Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Wheelers Corner 92 25th December 2019 The serious side of being Christian

A modern day representation of the birth of Jesus, Trump style presentation as taught by US reborn so-called Christians...
A Christmas nativity scene depicts Jesus, Mary and Joseph separated and caged, as asylum seekers detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at Claremont United Methodist Church on December 9, 2019, in Claremont, California.DAVID MCNEW / GETTY IMAGES

"I will never forget the moment she came up to me. Tears were rolling down her face. We had just had our worship services in the street that day, in front of our local gun shop because we wanted to connect the suffering of Jesus on the cross to the suffering of our neighborhood on the North side of Philadelphia, which carries a bulk of the trauma of poverty and violence in our city. It was just before Easter. We had just read the Gospel passage describing Jesus’s violent death, leaving his mother and those who loved him weeping at the foot of the cross.
Then she came up to me, tears streaming, and said, “I get it. I get it.” I looked at her gently, curiously, prompting her to say more. “God knows what it feels like to lose your child,” she said. “God knows what it feels like to see your baby get killed.”
I realized the woman weeping in front of me was the mother of Papito, a 19-year-old who had just been shot and killed on our block. She put the Gospel into words better than any theology book I read in seminary. As Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero used to say, “Some truth can only be seen through eyes that have cried.”
Years later, I heard another mother, under very different circumstances, articulate the depth of this theology of a God who suffers. Her son was on death row facing execution and she said, “God knows what it feels like to be wrongfully convicted, to be sentenced to death, to be humiliated and dehumanized and shamed, even to be executed. It’s exactly what happened to Jesus.”
At Christmas, many Christians like me sing carols about “Emmanuel,” which means “God with us” — but many of us miss the profound depth of what we’re singing: The coming of Christ is about a God who leaves all the comfort of heaven to join the struggle here on Earth.
But rarely do we remove ourselves from all the consumerism and hustle and bustle of Christmas long enough to let the profound truth of this season sink in.

Of all the ways God could enter the world, God came to us as a baby born in the middle of a genocide. The gospels tell of a terrible massacre that occurred, an unspeakable act of violence as King Herod slaughters children throughout the land, hoping to kill Jesus … which the Church remembers as the massacre of the “Holy Innocents.”
Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary are forced to flee to Egypt with their young baby. In other words, our scriptures say Jesus came to us as a refugee.
Jesus was born in a dirty, stank manger because there was no room in the inn. Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, was born to a teen mom who couldn’t afford the usual offerings given in the temple at the birth of a new child.
And the struggle didn’t end after his birth. Jesus wandered the world as a homeless rabbi saying, “Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Jesus was homeless.
After a short 33 years, he is arrested and tortured, charged with all sorts of things, and eventually executed by the state, a victim of state-sanctioned murder dying on a cross with a condemned man on his left and another on his right … a reminder that crucifixion was an iconic instrument of imperial torture. Historians said sometimes you couldn’t even enjoy a good sunset because there were so many crosses on the horizon.
From the cradle to the grave, Jesus felt the pain of the human condition.
This is the story the Bible tells, but it is not the story invoked through Hallmark images of the white baby Jesus sleeping in a sanitized manger with little white angels all around him. The long-awaited Messiah came as a brown-skinned Palestinian Jew from a town called Nazareth where people said nothing good could come (John 1:46).

