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Open mike 19/08/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 19th, 2021 - 186 comments
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186 comments on “Open mike 19/08/2021 ”

  1. tc 1

    I see an airnz crew member's tested positive that's fully vaccinated who was on the Tokyo run.

    NSW has screwed Oz and us in the procces, were those Olympics and holidays worth it folks !

    • DukeEll 1.1

      Sure were. Fuck living in your grim servile vision of the world.

      you don’t like vaccination, you don’t want delta, so freedom must suffer.

      out of interest, what about our Paralympians?

      • Jester 1.1.1

        Absolutely agree. Some people just want to "shut up shop" and hide away forever.

        • David

          100% . Fortunately I sense those "shut up shop" followers of our dear leader are declining in number rather rapidly at the moment.

          • Andre

            Shut up shop makes sense while many of us that want protection from the disease haven't yet had the opportunity to get it. Me included. So I fully support the current round of shut up shop, and I'm mildly annoyed that the travel bubble with Australia was even opened in the first place, let alone how long they left it before closing it.

            Once everyone that wants vaccination has had it, I don't think shut up shop will make sense anymore. Based on the published plans, it looks to me like our government won't be using shut up shop as the strategy from then, either.

            Considering that vaccine approval down to the age of five (or even 2) is fairly likely to happen late this year, the vaccine rollout will likely extend to early next year. Which is the point when I would expect the shut up shop strategy to end, and new strategies to start.

          • Gabby

            It's the antis who're declining in numbers and health davy.

        • Treetop

          Some people just want to "shut up shop" and hide away forever.

          What is your position on having a lockdown?

          • Jester

            Lockdown only needed at the moment IMO because not enough people vaccinated. If 80% vaccinated could just do level 2 by regions.

            • Treetop

              There is a lot riding on the success of vaccination and the current vaccines. At least I know where I am with a lockdown.

              I plan to go a day at a time.

            • Gabby

              Regions porous. Easy movement between. Holiday homes example.

        • RosieLee

          No, They just want to do what has to be done to keep everyone safe. It's social responsibility, not individual, personal self interest.

      • Molly 1.1.2

        "…so freedom must suffer…"

        Out of curiosity, what do you consider freedom to be?

        • Andre

          I don't want to speak for DukeEll, but to me the following freedoms from our Bill of Rights are very important:

          16 Freedom of peaceful assembly

          • Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

          17 Freedom of association

          • Everyone has the right to freedom of association.

          18 Freedom of movement

          • (1)Everyone lawfully in New Zealand has the right to freedom of movement and residence in New Zealand.

            (2)Every New Zealand citizen has the right to enter New Zealand.

            (3)Everyone has the right to leave New Zealand.

            (4)No one who is not a New Zealand citizen and who is lawfully in New Zealand shall be required to leave New Zealand except under a decision taken on grounds prescribed by law.

          The current severe risk of nasty disease and death certainly justifies the current restrictions on those rights.

          But once everyone has had reasonable opportunity to get highly effective protection from severe disease and death, by getting vaccinated, then it will no longer be reasonable or justifiable to continue severely restricting those rights and freedoms.

          • Treetop

            Does the Public Act 70 special powers of the medical officer of health override the Bill of Rights Act when it comes to public assembly?

            • Andre

              I think you're referring to Section 70 of the Public Health Act.

              (1) For the purpose of preventing the outbreak or spread of any infectious disease, the medical officer of health may from time to time, if authorised to do so by the Minister or if a state of emergency has been declared under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 or while an epidemic notice is in force,—

              (m) (iii) forbid people to congregate in outdoor places of amusement or recreation of any stated kind or description (whether public or private) within the district (or a stated area of the district):

              This appears to cover public assembly. But I'm not a lawyer, so don't take my word for it.

          • Molly

            I was wondering more about his idea of freedom, rather than how legislation defines it, but thanks for that.

            (There are also non-legislated moral and ethical codes, as well as social responsibilities, but I thought to give him a chance to start on the small stuff. See if he can handle the heavy lifting…)

        • DukeEll

          Freedom from “vaccine hesitant” fuckwits would be a great start. They can take partial responsibility for COVID lockdowns and it’s outrageous the government has to take these peoples abhorrent views into account for public safety reasons.

          • Andre

            That seems a little harsh considering our vaccination situation right now.

            But when we get to the situation that everyone that wants vaccination has had a reasonable chance to get it, I'll probably be saying even harsher things if we still have lockdowns and closed borders.

          • David

            I might not put it in such strong language but agree 100% with your sentiments Duke. Appears our government is and will continue to pander to said group.

            • McFlock

              We're doing a solid rollout, but antivaxxers have nothing to do with this lockdown.

              Shit happens.

      • Patricia Bremner 1.1.3

        "Servile". Oh I see you would rather be selfish and "Free". Twisting this situation to say the leaders in Health and Politics are cowing people is absolute tripe.

        The servility you see is actually recognition of a dangerous and costly situation. Any other response is actually ridiculous. We get one chance to get this right, and this pandemic is getting worse round the world.

        The rapid growth of the cluster, the age of the ill indicate the danger of of this highly infectious virus. We are in a "war" situation and "shutting up shop" is necessary.

        That "Dear Leader" business is a very poor argument at any time. Politics should be put aside. The virus will infect Left Right and Centre.

  2. dv 2

    Just a point, vaccination does not stop spreading. I helps to stop/reduce effects in the vaccinated.

  3. Andre 3

    Finally, a modest victory of sense over irrational loonies, that should help take a little bit of the edge off a public health crisis causing huge unnecessary suffering.

    No, nothing to do with covid, it's just that golden rice has finally been granted the last approval needed to allow commercial growth and distribution in the Philippines, which will alleviate the problem of vitamin A deficiency a bit.

    Hopefully, the benefits of this will open people's eyes a little bit more to the benefits of GMOs in dealing with numerous food supply issues coming at us fast.


    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Oh, the Golden Rice swindle! The problem (one of the many problems) with Golden Rice was that no one wanted to eat it because of its off-putting colour; it looked to rice-eaters as though it was spoiled.

      I wonder how they've solved that issue?

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1

        …it looked to rice-eaters as though it was spoiled.

        So can we assume that not all rice eaters suffer from VAD blindness? How on earth did they avoid it? Its a mystery.wink

      • Andre 3.1.2

        You got any evidence for your assertion that the colour is a problem because people think it's spoiled? I've had a look, and can't find any evidence. I currently work with a majority Filipino workforce, and yellow-coloured rice appears fairly frequently at smoko. So it looks to me like that assertion is just something somebody made up to try to spread false fear, uncertainty, doubt.

