Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New year to My readers.

Yes, the sun is shinning in Auckland and the ski is so clear, clean and promising. Of course this is Auckland and things can rapidly change. I have not yet read the news reports so I hope that when I do there are not too many reports of drunken idiots going too far and endangering those around them and putting stress on those charged with cleaning up their mess.
This New Zealand however and we always cope and we believe in a better future.  I wish the rest of the world a happy New Year too.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

India's women and girls need support.

There are two Indias---the old traditional one where old beliefs hold sway and then there is the modern India whereby these ideas are being challenged; not so much by 'Western' thought,' but by indigenous movements that will bring about a bright new day. However in the meantime, there will continue to be much suffering and a rearguard acrtion from those who have always gained at the expence of women and girls.
Indian women are strong and resiliant, but the time has come (as represented by the scenes we are are seeing on TV) when men must step up and stop the violence against females; sexual, physical,emotional and economic. Indians will do it and the nation will surge ahead, knowing that all----wait---there are other issues too, but I'll leave that for the 'new movement' to identify, but it wouldn't hurt if the poolice were given a huge jab to move thier ideas and cut their corruption and non-action.
Go well  India!

The battle against 'legal highs' is far from won--it needs some help!

The news that Middlemore Hospital has had to deal with party-goers who have taken ‘legal Highs’ called Red Rocket, just goes to show that the battle against these substances is far from over. As fast as the law makes these drugs illegal and expensive to get through the legal pathways to sales, it seems that the manufacturers and sellers of these nasties will continue almost unabated in their quest to make a dollar. Well it’s time for the law to make it even more difficult, this time at the ‘pointy end’ of the law enforcing process---in the courts.

Charge the people who clog our free hospital EDs and force the users to take responsibility for their decisions. While we are at it, do the same for those who drink and drive causing similar mayhem in our hospitals and communities. Let’s stop pussy footing around and have a form of ‘user pay for bad decisions,’ policy, while at the same time make the present laws even tougher for the purveyors of these dangerous substances; dangerous for the individuals and for those who have to care for them in the ‘aftermath.’

So the USA jumps off the 'Cliff'? Does it matter?

If the USA jumps off the 'cliff' will it be as bad as the Great Depression? one must ask, 'Is the USA or the world for that matter the same as it was then?' Of course not. China figures more strongly and rising stars like Brazil and India may lesson the impact? I just don't know. All I can say with certainty is that it is a lot harder to get the rich to pay more than it is for the poor to get a fair deal. Think about it. Do the poor have avouice in Congress? Do the poor have access to  the 'Hill' in the form of storng lobbyists? That cost money and the poor don;t---Oh you know the rest. When has it ever beena level playing field?  The politicnas will play their games and position themselves for a result they have already probably agreed on, even if they don't know it! So the 'ship may sail offthe cliff but it will probably be well anchored to the precipice.

'Fiscal cliffs' and a fistfull of guns!

The USA is an enigma. It espouses values that most people would agree with and it’s Constitution on paper looks like a model that countries around the world envy. Look a bit closer and at the day-to-day play out of this constitution and the holes will begin to emerge, if not for the simple fact that people are people and that human frailty and greed go against the spirit of any paper document. Having said that, I am not arguing against the Constitution of the USA, even though we need to remember it was written many years ago when the USA looked very different to the nation we see today.

Now we have a nation that extends its tentacles to all regions of the earth and then reacts like an angry kid losing its toys when other nations dare to challenge the American hegemony. The rise of China, (while the USA was off fighting wars all around the globe) India, Brazil and the re-emergence of a strong Russia, has brought about a ‘new world;’ one that the USA has yet to come to terms with.

On the national front, the USA is at war with itself.  The ‘fiscal cliff’ and the guns law issue is showing the inability of the USA to pull itself back from divisive politics and disparate groups. On the fiscal cliff debate, maybe the politicians are posturing and will come to a deal at the last moment or risk plunging the USA into a deep recession. One wonders if those hard-butt Republicans will ever agree to pay their fair share of tax, while many Americans cannot even afford basic health care.

With the guns ‘love affair,’ another group holds fast to the right to bear arms, while they watch the statistics that show the USA up as having one of the worst murder rates, using guns, in the world and the nations that come close, are not seen as anything more than ‘failed nations.’ I wonder if the vast majority of USA citizens will ever be able to get through to the likes of the NRA and its supporters, along with the selfish ‘hold on to our assets’ mentality of the mainly Republican dominated Congress. Then again, I return to my opening statement. Humans are basically selfish and the laws we make do not lessen that tendency, no matter how lofty they look on paper.

I believe that there is a strong will amongst Americans to live in a country where its citizens should have a ‘fair go,’ not much different to that we hold in New Zealand, but they are being held ransom by selfish and power hungry elites. Just watch Fox News if you want to see it played out on a daily basis.

I hope that my blog proves to be wrong on both issues facing the USA. I’d love to be wrong!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hi ya Ukraine! NIce to see you. Happy Xmas and a happier New year.

Greetings from 'Down Under.' It's summer here of course and many New Zealanders are on holiday at the beach.  I hope to see mnay more of you reading my bloggs and books in the future. My best wishes.
The beautiful Pohutukawa (hHe New Zealand Xmas Tree)

Pre-surgery fodder! may as well while can.

My date with the surgeon should be sometime in April. For the month prior to his ‘intervention,’ I shall be partaking of a ‘diet’ (yes I can use that word and be OK with it for that time) consisting of Optifast and a few veggies. The aim of that is to shrink the liver to enable easy access re keyhole surgery. It also has the ‘testing factor,’ to see if I can sustain a disciplined approach prior to my operation and to set in place some good habits that are going to be ‘for the rest of my life.’

‘Well how come you can’t do that now,’ some of you who don’t know me well may say. OK, my reply to everyone is---‘How many people over 40 do you know who have taken a lot of weight off and kept it off? How many people do you know who go to gyms and live their new lifestyle, but the next time you see them, they are even fatter?’

I know we all know a few people who have made the transition and are doing just fine, but don’t you find that they are very much in the minority.  I’m not one of those people---full bloody stop! I still get people telling me that I am weak and all of the crap that goes with that, but I just say---‘talk to the hand.’ I know some people are just worried, but I am not. I have talked through this with many people who have had the operation and they are all happy that they did it. They have few regrets and they advise me to stop looking at negative sites online. If you look for it you can always find a reason not to do something.

OK, on a lighter note. I am having some really nice ‘pre-operation food; nothing to excess, but certainly not denying myself. I am being more careful with quantities and I leaving some foods off my list, because they consist of food that I will never be able to eat. I figure if I am going to spend the large amount of money on my operation, it seems stupid to carry on like I was, so in a sense I am entering a transition phase so that the journey has less ‘hooks’ in it later.

