Thursday, December 31, 2015
I have always dreamed of travelling on the ultimate rail trip-----non other than the endless Trans-Siberian rail trip---the one that crosses countless time zones. I have watched many TV programmes on this fabulous quest and something about it attracts me like no other venture. Now that I have either one very avid reader in Russia, or a rather large number (you now have more hits on my blog for the past month than any other country, Russia---even more than your nemesis---the USA!) you are in a position to help me make it happen. All you have to do is get thousands of your friends to download my book Roskill, which you can do on my website (www.authorneilcoleman.com) I reckon about 10,000 downloads should do it! Hey---it's my new years resolution and this time---i believe in it. Share my post and make the links. Russia 342 United States 244 New Zealand 75 Germany 44 Brazil 17 France 11 Netherlands 9 Ukraine 6 Poland 5 Canada 4 Figures for hits on my blog last month.
Russia is the most 'numeric' reader of my blogs today----here's ten other activities, my Russian friends!
I love it that so many readers (or is it just one who can't get enough of my blogs?!) in Russia are hitting my blogs. If you become a little 'underwhelmed' by the said blogs, here are some alternate activities for you! 1) Make a calendar of yourself to compete with Mr Putin's. 2) Walk through Red Square dressed as a transgender Isla----oops! 3)Listen to some wonderful Russian Music and dance in the above square. 4)Find out where the New Zealand Embassy is situated and preform a Haka outside with a friend holding a sign asking for instructions on how to actually do it right! 5) Set off some fireworks and run like feck, because you may get arrested! 6) Read one of my blogs----oops that defeats the purpose of this blog! 8) Learn how to count, because you didn't realize I had missed out 7. 7) Got around the right way now, so have a drink, whilst wishing me a Happy New Year! 9) Make plans to have a holiday in New Zealand. Bring me some caviar or has that ocean, the Aral Sea, all but GONE?! 10) Go check out my website and download Roskill, my book that some of you have read! 11) Paint a picture of Obama and cut it out, make a mask, then demand a limousine to drive you around for the day! 12) Have another vodka, like a friend of mine regularly does---oops---- again! 13) Send a post-card to a friend in Ukraine. 14) I just realized that I cannot count to ten!!!!! WTF!!!! 15)ABOVE ALL---Happy New Year Russia and do not take me too seriously because life should be for smiling--even when we don't feel like it! 18) Please ask Mr Putin to invite me to come to Russia so that I can better 'understand' him, He does not always get fair press in the media. It's OK---I will not wear my tiara! 23) Donald Trump sends his love---or something. www.authorneilcoleman.com
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
I am not sure why---but Russia is reading my blogs at an ever increasing rate. They have replaced Ukraine in this respect. Maybe that is where the answer can be found, if one is of a more cynical nature. But I chose to believe that Russians like to know about the rest of the world; about New Zealand in particular. The press in NZ is not always friendly to your dear leader, Mr Putin; indeed I have slanted him on occasion. I still find the Russian desire to have 'strong' leaders a bit of a conundrum, but knowing a little about history, I guess I have a level of understanding about that aspect of the Russian psyche. OK, if I have so many readers in Russia, I make the plea, that you spread my website, so that I can achieve more sales for my book, ROSKILL---a book you can either download or buy hard copy. You will soon be able to do the same for an upcoming release (maybe April 2016) of my latest book, Talk To Me.' Go to my website to find out more. Thanks again, my Russian readers. I appreciate your support.
As I was doing a little bit of 'research' re the 'truth' behind the story, in my soon to be released book, Talk To me, I became increasingly frustrated about reports that the Government is looking again at curtailing the use of the Super Gold Card on public transport. Yes, I was listening to talk-back radio, which can sometimes be a rather dangerous pass time when one is driving, due to the chaotic heightening in blood pressure, directly caused by the stupid comments of some of the callers. Some claimed that 'oldies' did not need the free trips, that the Government (Hey is that not all of us--well it may have been in the distant past!) cannot afford the measly $28 million dollars they put onto this scheme, one that they have frozen for 5 years. Why is it that Governments (I include all in the recent past) go for the quick 'fix' re spending? Why can they not see the longer term gain from having policies that 'take people off the roads,' lessening the need for yet more expensive motorways and more use of fossil fuels as oldies (and other groups) combat the increasingly crowded roads? They happily spend $28 million on an unnecessary 'flag referendum,' but they shortsightedly impose restrictions on a scheme that has proven benefits; one that leads to healthier people and healthier cities. Capping this funding is nothing short of stupidity. Getting older people out of their homes, including them in our wider community is a winner in every sense. On a more cynical note, may I also say that the Government is missing the feeling that older voters undoubtedly have about this---they are going to be pushing older voters, who will make up an even larger proportion of the electorate at the next election. I suggest that the scheme could be 'extended to other groups in society. What better way is there to get people on public transport? It is a great deal cheaper to subsidize public transport than to keep building more motorways, that seem to reach capacity in a few years, necessitating ever more money being dumped down the hole of these behemoths of political cronyism--yes---one does wonder who gains most from this excessive spending! Finally, and I do not say this in a frivolous manner---do you really want people like me, who may well reach a stage soon, that you may want to 'avoid us on the roads?' Stick us on the buses and trains!!!!! Keep the Gold Cards in maximum use.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
I know that my loyal readers who click on my webpage in NZ get 'stung' when they order hard copy from the Amazon site. I think it was NZ$54 for the last person who contacted me. That is pretty steep! Such readers would be better suited by contacting me direct for their copy of Roskill, which I can send for $N22---how? Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a copy for that lower price.The download for your Kindle or other reader is of course much cheaper. Check out that option from my website. www.authorneilcoleman.com Follow the links. Could someone in the USA let me know what you would pay for Roskill, including postage? Much appreciated. Have a happy New Year, everyone.
I have been informed that it is best to have more than one book, available for people. Perhaps it adds to some sort of illusion that there is 'more than one book' in an author! being 'informed' of course does not amount to being 'knowledgeable. I can say without out a doubt or being 'misinformed' that Talk To Me,' is going through a thorough process, whereby, it is re-checked, proofread and vamped up a bit, then it will be 'launched' with suitable publicity online at first and then if warranted--be issued in hard-copy format for those of you who prefer that 'style.' So what is TTM all about? Without giving away too much----'Talk To Me,' is a gentle swipe at the talk back radio industry. How many of you have become exasperated, whilst on a drive, when a enraged caller, rings in to the show and lets rip about a range of issues, sometimes all at once. There is not always a great deal of ;reasoning' behind their diatribes. It's almost like 'Face Book wrapped up in a show,' bringing out the best and worst of us, skillfully (not always) controlled by the host. How many times have YOU been tempted to contribute to the 'show?' OK---keep an eye on my posts or my Roskill Page on FB and you will know when that action kicks off. I have plans for other books if TTM gains traction. We see April as being the laucn date at this stage. Happy new year people! www.authorneilcoleman.com
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
"Tis the season to be jolly--- but that doesn't mean treating those who work in retail, hospitality and other sectors like crap!!!!
OK People---let's all get into the spirit of Xmas. Oops---Merry Xmas first. None of that Happy holidays from me, because Xmas is Xmas. Thank goodness, we are still a bit old fashioned in New Zealand and so far the PC brigade have not won--as I see they are increasingly showing in the 'Old Country!' Now---to the real point of this blog: Take a moment and think about how you are 'interacting with those who get to 'serve you this Xmas; be it in retail, hospitality or other sectors. Often they are the poorly paid, sometimes working under contracts that I will loosely call---'Zero Hour contracts,' where they are treated in a way that we had thought was consigned to history. It feels like all of the gains made via union struggles are under attack. Have a thought for the over-worked retail assistant or the person who cleans our room at the hotel you are staying. Don't treat them like servants; don't abuse them! It is not their fault that the firm they are working for is too mean to employ enough staff, or puts unreasonable demands on their staff.Try being a little more patient when you get that feeling that your 'needs' are not being met. The workers at the 'coal face' are NOT the ones making the decisions about staffing levels, or working conditions: that is left to those higher up, with management. Spread a bit of joy, instead of ripping into the person 'attending you.' Smile and hey---you might even receive one back. Merry Xmas everyone.
Monday, December 21, 2015
I will do almost anything for a free lunch. Well---today took the cake---not that I received cake! i took the bus to the hospital, as today was the day for my Angio-thingy. I met the 'Professor' who took me through the process, that is when he could get a word in. He was a nice Englishman' with an excellent manner re communicating what was about to happen. He warned me about getting a feeling that I had pissed myself, although he did use much more correct terminology. Wow there is certainly a great deal of money tied up in those fancy machines and I rejoiced in the fact that taxes help pay for this expensive procedure. The ordeal was over in a out 15 minutes and I was sent to the chairs where I joined others had shared my experience, The lovely nurses took my pulse BP and gave me some water to re-hydrate my system and to help flush out the toxins in the dye that they use. I waved goodbye and yes, said----Merry Xmas, and headed towards reception. Well--not quite---I suddenly felt the urge to hit the floor---the world was going black and ISIS flags figured on my side vision. WTF!!!! I sat----looked around, wondering what the hell to do. I noticed the receptionist looking at me---not with desire, I must say! A chair appeared out of nowhere and two of the aforementioned nurses retrieved me and wheeled me back to radiology. I was placed in a bed and all the monitors came out. My blood pressure was very low and they summonsed the Professor who had done the work previously, took over and told me that the drug he gave me to stabilize my heat beat at a necessarily low rate had most certainly done its job.. I was plonked gently in a bed and for the next hour it was check, measure and observe. Now the good part. He ordered that I drink a nice orange juice and have some food. Not flash---but hey---it went down well and it was freeeeee! I was also on the mend and after an hour they let me go , to get a taxi home and not do too much for the day. By this time, I was feeling great, so I ditched the idea of the taxi and in line with my wish to not spend a cent (I had my Gold Card), I wandered slowly in the cooling breeze and caught a bus home. We can pick Perdy up form dogie care after 4. I shall be able to drive by then. What a day and I am so thankful for the incredible health system that supports us (for the most part) in times of need. Thank you dear nurses. Your attitude made me feel like I was being looked after by 'family.' What happened today? The nurses felt that the drug caused a reaction and I went it to mild shock. Glad that it all occurred in the best possible place!
