Tuesday, July 31, 2007

ZenTiger Special Treatment at Hospital

As the women was wheeled into the operating theatre the nurse efficiently strapped the patients arms down and taped a padded wire that lead to an impressive looking machine with various indicators flicking across the central display.

"Is that a heart machine?" gasped the women, twisting her head to look. She was momentarily blinded as an overhead light was switched on, seemingly focused on her face. She was dimly away of a masked figure standing behind it, snapping on rubber gloves.

"Just answer the questions please", said the shadowy figure.

" Have you been asked to do anything sexual that you didn't wat to do?"
" Has anybody hurt or threatened you?
" Have you ever felt controlled or always criticised?"
" Would you like us to remove your children for their own safety"

"What do you mean?" asked the women. "What's this machine?" "Why aren't you treating me?"

"It's a lie detector machine. Now answer the question. Nurse, if she resists, administer the Sodium Pentathol"

Related Link: Women to be interrogated during routine hospital admissions
All women entering New Zealand public hospitals will be questioned about whether they or their children have been victims of family violence - even if they are merely seeking treatment for an ingrown toenail.

Whilst in hospital women will be asked these three questions to see if she may have been abused:
* Has anybody hurt or threatened you?
* Have you ever felt controlled or always criticised?
* Have you been asked to do anything sexual that you didn't wat to do?

Health Minister Pete Hodgson and other ministers are expected to announce the radical move tomorrow in an attempt to clamp down on the country's appalling record of child abuse and other domestic violence.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Fletch These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things...

Firefox add-ons, to be exact. Zen posted about the Interclue Firefox add-on earlier which I downloaded and am trying, so I thought I'd post a few of my favourite Firefox add-ons.
I really don't know what I'd do without them now - I couldn't go back to using Internet Explorer.

There are add-ons for just about anything you can imagine but here are some good ones.

1. Nightly Tester Tools: Sometimes you'll upgrade Firefox, only to find (horror!) that your add-ons don't work with the newer version. Nightly Tester Tools has a handy option that ignores the Firefox version and forces the add-on to try to work with your newer version. I don't really know what else it does (it's really for those testing add-ons and Firefox versions). Invaluable.

2. Scrapbook: I don't know what I'd do without this either. It's the best way of saving webpages that you want to go look at later. You just click a button and a pane opens to the left and you drag the page into it. You can fully organise the pages and even highlight text with different colors, rewrite text and make notes - all without leaving Firefox. The good thing about the way it saves is that it saves the page in it's current condition - a condition you might never otherwise be able to return to - eg, you've booked tickets on Air New Zealand, and have been given a reference number. With this add-on you can Scrapbook the page for later reference.


3. dotCOMplete: You may already know (or not) that if you type a word in the address bar (eg, 'hotmail') and press CTRL and hit Enter that it completes the URL for you (in this case 'http://www.hotmail.com'). This works in Firefox and Internet Explorer. This little add-on takes it further. I have mine set up so that typing the word (eg, 'hotmail') and then hitting CTRL and Enter in quick succession cycles through .com, .net, and .org until I get to the one I want. I have also set it so that pressing SHIFT/Enter cycles through .co.nz, .net.nz, and .org.nz - you get the idea?

4. ViewMyCurrency: If you buy a lot of things off the internet from overseas, you'll appreciate this little add-on. Just turn it on from the browser taskbar and it will show any monetary amounts on the webpage you're on (Amazon, etc) in the currency you choose (eg, NZ Dollars) followed by the original price in brackets. The exchange rates are updated live, so it's always correct.

5. OpenSearchFox: If you're a Firefox user, you'll know that you can add search engines to that dropdown searchbox at top right. You didn't know? There are several ways to do it: if you're using Firefox 2 or greater and you visit a site, eg, Trademe, you'll see that a little colored arrow flashes up in that searchbox (only if the site has added the option to do that) . You have but to click in the dropdown to add the engine to the list. The second way is to search for the engine you want to add HERE at Mycroft. The third way is to use the OpenSearchFox add-on. It allows you to go to a webpages, eg, Telecom Whitepages, click in an input field and add that to your search engine dropdown list (only if 'GET' method is used).

6. Customize Google: This adds a heap more options to your Google results page when you do a Google search, not the least of which is that each webpage result has a little thumbnail of the webpage next to it. Can be useful..It also creates links to do the same search on Yahoo and many other engines.

7. TabPreview: What this does, is if you have multiple tabs open in Firefox, you just mouse-over one of them and it will show you a thumbnail preview of the window in the tab.

I use a heap more but that's all for now...

ZenTiger Tyger Tyger

A treat for all those with ZenTigerish tastes. William Blake's masterpiece "Tyger Tyger" combines with a rather restrained Tangerine Dream guiding the powerful vocals of Jocelyn B. Smith for a haunting rendition. And if that's not enough, then follow on with a 4 minute concept video of Tyger by a Brazilian animator that is simply fantastico. The music that accompanies this video is totally funky, and the combination is unbeatable. Read the poem and experience two different yet compelling renditions of Tyger...


Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And What shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?





Related Link: Tyger by Guilherme [Quality download]

Lucia Real Manhood

Crusader Rabbit has posted a rant by a guy that is sick of being emasculated in a culture that laughs at men. While I can certainly understand the frustration that this man is feeling, the solution is not to become a brute, the only viable option of manhood that this guy is aware of.

But fear not! I have an alternative vision for men like him. Look to the firemen of 911 for your model of self-sacrificing, heroic manhood. And beyond them, look to Christ.

Related Link: The Firemen of Sept. 11 and the Meaning of Masculinity
What’s a real man? He's not a bully or a wimp. He transcends his own ego, his own fears, his own selfishness, and sacrifices himself as a gift to those he's called to protect.[...]

Let me give an example of heroism. On 9-11, we had countless examples. The radical feminists stopped talking for three months. Everyone saw. I counseled some New York City firemen, policemen, and rescue workers who were in the World Trade Center towers on that day. One young man described to me the moment it dawned on him the full horror of what had taken place. He was going up the stairs in the burning Twin Towers. What he had committed his life to do, which before had only been a distant possibility - giving his life for others - had become an immediate probability.

In an explicit, conscious way, he realized: "Right now, I die..." His next thought was, automatically, "but perhaps, before I die...I could save some more people." He didn't say that in an arrogant, proud, "Look at me, I'm a hero" way. It was in a committed, loving, "that's my identity," "these people may need me" way. He knew that death was a possibility, and that higher than death was the saving of human life...at the cost of his own.

You see, heroism is essentially spiritual. Physical risk is a path to it....

ZenTiger Government Hotels

I'm not suggesting life in prison is a picnic. But the latest figures released show that the nightly rate of $253 ($92,000 per prisoner per year) matches a decent hotel. This is ridiculous. For low risk and non-violent prisoners, you should be able to put them up in army barrack style accommodation. They could be cooking their own meals and doing their own dishes. For those that don't toe the line, the next level of prison could make them work very hard to earn the privilege of getting back to level one.

And what's the deal with getting play stations and x-boxes paid for by tax payer money? Give them access to a library and reading lessons. Not violent mindless games like "Grand Theft Auto" as part of their rehabilitation.

Something needs to be done.


rest here - remember to check HTML code!

Related Link: More bureaucratic ineptitude costs tax payers millions

Sunday, July 29, 2007

ZenTiger Decaffinated Language

Polish writer Nina Witoszek warns that people who have lived under Communist regimes are struck by a strange feeling of dej√° vu regarding the censorship autopilot in Western Europe: “Soon we shall all write in a decaffeinated language: We shall obediently repeat all the benign mantras such as ‘dialogue,’ ‘pluralism,’ ‘reconciliation’ and ‘equality.’ […] We prefer safety above freedom. This is the first step towards a voluntary bondage.”
...
At the end of the day, the cause matters less than the result: The state is now an enemy. Giving more money to the state isn’t going to solve any problems since it’s is no longer willing or able to serve you. It is merely interested in extracting more money from you for doing less and less, and for sustaining its bureaucratic machinery through projecting the illusion that it is still there to protect the interests of its citizens. How are we going to deal with this culture of lies and a hostile state? I don’t know. But Western Europeans will have to find the answer to that question soon.
Bits and pieces of this article seemed applicable to little old NZ, and I must admit I thought the phrase 'decaffeinated language' poetic and apt. Such heady discussions as these are fun to consider, ideally over a strong expresso. Our politicians keep offering us decaffeinated skim milk lattes with chai, nutrasweet, and a twist of lemon.

