Driving well key

The Chronicle front page of May 12 had the headline "Worst danger spots in city". Quite so, one cannot dispute the facts.

However, I'd like to reassure Whanganui District Council that they should do nothing about those listed intersections, and everything to encourage driver competency.

I was, some time ago, approved by the Ministry of Transport as both an advanced driving training provider and a defensive driving instructor.


I have driven those intersections listed in the Chronicle and there is nothing dangerous about any of them, even for this 72-year-old.

I suggest to drivers, simply drive well and drive defensively (ie. use common sense). (Abridged)

Gender madness
New Zealand was the first country in the world to give woman the vote. Where are we today?

Well, with few exceptions we are born either male or female despite advances in medical and surgical manipulation.

Now it seems our birth certificates have a space for two mothers. Really? I imagine there will be provision for two fathers shortly?

Will we now see women apologising to their boys at birth for their being male?

The push for equal pay for equal work lies behind this? I suspect there are more women in teaching and nursing than men, so what is the problem there?

Oh I see, it's the fault of males not government.

In sport, the shot put should weigh the same and tennis matches should be a maximum of five sets regardless of gender. If 50,000 people pay to watch a woman's rugby match, they should get the same remuneration, but one gender should not subsidise the other.
Durie Hill

Glorifying rodeo
In her letter of May 1, Sara Dickon appears to be riding a "bum steer" when she compares the lassoing and tying up of calves by cowboys on large US ranches to so-called cowboys competing at New Zealand rodeos.

She overlooks one obvious difference - cowboys on large US ranches are doing this in the course of their work, not for entertainment.

Fortunately, the banning of rodeo by the NZ Government is moving in the right direction with the formation of the NZARC (NZ Anti-Rodeo Coalition), which includes the following animal welfare organisations:

SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation); SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals); NZ Veterinary Association; Farmwatch.

Videos of animal abuse and suffering can be viewed on the NZARC and SAFE websites.

Attendance at rodeos has dropped significantly and, in what is seen as an admission of wrongdoing, NZ cowboys have enforced camera bans at rodeos apart from newspaper photographers, whose photos only serve to normalise and glorify rodeo.

Modern take
Both the Rev Tom Pittams and the Rev Graeme Judens are over-sensitive to my critical letters about the feeble Thought for Todays.

Tom Pittams is apparently a Christian minister. I gained the impression that he was writing as an atheist trying to prove his anti-Christian stance.

We are supposed to be on the same side, Tom.

I have always found the study of history and interpretation of the Bible to be exciting, and I try to keep up to date with modern scholarship.

Sadly, many ministers do not share my enthusiasm and make little attempt to get beyond what they learnt at theological college.

They preach the same old guff every week.

They have learnt what is right and any discussion or debate by their long-suffering congregations is squashed.

Progressive Christians, scientists, historians and theologians have discovered that God has moved on. If you are still preaching the same pre-Enlightenment theology, then please move aside. We students have important things to say and debate.

I did not "denounce" the second-hand books you discovered, Tom.

They are probably excellent books - feel free to give titles and authors.

I applaud you for your discoveries.

That's my Thought for Today.