Wednesday, December 31, 2008
They call this Earth Hour!
Since the greens, the political left, politicians, children, and the politically correct think this such a powerful statement, I am willing to consider getting behind the idea and using it for other political statements.
For example, Rocket Hour!
Israel could be invited to fire rockets into the largest city of each country in the world. They would have a cap of the number of rockets fired into Israel over the year (so a mere couple of thousand). They could do this for just one hour every year. The main stream media would apparently say bugger all about it (as they do now when rockets fall into Israel), and we all accept this new form of "news in empathy". The world pretends Israel is just like Hamas, and that nothing can nor should be done about it. Perhaps they could put it down to the pressure Israeli feel living in a small Jewish state surrounded by 1 billion Muslim Arabs and Persians, a large proportion who want them destroyed, and say so 5 times a day whilst facing Mecca. Israel would, of course, be denied shooting any rockets into Lebanon to preserve the irony, and they themselves are exempt from launching rockets on themselves given they experience Rocket Hour on a daily basis.
How about Tax Hour!
Instead of paying tax on every dollar, multiple times, perhaps also we could restrict tax to a single hour every year? Some may argue that this will not generate enough revenue to make a difference for government budgets, but I think you have to see this exactly the same way as Earth hour. It's not about what actually gets done, it's all about raising awareness and feeling like something has indeed been done.
I'm sure there are a whole month of one hour events per year we could instigate to raise that vital awareness of the burning issues of the day to make us feel good:
Sushi Hour! where we don't eat fish or whale for a whole hour in recognition of serious over-fishing of our resources, and the senseless slaughter of whales for "scientific purposes"
Materialism Hour! (held between 2am and 3am June 18th each year) where shops close down even though this will disadvantage many libertarians needing to exchange goods for money.
Men against violence hour! Honestly, I don't think the white ribbon day is achieving the results we want. It's time to ramp up the campaign and suggest that men try and go a whole hour without bashing the fairer sex. I know this is an extreme suggestion, but with the Women's Refuges filled to overflowing this Christmas we need to treat this issue as seriously as Planet Hour. I'm a bloke, I should know.
Job Hour: The United Nations say that a job is a fundamental right. People are not only born free, they are born with a job, and if you don't have one it's been stolen from you. So lets return jobs to all the unemployed people for one hour a year. We round up the computers, job agents, financial markets, scientific bodies, inventors, multi-nationals, captains of industry and highly efficient people and we make them give back the stolen jobs or we shoot them. Hang on, I see that this program has already been previously tried in places like Russia, China, Cuba and North Korea. Forget it, it might be more practical to sort out the United Nations.
What's your hour that will change the world?
Related: Kiwis unite for 60 minutes
So, here is yet another salvo in the ongoing war. Why marriage is inherently heterosexual.
If the state declares same-sex unions to be equivalent to marriage, it will profoundly obscure the nature of marriage. In effect, it will send the message that marriage is centrally about the romantic attachment and sexual relationship of adults to each other rather than about a relationship which by its nature is oriented to and suited for becoming family. Doing that would almost certainly further weaken the institution of marriage.One major point that people seem to miss in the same-sex marriage debate. The weakening effect on marriage by the promotion of same-sex marriage is profoundly anti-woman. As the above article says:
Almost always, children can count on their mothers to care for them when they are young; the institution of marriage is dedicated to ensuring, as much as possible, that fathers also will fulfill their responsibilities to the children they help procreate, and to the mothers of their children.Marriage tries to ensure the involvement of men. Where the idea of marriage is disintegrating, the lack of involvement of men can be quite clearly seen.
Related Link: Maxim Institute: Reviving the Same-Sex Marriage Debate? ~ GayNZ
The thing is, some of them seem to think that parking on someone's front lawn for days in a row without moving the car is acceptable behaviour.
And it's normally our front lawn, since we are situated behind a number of rental beach houses and right next to the driveway that accesses them.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Both want their opponents tracked down.
However, Californian "gay marriage" proponents also want retribution against those who voted for traditional marriage. They have a list of names and they are not afraid to use it, nor shy about encouraging others to do so as well.
Advocates for homosexual marriage have even set up a website, AntiGayBlacklist.com, which lists hundreds of California residents, churches and businesses that donated money to the Proposition 8 campaign, urging sympathizers not to patronize those on the list.But it hasn't stopped there. A number of persons have already been fired from their jobs for supporting traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
Protests following the passage of California's Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, made news headlines, but the Pacific Justice Institute reports a growing number of cases where those opposed to the ballot measure have taken out their anger more quietly: by harassing – and even firing – employees who voted for it.So far, all the Muslim Public Affairs Committee wants is exposure of those responsible. It has not yet come out and said what should be done about those Muslims who helped expose the sale of hate literature in British mosques.
Who are they, what are their backgrounds ... MPACUK will dig deeper and expose every last detail of the Sufis who tried to destroy their own community.The synchronicity in both these instances of groups going after their opponents in this way in the West is eerie.
If you know who they are - please write in and we will expose these men and women for all the Muslim community to see. Write in now and let us do what the incompetent idiots in the Mosque should be doing, protecting our community.
MPAC launches a witchhunt against 'Zio-Con' Muslims ~ Holy Smoke
Voted for Prop 8? You're fired
Same-sex marriage activists target businesses, employees ~ WorldNetDaily
It reminds me of when I was younger and I got involved in a group that expected a 20% tithe. This was all fine and good until I got a pay rise. Then around they came demanding a 30% share of my extra income. Whilst I thought the idea of tithing was to give an amount based on how charitable I felt, obviously the new formula was deemed fairer by the administrators. Thus, it was no surprise that when I confessed to another pay rise the tithe was set at around 40%.
At this point I decided that perhaps we could debate this amount. At the time I had no family and no home. But I had plans for both. How could I save if I gave my earnings away?
This is where the threats came in. If I ceased my tithing, I would be in big trouble. Soul destroying stuff, and hell on earth would be my fate. This was back in the 80's, and this kind of carry on was pretty typical. Yet I could see richer people in the congregation paying much less. How fair was that? My protests earned strange retribution. I was now asked to donate an additional 10%. 1986 it was. A tough year. I considered leaving the country to escape, and yet I knew I would more than likely encounter the same issues elsewhere.
Eventually, I did leave the country. I came back though and found myself in the same situation.
But enough about paying taxes, the story was about "mandatory tithing".