Xmas dinner was simple and enjoyable; turkey with lots of veggies and a trifle of course. We didn’t gorge ourselves; indeed for everyone, it was not like it used to be. Maybe that’s a factor of aging. We just can’t handle the gargantuan meals of the past.

Ok, I am looking forward to New Year’s Day. Hopefully the family will be here and we are having a number 30 chicken; can’t wait to see the size of that. How the hell do they breed them that big---hormones? They say not! Yeah right.

Hone and Hilda Halkyard Harawira lead the battle against 'P'---even within their own family.

The Harawira family is often in the news, usually in the form of one of Hone’s statements or actions. This time his wife Hilda is making a courageous stand, against the scourge of ‘P.’ She rightly condemns in no uncertain terms the damage this drug has on families, especially the young. Her community is being torn apart, with baches (holiday homes) being burnt down and retribution sought as both sides seek revenge (often within the extended family). It is reported that elderly members of the community are scared to look out their windows because they fear they will be labelled ‘narks.’

Give ‘narks’ a more positive label! They deserve to be lauded as they try to make their community safe. Hone and Hilda have long tried to turn their people away from drugs, alcohol and smoking, but ‘P’ is right up there in major damage it is doing, not just in their community but in all sectors of NZ society. The only way that we can help the police is to inform on ‘P’ labs and make it impossible for these ‘cook-houses’ to operate.

Hone and Hilda are not alone. Most NZers are behind them, because it affects us all. If we do not wipe out this nasty dangerous drug, more and more of our young people are going to be drawn into its web. One does not have to look far to observe the families being split because a family member has entered the dark world of ‘P.’

Instead of shrugging your shoulders when you hear about Hone making yet another ‘statement,’ look a little further and ‘listen’ to his words. He is not on the ‘outside’ when he fights to improve the lot of Maori. What he and Hilda are saying is representative of what NZ as a nation faces.  For the sake of all our people, ring Crime stoppers ( ) and let those who can deal to these parasites in a legal manner do their job.  Maybe then, the burning will stop--- the burring of our nation’s future in the form of young users as well as the physical destruction of homes and property. Go hard Hone and Hilda!
Read Roskill, my book about the affect of 'P' on a young family. Go to

Selling household goods is a lot easier than selling my books!

Maybe I should give away a household item for every book I sell. Maybe my household items (now known as HI) can tell stories. Well yes, that is true---my HI can tell some fantastic stories. They have been around for many dramas in my life. Maybe I should sign them! I am selling my 'unwanted and unused (add the AS SEEN ON TV ONES) HI on Trade me ans SELLA. Of course my books are there too, probably feeling totally unloved. Maybe I should go into selling more HI and become rich. Then of course there are the questions people ask about my HI. I wonder if people read the adverts I place, because it's pretty damn obvious they havn't. I suspect the market for my books is a totally different one. Maybe I should write a book about selling HI and the lives they have led and the history they have witnessed. Hell, I havn't even had a drink! Now, where's that Bread Maker I won't be using after my Bariatric surgery!?

Friday, December 28, 2012

India and its women----- a long way to go.

The vicious rape of a young woman on a bus in India has highlighted the position that women have held in India for eons. Yes, there have been stand out examples of women who have gone against the trend and excelled in both politics and business, but for the majority, life is one of ‘lost opportunities.’ Men have traditionally seen women as being unequal in many senses of the word.

I have been told by Indian friends that this is not true and that women wield a great deal of power in the home, but that’s just it----IN THE HOME. I am not denigrating the position of motherhood or home-maker, but is that not limiting women to only one role in life. At a time when millions of Indians are moving from poverty to the middle classes and higher, women do not figure as having gained proportionally. Men still dominate politics and business, apart from the obvious exceptions.

Many women and men were disgusted by the recent rape and subsequnet death of the young woman on the bus. There have been riots and protests. Indian politicians will speak weasel words but until there is a major cultural shift in India, things will not change.

I know my Indian readers will take offence at my words and I also know that India’s business is just that----India’s. I just hope that India will find a way to make this ground shift and value the more than 50% that females represent in the population. In that figure lies some of the problems India faces too----- the disproportionate number of male to female; much like that we see in China.

My harsh words aside, I have only my best wishes to offer and fervently hope that India finds a different path for its women and girls.

New Zealand 100% pure---well no, we are only 80%

Ok, that is a bad use of a headline today in the NZ Herald but maybe it is a more accurate take on the real situation in NZ. Having said that, I would far rather live in our 'relatively' pure NZ, compared to most of the rest of the world. I also make the point that a large section of the NZ population is coming aboard to clean up our rivers, lakes and bays.  Yeah, we need to bring a lot more farmers on board too, re their claim that they are the backbone of our economy---that may be true but they contribute to the dirty inflow way-out of proportion to their numbers too, so they can't have it both ways. Yes, we depend on them, but not at any price.
Those companies wishing to mine our beautiful 'National Parks' should also pull their heads in. We will never be able to make the claim; 'NZ 100% Pure,' unless we address those two issues along with other little nasties lurking just out of sight. To the tourists with NZ as a destination in mind; come on down to the 'land of the long white cloud'---it's still a clean cloud and one hell of a lot better than the lands you hail from, and the sun shines through on lovely beaches, parks, and the great outdoors! There's another added advantage too--- we don't have snakes, terrible spiders, scorpions, dangerous animals and the sharks are well fed, on a non-human diet. See ya later mates!

It seems my little diatribe has stimulated interest from China!

Great--- that's exactly what I intended and it is so good to know that people can still access my blogs  in China. Ooops---call it a conspiracy theory but maybe it's not the attnetion I want----'officila attention!' Nah, I'm just been a pussy. Who the hell would care about my opinions there? Myabe China is chnaging faster than her leaders can cope with. Maybe China really is part of the world now, not just a country hiding away. Silly me, I only have to look on the shelves and cupboards of my house and know that---where would we be without the 'products of mighty China? So----onwards and be part of us---in the end---we all need one another!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A nice surprise.

My friend in Grey Lynn rang me today. He has one of those old villas that I love, with a magnificent view towards Sky Tower---you know---a place that's great to be on New Years Eve---no crowds and no fuss, just a view of the fire works that is wonderful.
He was under his house looking for God knows what and he found these newspapers with a dinner set wrapped up. The papers were dated from 1987, so I sort of guessed what was in them. He said some were chipped but most were OK and he said he would bring them around to me. I happily agreed and we were a bit down at our p[lace so this was a lft. My partners dad in Indonesia had a stroke last night so we were busy trying to get some money together to pay for the hosiptal over there. It ain't free like here.
When we arrived back from Western Union, there on the table was the dinner set --I would say its from the 70's or 80's--very retro Crown Lynn. I was going to sell it, but no, I am going to use it, along with all the other CL I have. It's much better than the crap coming in to New Zealand now and so very much----New Zealand.