The imperial, capitalist and anti-immigrant institutions and forces in this world that uphold violence in the name of Christianity would face an existential crisis if they were forced to actually contend with the radical assertion within Christian scriptures: At heart, the coming of Christ was a profound act of divine solidarity. God came in the form of a refugee, a homeless rabbi, a victim of state-sponsored violence. Jesus absorbed all the violence of the world unto himself — and triumphed over that violence with love, with mercy, with forgiveness.
That is what Christmas should be … but it is easy to forget the story.
A fundamentally life-altering and world-changing transformation would occur if all the Christians throughout the world could actually absorb the demand within our own scriptures to identify with a victim of state-sponsored violence.
But most years, many Christians simply settle for consumption over compassion. We spend the season rushing around buying stuff for people who already have everything they need. We search high and low hoping some company invented something new so that we can buy it for people who won’t find happiness through more possessions.
U.S. consumers spend over $1 trillion globally each year at Christmas — 1,000,000,000,000 dollars. In remembrance of the refugee, the homeless rabbi, the executed Savior.
Many Christians also get caught up each year in the “war on Christmas” debate insisting that everyone needs to say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays.” But this year, as was the case 2,000 years ago, Herod is on the move. Children are victims of violence, separated from their families at the border. Millions of people are living on the streets without adequate food and health care and housing. I don’t think God cares if people say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” in a country whose policies betray so much of what Christians believe Jesus taught, and lived and died for.
And for those of us who are Christians, we’ve got to keep finding new ways of telling the Christmas story to remind each other that it’s about a God who left all the comfort of heaven to join the struggle here on Earth.
I’ll never forget this story one pastor told me a few years back.
He told me his congregation tried something a little different for their Christmas services at his church. Instead of the usual holiday décor, they brought a bunch of manure and hay into the sanctuary and scattered it under the pews so the place would really smell like the stank manger where it all began. I laughed as he described everyone coming in, in all their best Christmas attire, only to sit in the rank smell of a barn.
They even brought a donkey in during the opening of the service that dropped a special gift as it moseyed down the aisle. Folks looked awkwardly at each other. Some were offended, some snickered, and some left. But for those who stayed, it was something like they’d never seen before. It was one of the most memorable services they’d ever had.
They were reminded of the real meaning of Christmas — God entered the filth.
This Christmas, I want to challenge other Christians to remember that the Savior we celebrate was born into manure. He’s much more interested in us getting dirty in the trenches than decorating the temple. What Jesus cares about is how we care for the most vulnerable people on Earth — the widows and orphans, the immigrants and refugees, the sick and the homeless. After all, according to our Bible, Christ himself said, “Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me.”
The world we live in, like the world Christ lived in, is ravaged with violence and poverty. Being a Christian in the current era should mean preaching good news to the poor and casting the mighty from their thrones. The Christmas story teaches that God is with us — if we are with the poor.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Wheelers Corner 91 21st December 2019 Women led the way

With the impeachment of Wee Donald Trump [thank God] we should never forget the part destruction of society here in NZ at the time of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson and the damage they did to our fair land...thank God our women took action:
Some time in the past:
"When under Roger Douglas New Zealand took an enormous swing to the right, life changed. Everything was now measured by money; buildings were brought in the morning and sold that same afternoon with a gain of hundreds of thousands if not millions to the wheelers and dealers. The government opened the doors and cheap goods flowed in resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Even the All Blacks were caught up in this commercialization of our nation. The story below is based in the future but not the far distant future. In fact it could be happening tomorrow or the day after.

A weekend in the life of 625993

A Short Story.

A number attached to a name would normally indicate military service if you were male and of military age. It could also be associated with older Jewish people who had suffered under Nazi rule. But of late numbers attached to names indicate those who can not acquire employment or have been made unemployed.
The nation has moved from an empathetic society to an individualistic dog eat dog cutthroat society. When society as directed by those in power is allowed to run down for the benefit of a few against the many, then action is required. If the democratic processes no longer exist then other forces are required...
She looked impatiently ahead to each Sunday; they had become her unique days. Each Sunday morning she would wait at the street corner for her father, for it was on that day that he would stagger home from his six day week interminable drudge labouring on the expressways being forged from Foxton to Wellington.

Her Father had been jobless for numerous years, at least he was up until three or four months ago when he had been shoved aside off the dole and into the expanding work encampments along with thousands of others just like him.
Now he laboured for the dole, funny how you can WORK for the unemployment benefit, this is what the people wanted according to the present government, no money for gratis and yet have the freedom! to work for the dole. A whole two hundred and twenty-three dollars in vouchers, after downward assessment [latest 'in' word for tax deductions] for a sixty hour week was his take home pay.
As usual she counted the few cars as they drove passed her short street, she calculated the number plates sometimes just to pass the time, her father had said that this was a good way to learn your numbers.
She remembered when they also had once possessed a small motor car, that was before the government brought in the policy that you couldn't get the dole and possess a motor car at the same time. She observed her father weep that day when they took the car to the dealer who had won the tender for purchasing unemployed peoples cars.

She remembered how her father had carried her aloft on his shoulders part of the way home on that showery Monday afternoon in June. He was so strong she thought at the time not realising how light she actually was. She adored her father, his open and sincere answers to her questions. He divulged to her that she only knew the words, how, what, why and when. At the time she had not fully understood but she did now that she was a little older.

