Thursday, January 10, 2013

Joe Biden takes on the NRA.

Joe Biden has come up with some sensible moves that ‘may’ make US gun laws a little more sensible. He was tasked with coming up with legislation to curb the rampant ownership of guns, particularly the semi-Automatic and military style ones. That would include I assume, the multiple cartridges that go along with these guns.

I don’t think many redneck ‘mid-west ‘ type whackos would read my blog because that is probably beyond them, but for those more liberal citizens, who won guns and act sensibly, nay diatribe had never been intended for you, so put your hat on tightly and listen to what is essentially a ‘world view’ on gun ownership and the USA.

Ooops, that would have gotten right up the craw of many of my American readers (and let’s face it, you make up by far the majority of my readership) and I expect that I shall receive some ‘rocks’ on my Facebook pages as a result. Before you do post replies, try to see how the rest of the world views the USA and ‘care for a change.’ It is so easy to say---‘stuff the rest of the world!’  and ‘This is the good old USA and we don’t give a rotting blind rat’s ass about what you think!’

OK, I have had your hissy fit for you, so you can go back to your huntin’ and fishin’ and target practising with your automatics (maybe you are just rotten shots and need to send a barrage of bullets at your targets in the hope you will hit something---Damn Daniel Boon wold be croaking in his grave) and let Joe get on with working out some sensible legalisation.
Apart from the portion of the world where there are mostly failed or semi-failed governments, the rest of us actually already have good rules around gun ownership. Yes, the criminals get hold of guns and do their thing from time to time, but not in the proportion that happens in the USA. Your new laws need to have better ‘background checks and ban the ownership and use of ‘working’ military- style guns. There is also the ‘storage’ of these weapons. Many countries insist on ‘safes and separate storage of ‘parts’ of the guns. We also have lengthy interviews with people wishing to own guns. I know--- that is all too much for many gun toting Americans. If the majority of Americans who are now against unfettered gun ownership take offence at my words, I genuinely apologize to you, but not to the other ‘frothing at the mouth’ deadbeats who we are seeing ion TV lately. Come on America---wake up to reality. You are not so different to the rest of us! Take a lead you ‘silent majority types’ and BECOME LOUD!

This is a good story--share it. People do care!

This is a good story; one that you should pass on. It represents something that negates all the sad ones we read all the time. Of course it involves Perdy in an indirect way but more importantly, it brought a group of strangers together, all because a dog got lost down at the Onehunga Bay.

I decided to take Perdy for a midmorning walk, before it got too hot and because I knew the tide was in. As it turned out, Perdy didn’t quite get the swim she wanted. As we were walking on the far side of the bay, we met up with Ise and Choko. Perdy loves Choko’s energy and despite the fact that Choko is fast becoming a larger dog, Perdy seems to be the ‘leader.’ That od course means mischief in a big way. As we were walking along, the two dogs play fighting and general having a good old doggie time, we heard that there was a stray dog and that someone had been trying to catch it over an hour.

We then observed a lady on the other side of the lagoon, trying to get out attention. We could just make out that she wanted us to catch and hold the dog. This was going to be quite a task but Perdy and Choko came to the rescue by involving the dog (it looked like a part Pitbull and something else) in their play. This worked and for a while we were able to hold the dog but he got away. We then told out dogs to come with us and the other one followed and eventually we met up with the lady, Julie and slipped temporary lead around the ‘escapee.’

Other people showed some concern but others were probably put off by the ‘rep’ that these dogs have. I had a sneaking suspicion that I knew this dog. I think he may be one that I have met several times. He had obviously escaped from nearby. The trouble with positively identifying him was that he didn’t have a lead. Julie looked a bit tired, but there was no way she was going to stop her endeavours until the dog was either with his owner or Animal Control.

We managed to lead (Lets call him ‘Brownie’) Brownie back to the car park where we decided that we should call the council and be put in touch with animal control. Once again I had trouble even reading the facia on my phone. These damn modern LCD screens are so hard to see in bright sunlight. Yeah I know, someone is going to tell me there is a ‘setting’ for this. ‘Smartphones’ need ‘smart operators!

A really helpful guy came to our rescue and he rang the council who put him through to Animal Control. In the meantime I had to put Perdy in my car, with all the windows down of course, because she was getting a little jealous about me holding on to Brownie who still wanted to play. Julie made sure all the dogs had water too.

Animal control finally arrived and Julie once again came to the fore by ensuring that the very nice lady from AC knew about Brownie’s lovely temperament. She also offered to help place Brownie, if the owner didn’t come forward. We all expressed a wish that Brownie had been ‘chipped.’ Brownie is a lovely dog; friendly, well socialized and calm He just wanted to play, hence his ‘great escape.’

I want to say that good it felt working with Julie, Ise and the cool guy from Advance Couriers. (If Julie reads this---please put his name in the comments section) Everyone helped and made the experience an enjoyable one; that is once we had secured Brownie. Our hope is that Brownie can be reunited with his owner or find a good home. I also enjoyed meeting people who care. I will no doubt meet them again. What a cool adventure. I am feeling like one of the characters from ‘The Secret Seven.’ How many readers will relate to that? What other adventures will Perdy and I have for the rest of the holidays? Final point----PEOPLE DO REALLY CARE.

'Brownie'--Dont worry mate--you will find your owner or go to a good home!

Novapay--'beyond a joke' is a terrible cliche!

It is about time that the Government considered cancelling the contract they have with Novapay. I obviously do not know the contents of the existing contract signed by the Ministry and OK’d by Labour (is that correct?). The constant reports of stuffups, underpayment, non-payment and over payment beggars the mind. I suspect that a great deal of energy is put into retrieving those overpayments but not enough into fixing the problems that cause these events.

Our hard-working principals and key support staff have had their much needed holidays interrupted as they have had to return to school to sort out the mistakes for their staff. The staff affected are in a position of dreading their pay days; wondering what has been done to their accounts by the Novapay system.

Is it not time to look at alternatives to Novapay? I am assuming that the move was made as a money saving measure. How much research was done in regard to how effective this organization is? I have heard anecdotal reports that the same company has a bad name in Australia; unconfirmed of course. Do the media have to do the work for the Ministry; because we are hearing little from the Government and Ministry? What gets me is that Minister Parata has had little to say on the matter, especially since Parliament went on holiday.

The bottom line is that Novapay is causing a great deal of angst for many teachers, support staff and principals. The whole debacle has reached the point where the Government must consider returning to the system that Novapay replaced. I know that it is possibly very naive of me to suggest such a solution given the reality of ‘contracts and law,’ but surely signing a document has ‘safeguards’ that recognise a course of actions for when things go terribly wrong. How much time and how many more people need to be forced through the ‘mill of Novapay’s incompetence before some action is taken?