Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Being a bit 'ugly' can be beautiful! You better read on.

It is not always the prettiest or the best presented that wins the day. The best cover does not always carry deliver the promise of a great story. The dog with the best 'papers' doesn't always turn out to be the most loyal friend. 'Where's he going with this?' you ask.
No, I am for a change not talking about my little Jack Russell, but I can of course at the drop of a hat.
I am thinking of something so much more simple, something that may be near you; in your drive or hanging over the fence between you and your neighbour.
How many of you have walked past that funny looking fruit, that is not at all as pretty as those 'beauties' in the fruit shop? You know, those huge delectable golden queens that seem to go by several different names now and variations on a theme. You get them home and they are hard, so you stick them in the fruit bowl, waiting for them to reach that perfection you associate from your youth. Yes they taste---OK, but there is often a tinge of disappointment when you bite into the flesh.
'Oh well; that's just how it is you say,' accepting yet another example of modern day life.
Now, take another look at those smaller and possibly slightly deformed fruit, some of which may even have the spots that appear, tending to discourage you from capturing their less than promising taste. YOU ARE MAKIN A HUGE MISTAKE!
Take the plunge---pick a few, leaving some for your neighbours. If they are not quite soft, they only take a day or too and they really do live up to their promise, small and less than pretty though they may be. The hidden treasure is within and the taste lives up to and exceeds your wildest dreams. Expect a taste explosion and maybe you will take better care of that ugly old tree, lichen-covered though it may be. Give it some love, care, some pruning and possibly a light spray of the 'natural' care brands. You will be surprised at how you will be rewarded. Golden Queen from the little old tree---you are indeed royal.

Our State (peoples') Assets are all but gone!

One day we will look back at the time when successive governments sold off New Zealand’s valuable State Assets with anger. We will rue the day when from Rogernomics to the present Key Government, the very best of our collectively built up and owned treasures have been sold off, sometimes for a price that is less than their real worth. What for? To pay off debt we are told.
We have seen the same pathway followed by Conservative Governments in the UK, then only to see the buyers flog off the   some of the assets, run them down and then need the State to come back in to support them; name the railway system.
IN New Zealand’s case the driving force has been to reduce the amount of money owed by the state and to take the State out of ownership, selling to those who can afford; namely overseas and local investors. Either way, much of what we had taken a century to build up has been sold off, to make friends of the Government richer and reducing the investment by New Zealand as a whole in strategic assets.
We are going to rue the day of this repugnant selling of our assets as overseas owners begin to exert an influence in our economy that leaves us without the power to make important decisions about our future. All that is left now are smaller remnants of what was once a ‘public portfolio ‘ of assets and the only one left is the water that falls into our rivers and lakes. There have even been moves in that direction too. We must not let that happen.
I advocate a buying back process, much like we saw re Air NZ. We should wait until these companies face pressure re profits and then watch their price fall. We used to balance that out between good times and bad under the State ownership model, but in a profit only driven model, there comes a time when we can buy back the assets. Let’s do this and keep them where they belong. 
Under private ownership there is no moral or social conscience behind the running of these assets. NO account is taken about providing services to all NZers or employment for NZers.  We have entered a time whereby NZ is carving itself up to be made available to the highest bidder. Is it that we are going to be charged for the very air we breathe because there is precious little left to sell?

Mugabe's minions name the 'top 200,' Homosexuals.' Shades of Nazi Germany here, me thinks!

Even if that silly old fool,’ Mugabe, dies very soon, I very much doubt that the evil policies he has overseen re a number of issues will chnage, but his treatment of gay people in Uganda comes to mind most. That he has overseen the ‘naming of the top 200 homosexuals,’ is paramount to a death sentence in his Uganda. He has made his nation a pariah nation, far worse than anything emanating from Russia, where at least the opposition still has a tenuous hold re social issues. Opposition to Mugabe and his policies is becoming weaker by the day and the party that supports him will not give up the reigns of power once he departs.
No amount of policy statements from the UN and other world leaders seems to be making any difference, and the call for sanctions will not be effective unless there a way is found to shield the person in the street from them. Unfortunately those at the top always seem to be immune to economic sanctions. They still manage to put food on their tables and have access to what we take for granted in New Zealand.
Of course Mugabe is not alone in his anti-gay actions re gays in Africa, but he is by far the worst. Nigeria comes close second. We cannot let these ‘evil’ policies remain unchallenged and world leaders need to step up and bring the offenders back into the fold.