She waited as she always waited for him. He would be coming soon, please come soon, she begged her maker.
Seated in the big yellow Toyota workers bus, he was wearing his regular mustard shade of jeans and glaring yellow shirt with the words UNEMPLOYED stamped across the back in scarlet letters. On the front of his shirt were the numbers 625993 which was not his telephone number [unemployed were not allowed telephones] but his unemployment number.

He sat remembering how the shirt had been issued to him just after the Minister of Labour had commanded that wages should be cut back because these poor quality shirts made in Thailand had been bulk brought for them. The Thai's were delighted of course, but another three hundred Kiwi workers lost their jobs.
The Minister of Social Welfare and Social Order had also reduced the dole payments because they got fed two meals a day by the private company set up to run the roadside camps. "Unemployed Enterprises Ltd." was a company veneer for one of the immense private Japanese owned construction companies, which had brought out the Ministry of Works two years before. It was part of the nation wide rationalisation process. [Words used for selling off state assets] He realised too; that this weekend he was scheduled to report to the unemployment doctor at the private clinic set up in part by the very same Construction Company. It was titled the Sunshine Medical Center Ltd. and was partly owned by the identical Japanese construction company and a private New Zealand Insurance Company [owned in France], which had brought out the local public hospital.

All Government financed operations and even departments had been rationalised and downsized, [new word for staff lay off]. Many had been brought out by Fletch-Jones Ltd., who now owned half of the Social Welfare Department, and loaned back the staff still remaining [about 20%] to the government at a greater cost than before, but since the sixty hour week [for the same number of vouchers] had been introduced under the new Progressive Industrial Relations Act that allowed freedom of choice! Where the employer replaced the union, this was now OK.

There was one Government Department unaffected by all this change and that was Parliament itself. The "Evaluation of Performance Act"[EPA] naturally never applied to them. [Nor did GST apply their services]. This EPA allowed employers to set a target performance level, if workers failed to achieve this level their wages were reduced accordingly by a set agreed [by employers] percentage.

He remembered too that he had his Health Insurance taken out of his dole voucher, so he would only have to pay fifty percent at the Unemployed and poor people’s medical clinic. He recalled the days of free medical care, well, it was never really free but it was very cheap.
Damn! Since he was going to the clinic he would miss seeing the All Blacks playing France in the test match, and they had just tendered for players too, so there would be new players to view. The last team was put up for auction because it had lost two games in a row to the United States! The National Rugby Union Limited team was now if he remembered correctly, owned by Fiji Sugar Ltd., and Physical Viewing Enterprises Ltd. who owned Television North. He thought how wonderful it must be to be brought by tender and be an All Black and be employed.

The big yellow bus halted at his street corner and the part time bus driver, who wore a blue shirt with a large PT, stamped front and back clicked his plastic travel voucher. This was vital because it recorded the fact he had arrived at his street and not gone to a pub or drinking den, these were off limits for the unemployed. The number of clicks he issued paid the driver and not by the hours he worked. This had been decided at a closed shop meeting of his employers last year. It lowered his wages but what could he do, you had to be Part Time before you could become Full Time. At least Part Timers collected half their wages in AUTHENTIC money.

His Daughter waited at the corner, she was wearing her best "T" shirt top, her mother had brought it second hand after the last election, it bore the inscription "National, We Care" printed across the front, she never knew what it meant, because that was the first election that the great mass of the people couldn't vote, they had stopped unemployed people from voting because they in fact paid no taxes. Still it was a neat "T" shirt because it was baggy and almost covered her green shorts that were very worn. She had some especially satisfying news to tell her dad, she knew he would be really pleased and would without doubt kiss and hug her even more than usual, for she had been accepted for school at the highest level possible for the daughter of an unemployed.

