No cause to boast
Donald Trump is very proud of being the first US president to have not started any new wars in decades.
I would suggest that, given his well-known love of a good deal, he is a lot more proud of the arms dealing profit his administration has managed to negotiate and accumulate over the past four years to countries that have.
Surely aiding, abetting and providing the instruments of war for money is just as, if not more, repugnant than the act itself?
Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark.
Mark McCluskey (NZ Herald, January 20) ascribes Trump's popularity to a resurgence of conservatism. But that's not it. Plenty of conservative Republicans have turned their backs on Trump because they also value decency, honesty and competence.
As for the rest, they're a mixed bunch it seems to me. First there are the irretrievable idiots. As a real President once said, "you can fool some of the people all of the time..."
Then there are those who simply share Trump's racism. And others who need to believe that a tough guy is taking care of them, no questions asked. And finally, I think a huge number of Americans love Trump because they know very well he's an ignorant, conceited, bullying jerk masquerading as an Alpha, just like themselves. He's been their avatar, up there in the seat of power intimidating, overruling and terminating all those intelligent, knowledgeable, principled grown-ups who make them feel inferior.
Now they're angry and resentful because the adults are back in charge. So expect tantrums. At least for a while, until enough of them grudgingly accept that things may be boring, but better this way.
Ron Hoares, Wellsford.
Correspondent Mark McCluskey (NZ Herald, January 20) highlights the hypocrisy of ''progressive'' tolerance to conservative values.
It was former US President Ronald Reagan who in 1975 first warned if fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the form of liberalism. Well 45 years later, the West is infected with fascist liberalism.
A thought indoctrination, directed by political and academic elites, ably supported by the corporate mainstream media who act as a propaganda arm to the progressive agenda, rather than an impartial scrutiniser.
The cancelling of conservative and nationalist voices has only just begun.
Time New Zealanders woke up and spoke up.
S Scott, Te Awamutu.
Conservative does not equate with a lack of respect or empathy for fellow human-beings. Neither is it just about the wealthy, or those born with silver spoons in their mouth, creating a society which favours just them. All things Trump stood for.
True conservatism is cautious, respectful, has integrity and understands history, culture and the role of democracy in a fair society where all have the opportunity to succeed.
Trump used the conservative movement in America for his own ends to future his own ambitions and those of his family. There is another name for this.
M Mildon, Hamilton.
This 46th US Presidential Inauguration could claim it had "the largest audience in history" on air, on TV, on phones and laptops.
There were also 400,000 deceased Americans in that audience, remembered in the form of flags.
It is a sombre but powerful reminder of how quickly and dangerously democracy and government departments, like health services, can deteriorate under poor leadership.
Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
Ian Collinson (NZ Herald, January 19) bemoans the lack of a Covid vaccination programme in New Zealand.
Countries like England, the US, India and others are rolling out vaccination programmes in the grip of a Covid crisis, health services stretched to their limit. Meanwhile New Zealand is over 100 days past our last Covid lockdown.
There are currently eight Covid vaccines which have been approved in a handful of countries or authorised for emergency use. Two are from the US, one from the UK, one from India, one from Russia and three from China. Debate and speculation exists about the efficacy of several of these.
Countries are scrambling to get hold of sufficient stock to vaccinate even a proportion of their population and Pfizer has recently announced a slowdown in production of its vaccine as it reconfigures its manufacturing process.
Which vaccines does Collinson thinks NZ should immediately purchase, at what price, and what plan does he have to immediately promote us to the front of the purchase queue?
R George, Hamilton.
No one wants another lockdown. Everyone agrees that scanning and testing rates are too low to prevent one, should a virulent strain breach border defences.
Richard Prebble (NZ Herald, January 20) and many others have suggested simple sensible solutions, such as widespread saliva testing and prize draws to encourage scanning.
Can anyone explain why our leaders won't give them a try?
Stephen Bayldon, Mt Roskill.