Rally around your police, Dargaville!

A few days ago, a tiny minority endangered both the police and the reputation of Dargaville. Two things have happened since to avoid this. One, people have come forward as witnesses to the event and the other; technology had bitten the bums of people who filmed the deplorable attack on the police. The police have seized several phones, using the evidence to build up a case against the people who attacked the police.

I can still hear the cries of some of the drunken party-goers who claim that the police caused the vent by pepper-spraying a nine year old (accidentally) and tazering another person. Once again I say that these revellers were setting themselves up for the police action and that it is they who caused the problems that resulted.

New Year’s Eve is almost upon us. Are we once again going to see the ‘ugly side of our nation?’ I hope not. The fact that the weather may put a damper on outside activities just means that the problems will move indoors. OK, have fun, but know your limits or at least look after one another and that includes those vested in keeping us all safe?

China won't be able to read my blogs soon!

Some would say that living in China is becoming increasingly ‘cool’ and that  for many, life is improving. You can even be a billionaire. There are probably more billionaires in China than in the USA! But all this comes at a cost.

Do not criticise the venerable Communist Party if you want to get on in life. Do not have strong ‘alternate’ opinions,’ if you value your freedom. Do not read blogs critical of the ‘Peoples Party’ or you may run a risk of having your freedom curtailed. Apart from these ‘constrictions’ on life, you can have a good life in the ‘New China.’

The new leaders are apparently going to tighten up access to the internet, so I guess the days of some sort of social networking freedom are about to end. Goodbye my China readers, but your indomitable will to have your say and to have access to the world is not something that your Government will be able to completely cut. I am sure that you know how to use various ‘proxy sites,’ and that you know how to subvert the efforts of those who lead you. Go for it!

Drug and weapons free schools---not likely with the new laws!

School principals are gnashing their teeth at the latest announcement that searching student’s bags for drugs and other things is going to be almost impossible. How on earth are schools going to be able to monitor what comes and goes in school bags if they haven’t got that very sensible right?

Any school, not just lower decile schools will have students on a given day with stuff in their bags that will either make others or themselves unsafe. Those who say this is untrue just have their heads in the sand. For some schools of course the problems are huge.

Students bring drugs, alcohol and weapons. If you work with kids and talk to teachers in a range of schools you will know what I mean. Students tell us they feel unsafe on the way to school and sadly sometimes within our schools. Basically they are arming themselves, with knives and occasionally something more sinister.

Drug taking is endemic with a small proportion of our students and they are often ‘high’ in our classes. Most go under the radar but a sizeable proportion are simply not learning because of their altered state. Ask many teachers and once again, they could tell you horror stories. Taking away the right of schools to search bags is going to make this problem even worse.

Some schools employ the use of drug dogs but this has very limited effect because the word gets around in seconds that such dogs are ‘in school.’ With most students having cell phones, it is a no brainer to think that information won’t flow.

So to the idiots who advised the Government to make these changes and therefore make our schools less safe, I say---‘what planet are you on?’ To the way-out thinkers, divorced from reality and who worry about student rights, I say---‘get real and help us work towards safer schools, not ones where students are able to bring whatever trey wish into our schools, making them places of ‘not learning.’

OH---The Government says that schools can still search lockers and student desks.’ For God’s sake! ---- How many schools have lockers or desks with lids now? We are served by a Government that listens to advisers who are so far off the mark that one wonders what they will come up with next. Hell, how on earth did a ‘National’ Government get to this stage? They have completely flipped. I could have understood if it was the Greens who had proposed all this. We are indeed living in a crazy world.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kim Dotcom--what a stuff-up!

It seems that the Police and the Government got it all terribly worng. Kim Dotcom has made them look like titwits and really embarased them. The dabte about whether he is guilty of the alleged wrong doings has been lost in the commedy of errors and he may well get away with 'stuff' that he should not have.
He is probably rolly polling aorund in his mansion, laughing at the predicment the Government finds themselves in. I very much doubt that Mr KDC will be on the new years honours list. The USA too will be pretty pissed that it hasn' managed to bring KDC back to face the charges and the artists and other 'creators' will be possibly moving on in the knowledge that they too have failed to receive justice.
Oh well, 'What goes around, comes around!' Has KDC really had the last laugh? yours.

Yes, get your fully licensed to drive dog from the SPCA in Auckland and I believe elsewhere in New Zealand now. They are coming on stream almost as fast as they can be placed. They are quite remarkable and creating a stir around the world. It took pure 100% pure New Zealand to bring these dogs to the market and you know what---they are not expensive. The SPCA is just glad to find these dogs a loving and caring home.

If you lack that something special in your life, then go to the website and see for yourself. It’s not every day that such a breakthrough is made and that the canine world is capable of being a special friend to mankind and then some is truly amazing.

Mmmm--- I hear there is something afoot with cats now; something about piloting an aeroplane. Watch this space for future developments.   Check out ‘Talk To Me,’ my latest book.

When our police are assaulted, we are all the losers!

I am sickened by the latest attacks by angry and very drunken party-goers or boy racers. The excuse will be given by the criminals in Dargaville that their nine year old was pepper-sprayed. I do not believe that the police deliberately did that. If the adults were so drunk that they brought about the circumstances whereby the kid was affected then then must take the blame for the resulting events.

When our police are put at risk by the drunken idiocy that follows when people over imbibe, then we are all in danger and we haven’t even seen what may happen again on New Year’s Eve. That we now have a ‘culture’ that brings about these attacks is deplorable. Yes, we have always had a few idiots taking things too far, but attacks on the police are becoming common place.

The law allows for quite serious consequences, but still we see these attacks. Is there anything else behind these worrying events? I don’t think so. We have always had deprivation and poverty and some may say that the gap between rich and poor is growing, but that does not excuse this criminal behaviour.

Some of the party goers at Dargaville say that ‘this should not have happened.’ I say, they should have thought of that when they allowed the party to get out of control. No one makes you drink to excess. If you know you have a propensity to get out of control when you drink, then you must also know that society generally does not support your actions and lack of thought.

Throw the book at them! To the police---I don’t envy you your job when you are called to out of control parties. Reasoning with the rabble won’t do much good. Maybe you just have to take more of the boys and girls in blue to prevent getting hurt, but I don’t think we have the numbers to allow that. You do a great job trying to keep the rest of us safe, but you need some help, in the form of witnesses taking responsibility for the actions of those around them. By doing nothing, they are also culpable.

The UK--a land of opportunity?--not if you are an illegal immigrant!

This morning I watched with sadness a programme on BBC TV. The subject was the plight of many Indians who had been supped into paying large sums of money to agents (their own people) to assist in getting them to the UK. These unsuspecting people were promised the good life in the UK but most have fallen into desperate situations, living in ‘sheds to sleep’ or sometimes under bridges,

The promised employment generally does not exists and at best the ‘workers’ could only find a few days work a month. Their relations back in India had raised the money to pay the agents and had expected the men to pay back those loans and send money back home. The conditions the men were living in are often worse than the homes they left behind.

