Monday, March 31, 2014

Strange bedfellows, I know, but Kim DotCom and Colin Craig are merging after MP rejection.

The General Election in September this year is shaping up to be one of the more unusual ones, given the machinations re the make-up of the various wannabe alliances. Rumours abound and some facts are begging to emerge. Forget about political honesty and accept that politics is just another word for ‘prostitution, the oldest game in the world, albeit, played out in another forum other than the bedroom!  OK, I know---sometimes the latter is a thread that displays itself in unseemly fashion.
We have the ‘where’s Winston going to throw his not inconsiderable resources---the so-called king-maker? Then there is the prospect of the Mari Party being sent to a place well away from parliament as they struggle to figure out who they are. That they don’t listen to ‘our people’ anymore says heaps about just how close ‘oblivion’ is. It seems that cosying up to the national party may have nailed the coffin firmly shut!
Come forth the new players, one very much so, and the other, finally making it into a full digit number in the polls rather than the decimal portions. Collin Craig, if he can stop bleating about taking people to court for merely stating the obvious, may have attracted a few voters and his position in a the next Parliament could be a reality. God knows (and Collin is very close to God) how he will get on with the National Party. I suspect that JK is in two minds as to how he will mesh with Dear Collin.
Then of course there is KDC. After sitting in his Coatesville mansion for the past few years and lately being the recipient of many visitors, he is manoeuvring to find a back-door into Parliament using some obscure provision in the MMP system, to coat-tail in Parliament; but who with? Why--- Hone of course! They apparently will help one another and then separate once in the chambers. A marriage of political convenience, but one doomed to go down the gurgler, once they face off in parliament. They pretend to have a few linking issues in common, but can you really imagine Hone supplicating himself in any manner to the man from the mansion; the man who can’t actually stand for parliament because he is not a citizen? One does wonder if KDC is just playing a game to delay the possibility of an imminent return to the USA!
There is another perennial ‘boat-jumper in the mix---yes---Peter Dunne. He can change colour to suit any number of possibilities. I bet there are meetings with lots of tea-cups in cafes across the nation. I am sure Peter will come up with a formula to gain yet another few years in the big house in Wellington. He is after all, the consummate fence –sitter, but he has done his best to help resolve the ‘legal high’ issue, even if it is still prevalent on our streets.
Come September, we all have to work out the ramifications of the ‘new boys on the block,’ and given out past record re voting, anything can happen. Find out as much as can about these ‘actors’ and come up with a ‘cast’ that works for New Zealand and not the continuation of big overseas interest groups, gradually buying up NZ. Look to who will address the huge and growing gap between the rich and poor and look to someone who will retune NZ to a place where people really do get a fair go!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The River Always Flows---I had almost forgotten about that book!

I have notice over the last few weeks that some of you are reading some excerpts from a  book I started to write called, 'The River Always Flows.' It was an experiment; a fantasy type book that I felt wasn't going anywhere, so I just stopped. I never sought any feedback,  but perhaps in light of the number of those checking it out, I should. It's over to you---do you want me to resurrect it? Do you want to see more? I am still in the process of re-releasing the much improved version of ROSKILL, and believe me, unless that gets some traction re downloads from Amazon Kindle or hard -copy, I doubt that I will be embarking on any new ventures anytime soon. When one has to pay for digital, stuff, book design, editing and a publicist, then---you get the picture. I will make sure you all know  when the online re-launch occurs.

'Peace in our time.' Putin---the modern day--you know who!

I am reluctant to make what is becoming increasingly obvious about the aims of Putin. We need only to hark back to the 1930’s and reflect on another time in history, prior to WW2, when another ‘dictator had expansionist plans, to make a modern day comparison. One could almost have some sympathy for Russia’s claims re the Crimea, although his methodology in achieving his claims, leave many questions uncomfortably unanswered.
Is Putin going to stop at the Crimea or is he going to continue his westward roll through parts of, if not all of Ukraine, the Baltic States and even Finland? He may even have his eyes on Poland and other former Republics. The only ones he feels unsafe in are the ‘Stans’ on his southern border. Even he knows that he would be chasing the tiger by the wrong end in those cases!
It is time to draw the line in the sand and put in place far reaching sanctions that deliver the message that says-STOP! Putin has hooked into a latent nationalistic fervour that many dictators find convenient, when things are about to pear-shape on the home front. The Russian economy is very narrowly based on oil and not much else. The corruption has meant that few now control the vast resources of the old Soviet State, all friends and allies of Putin.
Russian people are not stupid. They know that they have a new Stalin on their hands and for many---this is indeed good; it reminds them of a past when housing, jobs, health and education were a given. The new Russia may not be able to deliver in that way, but the spectre of a ‘strong leader’ gives them false hope.
This time in history, the USA is not following an isolationist policy. IT is Europe and to a lesser extent other powers, that are sitting watching and hoping that they are not going to be badly affected by the events unfolding at Putin’s behest. If the UN had ‘teeth’ and was not made ineffective by the ‘power of veto,’ perhaps hope would rule.
In the meantime, it is a dangerous time for us all.

Many more New Zealanders think that the gap between rich and poor is growing.

WE can play with ‘figures’ around how we perceive the economy to be delivering our standard of living as a nation and come up with justifications that mesh with our particular political leanings but he report in the Herald today has one glaring thrust: many more New Zealanders than in past years now think that the gap between the rich and poor is growing. It seems that we are caught like ‘possums in the headlights,’ though when it comes to the support we give our political parties. There was a time when such figures would have spurred a growth of votes for the ‘left of centre’ in NZ politics, but this is clearly not happening at the present time. One has to ask and the Labour Party specifically; why is the voting public not turning to them for answers?
David Cunliffe needs to galvanize that uncertainty and put forward believable policies that give answers to this vexing issue.  If he does not, then other parties will come up with less acceptable (to the middle New Zealand voters) and the gap will continue to grow. There are those out there who claim that the entrenched power-brokers in NZ and elsewhere have had things their own way for so long that any attempt to bring about a more level playing field is doomed to failure, such is the stranglehold on power that the latter have.
WE need a modern day Micky Savage; one who can connect with the people and be strong enough to challenge that control of resources that the ‘big boys’ have enjoyed for so long. It would help if the trend to ‘de-power’ the union movement was also challenged. Individual workers have been sold a lie that they ‘cannot control their own destiny with collective bargaining and that they are far better off with a system of individual contracts; one which just places workers in a position where they are competing against one another. Can they not see where this is leading them?
Today’s article I the NZ Herald just informs what many of us have known for many years: the gap has been widening for years and will continue to do so, when we have governing  parties singing to the tune of big business, most of which is controlled from overseas. Perhaps more people are seeing this for themselves, if we could believe that the rising numbers supporting NZ First are true, but I think that that may come down to other factors which the leader of that party is very good at hooking in to!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Auckland International Cultural Festival-----what a great day!

I have never been to the big Auckland International Cultural Festival before---WOW! I am so glad I did today. Right from the first moment as we entered the sprawling park in Mt Roskill, just down the road from my home, we felt the buzz, the warmth and welcome from so many different cultures. I made a beeline for the Labour tent where I finally met Sunny, the aspiring Labour MP for Pakuranga. He's a really good guy. I have reading his posts on FB and to meet him just made me sure that he is a great candidate. His son took the picture. Then  it was on to the Greens tent; another welcome. I didn't see a National one or any other party but I did shake hands with Len Brown. I decided----hey, it's time to move on Auckland.
 Now to the food.  Who says that post-bariatric surgery guys can't enjoy the food. OK, I did just eat little bits here and there, ranging from Latin American to Asian. I took home something from the Hungarian Kitchen and some great beef sate from the friendly guys at her Indonesian tent. My senses were immersed in the sounds and colour of the occasion; Irish dancing, Thai and heaps of others. The overall theme was the diversity of Auckland and the openness to new cultures. Hey---lets keep  this spirit going. Everybody is welcome in Auckland. Don't stay home-----
Great to meet you, Sunny--go and win Pakuranga for Labour!
Paela---Spanish Heaven
Don't these French cars run on a rubber band?
get out there and enjoy!

