Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Perdy met her match today, down at the 'Bay.'

Perdy being a normal manic Jack Russell loves to run and then some. She will run about, chase her mates and never give up. Even on a hot day (like today) she will bound around and only take a few seconds break. Then she is at it again, demanding I throw the ball for her to retrieve, in between warding off the ‘advances’ of her much bigger friends. Sometimes I have to physically hold her so that she drinks and has a little rest. I often wonder if she would ever slow down. Well today she met her match!

It was in the form of a machine; one of those battery operated low slung mean machines, about 18 inches long and powerful enough to travel at 70kph according to the friendly operator, Nick. When we arrived at the park, Nick was entertaining his kids by letting loose his machine. Of course Perdy was intrigued and she set about chasing it as if it was a rabbit.  I never knew she had it in her. She was off in a world of her own, totally ignoring me. For the next ten minutes and joined by her friend Patch, (who seemed content to chase Perdy, not the machine) she became obsessed by the rampant little machine. Even when it jumped and fell over she still could not get near it.

Who was going to win this? I thought. Who would either run out of battery power or doggie power? I hate to admit this about my lively little Jack Russell, but she finally gave up and returned to me and she was completely bushed. I have never seen her so stuffed. She just watched it as it continued to attract the attention of other dogs. Wow, I didn’t need to walk around the bay in the hot sun. Ten minutes of mad chasing, floored Perdy. I very much hope Nick brings his mean machine down to the Bay again. Still--- I must not use that for an excuse for non-walking on my part. Nice one Nick.

 Oh---I tried to take a vid flow with the help of Nick’s partner, but when I arrived at home to place the vid-flow on the blog, there was no sign of the snip. It is so hard to see the screen on bright days. Someone needs to invent a much better screen. God knows what I had done, when I was fiddling with the phone---probably rang Mr Key or someone equally forgettable.

Why I don't have many Russian readers at the moment!

It is not because I don't figure highly as a good 'catch' for Russina women that I don't have mnay Russian readers. I think they quickly figured out some time ago that I don't have the 'attributes' that they find attractive, like, money, age and looks. After a torrid start when I first started writing blobs, they must have done thier research and arrived at the conclusion that they should look elsewhere. Of course there was always the possibility that some men were looking out for a prospective partner, but they too must have turned away.
NO, I have found the reason for my poor rating now in Russian readership. I was watching RT (Russina TV) today and there was a map behind the announcer. Horror of horrors! NZ did not appear on the map. The map had Africa as the central pivot and Austrlaia at the lower right bottom edge---- but no sign of little New Zealand. There was just a huge gap at the borttom of the South Pacific. I know what the reason is now. I think that Russians think that New Zealand (Middle-Earth) is just a 'fantasy' country. I now believe that Russians think that at best, I am a hobbit, living in a fictional land. Maybe it's quite a good stance--- having the world thinking that there is 'nothing at the bottom of the Pacific' or that perhaps NZ dropped off the edge!

Child carers abused regularly in Saudi Arabia and other nations ---possibly not just in the Middle-East!

Domestic workers from The Philippines and Indonesia (amongst others) have long been exploited by Saudi Arabia and other nations, primarily in the Middle-East; however there is even a tendency for that to happen in Malaysia too. The difference is that Malaysia has made efforts to change this.

These workers from Indonesia and the Philippines are escaping the poverty of their existence in those countries. Indeed they contribute a large amount to the GDP of their countries. There is no excuse for the treatment they commonly receive in the countries they work in. There have been far too many reports of horrific abuse and even death at the hands of employers who should be protecting their workers. Much of this abuse goes unreported because to do so would mean losing the employment that the workers need in order to send money back to their families at home. Without that money, the families would doubly suffer.

It is therefore the responsibility of the home nations and the recipients of the workers’ endeavours to guarantee, a liveable basic wage and working conditions that we associate with another era. I is good to see that both Governments; the Indonesian and the Philippines, are pushing for better conditions for their nationals. Saudi Arabia needs to pull its head from the ‘medieval sands’ and ac t strongly too. It has the wealth to pay decent wages but not the will to improve the lot of these hard-working people.

Then again, they don’t allow the freedoms for their own people that one would associate with a modern nation. It seems that the ‘princes’ of Arabia are still living in walled palaces and to hell with anyone criticising their play boy like lifestyles. It is little wonder that Al-Qaida has support within the populace that inhabits other than palace-like dwellings. Of course they can continue their lack of action, simply because the USA is loath to withdraw support from this oil-producing bastion in the Middle-East. Oh for less reliance on fossil fuels!

