Monday, January 21, 2013

Nikki Kaye---actually, I never thought I would say it, but I quite like her

Yeah I know---me saying something nice about the National Party is sort of strange. Well don't get your nickers in a twist----it's Nikki Kaye I like and I believe she is in the wrong Party. I am sure you can say the same about quite a few Labour MPs too so I am making a balanced statement. Sometimes one needs to look beyond the limitations of party politics and see the 'person.' When you do that you may come up with a similar stance to me, re a range of our politicians. What I am also saying is that we have sme good politicians in all parties. It just so happens that for me, most of the ones I like tend to be in just a few parties. OK, so go for it Nikki and perhaps we can change your stance on Charter Schools, 'retirement age issues,' and making sure our hospitals remain in 'the Peoples' hands.'
We shall watch your 'progress' with interest, Nikki.

Obama's next four years---will we now see some 'action?'

As I was putting together a fabulous recipe for a meatloaf, I had an ear and the occasional vision of Obama doing the rounds for the inauguration balls. Yes, I know, Michelle looked lovely in her ‘once again choice’ of Jason Wu’s creation. Oops, I am in danger of becoming a little frivolous, so I better get back to the ‘main game.’

President Obama has a chance to really challenge Corporate America and bring a little more balance into the lives of Americans. Perhaps the ‘little guys and girls’ can have a chance to share the wealth. Perhaps he can make a real difference so that the vast majority of Americans can have access to decent medical care.

Dare I say it, but it is absolutely necessary that he brings about more ‘sensible’ gun laws. I suspect that even the President knows that he cannot take guns from all Americans but he can pull back the tendency for Americans to own military style guns and the worst aspects of unfettered gun ownership. He will never please or gain the support of what the rest of the world calls ‘red-neck wacko’ individuals who hold to a section of the Constitution that does not take into account the changes brought about by technology and population growth.

Mr Obama has other challenges too and now he can ignore that pathetic excuse for a news network, Fox Television (but I do enjoy some of their ‘Extra’ segments) and get on with the job of focussing on improving the lives of the vast bulk of Americans. Maybe he can set the pace for a ‘return to greatness,’ and the USA can hold its head high again. Of course he may have to curb the tendency of the USA thinking that it is the ‘policeman’ of the world.

Give it a go, Mr Obama. I am sure you still retain the goodwill and trust, both in the USA and the world as a whole that will support you in your endeavours. JUst ignore the baying wolves from the Republican Party as they seek to find a 'scapegoat' for their own failings.

'Cats must go,' says Dr Gareth Morgan.

Wow--- that statement from Dr Morgan will have thrown the cats amongst the pigeons. With 48% of New Zealand households owning at least one cat, I can hear the clarion calls for Gareth’s blood. He is adamant that cats kill many native birds and that we must begin to eradicate these ‘pests’ by not letting them reproduce and keep them in doors permanently until they die. He even wants them all to wear bells. Is that our future in NZ; a nation with the sound of indoor twinkles gradually diminishing as our feline friends die out?

'Outrageous!' cat owners will say and the argument on the danger to our environment from our moggies is going to rage from North Cape to Stewart Island. Is there any middle ground or are we going to scratch ourselves to oblivion?

OK, some sanity. Maybe we do need to look at making our native birds and other small animals ‘safe’ from cats. Surely there is a clever person out there who can come up with a Kiwi technological/ gene-altering breakthrough that can lead to manipulating our cats’ natural instinct to hunt and kill.

I am sure you have all seen how a cat seems to take pleasure in hunting, playing with and finally killing their ‘prey.’ No doubt you were horrified when your gentle, loving ball of fur, who was one second sitting by you on the couch and then the said ‘family’ member morphs into a nasty sadistic brute. Would it not be so much better for your sensibilities if that didn’t happen? Of course your rat and mouse population may increase as a result and I doubt whether you could all handle a Jack Russell to fill the void!

Now, to avoid any accusations that I am a cat hater, let me state that I too have a cat. I am actually on to my third one in five years because there are other predators out there that kill cats, especially black male cats----yes I am talking about cars and other vehicles that do the killing. I know what it is like to lose a beautiful cat and how hard to was to bury them. I am in the process of seeing my latest (much more sensible female cat) slowly withdrawing from our house; only visiting now, rather than living with us. Can you guess the reason? Yes, you are correct--- my Jack Russell delights in chasing my cat, leading her to consider moving house. She has found an elderly neighbour and now the best I can say about my cat is that she is a ‘shared cat.’

Is ‘our’ cat dangerous to birdlife? Yes she is. She may be quite portly, but she still manages to chase and catch (and eat) any bird that decides to come within a cat’s paw. If she was anywhere near the bush, I suspect that we would be on the receiving end of countless ‘gifts,’ just like she delivered to us when she and her departed brother used to hunt in unison.

So Gareth Morgan is not wrong about the tendancy for cats to destroy birdlife. The problem along with ‘out of control’ dogs in our native forests is not an imaginary one. It is a problem that we all need to discuss rationally. That 48% of us have cats means that we must take away the emotion we are feeling with this debate and contribute to a study that sets out to explore the full nature of the issue and one that attempts to find a solution, no matter how hard that seems right now. In the meantime, we must not set out cats on to Gareth? He knows (and I suspect you do too) that there is truth behind his claims.

OMG--- my cat is looking at me strangely, on one of her rare daytime visits.