Apparatus of leadership
It's quite instructive to compare the state of the Trump union as reported by Dick Brass, (NZ Herald, November 16) with the equivalent performance by Microsoft top executives during the US DoJ
anti-trust case and the Microsoft attacks in the following years on Linux and the Free (Libre) and Open Source Software developers.
I read the comments on Arstechnica and they get quite vitriolic towards Trump - deservedly - but also towards anyone who might be construed as supporting him. I think it shows the "winner takes all" attitude that Death of a Salesman painted rather starkly.
Trump declares a fair election as being one he wins - everything else is stolen. Meanwhile, he declares "national emergency" to push through an arms sale to Saudi Arabia, but a pandemic killing off his fellow-citizens - he twitterbates ... stocks before people, stockmarket takes priority.
I doubt he has the gumption to stage a workable coup - he failed running three casinos with a captive customer base - he succeeds at failing.
Writer Frank Herbert's central theme was the unreliability of leaders and the apparatus of leadership - I think he would consider Trump's current fraud ample proof.
Wesley Parish, Tauranga.
Most people will support the announcement that the wearing of masks on public transport is to become compulsory from this Thursday. Some epidemiologists have been recommending it for some time now. But why are Auckland public transport passengers the only ones required to follow this rule?
Since all of New Zealand is on Alert Level 1, surely then all of our team of five million should be expected to behave the same. There is no logic or fairness to have only Aucklanders taking this new regulation literally on the chin.
There is, for example, no greater general risk of infection for those riding commuter trains in Auckland than in Wellington. This current discriminatory instruction will engender resentment.
Brian McDonnell, Grey Lynn.
Only two people will be wearing masks in Waipukurau. They drive the one and only taxi in all of Central Hawke's Bay. That's the only public transport we have.
The A-Z Collections worker who has Covid-19 lives in a building next to a lockdown hotel. It is bound to happen that people next to a lockdown pub get Covid sooner or later. We haven't had any cases of Covid in Central Hawke's Bay all year.
You city types are overreacting to the current situation. Build a couple of stalags outside Auckland, put the people coming home in those for lockdown and take the risk out of the cities by not using city pubs.
John McCormick, Waipukurau.
If incompetence is proven with respect to Auckland Council's hedging policy (NZ Herald, November 17) then there must be accountability, $.4 billion is a lot of money to lose, to put it mildly.
It sounds almost the equivalent to fixing a house mortgage over a 20-year period or more, which simply does not make sense in that no one knows what the long-term future holds. What I find astounding, though not surprising, is the refusal of the mayor to even front and offer some sort of explanation. Just water off a duck's back, so to speak. Instead, he hides behind council walls and resorts to statements through a mayoral spokesperson. If it were a business entity instead of a council, an explanation would be urgently demanded and, in all likelihood, heads would roll. The same should apply.
Paul Beck, West Harbour.
Women and peace
Elzanne Bester (NZ Herald, November 16) upholds the way of women working for world peace with the recent appointment of the first Māori female Nanaia Mahuta as Minister of Foreign Affairs. It is suggested that women suffer the negative effects of war more than men do. Really? War is destructive of lives property and futures and kills men and women indiscriminately. Men die in battle manning the guns, tanks, planes and ships, protecting their loved ones at home and their country.
The proposition is that "gender equality lowers the risk of violent conflict and increases regional stability". No proof is offered or even examples. One has to wonder about this feminist propaganda.
As to the root of all conflicts and terrorism, that root lies in one of the many belief system acknowledged as truth. It is the age-old battle between good and evil, God and Satan. It began in the Garden of Eden and has been raging ever since. Let us always remember that it was Eve who ate the apple first.
Ian George, Howick
I read four major articles on the All Blacks' defeat (NZ Herald November 16), two of which resoundingly castigated coach Ian Foster, and all contained Foster's comments and reaction to the team performance.
Foster planned for what he and the team thought might be thrown at them by the Argentinians but, if the opposition play a different game to that expected, leadership in the thick of the action on the battlefield to cope with that and to marshal the troops, is the hallmark of a well-led team.
Sam Cane as captain, needed to inject collective composure and direction. The All Blacks played their individual hearts out, but not collectively as a unit.
For the captain to admit that composure was lacking from the team and individually, is an indictment on the leadership. Cane is a terrific individual player, but the burden of captaincy may be weighing too heavy.
