Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Metiria Turei and Aine Kelly Costello stirs up a rats nest

Oh and in passing did they both declare the income earned and the fares paid for them by Israel to the IRD?
I rarely bother to look at right-wing hate sites like Whale Oil [picture, Slater in Israel] or Kiwi Blog; I know that both bloggers have visited Israel and then returned to NZ and spilled their hate filled crap on their blog sites.
But their reaction to Metiria Turei is really over the top and they didn’t have to be brought off by a paid visit to Israel to turn their nasty little pens in to hate creating activities.
Just reading the comments made by their fans proves how low some New Zealander can go in expressing their twisted and hate filled minds.
Yet it would appear that thousands of caring New Zealanders if not hundreds of thousands consider Metiria extremely brave and HONEST, not for her the wriggle words of Paula Bennett.
I think she has won the hearts and minds of thousands of NZ women in particular, they may say something different to their husbands, but I’ve a feeling that they may well be ticking Green this election…
A young woman Aine Kelly Costello [pictured] who has a wealth of empathy wrote a blog on the subject Metiria and she discusses how she used the system to achieve a desired goal. Her reasons as she explains were different but compelling for her. Have a read: 

My story, on a factual level, has something in common with Metiria’s. We both asked an authority to help us, to alleviate a problem we had no power to lessen on our own, owing to circumstances outside our control. But I suspect our stories, on the inside, share even more. It’s reasonable to suppose that Metiria felt a measure of guilt, however unjustified, for not being able to provide for her child without a benefit. She must have been frustrated that the deck of socioeconomic standing was stacked against her. I’ll bet she hated the fact that she was obliged to spend some time raising her little girl on the welfare system.
That is where the similarities between our stories end.
What Aine displays here with her words clearly indicates a understanding of what Metiria was confronting, yet still conceding that their circumstances differed.
In my story, I told a truth to a system that functioned well enough to remedy the problem to the general satisfaction of all involved. Disability Services were satisfied, my lecturer was satisfied, and I was basically satisfied. I felt relieved, exonerated almost.
In Metiria’s story, she had no choice but to lie to the system in order to get the system to cooperate. She had to avoid her legal obligation to disclose her living arrangements to Work and Income in order to feed herself and her little one. So on top of the guilt, frustration and hate, no doubt there developed resentment at the heartlessness of the system, and above all, fear. There could be no solution for Metiria within the existing Work and Income framework because if the system did tried to fix itself, it would attempt to balance itself out by asking the legally culpable party, Metiria, to provide more of exactly what Metiria did not have.
The above paragraphs show the compassion that Aine obviously feels and it is mixed with a comprehensive element of adult reasoning. This gives me great faith in the humanity of thousands of our young people and I hope it does the same for you. She went on to say:
But from the inside, there was no solution because the system had Metiria’s pent up emotions held captive. That is a road to breaking people, to destroying their spirit. As Metiria notes, the Work and Income system contributed substantially to breaking at least one woman entirely. She committed suicide after Work and Income accused her of fraud, and while being chased for debt.
Thanks to my socioeconomic privilege, it is unlikely (not to say impossible) that I will ever end up as dependent on our corrupt welfare system as Metiria once was. And I don’t pretend to know exactly how that dependency felt for Metiria, because I can’t know. Maybe I can’t know, but I can guess. Because I can guess, I can empathise with her.
In many respects the above two paragraphs show Aine to be as equally has brave as Metiria was at the Greens successful conference, for I think it must be really difficult to bare ones history publicly. Her last couple of paragraphs give her reasons for deciding her reactions they too tell it like it is.
To me, the greatest indignity in Metiria’s story is the facts that, in the very moment when she was brave enough and vulnerable enough to tell us the truth, many New Zealanders attacked her personal integrity. They showed her, and the rest of us, that the societal roots of Work and Income’s ruthlessness may lie considerably deeper in our country’s culture than we expected or would like to believe. I will keep hoping that we can collectively show Metiria that empathy can rule the day. It must, if we are to give the Greens a chance to fix Work and Income and mend the safety net.
Those posting hate filled responses to Whale-Oil and Kiwi Blog proves my underlining of Aine Kelly’s above was and is necessary, it is our culture that needs alteration in the direction of empathy rather than blame and hate. Cameron Slater [Whale-Oil] and David Farrar [Kiwi Blog pictured 5th from the left in Israel] should go back to Israel and live there…for good. Oh and in passing did they both declare the income earned and the fares paid for them by Israel to the IRD?