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Donald Trump continues his march towards winning the GOP nomination for President. How is it that he can be considered a serious candidate, given some of his appalling utterances? Without a doubt he is a threat to the other wannabes, attracting a wide range of support form sometimes, quite different elements of the political spectrum. Perhaps that is his 'appeal'---he is not perceived as a politician; well not in the traditional sense. Some call him a populist, others a 'voice that is not heard amongst mainstream candidates, seen as a 'chaos candidate' by others, the 'truth-sayer' by yet another group. It is almost like he has collected together all of the concerns and fears of different sectors of US society, rolled them up into a ball and served it via the media, which in itself has a 'love-hate' relationship with him. Hell, even Fox News has issues at times with him. It would be very dangerous for his opponents, both within his own party and his Democratic Party competition to write him off. He seems to find the soft spots of a huge section of 'ordinary,' yes sometimes, ill-informed' American opinion, and play to it, in the way that only Trump can do. He is sensationalist, downright ignorant re some of his 'issues,' but always with en eye on the reaction of his audience. He is prepared to face down his audience, give the finger, get down and dirty, tell lies and half lies. He takes arrogance to a whole new height, while breaking all the rules re debates and 'normal' pathways to the p[residency. Perhaps his appeal says much about the electorate. That he is possibly prepared to 'go it alone,' says much about how he sees himself. Perhaps he is still locked up in the 'game' he became even more famous for---his anger, his passion, his rudeness and shear -showmanship. Those qualities when kept in 'balance' actually work for many politicians, so he has just stepped up the game to make it fit into modern, media driven, populist American politics. Once again---what does this say about the USA today? Will 'thinking Americans actually come to the fore, register to vote and turn out on the day, to stop this man's race to the White House?! Only time will tell. In the meantime, Trump will continue to 'blame, shame and try to sell his 'policies' to the masses!
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Firstly I should state my 'interest' in the above announcement from the NZ Government. Yes---I have one and although I do not use it very much, that is something that will change as I get slowly more uncomfortable re driving in NZ's biggest city----Auckland. It seems that the users of the GC are going to be asked to buy a 'smart card. for about $10. That gives them (me!) the right to use the buses, ferries and trains; the times varying according to where one lives in NZ. Of course for the small towns, such services are not so apparent. There is an outcry, none more stringent than from the venerable leader of the NZ First Party, Winston Peters. OK---many would say that he is playing to his 'electorate,' but that does not concern me---I am more than happy for him to 'stick up for us oldies,' and the cynical side of me says that he has 'carved out' this segment of the electorate to keep him in Parliament, but today---I shall not decry him in any particular way. I say---'go for it Winnie!' So, I can see both side of the coin: the one that allows GC holders to travel free, most of the time around the bigger cities, and having to pay a few dollars for the privilege of possessing such a card, is a small price. For those of my younger readers who throw up their hands (and maybe the contents of their stomachs!) about 'the oldies bitching again, I say----Think a bit about this conundrum--- think about the cars that the oldies drive being off the road, about you not having to scream insults at the drivers of the said cars not slowing you down as you go about your day, think about the growing numbers of 'greylings' who will share the roads with you, about not having to avoid us, about the tax savings and not having to fork out for more motorways---that cost a hell of a lot more than the $28 million that the government has earmarked per year for the next five years and come to the same conclusion as me----- spend a bit more and get more of us off the road----hey---extend it to other groups---maybe $100 million a year---that is so much cheaper than the grandiose schemes proposed by some who want to spend so much on the tunnels, motorways and God knows what is on the plans. See---we are not complaining without pointing out the benefits of supporting the GC holders. We must be vigilant and not let the government and their cronies gradually strip away the amount spent on GC usage, all with the short term aim of short-term savings. NOW---think ahead and one last plea: Please let me take my Jack Russell with me on the trains and buses. Other countries seem to let that happen! Then---I won't need my car---well not quite so often!
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
One really has to wonder what Donald's real plan is. Surely he does not believe that he can attract enough 'red neck' followers; the ones who believe his utterances about Muslims, gays, women and any group that experiences marginalization in USA society. It seems that not a day goes by without (Add mass shootings to the list)another 'TRUMP announcement.' What is so 'telling' though is that he is still riding high in the polls. Are Americans really that narrow, that racist or to be really blunt---ignorant?! I do not believe that they are. What Trump is doing, is to play to the fears that many of us have and then adds his own vitriol, misguided opinion and draws in those who know no better. There is always a tiny bit of 'fact' in his announcements and when the media takes hold of his shenanigans, it is open slather re his 'coverage.' o-----Donald secretly desires a Democrat win in the Presidential elections. He is trying to split the GOP ---to the point that his candidacy is no longer viable and then---viola---he announces that he will run as an 'INDEPENDANT!' What will that do---he will steal enough votes---mainly from the GOP, but some from the Democrats, but the result will be, a Democrat win. Well---that's my fantastical take. Go figure. Can't wait to see my wonderful, thinking American friends respond!
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Donald Trump---what a chump! OMG What has the USA spawned? Who the hell is advising this guy? Would it even matter? Has he ever thought through anything he has said? NO Olympics, no embassies, unless the Islamic nations appoint 'non-Muslim representatives. USA---the whole world is trying not to laugh or cry---they're not succeeding! What is so sad, is that he is leading in the polls for the GOP nomination. Surely sense will prevail in the end---won't it?!!!!!
Friday, November 27, 2015
Thanks again, Ukraine. You are now easily the biggest fan fro my blog, this month, ahead of the USA and New Zealand. If only that equated to downloads for my book, Roskill. Maybe you are spreading my blog and FB page in Ukraine and Europe in general. If you are, maybe I better come to Kiev to thank you in the future. I better start researching Ukrainian food and wine! Just need about 30,000 downloads of Roskill to achieve that!
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Hey---- let's have some fun. Both have a theme going on around 'hair. One pulls it, the other---well I shall leave that one to you too; after all, this is an 'interactive' blog. Both are buffoons----think of the stupid, insensitive, downright wrong pieces of rubbish that emanate from their mouths. Now focus in how they attract a large number of voters to their 'causes,' but try not to get bogged down in the silliness, the patronizing manner, the lies, the deviousness of their 'policies, the 'made up on the hoof,' appearance of much of what they say. Then---there are the differences-----one has held power for more than six years, the other wants to! One leads a country that continues to believe the lies, while the other is possibly about to. It's not too late for the former and one would hope that NZ has learned. If not---then I guess Hawaii will not be rolling out the 'YOU ARE HOME,' mat anytime soon---that is, for Key. Maybe Trump will be booking a ticket to assuage his frazzled nerves, if the USA comes to its senses. Wouldn't ya just love to be a fly on the wall----oops----on a palm branch, if the two met at a golf club in Hawaii---with Obama coming up the final leg! This is just a short blog, because the composing of the details just completed, took a great deal of effort to somehow think of the two 'leaders' at the same time.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
It seems that Ukraine is now in the top ten for hits on my blogs. that has happened really fast. I do not know if it just a few readers, reading many of my blogs, or new ones. Either way---that's cool. Now I make a plea for those loyal readers to spread my website, to help me get some sales in Ukraine. Go for it. I shall be most grateful. Please share my site and ROSKILL over and over again. Don't forget to download Roskill---it is much cheaper than buying the hard copy. www.authorneilcoleman.com
Sunday, November 22, 2015
One often hears people decrying the NZ Health system, complaining about long delays for 'non-urgent,' but chronic conditions. This is a very real issue for those who are needing procedures that are covered by the free state system, but having very long waiting lists, hence the increasing number of people buying into the 'health insurance support system. For many, the latter is just not possible and as you age, the less likely you are able to afford it. I dropped mine three years ago. There is a widening gap between those who have insurance and those who don't and end up waiting for quite some time for a number, perhaps an increasing number of medical interventions. It comes down to how much a Government is prepared to invest in a Free Public health system; that requires higher taxation, always a vexing issue for a political party, that clamours to gain the votes of people who continually ask for lower taxes. You can't have it both ways, folks---either pay the taxes, or take the money from other competing government services , or watch the system deliver less and less. The past few days firmly places me in the camp that supports taxation to deliver to the widest range of the population and for as many procedures as possible. The support I received from the public health system, was efficient, caring and will continue. I feel comfortable knowing that everyone in New Zealand can avail of such support when things go wrong re a wide range of medical issues, but I am very aware that there is a tendency for Governments to play to that part of the 'electorate' that 'can afford' alternative arrangements. That 'movement' is apparent in other areas of our lives, namely---education. I believe in a system that is supported by taxation, one that delivers to all sectors of society. Take that away and we enter a space that is 'UN-New Zealand. Now take a look or listen to the words of aspiring politicians and then decide how you want NZ to be.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
It seems that there is about to be an alliance between very uncomfortably matched allies, re the war against ISIS. History has presented such alliances in the past; take the war against the Nazis. Very soon after the 'successful' completion of the demise of the common enemy, things go to custard, indeed sometimes before the culmination of hostilities. Now we are witnessing the coming together of a large number of participants against the 'scourge' that is ISIS. Yes, I have seen all the posts and reports claiming that it us the USA and Israel who have funded or caused the rise of this group. I watch the 'box' where sometimes it seems like it is 24/7 coverage of the latest 'outrage' inflicted upon the 'peaceful' people of Europe and the fleeting coverage that is assigned to other ISIS targets. It feels like one cannot escape the coverage, if you surf the news channels. I cannot help but think that there is a ratings issue going on here! But---lets take a look at the attempts to 'destroy ISIS. If it came down to a 'battle' in the sense that most of us understand, this desperate group wield not stand a chance. Who was it that said that 'you can kill a person, but not an idea?' Now take that idea and link it to the situation that exists in many Middle Eastern countries, brought about by a complex mix of historical events and economics. OMG---One sentence to explain the rise of ISIS?! Add in the fact that ISIS is able to communicate with a group of individuals, using extremist religious dogma and the unrealized aspirations of this group, then you have the makings of a group who can be recruited via the web. It is not possible to bomb the hell out of this complex web of 'anger.' You cut off the head of one (excuse the terrible pun!) and it is replaced by many others. The events we are seeing in Paris and other cities is the result of past failed 'interventions' by Western and other powers and it is doomed to failure unless the underlying causes are first acknowledged and then addressed. Sadly, any real attempts to do this are blocked by those who benefit most---yes---the 'good old' 1% who have and always have gained from war! They control the media, political structures and the agenda that sucks us in. THEY have options--they always have! We have the capacity to believe them, or to question them, but it is an uphill battle. Watch now as the political 'RIGHT' rises and attempts to change the face of Europe. They will not learn from history; they will merely redefine it!
Monday, November 16, 2015
Are you reading ROSKILL in Ukraine? It certainly looks like you are reading my blog. Funny how that happens---in spurts. It is the same for other countries. No blog hits for weeks then all of a sudden---heaps of them. Long may that continue. Don't forget to download Roskill. Follow the leads!
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Peter Dunne stands up for Kiwis. Yes, Peter has come out swinging in the fight to get some balance on this vexing issue: you know the one---where Kiwis are being arrested in the dead of night in Aussie and for spurious reasons, like some minor if any indiscretion committed many years ago. In fact the Australian Government has refused to say why these arrests have occurred for most of them. PM Key on the other hand is content to label these people as 'rapists and various other nasty names, not once but on several occasions. That Peter Dunne has come out so forcefully is somewhat confusing , given his stance on other issues that affect even more people. Maybe he is doing it because he really cares: who knows, but one could take the more cynical view that he has chosen this issue because he sees some 'political gain' by doing so. Well, he does not 'own' that particular trait, to be fair. Maybe he sees that the ship has sprung a leak and he is catching a lifeboat, in order to prolong what is becoming an obvious dead-end journey for him. OK---lets give him a little credit, but back it up, Peter and support some of the Private Members Bills, like the solar energy one that you could have swung on the day----BUT YOU DIDN"T. Like so many of your other stances---you took the line that suited your survival! OK---we are watching. BUT---lets give Peter the last word.-----"We have a right to expect our foreign policy to be evocative of our independence and nationhood by upholding human rights and dignity, and to stand up for New Zealanders when and where necessary. It is time to abandon the chin-dripping subservience we are lapsing into." www.authorneilcoleman.com http://amazon.com/dp047325655x
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
'Decorated soldier Ko Rutene detained in high security Australian prison despite committing no crime 8:18 AM Wednesday Nov 11, 2015' Australia no doubt has an issue with 'boat people,' refugees and possibly some undesirable immigrants who have no wish to embrace the 'great Aussie lifestyle.' I am not questioning their right to manage who enters their country, but the actions of late, whereby a large number of people are being sent to offshore detention centres where conditions are not good and the said facilities, managed by a very questionable firm (SIRCO) are hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. New Zealand citizens have been caught up in this wide-sweeping approach, with little sensitivity to what has been a very close relationship between the two ANZAC nations taken into account. That the ex serviceman, Ko Rutene, can be treated in this manner defies any semblance of fairness or acknowledgment of our 'special relationship.' I have no issue with Australia sending to the country of origin non residents, or New Zealand citizens who have transgressed the law in a serious manner; ones that have more than a year of prison, for instance, but we are hearing of NZ citizens who have lived in Australia for many years, committing low level indiscretions, been taken in the dead of night into these facilities. Sure they say that there is an appeal process but for these low-Level indiscretions, surely there os no need for such heavy handed processes, where families are split and the 'prisoners' having to mix with hardened and desperate 'companions. Now take the lack of real action on the part on NZ's Government and the problem is compounded. NZ is being treated as very much a 'junior partner' in this, in a nasty and bullying way. PM Key simply reacts in a very unbecoming manner in our Parliament and refuses to respond in a meaningful way that delivers the message as it should be; forcefully and that NZ too can put this century old relationship to the test. Yes---that is what KEY NEEDS TO DO. How else will the Aussies get the message, that our ANZAC spirit is something to be treasured, not trifled with, or ignored when it suits. I say, we respond in kind. Send back Aussies, cancel the benefits that Aussies assume as a right when they come here. It is time to look at the relationship, with the intent to restore 'equality.' Restore the spirit! Australia---you have got it wrong and My Key---front up!
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
There are some traditions that we follow in New Zealand that throw back to the old days. One of these is the doubtful celebration of an old English festival whereby we celebrate the failure of a person dissatisfied with Parliament, to attempt to blow it up. His consequent death and burning are celebrated; well not really---people just use it as an excuse to light fires and set off fireworks. To carry on this custom in NZ is at best fraudulent and at its worse---completely nonsensical and dangerous. I will no doubt be accused of being a 'killjoy' or a member of the fun police, but since when has been caring about the plight of animals, property and yes---people, been a quality that attracts criticism? For years fire departments have had torrid times because people do stupid things; setting fire to buildings, forests and grassy areas, injuring one another, yet year after year, various Governments refuse to act, putting the issue on the back-burner rather than make the call. There is only one solution---that is to allow 'public' displays under controlled conditions; these to apply for all celebrations involving any use fireworks. Gone are the days when we all had large sections that allowed for a few crackers, but with the advent of a far more dense urban environment, it just doesn't make sense. OH--those of you in country areas, feel you can be exempt, but think of your animals! They are your 'investment.' Why would you risk putting that at risk? It is time to act and consign this irrelevant festival to history.
Friday, October 30, 2015
I was feeling bit bored today, so I decided to indulge in a little 'titillation' of the senses. What to do to enhance my more 'creative,' yes possibly darker side? I could of course go online and look at things deemed not 'propa' from some people's point of view, but I was in a creative mood and felt that I needed something that gave back and could be enjoyed by a group. The plan: Sitting in my cupboards are some 'toys' that are not often used, well nowhere near enough to be labelled everyday items. Given that I have a few people over for dinner I decided on a multi-level experiential, imbibing of some good old favourites; something satisfying to the palate as well as stimulating the visual side of our brains. Into the dark cupboards I headed and came out with Air fryer, 'dessert' maker and on the outside---the BBQ. For t hose of you who were becoming a little over-excited---calm down and enjoy the journey! OK, I lied about the ménage a trois---I also had an old 'dominatrix' peep form the stove top and demand to have say----an old wok! I arranged them all in the kitchen bench and let them go at it. They boiled some chicken legs in a spicy mix (Damn the WOK is such a bitch when she has company!)and let it cool. The tender legs, minus the black laced stockings will then marinade in a yet to be decided invention. In the meantime I shall come to the help of Air Fryer--she just loves a tactile input! She says she wants to play with some potatoes! OH boy---now Dessert maker says she wants to play too. She asked that I cut up some bananas, strawberries and avocado, then squeeze a lemon to bind them all together and to keep them 'fresh.' After a sleep they can go into the freezer and finally Dessert Maker will do her thing and produce a wonderful cream. Just before my friends. MS BBQ has plans to deal to the chicken legs. Yes she will gently cook them to a 'gilded' crispy finish---bringing together the final stage of our ménage a trois evening. Such fun. Such fun! Who claimeth 'food is not sexy!'
Monday, October 26, 2015
The 'heading' says it all. That a drug can be smuggled into NZ in this manner must be cause for concern. Take this to the next level, with the advent of a plethora of new 'designer drugs' and you can see a future that leaves one wondering, just where we are heading. On Sunday morning eight young soldiers took a dangerous step by partaking in one of these 'new boys on the block,' drugs and ended up in hospital and probably facing the wraith of the courts and their bosses. Their futures in the 'services' are mostly likely about to be curtailed. We have seen what 'P' (Methamphetamine)can do in NZ society, our families, employment and business ruined and now we are under siege from these new drugs. Obviously whatever legislation that has been p[assed, is not working. Click on this link and download my take on how 'P' destroys a family. This could be in any neighbourhood in any town or city in NZ. http://amazon.com/dp047325655X
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
I have observed a sad change in the relationship between New Zealand and Australia over the last decade or so. The claims that we are more than 'bother (and sisters) in arms, is now distorted by political reality, mainly that emanating from the other side of the 'ditch!' Sure there has always been a bot of the 'I'm the bigger brother' in this relationship and I guess, up to a point most NZers accept that, simply because as a nation, NZ is a great deal smaller in many ways. Our shared history since colonial times has been a close one; forged on battlefields and in a strong economic link, then add on the sporting relationship and you basically have the 'deal.' But now it all seems to be fading, re the actions of the Australian Government to lock NZers who have been living and working there for decades, out of many of the benefits that go with living in that country. These range from a raft of supports and benefits that NZ offers to Australians who chose to live here, without becoming citizens. OK, they have a point re their sending back to NZ, those who have transgressed the law, beyond a certain point, but to send a Kiwi back who has lived in Australia for many years is simply not good enough. Those people have few or no links with NZ anymore and it is inhumane to follow the pathway we are witnessing. I am NOT referring to criminals who have been there for less than 5 years and who chose to break the laws of Australia in a serious manner. I believe that the time has arrived, where by NZ replicates the actions of our Aussie cousin: yes---send back those who mirror the behaviours of those we are about to receive, cancel any benefits and support that Aussies have enacted upon our people. Lets have a level playing field. Why should we subsidise those Aussies who gain from living here, if the same 'helpful' hand is not extended to Kiwis living in Aussie. That is not being selfish or small-minded; it is not being reactionary--it is simply fair. OR---we go back to some real dialogue and restore what has always been a special relationship in every sense of the word. I far prefer the last scenario than the one I just proposed, whilst feeling let down by our special friends across the Tasman. Lets have some fairness and common sense. Lets face it---the grass is not always greener over in Aussie and many of them may one day become a little jaded in their feelings re the fires, the big climate changes coming their way and a gradual lessening of the 'dig the wealth from the ground,' answer to their economic future. They may WANT to come here!
Monday, October 19, 2015
I thought that Russia had gone from my readership base, then all of a sudden---you are back---big time; not like the hits from Israel that are in the fantasy league. Come on---when I see 2000 hits in one day from one country, I know something weird is happening. NO---Russia---you are most welcome. I hope you are also downloading my book, ROSKILL from my website. Maybe some of you have even been to the Frankfurt Book Fair and seen it there, last week. Good to see you back. www.authorneilcoleman.com
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Israel at it again------1500 hits----not possible---what's going on. Come on, Google---sort it out please.
If the 1500 hits on my blog in one day from Israel were genuine, I would be happy, I suspect that they are not! I do not know what is happening. My blogs are pretty 'inconsequential' in the bigger scheme and I very rarely get more than 100 hits, spread across many countries in one day, so when I see the number I am seeing today, I have cause for concern. Is anyone out there in the 'blogosphere' or on FB have any light to shed on such 'events?' I wish the numbers coincided in a genuine way re the fact that ROSKILL is at the Frankfurt Book Fair over the next four days, but once again, I doubt that. I wonder what the purpose of the hits is. It's not as if my ramblings are read by many people, so I am hardly getting up the nose of Israel re any stance I may or may not have in regard to their actions in the region. I am not extreme re my views as to their actions: I try to see the bigger picture in that complicated mess! OK---maybe one of you can help me out here and inform me about what is possibly going on.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Today I watched a BBC 'clip' from a large military parade in North Korea, once which was closely supervised by the stooges of the Dear Leader. The commentary was noticeably 'laboured,' as if the reader was doing his utmost not to laugh. It was a dark comedy in a sense----well it would be, if it was not for the ramifications of a dangerously armed and led nation, that North Korea has become. One has to wonder what was going through the deluded mind of the short leader form the 'Hermit Kingdom,' whether he really is in touch with reality. His delusions are the rest of the worlds nightmare in the making. That he is in charge of a military machine that is increasingly capable of delivering cha0os o the region and beyond. That a high ranking Chinese Governmental figure was at the 'dear leader's side, is also worrying; perhaps the redeeming feature could be that China too is playing a dangerous game with its crazy neighbour. After all, China has to live with this 'infected' needle, always ready to jab at supposed enemies. What is also sad, is that so much of North Korea's economy is tied to the military machine, differing only from the USA in that its economy is 'sick. The later has a much bigger capacity to hide the effect of its military spending by somewhat smoothing the 'sufferings' (albeit it increasingly less generously) through a welfare system. North Korea's people do not have the backup of an economy that produces most of the goods and services that constitute basic needs. Take a look at the 'shots' coming from Pyongyang and observe closely the 'body language' of the leader. What is he thinking? Who does he imagine his enemies are--those from beyond the borders of his kingdom, or those within--those ready to step into his footsteps. They better move incredibly quickly or they will succumb to the fate of all the other imaginary enemies of the dear leader. Meanwhile, the 'parade' goes on--to show the world that North Korea and the boss are on track to 'rule the world.' Thank God, I can turn the TV off and forget about the images from the North!
Thursday, October 8, 2015
What the hell is he going on about this time, you say. Maybe you used even stronger language. That's OK, I do---regularly. How are those two 'trends' even remotely linked? By radio reports of course. You see, I was driving sedately along the South west motorway, having spent a most satisfying day re some of my wonderful 'supervisee' clients. Perdy was in the car, as she had spent the day bat doggie care; hopefully she was not intent on repeating last night's fiasco! her 'escapology' skills must firmly remain in the past!!!! The radio was set on talkback and eventually the drivel gave way to the news. Firstly there was an item about a 'vegetation fire on Mt Roskill, barely a kl from where I live. I searched the horizon, but there was no sign of any conflagration. I assumed the 'services' had doused the said flames so there was no need for me to evacuate, unlike some of my country-persons in the far south, who had endured some nasty winds and scrub fires, threatening their homes. So we headed n home but before we arrived, we were alerted to another event--this time form our 'cousins' in Australia. It seems that a prominent Northern Territory politician was having problems with his son--whom he had evicted from the family home, because of the son's use of 'ice,' the substance we call 'P' in New Zealand. Just like in NZ, families are torn asunder by this insidious substance. Businesses are ruined and lives put on hold, while the battle to return to normality rages, if one chooses, that is. Therein there is an issue. Just like NZ, the will to put in the resources to fight this blight on society, is sadly missing the mark. Many of the programmes available are expensive and not publicly funded. The extent of the problem is huge. Hardly a town is free of 'P' or 'Ice.' It is my drive to find solutions that drove me to write ROSKILL, a story set in NZ, but replicated in both countries; a story of hope replacing hopelessness. We can do something, we can fight it, but we must invest in programmes to get our citizens off this terrible evil. Click on the kink below, which will take you directly to the Amazon download for the eBook version of ROSKILL. You can download the hard copy from my website, but it is expensive if you live outside the USA. For a cheaper deal, go to my email address and request a hardcopy for $22, posted anywhere in NZ. email@example.com http://amazon.com/dp/047325655X www.authorneilcoleman.com
Monday, September 28, 2015
Yes, I am embarking on an Op Shop tour today, with my mate Doug. Look out Waikato! You may wave from your windows, front porches and the well-lined streets as we swoop past. If we stop for a bargain, then please don't get in our way. We are going to replenish our China cabinets with delights from the past; not just beautiful china to look at, but to use. Oh yes, we shall be looking for trios and any other colourful offerings that 'jump out at us.' Yes, there will be very well laid tables, ready for high teas. Bring back the glories of the past. We should never have 'let them go!' Rule Britannia---except for the RWC of course.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Yeah I know I slagged VW for their 'indiscretion about pollution levels, but hey---I am sure you won't be alone in that particular issue. hardly a month goes by whereby a major recall occurs, be it from an Asian, European or American auto maker. I guess India and China will joint the list before long. BUT, my friends and readers in Germany---don't let that stop you going to the Frankfurt Book Fair to check out ROSKILL---the story that is replicated in every country. All countries have issues re the use of damaging substances, legal or mainstream---they break families and destroy lives. So---do go along and check out ROSKILL. Post a picture of you holding ROSKILL---a story that offers hope when there appears to be none.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
So you go and check out all the 'specifications' for a new car and arrive at that place that allows you to make a sensible decision about buying one that ticks all the 'boxes.' It has all the power you want, the looks, and above all---it has fantastically green qualities.' You go ahead with the deal, and trade in your old 'stinker,' in the knowledge that you are saving the planet. Then comes the news that a 'reputable manufacturer, indeed the worlds most successful one, in terms of total sales, gets caught telling a 'porky.' NO I m not talking about David Cameron's unusual past-times! I find it a bit much to believe that other manufacturers are not also complicit in distorting the details re their latest releases.Expect VW to cry out in indignation that they are not the only ones doing this. I would be extremely surprised if they were. OK, the complete fabrication of the truth was on a massive scale and others may be at the other end of the 'lies continuum,' but tales and exposes are going to be the stuff of our news media. There will be back-stabbing, accusations and shock and horror stories. Imagine what will come out about some of the 'new boys on the block.' The are are also going to be some damned good deals going as some of the companies try to 'knock off' so-called 'dirty cars.' Maybe the events we are witnessing will be good reason for the alternate energy cars to come massively into the new game! Bring it on!!!
Monday, September 21, 2015
Every day we are seeing more and more people, flowing into the EU, mainly Germany. The sad sight of exhausted mothers and young children has torn at the heart strings of many people. Thousands of young men have also poured across the borders of Eastern Europe, looking for 'safety and a better life. There are those who claim that Europe is inviting a 'time-bomb' to enter the nation states that make up this continent. There are others who point out that the rich Islamic nations of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States in particular, that have not opened their borders. That is not to say that they have not given huge amounts of money. Where this will end, if ever, is anyone's guess, but history has seen the mass movement of people before, be it from a colonial act, or the result of wars. There is another genre of refugee and there is a discussion re the action of New Zealand, refusing a 'Climate Change,' refugee to stay in the country. He has NZ born children and support is gathering for him to be allowed to stay in NZ.A petition has been launched and meetings held to put pressure on the relevant minister of the Crown to let him stay. Time is running out, for him and for the nation he comes from. The low lying nations in the Pacific are 'going under,' in a climactic manner. They are hardly above sea-level and any rise is making their nations perilous places to live. Water and crops are threatened and if the process accelerates, as many scientists claim, then we are going to see another mass movement of people from the affected areas. We have to face the probability that Island nations, around the world, those that have little high ground, are going to cease to exist. Other countries will have their shape change considerably as the low-lying land submits to the encroaching sea. NZ needs to look to its Pacific neighbours. It is these people who we need to accommodate, along with other nations in the region. I have much sympathy for the people in Syria, Northern Africa and other worn-torn countries in the area, but it is to the nations who share the huge ocean that NZ sits so comfortably in, that we need to help first. It is also a question of numbers. We cannot accommodate millions or even hundreds of thousands from the Northern Hemisphere, but we can make a real difference in our own region. Let the father from Kiribati STAY!
