Gulf of Oman
In the words of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: "It is the assessment of the US Government that Iran is responsible for today's attacks in the Gulf of Oman."
No evidence at all has been produced to back that assertion. Not a shred. Trust us, seems to be the implication, we have impeccable and reliable sources: Iran's responsible.
But in the absence of any facts at all we are asked to believe that Iran, for no rational reason, has set off explosions on two foreign tankers. How would such an action benefit Iran?
But then how did the Gulf of Tonkin incident benefit North Vietnam? It clearly didn't. The evidence now shows that was a false flag operation by the US to escalate the conflict.
Back to Mike Pompeo.
When he was the CIA director, he proudly told recent graduates that we "lied, stole and cheated" all the time.
In the fact-free world of Pompeo, is this someone to trust?
David Aston, Milford.
A dog's Brexit
Never mind a poll to find out if people voted for what they didn't really want (NZ Herald, June 14), why not a referendum to see if what's on offer now is what people want now? After all, Boris de Pfeffel Johnson harps on about "the will of the people". How does he know the will of the people, three years on from the first referendum?
People certainly know the payments to the EU of £350 million a week he promised to save
for the NHS was a gigantic fib.
Honda, Ford and Nissan are leaving; Airbus warned it will in time. Many major organisations have left for the mainland, others will follow. And if anyone thinks Germany will allow Britain to ride high on financial services doesn't understand Germans. To cap it all off, the divorce bill is £39 billion, and the only answer to the Irish border problem the EU will accept is a reunited Ireland.
Even if the majority who vote now do want to leave, that does not give them the right to inflict their delusions of grandeur on the rest of the population, especially the young. That is not democracy, it is tyranny and destruction. Parliament will not accept it.
Dennis N Horne, Howick.
The horrific road crash near Waiouru (NZ Herald, June 14) occurred when a car tried to overtake a truck on a blind corner and collided with a car coming in the opposite direction.
The photograph graphically depicts the two damaged cars, together with crash debris, strewn across the broken white line marking the centreline of the road. The NZ Road Code states that cars may overtake where there is a broken white line, but only if it is safe to do so.
Given this crash occurred on a blind corner (when, by definition, it can never be safe to overtake) how can the use of a broken white line be justified? Double solid yellow lines, which expressly prohibit any overtaking in either direction, should have been used.
In the many years that I have driven on NZ roads, I have lost count of the number of blind corners where broken white lines are still being used incorrectly.
A systematic review and overhaul of all road markings to properly reflect the dangers should be undertaken as a matter of urgency to help prevent similar tragic crash.
Michael Lloyd Eno, Napier.
In a video link to the Act Party conference Richard Prebble evidently made the comment that his father did not wade ashore at Normanby to enable Jacinda Ardern to talk to CNN. Which is correct, what he was going ashore to do was to defeat a white supremacist system that had its genesis some 15 years prior with what an unsuspecting populace dismissed as hate speech being espoused by thugs.
John Capener, Kawerau.
I worry about journalist Simon Wilson's report (NZ Herald, June 14) on the Panuku/John Love deal to over-intensify the open space surrounding the sad-looking Civic Administration Building in Aotea Square - $3 million is hardly compensation for the loss to the public of future use of that space, which may have far more benefit than the spin put on the benefits of this deal, which screams of dodgy from every angle.
An independent forensic financial investigation is definitely required as the truth is being clouded and obscured by politicians in local body election mode.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
Built in 1966
In his article about the redevelopment of the old City Administration Building and its surrounds, Simon Wilson says it was erected in 1951. That's not a close miss but a very big one. The CAB was actually erected in the mid-1960s and finished in 1966. Perhaps he means that some design work was done in the early 1950s.
Brian McDonnell, Grey Lynn.
Whatever one may make of John Tamihere's description of the sale of the Civic Administration building to Civic Lane for $3 million as "disgraceful" and his emotive offer on behalf of Whanau Waipareira to buy it for $4 million, I would like to thank Simon Wilson for his clear and intelligent account of the proceedings that led to this decision.