        As for swindles, the swindling going on about golden rice comes from the organics industry trying to protect their business model of selling the perception of benefits that are non-existent, and the likes of Greenpeace trying to protect their business model of spreading vague fears so they can sell themselves as the solution, to rake in donations and provide a very nice living to those at the top of the organisation thank you very much.

        • Robert Guyton

          Your Filipino friends' yellow-coloured rice is likely that way because they added yellow-coloured spices to it, not because it came pre-yellowed from the sack! Funny how logical explanations can expose brash assertions.

          As to "making it up", to the best of my knowledge and based upon the time, a number of years ago when I researched the Golden Rice issue, I learned of this factor, which seemed to me to be the critical one in the failure of up-take the first time around. I'm still of the view that this was a significant factor. I am however, not interested in going into bat on this issue, thanks.

          • Andre

            In other words, you're happy to toss out a vague unfounded but scary-sounding assertion. But unwilling to put any effort into backing it up.

            • Robert Guyton

              In other words, I can't be arsed searching for something I found many years ago, despite the fact that the concept I've provided is entirely logical and resisted your efforts to make it seem illogical.
              And 🙂 It’s hardly a “scary-sounding assertion” – The rice-eating community weren’t scared by the yellow rice, they just didn’t want to eat it, coz it looks spoiled.

              • Andre

                In other you got nuthin'. But it's random idea that fits with your feels and reckons, so you'll keep repeating it regardless of it being untrue.


                I've searched for evidence of opposition to golden rice on the basis that it looks like spoiled rice, and turned up nothing. Searching for images of spoiled rice turns up plenty, but the images look nothing like golden rice.

                [please tone down the antagonism. There are plenty of politics to argue here without resorting to that. thanks – weka]

                • Robert Guyton

                  Andre; I'm puzzled by your antagonistic approach. You are clearly pro-GE and regard those who are not as "irrational loonies". I've not made any comment at all about GE, yet you're treating me as one of your "irrational loonies", even calling me an idiot, despite the fact that I've stuck closely to logical argument, rather than irrational name-calling.

                  It's surely a puzzle.

                • weka

                  mod note for you Andre.

                  • Andre


                    But it sure would be nice if this bit of this site's policy would get taken a bit more seriously:

                    This includes making assertions that you are unable to substantiate with some proof (and that doesn’t mean endless links to unsubstantial authorities) or even argue when requested to do so.

                    • weka

                      True, but I think that Robert did provide a coherent and logical explanation for his belief and an explanation for why he wasn't going to link chase. He also did so in an evenhanded way without upping the ante, and responded to the points you raised. In other words, he wasn't just making a claim of fact and then aggressively doubling down on it without attempting to explain (which is what happens here).

                      Not everything we know is provable, but we can still communicate it without making a hard claim of fact.

                      eg he said, this is something I learned some years ago, I don't have a source for it now, but it makes sense because [explanation]

                      vs someone saying repeatedly, this thing is true, I know it's true, you're wrong.

                      I found a starting link pretty easily, and I suspect others would have too if the conversation didn't open with calling people irrational loonies.

                • weka

                  Analysis of the causes of postharvest rice grain yellowing [2008]


                  fourth hit in my google search.

                  • Andre

                    Did you find anything that suggests this yellowing is related to a reluctance to adopt golden rice?

                    Or find any images that suggest rice spoiled this way appears even vaguely similar to golden rice?

                    • weka

                      no, it's a starting link to explore the issue. I found the idea interesting, but no so interesting that I'm going to spend time on it.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Andre – can you, I wonder, conceive of the possibility of a factor that might influence the up-take of a certain product by a certain culture, that was not foreseen by the producers, that was not related to the technology used to produce the crop and was a cultural factor, such as colour-preference, an aversion to a product-name, the selection of an inappropriate celebrity for the promotion of the product, etc.

                      Just a thought-experiment for you and I'm genuinely interested to know.

                • RosieLee

                  We're in the middle of a severe housing crisis, a global pandemic catching up on us, dire public health infrastructure etc etc – and all you can think of is the colour of your rice. Oh puhleese!

                  • Andre

                    All I can think of – are your reading skills really that deficient? Have a look around the rest of today's Open Mike and see what other topics I've commented on. Let alone other days and posts.

                    And further to your reading comprehension deficiency, the issue around golden rice is not the colour, but that it can alleviate some of the horrible blight of hundreds of millions of people suffering vitamin A deficiency. At zero cost.

                    WHO estimate that between a quarter million and half a million kids every year go blind from vitamin A deficiency, and that half of those die within a year. And that's just one of the problems caused by vitamin A deficiency.

                    Blocking the prevention of even just a few of those cases because some privileged wealthy westerners hold some evidence-free irrational beliefs and wish to impose them on others is indeed something I'm utterly disgusted about. It's human suffering many orders of magnitude beyond the first world problems of a few people here being unable to buy a house or not getting a vaccination as quickly as they would like.

          • Gabby

            They should market as 'presaffronised for your enjoyment'.

        • DB Brown

          Yes, I think the yellow rice argument is a red (or is that yellow) herring. Because many people colour their rice with tumeric, so how it would be an issue is a mystery beyond straw clutching.

          My biggest issue with GE is contamination of wild stock. Yes it happens, frequently. My second issue is corporate control of food lines. Big oil has shown us what they're prepared to do to retain riches and power, why big Ag and the likes of Monsanto would be any different is a fairy tale mystery to me.

          "current regulatory systems are unable to protect against the risk of GMO contamination… farmers are reluctant to seek redress for fear of possible patent infringement…"

          Wilson, S. (2014). Induced Nuisance: Holding Patient Owners Liable for GMO Cross-Contamination. Emory LJ, 64, 169.

          "Genetically Modified Crops cannot co-exists with organic and heirloom crops. GMOs decimate their organic ancestors at the expense of agrobiodiversity and with little regard for environmental consequences. The pollen of monoculture plants cross-pollinates plants of the same species that may be quite far away in a process called genetic drift. This would be natural and necessary if it were not for the unnatural and dangerous traits that are inserted into GMOs through human hands, thereby often recklessly infiltrating organic or heirloom plants with GMO traits."

          Steier, G. (2016). Textbox: Cross-Contamination, Genetic Drift, and the Question of GMO Co-existence with Non-GM Crops. In International Food Law and Policy (pp. 177-178). Springer, Cham.