Thursday, September 17, 2015
This is a call to all Kiwis, ex-Kiwis or whatever name you choose------I need you. I need you to spread my blog, my website and links to my books. Heck---there are enough of you there, although I hear many of you are coming back to your roots, back here in NZ! If you have been reading my blogs, you will no doubt have connected with some, agreed with a few and downright wanted to 'sort me out' re some of them. I'd like to say, I never meant to offend, but in some cases that would be a big lie, beyond the legendary black stump, a step too far. NZ and Aussie share much, many attitudes but there are some great dividers, not all related to sports. So---keep reading, sharing my blogs, downloading the eBooks and better still pushing my books. Just go to my website. I need this in order to write some more. I am 'do it yourself' publisher of my works, so it I need all the people power on my side, particularly Kiwis in Aussie. Cheers! www.authorneilcoleman.com
‘Wake up! Now---not tomorrow. It’s light outside, ya lazy bugger!’ ‘Piss off, Perdy---just because you have slept for 10 ours---straight.’ ‘Well you’re the one insisting I go to doggie care. I don’t sleep much there---got to maintain my ‘position.’ ‘Yeah head bitch, eh girl. Ewwwww—that was full tongue---get away!’ That’s how things are here at home, people---every day during the week. I get to go to doggie care and he gets to bring home the bacon. I play---actually I am not gonna give away my secrets about what happens at doggie care. What happens at doggie care, stays in doggie care—thems the rules. Each day sort of starts the same, except on ‘pissing down days,’ when I would prefer to stay home and watch God’s bullets as they bounce off the office roof---from my safe place, behind the big glass windows. I don’t even like the cat-door being open---something may come in---not a cat of course! Speaking of cats---that furry bundle of fatness moved out long ago. Hell---all I did was chase her---a bit, and she ran---and kept going. Now she taunts me from her ‘safe place,’ beyond the fence. One day, you know who, will leave the gate ajar---then----well that’s another dream to come true. He gets his breakfast and if I am lucky, I am the recipient of a miserly piece of bacon---his reasoning? ---it’s not good for me. Shite---what about you dude! Oh, I am forgetting---he isn’t fat no more---as he keeps reminding me. We both look at ‘the cat’ outside---looking back at us---man---she is humongous! She’s the one who needs Bariatric Surgery! So, he’s showered, fed, ‘abluted’ and pigged-out’ on the news, so it’s game-time. I run outside, pretending I ain’t going nowhere. Why do I do that? It’s always the same. He gives me a treat to come inside and jump on the couch so he can pick me up and put me in the car, where I get another small offering from the ‘car-stash.’ Man---who’s trained who here? I chuck in an extra or wiggle or two, just to add a bit of realism. He sticks on the news, or in my view some opinionated twat who thinks he knows everything! This is the time, I try to give him the ‘guilts.’ I do this weird trembling thing. He thinks I don’t really want to go and tries to assuage that feeling by being nice to me. Damn I’m good at that. I quite like going to doggie care, but I don’t want him assuming that it is going to happen in his ‘holidays.’ He belongs to me then and it’s trip day, every day, preferably---all day! We head down the big hill, and travel alongside my favorite place---the ‘bay,’ where ti all happens. I have heaps of friends there, and it’s off the bloody leash-----freedom, to sniff, chase Pukekos (even on the motorway once!) I love to roll in the stink things, get down and dirty, swim, and above all---chase the ball---my orange ball. Sure, I share it with my mates. I’m not possessive like some of them. The ‘Bay’ is soon behind us and it off the motorway. I know that if we go past a certain point---we are going elsewhere, but usually I can tell---the lead up is all different. There is a place on the way to the doggie care that stinks really badly some days---well he thinks it is, because I notice him scrunching up his nose. I heard him say to a passenger once, that ‘all the shit from Auckland goes there!’ Sounds like a cool place to play! Next we are driving really slowly---it’s a village—with lots of white flags and signs saying—‘save our village,’ and a whole lot of other stuff. Buggered if I know what that is all about, but he seems to agree with them. Finally---the drive appears and we pull into the car park. He invites me to ‘go toilet,’ I do---not because he says so though. I’ll piss when I want and as for the other, I’m not damned ready! He has me on a lead—what’s he think I’m gonna do-----feck off or something? Nah---it’s inside where I can begin my ‘secret day.’ He threatens to put a ‘go-pro on me,’ whatever the hell that is, so he can spy on me. I think he’s jealous, because one of the ‘special people’ there, really likes me. At the end of the day (Where have I heard that before?) I always make sure to go back and give that ‘care-giver’ an extra kiss—just to remind Daddy, that there are other people out there, who love Jack Russells! OH OK, I do let up on him. Once he has given me a treat for being a good girl, I curl up on the back window parcel shelf and watch the world go by-----and go to sleep---until dinner time. It’s the weekend tomorrow. Adventure time—even better than doggie care.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
People have always gossiped, whether they be young children, right through to those who should know better in a retirement home! It may be over the proverbial back fence, or in a cafe over a cup of coffee. One could say that it is part of being human. Today there is a headline in the NZ Herald about a young person who self-harmed, because of the new way of bullying---via social media. I have been employed for a few decades in a position whereby bullying in many forms is part of my daily life--for my clients.It used to take the form of 'dropped comments, or in your face verbal attacks right through to physical abuse. It would not be difficult to find literature, films or TV programmes that feature various forms of bullying, but something has changed. The pace and nature of bullying has picked up since the advent of easily accessible social media. For our teenagers, this happens mainly through Facebook and some of the other platforms that are being added form time to time. A day does not go past without yet another sad, depressed, angry or 'damaged' young person coming to my office, whether self-referred or accompanied by a concerned friend or adult, to try to make sense of what they have 'received' through their devices.Sometimes they have already attempted a form of self-harm and at others contemplated it. With these young people, someone, if not themselves has taken action and sought help. It is those who do not look for support, who I see as most endangered.Social media is a platform that is too easily accessible, too flippant in its use to express a feeling that in the past, could have been processed and with a little resilience, cast aside. When 'gossip or negative talk,' be it of a bullying nature or downright threatening is delivered via the push of a button, then the possibilities to harm are much more impacting. Parents, teachers and others, may notice their teen (or younger person) going 'into themselves, not eating and being generally 'out of character.' Once again, it is these observations that may prevent a more serious response.For those who do not 'talk to their parents or another significant person in their lives, that we worry about Some parents take the 'phone from their teen, hoping that such actions will save the day, but in many cases (you will not want to hear this!) it is not beyond the means of young people to have 'alternate access' to social media, be it with a secondary phone or that of a friend--plus using 'public computers,' sometimes at a school or library. What can parents do? Good communication and knowing what your 'teen' is doing, having a 'trust' that WILL be tested form time to time, knowing (in as much as you can) who the friends your offspring is associating with, having rules that are negotiated, rather than 'inflicted;' these are the basis for being prepared for the scenarios that will come the way of your teen, when they live their lives on the Net! Banning them may seem like a solution, but that is a bit like saying to your loved ones, that they cannot have a boyfriend or girlfriend while they are still at school. Think back to how YOU handled that one as a teen! IF YOU CAN NOT talk to your teen, then encourage them to talk to another 'trusted adult!' This issue re social media and cyber bullying is not going to go away. try to find out as much as you can, seek help. Ring Youthline or Netsafe and seek out other agencies who may be able to inform you of the pitfalls re SM. DOING NOTHING---is not an option.
Sunday, September 6, 2015
I am so pleased to finally see Tonga reading my blogs. The Pacifica countries are closely associated with New Zealand and much of my life has been 'enjoyed,' interacting and working with the young people and their families from the Auckland Pacifica community, many of course from a Tongan background. I have many fond memories of two wonderful young women (identical twins) who lived at my home while they finished their secondary education. I know that they have gone on to successful careers in the banking industry in Sydney. I hope that they get my message or that someone who knows them in Sydney, passes on my best wishes.Tonga----go well and may you continue to read my blogs!
Saturday, September 5, 2015
OMG you say. Has it taken that long? What on earth have you been doing all your life? Are you such a 'later bloomer' that you held on so long---to your innocence; that your journey lacked such titillation and pleasure? Now you are about to caress the smooth, clearly defined object of your desire. Yes, In know you have wondered how I filled my days, in times gone by; how I could observe others take so much guilt-free pleasure, day after day, some losing their 'friends' way too early, others straying from the fold, only to do it all again. I have been patient and now----on this cloudy day that only shows slivers of promise of things to come, I shall put aside my fears and jump into the conjugal bed and USE my new Gold Card. We will activate it TODAY!!!!!!
Thursday, September 3, 2015
The above words were very chilling to hear five years ago. The doctor was totally correct---or he would have been if I had not finally taken the decision to change my life. No, I did not have some sort of 'spiritual epiphany! I made the decision to stop the yo-yo dieting and subsequent piling on of weight after each failed diet. All I was doing was shoving heaps of money into various 'in vogue diets,' making the authors of such 'life changing opportunities,' richer--at my expense. I was told about Bariatric surgery as the only way left for me to get a check on my ever expanding waistline and the rush to an early grave. Being over 50, the operation would cost me the price of a new car---what the hell--all I would gain would be---life. I blocked my ears to those who thought I was 'lazy, or lacked self-control.' Hey this is my life---not yours, I thought. I was sick of sleep apnoea, high cholesterol, blood pressure and type two diabetes---all of which were contributing to my early demise. Now 28 months later and about 40 kilos lighter, I have my life back and I can make plans again. I feel better and enjoy my life, without having to feel guilty and the new energy has opened up opportunities that I simply could not contemplate years ago. Today I turned 65--I collect my pension and I can still work. That allows me to make plans for putting in place some financial security re my future. I can also think about s few other dreams--the campervan, if I so choose, or some travel. Choices---something we all have, but when they are backed up with that special gift--improved health---that makes all the difference. Today has been a joy---at work, at home, knowing I have friends who care and family right alongside me. I will take some time, later--to reflect on this special day.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
It would not be hard to use the description, 'failed nation,' to describe many nations at the moment, Syria being an obvious example.One can use various 'lenses' to explain why this has happened to this ancient nation. You as a reader will not need to look far on a range of 'platforms' to find explanations, albeit ones that are penned, according to the 'writers' opinions. I am thinking of the consequences--for Syria's future, if not the immediate present. Many hundreds of thousands of Syrians are on the move, fleeing from an intolerable situation in their country of birth. They have suffered from a despotic leader, civil war between a myriad of groups, all claiming to represent the aspirations of Syrian people. Outside influences, not the least being the 'interests' of the usual suspects (USA, Russia and Iran) played out on the mess that the Middle East has been for hundreds of years, whether it be from colonial empire building or economic imperialism, all have played their part. Now throw in the specter of ISIS, with its particular take on the region and you have a cauldron of suffering, discontent and unrealized aspirations for the people who live in the region. Families and individuals flee, to wherever they can, seeking peace and some sort of economic future. That they head for Europe should not come as a surprise. Many would say, that it is just a reverse of what has happened in the past! Take a closer look at the 'refugees, in particular from Syria, take a measure of who it is that is leaving and I am pretty sure that large numbers of middle class, educated, skilled Syrians are fleeing their country. They take with them any hope for a rebuild of Syria, by Syrians (with massive help) and leave an even more 'depleted' country. Would they return? Have other mass movements of people form war-torn countries returned to their homelands? Is it too late to save Syria? It is if the EU, USA, and other 'players' in the regions and beyond, do not speak from the same page.What is happening in Syria will be replicated in neighboring countries, spawning other groups like ISIS. The world is at a tipping point, not just re these issues, but other climactic/environmental crossroads and what we are seeing in Syria could well be the most threatening point in history. Sorry for feeling pessimistic, but feel free to point out where I am wrong! I would love to have my mind changed. In the meantime, lets help these people. It is not their fault!!!
