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Analysts should have seen Trump coming in 2016

The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington

06/11/ 2020

Dear Editor:

Your editorial (frayed soul, 5/11) notes that “critics outside the US, especially in New Zealand” are mystified about Donald Trump’s ‘political resurrection’ after four bizarre years.  Yes, and they would be in the majority of analysts here.  They shouldn’t have been.  In fact, someone of the nature of Trump should have been seen as likely to become President of the US.  It’s been coming on steadily and clearly over the last 40 years as the reality of the fundamental changes required to stave off the worst effects of climate change have sunk in.  Donald Trump captured the terror of those changes as the grand denier and poster boy of the Post Truth Era where denial has become main stream, but he is only a symptom and a symbol of this denial.  He is a fitting personality for the ‘leader of the free world’ in the 21st century, which must be finally seen as ‘free to exploit’.   This denial is global, including in New Zealand, hence the reluctance to see Trump coming.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller


Denial of science rampant globally, including New Zealand

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington

07/09/ 2020

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to Carole Naylor for taking public transport (from Papakowhai) and walking into town to shop, with appropriate consumer discipline.  Read the rest of this entry »


Email to Grant Robertson recommending David Slack’s recent article.

Grant Robertson

Minister of Finance

Hello Grant,

Did you see David Slack’s article this week?  I would recommend it to you as he speaks metaphorically about you and your long (to be, retrospectively as it was) career as finance minister.  It may seem unrealistic to extrapolate a continuous 25 year rein as Finance Minister in the context of New Zealand politics.  But the metaphor is applicable in the sense that the surrealistic denial which is characteristic of our present time, within your Labour government’s time, is bringing us to a time of critical decision making now.   Now!   Now will determine whether there can be much of a future, much of a real (non-surreal) future politics in New Zealand and the world.

Slack’s reference to the $30B (yes, ‘B’) which your government has yet to commit shows you have at least a chance to make decisions which can put us in the right direction.  Rod Oram has today mentioned three positive recent developments, not least of which is the closure of the Tiwai Aluminium smelter in the South.  Other opportunities exist and are necessary, such as….

.Funding transport options which trash the total domination of the personal motor car.

.funding a local recycling capability (which, because everyone has to put out the trash and recycling every week -every week!- would bring home the importance of personal national responsibility).

.developing restorative agriculture which would eliminate dairy farming based on feed lots, and encourage plant based diets as well.

There will be others.

Thanks,

Richard Keller

Wellington


The Wind Band Composer in the 21st Century

The Wind Band Composer in the 21st Century 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.


Just got a little more dangerous in New Zealand

In looking past the move to Level 1 response to the novel coronavirus, I was expecting New Zealand to reach the next dangerous moment when incoming international travel resumed, probably from Australia first. Read the rest of this entry »


Transmission Gully (again)

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington
22/05/2020

Wellington’s Transmission Gully (TG) roading project was apparently mooted as far back as the 70s when the question of sustainability of road building was ignored. Read the rest of this entry »


Submission for New Zealand Rail Plan (GPS)

11/05/2020

New Zealand Rail Plan – Draft

Ministry of Transport (GPS)

Rail planning will be included in the Transport Plan (GPS) which must be seen as part of our life lived within the global ecosphere, especially our land. Read the rest of this entry »


Workplace Bubble – a new source of ‘clusters’?

Among the thousands of workplaces opening up tomorrow (28/04/2020) there will likely be much variation of physical distancing arrangements, some may have no real plan at all. Read the rest of this entry »