Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Wheelers Corner 89 December 12th A look back.

Over the December / Jan period I will be re-posting some of my past Wheelers Corners: This one was first published in 2012 and covered the subject of Race relations here in NZ:

It was read by over 1,800 individuals:

Have a read and see if you think things have improved or otherwise:


Over December and Jan I will also be sending a few short stories for some holiday reading: 
I would also like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

The closing down of various institutions in an effort to save cash has led to huge upheavals for those involved. “It’s for their own good” it is often said by others. Really! Community care is available, Really! This playing with human beings by governments more inclined to things financial than social or medical will surely come back to haunt us all.

An Inside View. A short story

What makes them think I can’t understand, of course I can. I may see things differently but see things I do. I don’t wish to leave, I want to stay for it is here that I find my peace. Sure it may not be the same as yours but hell peace it is.

We have trees and green grass, the trees I walk under and the grass I dance on it is spongy and sometimes damp but always with me.
I remember when they brought me here; it was a long time ago. They were sad and you could see it their facial expressions, naturally they thought I didn’t understand their guilt but I did it was simply that I couldn’t express my understanding of their situation in a form they could understand. I may be different but I’m human too.

Doctors had words for my condition, they too thought I didn’t understand as they stood around me and muttered there medical terms. I understood and desired greatly to tell them that I did but I couldn’t find the means to express what was just bursting to be related. My arms would wave, my head would nod and my mouth would open and close but the words wouldn’t come. They stayed locked in, tight within my chest. These doctors of mental health shit what did they know anyway.

Oh yes I could talk to the trees to the grass and to the sky.
The others that shared my space understood me; we could communicate with each other. A smile here a nod there would link us together, others never understood that this was living for my friends and me. Communication is not just words alone. Energy between my friends and myself is achieved through simple actions and behaviours. When will the others understand these simple facts of my life? It is my life they playing with.

Divorce I’ve heard them say is a really difficult time for them, well then what of us, is not what they are doing to us just the bloody same? Separation or deportation by force is that not a crime.
A time may come when I can tell them what I think and I will let them know in no uncertain terms of the harm they are doing and have done to both myself and my friends.
Kimberly is my home.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Tough on gangs, who is next, wheelers corner 88 Thursday 28th Nov 2019

With Nationals new ? Get Tough on Gangs policy, are we heading down the track of using the police to solve failed domestic policy of specific political parties?

The real question we should all be asking is, "who is next"? Could it be for example protesters who take to streets about Climate Change?

Could it be beggars, or parents of children not vaccinated?

Would the National Party or any other party for that matter have the 5.2% of our population arrested for protesting on our streets, some were wearing their school uniforms, could school uniforms be considered in some twisted minds the same as gang patches!

It is only a short step for police to become corrupt, and the US policing behaviour is maybe a scene we should look closely at: For example they kill over 1000 people each year...a quick study of police killings in the US shows a shocking trend:  The sad part is that the top US leadership actually pardons convicted war criminals...which surely sends the wrong message... the sad part is that the police shot an knife holding black person, who was faced by four armed policemen, because they felt threatened.

Now I'm not asking New Zealanders to simply look at US police behaviour, but to ask yourself if you want us to become like them.

That is our history, we are followers rather than leaders. Policemen and women are humans, there are no doubt good and bad ones...yet it would seem that some believe that they can do no wrong. But the public chances of successfully bringing criminal charges against police behaviour...who was changed for planting false evidence in the Allan Arthur Thomas case...why because the police investigate their own cases... 

When Donald Trump declared that he wanted not only Ukraine but also China to investigate Joe Biden on October 4, all hell broke loose. A political class jaded by daily White House provocations was roused by this brazenly authoritarian call for international assistance in bringing down the president’s top-polling opponent, and the impeachment drive suddenly kicked into high gear.

That same night, Joshua Brown, an African American man who had recently helped win a rare murder conviction against a police officer, was murdered in the parking lot of his Dallas apartment building. Dallas police officials claimed that Brown’s death was unrelated to his witness testimony against their officer Amber Guyger, and that what actually happened was that Brown was selling marijuana in his parking lot — days after his name and face had been all over the news — and was killed by three other Black men in a drug deal gone wrong.

For many observers, the official police account rang about as true as Trump’s claims about the size of his inauguration crowd. But even if Brown’s death really had nothing to do with his testimony against Guyger, the understandable and widespread perception that it did will likely dissuade others from testifying against police. Like presidential threats to the integrity of the next election, Joshua Brown’s murder, therefore, should be considered a crisis of democracy and the rule of law — different in kind but not severity. In fact, in mainstream conversations, it’s barely been considered at all, drowned out by impeachment news.

The point here is not that we should focus on Joshua Brown instead of Donald Trump but to see how deeply they are connected. Many of us find ourselves continually and involuntarily shocked that Trump has been able to stay in office despite his many well-documented crimes and irrationalities. But why are we shocked? Since the advent of the camera phone we’ve been witness to dozens of police officers with far less power than the president getting away with all manner of criminal and immeasurably harmful behavior.
Of the roughly 1,000 documented police killings that take place every year in the U.S., fewer than 1 percent result even in an arrest — and convictions are even more rare. Even those few exceptions prove the larger rule. Guygers conviction — for the absurd and indefensible killing of an unarmed neighbor in his own apartment — surprised many people, because an ordinary cop can usually do the very thing it was so jarring to hear a presidential candidate boast about: Shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it (provided it’s 5th Avenue in Harlem and not the Upper East Side).