Monday, August 31, 2015
Spring in Auckland can be day after day of rain and leaving one wondering if it is Spring or a nasty version of another season. The I see someone reading my blog in Samoa, place where a friend is spending a week or two and sticks up pictures of the each and the resort where he is staying. I AM SO envious!
Friday, August 28, 2015
I am most pleased to see the high number of 'visits' to my website and blog from readers in Brazil. You now rank about third re the total number of 'hits' for the month. Please continue to read my blogs and hopefully, you are downloading Roskill,' my book. I suspect that the issue I write about in my book, is also a problem in Brazil and that many families are damaged, just as they are in New Zealand. I would love to get some feedback from you, via the comments section of my blog, about my book and about life in general as it is in brazil. Once again, thanks for taking the time to read my 'rantings.' www.authorneilcoleman.com
Friday, August 21, 2015
I have noticed and increase in 'traffic' from Sweden, lately and I don't mean Volvos, but hey---they are great cars too, if only I could afford one. Well Sweden, make that happen by sharing my blogs with all of your friends and getting them to wither download my book, ROSKILL, or buying the hard cover. I am sure you will find some sad similarities re the substance I talk about in my book. In NZ, we call it 'P' and it goes by other names in other countries, including 'Ice or Crystal Meth on others.Lives are ruined and families torn apart. Please send me feedback, if you do read my book. Many thanks, Sweden. Go to my website for the downloads or--hey---go visit the Frankfurt Book fare later in the year. You will find Roskill there too. www.authorneilcoleman.com
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Yeah, I know---that's quite a provocative heading, implying that I am on my way to Germany. I wish I was coming with ROSKILL, my book, the one that is going to the Frankfurt Book Fare, later in the year, but unless I can hide in the packaging, with suitable life support, then I will just have to rely on my agent to 'present' my book for me. Please go and check it out and maybe it can be picked up and translated into German. THEN, I would be coming for real, to sign copies and get to know your country. Berlin and Frankfurt---here I come? In the meantime, please visit my site and download or order hard copy. www.authorneilcoleman.com
Monday, August 17, 2015
Take any city or town in the USA or New Zealand and it would not be difficult to find a family facing the prospect of being torn apart because a father, son, wife or daughter has entered the dark world of Crystal Meth or 'P,' as we call it in NZ. It could start with a desire to get a high, one that has moving goal posts. as the 'hit' achieved on that first 'experimental blast, is never quite reached again. The 'user' becomes embroiled in a quest to fill the gap, to find that space whereby all problems disappear and the day to day struggle of life is an inconsequential----nothing! The need to repeat the experience becomes a deadly fascination and the very existence of the family is threatened, relationships strained and finances wrecked. This pattern of destruction is mirrored in every neighbourhood in both countries. It goes unnoticed at first, by neighbours and relations, friends and bosses, (and employees) as the 'substance' takes hold, until it is almost too late. Lies build upon lies, things disappear as the user seeks ever more money to finance his or her habit. The line is crossed between a law abiding individual to one who loses all judgment of right or wrong. Yet--a vestige of morality remains, tearing apart the person enslaved, as they drift further from reality. Loved ones become incidental as the 'beast' takes hold. There is hope, but it takes a brave partner, family member, or friend to 'be with' the person as they seek to break the hold. I invite you all to read ROSKILL, my book about the effects of CM or P on an ordinary family, and the extraordinary path they take to regain their family. There is hope, but they must dig deep to find the strength needed for the battle to save the family. You can download an eBook from my website, or buy hard copy. If you live in the USA, Amazon is fine but for Kiwis, it is cheaper to buy the book directly from me via my firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps you would like to read some reviews. Just Google Roskill by Neil Coleman and I am sure you will find a few. The website is www.authorneilcoleman.com
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Below are the hits on my blog for the top ten countries. About 50 other countries have featured. I am extremely suspicious of the ones from Israel because they appeared on just two days and things went wonky on those days for my blog. Go figure! If only those hits would translate into downloads or sales for ROSKILL. Oh well---just wishing. United States 76291 New Zealand 39948 Israel 4875 Russia 2612 Australia 2290 China 1570 United Kingdom 1159 Germany 733 Luxembourg 467 France 390
Thursday, August 13, 2015
I am ramping up my pubicity re ROSKILL prior to other events surrounding the book. For every 10 new followers I shall put their names into a draw and give away a free hard copy of Roskill. This offer applies to anywhere in the world, but restricted to planet earth! You know what to do---get folowing and hey----feedback is fine.I am prepared to give away up to 20 copies of Roskill. www.authorneilcoleman.com
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
< It seems that NZ and Australia often link re their special character---on the sports-fields and battlefields of the world and sometimes---politically. We both have leaders who have a vision of our collective futures that can only end in sadness and even bigger divides within our two great nations. Both leaders have their heads in the sand on so many important issues, not the least being those surrounding 'Climate Change.' Then we have the ever increasing divide between the wealthier elites at the top and the hugely increasing majority at the bottom of the economic pile. Both leaders have their hands deeply in the pockets of the 1%---that tiny group that transcends boundaries. They purport to care about the nations they lead, the people they represent, but do not listen when those people speak. They share an arrogance, that we have not seen matched in the politics of both countries for many years. NZ and Australia deserve so much better from their leaders. NZ---you have a chance this weekend to make a stand---against that other huge 'elephant in the room'---the TPPA. Let's get put on the streets and make a point. Let's make it a 'Hey Johnny and Tony---listen up!'
Why the weird intro? Why not. Since when did I worry about being a bit weird. The only real reason for actions----to make Aussie start reading my blogs and download my book, Roskill. I have been a bit 'strident' at times re some of the 'issues' between NZ and Aussie, mainly on the sporting field, but in reality that has been balanced out by the regular outpourings from me about the wonderful relationship that exists between the ANZAC nations. So---come on Aussie Aussie Aussie---get with the plan and hit me up. I promise to be NICE. wwww.authorneilcoleman.com
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Once again 'P' (Methamphetamine) has reared its ugly head. Today we hear news of a young man involved in this dark and dangerous world, who now faces a prison term, leaving his business in ruins. Not only has he damaged himself, but the people at the other end of the 'P road,' who are enslaved in this 'life damaging' scourge. In my communications with people re my blogs and publicity re my book (ROSKILL) I am reminded that the figures pertaining to the people involved in the drug, are vastly underestimated. Sure, the numbers they claim are anecdotal, but even if they are only partially correct, the numbers are huge. I feel a sense of despair, when I read their claims, wondering if NZ as a nation will ever get on top of the problem, not just re 'P' but 'substance abuse' in general. I include of course, alcohol in this. I think about the families who are torn apart by 'P' and the damage that the children are suffering. By the time they get to secondary school, it is very hard for the schools and other agencies working with them to counteract the 'flow-on' effects of the above drug(s). There are many 'out there' who do not want to know. This is reflected in some of the comments I receive when I write a post like this, where words like 'losers' and statement to to the affect that they 'just don't want to know' about 'P.' We all live in this fine land and until we own these issues,' talk about them, seek solutions that entail looking at the gaps between segments of society, what sort of future we want for our kids and putting resources into early childhood providers, to identify where we need to put the effort in, then we are doomed to see a continuing downward trend. That is why I wrote ROSKILL, in a style that is 'accessible,' readable and offering that quality we must never lose----HOPE! Follow the links to my book for an eBook download or contact me directly for a cheaper deal for hard copy. email@example.com www.authorneilcoleman.com
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Windows 10 is out. Fantastic, I thought. All my 'troubles' will be resolved re the issues I had with Windows 8.1. Well, that's the theory and then there's the 'Neil factor!' I remember many years ago, teaching the concept of 'Future Shock' to an unwilling Social Studies class---way back in the 1970's I am sure some of those dear students (now aged in their early 50s will be reading this blog and will no doubt give me some stick. That's OK, because I love to hear from them. I AM SUFFERING from that debilitating affliction. Yes, I had complained about how useless Windows 8.1 was and how it affected so many aspects of my 'life online.' I came to an accommodation with the devil that I knew and sort of managed. You must have noticed less negativity around my utterances. So yesterday I finally got the go ahead for the much vaunted Windows 10. I downloaded it and had a few glasses o9f wine while it did its thing---why?---Because I said to sit back and relax---I just added the wines for good measure. Once completed, I was immediately struck by the afore mentioned Future Shock. I had no idea what I was doing.24 hours in to the brave new world' of Windows 10--I am slowly---every so slowly coming to terms with the newbie on the block. BUT---it is a painful process; one which entails asking questions, reading and clicking on various icons, hoping for 'magic.' Will I get there? Yes, I think I will, but there will be blood on the floor, tear stained sleeves and a great deal of extreme language. Such is progress!
