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On February 24th of this year, a conference was held in Sydney, Australia which featured a number of prestigious local and overseas speakers as well as former psychiatric patients. Titled Mental Health in Crisis, it was intended to provide a forum for well-researched alternative views on the state of modern psychiatry. The next week, most of the speakers went to New Zealand for further seminars in five cities. During that week, a newspaper published an article quoting Prof. Peter Gotzsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, whose research showed that antidepressants are a dangerous and relatively ineffective class of drugs, and who recommended they should be severely restricted. In his view, general practitioners should not be authorised to initiate them, and they should not be given to children or adolescents. On March 9th, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) issued a press statement strongly criticising the article. In particular, it stated:
The prescription of antidepressant or antipsychotic medications is something that a psychiatrist only ever does in partnership with the patient and after due consideration of the risks and benefits (emphasis added).
As described on MIA, I lodged a lengthy complaint with the RANZCP, alleging that, as the responsible officials, the president and board had breached their own code of ethics at a number of points; in particular, the claim about prescribing habits was patently false. This has gone back and forth and, predictably, my complaints have been dismissed. On June 29th, the incoming president of the college wrote to me:
The (original press) statement also acknowledges the careful consideration given when prescribing medications.
That is, he essentially repeats the false claim that drugs are only ever prescribed after a friendly discussion between the caring doc and the grateful patient. Some months ago, I published the results of a pilot study on my 176 active files, which showed that psychiatrists hardly ever give information to patients regarding the risks of their drugs (I would have thought that any psychiatrist who was still breathing would know this: patients are routinely thrown to the ground and jabbed despite their furious objections or tearful pleading. Part of his defence was that psychiatrists have good intentions).
This reminds me of another rather fractious interchange I h...
Below is a press release from Fluoride Free New Zealand on the NZ Supreme Courts recent ruling on fluoridation of the public water supply:
Fluoridation is Mass Medication, New Zealand Supreme Court Rules
Water fluoridation is compulsory mass medication, in breach of human rights, the Supreme Court has ruled by a majority vote. It confirmed that fluoridation is a medical treatment as claimed by opponents for over 60 years. It is not a supplement just topping up natural levels, as claimed by the Ministry of Health.
The impracticality of avoiding fluoridated water makes it compulsory in practice, the majority also ruled.
Three judges held that there was conflicting scientific evidence, confirming that the science is NOT settled.
Chief Justice Sian Elias then held that fluoridation was not prescribed by law (i.e. is unlawful), applying section 6 of the Bill of Rights Act. That was the correct decision in Fluoride Free NZs view.
The rest of the majority held that it was prescribed by law, and it was then necessary to apply a balancing test to determine if the breach of the right not to be subject to medical treatment without consent was justified in the case of fluoridation.
Justice Glazebrook held that it was for a local authority to do this when making its decision, potentially taking into account specific local circumstances.
On the balance of information before the Court the misinformation promulgated by promoters that water fluoridation measurably reduces tooth decay and presents no real health risk two judges held that it was justifiable. This is despite the court reiterating that it is now accepted that benefit for fluoride is from topical application, not from ingestion.
The Court did not consider information published since the original High Court case, and the recent US Government multi-million-dollar study by Bashash et al, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, carried out by top scientists and researchers in top North American universities had not yet been published. This study found that children exposed to fluoride at the same levels as New Zealanders had significantly reduced IQ, which could easily have shifted the Justices perception of safety.
Importantly, the Court held that this question of whether fluoridation is justifiable is to be determined on the balance of probabilities. There is no requirement for absolute proof of harm, as long-maintained by the Ministry of Health. As a question of fact, the two judges...
Some of our readers were puzzled yesterday by FAN NZ broadcasting the Supreme Court verdict on fluoridation as a victory rather than a defeat. After all the Supreme court ruled against the plaintiffs (New Health New Zealand) in their efforts to prevent South Taranaki from fluoridating its water.
Let me explain, in my view, this is a classic case of losing a battle but winning the war.
In this case, the war is over the ethics of fluoridation. For opponents of fluoridation, this practice violates the individuals right to medical or human treatment. For proponents the counter-argument has been that fluoride is not a medicine and fluoridation is not a medical treatment. Proponents further argue that even if fluoride was a medicine people are not forced to drink the fluoridated water.
