Hans Thoma - Loneliness

In this issue we explore ageing and its unseen, unwanted companion, loneliness. The condition impacts not only the elderly, but also those aged 15-25.  It’s not hard to find some of the reasons. If you look back on the adulation of the Market economy the signs are clear. They all indicate a growing - and largely ignored - social despair, as ideologically-driven governments pillaged our institutions and put everything they could, up for sale. Now, surprise surprise, there’s a world-wide recognition by governments, that alienation and loneliness represent a new - and worrying - public health threat. It’s what happens when we, our land and our most precious resources, become commodities.

 

 

Stale ponds – fresh ideas…

Baby-boomers might just  identify with the description of this country:

300px-Rådhuspladsen_-_Vartorv…’it maintains a welfare state — a set of government programs designed to provide economic security — that is beyond the wildest dreams of American liberals. It provides universal health care; college education is free, and students receive a stipend; day care is heavily subsidized’.

The country is Denmark. The writer is American Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner for Economic Sciences.   And many of those state-funded programmes paid for by taxpayers were once also ours before the 1984 election.

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Miscellany – October

adThe ends (oops… no pun intended!) that marketers will go to promote that wonder drug, Viagra.

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One_Tree_Hill,_Auckland,_March_2015Just when we had got used to calling the landmark One Tree Hill, None Tree Hill, we hear that nine trees, not just one, will finally be planted on the volcanic cone.

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Reformed…?

We should be grateful that Maori are, in general, inveterate forgivers even if their own are harmed by that generous custom. Tariana Turia and three other prominent Maori women think Chris Brown, the African-American entertainer, should be allowed into New Zealand despite a conviction for assaulting his girlfriend, pop Diva Rihanna.

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Something old, something…?

walletMy father in law passed away a couple of months ago. Well, it was his time and at 102, he knew it. Always more a good friend than a relative, he was a bundle of bones in his bed in his last weeks but to his delight, was  surrounded by the women he loved (the old flirt!).

Laurie had lived at his little Northland beach resort for nearly 50 years and from his deck had watched the rhythms of tides and currents, much as his loved ones watched life finally ebb from him.

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Will you piggy-wig, swear never to tell a Porky…?

Trial_of_PigAuckland lawyer, veterinarian and author has published his new book, Animals, Welfare and the Law. It encompasses ethics, history and the law, so it’s a weighty read for those of us who routinely plough through fiction.   But   Mr Robertson   has not overlooked the dark – but often comical moments in the long history of animals and humans.  Some of these include the criminal trials of animals…

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The Same Sad Story…

stand on the line“The outcome for children in the care of the state may be no better than if they had not been in care at all”. So says the Commissioner for Children’s report on the performance of Child, Youth & Family service.

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Miscellany

Spark and data use per minute

Data is being created all the time without us even noticing it.

Much of what we do every day now happens in the digital realm, leaving an ever-increasing digital trail that can be measured and analysed.

Just how much data  do our  tweets, likes and photo-uploads really generate?

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