          There's loads of these. But nothing to see here right? Stupid know nothing hippies getting in the way of PROGRESS and GROWTH. People are starving because of inequities in distribution, not lack of GE.

          • Robert Guyton

            White rice, when spoiled in storage, yellows. Experienced rice-eaters recognise un-cooked, yellowed rice as something to be avoided (it's a taste-thing, not and aesthetics-thing).
            Rosemary @ 9:38 alludes to the real reason for the problem; lack of vegetables through capitalist pressures (please correct me if I’m wrong, Rosemary 🙂

            • Rosemary McDonald

              You are entirely correct Robert. I am making it my mission these days to avoid stating the obvious. Allowing folks who haven't already done so to work it out for themselves.

              (I'm one of those Luddite types that reckons that it is such supreme arrogance for mankind to presume to perfect in a few decades what nature has developed over millennia.

              All was perfect before we buggered it up.)

              I could bang on about monoculture…and I guess there's a reason why the VAD population do not grow a variety of food…but like you, I can't be arsed right now. Too busy.

              Mixing potting mix and filling bags and containers for tomatoes, curcubits, sweetcorn etc currently thriving in the hothouse. Even here in the Far Far North it is still a little cool outdoors…but when it warms…I'll be ahead!winkangel

              • Robert Guyton

                You, me and DB Brown are executives in Irrational Loonies Inc. it transpires; we should negotiate a substantial salary package from Andre before we go any further – irrational lunacy can't be expected to be provided for free!

                Good on you for your foresight; the warm weather will be upon us before we know it and home-grown food is likely to be the game-changer for many New Zealand/Aotearoans 🙂 I've Running Butter Bean seedlings popping up in the warmth of our tunnel house just now. They're just like Scarlet Runners, only their long pods are butter-yellow! Exciting! Not GE, I should add 🙂

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Last year…not enough stored water for summer vege gardens in poor soils. All was grown, harvested, stored and seed saved by mid January. This year…an abundance of stored water and much better soils due to green mulching. And our own sheeps' poo. Learning that 'full sun' does not work up here where the sun is so intense. (We are as far north as you are south.)Koanga heirloom seeds working well…many sourced from this rohe. Got to adapt and work with nature.

                  As for my food forest….I am experimenting with growing trees from seed. So far I have papaya, feijoas, persimmons, mangoes, and I started some pineapple seed sprouting this morning. Have usual grafted trees growing….but growing from seed is fun. One mate is into grafting and another is an ace at growing from cuttings.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    "We are as far north as you are south." – yikes! 🙂

                    This is music to my ears 🙂 Delighted to hear you are well-watered this time around.

                    Growing trees from seed is the work of angels. Once you've done it, there's no stopping; it can only end well 🙂

                  • DB Brown

                    I've just come in from harvesting some mid-winter spuds for a frittata. My mate has fresh tomatoes, outdoors, just around the corner (central Auckland), I'd have some of them on top of the frittata too if not for lockdown. Fresh herbs and greens, chives, onion, mmm. Getting hungry now. Will add cheese, because I'm a damn patriot! cheeky

                    So easy to do lots of food in a small space. High value nutrition, not that store bought nonsense bred into banality and sprayed into submission.

                    Times are certainly changing. A broad variety of types of food will see us through where monocultures can fail. I like to put lots of types of plants in various places and see which ones survive and which don't. From seed and cuttings this is a relatively cheap way to 'know your land' fairly quickly. Seasonal and weather related variance will keep you guessing long enough to keep it interesting.

                    The Taro retreats into a sunken path in drought, and moves upslope under the macadamia with water available. The bananas love a bowl, to retain both moisture and nutrients, but a bowl on a slope, so they don't rot in the wet. Nearly all land has some slope, a few degrees is enough. I have 3 bunches emerging on 8 stems. Another bunch ripening on my doorstep, so that was 4 bunches from 9 stems. The secret is chicken bedding, and a sweet location.

                    Got giant thyme grown all through winter too, plus peppers. Pulled a bonus wee kumara out while getting some spuds. Fresh as fresh ever gets. Bounty.

                    There's a few of us permies on my block now. We're swapping and learning together, always something to eat, still haven't utilised the half of our combined sections.

                    The 1/8th acre dream!

          • Andre

            People are starving because of inequities in distribution, not lack of GE.

            Please explain to me why the existence of inequities in distribution should stop efforts to improve the nutritional value of the main staple food of impoverished malnourished people.

            As for loss of heirloom varieties, that is primarily driven by big ag taking over the areas where those heirloom varieties have been cultivated. It happens because of big ag, and it happens whether the monoculture is of a conventionally bred or mutation bred * or a GMO crop. It's big ag that's the problem, not the specific technique used to create the characteristics of the organism they're growing.

            In the case of golden rice, it's a specific attempt to take the benefits of a powerful tool out of the hands of big ag, and give it to the small farmers to benefit from it. It's taking power out of the hands of big ag, giving it to those that have been shat upon by big ag.

            * Seriously, why is mutation breeding acceptable to organic farmers and others opposed to big ag? Mutation bred organisms don't require the extensive safety testing GMOs do. But I can't think of a better technique for unleashing the triffids or Audrey 2 than inducing massive random mutations across the entire genome, then only checking and selecting for the few traits of interest. To me, the lack of opposition to mutation breeding amidst the rabid opposition to GMOs just shows how misguided and irrational the anti-GMO crowd really is.

          • DB Brown

            Champions of GE to address climate change have an extraordinary blindness with regards to how evolution works, and how corporate interests are trying to control global food supplies.

            Our greatest hope is more diversity, not more monoculture. Also dismantling of corporations into manageable entities that don't hold sway over governments.

            “misguided and irrational”

            above that we have

            “irrational loonies”

            Hey, fuck you.

            • DB Brown

              Dietary advice, dietary variation, and 2 x annual vitamin A caps for youth are solving the VAD problem. While Golden Rice…

              "Based on IRRI’s documents, Golden Rice contains less than 10% of an equivalent amount of beta-carotene in carrots. As mentioned above, even the US FDA took notice of the Golden Rice’s low beta-carotene content. Citing the IRRI report, the average beta-carotene of Golden Rice is a measly 1.26 µg/g, which is even lower than the 1.6 µg/g beta-carotene expression of the very first Golden Rice generation back in the 2000s."


            • Andre

              You wanna know why I'm passionate?

              I'm utterly disgusted at those in privileged positions in wealthy countries trying to deny a literally life-saving innovation to impoverished and malnourished people in desperate need of everything they can get to help their situation.