The UK has always been a land of opportunity to influxes of new arrival’s, going way back to the Roman occupation. These groups have stayed and become part of the general population. London of course has acted as a magnet to many groups as a starting point. What is that is different about the new illegal arrivals?

For a start, they have to hide; having no voice to vent their frustrations at the position they find themselves in. If they complained they risk been sent back, hence they are able to be easily exploited for less than legal wages and conditions. That they are being ripped off by their own people is doubly sad. Once in the UK, they become faceless as they seek to live the false dream. The UK Government has known for many years that this human trafficking has existed, but to date has done little to stem the flow.

Perhaps programmes like that I saw today should be widely circulated in the ‘new India.’ Access to BBC TV is probably fairly widespread, especially amongst the new middle classes. The Indian Government must tell the true story to its people. India itself is fast becoming a land of opportunity, not just to returning Indians but to other nationalities as well.

I know that other people around the world also seek out the British dream and they too fall prey to greedy and criminal groups, but the relationship between the UK and India is one that has existed in various forms for generations. Surely the two governments can cooperate to make the problems described to be dealt with in a humane manner. Ignoring it will only encourage yet more families to part with money they can ill afford; all for a nightmare, not a dream.

President Morsi is fooling himself.

One would hope that Egypt can find peace and enter a period of improved economic activity. Egypt must forge its own future and work out what is best for the nation. President Morsi however is fooling himself and making false claims about the so-called approval of his constitution.

How can he claim victory when fewer than 33% voted in the two rounds, just completed? He claims 64% support from the voters and in a sense that is correct. But take the full picture into account and the approval rating for his constitution would be far less.

I can only guess at the reason for the low turn-out and while I am not about to label the vote as corrupt, I can speculate that many did not vote as a way of showing their disapproval and also that most voters are not used to a ‘democratic’ model and therefore did not ‘trust’ the process. It is not so long ago that voting under a virtual one-party state, headed by Mubarak and his clique, does not lend itself to engendering a fair and transparent result.

The opposition, consisting of non-Muslim Brotherhood parties and groups were not well organized. Such organization only comes with practice. The Brotherhood was well on the way to achieving such a political machine as it provided opposition to Mubarak.

Where to from here? The ‘West’ must keep its interfering hands off Egypt. Only Egypt can work through this difficult period. If the populace wants an Islamic state, we have to accept that, but it is the process that causes so much concern and the future of the region as a whole is directly linked to the events in Egypt. We can but hope that Egyptians take up the challenge and work through the ramifications of electing a government that may well curtail their freedom in the future.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Xmas 'World.'

Merry Xmas to the whole world from New Zealand, the first to see the sun on Xmas day. Well, that is how it should be on this joyous summer morning. In Auckland that ain’t so as it is raining. If I was further south it would be a beautiful day. To make matters worse, I am heading north to Omana, where they are receiving the tail of a tropical cyclone.

This does not matter, as it’s the spirit of the day that counts. My day began by taking Perdy for a run down at the bay. I had given her a Xmas toy to play with while I had a quick breakfast and I am surprized that she has not totally destroyed it. She insists on attacking the squeaky insides of the toy. I reckon she will have it in pieces by the time I return from Xmas lunch later this afternoon. Unfortunately I can’t take her to my brother’s beach home, because their cat is fierce towards any other animal that dares to approach.

Tonight I will host a few friends for a simple late dinner. I say that because we would all have stuffed ourselves with traditional fare at lunchtime. That means turkey, ham and all the trimmings and then a huge trifle with the accompanying bits; so you know how we will feel after lunch. To make it slightly uncomfortable will be the fact that, yes it’s raining, but it is also horribly humid. Imagine about 25C and 95% humidity. Not nice. Still, there will be several heat pumps going to cool us down. That sounds kind of funny eh---heat pump! I guess you know how they work.

What will I do with Perdy? Don’t worry, I shall make a huge fuss of her and take her for another run later. Dinner is already on, in the slow cooker; a simple Indonesian chicken dish with rice and greens. I shall nod in the direction of tradition by serving ice cream and my version of a Xmas cake trifle—simple and easy to make. I am sure I have blogged it in the past. Go and seek it out.

I wish you all a peaceful Xmas; at a time when many people have to face terrible conditions, ranging from war to famine. I shall give you more than a passing thought today. I don’t care what faith or ethnicity you are---just feel my good wishes, even those of you I have slated this year.



Hey Brits---head to Christchurch!

Yeah---if you are a tradesperson, like anythiing to do with reconstruction---head on down under and make a space for yourself. Christchurch needs you and now trhat the earthqaukes have all but gone, things have settled.
Don't you know that Christchurch is more British than almost anywhere. You can see Miranda on very corner and a bit of 'little Britain' every which way you turn.
Just Goggle New Zealand House and ring them or go to the NZ Immigration site--make sur eit's the official one tho innit.
Come on, all the poms I know luv it here eh. We don't have no white Xmas but if you av an inkling for a great life, head on down ere  mate.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Xmas, Belgium

Is it snowing in Belgium? Are you planning your Xams dinner? I send my best wishes from 'down under,' where Xmas is a time for the beach and swimming. Yes, it's all a bit upside down here. Just once in my life, I'd love to have a white Xmas. Peace and love to you all.
Neil Coleman

Does the NRA really represent what is best for the USA?

The USA stands out as a nation that has almost one gun for every person. It has a murder rate from the use of guns that way numbers any other nation, even some of the almost ‘non-government’ nations in the Third World. Of course the fact that many Americans can afford them partly explains that.

The sight of a NRA spokesperson calling for guns to be in every classroom just shows how whacko these gun-loving idiots have become. How many teachers would or could go along with that? The very making of the statement indicates just how sick the USA has become.

There is an historical underpinning to the gun ownership issue in the USA, ably supported by the media in all its forms. Some would say the culture of violence as an entertainment form just exacerbates the whole issue. Add that to the ‘lonely young men,’ who lack all connection to the real world and you have a ticking bomb. The combination of mental illness and weapons availability will have ramifications over and over again. There is also another ‘as yet not reported’ nasty lurking out there.

Do you not wonder that some sort of competition is going on here? Are these ‘sad individuals’ involved in some sort of, ‘I can beat that number of killings and be famous?’ Conspiracy territory, maybe? ----but give it a bit of brain time.

So far the spokespersons for the NRA are doing little to make a coherent case for ownership of the more extreme type of guns. Each time they open their mouths, one is left wondering just where the USA is heading. Do they really want a nation that is armed to the teeth, to battle all manner of perceived threats? Just as another nation is about to have a debate about the violence towards women, the USA needs to take stock of its history and ask themselves if ‘new thinking’ needs to emerge. If India can embark on its most necessary debate, I am sure that the USA can and must do the same about their love affair with guns.

