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Adolescent national mythology

The Editor, The Cook Strait News, Wellington

22 August, 2014

Dear Editor:

Rochelle Todd (New generation learn about war, 18 August) in speaking about her class project on WW1 says “They need to understand that we live in a free country because of that war.”  Really?    Read the rest of this entry »


No Palestinian land in 1948?

The Editor, The Sunday Star-Times, Auckland

21 August, 2014

Dear Editor:

Rodney Brooks (Israel-Palestine conflict, 17 August) says “there was no Palestinian land in 1948” when the state of Israel was formed.  The Palestinians had been living there for some time by 1948.  What else does it take for Palestinians to belong in a place, or put another way, be indigenous to a place?   Read the rest of this entry »


Ian McKinnon on Mayor Celia Wade-Brown

25 July, 2014

The Editor, The Wellingtonian

Dear Editor;

Ian McKinnon (Wellingtonian Interview, 17 July) reveals his tendancy to right wing ideology in describing Mayor Celia Wade-Brown as “quite ideologically driven”.   Ms Wade-Brown has always put herself forward honestly as a “common sense” green even though her positions come short of leading the degree of change required to move toward a sustainable future.  That’s not “ideologically driven”. Read the rest of this entry »


Precis for WEA course – “Have psychpaths been unfairly condemned?”

Topic for Workers Education Association (WEA)  (Note:  I have no confidence that I could organize such a course, only that it needs to happen.)

“Have psychopaths been unfairly condemned?”

Precis:

Two analyses have come along which raise the question seen in the title.

  • A book by Andy McNabb entitled “The good Psychopath’s Guide to Success” which says there are characteristics attributed to a psychopath which are not so bad after all.           Andy McNabb: I do know one reason why I’m successful – the main reason, in fact. It’s because I’m a psychopath. But don’t panic, I’m a good psychopath!
  • A documentary video entitled “The Corporation” which is organized on the premise that corporations are required by law to have the characteristic and “qualities” attributed to psychopaths in a human being.

Noting that the corporation has grown in influence in the global economy to a dominant position, and in the United States, the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have some “rights” previously only given to humans, a place of prominence in our societies for the psychopath has arrived, even though it is not often recognized as such.  The importance of this question is underscored by the reality that corporations are the most influential means by which practices which are destroying the planet and advancing inequality are implemented.

Course outline:

This course would examine the traditional psychiatric view of the psychopath; view and discuss the video “The Corporation”; review and discuss the book “The good Psychopath’s Guide to Success”; discuss how human communities/societies currently relate to their chosen economy especially through the corporation; and finally – discuss the question of the relationship and relative importance of “survival” and “success”.  This last item may help us understand the changing political situation we find today.


Flyover gone for now!

The Editor, Cook Strait News, news@wsn.co.nz, Wellington

7 Aug, 2014

Dear Editor:

Thankfully the flyover has been rejected.  Read the rest of this entry »


WW1 – Empire not democracy

The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington

31 July, 2014

Dear Editor:

Did New Zealand go off to WW1 in order to save democracy and freedom?  “But the Germans were not the only imperialists and not the only ones to succumb to paranoia.  The crisis that brought war in 1914 was the fruit of a shared political culture. . . “  This quote from UK historian Christopher Clark from his book “The Sleepwalkers”.  Read the rest of this entry »


Wellington Saints unlikely championship

Basketball is a team game.  Roles must be filled – ball handling, screening, driving, shooting on offense – on defence, playing tight on the shooter, switching onto drivers, boxing out on rebounding, and nowadays banging bodies to prevent free movement – and a group of individuals must learn to play as a team.   The Saints championship in the National League is a satisfying example of this. Read the rest of this entry »


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