              This particular innovation was developed and is distributed outside the control of big ag and other shitty organisation. It has zero demonstrable downsides for those people in need of it's benefits, and is a vast improvement on the other options actually available to them.

              But the opposition to it in among privileged wealthy people is not based on demonstrable evidence, but appears entirely rooted in vague feels and reckons about it being against some righteous way of doing things.

              • weka

                Sure. And others are equally passionate because they see people starving happening because of the centre left, neoliberal politics you support. Or the BAU ag and industry you support that is killing the planet.

                Explaining why you're disgusted adds to the debate because people can support or argue against your reasoning and beliefs (calling people loonies leads to flaming and people not listening to each other).

              • pwmcm

                It seems to me that planting spinach or similar green leaf plants around the edges of the rice paddies would be a much better solution to vitamin A deficiency.

                I think they grow lots of mangoes in the Philippines, too.

                • Robert Guyton

                  That seems to me also, pwmcm.

                • weka

                  We need to be doing polyculture for other reasons too, so win, win, win.

                  • weka

                    and I'm guessing (haven't read the whole thread to see if this is covered), that part of the problem is rice being grown for cash cropping rather than food for locals. The latter is more conducive to both health and ecology.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Yes. I understand Andre's concern and frustration: the issue of human health and the tragedy of the effects of malnutrition add a great deal of heat to any argument. The solutions offered seem to divide us left and right, which is telling (not sure what it tells 🙂 Your suggestions, and those of Rosemary and DB seem nuanced, holistic and multi-layered. Andre's, not so much but this might be just a matter of perception. It's an on-going puzzle.

                    • weka

                      I still have some hope that we (humans, lefties, kiwis, whoever) can develop communication that allows for development of ideas and solutions that are meeting points. The hard man, fisticuffs debate culture on the left is a problem for that, including on TS.

                      I also wonder if people are tired, scared, stressed, and just running out of patience for nuance and consideration. Even more need for the above in that case, but a conundrum.

                      Not aiming that at Andre in particular, I think most of us are struggling with the way the world is now at some level and this impacts on how we communicate or approach politics.

                    • Incognito []

                      Breathe, and listen to your raging heart. That’s a tell-tale sign that you’re stressed. When people yell, people yell back. When people go silent, people think. More important than what is said is the pauses between, the brief moments of silence, what is not said but could be; that’s the magic moment of creation. The same in music and art in general: less is more. The old Masters and Composers knew the importance of contrast and change of tempo and volume, and silence. Enter a Mall and a wall of sound will ‘greet’ you to numb the senses and hypnotise you to buy and consume, aimlessly and senselessly. Here on TS we are bombarded with walls of words that burry the mind in an avalanche of meaningless words. We become unthinking lazy zombies with aggressive and destructive attitudes towards others. Breathe.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      It seems to me that we are being "broken" by all this (see"the crises of the world") and, like caterpillars in-crysalis, we are going to be "pithed" (see, toads/experimental) by circumstance, and emerge, butterflies! 🙂

                      Now is the time for presenting form.

                • Andre

                  Growing golden rice doesn't prevent growing other fruits and vegetables. It's a false dichotomy to think of doing this instead of that. Better to look at all improvements that can add together.

                  As an improvement for impoverished malnourished people, golden rice adds significant nutritional value to the main staple food consumed by the huge majority of impoverished malnourished people. It doesn't displace anything else.

                  Those impoverished malnourished people would love to be able to add more varied fruits and vegetables to their diets, and maybe even occasionally animal protein, but it's other obstacles than rice supply that stand in the way of that.

                  Not least of which is the enormous population density of 368 people per sq km (including all the regularly erupting volcanoes). That extremely high population density really puts a premium on extracting the most calories feasible from any given plot of arable land.

                  For comparison, New Zealand's population density is 18 per sq km, 1/20th that of the Philippines. If someone's lived experience here is having the wealth and privilege of plenty of land to grow fruits and veges to supplement their diet largely obtained from elsewhere, then frankly they have NFI of the food supply pressures on impoverished malnourished people in places like the Philippines. Nor what mitigation measures might realistically be achievable.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    That's a well-presented argument, Andre.

                    Questions that present begin: is it true that "Growing golden rice doesn't prevent growing other fruits and vegetables. "

                    Are workers in Golden Rice fields free and able to grow their own veggies, or is their time and land taken for the money-crop? Are they pressured to work for money then spend it on "packaged" food, as is reportedly, so often the case?

                    As to "calories" – does Golden Rice offer more calories than other crops (DB Brown challenged that claim, elegantly, I thought).

                    It seems counter-intuitive to claim that "wealth and privilege" is a pre-requisite to growing fruits and veggies. Fruit and veggies have been grown by money-less communities since time-imermorial, like, forever, it seems.

                    I'm not nay-saying your claims, just asking for clarification.

                    • Andre

                      Growing golden rice doesn't prevent the growing of other fruits and vegetables any more than growing regular rice does. The main difference golden rice has is that it puts beta-carotene into the rice grains, which regular rice doesn't. The plant as a whole isn't really doing much different, beta-carotene is present in the rest of the plant in both golden rice and regular rice. Chemically, beta-carotene is purely hydrogen and carbon, so golden rice is not taking up trace elements or scarce nitrogen or phosphorus that regular rice doesn't.

                      Calories wise or productivity wise, I haven't seen anything that says there's significant difference between golden rice and regular rice. It's just that rice gives very high calories per hectare compared to alternative crops on that land. Hence the pressure to grow rice rather than something else that may be more nutritious but has significantly less productivity in terms of calories. It's just the pressure to simply produce enough calories to feed that high population density.

                      Having the land and the time to grow veges is a manifestation of wealth and privilege. Especially in extremely high population density places, such as the Philippines, that are poor yet extensively urbanised.

                      Being described as wealthy and privileged may seem a WTF? moment to rural poor people, both here and in less fortunate countries. But having the time and land to grow your own varied food really is wealth and privilege compared to the conditions suffered by those that haven't "made it" in the cities. As well as those trapped in a rural cycle of feeling they have to absolutely maximise production from their land to meet external financial pressures. Or landless rural poor such as itinerant rural workers.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Hmmm… you seem to have simply reposted your original claims, rather than addressing my questions…

                      You say, "Growing golden rice doesn't prevent the growing of other fruits and vegetables any more than growing regular rice does."

                      I say, "growing regular rice, or bananas, coffee, tea etc, DOES prevent the workers from growing their own food. The land is claimed for commerce, the time is claimed for 'employment". Have you a response for this, Andre?