The Minister of Educational Services had last year introduced the "School Commencement Act" which was enacted to introduce a new freedom concerning the starting date for school beginners, instead of starting school at five years of age as was usual, you could now delay starting till nine. Since the introduction of user pays in schools most unemployed could not afford the fees, and since they couldn't pay the fees, their children couldn't attend school. This reduced the need for thousands of teachers, hence the costs, so the organisation that had contracted teaching in New Zealand, "Education Services Foundation Ltd." was almost at the stage of making a profit. The other important determinant was that she had scored very well on her IQ test and this could mean that if she did well at school over the next five years or so she may be allowed to get a real job without having to spend four or five years on the "Youth Work Training Programme" a new scheme which gave employers young staff without pay. Organisations like, McDonalds, KFC and the big supermarket chains made great use of this give away labour, before they used to drop them when they reached eighteen. The suggestion had initially come from the Round Table group and was taken up enthusiastically by the Minister of Labour.
She watched as her father exited the yellow bus, he was so thin now, his eyes seemed to take up half of his face. She felt the tears rise in her eyes and gently she cried, soft tears, of pain and emotion, love even for her father. She wiped her face with the back of her left hand.
He hugged her, lifting her feet off the ground, he maybe thin but he is still strong.

They walked hand in hand, his rough and hard through hard work with pick and spade, hers still soft as in youth. They looked alike she had his profound dark large mahogany eyes, when she smiled you noticed her lips curve slightly upward as did his. She had lighter hair, as did her Mother.

His wife waited, she knew that this meeting ritual was necessary because it kept him rational. She had observed over the years as his position had changed from accountant to labourer, from John to 625993, from man to robot. She was even known as F625993 [b] and their daughter F625993 [c]. She had not told John about tomorrow or the blueprint that had been conceived, she couldn't tell him for she had assented with her cell group leadership that men would not be included until the very final possible moment.
They consumed their meal of sausage meat, spuds and tinned peas. For sweets she had saved some vouchers and got some dated tin pears from the Salvation Army food bank. After they had done the dishes they sat outside and talked, by sitting outside they saved power.

Later in bed she felt just how gaunt he had become, she was dejected but she said nothing. She held him and caressed him, they made love with great care, having children was a no go for those unemployed.
When he awoke in the morning he found Lisa gone, there was a note on the bedside table. He read the note....

Part Two
It originated at seven AM; the first groups of woman arrived in Wellington and started to assemble outside of Parliament buildings better known as the beehive. Within two hours over twenty thousand had assembled. Twenty minutes later they had crashed through the doors and stormed into the chamber. Moving through the Ministers Offices they smashed everything in sight. The Security Officers stood back and watched, the 2IC of the building security was a woman and she had issued specific orders to stay clear and not to react.

At the same time all over the country Government and Police buildings were over-run by women. The Prime Minister was caught in bed at government house by a group of women, his secretary had climbed from his bed to open the door for them. Leading this group of women was his wife and two daughters.
Four female Senior Officers pulled the General in charge of the military from his bed.
Groups of ex nursing staff stormed into the Private Hospitals and took over the clinics.
The local television stations and radio stations too were taken over.

The Labour Minister was attending a church service when the young woman priest informed him that there was a cell out the back waiting to receive him.

Federated Farmers Women’s Division members backed up by Dairy Factory female staff and workers took over the dairy factories, like-wise Female Airline staff took control at the Airports.

The local knitting clubs turned out to be cells designed to keep vital services functioning.

Within twenty-four hours a Government of Seventy-five Women had been installed. The Governor General resigned, and Ms Viv Thompson the then Mayor of Wellington was sworn in. Selected Members of Parliament were allowed to remain.

By Monday at 4pm the banking system would be under control and all outward transactions would cease. The Finance Minister along with the Prime Minister, Social Welfare and Order Minister, Defence Minister were replaced by order in Council.

The new Prime Minister addressed the nation over national Television and Radio. "At seven AM this morning, the non democratic Government was replaced by a coalition of the women of New Zealand, this act was brought on because of the total incompetence of the past Government, the fact that there were only two women in Government simply proves the point. The Governor General has resigned, and the Mayor of Wellington has accepted this position for a short period until after general elections are held.

We decided on this course of action when we saw that the past government simply forgot people in its so called drive for level playing fields, what ever that meant.

For over one hundred years men have run this nation, and while there had been short periods of equality, for the most part the men whom governed where in the main totally incompetent. Over the past year women have gathered together quietly and effectively to bring about this much needed change.

Our policy is plain, People come first, and within the next few weeks we will reorganize the work structure, the health care system, the banking system and financial structure. The towering difference between us and the past government will be that we will develop together the ways and means to put our nation back on the path of real democratic progress, with your help the aged will be respected once again, the young cared for and educated, what ever skills you have we need.

