Posts by James Butler

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  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    To paraphrase:

    Is there a health problem associated with high sugar foods?
    All the data in the literature show a very high correlation between such foods and a number of serious health problems. I’m sure someone can find industry-funded “research” showing no such association, but I believe those studies as much as I believe the studies from the tobacco companies “proving” tobacco is harmless.

    Something must be done!

    The evidence is clear (mostly from cigarette taxation), increasing the price of a product via taxation or duty is a tremendously powerful tool for changing consumer behaviour.

    This is something...

    Should our representatives in government act to improve the health of the population and thus reduce healthcare costs?
    That of course is an ideological question. For me the answer WTF else should they be doing??????

    Therefore we must do it!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 852 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Talking past each other:…, in reply to Sacha,

    If a substance is harmful, why not ban it rather than taxing it? Sugary drinks have zero nutritional benefit and many proven harms

    I can think of many things which have no nutritional benefit and proven harms when misused - jogging, loud music, summer days on the beach - what makes sugary drinks specially ban-worthy?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 852 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: ‘Kiwimeter’ is a methodological…, in reply to Peter Davis,

    a question along the lines of whether the respondent would be happy if their daughter/son married a person of another race (or maybe they specified black). On the face of it, that is racist.

    Perhaps. Seems to me that “How would you feel if your daughter/son married someone of another race” is a question which gauges racism, while “How would you feel if your daughter/son married someone who wasn’t a real American/Briton” is a racist question, and comes much closer to the insidious effect of “special treatment”.

    ETA not that I can say how a POC might feel when confronted with either form, but this would be my starting assumption.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 852 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The flagging referendum, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Even if I thought the new flag was the bestest thing ever, I'd still vote for the current one to discomfit Key. Nothing else matters. I'd imagine maybe a third of the electorate think that way.

    Tactically I kinda half-hope you're right, but strategically I fucking pray you're wrong, because that's what a "breakdown of the political process" looks like /:

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 852 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mt Eden: Not a closing but an…,

    My only reservation is that already having a mobility card is a fairly high bar for people who might be mobile on the flat but can’t manage the climb and perhaps a way could be found to accommodate them without letting that concession be abused.

    Could one get a pedicab/rickshaw through the bollards? Would need good brakes, low gears, and mighty thighs...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 852 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    "Peak", as in both "Red" and "Cray".

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 852 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Message, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Oh yes. Just noting that they had an appreciable candidate until quite recently.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 852 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Message, in reply to George Darroch,

    National has a distinct lack of appreciable candidates to stand in Mt Roskill

    FWIW I seldom heard a bad word about Jackie Blue when she was an MP.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 852 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stories: Home, in reply to Danielle,

    the riroriro (grey warbler)

    Finding examples of Riroriro song online, I now realise that one lived in our street when I was a child and I never knew what it was. Thanks Danielle (:

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 852 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stories: Home,

    Home when I was growing up was a house high up the Hataitai side of Mt Victoria in Wellington. The house itself wasn't big but it sat on an vastly tall double garage, filled with Dad's various crumbling cars and motorbikes. Dad, being only intermittently employed through much of the 90s, kept house and cooked (he was an excellent cook, having taught himself while at Uni on the basis that a thing worth doing is worth doing properly) while Mum was the earner - a source of much astonishment amongst my schoolfriends. I left that home at 18 having precipitously gotten married. Dad died a few years later, having just started building the extension which he'd been planning for as long as I can remember, and Mum sold up and moved to Oz. Whenever I go back to Wellington it seems a little less homeish (people there ride bicycles now! There are kereru!) but the streets in the hills still seem the right size and shape for streets to be.

    E and I, having started as broke teen parents, have lived in six rented houses in the 14 years since our son was born; in Auckland, then Wellington, then Auckland again when our daughter was born. I think Home for our kids might be the general environs immediately east of Dominion Road, Balmoral shops, Mt Roskill library, Big King reserve, the locale we've been variously around for the last ten years. Or it's the furnishings we've carted from place to place, the ever-expanding collections of books and ceramics and lamps that we seem to accumulate. But now that marriage is ending, and I'll soon be moving into a shoebox in the middle of town, and with truly dreadful timing the house we currently live in is being sold, so they'll acquire at least one if not two new homes in rapid succession. Children are adaptable; they'll be alright I suspect. But I do wonder what they'll think of as Home when they look back on their childhoods.

    [A little note on this place: I don't comment here as much as I once did, but I think that's more about what I've learnt in this space than any comment on the state of the discourse. What I've learnt: that I don't know as much as I though, that I gain more by listening than by talking. I'm still listening.]

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 852 posts Report Reply

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