Charter Schools---now Treasury has doubts!

Today, the Herald reported that Treasury has doubts that Charter Schools will improve student performance. What a revelation from this highly influential body! Let’s once again cut to the point: Charter schools are simply going to happen for only one real reason; the agreement that National has with the Act party in order to get their support. Any other reason on the part of the Government is based on spurious reports that have been rejected by most academics.

What would treasury know about what is considered effective teaching? Their job is to advise the Government on financial matters, not academic achievement, so when they make a statement like that reported in the Herald, one has to wonder at the level of support the Government has for its ‘soon to be failed policies.’

Maybe we are in for yet another U-turn from this flip flop Government, but I bet it will be under the hegemony of yet another Minister of Education.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

India is awash with anger at the latest brutal rape!

Yes, I know that my header is provocative and may offend some of my Indian readers. That is not my intention; I am most supportive of the changes that this huge nation has made over the last decade or so. India is a huge economy with a growing middle-class. It is this group that will force changes that are so necessary in India.

Every country needs to look at the position of women in society and New Zealand too, has a way to go before women are represented at all levels of society and the economy. Brutal; rapes happen here too but action is swift when charges are laid. Having said that, the ‘bubble of silence’ exists here too; whereby many women to not go to the police.

The rape that has made the news of the world in India and the subsequent riots brings to light the plight of many women. A combination of corruption, inaction and old views makes the situation for many women one that this proud nation needs to address. That so many men feature in then protests does signal a ray of hope. Politicians will of course align themselves with these protesters in the hope that their own inaction will be lade less of.

I doubt that the protestors will go away this time. Their anger highlights the position of women and girls and will spread to the villages where no doubt the situation is even worse. Out of this new movement, many strong women will emerge, replicating the success of previous famous Indian women.

It is easy to say that women in neighbouring countries suffer an even worse plight, but now that the flame of indignation has been lit, Indian women are on a march, possibly looking to their iconic Gandhi; the leader who knew how to bring about change. India’s neighbours and other countries around the world will be taking note of events in India, but the struggle for women’s rights; to be safe, to be educated and to be represented fairly in the political institutions should be the aim of this new movement.

The women of India are a massively undervalued economic and social grouping. Their march has barely begun. Old attitudes are and will continue to be challenged, in increasingly strident forms. Such a move is long overdue; free from socio-religious tradition. Of course we in other countries can but watch from the sideliners, as it is Indians who will force their own changes. I cannot help but wish them strength and courage; something that Indians have never lacked.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Is the way forward to lessening the tension between the Two Koreas, dialogue?

Theoretically, the ‘war’ between North and South Korea has not ended. The tension between the two nations remains high and with the latest launch of the long range missile, neighbouring nations were also very concerned, including China.

South Korea has just elected a new President. Hopefully she will find ways to engage with her Northern cousins and work towards a meaningful and lasting peace, this will be a difficult task given the propensity of the North’s leaders to follow less and normal communications methods. One can liken North Korea as being like a ‘baby throwing its toys out of the cot.’

Don’t dream about a democratic North Korea; that would be an alien term for both its leaders and citizens. Those who can, leave and seek a new life in the South or further afield; usually saying little about their former lives, in case their families are ‘punished’ for the sins of the ‘escapees.

 I do not envy the new Southern president. She has a huge task ahead of her. I wish her well and hope that she can find a ‘Korean’ way of handling her recalcitrant neighbour.’ To achieve that, she will have to dig deep and think ‘outside the square.’

How well did New Zealand Post do when I complained?

When a firm offers a service as important as delivering our mail, I usually just ‘leave it’ when they stuff-up. Not this time. I have consistently had the wrong mail delivered; sometimes really stupid mistakes made and I just said a few expletives and got on with life, eventually delivering the ‘wrong mail’ to the correct address. I reckon NZ Post should pay me for that, but I am a believer in ‘what goes around comes around,’ so I could hardly not deliver mail that didn’t belong to me, if it was just down the road. For other really bad mistakes, I ‘return to sender,’ with a few choice comments made on the outside to NZ Post.

This time I decided to act and I looked up the NZ Post website and found the ‘contact’ link and let it rip. I explained without being rude my concerns. Wow! ---- They got back to me in the claimed time and asked if the mail was indeed from the NZ Post service. I explained that yes, it was. They got back to me again and explained that ‘the postie was new’ and that ‘they had spoken to him.’ They asked me to let them know if the mistakes reoccurred and that they would send letters to people who had numbers that were not clear on their letter boxes.

I have to say that was impressed with the service. I shall however, let them know if these silly annoying mistakes occur again. OK, well done NZ Post----so far.

The world didn't end so you can visit yet another great cafe in Onehunga!

I woke up alive and well. There were no volcanoes spewing forth their deadly bombs or any asteroids raining upon us. I couldn’t see any floods rushing towards me or feel an earthquake decimating my lovely city. Let’s face it; we are well over earthquakes in New Zealand.

The sky was blue and Perdy was wagging her tail in anticipation of our road trip to Hamilton to visit my brother. This was going to be her first time. However I needed to take the spike out of her tail. I didn’t fancy her barking and carrying on in the back seat of the car, leaving me deaf and dizzy (I heard you---too late for that!).

So off we went, down to her beloved Onehunga Bay where the earthworks have begun for the ‘transformation.’ I felt that the day was going to be long and hot, so I settled for chucking the ball for her to chase and me to relax. After all I had to drive about 300kls and I don’t hang in there like I used to. Exercise over, we headed to Greenlane to pick up my big sister and then on to breakfast in the Onehunga main street.

I had passed a newish café several times in the last few days; Bean There Café. The sight of doggie bowls outside was enough to entice us in. We tied Perdy to our table and waited for service. That came quickly along with the menu. No paying first in this place. Both of us ordered an omelette, with gruyere cheese and various other bits and pieces in it. I was attempting to scale down my serving sizes, so the ‘Big Breakfast’ was on the forbidden list.

The coffees were really good; none of those single-shot wimpy offerings for us. I like my coffee to taste like----coffee.’ The omelettes did the trick; tasty and generous without breaking the back. Beam There café, now joins our list of ‘favourite places to go.’ I just hope that it lasts longer than the other businesses that have inhabited this pleasant, very accessible café. The staff was as good as the food.  Nice one, Bean There Café. Yes, we really are spoilt for choice in this suburb.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

So it's the last day of the world!

Here we go again. Once you hit 60 plus you can probably say you have survived at least a dozen or so ‘end of the world’ experiences. The most vivid for me was in my distant childhood. I well remember listening to the radio in the kitchen on the farm in Taranaki. Mum was talking about the ‘crazies’ who were driving up Mount Egmont (we didn’t’ call the Taranaki then). Apparently they were trying to avoid the ‘flood.’