Trump has no doubt brought something new and dangerous to the modern American presidency, and it’s useful to look at comparable corrupt strongmen around the world like India’s Narendra Modi and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán as we try to comprehend his role. But while Trumpism is part of an international trend, its roots are squarely domestic– and in many ways rooted in American policing.
Perhaps one reason why so few in the political class draw these connections is that, as privileged people not normally subject to the imperious impunity of local law enforcement, politicians and pundits experience Trump’s authoritarianism as something entirely new. But families and community members of police victims have long known the bullying and gaslighting that has now grown so familiar to all under Trumpism. When Trump says that Black people love his racist comments about Baltimore, when police claim that the man with a knife was an immediate threat to multiple officers surrounding him with guns, the point is not to convince the skeptics but to make them understand that there’s nothing they can do about it.

Victims of police misconduct are also well acquainted with the Trumpian technique of smearing the reputations of accusers. “He was no angel,” The New York Times infamously wrote about Michael Brown after he was killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. “No angel” is a phrase one can easily picture Trump saying to describe a woman accusing him of sexual assault, or a member of Congress looking to investigate his corruption. Trump’s partner in crime, Rudy Giuliani, in fact used similar words in 2000 when as New York City mayor he unsealed the entirely irrelevant juvenile records of Patrick Dorismond to show that the police murder victim “isn’t an altar boy.”Victims of poli

Dorismonds murder was one of many that fueled protests against police violence in New York City under Giuliani. Michael Brown’s 2014 murder led to an uprising in Ferguson that inspired a much larger nationwide movement under the slogan “Black Lives Matter.” The minimalist slogan conveyed that the country’s entire legal system needed wholesale change just to make those three simple words a reality. Rather than take up this challenge, the Democrats in power at the time simply repeated the slogan and moved on, a ridiculous posture that looked progressive only in contrast with that of many Republicans, who actually opposed the three words.

Now Trump is president and he’s brought the “Blue Lives Matter” crowd’s sneering contempt for legal niceties into the White House. Police and ICE agents are even more empowered to commit abuses. The Ferguson community is alarmed and suspicious over the deaths of six protesters in the past three years. And now Joshua Brown has been killed just days after the verdict of the police officer he helped convict. As we worry whether Trump will stay in power and create an authoritarian nightmare, we should ask ourselves whether the dystopia is already here — and Trump is not the creator but the creation.


2. Trump twittered this picture of himself...a reader replied with a second version: Have a look at this for real laugh...I can't simply show you the photographs because I blocked at reproducing them by some magic computer process:


Saturday, 23 November 2019

when is lie not a lie.Wheelers Corner 87 24th Nov 2019

When is a lie, not a lie, maybe when its a hoax, for it would seem that anything negative about Donald Trump is a hoax, or false news! but anything positive is the truth.

This week I spent a lot of time watching web that was covering the Trump impeachment hearings in Washington.

Experts far more qualified than myself have produced item after item about trumps lies:
After having a look at this above it is clear that half truths and lies are vital in politics these days

The Republicans on the Intelligence committee kept referring to key witnesses as pushing the Hoax that Trump had broken the law and that it was all a Democratic hoax. Somehow this bunch of old white males did not know the difference between hearsay and honestly reporting what one over heard or remember reading about the various issues involved around the issues being discussed. 

So I turned to the BBC  to get the facts about what was said at these impeachment hearings and I invite you to do the same:
So to save you a lot of searching the web the reference above will explain the process of impeachment taking place right now in clear and understandable terms, and let me assure that is most revealing, for us here in NZ. 
Hero: Dr. Scott Warren

But to prove that not all Americans are tarred with the same brush, here is a bit of good news that you may not have heard about, it makes for an interesting read:

And I think thats enough reading for this weekend I'm about to sit down with a coffee and watch the highlights of the cricket NZ vs England. Have a pleasant weekend...cheers


This will shock all lovers of democracy and honest political behaviour.

Late arriving info:    

Saturday, 16 November 2019

A American ex-service man speaks out. Wheelers Corner 86 17th November 2019.

Trump grins as he bullshits the military with whom he refused to serve.
Trump is in the news as he battles against impeachment this latest episode of pardoning convicted killers is just another way of fighting his impeachment...and maybe even winning the 20/20 election.


After reading the above and after some serious consideration I have decided to share this with you all: The paragraphs below in Italics are the words of an ex American Service man his comments on the Pardoning of American Servicemen convicted of War Crimes. This is not me, a non American, running down the US, but simply the heartfelt words of an American ex-serviceman. His words are clear and concise and are worthy of serious and deep consideration. Obviously  I have not named him for reasons I've no doubt you can all understand. But I accept his words as those of a fellow world citizen who has seen the light. Its time we all did.

"I was that person you are speaking of. During the Reagan presidency I joined the army. I had grown up in the seventies and I felt a debt of gratitude toward the country, the relative wealth we enjoyed and the freedoms. In my defense, it wasn’t in this country, I was a citizen of the United States - I don’t know what country this is. Sure It was the 80’s and the organized crime/business/religious right wing was mid-coup more or less. 

I was also young, and naive, and economically i was struggling. There were no wars at the time to speak of, but had war broke out, I would have fought at that time. During those years I saw the internal politics of the military but also the national political situation became clearer and clearer to me. 

By the time I was discharged 3 years later I had made an effort to educate myself politically and have done so ever since. What I learned, during following decades of exponentially expanding right wing extremism, would undoubtedly have deterred me from joining then. Now, of course, I am aware of the countless atrocities and and extreme rampant terrorism America commits historically, and continually, but I hadn’t learned that lesson before that time.

I will say this however, disbanding the military is not an option, the nation should still have a defense - far smaller than the current one perhaps, and without nuclear weapons, but it is the civilian populations’ job to keep their government under control, and no other owns that failure more than imbecile, evil, worthless slime that is the entirety of the American population. 

The fact that Trump can even get 1% of the vote, proves this to be an empirical fact. Even having 10% of Americans in line with the republican agenda is a national emergency of epic proportion and a severe warning, and the real number is closer to 80% if you factor in the similarities republicans share with democrats. 