Tax will be fair and the rich will be taxed according to their means. The Round Table can leave for overseas at any time it wishes, but its money can not. We have seen too many male dictators in this world, too many world wars started and led by men, the time has come for women and men of good will to band together and to introduce social justice for human beings."

John listened and watched the TV as the new Prime Minister spoke, he heard the back door open and there stood his wife, she looked worn out. He and his daughter walked toward her, they hugged and kissed each other, and tears flowed freely. 625993's weekend was over.
The note his wife had left he now understood.
"Just ducking out to change the world, back soon."
Love L.

The world is in crisis, racialism, anti-feminism, rightwing economics has generated a blowout in unemployment as greed has overtaken logic. People count for less. And user pays is the direction being followed as millions of people are tossed on the trash heap. Domestic violence has grown at alarming rates in various centers and social workers caseloads are over-powering. Humans younger and younger are committing crimes of a horrific nature, police are responding in kind with violence themselves. Through out these times one thing stands out and that is the behaviour of women. Women are the motivating forces behind radical change; the anti-war movement is clearly based on their energy. The Women’s movement is bringing back an era of reason within crisis. It is men who must change, be cured, and of this constant desire to win at all costs.

The labour government elected in 1990 has still not replaced the slashing of benefits carried out by Jenny Shipley. Cheap imports still flood the nation and the clothing and footwear industry is on its knees. Student debt has now reached six billion dollars. Stating that a three to six hour a week job is employment has rigged unemployment figures. And while all this has been introduced City Councils have been raising their charges well above the rate of inflation.

If you would like to publish this story please do but please inform the author of both the date and the publication by contacting him at wheeler@inspire.net.nz

Friday, 13 December 2019

Wheelers Corner 90 Sat 14th December 2019.

A bunch of Israeli gun nuts are big time Zionist fans:
This is unbelievable but true, this bunch of gun totting women folk, are all ex or presently serving Israeli defense force members...you know the ones who hide behind wire fences and shoot unarmed Palestinian youth, children, first aid workers and news paper reporters.
They are the Zionists christmas gift to the Palestinian non citizens of Israel...have a read the story is unbelievable...unless you live in the Nazi style state of Israel these days....do Zionists actually believe in Christmas... 

Any way here is this weekends short story: It's base in part on Fact and a heap of fiction, those of you with a medical mind may beable to sort the fact from the fiction:


The time was 2001 0r thereabouts Mark Bell-Booth has just got the chop but his band of merry supporters were reelected with his help and remained. My battles with Paul Wylie the then CEO of the PNCC are well known. It was fun in some aspects doing battle with the closed shop that was the council then. I was lucky I had help from heaps of good people. Ward Committee members plus friends who came to my aid and most importantly a young budding reporter.

I’ve often been asked ‘How can one have been so perceptive about Councillors and some selected staff’. It’s easy when you’ve got inside assistance, which I had. Naturally I can not reveal who the reporter actually was…but I can but only tell his story…here is that story. In his words…enjoy
Mind Over Matter.

