Everything stays the same…

Green Party election billboard

Apologies, I haven’t written in a while. I must admit I’ve been pretty busy of late, but everytime I think about writing a blog entry, there’s something in me that made me pause and think ‘maybe another time’. It’s not that there wasn’t things to write about. It just seemed like it was the same things I could write about. It almost felt like I was in a boat going nowhere. Plenty to see, but the same things to see.

The source of this directionless feeling, I believe comes from my current view of the Niu Sila / New Zealand political arena. Despite plenty of things to see and plenty of things are happening in the political world, it all seems the same. I guess this is illustrated in the political polls (except the most recent ones), where despite all the hiccups, this National Government is still pulling in big numbers. Deputy Prime Minister, Bill English, is currently claiming ,000 a year from taxpayers to live in his own house, while he preaches to everyone else to tighten their belts. Yet not a dent in the Governments ratings.

Is society so apathetic? Or is the Left no doing it right? What is the Right doing so right? This feeling of futility has been an albatross around the necks of those on the Left. No matter what you do, everything stays the same.

This is further illustrated in the recent resignation of Green Party MP, Sue Bradford.

Sue Bradford was a tireless worker for the marginalised in society. Her background before entering politics was hard-edged, class-based, street-level activism. As a politician, she was one of the most well-liked, because she was able to work across party lines.

Sue Bradford is also one of the most successful MPs with the unique distinction of seeing three Members’ Bills passed into law in the last Parliament. Respectively, they lifted the youth minimum wage to adult rates, extended the length of time some mothers in prison can keep their babies with them, and amended s59 of the Crimes Act so that children receive the same legal protection from assault as adults

The Green Party launched into the MMP setting with a radical political brand that embraced, naturally, environmental issues, but also blends of eco-religious activism (rastafarian, Nandor Tanczos) and eco-socialism (Sue Bradford and Keith Locke). The new Green party was the new Left. It appealed to younger voters, such as myself, because it crossed so many more boundaries than the orthodox bigger political parties.

As a child of the 80’s, we all knew about the bombing of Greenpeace’s ship, Rainbow Warrior in Niu Sila, by French terrorists. Although, only the decade before, the effects of the anti-Springbok Tour, the Maori Land March etc, were still raw by the 1980s. We grew up being conscious of environmental and social issues, whether they were local or global. The early Greens appreciated this and work towards creating a political vehicle.

[FULL STORY]

A different shade of Brown

Len Brown

It’s early days yet, but so far there are only two candidates for the soon to be new position as Mayor of the soon to new Aukilani / Auckland Super City: John Banks and Len Brown.

John Banks is the candidate for the right. Len Brown is the candidate for the left. Despite this they are both running as independants. Currently Banks is Mayor of the Auckland City Council, while Brown is the Mayor of the southern city, Manukau City Council.

I like Len Brown. He is a lawyer who has practiced in Aukilani Saute for many years. He has been an advocate for workers rights. He is a staunch supporter of Maori rights (including in this current campaign, demanding Maori guaranteed seats in the council). But he is also approachable and human. There’s a youtube clip of him dancing at Life Church in Manurewa not long ago. He’s not ashamed to bust a move infront of a church youth group.

He is more a unifying candidate than Banks.

But I don’t want to keep my hopes up until all hands are played. Coz I have a niggly feeling some other leftie is going to put their hand up and split the vote. I hope my feelings are wrong. The last thing we need is a divided voting bloc.

Conservatives by nature are mostly a homogeneous group, giving Banks a much more solidified and reliable voting base. On the other hand, the left is diverse and complicated, ranging from indigenous rights groups, feminists, trade unionist, minority rights groups, migrant groups, working class groups, environmentalists, to civil libertarians.

But Brown is on the winning side. Well, the side that will eventually win. This isn’t a one-eyed biased observation, but demographics show the fastest growing groups in Niu Sila, especially in Aukilani, are young non-Palagi’s. Aukilani has a growing diversity. With this diversity there is a need for unity. I hope Brown is that person.

[FULL STORY]

Now Health Care?

This president has double-talked and side-stepped every issue raised about the downward direction of this country but yet we will never hear anything from CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox , CBS (aka the Government Media Complex) for Chairman Obama has all of them on his “list”. God forbid we bring up the question about his true place of birth (*coughs Kenya) much less Health Care. I hear the new Siberia is somewhere up in Alaska.

Here in the U.S. we have the greatest Health Care system in the world – bar none! and with that comes the most highly trained Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists etc, but yet we need the US Government to reform it? Last time I checked, we have Canadians , Mexicans and British flying over for health care services that they could never receive (in this life time) in their perspective countries. Why? because Government run health care sucks! [FULL STORY]

Upsize my education

A wananga is a type of tertiary education provider that provides education in a Maori cultural context. Yet mainstream New Zealand (and some Pacific people) are up in arms about it, saying it’s racist, it’s segregation etc. Those arguments only attempt to hide the differences between peoples. By trying to say we are all the same, we conceal the inequalities that do exist between people. There are structural inequalities inherent in our society that have many Maori and Pacific peoples starting at a disadvantage.