Today, the democrats are every bit as bad as the republicans of the 90’s. Wake up assholes. While the young and naive and economically and educationally disenfranchised are joining out of weakness, there is no excuse for the rest of us who should know better. As for the religious derelicts - well there’s no no excuse for them. 

Pope Francis’ declaration of warnings against fascism, and war, and ecological destruction is the first such warning by any prominent religious figure in the history of religion, and it is too little, and thousands of years too late. That should have been 90 percent of what the church taught since its inception in the first place, not some singular and milquetoast uttering after thousands of years of looking the other way".

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Is our military simply a branch of the US Empire WC 85 10th November 2019

Major Danny Sjursen is a U.S. Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.  He lives with his wife and four sons near Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

This confession of an West Point Major who taught hundreds of future US army Officer Cadets makes for difficult reading.
But we need to understand just what never ending wars has done to the US because, in many respects we [NZ and Australia] are heading down the same track.

The long term effects of constantly taking part in the various wars since 9/11. The US is an empire hell bent on supporting its out of control world wide ambition to sell weapons and arms to various dictatorships around the world at large. In fact these sales are vital to its economy. Saudies and Isreali's are too clear examples of US dependency on the arms industry.

This attitude has resulted in the soon to be impeached US President to state "that the US will defend its OIL in Syria" even though it actually has no real or legal claim over another countries oil supply. I've been expecting the US to claim ownership over New Zealand's oil supplies. Can you imagine a US military base set up in NZ to protect its interests. Norman Kirk and other progressive leaders must be turning in their graves at the progressive and massive increase in US empire building.  


Caring citizens protest outside of Horizens HQ in PN [2018]

On the local scene, It was great to see that Horizons is showing some guts in charging a elected member of Horizons Council with failing to comply with the rules.

This shows clearly for all see that Horizons has been gentle in the past to farming wards of the regional Council.
In a statement released on Thursday morning, Turkington said he and his company John Turkington Ltd had been charged by Horizons with breaching the Resource Management Act.
According to court documents filed in the Whanganui District Court, he and the company face three charges each.
Horizons took a step in the direction of recognition of the urgency to recognise the need to protect the enviroment, when it dumped its Chairperson Bruce Gordon and replaced him with progressive re-elected Rachel Keedwell just a couple of weeks ago.
Ex Horizons chair Bruce GordonAdd caption

Horizons Regional Council struck its rates at a full council meeting at the last meeting before the election, with rates going up 4.88 per cent on average in the rural wards.
The rise was set to be 5.05 per cent, but a late weird move by chairman Bruce Gordon brought them down. Horizons rates in Palmerston North are set to rise more steeply – about 14 per cent. I suppose we could be forgiven for thinking that this was Bruce Gordon's last gift to the [his] dairy farmers.
During the debate on the level of rates Cr. Rachel Keedwell stated "
  That she wanted the $75,000 allocation because the community wanted more done to improve streams and rivers. She said:
"The programme was using up its reserves, so not putting in extra money meant less work would be done in the future, she said. She went on to say:
It was good and well to talk about financial responsibility, but "environmental stewardship" was important", But her logical request fell on the deaf ears of Bruce Gordon...so the city ward Palmerston North has ended up with a massive increase of 14% so you will notice that the imbalance between city and rural wards [increase in rates] was huge. So it could be said that city folk are paying to cover Bruce Gordon's dairy farm mates, continuing the pollution of the regions waterways. 
New Chairperson Rachel Keedwell.

We can only hope that under the more responsible leadership of Cr. Rachel Keedwell as Chairperson will lead to a better and fairer balance of corrective controling of our regions waterways and lakes, especially in Levin [lake Horowhenua] etc. They may even enforce the rules regarding the behaviour of Horowhenua District Council. Now that would be a great step forward.

Good leadership acts in a balanced way, with great respect for the concerns of the day: And the environment is the most important issue in this day and age.
Horizons may well now be on the right track to actually carry out its role in the larger scheme of things.

I can oly hope that the staff of Horizon's enforce the regulation across the whole region. The younger generation are seeking better and more proactive handling of the key environmental factors that are confronting communities both rural and city.
NZ / Eng 20/20 series won by England in a nail biter. photo: Photosport

I had a event to attend on Sunday at 6pm so when I left home the extra over was still to be bowled...I got home about 9pm...and learned that we lost the series in the extra over, Go to the reference above to find out just how close it was...



Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Nats reintroduce their draconian self yet again. Wheelers Corner 84 Friday 8th November 2019

It would seem that the Nats don't understand what the word empathy means, or racism, or honesty for that matter.

National's new draconian Oranga Tamariki welfare reforms are anti-Māori, anti-women and anti-human
Martyn  'Bomber' Bradbury.

"It's difficult to know where to begin in attempting to sift the outright spite and maliciousness of National's new welfare reforms. Firstly, let's just acknowledge that while National say beneficiary and gangs, their angry voters hear Māori.
Let's also acknowledge that these reforms are anti-Māori, anti-women and anti-human because they won't in any way shape or form help those requiring welfare, they will only exacerbate poverty and cause a myriad of counter productive outcomes.

Punishing anyone in a gang (and their affiliates) with cutting off welfare simply pushes those people deeper into gang life.
Punishing mothers who don't provide the name of the father simply hurts the children of those families.
Punishing mothers for not vaccinating their children avoids the obligations the health system has for reaching out to those communities.
But most egregious of all is the idea that National wants every beneficiary house with children in them that tests positive for meth to have their details passed along to Oranga Tamariki for investigation for possible uplift.
The audacity of National suggesting this after the state house meth testing hysteria that saw $120million needlessly spent for decontamination that was never scientifically harmful and saw hundreds of beneficiaries kicked out onto the street in the middle of a homelessness crisis is enough to make you gasp.
Not content to ignore their past failure on this issue, National now want to give Oranga Tamariki, an organisation already detested for their racist profiling uplift techniques, to now have the power to remove children on nothing more than a flawed meth testing regime?
Remember, the tests can't tell when the meth was smoked or who smoked it.
You want Oranga Tamariki to have that level of unchecked power on top of their already unchecked powers?
National should be shamed for these cruel policy ideas. How dare they attempt to implement this spite as social policy.

