Saturday, January 30, 2010


Amnesty International USA is partitioning on domestic political issues such as healthcare reform and Guantanamo - this is excellent. But Amnesty (and Amnesty New Zealand) needs to expand its actions further - human rights are compromised on a grander scale than the clear and obvious imprisonment of activists or the denial of medical insurance.

The equal right to opportunity is an essential right but it is constantly violated by enormous income disparity in the United States and elsewhere (including New Zealand). It is essential to address this disparity and create a system where we all have equal opportunity. This requires a shared base income.


Wrong And Still Wrong

We want to hear Tony Blair say he was wrong, even if just in the way he justified the war on Iraq. We think Tony Blair is better than Bush, I do not think anyone would ever expect Bush to realise the war was wrong, but Tony Blair might be able to.

Tony Blair was wrong to invade another country in order to continue on-song with America. Blair should have made the stand, as the rest of the world did, against Bush’s aggression. That stand would have been far more powerful with Britain onside. And who knows, maybe it would have given Bush second thoughts – certainly it would have made the moral equation simpler.

Instead Blair’s choice has made Britain weaker, ultimately it appears as a lackey of the States, and that’s what it is and what it will be until another such situation (God forbid) arises when the test of ‘loyalty’ vs ‘right’ rises again. Loyalty is the attribute of hierarchical societies, of power and control. Right is the attribute of responsible societies where rights are more important than loyalties. We must always question (and break) our loyalties when sustaining them violates others rights, when it harms.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Peace & Quiet

What I like best about the days post Xmas (perhaps especially if you don't go away) is the peace & quiet. Everything's slower, there's less work going on, more leisure, more tranquility. Totally unlike reality TV. Sometimes I worry if the parade of high octane extraverts on our TVs is affecting our minds, but I guess that's why we turn off and watch the more real than 'reality TV' dramas on DVD (though even the characters in these are increasingly frenetic).

Thank God for actual reality, and a pace of life with time for thought, for strolls and appreciation, which I think and hope many of us still enjoy, despite the TV.