Northland Electricity Trust recsue helicopter hit by thieves!

It is sad to see that some low-life lives stole from a service that they themselves may oneday need. For the sake of $10,000 worth of equipment and copper wiring, they have possibly put at risk the lives of those who will need this valuable service. The local community needs ot step up and support the poice so that these criminals can be caught and dealt to. OH, I forget---they may get a slap on the wrist, but at least we can know who they are if they are taken to court. There are many organizations around the country that replicate the good work done by this rescue service and if we want them to continue their work, we need to look out for them, like any good neighbour would.

India and Pakistan at odds again over deaths in Kasmir

Kashmir has been a focus between the nations of Pakistan and India since the two neighbours cast off their shackles from the UK. They have gone to war and frightened the rest of us re the prospect of things going nuclear. Once again there is cause for concern as both sides blame the other for recent deaths of soldiers. India is particularly angered by the alleged 'barbaric beheading and mutilation of the corpses of two of its soldiers. What is noticeable this time is the extent to which both countries are playing down the possible reactions. Both leaders have maintained that the incident should not be escalated; while at the same time allowing their citizens to let off steam in the street surrounding the High Commissions. Maybe shows that despite the actions of the 'men on the ground' the two nations hold shared beliefs that they must not allow the ugly spectre of war play out on our TV screens. This must be even more difficult for the Pakistani Government, as they have large areas of their country that are virtually 'no-go zones' for their military; areas where the Taliban its like hold sway. These two proud Commonwealth nations must uphold peaceful coexistence for the sake of the region and the world.


New Zealand wine can sell for half the price in the USA---so what!

I get a bit miffed when I hear that NZ lamb and other products sell in the USA and the UK for less than what we pay in New Zealand. That just feels so wrong. I do not get so annoyed when I read that NZ wine can sell for half the price in the USA. I see that as having little do with ‘greed’ and a lot to do with taxation policies here. I have fewer problems when so-called luxury or products that cause our health bill to increase, year by year are taxed at a high rate.

Now, before you call me a ‘fun-killing wouser,’ let me say that I enjoy wine; even more so in my distant youth. Before you label me as being precious about having to pay the extra tax, let me state that I believe in a taxation system that ‘extracts’ what it can to help balance the budget when it comes to allowing for ever increasing ‘needs’ in the health and education areas. I do not moan about having to pay higher level taxes if my income falls into a ‘higher bracket.’ I only wish it did!

For those who  become enraged every time there is a possibility of having to dip their hands in their pockets to pay for better health and education for ‘all’ of our citizens, I say, just look to Scandinavia to see  nations where tax is high but services are excellent. We can’t have it both ways; good services and low taxation. Yes, it does mean ‘spreading the wealth’ a bit more, but I would rather live in a society that cares and offers opportunity for everyone rather than one that focusses only on the individual. The word ‘balance’ comes to mind at this point.

What does all this mean? Apart from taxation policies that match the needs of the citizens of NZ, it means having a system whereby products that cause the most damage to society, are taxed highly. The obvious examples are tobacco (which is facing ever increasingly high taxation) and alcohol. I believe in lowering tax at the other end of the scale; namely paying no GST on obviously ‘healthy eating options.’ I did not include taxing fatty foods, because all the evidence from Denmark, a country that has a left of centre government, (just to dodge criticism that I may be a trendy lefty) has reversed such taxation policies on fatty and unhealthy foods because they don’t work!

So yes, wine may be more expensive here, and even though we make the product here, is it so bad that the price matches the social, health and economic damage done by over indulgence of the said product. I can hear the angry cries from those reading this and saying that they should not be punished because of the behaviours of others. Yeah--- same argument as those dumb assed Americans in the NRA who believe that it their sacred rite to bear arms, including military style guns. We cannot trust ‘all’ to behave sensibly and the price of having a ‘safer’ society is often a bit hard to swallow for some citizens. No doubt they will mirror the response of that crazy gun-toting NRA guy on Piers Morgan’s programme the other night who was frothing at the mouth at the prospect of tougher gun laws in the USA. He was ‘gonna take on the Government and encourage people to rise up and start a revolution.’

Paying tax is an obligation and a ‘peaceful’ way of distributing wealth and opportunity. That it sometimes means paying more for luxury items and those that cause obvious harm when over-used, is the price we pay for a better and safer society. I understand that others have views that are totally opposed to the ones I have espoused. Great, at least we live in a country that allows for alternate views!  I am not prepared to take up arms to defend my views; I will of course ‘blog my head off’ to further them!