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Brexit and Trident – Putting the Great back into Great Britain?

The Editor,  The Listener,  Private Bag 92512,  Wellesley St.

Auckland 1141

27 April, 2017

Dear Editor,

Brexit seems to be creating the current politics of Great Britain with the surprize announcement of an early election, revealing an authoritarian tendency which must have been lurking just beneath the surface. 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.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

 

 


“Evil intent” a careless and provocative comment

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

27 April, 2017

Dear Editor:

In referring to North Korea one should be careful of the words one is tempted to use as they might apply to other circumstances as well. Jerry Brownlee’s “evil intent” comment is careless in that way.  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 »


Key was never more than a front man.

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

07 December, 2016

Dear Editor:

John Key lasted a year longer than I expected; I’ll give him that. But his demise goes back two years to the 2014 election and the stoush that followed from Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics, out of which Judith Collins was sent to the bench for a while. Read the rest of this entry »


response to Gordon Campbell’s Werewolf column of 18/11/16

“Making America great again” is something Trump repeated often but didn’t elucidate that I heard. Read the rest of this entry »


Response to Gordon Campbell’s article on Trump

Appropriate to mention that Trump asked in a military briefing why he couldn’t use nuclear weapons. Does he not know that military and nuclear strategists have long put forth the ‘nuclear deterrence’ theory?  He should have known that would be the response.  There is some (probably unintended) honesty about his question as there is no such thing as ‘nuclear deterrence’; that is just a figment of a collective insanity.  But he is surely serious about using them.  Ever since the end of the cold war it has been universally understood that there is no reason to have them except to use them.

So where would he use them? North Korea? It’s hard for me to guess.  If the use offends or threatens some large nuclear power, such as China or Russia, it would not surprize to see them respond with a nuclear blast somewhere.  The target?  Likely some country out of the way, small, and an ally of the USA.  Oh, and just for good measure, an anti-nuclear country; nuclear nations see anti-nuclear as a threat.  Just a thought.

(addendum 12/11/16)

Gordon,
Good of you to remind us that Trump is willing to encourage other countries to develop nuclear weapons.  Would that become another export industry?  Does this display a lack of understanding of the destructiveness of a nuclear weapon?  Or is it a sign of suicidal tendencies?  More the latter I think.
Those who see that the global economy is dominated by profiteers who benefit from perpetual war are not wrong.  But that misses the discussion of the larger cultural/historical flow and the point which is coming to a zenith today.  I think we all know what that big picture is but we are almost universally terrified of discussing it.