vein:
      Maybe Obama’s Sanctions on Venezuela are not really about his “DEEP CONCERN” over suppression of political rights

      The more I watch the US led nations the more it becomes obvious that they’re operating to shore up the Western Empire and that they’re failing. The whole lot is falling apart and they’re promoting wars and fear of others in an attempt to prevent that.

      • KJT 10.2.1

        If they were really concerned about the suppression of political rights they would be looking at Columbia, Haiti and Panama, for a start.

        Not to mention Saudi Arabia, who has beheaded many more people, than Isis.

        Of course, their Governments are suitably supportive of US corporate power.,.

    • GregJ 10.3

      + 100

      And BTW – now Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to Da’ish isn’t it about time we offered to support our fellow member of the Commonwealth, Nigeria, with equivalent support and assistance?

  10. logie97 11

    Anyone hear the member for Epsom opining this morning that the election of Winston Peters would upset the balance of power.
    Now let’s see, we have an MP who has a seat in government on the basis of less than one percent of the vote (Ignore the gerrymander that got him in) talks about upsetting the balance of power. He will also be advising ACT supporters to vote National in Northland. What a magnanimous gesture.

    • ScottGN 11.1

      I imagine there was a pretty swift text this morning from Joyce to the Hologram from Epsom along the lines of “just shut the fuck up!”
      And a friend in Australia says the nail-fail made the telly news there!

    • Michael 11.2

      How helpful! He might shift the vote towards National by a whopping one-half of one percent.

    • swordfish 11.3

      Yeah, ACT received a grand total of 162 Party-Votes in Northland in 2014. (Behind Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis but ahead of the Ban 1080 Party). And a plurality of ACT Party-Voters went for Sabin (rather than the ACT candidate) anyway.

      Still, you never know. Could come down to just a handful of votes.

    • tracey 11.4

      “He will also be advising ACT supporters to vote National in Northland. ”

      He can take them all out for dinner.

      Table for 150 please!

    • Philip Ferguson 11.5

      So that’s three more votes for the National candidate!

      Phil

    • aerobubble 13.1

      Lot of money to be made when markets are shaken down.
      But no, Key thinks its eco-terror.
      I think its some meat eater who sources their food locally and does not want their larder poisoned, not ecological more food to mouth subsistenance since they obvioysly do not have a piece of the wider economic rural benefits/trickledown.
      lone wolf economically marginalized rural type.

  11. Philip Ferguson 14

    While primarily about Britain, this article is highly relevant to New Zealand, where the ‘golden weather’ of the long post-WW2 economic boom was even more golden than in Britain and lasted a bit longer; what happened here afterwards is also similar to Britain

    by Michael Roberts

    I am part of the lucky generation. I am a member of that cohort of people born between 1946 and 1965, the baby boomer generation. We are lucky because we came into the world in countries of advanced capitalism at a time when there was unprecedented economic growth, near ‘full employment’, relative low inequality of wealth and income and strongish labour movements able to extract concessions from Capital on labour rights, a welfare state, universal health and education, public housing.

    Capital was able to concede these gains for labour because it was experiencing high rates of profitability after the destruction of capital values during the war. It could draw on a huge reserve army of labour in Europe and Asia, along with new technology, to exploit. And global capitalism had one hegemonic power, the US, that could provide credit and investment in Europe and Asia within Pax Americana. In short, this was a Golden Age for capitalism. Concessions to labour were possible. . .
    full at: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/the-lucky-generation/

    Interesting article on the post-WW2 long economic boom, its end and what subsequent generations have had to deal with – increasingly casualised employment, extension of working lives through the raising of the retirement age, cuts to public services and commodification or partial commodification of such services too, etc etc. . .

    Ain’t capitalism glorious?

    Phil

    • Visubversaviper 14.1

      Wasn’t that wonderful for everybody. As a bright 16yr old I was told by my High School career’s advisor in 1966 that I should go to secretarial college as I would make somebody a wonderful secretary. I said that I thought I would make a better “somebody” and that I was going to University.

      Yes, there were jobs, but the Help Wanted section in the paper was divided into Men’s Jobs and Women’s Jobs.

      In 1981 when I bought my house the policy of the BNZ was that they did not lend $$$ to single women to buy houses. The Manager was too chicken to tell me that – he just rang my father and told him that the only way I would get the loan was if he counter signed for it. Regardless of my substantial deposit and more than adequate income.

      And that is before we got onto the treatment of Maori, LGBT and any other minority.

      The boomer years were all about white, straight blokes.

