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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 »


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.


NZ Defence Industry Association happy weapons stocks going $up after French war talk?

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

19 November, 2015

Dear Editor:

It seems an ironic coincidence that the NZ Defence Industry Association annual conference is occurring just as weapons stock market prices are rapidly rising (as reported by Glen Greenwald on Tuesday) after the French chose their desperate and suicidal ‘war’ response to the attacks in Paris.  Those who claim that the conference is about legitimate business opportunities should be happy, then.  Read the rest of this entry »


Why warship visit invitation?

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

12 November, 2015

Dear Editor:

Now that there is a small concession for NZ dairy exports into North America in the released TPPA text the government is saying ‘no problem’ for all the dangers to our democratic governance system in it through so-called investor state dispute tribunals,  restrictions on Pharmac, internet freedom, and other threats.   Read the rest of this entry »


NZ Defence Industry Association annual conference – “defence”?

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

09 November, 2015

Dear Editor:

Sanji Gunasekara (6 Nov) and Noeline Gannaway (4 Nov) are on the mark.  The so-called “defence” (NZ Defence Industry Association) annual conference on 17/18 November has been approved by Positively Wellington Venues of Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) to use the TSB Centre in Wellington which is a WCC facility.  Do Chris Whelan (WCC Chief Executive Officer), WREDA, the Mayor or council members know what military activities around the globe these many contractors are selling into? Read the rest of this entry »


International Day of Peace 2015 – United Nations

International Day of Peace 2015 – United Nations

Wellington, Parliament buildings;  21 September, 2015

Thanks to Peace Action Wellington (PAW) for allowing me to accept the invitation to attend this event, having been extended by Richard Tingey for the UN Association.

As context, I refer to the UNANZ newsletter of August, 2015 and in particular to page 6 under the heading of “Branch reports – Waikato”. The speech of the winner of the local branch secondary schools speech competition notes primarily the egalitarianism of NZ culture and says at one point, “Our egalitarianism was key to our peacekeeping milestones in Afghanistan and East Timor.” This statement seems hopeful at best and I suspect at odds to the opinions of most , though probably not all, people associated with PAW. Read the rest of this entry »


Letter to Ohio State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) on their divestment plans.

Letter to Ohio State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) on their divestment plans. Read the rest of this entry »