Friday, August 31, 2007
KGB intent on linking Pius XII with Nazis, says former spyRelated Link: Catholic News Agency
Washington DC, Jan 26, 2007 / 04:18 pm (CNA).- A former high-ranking officer with the KGB claims that the Kremlin and the Russian intelligence agency in the 1960s were set on executing a smear campaign against the Catholic Church, and the main target was Pope Pius XII.
In a recent issue of the National Review Online, Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa, who eventually defected from the former Soviet bloc, recounts how the KGB and the Kremlin designed the deliberate campaign to portray the Pius XII “as a coldhearted Nazi sympathizer.”
“In February 1960, Nikita Khrushchev approved a super-secret plan for destroying the Vatican’s moral authority in Western Europe,” writes Pacepa. “Eugenio Pacelli, by then Pope Pius XII, was selected as the KGB’s main target, its incarnation of evil, because he had departed this world in 1958. ‘Dead men cannot defend themselves’ was the KGB’s latest slogan.”
The code name for this operation against Pope Pius XII was “Seat-12.”
The KGB used the fact that Archbishop Pacelli had served as the papal nuncio in Munich and Berlin when the Nazis were beginning their bid for power against him. “The KGB wanted to depict him as an anti-Semite who had encouraged Hitler’s Holocaust,” says Pacepa.
To do this, the KGB wanted some original Vatican documents to “slightly modify”. So they called in Pacepa, who was working for the Romanian intelligence service.
Pacepa says he became the Romanian point man. He was authorized to falsely inform the Vatican that Romania was ready to restore its broken relations with the Holy See, in exchange for access to its archives — in order to find historical roots that would help the Romanian government publicly justify its change of heart toward the Holy See — and a one-billion-dollar, interest-free loan for 25 years.
Between 1960 and 1962, the Romanian spy sent hundreds of archival documents connected in any way with Pope Pius XII to the KGB. Pacepa says none of the documents were incriminating in themselves, but they were sent to the KGB in any case.
The KGB used these documents to produce a powerful play attacking Pope Pius XII, entitled The Deputy. It eventually saw the stage in Germany in 1963, under the title The Deputy, a Christian Tragedy. It proposed that Pius XII had supported Hitler and encouraged him to go ahead with the Jewish Holocaust. The German director claimed to have 40 pages of documentation attached to the script that would support the thesis of the play.
The play ran in New York in 1964 and was translated into 20 languages. The play then led to a flurry of books and articles, some accusing and some defending the pontiff.
“Today, many people who have never heard of The Deputy are sincerely convinced that Pius XII was a cold and evil man who hated the Jews and helped Hitler do away with them,” Pacepa writes in the National Review Online. “As KGB chairman Yury Andropov, the unparalleled master of Soviet deception, used to tell me, people are more ready to believe smut than holiness.”
Pacepa says the truth has finally begun to emerge with the canonization process of Pius XII, which was opened by Pope John Paul II.
“Witnesses from all over the world have compellingly proved that Pius XII was an enemy, not a friend, of Hitler,” says Pacepa.
He also refers to the book The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews From the Nazis, by David G. Dalin, which has compiled further proof of Archbishop Pacelli’s friendship for the Jews.
“At the start of World War II, Pope Pius XII’s first encyclical was so anti-Hitler that the Royal Air Force and the French air force dropped 88,000 copies of it over Germany,” he concludes.
The Real Story of Pius XII and the Jews
Hitler's plan to kidnap the Pope
More articles from the Catholic League
It's probably easier for me to quote Wiki here to tell you what it is -
I thought it was an interesting historical look back in time. The introduction for the comic feature is even written by J Edgar Hoover!
"This Godless Communism" was an American comics feature that appeared in Treasure Chest, a biweekly, subscription-only comic book distributed in parochial schools from 1946 to 1972.
Designed to inform students of the then-prevalent Western-nation conception of Communism and the Soviet Union, the 10-chapter feature began in Treasure Chest vol. 17, #2 (Sept. 28, 1961), and continued appearing in every second issue until #20. It was drawn by artist Reed Crandall.
The series begins with a scenario of what the writers believed might occur should the United States fall to the Soviet Union. After this, the series took a historical approach, giving brief biographies of Karl Marx and Lenin, and depicting Joseph Stalin's rise to power. The series climaxed with an edition about the Russian people, as distinct from the Soviet government.
Click HERE to go read it.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Related Link: The Midnight Sun
My brother sent me these photos he took of the moon eclipse of the 28 August 2007 as seen from Wellington, NZ.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
But the solution is not to then pay for women to take that year off. The solution is to make it affordable for their husbands to bring in enough money to pay for their families. Rather than keeping tax rates high, and then giving tax money to women to take time off from work, let the money remain with those that earned it. Make it financially viable for a man to work over time without being penalised with a high tax burden.
Remove progressive taxes - progressive taxes make it necessary for a woman to go back to work after she's had children. Progressive taxes penalise everyone, parents and single people alike.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Very cool. I'm hoping that we'll get a blood moon!
 'Blobby' pics added by Fletch
The Families Commission is calling for paid parental leave payments to be increased, and for the leave to be longer and easier to get.
The Government started funding paid parental leave in 2002 and parents are able to take 14 weeks paid leave, one to two weeks unpaid paternity leave and 38 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave.Related Link: Call for 13 months paid parental leave
Family Commission Chief Commissioner Rajen Prasad said current provisions were moving in the right direction.
"However we recommend that by 2015 parents are provided with a total of 13 months paid leave, including a month's paid leave for fathers," he said.
