Axver (axver) wrote,

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Saddam's sons, phone calls, rebels in the Solomon Islands, and NZ poaching sports stars

Firstly, the big headline news is that Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, have been gunned down by Allied forces in Iraq. SO THERE, anti-war people, we've got someone now. And one very clever letter in Time magazine this week reads something along the lines of "So what that we haven't found Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) yet? We haven't found Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden yet, but that doesn't mean their existence is based only on manipulated intelligence." And another that made me laugh: "We haven't found any WMDs yet, but no need to worry; they'll be found in time for Bush's 2004 election campaign."

My Dad phoned tonight. It was good to talk to him, and it sounds like things have been very hectic over there lately. Jane's father (Jane is the woman he lives with; I dislike her) had a stroke yesterday, and I like him, so I hope and pray he is healed. Meanwhile, Dad's been flying around NZ: he lives down in Wellington and had to fly up to Auckland today and then back down to Wellington. So I'm glad he made time to call me, seeing he's rather tired, and we had a good chat.

On another Pacific Island group, the Solomons, a group of peacekeepers, led by Australia, has been deployed to stop rebel fighting there. What I found interesting - and humorous - was a portion of the news report. " has a devout following, and he can call on hundreds of armed men, some of whom think he is God. Meanwhile, another rebel leader, an albino who calls himself Satan, has said he will not fight the peacekeepers." Interesting ... I can see it now: "And welcome to the latest battle of good versus evil: GOD versus SATAN in the Solomon Islands!"

To issues of a lighter nature than rebel wars and God vs Satan, I am quite amused by the way New Zealand poaches sporting stars from other nations. Our latest rugby union sensation, Joe Rokocoko (pronounced 'Rokothoko'), who is an amazing left winger and scored eight tries in four matches (in the words of one commentator, Rokocoko is probably thinking "Wow, how easy is this internation rugby game!"), is actually from FIJI, not New Zealand (think it's Fiji, might be Tonga or Samoa)! In fact, he only came to New Zealand to go to college, and probably the only reason he's playing for the All Blacks is because Fiji already has a permanent left wing and he didn't have much of a chance of making it onto the team, or at least getting a regular position on the run-on team. And then we go to the netball. New Zealand defeated Australia 49-47 on the weekend to win the Netball World Cup (Strange ... the Aussie media barely said a peep!), and 42 of those 49 points were scored by van Dyk, a netballing sensation who once played for SOUTH AFRICA (one of our arch-rivals in anything sporting)! Her husband and her moved from South Africa to NZ to raise their children in a safer climate, she goes and defects to the NZ netball team, and she's won us the World Cup! And our star goalkeeper, who gave the Aussies heaps of trouble, is from Fiji! We're poaching sporting stars left, right, and centre! Haha, I love it. Stuff producing our own stars, why waste the time when another country can bring them up to star status and then we can steal them!

No, on a serious note, it's great these brilliant sportspeople have chosen to play for NZ, but we can't rest on our laurels: we need to continue to produce our own sporting stars. And we certainly can do that - we've produced, in the rugby, Jeff Wilson (winger), Christian Cullen (fullback), Zinzan 'Zinny' Brooke (number 8), Sean 'Fitzy' Fitzpatrick (possibly the world's greatest rugby captain), Grant Fox and Andrew Mehrtens (goalkicking legends), and Carlos Spencer (first five-eighth (or is he second five-eighth? No, I think it's first five)). Although two of our highest profile stars at the moment are from the Pacific Islands: Tana Umaga (Brilliant player, can play multiple positions, like centre and wing), and Jonah Lomu (wing). Well, unfortunately, Jonah is gone for good (his best form's behind him, anyhow), because he needs to have a kidney transplant. I hate to see him go like this, because anyone who's seen him in action at Rugby World Cup 1995 when he just ran right over the top of anyone in front of him would know this guy is an absolute legend.

OK, that'll do.

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