Velodrome should be supported
Economist Sam Richardson says there is no proven economic case for the velodrome and in his opinion one can't be made. It's a virtual guarantee he would have opposed the Chunnel, the Eiffel Tower and the Dunedin stadium as all the clever people did, but now have egg on their faces.
It's easy to be a doomsayer, but seems hard to apologise when you get it wrong.
The Cambridge Velodrome suffered at the hands of these kinds of people, the clever people who said it would not work and was not economically viable ...
It had to be done by the regional council and donors, people with money who know how to make money, not the people who sit in an air-conditioned office and pontificate. [Abridged]
Isolate the vulnerable
It is with disappointment, and very little surprise, that we read that our Government has stuck Whanganui and most of New Zealand with the rules of level 2 again, despite there being no cases of Covid-19 there. And Auckland is now in level 3 lockdown because four members of a family somehow caught the disease.
The idea that we should protect the vulnerable members of our society is, of course, one we should all agree with, whether it is the unborn, the disabled, aged or ill, or those possibly affected by a pandemic. The idea that we should screw over the entire population of New Zealand because of political power plays is not.
Isolating vulnerable people to protect them is common sense, locking down more than a million people and closing down untold businesses because four people tested positive to this virus is no sense at all.
Keep the infected people quarantined, protect the vulnerable, but stop trampling on the rights of New Zealanders unnecessarily.
K A BENFELL
The Cabinet Paper of October 23, 2019, titled "Progressing Religious Instruction within the Education Training Bill" directs the Education Ministry is to "undertake a programme about religion in schools, in conjunction with the Religious Diversity Centre".
Because the Religious Diversity Centre has no representatives from the non-religious community, the resulting programme is likely to be an ecumenical version of earlier Councils of Churches, melded with the current liturgical versions used by today's various creeds. What won't change in the teaching of religions is to emphasise that believer's internal state (subjectivity) was more important than whether a belief has external factors to support it (objectivity).
In the days before academic and intellectual rigor replaced it, it was quite accepted to consider the truth of any matter, to be whatever you thought it was and could argue from a position of authority - like (Saint) Irenaeus of Lyons (360 CE) declaring, "because there are four corners of the universe, so there can only be four gospels" - as sort of scientific explanation why Christians discarded the other 24.
The 2018 Census determined that 48 per cent of us are irreligious - if they are not represented in this conversation and review, this teaching a belief in the supernatural will continue in our schools - by those who think the universe has corners.
The tribal wars 'myth'
A nice conciliatory article by Rob Rattenbury in today's Chronicle (August 10). But very naïve. The colonial myth of endless tribal wars is perpetuated. Much more applicable to Europeans than Māori. And the Treaty partnership is a modern concept to gloss over the real situation.
Māori and their descendants have suffered a 100 per cent alienation of their resources and rights. No not Treaty rights, human rights.
"Taihoa te kooti whenua Maori" was a phrase I heard often during my childhood at the pā. The Māori Land Court is a concept based on racism. Treaty settlements are more of the same.
And my iwi has a 183-page document which came with the settlement. For me personally it makes no absolutely no sense at all. But around 40 or 50 people meet regularly to try to make sense of it.
I wish them good fortune and good luck with all that jazz. But it's really a paper prison for my Hauhau tribe.
Crucial to question
Galileo Galilei is credited as having said: "You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself." He pioneered the scientific method that is today an integral component in the continuing expansion of human knowledge.
In the 1600s, those whose knowledge of the world were developed by what they were taught held views contrary to Galileo and subsequently had him placed under lifelong house arrest.
The scientific facts published in the world today are empirically based, therefore providing readers with both a level of confidence and trust in the information being reported.
Covid-19 public information dissemination in some countries have been handicapped by the vacuity displayed by the political leaders in the medical science arena. Like those people in the 1600s, who opposed scientific fact, there are people in the US who want to silence those whose views do not align with the President's. Such has been their fervour Dr Fauci has had to employ security to protect himself and his family due to threats they have received.
Stephen Hawking made the statement before his death that science was under attack. If we needed proof as to the veracity of that opinion it is all too frequently elucidated by media reporting in recent years.
Science does get things wrong. However, all of us have a role to play in ensuring those who seek to divide or destabilise society do not erode our trust in factually proven scientific statements. It is those facts that over the generations have allowed us to live longer healthier lives. As the volume of information continues to grow, our need to question what we think we know is crucial.
Such an individual's strategy will assist in undermining the attempts of the ignorant, uninformed and the conspirators seeking to spread falsehoods, some of who it has been revealed have dishonourable intent.
Who are the targets?
This is the third year of the winter energy payment, a payment to superannuitants and beneficiaries which is very welcome in helping to defray the power bills by $280 a month.
In 2018, just as the Government was to introduce the payment, Simon Bridges said he would scrap it; he preferred "targeted assistance".
Now, of course, Bridges is no longer Leader of the Opposition and it seems extremely unlikely his party will be in government for a while. But has their policy changed? Are their "targets" those who receive the payments?
This enlightened subsidy benefits the health and comfort of those who need it most, the elderly and the poor. I wouldn't like to see a future government discard it.
I D FERGUSON