Posts by Lucy Telfar Barnard

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  • Access: The Blue Inhaler, in reply to Gray Kirkbride,

    So after a while I started to wonder why this Buteyko breathing method isn’t officially and vigorously promoted as a viable therapy by the NZ Asthma Foundation. It was then that I realised why – when I was on asthma medication I worked out it was costing the taxpayer $3000 a year for just me (just look at the subsidy amount on your medication label) – and that was 20 years ago. Worldwide, the asthma industry is worth billions to pharmaceutical companies. So why would they ever want to promote a therapy that fixes the condition once and for all, when you can keep making money out of just treating the symptoms instead of the cause. And in case you didn’t know, the NZ Asthma Foundation gets a lot of its money from those same pharmaceutical companies.

    Gray, you can be passionate about the Buteyko method without being rude about the Asthma Foundation. I have worked with, and for (for transparency, yes, paid, but it's not like I'm short of other work) the Asthma Foundation, and they are good people who are at least as passionate about trying to prevent asthma as you might be about the method that you've found that worked for you. I recall conversations with Foundation employees where they were clearly still feeling grief over the death of more than one young person they'd work closely with. I feel affronted by your insinuation that they would risk further lives rather than jeopardise one of their sources of funding.
    The Asthma Foundation base their official advice for asthma control on advice given to them by research scientists. The advice they give on Buteyko reads to me as a fair and balanced summary of the current state of research in the area, with appropriate cautions for people planning to try it (talk to your doctor, keep taking your medication). Given the current state of the evidence, to advise otherwise would be reprehensible.

    So, as I say, be as passionate as you like about Buteyko. Advocate for others to try it in case it helps them in the same way that it helped you. But don't assign impure motives to people who must, ethically, prefer research study evidence to your personal, non-controlled, non-blinded, sample of one.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 561 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The Blue Inhaler,

    And a good thing you had ventolin and not fenoterol ( If you ever get the chance to hear him tell it, Julian Crane’s tale of that study and the threats he received from the pharmaceutical industry over its findings is a good listen.
    ETA I see wasabicube did get fenoterol. Yikes.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 561 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Treatment for itching and shyness,

    I agree entirely that non-accident disability should attract the same support as accident disability. At the moment though I would be worried that the result would be the other way round - accident disability would be downgraded to the same level of support currently offered for non-accident disability.

    It would certainly be in keeping with all the other bitter stories I've heard about ACC lately.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 561 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: New Zealand's most racist law, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Could I make a complaint to the HRC of racial discrimination because I was not allowed to be paid as my partner’s carer and this woman was?

    You could complain to the HRC but I'm guessing the couple you cite were one of those who slipped through under the radar, rather than there being different rules for Pacific people. The HRC would contact the MoH and say "please explain", and the MoH would say "gosh, you're right, that shouldn't have happened, we've stopped it". The outcome would not be that other people would suddenly start to be eligible to be paid to care for family, it would be that the Taituas' arrangement would be stopped and they'd be left as miserable as everyone else. I don't think I'd call that a win.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 561 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Spirit Level,

    It's just your basic poor logic. Because some (a few) people choose a simpler and/or lower consumption life, then all people who live with less must have chosen to live that way.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 561 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Spirit Level, in reply to Moz,

    I’ve never been poor and hope never to be, because I’ve seen what poor is like and I don’t want to go there. And it is high on my list of “things we need systematic solutions to”, so I vote and donate accordingly. Unfortunately I’m in a tiny minority with that stance.

    I've been poor, and hope never to be again, because I've felt what poor is like. Dirt poor. Hungry poor (Salvation Army food parcel poor). Shameful poor (secondhand underwear poor). Miserable poor. And still nowhere near as poor as the real poverty we have now.

    And yet, the thing that matters most is the inequality. I didn't feel as poor when all but the farmers' children were as haphazardly dressed as I was, and everyone's house was unlined, and our pity was reserved for the girl who's mother gave her sandwiches made with inedibly hard home-made bread. You only feel poor when others not only have things you don't have, but society convinces you your lack of those things is a failure, and the failure is your fault.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 561 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Spirit Level,

    "For the fact was, the school the Burnell children went to was not at all the kind of place their parents would have chosen if there had been any choice. But there was none. It was the only school for miles. And the consequence was all the children in the neighborhood, the judge's little girls, the doctor's daughters, the store-keeper's children, the milkman's, were forced to mix together. ... But the line had to be drawn somewhere. It was drawn at the Kelveys. Many of the children, including the Burnells, were not allowed even to speak to them. They walked past the Kelveys with their heads in the air, and as they set the fashion in all matters of behaviour, the Kelveys were shunned by everybody. Even the teacher had a special voice for them, and a special smile for the other children when Lil Kelvey came up to her desk with a bunch of dreadfully common-looking flowers.
    They were the daughters of a spry, hardworking little washerwoman, who went about from house to house by the day. This was awful enough. But where was Mr. Kelvey? Nobody knew for certain. But everybody said he was in prison. So they were the daughters of a washerwoman and a gaolbird. Very nice company for other people's children!"
    The Doll's House, Katherine Mansfield, 1922

    So in six years, if nothing changes, we'll be in much the same place as we were a hundred years before.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 561 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences…, in reply to chris,

    At the end of the day, one has to ask for whose benefit they keep repeating this number 40 on the TV?

    Probably for the benefit of all the journalists, and those they're writing for, who keep asking "so just how many of these people are there?"

    If they gave no number, presumably the complaint would be that they say they're watching people, but not how many, so how do we know there's any of them, or that the budget isn't for just one or two people, or conversely, for those at the Trump end of the spectrum, that there's hundreds and thousands of them liberally sprinkled throughout the country.

    I would also expect 40 to be a round number. In regard to complaints the number doesn't seem to change, well, I wouldn't expect it to change much. Why should it?

    As for the jihadi brides - I put very little stock in anything else JK says, so I would take Rebecca Kitteridge's numbers as more accurate than JK's. But overall I suspect it's a case of "we're 100% certain these two left to be 'jihadi brides', we're more or less sure these other 5 did, and there are another 5 where we think it's a possibility but we're less sure. So it's less than twelve, but more than 1."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 561 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: A hazy, intriguing crystal ball,

    So it seems that regardless of how hazy a crystal ball it was, it'll no longer be any kind of crystal ball at all:

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 561 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Police Ten 7 State, in reply to william blake,

    Their gagging says one of two things, they really, really don’t like Dr Gilbert ( and his book patched is praised for its fairness) or they have something to hide about their policing of alcohol.

    I suspect it's the former; and that it comes back to one of the basic problems with police everywhere: they divide the world into good people and bad people. You're either one or the other. And you're generally judged by the company you keep. So Dr Gilbert, by even being even-handed in his treatment of gangs, rather than firmly against them in every possible way, cannot be good, and therefore must be bad.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 561 posts Report Reply

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