May 4th, 2011


After a year of not holding my breath I'll continue to not hold my breath

This morning I saw a picture of a kid wearing 'patriotic' face paint - a USA flag, the letters USA, and the date 5-1-11. While the whole thing makes me go O.o, the date really struck me. I am hoping that my birthday doesn't end up being 'the day Bin Laden was killed' forever. Especially since this year Joel's birthday was marred by the earthquake in Japan.

I guess it's a bit unrealistic to expect to get through life without something globally relevant happening on your birthday, but really? People Dancing In The Streets Because Of A Death Day? No thanks.

OK, remember last year, in the dark ages by internet standards, submissions on the Law Commission's review of the Misuse of Drugs Act were due on April 30th? Well, yesterday they released their report.

Collapse )

So I'm not holding my breath for this report to make any real difference. Yet another case of the evidence and advice of experts being ignored in favour of disproven ideology.

Also, Bob McCroskie said something. It's not worth linking to and reflects the usual stuff you'd expect to hear from someone who places 'family values' above human rights, evidence, or practical policy.

Meanwhile, my job just got exciting again. And Anonymous did indeed take down NZ's parliamentary website. Oddly it was barely reported in the media. Funny that.

Public Service Announcement

Anyone who's interested in how the TPPA might affect New Zealand's health system should read this (only three pages).

It's Australia focused but close enough for the salient points to be relevant here. It's not a scare piece, merely a discussion of the possible impacts of the three main health-related points under negotiation.

A quote: "Canada has been sued under Chapter 11 of the NAFTA because its universal health care system allegedly interferes with US health care investment."

This came in hard on the heels of the news that US drug company representative body PhRMA is claiming that New Zealand's low OECD ranking for preventable deaths can be laid at the door of Pharmac*.

Meanwhile, 5 minutes of googling tells me that New Zealand is actually doing better than the US in 'preventable death' rankings.


* Pharmac is NZ's pharmaceutical purchasing body - amongst other things they're responsible for economic (and I guess safe) procurement of medicines for our health system. They decide what will be purchased and what will be subsidised and the US drug company representatives want them gone, so I hear.