      • Murray Rawshark 14.1.1

        What you say is right, but what happened was not an extension of the benefits of being a white straight bloke to the rest of the population. Those who promoted better gender and race conditions also let neoliberalism in the door. Their emphasis was on the individual betterment of women, Maori, and gays, rather than as part of a class. This meant that things got a lot better for some, like the gay Tories that ran the Auckland Pride Parade, but much worse for the trans Maori woman who didn’t want screws marching.

        We lost the good things in exchange for a bit of equality for some. We could have had both.

        • Adele 14.1.1.1

          Kiaora Murray

          Their emphasis was on the individual betterment of women, Maori, and gays, rather than as part of a class.

          I don’t think Māori were particularly interested in being part of a “class struggle.” Particularly as the Māori struggle isn’t about gaining equality with Joe Pākehā.

          • Murray Rawshark 14.1.1.1.1

            Plenty of Maori have been very strong in class struggle and I don’t think it was because they wanted to be like Joe. When the whole basis of Kiwi capitalism was the confiscation and purchase of land from Maori, I don’t see how it is possible to stand aside from class struggle anyway. The Maori Party disagrees with me, but I can handle that.

  12. ianmac 15

    Surprised that the Marlborough Express devoted a full page to explaining “Snowden Files Spooks Collect Your Data.” Includes the Waihopai explanation. Did other papers publish this?
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/67082905/Snowden-files-Inside-Waihopais-domes
    (The online version is reduced compared to the paper version)

  13. esoteric pineapples 16

    This was interesting on National Radio last night

    Maskirovka: Deception Russian-Style
    Lucy Ash examines the Russian military strategy of deception, maskirovka, from the 14th Century to the current crisis in Ukraine.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02kq0gq

    NB not that I’m taking sides on the Russia/Ukraine conflict – just interesting background to Russian military strategy

    • An excellent piece. Particularly relevant now that Putin has admitted lying about the Crimea invasion.

      • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1

        Yep, Russia anticipated the west’s move to destabilise Ukraine and turn it into a NATO outpost well ahead of time. There was never any way that Russia was going to allow Sevastapol to become a NATO base, and the west should have realised that from the start.

          • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1.1.1

            Prof John Mersheimer says west is determined to peel Ukraine away from Russia

            Using three means:

            1) NATO expansion eastward.
            2) EU expansion eastward.
            3) “Democracy promotion” (toppling pro-Russian regimes and replacing them with pro-western, anti-Russian regimes).

            Ukraine is a core strategic interest for Russia; however it is not a core strategic interest for the western powers.

            A political settlement would be Ukraine becoming a neutral buffer state between Europe and Russia.

            http://rt.com/shows/sophieco/238905-us-ukraine-ceasefire-russia/

            • Chooky 16.1.1.1.1.1

              thanks …i will check it out

            • Chooky 16.1.1.1.1.2

              here is more on USA foreign affairs …still relevant given Netanyahu’s Israel attempt recently to influence American Foreign policy on Iran….this Published on Nov 23, 2013

              ‘Gwenyth Todd – Whistleblower on Planned Iran War & WW3′

              “Press TV’s documentary program “Untold Truths” is a revealing documentary film about the life and experiences of former White House Middle East policy adviser, Gwenyth Todd, who has now escaped to Australia to keep safe from FBI prosecution”.

              http://rt.com/news/225539-netanyahu-congress-usa-rift/

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Watching the doco on Gwyneth Todd…wow. Thanks for the link. Iranian TV hit this one out of the park.

            • greywarshark 16.1.1.1.1.3

              That is a good link CR and explains the line that you have been outlining here over the last month. It sounds like the only viable way to go.

          • Paul 16.1.1.1.2

            Colonial Rawshark speaks a lot of sense….

            • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1.1.2.1

              Listen to that steady drum beat for us to go to war, a just war, an honourable war, a necessary war, a moral war. So many lefties have forgotten – war is a racket.

            • te reo putake 16.1.1.1.2.2

              A lot of sense? Sadly, not for a quite a while. Colonel Viper is a long, long way back from the frontline on so many issues these days.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Did I hear Armchair General Westmoreland say something about hanging back in the rear while being all keen to send our young men and women off to a civil war?

                • Off in the distance, through the binoculars, I can just make out a figure retreating into the sunset waving a white flag. Its pitiful whine can just be made out … “Fuckem, fuckem all. I’m alriiiiight jack, so fuckem all …”

                  • greywarshark

                    It’s good to hear an echo of Old Labour when I read you Te Reo Putake. I can see why we have our preent day NZ going around in wide circles which some have realised are actually slipping away down the plughole. But terrific to see brave Old Time Labour standing strong, like Canute by the waterside, (though he was doing it ironically to show his old Labourites where wish-fulfilment ended and reality starts).

