Saturday, November 10, 2012

Listen to Mike on ZB Talkback on MOnday at 3.25ish.

Yes, if you want to hear all the lowdown about New Zealands Got Talent, listen to Mike's comments on ZB Talkback. Yes, you can even hook into the show online, so if my overseas readers are curious, just Google NZGT at ZB Talkback. Mike is fresh and I reckon he should have a show of his own. Go Mike.

Kim DotCom--now what do you think?

Did you watch the TV1 programme about Kim DotCom tonight (Sunday 11/11/12)? If you did, you may feel like I do---confused and possibly angry. The programme pulled no punches and the accusations made were not really defended by Kim DotCom when he had the chance to do so.
Is this the measure of the man? Is he shall we say, arrogant? Does he feel above talking to us mere mortals? Either TV 1 didn’t look for people to say favourable things about him, or they couldn’t find anyone; so it is either bad reporting or he is just what the programme intimated---full; of shite and not a nice person. 
The comments from the guy who used to work for him were damming to say the least and Kim’s reply was weak (via email). He had a questionable reputation in Germany and it is only because the alleged ‘crimes’ were committed many years ago that they cannot be considered re his presence in NZ.
I say it is time that Kim DotCom came out from behind his walls and faced NZ and explained his position. He owes us some answers and we need to ask the questions. Did rip off the intellectual property for many creative artists and filmmakers or did he not? The onus is on him to answer this vitally important question and if he does so, we can collectively tell the USA officials where to go. If he can’t then he should return to the USA to answer the charges!

Nick Afoa is going places--see the Central Leader interview for November 8th!

Many of you have seen nick sing (heard!) on TV on several occasions. Hell, he can even sing in sign language, eh Bro!
Well Nick is going to feature more on TV in the future and he won’t need NZGT to do this. He has a superb voice that needs to be ‘gotten out there.’ I don’t know if he writes his own music, but someone out there will have a song that suits his style. Then we can all support him by buying it when it is released.
I would like to go to Xmas in the park to hear him, but I will watch it on TV. I find that occasion a bit daunting now and the people just don’t shut up---they’re too busy partying! Oh well, I guess it will just have to wait until that BBQ I promised him!

Salad fantastique! ---OMG!

I had the pleasure of eating a wonderful salad last week at my web designer’s house and I thought I would vary it because I didn’t have some ingredients.
Take some iceberg lettuce and roughly rip it up so it remains chunky (just like me). Then mix in a bowl some (I used three) small, cooked, but just warm Kumara (sweet potatoes), also nicely chopped into cubes. I then peeled some pears, in this case they were imported USA ones---lovely---so are NZ ones. Mix the pears and Kumaras with low fat mayonnaise—use your fingers. I am not boasting but I happened to have some chervil growing in a container on my deck so I ripped that up too and mixed it in with the pears and kumara. Just add some pepper and place the mixture on top of the lettuce on a flat dish or platter.
I served this with pork spare ribs cooked with a spicy mixture on the slow cooker.  Damn, if my partner doesn’t come home soon--- well you know what will happen! Of course I tasted it, silly!  YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMY!!!!!

China has elections---yeah right!

There has been a fair bit on the news lately about the Chinese Communist Party Convention, for want of the correct description about the process this august body goes through to select the leadership that will prevail for the next ten years. In plain speak, that means the party hacks will jumble, rumble and stumble towards rubber- stamping the candidate who everyone knows has already been decided on. That my friends represent Chinese ‘democracy. Oops, there goes my free ticket to receive accolades for publishing my books in China---just kidding.
OK, it is easy for us in the so called ‘freedom loving democracies in the West and other nations that now purport to be ‘democratic.’ It is easy for us to sit in judgment of this huge and incredibly power economic giant. The time of ideological struggle and one-upmanship has really passed in the new reality of economic fact. We need China and China needs us, so it’s all very polite when it comes to discussing human rights issues.
Yes, we get to vote for candidates (chosen by the various parties) representing the various parties every three years in New Zealand. We like to call this democracy and for all intent and purpose, it is. The Chinese have ruled China since 1949, like a modern day dynasty and their way is often at odds with what we value.
One needs to remember the vastness; geographically and in population terms. I struggle to see and understand how our system could ever be transported into that giant of a country. Imagine the possibilities for corruption--- the mind boggles. Of course I am not saying that corruption is not rife in China, under the auspices of the Daddy Communist Party. The new ‘leader has even mentioned it as an issue.
Take the true meaning of Communism in all of its forms. I very much doubt that there is any model that comes close to the pragmatic control of the present regime.
Lenin, Marx et al. must be turning in their graves (not heaven of course as the ‘opiate of the people’—religion, would not allow for that) when they see how Communism has morphed in China to represent a ‘Capitalistic’ mishmash that has little that is true other than empty Party words, demanding loyalty and to shut the hell up if one has a brain that challenges the system.
One can be rich in modern China and as long as you don’t criticize the Party, then you will be fine. The only other way to have influence of course is to join the Party and go from there to build on your lifestyle. That the two classes coexist is typically Chinese. The Emperors of old had similar understandings with the rich upper-class sectors of society.
My blog is not anti-Chinese. Indeed there is no doubt that the Party has overseen the rise of countless millions from poverty and overseen the rise of a bourgeoning middle class. It is that very group that will challenge and demand the ‘niceties’ of democracy.
PS.  China has banned access to Google during this time of ‘the changing the guard.’ Read into that what you will.

