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Reasons NZ Should Not Be A US Postal Abbreviation

Stateside with Rosalea

Five Reasons 'NZ' Should Not Be A US Postal Abbreviation

(1) Government of the people, by the lawyers, for the corporations

I don't say that because I've fallen victim to Marxist proselytising, but because it is a truth that is self-evident to anyone in the US with a mailbox and a phone. I am so under siege by telemarketers (mostly for telecommunications or financial services) that I now turn off the ringer on my phone until 9pm. In the month when I got back from my holiday last year - and had the princely sum of $18 in the bank - I got offers from a slew of credit card vendors saying I was pre-approved for sums totalling more than $10,000. (One man in San Francisco who saved up all his household's 2002 "pre-approved" credit card offers found they totalled $2.8 million dollars.)

This invasion of privacy is possible because the law states that people have to opt *out*, not into, any sharing of their personal data, and doing that is complicated and can take months. No matter that individual states might pass laws trying to protect consumers - federal law trumps state law, and in any case the corporations cry that their freedom of speech is being curtailed. Now they are calling for the bankruptcy laws to be changed to make it harder for credit card debt to be wiped.

On the whole, corporations have more rights and fewer responsibilities than individuals in this society - a situation that the Founding Fathers assiduously tried to avoid back in the 18th century. However, within a hundred years from their time, that idea had dropped by the wayside with lawyer Lincoln occasioning the death of 720,000 people in the US in a civil war designed to drain the south of the economic ability to construct a transcontinental railroad rivaling the northern one originating from the president's home state of Illinois.

(2) CEO worship

"President" is just the name given to the chief executive officer of the United States. If the US is a Barbie doll and you think of the House and Senate as her arms and legs, then the President and Vice President are her boobs. Their visibility has become so over-fixated on and their power to reward contributors to their election campaigns so enlarged, that the US political system is completely out of proportion and would fall flat on its face if Barbie wasn't already supine. (And even then she's in danger of being smothered.)

Regardless of who is in the White House or how they got there, the presidency has assumed a role out of all proportion to what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they were creating the Constitution. Worse than that, this CEO-worship has permeated every level of political and civic life, so that people feel they can't challenge those at the head of corporations or government departments because it would somehow be 'disloyal'.

(3) Seniors

If NZ was to become a state of the union, its population would increase 10-fold. The newcomers would in the most part be those very people who are at a time of life when they contribute the least to, and demand the most from, an economy. If the prospect of a wave of folks from the Bible Belt with zimmer frames, and on 20 different medications a day, arriving at what they see as an island paradise where the nice natives will be thrilled to have a job taking care of them doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should. I suppose they'll bring their own toilet paper so you don't have to use banana leaves on their sacred botties.

(4) Politicisation of law enforcement and investigation

I think 'Kojak' was probably the last cop show I watched on television, so there's no way I can tell if the current shows reflect the way that politics permeates law and order here. Prosecutors like the distict attorney are elected by public vote, and if they get it into their head that they want to run for mayor instead, then you end up with something like San Francisco's current 'fajitagate' - a search term you might want to put in at if it hasn't made the international news. The press here seems to think it's a story of police corruption being prosecuted because it suits the political ambitions of the prosecutor to do so.

(5) The Philippines

Q. In February, which former colonial power wiped its botty on the constitution of its former colony? No, the story doesn't involve some European nation and Africa. It's to do with the US military saying it was going to put troops on the ground in the Philippines to actively fight Christianist-kidnapping Islamists in the southern provinces. While the Sydney Morning Herald might have thought the difference between advising troops and fighting alongside them was merely a question of semantics, papers in the Philippines took quite a different view, likening the proposal to US actions in the prelude to the Vietnam War.

Any chance of being an independent voice in the Pacific-Asia region would be lost to New Zealand if it became a US state. Already its independence has to be questioned when the US administration it supports relies so heavily on the "War on Terrorism" as a tool for reshaping not just its domestic political landscape, but that of other nations in the world. If you draw a line from Indonesia in an arc through Asia as far as Turkey you will see it's like a necklace with US-friendly "charms" dotted all along it. Never mind if they're actually US-friendly or just intimidated, occupied, or bought - the aim is for this chain to protect US business interests.

Of course "NZ" won't ever be a United States postal abbreviation. "AU" will be, and NZ will be just one of its districts. Wouldn't want another Cuba sitting off the coast, now would we?


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