Friday, August 3, 2012

Thanks Olympics---we don't need ot read about Romney for a while

It's true---apart from his opening 'gaffs' to rival the spectuclarly genuine British opening ceremony, Romney has disappeared from the news. Is it like that in the USA? I hope so, because it must cause yoiu a great deal of pain from laughing at his comments; unfortuantly the serious side is that he could win, then we would all be sad.
So lets all enjoy another Romney-free week!
Hey--- what's Obama up to?

It's OK Aussie--- you will get more gold medals than NZ--- just dont be so---

For God’s sake stop being so bloody precious mate(s). It’s only about bloody games. So up until this morning (Saturday NZ had more gold medals than Aussie. You are very quick to put NZ down and I suspect you hate it when you wake up to the news you have seen today. That the Sydney Morning Herald stopped the medal table at ranking 9 because you didn’t want to make it clear about NZ’s wonderful achievement speaks a lot about how you see us. Get over it and think about the connections between our two nations that really matter; like how we are both ‘there’ for one another when it really counts; like in war times and in times of disaster.
We will never forget the images of Aussie relief workers coming to our aid after the terrible Christchurch earthquakes; just like we were there for you after and during your disastrous fires.
 This will always be so.
I suppose the rivalry on the sport field is symbolic of no more than ‘sibling rivalry’ so let’s get on with the important things eh mate.
Hugs to you all. No sheep jokes too--- because--- haven’t you heard---like you, we have far less to go around now. It seems that we have both moved away from the ‘purely’ agricultural.

Someone please help me 'airbrush' my photo!

Yes, if it’s good enough for our former ‘dear leader,’ Helen Clark to have her ‘portrait’ airbrushed then it is only right that I should consider the same treatment, for the picture of me on the back of my books.
I should of course go for the full treatment; a full body airbrush, showing off my muscular body and extreme physique. Just imagine my readers’ drooling over the said pictures of me in my trusty speedos. It would take the focus away from my stories and probably have me on YouTube. Oh to reach such vaunted heights—to have my self fully exposed for the entire world to see. Those of you who know me how ‘true’ such pictures would be--- they would represent the----real? ---me.
Come on whoever wrote the bit in the NZ Herald about dear Helen having such a picture, although I have to say that it wasn’t the full-version I was proposing for myself. I have to admit, she did look rather pretty in the 2008 election campaign.  Most NZers didn’t get their tits d in as tangle over that, so why should they with this latest effort. Who gives a stuff about the whole issue--- if you do--- join me with your ‘airbrushed personality’ and picture on the back of my books--- you can be an ‘airbrushed fan!’

Oh===== I’m not actually proposing any pictures of me---so don’t worry. There will be some of Perdy but she doesn’t need airbrushing.

China's leaders come in for criticism from one of their own.

It was most interesting to see one of the leading elite of the Communist Party of China criticising some of his compatriots for their ‘high living and selfishness.’ What a blast from the past---possibly a refreshing one, given the poor working conditions for millions of his subjects (oops—citizens). There is no doubt that many Chinese are benefiting from the huge economic growth of China and that those we say are living in less than comfortable conditions say themselves that they prefer that to what they left behind in the countryside.
It would be wrong of me to go on about lack of freedom and rights or choice in China, without taking into account the advances made by and for the people of China. They have made gains and the vast middle-classes will fuel many more. Once people’s basic needs are met, they aim for other higher ideals, around the ‘environment and freedom of choice. Now that this progress is obvious, the steam that has been built up for change is unstoppable in the long run.
Now that I read about the comments made by the illustrious leader, I wonder if he has a secret desire to return to times of old, whereby the Communists party line was law and woe betide anyone challenging its ‘privileged’ position. Hang on---- isn’t that what he is saying about his colleagues? Watch this space.
Hey China--- You are doing really well at the Olympics!