So where to from here, for the thousands of decent folk who have supported National, through thick and thin times...through Muldonism, through Keyism and so on. Alas right at this minute they must feel directionless and lost in their search for the high moral ground that the present leadership has whipped out from under their feet. Just because Paula Bennett has lost a bit of weight and spends hours under a sun lamp, doesn't mean that she has changed from being a law breaker when she revealed personal private information about beneficiaries private data...sadly unlike Winston Peters they never had the money to sue her like Peters is doing in the high court right now!.

In the UK the tories and their public servants have been shown to by massive fraud: check this out:

` The person who sent me the above stated and I quote: "Not just elected officials but the bureaucracy is rotten". And he is correct and I'm sure you will agree after reading about the Tory Governments lies over welfare in the UK.

In many respects the same is happening here in NZ, the bureaucracy here too is wedded to the Roger Douglas mode...slowly but surely the Labour Party is divesting itself of the corrupt days of Douglas and Prebble. But after all these years it would seem that the present PM is making it a task to remove the ingrained neoliberal behaviour that still remains in both the financial arena and the general political scene. There is still a longway to go...but the neolibs are slowly but surely departing the scene. ANZ banking values have dropped to low levels since their appointment of Key as a key player in the banking sector. Quitting ANZ may be a wise step in the right direction.

Palmerston North readers may have noticed the effort of local texter 'PAM' who loves all things National, text about the make up of the PNCC Councillors, Red and green she calls them, and she fears that they may effect 'Farmers'. Gee whiz that surely is a strange statement. She Pam that is, calls farmers hard working! and attempts to create the impression that other workers are not hard working. Nurses, Teachers, Bus drivers, Shop assistants are all bloody hard working and they don't get bailed out whenever their incomes are effected by market changes. She never texts about Nationals promise not to increase taxes then they raised GST. She has a very limited memory of history.

And with Trump on the verge of impeachment the collasp of some super-right dictatorships around the world may indicate a sign of things to come. It is now being reported that 49% of US voters support impeachment of Trump...and in recent local and state election prove that Americans are starting to see the light and dumping Republicans at a rapid rate, if the US election rules can be made fair, all votes may get to be counted.  
here is what Trump said before the elections on the 5th of November: "
   “If you lose,” Trump implored the crowd with hands lifted in supplication, “it sends a really bad message, just sends a bad, and they will build it up. Here’s the story: If you win, they’re gonna make it like ‘ho-hum,’ and if you lose, they’re going to say ‘Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world. This was the greatest.’ You can’t let that happen to me!”

Finally let me present you with ACTION Stations effort to effect local government elections:

Tēnā koe Peter, 
So far more than 900 members of the ActionStation community have told us how to fix local elections and enhance local democracy. 
Will you join them?
So far people have told us: 
“We need more easily accessible and engaging information about candidates and issues.” - Corinne
“One person in every whānau should take responsibility for encouraging whānau to vote.” - Wikitoria
“We need a public holiday on voting days.” - Jake
But what do you think? The survey will close on Monday 11 November at 5pm. 
I look forward to reading what you have to say!
Ngā mihi,
Laura for the ActionStation team
The email I sent on Sunday is below:

Kia ora Peter,
To vote in the local elections, I cast a special vote at a very packed Porirua City Council on Saturday 12 October at 11.50am, just 10 minutes before the cut-off time. I had to do this after I didn’t receive my voting papers in the post, among a myriad of life and work admin.
I had arrived at 11:15am and was number 34 in line. Most of the people waiting to special vote were Māori, young or Pasifika. There were only two or three staff collecting special votes.⁣⁣
Some people saw the line and gave up because they’re people with busy lives, families to look after, kids to take to sports, groceries to buy. I managed to vote with ten minutes to spare, but I’m not sure about the folks behind me.
I left feeling like the user experience of local democracy is broken.
Right now, our staff team are in the thick of evaluating our local election campaign and brainstorming new approaches to local politics. In two weeks time, we’ll be making big strategic decisions about how we approach local organising and local government. 
For the past five years, I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of young people passionate about getting other young people to vote through my work at RockEnrol. We work hard to make voting a social event, and to engage young people in civic conversations.
In 2014, we organised parties where the only way a person could get a ticket was if they enrolled and made a promise to vote. The promise consisted of them giving us their name, email, phone number and ticking a box that said, ‘I promise to vote’. We weren’t trying to get people to vote for any particular party, just get the voting habit started. Research shows if you start voting young, you’ll keep doing it and if you don’t, you won’t, which is why our work is important. Democracy works best when everyone participates.
Thousands of people attended those parties. Volunteers called every person afterwards to help get them the information they needed to vote. Often we’d be asked questions like, ‘How do I enrol?’ ‘What is the difference between an electorate and party vote?’ At other times we’d have conversations where people would say things like, ‘I’m passionate about ending child poverty but I don’t know which policies work best for solving the problem’. 
We’d point people to non-partisan and credible sources like On The Fence, or organisations who work on the kaupapa they care about. We’d do this because one of the reasons young people don’t vote is because they don’t have enough information, or they have so much that they don’t know what or who to trust.
In 2017, we partnered with the cosmetics company Lush to encourage their young customers to vote. Staff would initiate conversations about the importance of voting and we had an in-store poll on an iPad where people were encouraged (again) to give us their name, email, and phone number but also to vote on what issue they cared about most, and who should be the prime minister. Beyond beat ups on Gareth Morgan, Winston Peters and David Seymour as preferred PM. We then organised volunteers to individually text everyone who engaged with our poll to help them make a plan to vote.
RockEnrol’s work has always been about combining sizzle (parties, influencers, popular culture) with steak (grassroots community organising) to unleash the political power of young people. We believe in igniting and facilitating political conversations to give young people time and space to consider and inform their voting decisions.
In 2019, RockEnrol ran our first ever local election campaign focussed on getting more young Aucklanders to vote. We co-hosted two pop-up one-stop-shops where people could enrol and vote at the same time. Hordes of young people turned up. Watching those events, I couldn’t help but think that the future of voting is social, not postal.

