Aotearower's Blog - Speaking Up for Small Voices
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Privilege

Jamie Whyte is showing incredible political naievity raising issues of legal privileges for Maori. Had he raised objections about privilege in general he could have retained some degree of credibility.
Whyte ignores the fact that privilege is endemic across all forms of society.
Try telling a child brought up in Raetihi that they have equal privileges to those children brought up in the leafy suburbs of our major cities.
It would be insulting.
All political parties pander for support. The trick is to find the key to 51% of the electorate.

Healthy Obsessions

In the course of one lifetime the arguments over the relationship between diet and health has been constant. I suspect in the next lifetime those same arguments will remain.
Concerns about cholesterol, BMIs,obesity,heart disease,protein and carbohydrate balance will undoubtedly continue to fuel discussions over the merits of meat, fish, vegetable and fibre intakes, and the extent to which manufacturers like McDonalds bear responsibility for persuading the public to consume in a manner that best serves their commercial interests.

The Case for Free Markets

One of the key distinctions between our political parties is the extent to which they support and understand the benefits of free markets - where activity does not require the regulatory intervention of the state.
Until the Lange Government was elected in 1984 New Zealand's economy largely reflected the dogma's of post Depression Keynesian prescriptives. There was a generally held view that Governments could regulate at will. Muldoon was the last baron of that era. He will be forever remembered for his initiatives on carless days, payroll taxes, SMPs,fixed exchange rates, import licencing, the "Think Big" energy projects in Taranaki and home mortgage rates that went to 25%.

On What Basis Do You Choose to Vote?

With the election now only a few months away the New Zealand electorate is increasingly bombarded with appeals from all the politicians as to why their views ought to be supported.
The annual Budget is a catalyst for all of them to get on their grandstands.
The incumbent ruling party were gloating over their presentation of a surplus whilst the main opposition parties tried to discredit that result with suggestions of having manipulated the numbers to suit.
Throughout the ensuing debates in Parliament the rhetoric inevitably reverted to the core policy platforms on which the parties have previously been elected.

Forgiveness

Copy of a recent mail to the producers of a religious programme about forgiveness:

"I have just watched your programme on Prime TV regarding a religious view of the need to forgive.
The message conveyed by the presenter was that the offering of forgiveness to others was the key to healing and moving on for those who had been wronged.
The programme presented the example of the young man who had fallen asleep whilst driving through Owhango in 1988,flipping his car and condemning his passenger friend to a life of paraplegia.

Personality Profiling

One of  the best reasons for living a singles lifestyle is that society licenses you to approach and meet completely random people in your search for a partner. Internet dating sites have proliferated, and increasingly target  niche markets ranging from the raunchy to the reverend.
Most try to provide the market with mechanisms to give greater insights than just a photograph and core statistics as to age, location and employment.
Having engaged in the rituals of internet dating I have become quite cynical of the ability of the cyber world to appropriately convey anything other than the message that there are a massive number of people at any one time looking for some brand of association.

Undercover Boss

The TV reality programme Undercover Boss has been broadcast since 2009.
The same plot is repeated week in, week out -
- Gung ho senior executive dons new identity in order to work for a week alongside unsuspecting employees far away from headquarters.  Invariably they are surprised to find hard working and dedicated people putting their lives on hold for the company's success. Sure there are the odd exceptions and a rogue or two are exposed, but the overwhelming message is how poorly informed the executives are and how extravagantly they respond to alleviate their consciences for their past omissions.

What is the ANZAC legacy for the Ukraine?

The sacrifice of life "For Your Country" is a hugely emotive and poignant statement recognised throughout the world by those who remain attending services in their memory.
For New Zealanders ANZAC Day the 25th April marking the landing at Gallipoli in 1915 is even more significant as it is generally regarded as the defining moment of the birth of a nation. On no other occasion, not even the sight of an All Black haka, is our national pride more evident.
The irony of Gallipoli however is that the heroics that we so commend were performed in an arena of futility.

Ministry of Royal Therapies

I doubt that anyone in New Zealand during the tour of Kate,William and George could ignore the huge uplift in spirits at the presence of Royalty on our shores. Thousands of people from North Cape to Stewart Island have taken precious time out of their lives and travelled considerable distances just to get a glimpse of this family.
Our media have delivered repeated shots of smiling, waving, hand shaking and even tears from an adoring public. Behaviour that a generally reserved populace saves for the return of its favourite sporting heroes.

For Whom is the disappearance of MH370 a Mystery?

I suspect that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 remains a mystery to the overwhelming majority of our global population.
After all in our modern society we have shrunk the world with our advances in communication technologies - right?
Ever since mankind entered space we've had the satellites to keep an eye on our every movement - right?
The outpouring of resources from Governments around the world to help find this plane would suggest that they believe they have the resources to remove this apparent mystery from the public's mind.
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