Open mike 15/08/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 15th, 2010 - 21 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

21 comments on “Open mike 15/08/2010”

  1. Jenny 1

    At his suggestion;

    The other day, I promised Voice Of Reason that I would send and email to Phil Goff and ask him if he would stand with the trade union leaders at the Fairness at Work rallies. VOR also asked me to “let us know what his reply is.
    I promised VOR I would keep him updated through the open mike.

    As I told VOR, I am sure that Phil Goff will dutifully parachute in for his 5 minutes to smile and wave at the camera.

    So I would not be asking any patsy question along those lines.

    Instead I wrote to Phil, asking if he would be prepared to go a bit further, and stand with the Trade Union leaders on the dais, and maybe say a few words in support of the CTU’s call to completely repeal National’s anti-union legislation.

    So far I have received no reply from Phil’s office.

    So, maybe he needs a few more letters from lots of other people with the same question?

    The following is the text of my letter:

    Dear Mr Goff,

    I am writing to you, to ask a question.

    I have heard that you will be in attending one of the Fairness at Work rallies on the 21st and 22 of August.

    While you are there, will you, in your role as leader of the Labour Party be taking the opportunity to stand on the speakers rostrum with the union leaders to show your party’s support for workers rights, and maybe even say a few words?

    Thank you,

    If other people want to write to Phil Goff requestin him to give some ‘meaningful’ political support to the “Fairness at Work” rallies, feel free to copy my letter, or better yet, use your own words.

    (Please no swearing)

    capcha – reluctant (you sure you are not doing this on purpose Lynne?)

  2. Armchair Critic 2

    And as a break (hopefully) from the troll plastering the site with inanities (that’s you, Joshua), here’s something different:
    Another opinion disagreeing with the government’s direction on drug law enforcement.

  3. RedLogix 4

    NACT’s vicious and utterly cynical shitshower campaign to de-rail Jim Sutton’s reforms around Public Access to the conservation estate, often compromised by difficutlties created by private land-owners, was the defining issue that got me blogging back about 2003/4.

    Therefore I find it hugely rewarding to read this morning that:

    John Key’s cycle trail has taxpayer money lined up to buy access to private land in a bid to keep the plan on track.

    Plans for four of the seven cycle trails cross private land and have left those building the tracks negotiating access rights with land owners.

    In one case, discussions have included the option of land owners getting paid for access – even though the step has been banned under agreements to have the trails built.

    Hah. Bitten in the arse by their own obdurate idiocy.

  4. Tigger 5

    So much political goodness today but this was most interesting to me.

    Step one: introduce compulsory savings.
    Step two: raid the Cullen fund because the Nats think its their money.

    • Carol 5.1

      Well, it seems the Nats are following along from what Cunliffe ws hinting at last weekend on The Nation. But it will be interesting to see how each party is planning on doing it.

      Sean Plunkett asked Goff about it this weekend on TV 3’s The Nation. As I recall, Goff said they were contemplating making Kiwisaver compulsory.

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        Because they’ve figured out they can raid the Cullen fund if they get people saving a wad of cash elsewhere…

  5. NickS 6

    Lancet’s superbug report is another misuse of broken peer review

    Grrrr. Stupid scientists.

    In a nutshell, the new strains of super-resistant bacteria, reported on the news yesterday, aren’t actually spreading from out of India. How do we know this? Because in the published paper that broke this in The Lancet medical journal, the authors sequenced the samples of the bacteria, and lo and behold, buried in the results and discussion is the note that there’s no genetic similarity between the samples collected in India to the other sites these super resistant bacteria have been picked up. Which if India was the source, there should be a good degree of genetic similarity. Particularly because the evolution of anti-biotic resistance also requires compensatory adaptions to occur, else fitness is usually too low for resistant strains to be passed on after an individual stops a course of anti-biotics.

    In short, these newly super resistant strains are the result of human stupidity and ignorance, rather than solely the fault of very easy access to powerful anti-biotics in India + medical tourism. Although that particular ease of access to anti-biotics in India really isn’t going to slow down the emergence of super resistant bacterial strains…

    And remember, please the entire frakking course of anti-biotics when you’re prescribed them. I know they taste yuck, and have side effects, but that’s no frakking excuse, and runs the risks of allowing your bacterial infection to adapt to resist the anti-biotic your on and make some else’s life a pain.

    • loota 6.1

      Hmmmmmmmm microbes have been waging chemical warfare against each another for millions of years, no wonder they overcome our technologies faster than we can commericalise them out of the lab.

      I wonder what the swathe anti-microbial detergents, hand washes and tooth pastes they now sell from the supermarket by the tonne are doing to speed up that aspect of bug evolution…

      • NickS 6.1.1

        Me tired, so this will be short.

        The handwashes etc are actually anti-septic in terms of how they work. The main problems with anti-biotic resistance emerging comes from agricultural use in intensive pig and chicken factory farming and with people (me included in the past) not taking the full prescribed course of anti-biotics, on top of the propensity for doctors to prescribe antibiotics when they’re not needed.


        Also, I’ll get back on the GE stuff after Wednesday, I need to catch up with my statistics course and get a lab test done. Sorry 🙁 Would have liked to have done it sooner, but sleep issues mean I keep falling behind on just about _everything_ at present.

        • prism

          Good luck Nick S with those tasks. About antibiotics – the chicken producers assure us that the antibiotics they deliver to their flock as prophylactics are different than the human ones we need and so don’t mess up ours when we need them. That reassured me. Was this a bit of crap? I notice that they make a big thing about not adding hormones to their birds on the packets, but never a word about antibiotics.

          • NickS

            Thanks 🙂

            About antibiotics the chicken producers assure us that the antibiotics they deliver to their flock as prophylactics are different than the human ones we need and so don’t mess up ours when we need them. That reassured me. Was this a bit of crap?