This isn’t purely politicking, but it’s statistically evidenced. If you go to a high decile school the probability of gaining University Entrance is higher than a low decile school. Where do most Maori and Pacific people’s live? In low decile school areas. How is that fair, that just because you are born in a area that has crap schools, thereby affecting your probability of gaining a tertiary education?

…from NiuZila

Laying the smack down

As devout Christians, many Samoans agreed with the religious right. No law was going to stop a parent from disciplining their child. As comedian Russell Peters puts it, “my father would say: If I get rid of one, I’ll just make another one… and I’ll tell the new one what an idiot the last one was!”

We all remember getting a good ol fashioned beating. And many of us would agree that at the time it hurt like hell, and there were times where we wanted to and probably tried to run away from the inevitable. But I’m sure we would also all agree that it was necessary, it was part of growing up and learning lessons. We probably feel we are better people because of those hidings. And in many ways, we would exact some sort of version of those same disciplinary actions on our own kids.

…from NiuZila

Hate Crimes: Is the Race War On? Someone let me know.

If this crap escalates to a full scale race war on the streets, I’ll need to know if Tom (white guy)up the street is gonna greet me with a neighborly wave or site his M4 carbine on my brown ass! Will Ali at 7/11 say “Good morning Eeedezy, cigarettes?” or start chanting some craziness in Arabic before taking all of us infedels out- slurppees and all!

I always wondered why California’s Prison system is the only segregated prison system in the country. Blacks go with blacks, Whites with the whites, Mexicans? Well ,theyr’e special. Norteno’s(Northern Mexicans North of Santa Barbara to the Bay Area) to the North and the Sureno’s( Southern Mexicans with ties to Southern California) to the south. Oh yeah, the Samoans go with the rest of the races- we are called and roll with -the “Others”. The Pac Islanders, Asians , Orientals and afa-kasis’ make up the others. Did the California Department of Corrections see something in the races years ago, that is evident and escalating today?

…from NEW Ala Mai Blogger, Eeee Deeezy

March to democracy

I have to admit I had to sneak out for a quick lunch break to witness this great Hikoi. And I’m glad I did. As I saw the multitudes walk past I felt a great pride, an honour to be a witness to, and testify about the actions of those protesters that day. As the chant’s went up and the flags waved, the goosebumps and spine chilling set in. History was being made.

In my University days I would’ve jumped at the opportunity to be standing side by side next to those protesters. But there’s an uncomfortable feeling of having to be stand-offish now that I’m no longer waving around the University-rebellion-against-the-machine flag anymore. This corporate suit has almost created a barrier between the sensibilities that now have to be taken into account, compared to the desire to voice one’s opinion along side others on Queen Street.

…from NiuZila

Clash of the two Samoas-Democracy gone wild

One can only be concerned with Samoa’s agenda in its attempts to close ranks against Fiji, by alienating its closest Pacific neighbors. That is what is happening here. Tuilaepa is merely driving a wedge between him and anyone who isn’t being influenced by New Zealand and Australia.

In his attempts to be a stronger independent country voice, the only thing the Prime Minister is doing is drawing attention to the fact that he does not know where exactly he wants to be. One minute he’s driving on the Left hand side and the next minute he’s on the Right…

…from NEW Ala Mai Blogger, Tama Valevale

Waitangi Day

Waitangi Day to most New Zealanders (read Palagis) is another day to go visit the garden store, to get that thing out of the way you’ve always wanted to do, to paint the house, mow the lawn, or to go to the beach. In fact, I’d say most Samoans treat Waitangi Day the same way.

Well here’s my perspective on this day of historical importance. Sure it’s a Maori “thing”, but it’s also a Polynesian “thing”, and New Zealander “thing”, a human “thing” too….

…from new Ala Mai blog, NiuZila, Land of Full Fat Milk and Welfare Money

I Live In Oregon

In the States, people are taxed, via income, property, corporate, mutual, and the like. The purpose of taxes is to subsidize funding of public education, health, child care, military/defense, local improvement projects, civil liberties, etc. Economics 101 states that in a democratic country, such as the USA is, this is how our economy feeds itself: through the Gross National Product (give and take; supply v. demand: if I need, and you can supply, I will pay for services rendered).

Essentially, any law that deprives one (or group of) of their civil liberties isn’t lawful, it isn’t right. If we deprive groups of their civil liberties, then we have no right to tax them for liberties afforded per our constitution: “…in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty…”

Let God, our father in Heaven, be the judge. Let us live, and let live…

…by John @ Tala’aga