Now they’re coming for your supermarket beer

beer and barbeque

A newspaper reports on the latest wowser study:

The study, released today, showed that around one in 14 ED attendances presented immediately after alcohol consumption or as a short-term effect of drinking and that rate had remained the same over a four-year period.

[…]Data for the study was collected in two waves – the first was in 2013, when legislation that gave local councils greater power to restrict the sale of alcohol had not come into affect, and the second in 2017 when the law changes were in place.

In 2017, about 25 per cent of those alcohol-related admissions had consumed more than 15 standard drinks before admission to ED and 18 per cent had consumed more than 20 drinks.

Head researcher James Foulds said that showed that the people who were presenting for alcohol-related reasons were consuming a very high amount.End of quote.

Wow, no shit Sherlock. Quote:

Quote:New laws introduced to curb alcohol harm have failed to make a dent on ED admissions, new research has found.

“And you’d think these were people stumbling out of bars at 2am in the morning but the majority had actually bought alcohol from a liquor store or supermarket and were drinking at a private location,” he said.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 allowed local councils the right to adopt their own alcohol policies, which could cover anything from the number and location of licenced premises to trading hours and one-way door restrictions.

[…]But Alcohol Health Watch executive director Dr Nicki Jackson said those laws didn’t include any evidence-based measures that the law commissioner recommended.

“We’ve seen alcohol become more affordable than ever before and we are paying the cost for that in our emergency departments,” Jackson said.

[…]”What we have seen is a shift away from on-licensed liquor to cheap liquor available at off-licensed premises.End of quote.

ie. Supermarkets. Quote:

“The difference off-licence and on-license prices is now huge and putting alcohol next to bread and milk normalises the product.”End of quote.

Shocking. They’ll be putting gut-rot whisky in the candy aisle next. Quote:

Christchurch Hospital ED senior doctor Scott Pearson said the study was very accurate to what he was seeing every day at work.

“We still see quite a lot of alcohol affected individuals that are predominantly after hours and that hasn’t changed in the last five years.”

He said the ED had had more than 5,000 alcohol-related admissions a year and more lately that’s been in addition to synthetic cannabis.

[…]Health Minister David Clark said it was “disturbing but unsurprising” there had been no reduction in alcohol-related presentations at emergency departments.

“New Zealand continues to face significant challenges with alcohol,” he said.End of quote.

Make no mistake. This is a veiled push to get grog out of the supermarkets and from one perspective they’re right. Stopping supermarket sales will mean fewer drunk idiots boozing it up too much at home and having their mates have to call the paramedics.

But here’s the thing. Statistics are meaningless without context. 5000 may sound a lot but the emergency department rate for alcohol is very low, something like 1 to 2% from memory. Putting it in context that’s seven times lower than cannabis. The only other drug that has as low emergency department rate is MDMA (but believe me, that’s another story).

This means that sure, they can take alcohol out of supermarkets but by far the people who will be hurt are responsible drinkers, which is, well, most of us.

Instead of focusing on sales what the government needs to do is focus on the idiots who drink too much and make a pain out of themselves. Where possible get them to pay for any medical treatment if they don’t already. Lump them with heavy fines and even a bit of cell time to let them know it’s not just a hangover they’re going to have to face the next day.

Basically, the wowsers want you to see alcohol abuse as a health issue. It’s not. Calling it a health issue gives those that drink too much a get-out-of-jail-free card. What it is is a behaviour-issue and we need to start making those that behave badly when it comes to alcohol pay for their bad behaviour.


Warning labels today, plain packaging tomorrow.

Newshub reports on some teetotallers pretending to be researchers: Quote.

Quote:Alcohol warning labels in New Zealand are “highly deficient” according to a new study, and researchers are calling on them to be compulsory and regulated.

But the alcohol industry lobby group says adding warning labels won’t help to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.End of quote.

And the alcohol industry lobby group is right. Quote.

Quote:Researchers from the University of Otago examined 59 labels on a range beers, wines, and RTDs to check the health warnings they had displayed.

“One of our biggest findings is that our warnings are small and they’re also hard to find on the bottle… the average size of the picture warnings is the same size as that of a green pea,” said the study’s lead author and fifth year medical student Georges Tinawi.End of quote.

How big do they want the warnings to be? Most of the label? Quote.

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Photo of the Day

Hunter rode the British made motorcycle BSA A65 Lightning while researching Hell’s Angels. When he lived in Big Sur in the early 1960s, he rode his Lightning so much he was known as “The Wild One of Big Sur”.

?Some May Never Live, but the Crazy Never Die?

Hunter S. Thompson

He was a gun-loving, hard-drinking ‘outlaw journalist’ with a taste for illegal substances.

