Saturday, January 30, 2016

Auckland costs re housing are hiding an Achilles Heel.

The price of housing in Auckland, be it for ownership or renting, is reaching a point whereby a large proportion of Auckland's inhabitants are living a lie. Their dream of ever owning a home, is receding as prices continue to rise, forcing many to rent---but once again, there is a trap; rents too are rising beyond the means of many. We are hearing stories of overcrowding and sordid reprts of young women turning to giving 'sexial favurs' to unscrupoulus landloads. One wonders if we are rching a 'tip-point,' whereby people are becoming trapped in debt, using credit cards to the point that they are forever paying interest, not being able to move on, to save or to ever get out of debt. That sometimes leads people into giving in, and just going with the flow, entering into yet more debt. That 'tip-point' is going to rebound on the economy, not just if Auckland, but on New Zealand as a whole.Those in power, who are in league with those who gain from ever increasing house prices or from the high rentals, will eventually become part of the 'burnt,' as the ability of people to spend is lessened. Eventually, even the banks will call in the debts. What will people have to 'spend' then, once they lose the ability to create more debt?!Rough times ahead, methinks!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hayden Patton lent me his Hyundai I.20 the other day---well sort of!

I was driving my little Saphire Blue Hyundai I.20 past Hayden's storage facility the other day, or perhaps a more accurately, the garage where that finely tuned little beastie he races around the world was being worked on. What the hell, I thought. I turned into the yard and hey---the guys were all having a break and there---sitting in the drive was the car of my dreams----all alone, looking for the world like it needed a drive! Who am I to deny a piece of glittering temptation the attention of a wannabe raleigh driver?! I edged my car to a position that obscured the view of the guys, who from the sound of things, were busy discussing an upcoming event---didn't quite get the location, but I did quickly slip into the somewhat lowered version of my car, and hey---the key was there, sitting like a 'teaser' in the ignition. A few seconds later, I observed the guys running around like headless chickens, albeit in the rear vision mirror, morphing into tiny figures waving their appendages at me as I sped down the road----to where? Bugger! I awoke, not too disappointed, because at least I still owned the 'little brother' to the dream car. I unreservedly apologise to Hayden, for ---even in my dreams, daring to emulate his magnificent deeds! Damn---last time I did a blog like this, it had 43,000 hits but it didn't sell 43,000 of my book or get that many downloads. You cam all fix that---go and download my book, ROSKILL! That doesn't have to be a dream! Follow the links, in a far more clam manner, from by website.

Trump throws out his toys---he didn't get his own way!

Given the childish reactions we have seen from Trump so far, I feel for the USA as it heads towards the final countdown. If for some reason he 'trumps' the opposition; that is Sanders or Clinton, then we ALL need to be very worried. Sure he says stuff that many Americans can relate to, but think a bit more deeply my American friends (not the ones I talk to on FB, of course---they are very well informed!)before you cast your votes later in the year--because by electing this fool, you are going to become far more than a 'laughing stock!' His unfortunate personality is such that 'important' issues become enmeshed in a sideshow that is ALL ABOUT 'HIS' EGO. Does the USA really need a President who represents this darker side of humanity? Certainly the 'world' does not! One only needs to look back in history to be reminded where such pathways lead. Open your eyes, USA!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Saudi Royal family gives nearly $700 to the Malaysian PM!

OK, he gave back all but $60 million which takes him out of trouble. One wonders why the Saudis would give such huge amounts. I can think of no other incident whereby a rich country has attempted to give so much away to the head of a political party in another country. Why would this even be attempted other than to curry favour with the recipient? Is it because the corrupt Malaysian leader (who has since been cleared of all charges, in spite of the missing $60 million!) is being 'softened,' re his country becoming a future 'bolt hole' for the Saudi Royal family if things go belly up in the 'Sandy Kingdom?' Hell, now that the oil prices are so low and the alternate energy sources are gaining in popularity; perhaps the Saudi Royal family is less able to 'pay off' the opposition to its medieval rule. Oops, I forgot---they have made progress---do they not hold some esteemed position in the UN re championing 'human rights?!' What a fecked up world! In the meantime the Malaysian leader is innocent as charged. As we say in NZ---yeah right!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Auckland is too expensive for 'workers' in many industries to be able to live there!