Jack Russells---I am glad they are not ---'bigger!'

If I ever needed reminding that Jack Russells are stroppy little sods, then I was once again given an example of their 'particular' nature, down at the Bay, today. Perdy whined and barked all the way down, another little part of her nature that sometimes drives me spare. She had slept all night and even let me have a bit more time in slumber-land, so she was more than ready to let the world know that she arrived by the time I pulled into the car park.
Out she jumped, heading off towards the sand, before I thrown her beloved orange ball. The ball had hardly landed before another dog noticed the new arrival. It was a young looking frisky German Sheppard, about four times the size of Perdy; a size that should be daunting for a little Jack Russell---right? Don't be silly! The reaction of the 'owners ' out me right back ion the state I had once inhabited as a new dog owner. Every dog was a 'threat or mine a threat to others'---you know how it goes. The big fluffy GS ran up to Perdy, trailing a long lead behind it, smacking Perdy with its front paw---stupid dog! The owners cried out, one clutching his hands to his chest in  supplication, no doubt thinking that his GS was about to eat Perdy, judging by his extreme reaction.
Perdy did her usual hissy-fit; the one whereby she emits this Jack Russel growl that is half way between a cry of joy and 'don't f----with me.' The first time I heard that sound, I thought that she was in deep doggy do. Nah===== it's just what jack Russells do, when they are playing or abut to launch themselves into the fray, in a what looks like war, but is just boisterous play. Within seconds, Perdy had disciplined the younger dog and embarked on a 'lets have an extreme fun time and see if we can give your owners a stroke.'
After much reassurance from me, directed at the anxious owners, their faces changed from stressful, 'lets get the hell out of this park,' to, 'wow---look at those dogs go.' It was round and around, up and down, flopping all over the grass, a lot of the time, the bigger dog upended. with a white blur off fur on top, and then mad manic rushing around us, causing dizzy spells for the others. I knew to just remain calm and watch, happy in the thought that, this is how Jack Russells have fun and that she was burning off the trouble she would cause if I didn't give her an adequate run. How long is that---how long is a piece of string?'
 Once I was able to extricate Perdy from her 'dominatrix service,' Well done, crazy little girl. It's your birthday, next week. What shall I buy you---a whip and handcuffs?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Putin and Obama--good---it's about time you talked--face to face!

The USA and Russia (formerly the USSR) started to talk re the Crimea/Ukraine crisis. We have seen enough of the games, both sides have played; Ukraine is just the pawn in a picture that is really just big power rivalry. The bottom line?---The USA needs to stop seeing itself as the 'policeman  of the world,' which lets face it, is nothing more than a self-appointed position; one based on a desire to keep American business influences in a paramount position. Sometimes this thinly disguised 'act' is nothing short of a cynical power play, designed to keep the rest of the world misinformed about the USA's military/industrial complex as the head of the pack. Of course, a resurgent China and other powers will eventually challenge that hegemony.
Russia in turn needs to get over its age-old insecurity re its border regions. There is no threat, only an historical perceived one; albeit quite tenable in times gone past. No one wants to invade Russia but Putin is taping into a nationalistic Russian psyche, one based on its history and the tendency for Russia to have 'strong' anti-democratic leaders, who at best play lip service to any real sense of freedom for most Russians.
The two powers are not all that different. Both wish to maintain control in their respective spheres and the latest crisis is sadly, a return to the 'Cold War.' That they have common ground should be abundantly clear; the threat terrorism (even China is no longer immune from that now) being a unifying issue. It is only a matter of time before one of the former 'Republics' of the USSR or Pakistan somehow manage to lose or have stolen one or more nuclear devices, which are then turned on targets in either the USA or Russia. Russia and the USA, along with other power groupings should be working together to examine the causes of terrorism, but I doubt that they would be comfortable with the answers.
Cooperation between the USA and Russia is an underplayed fact. Just take the International Space programme and it is easy to find a successful model for the future. Take away the personalities of politics and perhaps the world could achieve be a better future for the sake of us all, but I must cynically observe and suggest that Putin and Obama, do not see the bigger picture, preferring to stoke the fires that are perhaps now out of control. The rest of us hope with fervour that this is not so!

Colin Craig pours $500,000 into his 'party.'

Is this the New Zealand way? The fact that one man can pour half a million dollars into getting himself elected (The leader of the Conservative Part, Colin Craig) is deeply disturbing. This action makes KDC look like an 'also ran,' and the other main parties like poor relations at the wedding, only the marriage is seriously flawed; something from an other time of privilege and gerrymandering.
For the last 80 or so years, New Zealand has had something that resembles a more equal playing field when it comes to election time, although there would be some who would claim that National has always had a head start when it came to resourcing its candidates, but the fledgling Conservative Party has surpassed anything we have seen in the past. If this 'one-band-man' can buy his way to Wellington, then we are in for an even more torrid time in NZ, simply because that age old concept of a land of equal opportunity will be seen for what it has been for along in many peoples' view---a land where the gap between the rich and poor is forever with us, but now---it will widen vastly. When that happens, people give up and other forces take hold. Is that the future for NZ when wealth really does ride roughshod over the majority, who turn on themselves as they see the future taken beyond their influence. If we do not have hope, we have nothing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What country has the ugliest male haircuts in the world?

UNBLOODYBELIEVABLE! The 'Dear Leader' has ordered that all male university students (Yes they do have universities in North Korea, but, buggered if I know what they study other than how to please the Dear Leader!) copy his hairdo---you know---that ugly unbecoming excuse for badly trained 'stylists' version that thingy-what's-his-name, wears. I thought deeply about why his 'Dearest would decree such an abomination on his loyal subjects. is he so insecure that he needs to balance ugliness or lessens his unattractiveness when measured against the male population of his hermit kingdom. Surely, his actions take insecurity to a new height. I hate to think what he will order as he ages---compulsory -------wrinkles and fatness! Maybe the males of North Korea will get lucky and the stupid psychopath will watch a failing test rocket 'accidentally fall to the ground, upon which he is standing. Shite---won't North Koreans miss him! So---expect lots of 'bad hair days' coming to the ever-suffering people of NK>

Internet Party---a One issue Party or----

I hope that KDC's new party is more than just that---an excuse for a party, with a hell of a lot more policy than just issue re the Net. If not---where will they stand on other very important issues, lime Health, Education and social policy? Are they going to make up policy on  the 'hoof;' that is after the possible new MPs have 'hoofed it' to KDC's mansion. Don't forget, he can't stand, but he will be pulling the strings from his gaming chair! Can you see that I mean; the gathering of minions pledging loyalty to the KING, as they seek his approval for each and every policy as they seek to find their way on the political battlefield? Are they going to be a 'rightists' party of 'leftists' or try to capture the middle ground' a very crowded space. Politics is a very different world to the one that KDC inhabits and the reality will hit home pretty quickly if and when he ever garners seats in Wellington. What happens if KDC takes an 'unfortunate' trip to the UISA, at the behest of the FBI? Will those who 'serve him,' be able to act independently? Good on him for tyring, but the circumstances give me this uncomfortable feeling that it will all go haywire when it comes to coming up with and balancing dreams with reality. Still, Labour once had a dream, in times gone by. What are KDC's other than one centred on internet access? How will he pay for his dreams and is he more than just a 'pretty screen?'
We need to here a great deal more and hopefully in a manner that is not shrouded in party antics; the glitzy shallow type that I suspect KDC thrives on. WE want to hear real policies, that reach out to most NZers. It's in your hands KDC.

bariatric Surgery--almost a year now---what's new?

1) I used to take one step up--my brain went up, my body--straight forward---bugger!
2) I now take two steps at a time and my body follows my brain!
3) I used to spend a great deal on food and eat it all.
4) I spend way less and don't eat it all. 'Less is more!'
5) I used to hate shopping in for clothing--I inhabited the 'big blokes section.'
6) I now love shopping for clothes and I am now an internet shoping fan; just love the parcels form Marks and Spence and ASOS.
7) I used to hate walking--it was just all too much and I lied about injuries etc.
8) I can't wait to get home everyday to take my jack Russell out for her run.
9) I used to have bottles and bottles of prescription pills.
10) Where have all the pills gone?  Don't need them.

I have a gift---liife!

'Internet' Party launch today----it stands for?

All will be revealed today, as the much vaunted Internet Party launches itself into----probably oblivion! Yes, it may well attract a sector of the populace that spends most of its time, hidden away inn bedrooms, coming out only for substance and water, probably ordered over the internet, then disappearing into their ‘caves’ to interact with avatars or other imaginary reality perspectives. Come Election Day, they will possibly drag themselves out of their lairs, look outside then go back to their hideaways, thinking that they have voted just by being online and having earlier paid the huge sum of NZ$1.29 for three years membership to the new party. Given their distorted take on reality, they will feel most satisfied that they are supporting freedom on the net, whatever the hell that means and that they will be able to access anything they wish, without the big eye of the State interfering with their lives.
I know---many of you are calling ne a misinformed cynical old bastard who knows nothing about the internet and I have to admit that you are not totally wrong in your surmise about my skill in the area under discussion. However, I take a much wider view of life and I tend to look towards parties who take the ‘whole picture’ of how life presents itself and I have little respect for a party that seeks to subvert the spirit of MMP and slides into Parliament on the coattails of another party. Of course, some in that party are now having second thoughts about the ramifications of such an unholy alliance. It seems that some in that party have principles and wish nothing to do with the Internet party.
There is of course the other issues---the founder and doyen of the Internet party can’t even stand; thereby ‘ruling’ from a distance,’ calling upon his minions to visit him in his ostentatious palace in in a green part of Auckland, most likely making all the moves via---what else---the internet. God forbid such a future for New Zealand if his ideas ever take hold.
I do wish KDC well of course once he heads on back to the USA to face possibly spurious charges against his person, and for the fact that he has at least raised the bar re the debate about internet freedom and the right of hose using it to be relatively free from undue surveillance. There--- I think I have been fair to the ideals of this ‘much-loved’ young man.

'Evolution of human kind---progress after 5000 years of 'civilization!

My header is a lie---why?  Read on:
Syria---one of the 'cradles' of human endeavour--Now, a scene of utter destruction and complete despotism.
Iraq----Another Middle-Eastern centre of ancient civilization and the emergence of cities----Now a failed state, being torn apart by religious rivalry and corrupt power struggles.
Russia--A nation contributing  to art, music and political idealism. ----Now, descending into a paranoia ridden failed democracy, ruled by modern day oligarchs, intent only on maintaining their privileged positions.
Egypt---Yet another Middle-Eastern nation with a magnificent history. Now, joining the 'brotherhood of failed  states,' having thrown off a fundamentalist Islamic regime, only to have it superseded by an unelected military regime, destroying all vestiges of democratic institutions while making war on its citizens.
Central African Republic---A leftover piece of a former colonial empire. ----Now, still a discarded colonial vestige; only the rulers have changed, intent on destroying any hope of genuine nation forming, complete with religious and ethnic cleansing.
USA---The self-appointed 'world policeman,' with a desire to 'defend' democracy.----Possibly learning the hard way, that it can not act unilaterally to resolve those issues that it deems important, while the gap between its rich and poorest citizens has never been wider.

The list is much longer---the hope vested in the United Nations; nothing  short of dismal as the major powers play games  as they manoeuvre to protect their imagined and real interests. Has anything changed over the course of time? NO---just the geography on a map, but not the age-old human weaknesses of greed, lust for power and domination of those weaker.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Candy Crush is 'going Public with a huge 'investment'---OH no---more pain!

That's all I need, yet more pressure from invites to play this dumb-arsed game (like all of them). The sad thing is that I emulate the game by being to dumb to find out how to 'block' the invites, hence a great deal of profanity emmanating from my lips, probably carrying as far as my ever-suffering neighbours. Oh please don't let the game grow, further spreading the pain to others suffering in a like manner to myself. Don't people get it---if we don't respond---it's cause we are moronic haters of game playing---well that sort anyway!

Norma Plummer---what the hell she done that is so bad as to get this sort of treatment---'threats to her life.'

I can only assume that the ‘threats’ to Norma Plummer’s life are a sick joke, because the headlines I read in the NZ Herald today about an alleged threat to her are simply not part of the psyche of any normal NZer or Australian. Sure, we know that Norma has a particularly ‘straight-up, in your face style of management/coaching, but surely this does not warrant such a low response. That the police are investigating says that someone is taking the threat seriously. The vast majority of NZers are appalled at this response from what I feel is representative of such a tiny minority of NZ public opinion.
Sure, the relationship between NZ and Aussie on the sports field can be highly emotionally charged but put that down to passion and pride. Yes, we sling off at one another in many ways, sometimes taking it to excess and we take every opportunity to put the boot in when we get the opportunity. Australia sees NZ as some sort of little cousin and when we beat them at any chosen sport or for that matter, when we excel , leaving our cousins in our wake in any filed, be it sport, trade---you name it, it gets up their craw, but deep down, when the chips are down, we get behind one another.
We must never let matters go beyond the ribbing and throwaway lines. We are all ‘Australasians,’ living in a part of the world that gives us a sense of identity and a way of life that most of the world envies. Maybe Australia has  a few more ‘threats’ to its security, both from ‘mother nature’ and from events of a more human origin, but the ‘lucky country’ is still our closest neighbour and one who we can rely on for support and brotherhood. Shame on those who would threaten Norma---just get over it---she is a strong, opinionated lady who knows---and GETS what she wants.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Egyptian judge sentences 529 people to death---you are babaric in every sense of the word!

I am sadly disappointed at the direction Egypt has taken. All thoughts of a reveal of democracy in this once proud country have dissipated. I knew that the Muslim Brotherhood had issues with democracy and freedom of speech but this latest action on the part of the new regime is nothing short of barbaric. How can Egypt justify such an action? They make the regime(s) they replaced look like benevolent rulers. The promise of the 'Arab Spring' has totally gone. The 'interim' President sits by and lets this happen and he wishes to stand for the presidency in the upcoming elections. Are we going to see a continued slide into a new despotic regime, backed by the power that has always ruled in modern day Egypt---the new Pharaohs---the military!? I feel for those moderate leaders and political groups in Egypt who now have a huge battle on their hands if they wish to see an Egypt rise from the ashes and join the family of nations who value human freedom of expression. I guess the world's attention is focussed elsewhere while the rulers of a 'failed Egypt' get on with returning Egypt to a time when of its citizens suffered through the repression of its rulers. The positions the major world powers play in  this latest example of 'State terrorism' will also come into play. The USA will no doubt back this 'military-dominated government, in the aim of maintaining influence in the region and Russia will espouse platitudes that equate to increasing its reach into the Middle-East. Nothing has changed, it seems, since the demise of the old Iron Curtain. Shame on Egypt and the family of nations that allows such atrocities to continue.

Norfolk Island====well I never

What a wonderul surprise, seeing Norfolk Island joining the list of places reading my blogs. I have always wnated to go there. I know my parents once went there in the 1960's and had a relaxing time. The 1960s was a time when duty free goods were all the rage, a time before all the discounted items we get now, quite apart from the fantastic bargains we get online now. I well remember waiting for my parnets to open their bags on arriving back in NZ, to give us our gifts. I can't quite remember mine, but I do remember the absolute joy of receiving something so special, that could not be purchased in nZ. Wow, how times have changed. I suspect that people now visit Norfolk Island for a relaxing holiday, well away from the crazy crowds of other 'hotspots,' unless one includes going there for a honeymoon.  Welcome to my site NI.  I am sure itis a great place to read my books, either in hard-copy form or a downloaded version.

The 'Dear Leader said---'We must have a diversion, to keep the people happy!'

Years ago there were three kingdoms, many miles distance from one another. All three had tyrannical leaders, despots if you wish and they subdued their ever-suffering subjects in a variety of ways, with a combination of naked fear, suppression of any criticism and not allowing any opposition to gain ground. They did not want change; indeed they had ‘charters’ that forbade criticism of their leadership; some with the ultimate sanction----the death penalty. For slightly less transgressions against their wishes, the leaders made sure that ‘think camps’ were abundant, so that their subjects could re-examine their thoughts towards their leaders and return to society with a 'positive attitude.'
However these methods were not enough to quell the aspirations of some of their subjects to seek a better future; one’s that meant taking part in the administration of the kingdoms, for the inclusion of playing a part in the forces that governed on behalf of the leaders. If ‘trouble was brewing,’ the leaders sought other methods to distract their people.
All three kingdoms had enjoyed times in their history whereby they had been much more dominant in the world and some had even had large empires, with millions of subject citizens. A brief period of unease had led to these former subject sub-states finding their own way in the world and they began to make a mark on the border areas of these kingdoms; seeking their own alliances with other powers, both in their region and further afield.
Naturally, the leaders of the three kingdoms felt threatened by this showing of independence and as the situation in the corrupt border areas became more apparent, the former sought to reverse the dangerous trend. They collectively hit upon an age-old method by which to have their subjects within the home kingdoms and those on their borders, return to the fold. They set upon a plan whereby they manufactured tension in the border areas and then whipped up the memories of those sectors of the population who had a distorted view of what life had been like in the past.
The kings appealed to the ‘simplicity' of the past; the imagined full-employment of the people and  market-places that guaranteed that that food and other essentials could be purchased at a price all could afford. They of course conveniently forgot to mention that the prisons were full of people who did not go along with the leaders’ thoughts about loyalty to the kings and other institutions.
After weeks of rising tension in the border areas, the leaders announced that those former citizens were being threatened by nasty nationalistic gangs, who were endangering the peace of the kingdoms. Unfortunately in some of the border areas, there were civil wars as people tried to rid themselves of their mini-despotic governments and rulers. The three kingdoms sent agents into the border areas to stir up trouble and then claimed that it was in the interest of the kingdoms to send in peace-keeping forces in order to restore order and to protect the native speaking (read those speaking the language of the former rulers) sectors of the population.
After months of disorder, and using the pretext of many incidents, most of which were cynically managed by the three leaders, large contingents of heavily armed soldiers were seen entering the border regions. The chaotic governments of these areas were powerless to stop the encroachment on their territories and all of their protestations to other ‘friendly powers ‘ amounted to nothing as the latter sat back and merely protested with ‘words’ and meaningless platitudes.
Within weeks, the kingdoms had expanded their borders and the popularity of the kings soared to new heights, fed by the propaganda put out by their minions in the news-sheets plastered all over the walls and trees in the kingdoms. People forgot their grievances with their rulers as they became wrapped up in the colourful parades and fireworks displays. They forget about their friends and relatives who had disappeared or they dared not show any untoward negativity to the regime, lest they attract attention from the celebrating crowds filling the squares of the towns and cities.
In the meantime, the three leaders sat back, knowing they had survived another challenge to their rule---that is until reality returned to the thinking of their ever-suffering citizens. Life continued and the world adjusted to the newly expanded kingdoms; waiting for the next phase. It seemed that nothing had been learned by observing the past. What would it take to stop the three kings?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Once upon a time I looked like this!-- way back in the late 1950's at Te Roti School.

Don't you like looking back at those old black and white pictures; you know the ones---maybe stored away in some forgotten box, brought out at family gatherings or those moments when you need to connect with a time gone by. Perhaps you are too young to remember  B and W pictures, but those colour ones you were so proud of, the first time you gazed upon them,  have probably gone that 'no colour, sepia' look as they fade with your memories.
 my big brother, Peter, because that's who he will always be, sent the picture of our old school 'photo day,' when I was just 10 years old. The school---Te Roti Primary in South Taranaki, where the Coleman clan made up 10% of the roll. I dare you to find me. NO one at my work did. All will be revealed in a 'comment' after you have tried to guess for a week. No telling them, my family!

Kim Dotcom finally wearing out his 'welcome?'

New Zealanders took the big man to their hearts for a while, in numbers that may have been the majority. People got swept up in their adulation of KDC as some sort of messiah, promulgating ideas of freedom form Government snooping into the affairs of citizens, whilst conveniently forgetting about his ‘questionable’ past. It was almost sickening seeing the long list of politicians and social media forums responding to his calls for a ‘better NZ.’ I have always wondered at how so many people got sucked in and when he started to talk about becoming involved in politics, my discomfort increased. Was NZ starting to emulate politics overseas where money is the key seeding factor? OK, some would say that this has been so in NZ for quite some time, but I still believe that anyone with strong ideals and willing to put in the time with ‘party machinery,’ can make it into Parliament, given the right set of supports. Of course, once there the real game behind the curtains begins, if leadership of the said party is the aim. With KDC, it has all been there before anyone representing his fledgling party (because he cannot stand!) even got onto the hustings.
It now appears that NZ’s love affair with the ideas and the ‘man’ is starting to wane. It took a while, but in the end sense is starting to prevail. One wonders what KDC’s next move will be. Even the Mana Party is looking a bit wobbly re the ‘reported dalliance KDC is attempting with that party. I cannot imagine more dissimilar ‘bedfellows’ and perhaps the Mana Party will be the loser for even letting the discussion get this far.
It is going to be a most interesting run-up to the election at the end of the year.

Friday, March 21, 2014

We need some middle ground on the Russian Ukraine crisis.

Now is the time for sanity around the increasingly dangerous stand-off over the Crimean, referendum 'sanctioned' annexation  by Russia. As a result, Ukraine is forging closer ties with the EU and the USA. There have been many claims by both sides of the divide and somewhere in the middle , there is some truth.
It is hypocritical of the USA to claim that it is defending the rights of Ukrainians for self-determination and that Crimea has been included in the territory of Russia. Russia has long has a presence and sometimes outright inclusion of the Crimea in its territory, going back several centuries. It could be said that native inhabitants of the region were the Tartars so what is different about Russia 'absorbing' the Crimea against the wishes of the 'natives,' and the expansion of US hegemony over territories inhabited by the 'First Nation People of the Americas (or the British taking over lands inhabited by New Zealand's original people---the Maori)
Russia has long been sensitive re its border areas, having suffered invasion via those states on many occasions, hence  the perceived need to either control directly or heavily influence through a range of strategies, treaties and policies, willing or unwilling on the part of the 'partners, in order to gain a 'feeling of security.'
The USA in turn has reached out beyond its base on the North American continent and made sure that it too has influence in order to protect 'its' perceived security needs. Indeed, most nations in the UN would have a certain discomfort about the undue and unbalanced influence of the USA on the economies of most of the world. It is only with the emergence of China that some sort of balance is being achieved. The USA  is starting to feel the reality of the new world order, a 'feeling; that does not fit well with the military/industrial complex.
Just as Russia is nervous about 'western leaning' Governments on its borders, so to does the USA. Just look at the events of the Cuban crisis many years ago and one can see just how far the USA  would go in order to 'protect its patch.' The USA, under the all inclusive anti-communist banner, has made sure that regimes of a left-leaning nature in what its sees as USA 'sphere of influence,' do not take root. Chile is a prime example from the 70's. Thus the hypocrisy of the USA is clear to see.
Throw a Stalinist type figure into Russian politics, namely Putin, and the possibility for tension can reach new heights. Putin thrives on tapping into the Russian psyche, that reaches back into the past---he is well in touch with the complex relationship Russians have with 'strong leaders.' Putin knows that by challenging the 'West' re Ukraine and the Crimea crisis, he will se a rise in his popularity in Russia. Yes, he silences opposition and democracy as we know it in the West is going out the back door. He knows that he can weather this storm and come out stronger, with an iron fist on Russia.
The difference between Russia and the USA?---- One has a hidden control mechanism, enshrined in a constitution that favours the powerful, but couched in terms that hide its real intent, while the other is just honest about naked power. You chose who is who!

Turkish PM orders Twitter shut down---he must have his head in the sand, exposing his tender bits!!

Does the embattled PM really think that the  (mainly young) people of Turkey give a rat's ass about his actions? Does he really think that todays techno-savvy young people will not find a way around his feeble attempts to stifle the discussion of 'truth,' about his undemocratic actions? Hell, even his President is still tweeting, making a mockery of the PM's actions; ones that take Turkey back to a less 'informed and worldly view?' The Turkish people must ask themselves in what direction they want their proud country to travel--to be part of a modern, open and inclusive world, where all religions and opinions are valued, but not to the point that they become the State's responsibility. It is not that Twitter is all that important but it does represent that 'watershed time' in Turkey's history; travel back in time to darkness and repression or open up and enjoy the connectedness with like-minded nations around the world; albeit with the hooks and barbs that such links may have. Democracy after all is only as good as its participants and there are always going to be difficult discussions, albeit ones that embody the ideals of what democracy could be. Aim high, Turkey and take back the promise of your founding Father!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What can we thank Kim Dotcom for?

1) He did help to bring some opens to how our security service operates and that caused a 'little' embarrassment to the Government.
2) He brought a 'little' focus to NZ.
      BUT---did he do this for the betterment of NZ or----yes folks---for himself. Just look at the  manner in which he lived in he manor, leaving behind, allegedly, many unpaid bills to hard -working NZers who were silly enough to be sucked in by KDC's sense of grandeur.
Will he be missed--certainly not by all those gullible people who lined up behind him, believing him to be some  sort of messiah for freedom on the net and the harbinger of a new political era. Go well in your 'new country, KDC. You did bring about a great deal of much needed discussion and a lot of unanswered questions.

Shane Jones joining NZ First---you are kidding---right?

It is true that Shane Jones has made far more ‘splash’ in the headlines than his boss lately. It is also true that his efforts have been consistent and grabbed public attention. Some would say that he possesses all the hallmarks of a ‘populist‘ leader and that he is quite capable of attracting ‘middle NZ,’ (not Middle Earth!) to Labour’s cause.
Why is he doing this? The latest ‘theory’ proposed by some pundits is that he deliberately trying to either distance himself from the current leadership, or possibly causing a rift in which he either challenges for the leadership (here we go again!) or gets excluded from the LP and then joins NZ First, sharing the leadership of that party, attracting many votes and takes over from Winston at an agreed date in the future (2017).
Would Shane go along any of these paths? I suspect that his loyalty to the Labour Party is far less shallow than that. While it is true that he isn’t exactly close to Greens, the probable team player in a future Labour led Government, I think that he would find some of NZ First’s policies a little too far from his political leanings. But, the more I think about it, a move towards NZ First does make some sort of sense. Without a doubt, it would push that party well above the necessary 5% threshold and even win an electorate seat for himself. If any of this eventuated, we would be in for a very interesting period in NZ political history.
What are you going to do, Shane? I know you are calling such talk---poppycock, but one does wonder at your moves in recent times, just when your leader is languishing in the polls. As for National and the other parties---there is nothing in this for them! Maybe this story really does not have ‘legs;’ like the one re Hone and KDC!

Diversity of readers from many countries.

I am happy to see that the number of countries reading my blog is increasing all the time and that more too are hookin in from NZ, my home country. Great to France, Poland and Canada getting in on the act. You will be bale to download the books again soon, but in the meantime, I shall keep the blog going. I will be starting on editing the huge new series, Sons of Orpheus soon. That will be a massive challenge and an expensive one. I propose turning the book into three, in ebook format and hard copy.
Thanks for your continued support.

Syrians die and a downed plane--cooperation rules, but what about Syria?

It is sad indeed that there are many grieving families out there who have almost definitely lost loved ones in the downing of a plane in the Indian Ocean. The scenes of despair coming out of KL and the spectre of officials who just don’t have any definitive answers, is galling to say the least. I am not denigrating the loss of more than 200 lives but something must be said about the balance the media, we as individuals and the resources along with the international cooperation; something that is galvanizing, heartening and a sign that we can get it together when the chips are down. We can work together to arrive at an answer.
Why is it then that we cannot replicate this spirit of willingness to help and work together when it comes to other terrible events on the world stage? Is it that there is something that gets to our very souls when it comes to planes crashing, whether it be my human failure of through human evil?! Perhaps there is even an economic motive behind the above togetherness of action.
One does not need to look far to find human suffering on a vast scale and the moves to alleviate these issues meet with dismal failure, simply because there are political forces and power rivalries that subjugate the need to resolve them. That we have millions of refugees pouring out of Syria to put huge pressure on the countries receiving them: That the families and children, the elderly in particular are living in squalid situations without hope for solution. We have the large powers in the background, unable to agree on untied action; action that would need to be many times more powerful that that we are witnessing in the Indian Ocean. There is no will to resolve the Syrian crisis.
Look around many regions in the world and ask the same question. How can we not work together to lessen the suffering of huge sectors of humankind? We are too selfishly travelling down the road of nationalistic, individual power-plays and very often covering up corrupt practices on a huge scale.
I am sure that given the will, matching the need and coming up with the resources that the Syrian issue and others could well be dealt with so that lives are saved and rebuilt. The logjam of despotic rule and regional rivalry is the massive doorstop to finding an opening for a better future.
In the meantime, let us all wish that the relatives and loved ones of those missing in the plane in the Indian Ocean find resolution and understanding about what has happened.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Website is up--blog and site in one!

Cool---now you get to see the website and the blog all in one. I am still navigating myself around the different aspects. You can click on the covers of the two books, but you can't download them yet because I am outing them through one more edit and proofread. I want them to be as good as I can get them. It won't take ling and then In shall launch them with a few fun things. No need to put my website at the bottom of each blog now, eh. That will be a hard habit to break.!

What has Putin achieved through his 'annexation' of the Crimea?

Since the break-up of the former Soviet Union and the transfer of assets to a group of oligarchs, most of whom (those that survived Putin’s new-age purges) are closely aligned to Putin, we have seen pressure gradually build on those ‘border area ‘nations,’ to either toe the line re Moscow’s ‘needs,’ or succumb completely and re-join the new Russia. Crimea is the case we are seeing now and we can be sure that Putin has not finished re Ukraine. He will not be content, if he could ever reach that state, until most of Ukraine is back in his clutches. That which remains will be week, economically unless the EU pours in massive amounts of reconstruction, to the point that Ukraine can make its own way. Unfortunately, the Russians are not totally amiss when they talk about corruption in Ukraine, a sure fire formula to drain any gains made re the input of the EU. Of course the Russians should know all about that facet of the new economic order in Russia but they dare not speak of it.

Judith and John go to China---what a difference!

When Judith went to China, her trip became surrounded in controversy but whne JK wnet---well, he's doing just fine, taking every opportunity to push NZ's (not any one company's postion because there was a personal interest in doing so, but because NZ as a nation will gain. The difference---obvious. I am the first to say that he si doing well, and I can out away my biase re politics and say that he is doing well. That doesn't mean that I am about to go and joing the National Party though just as I do not support everything the the Greesn and Labour do or say they are going to do. Lets all keep some balance and judith---keep ya head down. It seems that each time you open your mouth, you dig a hole.