My mum was quite religious but that didn’t stop her from preparing a good old fashioned roast dinner. Maybe she thought we should have a nice meal before the ‘main event.’ Either way, I don’t remember her as being anything more than calm.

Now, it’s not as if I am disrespecting the Mayans, but don’t you think the hype has been more from the media and various other groups. What have we heard from the descendants of the Mayans? I wish the news reports would focus a bit more on modern day Mayans and see what preparations they are making. Maybe I should search that out on the Net.

What am I going to do on this most auspicious of days? I am just going to go about my normal stuff, in as much as one can be normal a few days before Xmas. Damn, those Mayans could have picked am more convenient time for end of the world.

Just one more thought: Do we get an extra 12 or so hours here in New Zealand, because it is already the 21st here? OK, if I have been terribly wrong, I shall write an apology.  Happy endings, folks.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hekia Parata--'Should I go or should I stay?'

Dearest Hekia,

‘Do you stay or do you leave?’

Well luvvy---that’s a curly one.  Who AM I to tell you, eh? I mean, there’s been some real stuffups and those bloody teachers have been one step ahead of you all year. Then you went and got that Pommy lady—yeah the one who knew how to fix up New Zealand’s education fiasco. Damn it mate, she didn’t last long. What did she do eh? Did she piss you off big time? Maybe she saw through all the Government’s BS eh. Maybe she found out that NZ ain’t like the UK eh. Maybe people care more here about their schools and they don’t like being bullied by someone who doesn’t listen.

Yeah, I guess I feel I bit sorry for you all the same. You got handed the poisoned chalice, didn’t you. Key saw you coming and handed you the portfolio from hell. You should have looked at the history of various Ministers of Education over time and you would have seen the train charging at you along a one-way track.

Did you think that you would make your mark and then be rewarded with a ‘nice’ posting? The trouble with that is that people don’t forget so easily and the snake-pit you have inhabited for the last year or so has very slippery sides.

I’m going to say it again. Yes, I feel sorry for the way you have been used by Key and Co. If you have really learnt from this experience, I believe that you could make a good Minister: of what I’m not so sure. Whatever it is, how about being a little more humble and listen to a wider range of ‘advisors.’ Therein lays the reason for your imminent downfall.

I wish you a Merry Xmas and I hope you come back to the ‘Beehive’ with less sting in your tail.

Italy---Kia ora and Merry Xmas.

So nice to see Italy reading my blogs. I am always happy as you all know to see another country come aboard. I shall try to send a few blogs your way that are of interest to you. There is one issue that comes to mind and that is the possibility of that 'used by date' politician, considering a return to a high position. DON'T LET HIM! Surely he knows that Italy doesn't need him. So Mr 'B,'---take a hike.

Kenya----fantastic to see you.

I love to see a new country reading my blogs. I guess it's almost a game for me, to see ever more nations on the stats. Kenya, keep reading and I shall keep writing. Feel free to respond and check out my webiste and books.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I'm not having 'Barbaric' surgery,silly---it's Bariatric---

Was there some sort of hidden criticism of my decision to have Bariatric surgery next April, by calling it ‘Barbaric surgery?’ Anyone who knows me and has witnessed my various attempts to get on top of my Achilles heel, understand where I am coming from. Hell, it’s not like I have suddenly come to this important decision. It comes after years of fighting, loosing, and gaining and continually yo-yoing. Some people smoke, others drink and I eat---simple. Something inside me destroys all attempts to ‘portion control.’ I don’t see myself as weak or less as a person. I have actively sought solutions and spent countless dollars on those ‘down the dunny’ programmes. From what I have read and been told by ‘experts, very few people over 40 who are overweight manage to take off and keep off the weight. Maybe 10% manage, while the rest of us just increase the bank balances of various authors and purveyors of ‘miracle programmes. If there was a successful programme out there that lived up to its claims, then we would all know about it.

So, thank you for your concerns but not for your misinformation about my intents. I shall continue to ‘put myself’ out there in the hope that I can engender discussion about the terrible obesity scourge that plagues NZ and many other nations. I would so like this to be different and I acknowledge that ‘prevention’ is a far better option than the ‘knife.’ Please send feedback. I don’t give a hoot if you disagree, but it would be nice to have the ‘pros and cons’ about my (and many others’) journey I am about to begin. What am I going to do in the next three months? Why, I shall walk my dog and try practice what is going to be a way of living that differs from past pathways.

Pakistan's Government has suspended the Polio vacination programme!

The Taliban has won, at least for now. The Pakistani Government’s suspending of the Polio Vaccination programme shows just how far the Taliban has managed to weave itself into the very fabric of society in Pakistan. That is incredibly worrying for this proud nation. What will the Government do from here?

They cannot give in to the demands of the Taliban. If they do, they are taking their country back into a dark past, where children will die or be deformed by this insidious disease. Surely there is a way of getting the vaccinations out to the children. Why not do it in army bases, or are they too compromised by the Talban? If the Government does not win this battle, then the country is doomed to become a Taliban dominated Sharia Law throwback nation, where opportunity to experience all that life offers will be determined by a few men with beards and a book.

That is not what the founders of this nation had in mind all those years ago when the ‘Partition’ occurred. Somehow, the people of Pakistan are going to need to wake up and see what is happening, and come together against the sad vision that is held for them by the Talban. Dig deep Pakistan!

Five Pakistani female health workers murdered by the Taliban.

Pakistan is in need of a peoples’ movement, against the Taliban. Until the vast majority of Pakistanis get out on the streets and support the moderate forces of Islam, then they will continue to be held ransom by the evil Taliban.

The five women health workers were trying to vaccinate babies against Polio, a disease that may be on the rise again in Pakistan after it had been virtually wiped out. The Taliban have been promulgating rumours that the vaccinations are an American tool to destroy Pakistan. Such is the ignorance a stupidity of the Taliban. They wish to turn the Islamic world to a society resembling the Middle-Ages. Of course the Islamic world at that time was one that proudly supported the arts, education and knowledge in general so their avowed policies are ignorant of their own history.

Pakistan is in danger of being longed into a civil war, not unlike that we have seen in Iraq and Syria. This suits the purposes of the Taliban. The weary population of Pakistan will turn to those who they perceive as keeping them safe; both from corruption and war. At some stage the ‘tip point’ comes and that is when the Taliban will be ready and able to take over.

We shall then see the position of women and girls deteriorate and any gains they have made over the past decades will dissolve under the yoke of feudalistic and ignorant rulers.