Lord, my God, who am I that You should forsake me? The Child of your Love — and now become as the most hated one — the one — You have thrown away as unwanted — unloved. I call, I cling, I want — and there is no One to answer — no One on Whom I can cling — no, No One. — Alone ... Where is my Faith — even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness — My God — how painful is this unknown pain — I have no Faith — I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart — & make me suffer untold agony.This has caused the predictable scorn from those who don't even believe there is a God.
So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them — because of the blasphemy — If there be God — please forgive me — When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?
— addressed to Jesus, at the suggestion of a confessor, undated
So, what do I think? I think Mother Teresa is a Saint. To continue what she was doing even though she was in such spiritual agony, despite massive doubts, shows incredible faith. And by her example we can all learn something. For me, it will be helpful to try and imagine what it was like for Christ to be abandoned by God during His death on the Cross.
UPDATE: When in doubt, consult the Pope. Fugley has asked "How could [C]hrist ...be abandoned by God during His death on the Cross[?]" The answer, from NOVO MILLENNIO INEUNTE:
A face of sorrowSee also Mr Tips' comment for more.
25. In contemplating Christ's face, we confront the most paradoxical aspect of his mystery, as it emerges in his last hour, on the Cross. The mystery within the mystery, before which we cannot but prostrate ourselves in adoration.
The intensity of the episode of the agony in the Garden of Olives passes before our eyes. Oppressed by foreknowledge of the trials that await him, and alone before the Father, Jesus cries out to him in his habitual and affectionate expression of trust: "Abba, Father". He asks him to take away, if possible, the cup of suffering (cf. Mk 14:36). But the Father seems not to want to heed the Son's cry. In order to bring man back to the Father's face, Jesus not only had to take on the face of man, but he had to burden himself with the "face" of sin. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor 5:21).
We shall never exhaust the depths of this mystery. All the harshness of the paradox can be heard in Jesus' seemingly desperate cry of pain on the Cross: " ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' " (Mk 15:34). Is it possible to imagine a greater agony, a more impenetrable darkness? In reality, the anguished "why" addressed to the Father in the opening words of the Twenty-second Psalm expresses all the realism of unspeakable pain; but it is also illumined by the meaning of that entire prayer, in which the Psalmist brings together suffering and trust, in a moving blend of emotions. In fact the Psalm continues: "In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you set them free ... Do not leave me alone in my distress, come close, there is none else to help" (Ps 22:5,12).
26. Jesus' cry on the Cross, dear Brothers and Sisters, is not the cry of anguish of a man without hope, but the prayer of the Son who offers his life to the Father in love, for the salvation of all. At the very moment when he identifies with our sin, "abandoned" by the Father, he "abandons" himself into the hands of the Father. His eyes remain fixed on the Father. Precisely because of the knowledge and experience of the Father which he alone has, even at this moment of darkness he sees clearly the gravity of sin and suffers because of it. He alone, who sees the Father and rejoices fully in him, can understand completely what it means to resist the Father's love by sin. More than an experience of physical pain, his Passion is an agonizing suffering of the soul. Theological tradition has not failed to ask how Jesus could possibly experience at one and the same time his profound unity with the Father, by its very nature a source of joy and happiness, and an agony that goes all the way to his final cry of abandonment. The simultaneous presence of these two seemingly irreconcilable aspects is rooted in the fathomless depths of the hypostatic union.
27. Faced with this mystery, we are greatly helped not only by theological investigation but also by that great heritage which is the "lived theology" of the saints. The saints offer us precious insights which enable us to understand more easily the intuition of faith, thanks to the special enlightenment which some of them have received from the Holy Spirit, or even through their personal experience of those terrible states of trial which the mystical tradition describes as the "dark night". Not infrequently the saints have undergone something akin to Jesus' experience on the Cross in the paradoxical blending of bliss and pain. In the Dialogue of Divine Providence, God the Father shows Catherine of Siena how joy and suffering can be present together in holy souls: "Thus the soul is blissful and afflicted: afflicted on account of the sins of its neighbour, blissful on account of the union and the affection of charity which it has inwardly received. These souls imitate the spotless Lamb, my Only-begotten Son, who on the Cross was both blissful and afflicted".13 In the same way, Thérèse of Lisieux lived her agony in communion with the agony of Jesus, "experiencing" in herself the very paradox of Jesus's own bliss and anguish: "In the Garden of Olives our Lord was blessed with all the joys of the Trinity, yet his dying was no less harsh. It is a mystery, but I assure you that, on the basis of what I myself am feeling, I can understand something of it".14 What an illuminating testimony! Moreover, the accounts given by the Evangelists themselves provide a basis for this intuition on the part of the Church of Christ's consciousness when they record that, even in the depths of his pain, he died imploring forgiveness for his executioners (cf. Lk 23:34) and expressing to the Father his ultimate filial abandonment: "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" (Lk 23:46).
Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith ~ Time
An explanation of Redemptive Suffering
The hour of Mercy
Can we be Saints?