I am so proud to be Kiwi

We are a tiny country at the bottom of the South Pacific, with just 4.5 million people. When our boys and girls do well in international sporting events, way beyond what one would expect from such a small popualtion, we forget our troubles for a moment and reflect on what could be. Then we say----'hey--- we are doing it!'
Be proud fellow Kiwis and transfer some of that feeling to tackling some of our other problems.
Above all, sieze the moment and have fun tonight. There is yet more to come.

The Government is going to 'review' State House rents.

As soon as we hear the word ‘review’ lately, we wonder what is in stall for a segment of the community. Unfortunately these fears are often true, because that segment more likely than not under this Government is probably going mean ‘those on benefits or lower incomes.’ We have all watched the Government battling with the Education sector, but that battle is a more equal one; that the unions/parents alliance is stronger, without doubt, hence some of the back downs we have seen.
For beneficiaries it is not so clear cut. The Government actually has a good deal of support to go down the ‘benefit cutting road.’ The latest group in the government’s sights are those renting homes from the State. We call them State Houses in New Zealand, so for my USA friends---I’m not talking about Sate Legislative buildings. For those in England I am talking about those Estate housing or Council housing, in the USA, maybe the ‘Projects, and I’m not sure what you call them in Australia.
The aim of these various housing schemes is to make housing affordable for lower income groups. New Zealand has had a proud history of providing affordable, State owned (and some Council housing) housing, right back to the 1930’s under a benevolent Labour Government. Since that time, various governments have played around at the edges of ‘costing’ these homes. Even Labour put the rents up in the 1980’ but the main instances of increasing rental prices has come under National Governments. They probably cynically assume that the tenants do not usually vote National, so there is nothing to be lost, politically.
Today we hear that the National Government is about to ‘review’ rental costs again, bringing them to a ‘level playing field.’ As it were. This at a time when many low income people and beneficiaries are really suffering, mostly through no fault of their own, then such a move is somewhat problematic, if not damn mean from my point of view.
I see on a daily basis how families are in a bad way, financially. Many cannot afford to send their kids to school with food or money for lunch; that may be after they have had little to eat for breakfast. Try teaching hungry kids! I can hear the cry that, ‘these families are choosing to spend their money on smoking, drinking and gambling. I am sick of hearing the vast majority of our citizens who try to make ends meet in a responsible manner, being slagged with this label. Sure a small group of people are ripping off the system, spend money they ‘don’t have, on things we all know just add to their problems,’ They really are a minority. Those making those claims only pass through South Auckland on the Southern Motorway--- they no nothing!
If the Government goes through with this ‘review’ and comes to the conclusion that many tenants are going to pay more--- what are they going to do to alleviate the problems that this will inflict on so many families? Will they end up having to rep-invent or boost an existing benefit to make up for the loss of spending power for the group they are aiming their review at? What a stupid move, economically, because that will be the effect. If they don’t make up the difference, I would not like to be a worker at WINZ (Work and Income NZ) offices, because they will need one hell of a lot more security guards to handle unhappy citizens.
For those of us in wealthier suburbs--- we will not be immune. When people need to ‘put food on the table,’ and they don’t have the means, then they seek out other solutions, mostly against the law. This latest proposals from the Government will force people over the edge. The answer is not in continually cutting, and then telling people to get a job--- those jobs don’t exist and those that do, are often at the bottom edge of the scale, paying a paltry $13.50 an hour. What family can live on this, even with topping-up benefits? Sure, we can up-skill through retraining, but even then at the best of economic times we have always had a group at the bottom, which cannot make ends meet.
It says a great deal about us as a society, as to how we help those who no fault of their own, find themselves at the ‘bottom of the economic pile.’ For those insensitive enough to say, that ‘it is their choice,’ you nothing of life. Yes, there are those amongst us who say---‘but I did it.’ Good on you, but the system does not allow everyone to lift themselves from the canyon of economic despair.
I am not advocating a ‘give and give more society, but I am asking for a humane and caring one—we almost had it at times in our history, but in these ---‘I must have it at all costs,’ society, those qualities are in real danger of being lost.