Jewele McLeod, Kohimarama.
The Productivity Commission report (NZ Herald, June 14) referred to Productivity by the numbers: 2019 indicates that denser conurbations produce proportionally higher GDP outputs and show better productivity.
Comparing New Zealand unfavourably with "western" Europe and North America while ignoring "eastern" Europe is hardly a fair comparison for our productivity.
Countries making "widgets" are always going to beat countries mainly producing agricultural products.
Geoff Parish, Milford.
Brian Fallow's column (NZ Herald, June 14) on the relative decline in New Zealand's productivity draws attention to an obvious question: why?
He proceeds to answer that by quoting the Productivity Commission's paper and other sources on the growth statistics of various indicators, leading to his conclusion that productivity can only be increased by increased capital investment.
However, this assumes that increased capital investment leads to increased output, which it will not if demand for goods and services is static.
Let's try something simpler:
GDP can be calculated roughly as wages plus profit and productivity is calculated as GDP divided by hours worked.
So we have productivity defined as (wages plus profit) divided by hours worked.
Assuming we are working as hard as we can, what say we increase wages? That will either increase productivity, as long as profit remains the same, or not, if profit consequently falls.
Seeing an increase in wages as nothing more than a cost increase is a one-eyed approach. An increase in real wages is also an increase in spending power leading to an increase in demand. And that will help ensure that profit does not fall.
It will be interesting to see the productivity results from the recent pay rises for nurses and teachers.
Maurice Robertson, Torbay.
After reading "Nurses turn" (NZ Herald, June 17) in regard to the teachers' settlement, I thought, what about the single superannuation rate, which works out about $9 an hour. The living wage is $21.15 an hour and the minimum wage is $17.70. When the superannuation scheme was set up, the single super rate was 60 per cent of a married couple's. However, what happened was the single rate ended up as 60 per cent of the net married rate and then taxed. Many in this group have been affected by life's circumstances: death of spouses, divorce, health problems and insecurity of saving (sharemarket crashes, collapse of finance companies).
Let's face it we are all going to fall into single superannuatint category at some point.
Annette Moncur, Whangārei.
I was born and bred in this lovely wee town and had the opportunity to return over the weekend to visit family. Sadly, the wee town is looking lost.
As you come into the town, the Waipa pub building is empty and looks so sad. Across the road, a lot of kids just hang around.
Yes, there are some new businesses - a cafe and, on the other side of town, a new business with a yard that looks like something out of a prison. And then there is the gully on Havelock. I can remember it with stock and tidy. Now it's an eyesore for the whole town.
Surely, the council could do something about this?
Hats off though to parks and gardens looking smart.
Please make my home town shine again as, when expressway is open, they need something to draw people in.
Verna Chew, Oxfordshire.
Short & Sweet
Why did Peters know what he knew and when did he know it and why did the Speaker not know what he didn't know and when didn't he know it?
Glennys Adams, Waiheke Island.
Correspondent Margaret Dyer asks (NZ Herald, June 14) why authorities do not consider a heavy rail connection to the airport. Answer: because they are the authorities.
K H Peter Kammler, Warkworth.
If Chloe Swarbrick's view is invalid due to her age, why did Mike Hosking invite her on to his show? Merely to tell her that?
Rowan Hill, Mt Eden.
Waiheke commuters are dissatisfied with the reliability of their ferry service and it has been suggested that AT should become involved. The words "frying pan" and "fire" come to mind.
Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.
A good start would be to apply a lot more yellow paint in double lines down the middle of the road. To reduce speed limits will only lead to frustration and poor decisions.
A J Petersen, Kawerau.
Why do people on low incomes insist on having large families when they know they aren't in a position to support them financially and then it becomes the taxpayer's problem to provide housing, etc, for them?
Jock MacVicar, Hauraki
Earth to David Seymour: The 80s called. They want their colours back.
Doug Hannan, Mt Maunganui.
Could we please understand climate change and pollution are separate entities? The former, occurring naturally for millions of years. The latter, the largest human-created scourge in history.
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.