When religion and extremism co-exist, you get the Taliban or the church in Westboro.

Read on---what can I say! This lot make the more 'extreme in NZ look like puppy dogs. America must wonder what it has bred---or maybe that is the problem---can't you hear the sound of 'banjos.'?

10 things to know about Westboro Baptist Church

The controversial and anti-gay, anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic, anti-abortion hate group, known as the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) has announced plans to picket Lorde's concert in Kansas on March 21 because the singer "doesn't have enough sense to put in a thimble".
Although small, this extreme group has provoked backlash around the world. Today we look more closely at their history, views and actions.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This must be the craziest of 'moves' in the KDC saga---Hone and Kim?---- yeah right!

Is this the 'Mother of all conspiracy theories?---Kim Dot Com in league with Hone Harawira? Is Hone so broke and short of allies (more likely --cash!) that he would throw his hat into the ring with King Dot Kong?---oops!---slipped! It is so unbelievable that it could be true. My source for such an outrageous statement?---why---good old ZB talkback this afternoon. Really---I nearly ran off the road. There seems to be no end to the various machinations of power-seeking methods for this man---KDC, I'm talking  about. Apparently there is some obscure rule around MMP that allows for KDC to be a 'component' section,' of Hone's party, thereby allowing for some of KDC's cronies to enter Parliament, because we all know that he his kingly self can not. Damn---he must be desperate. I can't wait to see the next candidate, head covered in military camouflage, entering the magnificent 'rented' palatial lodgings of the king maker! Maybe the Dear Leader of the Conservative Party will regurgitate enough bile in order to make the journey! Wonders never cease. At this rate of visitations, we may even see the Taliban creeping across the front lawn of the 'big house.'. Watch out for  the site of KDC sporting a long black beard. Hey---has JK been there yet?

Lorde laughs off extreme reaction from USA church--the 'hater church' that says 'their' God hates faggots.'

Why would we be surprised that the very same church that preaches hate and intolerance would come out and ask people to picket Lorde’s concerts? The church has been in the limelight quite a lot re its unique approach to religion as they see it. They are whacky, exclusively hateful and hardly represent anything other than the Taliban of Christianity. If anything, they have only increased the likelihood of increased audiences at Lorde’s concert and for that she is indeed grateful. Go for it, Lorde---we are most proud of you and the openness you ‘preach. Their version of ‘God’ is one that makes a mockery of ‘religion.’

www.authorneilcoleman (Website will be up and running once a few more ‘tweaks’ (not twerks) have been added.

China New Zealand trade: like our dependency on the 'Mother Country,' years ago, minus the 'ideological differences.'

Cast your minds back the ‘good old days,’ when New Zealand traded with Britain in a manner that had us almost hog-tied to the point that if Britain swerved in any way, we went along with ‘her.’ Our fortunes were strongly linked with those of Britain. Remember the phrase ; ‘Where Britain goes, we go,’ a position that took us to two World Wars,’ and one that the UK hardly takes into account in our modern day relationship. When the UK took itself into the ‘Common Market and closely aligned itself with Europe, the writing was on the wall and New Zealand rapidly realized that diversifying our trading partners was an essential fact of life in the new world. To a great extent we have succeeded in breaking that old economic partnership and the UK is now one of many trading partners. The relationship is relatively healthy and a two way one.

Other markets have also become important to us and we now trade with a huge number of countries. We produce a wider range of goods for the world, but it must be said that we are still a predominantly primary producer of goods, that thankfully represent choices that the world really needs, like ‘protein.’

With the growth and resurgence of the massive Chinese market, things have taken a different turn for New Zealand; almost one that resembles in some ways the old relationship we had with Britain, minus a few cultural factors and that of shared history. To some in New Zealand this new relationship is fraught with hooks; the main one being perceptions of human rights abuse from the top heavy Chinese Communist Party. New Zealand has for many years put its hand up, albeit a small one, for the rights of individuals and groups to have access to freedom of expression. That is something that is held very highly here, but one that is difficult to export to other societies, where other forces are more values; namely that of the access to food, housing and employment. If the later are delivered, then such lofty ideals that we often espouse, are seen as secondary to the reality of ‘survival.

Monday, March 17, 2014

My website is down---but that is part of the plan.

Look out for my new-look website---any day now. The old one has gone and that is part of the relaunch of my books in a much improved form. This journey has been a long expensive one, much like the one for my bariatric surgery---both of which are very much--'less is more,' in nature. I am less but oh so much more and the books have also had the knife taken to them. Once the new site is up, please share it with your circles and friends.

Labour in deep trouble as polls send it a message! (Election 2014, part 5)

Way back in the late 90’s Helen Clark was languishing in the opinion polls. She went as low a single digit figures and many wrote her off. The same is happening to the present leader of the Labour Party. Can he build the figures and gain the momentum needed to cross the line in the September elections?
Times are different and if ‘perception,’ rules the waves, then the answer is clearly---NO! If the majority of New Zealanders feel that they are doing ‘OK,’ and the figures re our economy are going in the right direction, for ‘most’ of New Zealanders, then Labour has a very difficult task re convincing the voters that it is time to change the governbmnet. Many of the issues that opposition parties bring up just don’t resonate worth enough NZers to bring about a change. That may sound defeatist to many of the people who read my blogs or follow me on Facebook, but present a more believable argument!
Most NZers do not think about politics every day and they generally steer well clear of divisive commentary unless they are directly affected. Sure they chuck in their bit when politics comes up at the break times in their workplaces or at parties and other gatherings, but for the most part, if they have a job (that’s most of us) are able to afford their mortgage or rent and have a little over (that is a diminishing number) then they ‘get on with life.’
Come election time, it is the perception of how they are doing that feeds into who they will vote for. It has always been far more difficult for the Labour Party and more recently the Labour Party/ Green alliance to gather in enough support to go beyond about 45% support. It seems that National has for a long time been able to keep a level of support that nears the high 40%. It is hard to put ones finger on why this is so. Simple analysis of the election results of the last 80 years will show that National has generally maintained a level of support that brings it across the line re holding Government. It is only when Labour has a charismatic leader or the economy is hurting ‘enough’ people and   there are other issues that ‘damage’ National, that Labour is able to form a Government. Holding power for more than one election cycle has also been difficult for Labour and the three examples of when they have gone beyond a single cycle speaks much.
The present leader of the Labour Party has a huge hill to climb and it doesn’t help his cause that he has a more ‘in your face,’ high ranking ‘contender to the throne,’ snapping at his heels. Shane Jones may be capable of drawing in ‘Middle NZ’ and that is what Labour needs to do in order to break the National grip on power. Political expediency versus genuine political debate and honesty are very much opposing forces, if one wants to win an election.
Sadly the later do not always win.

Southland to have referendum on 'going it alone' from New Zealand!

We should have seen this one coming; especially given the impetus provided by the Crimean/Ukraine fiasco. In the case of Southland, the embryo rests with an ex Aucklander; namely Tim ‘concrete mixer,’ Shadbolt or to some, the ‘Bullshit and jellybeans’ man.
Southland has always been a bit ‘different’ from the rest of NZ; it even has its very own accent, one more akin to our cousins across the ‘ditch,’ yes---Australia. Don’t tell Southlanders that of course, but they have yet to get computers down there, so I should be fairly safe. Any
Hate mail’ will need to be delivered by ‘pigeon post,’ and the prospect of crossing the Cook Strait should be enough to protect me from that and then of course they have to fly over the ‘shooter’ in the Waikato, another region seriously looking at ‘self-rule.’
There is an impediment to the aspirations of Southland and that is the position that Stewart Island may play in the final outcome. There is a strong Nationalistic movement there that is closely allied to ‘Wellington,’ mainly a dependence on the subsidies they need to keep access to their capital---Oban. Only last week it was reported that ‘secrete training’ is taking place in the bush, led by ‘forces unknown,’ but possibly linked to similar groups from the East Coast of the North Island.
Publicity has been very one-sided re access to information about the background to this long running ‘dispute.’ Since ‘local forces took over two radio stations and the technical institute became the main hub for Television news reports, anyone trying to adhere to alternate views, has been effectively silenced.
Who is financing this movement? Have you not noticed the huge increase in the price of Bluff Oysters? (Another reason for Stewart Islander to be a little irate ad they claim that they are the real origin of these delectable little taste bombs!) Along with a surcharge, illegally imposed by the local regional authority over products from the Bluff Smelter and other ‘add-ons’ to rates, there has been a significant amount of money raised for the Southlanders’ cause.
Have you not noticed the ‘unofficial border control’ as you enter the Southland region? Sure, you may have been fooled into thinking that it is just a bunch of farmers or hunters, observing your every move as you cross into Southland ‘proper,’ along with their vast collection of ‘munitions.’
Time will tell if this movement gathers momentum. It is hard to gauge if the bulk of Southlanders supports the friends of Tim. They need to speak up and we shall do our very best to try to understand them. New Zealand must stay united and to those who would impose their ‘foreign views’ on this proud nation, should be aware of the depth of New Zealand’s nationalistic fervour. It is time to stand up and be counted! Southlanders—we really do love you, so don’t despair. Keep rolling your  ‘Rs’---it’s delightfully OK.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Let us have a level playing field re foreigners buying our houses and farms. Reciprocity!

New Zealand First is bound to make this an election issue. I do not know if 'foreign' (that includes Australia, and not just China!) buyers make it harder for NZ citizens and residents from buying a home by forcing up the prices, but if it does then we need to look at what other countries do. Can NZers buy property in China or other countries? The answer is simple---"if we can buy property overseas as non-residents of that country, then they can do the same here. If not---you know the answer.  Read on. Anne's article makes for some interesting reading.

    Anne Gibson

    Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

    Chinese snap up more Kiwi properties

    More New Zealand houses are being sold to people who live in China, according to real estate agents.
    Tony Alexander, BNZ chief economist, said the latest BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey showed a quarter of all houses or apartments sold to foreigners were going to the Chinese.
    "Whereas last year in March, 15 per cent of dwelling sales to people offshore were to people in China and in May 20 per cent, this March, the proportion is 25 per cent. So a rising proportion of sales going offshore are to people in China of which about 41 per cent are considered as likely to shift to New Zealand," Alexander said. Agents said of all the sales they handle, 6.4 per cent are to people who live overseas.
    He has previously advocated that New Zealand should adopt Australia's more restrictive approach to foreigners buying houses.
    Australia, Britain, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada all have measures to defend their housing stock against foreign buyers.
    In Australia, foreigners can build only new homes, not buy existing ones, he said.
    When it comes to a multi-unit complex like an apartment block, they can buy only 50 per cent.
    New Zealand should mimic the system so new house supply rises while foreigners are deterred from driving up prices in already overheated places like Auckland, Mr Alexander says.
    The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, which has its headquarters in Christchurch, has long campaigned against foreigners buying businesses and property here.
    They claim it is against our national interest and is doing damage to the economy.
    The Labour Party wants to discourage foreign buyers but Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson has expressed doubts about that.
    Countries which banned foreign investors did not enjoy lower house prices and New Zealand did not have to follow other countries on the issue, he says.
    Read the full report here:

    The numbers are---terrifying!

    I am obviously practising with my ‘headers,’ as on first appearances the one above could be for Syria, the low turnout in Crimean referendum, the chances of finding the lost plane or for some other world event. However, the answer is much closer to home. I am referring to the weight loss journey I have been on for the past year. I wore jeans with 46 inches on the waistband then and today I tried on some jeans that I brought 4 months ago and they were 38 inches---way too big. I looked ridiculous in them so what am I today?  32 inches, the same size I was when I was 18. OK, the tummy is not as flat or tight, but its one hell of a lot better than jumbo me and my health is so much better. Anyone my age considering Bariatric Surgery, should have a real good chat with their doctor. It is not for everyone, but it is a good tool as long as you ‘do as you are told.’ I am happier in many ways and not taking all those pills is wonderful. Hell, some of them were for the side effects of the others. Gone for good I hope.  Now, where’s that shopping list for the good online clothing sites?

    The Curve (OLED) TVs, about to come to a place near you. Here we go again!

    We are about to get caught up in the ‘Lets’ keep up with the Jones’ debacle yet again, this time over the new OLED (organic light emitting diode) ‘Curved’ TVs. If you only just brought your LED TV, a smart one to boot, then think again, it’s already out of date. I well remember the days, when I purchased my first stereo, only to find that there was always one much better and more ‘significantly gifted’ that were way beyond my means. I also remember first of the plasma screens (they are not going to be making them anymore!) making its appearance at the ‘Big Boys Toys Show’ and it had a huge price tag of about NZ$18,000. You can pick up models that are far superior to that early model for about NZ$600. Call it progress, call it techno-slavery obsession syndrome;’ that’s probably what I had, pouring endless dollars down the electronic toilet.
    The new OLED TVs are going to cost about $8000 to start, a figure already down from the December price, and you can be sure that the stores will be pushing them really hard. Don’t throw away your old TV just yet; advice that I must take for myself. I have far too many other ‘items’ that require my dollars, so I shall resist the temptation, but I will take a dammed close look at the new ‘must have’ gadget!

    The Crimea---'let's 'gift' it to Ukraine,' said Kruschev. 'NO, it's time to take it back,' growled Putin.

    Many regions in Europe have played ‘who the hell are we?’ over the years; Crimea and Ukraine being just two of them, depending on the political machinations or whims of the ‘main player.’   
    Ukraine has been a sensitive area re Russia’s/USSR’s security for centuries. Ukraine has been a conduit for invasion and the Crimea a strategically important warm-water port for the Russian navy. That Krushev ‘gifted’ the region back to Ukraine in the 50’s and then the said region became gradually Russianized,’ since the early 90s after the break down of the former Soviet Union, just added a pressure that was one day going to boil over, especially with the assistance of Putin in recent years to reclaim as much of the former Soviet Union as he can lay his hands on, legally or through substitute and devious plots, should come as no surprise.
    The West can cry out all it wants but they have underestimated the importance of the whole ‘border regions of Russia as a buffer for Russian fears of a repeat of past historical events.
    The so-called referendum taking place in Crimea today (and soon one in Eastern Ukraine!) will ‘show that the majority of citizens in the  Crimea will vote for a return to Russia. How fair was the poll? One can probably assume that it was hardly an open discussion and the low turnout will signify little as large sectors of the population simply didn’t vote or saw it as a sham; take the Tartars for example. Of course the older citizens will vote for a return to the ‘certainty of the old Soviet Regime, and the promise of cheaper living and pensions that are double what they could expect from the Kiev Government. Any chance that the later government had of winning the hearts of Crimeans was lost after 20 plus years of non-action on the ‘social benefits’ front, so Russia appeared to be the ‘caring’ choice for many Crimeans.
    What are we left with? We have simply gone back to the past. The West’s choices---probably very little they can do. Democracy after all is only as good as the promises it delivers. Kiev, nil, Russia—well, who knows?

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

    Australia's double standards re the rainforests.'Don't do it in Sumatra,' they say, 'but its OK in Tasmania!'