If the newspaper article can be believed (and they rarely can) I too would condemn such practice as reading out names of donors and how much they donated. This is certainly not the practice in a Catholic Church, where envelopes are provided to allow anonymous donations. Some people prefer to pay by automatic payment, and may put nothing in the collection plate! Others toss in a few silver coins. So what? There is obviously no cultural pressure to give beyond ones means.
Personally, I am fortunate enough to be able to donate a fair amount of money. However, only a part of that sum finds it's way to my local parish, as there are several other charities I support. There is no need to justify this to my Church. I wonder if the pressure some people feel to donate more they can afford is self-imposed? The Church asks, but that doesn't necessarily mean it demands.
Tithing is a good thing, when it is done from the spirit of charity, not a sense of obligation. It may be a duty of Christians to help others less fortunate (as it is to all people) but the motivation must be as caritas - "love in action".
Give what you can (which can be in time rather than pure money), but no so much you become in need of charity yourself.
The Pope Had the Guts to Say We Need to Save Ourselves from Self-Destructive Sexual Lifestyles ~ LifeSiteNewsThe author of Holy Smoke is a bit more caustic in his defence of the Holy Father: Pope revealed to be Catholic, shock, horror!:
VATICAN CITY, December 23, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In thousands of news articles and talk shows around the world today from Bulgaria to India, Pope Benedict XVI is being bashed for daring to say we should care as much for mankind as the tropical rainforests; that the harm caused by going against the Creator's plan for human sexuality is destructive and hurtful. In truth, he is being pilloried for having enough love to tell his brothers and sisters struggling with same-sex attraction, promiscuity, pornography, adultery and more, that their behavior is hurting them and society at large. It is hurting them physically, psychologically, but most importantly - hurting them spiritually.
The homosexual press has the most outrageous headlines on the topic; Pink News in the UK screams: "Pope Benedict learnt nothing from his time in the Hitler Youth" and "Pope Benedict's latest outburst 'justifies' homophobic bullying and attacks". But the coverage in the mainstream press is hardly less offensive.
A San Fransico Chronicle headline reads, "Pope Benedict at Christmas: Preaching bigotry disguised as compassion", and the Times of London opines: "Christmas was never meant to be about this". See one example of the explicit hate mongering by gay activists against the Pope in the YouTube video at link
Interesting to note is the fact that nowhere in the Pope's remark did he even use the word 'homosexual' or 'homosexuality', rather he referred to 'gender' and to the Creator's plan for human sexuality as being in life-long marriage between one man and one woman. In this respect, he spoke not only to the problem of homosexual acts but also other sexual aberrations such as sex outside of marriage, adultery, pornography, and even contraceptive sex. This is borne out by the fact, unreported by the mainstream media, that within the speech he urged the faithful to re-read the encyclical Humanae Vitae - known most for its prohibition of contraception.
Hence, our coverage of the Pope's message yesterday was headlined "Pope's Christmas Greeting Says We Must 'Protect the Human Being against Self-Destruction' of Sexual Aberration"[...]
Trust me, the Pope is not going on about such matters to be popular, not because he has some vendetta against gays. He is preaching the truth out of love; love for God and his Truth, love for mankind as a whole, but specifically love for his fellow human beings who are hurting themselves with destructive sexual lifestyles. By being accepting of homosexual sex, or even encouraging it, society at large is playing the part of the appeasing friend who allows or even encourages the teenager to engage in 'freedom' - in those risky behaviours which will lead to his downfall. The appeasing friend may profit from the teen's self-abuse, or at least be seen as accepting. It is the role of those who really have the teen's best interests at heart - parents, teachers, sibling, and true friends - to point out the danger despite the rancor they may receive.
The Pope has sounded the alarm on rejecting God's plan for human sexuality and pointed to the dangers for those involved and society in general of fostering such behavior. He is now experiencing the backlash, but like any good parent, he will weather it in patience and love, knowing that one day, his aberrant children will come to their senses or at the very least that he has tried his best to get them to do so.
The statement made recently by atheist Penn Jillette of 'Penn & Teller' fame applies in this case, and serves as a reproach to all those Christian leaders who, out of fear of being politically incorrect and losing human respect, are - unlike the Holy Father - silent on the topic of sex outside the plan of God. Speaking on a video monologue recently, Jillette said: "If you believe that there's a heaven and hell, and that people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward ... - how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible, and not tell them that?"
See the Pope's complete Christmas address
He's done it again. The Pope has reiterated unfashionable Catholic teaching on sexuality. And at Christmas! What poor taste. Moreover, he has dared to do so in the context of a discussion of (pause to genuflect) the environment. Is nothing sacred?I suppose the subtlety of what the Holy Father has said is lost on many that are active in highly immoral lifestyles. Rather than just accepting that the Pope is Catholic, they instead are horrified that their lifestyle is held up as destructive.
Benedict XVI stands accused today of ecclesiastical gay-bashing. When I was woken up very early this morning by a radio station looking for a quote, I was given the impression that he'd given a speech saying homosexuals were as big a threat to the planet as climate change.
That would have been an own goal, I admit. But look at the text of the Pope's speech to the Curia and he doesn't even come close to saying that. The point Benedict is making is that God's plan for creation encompasses both stewardship of the planet and the expression of human sexual relations within (and only within) marriage.
Nowhere in his speech does he say that "homosexuaity" is a sin, because that's not Catholic teaching. On the other hand, and there's no getting round this, all homosexual genital activity is condemned. But that teaching is implicit in the Pope's speech, not explicit.
Now read NCRep’s John Allen on the Pope’s annual address to the Curia , with commentary in red by Fr Z of What Does the Prayer Really Say?
In a similar vein, reflection on the Holy Spirit also led Benedict to underscore the Christian concern for the environment.Now that everyone has some background into the actual comments, let's just finish with New Zealand's GayNZ typically juvenille "reporting" of the Pope's comments. The following photoshopped picture is published on their site with the words :
“Faith in the creator Spirit is an essential component of the Christian creed,” the pope said. [Creatio ex nihilo set us apart from all other religions.] “The ultimate basis for our responsibility towards the earth lies in our faith regarding creation. It is not simply our property, which we can exploit according to our own interests and desires. It is instead the gift of the Creator, with certain intrinsic rules [This "rules" point might be a good point of differentiation from secular or gnostic environmentalist types.] that offer us an orientation we must respect as administrators of creation.” [Interesting… another theme is, perhaps, mediation.. our secondary role, ... Pope as Vicar of Christ, we are stewards. It is about us, but not about us. There are logical distinctions to be made.]
The pope insisted that the church must get involved in today’s environmental debates. [I agree.]
“Because faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian creed, the church cannot and must not limit itself to transmitting only the message of salvation to its faithful,” Benedict said. “It has a responsibility for creation, and must express this responsibility in public.” [This is a key to what Pope Benedict is trying to accomplish in his pontificate. The Catholic Church and her faithful must have a voice in the public square on all those things touching also the human experience. But in order to have something to contribute, we have to know who we are and what we believe and we must live it.]
At the same time, Benedict clearly distinguished the church’s approach from secular environmental movements – insisting that concern for tropical rain forests and the church’s traditional pro-life commitments, including sexual morality, are indissolubly linked.
“[The church] must defend not only the earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to all,” he said. “It must also defend the human person against its own destruction. [In the Christian vision, man is at the summit of material creation and not separate from it. The materialists and gnostics too often oppose man a creation, as if we were opponents.] What’s needed is something like a ‘human ecology,’ understood in the right sense. It’s not simply an outdated metaphysics if the church speaks of the nature of the human person as man and woman, and asks that this order of creation be respected.” [He spoke of "rules" and now of "order".]
“Here it’s a question of faith in creation, in listening to the language of creation, [Interesting. The Pope seems almost to be saying that the Logos echoes in creation, and we can discern its language. Sure there are therefore rules and order.] disregard of which would mean self-destruction of the human person [because we are going against ourselves] and hence destruction of the very work of God,” [who created ex nihilo] the pope said. “That which is often expressed and understood by the term ‘gender’ in the end amounts to the self-emancipation of the human person from creation and from the Creator. [Excellent. Part of the order, with the rules that come from order, in the "language" the Divine Logos as the one through whom all things were made, includes real differentiation.] Human beings want to do everything by themselves, and to control exclusively everything that regards them. But in this way, the human person lives against the truth, against the Creator Spirit.” [There must be a submission to reality or we do ourselves harm.]
“Yes, the tropical forests merit our protection, but the human being as a creature merits no less protection – [more, rather] a creature in which a message is written which does not imply a contradiction of our liberty, but the condition for it,” the pope said. [Interesting. The image of God in is is a "message". We are back to language. What comes to mind is the language of the human genome, the codes in our fabric. But there is a language, a logos in its deepest sense, behind the codes.]
On that basis, Benedict offered a defense of traditional marriage and Catholic sexual morality. [Because here the differentiations and complementarities come together. Keep in mind the folly being discussed at the UN. The Holy See reacted that that and the secular press went after the reactions.]
“Great Scholastic theologians defined marriage, meaning the lifetime bond between a man and a woman, as a sacrament of creation, which the Creator instituted and which Christ – without changing the message of creation – [There it is again: "message" of creation.] then welcomed into the story of his covenant with humanity,” the pope said. “This witness in favor of the Creator Spirit, present in the nature of this bond and in a special way in the nature of the human person, is also part of the proclamation which the church must offer. [In the public square!] Starting from this perspective, it’s important to re-read the encyclical Humanae Vitae : [40 years after…] the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against treating sexuality as a kind of consumption, the future against the exclusive demands of the present, and the nature of the human being against manipulation.”
Papal power: The Pope's resemblance to an evil Star Wars character is highlighted in a viral email.The rest of the article just repeats the same old talking points that the homosexual press around the world are fainting over.
Saving humanity from homosexual acts is as important as saving the rainforests, the Catholic leader had said in his Christmas message.What about saving humanity from inaccurate and biased reporting?
When it comes down to it, the Holy Father was just clearly stating Catholic teaching. Our readers may recognise the message as being consistent with what has bee published on this website. In other words, nothing new, don't get too excited. The Pope is Catholic, and Catholicism does not dance to the whims of fashion.
Europe’s Choice for Christmas: Pink Trees or None at All ~ Brussels Journal
Homosexuality is as great a threat as rainforest destruction, says Pope ~ Daily Mail, UK
Friday, December 26, 2008
Like here, for example, in 1935 Bondi.
The luckiest generation: pre-boomers born 1920-1940.
Rather than spreading wealth between classes does welfare spread it between generations? Or another way, does the system only work if treasury-bills can attract buyers?
Be very afraid but not of Santa.
Vexatious litigation is funny in Boston Legal but not as a major influence on your culture.
Fathers for Good.
Lessons in Maniless from It's a Wonderful Life.
Postmodern Conservatism in Australia.
An oxymoron or confirmation of the suspicion that relativism is a subtle temptress even of John Howard and maybe John Key?
How kangaroo burgers could save the planet.
New Scientist Best Videos of 2008.
NatGeo top ten Space photos of 2008.
Another year and 74 year-old Gene Cernan is still the last man on the moon!
Born in 1934 he would be another member of the putative"luckiest generation".
Genetic Engineering at home.
Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google were invented in the garage so why not the Panda-hamster?
Ahmadinejad to deliver “alternative” Christmas message on British TV
Very useful idiots at work.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The Blessed Virgin Mary and her husband, Joseph, on their way to Bethlehem to give birth to the Son of God.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Okaaaay.We know that if a child lives with their two biological parents they are substantially less likely to be abused than if they live in a house where their mum has a string of successive boyfriends.Spot the mother blaming in that one! Child abuse is not the fault of violent men; it's the mother's fault. And it's certainly not the fault of men who abandon their children, leaving mothers and children to get along as best they may. No, it's all the mother's fault.
When will the Maxim Institute stop blaming women for men's violence?
How is it that a factual statement is interpreted as blame apportionment?
Yes, the blame for the violence can be attributed to the boyfriends. However allowing the violent boyfriend into the home in the first place surely is the responsibility of the woman involved. I mean, it's not like she has no say in the matter - he doesn't just move in and start abusing the kids without her inviting him to live with her in the first place.
A commenter on the thread has this telling point:
Am I missing the part where it's exlicitly stated that it's the boyfriends abusing the kids? It could equally be read to mean that women who are immoral enough to have a 'string of boyfriends' are also immoral enough to abuse their children.I think the evidence shows that it is more likely that unrelated males are more likely to abuse the children of their girlfriends, especially if there is no long term commitment to the relationship (ie, marriage). However, immoral women tend to be terrible choosers of boyfriends. Especially if you think of the recent Nia Glassie case where the boyfriend/murderer of the little girl was 15 when he started living with her 30 year old mother. She was basically a child abuser herself, just not in a violent way.
It's a weird type of feminism that seeks most of all to divert all blame from women. For in doing so it infantalises them, allowing them to be treated like children rather than the adults they really need to be for their own children. It doesn't allow anyone to really understand just what it going on with these people who will allow their children to be abused. For until the behaviour of all the adults involved changes, children will continue to be abused. And who to blame really becomes irrelevant.
