Forget the Turtles; Who Will Think of the Lesbian Jockeys?

There is a bloody good reason why we have plastic straws rather than paper straws, but the current ban on plastic straws (AKA turtle snorkels) has led to a situation where an aberration of common sense such as a metal straw has come into existence.

When crimes against common sense are committed on a daily basis there can be horrific consequences, and I am not talking about burning your tongue on a hot metal straw. Oh no, the latest metal straw incident involved a retired lesbian jockey and death most foul.

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Medicinal Cannabis could be Available by Now Under a National Government

National party

The government’s announcement that, despite passing legislation last year, it’s now consulting with the public on proposed regulation and standards on medicinal cannabis shows just how badly it has managed this process.

The government has really mucked up the order when passing its medicinal cannabis Bill last year. It’s bad enough it spends long periods of time on working groups doing the work on policies it should have done in Opposition, but in this case, it has rushed through a Bill and only now has it started the discussion around it.

This is an outrageous misuse of the policy process. The Bill essentially left the details of a medicinal cannabis scheme to officials with no further parliamentary oversight over the final form and function of the Bill. New Zealanders elect us to make decisions, not to pass off the big calls to others.

National came up with a comprehensive scheme for medicinal cannabis that improves access and affordability for New Zealanders in need a year ago. But the government couldn’t swallow its pride and acknowledge the excellent framework we developed.

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Dementia: The Theft of a Mind

Is that what our governments have in store for us? Do they wish to steal our minds?

If not, they are doing a pretty good job of making me fear that this is the case.

As some posters may know, I build websites in my ‘spare time’. ‘Spare time’ is that thing that some of our older readers may have too much of, or not enough of, depending upon their home situation.

I have recently been building a site that offers music as therapy for those suffering from dementia. It was a labour of love in many respects, as I have friends and acquaintances who find themselves encountering this sad situation.

I have no one in my family who has been laid low by the ultimate theft that is dementia or Alzheimer’s: the theft of one’s mind. This cruel and brutal disorder, this vicious and ultimate theft, is one that I cannot conceive … to see someone who I love and then not know them?  And they not know me?

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A Hard Truth About Obesity

These days it is considered rude to not view obesity as a disease or an affliction that the person is a victim of. All I can say to that is that guns don’t kill people, people kill people and spoons don’t make you fat, you do.

While I can sympathise with how difficult being obese can make a person’s life and understand that they may need help to lose weight it is not generally a disease or an affliction out of a person’s control.

When I see a person so huge that they are bedridden I only ask myself one question. Who is the enabler who is feeding this bedridden person a diet that keeps them bedridden?

I have followed the story of one seriously obese woman called Marya Rosales who was enabled by her husband. He cared for her while continuing to feed her huge amounts of food as she lay bedridden. When she lost weight and had many operations in order to become a normal size again the marriage fell apart.

Marya Rosales before and after

I thought about her story when I read the article on RNZ with the headline “Obese patients stuck in hospital because nowhere suitable for discharge”

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To Die or Not to Die

The End of Life Choice Bill states in clause 4:

Meaning of person who is eligible for assisted dying
In this Act, person who is eligible for assisted dying means a person who—
(a) is aged 18 years or over; and
(b) is—
(i) a person who has New Zealand citizenship as provided in the Citizenship Act 1977; or
(ii) a permanent resident as defined in section 4 of the Immigration Act 2009; and
(c) suffers from—
(i) a terminal illness that is likely to end the person’s life within 6 months; or
(ii) a grievous and irremediable medical condition; and
(d) is in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability; and
(e) experiences unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner that the person considers tolerable; and
(f) has the ability to understand
(i) the nature of assisted dying; and
(ii) the consequences for them of assisted dying.

Not being a lawyer or trained psychologist and not being intimately acquainted with people with suicidal tendencies this may be way off beam, but it seems that (e) and (f) above describe someone who is suicidal.

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The Country with the Highest Rates of Gay Suicide Will Shock you

By Owen Jennings

According to Israel Folau’s critics, his “hate of homosexuals leads to pressure on them to self-harm and suicide”. That is the stated position of most of Folau’s opponents.

Point 1.

Where has Folau expressed any “hate”? He has quoted Bible passages, but they do not express any emotion – hate or love. They simply state a position. It could be argued he is doing them a favour alongside all other types of “sinners” by pointing them to “repentance”. Expressing concern over an activity does not necessarily include “hating” the people involved in the activity.

