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Revisit: Viruses mutate; modern day mass hosts provide unprecedented opportunity

I’m reposting this discussion as background for our search for a ‘new normal’ in 2021.  Rob Wallace has written a new book specifically about the origins of Covid, again especially noting the influence of the vertically integrated global food chains in providing opportunities for viruses to ‘pandemic’ (verb, my invention?).  I’ll briefly comment on this new book, ‘Dead Epidemiologists’, in the near future. Read the rest of this entry »


Deeper cause is denial of changes required to address climate change

Response to Boston Globe article on white supremacy:

Trump’s racism has been a catalyst for much of this (white supremacism) coming out into the open. But the most fundamental cause is the widest cause which infects maybe a majority of people, including some BLM and other progressives, is the denial of the fundamental cultural changes required to confront climate change. Read the rest of this entry »


How many ‘post truths’ make a ‘lie’?

The Editor, The Sunday Star Times, Auckland

15/01/ 2021

Dear Editor:

‘Lies’ have frequently been in the news recently, and deservedly so.  Donald Trump has proved an inveterate liar in his presidency, to no surprize. Read the rest of this entry »


Some laws are too ‘PC’ to implement – version 2

The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington

08/01/ 2021

Dear Editor:

Cat MacLennan (the big fail, 5/1) makes a revealing observation about our system of law which is significant in practice but taboo, namely that some laws are not put into force consistent with the wording of the law and with the discussion in parliament about the law (supposedly indicating the intention of the law).  Read the rest of this entry »


Some laws are too ‘PC’ to implement

The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington

09/01/ 2021

Dear Editor:

Cat MacLennan (the big fail, 5/1) makes a revealing observation about our system of law which is significant in practice but taboo, namely that some laws are not put into force consistent with the wording of the law and with the discussion in parliament about the law (supposedly indicating the intention of the law). Read the rest of this entry »


Greens hampered in articulating their climate change policy

The Editor, The Listener, Auckland

09/01/ 2020

Dear Editor:

Jenifer Curtin (Myths and Legends, 2/1) mentions one example of the Greens attracting media attention on housing, and there is probably more, but the real measure is how the Greens are presenting their climate change program. Read the rest of this entry »


A short description of the end of the British Empire

A friend of mine from home (Columbus, Ohio*) recently joked that I should come back to the States and “help straighten things out”. Well this was overly complimentary of course, but my perspective is more long term (cultural history type long term), so I responded with a short description of this broader perspective, including incidentally a short description of the end of the British Empire, which more than anything else explains why I haven’t, and will not, return permanently to the US.

I wrote back:

There were those ‘at home’ in the eighties, as I was planning to move to New Zealand, who suggested I should stay, or at least come back soon permanently, to ‘help straighten things out’, haha.  But even then I was thinking in ‘cultural historical’ terms and could see someone like Trump coming along eventually.  Bush II seemed a step in that direction, but not a fulfilment of the Reagan destiny.  Trump, however, is a symptom and a symbol of that destiny.  But of course, he is not the cause of it all.  We need to look at the historical moment of the eighties.  The existential threat of permanent nuclear weapons and the emerging existential threat of ‘environmental destruction’, which has come to focus on climate change, as realized in the 60s and 70s indicating the massive changes needed, led to the desperate reaction in the eighties called neo-liberalism, beginning with the presidency of Ronald Reagan (male, A-boy), and PM Margaret Thatcher (female, A-girl) just to name the two most notable A-list leaders of neo-liberalism emerging in that period, which was actually also the beginning of the end of the British Empire, an end finally reached now and marked in the second decade of the 21st century by both the spasm known as Brexit and the presidency of Donald Trump.

 

* Columbus, Ohio – home of The Ohio State University, which notably has a gridiron football team playing for the USA university gridiron national championship (versus The University of Alabama) Monday , Jan 11, which is Tuesday, Jan 12 here in New Zealand (2 pm NZ).  If any Wellington reader of this post wants to come over to our place to watch the game on ESPN television with me, please get in touch by e-mail, letters.by.rwk@gmail.com, or my usual e-mail so we can see if this can work out.


Amnesty International letter (Columbia)

                                                                   23  December, 2020

Jani Silva

Oficina Comision Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz

Carrera 37a  #25B – 42

Bogota, Columbia

Hello Jani,

Below is copied a letter I have sent to the Columbia government insisting they offer protection to you and your organization. Read the rest of this entry »


Response to Boston Globe article on epidemiologist disillusionment

There seems to be general surprize about negative public response to the analysis and restrictions suggested by medical experts in the same way there has been surprize that (someone like) Donald Trump could be elected President of the USA. There should be no surprize. Its’s been coming on inexorably and openly for the last 40 years. We have reached the Post Truth Era where denial has become mainstream. Read the rest of this entry »


Response to Timothy Snyder’s article in the Boston Globe on Trump’s attempted coup

Brilliant exposition. But same as most this author does not take the description of the times into the shared cultural level, the subconscious level, shared around most of the globe, a place that has always been influential, but is more so today, and in a way unique to the times, namely the Post Truth Era. Read the rest of this entry »


Donald Trump has not been “the problem” – Version 2

The Editor, The Listener, Auckland

08/11/ 2020

Dear Editor:

Donald Trump has not been “the problem”.  Yes, unstable denier Trump is a dangerous person to have in such a powerful office.  But he is more of a symbol and a symptom of a deeper and wider malaise. Read the rest of this entry »