Friday, August 7, 2015
I love my weekends, which usually start with a quiet walk on a beach or in a park---with Perdy, of course. That doesn't really live up to the opening statement, given that no walk is ever quiet when accompanied by the said beast. Perdy knew that she wasn't going to the 'doggie care pet hotel,' in Mangere. No----we were heading to the city and then onto Mission Bay. When I pulled into the car park, her excitement was approaching 'leakage territory!' As soon as the leash was disconnected, it was off across the sand, chasing her beloved orange ball. In between toileting and chasing the ball and waiting for me to dispose 'correctly' of the solid stuff, she explored, chased, sniffed various canine bits and pieces and generally befriended anyone and everyone. I was hoping to gather myself with a gentle ramble, but Perdy had other ideas. She soon 'trapped me' in conversations with other dog owners and couples with a 'wanna dog' vision. Towards the end of our sojourn, we settled into an 'inspiring' conversation with an elderly gentleman, who exuded wisdom. He was a good deal older than me and still works. Our verbal union was full of surprises and left me thinking---hey, as long as one has reasonable health, there is indeed life beyond 65 and it does not have to be in AUCKLAND. He too was about to jump ship to somewhere on the Coromandel Peninsula. I loved his openness, his willingness to share his experiences with life and the 'encounters' he has lived through. Oh to be as satisfied with life as he is when I reach that age, in the not too distant future. He has lived life without regrets! Now-----Perdy---look after the house for a few hours, while I go and visit a friend---no----you are way too boisterous for this one!
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
I rely on people downloading the free AP from Amazon for a Kindle, ti enable them to read ROSKILL on a device of their choosing. However, i am hearing conflicting reports about just how that AP is. Do let me know. I'm just curious. As with all 'reports,' one has to be careful as to the 'accuracy' of such opinions. I find it hard to believe that of there were difficulties, Amazon would 'fix them.' Hey---they rely on their product being efficient and problem-free too, don't they. Given that I want most of my sales for ROSKILL to be downloads, in NZ at least, because of the high cost of postage from the USA, then I have a vested interest in everything being easy to use. Don;t forget to email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org for a hard copy order within NZ. No one has told me how much ROSKILL costs for readers in the USA----let me know.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
I get many requests for a hard copy link to ROSKILL or for the ebook download. I know that the cost for the hard copy version is expensive from Amazon. If you are in NZ (and probably Australia)the postage alone is about $32, so if you add on the cost of the book, well---you get my drift. I will give you a much cheaper option of you lve in NZ---$25 all up! If you don't want to pay the higher cost for the hard copy from Amazon, then use the ebook option. If you go to the link http://amazon.com/dp/047325655X click on it, follow through and it is really cheap. What---you don't have a Kindle?! NO problem---there is a free download for the AP amd if you can stand reading a book on your phone or tablet---well---there's your answer. Please let me know if you decide to follow that option. I'd love feedback. Don't forget to share this post! Happy reading. For direct purchases in NZ, go to email@example.com www.authorneilcoleman.com
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Every so often I notice a bit of a hit from a 'new country,' leading me to assume that they are reading my blogs or my FB page. Of course the two are interconnected, so a bit of 'over-flow' is to be expected. It was encouraging to see Switzerland hitting my site today and I hope it continues. I am always curious as to whether it is multiple readers or one person reading various blogs. Whoever you are---thank you. Hopefully you have ordered either hard-copy of Roskill or the download. I am curious to know what it costs to get 'hard-copy' via Amazon, in Europe, so do let me know. I know that the cost is really prohibitive if one does so from NZ, hence my encouraging people to order the book directly from me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a great deal cheaper for Kiwis to do it that way. Spread the word, dear reader in Switzerland.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Thank you to all of my readers everywhere, but in particular to the USA and Canada. I have only just realized how expensive it is for NZ readers to buy my book from Amazon. I guess that applies to other countries outside of North America. It seems that the postage alone to NZ is $32, making for a very expensive read for 'locals,' here in NZ I have suggested that they buy directly from me via email@example.com whereby the price will be half that of getting the hard copy from the USA! If you are wanting hard-copy and you live outside NZ, just click on the link below and it will take you to the page,which include the download option. Thanks for your support and happy reading. http://amazon.com/dp/047325655X
Friday, July 10, 2015
I feel for Tunisia. It was a beacon for other countries in the region. Sure, it is not perfect as a modern democracy, but who the hell is? It had a Government that was supported by a significant proportion of the population and it was making progress towards being an 'inclusive democracy.' The path towards the latter goal has been fraught with pitfalls, but there was light at the end of the tunnel. The recent events on the shores of the Mediterranean, have thrown this all into a dangerous direction. Tunisia needs tourism and without it, many will suffer. That is when those more extreme elements of the political/religious spectrum attempt to impose their dogma, all the progress made re political freedom are put at risk. If Tunisia loses this battle, then the region as a whole is even more at risk of falling under the sway of groups like ISIS. The whole world is watching, but that is all! Supporting Tunisia on Tunisia's terms would be a 'good move.'
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
If you are a teacher in New Zealand (AND possibly elsewhere) you will probably be aware of the term---PB4L. That means ‘Positive behaviours) for learning.’ I could spend quite a lot of my energy describing what this means, but in essence it is about engaging with your students in a positive manner, accentuating what they are doing well and encouraging ‘good behaviours.’ It is about the ‘relationship between the student and teacher. Hey---don’t you all remember those teachers---the ones you liked, because they treated you with respect—they had a sense of humour, yet you knew when you had transgressed. They didn’t need to yell at you—they just ‘had a word’ with you quietly and didn’t embarrass you publicly. There is a great deal of research that tells us what we all knew—education is a partnership between the home, the student and the school. We are a community. We are all ‘in it together.’ Recently, one of my friends, who used to be on the staff, visited the school and she left a book in my pigeon hole. It was called “Jack Russells for Dummies!’’ or something like that. Over the last few nights I have read it before sleeping. I had many ‘OMG!’ moments. I laughed, I sniggered and I could not help make the links between the ‘words’ of wisdom,’ in the book, with the ‘theory’ behind PB4L. Much of what I know about PB4L and my subsequent ‘bringing up of my crazy jack Russell is similar, minus of course the ‘leash and the manner of ‘treating.’ I better not get confused and apply the leash at school or give the kids a nice chewy pig’s ear!’ But I do heap praise upon the students for good behaviours, just like I do for Perdy. I send post cards home for continued ‘good behaviour, far more than I make a call about ‘less than good behaviours. It is said that PB4L works for about 90% of students. The remainder require more ‘specialist attention,’ in the form of deans, counsellors, or sadly, alternate arrangements. The link for y JR is that for about 90% of the time, my ‘positive engagement works,’ but for the 10% when she forgets she has ears, or smells a rat or some other critter---all bets are off and it is only my sense of humour (that goes a long way re working with students too!) That gets me through the ‘challenge.’ When a JR decides to use her not inconsequential brain for the purposes of deviating from the expected norm,’ well----I just wait until she decided to see things ‘my way.’ That crazy JK behaviour is observable in human form too. When teenagers disengage their brains, similar unpredictable pathways manifest themselves. Reasoning goes out the window and ‘critters’ of another from appear to be ruling the ‘norm of the day!’ I have often wondered how such episodes will turn out but thankfully, for the most part, peace does reign. It the getting there, for students and JRs, that provides the tears, the laughs and frustrations. My wish is that I don’t confuse the two ‘characters’ in my world---Oh what the hell---why not! Just don’t mix up the ‘treats!’
Monday, June 15, 2015
I am glad that ordeal is partially resolved----for now! Today was 'D' Day-----dentist day. While Perdy waited patiently in the car, just outside the window---she could almost see me, I faced some decisions. Getting older (many people have this happen, a lot younger than me!) means 'wear and tare' on one's teeth and the subsequent huge bills. My aim today was to stop the pain from a tooth that seemed intent on self-destruction. It had split and upon close examination, along with the sensitively placed injection, I was given the news that it was not possible to place a crown on it and the 'degradation' was well below the gum level, so my darling dentist gently extracted most of the tooth. Then we had the 'discussion. I could 'chuck' about $10,000 at the issue with a combination of implants, bridging and crowns. I am sure I am not describing that well. I figured that, with the fact that I have just committed to a new car that such spending was silly, given that there are other options. I am grateful that I can consider these options. Many Kiwis are not in a position to do that.( I have to say that I favour a system that is State-funded, even if that means higher taxation, because dental health and access to it is important to overall health.) OK---at the other end of the scale---simply yank the bugger out, leaving an even bigger gap in my smile and my capacity to chew. Bugger that too! I have chosen a 'a partial denture,' system, one constructed from a plastic material and costing about $1000. It also serves to fill a gap already existing from previous extractions. So, for about 45 minutes I was probed, X-rayed, had my mouth filled with a tray, play dough and generally being manipulated. I was told it would be 'uncomfortable' and that I would 'gag.' (Doug---stop laughing!) I did not and it all went well. I have huge admiration for my dentist at the Rockfield Dental Centre in Penrose. I go back in just over a week to try things on, then the real extraction of the bits that are 'left' will happen. The final countdown will occur in the upcoming school holidays. Then I shall join the 'leave ya implants on the bedpost at night brigade!' Maybe I can conjure some revolting party tricks so I guess I have just undone some possible dinner party invitations. Oh well--I don't go out much these days anyway and Perdy couldn't give a stuff about what things look like. Mind you---the new implants have been carefully 'matched!' Such fun, such fun. www.authorneilcoleman.com Like · Comment · Share
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Today I had the pleasure of attending a meeting that MIT was hosting to discuss-----that went well---it was after that didn't! OK I parked in the big car park outside the campus. I locked my car and headed off to my very productive meeting. I am not going to talk about that as it may sound like I am writing an advert for that prestigious institution. I am of course referring to the Manukau Institute of Technology, not some wannabe in the USA! Jump forward two hours! I heads to the car park. Where's my car. Oh shite-----where the hell did I park it. All I can see is a sea of cars, many of them grey, like my soon to be traded Hyundai Getz. Thank God I am getting a blue car in a few days, a 'pristine blue,' no less! How does one find a car in a big car park, when he has not taken note of where it was parked? Well folks, NZers say 'bugger' a lot and that is nothing to do with the old meaning of that word. It is a 'national iconic' expression; one used by the high, mighty and not the above. One says it for a myriad of reasons, but I can assure you that my inner language and some expressed, was way more explicit. I wandered up and down many rows of boring grey cars. Had someone stolen my car? How would that affect the transaction I was due to complete on Sunday? I pondered various strategies to find my car, given that it still existed in its place of rest! It was only after about 20 minutes of intimate searching amongst the cars, whereby I was starting to attract attention. I am sure that is I was dressed in a slightly less 'tidy state' (my definition probably differs from yours!)phone calls would have been made. Sometimes it is good to look a little 'old' and not portray that 'intention to commit a heinous crime,' look. If I had a hoodie or---you can fill the rest in---it wouldn't be right for me to continue in that train of thought. I remembered my key---I made it bleep the car and finally after nearly running the battery out, the car said 'hi' to me. We were reunited and I thankfully sank into the seat, thinking---you just did this because you are about to find a new owner! Upon leaving the car park, I notice some paper scrunched up under the window wipers. Two letters were emblazoned on the paper--AT---Auckland Transport. BUGGER! Yes---wouldn't you known it. I got a bloody parking infringement. OK---only $15! My thoughts were with the students at the institution. $15 is possibly the difference between eating instant noodles and having a bit of red blooded meat! I better remember to pay the ticket or it will be a lot more --yes BUGGER!