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Does empathy actually exist in NZ

Those working in the area of helping such as WINZ and their government masters need to display behaviours that indicate caring rather than trying to run their organisation as a business.

I’ve been thinking…It’s a full time job being homeless. It’s a full time job being poor. Those who bitch about the underprivileged not going out and finding work fail to understand the dilemma the homeless and poor find themselves in.
I’m no investigative journalist and I wanted to meet up with those who were struggling to survive on the streets. What is written below is combination from such meetings. Street dwellers and the poor are workers of a sort, but more importantly they are human beings.
You see the homeless and the poor already have a job and that job is surviving.
You have to get in line for food, for a place to sleep and you have to be early because if you are late you can miss out on a meal or someplace warm and dry to sleep.
You have to carry your few possessions on your back or in a supermarket trolley. You only have so much energy to expend, because without food you lose what energy you do have.
Most of the time you are cold and sore and if the Police find you sleeping on the street they move you on. If you are lucky the police may help you find shelter and maybe a meal.
Each time this happens you lose a little more of your self-respect.
Sometimes you remember who you were, you were a kid who played with other kids, you had a Mother and Father and you dreamed of being a Fireman or a soldier or an engineer. Maybe you once had a wife, you were loved and you could never have imagined that you’d end up on the street.
Yet many of us who have never been homeless, never had to beg for food are simply so highly critical and instantly play the blame game without the full realisation and understanding that but for the hand of fate we too could find ourselves homeless and poor. And many elderly are falling into that category.
It’s so easy to blame the individual for his or her situation when maybe we should stop being so individualistic and search for the causes of the circumstances that individuals find themselves locked into.
Many of those trapped on the streets simply curl up in the darkness after covering themselves with newspapers or cardboard or if they are lucky a stinking blanket and hope that they may die before the morning frost arrives.
While some actually help them as best they can others [not many] scorn and humiliate.
They live not by the week or the year but by the minute or the hour.
The poor and the homeless won’t just disappear; they will be with us forever unless we collectively do something about it. Getting rid poverty is difficult but it is connected to society’s greed, not the greed of the poor and homeless. Obviously they are not greedy because they’ve got nothing.
We need to control our greed and think collectively at the ways and means of sharing our wealth on a national basis.
A Universal Basic Income could and would be a huge step forward in lessoning poverty. Other more enlightened societies are recognising that fact. We should too. Universality is the key because it introduces a sense of community.
Those working in the area of helping such as WINZ and their government masters need to display behaviours that indicate caring rather than trying to run their organisation as a business.

Wheeler's Corner NZ also produces a weekly news letter by email covering various aspects of the NZ scene if you would like to read it rather than by blog please just send an email to: wheeler@inspire.net.nz and I will included you on the mailing list.

Peter J Wheeler wheeler@inspire.net.nz  

Monday, 3 July 2017

Show some guts legalise Marijuana

When will we legalise cannabis / Marijuana and make life more comfortable for thousands, Guest blogger Gordon McShean an author and past editor of the Manawatu Guardian now living at Himatangi Beach near Palmerston North writes of his experience with a ‘smoke’ in his younger days in the US. He then gives his take on present day medical care here in NZ

Guest Blogger Gordon McShean, [right] with his friend Larry Haist at a Palmerston North protest back in 2015.

“In 1966 I was one of the first cardiac patients from America to be taken on by the innovative New Zealand heart surgeon, Mr Brian Barratt-Boyes (who would later become Sir Barratt-Boyes). In California, at Stanford University, where I held a position;

I'd been give 3 months to live; they had proposed a pig valve transplant as a remedy. But my insurance company paid the plane fare, and the operation took place with some major international publicity.
That innovative homograft transplant procedure saved my life and I wrote the book OPERATION NEW ZEALAND (published in the US later as BUM TICKER). However, I did suffer some problems.
It was nearly 3 months before I could fly back home to my wife in California. 

