THAT chap listening to National Radio and hearing lots of "cody" — I think I know his problem.

It's the AM radio. Ever since they dragged Rhema right next to National Radio, I have to turn my transistor to a north/south orientation to get a clear signal.

It confuses the pronunciation.

He should try FM or even the internet. I hear they are quite clear.

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I think the "cody" may have been kauri. That AM, eh ?

PETER RUSSELL
Whanganui


Death and life

Jay Kuten writes yet again about the "End of Life Choice Bill", criticising Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie and calling him and his comments "disingenuous".

He criticises Mr McKelvie for apparently deciding to vote against the bill without waiting "until the select committee presents its findings" yet hasn't criticised any bill supporters for deciding their vote without waiting.

Mr Kuten takes issue with Mr McKelvie calling the proposed bill "euthanasia", and says the bill "is not about euthanasia" when it manifestly is. Please check the dictionary and medical definitions. So, what is Mr Kuten talking about?

He claims the bill is about "choice" and about "dignity" and seems to mean being allowed to "choose" to have a physician kill you, or to kill yourself with drugs supplied by a physician, although he refuses to acknowledge all the evidence of these laws removing choice for thousands of people who do not want to be killed. Also, Mr Kuten declares the provisions of the bill will protect vulnerable people.

Please read the bill; it does not protect the vulnerable, and there is nothing to stop it being changed in the future to include, for example, people with depression, as has happened overseas.

A study in Michigan Law Review (2008), of the assisted-suicide law in Oregon, which our bill is supposedly modelled on, found "seemingly reasonable safeguards for the care and protection of terminally ill patients written into the Oregon law are being circumvented ..." Add to that the fact that a healthy 20-year-old with "insulin-dependent diabetes" can qualify as "terminal" under the Oregon law.

Death is never particularly dignified; the one thing that gives the dying some dignity is how they face this final challenge.

Proponents of euthanasia are trying to lull people into thinking it will be a "nice" way to go. As some US doctors pointed out, "Physicians ... need to consider how to address the potential for adverse outcomes, including longer time to death than expected (up to 24 hours or more), awakening from unconsciousness, nausea, vomiting, and gasping."

These have happened in a number of cases and are not "easy" or particularly dignified. (Abridged)

K A BENFELL
Whanganui


Straight talk

When Danny Keenan (Chronicle, August 15) attacks Don Brash, the "sound over substance" and "carefully coded messages" of which he speaks are his own.

Brash speaks plainly and if Keenan doesn't like it — well, tough.

By relying on the tales of Claudia Orange, as he appears to do, he has got a very twisted view of our history.

It would be better if he put all her books into the recycling bin, as being turned into egg cartons would be the best use for them.

BRUCE MOON
Nelson


At the chalk face

We all know the importance of teachers and the standard of teaching that puts us in a position to lead the field in many endeavours, or not lead the field, if the standard is not high.

That which we are most proud of was started by good teaching.

Our teachers are spending way too much time on paperwork, proving they are teaching at the expense of actually teaching. This paperwork also funnels money away from the classroom to bureaucrats whose cushy job is to shuffle obedient paper, not having to shuffle disobedient children.

This paperwork cuts back on teaching time and removes a lot of money from the classroom to these bureaucratic paper-shufflers for no gain to pupils.

The reason the paperwork was introduced was because the teachers' union would not let the good teachers be remunerated more than the babysitters, who enter school with the children and leave with the children using one class to prepare for the next. The babysitters could be up to 20 per cent of the teachers.

This union seems to be anchored in the past.

Get rid of half the bureaucrats and return the money to the classroom.

G R SCOWN
Whanganui


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