Hunter S. Thompson reached the peak of his literary career in the mid-Seventies after his books, Hell’s Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas were published to great success.

His writing broke from conventional reporting and straddled both fiction and non-fiction, a unique approach which turned him into a counter-culture icon and won him legions of fans.?His trademark reporting style became what?s now called gonzo journalism, in which he made himself a central character in his own stories. And a character he was: his stories often centred on his panache for excessive consumption while surveying America?s political and cultural landscape in a way that no one had before.

Asked to list what they require before commencing a day?s work, most would probably list things like coffee, toast and perhaps a cigarette or two, but not Hunter S. Thompson, who needed a kaleidoscopic bevvy of cocaine, Chartreuse and hot tubs in order to get his creative juices flowing.

His daily routine was charted by E. Jean Carroll in the first chapter of her 1994 book?HUNTER: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson, and remains an object of fascination, awe and horror to this day.

Thompson, who committed suicide at 67, was of course known for his heavy drinking and drug habit and they were both ingrained in his writing. He once said of them: ??I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”?In spite of his well-deserved reputation for substance abuse, Thompson was an assiduous worker with a writing career that spanned six decades and included 16 books and a litany of short stories and articles.

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Photo of the Day

Linda Susan Boreman, more commonly referred to by her onetime stage name Linda Lovelace, was an American pornographic actress famous for her performance in the 1972 hardcore porn film Deep Throat.

The Harrowing Story of Linda?Lovelace

Before home computers, before the Internet, there was Linda Lovelace. For those who may have missed the 1970s, Lovelace starred in ?Deep Throat,? the first ?adult? film to receive mainstream distribution.

Typical porno flicks of the time were sleazy, hurriedly shot and poorly lit. ?Deep Throat? was comparatively better, and even had an unusual comic plot. Lovelace was unable to achieve satisfaction in the traditional matter because of ? how to put this? ? A physical anomaly. Without going into detail, consider the film?s name.

That was humorous, perhaps. But there was nothing funny about her real life. Lovelace later revealed that she was abused by her husband and forced not only to appear in this film but to perform acts of prostitution, as well.

Ask 100 people to name a porn film and its star and 99 of them will probably come up with Deep Throat and actress Linda Lovelace.

Released in 1972 Deep Throat was the first porn film to be shown in ordinary cinemas and played several times a day every day for 10 years at the Pussycat Cinema chain in America.

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Photo of the Day

My heart is as pure as the driven slush – Tallulah Bankhead

Tallulah Dahling

“Hello, Dahling . . . I’ll come and make love to you at five o’clock. If I’m late start without me.”
Her voice, her wit, and her face were captivating.

On why she called everyone?dahling?she stated that she was terrible with names and once introduced a friend of hers as Martini. ?Her name was actually Olive.

Tallulah, with her signature ?dah-ling?s and her notorious peccadilloes and her endlessly caricatured baritonal gurgle of a voice?a voice that was steeped as deep in sex as the human voice can go without drowning?would be easy to dismiss as a joke if she hadn?t also been a woman of outsize capacities. As it is, the story of her life reaches beyond gossip and approaches tragedy.
It was Tallulah’s real-life behaviour that really got people’s attention.

Tallulah’s scandalous career began at her seminary when, aged twelve, she fell in love with Sister Ignatius.? As she grew to adulthood she developed her romantic and sexual interests in a way which can really only be called trisexual: she would bed heterosexual men, preferably well hung, women and homosexual men, again preferably well-hung.? She stumbled across this life unprepared but took to it with enthusiasm and a breathtaking lack of concern for the proprieties.? She once said: ?My father always warned me about men, but he never said anything about women!? And I don?t give a stuff what people say about me so long as they say something!?? She managed to keep them talking for the rest of her life, but her most admirable trick was always to pre-empt the insidious leakage of malicious gossip with reflexive innuendos so frank as to seem hardly believable.? Personal eccentricities, such as the refusal ever to wash her hair in anything other than Energine dry-cleaning fluid, probably helped to create the conditions in which she then felt able to defy more serious conventions in riskier ways.

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“I find myself in the unfamiliar situation of being in agreement with Winston Peters”

It’s going around. ?Not sure what’s going on, but people are starting to see things Winston’s way.

The New Zealand First leader thinks the police have lost the plot, and so do I.

Peters has attacked the police for wanting to curtail the right of people to take their own wine and beer to race meetings. He uses his customary blustering rhetoric, describing the police as politically correct wowsers and comparing them with Nazis.

But he?s right when he says government policy should recognise that the vast majority of New Zealanders treat alcohol responsibly ? a fact wilfully ignored by zealots in the police hierarchy, the public health sector and the universities, who think we?re all helpless drunks.