  14. Michael 17

    One thing I was thinking about is the relatively low level of tax on high-income earners in NZ.

    See this link: http://money.cnn.com/interactive/pf/taxes/top-income-tax-rate/?iid=EL
    Only 6 countries in the OECD have a top rate lower than NZ. Australia and Canada are 48%. The UK was 50% in 2012 but is now 45%. USA is 44%. Ireland is 48%. So NZ clearly has the lowest tax rate in the Anglo countries at just 33%. If we look at continental European countries, we see that Denmark taxes at 60%, Netherlands at 52%, Sweden at 57%, Germany at 48%, France at 51% etc etc..

    It is quite weird that the sub-35% top tax rates have fallen out of favour in much of the weird yet NZ maintains a 33% tax rate. Labour only proposed a 36% tax rate last election, and even the Greens only went for 40%. Helen Clark would only go up to 39%. Why is something in the 40s so toxic? It is interesting because in general the ‘centre’ of New Zealand politics is more towards the left than in other Anglo countries. (NZ right wingers are less right wing than other Anglo countries and left-wingers are more left leaning. But on tax? Not so much..)

    UK Labour support a 50% top rate. US Democratic Party support a 40% federal rate(with the US Progressives supporting a 45% rate), in addition to state-level income taxes which add up to 5-10% on top of that. Why are NZ left leaning parties proposing to maintain such low levels of high-income taxation? Personally I’d propose a 45% or 50% rate on incomes above $180k. Which is not really that radical compared to other countries.

    • tracey 17.1

      Which is odd when you consider that we are constantly told how over taxed such people are

      • Michael 17.1.1

        The burden falls on low and average earners while high income earners pay nothing on their capital gains and get away with a 33% tax rate.

        • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1.1

          Capital gains and wealth taxes are where NZ totally misses out at the moment. A higher top tier tax rate could be introduced for the top 1% – just remember that many in the top of the top 1% have minimal declared income however and will be totally untouched by that.

          • Michael 17.1.1.1.1

            Yup. I would just tax all capital gains as normal income from wages on the progressive scale, with an exemption for the family home. Why should someone with income from shares or the sale of a second home pay no tax (or a reduced rate), while the minimum wage earner pays a higher rate?

            • alwyn 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Can you please explain why you would exempt the family home?

              Would you say that someone who invests their money into a business that creates work for other New Zealander’s and rents their place of abode, should pay more in taxes than someone who pours their savings into a mansion in Herne Bay? and doesn’t otherwise save anything

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Just exempt the first $50K of capital gains a year, from whatever sources.

                • alwyn

                  That is an a perfectly debatable point but it isn’t the one that supporters of the Labour and Green Parties make.
                  It seems to be an article of faith that “We will exempt the family home”.
                  I could see why you would do it from a political viewpoint, as in the old “don’t do it in the street and scare the horses” but it makes no economic sense to exclude anything.

                  The $50k/year exemption of course has a problem that if I have an increase in wealth of $50k/yr and realise it I won’t pay any tax.
                  If I spend 40 years developing a farm and then sell it to retire at an increase in nominal value of $1 million I would be lumbered with a $300k (say) tax bill even though the actual capital gain will be less than half the amount of the person who realises it every year.

                  • KJT

                    I agree with you for once.

                    Excluding the family home will means a lot of wealthy 16 year olds owning a “family home” in Remuera.

                    Better excluding the first 400k, say, (it could be set at the median value of an NZ house) of assets from a CGT, or wealth tax makes it more progressive, but also takes away the political disadvantage of taxing peoples homes.

                    It is more a political decision, because of the fun that NACT would have with “taxing the family home”, even though we already pay a wealth tax on homes. Rates.

                  • Michael

                    Hmm, I do agree with you on that:

                    What about an exemption on the first home, up to a cap? So you get say the first $100-200k of your capital gains on the family home tax-free.

                  • dv

                    AND off set the capital gain by inflation, so you don’t pay tax on inflation.

                    • Michael

                      I think that could definitely be a fair thing to do.

                      So capital gains would be taxed as normal income, with an exclusion for the family home up to a cap for an average house sale gain; and people would only be charged tax on the *real* capital gain, not nominal.

