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In This Edition: Thanks – LAV III Review - Keep up the good work! – Re: Letter From Elsewhere: Socio-economic Junk – Catholic Church

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Thanks

My pre bedtime reading has until now been Drudgereport and the BBC. Now I have found scoop. Great stuff. Well done. I'll tell my mates and put it as a favourite on all the pcs at work.

Peter Olliver

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LAV III Review

Sir,

Those aspiring to be the next government would do well to reflect on the comments made by Hugh Webb (18 June) regarding the suitability of the LAV III personnel carriers proposed for the army and seek further information on the vehicles abilities. (See… http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0206/S00074.htm)

Adding to Mr Webb's comments there are several facts that have come to light.

At 105 inches wide (2.667 metres) the LAV III is too wide to fit into the 105 inch floor of a Hercules C-130 and even empty, the vehicle is 453 kilos over the C-130's short field landing airstrip limit of 16,200 kilos. This renders it non-C-130 transportable.

Under the peacekeeping philosophy of the Labour government, these vehicles are intended to be used largely in off-road situations in the often tortuous, wet and muddy locations of the South Pacific. By their very nature ( 8 wheels as opposed to two full length tracks) these vehicles are already being proved incapable of driving off-road at will in a steep and muddy envifronment where it must have grip.

This is a major failing of changing from a tracked vehicle to a wheeled.

In 1948, famous British military historian B.H. Liddel Hart commenting on the German invasion of the Soviet Union wrote:

"The Germans lost the chance of victory because they had based their mobility on wheels instead of on tracks. World War 1 had shown this need to anyone who used his eyes and his imagination" and "it (the German Army) had not yet caught up with ideas that were twenty years old.".

It seems that our government and defence chiefs are quilty of the same myopic view of off-road requirements, it is just that the ideas are now over 70 years old.

Mirek Marcanik

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Keep up the good work!

Dear Sirs,

Just wanted to add that I personally think you're doing a great job down in New Zealand. For almost a year now, since I discovered SCOOP, I have been using much of its sources to disemminate to NGO community worldwide. Your articles often feature in the USA's Institute of Agriculture POlicy -- monitoring trade from the WTO, and agriculture -- 's list, the WTO Activist, intended to be a conduit by which activists worldwide can obtain information on the WTO. It is often passed to that thanks to us including it in our WTO Impact List. (http://www.icda.be/wtoimpactlist/), which is a free, electronic newsletter, which we produce, that provides specific, but not exclusive info, on the WTO, and its attendant institutions.

In any event, you'll find us plugging the scoop site here: http://www.icda.be/wtomc4-index.htm, as we like also to think that we are ourselves obtaining a greater insight into how New Zealand perceives the rest of the NGO community. To boot, we referred to SCOOP a lot when we were monitoring the FOurth Ministerial Conference in Doha, and we very pleased to put a face to the name of ,say, Sutton.

Very warm regards, Emmanuel

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Re: Letter from Elsewhere: Socio-Economic Junk

Dear Sir, I would like to respond to Anne Else's article, entitled "Socio-Economic Junk".

Some simple arithmetic would help Anne Else to see why welfare dependency is a real problem, and not just “socio-economic junk”.

When I pay my taxes, in an ideal world, they go to purchase the benefits we consider it reasonable for the government to provide for us: a defence force, police, hospital system and the like. However, if a substantial portion of my taxes is siphoned off to support someone out of work or on DPB, my wage now has to help support another family as well as my own. So whereas my (let us say $100) of taxes bought $100 worth of defence, policing, health, etc, now it purchases less of those things. So the government either has to increase my taxes, reduce the amount it spends on defence, policing, health, etc, or else do something about the benefits.

Would it not be far better to help that person on the benefit become an earner? That way his or her family is better off, and the community benefits, too. We have reached the stage where a growing number of families have several generations who have never held a full-time job. For them, welfare dependency is not a fancy term, it is daily reality.

Back in the 1970s, there were 28 full-time workers for every beneficiary. Today this has been reduced to 4 full-time workers for each person on the DPB, unemployment or sickness benefit. If something does not change, the whole pack of cards is going to collapse.

John McNeil

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Catholic Church

In reference to their decisions on the sexual abuse of children, one has to ponder a question about the Catholic Church.

If they had not been caught , would they have made this public. Would they have told their own members ?

For 2000 years they kept it a dark secret, but they finally were caught.

Bill Donahue

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