Leaders of the US of A by Susan Grimsdell

Next year the US will hold a presidential election and Trump is going to run, hoping for a second term. Discrimination I was thinking back to June 11, 1963 when another president was in office:  John F Kennedy.  He addressed the nation on that day about the issue of civil rights.  At the time, in many parts of the USA, black people had to send their kids to separate (and inferior) schools, they had to use toilets and drinking fountains marked “blacks”, they were not allowed to have lunch in cafes marked… Read More

Huff and puff by Trevor Plumbly

Grumpy old git part 2 It’s cold and wet in Auckland and I’ve got all reflective about a couple of law changes in the offing. Odd things in life seem to matter at my age; even so, at the risk of contradiction from my fellow bloggers, I regard myself as a pretty normal sort of bloke. It wasn’t always thus, but age tends to water things down a bit. In my formative years you were either the sort of boy your girlfriend invited home to meet mother, or useful as a cudgel… Read More

New Zealand’s loss of innocence by Trevor Plumbly

A time to learn New Zealand is a special place, comfortably populated and insulated from tragedies that ethnic and religious radicalism can inflict, until, of course, the recent massacre in Christchurch. By the time you read this, the initial shock will be fading and, as is the case in today’s world, there will be fresh horrors thrust at us from elsewhere. Laying aside the theoretical excursions of countless analysts, specialists and even the odd apologist, we owe the victims and our society a lot more than months of political pussyfooting. Hard decisions… Read More

Shamima Begum, a dangerous threat or a victim? By Angela Caldin

It’s difficult these days to avoid commentary on the plight of Shamima Begum who is living in a tent in the al Hawl refugee camp in Syria with her new born baby. She wants to come home, but the problem is that ‘home’ is what she joined Isis to destroy. The standard of living, the healthcare, the housing and the developed infrastructure are what she now wants for herself and her child, not the hard life on offer with Isis which she has fled. A tough decision The Home Secretary has taken… Read More

Marijuana and pain by Susan Grimsdell

I’ve been obsessed with pain lately.  Not mine, but two of my friends who’ve both broken ribs.  Panadol doesn’t cut it.  Morphine’s good, but not something you want to take too much of.  The best thing, I’ve heard, is marijuana, often called cannabis.  We’ve all heard how effective it is for crippling pain.  But in NZ it’s not on the list of options. Decriminalisation and legalisation I had a look to see if there are places that do allow people to buy and use marijuana, and it’s truly mind-boggling how many there… Read More