                    • Andre

                      Then your objections should be to the existing systems of agriculture and commerce in general, and should not have any distinction between golden rice and regular rice.

                      Because there is no difference between golden rice and regular rice in terms of land use, labour, commerce, external inputs etc.

                      The only difference changing from regular rice to golden rice will be that those that are vitamin A deficient because of their diets will become less vitamin A deficient if they are able to change the regular rice they eat now over to golden rice.

                      Which will have follow-on beneficial effects in reducing the time and expense of vitamin A supplements. And reducing the suffering and time and expense of treating people for the effects of vitamin A deficiency.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Well, Andre, my "objections" weren't objections at all; I simply offered my view that the efforts to make Golden Rice the rice-of-choice, fell down because the locals rejected it because it looked squiffy 🙂

                      And, indeed, my "objections" to "the existing systems of agriculture and commerce in general" – yes, that is what I'm objecting to! GE rice fits right in there and I'm not changing my opinion just because it's clever science 🙂

                      In closing: growing food for your self and for your family is not something available only to those with "wealth and privilege" – it's for us all. Go well!

                    • Andre

                      So you offered your view on the basis of no evidence that you have been able to provide, and are sticking to it in the face of contrary information. That's irrational.

                      You are continuing your objection to a specific instance of GMO rice because of your objections to the general systems of big ag. Even though that particular instance of GMO rice was specifically developed and distributed outside of big ag, specifically to enable people to break free from big ag. And help them keep out of the clutches of big medicine and big pharma. That's irrational.

                      You appear to cling to your belief that growing your own fuit and veg is available to everyone, despite there being numerous classes of people that do not possess the wealth and privilege of the time and land and whatever other resources needed to do so, whether it be access to natural light, sufficient water, stability or whatever else. That's irrational.

                      I won't use the "L" word, because that seems to be a bit triggering.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Well, Andre, you provided no "contrary information" AT ALL to my suggestion that the GE rice wasn't popular because it looked spoiled; but hei aha! I'm not, despite your claim, objecting to Golden Rice, I'm simply saying, people didn't take a shine to it. That's my understanding. I searched my memory banks, somewhat depleted though they are, and discovered that the last time I engaged in this debate was on grubby old Kiwiblog, some 10 or so years ago! I've not commented there, or rather, been allowed to comment there, for many years, so it won't be difficult, should you choose to pursue the matter, to unearth the thread of discussion there; my alter-ego, Greenfly, was flying the flag back then (it may have been Village Idiot, or perhaps Hugh Manatee, who can remember back that far 🙂

                    • Andre

                      You're also being irrational about how the burden of proof works. You made the assertion, you prove it. Nobody else has to disprove any random assertion you make, it's up to you to prove it.

              • DB Brown

                Wow you sure do spin a lot of spin. The rice is a non-event insofar as Vitamin A content for helping people, and the ownership is in the hands of corporations, not given away as you allude to.

                The vitamin A doesn't store, even if the rice does.

                You are using hyperbole. Why don't you come out and tell us we are endangering children with our objection to this nonsense.

                Decades in development, nothing special to see. Just the same old push, retreat, push again till this crap has its foot in the door. Ruthless commercialism.

                My opposition is not rooted in vague feelings. It is rooted in knowledge of plant physiology, plant pathology and evolution – all of which I'm pretty damn good at. Add to that a lot of years working in a lot of growing systems.

                Your argument is emotionally laden abusive garbage.

                • Robert Guyton

                  The general opposition to Golden Rice is nicely described in this quote from the second site I visited:

                  "Golden Rice is a techno-fix to malnutrition and a corporate ploy to control our agriculture. It is not needed by Asian people nor the world. Indeed, the solution to hunger and malnutrition lies in comprehensive approaches that ensure people have access to diverse sources of nutrition. Securing small farmers’ control over resources such as seed, appropriate technologies, water and land is the real key to improving food production and eradicating hunger and malnutrition."


                  Should I continue? This is barrels/ducks stuff.

        • Robert Guyton

          My first (light-hearted) search found this:

          "Finally, there are social and cultural roadblocks. There are eating preferences deeply rooted in longstanding tradition. The yellow color of the rice may not be accepted because of different countries’ social and cultural history. (MASIPAG)."


          (This was not a difficult thing to do).

          • Andre

            Very very weak. To the point that I question your reading comprehension skills.

            It doesn't say anything whatsoever about where those countries with resistance might be. It might be African or South American countries with cultural resistance to yellow rice. It doesn't even mention spoilage at all. It appears to be trying to reference MASIPAG as a source, but even that weak claim doesn't appear on MASIPAG's current gish-gallop of misinformation about why they oppose golden rice.


            The Science Based Medicine article I started the thread with addresses the misinformation and misdirection techniques MASIPAG uses, but here it is again.


            • Robert Guyton

              Thanks for the link, Andre – it looks top-drawer, only it'll be wasted on me and my questionable reading comprehension skills. I'll stick with believing there are better ways to improve health than eating GE foods. I could be wrong about that, but it doesn't feel that way 🙂

  4. pat 4


    When you hear things described as unsustainable, know that it means that it will not remain….this situation will not be tolerated forever and then everyone loses….including those who think they are insulated.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Yet for some reason unexplained Australia – that nation so hated by the left – with policies very similar to NZ seems not to have a 'housing crisis'. Sure there are always marginalised in any society who will face homelessness and housing difficulties, but for the most part quality and affordability are not issues on the same scale they are in NZ except maybe in parts of Sydney and Melbourne.

      Hell we're looking at buying some retirement units in Brisbane for $70k each. Think about that.

      Part of the story is geography, there is just so much land in Aus compared to NZ. Another part is an efficient building industry, and another is a solid ASX that provides and alternative investment vehicle for people looking to fund their retirement. By comparison NZ is on the back foot on all of these measures. Still if you think the solution is to hope for the system to collapse …

      • Sacha 4.1.1

        And a big sovereign wealth fund that Muldoon cancelled our equivalent of.

      • pat 4.1.2

        Australia has the same ponzi problem albeit slightly less pronounced .

        The issues are not based in land availability or construction constraints but in credit…the basis of western economies since production was abandoned as the basis of growth.

        The 'solution' will occur, whether it is a collapse of the housing ponzi that occurs before or in tandem with societal breakdown is the only question…thats what unsustainable means.

        • RedLogix

          OK if you say so. In the meantime I'll just go ahead and buy some of those $70k units I think.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            I'll just go ahead and buy some of those $70k units I think.

