Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Shootin' His Mouth Off

Trump is at it again. From what I heard on Radio NZ, he has let his tongue get away on him once more and this time inviting the NRA (National Rifle Association) to stop Hillary Clinton amending the constitutional right of citizens in the USA to bear arms. Saying with a wink that this action would be horrible, shows that probably he knew that what he said might be seen as an invitation for a possible assassination. American politics is getting weirder and weirder.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Right On

I have given my new Asics shoes a walkabout and they feel really good. Plenty of space for my toes and wonderfully cushioned - making walking an extra pleasure. This is my third pair of Asics and the last pair have lasted over 6 years - which is truly remarkable. They have not finished their service even now (but near to it) and when my daughter gave me a new pair for my birthday, I had fears that buying such a personal thing over the Internet without a test driving was a tad risky. These fears got worse when they got left behind in the USA by accident and they made an extra unintended journey .
All is ok I am glad to say and I will prolong their life like I did for their predecessors, with regular applications of Dubbin for the leather and 'Armor All' for the synthetic parts.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Up and Out

Auckland's Unitary Plan has been released and includes recommendations to allow more high rise houses in "Leafy Suburbs" and more rural land to be zoned residential. One of the aims has been to reduce the huge increases in house prices and improve house availability - and yet nothing has been done to stop foreign buyers distorting the NZ house market. Apparently there are now large numbers of empty houses in NZ now that are being bought as purely tax dodges and part of a very dangerous gambling game that risks our entire economy. Go figure!!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Clinton Gets The Bird

Hillary Clinton seems to think she will be the only Democratic  candidate in the next U.S. presidential election now that she has sufficient pledged delegates to take to the Democratic Convention in July. However, rumours continue to circulate around the Internet that the Bernie Sanders campaign is not quite over. He is still attracting thousands of supporters to his meetings who are showing their support for a "New Deal" in American political and economic directions to restore the damage done by 30 years of neo-liberals wrecking the U.S. economy. If Hillary Clinton wants the job really sown up then surely she knows that she must take Bernie with her in some way or other to guaranty her to be the next U.S. President.

Will Clinton have the courage to bite the hand that feeds her campaign funds and take Bernie Sanders and the ideals he stands for onboard as part of her campaign? I hope so, if she does not and tries to campaign under the banner "business as usual - plus a few tweeks", then the economically dispossessed might well vote for..............God forbid.... DONALD TRUMP!

PS The really observant might notice an acknowledgement to one of my illustrating heros, Peter De Séve. When I saw his illustration of a bird perching itself on a baseball player's bat, I immediately thought of the little bird that perched on Bernie Sander's podium while he was delivering a speech at a packed out stadium - and so this cartoon idea was born.

Brexit: The Silenced Majority Makes A Choice

Some people are bound to ask "What is he on about with this one?" I think it is obvious if you have been following the news, so have another look if you cannot see its meaning at first. I thought about labeling the options, but sometimes it is best to just let the drawing say it.

If is still a mystery, then I will say that it seems that a majority of disaffected (older and working class) British voters have decided to exit the European Union when they were given the rare chance to do so by referendum. They appeared to be fed up with the unrestricted flow of European workers into Britain - plus all the thousands of other nationalities who are arriving there every day. Also, ever since Britain entered the E.E.C many Brits were irritated by the unelected Brussel's  Bureaucracy telling them what to do - or more likely, what not to do.

Here in NZ our economy took a severe hit when Britain joined the E.E.C.. I wonder if Britain will now be once more open again for all our exports in the future? Time will tell after a year or two I think. In the meantime, there will no doubt be a backlash and perhaps even another referendum coming up when Scotland tries once again to leave the United Kingdom. We live in interesting times. I never thought this would happen, perhaps the rest of Europe needs to re-evaluate who they want to rule them and more importantly - how.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Going Bananas

  “Did you know”, she said, staring at me with rising intensity, “That bananas are the most sprayed and fumigated fruit you can buy?” I looked at the banana in my hand, which looked innocently delicious, as I peeled back the yellow skin. “What’s more”, she continued, “the average life expectancy of a worker in a plantation is around 40 years due to their massive exposure to insecticides.”
   How could she do his to me! There I was, about to enjoy one of my favourite foods and now I felt my appetite fading when I thought of all the deceased plantation labourers who had sacrificed their lives to make my banana appear so perfect.
   Like many kiwis, I enjoy eating bananas and if what I was being told was true, then I might be heading to an early grave after being poisoned by eating one banana too many. I hope not. I want to reach old age in good condition and so I looked around for an alternative source of supply.
   Luckily, I discovered bananas do grow well locally in Northland. A couple I know, told me they had a magnificent group of bananas growing in their backyard which produced much more fruit than they could eat. They commissioned me to design and make a Christmas card for them and we decided to trade it for a bunch of home grown bananas.
   The card did not take that long to do and I thought I did rather well out of the deal as lifted the huge bunch of bananas onto my shoulders and walked into our living room singing a West Indian folk tune - “Day O, day O, come mister Tallyman, tally me banana. Daylight come an’ I wanna go home.”  I proudly laid them down onto our living room table expecting applause and delighted appreciation.
   I got neither. After a period of stunned silence I was told they were too spotty and nowhere as good as the ones in the shops. “And besides that Dad”, I was told emphatically, how can we tell our friends that you work for bananas – it’s so embarrassing.” Undeterred, I hung them in my studio and enjoyed several weeks of delicious fruit as they gradually ripened.
   I am surprised that there are so few banana growers in Northland. Some varieties do really well here and apparently, existing growers have a waiting list for their produce. I have read that New Zealand eats more bananas per head than any other country on earth and 99% of them are imported so there is surely scope there to knock back New Zealand’s persistent balance of payments problem.
   Then again, in other ways we are already on the road to become a Banana Republic as the Government experiments with new flag proposals and turning a blind eye to tax evasion. I have a better suggestion; give rabid Neo-liberal politicians some land 'Up North', supply them with sub-tropical fruit trees to plant, impose home detention and let them go bananas in their own backyard.

PS my dog patrolled the garden at night to keep it possum free.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Helping To Stop Kiwi Rail Line Closures

I designed this Facebook banner yesterday for "Grow Kiwi Rail". Check out their Facebook page - it is worth a look. This one was mainly my own effort, but it was based on designs that I did with my daughter Monique for a series of protest street posters. Monique is a graphic designer in Wellington and I just happened to be visiting her when I got the call to help out.

In NZ, the Government runs the railways ( Kiwi Rail) - albeit reluctantly. They have let the rolling stock and branch lines become so run down that they are becoming more and more uneconomic. Consequently the roads are clogging up with commercial freight that is breaking up the road surface. Where I live in Northland this means logging trucks are a everyday road hazard. These trucks are moving huge volumes of unprocessed logs to North Port (near Whangarei) - heading for China. It then gets manufactured into stuff that gets re-exported back here as unemployment and NZ manufacturing factories closing down. If that sounds illogical, it is. But it makes plenty of short term dollars for the powerful trading elite, loggers and truckies who slave over 60 hours a week to pay their bills.

I am happy to help out anyone who fights against this. The campaign will be a long haul! Good luck to them. More cartoons about this to come.