Posts by mpledger

  • Hard News: Lost Men, in reply to Alex Rahr,

    Yea, I'm a little out of date because I first came across this stuff a couple of years ago.

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Lost Men,

    I'm a little skeptical* about the decreased survival rates of white men in the USA. All other ethnic groups in the US are showing increased survival rates, as well as white people in all other places in the Western World. My suspicion is that when people die without relatives to inform the authorities about the person's ethnicity then it defaults to white unless there is clear evidence otherwise.

    There is also a huge benefit in the USA in passing as white - even more so now with Trump ramping up the rhetoric against Central/South Americans and other foreigners - so people living away from family may tell others they are white who in turn report that when the person dies.

    *although I don't doubt that there is an opioid epidemic.

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Let Canada do our cannabis homework,

    So this doesn't look good

    U.S. reportedly issuing lifetime travel bans for anyone even remotely connected to Canada's legal cannabis industry
    https://www.straight.com/cannabis/1101001/us-reportedly-issuing-lifetime-travel-bans-anyone-even-remotely-connected-canadas

    My Canadian relations have always been nudge-nudge, wink-wink about Trudeau's parentage.

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About that Lancet study,

    I still haven't read the paper ... but in terms of evidence on the effect of cannabis the study is pretty low grade because it's an *observational* study. The people themselves *choose* to use cannabis and a lot of that choice isn't so much about need but about other characteristics - whether they have used it before, how comfortable they are with breaking the law, how connected they are to people who can supply etc.

    (Better studies are when people are randomly allocated treatment and better still when they don't know what treatment they are getting.)

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About that Lancet study,

    I haven't read the study but I suspect there is some reverse causation going on. As the pain gets worse people starting using cannabis rather than cannabis has no effect on bad pain.

    I talked to a medical professional who had a close relative die of cancer. This person who died had used cannabis and had said that cannabis did not get rid of the pain but took the edge off it. This person was also on opioids. If that's really what's going on then you'd expect people with the worst pain to be the ones using cannabis the most and also saying it helps.

    I was involved in a trial of the effect of blood lowering medication on stroke rates. The doctors were also allowed to prescribe anything else along side that medication so some patients were also on blood thinning medication. The patients on blood thinning medication were more likely to die of a stroke than those not on blood thinning medication. But that's not because blood thinning medication causes stroke but that the people most at risk of stroke got blood thinning medication - their risk of dying of stroke was still higher than those without the medication but not as high as it would have been had they not had the medication.

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Protecting privilege in Epsom, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Mark Richardson said:
    "I've worked hard all my life and I've put my nuts on the line. I've tried to optimise every opportunity, I screwed myself to the wall to get into the eastern suburbs of Auckland."

    It makes his opinions even less relevant - how can we trust anything he says if his goal is to optimise every opportunity to make money for himself rather than speak from the heart. Who knows what he'll say if the money is right.

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Budget 2018: The broadcasting…, in reply to Tinakori,

    Of course a senior administrator and leader is being obstructive if he dumps his minister in the shit repeatedly. He could have done everything in a diplomatic way but he chose to go nuclear.

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Budget 2018: The broadcasting…,

    My immediate reaction was that they are holding back the money until Richard Griffen leaves - 'cause why reward him when he's been particularly obstructive.

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Real Victims, Here,

    In a "This American Life" "act", a woman confronts her (real life) troll to find out why he was so horrible to her. He had put in quite a lot of effort to find a way to hurt her - it wasn't just random nastyness.
    https://www.thisamericanlife.org/545/if-you-dont-have-anything-nice-to-say-say-it-in-all-caps/act-one

    In the recording he sounded like he was an ok guy. Mostly he explained it away that she was happy and happy with who she was (which included being fat) while he was alone and unhappy.

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: On citizen’s arrests; or…, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Suppose you are driving a car with a child on board and a driver nearly wipes you out and that driver gives you the finger i.e. there was some degree of carelessness or perhaps it was even intentional. Can you make a citizens arrest then?

    Since Oct 2012 • 94 posts Report Reply

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