            Shifting? Again? sad How awful for you. These might cheer you up.

            In the meantime I got paid more last week than most of you earn in several months commissioning a big new heavy industrial plant.

            • DB Brown

              "I'll just go ahead and buy a few units"

              "I got paid more than most of you earn…"

              Pretty sad, that such a mover and shaker like yourself is found here, rutting about in the mud with the hoi polloi. Don't you have real poor people to denigrate?

              Opening an industrial plant, what a manly man. In the meantime, climate change. You're just depressing.

              That's why walruses are jumping off cliffs.

              That's why possums jump in front of cars.

              You know we've got polar bears coming down from the North trying to mate with brown bears. That's an endangered species trying to sleep with a common species in order to save themselves.

              And that's why Tories fuck pigs.

              • RedLogix

                Interesting how that comment of mine above hit a nerve, obviously ironic as it was meant to be. Your reaction being a classic Karpman drama, you set the 'real poor people' up as the victims, me as their oppressor and your brave self as their rescuer. It's a con game – always has been.

                Opening an industrial plant, what a manly man. In the meantime, climate change. You're just depressing.

                Same plant that will be producing the first battery grade lithium hydroxide in Australia.

                You're clearly a well educated and capable person with a great deal of experience. So far I've been reading your fresh contributions here with some considerable interest. While I definitely have an idealist streak, one that has kept me active here since the site was started in 2007, over time I've definitely become more pragmatic in that reality demands we consider all of the effective tools available to us – and that includes many of the themes you've been writing about.

                In respect of climate change I've written here previously that the solution will come from a combination of both an agricultural, industrial and ultimately a political evolution expressing the fundamental unity of the human species. Clearly each of these themes is so extensive no single individual can grasp any single one, much less all three. Which is why we need to understand how to build each other up, communicate effectively and act with common purpose.

                • lprent

                  In respect of climate change I’ve written here previously that the solution will come from a combination of both an agricultural, industrial and ultimately a political evolution expressing the fundamental unity of the human species.

                  On that, in the industrial front.

                  There was an annoying video article in Stuff about something that I didn’t think would actually happen. Producing and delivering steel made without coal or carbon is important. About 8% of the worlds emmissions are from making steel, and most of that is from the coking coal. I didn’t think that there was a realistic way out of that. Because we need steel to run a technology based economy similar to our current one. Certainly need it to transition to any other without a human die-back.

                  A Reuters text article explains it and it has the promo clip at the top. However it doesn’t explain the process apart from saying that they’re using Hydrogen.

                  A Forbes article from last year gives a better explanation. At a 20-30% cost above normal production costs, it is easily within a industrial roll-out level. Just add carbon taxes or costs.

                  By my reckoning, at a technical level, that leaves just 3 areas of technological concern. Concrete, mass air-travel, and shipping as large emitters with no current effective low or no-carbon emitter technology to be developed.

                • DB Brown

                  I agree with this post. Your bragging deserved a lampooning, and lampooning it got.

                  And, it's a bloody good joke.

          • Gabby


      • AB 4.1.3

        "Still if you think the solution is to hope for the system to collapse …"

        I think Pat might have said the opposite to that, i.e. "this situation will not be tolerated forever and then everyone loses…" Those of us who care about actual outcomes are terrified of collapse, because we know that it will do the most harm to those already at the bottom of the pile. I favour radically truthful diagnoses of a problem, but very careful responses. The first part is important, because without it we will never summon the collective will to do anything.

    • McFlock 4.2

      The only trouble I have with a housing market collapse is that it can fall one of two ways: secure housing becomes possible for poorer people in their lifetime; or dwelling ownership becomes more concentrated as the upper middle class are kicked out of an exclusive club they were never wanted in from the start.

      • pat 4.2.1

        It will (not can) collapse because those that ultimately support it (those 'poorer' renters) cannot continue to support additional inflation and the raison d'etre disappears…..that pool gets larger and poorer by the auction.

  5. Adrian 5

    A big reason is the very light weight and fragile nature of Aussie houses, no earthquake regulations and a lot less insulation to worry about , for instance when we build in ex100x50 at 450 to 600 centres they only need or used to when I was there ex75x35 and far wider centres. Not much fun in a cyclone but then when did the Aussies care much about sensible precautions anyway.

    • Sacha 5.1

      Termites though. 🙂

    • Macro 5.2

      It's all concrete bricks and steel construction now. Very little timber used at all – even internally

      • Patricia Bremner 5.2.1

        We were house and cat sitting in Redcliffe on the Sunshine Coast four years ago. I saw a small movement on a board in the bathroom.. it was a termite munching a hole at quickly as I type this.

        Luckily they had their yearly pest inspection happening that afternoon. It was dealt with. I thought "Wow! wood is no good unless it is treated or turpentine timber’, and nearby steel framing was going into newly built properties.

  6. Andre 6

    Results from a new high-quality trial of ivermectin are starting to come out. Not a final report, yet, but today is the first time I've seen info straight from the researchers. Conclusion: ivermectin doesn't do anything significantly useful against covid.

    However, they did find that a different repurposed older drug, fluvoxamine, appears to have enough beneficial effects to be a useful addition to treatment regimes.


    slide show from researchers: https://dcricollab.dcri.duke.edu/sites/NIHKR/KR/GR-Slides-08-06-21.pdf

    There does indeed appear to be Big Pharma grifting going on over covid.

    But the grifters aren't the vaccine manufacturers selling a safe product that actually mostly prevents getting infected and almost completely prevents serious disease and death for $50 for a 2-dose course.

    Not compared to those selling a treatment that runs $1000 a course for treating the disease. That appear to have financial connections to lawmakers taking actions that appear intended to reduce vaccination rates and increase disease rates.


  7. Sacha 7

    One for Morrissey the 'transcriber' if he is still around:

    • Andre 7.1

      Please don't encourage him.

      While the content is much funnier than the mozzie's third rate stenography efforts, stylistically it's even more painful than the mozzie's.

      And that's sayin' something.

      • DB Brown 7.1.1

        If you listened to whingy Eastwood getting arrested (and livestreaming the event for attention so this is entirely fair game) you'd see the format simply reflects his increasing hysteria and ridiculous plea for attention.

        • Andre


          I just don't want anyone as unfunny as the mozzie thinking it's something to be emulated and filling this site with failed attempts to recreate it.

          • DB Brown

            Yep, fair call. laugh

          • Incognito

            That’s not gonna happen, again.