The only people drawing such a long bow are those who have another agenda. They deliberately overstate the situation and add their own concocted conclusion to try and make the situation seem worse than it is.
The term “homophobia” has been thrown around loosely, too, in relation to Folau’s tweets. Homophobia is “dislike of homosexual people”. There has been not a single expression of dislike of homosexuals by Folau that I have seen.

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A Controversial question.

By Frances Denz MNZM

I am going to be really controversial and ask why people who are dying of cancer think they should have the right to extend their life by six months or a year so they “can watch their children grow up a bit more”.

We have listened to the heart-rending stories in parliament and outside of people who have watched their family members or close friends die horrible painful deaths.  They are pleading for the opportunity for the dying to have a choice to die when living becomes too hard.

I wonder how many of those who still cry at the painful death of their loved ones would have wanted that death delayed by the application of very expensive drugs.  Were they the children for whom the parent wanted to live to watch them grow up? 

I find that much of this discussion about Pharmac and the availability of cancer drugs is based on the self -interest of the dying person, not the best interest of the children. Extending life is not always the right thing to do for the family.  Just as being euthanized is not always the best option either.

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Side Two of the Euthanasia Debate

The Euthanasia debate is a complex one. I have gone through the various articles published about it last week and have organised them into two posts to present both sides of the argument. This post contains articles against Euthanasia.

Euthanasia bill would be ripe for exploitation by the selfish and the abusive, says QC

The State has an obligation to protect its citizens – that is part of the social contract we as individuals have with the State. Our laws are based on the idea that human life has a certain sanctity about it which needs protection. Even in our Bill of Rights Act, we have provisions that mean that life has to be protected. 

The End of Life Choice Bill is premised on the idea that there are some conditions or characteristics that exclude a person from the need to protect their life. If these are absent, the person’s life is protected in law.
If they are present, the person may gain assistance to end their life. By taking away the protection for each human life, the End of Life Choice Bill breaches the social contract.

[…] They may say it is justifiable for some people to make a self-destructive decision because life for them has become intolerable, but that is not really the issue. The issue is, how do you distinguish those cases from the ones that should not be treated in that way?
Modern societies are often judged by the way they treat their weakest and most vulnerable citizens. The End of Life Choice Bill inherently involves people who are in a state of weakness or vulnerability.
During my more than 40 years of experience as a barrister, I have seen the pressures and abuses that can come to bear upon people who are in a state of weakness or vulnerability. 

Sunday Star Times
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Side One of the Euthanasia Debate

The Euthanasia debate is a complex one. I have gone through the various articles published about it last week and have organised them into two posts to present both sides of the argument. This post contains the articles in support of Euthanasia.

Seymour brushes off opposition to euthanasia from 1000 doctors

“Only 6 percent of doctors have actually signed this letter. Many other doctors are in favour of choice, but haven’t felt the need to take out expensive advertising in a newspaper,”[…]
“The relationship between doctors and patients actually improves when everything is out in the open and assisted dying is a legal process.”


Checkpoint: Willie Jackson: Why I’ll vote in favour of euthanasia bill

Labour MP Willie Jackson says his mother’s illness has led him to vote in favour of the End of Life Choice bill next week, despite her views against euthanasia.
[…] “I don’t think I’ll support it right to the end, but I think it deserves more debate, more korero.”
He said he was concerned that a potential law could be abused and some people may receive it against their will.

[…] “She would never have supported euthanasia. She’s a person who always believed in life and whanau and us choosing,”
[…] “But my mother didn’t know what she was going to go through didn’t she?”

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Northlanders lied to about vaccine availability

National party

Health Minister David Clark has confirmed he knew at least a month ago that there were enough vaccines for all of the children in Northland following a deadly outbreak of Meningococcal W, Whangarei MP Dr Shane Reti says.

“The Prime Minister and the Health Minister repeatedly said that a global shortage meant that there weren’t enough vaccines to carry out a full vaccination programme following the outbreak which was declared in November, which is why children aged 5-12 weren’t vaccinated.

“It has now been revealed that PHARMAC knew it could secure an additional 30,000 vaccines as far back as 8th November last year. The Ministry of Health detailed the costs to vaccinate all children on November 22nd in a document that detailed five campaign vaccination options.

“Emails show that five options were discussed with David Clark for a vaccination programme and yet he signed off on a targeted campaign which excluded 5-12 year old’s.

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