    In typical Aussie double standards on a range of issues; including the treatment of tax-paying Kiwis, bullying tactics in New Zealand (but Aussie-owned) supermarkets and not the least the double standards re rainforests. Many politicians have made comments about diminishing rainforests in Indonesia; namely Sumatra and Borneo, yet we have the spectre of the Liberal Party coalition making moves to encourage the cutting down of World Heritage forests in Tasmania, all in the name of a few transitory jobs; forests that have taken centuries to grow. Australians s will come to rue their putting into power a Party that cares little for the environment; a party that lines the pockets of its friends, unthinking about the future. The 'marchers' we have seen today on the streets of Australian cities are merely the first signs of an electorate that has realised that they have unleashed a monster, little different to like-minded politicians overseas who only care about power and increasing the gap between the poor and those who wish to destroy what more enlightened political movements have seen as sacrosanct. Australia, at a time when many scientists have warned about the 'drying of Australia,' has taken a terrible lurch forward to a future that will benefit no one. After all, what they cut down in the name of profits will not come back. Shame on the short-sighted voters and greedy politicians who lack a dream that takes into account the 'balance' that once existed. Bushfires will become even more damaging and when the truth is finally realized, it will be too late. New Zealand will look increasingly attractive, if our politicians don't follow blindly their Aussie cousins!

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Freedom of the press is but a distant memory in Russia.

    When the 'Iron Curtain' fell, a few decades ago, there was a brief periods when Russians were filled with hope. Since that time, the assets of the State were 'stolen' by the new oligarchs and ex-party functionaries, culminating in one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. The new oligarchs also gradually stole freedom in all of its forms and now we have a situation, resembling all that was bad about the one that it purportedly replaced. Under Putin that process has accelerated, mainly because  the media that was free and could report on the processes by which Russia has transformed back to the same repressive and unequal society that once tried to 'fool the world' that all was good. Russians who disagree with the dishonesty and secrecy of their Government are doomed to be fired, excluded and imprisoned. Russia's destiny is once again in the hands of tyrants, led by the modern day Tsar, Putin, who poses as a Russian Nationalist, but is no better than Stalin or other despots from Russian history. I guess we can all look forward to the voice of RT (Russian TV) to spout nothing but the lies of the Government, as those few brave enough to stand up and state the truth, disappear from the airwaves, screens and print of Russia. Unless you are rich or bow down to the oligarchs, life is less than good for a growing number of Russians. History will eventually repeat and once again at some time in the future, Russians will wake up and bring about change. Until then, Russians will suffer and the only good will be the music, literature and poetry that such times stimulate, even if only for audiences outside Russia.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    Australia to spend A$4 billion on drones to keep borders and sea-lanes under watchful eyes. Should NZ join them?

    I think the proposal to spend the 4 billion on drones to keep the vast reaches of ocean under intense scrutiny is a damned good idea; maybe cheaper than using other forms of hit and miss methods. There is no doubt that Australia will come under increasing pressure from a range of sources, be it people smugglers or other more sinister threats.
    Should New Zealand do the same? I say---yes, but in a much more modest manner; perhaps smaller version and not quite so many(The Aussies want 7 of these advanced techno toys). If you look at the huge area NZ has a vested and legal responsibly for and then measure that against the available resources, there is a huge gap in our capabilities. Our Orions are stretched to day the least. Maybe NZ can operate smaller home-grown version, building NZ's technical skill base and extending the effectiveness of our maritime surveillance. I am not confining the drones to 'defence of our border sand resources, but also thinking of the search and rescue angle, that NZ must maintain, both for our own people and those who sail, work and travel through our nearby and far-flung ocean. We are watching you closely, my Aussie friends.

    Feijoas are back-----wonderful!

    Nothing pleases me more (OK, something do) than to go out side and pick new season feijoas off the ground---yes, off the ground, because any other way, like actually picking them from the tree, means that they are not ready. That is why the ones you BUY from the fruit shops or supermarkets have been picked and they never taste quite the same. I love the tangy mixture of sweetness and fruity explosion that takes over your taste-buds. Yes, there is nothing like New Zealand fresh off the ground feijoas. Now, In shall try to save some for delectable newly invented recipes. Joy of joy, wonderful feijoas! This is one little NZ secret that I care little if it is not exported---more for us!

    Family fights against the scourge of 'P.' (Methamphetamine)---A story of hope and love!

    A family travels to Auckland to find employment after redundancy claims yet another victim. Things seem to be going fine; there are new sights, sounds and certainly more opportunity to explore a ‘bigger pond.’ Perhaps the ‘pond’ is a bit toxic and has hidden secrets. We are all tempted from time to time by what life throws at us, but sometimes the results can be disastrous for families if one member takes a step just that much too far.
    ROSKILL, BY NEIL COLEMAN, explores what can happen when John (the dad) enters the dark and dangerous world of ‘P.’ He risks losing the family he loves as they struggle to come to terms with his new ‘demon.’ It is the courage of his partner that challenges the ‘hopelessness’ of John’s new world. Above all, ROSKILL is a story of hope; along with a humorous at times depictions of what life can be like for teenagers, who witness the behaviours of those who ‘tell them what they should do,’ but then exhibit something entirely at odds with family values.
    Go to my website and download ROSKILL to your Kindle or other reading AP. You will also be able to order hard copy soon as that becomes available on demand from Amazon. MY website is undergoing a revival but it still works in the old format.

    'Buying' New Zealand citizenship---we have seen this before!

    Of course ‘money talks!’----- What is new---we have seen citizenship granted by the Ministers at the time, from both major parties, so why are we surprised to yet again see a Minister of the Crown not taking the advice of his or her officials and going ahead and granting citizenship to rich and powerful businessmen. I don’t care about the country of origin but I do care that we have rules for the rich and different ones for the less rich. The actions reported in the NZ herald today, smack of money related favouritism and the subsequent donation to the coffers of the National Party just emphasises the point. Hell, that is a pretty cheap price ($22,000) to pay of the privilege of providing citizenship and a blot-hole for a businessman, should things ever go ‘pear-shaped’ in his country of origin.
    Labour should be careful in its criticism of the Minister who made this decision, because they too have had their episodes of ‘political favouritism. They should not attempt to make ‘holier than thou status’ of this situation because that will only invite the return of the species to them. Instead, they should focus on the upcoming election and give us real policy for us to assess before we make the big decision later in the year. But, no doubt politicians of all persuasions will jump on the bandwagons to make hay while they can, forgetting that such moves have a nasty habit of coming back to bite their collective butts.

    Horror stories again re the 'P' lab cookers, putting their children at risk.

    One again we watched a TV programme depicting criminals cooking ‘P’(Methamphetamine ) in rented properties, all within close proximity of their children. It is bad enough that they make the house uninhabitable for a lengthy period of time, but to conduct this highly toxic operation in the vicinity of their children is totally lacking in any thought other than that of the profit motive. If there was any doubt that such activities are not awash with money, then one only had to see the endless list of luxury items and loose cash that abounded in the home. The house had been under surveillance for quite some time and the massive police swoop, including the ‘Armed Defenders Squad,’ says much about the potential danger from the gangs who control much of this illicit trade.
    When one thinks of the potential damage to innocent children, who have no say in who their parents are or where they live, takes this crime to new levels. Figures were quoted in the programme that indicated that more than 600 young people were found during the year in ‘P’ lab homes. What long term damage has been done to these children? How much has their future been compromised, not just physically and mentally; but the attitude that they have witnessed; one that minimalizes the effects of criminal activity—are those families now going to figure on the next generation of crime in the community? Have these children been desensitized re the dangers of ‘P?’
    The police say that they are getting a handle on ‘P’ labs and that they have made serious indents in the operation and cooking of ‘P,’ but unless all of us as members of society are prepared to ‘tell’ (call it what you wish) about illegal activities in our communities, then we are doomed to unsafe, shady and dangerous goings on in the ‘house next door,’ or the tinny house down the road. All of these ‘dens’ are a scourge on our society. That the criminals are prepared to take such risks, speaks much for the money to be made from the suffering of others. I fully support the police because they are taking the battle to the criminals so that we may all be a little safer.
    Read my book ROSKILL by NEIL COLEMAN and download it from my site   It will be available in hard copy again soon when my new website goes online, along with TALK TO ME.