Irony in move to Level One

There is irony in the move to Level 1 in the South at the same time as Level 2 will let the Aucklander’s loose into the South.  The threat of transmitting Covid-19 will actually increase for the South.  100,000 plane tickets sold in Auckland in two hours after removal of the the need to distance on planes, trains, and busses is a startling change in movement of people which means a big change in the chance of the virus being carried around.  Look at how the virus went global so widely and so fast:  plane travel.   So called criticisms of government ‘fear mongering’ are actually open attempts by those critics to display their ignorance of the virus.  By now it is clear that the worlds of the humans and the viruses are different.  The unknowns about the spread, deadliness, and the long term effects, as well as the unknowns about vaccines, are still too potentially devastating.  As time goes by virus experts in the health field are learning more and their advice is paramount.  Interesting that Dr Bloomfield and PM Ardern have for the first time expressed differences of opinion during this phase.

Note to Dom Post complaining of propaganda in the ‘This Day in History” section.

Hello Dom Post,

In Friday’s “Today in History” there is a bit of propaganda in the 2001 entry.  The three World Trade Center buildings that came down likely did not come down because of the fires generated by the planes.  A recent study from the University of Alaska shows Building #7 did not come down because of fires and of course it was not hit by a plane anyway.  Yet, all three buildings came down in the same way, directly onto its own ‘footprint’.  No other high rise buildings have come down in that way without controlled demolition, before or since, and these three (#1, 2, and 7) likely are no exception.
These original and continuing claims that the planes brought down the buildings are another example of a denial of science, seemingly more common today, as I have pointed out in recent letters to the editor.
Richard Keller

Response to Helene Ritchie article on 2013 structural report on the Library.

Our current waiata singing council has great potential. But experience like that displayed here by Helene Ritchie is essential for that to mature. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »