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!