Related Link: I shouldn't let the Maxim Institute get to me ~ The Hand Mirror
A new breed of powerful cannabis and ballooning costs in treating its health effects have led to calls for urgent action, including drug education for primary school children.
The information, in a National Drug Intelligence Bureau report obtained by The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act, shows that cannabis, the most widely used illicit drug, creates more than $30 million a year in hospital bills.
The report the first of its kind to use information from Customs, health and police officials warns that the drug is likely to become more harmful. The threat posed by high-potency "re-engineered" cannabis has been steadily increasing, it says.
Hospital costs jumped 50 per cent from $19.5 million in 2004 to $31 million in 2005. Of the 2062 hospital cases in 2005, 48 admissions cost between $100,000 and $370,000 each.
The report calls for further action to reduce supply and demand as communities have become "comfortable with high prevalence levels".
Included is a call to curb the "alarming" trend of teenagers to use cannabis by making drug education programmes an immediate priority in primary schools.
Cannabis could account for up to 10 per cent of cases of psychosis, the report says, pointing to increasing admission rates for psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and behavioural disorders.
This article really speaks for itself, but let me head off those who would argue that alcohol is just as bad.
The sole purpose of alcohol is not to get drunk. Of course, many New Zealanders seem incapable of restraint and drink only to get themselves completely blotto, and for that reason there have been calls to increase the costs of alcoholic drinks so that the high cost reduces availability. There may be some merit to this, but, I think that if the problems with alcohol are really so bad that there are calls for price rises, why not instead look at the drinking age (maybe raise it to 21) and don't allow alcohol sales after 12pm.
I have no problem with increasing restrictions on alcohol. Just like I have no problem with the current illegal status of cannabis - I just think this status ought to be enforced rather than considered part of the NZ culture.
To that end, why not advertise the dangers of cannabis on TV. It's not just children who are being taught it's "safe". There are many, many idiotic adults out there (some comment on this blog) that consider cannabis to be an acceptable drug. Let's take those horrible smoking ads and turn them into showing a perfectly reasonable kid turning into a psycho. This whole thing of having to teach children at school that cannabis is dangerous is silly because the problem is societal.
I'm trying to think which recent case involved a person breaching their bail conditions by smoking cannabis, which, in normal circumstances would have landed this person back in prison. But no, even though smoking cannabis was not allowed on bail for this person, the judge let him off because cannabis is now considered socially acceptable!
So when judges don't even think cannabis use is a breach of bail conditions even when it is spelled out to be, how are school children going to be taught cannabis use is bad enough to stay away from. Leadership needs to start with the adults in this country, and then those values can be passed on, rather than expecting that children will somehow lead the way in changing the culture.
Related Link: Call to teach cannabis dangers ~ Stuff, Dominion Post
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Related link : No sex please, we're Wellingtonians ~ Stuff
Friday, December 19, 2008
It's Friday, and it's that time of the late afternoon again to kick off the chat time. It seems most of us are running out of steam as we get closer to Christmas. The wind-down is in progress, and that certainly seems to be affecting NZ's Blog World as well. Either that, or I just like to hang out on the quieter fringes.
A commenter asked a couple of days ago if I was Polish. The short answer is yes, I am. The longer answer is I was born in NZ to two Polish parents, one of whom was in exile from Poland after WW2 and the other who was conceived the month Hitler invaded and was brought up in a Poland occupied by the Soviets. If you think I take a tough stance on some of the battles I fight here on NZ, I should introduce you to my relatives!
(Just joking, remaining anonymous is preferred at this point).
My main interest in blogging is exposing that which will bring down our civilisation (make no mistake, it IS going down) and trying to point those who are capable of seeing in the right direction. I know many people will not get me, and will scratch their heads at some of the things I argue (Peter Ellis for one), but never fear, all may be made clear over time. Or not.
When you're in doubt as to what my purpose really is, just think of this quote by a British historian who studies the Poles:
The role of women was crutial. It was Polish wives, mothers and grandmothers who guarded the traditions, provided the social infrastructure, comforted the activists, and told their menfolk where their duty lay. They even could take up arms themselves.
Pg 170, Rising '44: The Battle for Warsaw by Norman Davies
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Dr. Nicholas Zill, the founding president of Child Trends, and Dr. Philip Fletcher, a research psychologist at Westat, co-authored the new study, which analyzes data from the National Survey of Children's Health.It makes you wonder, really, if NZ's problems with 5 year old sex offenders, being near the top of the world's worst bullied kids list, and 32% of New Zealanders now considering themselves to have no religion are in any way connected.
Among their remarkable findings: children in this group are five times less likely to repeat a grade, less likely to have behavior problems at home and school, and are more likely to be cooperative and understanding of others' feelings. Parents of these children report less stress, healthier parent-child relationships, and fewer concerns about their children's achievement. These differences hold up even after controlling for family income and poverty, low parent education levels, and race and ethnicity.
No wonder governments around the world (including NZ) are clamping down on Christians' free speech.
Related Link: New Study Find Children Who Live with Biological Parents and go to Church Fare Best Developmentally ~ LifeSite News (includes link to report of study).
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
If it wasn't accidents causing ACC's misfortune then perhaps it was something far more sinister - voodoo. With another billion dollar blow out mentioned after the accidental billion dollars bumbled off the bottom line, I put the blame squarely on voodoo economics. Some-where, some doped up Haitian has been sticking pins into the international banking system, and giving acupuncturists a bad name. And ACC have been funding voodoo economics longer than acupuncturists.
Or did these accidents happen in a more steady and spaced out manner? Like dominoes, falling month after month, and they could only sit by and stare in helpless fascination as the debt piled higher? They couldn't quite get to their email system in time: "Dear Labour Government, we are required under law to disclose any minor accidents we may have inadvertently been responsible for. Does a two billion dollar loss fall into this category?"
When ACC lodged it's own claim form, the Labour government managed to put this delicate issue of economic health on the standard six month waiting list. Until just after the election.
Was that an accident? Was Dr Cullen so worried about the voter's mental stability, it was best NOT to tell us we were terminal, with only months to live before he hacked off our tax cuts? That's just the kind hearted response we had come to expect from Aunty Helen's General Practice, and it's no wonder New Zealand have gone off and sought a second opinion, and elected John Key.
Like herpes (apparently), expect Labour to be back in three years more virulent than ever. I'm making a note right now: Whatever cure they offer is much worse than the disease they gave us in the first place.
I've been so busy in the real world, I've barely noticed the important issues of the day that we bloggers must discuss. Like light bulbs. National have shown the light by reversing the decree that non-CFL bulbs are illegal. Many on the right will now be wondering what to do with their huge stash of 100 watt contraband.
Possibly trade them for booze. The media seem to be harping on about how bad alcohol is. Wine. Wine. Wine. I can hardly beer it. Some fool wants to tax it to oblivion. Can't we just add a surcharge to being between the ages of 14 and 21? That would cover a fair proportion of bad driving, drug abuse, truancy, vomiting in a public place and listening to bad music, all major crimes in any civilised society. Sure, there are people outside that category but no-one has taken much notice of Labour MP's ever since early November anyway.
Actually, I better be more PC about throwing truancy into that list. Some legislation going through at the moment wants to charge 3 grand in fines to parents who cannot keep their kids in school. That's outrageous. I'd check first that the school wasn't forcing kids to watch Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth".
Which leads into teaching religion in public schools. Not a big fan. It's hard enough finding a Maths teacher that can teach geometry, an English teacher that can teach Shakespeare and a Biology teacher that can teach physics. So getting the Phys Ed. teacher to talk about God is just asking for trouble. Especially when the Black Caps are losing. Very few understand the value of suffering, although teachers in general possibly come close. If you want to learn about religion, go to a Catholic School. (That was a joke, unfortunately.)
So what about Peter Ellis then? Talk back radio has dispensed with juries and judges, lawyers, evidence and testimonies and come up with a much better system: "criminals didn't give him the bash in jail so he's innocent." Brilliant. I bet he weighs as much as a duck. Throw him in the pond and see if he floats.
It would make a great retrial - Peter Ellis being tossed into the Avon (to see if he sinks or floats) and the issue resolved once and for all.
I'm wondering why though, with "the book which explains all and whose name need not be said", and the endless number of victims who have recanted (evidence still pending) why he has had so much trouble getting a retrial?
Being a blogger, I have my theory. Precedent. Will every male pederast or pedophile be able to claim that many victims were simply led on by irrational parents and loopy psychologists? Peter Ellis might be gay, but he must be feeling rather relieved he isn't a priest or a high profile Christian. He would clearly have been found guilty without even a trial, thrown in jail and left there to be long forgotten.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I've known several adults that were abused as children and all of them did not tell anyone about what happened until they grew up. And it was only after they started to have problems related to the abuse that they realised they needed to get it out. That not dealing with it was causing them real problems.
Therefore, it would not surprise me that given the number of children already known to have been abused in the Peter Ellis case, that in the future there will most probably be more adults coming forward to tell their stories.
For that reason, it's imperative for the pro-Peter Ellis people to get some sort of official verdict exonerating him in order to make future complainants less likely. The more obstacles to adults coming forward, the better.
Related Link: Presenter Linda Clark with Nathan and his mother : Nathan had been abused by Peter Ellis at the Christchurch creche when he was 4 years old, but had not told his mother until he was 16 years old and having real problems at school and in his life. He had not been involved in the case against Peter Ellis at all.
Monday, December 15, 2008
My opinion on the case was formed a number of years ago when I heard two of the victims being interviewed on the radio. And now, the more I read, the more sure I am that many of the supposed problems with the case don't so much show that Peter Ellis was innocent - they instead just show problems with the case.
UPDATE: It seems he is out. It seemed with all the hysteria, it seened that he must have been still behind bars. Obviously being a convicted paedophile is bad for getting jobs close to children, so of course he wants to "clear his name".
So, I found it really enlightening to read an opinion piece published 10 years ago by Theodore Dalrymple on NZ's increased liberality with regards to criminality in our country. I'll use the example of the two girls that killed one of the girls' mothers in the 50's to illustrate how this liberality works:
The shift in the interpretation of the Parker-Hulme case signals a sea change in New Zealand's attitude toward crime in general, a change that has occurred everywhere else in the Western world. Public opinion at the time universally regarded the Parker-Hulme murder as the evil act of evil girls acting in the grip of an evil passion. Nowadays a different interpretation is almost as universal. A well-known book on the case, Parker and Hulme: A Lesbian View, by two lesbian academics, Julie Glamuzina and Alison Laurie, sums up today's prevailing opinion.I think a similar thing has occurred with the Peter Ellis case. The man is a homosexual who was working in a child-care centre with young children. But he's now somehow become the poster boy for "unjustly" accused men everywhere, and for some reason the inappropriateness of him working in the creche is almost ignored.
According to the reinterpretation, the Parker-Hulme case was not a brutal and pointless murder but the natural, inevitable outcome of a grand passion thwarted by narrow-minded social prejudice and intolerance. New Zealand was then a repressed and repressive society, and something had to give. The authors unquestioningly accept the hydraulic model of human desire, according to which passion is like the pus in an abscess, which, if not drained, causes blood poisoning, delirium, and death. If society prevented two lesbian adolescents from acting upon their passion, therefore, it was only to be expected that they should have done to death the mother of one of them. The primordial wrongness of bashing people with bricks has vanished altogether.
In support of their hypothesis, the two authors asked a number of lesbians who grew up at the time of the case for their reaction to it. Yes, they replied, they understood the girls only too well, for they themselves had sometimes harbored murderous feelings toward their parents. Both the authors and the respondents overlooked the significant moral difference between occasionally wishing one's mother would drop dead and causing her actually to do so. Nor is this obtuseness exclusive to lesbians. The Los Angeles Times reported the film's director, Peter Jackson, as regarding his own film as nonjudgmental. This, of course, lays bare the curious moral stance of our age: it is not wrong to bash an innocent woman to death with a brick, but it is wrong to condemn the deed and its perpetrators.
From being branded monsters of depravity, Parker and Hulme now appear almost martyrs to a cause. Public opinion admires them—not because they managed after their release from five years' imprisonment to make successful new lives for themselves, thus pointing to the hope and possibility of redemption (Juliet Hulme has become an internationally acclaimed crime novelist, under the name Ann Perry). Instead, it's because they are thought to have engaged in a lesbian affair at a time of extreme primness and propriety in New Zealand—though Hulme explicitly denies that this was the case. They are believed to have acted upon forbidden desires, the greatest feat of heroism that the bien-pensants of our age can imagine.
Another case of injustice, even more destructive in its effects than the Bain case, is the case of Peter Ellis, a young man accused and found guilty in 1996 of horrific sexual abuse of children in a municipal day-care center in Christchurch. The case has many, and eerie, parallels with a notorious case that took place in the town of Wenatchee, Washington.It certainly seems that in the Peter Ellis case that Dalrymple is saying that Peter Ellis might not have been guilty, and maybe he isn't guilty and a huge injustice has been done. However, all of that is obscured by a number of other factors that make trying to make sense of it all really difficult. But to have Peter Ellis as poster boy for innocent man behind bars - I don't buy it.
It was alleged and supposedly proved in court that Ellis had strung children up, sodomized them, and made them drink urine and have oral sex with him. This continued for a prolonged period, without any physical evidence of his activities ever having come to light. No parent suspected that anything was wrong until the initial accusation was made, and then accusations followed in epidemic fashion.
It now emerges that much of the evidence was tainted. The woman who made the first accusation was a fanatic who possessed and had read a great deal of literature about satanic abuse. The detective in charge of the investigation (who has since resigned from the police) had an affair with her and with another of the accusing mothers. The foreman of the jury was related to one of the accusers. Many of the children have since retracted their testimonies, which social workers had obtained by lengthy interrogation. And now the homosexual lobby has alleged that Ellis was accused in the first place because he was a homosexual, and because it was unusual for a man to work in a day-care center. The controversy over the case threatens to degenerate into an argument as to who is most politically correct.
A New Zealand court has given credence to accusations that even the Spanish Inquisition might have found preposterous, a sign oddly enough of how far the courts have come under the influence of the bien-pensants, and how much they fear their censure and crave their approbation. For sexual abuse is the one crime that escapes the all-embracing understanding and forgiveness of such liberals, being a crime whose supposed pervasiveness in all ages exposes as hypocritical the pretensions of bourgeois society to decency and morality and makes clear, as well, that any one of us, in the hands of a sufficiently sensitive therapist, might discover his own secret victimhood, absolving him of responsibility for his life and actions. Sexual abuse is thus an intellectual battering ram with which to discredit the traditional edifice of self-restraint and to wipe away the personal responsibility of individuals, and no judge can do himself harm in the eyes of the right-thinking by taking the hardest and most punitive of lines toward it, whether it actually occurred in any particular instance or not.
Small children just don't make up testimony of the sort that these children gave. They don't have that sort of imagination.
Related Link: What Causes Crime? ~ City Journal
In Luxembourg, such a situation has taken place. The Grand Duke opposed new euthanasia laws passed by Parliament and refused to sign them. So, his veto powers were taken from him and the law was passed without needing his signature. Something he seems to have agreed to and indeed suggested, as the Time Magazine article states.
Duke Henri refused to sign a bill to legalize euthanasia for the terminally ill. The proposal, which would make Luxembourg one of the few countries to give terminal patients the right to die, was approved earlier this year by Parliament. But the monarch, a devout Catholic, says "reasons of conscience" prevented him from making it law. (Read about the fight to legalize euthanasia in the U.S..)It used to be that a Catholic Monarch had as his duty to rule for the good of the people, and be answerable to God if he failed. But it seems even a Monarch cannot stand in the way of his subjects desire to destroy themselves. Free will and all that.
The Duke's stance is a strong nod to the current Pope, who has made the struggle against the secularization and "de-Christianization" of Europe amongst the central tenants of his papacy. Unlike the Pope, though, the Luxembourg monarch must face the realities of democracy. Aware that it would be the first time since 1912 that a Duke or Duchess of Luxembourg has defied the will of the elected government, Henri called on Parliament to change the Constitution to strip him of the power to approve laws. On Thursday, the Luxembourg Parliament voted overwhelmingly to approve the measure, which will become law on a second reading in the coming days. In the future, the reigning Duke or Duchess will only sign decrees to officially publish or "promulgate" pre-approved laws.
Interestingly enough, now I know that the last absolute Monarch in Europe is the Pope.
Luxembourg's Monarch Steps Back On Euthanasia Bill ~ Time
Defending the Pro-Life Monarch of Luxembourg ~ Catholic Online
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Indeed Apple have made a patent application for :
"A graphical user interface has a back surface disposed from viewing surface to define a depth, and one or more one or more side surfaces extend from the back surface to the viewing surface. An icon receptacle is disposed on one or more of the side surfaces, and one or more icons are disposed within the icon receptacle. The one or more icons correspond to one or more desktop items. "To me that sounds alot like a cube rendered in depth on a 2D screen. It doesn't sound like a haptic Minority Report or immersive Johnny Mnemonic style graphic user interface.
So where exactly is the innovation here? Moreover, why would you pay the price of a second-hand car in three years time to have a "groovy" 3D-desktop effect which has been available for years as GNU Beryl and now Compiz-Fusion?
Let's not forget Apple (AAPL) wants to make a profit just like their more maligned stable mate Microsoft and are just as aggressive in securing future cash-flows.
More broadly regarding the balance between being tech-savvy and how much you're prepared to pay for a service, it is easy to understand how Otago DHB could be defrauded $17million by their CIO and IT contractor. When those with oversight and risk management responsibility are toting Macs (or Vista) they are probably disposed to assuming IT services are "expensive". Of course they're expensive but not as expensive as they thought! Afterall, the Otago fraud went on for six years and apparently overcharged about three-fold, which demonstrates significant naivety in management and total absence of a mental rule-of-thumb for tech.
Back to the 3D desktop. If you're yet to see a basic "spinning-cube" 3D desktop then you'll be pleasantly surprised by how nifty it is. Look here and here.
Failing that you could have an aquarium or you could have this attractive setup where a spherical Earth organises four separate desktops. All for free here. Get your eleven year-old to show you how...
Friday, December 12, 2008
Well it seems that Being Frank has uncovered it's own sleeper agent. A prolific commenter, masquerading a Catholic, has admitted to being Muslim. From comment #104:
The incarnation is inherent in the Holy Qu’ran, but in veiled form, as in Judaism.
Islam holds that Jesus will return at the end of time to judge all men.
To be able to properly judge all men one would have to be … God.
The Holy Qu’ran clearly describes the virgin birth of Jesus. His conception is described as an act of Allah. That makes Jesus … the son of God (which the Holy Qu’ran is careful to insist is a non-sexual conception).
Sure, most Muslims don’t yet accept this interpretation. But some of us do.
While it makes sense of a lot, it also makes me really sad that a person will go to this much effort to pretend to be what they are not, making a mockery of the faith they pretend to believe in.
All this time I thought the person was just very confused. But it appears not.
Related Link: Is Islam inherently bad? ~ Being Frank
Thursday, December 11, 2008
However, being behind in maths is more serious.
