Thursday, July 31, 2014

TV wars 'hotting up in NZ,' according to the NZ Herald.

If the reports that 'competition' re the TV airwaves is accurate, something that is supposed to tbe 'darling of free enterpirse,' then maybe I shall adhear to that small part of economic theory that we are told is 'best for us.' Fot many year Sky Tv has virtualy had a mponopoly on the 'pay to view' sector of that industry. We have only being able to accpet 'bundles' of oferrings, having to pay for options that are of no interest to us and if we want a particular portion that suits us, then along comes agreat deal of stupid inane programming. Finally we are hearing about the possibility of receiving a platform that comes a little closer to puschasing just those chanells we wish to view. BUT---don't hold your breath for too long. These 'providers' have had it their way for far too long and with the slow running down of the 'free to view' platform, one is still trapped to a degree with the same old issues. Will we ever be able to 'select' one by one, a platform that only delivers those channels we want. For example, I have no wish ever to view Fox News and some other channels that I would never watch, even if you paid me to. Will we be able to get these channels as a package that is affordable? I suspect that they will still have us trapped, by inventing a way by which you can't have 'this, unless you have that.' My preference would be for the free to air version be much wider in its choices. I must admit, that the latter is way better, even in its presnent format than the days of old, when those of you old enough to remember the one station, in black and white that finished broadcasting at about 10.30, on a horrible old box in the corner of the lounge. OK---lets see what transpires and if we really do get choice at a reasonable price! BUT---please don't run down the state-owned option.

Aussies---gotta hand it to ya!

When it comes to passion ,t he Aussies have it, be it in art, sports or music; you name the area and there will be an Aussie showing through. Tonight I watched X Factor Australia and I didn't quite expect to get so swept away by the talent on display or by the emotions I felt as 'pre-star' after star shone on stage. Not only did the participants blow away the judges, but they had the audience in the palm of their hands. I would have been proud to be an Aussie tonight. Good on ya cousins! Go check them out on YouTube..

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Snippets from New Zealand--Wednesday 30th July

I know---it's hard to get away from the terrbble events in Ukraine and Gaza. One is like a prison being bombed with the people having nowhere to go and the other a mere 'plaything' for Putin to persue his expansionist policies. Yes, I know that the Ukraine Government is a 'basket case,' and that massive changes need to happen there, if that state is to survive, but unless the UE and the USA make it even more clear to the Russian ex-KGB dictator that he has gone too far, then Ukraine's people will continue to suffer. The situation in Gaza is even worse as the people try to hunker down to avoid the bombs coming out of Israel. OK, Hamas needs to come to the table---both parties do, because there will never be a winner re the path they have taken so far. Israel, the old adage--'an eye for an eye,' does not owork, and Hamas--Israel is a fact--get past that belief that Israel will drop off the planet! In New Zealand we have been enjpying the news from the Commonwealth Games; you know---those quaint games that happen every four years that only the people from the Commonwealth know about. We call them the 'freindly games' becuase for the most part, athletes from about 70 nations and territories gather to have fun and to compete, without mnay of the dramas we see in the olympics. Sure the big players like England and Austrlaia trend to dominate, but smaller nations like NZ get a chance to stand in the sun. As of today NZ has about 29 medals, many of them coming from our cycling team. They have made us very proud and hearing the NZ anthem being played regularly, is a unifying factor for NZers. Hell, we need that---with a very devisive election loooming! Today the Herald reported that a prominent gym has asked meber who are near the front of the sweating exercising 'beautiful people, to only wear certain brands of clothing. This sucks of snobbery and commercial bullying and is so 'un New Zealand.' I hope that members respond in a pracitacl way and turn up in balck gumboots and singelts to match. Mind you, even though I can now actually move again, after my massive weightloss, I very much doubt that I shall be gracing the said establishment, myself. The place---Why---Les Mills of course! New Zealand's premier cult the Gloriavale Christian community is making headlineas again. You know the ones---they all wear the same clothing, the 'elders' teach the kids about the outside world and arrange all marriages. It seems that mnay members have left but the bbirths have more or less made upo for those losses. I uess they are good at one aspect of communal likfe then. How rude, you say. Deal with it or go and join the loving people, east of Greymouth! The NZ Parliament is about to vote on lowering the alcahol level permitted for driving. About time! We still have too mnay people driving under the influence of booze and God knows how many who have partaken other drugs of choice. It's nice to see poloticnas taking the hard chopices; this time devoid of party politics. How about looking at a few other issues my friends--and think for yourself and not be party hacks!

The 'self-publishing' version of a 'Selfie.'

Patience is a virtue, they say. Self-publishing is a rod that any sensible person would usually avoid---unless you get so far along the road; you know--that point of no return, whereby you just have to complete the journey or face the certainty that you will regret having never travelled that extra mile! The bills mount, the tension builds and the nerves fray, all because you had a dream of getting your book 'out there.' Having chosen the pathway a few years ago, I guess I have reached that point---'it's all or nothing time!' So, tonight I am sending out 20 copies of ROSKILL, to a list of reviewers, ranging from newspapers, radio stations and magazines. Then there's the various bodies representing book shops and associations for libraries and teachers. Some will quickly discard my book while others will not even open the package--who knows? Either way, I will know that I have given it my best shot. I owe getting this far to a group of professionals and even though that cost a great deal of money, I have no regrets. I would advise anyone wanting to emulate and better my efforts to plan ahead. You can't do this on your own, unless you have remarkable talents and a good serving of 'Lady Luck.'Now---it's a waiting game and over the next few weeks I shall be papering my wall with rejection slips or with lots of 'sweet nothings,' because they were too busy or were not interested in my book. The re-launch is September the third, 2014 and the following day is my birthday. You know what I want for a present!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Shark attack in Onehunga Bay!

Was I dreaming--you know those dreams you have about your worst fears? Those 'can't get away from something chasing you,' or 'drowning,' and the horrible shark attack,' ones. Today had all the aspects of one's worst fears-well OK, maybe it was in miniature. No---it wasn't a Great White' that had broken through the barriers down at the bay, nor was it the 'Son of Jaws,' but for quite a while, I had the sensation of walking around the bay, observing ripples and snatching 'fearful glances of a fin gliding through the shallows, perhaps stalking the duck family who seemed quite unimpressed by the 'menacing' sight. Finally we watched it swimming towards us, increasing in size as it closed upon the bank where we watched safely from a few metres away. Needless to say, Perdy my ever excitable jack Russell just moved her head in her endearing manner and looked at me to see why I was being such a drama queen. This was most definitely not something from the vaults of Wellewoood---no it was a mere metre or less long and it looked like a speckled, finned dog fish--a baby shark perhaps or some other sea going 'fish.' It seemed to be trapped in the out going tide and was either looking for small fish or was disorientated. Well, as the tide receded it was going to be trapped until the next high tide, when the water reached the level of the levees. Shark? Not sure. Did I get a picture? Yes, but even if you up-size it--all you will see is a bit of a fin. I shall attach the picture but I am having trouble loading it. You may have to wait until I get better advice on achieving that. No one died in the writing of this epic!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Israel and Hamas agree to a 12 hour ceasfire--then what?

One would need a huge dose of optimism to believe that anything is going to be achieved by this proposed 12 hour 'humanitarian truce'. Past experience points to a breakdown within hours if not minutes, because there is little evidence that Hamas control all of the groups sending rockets into Israel. There is also no sign that Israel intends to stop its occupation of Palestine or allow the West Bank and Gaza to actually operate like real nations; that is one which can import and export, have a harbour and an efficient airport. How can any nation be a reality if its borders are closed and its people living in what is the world's biggest prison? Hamas needs to accept the fact that Israel is a nation, albeit one that needs to negotiate real borders or come to an arrangement whereby areas of 'shared spiritual importance are administered by a 'third party, namely the UN. There is no other solution other than one that involves a permanent state of warfare. Have we leant nothing from the last 60n or so years. A land that was promised to two people can never figure as one, if they cannot agree on the parameters of such a nation. Given that both parties do not accept being together then 'separation' into tow nations with fair boundaries is the only real solution and if that needs to be imposed then so be it. Israel is now acting very much in the same manner as the nation that caused the Jewish people so much suffering in the past. An 'eye for an eye,' will never lead to lasting peace, but nor will sending rockets in Israel work either! it is either negotiate or have permanents war!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Holiday Highway?---is that really true?

I am very pleased that someone in the Labour Party has had the balls to come out and actually take some of the myths surrounding the idea of a 'four-lane highway' back into some sensible debate territory. As so often happens when people debate an idea, some people get stuck in that old trap of simply repeating that which someone else has managed to have a label attached. Such a label is that abhorrent term, 'Holiday Highway, to describe a road that is very much needed from Auckland to the far north. Opponents of the idea claim that it would merely serve the interests of the rich, who travel to their 'holiday homes,' somewhere north of Auckland. What a narrow and politically emotional understanding of the concept of a much needed road! OK, I will acknowledge that politicians, mainly of the 'blue hue,' are using this road to garner votes and to forestall some of the ideas that other parties may have. I understand why the Greens may oppose such an idea as they dream about an effective public transport system that no doubt includes making sure that the rail link is effective. I agree with the latter a I do with rail in many other areas of NZ. What I will not agree to is that the proposed road does not serve a much wider sector of the population. Yes, the road does lead to some of NZ's most beautiful beaches and places where the rest of the world just get to imagine rather than experience. But there are other sectors of New Zealand's populace who will benefit from this road. I say they are possibly the 'majority of the road users! Why should not the people who have their roots in the north not have a safe and faster option to go 'home?' Forget the political claptrap that is behind this venture for a moment. Others too, love to 'go north'--ordinary New Zealanders. Do they not deserve a safe road; one that is not washed out every time it rains heavily, one that allows them to reach their destinations just like any other road user? Then there are the economic gains from such a proposition. The jobs created in building and maintaining the road, the tourism possibilities. For those of you who worry about foreign drivers crossing the medium strip--then you too should be happy about not having a tired and confused Northern Hemisphere person coming straight at you, on the wrong side of the road. Step back from political convenience and look at the bigger picture. We are not all rich pricks who need a convenient means of reaching our flash beach-side homes and even that statement is one that I am not comfortable with re the 'label.' NO---I barley own a small unit--so I don't fall into that stupid label! OK, JK is looking for votes. Well that's easy to counter. Labour, like Kelvin and Dover have done---back the idea and therefor take it off the menu that National is claiming as its own. There are far more important issues upon which you can disagree; like jobs, education, health and housing---in the regions!

Kim Dotcom affair has shown us that 'we have been spied on,' but is that actually new and should it----

New Zealand is going to the polls in September. We have been assailed by much information re the KDC affair and although this has brought some extremely important issues to the fore, re our personal freedom and the discussion about just how much should we as citizens be spied upon by our own Government services, one does wonder if the 'discussion' is taking the focus off what affect far more NZers---the state of the nation and how we share in the nations wealth. It takes away from the discussion re the plight of workers, who are paid at rates that make living in Auckland and other larger cities, an impossible task; moving elsewhere is equally not possible because of successive government policies or lack of them re developing the regions. That Labour, the Greens and NZF have started to make some sensible 'noise' re this issue, may well be consigned to the back room, as KDC and the furore he has instigated takes main stage, is worrying for the future of a large section of the NZ labour force. I am not saying that the saga needs to be left in the background, totally, but I resent the focus and how it is not contributing to the bettering of the lives of many hundreds of thousands of hard-working NZers. We are privileged in this country in that we can have these 'discussions,' relatively openly, despite sections of the media showing a bias towards the policies of the government and 'big money,' but in the light of day, it is how many people are struggling that should take precedence over the stage show as enacted by KDC and his puppets. Yes, I do appreacite that that debate needs to happen, but please let us have 'balance' about what also matters in NZ. We need a fairer Government and one that will take us forward to a time where 'more' share in the wealth of this nation. That a wealthy and possibly questionable character in the form of KDC purports to be the champion of the 'left' leaves me wondering as to how so many 'followers' have jumped on the band wagon of his glittering, 'it's all a about, me'---- side-show.'

India, Kazakhstan and Indonesia have featured on my list this week, along with the usual favourites.

At the end of last week I thought I would try something different to reach out to my readers; in other words, I wanted to increase my readership. I used the Google Ads service , with a very small daily budget. When In say small, what I really mean is miniscule---NZ$2 a day. massive eh! I was not expecting very much to happen, but I have been pleasantly surprised. The number of hits on my combined blog/website went up about 30%. Not only the numbers, but also the countries reading 'me' has been more widespread, with some quite diverse results. Sure the USA also went way up and Russia returned to the fold. I have always wondered about the later, thinking that it was either Russian women hitting me up (I can hear some of you laughing---shame on you!)or Putin's cronies reading all my insulting comments about his 'glorious rule.' OK, so I won't be dinning at the Kremlin any time soon. Damn, that has always been on my bucket list. What interest me most, is the emergence of India, Kazakhstan and Indonesia. You are moist welcome. I would love to see some 'comments' form you all---give me some feedback. Disagree with me, criticise me--hell lots of people don that on my Facebook link and I often move my 'position' on various subjects as a result. I would hate to stay in 'one place' re my thinking on many subjects. Knowledge and opinions are stances that need to be challenged. If more people stood up and had their say, perhaps we would not be led by the tyrants and idiots who purport to 'know everything,' but really only wish to retain power and control over us. 'Commenting' and talking to me also increases my knowledge of what life is like in your countries. I yearn to 'know more about you.' So welcome everybody to 'my world' and let me know yours. ----Nice to see you back---Ukraine. We are all thinking of you ion this time when the world is going crazy! Palestine--you too have started to read my blogs. Rest assured that many in N Z 'feel' for you as your children and innocent citizens try to live in such terrible conditions, unable to escape from the bombs raining down on you. It would help of course if Hamas and Israel both stopped the carnage, but it is you who have less choice about where to 'hide.'

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gerry Brownlee offers to resign.. Yeah right!

Gerry Brownlee offered his resignation to John Key today after he broke some rule at the airport. On its own, one wonders at the seriousness other than the sin of 'arrogance,' and a belief that rules are not made for such lofty politician as the perpetrator of the terrible misdeed. The conversation probably went something like this---on the phone: Gerry: 'So what's the spin Johnny boy.' (He snickers cynically) JK: ' We better come up with something mate---you know---grovel a bit---the electorate loves that--especially with you, big boy.' ( he laughs in that way we all LOVE!) 'You have to admit that it was a dumb arse thing to do though, so I better make some sort of admonition--is that the right word?' Gerry: Shit--I wasn't gonna wait around behind all that lot in the terminal---things to do, places to go eh.' JK: 'It'll be all over the news tonight so we better come up with some bullshit and I don't want you apologizing all the time, like you know who---(Laughing like a girl) Hell--with the polls treating us like kings--no one will remember a bloody thing in a day or two. David will have stuffed up again in the next day anyway.' Gerry: 'Yeah--you're right. How about I offer my resignation, eh? That always sound and looks good.' JK waits a few seconds before replying, thinking about how he can turn this little blip into something that makes him look like a magnanimous leader. Then--- JK: 'That's a damned good idea---throw yourself on the altar of sincerity. Always goes down well with those idiots.Yip---let's do that and make it public of course--maybe around mid day---take an hour or two and them I'll refuse to accept it.' Gerry: 'The talk back shows will be really funny. Must make a point of listening for a change. I need a good laugh.' He thinks for a while and then----'I will apologize for been an idiot---keep it low key, then the 'David guy' will say he's gettin' the piss taken out of him.' He can't continue for a few seconds because he is laughing so much he almost chokes. JK: 'Steady on boy---we don't want you dying on us---Christ--- the vultures in our own party will be circling--if they aren't already,' he adds with just a hint of something dark. Gerry laughs so hard he nearly wets himself before responding. Gerry: OK, that's how we'll don it. I'll talk to the Herald--they always give us good press,' he adds knowingly. JK: Jeeze, you're a bloody hoot man. I'll wait an hour or so then put out a rerelease that I refuse your resignation. Be ready for a bun fight later. Should be fun. Hell-- we don't have any policy at the moment, so this will do for a few days. Give me a ring tonight after it's played it course.' he hangs up, smiling but something deep inside him--moved---the worm! Watch out for the next 'snoop' on Gerry and John, courtesy of a rogue 'spy.' NO doubt KDC will feature in it!

Are our kids behaving badly?

If I could answer the above question succinctly and without the passion and possibly ‘loaded’ manner in which most of us would, then I could be living at an address far more salubrious than the one I live at now! Not that I have any complaints or desire to change that. BUT---are not you all sick of hearing about how the ‘kids of today are so badly behaved,’ as evidenced in the rates of youth crime or just through our coming into contact with our young people? Ask any teacher and you will hear the whole range of answers depending on the experiences they have had. A short answer to the question could be: ‘they do so because they can.’ That is usually followed up with the adage that—‘there are no real consequences for their behaviours.’ I have been hearing that since I began teaching four decades ago. What was said then about abhorrent behaviours, is said now. What the ‘kids’ did then,’ is happening now. Those very same ‘kids’ on thinking of their behaviours and comparing them to their observances now, say that ‘they had respect for their elders and teachers,’ and ‘that they would never have spoken to their elders in the way that they hear happening now.’ Mmm—my memory is that---well they did! Is this looking at their pasts with rose tinted glasses or is it a fact? Is the possibility that many teachers are afraid to confront the negative behaviours of their students a fact or something that does not exist? From what I am hearing from colleagues in a range of schools’ it is a fact f and a terrible reality for a few. The answers as always lay somewhere ion the middle. It is so easy to get carried away, when we hear anecdotal evidence about the more extreme behaviours of our young people. Without a doubt, the vast majority of our ‘kids’ respond to good teaching and classroom management. A small minority of students are the group that drives’ the energy of teachers down. That has always been so, but what has changed is the nature and extremes that this group now exhibits. A huge amount of ‘specialist ‘time goes into working with this group, some would say at the expense of that cohort that would benefit more, just above the extreme group. I am not going to put figures on that group, because there is not enough credible evidence to do so. That this latter group exists is a fact, that they take away from the chances of other students is undeniable. That schools are introducing programmes and work alongside other agencies to change behaviours and outcomes is also true. The bottom-line is that schools do not exists as a vacuum. They are part of society and they receive their ‘young people,’ from families that also have ‘difficulties. When a family is well housed; warm and safe, with the necessities of life as a taken, then there are less issues feeding into problems at school. Yes, there are always young people from the latter familiars who are problematic, but the resources and energy to handle these issues are more apparent and the school is better abode to engage with the families when ‘things go wrong. That is called ‘cultural capital, and it is not about ethnicity! If the means, examples and ‘stories’ exists within a family whereby a young person has a ‘mirror’ to look into that shows that he or she ‘can do it,’ because the pathway is accessible and believable, then many of the issues that arise for all young people have a way of working out. When these ‘assess’ are not present then the possibilities for success are dented. No amount of pontificating from politicians on the ‘right’ of the political spectrum about ‘if I can make it, through shear hard work, then anyone can,’ will explain away lost chances. Oh, if this was only true. It is too simplistic and shows a complete misunderstanding of how it is ‘out there.’ So, why are our kids so badly behaved? Well they are, for some, but they may not be that different to the ‘kids’ of years gone by. The issues that we faced are still there; the task of being a teenager, the same forces that face us---but at another level, we have changes as a society. It seems that schools are expected to take on the role that parents would have considered theirs in the past. Unless there is an effective partnership between schools and families, with other agencies linking when needed, then yes, behaviours will appear to be far worse. Where there is real energy and the basic needs of families are being met, the problems are able to be addressed, with energy, zeal, passion and effective outcomes. For those who cannot access help or ‘feel alone,’ then the problems are vastly magnified. It all goes back to the—‘it takes a village to nurture and care for our children.’ We need to expand that concept in this entirely new and faster moving society.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Joko Widodo, the popular Governor of Jakarta wins Indonesian eelctions.

Despite all attmepts from his opponent, (Subianto, the ex General with a 'doubtful past.)Joko Widodo has won the Presidential elections for Indonesia. Now is the time for Indonesia to prove to itslelf and to the world that it has reached that state whereby it can run fair and honest elections and that the people, unlike other nations, accept that result. All too foten we have seen vast unrully crowds on the streets of capitals,trying to turn the results around. OK, in some cases, the reasons were valid, but Indonesia, despite some issues, has gone beyond that stage. It has matured, after having suffered from a terrible period in its past under Suharto. Indonesia is on a roll; its economy is expanding and more people are joining the middle classes and those are the ones who will safe guard the gains made in the last decade. Sure, there are corruption issues; very few nations are clean in that respect; sure there are areas and regions of Indonesia where there are unfufilled aspirations to be 'separate' from Indonesia, but as things improve, perhaps those can be relalized too. President, 'elect,' Widodo--I wish you well in your massive task--- to keep building your democratic nation and that your people share in the wealth and opportunity that your country possesses. You are a shining light to the rest of the region. We need that stability, where so often other forces would rule.Hopefully, we see you in NZ soon.

Snippets from new Zealand today---and ---just NZ!

I shall keep it short and free from the terrible events overseas. Let's stay KIWI! 1) Auckland health authorities are expecting a surge in flu-like afflictions over the next few weeks. It seems that the hospityals are strecthed to the,imit as people head for the free servoes that are available in NZ. A plea has gone out for people to only go to A and E departments if they deam their situations to be serious. Judgement will be high on everyone's list, eh. Oh well, it is better to be safe than sorry, even if that means overworking our already dilligent doctors and nurses in NZ's excellent public health serice. 2) Valerie Adamns, New Zealand's version of Wonder Woman' or the world's best 'shot-putter,' is going to be the Queen for the day as she holds high NZ's banner at the entry and opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, the land of the free and possibly newly independant nation, if a large portion of that said country's people have their way soon. Valerie will enter the stadium with her head held high ion the knowledge that no one has beaten her at her chosen sport in more than 50 'meets.' Fabulous! 3) If you have chikens, you better count them! Yes, you must not have more than 6 or the city council will come down on you like a ton of bricks. Now we can't have that or your little egg-producing friends may get squished. Now, that doesn't mean that you can off-load your excess feathery delights into our public parks, adding to the dog crap that already lays in waiting for unsuspecting walkers. Yuck. I always pick up Perdy's little additions. So if ya got chooks, mates, count the buggers! How very ----rural eh! 4) David---you havn't said sorry today---yet---so please keep it that way. We don';t want you knonw as the guy who would be King' always started with--'I am so sorry for---whatever the feck it is for the day.' Y0ou have good policies and that is what we want to hear. NO more crocodile tears, just policy, policy and then some. Keep us informed, becuase there is enough shite going on that make us all feel sorry on your behalf! AS FOR the rest of the world---may we have a day off please! I like my little spot down at the bottom of the South Pacific!

Mike Hosking fell in love ----with a dunny seat!

Mike Hosking sometimes bores me---he has an attitude that can get right up one's ---well you get the picture. He can dish out the brown stuff on almost anyone; he can be quick off the mark to insult, decry or bring someone down a peg or two---yeah that's not such a bad thing. Sometimes I enjoy his antics, both on radio and on TV. I guess what I am saying is hat he is not your 'stuck in the middle,' nice guy next door. That he is opinionated and 'hacks' into that part of us that wants to say what he says, but just can't quite bring ourselves to doing it, because we don't want people to think ill of us. Not Mike---if he thinks it, he says it! 'Take it or leave it folks,' he seems to say. Every so often he leaves me in a state of---well---almost wetting myself! Take tonight's Seven Sharp, when Mike decided to describe his incredible experience in Tokyo---with a toilet! Mike came across this toilet 'set-up' that did everything except--cook your breakfast and I am not totally sure that it didn't! Mike was out from behind whatever passes for a seat on the set of the show and he grabbed his 'pointer' (no I am not being rude!)and proceeded to point out the features of the said toilet. It seems that it cleans your bum in three different settings, air dries, from multi directions, warms your butt, just to describe a few of the 'features.' Wouldn't you know it---Mike tried them all---at the same time! His eyes shone as he reminisced about his wonderful toilet experience. Such is life eh, Mike. One can get pleasure in the most essential places. Good on ya! Something tells me that such a device will appear very soon in the Hosking's residence.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pro-Russian 'gangsters' have much to hide.

If the Pro-Russian separatist fighter had nothing to hide, then they would not be putting in road blocks in any manner for the Government forces or the airline investigator units as they go about their search for 'answers' to the tragedy. Instead they have strung out the process, stood-over investigators and interfered with the evidence, both in the form of bodies and the objects in the luggage of the passengers and the actual plane itself. At times they have been threatening and at best only marginally ‘helpful.’ It has taken a great deal of pressure from various governments in order to get even a modicum of cooperation. Why is this so other than for reasons of hiding the truth? Sure we are getting a different story from RT about various theories that pertain to proving that the missile was not fired from Pro-Russian territory and even one claim, backed up with maps and ‘facts’ about the possibility of the missile being fired from Ukrainian Government held areas or even from a Ukrainian war plane. There is always a remote possibility that this could be so, but so far the evidence says otherwise and the behaviours of the separatists, with the ‘spectre ‘of Uncle Putin standing firmly behind then, say something quite different. If the latter’s claim of the innocence of the separatists was true, then why the stubborn subterfuge and downright nastiness. That all indicates a level of guilt about something that went wrong. Fess up, ‘rebels,’ and Mr Putin—can you not see that the truth is very different than the story you put about; one more to do with your dreams of a ‘phoenix-like’ new born Soviet Republic, but one ruled by your heavy hand. That is the bottom-line---not the aspirations of a group of criminal fighters—many of whom would soon disappear once you gain back the territories you believe you have lost. They will go the same way as the ‘Brown shirts’ of Nazi Germany, once you have no more use for them!

When dogs attack the debate renews.

The news yesterday that a young man (17 years old) was attacked by the family's dog will no doubt renew the call to ban certain breeds. That call will also bring out the usual 'defenders' of that particular breed, claiming that it is 'how the dog is brought up that is the main contributor.' I have a certain amount of sympathy fo that 'opinion,' given my fairly limited contact wity that breed. I am of course talking abaout the dogs we call 'Pitt Bulls in New Zealand and possibly some of their close 'interbred' relations. I come accross them in my walks down at my favourite walking huant, the 'Bay' in Onehunga. OK, there, the dogs in question are under control and I have not yet seen an example of one that has run amuck and attacked anyone or any other dog. Indeed, it is sometimes the least likely, if one goes by size, that causes the issues. In those cases it may be a combination of lack of control and plain old 'doggie personality.' BUT---it seems that the other side of the coin is also a major facotr. So mnay of the attacks reported in the news media are from 'that' breed. The 'loving' owners jump to their defence, quoting all sorts of spurious 'facts and figures' to justify their possession of the dogs. They make outrageous claims about other dogs quoting figures that for the most part are mere figments of their deluded imaginations. The bottom-line? Pitt Bulls may be loyal, and some say loving pets, but they possess qualities out of all proportions, that given the right (or worng) circumstances,they attack and when they do so, it is often with disastrous results, even culminating in death on the odd occassion. They are 'not to be argued with' and they try to shift the blame to other factors. It is this unpredictability that leads these dogs into that area where we just 'cannot be sure.' I say again--the dogs of this breed that 'I know,' are fne examples and after my innitial 'meeting' with them, I am reasonably confident as to mine and others safety around them. Like all dogs though you cannot guarantee such peaceful and fun outcomes; it is this that makes many people wary and leads to the outcries we will hear over this latest incident. Perhaps we need to take a long, hard and careful look at how other countries are handing this issue. I doubt that our 'dogs' are any different to those from overseas. Let's keep this discussion rational though, eh!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Snippets from New Zealand on July 21.

IT is the start of Term Three for New Zealand schools. That is news for all the hard-working teachers! The kids? -well---ask them. 1) We awake today to hear that the loss of life in the Gaza strip in both sides of the conflict is the worst yet. Whe will this end--Better still--when will the senseless round of truces and then war again finally find a resoltion that both sides accept? 2) The Russians continue to sidestep their repsonsibility re the terrible shooting down of a Malaysian plane.Thier puppets on the Ukarainian side of the border are hampering all efforts by the international community to 'find the truth behind the terrorists act and Putin is doing his best to delfect attention from the part he has played in this. He is increasingnly lookling like past Russian/Soviet leaders. Mind you, that is not an insulst to him---it is a dream! 3) David Cunliffe has come under fire because he spent 'some time with his family' (much less than the time his cpounter[art, John Key, spent on holiday in his bolt-hole in Hawaii with HIS family)prior to beguinnning the real fightforthe election. That such criricism comes from an insider in his own party is typical of some of the disunity we have seen in the past. Will Labour individuals not get the message that such behaviours are handing the election to Mr Key, even before the final countdown? That faceless individual should 'fess-up,' then leave the party.David---you did the right thing! 4) If I needed any reminders about why I embarked on my bariatric surgery journey, then look at the picture. I was NOT a big happy carefree guy. I was not healthy. I was NOT living! I am now ME!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I am not a fan of John Key, but I am not comfortable about how Kim Dotcom influences our politics!

The spectre of KDC making a joke about how he is going to 'drop a bombshell,' that will remove John Key from power is disturbing. To those of you who say that it doesn't matter how it is done or that the ends justifies the means, then I say----that is not the NZ way. When we embark on such pathways the losers are---us---the nation. I have a terrible nagging feeling that we are entering a whole new level of political behaviour, at the behest of a person who cannot himself stand for Parliament, a person who has a 'haze of questionable' behaviour as his supposed halo. Is this the way we want to run our democratic process? Think carefully about the ramifications of his actions or before you label me as a 'Tory!' Just read my other blogs and come to your own conclusions about that label! The upcoming election should be about policy, not some sideshow, orchestrated by the money from an 'import,' albeit a temporary one, who uses our processes for his own ends. What gets me is the fact that so many have been sucked in, via the misunderstanding that he represents a 'bastion of freedom.' Yes, he has impacted on the questionable actions of our secret services and on some of the behaviours of our Prime Minister, but the circus he is orchestrat9ng is one that will not add to our national psyche.' If you have such momentous news, Mr KDC, then present it now--so we the voters can take the time to generate our own opinions as to the 'truth' of your words! If you are indeed correct, we then have time to send our votes in the direction of candidates who believe in a genuinely better, fairer New Zealand.

The Islamic State--what a wonderful future for its citizens!

If anyone had any doubts about how life would be in a future Islamic Sate, then they need look no further than events as they are unfolding now. If you are a Christian and you live in the area under their 'benign' control, then you better be prepared to 'convert' or die---simple. Hell, isn't that a little bit like the Spanish Conquistadors of 'yesteryear!? It seems that intolerance, ignorance, extremism and religious colonialism is alive and well. The moderates of this world are in danger of being superseded by a modern day 'terrorists state;' that is if we let them. In the meantime, events in Syria, Iraq and the Ukraine, point the way to a future we do not want and must resist.

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine showing us just how low they can go!

To those people supporting the claims of the separatists in eastern Ukraine to have their own nation, then they need look no further as to how this 'state' will operate than by observing their inhumane, uncivilized behaviour since the downing of the Malaysian plane a few days ago. This ugly disparate group that has denied full access to the 'death site,' is tantamount to behaviours we expect from the Taliban or other extremist groups. Most of us thought that this group was a step above the Boko Harams of this world, but we are obviously wrong. That Putin supports this group also tells us much about his aspirations. It is time for the international community to stand up to the bullies of this world. (Yes, some of you say that includes some of the actions of the USA and Israel) Europe is well enmeshed with the Russian economy---maybe it is time to look further afield for their energy use and supply, given the events of late. Perhaps this is the time to accelerate the use of alternate fuels and cut loose from depending on those regions who are on a daily basis exhibiting the most gross of attacks on human rights. Putin, for his part must pull back from his clandestine supply of sophisticated weapons to this group that appears to be capable of enacting the lowest forms of brutality. Let the growing level of disgust rise to a clarion call for action and put a stop to the megalomaniac leader who supports the murder of innocent travellers. The good people of Russia need to take a close look at their leader, but all the signs are there, that they once again have embraced a cruel leader, best consigned to their already tragic history.

Austrailia mourns at the senseless loss of life!

Australians are angry, and rightly so at the terrible loss of life when the Russian backed separatists shot down the Malaysian airliner. That the Russians provided the means to do so makes them culpable and no words for Putin can change that. His promises and protestations mean nothing. That the Australian Government called the Russian Trade Minister in to 'talk' is just the beginning of a process that may well see Putin banned from attending an important meeting to be held later in the year in Australia. Along with the Malaysia, Indonesians, and of course the Dutch--there will be a coordinated response to this latest act of international terrorism and Putin must get the message. He will of course try to deflect this act, by putting attention back on other world 'hotspots' but that will fail. We all know about those issues, including Israel's invasion of Gaza, that never-ending 'thorn in the side of the Middle East, but Russia must face up to the part it has played in the Ukrainian problem. Shifting the blame to the Government in Kiev will not work, although that Government too, has a part to play in finding a solution to the aspirations of various parts of this nation. Russia, Ukraine and the wider region has had its wake-up call. Enough is enough. Europe must take action in the form of 'real sanctions,' or Russia will encourage this to happen again. In the interest of balance, let not this latest act of violence take away from the other pressing issues that face the world. Let us not take to focus off the unresolved issue of the Palestinians and Israelis, or the part the USA plays in world events. We must use this sadness to make sure that the international community comes together to expose and resolve the many issues facing us.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Russia--your support of the rebels is tantamount to being guilty of murder!

Nearly 300 people have died because a group of rebels who have chosen to fight the regime in Kiev with unmitigated violence, has led to that horrible fact. I do no dispute the right of people to choose self-determination. I do don't support the process that led to the present government in Kiev holding power. Yes, they had an election and it was possibly more fair than the 'referendum' held in the east of the country that the rebels use as their justification for rebelling against the Kiev Government. Russia has supported the rebel groups and the evidence that they have provided sophisticated weapons to a group who do not know how to distinguish between military and non-military targets is obvious. Putin has supported this action by his complicity, by his determination to return as much territory of the former soviet Union a he can. Mr Putin---do 300 people have to die for you to realize your 'dream?' Once again I state that I am not necessarily in favour of the government of Ukraine but do we have to see more of these deaths? Mr Putin, you have become a mass murderer! No doubt you will intrust RT to espouse your thinly disguised defence and perpetrate yet more lies. Shame on you!

How long can the radicalized Islamic State be 'contained' in the Middle East?

The events in the Middle East of the past few decades have had their formation for a good many more years than our lifetimes. Some would say they date back to the Crusades when the West tried to impose its own 'ideals' on the emerging Islamic world, using the justifications, not dissimilar to those we hear today form so-called radical Islam. Then as now, other forces, based more on the political aspirations of nation states and wealthy power groupings, that go beyond mere borders. Since the establishment of a modern Jewish state, the call had gone out to those opposed and the response from Israel had only added to the tension left by artificial colonial map makers, who had previously carved up the oil-rich area into 'vassal' states. Under such conditions, opposition always emerges and how it is handled influences the response. Those who opposed colonial rule and the governments they left behind slowly turned to radicalism; using religion as an excuse as much as the more pragmatic reason for maintaining power at all costs. The call to respond to such moves is weakened by indecisive and fearful governments in the West and to a certain extent, in China and Russia, as they too begin to be drawn in to this struggle that uses religion as the decisive dividing point. The moderate elements in the Middle East are in disarray as they consider their responses. They are divided within themselves and often play a dangerous double game; appearing to suupport the processes of moderation, but secretly supporting armed militants. With the expansion of the ISIS or Islamic State within Iraq and neighbouring countries, we are seeing the emergence of this movement to the point where it threatens not only the very existence of Iraq, but for larger areas, way beyond the lands they purport to control now. The fear on the streets of Bagdad and other capitals is palpable, lessening the governments ability to react. It is a matter of time, be it months, years or decades, but the radical version of Islam, with its complete disregard for dialogue (unless it suits their purposes towards their overall aim) freedom of expression, democratic processes, individual thinking, the arts, science, and every aspect of that which most of the world 'at least pays lip service to,' is threatened by this mediaeval world view. The leaders of this 'movement' have made it clear that they are ready and able to reach out beyond their borders and terrorise populations in the west and beyond. They have proven their ability to do this, in Nigeria, the USA and Europe. Local versions have also emerged in China and parts of the former USSR. The question has to be asked: How much has the colonial adventures of Western powers contributed ton this revival of an Islamic caliphate? The answers are possibly now a moot point, in that the damage done by history and ignorance on the part of the old 'Great Powers,' is now beyond 'repairing,' given that the nations they artificially created are at war within themselves and the consequences are spreading beyond those borders. How the forces, within those nations and the rest of the world react is crucial as to how this modern day crisis plays out. Latter day calls for a war against terrorism will not result in a lasting 'accommodation' unless they include real dialogue with moderate and unified forces within the Middle East. Unfortunately, the Middle East is as dived within itself as the array of nations facing the threats of an expanding Islamic resurgence. Of course the 'big eye,' will move to side-shows, as we are witnessing in Ukraine and the struggle in the 'Biblical Lands.' The ramifications of events in the 'old world' reach far beyond those areas and those far away should not assume that they are exempt from the pain and suffering of how it all plays out. Never has a real United Nations been more needed.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Black Box from the Malaysian plane shot down by (?) is on the way to Moscow!

Why do I and no doubt many people feel a fair bit of 'doubt' about the Russians examining the Black Box of the downed Malaysian plane? Given that they already blame the Ukraine government for causing the 'issues' in the region, and add in some of the prevailing attitudes on 'both sides of the 'divide,' would it not have been better to have the UN oversee such a highly emotive and political time? Putin has made it clear; far more so than the USA as to who was involved in this tragic 'accident.' Some of the alleged recordings of separatists military henchmen, have been released and although I do not say they are totally accurate, they do perhaps point to the strong possibility that this was an error, committed by people who do not have the expertise to identify a target before sending the deadly missiles. Russia may yet face increased sanctions as the facts become clear and its plans for the region become increasingly clear. New Zealand had a resident aboard that fatal flight!

It wasn't us, say the Ukrainians and Russians!

The tragic loss of life after the shooting down of a Malaysian plane over Ukraine represents the absolute low point during the recent 'difficulties' between the Kiev Government and those elements seeking some sort of 'independence.' That such events should bring about the deaths of so many innocents should be a wake-up call to the powers behind the struggle in Ukraine. No doubt Russia will point the finger at the Kiev Government and the same from the later towards either the Moscow allied secessionists, or at Moscow direct. We will find out who was behind this abhorrent action and the world should lay the blame formally at the perpetrators. If it was a mistake, then they need to fess up now, but as with past tragedies of this nature, honesty plays a very low part. Now is not the time to make political capital and the airlines of the world need to take a sensible decision to NOT fly through this region. That for now is paramount re any reactions. Now is the time to grieve. Unfortunately the 'blame' and attack phase will soon follow.

Snippets from New Zealand on another fine Friday.

Waking up today was an exercise in lamenting about the news from beyond would have little difficulty in feeling angry at the continuing folly of Governments and their agencies. People around the world are holding their collectives breaths before the accusations begin to flow. 1) The Israelis are about to launch a ground offensive into Gaza, presumably to push back the bases of the rocket launchers, who are sending their missiles into Israel. This can only result in an even more massive loss of life amongst the densely populated Gaza Strip. The deaths will happen for both sides as the IDF pushes into the narrow streets an alleyways of the area. As usual the innocent will die and more 'enemies' of the State of Israel will be created. There are no winners in such a conflagration. 2) Yet another Malaysian airliner has crashed, this time as a result of a missile; one suspected but not yet proven to have been fired from the 'rebel/freedom' fighters' area near the Russian border in Ukraine. There are no survivors and the international community is awaiting more details before launching their own diplomatic offensive. The Malaysian Government is understandably angry after other recent events re their National Carrier. Tensions in the border areas of Ukraine and for the wider region are also set to reach new highs 3) How about some good news, but one based on another long running war--the Afghanistan fiasco. Around a decade ago, the Tampa arrived off the coast of Christmas Island resulting in many refugees. New Zealand took more than a hu8ndred of them and today we read about their successful settlement in NZ. It appears that they have dome well and are contributing well to the NZ economy; a large number of them achieving academic success and consequent high level employment. They have excelled as hard working and very welcome new arrivals. Their efforts should be applauded! 4) Now to something very concerning: New Zealand continues to become larger. NO---we are not adding to our land mass! We are becoming fatter by the day and the health of our children, due to the massive increase in their weight is going to be a future time bomb. There are those who would fight this epidemic with law changes around the taxing of 'unhealthy foods' and others, including the Government who wish to rely on 'educating the masses' as to making responsible decisions around food. The latter is NOT working. We are going to have to take this 'demon' by the horns and act now, or face a future where the health and obesity related illness are going to make a public health budget, one that will be impossible to fund. If we do not take drastic steps to arrest this slide to national fatness , then we face a bleak future as a nation. The answer can not be left solely in the hands of our squabbling, profit seeking, hands off' politicians. I have had my own battle with obesity; one that was finally resolved through Bariatric surgery, and unless we face the wider ramifications of our fat kids---then expect to see medical services to an aging population been severely constrained. The future is happening---NOW! 5) Perdy has just ordered me to take her for her walk with her newly found walking group at Blockhouse Bay!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

China--now the biggest market for red wine in the world ----and South East Asia is fast catching up---great!

Hey China and SEA---NZ is willing and able to seel you some damn good red wine---try our whites as well. Drink it with our really good seafood and lamb, beef and other wonderful NZ fresh products. yes, we are vintners and farmers to the world, so it might as well be you who buy our produce. OH---don't forget our very safe dairy products. That bad publicity was just a blip and you just know our food is the best in the world, for quality, standards and safety. BUY NZ! BUT---do not be offended if we prevent you from buying our farms. After all--we can not buy them in China. Fairs fair eh! You can of course buy my books from my website!

Phiippines hit by typhoon--again!

The Philippines live in the 'typhoon pathway' of the Pacific. Each year they are hit by these deadly storms and each time they gather themselves together and get on with life. They have to be admired for their resilience but that does not mean that we should not give them aid or allow their citizens into our country to work and eventually to settle. Those very qualities that give them strength are much valued here in our workforce and New Zealand is the better for their addition. So, Philippines---we are with you in your struggle and wish you well. Young will never lay down to Mother Nature; you prefer to work with her and live! Kia Kaha from New Zealand. (Be strong)

Methamphetamine (Ice) is becoming a problem in the UK.

It is not entirely clear why the drug, methamphetamine (Ice or Chrystal Meth)has not been as prevalent as it has been in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.t seems that other drugs are more popular, including Crack and the old favourite, marijuana and other synthetic choices. Of course alcohol wrecks havoc as anyone going out at night knows and the rest of us observe through our TV's as the Brits 'enjoy' themselves on the streets, way into the early hours of the morning. I guess you can thank the plethora of CCTVs for that ugly exposition. The police ate becoming concerned at the relatively 'new boy on the block' and the increase in the 'labs' that cook the product and then the 'chain of supply' takes over; gangs and other criminals playing their part in bring the Brits what they 'really really want.' I guess they want to 'Spice' up their lives. I invite the land of my forefathers to look at what has happened in New Zealand where Ice, or as we call it, 'P' has wrecked and ruined the lives of countless families, destroyed lives, jobs, businesses and relationships. The homes where 'P-Labs' were used to 'cook' the evil substance can become uninhabitable; that is if the 'cooks' don't blow themselves up first! The chemicals involved make the houses a dangerous place for the inhabitants and those 'coming after,' to live. What is even worse, sometimes, young children live side by side with these chemicals, endangering them---they don't get a choice about where they live and what their excuses for parents do to make a living.' Hey, UK--take a leaf from New Zealand and Aussie---look at what has happened here. Better still---- read my book, ROSKILL. It tells the story of what happens when a father enters the dark world of 'P' and how he puts his family at risk. Go to my website and either download the EBook or buy the hard copy. If you do the latter, you get a free EBook download.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Snippets on a sunny day in Auckland, New Zealand.

Oh what a beautiful morning and, yes, it continued into the day. No fog, clouds (Yet!) or wind.The only clouds are th9ose you send you 'data' to. So what is grabbing the headlines, here and in the wider cruel world? 1) Israel and Hamas are not about to talk seriously about making peace. It seems that both parties are intent on trying to destroy one another in a war that neither can win. It is an unequal war but even so, Israel is using up its 'love -me' chips. For its part, Hamas too is not listening to Egyptian plans for a ceasefire. The situation is complex in that the Arab world is as dived as those on the other side. One land-two people desiring status as the rightful owners. When has any scenario resembling this, never lone one that is aeons old, been peacefully resolved? There are strident voices on both sides, meaning that any moderate discussion is consigned to the failure bin 2) Kim Dotcom is about to drop a so-called 'bombshell,' five days before the general election in New Zealand late in September. He says that he is going to 'show up the PM as a liar as to the latter's position re knowing about details of KDC's entry into NZ. What is so different about such an announcement? Most NZers already accept that there has been some skulduggery re the whole affair and most if us are totally bored by the continual coverage that KDC achieves in the news. Of course on Facebook, there are many who play up to KDC, which is exactly what the big nan wants. Staying the limelight is what he thrives on; a state that allows him to pull the puppet strings, where his fledgling alliance consisting of the Mana Party and his Internet Party gains a foothold in the polls. That he has managed to retain the loyalty of Laila, the 'official' leader of his party, is causing some to laugh and others to ponder, given the high esteem a section of NZ voters hold for her. Are we just going to shrug our shoulders on the 'day of reckoning, and say---WTF was that about? 3) Once again the drug 'P' (Methamphetamine)has destroyed the career of a prominent Kiwi. This time a lawyer has in deep trouble over his use of this insidious drug. His job has gone and n o doubt his private life is in disarray. P reaches into all sectors of society, carving away hope and replacing it with a dark and sad future for anyone choosing to partake of its evil hold. 'P' has victims, users and those close to them in every town and city in New Zealand. Yes, we hear that a 'P-lab' has been busted on a regular basis, but for every one that is closed down (if it hasn't self-destructed in an explosion)another pops its ugly head up, seeking more victims and descrying more lives. Even our schools are not exempt. Read about my take on how a family is affected by the father's use of 'P' in my book, ROSKILL, and you can download the hard copy or the EBook from my website---- Please send me feedback and if you can---write a review on Amazon. Don't forget, if you buy the hard copy, you get a free download of the EBook. 4) I have done the washing, walked Perdy earlier on, visited my wonderful digital advisor and had lunch. What now---another walk of course!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Anglican Chuch begins to reflect societyy as it is! About time---Hello Catholics!

It has to be said that the Anglican Church (or Church of England to some)has finally started to reflect modern day society, in its acceptance (in England) of the right for women to be Bishops. No, not the self-appointed one we see in NZ re the Destiny Church, but one sanctioned by the hierarchy of the church in England. I feel I can comment on this as it was the Anglican Church of my childhood that sanctioned my early spiritual being. OK, by my early teens I had tuned my back on the said church--all of them for that matter and I have not returned to the Christian faith of any form, certainly not some of the modern day 'fundamentalist or others who would take it upon themselves to judge in ways never intended by the 'original documents.' It is arson the interpretation of the 'book' that turned me away. It has so often been used to discriminate, to 'unlove,' and to conquer inhabitants of lands far flung, although the real reasoning behind such 'conquests,' go far beyond any spiritual base; it was more about greed and the control of resources. Now that the Church in England has made this historic shift and possibly next moving on the ordination of clergy who are gay, one begins to think that if my need to 'have faith,' grew, it could well be back to the church in its new form from my past. Of course the Anglican church in NZ makes it's own rules on the above matters and those usually mirror those of Mother England. Therein of course there is a possibility of division as we have seen in other faiths, be it re gay issues or the control of 'who would be clergy, at all levels. I wonder if the Catholic 'empire' would also ever move on some of these basic tenants, but given that that faith is increasing in numbers, I suspect that any move that even comes close to resembling those made by the Anglicans, is just a step too far! Even the new Pope, who has made some quite radical changes, is not free to pursue such an open direction. The cloisters of the Vatican are indeed more shadowy than the lighter halls of power that rule the Anglican church. That is for that august body to find its own direction to travel. In the meantime, I wish Anglicans well and just maybe---one day I shall take another look, but---time is running out!`

Snippets from NZ on the day after the fog!

The sun is shining in Auckland. I had almost forgotten that vision of loveliness, given the storms, rain and fog of recent days. I feel empowered to make a few comments on what is making the news. 1) The big German guy is in the headlines again, this time in relation to the granting of his residency into NZ. KIM Dotcom as he is named has been the centre of a good deal of discussion here, and with his 'ghost leadership of a new political party, one that many say is just a tactic to pressure the Government to stop the nasty Americans from 'extracting' him to face criminal charges in the USA. His marriage of political co0nvenince with another party is contributing all sorts of intrigue into the upcoming elections. Time will tell if NZers get on-board his wagon or see it in another more sinister manner. 2) An American is trying to claim 'territory as a new kingdom for his princess daughter in Africa. It is on the border between Egypt and Sudan. Great choice mate and I am sure your lovely princess will thank you for such a magnanimous gesture on her behalf. Enjoy the sand and the terrorists! I bet they are rolling out the welcome map for this latter day saintly hiccup from the European colonial past! 3) The Israelis and Hamas have been 'asked to observe a ceasefire' in the terrible debacle that is Palestine/Israel. Nothing is going to change in this area because those who could make the changes are so divided amongst themselves. Until the UN speaks with one voice; one that could pressure the participants in the struggle of two people who inhabit this land, to share in its bounty. Unless this happens, we are doomed to witness the occasional outbreak of peace. In the meantime, children and the 'less powerful' continue to die at the hands of overwhelmingly violent actions. Is this about religion, power, greed or other more sinister forcers? 4) New Zealand's professional litigant' is now about to take our Prime Minister to the Auckland District Court. This is just one of many swipes this guy takes at various figures in NZ. Whilst his attempts are seen by some as his democratic right, others see him as a wasted space. Are we going to see a NZ version of the events overseas, whereby an election is held and for whatever reason, others do not accept the results. OK, we do not have the 'corruption' of the electoral process on the scale we see elsewhere or the massive crowds filling the streets as their candidate fails to win through the ballot boxes. At most in NZ, it is the 'non-participation' of a significant number of voters that allows incumbents to win elections and to those people I say---STFU or vote! You can work out the meaning! 5)My Jack Russell has slept for 9 hours straight since her massive exercises of yesterday and she has the appearance of a wound up spring, thus the need for me to invite her for a walk in her favourite place--Onehunga Bay. Check us out on Facebook. 'Dog Lovers of Onehunga Bay.'

Sunday, July 13, 2014

No news today from New Zealand because ----

Yes, it has finally happened. I have NO NEWS from New Zealand. Middle Earth has been hidden from view because of fog that will just not go away. The grey monster has descended and Mother Nature has connived with mystical forces to keep Auckland shrouded in a mysterious gluggy and almost wet cloying cloud. God knows what will emerge from the surrounding twin primordial oceans that Auckland sits between; maybe beasts from a time long gone. I have given up on observing the headlines this morning and coming to any conclusions other than---'hey Perdy, wanna come with me to the doctors?' well not actually into the surgery, but outside in the car and then we can have some adventures in the fog, pretending that we are exploring foreign and dangerous regions of a 'parallel' universe. That folks, is what it looked like down at Mission Bay! The sea was placid, grey and all sorts of fantastical life forms could have been laying in wait, had Perdy ventured far from shore. The island we both love to look at, over the harbour was nowhere to be seen. None of this bothered my girl though as she pranced in the shallows and chased her 'precious' orange ball. No---after the good news from my doctor that I only have a 15% chance of a 'heart episode' in the next 5 years and that my blood pressure is totally healthy---well---who needs any other news! Thankyou, Bariatric Surgery!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Snippets from NZ and beyond.

It's one of those grey days we get in Auckland, that suffices for winter. usually such facets of nature would be enough to keep me inside, reading, eating and watching TV and eating, plus lots of coffee and eating---oh and cooking stuff to eat. Things have changed for two reasons. Getting a Jack Russell and having the bariatric surgery; both combined to propel me to a new way of living. NO matter what the weather, it is off to the park or at least a walk down the main street of Onehunga under a semblance of shelter, just to 'exorcize' the energetic spirits of the said dog! Before we attempt a sojourn in the park, I better comment on a few 'items' that fluttered before my eyes--from the NZ Herald site. I could of course wax on about the terrible events I see repeated each day from Al Jazeera, but I am increasingly frustrated by the impossibility of ever finding a solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conundrum. That one side will never recognise the right of the other to exist and the latter totally unwilling to negotiate a meaningful solution---then the region is domed to permanent warfare with occasional outbreaks of peace. So you can assume that rockets are being launched from Gaza and the response from Israel is to rain drone-impelled bombs on innocent civilians, killing in a totally disproportionate manner. No one can win this! IN NZ we hear today that a young boy injured horribly in a school based attack from another student has finally woken from a coma. We have floods in Northalnd that surpass anything in living memoery, leaving many withiout power and wondering what 'Mother nature' will throw at them next. Climate change, maybe! It is Dunedin, the city in the south of New Zealand and once our biggest city is in the headlines as being a shining example of how we should preserve our wonderful old buildings; well old for us that is. This city was once NZ's biggest and it seems that it is undergoing a modern-day revival. This gracious old lady shows up Auckland as the ;tart of the north.' Oops--me thinks I will be ducking a few verbal bombs for that one! Now another sacrilegious observation. The same paper reports that many mums and dads are persuading their offspring, particularly of the male kind, to look askew at our 'national game---RUGBY. We have had yet another sad death of a young person, resulting from a head injury. Now, parents are pressuring the kids to look at soccer--OK---'Football,' as a safer option. Time will tell if that becomes a short term blip or a tidal wave of change. Finally, as I have been clumsily typing this blog, I have had the BBC news on and they are talking about the 'resurgence' of coffee as a beverage of choice in London and they are attempting to persuade me that Starbucks is the epitome of the coffee culture. Yuck, is all I can say. I have it on good authority that if one wishes to sample 'good' coffee in London, then they better find an establishment run by an Italian or better still expat Aussies and New Zealanders, the home of the best cup of real coffee!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Jack Russell. SLEEPING!

Jack Russells do sleep---don't they! You decide. Look at the picture---closely! She's been reading Roskill and she just told me to tell you to download ROSKILL by going to my website ( ) and either buying the hard-copy or downloading the eBook. Of course, if you do the former, you get the latter -- free. Perdy just said---'tell them yourself!'

Snippets from NZ this weekend!

I didn't want to go out at all this nasty Saturday, but of course I did! I took 'you know who,' out for a quick perusal of things on the par; not the Bay in Onehunga but the one near where I purchase my coffee beans in MT Eden. In shall be posting on a little secret I learnt today about the best use' of my trusty AeroPress. She, 'who must be obeyed,' looked at me as if I was confirming my stupidity when we pulled into eh car park and I let her out. She ran briefly, into the centre of the 'green,' then headed for the trees where upon I spent the next five minutes trying to coax her to fetch the ball she had dropped whilst seeking furry creatures. I finally bribed her to bring it back and I sneaked it safely in my pocket. By now the rain was falling at a pace just above steady, a state that persuaded me that retuning to the car was the only sensible decision. I opened the car door and after a circuitous ramble amongst the tress where even the rats had sought more comfortable climes, Perdy decided that enough was enough. Now that I am back home, ensconced in warmth of my little home, I have perused the headlines and have arrived at the important decision that, the world can keep its bombs, political intrigues and I shall spend the day pretending that 'all is well.' That my friends is the state of MY day to be! Now, I shall conjure up a satisfyingly warm meal for tonight, based round a chicken, Moroccan seasoning and chicken.

How to tire a Jack Russell!

I have often wondered what takes to tire out a jack Russell, without causing permanent harm to the owner----me! As that little guy on TV form yesterday said---'The plan, the plan!' (Yeah I know---a bit of 'licence apparent here) 1) Get up quite early and let her out for her 'whatever the ell she does outside.' 2) Have my breakfast and throw the ball around the lounge while attempting to eat the said breakfast. 3) Stick her in the car and take her to the park down the road, let her out and chuck the ball down the hill ---the one she always brings back. 4) Have a coffee with a friend then go to another park; this one with a long circuitous route around a large water feature, with added Pukeko (sorry Cathy!) 5) Arrive home only to get a message that you and the Jack Russell are need for a photo shoot. 6) Take the JR into the building, or more correctly, she takes me in---on a leash. they don't want me running around lose after all! 7) Spend the next hour having pictures taken, first in the park across the road from the magazine, then down at the rose gardens where the JR looks everywhere but at the camera and even when she poses correctly, I don't, so it all begins again! 8) We finally wrap up the shoot and leave the photographer to what ever she does best and head on down to the beloved Onehunga Bay. Perdy, the Jack Russell charged her batteries----oh no! 9) Upon arrival at the Bay, she jumps out and demands In thrown the ball with my trusty little 'chucker.' 10) I decide she has had enough, read----'I have had more than my share of exercise!' 11) I encourage Perdy back into the car using my last 'treat,' only to observe her best friend arriving in a car Perdy knows means---'company!' 12) I drag myself around another circuit of the bay, talking with my fellow 'doggie-mum,' passing useful and energetic comments about how the day has gone and what awaits me for dinner. 13) Perdy seems to have found a whole new lease of life and gaily (That word is still applicable in this sense? I suppose it is when one uses that spelling!)gallivants after the ball and playing 'chase me, big boy,' with her mate Finn. 14) The wind increases and the first drops of rain begin to splatter against my sun glasses. (So I wear such devices on a grey day---deal with it!) 15) Perdy allows me to escort her back to the car and after fond farewells, we leave for home. 16) We have been home barely 20 minutes and an Argentinian dear friend arrives. Perdy loves guests. Will she ever---rest!? 17) He leaves after some lovely chat time and an exchange of views, and does she finally give up? HELL NO! She wants me to throw the ball! Can you tire a Jack Russell? I don't know--you tell me!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Brutal liquor store attack criminals have been identified!