Peters is also undoubtedly correct when he predicts that a prohibition on people taking their own alcohol to race meetings would soon become a blanket ban on alcohol at other community events, and possibly even family picnics.

The latest police proposal surfaced in a briefing paper on ways to reduce ?alcohol-related harm? ? three words that I suspect the staff at Police Headquarters in Wellington are required to chant for five minutes at the start of every working day to remind them of their primary mission.

The briefing paper identified BYO alcohol at race meetings as a ?key issue?. This caused immediate alarm on the West Coast, where the Kumara race meeting, at which people have traditionally been allowed to drink their own alcohol, is a signature event on the social calendar.

West Coast mayor Bruce Smith says that if the police get their way, they will kill off an event that has been attracting West Coast families for 134 years. And you can be sure the Kumara races won?t be the only meeting affected.

The police are getting involved in public policy making. ?Their job is to implement the law. ?We saw that they wanted to see Hate Speach laws over a week ago. ? Read more »


Perhaps the Police should form a political party

The Police are becoming political activists. They are lobbying to have guns that were previously legal removed from owners, and they are lobbying to have drinking laws changed.

They have, however, gone a step too far by using a scumbag who killed someone when he was pissed to lay blame on pubs serving alcohol after midnight.

Police have recruited a?former Navy sailor who killed a?stranger?with a punch?to the head to testify of the dangers of?late night bars.

Grenville McFarland, 30, was jailed for the manslaughter of Tarun?Asthana, who?he killed with a blow to the head in November 2013.

Police approached McFarland to give?evidence to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority that?bars should close earlier to prevent similar tragedies.

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A good judge tells fatty jazz fan she was pissed, too fat and clumsy

Looks like the UK has some top judges that don’t let fools trifle with the courts.

An 18-stone jazz fan who sued for compensation after an accident at Ronnie Scott’s was fat, drunk and careless in her high heels, a judge found.

Eren Hussein, 53, blamed dim lighting at the world famous Soho club after breaking her wrist and elbow falling down stairs after a party in 2012.

She wanted thousands in damages, but after a civil trial this week, a judge threw out her claim, saying the fall wasn’t the club’s fault.

Judge Heather Baucher QC said Mrs Hussein was intoxicated, obese, wearing shoes with high platform heels, and not taking care by holding the bannister as she descended.

“In her inebriated, obese state on three-inch platforms, that would be an obvious, simple step for anyone presented with what they saw as a hazard,” she said.

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Photo of the Day

Yula inspects makeup [Courtesy of Hanna Polak]

Yula?s Dream

The Russian Girl Who Grew Up in a Garbage Dump

It?s a universal story. There?s homelessness everywhere in the world? For?14 years, filmmaker Hanna Polak followed Yula as she grew up in the forbidden territory of Svalka; the garbage dump located 13 miles from the Kremlin in Putin?s Russia. Yula?s story ? is a dramatic tale of coming of age and maturing to the point of taking destiny into one?s own hands. It is a story of hope, courage, and life

Youthful Yula has but one dream ? to lead a normal life. She was one of the inhabitants of the “Svalka” outside Moscow. A few kilometers away from the Red Square, there it?s another world. This Svalka, known simply by its Russian term for rubbish dump, was the largest landfill in Europe.

Yula lives in Europe’s largest trash dump, called Svalka, just 13 miles from the Kremlin in Putin’s Russia. Her home is made of heaps of garbage, where she and her mother, Tanya, are forced to work for an illegally-operated recycling business. They’re paid in denatured alcohol (a substance similar to rubbing alcohol). The residents drink and bathe in melted snow. They eat rotten food scraps and sleep on trash in makeshift huts. Their only connection to the outside world is through the garbage of others and the glimmering views of Moscow that can be seen from the dump

Just like the others, the girl subsists on what she finds in the dump. From the mountains of rubbish she digs out clothes, food, cosmetics, sometimes an old radio, or a carpet. In the scrap collection centre metal junk can be exchanged for a bottle of vodka. Here this is the only currency.

As a child, Yula played innocent games with the other children and with the toys found in the rubbish. She cracked jokes, listened to music and read magazines plucked from the trash. She listened to the radio to keep up with what was going on in the outside world.

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25% of emergency admissions related to alcohol. And marijuana?

The evil weed is illegal. Too dangerous apparently for the masses to be trusted with.

Meanwhile, 25 % of all emergency hospital admissions are alcohol related.

Emergency room doctors are calling for changes to alcohol laws following a survey that’s found nearly one in four ED patients are there because of booze.

A snapshot of every New Zealand emergency department by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine has found a quarter of patients were there because of alcohol-related issues.

That compares to one in seven when the survey was conducted last year.

Waikato Hospital emergency department clinical director John Bonning said the results were ” absolutely diabolical”. ? Read more »