            That’s odd, generally yes, their are differences in some of the chemical characteristics of antibiotics given to each different species of animal to prevent nasty side effects, but the mechanisms of action don’t differ for each class.

            I don’t have time to sketch this out fully, but from this old 96 article antibiotics fall into classes based on their chemical structure. Then subdivided on basis of different modifications. But generally the actual method of antibiotic effect is the same within a class, which means that resistance to one specific drug in a class of antibiotics can make allow for resistance to the whole class. Although this depends on the mechanism of resistance, but hypothetically from my education in biochemistry and evolution, it’s a distinct possibility.

            Anyhow, I doubt very much that the antibiotics given to livestock and poultry in their feed for “preventative” purposes actually differ significantly from the ones used in humans. And without further research into it, I can only (tentatively) call that claim made by chicken producers bullshit.

            But I’d need to find MAF’s documents to be sure of it, anyhow relevant quote is relevant:

            The Challenges of Reducing Antibiotic Use

            Although reducing or eliminating nontherapeutic uses of antibiotics is a straightforward solution to the problem of resistance, it will be difficult to implement. Eliminating this use of antibiotics challenges the standard operating procedures of a large and powerful industry.
            The nontherapeutic use of antibiotics is ingrained in livestock and poultry operations because producers believe that chickens, cows, and pigs—particularly those that are not healthy to begin with—gain weight faster when these drugs are added to their feed.

            In addition, livestock producers have bought into the myth that bacteria that cause illness in humans develop resistance only in medical settings. While no one denies that unwise use of antibiotics in human medicine is a source of serious resistance problems, this view has prevented recognition of one of the best opportunities to cut back on these drugs—in nontherapeutic agricultural applications.

            Agricultural use for growth promotion and prevention of diseases due to overcrowded CAFO conditions accounts for the vast majority of the antibiotics and related drugs used in the United States. This enormous amount of drugs is delivered to animals under conditions conducive to the development of resistance. Large numbers of similar animals are raised in CAFOs that characterize contemporary agriculture. Chicken houses, for example, can contain 50,000 birds. And the Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are about 11,000 operations with over 1,000 beef cattle, 700 dairy cattle, 2,500 hogs, or 30,000125,000 chickens.

            In such large operations, antibiotics are often delivered to animals in food and water over extended periods. Bacteria are constantly being exposed to the drugs and eliminated from the populations. It is hard to imagine how resistance would not develop under these circumstances. Indeed, industrial livestock systems are hog heaven for resistant bacteria.

            Yeah, basically long term non-therapeutic use of antibiotics leads to strong selection pressures for resistance in bacterial species. Especially those that animals need for digestive purposes (nb; your poos are mostly bacteria and your gut bacterial out number the cells in your body), like salmonella in chicken…

    • RedLogix 6.2

      And remember, please the entire frakking course of anti-biotics when you’re prescribed them.

      God yes… sometimes I think antibiotics should have been a hospital only medication. In other words you only got them if you were sick with an acutal bacterial illness and really needed them.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        Most illnesses are bacterial – the other ones are viral. Then there’s the fact that if you have a deep cut being fed anti-biotics can help prevent an infection and thus help prevent a possible illness. Making them hospital only would weaken our health services.

        • NickS

          Eh, there’s actually some really clear signs to divide viral illness from bacteria, however one of the issues that popped up a few years ago was doctors prescribing antibiotics to patients who clearly had a viral illness rather than a bacterial one. Or had a non-serious bacterial illness that would have cleared up relatively quickly by itself.

          Also, a wound that’s a clean cut and been well cleaned and bandaged generally wont get infected if the patient follows instructions. Kids are another issue, but that’s the responsibility of parents to actually keep an eye on the injury and watch out for infections.

      • NickS 6.2.2

        Hah, just noticed the mistake I made /d’oh

        Anyhow, nyet. When you’ve got a wound that can’t be properly cleaned out, say because it’s a tear rather than a clean cut, antibiotics are key to preventing a large scale infection that will cause rather significant scaring, and possibly complications such as blood poisoning and infection of surrounding soft tissues. Which I have first hand experience with the first part…

        • prism

          I had an op and a drain was placed in it when I left hospital after a day or so. That fed into a bag and the amount of fluid and blood needed measuring. This went on for some time and a district nurse visited me at home to check. I ended up having to go back into hospital with a swelling from a build up of fluid which the A&E doc solved by knifing it I think, and it all flooded out. Surprisingly it was painless. Why it didn’t drain into bag I don’t know.

          Seems to me that if my seepage would take a while to dry up, it would have saved a GP visit and A&E treatment if I had been on a dose of antibiotics while the process continued to prevent infection and promote quicker healing. What do you say NickS. I don’t keep my place aseptic, and trying to manage life and the wound I think is likely to result in cost that could be avoidable with a treatment of antibiotics. What use are they if they can’t be used when needed?

          • NickS

            Yeah, deep surgery wounds like that really do require antibiotics for prevent infection, simply because you’d need be completely bacteria free and live in a sterile bubble to prevent infection occurring. Simply because skin bacteria are quite good at moving and finding their way into place like that.

            As for it not draining, skin and soft tissue repair mechanisms can often close up small drainage holes, even when they’re done properly.

            • prism

              Thanks for reply NickS. I might take this up with the DHB for consideration by their clinicians and managers. Would possibly save some handy $thousands each year if used when possible.

              • NickS

                Well, personally I’d go digging in the medical literature first. But I only have access to some of it, and I wouldn’t know what search words to use…

                i.e. more research needed.

                Though I do remember from my shoulder surgery that I had to take antibiotics after surgery for awhile.

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