I’d love to hear what you think the future of local democracy is. Take our quick survey here.
Postal voting leaves young and marginalised people out because they move house more often than older Pākehā homeowners. ⁣Most young people can’t afford their own homes so they are beholden to the whims of (older) landlords, meaning they have to move around more and do a disproportionate amount of work just to stay enrolled.

People often jump to online voting as a silver bullet solution, but I’m not convinced. Tech experts say it isn’t safe and it doesn’t address the inequities that lead to lower voter participation rates in the first place. Of the young people who don’t vote, it is those who are also Māori, Pasifika, recent migrants, disabled, or from low education, low income or rural backgrounds who are the least likely to vote. Online voting won’t fix the discrimination and exclusion so many of these folks face. Making voting social, multi-lingual, easy and accessible will.

The future of local democracy needs to be resourced properly by central government so that people can have their say in real-life in the community. The final day for voting needs to run all day, not just until noon and one-stop-shops or voting booths have to become the norm. Assisted voting should also be resourced so folks with disabilities can vote more easily.

Equality researcher Max Rashbrooke wrote a paper called Bridges Both Ways which presented the idea of a ‘Kōrero Politics Day’.1 His pitch is that six or so weeks out from every general election, we should have a national public holiday with well-funded community events that combine music, art, politics, and other gatherings designed to foster civic discussion. This would underline the importance of politics, give people time and space to think about issues, and encourage a more reflective citizenship.

I love this idea (and I love a public holiday) and I think it would work well for local elections too. It would give organisations and communities a rallying point to come together around and it would strengthen relationships in the community. But what do you think?
Tell us what ActionStation should prioritise in local politics.

A friend told me that back in the day her Nana and their whānau would purchase one copy of the newspaper for the whole marae to discuss and debate, and when it came to elections they would get dressed up and travel to the polls to vote as a hapori (community).
We should be inspired by this, smashing all of the barriers to participation to make voting as community-oriented as possible. We have the potential, what we need now is people in power with the political will to make it happen.
Click here to take our survey on local democracy.
Ngā mihi nui,
Laura, for the ActionStation team

Friday, 1 November 2019

Non Violent protest. is it the way to go wheelers Corner 83 11th November 2019

This new but yet an old form of protest is returning, there is no yelling of insults or fighting and it is a more effective way of making a point.

The evidence from around the world proves that mass demonstrations gets the message across. Well to some anyway.

Conflict arises as resources become scarcer and societies are put under increased environmental stress and the likelihood of war and conflict [even nuclear] will increase*.
Already we have seen countries like Chile, Turkey and  [Palestine / Israel] revolt against the stupidity of their governments behaviour toward the masses of their populations.

The ignorance of those in power, of the state of our earth and instability over climate changes is a burning issue for all of us: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the 18th of September said "We have no time to lose. "We are losing the race against climate change"*.
And he is correct.

Water shortages, Extreme weather, Disease, forced mass migration and armed conflict are confronting US right now.*

Two factors are clear, violence will not solve this self made problem. Violence simply begets violence hence the rapid growth of converting police forces into a military style population control factors. Germany fell into that trap under Hitler.

One of the first things we can do is to control creed and design better ways of meeting peoples needs. This resolution of conflict between greed and need is vital in this day and age.

There is an old saying "That you have to act locally if you want change internationally", we can't all pack up and head to the US to stop Trumps mad desire to convert [US] police forces into a military units that he can control.Once that happens you have a dictatorship

We have to act locally to get the message across. We had a clear example of this when our younger generation took to the streets during the Schools Strike for climate change, it was stated that 5.2% of our population shared in that activity. Here in Palmerston North they marched around the Square. At an earlier event the even did a DIE IN on Broadway in their hundreds. I'm so bloody old that I simply remained upright and took photos...  Just today Saturday the 2nd of November the young people again presented a series of one act plays at the Art Gallery complex on the subject of Climate change.
Members of XR Manawatu assisted them by handing out copies of their booklet "Wake up Act now". If you feel that you can help contact XR Manawatu and get a booklet for yourself and your family, maybe it will inspire you.

picture 1.XR Manawatu outside Art Gallery

people. the picture [2] shows local people displaying their feelings to the Palmerston North Council in regard to climate changes and the lack of a publicly and honest statement regarding this vital Poverty brought on by massive miss management and out-right greed and stupidity has led to various movements combining to give control back to citizens in their attempts to restore an equality to the subject.

XR members [top to rows] at PNCC chamber.

