Truth versus opinion by Susan Grimsdell

When did opinion take over from truth?  I’ll give you an illustration. Warrants of fitness Recently, it has been found that some garages in NZ who are authorised to issue warrants of fitness (WoFs), certifying the car is safe in all respects, have been doling them out to drivers without actually checking cars. NZ has an enforcement agency tasked with visiting garages to make sure regulations are being followed.  It seems that in some cases, these enforcers have very “kind” hearts, and have been turning a blind eye to breaches, merely reiterating… Read More

Changing words by Susan Grimsdell

I know language changes and there’s no going back once words have either been lost or their meaning changed, but, in a no doubt forlorn bid to change things back to how they were, I want to focus attention on two changes that really bother me. Dying words First of all, I mourn the loss of a once-common word – “died”.  People don’t die any more.  They “pass away”.  They “pass”.   I just don’t understand where they’re supposed to have passed to, especially in New Zealand where only a small minority of… 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

Values versus science by Susan Grimsdell

New Zealand has been seeing some pretty scary behaviour from seemingly ordinary people lately.  Government staff have been the target of a torrent of abuse and threats, on social media, in phone calls and by email. This has included death threats and, following up on that, some staff have had the wheel nuts on their cars loosened.   Dead birds have been thrown on the steps of Parliament and thousands of people have marched in fury down the streets of our cities. Predator danger The issue?  Dept of Conservation dropping a poison, referred… Read More

Going round in circles by Susan Grimsdell

I’ve been feeling giddy lately – my brain is spinning, and here’s why.  It has come to my attention, through an amazing book I’ve been reading, that most of the problems of the world – and there are many – are caused by us poor humans not realising that we think in circles and vicious ones to boot. Cause and effect Starting with a very obvious example – black people in America were all slaves at first.  When slavery ended in 1865 do you think black people then started to flock into… Read More