This is not a time for the USA and its allies to intervene, because we have seen that this simply does not work. Change that lasts and represents the majority of the populace must come from within. Pakistan is capable of moulding its own future but the signs indicate that time is running out if they don’t act soon. The West can support Pakistan if or when such a call is made----from Pakistan.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Calling Russia, China, UK, Australia, India, Canada-

You get the picture? Do 'you' all need lots of guns in private ownership? Of course you don't even though you may have good reason to defend yourselves against the Government. But the USA does! Sad eh, because the vast majority of Americans are just like everyone else in the world---peace loving and familly orientated and good people. They just have this fatal flaw. We still love the people of the USA though eh.

The world is watching the USA!

If anyone in the USA needed a reason to think more deeply about the gun law issue, then they should have been watching Piers Morgan on CNN TV today. I had to go out before I saw the families of the Aurora massacre talking about how they felt about guns, but I did see Piers interviewing a guy form a ‘defence league.’

If a reason was needed to start a debate about fundamental change in the USA, then he provided a prime example for the reasoning behind those almost sacredly held views to be turned around. He took pride in seeing the ‘faces change on people when they used guns.’ How sick is that? OK, I expect the proponents of the present gun laws will say that he is not the ‘norm’ and that his thinking is flawed. Is that so? Is he not typical of those who think they need an automatic weapon or high powered gun to protect themselves from ‘home invasion,’ or other harm; or those twats who say they need guns to protect themselves from the inevitable collapse of the USA economy or the ‘takeover of the USA by the United nations?’

I guess in any large population you are going to have the ‘fringe thinkers,’ and they will give their lives to uphold their spurious beliefs. One does not have to look too far to see examples of this type of thinking in the USA. That this groups and the NRA hold so much sway over the law-making processes in the USA is indeed frightening.

Now, I suspect that my blogs of late would have some in the USA (Let’s face it--- you make up over 70% of my readership) thinking I am ‘hating on the USA;’ far from it. I know that culturally and in many other ways, the people in New Zealand are very much the same as New Zealanders. Take away the accent differences and 90% of the time, you would find that we speak with the same words; have the same aspirations and within the bounds of ethnic diversity, look the same. Yeah, we are even as fat as our friends in the USA!

We have the same sense of community, a similar education system, same faith system along with the variants. It is more a matter of scale which throws up the differences. You just have a large number of ‘way-out’ cults and belief systems,’ but take those variations away and---WE ARE THE SAME, APART FROM YOUR TOTALLY irrational love affair with guns.

You have been fed this crap about the Second Amendment, which was formulated at time that was uncertain politically and based the right to bear arms on weapons that would have trouble hitting a squirrel at a hundred yards. OK, slightly exaggerated, but you get my point.

In this day and age, such rights kill, not protect. There I go again—I have upset some friends I regularly talk to in the USA. They abhor my stance re guns. They demand the right to protect themselves from rapists and other harm. They say---‘Why should we give up our rights to arm ourselves because a few loonies go out and slaughter people. We are not like that.’

Of course you are not! Are we confusing rights and freedom, or overstressing our individual rights at the expense of the overall safety of the nation? Is there not a point where you need to sacrifice some of those rights because the perceived means of defending them has forced a price that is just too high for the USA? I believe you have reached that point as a nation. This stance goes very much against what Americans have held true for many years.

‘Well you can just bug off,’ you say, sometimes using much stronger words. Well, no we can’t. The USA has put itself out there as a nation that has influenced the world culture. The USA has power way beyond its population base. That brings with it a certain responsibility that means the rest of the world also has a right to comment. The USA and its huge economy depend on the rest of the world and unless you go back to the old days of ‘Isolationism,’ then you must listen to what the world says.

Whether you want it or not, a good deal of the world holds the USA ‘up there’ as a nation to emulate despite the bombs that hit your embassies around the world. This is not going to change in the near future. So---USA---have this debate and accept that we are all watching to see which pathway you take. Do what you need to stop killing your children, even if that means giving up some of your so-called ‘freedoms.’

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Cheers and Merry Xmas.

Gisborne---go for it---and to it!

It’s great to see sunny Gisborne put itself out there and challenge Aucklanders and other to relocate. For less than half of the average price of Auckland housing, one can move, possibly get employment and be mortgage free and have no more hassles with traffic. Rush hour--- what’s that?  

Then there is the climate and wonderful beaches and the wines country not far from Gisborne. OK, one has to think carefully about relocating, especially if there are kids, family and friends to consider, but isn’t that part of what our NZ psyche is all about? We have always been travellers and risk takers, right back to the time of the first Maori settlers and those who followed.

There is a good hospital there so no worries re health issues. With technological improvements, distance is less of an issue and really; Gisborne is only about 6 hours by car from Auckland and 50 minutes by air.

Get your gardening gloves out and check out some new fishing gear. It’s all there---in Gisborne and hey---they actually want us down there.

Guns---why so important in the USA?

Americans love their guns and the Second Amendment entrenches their right to bear them. One would think that the majority of Americans support this stance. Not so, but to change it would require a massive swing in public opinion for what has been a part of American history. That the powerful NRA has fought long and hard, backed up by powerful lobby groups and politicians from both parties make the prospect of change almost impossible.

Sure there has been law change, some lasting only a few years around the access to guns and the type of guns able to be procured, but guns remain a factor in the lives of many Americans. I heard that there are as many if not more gun stores in the USA as MacDonald’s. Is that a myth or a fact? If it is true, you can figure out for yourselves what that says about the USA.

Semi-automatics, assault rifles; call them what you like, are available with ‘checks’ by the authorities and of course there is the black market. How many guns are purchased through the latter? No one knows. It seems pretty obvious that the underworld provides for its own and in the USA that is a large sector of society.

There has been a great deal of debate about the issue of classification of assault rifles and semi-automatics. I actually don’t give a stuff about that, because it clouds the real issue. Too many Americans are dying because some prat gets hold of a gun or guns and goes on the rampage.

Then the debate shifts to the user of guns being a ‘sick person’ who has been let down by ‘mental health agencies.’ Of course that is true. We know about then lessening of the State mental health services here, in New Zealand. We have simply replicated the same philosophy as the USA when it comes to ‘public spending’ and then reap the obvious flow-ons.

For those hard-arsed (NZ spelling) people who say that ‘killers’ will still kill, but that they will use other methods, like knives, I say----When did you last hear of a knife wielding, mentally health challenged, crazy, criminal killers slaughtering 20 plus people. I rest my case on that issue.

America--- you are not alone in having mass slaughter. Just watch the news every night to observe the more extreme as seen in the Middle East and other far off nations and you will see slaughter on a massive scale. BUT---is there any other country in the world where there may be more than one gun for every person in the country? Does that not tell you something about ‘greatest country on earth?’

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not an anti-USA basher. I make connections with many Americans on a daily basis through social media circles available and I admire much about the contribution of American ideals and products. It’s just that you have this terrible Achilles Heel when it comes to GUNS and their use.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Jack Russells destroy cars---beware!