[The study] says Kiwi teachers spend less time teaching maths than any other English speaking country [...]Let's just contrast that statement with the following from an article about a young woman (Rhee) reforming Washington DC's schooling system:
Rhee is convinced that the answer to the U.S.'s education catastrophe is talent, in the form of outstanding teachers and principals. She wants to make Washington teachers the highest paid in the country, and in exchange she wants to get rid of the weakest teachers. Where she and the teachers' union disagree most is on her ability to measure the quality of teachers. Like about half the states, Washington is now tracking whether students' test scores improve over time under a given teacher. Rhee wants to use that data to decide who gets paid more--and, in combination with classroom evaluation, who keeps the job. But many teachers do not trust her to do this fairly, and the union bristles at the idea of giving up tenure, the exceptional job security that teachers enjoy.So, track the scores of students.. tie those scores to the teacher.
The data back up Rhee's obsession with teaching. If two average 8-year-olds are assigned to different teachers, one who is strong and one who is weak, the children's lives can diverge in just a few years, according to research pioneered by Eric Hanushek at Stanford. The child with the effective teacher, the kind who ranks among the top 15% of all teachers, will be scoring well above grade level on standardized tests by the time she is 11. The other child will be a year and a half below grade level--and by then it will take a teacher who works with the child after school and on weekends to undo the compounded damage. In other words, the child will probably never catch up.Good teachers make a huge difference. Sounds incredibly reasonable.
The ability to improve test scores is clearly not the only sign of a good teacher. But it is a relatively objective measure in an industry with precious few. And in schools where kids are struggling to read and subtract, it is a prerequisite for getting anything else done.
Right now, schools assess teachers before they teach--filtering for candidates who are certified, who have a master's degree, who have other pieces of paper that do not predict good teaching. And we pay them the same regardless of their effectiveness.The idea that NZ would pay teachers according to their ability to teach is anathema to the teacher's unions. It appears that if any country is to improve their school outcomes, the teacher's unions are the largest stumbling block.
By comparison, if we wanted to have truly great teachers in our schools, we would assess them after their second year of teaching, when we could identify very strong and very weak performers, according to years of research. Great teachers are in total control. They have clear expectations and rules, and they are consistent with rewards and punishments. Most of all, they are in a hurry. They never feel that there is enough time in the day. They quiz kids on their multiplication tables while they walk to lunch. And they don't give up on their worst students, even when any normal person would.
I started my post with wanting to contrast the statement Kiwi teachers spend less time teaching maths than any other English speaking country" with "Most of all, [great teachers] are in a hurry. They never feel that there is enough time in the day. They quiz kids on their multiplication tables while they walk to lunch." But there was too much good stuff in the Time article to just stop there.
Kiwi kids behind Kazakhstan in science ~ Dominion Post
Rhee Tackles Classroom Challenge ~ Time Magazine
Secularists assert that religion is a 'private matter', for they are radical individualists. Moreover, they assume that everyone is naturally an atheist, that they represent what is normal. This secularist illusion gets to us, particularly through the media, and we may even absorb that false assumption.
But anyone who makes a stopover on a flight to Europe can enter cultures where life is communal and religion is normal. If you observe the world beyond our narrow horizons, assertive individualism and atheism find no place in the lives of most of the people who inhabit this planet.
At the heart of the 16th Century, in the England of Henry VIII, two Christian lawyers rose to the highest office in the land and both of them ended up on the scaffold at the Tower — Sir Thomas More and Sir Thomas Cromwell. In the Catholic tradition, the former is revered as a canonised saint, the patron of the noble legal profession, while the latter is reviled as a toady and plunderer of monasteries.
But Thomas Cromwell was no monster. A flawed but brilliant man, he also died courageously and prayerfully. Yet he represents something else that, I would argue, undermines truth in the practice of the Law. He is one of the remote fathers of legal positivism. By acceding to the dictates of a tyrant, he divorced morality from law.
St Thomas More remained faithful to an older and richer tradition, to the Natural Law. The Judaeo-Christian ethic rests on this Natural Law: that good is to be done and evil avoided, that there are objective moral standards, moral truths. Throughout the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, in the highest literature and the best popular culture, we find a fascination with the human struggle to discern right from wrong, to identify good and evil, questions requiring a moral judgement we call 'conscience'.
The Natural Law posits that these realities are knowable through reason, indeed written into the very nature of the human person. Hence the making and application of good laws is assured by remaining true to the higher principles of an ethic grounded in our very nature as moral beings, derived from what may be called 'the truth of the person'.
Legal positivism, by contrast, separates morality from law. There are many ways of attempting to define this dualism, this self-verifying theory of law. The autonomy of law was articulated by the utilitarian Jeremy Bentham, an atheist, who in my world-view, represents the shadowy side of the Enlightenment.
Read More: Truth and the Law: Legal Should Also Mean Moral ~ Catholic Culture
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Happiness is contagious, researchers reported on Thursday.Full story link.
The same team that demonstrated obesity and smoking spread in networks has shown that the more happy people you know, the more likely you are yourself to be happy.
And getting connected to happy people improves a person's own happiness, they reported in the British Medical Journal.
"If a social contact is happy, it increases the likelihood that you are happy by 15 percent," Fowler said. "A friend of a friend, or the friend of a spouse or a sibling, if they are happy, increases your chances by 10 percent," he added.
A happy third-degree friend -- the friend or a friend of a friend -- increases a person's chances of being happy by 6 percent."But every extra unhappy friend increases the likelihood that you'll be unhappy by 7 percent."
Madrid, Dec 9, 2008 / 03:52 pm (CNA).- A study by a group of experts in Spain has revealed that 80% of women who have had an abortion suffer symptoms of depression, while 40% have considered suicide.
The study, carried out by psychiatrist Carmen Gomez-Lavin of the University of Navarre, also uncovered other symptoms that affect women who suffer from Post-Abortion Syndrome. These include sexual dysfunction (40%), drug abuse, especially among adolescents (30%), behavioral changes (60%) or irritability (70%).
During the process and in the year that follows an abortion, the study indicates, the mortality rate of women who have undergone an abortion is between 3.5 and 6 times higher than that of women who give birth, mainly due to suicides, accidents and murders. “The suicide rate is between 6 and 7 time higher than in women who give birth,” the study finds.
Related Link: Study finds depression suffered by 80% of women who abort ~ Catholic News Agency
Research by an Australian psychology lecturer found that common abbreviations used in mobile phone text messages could sometimes not be understood and were often misinterpreted.I personally hate abbreviated text language and will use the predictive text on my phone as much as possible. The only abbreviations I use are very common, such as "ph" for phone.
