Great Leap Forward
Donald Trump's bizarre behaviour is very successfully distracting media attention from the cultural revolution under way in the USA; a political upheaval with many similarities to Chairman Mao's Great Leap Forward in the late 1960s.
Just as in 1960s China, friendships are being torn apart by political differences, institutions are dealing with seemingly irreconcilable differences in basic values, and human rights are being trampled on by political might.
Chairman Mao said "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun", while President Donald Trump has told NRA members "The attacks on your Second Amendment freedoms have come to an end". Walls all over China were covered with large, hand-painted propaganda slogans denouncing enemies, and screens all over the US are filled with tweeted propaganda attacking adversaries as "the enemies of the American People".
Just as Mao did, Trump is advancing his party's ends by creating constant chaos that diverts the attention of voters while his henchmen quietly purge top officials from law enforcement, intelligence and environmental protection agencies. Science, education and intelligence are belittled, truth is called "fake news", tribal identity is oblivious to reason, ideology is overwhelming prudent government, moral convictions are replacing intellectual discourse, and prying journalists are arrested.
Old institutions and laws are being eliminated everywhere as the Supreme Leader takes an out-of-date 20th century democracy on a Great Leap Forward to become a modern 21st century plutocracy.
Only one detail is different: Mao aimed to give back the plutocrats' wealth and power to the workers, whilst the goal of the billionaires using Trump is the exact opposite.
JOHN ARCHER Ohakune
Spray and pray
Is it any wonder that we have to take ever more supplements and see ever more mystery diseases if the soil that our food grows on (be it vegetables, fruit or animals) gets bombarded with chemicals and poison? (see Whanganui Chronicle, January 11. "Horizons has strict rules around hillside spraying").
Soil is a living organism, and if you throw it off balance it can't do what it is supposed to do, e.g. grow healthy and nutritious food.
We are what we eat and we eat what is in the soil (or not).
ANNE MOHRDIECK Whanganui
Gloria Rigg and Keith Hindson would like to thank all the people of Whanganui (friends and complete strangers) who phoned and emailed us after the editor kindly printed our letter (Chronicle; January 2) in response to the article on "forgiveness" by Jay Kuten (Chronicle; December 27).
Forgiveness will not "heal" what has happened to Keith at the hands of Dr Peter Liston, the surgeon who was responsible for his care.
Legal counsel for Dr Liston, Harry Waalkens, QC, said his client "accepted and acknowledged that he had made errors and misread both histology reports".
David Carden, the chairman of the Health Practitioners' Disciplinary Tribunal held last month, said Dr Liston "did not dispute any factual matters presented or that it was professional misconduct".
The support is heartening and we urge any other patient who is or was unhappy with their treatment to complain if anything is to be done.
G M RIGG Whanganui
Fact and fiction
Well done, Dr Robert L. Hays, for his thought-provoking treatise in this morning's Chronicle (January 1), responding to Frank Gibson's opinion piece.
There is too little reality in what many politicians and "warmists" accept as fact, when so much of it is fiction.
For a good round debate, I wonder if Dr Robert has read the book The Fable of a Stable Climate, by a true scientist, geologist and paleoclimatologist, Dr Gerrit J. van der Lingen, published in Nelson in 2016.
I recommend it, and it is at the public library (when I return it!).
TERRY COXON Otamatea
Well, yes, I agree it should not be removed from reading at Parliament, but it does need updating.
I heard it being read out about a month ago and I thought to myself, "Well this prayer has been in circulation for many, many years".
It does need updating to a more modern prayer.
I am 90 years old and a believer, so I would suggest that a senior minister of Anglican diocese be asked very nicely to take on the task, as it will not be easy.
Or any elderly minister who has an understanding of this sort of prayer.
This is my suggestion, anyway.
A Thomson Marton
I believe in the grandeur of mountain ranges. I believe in rainbows, in the majesty of the universe spread across the sky at night.
I believe in the unbelievable splendour of a crimson-gold sunset spread across the evening sky. I believe in the joy of life - giving and receiving love with others.
I believe in the twinkle of love in my darling's eyes. I believe there is a glorious hope for the future ...that life is not meaningless but has a purpose. For I believe in our limitless Creator.
DENIS W SHUKER Cambridge
A. Barron - your letter is acknowledged. - Editor.