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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.

It’s not like the GCSB doesn’t understand the negative possibilities; it’s just that they are focused on the perceived current need for advantage, first for the USA National Security Agency (NSA) for which the GCSB was set up to serve, and also for certain New Zealand moneyed interests.

The attitudes of Mr Blake and Mr Smith may be uncomfortably shared by many in NZ these days.  But are they willing to accept the burden on the poorer and middle classes (of which they may be a part) which these moneyed interests insist be imposed along with the burden on island communities?  If so, why?   This brings up the question of our time, what in the larger historical context is being threatened which they and others insist be saved apparently at their own expense?

Sincerely,

Richard Keller


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


Making better use of the rail network would be safer

14 March, 2015

The Editor,  The Waikato Times

Dear Editor;

Moving freight traffic off the roads onto the country’s underused rail network would be more efficient fuel wise and pollution wise.  The highways would be safer as well; note all the fatal truck/car crashes recently.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller


What do the boys Ray and Simon have against “common sense Kiwi self-confidence”?

The Editor, The Cook Strait News, Wellington

10 March, 2015

Dear Editor:

Eastern Ward counsellor Sarah Free recently introduced a motion in Council insisting the Government direct its negotiators on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement to reject any provisions which would lesson our ability to get the best fair prices on medications (Pharmac) and a provision allowing global corporations to sue the government (taxpayers!) for potential lost profits stemming from health legislation (e.g anti-smoking) and environmental protection legislation, and other threats.

Congratulations to Ms Free.  The motion is just common sense Kiwi self-confidence and had already been passed by nine other local councils throughout the country as part of a nationwide campaign.  It did pass, just, with Mayor Wade-Brown casting the deciding vote.  But two Eastern Ward councillors, Ray Ahipene-Mercer and Simon Marsh voted against it!  This has got to become more of an issue in the Eastern Ward.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

published 23/03/2015


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