Central Auckland attracts wannabe buyers!

Is there a housing crisis in Auckland? You would think so when you read reports of there being many buyers competing for a relatively small number of houses in Central Auckland. All this does is force up the price and put those houses beyond the means of most NZers. It also puts an intolerable pressure on those young buyers who are mortgaging themselves to the hilt. Banks lend them the money, often knowing that the new buyers are going way beyond their capacity to pay.
Allowances are not made with these huge loans for the unexpected; hence the bank will retrieve their money at a later date, sometimes leaving the mortgagees in dire straits.
 Would it not be a lot more sensible for these buyers to lower their aspirations? One does not have to travel far into the suburbs to purchase a more realistic deal. Indeed, the buyers would get more for their money and not have the spectre of entering into a later mortgagee sale. What is the point of lumbering oneself with a huge debt and then sacrifice all chance of living a reasonable life. It is this impossible dream from an ‘I want it now’ generation that is turning a whole echelon of young buyers (and others) into a debt ridden, depressed group in society.
Turn back the clock before it is too late and take a leaf out of our grandparents book---- buy what you can afford and move up, if you still want o at a time when you can afford it. Stay with your present frame of mind and reap the consequences!

The Republicans are far from spent!

Anyone who thinks that the Republicans have been dealt a ‘death blow’ is fooling themselves. How often in history does an elite ‘fall from power,’ without a violent revolution or at least a massive popular upswing? Elites do fall, only to be replaced by another. Sometimes we call it a dynasty and at others it could be a one-party-state, as in the case of China (A new dynasty?)
We are hearing that the Republicans did not take into account the growing diversity of the American electorate or the move of female voters to the softer offerings from Obama. This may be true and be effective in the short term as a factor in the win for Obama, but even diverse groups change within themselves over time. What happens to the aspirations of middle-class Afro-Americans or Latinos/Hispanics? As their group ‘make it within the USA would not they also change their political allegiances over time?
Yes, we have heard that the majority of voters in many countries vote as their parents did and stay with that choice for following election cycles. A much smaller group could be considered ‘swinging voters’ and it is this group that changes governments and fates for politicians. Even a change of 10% represents a ‘landslide’ victory for the winning party or candidate.
One principle that has been consistent throughout history is that the ruling elite do not willingly give up power. There are all sorts of clich├ęs that underlie this statement. ‘The rich fight harder to keep what they have and employ far more resources to keep this so, than do the poor who lack the means and will to make real change. Even when they do, they rely on the impetus created by many middle-class backers.  Yes, simplistic and I must not make the mistake of saying that this scenario explains every political change.
The Republicans will go away and lick their wounds, play the blame game and come up with strategies that will reinvigorate the Party. They will form alliances with other groups; for example, the Christian vote that places religion above the interest of the state, or other more extreme groups. They will play to the sense of loss amongst former Republican supporters and they will lie---yes---watch for the misrepresentation of how they see the USA going. The scenarios they will create are multiple; all playing on the fear of middle-class Americans, because that is the group they will need to attract most.
The Phoenix will rise again, amongst a plethora of lies and half-truths. Democrats—do not rest on your laurels. Mind you; there is the spectre of the Republican controlled Congress to keep you real.  

Spain---welcome to the list of readers

Great---Now Spain has come aboard. I know you are having huge problems with your economy and yu have a difficult road ahead. Maybe you can read some of my blogs and have a laugh. All the best.