                    • alwyn

                      What would you do about interest payments?
                      If you get interest on money you have loaned out you really shouldn’t pay tax on the interest rate which only covers inflation should you?
                      If I loan money, say to the bank as a TD, and I get 4% when the inflation is 2% I really shouldn’t have to pay tax on the first 2%.
                      After all that would be paying tax on inflation. The problem is trying to decide on what is interest covering inflation and what is interest that is real income. It gets to be almost impossible when there are multiple amounts of money at multiple interest rates, particularly when money may be in a current account that just pays a nominal 1% and where the amount concerned changes from day to day.
                      Tain’t easy baby.

  15. mac1 18

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/has-government-got-its-planned-pay-rise-limit-mps-wrong-6253468

    It seems that what the left hand taketh away, the right hand giveth back.

    The government’s change to the way MP’s salary increases are calculated it seems will return almost the same amount ($800 less over a $31,000 actual increase in the term of this government.)

  16. aerobubble 20

    Spies parking data overseas to ticket us later. Onerous govt.

  17. not laughing

    “Australian comedian Heath Franklin, who goes by the stage name Chopper, will front a new comedy series for TV3, which is set to receive $90,000 of taxpayer money from New Zealand on Air.

    The NZoA spokesperson went on to say the key funding criteria is that the production company is based in New Zealand, not the onscreen talent.

    The series will be produced by Hikoi New Zealand, a Rotorua-based production company, Managing director Piripi Curtis said they chose Chopper to front the show due to an exisiting relationship with him. He said they never considered using a Kiwi comedian to host the series.

    He confirmed Chopper still lives in Australia and would be flown to New Zealand to work on the series…”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11416198

    Wrong – this should get NO money – wtf firstly this guy is not funny as his stint on the very unfunny 7 days has shown, secondly there is NO good reason a Aotearoan should not get the gig – that would help the local comedians more than this waste of space and they need more help as 7 days has shown IMO

    • gsays 22.1

      hi marty, u do have a bee in yr bonnet over this.
      who are the funny comedians that should get funding for this tv show (that is only being made to sell ads).

      i find 7 days humerous and only a year ago was appointment viewing, however have seen one episode this season.
      i found chopper to be quite quick witted although sometimes a tad vulgar (australian).

      will you be wanting to check the citizenship of all the crew too?

    • tc 22.2

      If NZ idol and reality shows can get funding I don’t see an issue with this. Heaths actually funny, unlike most of the 7 days dross dished up, and the show will highlight NZ talent.

      Outrageous fortune had an Oz in the lead alongside Malcolm so more herald diversions rather than put some focus on nationals pork barreling in northland and Shonkeys squeaky bum time which has far more national significance than more road crashes.

      • marty mars 22.2.1

        It’s in the entertainment section so hardly a diversion tc – I think WE have the talent, the people, the ideas so for me NO to using aussies or brits and whatevers – buy local, eat local, employ local, love local

        • tc 22.2.1.1

          Wasn’t in that section online when I saw it, it was in the main section alongside other leaders.

          • marty mars 22.2.1.1.1

            hmmm well I agree they would use anything to create a distraction from the shit their beloved leader is doing or usually not doing.

  18. Draco T Bastard 23

    And this is why Telecom should never have been privatised:

    Funding to expand the ultrafast broadband (UFB) programme to more of New Zealand has been confirmed – the latest in a string of announcements made in the Northland by-election campaign.

    Communications Minister Amy Adams said on Thursday that the Government would push ahead with commitments National made during last year’s general election campaign that boosted the target for UFB from 75 per cent to 80 per cent of the population.

    The announcement will raise the cost of the UFB rollout by up to $210 million, with the total cost at more than $2 billion.

    We’ve already paid billions of dollars and we’re now having to pay billions more to get the service that we’ve already paid for. The only people that privatisation has benefited are the new owners and everyone else is worse off.

    • tc 23.1

      Yes and exactly how does that benefit northland, UFB needs dense population to make it a reasonable cost per dwelling passed, more BS unless Amy nominates which town gets it.

      210mill easily swallowed up lighting up the rest of central north island and sth island towns where diversity exists like matamata, morinsville, raglan, etc….con job central.

  19. Atiawa 24

    ” This afternoon (11/03 ) Insiders New Zealand published a political poll with just over 500 eligible voters asking New Plymouth voters, if the election were held today who would you choose for MP of New Plymouth?”

    56.17% of the voter’s polled said they would vote the Labour Leader Andrew Little, compared to current National MP Jonathan Young’s 26.09%.
    7.56% said they were not sure who they’d vote for.

    Apparently if it couldn’t get any worse for the former safe blue seat, it has. 78.92% of those that wish to vote Andrew Little will also vote for the Labour Party and just 11.07% will not. 13.21% were not sure.