* Wake Up Act Now [booklet]

This from School strike 4 climate: We would just like to let everyone know that School Strike 4 Climate New Zealand have made a decision that we won't be organising a strike for the 29th of November alongside the set global date. 💚 Our reasoning for this is that throughout November, students across the country will be participating in NZQA exams, including many of our organisers. We acknowledge this doesn't effect everyone but we don't want to put any extra pressure on our organisers or exclude students sitting the exams on this day, such as Sāmoan, Te Reo Māori, Education for Sustainability and Health - all of which are crucial within our movement. We want to acknowledge that the government remains to not do enough systemically, which cannot be ignored. For this reason we will still participate in the global movement but in alternate ways. Keep an eye out on our social media for local events that may pop up around this time or if you would like to organise a movement in your local area, don't hesitate to get in contact with us. We must keep this pressure up, the job is far from done yet

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

War solves nothing: A medical profession view. Wheelers Corner 82 25th Oct 2019

War has never been a conflict resolver, it has always been a conflict creator, this has been obvious over hundreds of years.
Both the first and second World wars, used  conflict not to solve problems but to take control over others for various and normally secret reasons based on the views of the powerful and controlling interests of the day.

Fear for ones individual / community / and nationalistic reasons quickly took over society. The suffering and long term harm was covered up by forcing the masses [working people] to take the leading role in the actual physical fighting. [except for Donald Trump, he grew an extra bone in his foot to avoid being conscripted which later simply disappeared]

Each state regardless of which side of the conflict, then claimed what their side, were the heroes and the other side the villains. Today because of education we know that there are heroes and villains on both sides of any conflict.

The US went to war with North Vietnam after a false so-called attack on a US Warship, Iraq was attacked after a false story of Weapons of mass destruction. Who were the villains?

Afghanistan was attacked by Russia and later by the Americans solely for political reasons, Russia or the US cared bugger all for the people. The Russian state or the American state were not under any physical threat therefor their occupation was illegal according to international law.
An up to date version of this criminal behaviour: is what the Israeli dictatorship is doing to the people of Palestine, the UN has condemned their behaviour but has done nothing to punish the Zionist Government, it seems that if your friend is the USA then your country is protected while you break international law and murder civilians men women and children.

Today in this so-called enlightened world these villain-like behaviours are still in use. So the question remains 'What do we do about it?. My view is that we make our elected leaders BAN WAR.

Now I'm not a feminist, I'm male 79 year old ex-service man, who has come to recognise that wars are no solution to human conflict, but simply a short term political appeasement to man's aggressive nature. But the clear fact is that war should be banned.

So I looked around the society in which I live. I asked myself the question 'Who are the real peace makers? And one word stood out for me! WOMEN, this doesn't mean that all women are peace makers or that all men are war makers just the majority are.

So it seem to me that the sooner we elect to parliament a hundred plus more women the quicker we can get banning war high on the agenda. Women care about saving life and the enviroment for their children, I don't doubt many men do too. Its just that women speak out and actually do something.

So I accept that the statement below from the Association  of Schools of public health in Europe Because it relates completely to New Zealand. So I ask sincerely that you read it carefully, as I'm sure you will.   

Wheeler Corner file picture.
"This from the 'The Association of Schools of Public Health in Europe' who issued this clear statement that:
"Wars and armed conflicts have devastating consequences for the physical and mental health of all people involved, for the social life within and surrounding the war-affected regions, and for the health of the environment. 
Wars destroy health infrastructure, undoing years of health advancement, and severely compromise health systems' capacity to respond to the direct and indirect health consequences of fighting". They went on to state and I quote:

"Millions of people have been internally displaced or forced to flee their countries because of armed conflict. Forced migration creates further physical and mental health problems during transit, in enforced encampment, and because of restricted ntitlement to health care in countries hosting refugees.
The disastrous effects might last for generations to come. In short, war is a man-made public health problem.
In January, 2018, following the Turkish Government's announcement of a military operation in Afrin, Syria, the Turkish Medical Association (TMA) issued a public statement, declaring that “war is a man-made public health problem”.
[The ruling Turkish dictatorship reacted and:]
Eleven TMA members (five of them from TMA's central council) were subsequently put on trial and sentenced to 20 months in prison with the charge of inciting hatred and hostility.

The Association of Schools of Public Health in Europe (ASPHER) represents 119 schools of public health in 43 countries. ASPHER recognises the unequivocal evidence that war is a man-made public health problem. ASPHER is committed to direct the attention of the public and of policy makers to the irrevocable damage armed conflicts inflict on population health. Consequently, ASPHER stands in solidarity with the convicted TMA members". Quote ends.

A small but active group here in Palmerston North known as Peace Action Manawatu, I believe supports, the ASPHER statement.
Now PAM is made up of individuals who believe strongly that war is an activity that should be outlawed.
I have sought the views of a few of the members of PAM [Dr Fred Hirst, Rev Andy Hickman] on this issue and I share them with you for your consideration, in an earlier issue of a Wheeler's Corner blog: https://wheelerscornernz.blogspot.com/2019/10/local-body-elections-good-bad-and-ugly.html [Item 2] I reported on the successful effort in achieving the cancellation of the Weapons EXO planned for 2019. Which proved that collective action [non violent] can achieve important goals.

What happened in Turkey to those eleven members of their TMA proves without doubt that dictators listen to no one other their dictator friends like Donald Trump and care little for human life and the practice of medical practitioners.

Others have a view of war: Here are a couple" The first from PAM activist Rev Andy Hickman:

Rev Andy Hickman.
Let's just name the reality! That although most of the world's leaders spout that they do not want to engage in war, they in fact indulge in ways that profit from war.
Here are some facts:
$1.7 TRILLION was the Global Military Expenditure in 2017
 68 MILLION refugees, asylum-seekers, displaced persons at present
 53% of refugees are unaccompanied children
 14,465 nuclear warheads currently active
 40% of corruption in international trade relates to arms trade
 43,000 people killed or injured by explosives in 2017. 74% were civilians.
 Yemen death toll for August 2018 was 981 civilians, 300 of those children.
 Lockheed Martin ($US 5.3 billion profit last year) sells to whoever pays including the US-backed Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on Yemen citizens.
MAS Zengrange (Lower Hutt NZ company who made $2.7 million profit in 2014) manufactures trigger devices for cluster bombs sold to Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, half of NZ-ers live in cold houses and avoid going to the doctors. One-third of NZ-ers skip meals.
[Primary data source SIPRI arms industry database. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute]
Ka whakatikatika e ia i õ tãtou waewae ki te huarahi o te rangimãrie. - Ruka 1:79
May God guide our feet into the way of peace.
Rev Andy Hickman,  Thanks Andy:

