A backward step
New Zealand governments have spent a small fortune demonising a legal substance, tobacco, and made commendable advances in making Aotearoa smoke-free. Now we have a government which is putting forward a referendum on whether we should legalise a currently illegal substance which is largely ingested through smoking.
A backward step I would have thought.
They do not address the question as to whether this includes the freedom to refuse immunisation on behalf of one’s children. Nor do they address the more difficult question as to whether a proxy refusal on the grounds of personal conviction might put at fatal risk other members of society, such as infant children and those whose immune system is for the time being suppressed by medication.
Instead, in their latest letter,
they put forward the canard that MMR immunisation actually caused a mumps outbreak aboard USS Fort McHenry earlier this year. This was not the case. All 703 sailors and marines had had two doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. In an outbreak on board 28, or four per cent of the total, had inflammation of the parotid salivary glands, assumed to be due to the mumps virus.
Most reasonable people would regard 96 per cent effectiveness as fairly good, when about 60 per cent of non-immune people exposed to the virus will get the clinical disease. Not OGP. To them “…the vaccine is defective”.
They then quoted extensively from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, as if the AAPS represented a mainstream body of American medical opinion. In fact, it is a body of about 5000 doctors and lawyers out of the 871,000 doctors in active medical practice in the USA (0.6 per cent of the total). Its main focus seems to be to oppose abortion, immunisation, universal health care and contraception.
It is also a strong advocate for HIV not being caused by the HIV-1 and HIV-2 virus, in the face of exhaustive, clear-cut and unambiguous evidence that it is. It has “…consistently viewed mandatory vaccination as a ‘tool of the state’ and a ‘threat to physician autonomy,’ while minimising the contribution of mass vaccination to the elimination of various infectious diseases”.
Sir, we can now recognise OGP by the company they keep.
The risks of the diseases immunisation prevent are overwhelmingly greater than the risks of harm from immunisation. If you cannot trust doctors, departments of health world-wide and the World Health Organisation to get the balance of risk and benefit right for you, who are you going to trust? Anti-vaxx conspiracy theorists? The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons? Otamatea Grey Power? BILL MORRIS
Pukenui I was first made aware of anthropogenic global warming more than 50 years ago, at a time when it was only a prediction if we continued building an economy that was dependent on fossil fuel. It was also considered that eventually we could see a drowning of coastal cities and low-lying lands in the centuries to come.
Through this knowledge I have been spurred to respond to the many letters of denial in the Northland Age over a number of years. I felt the need to address the widespread use of misinformation that was intended to mislead.
To quote Michael Mann, a leading climate scientist who has been victim of much of the vilification: “The science that we are doing is a threat to the world's most powerful and wealthiest special interests that has ever existed - the fossil fuel industry. They have used their immense resources to create fake scandals and to fund a global disinformation campaign aimed at vilifying the scientists, discrediting the science, and misleading the public and policy-makers.
“Arguably it is the most villainous act in the history of human civilisation, because it is about the short-term interests of a small number of plutocrats over the long-term welfare of this planet and the people who live on it.”
Studies have also revealed three prominent forms of science denial, namely relative theory denial, evolution denial, and climate science denial. These are party to their persistent fabrication of fake controversies, male dominance among its activists, and a strong connection to various forms of right-wing politics.
It is important to expose the fake controversies for what they are, and to reveal how these science deniers persistently use deviant criteria of assent to distort the scientific process.
This has led us to a situation where it has now become a matter of urgency to drastically cut back our carbon footprint to stave off the worst effects of climate change. As climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe states, it is an important topic that we all need to familiarise with and to be talking about. We need to embrace new technologies based on renewables. RAY PATERSON
Kaimaumau note and use common sense when you see hazard lights flashing on the car up the road in front of you.
We do not just pop out on to the road with the car and put the hazards on for fun when we would rather be home watching TV or cooking dinner or curled up with a book . . . or a lover! We do it because there is a danger on the road, and you, the driver of the car using that road, could be hurt. Or do you think that because you are so special, that black cow that got out on the road is going to magically disappear as you whizz up at full speed?
Country roads sometimes have problems, and just because the sign says you can drive at 100km/h it is not an order, but a top limit, and any figure under that limit is also allowed, especially when your life is at risk.
When you see hazard lights, at least slow down till you can safely assess the problem. And even if you cannot see any problem, drive much slower till you are past any possible hazard.
Hazard lights are for the driver approaching, not for the car flashing them. SYLVIA BRYAN
Motutangi my back injury when my friends prayed for me in Jesus’ name. This week I am so grateful for more grace time here; we could have been a fatal statistic.
I am so very grateful to be able to see our two children who travelled with me unharmed, to be with my family and visit friends again. Being able once more to see the sun reflecting on a blade of grass on the way to the chicken coop, gaining renewed attentiveness to stop and really listen and enjoy looking at the beautiful faces of each of our children when they talk to me. Being able once again to spend time with my husband when he comes back from a long day’s work.
No chore should ever be too boring or hard again, because I have a second chance to do it.
God bless you as you take care on the road and appreciate and use the precious gift of time you have here and now. AMMI STEENKAMP