During the recovery period some junior doctors at the hospital were concerned that I continued to feel unwell and feel pain;
I'll never forget that they held a party for me - and they surreptitiously gave me a "puff"
of their "smokes," saying that would "ease things" for me.. It did! It is sad then that NZ doctor's opinions have been ignored in the 50 years since! I came to live in NZ 14 years later (I live in retirement in wonderful
Himatangi Beach near Palmerston North.
Himatangi Beach).

New Zealanders have since saved my life 4 more times - but during this time I've never had access to that wonderful pain killer! (I do hear that friends in the US are gaining access to it!).

I wonder what it will take for New Zealand to overcome the conservative prejudices that keep them from easing patients' pains? 

It surely isn't simply a concern that some Kiwis might enjoy the opportunity to have a good time?!
Despite the supposed comfort of their NZ Gold Card and of assistance obtainable through Accident Compensation, every senior I know is protesting the effect creeping charges the government is making upon their decisions to seek medical assistance.

Additional oppressive influences that can be observed include the unreasonable waiting times that are often imposed before persons who are suffering and who are unable to see a consultant or obtain necessary clinical evaluations.

We had never envisaged our country could become so uncaring! We see huge amounts of money being used to increase medical executives' salaries and specialists' fees, and reports being made about their acceptance into the glorious professional brotherhoods (usually in the USA).

The terrible thing about recognizing that this is happening is not so much the misappropriation of essential moneys - it is the increasing likelihood of Kiwis of all walks of life and origins suffering needlessly and dying prematurely. We need Parliament to look into these matters in a credible manner. No NZ political party shows any evidence of dealing with this crisis in an way other than occasional noise-making with the intention of getting votes. What do we have to do? How many of us have to die?

Saturday, 1 July 2017

30 mullion dollar profit for Neoliberalist

Neoliberalism: This word can mean many things to many people, including an economic program, a political project, and a phase of capitalism dating from the 1970’s, at its root, however, neoliberalism is the idea that everything should be run as a business, that market metaphors, metrics, and practices should permeate all fields of human life. So wrote Ben Tarnoff on the 8th of June 2017.
Of course now days we have come to realise that this notion was introduced by Roger Douglas in 1984 to the New Zealand scene and was strongly supported by various Ministers of Finance like Ruth Richardson. Let’s take a look at a real neoliberal in action.
How to make a 30 million profit and buy New Zealand citizenship on the side:
No industry has played a larger role in evangelizing the neoliberal faith than Silicon Valley, so it came as no surprise to see John Key’s government break all the rules and make Peter Thiel [pictured] a New Zealand citizen.
This billionaire runs [co-owner] Palantir a company that produces the data that allows the US to spy on and listen into IT data from around the world. He backed Donald Trump to the tune of one and a half million dollars, and he is on track to make heaps more as an adviser to the US President.
The entrepreneur was granted citizenship in June 2011 under exceptional circumstances despite not having lived in the country previously and not intending to do so in the future.
Normally a permanent resident has to spend more than 70 percent of their time in New Zealand over five years - more than 1300 days - before they can apply for citizenship.
Mr Thiel applied for an exemption, arguing that given he was an entrepreneur and was involved in philanthropy; it would be in the public interest.
Former economic development minister, Steven Joyce, has confirmed a report from The New Zealand Herald that Mr Thiel's Valar Ventures ended its five-year partnership with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund in October by activating a buyout option.
The option allowed Valar Ventures to make about $30 million dollars from its input of between $7m and $9m, while the fund returned about $10m from the same input, Mr Joyce said.
12 June, 2013 - Then-Prime Minister John Key responded to questions in Parliament about Mr. Thiel, saying he had met Mr Thiel on "a few occasions" and their relationship was cordial. Mr. Thiel was "extremely generous" after the Christchurch earthquakes, Key said.
The then PM John Key then used every excuse he could to cover his backside when questioned in the house about the relationship with Mr. Thiel by the then Green co-leader Russel Norman…this exchange makes really interesting reading…it also shows how the Speaker went out of his way to protect the PM. If you have time please go to the following and read for yourself this most interesting exchange.
So after only 12 days in NZ the National Government granted Mr. Thiel citizenship, was it because he was worthy or was it because he was a neoliberalist friend of the then PM John Key? Read more: