Language and bullying by Susan Grimsdell

Pattern of bullying Today it was revealed that along with two mates, one of our National MPs, Sam Uffindell, at the age of 16, violently assaulted a 13-year-old boy at night in a dorm at a prestigious boarding school.  He now describes that event as “stupid” and “dumb”.   I wonder what words the parents of the victim would choose to describe the event.  If my son had told me he had been beaten by three older boys allegedly using wooden bedlegs, I would not say “Well, they were being dumb and stupid”. … Read More

No laughing matter by Trevor Plumbly

Hubble bubble By general admission mainstream news is a bit of a witches’ brew of late. Despite wearing my ‘Pennies from Heaven’ (PFH) raincoat, I’m finding it hard to avoid dampening spirits. Sight loss (mercifully) killed off the newspapers as a source while the radio seems pre-set to dollop out hourly doses of depression. Sure, there’s heaps of the bad stuff out there that all of us need to be made aware of, but despite the relative insulation of life down here in NZ, the willingness of half-baked hacks to trumpet the… Read More

Making the Roe v Wade decision clear by Susan Grimsdell

The poverty factor It should be a constitutional requirement that all decisions coming out of the Supreme court should be phrased in specific and honest terms.  For example, the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion does not apply to all women and the wording should make that clear.  It will only affect women who are poor.  Well-off women will simply take a trip to a place where they can get an abortion.  The ruling should read “abortion will be considered unconstitutional for women who are poor”.   I wonder how that would go… Read More

The state of the nation by Angela Caldin

Although I’ve been living here in Auckland for the last two years or so, I still read The Guardian online nearly every day. To say that recent events in the UK are baffling is an understatement. Matters seem to me to have taken a surreal turn with corruption embedded in organisations which are meant to have the public good at heart and to uphold the principles of law and order. It seems that those in high office can lie repeatedly and nothing happens. It seems that those around them have no interest… Read More

Outnumbered by viruses by Susan Grimsdell

I’ve been reading about viruses.  There are trillions of them.  For example, in a litre of sea water a scientist identified 100 billion viruses.  Hundreds of thousands inhabit our bodies, but luckily very few of those have been found to affect us – so far, just 263 out of those hordes.  This is something I did not know, that they are everywhere inside our bodies, in our noses, on our skin, in our lungs, in the gastrointestinal tract, swarms and swarms of them.  A sense of purpose They are not alive. They… Read More