Dr Fred Hirst.
Dr Fred Hirst
[PAM activist] added this further information
  • environmental impact of war is accelerating anthropogenic climate change due to the strong correlation between military expenditure and GHG emissions:
  • Scorched earth'
  • Deforestation including use of defoliants and herbicides
  • Air, soil and water pollution
  • Environmental and ecosystem degradation with loss of agricultural and forested land (fauna/flora)
  • Chemicals, toxins, nuclear and other environmental hazards including undetonated armaments (cluster bombs and land mines)
  • Fossil fuel use and fires (US military forces have highest fossil fuel consumption of any 'defence force' and are high generators of toxin and solvent pollution)
  • Displacement of over 65m people, including refugees, currently (equivalent to population of UK)
  • due to conflict often to gain access to scarce or valuable resources (land, fossil fuels, minerals, water, etc) and from increasingly severe and frequent destructive climate change consequences causing flood, drought, cyclones, fires and sea level rise.
  • Those most at risk and disproportionately represented as casualties of conflict and climate change are women, children, elderly and indigenous people, and those living in poverty and socio-economic deprivation.
Thank you Fred, your words prove the magnitude of harm that clearly relates to war like behaviour, before, during and after war like conflict.

Well this has been a long Wheelers Corner this week, but the subject matter is vital to the continuation of human life both now and in the future.

This is why I am so concerned, and it has led to me to use social media via my blog site to get the message out to as many human beings as I can. So its vital that you understand the reasons why I feel the way I do: Here is a pen picture of what drove me in the direction of peace rather than war: This word picture was compiled by Valerie Morse an Auckland peace activist in 2018: 

The Unlikely Peacenik

"When most of us imagine what a peace activist looks like, we usually conjure up some version of a hippie stereotype: tie-dyed clothes, long dreadlocks, peace signs and a penchant for smoking the green stuff. It is not often that we think of ex-soldiers as those at the forefront of the peace movement, but Palmerston North resident Peter Wheeler is exactly that.
Peter said his dad had served in World War II, and he joined the NZ Infantry Regiment in 1960 because he says the military was familiar to him, and he “wanted to leave home, but not leave people.”
He was deployed to Malaya, a journey he said was “fascinating for a young man,” and ended up going to Jungle Training school, which turned out to be as he describes it, “sniper school”. Members of the 1st NZIR were deployed to Vietnam in 1969, and Peter remembers that there was dissent within the military about New Zealand participating in that war.
“They asked me would I volunteer to go. I had by that time decided I wouldn’t, because I was opposed to it – particularly our role in it.”
But the Army didn’t take his refusal well, he said, “What that cost me in real terms was an immediate exile, in my case to Dunedin, and my promotions suddenly came to a halt.”

After 19 years in the Army, Peter ended up working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Papua New Guinea, an experience, he says that taught him a number of things about himself and the world. “It made me see what many people in the world think about having white, European people come into their country, get all the key jobs and tell everyone what to do. It really opened my eyes about how other people were forced to live.”

The strength of these experiences taught him that, “war today is not about helping people. That’s just garbage. What we’re doing it for – like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – is for what we get out of them. The people we call our ‘enemies’ today, were once, not so long ago, allies of the US. The US armed and equipped many of those people. They didn’t do it to help those people, but to fight someone else.”
Peter says that you can’t have a “war on terrorism”, instead he says, what you need is “peace plan for terrorism.” He notes that, “terrorism is the outcome of failings in the political and economic sphere.”

Peter is one of the few ex-soldiers in New Zealand speaking up against war. In the US, there are a large number of soldiers, many of them still on active duty, who have joined up with anti-war organisations like Veterans for Peace and the Iraq Veterans Against the War.
The strategy of these groups is to mobilise the military community to withdraw its support for the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and oppose other US wars.
These soldiers speak in communities, to the media and also speak with young people in classrooms about the realities of military service. They support all those resisting the war, including Conscientious Objectors and others facing military prosecution for their refusal to fight. They also advocate for full funding for the Veterans Administration.
“We could learn a lot from these kinds of organisations as we have a lot of the same kind of issues in New Zealand albeit on a smaller scale” says Peter.
In his view, fighting wars is really about protecting those with money and power. He is also highly critical of military spending on new weapons like the 9000 new firearms for the Army and the weapons upgrade of the frigates, saying that much of what the NZ military doing is really about following Donald Trump’s demands for more weapons spending by America’s friends and allies.
“The United States under Trump is pushing weapon sales big time across the world and it clearly has New Zealand in its sights...our very own Minister of Defence appears to be a great fan of present US behavior.”
Peter’s view is backed up by some facts on the ground: since taking office last year, the government has committed $2.3 billion to new P8 aircraft from US weapons dealer Boeing, another $103 million for a new Navy boat, and $23 million for a new US-centric military ‘command and control’ system.
The aircraft purchase has been criticised by some as a clear case of buying for the “Five Eyes” rather than for NZ’s own needs, a reference to the five nation intelligence alliance comprised of the US, UK, Australia, Canada and NZ.
Now Peter has turned his peace activism on the annual Defence Industry Association expo that has moved to Palmerston North.
“What concerns me most is the propaganda of it all. This is an organisation that is set up to sell weapons. They do this by saying that they are protecting our ‘security.’ They are not. They are endangering it.”
He says that the equation is pretty simple: if you sell weapons to the military, they will want to use them. That incentivises waging war, and these companies then profit from war and killing.
Peter has now joined up with local group Peace Action Manawatū who are organising actions against the Weapons Expo including a Peace March on the first day, which falls on Halloween this year. “Weapons dealers and war are about the scariest things in the world,” says Peter.
“I will be doing everything a 77-year-old can do to stop this thing from going ahead. I hope that this year there will be more veterans on the front lines with me against these war profiteers. We are some of the ones who have seen and felt up close what war is really about, and its horror, pure and simple.” Thank you Valerie.

