The 9pm Edict #10

The 9pm EdictThe media totally misrepresents the real risks to our lives. Senator Conroy totally misrepresents the facts. Again. And the government literally makes my life more painful.

Here is episode 10 of The 9pm Edict.

You can listen to this episode below. But if you want them all, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

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For more information about the topics covered in this episode, check out Australia’s Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons, the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee’s (NDPSC) decision on codeine, especially the NDPSC record of reasons, 56th meeting 16-17 June 2009, the ABC News story on same, and some background on codeine; the Marketplace story Big companies are hoarding cash; ABC News stories about the Pope’s Easter service being clouded by the sex abuse scandal and Jews upset that the Vatican compares criticism of the Pope to the Holocaust; and Australian Bureau of Statistics publication 3303.0 — Causes of Death, Australia.

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

[Credits: The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project, as were the other sound effects. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

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  1. Glengyron’s avatar

    Annoying enough when they changed the rules for Sudafed so you couldn’t get anything useful. The codeine ruling will affect many more people. The result will be either they live in pain, or, move on to stronger prescribed pain killers… which is surely a bigger potential problem.

    As any Liberal will tell you, the ALP doesn’t love cash: Debt good, cash bad? Conroy’s statements on Google struck me very much as a new argument he’d been sold that he wasn’t very comfortable with. I’d say there’s some really poor quality advice behind the misrepresentation of those sound bites.

    The ABS is awesome. Everyone should spend more time looking at their data. If only their website wasn’t such an unfriendly mess. I think most people in the media run with narratives rather than create them. It’s a mob mentality. Piss on them all the same.

    Reply

  2. Sylmobile’s avatar

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story, hey? ;-)

    This edict is not only one with which I have a strong affinity, but it is also — I believe — an edict that has found the heart of the beast. I will be the last to discourage you from thrusting the sword that little bit deeper into the soft underbelly of contemporary news coverage.

    Reply

  3. Stilgherrian’s avatar

    @Glengyron: I’m fairly sure that combined analgesics containing codeine (CACC) are already the strongest painkillers available without prescription.

    Interestingly, some of the submissions to NDPSC mentioned that there’s only ambiguous evidence that codeine does much to kill pain in doses less than 30mg, yet 2 x Panafen Plus or Nurofen Plus are only 2 x 12.8mg = 25.6mg. The rules coming into force on 1 May also reduce the maximum amount of codeine in a single tablet to 12mg, so a two-tablet dose drops to 24mg. It seems odd to me to deliberately reduce the dosage to an amount less than the suspected effective dose.

    Anecdotally, I’ve found that a single tablet does little to reduce the more severe pain episodes I suffer.

    The language used by the NDPSC seems more concerned about the common people misusing a drug than respecting their ability to manage their own medication. There’s lip-service paid to the idea, but I felt there was far more emphasis on pain management and medication management as something to be done for them by a healthcare professional.

    @Sylmobile: Thank you. I do feel that I’m starting to settle into a consistent program format, and on a range of issues which appeals to me — the latter mostly being about exposing and debunking bullshit.

    I’m also developing consistency in the production process. However the full cycle from pondering the initial story selection, through scriptwriting and editing, recording, post-production and pimping marketing is taking up to 4 hours. I’d originally hoped to settle into a 2-hour process. While I’m ending up with higher-quality scripts, this is more time per week than I’d originally intended to devote to the project. This will need to be resolved somehow.

    Reply

  4. Mark Newton’s avatar

    This week’s Edict needs to be accompanied by this:

    Newton’s Caveat: If you read a report in the newspaper about something bad happening to somebody, or hear about it on the 7pm news on TV, or if it’s This Hour’s Number One Topic on talkback radio, that means it almost never happens. If it was commonplace, it wouldn’t be news, and it’d be boring, and nobody would report on it. The only reason you’re hearing about it in the news is because it’s vanishingly rare and extremely unlikely, therefore you don’t have to worry about it ever happening to you.

    This explains the relativistic effects of violent crime reporting from place to place. A local murder in Mount Gambier deserves week-long wall to wall coverage in The Border Watch. If the same murder happened in Melbourne it’d get the front page for a day. In Sydney it’d get 25% of page 7. In New York it wouldn’t be mentioned at all. In Los Angeles it’d get a few column inches in the “oddball” section on the back page of the Sunday rag.

    It also explains the nine years of hysteria world Governments have had about terrorism, which, as far as random unlikely events are concerned, is the platinum-iridium standard event they keep in a vacuum flask in an airtight vault in Paris.

    – mark

    Reply

  5. Stilgherrian’s avatar

    @Mark Newton: Absolutely. There’s presumably a strong evolutionary pressure to pass on unusual information. “Oh, we don’t know what this thing is. We’d better pay attention in case it’s dangerous.” But there’s a difference between doing that responsibly and taking advantage of it to get attention for our tabloid news products.

    I’m still fool romantic enough to think that we could move beyond all that and decide to create news products that help us understand the world despite our pre-programmed fears.

    Reply

  6. Bob Bain’s avatar

    @stilgherrian I understand your point about Codeine. It should be noted however that Australians have been arrested and jailed in countries such as Greece for being in possession of “harmless” Codeine tablets. I wasn’t aware that pure Codeine was already illegal in Australia. You may or may not find this of interest:-

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/22/johnny-jolly-answers-code_n_401268.html

    HOUSTON — Green Bay Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly appeared briefly in a Houston courtroom Tuesday to answer refiled charges he illegally possessed at least 200 grams of codeine.

    Jolly, 26, whose hometown is Houston, was indicted by a Harris County grand jury for a second time last week, five months after prosecutors dismissed a similar charge stemming from a traffic stop a year and a half ago.

    The charges were dropped in July so lab technicians could become proficient with a new piece of equipment that measures codeine, Harris County district attorney officials said.

    Jolly, who has posted $10,000 bond, has said he is innocent.

    =============

    From a bit of hasty research it seems that Codeine morphs into Morphine in the body and a dose of approximately 200 mg (oral) of codeine must be administered to give analgesia approximately equivalent to 30 mg (oral) of morphine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codeine

    It also states

    Codeine, or methylmorphine, is a natural alkaloid found in opium poppy (and we know the world view on opium poppies)

    I guess it’s possible to take a few tablets into Indonesia without any problems from the Indonesian authorities ?

    As for the cost – I am prescribed diazapam which is prescribed to me as “Non NHS” due to the fact that if I obtain it under the NHS it costs a tad more than $14 per 200 tablets. (4 times $5.60 – the amount the governmnent charge for prescription drugs under the NHS = $22.40 ) and the doctor can only prescribe 50 tablets at a time. Diazapam helps relieve stress and is a muscle relaxant and helps reduce pressure on an overstrained aorta.

    Bob

    Reply

  7. Sylmobile’s avatar

    @Bob Bain, reminded me of when I was in Greece in 2000 1990. A woman working at the tourist information office gestured for me to approach her. When I was at the counter, she leaned forward and spoke in low tones, “You have codeine?”

    I looked about the office, and then back to her, “codeine?”
    “Yes, codeine,” she clarified.

    “I have aspirin. Would you like one?” I offered.

    “You don’t have codeine?”

    I shook my head.

    A pause. A look of disappointment.

    “No, it’s OK.” she said, waving me back, “thank you…”

    Reply

    1. Sylmobile’s avatar

      Actually, 1990, that was. Still early and denial about my age, I suppose… Will the magic edit faeries sprinkle correction dust?

      Reply

    2. Stilgherrian’s avatar

      @Sylmobile: Dust has been sprinkled.

      Reply

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