With great respect to journalist Michael Neilson (NZ Herald, January 20), there has recently been a strong, fact-based corrective to the traditional view of Goldie.
The late Roger Blackley makes this extremely clear in his superb book Galleries of Maoriland. While "the dying race" trope did exist at the time, Goldie's concern differed; the elderly Maori chiefs were dying and if not painted it would be "too late for the preservation of the type on canvas for all time" as a record of the nation's history.
Goldie's relationship to Maori, among whom he counted a number of friends, was far more nuanced and those that he paid to sit for him should be considered more as collaborators.
Maori did commission paintings from Goldie, though to a much lesser extent than Lindauer because the latter not only painted extensively from photographs, in some cases he had to, because the subjects were dead.
C Johnstone, Grey Lynn.
I hear what Linda Mitchell (NZ Herald, January 21) is saying on early child education but it still doesn't explain why Finland has the best education outcomes in the developed world.
All teachers hold masters degrees as a minimum requirement and the children start school at the age of 7 with a 9am start and a 2.45pm finish, ensuring all children get the right amount of sleep and home care.
Maybe economic outcomes are making ECEs more a commercial enterprise, much like real estate, with the children's welfare playing second fiddle?
The Finnish experience echos the 50s and 60s in New Zealand where children had the all-important emotional security of a stay-at-home mum, and a dad could be relied on to be there at 5pm.
With working-from-home increasingly in the spotlight, the possibility of a return to the healthier family upbringing is within becoming a reality.
From what I see of early education centres which are rapidly becoming a commercial enterprise, with many young children being dropped off, often in the dark in the early hours in winter, when compared to the Finnish experience, these oh so vulnerable toddlers are well and truly being short-changed.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
The editorial (NZ Herald, January 20) stated that Kamala Harris was raised in California. It should be noted that she was also raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she attended intermediate and high schools. Her mother relocated her daughters there while she did research and some teaching at McGill University. Kamala still has close relatives in Canada, including her beloved mother's sister.
K. Mackenzie, Whangaparāoa.
Just because Chris Liddell happened to have been in employment at the Trump administration, does not necessarily make him a lesser individual.
Peter Newfield's comment (NZ Herald, January 21) on how our Prime Minister should or should not have responded, regarding Liddell's possible OECD nomination, is of no relevance, if it were just to discredit anyone in Trump's (past) inner circle.
Our Prime Minister has done her best to distance herself from any (future-)regrettable comments. Since Joe Biden has not proven to be a better president yet, why are we so fond of his words? It also remains to be seen if he can sit out his full term.
Does it not again appear as if we select to attack any "seriously tall poppy's" reputation?
Were one to discredit any past or present New Zealand skippers (Sir Russell Coutts or Dean Barker) of a NYYC vessel in the America's Cup, one would be frowned upon.
Now please give an even higher-ranked overseas' employed New Zealander a break and let Liddell prove his qualifications too.
René Blezer, Taupō.
Short & sweet
In support of Mark McCluskey's letter (NZH, January 20) I ask why is it that left-wing activists are so often lauded as supporters of tolerance and diversity, whilst support of right-wing activism immediately condemns one as a bigoted, racist, redneck fascist. Or worse? John Denton, Napier.
Audrey Young (NZH, January 20) says National has correctly read a public mood of disquiet about virulent strains of the virus escaping into the community. Watching the great majority of shoppers totally ignoring the Covid checker, I beg to differ. There is no disquiet at all. Eric Laurenson, Epsom.
There was only one team playing cricket at the Gabba this week. And it won. Anand Kochunny, Karori.
Biden's inauguration is Trump's out-auguration. D. Hoekstra, Henderson.
I get a sense, a big sigh of relief has come across America that it's all over. John Ford, Taradale.
Looking back, it is unbelievable that Donald Trump fed the myth that the election had been stolen, for as long as he did. Even more unbelievable is the number of people who believed him. Phil Chitty, Albany.