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Everything posted by lewelma

  1. This is linked to intergenerational conflict. The older generation is stealing from the younger generation. This is fact. Sure I can be mad, but I can be mad about a lot of inequality. I have been reading Picketty's (French economist) books on inequality - all 2400 pages of them. I know what inequality is and what causes it. I also know that it has rarely been fixable throughout human history - including intergenerational inequality. So I focus on inequality where I am towards the top of the pile. I am on the top for family, marriage, intelligence, physical health, mental health, etc. I
  2. Sure they can be upset about it -- I certainly don't blame them. But it is too late. It is done. You can march, you can yell, you can cry, but sorry, you are not going to change it. From my point of view, my mental health is too valuable to focus on regret and loss. I will focus on how I can make a positive difference. I was an ecologist in a previous life (PhD with research), and I found the field so depressing that I walked after putting 10 year of my life into preparing to enter the field. Basically, I saw ecology as studying and documenting pristine systems, and those were being
  3. This is me. I've got 2 close friends. And yes, they do call. The rest are now more like acquaintances. However, one of these friends is a teacher, and each of us is just too busy during term time, so we talk and hang out during our school holidays 4 times a year. We don't feel guilty when we don't chat for 10 weeks at a time. This has been the case for 15 years now. I wish you lived close to me, Regentrude, because we have so much in common and could have some wonderful chats. I'm so sorry your friends have failed you.
  4. So DS is pessimistic that we can stop climate change. He just doesn't think that the big players will change their economic/social systems fast enough. But when he decides what to DO with his life, he can choose not to fight a losing fight. He can choose a different fight where positive outcomes are possible. He can help farmers find new crops for the changing weather, he can help Pacific Island nations relocate their towns to higher ground. Basically, he can work on the ground towards positive action. He can be optimistic about the ability of humans to adapt. Both his pessimistic
  5. My younger son is very interested in geography as a career, but he was very worried it would be depressing. I told him that if he assumes that climate change is happening and that there is no way to stop it, then he can focus on helping communities adapt to the changes they will face. This is a positive action and leads to optimistic thinking. It is all how you frame it.
  6. My older boy is in America living with his friends in a flat in a dense city. They basically don't go out of the apartment ever. They share meals and play games and seem to get along really well. My son is very happy, and is exercising inside his room and taking lots of vitamin D given he *literally* has not been outside in the sun in 2 months.
  7. We have decided that he is 20, and he won't be coming home for 6 weeks for much longer. I think we would regret saving the money. We bought this ticket in FEBRUARY. So we already own it, but he can't get into the country without sitting in a quarantine hotel for 14 days. He will spend his last 2 weeks of class in the quarantine hotel, then be home for his final exams ending December 19. Spring Term starts Feb 1 so we will have 6 weeks. It will be summer here and there is no covid so we can have a lot of fun and build some memories.
  8. We are dual citizens, so can vote in both elections. The ballots are very different! Looks like over 80% of the electorate voted which is slightly higher than in previous years, and obviously much higher than in the USA.
  9. haha. I'm guessing they got a deal on cases and cases of Bic pens. Way cheaper than cases and cases of pink magic markers. 🙂 We are talking like 3 million markers if everyone gets one. That is a LOT of pink magic markers! In previous elections, the pink magic markers were on a little string at each booth, so you could not take them. But everyone touched them. This year, they asked if we had our own pen (oops, didn't think to bring one), and if you didn't they gave each of us a Bic pen to use and then there was a box to put them in when we were done. I'm not sure how you would wash them
  10. We are paying $3300 for DS to go into a quarantine facility for 14 days so he can spend Christmas and January with us.
  11. She was directly voted in by her district. She is chosen by her party to be its leader, but the party could change its mind if it wanted to. She is equivalent to Mitch Mcconnell if the US did not have the House or the president. NZ has one chamber of 120 people, she is the leader of the party in power.
