Watching and listening to the latest ad hominem and ad feminem comments from US leaders recently, makes me wonder how much longer that entrepreneurial country is willing to tolerate someone so unworthy of that great office. And that it can only be even half good again when he goes. What a pity they don't have Westminster-style votes of confidence for presidents.
Insistence on US exceptionalism from the last three presidents is surely some pathological need. What's the matter with simple comparative advantage? And "with great power comes great responsibility"? System reform seems their only chance.
Thankfully the age of assassinations in US politics is over, though not character assassination. To understand what gives with our once-great ally we need to upskill on a few definitions including the stasis' Zersetzung, used in the 1970s and 80s to paralyse opposition by smear and discrediting, "gaslighting", and of course clinically assessed narcissism. "A primary strategy the narcissist uses to assert control, particularly within their family, is to create divisions among individuals. This weakens and isolates them, making it easier for the narcissist to manipulate and dominate. Some are favoured, others are scapegoated. Such dynamics can play out in a workplace setting."
Steve Liddle, Napier.
In lollipop land where politicians live, Budget day resembles a lolly scramble (and it should be so named as such) where the Minister of Finance tries to convince us how good he has been with our money (NZ Herald, May 26).
In the real world, we have domestic debt at half a trillion dollars (and still rising) and government debt at $57,500,000 (trimmed by the teeniest amount from the last quarter to make it look like it is falling on Budget day).
For the rest of us, it is the one day of the week when the tables are turned and we can bury our head in the sand and at the appropriate hour switch channels to Shortland Street and pretend it (the Budget, that is) never happened.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
I picked up the Herald and found Brian Tamaki and his wife all over the front page (NZ Herald, May 24). Really? Steve Braunias gave it all a bit of perspective , but you had to read that far to get it.
It seems National have resurrected the idea of shacking up with the lunatic religious right (remember Key/Brash and the brethren?).
If that is so, it is to be hoped that those voters whose only sign of dementia so far has been to vote National, will now see the light.
Bruce Rogan, Mangawhai.
Women feel more comfortable and are more productive when office temperatures are higher (NZ Herald, May 24), and the opposite is true of men. So how do you decide what temperature to set on the air conditioner? Cold. Men cannot go around taking their clothes off in the office when they get hot, but women can easily put on more clothes when they feel cold.
Raymond Gabriel, Papakura.
Over the past week there have been a few correspondents recounting their experiences with the beggars haunting the Auckland CBD. Last year we went on a P&O cruise to Tonga & Fiji and decided to go by bus to Auckland and walk to the ship at Queens Wharf. Never again. On the way down I said "hello" to a beggar who approached us, and when we walked past, he let fly with a tirade of abuse which left us quite shaken. My wife worked at TVNZ for 13 years and she was absolutely disgusted that the CBD has degenerated to this level. Cruise passengers venturing ashore into Auckland will most certainly tell others not to visit New Zealand when they return home. It is high time that Phil Goff realised we have a problem and deal with it.
John Littlemore, Whangārei.
Are we living in New Zealand or Wackyland? Did I hear correctly that we are having to import coal from Indonesia (even though we have our own coal) to run the Huntly Power Station so we can generate enough power to run the country and therefore all the electric cars we are supposed to be buying? I despair.
G van Prehn, Waipu.
Simon Wilson asserts that KiwiBuild is making good progress "after years of neglect and appalling misdirection" (NZ Herald, May 24). But the previous government supported community housing providers, the Coalition does not. From the already low numbers of houses delivered by KiwiBuild, if we subtract those that would have been built by community social housing the result may well be negative. Is this Wilson's "good progress"? Governments can't and shouldn't try to fix this mess on their own. Why not bring back the Housing Innovation Fund?
Mary Tallon, Morningside.
As any regular train user will know, the automated announcements inside Auckland's trains have become much louder and more numerous in recent months.
While train travel is generally considered a relaxing, stress-free way to travel, Auckland Transport have managed to create the opposite atmosphere inside their trains with excessive, repetitive announcements booming through the carriages every few minutes, which are now needlessly repeated in Māori.
This is not the way to encourage Aucklanders to keep using trains after they have make the decision to ditch the comfort and convenience of their cars, to then be subjected to this form of slow torture, day after day. People will indeed mind the gap when exiting - never to return.
R Anderson, Pukekohe.
Regarding Clyde Scott's observations (NZ Herald, May 22) that service at Kiwibank comes last.
As a household, we have five accounts with Kiwibank and were among the earliest customers. When it was set up, due to the efforts of the late Jim Anderton, it was intended to provide services in regional towns which were being abandoned by the overseas owned banks.
Over the years, we have seen the smaller offices closed or downgraded to be merely agents of Kiwibank; those still available have had their activities cut back. It's no longer possible to draw more than $2000 from our local bank, small beer if you are buying a big ticket item such as a second-hand car or household appliance.
Now the closing of its cheque facility, a service which Kiwibank has been eroding over recent times by introducing a $1 fee for every cheque drawn. It claims that the customers have "chosen" less expensive ways to pay. Not so.
It is a deliberate attempt to force everyone into online banking, despite a large number of people not having access to computers, or being willing to undertake online banking. The safety aspect is downplayed, and of course the cost of buying and maintaining a computer or smart phone is the customers'. The "savings" go to the bank.
Jim will be turning in his grave. We will be closing our accounts, and reverting to the other banks who, curiously enough still provide and accept cheques, without a fee.
NZ banks only have about 15 per cent of the banking business in NZ, and will be losing more of that if they don't provide a service that the customer wants.
It is a service industry, and depends on depositors like us to lend to others, who should meet the cost of borrowing, not the other way around.
Shame on you, Kiwibank.
G Preece, Northland.
Short & Sweet
Letters: Christians, Lizzie Marvelly and Captain Cook
Letters: Interest rates, hearing loss and Brian Tamaki
Letters: Economic cake, contacting IRD and Frances Hodgkins
Loved the Braunias piece about the Tamaki launch of their political party. Give Steve a raise.
Rae McGregor, Mt Eden.
How true Rod Emmerson's cartoon in Friday's Herald was. The facial expressions said it all.
Lorraine Kidd, Warkworth.
Why doesn't he just declare himself a prime minister like he did a bishop?
Geoffrey Slack, One Tree Hill.
Politics with teeth? Finally, thank God, a politician offering to help all us pensioners pay for our dentures.
Doug Hannan, Mount Maunganui.
Eledir Seren, Waiheke Island.
The police are not pursuing stupid, irresponsible drivers merely to retrieve a stolen car. They are trying to stop the stupid, irresponsible driver from killing innocent motorists.
Fiona Downes, Hobsonville.
The light I saw was the inanity of religious argument. So, I don't bother.
P K Ellwood, Beach Haven.
On Queen St
Time the council relaid the road down Queen St from K Road. It's a disaster. Mayor Goff told me he would get onto it. When Phil?
David Cave, Hillsborough.