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Scoop Feedback: War, Drugs and More

Scoop Feedback: War, Drugs and More

The following is a selection of feedback and other unsolicited email received by Scoop recently. The opinions they contain do not necessarily reflect those of Scoop.

They do not appear in any particular order.

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[Re: Photo-Essay: Sth Beirut A War-Torn Horror Show]

Just to respond to your comments which accompanied the photo essay from beirut published today.

"There, Hezbollah is drawing the Israel Defense Force in to fight an insurgency war. Israel is retaliating with air attacks".

I don't think this accurately describes the situation in Lebanon today. hezbollah is responding to years of illegal occupation of Lebanese land, kidnapping of lebanese civilians (thousands of whom are detained in Israeli jails), frequent border violations by Israel and continuing occupation of Palestinian land. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that Israel is waging a war on lebanese society, for regional hegemony, and Hezbollah, with the support of the majority of Lebanese society is resisting that.

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[Re: Global Peace And Justice Auckland - Appeal to freeze Rakon exports for Israeli bombs]

There are no depleted uranium guided bombs. You are too caught up in myth to view the reality and you spread your mythology around the world. The dangers of depleted uranium are not well documented and they do not threaten anyone. Again, you are being mislead by scientific charlatans for poltical purposes. Learn the science and retract what is not true. Here is a good place to start learning the Health Physics Society the international organization of professionals who protect all of us against all forms of radiation - they have a DU Fact Sheet and also address a number of questions in their Ask the Expert section. Learn about the pied pipers leading you like Doug Rokke and Leuren Moret at you will see their own resumes and learn who they really as opposed to who they portray themselves as being.

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Trash and more trash your articles on the middle east

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The approval of funding process for Herceptin plods on. Herceptin will eventually be funded but probably not until 2007. Meanwhile a woman dies each day through lack of treatment by Herceptin. However, what the deceitful bureaucrats have not told us is that in order to fund Herceptin, Pharmac will have to fund another drug as well.

That drug is Docetaxel (Taxotere) which is the chemotherapy drug used in the HERA trial, that Pharmac are at present studying, and was also used in the FinHer trial. Herceptin has only been trialled in combination with Docetaxel, so it is obvious that both drugs must be used in NZ.

Pharmac does not fund Docetaxel and a six week course of treatment costs $30,000. So this has to be added to the $70,000 cost of Herceptin making a total of $100,000. However, the FinHer trial has shown that a course of Herceptin need cost no more than $35,000, a combined cost of $65,000 which is a bit more realistic.

Pharmac, for once, is not alone in its tardiness in approving and funding Docetaxel. The UK only approved it last month (24/07/06), though of course it has been used in the EU and US for years.

* A five-year international study of Docetaxel found a 30% reduction of risk of death in breast Cancer patients treated with this drug.

* Researchers also found a 28% reduction in the risk of the disease returning.

* Nearly 9 out of 10 women treated with the drug were alive after five years.

* And at the end of nearly five years, 75% of women were disease-free compared to 68% on standard chemotherapy.

So it seems that while Pharmac is bumbling around arranging funding for Herceptin, they must also simultaneously and immediately fund Docetaxel and the Ministry of Health, the DHB's, and Oncologists must immediately set up a treatment regime at a cost of $30,000 per patient to replace the chemotherapy at present being used.

John Lyall

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[Re: Survey Photo-Essay: Do We Want U.S Warships in NZ?]

I have noted the pic's you show are of course one sided as most news media seem to be, were is the pictures of the children being indiscriminateity killed by random bombings by terrorist groups, as an ex serviceman I would be one of the first to say we don't need weapons of war, however stopping US ships coming to New Zealand will not change reality,we should be delvoping our forces,as part of an international peacekeeping force that includes the US, to mend relationships and help people defend them selves so as they can be self determining. The crews of the US warships themselves can then see we are part of the solution not the problem, and we can make some contrabution instead of grandstanding, remember as others die to support fredom we moan, and do nothing. and that's how the rest of the world see us. "that's reality"

Bruce Chubb

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Subject: NZ Labour Laws

The issue with staff disputes where NZ law seems to protect the employee rather than the employer. We have faced this situation more than once and this time the employee can actually sue us for a dubious claim and causing continuing problems. We have a duty to protect our existing staff why should the majority suffer because of one individual. Here we are providing employment and trying to run a business and yet we are faced with constant hurdles in bureaucracy.

We would like to fight this case but the only people who gets anything at the end of the day will be the lawyers? So do we give in and just pay off the staff. Or do we fight the case and spend 3 times as much money for the principle and a cause we believe in and yet may not win?

This is absolutely ridiculous and it makes me wonder why anyone would ever want to do business in NZ. The labour law system is so detrimental to employers that we may as well shut up shop now! Your sincerely

Pauline Evill

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Child Abuse Idol

It's a crying shame, but there's a new show in town and it's proving so popular that the hopeful contenders have run to their thousands. Viewer discretion is advised, but the camaraderie among contestants is high - they are all in this together and it's the willingness to compete that really counts. In fact, every day more and more New Zealanders are lining up for a chance to find out who really is the best of the worst. Here's this week's selection of contenders for New Zealand Child Abuse Idol.

P-high violence sprees? Judge's verdict: great energy but no real control and can't hold a tune. Bullying in schools? Judges verdict: kids really need to be led by example. Bring on the drug dogs and strip searching and we'll show them bullying. Next?

Self-proclaimed father's rights groups? Judges' verdict: sad sacks demonstrating precisely why kids don't need fathers like these. Warning: no holds barred on those turning up with bullhorns at judges' or producers' homes. Lesbian and gay bashing? Judges' verdict: worn out columnists have had their day and should stick to their knitting.

Murdered twin baby boys? Judges verdict: wow, a family that can actually sing in harmony! You're definitely through to the next round.

Pregnant mother seeking second chance? Judges' verdict: we love kids, no, really, we do, but positive images of pregnant women on prime time publicly funded television really won't fly (no correspondence about parental leave policies at TVNZ will be entered into).

This sick addiction to child abuse has got to stop. Vote with your remote: turn off the tv, be part of the fight against child abuse and support repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act.

Joy Liddicoat

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[Re: Metro - Which are the Best Schools in Auckland?]

I am seriously appalled at the fact that this article was allowed to be printed. While AGS might not be the best school in Auckland, it certainly is in the top 10.

From what I have read, I can tell that the researchers of this article have based their information on ncea results of schools.

You cannot say AGS does not do well in external examinations. Just last year AGS students gained a number of 'top in the world' and 'top in the New Zealand' cambridge examination awards. While only the bottom academic half do NCEA, AGS still produces a number of outstanding NCEA results. It should be noted that AGS produced the most number of NCEA level 4 scholarships in New Zealand.

Academically, AGS certainly proves itself to be one of the best. Two of the members of the chemistry olympiad that represents NZ is from AGS; two from the maths olympiad team and one from the biology olympiad team.

I agree with the response of my headmaster Mr John Morris - "There is a lot of envy and jealousy directed towards AGS by other less successful schools and by sections of the media and they take any opportunity they can to do a 'beat up' on Grammar."

False and inaccurate information should not be published to influence the general public about the brillian reputation of Grammar.


Victor Li
Yr 11 Student


[Re: Australian Green Party - Aust: Greens to work with unions to oppose uranium]

Congratulations to Leigh Rhiannon on this principled stand against the expansion of uranium mining! And congratulations to Scoop for publishing it!

It is encouraging to know that not everyone has been seduced by the lies and the greed attached to the push for nuclear power.

Christina Macpherson


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