Running around like stunned mullets is just going to add to the agony, and it did. On Saturday we watched leadership, passion, commitment and urgency play complacency and bewilderment and, in the first 20 minutes, the result was inevitable.
Michael White, Milford.
Despite one's political persuasions, one has to admire Simon Bridges. Unlike some of his colleagues, after a huge personal disappointment, he kept his head up, displayed no obvious rancour and didn't pack it in when he lost power or position in the party.
He held his ground, continued to appear on TV and radio willingly, with a smile on his face or in his voice, doggedly maintaining the party line against the odds.
I bet Judith wishes more of her team had been so less self-serving, personally motivated and frankly, stupid leading up to the election.
He showed himself to be a truly professional politician when he had more reason than any of the other disaffected members of his party to behave badly.
Whatever Judith thinks of him personally, she should hold him up to her remaining team as an example of how to behave.
Colin Nicholls, Mt Eden.
Over the weekend, I read that Rotorua Boys' High School had changed the names of its four houses from those of historically famous explorers to some quite complex Māori names. The reason given was that some of the four well-known explorers may have been involved with slavery at some point.
I find this change very difficult to comprehend because the New Zealand history that I have read clearly states that slavery was a significant part of the Māori way of life, just as it was in some other countries in the world.
History is a complex subject but we do need to be consistent in our use of it, and we should not try to expunge significant areas of fact.
Richard Still, Remuera.
We were delighted to secure a bargain-priced campervan and excitedly set off to experience the New Zealand that draws millions of international visitors each year. Unfortunately, we returned home angry and ashamed. Yes, we live in a beautiful country but we treat it like a dumpsite. Along every roadside were discarded bottles, cans and take away packages. Spectacular views from look-outs were ruined by bags of dumped rubbish. It is New Zealanders who are doing this. What must visitors think?
Katie Gormley, St Heliers
Those peacefully occupying the site of the irreplaceable canopy natives in Canal Rd, Avondale, believe they must be saved and protected.
This is a view expressed informally by all who actually come to see these forest giants, including officials from Auckland Council, government agencies and our elected representatives.
The land's owners also take this conservation view because, before putting their property on the open market, they repeatedly attempted to engage Auckland Council in purchasing the site as a reserve.
Hearteningly, there is now, in the public domain, a range of cost-neutral solutions arrived at with the support of Kāinga Ora, for acquisition of the site as a neighbourhood park for our dramatically housing-intensifying locality.
For any of the public acquisition options to progress there needs to be good faith cooperation from Auckland Council.
But thankfully, handwringing is giving way to productive engagement from all parties and their representatives. Failure is not an option.
Janet Charman, Avondale.
Te reo is growing and Māori wish it to be correctly pronounced. I strongly agree. All languages should be.
I understand what it is to live in a country in which my native tongue is secondary. It is far easier to understand a country's language when it is spoken clearly and correctly. Many New Zealanders seem unable to do this.
Many have difficulty is pronouncing the letter "e" when followed by an "l". We hear: Nalson; Walington; Malbin; aleck tricity; may I hap you; and would you hap yoursaf?
Other shortcomings are "shours will divalop in the siddy"; "the tempacha will drop to twalve as wal, with lie twins and coal rain. For averyone alse it will be clowdy with tempachuz batween thenny eight and thirdy but dropping at night to long coal spals".
Or, "This programme wil screen on Juke on Chewsday at two-twenny pm."
And, why this recent affected speaking through the nose? It sounds so ugly coming from such pretty faces.
It doesn't have to be "Oxford English", just clarity and the time to say each word correctly, before rushing on to the next.
Come on, Kiwis, make the effort.
A Schuyt Best, Pakuranga.
Short & sweet
Ian Foster "We kicked away too much ball when we had an opportunity to put some phases together against them". Really? Has Foster only just worked that out? Chester Rendell, Paihia.
So the ABs lost on penalties and we should sack the coach? Transfer that across to our property bubble to understand why nobody discusses inflation. Gerry O'Meeghan, Pāpāmoa.
Benee already had the perfect name ... Stella. Wendy Newton, Birkenhead.
What exactly is being promoted with Parker v Fa? Are these two going to be shouting very loudly at each other? C. Wong, Henderson.
There was a report of children being settled to sleep sucking a bottle of fruit juice. Why are we surprised at their dental problems? Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.
"Judge a man by the company he keeps." Robert Myers, Auckland Central.
On baring it
Naturists must be tough in Dunedin. Do they have outings in the winter? Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.