    The poll for Insiders was conducted by Michael Riley and surveyed the opinions of 500 people.

    Yes I know there is a long way to go before we are able to test the polls validity, but ….

  20. Good news! I imagine the locals are cottoning on to the fact that having the Prime Minister as your local MP can have real benefits. 2017 can’t come soon enough!

    • Atiawa 25.1

      Absolutely.
      During the 2014 election campaign the Taranaki Daily News published a poll carried out by the local polytech’s (WITT) journalistic students. Their poll had Andrew Little at 13% support. When I questioned the tutors methodology she said that the students in pairs had a copy of the local telephone book and randomly opened a page and drew a horizontal line across the mid section. One of them rang those people whose numbers were directly above the line ( say 20) while the other rang 20 people below the line. I asked how that would achieve a true demographic picture which should include things like the age of the sample, where people lived, their socio economic status, maybe their race etc. Her response was that this was the method she was taught and for all intents and purposes was the method used in similar teachings.
      No wonder we have a MSM unfit for purpose.

  21. alwyn 26

    Breaking news.

    Andrew little appears to have quit and moved with his family to Oamaru.
    Have a look at the photo and admire the speed with which he grew a beard.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/nz-life-leisure/66872932/family-of-six-lives-off-less-than-90-a-week
    Is the one who looks like a goat Trevor?

  22. joe90 27

    Three Hellfire missiles – $330,000.

    5:18 a.m.

    Pilot: They’re praying.

    Sensor: This is definitely it. This is their force. Praying? I mean, seriously, that’s what they do.

    Mission intelligence coordinator: They’re going to do something nefarious.

    […]

    8:45 a.m.

    Sensor: Hey, MC.

    Mission intelligence controller: Yes?

    Sensor: Remember, Kill Chain!

    MIC: Will do.

    […]

    9:10 a.m.

    Mission intelligence coordinator: Screener said there weren’t any women earlier.

    Sensor: What are those? They were in the middle vehicle.

    Mission intelligence coordinator: Women and children.

    […]

    Families of the dead ultimately received $5,000 each, plus one goat.

    http://boingboing.net/2015/03/11/drones-and-the-rise-of-the-hig.html

  23. Adele 28

    Kiaora Murray

    Plenty of Maori have been very strong in class struggle and I don’t think it was because they wanted to be like Joe. When the whole basis of Kiwi capitalism was the confiscation and purchase of land from Maori, I don’t see how it is possible to stand aside from class struggle anyway. The Maori Party disagrees with me, but I can handle that.

    A great many more Māori disagree with you. The Māori struggle cannot be seen as simply an appendage to other peoples desires for equality. That Māori have supported other peoples struggles is because of the manaaki we share for others but in no way does that support then translate into the subjugation of our Treaty based arguments to fit other peoples agendas. We call that assimilation. Class is a concept off the same boat as the coloniser.

    Or to put it another way, your class struggle is atop lands that were stolen.

    When the Foreshore and Seabed protest occurred in Wellington, upwards of 80,000 Māori protested, and the only divisions recognised was in terms of tribal connections.

    • Murray Rawshark 28.1

      Kia ora Adele
      I agree that the Treaty based arguments must not be subjugated. The Foreshore and Seabed protests resulted in the Maori Party, which has since subjugated heaps to FJK’s agenda. Maybe if “divisions” besides tribal connections had been recognised, FJK wouldn’t be so strong today.

      I suspect our views of what class struggle entails are not the same.

      • Adele 28.1.1

        Kiaora Murray

        The Foreshore and Seabed protests resulted in the Maori Party, which has since subjugated heaps to FJK’s agenda. Maybe if “divisions” besides tribal connections had been recognised, FJK wouldn’t be so strong today.

        It was a Labour Government that established the rationale for the creation of the Māori Party through its arrogant and dismissive treatment of its treaty obligations towards Māori. Maybe, if Labour hadn’t pissed all over Māori aspirations they would still be in Government. The Māori Party was born from betrayal.

        Under National, the Māori Party get to sit at the table. Under Labour, they’re the last cab on the rank. And how convenient that the anti Māori Party stalwarts, never fully contextualise the voting record of the Māori Party. That it votes much more times against the Government agenda than with it. What is Labour’s record in comparison.

        National and Labour are cut from the same raggedy cloth. Essentially the same thinking driving both. The only difference is in colour, a blue rag, and a red rag. And golly gosh, Māori get to wear the rags.

        We are in the land of plenty but many of my people still cannot afford the cab fare home from the supermarket.

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    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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