This week I thought it was time to enlighten you, dear readers about some little known pearls I have recently become aware of. Some might make you laugh, some might make you cry, some might make you begin looking for a heavy calibre weapon and others might just make you go, “Huh?”
The first of these is a bizarre contradiction I personally encountered in the last week. I recently developed an abscess under a tooth and had to go to the dentist. As is the norm, the dentist prescribed some antibiotics to help with the healing. However when I went to fill my prescription the pharmacist demanded a payment of $15 for the common antibiotic amoxicillin. I asked why this prescription cost $15 rather than the $3 that is normally charged for the same drug. What they told me was a real eye-opener as to the fiendish lengths governments go to in order to save a couple of dollars while trying to tell us all that they are backing our health needs.
It transpires that I had to pay $15 because my prescription was written out by a dentist and not a GP. My dentist is a Doctor of Dental Surgery and not just a Bachelor of Dental Surgery, which means her qualifications are the equal of my GP; and yet if he had written my prescription for the same medication it would have only cost me $3.
Either this is the height of stupidity or it is part of an evil plan to hoodwink the public into thinking the government actually cares about our health needs. After all such medications are only prescribed when there is an infection and whether that infection is in my tooth or my leg, really doesn’t much matter.
This next one I saw a few weeks ago and I only saw the one reference to it so imagine not too many people know about it yet, which is probably how TAG Oil and Apache would like it to stay.
A report appeared on Stuff on January 29 that had my eyes bugging out. It turns out the Gisborne District Council has already granted some consents to a joint venture between the two Canadian oil companies to begin “activities associated with drilling shallow shot holes and seismic testing," No supwises there you might say, given the current government’s long held desire to leap headfirst into an orgy of drilling and fracking and whatever else they can think of to ensure every minute particle of ‘valuable resource is extracted from our soil, rivers, lakes, mountains, beauty spots and (coming soon to a house near you). Okay I made that last one up – but it might not be too much of a stretch for these turkeys.
But what makes this little snippet different form all the other clodhopping the government is doing in the face of substantial popular opposition is that these consents were issued without any prior public consultation at all. In fact they were so secretly approved even Mayor Meng Foon didn’t know they had been granted. GDC Councillors are defending their actions because they only have to notify consent applications if "the activity will have, or is likely to have, adverse effects on the environment that are more than minor". Of course they know this will not be the case, eh? Well they must do because TAG Oil & Apache have both assured them the fracking they will be doing and the drilling of two wells up to 2500m deep will not be a problem. When the council said they didn’t have the expertise to assess the effects, the consortium agreed to send council officials on a paid trip to Canada to consult with some experts (of the consortium’s own choosing, of course). I wonder what sort of conclusion they will come to. GDC’s chief executive (Chief FullofBull) has defended the trip saying it was a chance for council staff to upskill. Yeah, right; only if upskilled is a synonym for brainwashed.
This one is a real shocker, I think. Have you ever wondered why so many convicted sex offenders re-offend? I’m sure most of you have your own theories about this, but I recently happened upon a little nugget of information that must surely be playing a big part in this.
It has recently come to my attention that there are no mandatory programmes for sexual offenders while they are in prison. Programmes are there but the offenders can choose to take them or choose not to take them. Now that seems ludicrous to me. What better time to address their offending than when they are unable to simply not turn up to their sessions. I wonder if the expression ‘captive audience’ has any resonance with the Departments of Corrections and Justice.
And if you think that is bad; get this – when they leave prison, if they wish to do something about their rehabilitation they must pay for the courses themselves. There are no funded community programmes for those who have sexually offended against adults. So the justice system is leaving it to the good sense and consideration these people might have towards their potential victims and is also reliant upon them being either willing or able to fund such a course. Duhhh!
This next one comes literally from the twilight zone. Sanwa Corp, an enterprising (?) Japanese company has come up with the ultimate accessory for those too stupid to get the fuck away from Fukushima. It is a handy little Geiger counter designed to work with your i-Phone. For just 9800 yen (or NZ$165) you can detect exactly how many thousand millisieverts you are being exposed to while simply breathing in and out. The press release didn’t say whether the device could detect how much you were subjecting yourself to from the i-Phone, itself, but I guess that’s a market they could expand into as well. Somehow I can’t help feeling it is a bit like sticking your hand deliberately into a furnace and then hankering for a little device to go on your phone so you can morbidly enlighten yourself as to how hot that fire is that is peeling the flesh from your bones.