I wrote a blog  a while about getting my car cleaned at Carfe---they did a good job. Well, I haven't cleaned it since and Perdy, my Jack Russell had managed to drop half a beach and a good deal of her coat in the back seat. My sister and friends didn't want to ride in it because it stunk and made them sneeze. That was too much, even for a 'non-caring' me.
We went to 277 in New Market yesterday, for some Xmas shopping and in the car park they had that firm that cleans your car while you shop. Perfect I thought; they can clean my car.
 I showed them the 'damage' and they agreed to do it for $160. That is a bit more than Carfe charged, but the job ahead of them was daunting to say the least. They agrees to do a deap clean, in and out and it would take an hour. OMG, I thought---'they knowest not what they are in for.'THEY DID A BEAUTIFUL JOB!
I returned 90 minutes later and they were still going, trying ot get every last blond hair out of the car and mats. They did!. They did a surperb job. Do not be afraid to leave your car in their SKILLED  hands. Well worth the money

I had the first appointment--

Yeah, I went along to see the surgeon. His name is Greg Beeban. I feel I can totally trust him and will go ahead some time in April. I can't wait to get on with it. It's costing heaps because I am too old for the freebie from the state. I read somewhere online that I should not have lots of 'last suppers, because that is setting myself up for 'bad habbits'---yeah right--- like my last 30 years have been a prime example of 'gastronomic balance?' Actually, I am finding that I am already putting into place an action plan that will support my 'smaller sleaved stomach.' Anyone reading this who either wants to know more about the procedure or has been through bariatric surgery---give me some feedback or contact me on
PS--- But don't try to talk me out of it or try to put me onto some 'tree hugging diet.' Been there, done that!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Peace to you all in the USA--my deepest sympathy.

While I walked Perdy today, all I could think about was the sad waste of young lives in Conneticut. The red trees are our Pohutukawa. The New Zealand Xmas tree...May you find some peace at this special time of the year.

My day has been consumed by sadness--Iv'e got to take Perdy out.

The horrifying event in Connecticut has totally consumed my day. I have strong feelings of sadness and anger; not sure which one is to the fore. I see the usual comments on Facebook about Americans’ having a Constitutional given right to bear arms. They also have to endure massacre after massacre of their young people and those who try to protect them.

The world has to watch along with the USA because most news networks are either based in the USA or have strong links to them. As tragic and mind numbing as these killings are, we should not forget the needless deaths in other countries, that occur through war, corruption, pollution and natural (and not so natural) disasters.

Americans will witness more and more of these events because their society (and that of many other countries, including NZ---it is a matter of scale) has evolved in a way that makes them possible. How many can be blamed on the Constitution is open to debate, but huge questions must be asked about how America sees guns.

For those who say that ‘mentally disturbed people need help and that such massacres will occur anyway,’ should think a little more outside their narrow reckonings. Surely if knives or other weapons were used, the killers could be stopped by the sheer force of the adults who are there to look after the (our) kids.

Yes, resources need to go into the management of individuals with mental health issues and we all know that such resources are incredibly hard to extract money from the tax paying public.

USA---we mourn for your dead, but please take a big hard long look at where things have progressed, simply because you feel that it is your inalienable right to bear arms.
I need to take a break from the TV and escort Perdy (my Jack Russell) to the Bay for her swim in the water (or mud if the tides out!).

North Korea's crazy Kim baths in 'glory' while his people starve!

The scenes of ‘forced celebration’ in North Korea are enough to make me want to puke. This psychopath leads a starving population and seeks aid from neighbours and the West while his people go hungry. The hordes of soldiers and other citizens look entirely fake as they are paraded across our TV screens.
How can this man spend billions on an unnecessary ‘space programme’ that is nothing more than a front to manufacture a nuclear ‘deterrent?’
China, Kim’s neighbour stands by with this threat on its borders and makes comments that reflect its inability to come to terms with the ramifications of a nuclear capable despotic regime. When China finally wakes up it will be under the shadow of a mushroom cloud.
The UN and major powers protest and say ‘there will be consequences.’ What the hell does that mean; make the suffering people of North Korea starve even more? Kim knows this and uses the sympathy of the world to manufacture aid while he continues to pursue his dangerous dream.
That the people of North Korea are unable to fight against their ‘Emperor,’ is sad. They are too down trodden to organize meaningful resistance. The best they can hope for is to escape---to anywhere, because ‘anywhere is better than there.’

Guns, Guns and more guns---Americans inalienable right to kill one another!

Horrible, revolting, sad and unexplainable, or is it? The news of yet another mass shooting of young students in the USA has shocked the world and sent the USA into a tail spin about the inalienable right of Americans to possess guns. I ask---is this latest slaughter, this time in a state that one would not expect such slaughter so unexpected? Connecticut is hardly a ‘red neck’ state.
The debate about gun ownership in America is a passionate one; adherents to that right to bear arms spread across the social divide. Each time we hear about another incident, the debate is renewed. Some claim the right to bear arms goes right back to the formation of the American Constitution. They claim that such a right allows them to defend themselves against danger, and perhaps equally important, the right to defend their rights against an overzealous or tyrannical Government.
This has spawned other groups who claim that they too have had an historical right to own and use arms for personal defence and for that very American sport, of hunting. At the time of the Constitutional formation, those reasons may have been valid, but in a modern and very much more populated America, those reasons seem only to make life more dangerous.
Having said the above, we must also look beyond the USA as other countries also have mass killings. In New Zealand we are not immune from mass slaughter as we too have a high gun ownership regime, albeit not as high as the USA. We have an energetic group of hunters and farmers who own weapons and of the course the criminal element of our population has always had and probably always will have access to weapons. There is something different about the USA; something entrenched in the psyche of the country. I do not believe that a large majority of Americans agree with their strong ‘gun lobby,’ but that later group has huge influence in the USA, far outweighing their actual numbers.
I suspect that even with this latest massacre, nothing will change in the USA. The usual ‘voices’ will plead for change and the same old network that supports the ‘gun lobby’ will force their will on politicians and the guns will still be relatively easy to obtain.
When there is historical justification for a policy or ‘right,’ then such constitutional rights become entrenched. Children will continue to die and communities will continue to be ripped apart. No amount of input from psychologists, teachers, community leaders and others ‘speaking out’ will change this insidious blot on American society. I fear for the people of the USA as their population increases and the stresses of everyday life become even more apparent. It takes little to light the flame of hate or frustration; thereby making it almost inevitable that we will continue to see the slaughter in Connecticut replicated in other towns and cities in the USA.
The President will speak with passion but nothing will change unless the people on mass line up behind him to work for change. If anyone can, Obama can.
PS. I just watched the president speak. He had tears and as a father of two daughters, he must be thinking of those families who have lost young ones. Use those tears to bring about change, Mr President.