  12. I voted for an MP from one party, and gave my party vote to a different party. You don't have to align them. You can be strategic. So I really like my electorate MP, but I wanted the other party represented in parliament
  13. haha. I just went to see the images. No, we don't have fruit next to people's names. But Yes, each party gets to put their colored symbol next to their name. So in America you would have a donkey and an elephant next to the names based on party, or whatever image the party chose to use. The ballot is as colorful and as simple as the images you are seeing. In the past, we voted with a pink magic marker - one tick party vote, one tick electorate MP. They chose PINK because no party uses this color currently. But this year, they didn't want everyone using the same marker because of co
  14. From my point of view, the best way to describe the effect this system has on our politics compared to America is that coalitions here are built *after* the election rather than being embedded in the parties like in the USA. In America, the parties always talk about being big umbrellas, bringing together large very different groups of people. So the Democrats have the progressives, the environmentalists, the unions, etc. And the Republicans have the rural vote, the christian conservatives, the pro business lobby, etc. This does shift in America over the decades, but it is hidden within the pa
  15. NZ voted by referendum 30 years ago to switch to an MMP system which makes the parliament proportional to the parties voted for. We have TWO votes: one for the person we want to represent our district, and 1 for the party we want to represent us in the parliament. Electorate MPs: This is like a standard US election. Candidates run against each other and whoever gets >50% wins and gets into parliament. 70 MPs out of 120 total are electorate MPs. List MPs: The remaining 50 MPs out of 120 are list MPs. We don't vote for them directly. The parties rank the people they want to ge
  16. Labour has clearly won, but it is touch an go as to whether Labour (Ardern's party) can rule without a coalition. They are right at 50% with overseas votes due in the next 2 weeks. If they can rule without the Greens, it will be the first time since MMP was started 30 years ago, that a single party will hold all the power. Now we wait. In 2 weeks we will know the final results. No news on the referendums as they are counted separately.
  17. I hear that it is complicated, but the US made no effort to change. NZ changed its health system in response to the pandemic, and they changed it FAST. I'm not saying the US could mimic NZ, but to suggest that "this is the way it has always been, so it is the way it will always be" is self defeating. The US made a choice. And the choice was the status quo.
  18. 57% of eligible voters voted before election day!
  19. When the pandemic started, NZ was divided into 20 completely separate, independently-acting, District Health Boards. The Ministry of Health was a very weak force. They have spent the last 6 months desperately trying to coordinate these groups. They have succeeded but it did not start out that way.
  20. Ashley Bloomfield has asked for people to please answer their phones. I don't know how often they don't actually go their door, but I do know that the contact tracers go to their church or school leaders and ask them to please help. Communication has been key here. When Princeton did a review of the NZ response they named three things: 1) the ability of Ashley Bloomfield to communicate (this was lucky as he is a health buracrat not a communicator by training), 2) Jacinda Ardern's ability to communicate, 3) a strong social contract so that people do what they have been asked.
  21. We usually don't have the referendums. So it was a large ballot for NZ. 🙂 We vote in the American election too, so I know what a large ballot looks like!!!
  22. Katy and Janeway, I can hear you are both frustrated. But you are going to get this thread locked.
  23. We voted for 1) Our parliament member 2) The Party we wanted (we have an MMP system, so there are "list members", who aren't voted in directly, but get in based on the party vote) 3) Referendum: To legalize and control recreational marijuana 4) Referendum: To legalize the right to die (terminal illness with 6 months to live, plus uncontrollable pain) That was all that was on the ballot.
  24. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/123114127/election-2020-why-you-cant-see-any-election-coverage-right-now The NZ election is today! But there is a news blackout from midnight to 7pm today. All election posters and billboards had to be down by midnight. You are not allowed to influence the vote today. More than half of eligible voters have already voted, including me! There were 5 polling stations open in my area that you could walk in during business hours and vote early. We are having an election party tonight!
  25. Here, it is about 6 hours after getting a positive test that the contact tracers will contact you. If they cannot get you on the phone, they will go to your door. If you are a close contact of a positive test, you will be contacted within 48 hours of the contact tracers getting the positive result info. Ashley Bloomfield talks about we have reached the 'gold standard' of 48 hours to contact trace and put all close contacts into self isolation.
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