            • Andre

              Thanks. I'm grateful for the work that goes into that.

            • weka

              I don't know if it's my screen settings, but the quoted text in screenshots within tweets is already annoyingly large on TS on my laptop.

              • Incognito

                Do you mean the Tweet @ 7, for example?

                Looks like a normal quote in normal font size on my laptop screen.

            • Sacha

              Thank you. Here's the audiovisual:

              • Robert Guyton


                And, those glasses!

                “We do not consent!
                Okay, I consent, I’m coming”.


              • mac1

                I've never heard of this Vinnie Eastwood. When I saw the above clip, what I thought I saw was a piss-take; reading his smile and listening to his words it sounded like an actor on amateur dram night at the local repertory tasked to address a street corner meeting as a young Winston Churchill.

                • Sacha

                  Long-time bit-part grifter. Like so many of their Amerkin brethren.

                • Molly

                  If I recognise him correctly, I've had the unpleasant experience of seeing him at TPPA protests in Auckland… megaphone in hand, rattling off on a tangent from why most were there.

                  Struck me as a bit of a plonker.

              • McFlock

                Unionists and students are much more dignified when they decide to get arrested.

          • weka

            lol, yes, I suspect the mods would be jumping on that pretty damn quick.

    • Descendant Of Smith 7.2

      That is both funny and factual at the same time.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 7.2.1

        Thought so too. Never understood the negativity directed at "the mozzie's third rate stenography efforts". Over the years I've found some of Morrissey's comments here to be LOL funny. Not everyone's cuppa, sure, but good medicine for me – thanks Moz.

        JUDITH ("Rosa") COLLINS. A brutal, intimidating woman with the looks and personality of the James Bond villain, Rosa Klebs. Collins has replaced the lovely K****rine R*ch as the National Party's "social welfare" spokeswoman. To many observers, this position sits oddly against her former role as a corporate lawyer for the casino industry.

        Open Mike 22/12/2017

        • Sacha

          Because misleading, usually. That and reliance on 'hurr hurr hurr' too often.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Sorry Sacha – cracked up just reading "hurr hurr hurr" – we're all individuals, and not all humour needs to be factual, imho.

        • Andre

          I'm sure it's all still available and more over at his own blog. It should be easy to find, he's linkwhored it here often enough.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            "Linkwhored" is an example of the provocative antagonism that puzzles me so – just my opinion.

        • DB Brown

          Bit of an amateur imo. Here's a crack at Judith.

          Milk powder, swamp Kauri

          Bullying and bagging Maori

          Play the victim, pull the gun

          She's a fucking nut this one

          'Demonized' for being white

          A career built of utter shite

          Now she teeters at the brink

          The last resort of shit and stink

          Says her dirty days are done

          Plays the race card on day one

          Disavows her former friend

          Where do you think this will end?

          Swamp digger, Oravida

          #1 goal, crush our leader

          There to fight and ne'er to help

          Captain of the cult of self.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Thanks DB Brown, excellent (imho) – every little bit helps smiley

            Morrissey’s effort dates from 2005; from the references in your ode I suspect it’s a bit more up-to-date.

            • DB Brown

              Cheers. 2005 huh, well, he's consistent!

              To be fair, sometimes he tickles the funny bone. With a strong emphasis on sometimes. If I saw a comic with that hit rate I'd avoid their performances.

              There are comics with a similar hit rate self promoting ceaselessly as well. It does nothing to endear me to them.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                When it comes to humour, one person's 'never' is another's 'sometimes' and a third person's 'often' – 'always' might be pushing it, but you never know.

        • Molly

          I enjoy them too. So much faster to read than to listen, and Morrissey's take just relates to my sense of humour. I'm in no two minds about how he views certain people, and that appeals to me as he doesn't hide behind well-chosen words and sideways references.

          Most readers should be able to distinguish narrative from framing, and interpret independently. But I get a fair few chuckles from Morrissey's framing.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    "…All-told New Zealander consumed 26 petabytes of data yesterday – the equivalent of a Netflix HD stream running for 1000 years…"


    So if we taxed that at 1c a gigabyte, around $95,000,000 a year would be available to (for example) NZ on Air to spend on NZ content for converged media.

    Just saying.

    • DB Brown 8.1

      Jeepers that seems a lot but to an untrained eye like mine it's also a mostly meaningless number. Though I appreciate the netflix analogy to try wrap my head around it…

      That's like 365 000 people running netflix for 24 hours. Not THAT huge.

      Agree on the tax, but how would they implement it. Streaming services are cheap but I'm sure they'll jack the prices once free alternatives like TVNZ have been buried. The tax might save local content from said burial.

    • mac1 8.2

      The same amount of money would be obtained by a 1c per litre tax on oil consumed in NZ at about 150,000 barrels per day. I say this because I'm interested as to why there should be a tax on internet usage to fund NZ on Air.

      I wonder what is the size of the carbon footprint of using 26 petabytes of data daily? That might better direct any possible data consumption tax (DST?) to a more applicable usage, like climate change concerns for example.

      • Sanctuary 8.2.1

        "… I say this because I'm interested as to why there should be a tax on internet usage to fund NZ on Air…"

        It is the 21st century equivalent of the old fashioned TV license for to pay for public content, with the bonus it can be collected at source – the ISPs and phone providers

        I use about 20GB a month on my phone, so for me it would be 20c a month on my phone bill and about $6-8 a month on our internet bill.

    • Incognito 8.3

      That’s one hell of a carbon foot print!

    • Pete 8.4

      Imagine us all at home playing with our cryptocurrencies!

  9. joe90 9


  10. Sacha 10

    Teen vaccine time.

    • Andre 10.1

      Great. That means that about 84% of our population now have an approved vaccine to take.

      Pfizer apparently expect to submit data for 5 to 11 year olds in September, so when that happens we'll have a vaccine approved for about 94% of our population.

    • mauī 10.2

      This is nuts, children are least affected by the virus by a long way, and they're poor spreaders of it. Why are children being offered vaccination??

      "Researchers estimate that 25 deaths in a population of some 12 million children in England gives a broad, overall mortality rate of 2 per million children."


      • Andre 10.2.1

        Because "least affected" is not the same as "not affected". Covid is sufficiently harmful that even the least affected age group still suffer unacceptable harms. So it makes sense to reduce those potential harms as much as possible. By vaccinating them.

