Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Australia has been 'prodded' by recent events but it has brought out a 'good side' too!

We should have no doubts that there exists a true Australian 'spirit.' We see it on the sports field and in times of war, often with New Zealand taking a share when our journeys converge. What we are witnessing 'post' the hostage situation in Sydney with its sad culmination, is an example of a nation prodded when things go wrong. One should never underestimate this Australian quality. They do so at their peril. Put aside the Trans-Tasman rivalry or the jokes that emanate from both sides of the 'Ditch; forget about the 'sheep jokes' thrown NZ's way---believe that we are almost one when the 'other' is threatened. On the scale we are witnessing re the terrible events in Syria and the Middle East, perhaps the week is a small scale affair, but rest assured, Australia has awaken to a very real threat and hopefully they do not take matters too far. What has happened must be handled with care and an overreaction must not occur. That a young woman started a #tag re 'walking with you,' shows a softer more reasoned response than what could easily have been a very negative reaction. The Aussie spirit has indeed followed the Sydney deaths, and the future will prove that this will always occur. At the same time, Australia is saying to the world, that they will not let one madman or any group wishing to impose a foreign set of values on the Australian nation ever succeed. You on ya mates!

If North Korea can mount a 'cyber attack' as witnessed in the last few weeks, then--------

Should we be worried about the effectiveness of the cyber attack, mounted by North Korea? Does this episode represent a new level of threat from this 'rogue state?' Is it possible that an even more deadly from of attack cold be launched from behind the border separating the two Koreas? Perhaps the 'kick in the butt' to Sony is a timely reminder that the possibilities re bringing some of the Hollywood scenarios re cyber war are perhaps more real than we would like. The USA and other economies and industrial complexes will be looking very carefully into the robustness of their 'protection' re their respective 'empires.' If the fears of those in the 'firing line' of the 'Dear Leader's anger are realized then, we are in for rather interesting and unstable times---or---a response from the USA and 'friends' will be forthcoming---real soon. Does that not point to the need for real communication between nations? The 'net' has shown us that the world is indeed shrinking! Or---put it another way----is the 'Net' the big 'leveller?'

What do New Zealand and the USA have in common? Read on!

The USA has much in common with New Zealand. Let me count the ways. Yah, nah, as we are alleged to say in New Zealand. I want to highlight a trait that is attacking the fabric of family life in both countries. That is the scourge of 'P' as we call it or you may label it as Ice or Methamphetamine. Whatever the name---the threat is the same. You have all seen the terrible 'scenarios' played out nightly on TV or via your other news links. A homeless man or woman, once a successful business person, or a teenage drop out: perhaps a 'gangster,' ---all have a common 'demon'------'P' or 'Meth.' They may have started slowly but gradually the 'goal posts moved. They needed more and more. They may have started with a simple 'joint' laced with the 'stuff,' but that soon became a more desperate need, until their lives were consumed by the 'master.' They began to live in a 'twilight world,' one in which every moment was consumed by the need to score the next hit. They lost friends, jobs, business and families as those former 'networks became irrelevant.' If a family member spoke out, violence and abuse became a constant companion, the law intervened from time to time, but the journey continued--towards an abyss. BUT---there is hope--if someone tell someone or seeks help, but solution may be dangerous, certainly not one that can be achieved alone! I invite you to read about my 'take' on this vexing issue. Go to my website and either buy or download ROSKILL.IT is available on Amazon or contact me direct if you have any questions about my book.

Russia falters---what will Putin do?

Without a doubt the Russian economy is in serious trouble. The currency is in free-fall and share market is carving billions off its value, meaning that the cronies Putin helped to buy off the assets of the Russian people are also becoming nothing more than junk! This leaves Putin in a difficult position, one that he has not experienced in quite the same manner. He is used to adulation and a certain amount of success. How long will the Russian people hold him in high regard? How will he react when the streets fill with 'discontent?' How will he treat the criticism that is inevitably coming his way? Will he look for a 'scapegoat'? We have seen how he marginalized the gay community with his heartless comments and we have witnessed his policies re the Crimea and Ukraine. Will he look west towards the Baltic States and enter into a new era of expansionism, much like his predecessors in the Soviet period of history? Perhaps he is not so different to other leaders and other 'big power' politicians in the 'west' or China. One does not have to look too far to find examples of economic expansionism or fraudulent politics. Let's keep some balance re how we see the events as they unfold in Russia and keep the door open so that the Russian Bear is not cornered to the point that it has no option other than to respond. This a time to reach out, not exacerbate the situation in Russia. It is for Russia to find the solution to its problems, some of which Putin sincerely believes are the result of Western interference, rather than his own actions. Time will give us the answer but we may not like it!