A week ago four teenagers went into a liquor store in East Auckland and brutally assaulted the worker, just to get a few bottles of booze. They are all aged between 14 and 16 years old. This crime does not have its origins in perverts or lack of opportunity. It is a heinous crime that included terrible violence and resembled something that we see for overseas. There is going to be the usual discussion about how these kids may or may not have been brought up. Fingers will be pointed but we must look at the bigger picture. There are some 'absolutes' in this. What they did is wrong at every level and there can be no excuses for their actions; no justifications. They have damaged their own lives; that is if the 'Youth Court' takes their actions as serious. The public is going to demand a swift and hard response, because if they don't see that, a message will go out there that this sort of behaviour is somehow 'explainable.' Yes we know that these 'kids' need help, but initially they must take the consequences for their actions. None of us are safe when young people or anyone else thinks that they can go into a shop and enact such actions of deplorable violence. One would hope that once caught the law will take firm action and that massive efforts will go into turning the lives of these 'thugs'; around. I make no apologies for labelling them thus. I do however believe that we need to make the effort to change them. After all, they will come out of whatever institution' they are consigned to. one day and be neighbours a fellow-workers, because if they don't change, then the statement the police made about the perpetrators facing a long life behind bars will become a fact!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Danny Watson---thanks mate! ZB Talk Back gave me a boost!

I am no longer a 'talk back virgin.' Today I was listening to Danny Watson on Talk back radio as I was driving. He had the topic of dieting/'exercising, versus pills and surgery to lose weight. He asked for people to ring in. I rushed home (no I didn't get a ticket!) When I arrived home I immediately rang the radio station and got through to the producer. Hell, I hear some people saying they have been trying for hours or days to get through, so I guess I struck it just right. The guy told me they would ring me back after the news. True to his word a few minutes later I was talking to Danny Watson. I always thought that I would be nervous, but I did not feel that at all. Danny was lovely and he encouraged me to tell my story and half way through I reminded him that I had sent him some copies of my three books. He remembered and then let me push them along with my story. I put my website over the waves and he repeated it later. I thank Danny very much for his kind and generous reception. I shall ring him again, to comment, much like I do on my blogs. OMG---has he unleashed another monster inside me. Watch out talk back radio!

'A top' of Mt Roskill, whereupon I froze my tits off! OH the life of a 'model'---yeah right!

When MiNDFOOD asked me for some 'before and after pictures' for the upcoming article re my bariatric surgery journey, I asked a good friend form Grey Lynn to help out. He has a camera that has the required capacity to take such photos. As the book I am pushing, ROSKILL (Even the article has a few mentions of it)is centred in MT Roskill, it seemed to be logical that we include the said Mountain in the pictures. So off we went and off came my jacket. OMG---the wind just about blew what little hair I have to the next suburb but thankfully I had glued it on well that morning! My friend proceeded to instruct me to assume various poses while my nipples slowly froze and my eyes watered as if there was a sack of onions being peeled nearby.IN fact, I felt like a sack of onions! He didn't want just one picture---oh no---it had to be about a million and by that time I thought that if I had not lost so much weight, I would have transformed into a glorious fat kite and flown off to other regions. Finally I was allowed back ion to the warmth of the car and we left the summit and as we travelled down the narrow road, I was reminded about some of the 'scenarios' from ROSKILL, the characters almost visible in the trees and slopes of MT Roskill. Later that day, I revived an email with the pictures attached. They were 'well taken,' but when I sent them to the magazine, they said that I looked a 'bit windblown,' but they thought that they were 'fun pictures.' They may use one of them but we agreed that they would use a more sedate setting to take some more and that I could drop in to the office, with Perdy, my jack Russell, and they would take some more at a nearby less wind-devastated park in Parnell. BUT---In shall keep these pictures. They tell me much about my journey! Maybe they will take them on the Prime Minister's lawn. I'm sure he wont mind! Thanks Martin.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Israel and Gaza shoot at each other--Will it will ever end!?

I know the historical background to the situation in Palestine/Israel. Depending on your own take, you may favour one side over the other. It doesn't matter how you see it--because unless both sides agree to talk and seek a solution, then the region is doomed to permanent warfare with the odd 'outbreak or peace.' The European 'Great Powers' of yesteryear set up the present impossible situation and events in Europe spurred the Jewish people to seek a 'final solution 'of their own making; one in which they would never again suffer at the hands of 'persecutors.' That these events happened is an absolute truth and any rewriting of history cannot change that. However the people who lived on Palestine before the 'return' of the Jewish people and the establishment of the state of Israel, have been left out of the equation. They have been ripped form their homes and lost their land, leaving them to cope with their own 'diaspora,' for those at least who could leave and settle elsewhere. Many remain in the region, in refugee camps or at best in enclaves that are permanent cauldrons of discontent. Is it any wonder that extremist groups would arise--to attempt to take back what they have lost? If a 'people' have no home, they must seek one! That is the basis of the 'unpeace' of this region. Now we have the regular spectre of one side shooting rockets at the other, while the ones across the 'fence' attack with massive military might. The region is one ion which an impossible feud plays itself out on a daily basis, sometimes elevating itself to open warfare. THERE ARE NO WINNERS apart from those profiting from the sales of arms to both sides! A settlement will have to be imposed from the 'outside,' but that brings about a debate that brings into question the very existence of the one body that could help to find a solution---the UN. Will that happen? NO--because that too is a snake pit of competing political divisions. So in the meantime, children in Gaza, Tel Aviv get killed and maimed. The West Bank continues to be a pseudo state and Israelis face the prospect of being on a permanent war-footing. Is it any wonder that people turn to the extremes of religious bigotry. Is that after all, a lot easier to understand----someone else doing your thinking for you!?

Brazil is not singing 'Don't cry for me----

What the hell happened today in Brazil? How could one of the world's greatest soccer playing nations fall to such depths? Did the 'occasion' get the better of them? Was their passion something that worked against them? These questions will be the focus of the national psyche of Brazil for years to come. I just hope that they keep things in perspective. Please keep the game 'beautiful' Brazil and do not let this be a time when things go from bad to worse for you. Now is the time to look at the wider position of people in your country. Had you won the tournament, that question still needed to be answered. Without a doubt, you are a giant that has awakened on the world stage. Let us remember this time as one of celebration for the spirit of 'football' as most people call the game. Let us not remember a crazy response from your countrymen and women. You were beaten on the day by a clinically perfect team and now is the time to move on. Enjoy the 'final that you did not make' and look forward to the Olympics where no doubt, you will shine again. Go well, Brazil!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Snippets from NZ---Tuesday---NZ time.

There's a few stand-outs today: 1) Mayor Len Brown has had some 'moments' in the limelight lately but today he has warned that Auckland faces some tough decisions re the a monetary blow=pout--indeed we face major cuts to services or face a massive debt crisis. He is even going back on some promises made about huge infrastructure spending, including his 'darling' inner rail loop. Oh well, Auckland---it's either spend now or even more in the future if we don't do it now---take ya pick people! I say---do it now or doom us to useless public transport, clogged roads and a city that can't breath. 2)We read today of a dumber than dumb criminal who robbed an SPCA store of a donation box for a mere $20 or so dollars, only to leave his kids behind in the shop to clean up the pieces and to be traced via his records for the movie he hired before his brain-fart. Make a movie, someone! Poor kids. Hope they didn't inherit their dad's brains. 3) Auckland is about to be hit by a 'big wind.' Baton down folks and heat up some soup and stick it in a thermos, just in case the powers goes out. Remember, you can't watch TV when the powers out! Glad I took Perdy for a walk before it hits. 4)Expect some fireworks over a large donation to the Conservative Party from a couple down the line---they gave him $500,000. Wow---can money buy ya love and votes. Add him to then list a of a few other loose canon parties this year and we are in for an 'interesting' election. 5)No doubt the news from overseas is the same as--bombs, intolerance, gun laws loosened in the USA (can you imagine--guns allowed in a bar!) and 'glad it's 'not in NZ stuff!' 6) Breaking news! See the pictures taken 'atop' the windy Mt Roskill by the 'renowned' budding royal photographer, Martin, who despite the inclement conditions, tried to capture the spirit of the 'new me' in the wind and impending rain. Damn, that hair! Stay safe everyone!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Soup for a winter's day in my Sheffield soup-maker.

It is winter in New Zealand. For Auckland, that means we feel cold when the sun is hiding, it is grey and drizzly and the temperature is about 12-13C. The 'southerners call us names, but we are pretty hard-skinned about that---eh, Cantabrians! It doesn't matter where you live when it comes to 'comfort food' and if is healthy to boot, then we are all winners. Try this one out. OK, Fist, go and buy your Sheffield soup maker. I got mine online and it a fair bit cheaper that way. I saw what I paid $76, about $25 cheaper than from a store. Yes, it's a 'cheepy' and if you treat it right (and not do what I did with the first one I brought--causing the power to crash three times!) it more then does the trick. Take a head of broccoli, some cooked pumpkin, a can of chickpeas (drained), a generous spoon of stock powder-- any sort will work, a small teaspoon of curry powder, white pepper and salt if you wish. I also added a tablespoon of low fat cream cheese. Top the mixture up with water, to the mark on the side (or you will blow it up like I did previously with the first one I brought!) Turn it to smooth or chunky and let it rip. 30mminute later you will have a lips-smackingly great soup. You will want to curl up with a book and sip away on your soup. The world is good, except I have to go out again soon to meet a client, then of course, take Perdy for yet another walk. What the hell is winter to her---just another day!

Snippets from New Zealand the day after I forgot!

To be honest, not much jumped for me today other than a very good speech from David Cunliffe at the Labour Party Congress, this weekend. Go check it out on my FB page! BUT--some things sort of grabbed me. 1) Kim Dotttycom appeared on a pretty low form of advertising and I still doubt whether it really is him or someone just taking the piss. Go seek under the heading--'Suck this!' 2) The USA is about to ban people taking 'uncharged' Samsung Galaxy, I pad and some other forms of electronics, apparently because they could pose a threat to the planes---does that mean that nasty terrorists are going to be smuggling bombs on board disguised as one of the above? Not a nice thought if you are travelling. 3) Most important of me was the portent that I have the capacity to forget my pin-number at crucial moments, causing embarrassment and then needing to waste time, explaining to incredulous staff at the bank, later today, that I have also lost my memory re the credit card---I have several numbers in mind and I shall fess up and get that fixed too. The result will be on TV tonight! BUT---I have a solution: I shall tell Perdy and she will 'bark' the numbers in future! Am I barking mad?---hell yes!

I am geting old or stupid---take ya pick!

I had a very embarrassing moment today! After my second walk of the day with Perdy, I dropped into the fruit shop to buy some ---yes, fruit and veggies. Funny that, eh. I picked up some apples, milk and a few other bits and pieces and took them up to the counter. Out came my trusty EFTPOS card. I stuck in the numbers---well no, I didn't---not the correct ones. Silly me., I tired again and then the panic kicked in. I was consumed with the effort of trying to remember the 4 numbers. I tried three times and by then people behind me were starting to look at me as if I was a criminal. I could just see them thinking---which old lady did you steel that off mate?' I starting sweating with, I tried again and the lady serving me, who knows me quite well; we often exchange words---she is fascinated by my weight loss and always asks me how I am. She looked at me, not in an impatient manner, more one of bemusement. I stuttered a few words and tire d=to explain, conscious of the looks being directed at me from the ever increasing line behind me. Finally I muttered something about going to get some cash form the car and stumbled past the snotty-nosed judgmental people who had made up their minds that there was a victim lying somewhere, no doubt battered and bruised in some alleyway. My face must have reflected my mood because no one said a damn thing. Left the 'goods' on the counter, saying I would be back in a moment. I drove out of the car park and headed to the EFTPOS machine up the road. When I put my card in, once again panic took over and after the second try, the card was swallowed up. Yes I sad -FUCK! I was alone so I said it again. What the hell was happening?. My guests were due in a few hours and I didn't get what I had intended. By the time I arrive home I was in a quite state. Was I heading into some sort of early dementia? I sat on the sofa and th9ught for a few minutes. Damned if the numbers would comer back to me. I slowly returned to some kind of equilibrium and looked in the cupboard, for the makings of a desert. I found some raisins and then added two apples and cooked them up, added some rum and put a crumble on the top and baked it. Wow--the smell was fantastic. Guess what---I suddenly remembered to numbers! Oh well--I guess I shall be going to get a new card in the morning and yes, the meal went down well with my friends and they laughed at my terrible experience. I just hope its not a sign of things to come! So next time I forget the new numbers I shall just pretend I am cooking and the numbers will come back to me.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Wellington=====I wanted to be there this weekend but I had to settle for this, with Perdy!

Sometimes we 'want' something but don't actually get it. For a range of reasons, mainly because I didn't get my act together, I wanted to go to Wellington for the Labour Party 'Congress,' but----oh well--I didn't. Maybe it 'would have been a bit miserable if I had rushed things and then driven down, complaining to no one in particular about an 'impending cold (You know the ones, that are sort of creeping up on you, but still haven't quite--'presented.')and then being a big sook for the rest of the weekend. I woke this morning, feeling OK, so I decided that I should take Perdy somewhere 'nice.' WE drove--well actually, I did, because even though Perdy thinks she's a clever Jack Russell, she hasn't got her full licence yet. Yes, People, dogs are allowed to drive in NZ! Put that down to our agricultural background. I mean---everything's about the 'farm.' After driving around, quite randomly, we arrived at Mission bay, the closest I get to anything 'spiritual, today. Well, in a sense nit was---just let the picture 'speak for itself.' Tell me this wonderful vista in the middle of NZ's biggest city, isn't 'spiritual!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Snippets from New Zealand-- again---and expect more!

Here's a few hints about what's making the news today on NZ: 1) NZ is a rugby mad country but on the way to the park to walk my dog, I noticed that the traffic was quite light. OH, I thought---must be the World Cup Soccer (LOL--that probably pisses off those of you who refuse to call the beautiful game, by that name). At the time of writing, Brazil was winning 2-1. Columbia hopes---I just hope that the mad buggers don't kill one another in their capital city of things go belly-up! Beautiful game with some nasty under-tones! BRAZIL ARE THROUGH! Am I excited?---not really. 2) The furore over the 'lack of sentencing' for the son of the Maori King is still causing ripples on social media and elsewhere within NZ. The rest of the world---well---you couldn't give a stuff! Actually, it doesn't really impact on the succession as the 'boy' has apparently made it clear that he doesn't want to be King! His older brother is being groomed for this position and that is probably the best outcome. Now--leave the kid alone -----He will get the message about his behaviour from his family! 3) The NZ Herald is often criticised as being politically biased. I hold to that view for the main part, but to give them a little credit, they have put up a generous exposé of the man who 'would be PM,' David Cunliffe. I have glanced over it and it seems to be reasonably sensitive to him. Not too bad, Herald, but I still don't trust you to report things in a totally balanced way. Let's face it, you are the 'face' of 'conservatism in NZ. 4) Isn't it wonderful when it is news that people who we loosely call 'Head bangers,' you know the ones who attend heavy metal concerts, (Yes, that genre still has lots of fans---not all of them old buggers!) often get 'head injuries, due to their exuberant antics that often involve a bit of bodily contact, especially of the 'head variety.' Jeeze, what a bloody incredible scientifically researched result of 'choice.' Jump up, get pissed and God knows what else, and---you complete the picture. Deafness is the least of your worries! Enjoy. 5) The Labour party is having its 'Congress' this weekend. Mmm---that's a new take on descriptive tags. Just make sure we get more of what we have seen in the last week---policies and less of the other games. Are you listening Trevor? OH, David---no more apologies please! Watch out for that man, Key---he will try and move the focus this weekend---back to his being in the headlights. Hope he can't see the truck coming!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Interact with me!

I am looking for people to interact with me---that is----talk to me---react to what I say. Yes, I know, my blogs are pretty random. I seem to cover lots of topics, ranging from my book to commentary on the news that is happening at any one time. I enjoy politics so there are lots of postings re the upcoming NZ election and also from overseas. Please read them and ---yeah---give me hell---I thrive on it and I can have my mind changed by a good argument---bring it on!

Snippets from New Zealand.

What’s making headlines in New Zealand today? Just a few snippets, folks. 1) It seems that Kiwis are playing a part in unravelling the great mystery of the planets---The Big Bang Theory or what? Yes another ‘Earth-like ‘ planet has been discover a few 100,000 light years away and apparently in ‘space terms,’ that’s real close. Given that there are billions of stars and plenty of systems out there, it’s nice to know we played a part in bringing one to the world’s attention. OK, the temperatures on this little number may not give you comfort—but, hey---we may not be alone. Talk about ‘six months in a leaking boat’ to get to NZ back ‘then’ will pale into oblivion compared to the time needed to travel to our---- ‘nemesis?’ 2) There was a time when it actually took time to bully someone—you know the rumours, the whispers and the innuendos took effort and time to ramp up unit the recipient heard that ‘someone didn’t like them ‘ or was calling them terrible names. ‘If something ‘bad’ happened to you, it could be weeks until your parents knew anything about the ‘incident,’ but how things have changed. With the advent of social media---news travels in a flash as does the propensity to ramp things up. A dangerous side emerged over the drunken assault of three young ladies in Dunedin the other day. Now the girls are being revictimised as people threaten them online. Cowards at least and low-lives to boot. Not everything about progress is good! 3) This week saw the news that the Malaysian employee at the embassy who has been accused of some nasty behaviours, has asked that his ‘return to New Zealand’ be delayed until the end of Ramadan. My understanding of this practice does not include such ‘rights.’ Is he just delaying the inevitable, now that New Zealand and Malaysia have worked their way through the downright unprofessional manner in which our ‘people’ have handled the mess? I feel mainly for the victim. Get it right Minister! 4) Rolf Harris and his years of historical abuse have been in the news for several months now. He has been convicted but not yet sentenced (at the time of writing) but we are hearing that his abhorrent behaviours have many more victims, some in New Zealand, including a prominent Government MP. That he was able to silence his victims, merely by his presence and assumed ‘fame’ is intolerable. He will go down! 5) The son of the Maori King has been in the news. He has been stupid! OK, his actions are those that many young people enact as they struggle to grow up, but in his position as a potential heir to his father’s ‘crown,’ has evoked a great deal of angst. Balance is needed here and the facts line up to support the actions of the judge and the manner in which he will be handled by his own people will be sufficient. Time to back off and let him face the ‘consequences’ within Maori and to learn from this---while he still can! One does not have to look far to see similar outcomes.