        Children can still transmit the virus, even if not as much as adults. So from a public health perspective, it's best to reduce as much as possible the size of the population that get become infected and potential transmit to others. Vaccination achieves this.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 10.2.2

        mauī, developed and more fortunate under-developed countries vaccinate children against viral diseases. What's your main concern about vaccinating 12-15 year olds against Covid-19, and why do you think that health experts recommend vaccination?

        Child Covid-19 cases are steadily increasing. But with schools opening, expert warns this is just the beginning [18 August]

        And with the more transmissible Delta variant accounting now for nearly 99% of cases in the US, the situation is growing particularly dangerous for children, experts said.

        They have advocated for children to wear masks in school, but some governors have attempted to ban such requirements.

        "Why tie the hands of the public health officials behind their backs? You have two weapons here, one is vaccines the other is masking, and for children less than 12 that's the only weapon they have," Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the US Food and Drug Administration's vaccine advisory committee, told CNN's Erin Burnett.

        Hotez said the US is now at a "screaming level of virus transmission," adding that to really interrupt the spread, 80 to 85% of the population will need to be vaccinated.

        "We know from past epidemics what that means, the best way to do this is to vaccinate your way out of it in collaboration with masks," Hotez said. "We can't be either, or — the only way we are going to defeat this virus is with both."

        Whatever else the future holds, if Covid-19 persists in some form then presumably you’ll have no objection to those 12-15 year olds getting jabs in 3 – 6 years’ time.

        • mauī

          The general feeling I have on it is treating children who already have a robust immune response and aren't a risk group for disease, with a new medical treatment still undergoing testing and awaiting full approval is not what decent societies do.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Thanks; regrettably 'very low risk' isn't 'zero risk'. Imho decisions to vaccinate children should be left up to (responsible) parents, as is currently the case.

            Any concerns about that, and any ideas about how best to protect children who have a less than robust immune system, or are otherwise 'Covid-unlucky'?

            Kids Can't Get COVID-19 Vaccines Yet. But We Do Have Ways to Protect Them [17 August 2021]
            As of the most recent data, some 4.3 million children have tested positive for COVID-19. This number is likely an underestimate, as some children can become infected but show no or only milder symptoms and may not get tested. But, despite some claims to the contrary, not all children cope so well with infection. In the U.S., well over 17,000 children have been hospitalized with COVID-19, thousands have developed a severe, life-threatening post-COVID-19 illness that impacts the heart, and hundreds have died from this now vaccine-preventable disease. As the highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant triggers a steep incline in COVID-19 infections across the U.S., pediatric cases, too, are rising dramatically. We must protect our children.

            • mauī

              I'm afraid your link does have the familiar tinge of propaganda,

              "…and hundreds have died from this now vaccine-preventable disease…"

              We don't know if people died of covid, or with covid (see below). Which to my mind does call into question not only that statistic, but the other stats used in that piece.

              "A tremendous number of government and private policies affecting kids are based on one number: 335. That is how many children under 18 have died with a Covid diagnosis code in their record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet the CDC, which has 21,000 employees, hasn’t researched each death to find out whether Covid caused it or if it involved a pre-existing medical condition."


              • Drowsy M. Kram

                "Yet the CDC, which has 21,000 employees, hasn’t researched each death to find out whether Covid caused it or if it involved a pre-existing medical condition."

                I'm afraid your link does have the familiar tinge of propaganda…

                Please, don't be afraid. Not sure what's motivating your attempts to minimise the impact of this pandemic on young people. Are you implying that the CDC is exaggerating Covid deaths, and if so then to what possible end? Excess mortality analyses suggest that deaths due to Covid-19 infection have typically been underestimated.

                Here's some more grist to your propaganda/conspiracy mill.

                Covid 19 coronavirus: Germany to offer vaccine to all kids over 12 [3 August 2021]
                "Therefore, children and teenagers … can decide to get vaccinated after a medical consultation and thus protect themselves and others," he added.

                The government's push to get Germany's youth vaccinated comes two months after the European Medicines Agency recommended that the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech be expanded to children 12 to 15. Last week, the EU drug regulator also cleared the vaccine made by Moderna for the same age group.

                Should my child receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
                The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) advises that:

                1. All those aged 12 to 15 years should be offered an mRNA vaccine to protect themselves from frequent mild or very rare severe COVID-19 and its consequences (e.g., long COVID, MIS-C).
                2. Those with underlying medical conditions are strongly encouraged to accept vaccination as soon as it is offered.
                3. Those living with someone at risk of severe COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to accept the vaccination as soon as it is offered e.g. a younger child with complex medical needs, or with an immunocompromised adult

                A parent or legal guardian will need to consent for a child aged 12-15 to be vaccinated. The parent’s decision to give consent for the vaccine or not will be respected. To help people make an informed decision there is a detailed information leaflet available on each vaccine produced by the HSE in addition to other materials such as a decision aid and this document.

                And here's an informative and (imho) balanced article [9 August] – something for everyone; just please don't label it propaganda.

                Decision to vaccinate children rests on ethics rather than science
                Tricky risk-benefit calculations are being made — with countries coming to different conclusions.

      • Sacha 10.2.3

        Not poor spreaders of Delta.

        • mauī

          Experiment on the young to save the old and infirm…

          • The Al1en

            You could ask what thousands of parents who owe their children's lives to other experimental surgeries and treatments think.

            You could also ask the parents of children who didn’t survive experimental surgeries or treatments, and gauge their reflections on whether hopes for success or contributing to aid efforts to eliminate diseases, is too high a price to pay to avoid suffering or death.

            It's possible they may view things a bit differently. Mile in who's shoes?

          • Incognito

            False dichotomy.

  11. Abba Lerner 11

    House prices above sustainable levels

    “The key drivers of housing supply and demand have turned around,”

    Maybe it isn't lack of supply that is keeping house prices high, which we keep being told is the cause of high house prices.


    [link tidied up]

    [Changed user name to previously approved one. Please stick to one user name and e-mail address]

  12. Stephen D 12

    Austin Mitchell, who spent some time in NZ in 60s and 70s has died.


    Wrote a gentle, only slightly satirical book on life in NZ.

    The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise.


    • roblogic 12.1

      NZ was a workers paradise for a brief shining moment.

      Until Roger & Ruth (2009 article).

      According to the OECD, New Zealand had the biggest rise in inequality among member nations in the two decades starting in the mid-1980s. The country's economy emerged from recession in the second quarter, but with growth of just 0.1%, the central bank is likely to keep interest rates low until well into 2010.

      And now, because Robbo is useless: Home ownership at lowest level since 1951

      All the same, RIP to a top bloke.

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