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In This Edition: Maree Howard’s Reports On ACC – Re: HARD NEWS 05/07/02 - The Phoney War - Investigator Who Cleared Bush Gets WorldCom Job - Why am I not surprised?

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Maree Howard’s Reports On ACC

Dear Scoop,

I would like to express my thanks, for the recent articles written by Maree Howard, relating to ACC.

Until I read Tomcat’s ACC thread on Xtrahealth’s website, I thought I was just unlucky, to receive the high level of incompetence from my ACC Branch in Timaru.

As a result of the ACC thread, and Maree’s investigation, it has become clear to me, that many other people’s health has become seriously compromised by ACC’s unsafe and uncaring practices.

I thought as I have gained, a permanent impairment, (brain injury) during one of ACC’s work trials. They were working hard to sweep this under the carpet.

I can see now this is not the case, as ACC seem to be happy to wreck many other claimants and their families lives.

It least it’s not personal.

Many Thanks to Maree, Scoop and the other ACC Victims, who took the time to open up their personal lives, in the quest for Justice and Accountability.

Let’s all hope that something good comes from all this.

Regards Jim

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Re: HARD NEWS 05/07/02 - The Phoney War

Please let Russell know that I have very much appeciated him making the hard choice and confronting the GM debate. I have been following it each week, and are now much better informed than my original "absolutely not" view of just a month or so ago. I'm still not sure of how far I want to go in embracing GM technology, and have particular concerns with companies like Monsanto controlling food production by producing non-reproducing plants, but are now open to investigating the benefits of specific GM variations in rigidly controlled experiments. And I guess that is exactly the argument - take the emotion out of science and then weigh up the benefits of preceeding beyond trials against the costs.

Thanks and regards

Paul Beattie

(in Edinburgh, where the weather is pissy and cold but the festival is just around the corner to compensate)

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Investigator Who Cleared Bush Gets WorldCom Job

In your article, Investigator Who Cleared Bush Gets WorldCom Job Thursday, 4 July 2002, by Alastair Thompson, you incorrectly report that Bush was cleared of his late filing charges and illegal insider trading at Harken.

BUSH WAS NOT EXONERATED.

Read the Washington Post’s article of July 2nd, “Bush Defends His Business Tenure” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15500-2002Jul2.html. The article states, “The SEC eventually closed its investigation of Bush without taking action against him, although The Dallas Morning News has quoted a 1993 letter from the SEC to Bush's lawyer emphasizing that its decision ‘must in no way be construed as indicating that (Bush) has been exonerated.’” The same information is being reported in other major newspapers.

George Bush, Dick Cheney, and most of the others assuming positions of power in the current administration clearly belong in prison.

Bruce Albertine

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Why am I not surprised?

I have just come home from a week's holiday with the news of another killing in my community.

Any death is a tragedy, especially one caused by a young person, but it's another in a long line.

The response, like that after September 11, has yet to get real.

The society we live in is dominated by fear and its product, violence. But we target the victims, wind up the hype, and ignore the causes.

The climate of fear and violence is the obvious outcome of government policy decisions, starting around the early 1980's and continued today.

The '91 benefit cuts which have played a major part in placing one third of all children in this country below the poverty line have not been addressed.

While state house rentals are now income related many of the people in them live in poverty and the 'ghettos' are cold beds of social unrest.

The education system is still being privatised and is basically user pays. The student debt burden is what balances the government's books.

The health system is still being grossly underfunded and run down.

Across the country the Health Ministry is closing smaller home care establishments, which give excellent care, because they do not want to deal with so many providers. "Big is better", it costs less.

Kimberley is to be closed with no provision for the specialist services many of the residents are dependent upon.

But again, these are only symptoms of the greater policy thrust and the malaise it generates.

There are no policies or support for the re-creation of a caring, supporting society where we acknowledge we are all heavily reliant on each other, except in the context of previously collectively organised and funded services being "devolved" to local communities which struggle not to sink under the weight of them.

More (underfunded) "law and order" is the answer from one political party, 'keep the immigrants out' another, arts scandals another. The message from the current government is pure spin, all image and no substance.

Anything but get real about the very serious issues facing the country and continuing to promote the blind avoidance of the indicators of our sick society that are thrust in front of us every day.

As Jane Kelsey says, "We are at a real crossroads". We have the opportunity to deal to the serious issues that confront us or we can continue to ignore them. We are all the losers if we do that, not just the victims of the latest burst of violence. We have a right to expect better of our politicians.

Ian Ritchie
Spokesperson, Palmerston North Poverty Action Group

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