“I was young when I realised that I had the power to read minds. I at no time considered this as exceptional because I thought everyone had this ability. My Father died before my third birthday and I never really knew him so I was very close to my Mother. She told everyone that I was extra sensitive, as I seemed to understand her innermost thoughts and was considerate of her wishes. Naturally she never realised I was reading her mind, in fact I didn’t perceive what was happening myself. It was only once I reached sixteen that it dawned on me that this power was not accessible to all. I decided not to share this awareness with others because it made me seem peculiar.
The desire to conform to the behaviour around me was paramount in those early years. I mean who wants to be different. Kids I knew at school and college who were unconventional were called names and treated as oddballs and became outcasts. Of course having this gift had its positive and negative aspects.
One of the hardest was keeping unwanted thoughts from flooding in at unacceptable levels. While using public transport or amongst large groups massive amounts of unwanted thoughts would enter my head and sometimes the pressure simply became too vast to handle. By closing my eyes and counting one through ten I could clear my mind space and gain peace, so to speak… I believe many people can read others moods or match recognizable body language to emotions and such like. Some are better at this than others but I assure you that it is nothing like reading actual thoughts fully and deeply whenever you desire and at times when you may not desire. You could of course consider this mind reading ability a serious mental disorder or you could consider it a gift, I chose the latter after all who wants to be thought a nut case.
Finding a career to match this gift was truly difficult. My first thoughts were of the medical path, being able to read the thoughts of those who were ill would give me a head start in diagnosing what was wrong. But to work in the general medical field you need to be able to master the fear of blood. I couldn’t, I became a total write off at the sight of blood, so life in the fast lane of the medical world was out of the question. Being a dentist was also out of the question, just imagine knowing the thoughts going through the minds of those in the chair receiving the drill… besides that both those professions required a fifty thousand-dollar plus student loan and while my mother was nice she wasn’t rich.
I decided on journalism. Actually this selection was really decided for me and came about by accident. I was standing next to this local Ward councilor, he had gray hair and was in his late sixties. He had just finished giving a boring and long-winded speech at our local community hall. I was present because I’d accompanied my wonderful Mother who took a great interest in local body affairs. He approached and shook my Mothers hand and said how wonderful it was to see her here while at the same time thinking ‘Who the hell is this old biddy, I can’t think of her name but I suppose I better speak to her’. 
 At the very same time my Mother was thinking but didn’t say, ‘When will this stupid old fart retire, he’s been around for years’. Instead she said, thank you its nice to see you too, let me introduce my boy. I wish she wouldn’t call me boy after all I was nineteen and in my second year at Massey University doing a BA. He, that is old fart, looked toward me and uttered ‘good to meet you’ while he was thinking, ‘Christ he looks a bit radical wearing a dumb ‘T’ shirt like that and has he never heard of a comb’. My ‘T’ shirt had printed in black on yellow the words STV FOR FAIR ELECTIONS my hair was combed using the best hair gel you could buy. So I decided on journalism and I would interview local and national politicians and reveal to the nation the shallowness that actually exists amongst them. A local political nobody, known at least to my Mother as ‘Old Fart’ had decided my fate. Oh and by the way, he was and still is an old fart and nobody gets away with insulting my Mother even in his or her most secret thoughts. Old fart had a Mother I think. So journalism it was to be…

I approached the Manawatu Standard which had been taken over by an Australian cum American who seemed to own all the papers in the world as well as half the TV stations. I was hired and my career was underway. The initial interviews were a breeze all I did was read the editors’ mind and give him the answers he wanted to hear. After about six months of odd reporting jobs or filling in for other reporters I was finally given a beat so to speak and believe it or not it was ‘local government’. The woman reporter whom I replaced had a nervous break down caused in the main by the total boredom of listening to the endless lectures dished out by Councillors who thought she could bring them a moment of glory.
This was my chance for fame, my coming of age. My pen would make me famous in the news paper world, well in my hometown at least. Two days later came the big test, a full council meeting with all its pomp and glory.
Entering the council chamber I was greeted by two snowy haired elderly gentlemen. They fussed about me asking did I have enough pens and notebooks as they offered me a free pen with the council coat-of-arms in full colour embossed on it. They were unaware of the fact that I was reading their minds. One was thinking; now don’t blow it, win him over slowly and make him dependent on your insider information, offer him a drink after council. Is he old enough to drink? Does he actually shave, and God that hair-do… Why do all these old folk have a thing about my hair do? Now the other elderly chap was thinking; he’s just a kid, where have all the real reporters gone? How am I meant to charm this teenage bag of bones, and wearing a ‘T’ shirt to a council meeting, I’ll drop him a copy of the dress code… I was led way up in the clouds to the four reporters seats, shown how the speakers worked and left to my own devices.
A few minutes later people began to drift into the chamber, each time a new face appeared I was expecting them to sit in the public gallery but alas they would go and sit at the rows of staff tables set out below me. They all seemed to have dressed in their best duds, hair combed, looking very serious while others appeared sleepy. Their thoughts were very interesting here are just a few of them, why do we all have to be here? At least three thought; I’m missing Coronation Street! Another was thinking of his girl friend and I can’t share those thoughts with you. One woman kept thinking; Oh isn’t he wonderful so very wonderful, I never picked up who she was idolizing. Eighteen staff had appeared before the Councillors started to arrive.
Now these chaps and chaplets were of course my targets for the next two or three hours. So I homed in on them. I was stunned at the range of thoughts that invaded my ever-alert mind. One Councilor looked up toward me, waved thinking I was a she then realising I was a he, his thoughts just buzzed as he thought that I might consider him… you know… Gay…Another was thinking as she looked toward the mayoral chair… I should be sitting up there…There was one that had the strangest thoughts, just one word really, Wow, wow, wow he had a head full of hair gel just like me. I recognised ‘Old Fart’. One was thinking, will my wife ever learn how to cook a meal, tonight’s meal had been the pits. Then his thoughts turned to his appearance and he fiddled with his tie. Then appeared this Irish guy, I could tell he was Irish because he kept humming this Irish folk-tune. One by one backsides both large and small occupied the council seats. The public arena which could at a pinch hold a couple of hundred contained at this point around ten they varied in shape, size and gender one even was dressed in shorts and long-socks.
Suddenly with much ado this little fellow announced with considerable huff and puff that the Mayor was now present. She, for she was of the female gender, entered and took her place on the throne. One councilor was thinking ‘Thank God she doesn’t trouble us with a prayer, being a bit of a left winger she’d most likely quote a verse from the ‘Red Flag’ ‘any apologies? Asked the Mayor in a very serious tone and with that this highlight on the local government agenda got into what could be termed low gear.
The meeting had been operational for about five minutes when my Mother entered the chamber and took her place among the public. Looking up toward me she stood and waved and without thinking I stood and waved back. She was thinking ‘Oh he looks so grown up and important sitting way up there, that’s my boy… I noticed that a couple of Councillors started to wave as well and they were thinking ‘Oh the new kid reporter has noticed me…please print something nice. This tall female also thought, I hope he comments on my new outfit’. One young councilor was thinking ‘I wonder what church he attends. In the meantime the old gray haired guy who was sitting at the top table next to the Mayor was thinking ‘What’s all this standing and waving going on, this isn’t a super twelve match’. He thought about standing and telling the old dear in the public sector to sit down, but before he could get the words out my mum sat down and his thoughts moved to more intimate matters which as no doubt you’ll understand can not be printed here without great risk.