Don't give me what you think I want to drink, just gimme a damn good coffee. Short black. That's what I pay my taxes for.

Hattip: Redbaiter: A culture of lies

Saturday, July 28, 2007

ZenTiger Uncertainty, apathy or tax evasion?

Uncertainty, confusion and just plain apathy are being blamed for an apparently slower than expected uptake of the new retirement saving scheme, KiwiSaver.

Uncertainty, apathy, or just another tax on our income? The Government hasn't even had the legislation voted in, the employee contributions don't start until April 2008, people have issues over disclosure of fees, lack of guaranteed return and an expectation the government will change the rules at any time in the next 20 years.

It's not apathy, it is a deep and unabiding distrust of the Labour government, and the way they go about conducting business.

They could always front a 15 million dollar tax payer funded TV advertising scheme in an election year announcing "You're better off with Labour". Hang-on, that's what they pulled last election. and the joke was their 15 million government (tax payer) funded propaganda was *threatened* by the Exclusive Brethren's $500,000 one page pamphlet on Green Policy. Hell, the pledge cards cost more than that.

Perhaps they could have Benson-Pope front the new campaign, as a prime example of the trust worthy nature of the Labour cabinet. I mean, Cullen reneged on his chewing gum promise, and Helen has been tainted with Doonegate, Paintergate, Speedgate and Investigate. And Benson-Pope has more time available on the back-benches. I am assuming he will not be back in cabinet by the next election though.

Or maybe they'll have to legislate KiwiSaver to make it mandatory. For our own good.

Related Link: KiwiSaver yields low interest rate from day one

ZenTiger Interclue

I've just come across an interesting add-on for Firefox by a Christchurch based company. Kiwi ingenuity has done it again. I'm keen to try it out, as it has been garnering good reviews, and this one does a fairly good summation for me:
Interclue is a Firefox extension that adds more information about a link when you hover over it. It's not that annoying as the famous Snap tooltip and it certainly provides much more information about the page....the most impressive thing is that all this data loads almost instantly and it's actually useful, especially when you want to judge the quality of a search result (including if it returns a server error) ....a brilliant tool. - Google Operating System Blog
If you use Firefox, you might want to give it a try.

Related Link: Interclue

ZenTiger Bureaucracy is rubbish

I suspect I ripped the council off to the tune of $400 the other day. And because they haven't got my DNA on file (AFAIK) they aint gonna catch me. Heh.

It was on the day of rubbish collection. As I walked to the bus stop early that morning, I came across a rubbish bag lying on the curb, split open and contents spewed out across the edge of the road. It was windy and the lighter bits of refuse looked like they were about to take flight. Luckily, a sturdy green bin was near. It was a bin from a private company. I always thought it annoying that we have to pay rates towards rubbish collection, and still people resort to the superior services of a private company. There's a lesson there for socialists. Anyway, that's when my lawbreaking commenced.

I picked up the rubbish from the road and placed it in the sturdy bin.

I also picked up the newspaper recycling that had been soaked with some liquid by-product of said rubbish spill and added that to the bin.

I tidied up as best I could and continued to the bus stop (made the bus with not a second to spare).

And I read in the newspaper today that a citizen was fined $100 for placing rubbish in a bin. Apparently, he was lucky, because many Councils are increasing the fine to $400.

On that reasoning, I may well have been fined too. It's hard to know with Councils. In fact, that's what the victim of the above story said. It didn't occur to him that putting a bit of litter from his car into a bin was against the law.

Which brings me to the point about bureaucracy. It grows simply because it funds itself from tax payers money. It takes what it needs, and then looks around to justify more work to itself to grow bigger and interfere more. Bureaucracy coupled with socialism is a double whammy.

The law was probably designed to stop people dumping huge quantities of rubbish into rubbish bins especially reserved for other people's rubbish. But laws are blind and given this was a regular kind of person, the full force of this law could be brought down upon him and he was made to suffer the consequences. Which is an injustice that we middle class cannot easily escape.

Some would have said when this law was proposed that it would only be applied to the sorts of people that rort the system and turn up with panel vans full of rubbish and proceed to dump 4 metric tonnes of rubbish into a 40 litre wheelie bin. But we know that's not really true. Case in point.

Fines are a strong weapon against the middle class. We are the ones that pay them. The littering fine is being increased to $400 and disturbingly, Council officers no longer need to prove there was an intention to litter and councils are allowed to keep the fines. You can be sure littering revenue will go up as we middle class people wear the cost even as more serious crimes go unpunished, or are simply ignored by those that don't give a toss.

It's all just rubbish.

Related Link: Fined for putting litter in a bin
Related link: Spot fines for littering now $400
Related Link: Councils looking at fines for not recycling
Related Link: Rate payers face a £10m recycling fine for Council's ineptitude

ZenTiger Politicising tragedies

The sickening story of the young child being tortured a few days ago is obviously going to see people trying to make sense of the travesty by fitting it into their world view. And of course, if that view ends up being attack on another's view then we get a long blog thread that seems to end up way off topic.

So I see over on the Kiwiblog thread of this that the inevitable claim from the left is that the right are sick bastards for seeing links to welfare dependency and a whole host of other issues and making political hay from this.

That might be a fair comment if it weren't for the fact that many on the left were guilty of much worse - equating a smack with child abuse and using no end of similar stories to 'prove' that smacking needed to be outlawed.

If people are going to map the above story to welfare dependency, race, lack of Christian values, neighbourly disinterest, declining morals, the education system, liberalization or whatever, I think they are entitled to, and the debate can be made. People want to figure oput the problem and solve it.

It seems most of us on the right, and I dare say a few on the left have not been convinced Sue Bradford's social engineering efforts were well placed to prevent this sort of thing. And given that she would have no doubt used this sad story as fodder for her own political gain, I think that argument being made from those on Kiwiblog trying to make it falls resoundingly flat.

I for one, welcome theories and welcome suggestions on how to fix this. In amongst all of the rhetoric and posturing we might just learn something.

Related Link: Abuse of child sickening
Related Link: The grate debate

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lucia Friday Night Free For All

Now if my internet connection goes down, at least this post is up!

Just as a conversation starter, does good science fiction still exist? I remember reading a lot of it when I was young, but it seems that recently sci-fi has been taken over the the fantasy genre.

The picture is from the NASA image of the day.
Scientists have made the first conclusive discovery of water vapor in the atmosphere of a planet beyond our solar system, or exoplanet.

This artist's rendering shows a gas-giant exoplanet transiting across the face of its star. Infrared analysis by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of this type of system provided the breakthrough.

The planet, HD 189733b, lies 63 light-years away in the constellation Vulpecula. It was discovered in 2005 as it transited its parent star.

Fletch More Government Waste?

In the news lately, quite a few experts have been pointing the finger at Government spending as one of the reasons for high interest rates and the high dollar. Well, we got this 'soap box' (click picture to see larger version) at work in the mail a few days ago. It's part of a 'buy kiwi made' campaign put together by Sue Bradford and costing 6.3 Million dollars. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for buying kiwi-made, but why the soap-box?


In the soap-box were 4 postcards (is someone really going to post those?) and a poster.

I gave it to the boss but he didn't want it; he said he'd already read about it in the newspaper. The boss gave the poster to the foreman who took one look at it and screwed it up and threw it in the bin (that's why it's missing in the picture).

Seems like a huge waste of money to me.

Lucia Abuse of 3 year old sickening

I read the story in the paper this morning over breakfast of the 3 year old girl whom neighbours reported being spun on a washing line until she fell off, being stuck on to a roof while the adults laughed at her and being put into a tumble drier.

What is it with people that can watch that sort of thing and do nothing?

Related Link: NZ Herald

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lucia A clarification of wounded Churches

In a recent Vatican statement, non-Catholic "Churches" have been called "wounded". At least that is how the Latin has been translated into English. However, "wounded" is an inadequate word for the Latin defectus which was used in the official Latin version of the document.
Significantly, the official Latin version refers to the defectus which they suffer, and defectus is not Latin for “wound.” That would be vulnus, a word the Vatican chose not to employ.

The Latin text is the official text for a reason. The Latin term defectus has a unique precision that no single English term can capture.

True, we get the English word “defect” from it. But this signification of “deficiency” does not capture the Latin term's full meaning, which is twofold. In the Latin, the one term (from the verb deficio) connotes both a “revolt” and a “lack.” The Latin dictionary describes the verbal action: “to do less than one might; to fail.”

Remember this is Latin, so call to mind a Roman army in order to grasp the concrete, dual meaning implied here. If a portion of the army “rebels,” then the portion thereby becomes “weakened” or “enfeebled” because it has cut itself off from the whole.

