Response to Scoop Wellington chain on plans for the public library

The purpose (in the larger cultural/historical picture) of closing or even demolishing the library (and also building a giant white elephant convention centre) was (is still) to destroy the very concept of a ‘public’ library. Read the rest of this entry »

Response to so-called ‘fast track’ Covid-19 bill

Hello Mr Webb,

I know you know that the National Party has won the most seats of any party in parliament for four successive elections primarily because they have made it clear they would do nothing significant about climate change.  However, the Labour Party has seemed to say that climate change is our ‘nuclear-free’ moment.  But this bill has not given much attention to climate change; no so-called ‘fast track’ has any substance without significant attention to climate change.  The slogan is mis-named as ‘shovel-ready’ but the only meaningful projects are ‘future ready’ ones.

Below are a few of the many disappointments in this bill.
  • The short public submission period made it difficult for people to meaningfully engage in the process.
  • An overwhelming number of submissions called for climate change to be included in the Bill as a bottom-line. The amendments in the Select Committee report improve the bill but do not do enough to ensure that fast-track projects support Aotearoa’s transition to a zero-carbon future.
  • The Select Committee report moves to diminish the role of mana whenua by moving consistency with Te Tiriti and Treaty settlements from a requirement to a ‘consideration’.
  • Every New Zealander has an important role in protecting the environment, and should not be excluded from having a say on projects that will impact our environment and climate resilience for years to come.
Richard Keller

Comment to Talk Wellington about TOD (transit oriented development)

The TOD article mentions ‘mass transit’ without defining it.  The conversation in Wellington is inadequate because of the term. Read the rest of this entry »

Response to Daily Kos posting on Trump’s ‘winners and losers’.

‘Winners and Losers’ is a lot more common than one Donald Trump would expose.  Read the rest of this entry »

New coronavirus cases not surprising – government knows it

From the very beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Aotearoa/New Zealand the government had focused on getting all 5 million of us to commit to Level 4 lockdown.   They did not tell us they were not going to do enough testing to be sure they knew the extent of community transmission.  It worked through Level 4.  But then the quick movement through the other Levels engendered some complacency and a lot of impatience amongst many of the 5 million.

Things were happening so quickly at the start that there was some inevitable looseness (“self isolation” is loose) but we managed to prevent devastating spread which other countries have had no chance with.  But this was also because we are a small outlying island which had fewer borders for the virus to be brought in over.  The lack of dedication to protocols evident in the current case of the two over from the UK and not tested is a sign of this impatience within a traditional feeling of moat-like isolation.  This may not be surprizing but the government could have told us early on they would not be testing enough to have confidence in knowledge of community transmission.  Likely there would be less impatience now.

Reply to Scoop, Public Library article by Helene Ritchie

Thanks Helene (Ritchie),
The current elected council would surely be amenable to a stabilize / open process for the Library. Read the rest of this entry »

“it feels … like it’s been a long time coming all at once”

Title is a quote from a resident of Minneapolis (first-time protester Hunter Reeve) where the city council has just passed a resolution aimed at abolishing the police department. Read the rest of this entry »

More on Transmission Gully

Copywrite article on the Transmission Gully roading project from Newsroom,  by Emile Donovan and Dileepa Fonseka.  Read the rest of this entry »

Coronavirus brings reflection. Can it help us understand the Post Truth Era?

From the New York Times, 24 May, 2020, copywrite article.   In this excerpt from the article we see what Americans’ aspiration had been turned to in the eighties, the time of the global neo-liberal coup.   Now in 2020 it is the billionaires that are admired, and the disconnect is even more obvious.  The Post Truth Era has come from this base.

Will the Coronavirus Kill What’s Left of Americans’ Faith in Washington?

Sabrina Tavernise

Patricia Bolgiano has lived through multiple economic downturns. Each time, she said, leaders in Washington responded in ways that left her family behind, while a select few got wealthier.
She grew up poor in Baltimore, and remembers a rising culture of wealth in the 1980s that bore no resemblance to her life.

“‘Dynasty’ and ‘Knots Landing,’ that’s what you aspired to,” she said. “You wanted those Linda Evans haircuts and shoulder pads. I could never have afforded any of those things. I was working in a low-end retail job. There was just this big disconnect.”

Mrs. Bolgiano was working in a call center at a regional bank in Maryland during the stock market crash of 1987 and the savings and loan crisis.  She remembers scared-sounding customers on the other end of the phone, and secretaries talking about their bosses’ golden parachutes.  It happened again 20 years later.  One evening in 2008, she was driving and listening to the news on the radio. Banks were collapsing. She knew what was coming next: bailouts for Wall Street, and no accountability for what they had done to hurt the economy.
“They knew they could get out of anything,” she said.

For your enjoyment: ‘Deep Nature’ – copyrighted article from Joe Blundo, The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, Ohio

By Joe Blundo
The Columbus Dispatch,  Columbus, Ohio USA
Sunday at 6:01 AM

Today, I blow the lid off a conspiracy.

It’s called Deep Nature. You’ve heard of the “Deep State” — the imaginary shadow government that President Donald Trump likes to blame every time he doesn’t get his way. Read the rest of this entry »