Now I would need endless pages to describe for you the range of thoughts that crisscrossed the minds of the Councillors on this particular night. They ranged from ‘I hope hubby is recording Coronation Street’ to serous matters like, the next Health Board Meeting and almost everything in between. There were common thoughts among a group of eight or nine which went something like ‘I must remember when he votes this way I must do the same’ This common thought confused me because I thought each item was treated on its’ merit.
It wasn’t till I presented my draft to the editor the next day that I fully realised just how much my hidden ability to read minds has influenced my report on the meeting. ‘God, you’ve got some headline stuff here, just imagine if I print it, it’ll blow this town apart’. I was stunned all I wrote was what they thought as against what they said. ‘Take this bit’ the editor said ‘Councilor X said, ‘I stand four Square against the rate increases suggested in the report whereas he was thinking who cares what it costs and it’ll make the Mayor look stupid’. How can I print that? How did you know what he was thinking? Oh no don’t ask me that question I thought to myself but he ignored my heartfelt request and asked anyway. ‘And this bit here, ‘Councilor Y stood and said ‘that her Ward needed flood relief before lumping extra rate charges on them’ while her thoughts were on the booties she was knitting for her new grand daughter’. What made you write that? Ah, ah sorry about that just blue line that bit’ I muttered softly. Anyway my item appeared on page two and read much the same as the boring ones produced by the reporter who had suffered a serous breakdown. Unless you can get the paper to report the facts the public will never learn the real truth about what’s going on in the Councillors’ minds, I thought to myself.
Now after reading this I hope you’ll understand that I do try to get the message out about what’s going on inside of the heads of our local leaders. This short chubby guy who writes a sort of a column on local government matters and I met, had a chat. He believed in my ability to read minds and he never laughed, so now I pass on all my unacceptable information to him. He at least gets a great deal of it out to the public via his email and radio broadcast. When I introduced him to my mom he at least thought proper thoughts and I know that to be a fact…because I read his mind. I’m still with the Manawatu Standard and the editor is asking the American guy who owns the paper to post me to Washington USA. He reckons I’ll do real well there reading the minds of George Bush and his mates. From there the world is my oyster…so long as I keep leaders thoughts secret and create the impression that they are intelligent, bright and caring which I might add one in a hundred are".

As you can guess, my friend departed the local scene, we still email each other on and off. While I never learned to master his mind reading skills fully he taught me some key points which I practice on a daily basis. I thought it was only fair to share this with you. If you recognise yourself in this tale, take it with good humour, especially if you are known as old fart! Cheers Peter W...

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...