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Why is enthusiasm enough?

14 April, 2015

The Editor, The Wellingtonian

Dear Editor;

Given that there has been no cost benefit analysis done for the proposed airport runway extension, along with the silence from the Wellington City Council and the Airport about doing one, their enthusiasm for the runway extension seems to be based primarily on – their enthusiasm! Read the rest of this entry »


Iran agreement reminds of NPT disarmament commitment

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

06 April, 2015

Dear Editor,

Phil Goff’s (Labour spokesperson for disarmament) motion in Parliament last week on the coming Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NNTRC) is provocative in its timing and is worth repeating:

“That this House urge nuclear weapons States at this year’s NNTRC in New York in April to fulfil their side of the bargain they struck 45 years ago in signing a treaty to eliminate their nuclear weapons in exchange for other nations not proliferating nuclear weapons, and calls on them to now act to honour their unequivocal undertaking to disarm under article VI of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.”

The moral validity, and in consequence practical promise, of the recently concluded agreement on the conditions for a negotiation with Iran to eliminate their possible movement toward becoming yet another nuclear weapons state, depends primarily upon the nuclear weapons states disarming their nuclear weapons.  No fundamental credibility in criticising others’ nuclear weapons exists with a nuclear armed state.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller


Festering ill-will long term from spying

24  March, 2015

The Editor, The Wellingtonian

Dear Editor;

Failing to mention the long term effects of GCSB spying on South Pacific Island governments for political and commercial advantage (both Todd Blake and C Brian Smith, 19 March) displays a lack of respect for the needs of the future.  Island elected officials may not complain openly now but it will fester and emerge in later years. Read the rest of this entry »


What does the Doublethink over GCSB spying reveal about NZ priorities?

The Editor, The Press, Christchurch

18 March, 2015

Dear Editor,

Doublethink has become the norm in relation to Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) spying and has developed in stages roughly like this:  1. The government denies that the GCSB is spying on New Zealanders or Pacific islands countries.  2. Irrefutable proof is produced that they are spying, such as from Nicky Hager or Edward Snowden.  3. The government then says, of course the GCSB has been spying, there was never any secret about that, and it is in the interests of (so called) ‘national security’.  4. Most everyone forgets, or pretends to forget, there was ever a denial (stage 1). Read the rest of this entry »


Milk powder threat exposes weakness of a market economy

The Editor, The Sunday Star-Times, Auckland

17 March, 2015

Dear Editor:

The Prime Minister knows of the term ‘eco-terrorist’ and apparently thinks he has found a situation where he can use it.   But there has been no contamination of milk powder found, only a threat which has the feel of being a bluff, yet to be worked through by police.  So is it just another casual and careless reference by the PM?

Or is there a hope that the terrorism legislation can be invoked to prosecute the threat maker?  The legislation includes threats to the economic well-being of the country.  Days of concern about the milk powder market would indicate a strong sensitivity.  But that exposes a weakness of a market economy, not a threat of terrorism.  Putting the country’s economic eggs in a large export market, mostly through dairy, is not wise and not necessary.  Any healthy national economy can primarily thrive out of a strong local economy with little inequality.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

published 22/03/2015


‘Sustainable’ housing

The Editor, The Cook Strait News, Wellington

17 March, 2015

Dear Editor:

What a breath of fresh air from Dave McArthur (CSN 9 March).  The use of the term ‘sustainable’ has not become standardized and usually reflects ‘green washing’.  A good list of characteristics that would be truly sustainable in a housing complex is required if we are to come to grips with the challenges facing the future.  Mr. McArthur’s suggestions are in that vein.  They are not new, they have just been mostly ignored.  Thanks, Dave.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

published 23/03/2015


Doublethink over GCSB spying

The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington

16 March, 2015

Dear Editor,

There’s an undercurrent of familiarity in New Zealand during the tenure of this National government for those of us who remember George Orwell’s 1948 classic book, ‘1984’.  Orwell describes an ability to hold two contradictory thoughts at the same time, coining the word, ‘doublethink’.

In the case of Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) spying the doublethink goes in stages roughly like this:  1. The government denies that the GCSB is spying on New Zealanders or Pacific islands countries.  2. Irrefutable proof is produced that they are, such as from Nicky Hager or Edward Snowden.  3. The government then says, of course the GCSB has been spying, there was never any secret about that, and it is in the interests of (so called) ‘national security’.  4. Most everyone forgets, or pretends to forget, there was ever a denial (stage 1).

Sincerely,

Richard Keller


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