NOVO MILLENNIO INEUNTE ~ Pope John Paul II
There is a phrase of facile liberality uttered again and again at ethical societies and parliaments of religion: “the religions of the earth differ in rites and forms, but they are the same in what they teach.” It is false; it is the opposite of the fact. The religions of the earth do not greatly differ in rites and forms; they do greatly differ in what they teach. It is as if a man were to say, “Do not be misled by the fact that the Church Times and the Freethinker look utterly different, that one is painted on vellum and the other carved on marble, that one is triangular and the other hectagonal; read them and you will see that they say the same thing.” The truth is, of course, that they are alike in everything except in the fact that they don’t say the same thing. An atheist stockbroker in Surbiton looks exactly like a Swedenborgian stockbroker in Wimbledon. You may walk round and round them and subject them to the most personal and offensive study without seeing anything Swedenborgian in the hat or anything particularly godless in the umbrella. It is exactly in their souls that they are divided. So the truth is that the difficulty of all the creeds of the earth is not as alleged in this cheap maxim: that they agree in meaning, but differ in machinery. It is exactly the opposite. They agree in machinery; almost every great religion on earth works with the same external methods, with priests, scriptures, altars, sworn brotherhoods, special feasts. They agree in the mode of teaching; what they differ about is the thing to be taught. Pagan optimists and Eastern pessimists would both have temples, just as Liberals and Tories would both have newspapers. Creeds that exist to destroy each other both have scriptures, just as armies that exist to destroy each other both have guns.Related Link: The Name of God ~ First Things
Monday, August 27, 2007
Of course its just co-incidence.....
Friday, August 24, 2007
Mr McCully's and National's current position is indistinguishable from that of the government of Nazi Germany in 1939. The invasion of Poland, and the later attacks against other European states, were all defended as Germany's "sovereign right". The Nuremburg court disagreed.Yet, Trotter doesn't mention that his position is sympathetic to the Soviet Union, who also invaded Poland in 1939. A couple of years ago I remember being horrified to read his defence of the Soviet Army's halt at the Vistula River while the Nazis pounded the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 to a pulp. The Soviets didn't stop on purpose, he said, to make sure that the Poles were decimated by the Nazis even though at that point of the war the Soviets had apparently switched sides and were the Poles' allies. No, the Soviets could not advance because of the ferocity of the Nazi attack upon the city.
His opinion was crap then and it's crap now. Trotter will spin anything if it advances his political side and truth be damned.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
There is a myth floating around about men and sex that is so entrenched, that it is presumed as a given in any conversation about sex. I noticed it come up again on TBR where a commenter is saying that there is no way you can stop teenagers having sex, that they are going to no matter what you do. Why? Because many people today believe wholeheartedly in the myth that men need sex, not just want it, but need it.
The greatest misconception about sex today is that people, especially men, have specific, genital, sexual needs. It asserts that men need to climax, need to fulfill fantasies, or need to have sex with a certain frequency, or in certain positions. [...]It's time the myth got deconstructed.
The "needs" misconception is the fundamental attitude underlying abuse of sex in society today - it gives men unwarranted power and control over women. Widespread acceptance of this falsehood has popularized addictive (and therefore unhealthy) approaches to sex: men are thought to need sex like an alcoholic needs a drink. Further, the "needs" misconception changes the primary purpose of sex. The goal of sex should be to enrich or enhance a relationship, whether through holding hands or having intercourse. But when one person is perceived as having a need, the goal becomes to fulfill that need. If fulfilling the need conflicts with the partner's wishes the result is abuse, most commonly of the woman. How could a woman deny her spouse something that he needs?
Related Link: Introduction to Sexual Wisdom
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
In the meantime, now that I have everyone's attention, let me just say how fitting that John Key's speech on the Government's Electoral Finance Bill and the Boobs on Bikes parade occurred on the same day. It's like a divine coincidence.
John Key talked today on how dangerous for democracy the bill is. Yet, how on earth did NZ get to the point where we voted in a Government that would even contemplate such a crack-down on free speech as the Electoral Finance Bill?
It's because moral restraints in NZ have just about completely fallen away. The Boobs on Bikes parade being able to occur in public is a symptom of a far greater problem in NZ.
[...] the key to democracy is not free choice. As we know from the Weimar Republic, people can freely choose anything, even Hitler. The key, as our Founding Fathers knew, is virtue. Only a virtuous person is capable of rational consent because only a virtuous person's reason is unclouded by the habitual rationalizations of vice. Vice inevitably infects the faculty of judgment. No matter how democratic their institutions, morally enervated people cannot be free. And people who are enslaved to their passions inevitably become slaves to tyrants. Thus, our Founders predicated the success of democracy in America upon the virtue of the American people.Related Link: The Politics of Porn
Robert Reilly explains how pornography, rather than being the sign of freedom some claim it is, threatens both our freedom and our civilization....
Mohammedanism was a heresy: that is the essential point to grasp before going any further. It began as a heresy, not as a new religion. It was not a pagan contrast with the Church; it was not an alien enemy. It was a perversion of Christian doctrine. It vitality and endurance soon gave it the appearance of a new religion, but those who were contemporary with its rise saw it for what it was - not a denial, but an adaptation and a misuse, of the Christian thing. It differed from most (not from all) heresies in this, that it did not arise within the bounds of the Christian Church. The chief heresiarch, Mohammed himself, was not, like most heresiarchs, a man of Catholic birth and doctrine to begin with. He sprang from pagans. But that which he taught was in the main Catholic doctrine, oversimplified. It was the great Catholic world - on the frontiers of which he lived, whose influence was all around him and whose territories he had known by travel - which inspired his convictions. He came of, and mixed with, the degraded idolaters of the Arabian wilderness, the conquest of which had never seemed worth the Romans' while.
