Thursday, July 17, 2014

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!

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