Posts by Paul Smith

Yey! It’s official – we’re a happy lot!!

Good news for  Enzed: we came eighth in World Happiness, one ahead of Australia and Sweden, according to the  Sustainable  Development Solutions Network for the UN.

Happiest  country  of all was Norway,  followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch. All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. Norway has insulated itself from the boom and bust cycle of many other resource-rich economies.

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Words and consequences

As a presidential  candidate Trump dissed reporters  as being ‘slime, ‘dishonest slime’, unfair’, ‘not good people’ – and much more.  In the land where free speech is a constitutional guarantee, he  threatened to  open up libel laws and added: “…we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”  Much of this  must have been shrugged off by reporters covering his campaign as  Trump’s  bog standard rhetoric.

But then  the Candidate became the President and over his 18 months in office, intensified  his attacks on the media.

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Why do boomers do it?

Fairy tales can  come true, it can happen to you, if you’re young at heart, sang the late great Frank Sinatra.  But sometimes being  young  at heart isn’t always the fairy tale  you want, or need.  At a certain age you forget the boomer body you’ve inherited over the years. You  flip back multiple decades to those never-ending summers of youth, when anything  was possible.  It’s then that the less cautious resort to daredevilry, attempt things the boomer body would never allow except that… the teen brain has briefly taken charge. 

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Fair Go…

The Coalition was just five months old when commentators began their refrain: Stop whingeing about the defects of the last Government they said, as if these were minor failings. They most certainly are not and the licence given by them to Sir John Key to lambast Labour was very liberal –  he was still at it in his third term as prime minister.

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May miscellany

After kiwiboomers contributor Ann Andrews’ story we also wondered about why people lie.

There’s an annual  World’s Biggest Liar  Competition… The website Mental Floss wrote: …held since the 19th century, the World’s Biggest Liar competition owes its origin to a pub owner named Will Ritson, who was known for the fantastic stories he would tell to keep his patrons entertained—and drinking longer. One of his most famous lies was that turnips planted in the region grew so big that people had to “quarry” into them for their Sunday lunch, and afterward, the mammoth root veggies were used as sheds for sheep. http://mentalfloss.com/article/89006/winner-2016-worlds-biggest-liar-competition

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Just a social drinker

We were both ageing duffers with time on our hands, and sunlight on our faces. We had met, as commuters do, at the bus stop, sighing almost simultaneously after just missing the bus into town.

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Slip sliding away?

Democracy is under assault and in retreat around the globe, a crisis that has intensified as America’s democratic standards erode at an accelerating pace, according to Freedom in the World 2018, the latest edition of the annual report on political rights and civil liberties, released today by Freedom House.

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1984 on a sunny Auckland day…

It’s  2  o’clock on  a day so sunny that it confounds Aucklanders accustomed to their city’s moodiness. There’s not a cloud to be seen and on the Waterfront Viaduct, families stroll, gorge on takeaways or just sit and, over a drink, watch the passing parade. Not far  away something much darker is on show in the stunning ASB Theatre. It holds  680  –  and is close to capacity.

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Miscellany April

First an editorial confession. We’ve been in Oz, but no, there’s no ball tampering copy here, just this:

Condom machine graffiti: ‘ For refund, insert baby here’.

Aussies are not so much a weird as a witty mob at times. Where some residents with dogs might put up a sign saying ‘Beware of dog’, others choose to let passers-by know with much more precision. Take this for example:  ‘My dog can make it to the fence in 2.8 seconds. Can you?’

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