He took over very few of those old pagan ideas which might have been native to him from his descent. On the contrary, he preached and insisted upon a whole group of ideas which were peculiar to the Catholic Church and distinguished it from the paganism which it had conquered in the Greek and Roman civilization. Thus the very foundation of his teaching was that prime Catholic doctrine, the unity and omnipotence of God. The attributes of God he also took over in the main from Catholic doctrine: the personal nature, the all-goodness, the timelessness, the providence of God, His creative power as the origin of all things, and His sustenance of all things by His power alone. The world of good spirits and angels and of evil spirits in rebellion against God was a part of the teaching, with a chief evil spirit, such as Christendom had recognized. Mohammed preached with insistence that prime Catholic doctrine, on the human side_the immortality of the soul and its responsibility for actions in this life, coupled with the consequent doctrine of punishment and reward after death.
If anyone sets down those points that orthodox Catholicism has in common with Mohammedanism, and those points only, one might imagine if one went no further that there should have been no cause of quarrel. Mohammed would almost seem in this aspect to be a sort of missionary, preaching and spreading by the energy of his character the chief and fundamental doctrines of the Catholic Church among those who had hitherto been degraded pagans of the Desert. He gave to Our Lord the highest reverence, and to Our Lady also, for that matter. On the day of judgment (another Catholic idea which he taught) it was Our Lord, according to Mohammed, who would be the judge of mankind, not he, Mohammed. The Mother of Christ, Our Lady, "the Lady Miriam" was ever for him the first of womankind. His followers even got from the early fathers some vague hint of her Immaculate Conception.
But the central point where this new heresy struck home with a mortal blow against Catholic tradition was a full denial of the Incarnation.
Mohammed did not merely take the first steps toward that denial, as the Arians and their followers had done; he advanced a clear affirmation, full and complete, against the whole doctrine of an incarnate God. He taught that Our Lord was the greatest of all the prophets, but still only a prophet: a man like other men. He eliminated the Trinity altogether.
With that denial of the Incarnation went the whole sacramental structure. He refused to know anything of the Eucharist, with its Real Presence; he stopped the sacrifice of the Mass, and therefore the institution of a special priesthood. In other words, he, like so many other lesser heresiarchs, founded his heresy on simplification.
Catholic doctrine was true (he seemed to say), but it had become encumbered with false accretions; it had become complicated by needless man-made additions, including the idea that its founder was Divine, and the growth of a parasitical caste of priests who battened on a late, imagined, system of Sacraments which they alone could administer. All those corrupt accretions must be swept away.
Belloc goes into more detail here, but I thought that pointing out his reasoning for why Mohammedanism grew quickly and survived over the centuries as it took over cultures most interesting and frightening for those of us alive today. First he says that it won battles, but the second point is even worse:
Both in the world of Hither Asia and in the Graeco-Roman world of the Mediterranean, but especially in the latter, society had fallen, much as our society has today, into a tangle wherein the bulk of men were disappointed and angry and seeking for a solution to the whole group of social strains. There was indebtedness everywhere; the power of money and consequent usury. There was slavery everywhere. Society reposed upon it, as ours reposes upon wage slavery today. There was weariness and discontent with theological debate, which, for all its intensity, had grown out of touch with the masses. There lay upon the freemen, already tortured with debt, a heavy burden of imperial taxation; and there was the irritant of existing central government interfering with men's lives; there was the tyranny of the lawyers and their charges.The whole chapter is worth reading: The great and enduring heresy of Mohammad
To all this Islam came as a vast relief and a solution of strain. The slave who admitted that Mohammed was the prophet of God and that the new teaching had, therefore, divine authority, ceased to be a slave. The slave who adopted Islam was henceforward free. The debtor who "accepted" was rid of his debts. Usury was forbidden. The small farmer was relieved not only of his debts but of his crushing taxation. Above all, justice could be had without buying it from lawyers. . . . All this in theory. The practice was not nearly so complete. Many a convert remained a debtor, many were still slaves. But wherever Islam conquered there was a new spirit of freedom and relaxation.
It was the combination of all these things, the attractive simplicity of the doctrine, the sweeping away of clerical and imperial discipline, the huge immediate practical advantage of freedom for the slave and riddance of anxiety for the debtor, the crowning advantage of free justice under few and simple new laws easily understood - that formed the driving force behind the astonishing Mohammedan social victory. The courts were everywhere accessible to all without payment and giving verdicts which all could understand. The Mohammedan movement was essentially a "Reformation," and we can discover numerous affinities between Islam and the Protestant Reformers - on Images, on the Mass, on Celibacy, etc.
I also wonder if the same people who vehemently defend topless parades are the same types who would be put off their lunch if a woman breastfed a baby next to them in a cafe. Breasts are fine as long as they are for sex and not for babies.
The widespread acceptance of the boobs parade shows a societal objectification of women that increases the idea that women are just here on earth for the sexual gratification of men. Because it's mostly men who want to see the boobs parade and mostly men who will turn up today.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
That's my contribution to Islamic Awareness Week in NZ.
Related Link: How the Eight Hundred Men of Otranto Saved Rome
Monday, August 20, 2007
That's got the potential to play havoc with computers. From Microsoft:
With respect to Microsoft software there are more than 40 different versions of our products that will be affected by these changes, and unless certain product updates are applied in a specific order the time zone settings for a computer's system clock and any calendaring and scheduling applications may be incorrect during the three-week extension period. It is also worth remembering that these changes not only affect server products but also include a wide variety of desktop software and mobile devices - if this change is not treated with care there is a lot of scope for disruption.
It's also rumoured that the tax office want to charge penalty interest by the hour to take advantage of the extra time.
