Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I hope the Australians bring their troops back from Afghanistan too!

I wish the Aussies could bring back their troops from Afghanistan, just like NZ is about to do. The Aussies have lost lives there too; just like the troops and construction teams from other countries.
We all know that the Taliban will return and unless the people of Afghanistan call upon their Muslim neighbours to help prevent that happening, then history has told us that no amount of meddling from the West or the Russians (under the guise of the former Soviet Empire) will result in victory.
I would accept our involvement under the flag of a UN team that included a massive contribution from oil rich Arab countries. I would also hope that the Aussies bring back the translators and their families who have been so loyal to their troops, endangering the lives of their families.
My hope is that the Talban evolves into a more benign force but unlike the Vietnamese Communist who have shown a more pragmatic approach, the Taliban are driven by extreme fundamentalist dogma, more like that which resulted in the slaughter we witnessed in Cambodia. It took a powerful neighbour to knock that group off their pedestals. It is not the West that can achieve the same in Afghanistan--- we are not wanted there. The solution has to be found from within and from the region itself. Our part is to support that process. If and only when the situation is safe, should we send in construction teams.
Bring your men and women back Australia.

I didn't want our troops in Afghanistan--but bring back the interpreters!

There would be a good deal of disagreement amongst New Zealanders about the merits of whether our troops should be Afghanistan, fighting what I believe is an unwinnable war. We just don’t learn from history and keep making the same mistakes and for those who think we could ever win---read your history books!
Having said that, I feel deeply for the children and women of Afghanistan as they face the prospect of the return of the Taliban, an evil, medieval throwback. That they use religion as justification for their actions makes a mockery of the religion they purport to hold so close to their bloodless hearts. The Muslim world needs to play a far bigger role in the fight to find peace in Afghanistan; perhaps a contraction in terms.
There is another group in Afghanistan who has worked tirelessly beside NZ troops. They are the translators who have risked the lives of themselves and their families by being so closely involved with our troops.
Tonight we have heard that 26 translators and hopefully their families will be allowed to come to New Zealand. They have earned their place and I applaud the decision of the Government in making this move. Come and enjoy the peace that your own country has been unable to provide. From what I have seen of your fellow Afghanis who have chosen to come here, you will do well and contribute to NZ society. That you could not find those opportunities in your own country is sad. Welcome to your new home.

Herbalife--I don't know what to call this blog!

I didn’t really know what to call this blog. Maybe I should have called it ‘Fat Bugger 10---or is it 11. Either way it is in the same context as the other ‘Fat Bugger’blogs I have written. It is about me and my attempts to get to a healthy weight, without resorting to drastic surgery. I am too old to qualify for the free hospital option----that’s for people under 50 and I am way past that.
So I try to walk my weight off and watch what I eat. The trouble is I watch the food and then eat it. You have all heard the silly ‘sea food diet joke (not). I won’t repeat it here.
I have tried them all and I have come to the conclusion that diets don’t work for the vast majority of people. Yes, they lose weight, quite fast in many cases, but nearly all of them (that means me) out it back on and then some. The so-called yoyo dieting thing is not good for us.
It’s about lifestyle you say. Of course it is but just calling a diet lifestyle and then been attacked by your own body’s reactions to a diet don’t work for most people either. What am I going to do? OK, I have settled for a bit of a compromise. My partner is setting up a website whereby he can sell the Herbalife products.  Once it’s up and running I shall provide a link to his website. You can be anywhere in the world to access the products.
Normally when someone like me espouses the effectiveness of a certain product, they sing the praises of that product. I am not going to do that. I shall simply report on what I have found. I am not going to do the whole programme. Each of us is different and I shall take what I know about myself and do my own thing.
There is no way that I could stick to the complete programme. Separating me from real food is never going to work, so what I shall do is replace my midday meal or sometimes breakfast with the drink that Herbalite provides. I can see that it has all of the nutrients that I need, so that in itself is a good thing. If I take it in the middle of the day, when I am busy, I won’t be so tempted to add- on other food.
I shall do this for the remainder of the school year and tell you what happens. In the meantime I shall try to watch what I eat in the way of portion size and also continue to walk my Jack Russell. Hell, just watching her burns off calories.
If I cheat I shall tell you. Let’s see what happens AND IF I HAVE LOST WEIGHT I SHALL REVIEW WHERE TO GO FROM HERE.
I just had the first drink and I definitely feel full.  Over to me now I guess. So, this is not an advert. It is me reporting on what I find.

We should heed the words of the Russian opposition parties.

There is absolutely no doubt that we are witnessing the dismantling of freedom in Russia. The Russian Opposition parties in their parliament are calling for support and warning Putin’s cronies that they will call for a ‘freezing of Russian Assets in the West if the said Government does not stop the repression of dissent.
Make no mistake; if the current trend continues in Russia, we are witnessing a return to the bad old days, when freedom was but a word in the dictionary. Maybe the new Tsar will even expunge that word. Has everything that happened since the fall of the Soviet Union been in vain? Are we seeing   the rise of a new despot? Yes, we see the odd news report of dissenting protesters, but the vast majority of Russian people either don’t care (sounds a bit like the situation in the USA, where many don’t even bother to vote) or are too scared to vent their real feelings.
Perhaps the struggle to put bread on the table takes all their energy. After all, despite the fact that there is a large middle class in the new Russia, there are still many who have not been able to claim a stake on the new Russia.
The events in modern Russia serve as a warning to all who love freedom, that it is not to be taken for granted, even here in New Zealand.

Tax payers pay for cothing our job seekers!

I suspect that the report in today’s Herald about the WINZ (in other words, us, the tax payers) paying for prospective job seekers purchasing suitable clothing for an interview will bring some pretty angry responses.
Well I say-- good on WINZ for doing that. Would those who object be quite happy to keep paying for those very same people to continue to draw the dole? It’s not as if they are buying flash high-end label clothing. One can hardly call Hallensteins or Glassons high fashion. Those companies represent good no-nonsense clothing--- the sort that most of us wear.
Do not forget that our Social Services sector is there to give a ‘hand up’ when needed, so this is not about a hand-out; it has a real purpose---to support someone trying to better themselves. Their wardrobes may look a bit like mine, but then, I don’t give a toss about fashion. If I had an interview though, I may want to tart up my appearance.
Good on you WINZ— money well spent.