Hence my preferred translation of defectus is “self-wounding.” This best translates, I think, the attenuated state brought about by anyone's “rebellion” from a healthy unity...
Related Links:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lucia At this point governments normally start a war

I was reading in The Poisoned Stream that a war was started in order to distract the German population from the scandals besieging the government of time. It is at this point that we can be grateful that the NZ military capacity has been run down to such an extent that any such scheme would not even be contemplated.

Related Link: NZ Herald - Benson-Pope speaks out on sacking case

Lucia Girls playing rugby

Today's Dominion Post on page 3 has a picture of a girl diving through the air holding a rugby ball, with the story that the St Catherine's rugby team is embarking on a 5 match tour to Lens, France. I can't quite make out what they are actually over there to do. Maybe, watch the World Cup it looks like and be the opening attraction for one of the games by playing as well?

All of the above is not the point. I sit here thinking, what has happened to St Catherine's!!! Back in my day, no girl would be seen dead playing rugby. What are they doing? And why? It just makes no sense.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ZenTiger Ministerial Responsibility

Benson-Pope is a great believer in Ministerial Responsibility. That's where his staff fall on his sword in the finest NZ Labour tradition.

Related Link: Benson-Pope refutes all knowledge

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lucia Quote of the Day

"Protestants are concerned about how to get you to heaven. Catholics are more concerned about getting heaven into you."
~ Dr Francis Beckwith

Related Link: Ignatius Insight

Fletch Harry Potter, Weather, GODTV - The Lion of Britain Will Roar Again

Sorry for the confusing thread title :)
Some of this may sound a bit weird, but I'm just going to post about what I've been thinking about and watching and reading over the past couple of days.

First of all GOD TV. My folks get the satellite TV with lots of Christian stations, including EWTN the Catholic TV station. It's well worth getting if you consider that there is nothing else to watch on secular TV. The stations are free to get, once you have bought the satellite dish and it's been tuned in etc.

Anyway, back to GOD TV. I was watching this the other day and it had a segment with a man and a woman who turned out to be Wendy and Rory who started the station. Wendy was praying especially for Britain on this segment as she felt that it was under attack, and that the weather was somehow connected to the occult and Harry Potter. Yes, you can scoff, but I wondered....
Of course, this weekend is the launch of the new Harry book and it has seen some of the worst weather Britain has seen in YEARS. Coincidence? Maybe....



We've just been battered here in New Zealand about a week and a half ago by foul weather - the worst in 100 years some say. I looked up the date and it was the 11th of July - the release date of the new Harry Potter movie. You will say I'm crazy for saying there is some connection between the two, so I'm not going to say anything apart from calling the dates to your attention.

I tried to find more about what Wendy said about it on the GOD TV site, but I couldn't see it. I DID see this prophesy that she made on 19th July 2006 - almost exactly a year ago. I don't know whether my fellow Christians on here believe in prophesy - I do; it says in the Bible -

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. - Acts2:16-18


Anyway, it is up to you I guess as to what you believe, and time will surely tell.
Her prophesy though, is full of hope. She speaks of seeing Britain being bound with humanism and secularism, and the Lion of Britain being weak and sick but that God is going to rise up his Saints because of the prayers of believers and Britain will be a Christian country again, not only in name but in deed and that the Lion of Britain will roar again.

Perhaps it does sound a bit Arthurian, but I tell you it did my heart good to read it. Often I go to abidingtruth.com to see what is happening in the news and it makes very depressing reading most days.

It is good to feel that positive things are going to happen; not all is hopeless and that God's hands are never tied. We all know that God has already won and Satan will be defeated in the end - it's a foregone conclusion.

Keep on praying. I know that I don't pray enough, but prayer is so powerful.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Lucia Church Fathers on Catholic matters

Especially on the primacy of the Pope and the Eucharist being Christ's Body. The quotes are from AD 80 to 400: The Early Church Fathers I Never Saw

Lucia Friday Night Free For All

As our regulars may have noticed, our Friday Night Free For All chat fell by the wayside last night. Around 5pm or so, I tried to comment on my Homer post and from that point on my broadband Telstra Clear internet connection was kaput. It didn't come back until after 11pm, by which point I was ready for bed.

So, if people are up for it, maybe tonight? I won't feel slighted if no one turns up.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lucia Homer vs the Giant


Spotted at Jimmy Akin's site.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

ZenTiger Insitutional Abuse

I'm not Catholic, but I do feel sorry for the RCC as an institution, and the damage pedophiles have wrought by slipping into the priesthood.

Obviously, the victims are the ones to feel the most compassion for, and there are people in the Church who should have exposed the evil they uncovered as quickly and as much as possible. Institutional abuse has affected many organisations though, not just the RCC and I suspect we will see more of this in the future.

Although, politically, some organisations are getting quicker to settle quietly to minimise the outrage we should all feel when we discover very little was done even as this happens around us. This is what I am seeing now with our own Government, and a growing number of abuse cases back logged in the courts. We need to hear of these cases to understand the depth of the corruption.

Interestingly, after the recent high profile Police sex cases, Investigate Magazine released damning evidence of corruption from a small cadre of officers. The government reaction was to bleat at the messenger, and try to discount the testimony of one or two of the witnesses, whilst ignoring the balance of the evidence presented. Have they learned nothing from the experience of various Church groups?

Of course, many atheists out there are fervent in the need to blame religion as the source of evil, rather than the actions of sexual deviants. It is politically incorrect to point this out, the usual reaction is this somehow is to excuse organized religious groups. Well, no, this post is not about diminishing the damage done in that sphere. The mistakes have been made and the punishments are being meted out. That's the way it has to be.

However, what I think we may find is that all institutions are susceptible to infiltration by such weak willed men who have allowed the basest of desires to control them. What we don't want to see are these institutions making secret settlements and evading the consequences that are due. It's about time we all understand the damage done when we as a society allow depraved conduct to go unpunished. Having said that, I still think we can't make this about money. The actual perpetrators deserve the lion share of the blame and the lion's share of the punishment.
riday, 11 May 2007, 9:57 am
Press Release: Sonja Cooper

MEDIA RELEASE

11 MAY 2007: For immediate release

Ministry Fails to “Do Right” by Social Welfare Abuse Claimants


About 500 people are bringing claims against the Ministry of Social Development for historic physical, sexual and psychological abuse that they suffered as children while they were in the care of the former Department of Social Welfare and Division of Child Welfare. The issue was canvassed on TV3 and Campbell Live last night, in response to a Ministry of Social Development media release stating that the Ministry were committed to working through issues raised by mass claims of historic abuse of children in State care.

The lawyer for the claimant group, Sonja Cooper, said: “These claimants, who were just children at the time, suffered severe physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of staff members in Social Welfare institutions around the country. They were repeatedly molested, raped and beaten. Children were also locked in solitary confinement cells and forced to do extreme physical training as punishment for misdemeanours such as smoking, fighting or running away from the institutions”. Ms Cooper stated that the claims relate to children placed with foster parents and in State-run institutions, such as the Epuni Boys’ Home, Fareham House, Hokio Beach School and Kohitere Boys’ Training Centre in Levin. Most of those institutions have now been closed.

Ms Cooper first won a case against Social Welfare in the High Court in 2000. This was subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeal by the Crown. Despite the Court of Appeal’s affirmation in 2003 that Social Welfare was liable for abuse perpetrated on children in State care, no claims have been settled by the current Government. The Ministry of Social Development has stated that it intends to “do right” by each claimant. However, to date, each and every claim is being vigorously and ruthlessly dragged through the Courts, taking many years and costing millions of taxpayer dollars.

Although most claims related to abuse perpetrated in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Ms Cooper has a growing number of clients under the age of 26 years old who were beaten and sexually assaulted in Youth Justice programmes run by CYFS as late as 2003. Ms Cooper stated: “These claims are not simply about one or two incidents of abuse. They cover wide-spread, systemic abuse on children who were in State care. Worse, when physical or sexual abuse was discovered, we have evidence that in a number of cases it was covered up by senior managers of Social Welfare in order to protect the reputation of the Department”.

“We do not believe that the Court is the best forum in which to hear these claims and that an out of Court process is the only fair and just way to addressing these claims” Ms Cooper stated.

“We have made numerous attempts to settle these claims without going to Court or to the media” Ms Cooper said. “However, the time has now come to make these claims public. The Government has repeatedly failed to adequately address these claims and has instead ordered that all MPs stay silent on the issue. The State has produced a generation of damaged people who have a myriad of difficulties with drug and alcohol abuse, anger management problems and difficulties parenting their own children. This Government has made a commitment to stamping out child abuse.