Meanwhile, the NZ Greens have joined up with the Australian Conservation Foundation to attack (demonise, to borrow a quaint phrase from the Greens) the ANZ Bank because they have a company on the books that the Australian Conservation Foundation doesn't like. And their policy is Green Policy and vice versa. Not that there's anything wrong with international conspiracies. When the Greens do it.
Let's see if any Greens working for the Bank resign in a show of solidarity. No? I thought not.
I'm betting that if this political action doesn't work, they will kidnap the cat belonging to one of the children of some-one who actually purchased furniture made from native Indonesian hardwood forest. I think we can safely assume the moggy will snuff it. After all, Felix probably kills native birds.
I'm also waiting for the Greens to boycott Air New Zealand. No? I thought not.
Related Link: Greens target ANZ Bank because they can
Sunday, August 19, 2007
What really stands out are the type of children that he could not get close to:
"The ones I've found are impossible are the ones who have a close communication with their parents, they have a mother and a father, they get heaps of time and attention. They're just impossible."So, an intact mother and father family where the children are well loved and paid attention to (most likely especially when the mother stays at home) is the safest environment for children to grow up in so that they do not fall prey to child molesters. All the good touching, bad touching education in schools does nothing.
"There was one specific one that I remember I kept trying to groom. I tried and tried, and couldn't get to the next stage. He was from a mother-and-father family and was well loved. Just impossible".
Most of his victims had "good touching, bad touching" talks. But it made no difference. He was, he says, "a pro".The article reminded me again of a visit to a children's play park in Sydney, when my oldest child was 4 and and my youngest was a few months old. A couple came into the park as parents were leaving. The woman had a baby in a stroller. They were both very friendly. The woman kept talking to me while the man disappeared. At this point it was just me and them at the park.
"Put me in a room now and it wouldn't take me very long at all."
He explains the technique: "You'd rummage their hair, noogie, hugs, tickling, then the tickling would go lower, it would become fondling. Then a couple of them would say that feels nice, do it again. And you are in."
After a little while, I realised I couldn't see my four year old, so called out for him. He didn't turn up. I started walking around, pushing my stroller with my baby in it, looking for him while this woman nattered away at me. After what seemed like eternity, but probably wasn't very long, my son came out of one of the play tunnels. Then the man came out. I told them I had to go as I was very uneasy for some reason at this point. It was difficult trying to leave with them talking away and me trying to act like nothing was wrong but leaving quickly anyway.
After we left the park, I asked my son where he was and why he didn't come while I called. He said he was in the tunnel with the man and the man said it would be fun to play a trick on me by not coming out. However, after I'd called a couple of times, he decided he had to come out even though the man didn't want him to.
I've come across a lot of parents over the years and none have acted in the same way that this couple did. I'm also one of those parents that will keep an eye on where my children are when we are out, however, I can't keep my eyes on them all of the time and must admit I've gotten a lot more relaxed at the mall where it seems there is a real danger of paedophiles staking them out and then lurking in the toilet cubicles as the guy in The Dominion Post says he did.
I think I need to go out and do some gardening.
Related Link: In the mind of a child molester
Friday, August 17, 2007
I also did another Amazon order yesterday of books I was going to put off buying until later, but with the NZ dollar in free-fall, waiting didn't seem like a great idea. Only downside is that Amazon don't actually charge until they ship, so looks like the dollar dropped another two cents in between my ordering yesterday and Amazon shipping today. * Big Sigh! *
Here is his Just Left column from The Dominion Post.
Best democracy money can buy
Chris Trotter, From the Left
NZ is the place where bad ideas go to die. If that judgement seems harsh, just think about the extraordinary response to Justice Minister Mark Burton's Electoral Finance Bill.
To hear Bill English tell the story, NZ is about to enter the Stygian darkness of a full-blown Stalinist dictatorship. Every organisation, from the tiniest local child-care committee to the super-heavyweights of the Business Roundtable, is about to be fitted with a scold's bridle by Helen Clark and her minions.
Freedom of expression is under threat, scream National's cheerleaders in the commentariat. Democracy too, is deemed to be at risk from Mr Burton's bid to regulate the behaviour of "third parties" (private organisations) in the run-up to the general election.
Such wild claims about the Labour Party's intentions have been heard before in our history. Consider the following, doom-laden, prediction printed in The Dominion on the morning of Election Day, October 15, 1938:
"Today you will exercise a free vote because you are under this established British form of government. If the socialist government is returned to power your vote today may be the last free individual vote you will ever been given the opportunity to exercise in New Zealand."
Well, the "socialist government" was returned to power that day with the most emphatic mandate ever vouchsafed to a NZ political party. But, the elections continued to be held, and the socialists' opponents were (eventually) returned to office.
It is no more coincidence that the sort of wild claims concerning the Labour Party's undemocratic intentions first hurled about in the 1930s and 40s have resurfaced.
Not since the days of Mickey Savage and Peter Fraser has the Right been kept out of office for such a long period. The National Party and its backers are terrified that New Zealanders may yet decide to give Helen Clark a fourth term in government.
National's fear is that if she breaks its charge for the Treasury benches a fourth time, the party will collapse, and then disintegrate into three warring factions that only the recent run of favourable poll results has kept from each others' throats.
And so, in desperation, Mr English trumpets the evils of Mr Burton's Electoral Finance Bill hoping to succeed in 2007 where The Dominion failed in 1938.
But let's just take a deep breath and examine the rules that govern election spending in Britain and Canada (countries which, the last time I looked, were still counted among the world's leading democracies).
In Britain, "third party" expenditure is capped at 5 per cent of the expenditure authorised for political parties in the 12 months prior to polling day.
In Canada the figure is 1 per cent, but applies only to the period of official campaigning. (Mr Burton is proposing a cap of 2.5 percent or $60,000 for 10 months.)
In both Britain and Canada, third parties are required to register with the official electoral regulators; both countries also restrict the contributions of foreign donors to third parties; and both require the identity of third party donors to be made public.
That is how modern democracies conduct themselves.
But, in NZ, it is still acceptable (at least to the National Party) for those with the most money to have the most say. It is also acceptable (at least to the National Party) for the NZ and foreign funders of third-party campaigns to remain anonymous.
The National Party and its allies similarly find it unremarkable that the full-page advertisements of a right-wing lobby group like the Sensible Sentencing Trust can be heavily subsidised by conservative business interests and the public kept in the dark.
National politicians have also demonstrated that they're quite happy to have a bunch of right-wing Christian businessmen put up a million dollars for the purposes of defeating a Labour government and its allies and not have it counted as part of their election expenditure.
NZ is one of the few Western democracies where outrageous rorts of this sort are permitted to live on. It is about time they were given a decent burial.
Over the coming weeks, as opposition to the Electoral Finance Bill reaches a crescendo, take careful note of who is doing the shouting, and ask yourself: Could I, as a citizen, afford to spend a million dollars advancing my political preferences?
Then ask: "Is is fair that my vote's strength will be diluted by those who can?"
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The first message, the message the police are sending, sends a signal - don't even consider defending yourself, or your property, or trying to stop a crime. The second message, the one we rarely hear, is a message to our fine citizens that society will back the actions of the brave and of the good. That's not the message we are hearing. It's time we changed the message.
The police are investigating an incident in Waikato in which they say a shotgun was fired while a farmer was capturing two intruders.
They say the man and his wife confronted two men who were taking petrol from the rural Morrinsville property in the early hours of Monday morning.
The farmer reportedly fired two warning shots and blocked the men's vehicle.
Police say he then ordered the pair to get out of their car and lie on the ground, before restraining them with a friend who came to his assistance.
The suspects have been charged and a separate investigation is underway into the circumstances surrounding their capture.
The police say it is too early to comment on whether charges will be laid against the farmer or anyone else, and they're considering a range of issues.
Related Link: Police to investigate the right to protect life and property
This bill is a sad reflection on NZ politics no matter which way you look into it. I'm trying to work out what I want to say in my submission. I have only got as far as thinking the bill should be dropped in its entirety. Let's start from scratch.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
He said he wants to officially change his religion on his ID card for two reasons — to set a precedent for other converts and to ensure his child can openly be raised Christian. He wants his child to get a Christian name, birth certificate and eventually marry in a church. That would be impossible if Hegazy's official religion in Muslim, since a child is registered in the religion of the father.
That's a very brave man. He lives in a country where to believe in something means you need to be prepared to die. Lets hope our beliefs come cheaper, but that we remember what they are worth.
Related Link: Decisions decisions
Hat tip: No Minister
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
All attempts to track Hone Harawira have failed, but calling in a double nosed tracking dog was taking things a bit too far. Apparently, the left nostril hones in on Aboriginal Child Abuse and the Right nostril detects Maori Child Abuse. Not sure how the dog decides which direction is the most important...
Anyway, I understand the reasons behind giving HPTWNH (Hone Pani Tamati Waka Nene Harawira) some well deserved flak for going walkabouts on the other side of the rabbit wire fence. I don't really dispute many of the points...but just to take a different perspective on this matter - I say good on Hone for taking off for a bit of field work. There is every chance he may be confronted by some unpalatable truths, and a close look at Australia may help him see things more clearly in New Zealand.
Of greater concern to me is the creeping Nanny Statism when so many people think that Hone has taken off without filling in the right forms, advising the right people months in advance and getting full approval from his party hierarchy.
Geez Wayne. The man is 50. As long as he has clean underwear, let him make his own decisions. We are not his mother. I'm wondering if people are embracing the nanny state "direct, control and obey" mentality without even realizing it?
Something is up when the Labour Party, via Labour MP Shane Jones says Mr Harawira is playing a dangerous stunt. He says Parliament has firm rules about how taxpayer funds should be used when MPs are overseas. Speaker Margaret Wilson has said she is aware of Mr Harawira's actions and is addressing the matter.
So, Labour understand Parliamentary spending guidelines now do they? That explains why they are trying to change the Electoral Financing rules.
Unrelated Link: A nosey dog for nosey folk
Related Link: Labour party preaching good governance required other parties spend Parliamentary Service funds
Friday, August 10, 2007
Related Link: Traitor in the ranks
Thursday, August 9, 2007
an elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed
distressed so the man approached very carefully.
He got down on one knee and inspected the bottom of the elephant's foot
only to find a large thorn deeply embedded. As carefully and as gently
as he could he removed the thorn and the elephant gingerly put its foot
down. The elephant turned to face the man and with a rather stern look
on its face, stared at him.
For a good ten minutes the man stood frozen - thinking of nothing else
but being trampled. Eventually the elephant turned and walked away and
for years after the man often remembered and pondered the events of that
One day the man was walking through the zoo with his son. As they
approached the elephant enclosure, one of the elephants turned and
walked over to where they were standing at the rail. It stared at him
and the man couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.
