Peter Thiel – citizen?

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

13 July, 2017

Dear Editor:

Looking at what new NZ citizen Peter Thiel has been contributing here, from afar, we see it has mostly to do with the GCSB and the Five Eyes spy network. Given that Five Eyes is mostly for feeding the National Security Agency (NSA) in Washington, DC, it looks like he is working in the interests of the elite in USA (and NZ) primarily, probably not in the interests of most New Zealanders. Read the rest of this entry »

Island Bay uproar is still about cars, not a cycleway

The Editor,  The Cook Strait News,  Wellington

06 May, 2017

Dear Editor:

An Island Bay resident was this week quoted in the daily paper about the growing number of cars parked on the streets throughout the village. He says most families have two cars and some even more (as many as five).  What has been happening in Island Bay? Read the rest of this entry »

Nostalgia is for pre climate change world

The Editor,  The Wellingtonian,  Wellington

15 May, 2017

Dear Editor:

Gordon Campbell (11 May) wonders what sort of myth of ‘real New Zealand’ will be popular with voters in September or even whether these attempts at image by the political parties will be successful at all. The images he sees in train are old ones, what he calls ‘social nostalgia’.

All good, but the nostalgia for the past also must be seen in a longer, deeper context in order to understand the NZ politics of 2017, or 2008, or even 1984. This has been a time of fundamental change, and has been recognized as such globally in one way or another since the 60’s and has been a factor in politics since the 70’s.

Adding to the threat of nuclear weapons, the assault on the earth, which in recent years has become understood through climate change science, had revealed the need for fundamental change the scope of which is terrifying to a majority, not just the professed deniers. The nostalgia which is having the most political impact is the desperate insistence in NZ that we ‘go slow on climate change’ and in the USA to take the lead in putting it out of mind altogether.


Richard Keller



“honouring our fight for freedom” – too much cliche

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

29 April, 2017

Dear editor,

The Dom Post headline, “honouring our fight for freedom”, contains too much cliché to be helpful. WWI was not about freedom or independence; it was about empire. Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell is right about the dairy industry

The Editor,  The Wellingtonian,  Wellington

09 March, 2017

Dear Editor:

It may seem unkind for Gordon Campbell to use the derogatory term ‘genuflecting’ to describe the government’s upholding of the dairy industry’s views on water quality and swimable rivers (“genuflecting upon the export returns from our daily exporters”, March 2, Wellingtonian). But no, rather it is an appropriate term when understood in the broader cultural influences on policy. Read the rest of this entry »

The former PM as salesman

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

02 March, 2017

Dear Editor:

Mark Reason can very well be embarrassed that the former PM would morph so quickly and easily into a cheap promotor of a golf tournament. But, really, the former PM was always just a salesman, a front man for the National government.  Read the rest of this entry »

Privatization of education in Oaxaca, Mexico

16 February, 2017

The Editor,  The Progressive Magazine,  Madison, Wisconsin,  USA

Dear Ruth;

Writer Jeff Abbott (Feb ’17) says proposed Mexican education privatization, in particular in Oaxaca state, “are meant more for cutting costs than for the improvement of education”. But that is more the means than the end of the privatization push.  Read the rest of this entry »