It must lead by example and address this long history of abusive conduct towards children in State care”.

The first trial relating to physical and sexual abuse in Epuni Boys’ Home and Hokio Beach School in the mid-1970’s begins in June. There are currently 155 claims filed in the High Court against the former Department of Social Welfare, with several hundred yet to be filed. Ms Cooper stated: “This is the biggest litigation ever to be initiated in New Zealand. Our Court system cannot cope with this number of claims and taxpayers should not be burdened with the cost of a massive number of trials. We call on the Government to act, and quickly”.

ENDS


Related Link: Sunshine on the Ministry of Social Development portents dark and stormy clouds

Lucia Prostitution funded by the Government

Not an unintended consequence, says Stephen Franks on WhaleOils's blog. Stephen Franks was on the select committee of the Prostitution Law Reform Bill.
This outcome was neither unforeseen, nor (in my opinion) unintended. As Chair of the Select Committee that considered tim Barnett's Bill on prostitution I can assure you that the possibilities were well explored by the committee, at my insistence. I wanted a provision to ensure that the removal of illegality did not convert prostitution into an activity benefitting from the State's positive discrimination or patronage. I drafted amendments to provide that absence of criminality did not interfere with the freedom of people and organisations to criticise prostitution and to discourage it. The Prostitutes Collective hostility to that kind of provision was strongly supported by Sue Bradford. She did not even want officials to advise on the risks of mandatory positive discrimination. She said it was scaremongerinig when we asked officials to advise how school career guidance counsellors could avoid being forced to steer kids toward prostitution as a career if the industry alleged prejudice or discrimination in a refusal to do so, how WINZ could avoid denying or terminating unemployment benefits because of a refusal to accept a job opening at the local brothel, how training grants etc could be withheld for an employer or pimp who wanted to use them for recruitment and training.

The committee got no clear answer and the Labour/Green majority, with the liberals on our side of the table, ensured that those embarrassing issues were not followed up, and my amendments failed.

Lucia RCC Priest sex scandal

The massive payout to the victims of priestly sexual abuse in Los Angeles seems to be the story of the week, so if anyone wants to comment, comment here. If you comment on any other threads about this topic, your comments will be deleted.

For a more indepth discussion on a RCC blog, go have a look at Being Frank.

Apologies for the hard line on this, but I've just had my very interesting discussion on other issues closed down for this very reason. I'll most likely start off a thread on this blog continuing the discussion in the near future.

Lucia Apologies about lack of posting

As of this week I have officially started home-schooling my two boys. They seem to be enjoying it.

I get them up at the normal time (before 8am), we do a mad breakfast rush which is now a little more sedate now that I don't have to make lunches and then are out of the door by 8:45 for a 9 am Mass. We get back by 10 am, the kids have a snack and then it's straight into handwriting practise, followed by reading and then maths before lunch.

Over the short term, as we settle into our routine better, I'll be adding grammar, spelling and comprehension for my older child.

While mentally I feel perfectly fine, physically I seem to be a little stressed. If my left eyelid could stop twitching, which it seems to do as it gets closer to lunchtime, I'm sure I could say that I'm not stressed at all.

Once I get over the initial change to my daily routine, normal posting from me should resume. Or at least more frequent posting than at present. I'll probably even blog about home-schooling issues.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fletch Fix Auckland

The EMA have a new website up called 'Fix Auckland', where you can have your say on what needs to be done to fix the Auckland region. The Picture to the left is a diagram showing 'the plethora of interminable interconnections (try saying that fast 10 times - Fletch) our council must undertake every time they do anything'. Click HERE to see the diagram up close. To me it looks more complicated than the London Underground rail network.

Anyway, you can leave messages or suggestions on the messageboard on the site and cast a vote as to what you think of the EMA's plan to straighten things out.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

ZenTiger Oil the path to environmentalism

Do you think the Greens would be spewing?

I read an amazing story in the DomPost on Friday - with the speculation running rife of oil and gas finds off the South Island (the Great South Basin), was the observation that big oil finds would drive the NZ dollar up amazing heights. I realise this is pure speculation, but it does make for interesting conjecture.

Can you imagine the huge impact having the NZ dollar jump so high, we could get US$2 for every NZ$1??

Our export markets would be devastated; the Greens would be spewing; we'd have to juggle Maori land claims with foreign investment gobbling up property, resources, and people. Immigration would be under pressure as we needed to bring in more people to support growing industry around oil production. NZ would have no debt, but the economy would likely be in a huge mess as we tried to adjust to a completely new paradigm. Fascinating stuff. Did I mention the Greens would be spewing?

Well, maybe they wouldn't be, although it would seem ironic if it turned out we were the Kuwait of the Southern hemisphere. Looking on the bright side, we'd have enough money to put in really expensive public transport systems and then make it all free to use. Discovering heaps of oil and selling it so that other countries can burn their way through Kyoto might be the very thing that helps NZ pay for our environmental wish list. I reckon that could make the Greens toss their cookies.

Hat tip: Half done wraps up the oil scare

ZenTiger Radical Measures

Al Gore wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 90%. Seriously, what steps do you think we need to take to achieve these results? On a scale of “turn the lights off when you leave the room” right up to “kill 90% of the world’s population”

ZenTiger Species Threatened

Adolf F. wrote: Which brings me back to this morning’s aberration. This morning, on the 0630 news I heard a breathless reference to “a report which concludes that human activity is damaging the world in which we live to such an extent that the world cannot be sustained for more than one generation. 30 to 40 percent of the world’s species are near extinction and within a short time there will be vast 'dead spots' on the face of the earth."

Adolf couldn't believe this alarmist tripe. I had to set him straight, and deliver the facts...

The story is very true Adolf.

The human activity they were talking about was Political Correctness and Socialism.

30-40% of the worlds entrepreneurs, thinkers and inventors are now extinct. The middle class of the species is also threatened.

There are vast desolate, politically ravaged areas completely devastated by communists, and the sub-species, socialists (although they have also been controversially classified as a type of parasite, attaching to a host and leeching until the host is reduced to a vegetative state known as "beneficiarus lazinuss").

Some places are so over taxed, the entire economic habitat is failing.

The problem is they think the worlds taxable resources are infinite. They continue to raise taxes on the basis its good for the social environment. Then they squander those very resources, literally burning them off like it doesn't matter.

The problem has become so severe that many young people are migrating north, across the oceans looking for new havens. Some, unfortunately never return, and their fate remains unknown.

One solution has been to give a little of the tax resource back to the native species. It does seem to perk up a few of the injured ones, until they realise that their lifeblood is drained via new taxes.

A new tax comes into effect tomorrow, on oil, which is well known to assist the species in improving their lives. It helps with their transportation of food, getting their young safely to education ponds, and traveling to harvesting areas where many adults forage for a paycheck.

There really ought to be an awareness campaign or something, before the entire middle class working species is completely wiped out. It really is that bad, so give Radio NZ more credit for allowing the broadcast.


From the SH Archives: Radio NZ Early Warning System

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lucia Friday Night Free For All

I don't know what's happened to our recent comments bar. It disappears, it reappears. Looks like technical difficulties. Won't matter to our Friday Night Free For All where everyone is invited to comment as long as they are not disgusting or blasphemous.

Also, ignore the Read more. I don't know why it refuses to die.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lucia Surprise! The Pope is a Catholic!


Is anyone really surprised? The Vatican has come out and restated that the one true Church on earth subsists in the Catholic Church.
Second Question: What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?

Response: Christ "established here on earth" only one Church and instituted it as a "visible and spiritual community" (5), that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted. (6) "This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic […]. This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him" (7).

In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" ‘subsistence’ means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church (8), in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. (9) Nevertheless, the word "subsists" can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the "one" Church); and this "one" Church subsists in the Catholic Church. (10)

Related Link: Summer Assignment: Restudy the Doctrine of the Church
There are statements, clarifying the position of Orthodox Churches.
Fourth Question: Why does the Second Vatican Council use the term "Church" in reference to the oriental Churches separated from full communion with the Catholic Church?

Response: The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. "Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all – because of the apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds" (13), they merit the title of "particular or local Churches" (14), and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches (15).

"It is through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches that the Church of God is built up and grows in stature" (16). However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches (17).

On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realised in history (18).
And on Protestant "Churches", which cannot be properly called "Churches".
Fifth Question: Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of "Church" with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?

Response: According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery (19) cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called "Churches" in the proper sense (20).
One Anglican Bishop is not offended. One of many, hopefully.
Anglican bishop Robert Forsyth, of Sydney — the city where Catholics and Anglicans are regarded as strict — said Anglicans were not offended.

''It means the Pope is a Catholic, actually," Bishop Forsyth said.

"Of course, they would think that — we think they're a bit dodgy, too, but we've come a long way from saying the Pope is the antichrist.

Related Link : Pope is Catholic, but is not the antichrist
When it comes down to it, if you are not Catholic, why should you care what the Catholic Church thinks about itself? The Catholic Church over it's two thousand year history has always said it was the one true Church established by Jesus Christ. If you don't believe that to be true, no one's going to come after you with a rosary and force you to believe.

On a related matter, I've been exercising my apologetics brain on A Servant's Thoughts recently. I'm still a bit of novice when it comes to doing so, so don't expect too much. I'm not finished yet either, just having a break for an indeterminate period of time. I'm regarding the whole process more as something for myself as a means to find the gaps in my knowledge.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ZenTiger Are You Human

Many blog sites, to prove you are human and not a web-bot of some sort, require you to type in random numbers or letters that they display, to make the post.

To prove I'm human, I have to type in a number. That seems ironic.

I suggest instead, the program links into a dictionary of nice words: Kindness, Duty, Chocolate, Please, Friendship, Cola-Cola, Google, Nike, Comrade, Vote Labour...

Damn, the idea is 8 seconds old, and its already been hijacked by corporate sponsorship and the government.

SH Archives - 04 Apr 2005

ZenTiger Salient but not Sapient

The Frogs are happily ribbiting on about Oil and Bush. Commenter Sapient has an "interesting" point of view. It's the tip of the iceberg. The end result is hardly perspicacious. When America is always the bad guy, cause and effect are so easy to deduce.

By clicking the "read more" link you are acknowledging responsibility for the consequences of your own actions.

i dont realy have much of a problem with radical islam, its a pity they choose to attack civilians but aside from that they are doing no diferent than any nations would do were they threatened with irradication by another who was stronger in both military and economy, they are mearly making use of what tools they have available with the funds they have available, not everyone can afford a few hundred tomahawk missiles, what are they? only about 1.3 mil each? or if someone started firering missiles at Britan would it just sit by and let them do it?
america created this enemy and this enemy wont go away any time soon, in its last death throws i fear that its military action may become increasingly violent in a last ditch atempt to gain resources to support its flailing empire, but so is the telos of imperialism i supose.

another thing, the jewish people have every right to exist as a nation but a nation need not be defined by land, a right to exist; yes, a right to act as an american outpost in an resource rich part of the world on stolen land; No.

Sapient


Related Link: Cheney's Brinkmanship

Lucia Tidy Time

I'm removing one of the blogs on our blogroll because they have crossed the bounds of common decency.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

ZenTiger Social Suicide

The crucial thing is to change the default setting of our culture which tells people that all lifestyles are equally beneficial to everyone.

The truth is that they are not.


"At the very heart of this report, however, lies the issue of the fractured family which Mr Duncan Smith has correctly identified as the foundation of our social problems.

It is family fragmentation which is fuelling crime, drug and alcohol abuse, educational failure, worklessness, mental and physical ill-health and teenage pregnancy. And at the core of this issue lies the progressive and systematic undermining of marriage.

This is why the State must privilege married people over other types of household. It is not a question of 'moralising', or being beastly to lone parents.

It is simply worse than absurd for the State to subsidise family fragmentation and the billions of pounds of social damage that it causes.

It is also not enough to provide incentives for all two-parent households, since cohabiting partnerships break up more than twice as often as married couples. The rise and rise of cohabitation has been the rocket fuel behind our accelerating disaster of mass fatherlessness.

Already, the usual suspects are cranking out the tired refrain that the State must not penalise needy lone parents. But it has hugely penalised needy married parents for years. A couple with children would have to work 100 hours a week more than a single parent with the same number of children to receive the same amount of disposable income.

While it is certainly true that there are a great many lone mothers who do a wonderful job of raising their children alone, lone parents are undoubtedly among the least able to cope with life.

And unforgivably, loading the financial dice so heavily in favour of lone parenthood has sucked many more people into such misery.

Of course, encouraging marriage is about more than financial incentives. We should also be providing advice networks before and after marriage to challenge couples' impossible expectations of each other, which turns every marital setback into an insurmountable hurdle.

The crucial thing is to change the default setting of our culture which tells people that all lifestyles are equally beneficial to everyone.

The truth is that they are not. Marriage protects not just children but men and women. Fragmented family life does not. It is a misfortune to be avoided."

Related Link: Social Suicide Hat tip: A reader! Thanks.

ZenTiger Minor thoughts and minor conversations

OK, so I'm rehashing old posts from Sir Humphrey's. Still, it's often not the posts that are anything special. It's the weird conversations that follow. Am I the only sensible person in the world?


19 Oct 2005 - Minor Thoughts
No posts from ZenTiger for a wee while. Work. Accounts. Feeble excuses. Meanwhile, have some randomly collected thoughts:

* Which is worse: Ignorance or Apathy? Who knows? Who cares?
* If God hadn't wanted us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?
* There's two theories to arguin' with a woman. Neither one works.
* If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties? how intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck? (Linda Ellerbee)
* If winners never quit, and quitters never win...then why do we say quit while you're ahead?
* I couldn't live in Switzerland, They poke holes in my cheese.
* All things considered, insanity may be the only reasonable alternative.
* I'll try being nicer if you try being smarter.

--------------------------

Phil U said...
off topic(?) i know..but isn't it a bit of a hoot..those rightwing christian plagarists over at maxim..eh..?

ZenTiger said...
Plagiarists? What, they've stolen the bird flu now have they?

But point taken. Not really a hoot, more a case of "extremely bad form".

Still, the Greens will probably appreciate their efforts to recycle information.

Gooner said...
Not a good look Phil. Doh!

Roger said...
That Maxim thing is bollocks. The phrase "A government big enough to give you everything you want..." has been around for eons. Who the hell knows who said/wrote it first? It has been used by millions of people for goodness sake. What a load of poo.

IN regard to your question about God/animals/and meat, Zen, I would say that humans are made of meat also. Is that a sign from God that we are supposed to eat each other?

Antarctic Lemur said...
Good comeback Roger. Unfortunately Zen is very busy, so may not have the time to answer.

ZenTiger said...
Yep, I don't have time to answer. But I will, because I find Roger's comment so err, Rogerish.

These are a list of randomly "collected" thoughts. The word collected is to clarify that I am not trying to plagiarise, these are just slightly funny (to me at least) one-liners I've come across that I plonked down for people's amusement.

The eating meat line makes as much sense as poking holes in Swiss cheese, and the "who knows, who cares" response to ignorance and apathy. In context, or even out of it, it is meant as a joke. Hah. Hah.

Humour.

But to answer your question Roger, yes, it must be a sign from God that we should eat each other. Absolutely. However, should you decide God so directs you, please tell the judge it was THE God, not ZenTiger, who is, after all, just a God. I do not profess to be THE God, and I am not suggesting you eat meat.

But I caution you to my final line:

"I'll try to be nicer if you try to be smarter"

Why is that so appropriate at Sir Humphrey's?

Roger said...
I know it was a joke, but there's no way I can make you believe that so I won't try. It's just a reflex of mine to answer someone anytime they say anything about eating meat.

I get the impression AL was being sarcastic, but I don't know him well enough to judge. Although it is strange for him to say something nice so that should be a sign.

ZenTiger said...
Sorry to bust your chops over the meat thing Roger. I don't really have a beef with you.

I suspected it was a case of foot in mouth, and I thought you'd tried to bite off more than you can chew. I was nearly prepared to steak my reputation you had made a pavlovian response to respond to the text of the message, not the meaning.

Still, my response was not lamb dressed up as mutton, I did take the time to re-veal my reasoning.

You must learn to resist this lemming-like desire to reacting to the words rather than the message.

Maybe a change of diet would help? Perhaps more protein? Can I recommend the fillet steak, medium rare with a red wine jus?

Roger said...
I don't think lemmings have ever reacted to words, or messages.

By the way, what's with American soldiers burning dead bodies?

ZenTiger said...
You are not familiar with the species of lemming that infests Sir Humphrey's then?

And the phrase is "eating dead burnt bodies", and around here you need to cite Arlo Guthrie if you are going to make statements like that.

And I have no idea what you are talking about. I really am busy.

By the way, what's with that estimate Saddam killed like, 500,000 people? That sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Still, I've heard higher.

Roger said...
Saddam who? I hear that 70,000,000 Chinese died thanks to Mao.

ZenTiger said...
Bad form to show such racism "thanks to Mao". It was no thanks to Mao that they died.

A lefty wouldn't understand the importance of saying "Freedom fries, a Bill of Rights Burger, covered with capitalism sauce and for God's sake (remember God - he thinks we should eat meat) hold the Mao"

Roger said...
I have no idea what you are on, but its obviously very good.

Lucia Bye bye Boston Legal

I've finally done it, I've managed to not watch Boston Legal tonight! I have to stay strong, though. It's still on TV. I'll be safe at 10:30pm.

The thing with Boston Legal, is that I've enjoyed the story lines and the characters, but the amoralising was really, really getting to me. Especially all the innuendo between the two male leads.

TV really is a propaganda medium.

ZenTiger H1 to H461

I hardly ever watch TV, so it was unusual for me to suddenly decide to flick the switch and see what was on the LCD last night. And lo! behold! Facelift (I think that was the name). I'd never seen it before, and it was a nice surprise to see some NZ Political Satire on the box. Still, it was full on. It was hard to take in the H1 characterization. I was almost feeling sorry for our Right Honorable P.M. Then I recalled some of the satirical posts from my Sir Humphrey days.

I was a bad person.

14 May 2005 - Sir Humphrey's Post
Our glorious leader of the State of Helengrad, Miss Helen Clark, Dominatrix supreme, is affectionately known as H1. It's quicker to write, you see.

Dr Michael Cullen, Economix, would possibly be H2 (although I think the title has gone to Heather Simpson). But no. That is what they want you to think.

The success of recent cloning experiments (following Dolly the sheep) enabled our clever Kiwi Scientists to clone Helen Clark.

With nothing more than a rusty gene splicing machine; a test tube; tissue from a pit bull terrier; a single strand of hair from the head of H1 herself; and a $239 million dollar grant from NZTE, 460 additional clone leaders have rolled off a secret assembly line, rumoured to be hidden in a secret chamber under the University of Otago's library.

There are now a total of 456 Helens remaining, with five destroyed in the field:

One crashed in a high speed traffic incident down south last year, and was promptly replaced.

Another fell out of a plane when the door blew open, but they had a spare at PRM airport (don't make me spell Paraparaumu)

One was destroyed in an avalanche in Norway during a Christmas break. Luckily they have at least 10 spare clones situated in Sweden.

Two "went to pieces" after rowdy cabinet sessions. Only Tamihere has witnessed those events, but they've done such a good job discrediting him that no-one believes him. When he threatened to reveal all, they killed his cats as a warning. His hands are tied.

So when they say "Send in H1", you know that the mission is dangerous and she is ultimately expendable. Because they have a lot more on standby. What would have been instant death for any other operative results in nothing more than a one percent slide in the Polls. She is more indestructible than Captain Scarlett.

It is not that our PM is popular and competent. Rather, it is that she is populous and counterfeited.

There is every chance we will have an H1 for the next 30 years unless we do something! Is there anything that can be done? Thankfully, there is. You can stress the clone units by asking indirect questions that could conceivably lead them to believe the game is up. This avoids activation of the defensive answer circuits. For example:

1. Is it true you faked some paintings?
2. If you didn't say those words, then who did?
3. So you are claiming the photo on the govt website is you?
4. So is there a reason you simply can't remember what you said?
5. Do you stand by the assertion that your election promises of 1999 were made by some-one else?
6. (From Auckland) Didn't I see you in Wellington this morning?
7. You must have been beside yourself when Tamihere spoke.
8. Can you explain why your department saw fit to purchase 461 personal diaries and calendar sets at a cost of $45,000**? Did you need spare copies

You get the idea. Take every opportunity to reveal the plot. We need to exhaust the clone supply before the election day is announced. It's not a conspiracy if we don't twig to it.

[NOTE: This news release may not have been penned by the real ZenTiger]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
** Yes, before Labour stole the pledge card money, they stole smaller amounts. You see what happens when we let people off from the small crimes?

Link: Labour Steals $45,000.

And what is special about the Prime Minister's Office producing a calendar? Perhaps this calendar serves a vital function. What other publication do we have where key NZ events are already entered in such a handy reference format? Here are just a few events plucked from the handy reference:

Jan 1: Cullen Fund Day.
Jan 2: Tamihere Resolutions Day (better late than never)
Jan 24: Wellington Anniversary (Cancelled)
Jan 31: Auckland Day
Jan 31: Nelson Anniversary (Not observed)
Feb 1: Auckland Day (continued)
Feb 6: National appeasement day
Feb 25: Resurrection of Labour Party Day
Feb 31: National Party Day
Feb 32: Act Party Day
March 14: Comrade Helen Day
April 25: NZ for World Peace Day
April 26: LAV cleaning day
June 6: Queen Helen's Official Birthday
July 8: Sweden Day
Aug 1: Horses Birthday (banned)
Aug 5: Banks holiday (John Banks deported)
Sep 6: Labour Success Story Day (1 minute of silence observed)
Oct 24: Beginning of Labour week
Nov 5: Gay Forks Day (Who knows what they were thinking?)
Nov 30: End of Labour week
Dec 1: Speed anywhere in the South Island Day
Dec 5: Sleep Day (In support of Benson-Pope)
Dec 25: Miss Kringle Day
Dec 26: Day in lieu day.

Were there any other calendar events I missed??

Lucia Jesus was just a human after all

Pope Benedict has been spending every spare moment writing about Jesus. He says : "The alleged findings of scholarly exegesis have been used to put together the most dreadful books that destroy the figure of Jesus and dismantle faith." -- Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, 35.

The article I've typed out in full below by Ian Harris, published in the Dominion Post last Saturday, shows clearly why Pope Benedict has felt he needed to write a book for the world on the real Jesus who was the Christ.
Transformed Christ, an exemplar of the timeless mythical hero

Christ a myth? Of course, says the atheist. Never, says the traditional Christian. Yet in coming to diametrically opposite conclusions, both rely on a basic misunderstanding of myth.

Blame history for that. Christians have been too eager to read the Bible in a literal way, as though it was above and beyond the myths they readily recognise in other religions. Atheists have noses adept at sniffing out myths, which they then dismiss as unhistorical unscientific and therefore untrue.

Today, however, and thanks in no part small measure to psychologist Carl Jung and scholar of myth Joseph Campbell, the penny is dropping that the mythic lies at the heart of religion - even a religion as rooted in historical events as Christianity. In recent years a huge scholarly effort has gone into rediscovering the human Jesus who lies buried under centuries of piety, superstition, metaphysical speculation and dogma. The search so far has revealed a sage who encouraged those who heard him to live as if the Kingdom of God was already up and running. It is valuable as far as it goes, because without Jesus there could have been no Christ.

But it is Christ the "anointed one" (that is what the word means), not Jesus, that is the central myth of Christianity and carries it's message about life. The Churches have tended to literalise this myth and set it in concrete. But a literalised myth is doomed. If this one is to make any impression on our secular world, it will have to be seen for what it is: a pointer to something real at the heart of human experience, a doorway into an expanded vision of what life can hold, a vehicle of deeper insight into human nature and it's potential.

English scholar Karen Armstrong reminds us that a historical event has to be mythologised if it is to become a source of religious inspiration. German theologian Albert Schweitzer made the same point a century ago when he described myth as "the clothing in historic form if religious ideas, shaped by the unconsciously inventive power of legend, and embodied in a historic personality".

Other world religions have their own versions of that, but in Christianity the historic personality is Jesus. The legend centres on his death and resurrection experience of his followers. The religious idea is the offer of Goodness in life and life in Goodness. And it was the creative imagination of the Apostle Paul that initially fused all this together.

Paul puts the emphasis not so much on Jesus, a man open to historical enquiry, as on the mythic Christ, who is known subjectively in Christian experience. His achievement was to transform Jesus into the Christ, an exemplar of the timeless mythical hero who dies, is raised to new life, and blazes the trail to a higher mode of being. Those who wish to follow his leading signify this through baptism, where they symbolically identify with Jesus' death and emerge to a new quality of life "in Christ". Ideally, they sustain this by sharing regularly in a ritual meal where they remember Jesus' death, open themselves to his continuing influence, and renew their hope for their community and the world. There are some who deplore this expansion, and wish Paul had been content to leave Jesus as a teacher, healer and model for living. But a myth, rightly understood, in infinitely more powerful than a model. It is creative in the artistic sense. It comes alive in the imagination, or not at all.

Inevitably, given the times, the Christ myth came to be wrapped around with the miraculous, the magical, the other-worldly, and a cosmic slant on sin and salvation. But it does not have to be so encumbered.

Indeed, it is precisely because the secular world has moved on from supernatural assumptions that the Christ myth is today in danger of being eclipsed; for a religious myth loses it's vitality when the world view underlying it undergoes a sea-change. Traditionalists try to save it by insisting that all the old understandings still hold, but that merely hastens it's decline.

A better approach is to break the myth open and recover it's meaning for our own time, beginning with Paul's metaphor of "Christ dwelling in you, and you in Christ". The myth is then free to unfold within the fullness of our secular experience, and totally within this world of space and time.


Jesus of Nazareth on Amazon

Monday, July 9, 2007

ZenTiger Climate Change Rocks On

Now that the Live Earth concerts are over, do the Greenies feel like they have created new awareness? Do they feel like they have ended the threat? Of course not. They just had a big party, slapped each other on the back and suggested Al Gore run for President of the World.

What was Al Gore's suggestion? To cut carbon emissions by 90%. Ninety Percent.

It's the HOW that we need to be asking. Let me be the first to confirm that to achieve 90% reductions concerts would be in amongst the huge list of things to be banned. And electrical instruments, sound equipment, flood lights, and those flying contraptions that get super stars from Country A to Country B.

"We can help by doing something small"

Not at ninety percent mate.

Related Link: Live Dirt

ZenTiger Freedom 101: Arrested for breaking the law

The headline reads "War on drink driving failing". It's a nice way of announcing that something has just got to be done. Something serious.

Drink driving rates are climbing despite a multi-million dollar advertising campaign.

A plea to spend more money. After all, any decent war needs a trillion dollars thrown at it. War on drugs, war on terror, why should New Zealand's wars be any different? There's a serious solution. Spend more money on advertising.

But wait, there's more.

With drink-drive prosecutions going up, it's time to get really serious. The suggestion from National Road Policing Manager Dave Cliff: lower the alcohol limit so we can catch even more people.

Obviously, we'd then be catching them for breaking the law, and not for being drunk. But they'd still be fined for "drunken driving". Maybe we should lobby for a generic offense against the state of "treason", since it would seem strange to be convicted of drunken driving when one was obviously not drunk. Nope, treason would be far more accurate. And it would instantly solve the drink-driving stats. Those particular statistics would plunge to a socialist paradise nirvana result of zero, putting Helen (once she retires) on the European Speakers Circuit for years to come.

So what are some of the cases highlighted in the article that would justify a zero tolerance law?

1. Two sets of tourists speeding in snow. Each with children in their cars!

Strange example, considering they didn't have any alcohol in their blood. Oh well - lower the limit anyway! And they were tourists - quick spend a few more million on TV advertisements, but this time in Norwegian! And think of the children - we must introduce harsher laws, to save them.

2. A speeding Norwegian Tourist. This one did have alcohol on his breath, at twice the legal limit, but no kids.

Well, lowering the alcohol limit in his case would only make him more guilty. But wasn't he guilty enough already? No matter, more advertising will solve this problem.

3. Police caught a drunk driver with 10 previous convictions.

Only 10 you say? Well, more advertising and lowering the threshold will DEFINITELY sort him out. Or actually enforcing the law. But great logic. The statistics don't improve because the same people keep getting caught, so lower the limit to catch more people that will actually respect the law, even as the law disrespects them (for arresting them not for drunk driving, but breaking the law)

4. Police stopped some-one to breath test him. Whilst that was going on, the passengers removed the wheels of the police car.

OK, so how long do breath tests take? And how much concentration does the policeman put into this, as a steady progression of passengers slither out the side door and take to the police car? And again, was the driver actually drunk? The report avoided mentioning that, possibly on the grounds it did not want to incriminate itself. Back to the point - how does reporting the crime of vandalism going to help convince us we need to reduce the legal limits for drivers?

5. Police catch a 15 year old speeding without his car headlights on. He was on the adult limit when breath tested.

So, not only driving dangerously, but under-age drinking. And at that age, the law on alcohol is zero tolerance anyway!

And the argument seems to shoot itself in the foot with its closing paragraph:
The road toll was more than 700 deaths a year in the late 1980s. Last year it was 387 - the lowest in decades.
Maybe I need to step back from this report and ask bigger questions. Like, why are readers of newspaper stories so critical nowadays? Will the public ultimately accept tougher drink driving laws trapping a wider pool of innocent people based on these stories?

So many questions, and I'm not buying the answers that came free on page one of the Dominion Post. This story appears to be a precursor to justifying making criminals of people for breaking the law, not for driving drunk. The same people will flout the law, and a new set of "criminals" will be made to pay the price.

See also: Drink Driving Limits Tested

Fletch War of the Worlds Live Stage Show

Yay! Tickets for Jeff Waynes musical version of War of the Worlds go on sale today. The show is going to be at the Vector Arena and will feature a giant 30 foot Martian firing rays at the audience, a hologram of Richard Burton as the reporter, 100 foot screens showing cutting edge CGI animation, and featuring original players on the album.

The stellar cast, from England, includes “Moody Blues” Justin Hayward and Chris Thompson of “Manfred Mann”, both re-creating their roles from the original album and the recent sell-out UK tour.


If you've never heard the album then where have you been hiding? A friend of mine turned me onto it in high school at age 15. It's a really great album.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

ZenTiger UNDP applies the undercoat

Looks like the United Nations have ordered more paint, and applied the second undercoat.

The UNDP (Development Program) has reportedly fired the whistle blower that noticed "irregularities" in the spending of millions of dollars of aid money in North Korea.

That's what you get when the North Korean government appoints the people, manages the payments and insists on hard currency payments.

The auditors backed these findings up, but noted that they couldn't detect the true extent of the corruption, because the North Korean government were refusing to cooperate, and the auditors were prevented from getting to key information. That still wasn't enough for them to find thinks looking dodgier than, say, the United Nations Oil for Food (Money for Saddam) program.

So, a half-audit with fishy results is enough for the UNDP to deduce that this exonerates and vindicates them. In a BBC report:
The UN carried out an audit in June and said that while there had been breaches of rules, there had been no systematic diversion of UN money to North Korean authorities.
WTF? The BBC seem to have swallowed the hook, line and sinker. They should attend UNDP seminars on corruption:
Regional Advisor at the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok highlighted the extent of corruption around the world: “The World Bank also estimates that the total amount of bribes paid around the world amounts to 1 trillion US$ per year, nearly twice the annual GDP of Africa and more than 10 times the annual amount of ODA.
Indeed, and the United Nations appears to be a major contributor to the problem.

Related Link: United Nations Orders 100 litres of white paint

Friday, July 6, 2007

Lucia Friday Night Free For All

Sorry I'm late. Got distracted looking for a picture and then time went by ...

ZenTiger What punishment?

How about conscription with active duty in Afghanistan, clearing mine fields where children play? For ever, or as long as forever can be doing such a job.

Crusader Rabbit: 10 years max
The Briefing Room:Does Evil Exist?
Related Link:Stupidity and evil

Thursday, July 5, 2007

ZenTiger No job for a woman

Here's Richard's problem: He's saving himself for marriage. He's 28. Whenever he meets some-one nice, he mentions he's holding out until it all gets D&M. Blonde at the bar is "weirded out" by this.
While women decry being sexualised and objectified, the fact is we have been socialised to expect men to want us and it can be somewhat disconcerting when they don't.

We have grown up with sayings like: "men are the accelerator, women the brakes." We expect to be the ones saying "no".
So, "no" job for a woman?

ZenTiger A word to raise your interest

Bollard!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

ZenTiger Be wary and be ware

Back in October 2005 I noted that Cullen had threatened interest rate rises if National won the elections. As Labour swept in, I predicted Bollard would raise the rates anyway. The real culprit being Cullen's spending with no let up on the taxes. Here's the post from the SH archives.

Was I right, or was I right?

Somewhere, in the time before election 05, Dr Cullen stepped from his cave, located high on Mt Cook, and spake:

"Yea who would cast a vote for National, to accept their bribe to take less money from your pay packet, I say to thee. Be wary. Indeed, Be ware. Be both wary and ware, for the evil of taking less money shall surely result in the bank demanding more of it. For every dollar the government taketh less, the banketh shall surely take more. As high is Mt Cook, so shall be the interest levied on your home. I have spake",

and then he went back into his cave, and he felt good.

So the people milled about in confusion, and when the votes were cast, Cullen was again appointed ruler of the purse, and he was pleased. And he known only as "Bollard" did increase the banks rates, and even though National had not taken less money, because they had been lawfully prevented from taking less, on the account that Labour was lawfully allowed to take more, Bollard also spake:

"Yea who would spend money on frivolous things such as rates, electricity, gas and phone - all of which have been cursed to increase more than the inflationary quantity of hot air in Dr Cullen's spakings, shall be punished."

"Ye shall henceforth payeth more money to the bank to prevent you spending more money at the supermarket."

"Ye shall henceforth pay more money to the bank because you did not save that which we now take"

"Ye shall henceforth consider not that holly day. Nor that Christmas pressie, nor that movie ticket. Nay, Serenity shall be denied, or at least the pop corn that one might buyeth.

Ye shall henceforth curse the day that Dr Cullen convinced you he knew what he was talking about, for the proof is now in your wallets. Open your wallets wide and examine the proof. Yea, though you see nothing, remember well that is all the proof you need, for nothing is what you will be left with as Dr Cullen prepares new taxes to ensure our precious government weathers the storm of hard times ahead.

And he known only as Bollard (or only as Alan, or only as the Governor, or only as Reserve Bank person, or only as basta...but I digress..) shall continue to curb spending by raising the rates, and as yea pay more and more to the bank yea shall surely wonder how much more spending shall be curbed, and where does all the curbed money flow.

And the banks shall announce record prophets. And the prophets reside in the land of Oz, where surely opportunity to discover gold becomes even more likely.

So be wary and be ware gentle tax givers. Be prepared to giveth until it hurteth. Giveth to the bank and giveth to the Department of Revenue. Consider Labour long and hard (or just Labour long and hard). Either way, they can spend it far better than you. Just watcheth them.

ZenTiger The end to racism

I saw an anti-racism kit on eBay for $9.99. It was made in China, so I'm a bit dubious as to its quality. On the plus side, they wouldn't have bothered to copyright it so I feel justified in coming up with a much better one. I am proud to offer a ZenTiger approved Anti-Racism System of Emancipation (A.R.S.E.).

Yes, I have developed (in software development terms) a unique kit which combats racism. This is ground breaking stuff. I'm already writing my acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The basic kit is designed for the average, mainstream Kiwi, and for many people that fancy themselves as mainstream Kiwis. Americans may order the American Similar System (A.S.S.) kit which contains the required regional upgrade.

It operates on several principles:

1. You should be able to employ your A.R.S.E. to prevent personal attacks of a racist nature from your garden variety red neck.
2. Your A.R.S.E. should prevent you from being mistaken for a race you do not actually belong to (Samoa and Fiji Islands Module an extra $3).
3. Your A.R.S.E. should filter out any verbal diarrhoea directed your way.
4. If you use your A.R.S.E. kit about-face, it should translate any utterances you make into a more neutral phrase.
5. Any stupid comment you make will be attributed to the A.R.S.E. kit, thus rendering any derogatory rejoinder ineffective. This is known as "Talking out of your A.R.S.E."
6. Any unfounded criticism you receive can be safely inserted (shoved, if in a hurry) up your A.R.S.E.
7. You can also redirect any verbal hot air whilst communicating with a racist directly into your A.R.S.E., where it will safely blow it out the other side.

So, you can see the benefits of using your A.R.S.E. to get out of tricky, racially tense situations that have no relevant bearing on you as a person. You will soon be living a racism free life, and feel the better for it. Racists, around the world will realise the futility of their actions and, although they might find the kit a bit of a pain in the, err, in the first place, they will soon see the benefits in changing their ways.

We fully expect you will join the ranks of my satisfied customers, and want to thank me in person. Unfortunately, I can't be there with you, but you can kiss my A.R.S.E. [Kit].

Please email confirmed orders, and I'll get the PAYPAL button on-line soon.

The benefit to society as a whole will be that people using the RACE CARD to shut down conversations will not be able to do so. There will no longer be any dispute once we employ the A.R.S.E. kit, as it can correctly distinguish between people crying "racism" and, to put it bluntly, those speaking crap.

Now I need to develop a kit that stops those girlie "misogyny" attacks.

ZenTiger Its too late to turn back

We've all been so worried about peak oil, it is not surprising we were caught unawares. But it's too late. We are adrift on a Cruel Sea, and it's too late to turn back. Scientists stand befuddled, their calculations awry. To be fair, no-one really saw it coming. Well, no-one in New Zealand. Well, bugger all.

We've hit Peak Tax. Cullen was so busy collecting it, he forgot to check the reservoirs. From here, it’s all downhill. Sure, Labour might bring in some heavy duty extraction equipment for another term, but it will be their last. Tax will go the way of the Moa.

In response, Cullen will push the extraction rates up, but the BOC (barrels of cash) per day will dry up as businesses downsize or move off-shore.

The problem has really been one of conservation. There was plenty to go around, but it was guzzled by big government. Another 6,000 fat bureaucrat salaries in Wellington slurped up Dunedin's worthy contribution. Renting prime office space and buying computers for these new bureaucrats did away with the cash pumped from the hard working folks in Christchurch. Westport reserves paid for training courses and staff parties. Wellington tax went to Wananga and Auckland’s taxes have recently helped repay government debt. Jonathon Hunt’s taxi bill was finally settled.

Government consumption of our resources was at 32 billion BOC in 1999, now it looks to top 60 billion in 2005.

"This kind of consumption is not sustainable" said Dr ZenTiger, opening speaker at a conference to discuss the problem of Peak Tax. "We've seen it happen recently in Ireland. They peaked several years ago. They had pumped the top tax rate to 80%. Company tax was at 40%. They were spending like it grew on trees. Of course, we know it doesn't."

What was the solution? It might surprise you. Dr Zen explains:

"Ireland knew they had to manage supply. They cut the extraction rates dramatically. Company tax from 40% down to 12.5%. The top rate down to 42%. A flatter structure. 20% tax on the first NZ$50,000. No GST on food. That sort of thing."

Did it work? "Well put it this way. There's a damn sight more Leprechauns and Rainbows than 10 years ago".

"And what for NZ?"

"Well, essentially, it's doing more with less. It's all about responsible management and removing demand in a way that will not affect our social environment. It might mean cutting out the weird government schemes – hip-hop, job jolt, showing toilets in Vienna, sing-along radio, that sort of thing. Cutting expensive TV advertising, canceling the subscription to Kyoto Monthly. The government simply has to tighten its belt and focus on its core functions.

For many years the government has acted like it needs a v8 to blast across the Canterbury Plains at 180kph. There is no rush. If you miss one boat, you just get the next. A Toyota Hybrid would have got to the next plane flight and used a fraction of our tax resources. Without breaking reasonable limits. That really is the message to the government – stop breaking the limits.”

There is only one party with the environmental sensitivity to manage Peak Tax - ACT. You can give your party vote to ACT or you can watch the last of it being sucked out of the wallets with the best equipment IRD has to offer, and those clever buggers have done a good job, you got to give them that.

Party Vote ACT. The Greens want to use the last of our tax on Peak Oil. Labour want to use it on Peak Government. NZ First on Peak Immigration. United Future on Peak a-boo. National have shown some hope, but unless they show commitment to tax conservation, and work with the experts in the field, it will be too little too late. If you don’t believe me, check your letterbox. You’ll find your rates bill (up), your power bill (up) and your bank statement (nearly dry). Peak Tax is not a myth. ACT now.

Note: ZenTiger does not work for ACT, nor is he a member of ACT. He's just going to vote that way this time around. [Reprint post from Sir Humphreys 15 Aug 2005]

Fletch New Zealanders Win America's Cup!

'..And the crowd cheered as the New Zealanders crossed the line to win the 32nd America's Cup by one second!'.

Hang on; have I got it wrong there? Well, perhaps I'm referring to the New Zealanders skippering and crewing Allinghi. It's hard to really know what to feel when your national team loses to the competitor crewed by fellow countrymen.

In a way, Allinghi owner Ernesto Bertorelli has bought and paid for that cup that's going to stay on his mantelpiece. That's the way I see it anyway; call it sour grapes if you like.

I suppose it brings up again the argument about teams made of of crewmen from different countries; it still doesn't seem right to me. What happens in the Olympics? Does each member of the team have to be naturalised? I'm not sure.

The defeat still leaves a bad taste in the mouth though.

I wonder if Butterworth felt a swell of patriotism on the win; and it so, for whom?



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