I'd like to thank you for reaching the end of this long blog, and never forget you are among the most important people in the world...I would value you sharing this with your friends.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

The Youngster who shook the world. Wheeler's Corner 81 19th Oct 2019

Greta [courage comes in all sizes] Thunburg.
This young person stirred up millions of supporters around the world to protest world government failure to act in regard to the obvious concerns raised by the almost 100% of the world's climate scientists.

It is said that over 95% of those scientists support this world view and especially those who are involved in climate change.

The real question is how can this desire be converted into political change that will pick up the challenge.

The New Zealand scene:

The National Party is clearly has not yet accepting the urgency or behind any change to support the ways and means of any REAL change, they keep using the theme that climate change is simply 'nature at work'...their comments about Greta have been really negative. But the Nats have come out in opposing almost anything and punishing behaviour of Kiwis and their families and offspring:

Simon suggest we all move to Mars cows and all
"A short list of people who’d be fined under National’s school leaver policy. Speaking of university students, leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges announced that the National Party would be looking into fining parents of children who leave school early and don't go into further education or training.  The announcement was met with widespread condemnation and ridicule, with even senior National MP Judith Collins saying "it's not for me". Reed Fleming compiled an incomplete list of noted New Zealanders who would've been fined under this policy. They include Lorde, Sonny Bill Williams, Parris Goebel, and National's deputy leader and spokesperson for social services, Paula Bennett".
I can picture the Nats banning all kids from protesting about the lack of climate action, and fining their parents or care givers three thousand dollars if they do...  

The Labour Party too, often says the right words, but realistic economic action from Labour these days is still not far off the neoliberal stance they have followed since the hugely damaging days of Roger Douglas and his right wing crew of wreckers. I wonder how many of them support the backward looking New Zealand First Party climate so-called policy.

Greta Thunburg has without doubt shaken up the world with her words "how dare you" to the International Climate Conference just before the students struck in support of a more active approach to the subject of action around climate change.

If we take a little time to reflect back, two events stand out: One was when the world sat up and took note of the power of woman on the political scene, now we all know that New Zealand was the first country in the world to give woman the right to vote...that was a huge and enlightened step forward...but history shows that it was in fact an accident, and only came about because a ship load of South Island MP's failed to arrive at Parliament in time for the vote and the majority of them were anti women so the vote passed by a very small majority. Today naturally male MP's praise themselves for ALLOWING women the vote...

and brighter and smarter.
The numbers of women in Parliament has taken years and years decades in fact, to reach part equality with males, in fact the present green party with a high number of women mp's, labour comes a distant second, and National and NZ First barely rate a mention, Labour has an elected a female Prime Minister, where as national has never had an elected female PM, and New Zealand First has yet still to admit that women actually exist.

So its not hard to understand just how backward are some of our NZ political players who have suggested that young women should stay out of politics and just wash and wipe the dishes when ordered! and that supporting their political behavior is just not on! Even if the kids are showing us the way toward saving the planet.

When you compare the behaviour of our and the worlds youngsters it not hard to believe that most of them have better and more intelligent brains than the Donald Trump, Mike Hosking, and other over paid and over rated talking heads. Seriously folks, Tramp says he wants peace but then via the back door murders hundreds of thousands, and jails kids in US privately run prisons.

So what does this mean for New Zealand...Well in my view it means we should get behind our youth by supporting the Green party politically and encouraging our children to do the same, it would achieve two things.

It would give the Labour party some much needed backbone, it would shake the hell out of the National Party, scare the heck out of the one percent that really run our country and drive the NZ First party to its already dug grave site, somewhere in Northland,

I have not included the ACT party because unless they Nats buy them a seat they won't exist after the 2020 election [heres hoping] 

Below is a reference to a story in  [Noted News Letter] its well worth a read.

https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/currently-politics/will-the-greta-thunberg-effect-influence-nz-election day-2020?ref_email=d2hlZWxlckBpbnNwaXJlLm5ldC5ueg%3D%3D&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NOTED_newsletter_17-10-2019&utm_term=list_notednz_newsletter

2. Below is an US media statement about governmemt in the USA, the question for us New Zealander's is, does this apply to NZ as well?...you decide.

"There’s a lot of reasons people have lost trust in government, not the least of which is that oligarchs and corporatists have been running  a well-funded, strategic coup which featured a propaganda campaign designed to rebrand  government from what it had been up until the late 1970’s—the source of much innovation and prosperity, a champion of the people, and a defender of the middle class—to the source of our problems, while simultaneously selling the free market and corporations as the source of all good things.  
But their propaganda campaign succeeded only because over the years, the ultra-rich and corporations were ceded more and more power, until by the early 21st century, government no longer represented the people’s interests and they knew it. By 2014, Gilens and Paige concluded, after studying money and power in politics: ‘The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

Meanwhile, since 1980 half of all Americans saw almost no gains in wealth, while the oligarchs walked away with the vast majority of wealth generated in that time.  Today, the three richest Americans have as much wealth as the bottom half of all Americans.

In short, the U.S. has a government of the rich and corporations, by the rich and corporations, and for the rich and corporations.  No wonder people don’t trust government and no wonder the people elected a renegade like Trump.

Have a short think about it, could not all of the above comments equally apply to us here in NZ