In the following two paragraphs (99 and 100) in the Supreme court ruling it is clear that the judges side with opponents on this matter and this finding will have huge ramifications worldwide. In other words it is a huge victory for us. Meanwhile, proponents will celebrate their local victory.
Applying this approach, we find that fluoridation of drinking water is the provision of medical treatment. It involves the provision of a pharmacologically active substance for the purpose of treating those who ingest it for dental decay. We agree with the Courts below that people who live or work in areas where fluoridation occurs have no practical option but to ingest the fluoride added to the water. So
the treatment is compulsory. While drinking water from a tap is not an activity that would normally be classified as undergoing medical treatment, we do not consider that ingesting fluoride added to water can be said to be qualitatively different from ingesting a fluoride tablet provided by a health practitioner.
We conclude that fluoridation of drinking water requires those drinking the water to undergo medical treatment in circumstances where they are unable to refuse to do so. Subject to s5, therefore, s11 of the Bill of Rights Act is engaged.
To see how that local victory was won you will have to read the paragraphs 101 144 in the ruling. But basically, they argue that the individual right to informed consent to medication (section 11 of the NZ Bill or Rights) may in certain circumstances be over-ridden by the interests of the larger community (see section 5). However, the judges somewhat undermined these arguments by ea...
484 Leontius, Roman usurper, was crowned Eastern emperor at Tarsus (modern Turkey). He was recognized in Antioch and made it his capital.
711 Battle of Guadalete: Umayyad forces under Tariq ibn Ziyad defeated the Visigoths led by their king Roderic.
1333 Wars of Scottish Independence: Battle of Halidon Hill The English won a decisive victory over the Scots.
1544 Italian War of 1542: The Siege of Boulogne began.
1545 The Tudor warship Mary Rose sank off Portsmouth.
1588 Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Gravelines The Spanish Armadasighted in the English Channel.
1692 Salem Witch Trials: Five women were hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.
1759 Seraphim of Sarov, Russian Orthodox Saint, was born (d. 1833).
1800 Juan Jos Flores, first President of Ecuador, was born (d. 1864).
1814 Samuel Colt, American firearms inventor, was born (d. 1862).
1827 Mangal Pandey, Indian freedom fighter, was born (d. 1857).
1832 The British Medical Association was founded as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association by Sir Charles Hastings at a meeting in the Board Room of the Worcester Infirmary.
Tasmania is not the only place in the world where long-term, careful argument has been defeated by short-term economic advantage. When we look round, the time is rapidly approaching when natural environment, natural unspoiled vistas are sadly beginning to look like left-overs from a vanishing world. This vanishing world is beautiful beyond our dreams and 
Strumming my face with his fingers . . .
That snatch of Killing Me Softly on the radio as I walked past a cafe took me back to Coronet Peak many years ago.
I was skiing with friends when we paused just beside the chairlift where it came quite low.
A man in the lift reached out and pretended to stroke my friends face.
She immediately, and tunefully, sang those words. The man on the chairlift laughed so much he would have fallen out had he not had the safety bar on.
Tonight Im grateful for a song that takes me back and the laughter that comes with it.
The Free Speech Coalition was formed after Auckland mayor Phil Goff said he wouldnt allow two right wing Canadians to speak at any council owned venue, and Auckland Live cancelled their booking. $50 thousand was raised, and now papers have been filed in court. The Free Speech Coalition has now filed proceedings against Mayor Goff 
On 6 July the Associated Press (AP) Agency referred to official information sources from Australia and New Zealand in its announcement stating that during the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in September of this year, representatives from Australia and New Zealand are set to sign a new security agreement with other PIF members, with the agreement factoring in Chinas increasing influence in the region.
However, statements, made by ministers of foreign affairs of Australia and New Zealand, concerning this issue were expressed using fairly general and cautious language towards China and did not contain any concrete information about the future document.
It is worth reminding the readers that the Forum (given with its current name in 2000) was established in 1971 thanks to the efforts by two of its key members, Australia and New Zealand. At present, aside from the previously mentioned nations, it includes16 independent island nations of the Pacific Ocean.
Other than establishing cooperation means in the economic sphere, PIFs key function includes agreeing on joint security measures, whose core document was the so called Biketawa Declaration (named after one of the Kiribati islands), approved during a scheduled Pacific Islands Forum in 2000.
According to this Declaration, Australia and New Zealand, as guarantors of security of PIF members, have the right to base their military forces in any of the PI territories with the aim of ensuring internal political stability there.
PIF continues to bear the hallmarks of an organization established at times of the Cold War, when it was part of ANZUS (Australia+New Zealand+United States), one of the key military political alliances created by the USA in order to contain the spread of communism in the Indo-Pacific.
In 2000s the reasons for retaining the security aspects within PIFs functions were updated and included the need to combat the emerging issue of terrorism.
Notably, at that time Chinas transformation into the second super-power and key US geopolitical rival was in its infancy stages. There was still hope to incorporate China into the US-centered world order, which is why naming Beijing as the key reason for retaining the long-established military political structures in the Indo-Pacific...
Environmentalists should be encouraging NZs development of ryegrass with the potential to substantially increase farm production, reduce water demand and decrease methane emissions.
We are told the grass has been shown in AgResearchs Palmerston North laboratories to grow up to 50 per cent faster than conventional ryegrass, to be able to store more energy for better animal growth, to be more resistant to drought, and to produce up to 23 per cent less methane (the largest single contributor to New Zealands greenhouse gas emissions) from livestock. . .
Dig deep for sheep Annette Scott:
Confidence in sheep is at an all-time high with demand at the Temuka in-lamb ewe fair providing the real proof of industry positivity.
With record processing prices for mutton the sale was always going to be the real test for the market, PGG Wrightson livestock manager Joe Higgins said.
With just 6000 ewes offered and close to 100 registered buyers it was a sellers market with clearly not enough sheep to go around. . .
Key players in New Zealands wool industry are to form a new coordinating group to better tell wools story, says Federated Farmers.
At this weeks Wool Summit in Wellington there was a real sense of urgency to get cooperation and momentum, says Miles Anderson, Federated Farmers Meat & Wool Industry Group Chairperson.
New Zealand wool producers have been under pressure, particularly in the last two years as prices for strong wool hit record lows. . .
In May this year, the New Zealand government decided that it would attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, a bacterial disease that affects cattle.
A phased eradication means that an additional 126,000 livestock will need to be culled, at an estimated cost of NZ$886 million.
Heres what we know, what we dont know and whats at stake. . ....
But blames the Obama Administration. Well, hes got a point. Obama was still in charge at the time! by Tyler Durden (Zerohedge) Tue, 07/17/2018 14:35 In an attempt to clarify his remarks during yesterdays summit with Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump made a brief closed-door address to a handful of Republican members of Congress amid 
Black Friday delivered a sucker punch to manufacturing in Otago-Southland, the monthly BNZ-BusinessNZ manufacturing index contracting strongly to fall to a three-year low.
All indicators covered by the index regarding the South declined in June, the lack of both skilled and unskilled staff continuing to erode businesses efforts and confidence.
Index scores above 50 reflect expansion, and below, contraction. Otago-Southland plunged from a healthy 58.6 in May to 41.9, which was also well below last years average of 57.1, Otago Southland Employers Association chief executive Virginia Nicholls said.
This is a sudden decline, and for the first time this year, is lining up with declining business confidence, Mrs Nicholls said of the numerous monthly and quarterly business surveys reflecting pessimism. . .
Do you remember how Labour and New Zealand First toured New Zealand researching the manufacturing crisis?
They were in opposition then and there wasnt a crisis.
They are in government now and there still isnt a crisis.
But if they carry on with the policies that are causing businesses so much concern there could be one soon.
A tweet from Annabelle Lee (@huihoppa) got Twitter twittering. Free speech isnt a human right its a white privilege. Case and point Mike Smith, Moana Jackson and Tame Iti dont get breaking news alerts alongside Mike Hosking because they dont get given platforms in national publications. Maybe you should form a coalition about that. 
Even as the presidents pro-business stance is broadly embraced by the corporate community, in some significant cases the very industries that Mr. Trump has vowed to help say that his proposals will actually hurt them. They also warn that policies designed to aid one group will eat into someone elses business in ways that policymakers should have anticipated.2. U.S. Exporters Will Be a Surprise Loser From Tariff Fight (Wall Street Journal):
I would like to tell the president, Man, you are messing up our market, said Kevin Scott, a soybean farmer in South Dakota and the secretary of the American Soybean Association. The idea of changing Nafta, he said, gives us a lot of heartburn in farm country.
At the same time, Mr. Scott said, Chinas threat to impose tariffs this week on United States soybeansin direct response to Mr. Trumps tariffs on other Chinese-made productsis already having a negative effect on the prices farmers see. In recent days, Canada imposed its own retaliatory tariffs against the United States. And on Friday, General Motors warned that Mr. Trumps threat of tariffs on imported cars could backfire, killing American jobs and leading to a smaller G.M.
Though completely counter-intuitive, theory and evidence show that taxes on imports act just like a tax on exports. Though its early, the Trump administrations recent round of tariffs is already rippling out to exporters: Soybean farmers face plunging prices as China raises tariffs, Harley-Davidson wil...
As is becoming common with Donald Trump, he has changed his claims substantially over Russian meddling in the US election. Did he blunder, listen to advice and is now trying to repair the damage? Does he simply say things to suit an audience praising Putin in Helsinki but singing a different song in the 
New Zealand is largely unscathed, so far, but here is a plausible claim that the US at least is at threat of an unfolding progression towards fascism. To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial 
18 July 2018 Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media. A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy. A general 
18 July 2018 This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isnt spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you. If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers 
390 BC Roman-Gaulish Wars: Battle of the Allia a Roman army was defeated by raiding Gauls, leading to the subsequent sacking of Rome.
64 Great fire of Rome: a fire began to burn in the merchant area of Rome.
1290 King Edward I of England issued the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; this was Tisha BAv on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.
1334 The bishop of Florence blessed the first foundation stone for the newcampanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral, designed by the artist Giotto di Bondone.
1389 Kingdoms of France and England agreed to the Truce of Leulinghem, inaugurating a 13 year peace; the longest period of sustained peace during the Hundred Years War. 1656 Polish-Lithuanian forces clashed with Sweden and its Brandenburg allies in the start of the Battle of Warsaw. 1670 Giovanni Bononcini, Italian composer, was born (d. 1747).
1811 William Makepeace Thackeray, English author, was born (d. 1863).
1848 W. G. Grace, English cricketer, was born (d. 1915).
1855 New Zealands first postage stamps were issued. The adhesive, non-perforated stamps for the prepayment of postage were the famous Chalon Head design that portrayed a full-face likeness of Queen Victoria in her coronation robes.
1857 Louis Faidherbe, French governor of Senegal, arrived to relieve French forces at Kayes, effectively ending El Hajj Umar Talls war against the French.
1862 First ascent of Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Swiss Alps.
1863 American Civil War:...
Graphene is a form of carbon that could bring us bulletproof armor and space elevators, improve medicine, and make the internet run faster some day. For the past 15 years, consumers have been hearing about this wonder material and all the ways it could change everything. Is it really almost here, or is it 
The Big Banks robbing hard saving Kiwis of their retirement funds? These banksters have no conscience, thats for sure. Report from Radio NZ: Default settings on KiwiSaver funds have given $1billion to banks instead of savers and an unnecessary $70million to the taxman over the past six years, according to a group of financial 
The post Big banks benefit from KiwiSavers left in default schemes appeared first on Uncensored Publications.
One of the yard sticks by which I measure farms is the gates.
Does the chain closing them have enough links to allow it to be undone and done up easily?
Do they swing properly, allowing the opener and closer to open and close them without having to lift and drag them?
Today Im grateful for chains with enough links and gates that swing.
Free speech versus hate speech discussions continue, with the Vice-Chancellor of Massey University joining with a promotion of free speech at universities as long as it isnt deemed hate speech. A key question that again isnt answered who gets to decide what should be banned as hate speech, and who gets to decide 
The mainstream media were salivating as the meeting approached, and now theyre in full frenzied attack mode. Heres some Twitterings and MSM links on the Trump-Putin showdown and aftermath; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch 
Hello internet! If anyone is still following this site, which undoubtedly looks dead, Id like to give you a shout that regular posts are on their way back.
First can I say, WTF has been happening in the world since I wandered away from the computer. I stop keeping tabs on economic and political news for a couple of years and the world has completely changed I just dont even have the words.
I never meant to stop posting, hence why there was no farewell post. However, my attempts at writing a PhD thesis got in the way of any other sort of reading or writing and as a result I was both short of content and shorn of the capability to write even poor attempts at blog posts. Similarly the other brave writers of TVHE found life getting in their way our common group emails even became a rarity over this period something we all bemoaned!
However, now Im back to adding some content on here but Ill have to give a few notes:
A beauty, a brainwave, a brilliance?
I couldnt find a collective noun for books, but any and all of those three would be an appropriate one for A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies by Kate Hursthouse.
The seed for the book was planted during a conversation about zebras in which she was told the collective noun for the animals is a dazzle.
The seed grew and blossomed into a book of collective nouns for animals, beautifully and creatively illustrated with pictures which reflect the words.
Each time I open the book I see something more.
It is described as a childrens book but will interest and delight adults too.
You can buy the book from the artists website.
Theres more about the artist and the book at: Renaissance artist the Aucklander helping keep alive age-old art of calligraphy.
What does Putin want? Surprisingly, to me, I found a speech to the US Senate by Marco Rubio very helpful, and fairly persuasive, in giving an answer that makes sense.
Frustration leads to success Neal Wallace:
John Falconer makes something of an understatement describing his Central Otago deer farm business as diverse. Neal Wallace visits the Falconers Clachanburn Station in the Maniototo, a farmer who says he is benefiting from two generations of careful deer breeding.
The stencilled 1988 on a shed wall at Clachanburn Station in Central Otago is more than a piece of graffiti or a casual reference to a year last century.
It marks the year John Falconers parents, Charles and Jane, started progressively replacing sheep with deer on the property near Patearoa in the Maniototo Basin. . .
Couple offer tips for the hive minded -David Hill:
Producing honey can be a sweet addition to farm income, but there are some sticky regulations to comply with.
Culverden farmers Dan and Mandy Shand shared their experiences of running a 2000 hive operation on their 7000ha high country farm, Island Hills Station, at Beef and Lamb New Zealands northern South Island farmer council FarmSmart conference last week.
Before returning home to the family farm, Mrs Shand was a scuba diving instructor, while Mr Shand was a software developer. . .
A nationwide mentoring programme has been launched to help women within the New Zealand wine industry achieve success.
Its an initiative of Women in Wine, which was launched by New Zealand Winegrowers in 2017.
Women in any role within the wine industry were welcomed to apply to be a mentor or mentee in June. Applications were then assessed by a selection panel and, after careful consideration, suitable mentor-mentee matches were made. . .
The release of data from this years census has been delayed because not enough people participated in it:
Stats NZ has revised the date for first release of census information from October 2018 to March 2019.
We will confirm the exact response and the coverage rates for the census after we complete our reconciliation processes. Stats NZs interim calculations show that full or partial information for at least 90 percent of individuals was received, compared with 94.5 percent for the 2013 Census.
As with previous censuses, we will use statistical methodology to compensate for missing data. For the 2018 Census we are revising this methodology because of the lower-than-expected response. We are discussing this new methodology with our technical customers. Were also undertaking analysis on how to improve data for small populations, subgroups, and small geographies. The new date for our first release will give us time to develop revised methodology for processing and analysing census data. We are committed to delivering a high-quality and accurate dataset.
There is a long term, international trend of declining census response rates. Because of this we have made a strategic decision to use more administrative data to improve the quality of census data.
Stats NZ is in a good position to adopt this approach as we have been investigating future census models that would supplement census data with administrative data.
How significant is the drop?
Over at Kiwiblog David Farrar says:
. . .The Minister of Statistics should call for an independent review of this failure, to ensure the next census has a much higher participation rate.
Also we should not be given spin for months about how great the census went and then find out only now, how bad the participation rate was.
The last Australian census had a 96% response rate. They regarded 93.3% as the minimum required.
The Canadian census had a 98.4% response rate.
A better way to look at it is the non response rate. In Canada is was 1.6% and in NZ it was 10% six times higher.
The move to on-line forms was supposed to make it easier to complete the census.
We wont know if completion would have been worse if Stats NZ had stuck to the paper-based system but there were lots of compla...
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Nationals spokesperson on the police, Chris Bishop, has uncovered the scrapping of a pilot project that would have added mental health expertise to front line policing. The Governments decision to axe a universally-supported pilot to improve the response to 111 mental health calls is nothing short of disgraceful, especially after Labour pledged to make mental 
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