I was listening to news reports that Auckland is going to be short of workers in 'essential' industries, because those workers can no longer live near their place of work. Such workers are living quite some distances from their place of work, but up until recently they have somehow managed to carry on, albeit in a 'hand to mouth ' sort of fashion. These would include cleaners, security workers and even nurses and teachers at the other end of the scale.I suggest that this has been going on for quite some time. One hears of many teachers who have given up on the dream of ever owning a home in Auckland, but now this phenomenon has included the renting option as well. They are heading to the provinces where 'modest' incomes can support a far better lifestyle. Imagine what the situation is like for those on lower incomes, or people on 'fixed incomes,' the elderly and those on 'benefits.' On the same news reports, I heard it suggested that the 'market will adjust to this new situation,' and respond accordingly. Really?! Do people who believe that this could happen now support the concept of a 'living wage?' I very much doubt it. I have no faith that the 'market' will increase wages and salaries to the point that the occupational groups so affected will see a boost in their income. Has there ever been a time where such 'readjustments' have happened? I accept in times of 'labour shortages' that there have been small movements in wages and salaries, but never on the scale that is needed now. We are going to see more and more people moving from Auckland, to be replaced by increased immigration, from people who are seeking new beginnings, who would work for less, in order to improve their positions, but expect Auckland to become increasingly 'different' to the rest of NZ. This 'change' is going to accelerate' as NZ faces ever more pressure to accept people who have been displaced by wars and other global phenomenon. The 'market' is going to respond to these new pressures, but not quite in the manner that is necessarily going to make Auckland a better place---for all! How many of you, reading this, are wondering when YOU are going to make the jump---out of Auckland? Are housing, transport costs and other living expenses associated with living in Auckland going to push you over the edge?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Syria---what a bloody mess!

No one can convince me that Russia, the USA or any other nation actually gives a stuff about the Syrian people. NO----all of the above care only about how their involvement in this sad conflict can benefit them---or to be more precise the business groups within the said countries. Some of those transgress national boundaries. They are the 1% and they exists in all countries, superseding the powers of national governments. I am extremely cynical about the efforts of the UN to bring peace. That organization must first cut through the special interest groups who would gain by having influence in the country that was once called Syria. Convince me otherwise that the aforementioned nations can actually make a difference. Be it Obama, Putin, Merkel or any other 'world player,' the result will be the same: Syrians will keep suffering and the human tidd we are witnessing will only become a deluge, no matter what barriers are put in front of them. Rescue me from my cynicism! I shall thank you!

Palin and Trump===that would be a crazy flip of the cards!

I watched a clip of Palin endorsing Trump; mind you most of her 'screeched' words were about HER. I pondered for a while, whether the USA is Palin---oops stupid enough to elevate either of them or God forbid, a combination of the two to the top jobs! Surely not. Can you imagine them working through the issues that face the USA and the world? Can you envisage 'her' with the beaming Trump actually 'kicking arse re the ME?' OK, let's take a step back---to that clip. Did you not noticed the strange look on Trumps face? It almost said in that sexist manner he has so often exhibited, that he was not all that 'taken by her little charade.' There was a look that seemed to say---'STFU lady and go back to your kitchen in Alaska and sort out your own family---you know---the one that is transgressing re a few laws that most of us observe,' but them I realized that ANYTHING is possible in politics, be it in the USA, NZ ---if the populace does not take part in the process. Here is a prime example of what can go so horribly wrong when we bury our heads on the sand and let the likes of FOX News 'inform' us of what we should think!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Is the cup half empty---or half full?

The long holidays have been a strange mix for me. I could have dwelled on the negative, but I prefer to take the view that the cup is not only half full, but heading towards overflowing. Sure there were some cardio issues for myself and an ongoing issue for a loved one. Yes, the holiday was one in which opportunities were missed as both of us spent time being looked after by our most excellent health system. We are thankful for that support. Both of us had issues 'explored, explained and resolved.' We can see a way forward; a positive one where there is hope for a better and much more healthy future. We are thankful for the fact that we live in a country that allows this; one in which its citizens see such an outcome as not just a privilege for the few, but all so a right for all.' As for us---its is our responsibility to take a positive view---and get on with life.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Zealand's free medical support system---fantastic---yes---mostly!