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Yes, just next door, or down the road, there may be a 'P' Lab, manufacturing a product that destroys lives, families and businesses. Read about my take on this scourge on society, in ROSKILL. Click on the link at the end of the article from todays NZ Herald. The New Zealand Herald Four people accused of running a meth lab to face trial 11:01 AM Monday Jun 8, 2015 Police said searches linked to to the apartment raid netted more than a million dollars worth of drugs and cash. File photo of methamphetamine Four people accused of running a meth lab in a swanky inner-city apartment block go on trial today. Kevin Chea, Abby Cummins and Kevin Dao and Michael Debreceny were arrested after armed police raided a central Wellington apartment building last year. The apartment was just across the road from the city's main police station. As police and firefighters swarmed the area last March, stunned residents of the Chews Lane apartment block were told to leave the building, some still in their dressing gowns. Police at the time said they interrupted drugs being cooked on a stove. One person caught up in the raid tried fleeing, and allegedly tried to dump a package of meth worth $28,000 in a rubbish bin. Police caught him. Police said searches linked to to the apartment raid netted more than a million dollars worth of drugs and cash. The four accused go on trial today on charges of importing and manufacturing methamphetamine. The trial will be at the High Court in Wellington before a jury of twelve. - NZME. www.authorneilcoleman.com
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Sometimes I wonder what Jack Russells are made of. Well, at the very least they can be described as a 'nuclear spring,' one that winds up whilst resting, and even that state is to say the least, perilously close to 'non-sleep!' Yesterday was one of those days, when one just does not want to go out; indeed, I spent the majority of the day inside, happily reading, watching TV, doing a few minor chores and watching the rain, smacking against the neighbours'' roofs. Perdy, for her part, slept, checked out the weather and even when I took her to the bay, for a few minutes of running and a quickly paced poo--under the bloody fence of course, then she was back in the car, heading towards home, where the 'nuclear clock' added up a debt---that just had to be paid at some stage. Today the weather took a more kind character, allowing us to head on down to the bay. Perdy exploded out of the car and headed onto the sand, leaping with joy, exuberant to the max, a definite smile on her face. Any dog, yes ANY, was her friend. She sniffed , jumped, cavorted, ran those crazy circles, attracting attention from afar and chased her ball. She couldn't get enough--it was endless. I wondered if she would ever tire! Well--she didn't, but at least she released some of that pent up energy, that tension that if left to 'boost,' is stuff made for chaos--once one returns home. Thank goodness, she is now resting in the couch, awaiting another manic run this afternoon. Better enjoy it little girl, because nest week I may not be taking you anywhere, depending on wether I am selected for the actual Jury service. My dog walking neighbour will of course take you for a turn around the block, but nothing beats the bay. It's all about the 'Bay' and that beautiful little beating heart that loves to run. www.authorneilcoleman.com
Friday, May 15, 2015
I have a problem with the death penalty, especially in nations where corruption is the norm. Recent cases re a 'not so far away neighbour,' come to mind. I also feel very strongly about individuals who construct a bomb and cause the death of innocent bystanders. So many people are affected and they have to face the daily reality that a loved one has been taken from them. How someone arrives at a position whereby they think that their cause outweighs the rights of others to enjoy life, and then goes on to cause the deaths of so many people, is beyond me. Taken to extremes, we see the actions of extreme grouping of such people, in the form of ISIS, Boko Haram and others. I acknowledge those who think nations states, too, are not above such actions! Today the judge and jury handed down the death penalty to the surviving Boston Bomber. No doubt we will see appeals to this decision, and the suffering of family members will continue. This of course would not happen in countries where the right of appeal is one that is not so clear, as in China. I live in a country where we do not have the death penalty. I am sure that may would agree that if such an action occur in New Zealand, then the death penalty would be appropriate. So far, we have not seen our streets made so unsafe for our citizens. Let's hope and for those who do, pray that we never do! I close by asking you to think of the victims and all those who love them. Now, a young man must come to terms with his evil deeds and ----well---that's over to him.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
How can it be that when a police dog goes missing in the New Zealand bush, that the event replaces the headlines about other issues currently facing the nation? Social media and mainstream outlets were united in their response to the plight of ‘Thames,’ the beautiful dog.’ He went missing during a training exercise in a rugged bush area not too far from Palmerston North in the North Island of New Zealand. For a week, every paper in New Zealand and many FB posts expressed concern for Thames. The New Zealand bush does not have dangerous snakes or other predators, other than the odd rogue pig that can do some damage, given the ’wrong’ circumstances, but other than that, deaths occur more for being caught out without cold weather gear or through injury. Thames had survival skill and even though he was a bit hungry when found, he probably scored a few rats and unsuspecting possums, earning him some ‘brownie points,’ from conservationists. Hopefully, he left the Kiwis alone, had he chanced upon them! Many a kid (OK---I’m one of them!) went to bed each night, asking their parents if Thames would be OK. ‘Yes dear, Thames will be fine,’ came the reply from a not so sure adult but Thames did survive, true to the nature of his breed. When the news broke, we can be dammed sure that a few tears were shed; tears of genuine joy. ‘WHY---- It’s just a dog,’ you say. I can’t answer that with any real knowledge. Is I that part of us has this needs to love something that does not represent opinion, anger, hurt, destruction and generally is seen as an extension of family? The relationship between dogs and humans goes back thousands of years. Ask most dog owners how their dog is after an accident or sickness and you may well see a tearing up. My own feelings re my dog are very strong, to say the least. That she could go missing is the stuff of nightmares. Night after night, we have witnessed the very lowest of human behaviour, re other human events, not the least being a revolting video of an ISIS ‘execution’ a young man—the reasons way beyond anything I can relate to. It is ‘news’ like that and other reports around man’s inhumanity to others, which usually takes the slot. Are we so sickened by that, whereby we search out something more---healing?’ I think so. Dogs and other animals represent an innocence, an escape from the nasty side of humans. When we hear a story as reported in the last week, we latch onto it and it gives us hope when we hear a happy result. It is this hope and consequent happy ending that we yearn for. Hope---the missing factor in so many lives and a humble dog fills the gap! www.authorneilcoleman.com
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Apparently, even the young Princess Elizabeth escaped for the evening when the Brits hit the street parties on the night of commemorations to celebrate VE day in 1945.There were parties and ceremonies remembering the deaths from that terrible war, all over Europe yesterday. Russia too remembered the huge numbers who died in that tragic time. (They had more people killed than any other nation)Very few 'Western' leaders attended, choosing instead to travel to a ceremony in Poland. They state the reason for their non-attendance on Russia's stance in Ukraine. That is a snub and in my view insensitive to the memory of a former allies' efforts to fight an evil foe! Sure, much has changed since 1945 and we have witnessed the Cold War era, but one can not change history, although interpretations can be re-written. If we take the argument about present actions by one particular country and ignore past history, then we are on shaky ground. Surely the 'West' missed an opportunity to build bridges with Russia. The Ukraine situation is far more complex than we are led to believe via the protestations of Western politicians. The present leadership in Ukraine is tainted with the very forces we once fought against. Getting a consensus is difficult to say the least on this vexing question. That Ukraine's leadership is leaning towards the EU is not enough in itself to steer Europe and the USA (with its allies)towards ignoring the history of Russia's huge losses in WW11. I am not excusing or heaping praise on Putin, by taking this stance. I have been uncomfortable with his 'gathering' of more and more power to himself and his cronies, nor do I support any leader holding power in any nation for more than a set amount of time. (It does not happen often in NZ, but maybe we too need a limitation on how long one politician can hold the reins of power)Russia used the occasion of VE day to parade its resurrection of military power in quite a provocative manner. It is not of course the only nation to exhibit that tendency! In short---have we missed an opportunity to unite re our remembrance of the deaths of so many people? Does this add fuel to the premise that we have entered a new 'Cold War?' www.authorneilcoleman.com
Friday, May 8, 2015
In the last two weeks we have seen young people in Australia becoming involved in the 'troubles' we normally associate with areas nearer to the Middle East. That young men are being influenced in a manner that has them planning attacks on policeman or attempting to (and succeeding in some cases) leave Australian shores to join the fight in Syria and Iraq, following their 'heroes' in the ISIS forces, is indeed worrying. I do not doubt for a moment that some of these 'teens' are being influenced by a combination of what they are 'tracking' online and by adhering to the words of some of the 'clerics' who reside in Australia. Sure there are 'new Australians' and their children who have not benefitted from the move from their homelands and there is an element of desperation, fed by the messages of those who would bring the 'holy war' to Australia. Australians do not take these actions lightly and the response from many Aussies is not one that is willing to listen to the 'grievances, real or imagined, expressed by spokes-persons for the former. Now we are seeing an increase in the 'attempts to terrorise and in the level of response from Australian police and other 'agencies.' Aussies do not take kindly to criticism of their 'Aussie ways.' This feeling will be exploited as politicians, mainly from the right, will use this as an excuse to bring in more draconian laws,' citing 'security' and 'freedom' as the justification for their actions. All Australians will be the losers for this. Somehow, I cannot see a meeting of minds over this and the scenes we have witnessed in the last few months are going to be more common. The war--far way, will continue to cast its influence on this great land---eventually spreading to its neighbour--'The Land of The 'Long white Cloud.' I want to be wrong!