Free falling into conflict and chaos

"Free speech" is a broad term covering everything from impromptu expressions of opinion between individuals to the use of public platforms to promote extreme views.

It's an important principle, but doesn't address the issue of promoting informed discussion or debate.

Such discussion seems increasingly rare. People more and more receive their news and views solely from sources with which they are already in tune - for example, Donald Trump's reliance on Fox News and Breitbart and his labelling of other sources as "fake news".


When Don Brash has sole platform space to address an audience, those who differ from him in the audience are disempowered and resort to shouting and heckling. It's an ugly process on both sides.

Promoters such as universities and their student bodies might consider arranging these occasions as formal debates where the two views can be tested against each other, and lies or emotive language such as "race-based policies" can be challenged.
David James

If looks could kill
Shame upon you, Wanganui Chronicle, in your attempt (August 10) to arouse your readers' "Oh, aren't they so sweet" emotions for the two dogs involved in killing poultry.

Why no reports on the emotional harm and financial loss suffered by the owners of the poultry killed by this pair?

A final question: If the poultry killers had been a pair of pit bull or similar canines, would they have had a front page photograph and such detailed explanations of their bloodlines in any report?

I very much doubt it.
Choosing God
Father Marcus Francis stated: "… religious freedom means people have the freedom to join something and to practice their faith as well, without undue restriction." (Chronicle; August 4).

The novus-ordo religion beginning at the Vatican II council, considers religious freedom to be a fundamental human right and it has become one of the cornerstone doctrines of this new religion.

The meaning of true religious freedom is no longer understood even by those who should be teaching and upholding it.

We are not "free" to believe whatever we want. True religious freedom is freedom from sin and error, so that one is able to observe God's Commandments.

Are we free to accept or reject the Gospel?

People reject the Gospel because they are not free. They are bound by sin.

The Grace of God is what makes us free to choose the truth.

This true definition is the ancient traditional teaching of the Church.
P M Weber
Right is right
About "Roundabout rules flouted" (Chronicle; August 8):

There must be a typo in the last paragraph of what the Road Code is claimed to instruct.

What's with this "must look to the left" when you are approaching or waiting to enter a roundabout. That's a good recipe for a crash.

I suggest one should look to the right.

The only reason one would want to briefly look to the left when approaching or waiting at a roundabout, is to make sure that just after you have entered it yourself, no idiot on your left enters it and collides with you now legally on the roundabout.

For heaven's sake people, look to the right to fulfil your legal obligations when about to enter a roundabout.
Stan Hood (former MOT-approved advanced driving instructor)
Too many mouths
F R Halpin (Letters; August 2) doesn't want birth rates to decrease. He may have looked at the mathematics, but he forgot to look at the science.

There are now so many of us in the world that we are using up resources almost twice as fast as they can be renewed. We are dumping earth-warming gases into the atmosphere twice as fast as they can be removed.

Unprecedented worldwide high temperatures ( and droughts ( have brought starvation and wars throughout North Africa and the Middle East, and are now affecting people in northern Europe, Siberia, North and South America, Northern India, Indonesia and Australia.

Disease bacteria are becoming ever more resistant to antibiotics, and global tourism is spreading these diseases at jet speed.

If our present world numbers remains at seven billion, a combination of overheating, starvation, war and disease will eventually cause collapse of both our population and civilisation.

Indeed, the only way to avoid our extinction may be to maintain an average of one child per family until the world population gradually drops to about two billion.
John Archer
Style counsel
Peter Williams on TV1 - I love your voice as a news reader but I hate your old-fashioned suits.

Look in the mirror and get up with times, Pete. Get a new suit, mate.

Have you ever watched the Frasier show? That's what you should be dressing like.
Gary Stewart
Foxton Beach