One often hears a great deal about Obama Care and how large 'interest groups' fight the President to make sure it does not get fully implemented. It seems that money rules in the USA, leaving mnay without adequate support in their times of need. This is so wrong in what we are often told is the world's strongest economy. It comes down to who controls the purse strings leaving many without help.The situation in New Zealand os vastly different and except for some issues re access to elective surgery and some regional access issues, we have a very much better system, supported by taxation and the general public. Yes, there has been a move to more privatisation but it is still a system that is there when you need it. Like most people, NZers sometimes complain about high taxation, but it is times of crisis that we see the benefits of our health support system. I have used it twice over the last few weeks, re some heart issues and a loved one receive immediate support last nigh and is on the way to recovery. It makes me want to 'shout out loud' about retaining this system---even extend it, but that can only happen of we accept that the expense must be met via taxation. There may be other models, but they favour the rich. In NZ we have always had pride in out more equitable system, not just for health, but also for education and other social support. I will only support politicians who espouse such beliefs. The threat from the 'right' in recent years is one that must be resisted, or we face a future, not dissimilar to that of so many USA citizens. Stand up for our hard won benefits, KIWIS!!! We live is a fantastic country.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My readership is a strange old thing---Russia rules supreme re my blogs for the past month.

If only the numbers of Russians reading my blogs, translated into downloads for Roskill (soon to be joined by Talk To Me). Indeed if that were so, I would be on a a plane to see that huge country. It would take a bit of 'getting around! I think NZ would for into some of its lakes!!!! How about some feedback, dear Russian friends. How about some discussion. I had that with a young student from your country recently and he expressed sadness about what is happening in Syria. It seems that Russia is falling into the same trap that the uUA has exhibited over the years. The Middle East is a quagmire, that big powers seem to get sucked into, all in the name, although not overtly admitted, of geo-politics. Do we ever learn from history? In the meantime, for a little light relief, keep reading my blogs and downloading my books.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Oh you naughty little Hyundai I20-----well I never!

Several months ago, I purchased my first ever new car; nothing pretentious, over-the-top or expensive. I settled for a smaller end car, with an engine size that 'would not get me into trouble'---a Hyundai I.20. My previous car was something similar, also a Hyundai, a Getz. An issue I had with the older car was that when I traveled in a 50kl speed zone, the damn thing never quite knew what gear to inhabit, hence the constant gear changing (we are talking 'auto' of course) and attendant frustration. I am sure there is a technical term for this. I was often to be seen traveling at either above or below the limit. I guess you are wondering why I would ever buy what is essentially a newer version of the same car. Well, that happened when I took the older one in for a some maintenance (I must say that the Gezt was incredibly reliable and I had very few complaints) which necessitated driving a 'new' I.20 courtesy car. I was sold---the difference was huge---more power and so much smoother, especially at that pesky 50kl limit. That was all six months ago and I have to say that I have been very pleased with the new model. It has proven to be so much less frustrating in that 'speed zone.' TODAY, I was given a reminder that one still has to pay attention to the speed at which one travels: Yes, I received a 'gift' in the mail. Yes---I was back to my old tricks---letting the speed creep up! I am sure you are all aware that over the Xmas period, there has been 'zero tolerance' re speeding- There is a 4 kl gap. Today I learned that on December the 18th, I indeed transgressed and now I must pay the price. I was doing 55kls down Dominion Rd and was the recipient of a $30 speeding ticket. Oh, woe is me! I must not trust the faithfulness of my little saphire blue I.20. In the end, it is over to me--to maintain the correct speed. As I wrote this blog, I was watching 'Motorway Patrol,' and I meekly submit that my crimes are minimal when compared; when I recall some of the speeds those twerps were attempting. I plead guilty, nevertheless! Oh little Hyundai---protect me from---myself.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Oil at $US20 a barrel?

Sure oil at $US20 a barrel sounds like good news for the motorist. But is that really that positive? I don't think so. With a situation re pollution, gas emissions at high levels added to an increasing population, then things are not quite so rosy. If we care about our planet and pull our heads from the sand for a moment, consider the move to renewable energy that is taking place, the new technologies--these are all under threat if oil fall to such low levels. In a sense we need the spur of high oil to using new greener technologies. If that is put back because oil becomes king again, then we are all the losers. Just think about that before you head to the oil pumps with a feeling of glee---think about the emissions that your happiness re saving a penny now at the expense of the planet's future---your kids are the losers as they inherit a 'damaged' world.