Friday, November 23, 2012

Democracy is just a dirty word!--if you live in the Middle East

President Morsi is showing his true colours----So much for the ‘Arab Spring,’ and the hope that it brought to millions of people in the nations of the Middle East and North Africa. The Muslim Brotherhood are just another fanatical fundamentalist group that has only one goal—the establishment of Islamic Republics across the region.
For all of those many thousands of demonstrators who came out into the square in Cairo---my heart goes out to you. Once again you are spilling your blood in order to have a brighter future for your children; one not chosen for you by bearded clerics. Most people in most countries have similar aspirations for their families. Yours have once again been cut short by this new Pharaoh-like man. How can he be so ignorant or should I say--- maybe he is finally fessing up and showing us his true colours. I just pray that we don’t have another Iran rising to the East of that country. Maybe the new Pharaoh will become friends with his mate the Czar in Russia.
 All power to the brave, real people of Egypt!

It seems that 'Talk To Me,' sort of became real today!

My heart missed a beat when I read about a beautiful 12 year old Jack Russell, called Poppy, was dognapped  and the creep that took it demanded a $30 ransom. It was also apparent that the guy turned up at the Homai Train Station with his kids in tow and that he was TEACHING THEM THAT THIS WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!
What hope does the next generation have if this is the low down sort of morals that parents will teach their kids? Surely the right thing to do was to ring the number on the collar, return the dog and if a reward is forthcoming, well and good, but to put someone and a dog through his low thought processes is sad and the example he is passing on to his kids is even more worrying.
I am sure the loving owner would have rewarded him anyway.
Naturally I got a bit uptight reading this report because it was a bit close to home re the plot in my book, ‘Talk To Me.’ Check it out—
I wish the guy could have the same treatment as that served in my book!

Colours don't belong to gangs---let's claim them back!

We must claim back the right to wear whatever colour we want. A young man is in hospital because he wore a blue hat in a Wanganui street. Some nasty lowlife decided that this was a challenge and bashed and stabbed the young man, putting him intensive care. When are we going to put a stop to this insidious issue? It seems that our young people cannot wear red, yellow, blue and God knows what else. Are we all to go about in grey?
Yes, I know, it mainly affects young people, and possibly in some areas more than others, but we should still be able to let our kids go about their daily routines, wearing whatever colours they wish. Expressing oneself through combinations of colours should be a right not a risk.
This situation has gone on for too long and we regularly hear of young people being attacked, not just in the streets of South Auckland, where I work, but all over New Zealand. These wannabe gangsters are reportedly joining these gangs because they come from ‘dysfunctional families,’ thereby looking to find acceptance with one of the many street gangs that control certain streets in NZ.
It is well known that these young gangs are merely the recruiting stage for the even more dangerous gangs that have existed for many decades. Our prisons are full of these criminals and society seems to have given up; seemingly accepting that the situation is out of control.
We often hear various politicians and individuals calling to break the gangs and for us to be more inclusive in the way we handle them. There may be gang members wishing to break out and re-join society and I applaud nay effort made to support them in this. However, the very fact that these young people have joined the gangs at the lower level and then ‘graduated into the fully functional adult versions, is very worrying. If there is a way of turning these outside-the-law people back into society, then we should put the resources into achieving that.
It will cost money but once again, we should be looking at this as a long term issue, not in the short three year election cycle way we have had so far. Surely for every gang member ‘resuscitated’ from prison, the long term financial cost is less.
At the other end of the scale, we need to make our families stronger, so that there is less chance that our youngsters feel the need for the so-called ‘protection’ that these youth gangs offer. That is where we also need a zero tolerance to lower levels of street gang behaviours. If that means more police and skilled youth workers being placed in the community, then once again, it is a more sensible action than locking them up and bearing the high costs that this will involve.
Parents are not always the cause of their young people turning towards gangs, but their actions and poor roll modelling are a contributing factor. Too many parents have given up. The task is in the ‘too hard basket,’ hence their children are allowed to wander the streets, making them unsafe not only for the young ‘gangsters,’ but for the many who wish to go about their daily business; be it going to school, or going to the local shops, library or to visit friends.
As adults, even we are affected by the actions of these young people. In parts of Auckland, it is simply unwise to venture out after dark, unless one is ‘safely’ contained within a car. I feel for the kids who can’t wear the colours they would like and for the good hard working parents of kids who dare not let their young ones out on their own. We have all been prisoners for long enough! All colours belong to all of us!

Facebook and students! A new level of bullying.

The Herald article about students setting up anonymous Facebook accounts that then become the centre of revolting, cruel and dangerous harassment are unfortunately true. Working in a school and hearing from students about this insidious evil use of the Facebook services, makes me feel powerless at times to protect students from the ramifications of this situation.
It has been going on for quite a while and many students have informed me about some of the goings on. Everything and more as reported in the Herald is true. Some students have stayed home rather than face the humiliation they feel as a result of naively ‘telling all’ or from being the target of others’ nasty comments. Much of what is said about students is untrue and once the ‘exaggeration machine takes hold,’ then the story can take on a life of its own.
Schools can talk to students and bring in ‘switched on’ youth speakers to address the issue but once our young people get online, in an unsupervised (have you ever tried to monitor your kids use of the Net?) way and all bets are off about what occurs.
Adults are less than one step ahead of their kids and even when they think they know what is going on in their offspring’s world, they are deluding themselves. For some parents the only answer is to get rid of the computer but then the kids use smartphones that the parents may not even know exist.
Is this out of control? Maybe, but the old adage about ‘talking to your kids’ and having a measure of trust will go a way to knowing what is going on. If your kids talk to you, there is a slim chance that they will let you know. Sadly that level of communication between parents and their children is not how it is out there for many families.
Schools will continue to do their best to back up parents so that our kids are safe, but we can only do so much. We will continue to work with the kids and by having key students keep us up with what is going on, we can help. Encourage your kids to talk to whoever can help.
If we don’t keep up with the kids we are going to see some tragic results. It is a problem for us all, so don’t hold back.