The man tentatively climbed over the railing and made his way into the
enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in
Suddenly the elephant wrapped its trunk around one of the man's legs and
swung him wildly back and forth along the railing, instantly killing
Probably not the same elephant then.
Ironically, whilst the Government uses our tax dollars to help people break gambling addictions, they also control and promote gambling through devices like Lotto.
Perhaps the IRD could take a page from Lotto, and run a monthly draw where 1000 lucky tax payers "win" their monthly tax back, plus $1000. And 1000 lucky tax payers could get the whole years tax back if their returns are in on time.
What do you think about legalized gambling?
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Given my blog nom-de-plume it's not a far stretch to imagine I might like Tigers. So I smuggled three Siberian cubs in across the border and raised them from small cat size to, well, tiger size.
Now, my back yard is a full traditional quarter acre. Even so, it's hardly 400 square miles of jungle territory. These guys are going to roam. Furthermore, my fence is only 1.8M high, and it isn't going to keep Hobbes, Tigger and Panteris contained.
Now, I have trained them and they are very good. Very docile (unless aroused) and give them a scratch under the chin and they are putty.
The neighbours on one side of my house are pretty relaxed about the whole thing. In fact, I think they feed Panteris on the side. I'm sure they had more goats last week. Anyway, the neighbours two door down on the other side are pretty uptight about the whole deal. They keep claiming their 2 year old 'babies' are at risk. Two Staffordshire bull terriers called Saint and Sinner. I've been scoffing at the notion - Hobbes wouldn't hurt a fly.
But recently, their two terriers turned up dead on the roof of number 34. I'm sure it wasn't any thing to do with Hobbes and Panteris. But Tigger is pretty good at bouncing.
So the question is, dear readers, should I keep my little cubs or release them into the Tararua Ranges before the Council comes down on me? Surely I should be allowed my pets if I'm careful? Besides, number 45 have two Cobras called Mork and Mindy.
Until society looks squarely in the eye at the problem of men and women shacking up temporarily and oops, there's a baby, child abuse will remain everyone's problem.
Related Link: Child abuse: "Not my problem, not my fault." ~ Not PC refers to Blair Mulholland's post
Monday, August 6, 2007
An oily surface is expected to be the cause. The driver is to be put on KP for his part in the accident, and Police are apeeling for witnesses.
Related Link: Potato Truck Rolls on SH1
Related Link: It is actually possible to drown in 10 centimetres of water, so be very afraid
Professor Mörner has published a booklet entitled "The Greatest Lie Ever Told," to refute claims of catastrophic sea level rise. "When we were coming out of the last ice age, huge ice sheets were melting rapidly and the sea level rose at an average of 1 metre per century. If the Greenland ice sheet stated to melt at the same rate - which is unlikely - sea level would rise by less than 100 mm - 4 inches per century. So the rapid rise in sea levels predicted by computer models simply cannot happen."
Sunday, August 5, 2007
The first was in 1943, and is called the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Knowing that their fate was sealed, imprisoned Jews rose up in the artificially imposed Ghetto areas to fight against the impending liquidation of the ghetto and all it's inhabitants. It was a fight to the death as it had no chance of succeeding. Weapons were limited, number were few, the Allies had not even landed on the continent of Europe. The main fighting lasted from April 19 to May 16 of 1943.
The second WW2 Warsaw Uprising was in 1944 when the supposed "allied forces" (Soviet army) were within reach. It's aim was the liberation of the city of Warsaw from Nazi control before the Soviets came in. It was only supposed to last only a few days and was part of Operation Tempest, a nationwide rebellion. It started August 1st, 1944, when at 5pm Home Army soldiers simultaneously attacked German-held positions throughout the city. The Rising peaked on August 5, 1944 with the most positions captured. However, rather than withdrawing from the city, the Germans instead sent reinforcements to it. And rather than helping the inhabitants with the fight against the Germans, the Soviet Army sat on the other side of the Vistula River and watched. Himmler had given the order to kill all of the city's inhabitants, not take prisoners, and level Warsaw as an example for the rest of Europe, and that is what the German army tried to do.
If you want to know more about the second rising, I'd recommend this site: Warsaw Uprising 1944. The paintings and drawings in particular are eerie. It goes into great detail on the time line, the atrocities that occurred, the attempts at help by the Western Allies that were thwarted by the Soviets and even eye-witness reports that will make your hair stand on end. I find it too depressing to go into too much detail, that's why I've limited my post to the bare bones details.
However, what inspired this post was the latest political commentary by Craig Young of GayNZ, who in his attempt to equate Jews and Homosexuals, has confused both Uprisings.
Quite by coincidence, I was reading a book about medieval and Enlightenment era Jewish ghettos in Eastern Europe recently. The term 'gay ghetto' has fallen out of use now, but should we consider a more critical use when it comes to barebacking?Craig has confused the two Uprisings in Warsaw, prompted most likely by the latest news items commemorating the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 (the commemorations for the Ghetto Uprising were earlier this year) and has also misunderstood what the Warsaw Ghetto actually was. The Polish Jews were not herded "back into the ghettos", the ghettos were created by walling off a small portion of the city of Warsaw, thus separating those that would be imprisoned in there from the rest of the city. The separation of those people from the general population was not about "discriminatory Nazi residential and employment discrimination policies", though maybe he should win an award for the euphemism of the day; the separation was part of the Nazi human extermination policy. It was done in stages, where first Warsaw Jews and Jews brought in from elsewhere were placed in the ghetto temporarily before transportation the the death camps, which were initially assumed to be work camps. It also has to be remembered that pre-WW2 Warsaw had a 33% Jewish population - the Jewish population was not a small minority in Warsaw.
Until the Nazi Holocaust destroyed them forever, East European Jewish ghettos served as rich and vibrant social networks, sources of community media, areas of worship and commerce, culture and educational achievement. When the Enlightenment and Jewish emancipation came along in the nineteenth century, Jews were no longer automatically restricted to particular residential areas, and moved out of the areas in question as they acquired entry to professions and social mobility. When the term 'gay ghetto' came into use back in the seventies, I suspect that the earliest models were that sort of ghetto as a centre for political activism, social networks and community building.
However, the term 'ghetto' is a double-edged one, largely due to the tragedy that was the Holocaust, due to discriminatory Nazi residential and employment discrimination policies that herded Jews back into the ghettos that many of them had previously abandoned, and sealed them off. Granted, they could still become the site of heroic resistance to Nazi barbarism, as the Warsaw Ghetto uprising proved in 1944.
However, beyond the confusion of the two Uprisings, the question he seems to be asking is if the term "ghetto" has meaning for homosexuals today. There is that pesky problem of "negative connotations" and more equating via "Jewish communities before us" as if Jewish communities had paved the way for homosexual communities. Give me a break!
So, what might the negative sense of 'ghetto' mean for us? In New Zealand, it may not be so relevant to many metropolitan lesbians and gay men. We've had about fifteen years of national anti-discrimination laws, and school anti-bullying policies are starting to address issues of homophobic harrassment and educational retention for younger members of our communities. Added to which, it's hard to think of a particular geographically marked gay district in any New Zealand city, even in the case of Ponsonby.The irony is that is that National MP, Mr Williamson got a rebuke for asking why there were no fat people in concentration camps. Yet the above goes far beyond that simple opinion of Mr Williamson's. I suppose the difference is that the above is not on TV, being presented to a wide audience. More's the pity.
Again, though, what about elsewhere? As with Jewish communities before us, we face the dilemma about which of our traditions to keep, and which to discard, as the product of oppression and marginalisation, which does not serve us well now. As a community, we tend to have a libertarian ethos about many things, which should be questioned on some fronts.
Related Link: Barebacking and the Ghettoised Gay ~ GayNZ
Friday, August 3, 2007
Lawyer Richard Bodle said Bennett was an otherwise model citizen, a good parent and grandparent.Yes, other than sexual abuse of a 12 year old, this guy is great. Really, the lawyer should just STFU.
Meanwhile, another person gets a mere 2.75 years for kidnapping a 14 year old girl, injecting HepC infected blood into her and apparently tried to molest her. Says the lawyer for the thug:
[My] client continued to be seriously ill with Hepatitis C and Crohne's Disease while on remand in prison and had also been the target of a physical attack.Yes, lets not think about the psychological damage this man has done to a young girl in kidnapping her, attempting to molest her, and infecting her with a serious health condition she may never recover from. Silence may have been a better course of action.
Related Link: Model Citizen
Related Link: Kidnapping and intent to kill now a minor misdemeanor
...On second thoughts, let's not go there....
After being contacted by the local Plunket Secretary and asked to advertise in the local Plunket newsletter, Snazzipants placed a $55 advert. However, a day later, Susan Rae, of the Milford branch of Plunket, phoned, embarrassed to admit that although she had sought the advertising, Plunket were not able to accept an advert from a cloth nappy company. Director and mother-of-two Pippa Jinks and her business partner Maria were astonished to be told that the head office of the Plunket Society had vetoed the advert as reusable nappies are in competition with Huggies. Kimberly-Clark is the largest sponsor of Plunket.Does Plunket give free and frank advice, or is it all based on corporate sponsorship directives? Shame.
Related Link: Plunket in the poo over disposable values
In some communities there is an absurd phenomenon similar to a theological sandwich: The youngest and the oldest, who are in agreement, are like slices of bread. The age group in the middle reminds us of mayonnaise.Related Link: The Life and Death of Religious Life
The breastfeeding issue falls within the purview of the second type of feminist. Women are defined by their bodies. Our bodies create, grow and nurture children. Our breasts excrete milk to feed children.
If that makes you uncomfortable, go suck on a lemon.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Normally I don't like laws that tell people what they can and can't do, but, when it comes to babies being fed and immature people thinking that it is their right to stop a woman from being able to feed her baby because it makes them squeemish or whatever, I'm on the side of the breastfeeding woman.
I've been there. I know what it's like to have a small baby that needs to be fed. It certainly kept me in the house living as a hermit and going stir-crazy, because I couldn't feed in public because from the age of 2 months my child would keep popping off the breast to look at everyone. A half frontal for all concerned is not something I think of as fun.
So bring on the law that entrenches as a right the ability for a woman to breastfeed her baby where-ever she is. It's just sad that it's needed.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Related Link: Exchange rate table for the NZ dollar
Fathers do not devote enough attention to the clitoris and vagina of their daughters. Their caresses too seldom pertain to these regions, while this is the only way the girls can develop a sense of pride in their sex,” reads the booklet regarding 1-3 year olds.Now that the sh*t has hit the fan, the booklet has been pulled. Gee, didn't get away with it this year. That's not good enough. People should lose their jobs over this. It's about time we remind our law makers that they were entrusted with the job of preserving society, not destroying it.
Hattip Crusader Rabbit: German Government recommends incest
Related Link: Germany Pulls Booklet Encouraging Parent-Child Sexual Massage, but not Child Song Book Encouraging Masturbation ~ Lifesite