Results from the 55 students tested by Nenagh Kemp of the University of Tasmania showed that text-speak saved time for the writer, but the recipient took nearly twice as long - 26 seconds - to read the message out loud. It took 14 seconds to read messages sent in conventional English.
The most common abbreviations that were easily understood included 2, 4, c and u. The most difficult abbreviations included ttyl (talk to you later), bbs (be back soon), pu (pick up) and cn (seeing).
The abbreviation I dislike the most is "u" for you. It just seems rude, even though it's not intended to be. I suppose in my mind, if you are referring to a person, some extra courtesy is in order and "u" just doesn't relay that courtesy.
Related Link: C this takes twice as long ~ Stuff
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
All very annoying.
UPDATE: Here's a link to all the current floating rates of banks in NZ. The lowest is 7.45% by KiwiBank - still really far off the official drop to 5%.
I read a couple of posts yesterday (NoMinister, HolySmoke) on the fact that a number of journalists are afraid of mentioning the word "terrorist" in their articles. If journalists do not mention the t-word, then the terrorists have already won part of their aim - striking fear into their enemy and therefore being able to influence their behaviour to win the ultimate war.
This way of attacking the enemy was developed more than 900 years ago, and it could be as effective now as it was then. Back then, terrorists such as these Mumbai ones were instead called Assassins.
From the book, What Every Catholic Wants to Know - Catholic History, paraphrased in places:
The original Islamic terrorists came from a sect of Islam - Ismailism - that developed within the Shiite faction in Persia, Arabia, and North Africa. These Islamailites were said to practice Taqiyya, dissimulation of a person's identity and beliefs. In the 11th Century, under the leadership of an extraordinary man called Hasa-e Sabbah, a more sinister form of Islamic warrior was developed. From his headquarters in a formidable castle in Persia, one of his many strongholds, he taught young men religion, combat techniques, languages, the art of disguise and of course, Taqiyya, before sending them out to kill his enemies. They were not to fail in such assignments, even if it meant their deaths - which it often did because of the boldness of their attacks.
To gain recruits, Hasan would drug young men with hashish and have them carried into a secret garden full of exotic sensual delights. When they later came to their senses, back in the grim barracks of the castle, he would tell them they had seen Paradise, where they would go if they died "martyrs" in the assignments he gave them.
Between 1092, when the first religiously motivated murder occured, and 1256, many kings, viziers, and other enemies of Hasan were killed, as well as some Crusaders. The Assassins main targets were the Seljuk Turks under the leadership of Saladin, who were attempting to suppress them. Since both the Crusaders and the Assassins were fighting the Seljuks, Europeans soon ceased to be targets.
One of the terrorising tactics practiced by the Assassins was the use of warnings they sometimes gave. So skilled were they at disguise that they could infiltrate almost anywhere without suspicion, and many an enemy of their leader awoke to find his room empty but an Assassin dagger or threatening note on his pillow, an unnerving experience. Saladin himself seems to have been the target of this approach. One night he awoke to find poisoned dagger, a written threat, and some hot breads that only Assassins made on his bed. Believing that the Old Man of the Mountain himself had visited him while he slept, the great Seljuk leader lost his nerve and called off hostilities with the sect.
An article by Iyer Pico, published in Smithsonian Magazine, sums up what Hasan had discovered: "The Assassins had discovered that, with a single carefully planned blow, a tiny force prepared to die in the course of killing others could cripple a Goliath of an enemy. They realised, too, that the fear of such an attack could be as paralysing as an attack itself."
So, when a journalist writes: "We may never know exactly what those men in Mumbai hoped to achieve with their horrible crimes," consider what the Seljuk Turks experienced. An attack on their leader lead to a loss of nerve and a cessation of hostilities against the Assassins. Could it be that this attack in Mumbai is an effort to achieve a similar aim, to get the Indian Government onside?
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The problem of enforcing drug laws and the lack of general policing in NZ has started off yet another discussion on how it would be better to just legalise drugs to get around the problem.
I like Ruth's comment on this:
You do not legalise evil.Libertarians tend to forget that freedom to do evil is no freedom at all.
No one has the right to destroy other's lives. There are many sites on the internet where adult children tell of the horror of being brought up by parents addicted to narcotics. Drug use is not a victimless crime. It has a ripple effect on families and communities.
It's enough to drive you potty ~ No Minister
Supply and demand ~ Not PC
“The enemy often tries to make us attempt and start many projects so that we will be overwhelmed with too many tasks, and therefore, achieve nothing and leave everything unfinished. Sometimes he even suggests the wish to undertake some excellent work that he forsees we will never accomplish. This is to distract us from the prosecution of some less excellent work that we would have easily completed. He does not care how many...beginnings we make, provided nothing is finished...But with Christians, it is not so much the beginning as the end that counts."
It's very timely advice as I am prone to trying to take on too much. Fortunately this year every time I've tried, I've become very sick and have had to reduce back down to my core responsibilities.
Looks like St Francis de Sales was a converter of Calvinists! How interesting.
Then Francis had a bad idea -- at least that's what everyone else thought. This was during the time of the Protestant reformation and just over the mountains from where Francis lived was Switzerland -- Calvinist territory. Francis decided that he should lead an expedition to convert the 60,000 Calvinists back to Catholicism. But by the time he left his expedition consisted of himself and his cousin. His father refused to give him any aid for this crazy plan and the diocese was too poor to support him.
For three years, he trudged through the countryside, had doors slammed in his face and rocks thrown at him. In the bitter winters, his feet froze so badly they bled as he tramped through the snow. He slept in haylofts if he could, but once he slept in a tree to avoid wolves. He tied himself to a branch to keep from falling out and was so frozen the next morning he had to be cut down. And after three years, his cousin had left him alone and he had not made one convert.
Francis' unusual patience kept him working. No one would listen to him, no one would even open their door. So Francis found a way to get under the door. He wrote out his sermons, copied them by hand, and slipped them under the doors. This is the first record we have of religious tracts being used to communicate with people.
St Francis is now the patron saint of journalists, maybe because he appears to have been the first ever journalist. Thankfully we don't have to write everything out by hand anymore!
Related Link: St. Francis de Sales ~ Catholic Online
Monday, December 1, 2008
I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago when Lindsay Mitchell asked the question, "What's wrong with individuals controlling their own fertility? Isn't that what personal responsibility is all about?" By itself, that comment may not have inspired anything, but then Lindsay wrote another post on Nia Glassie, where she wondered about what has changed over the last 40 years, that families can be created whereby there is no commitment from the male to stay around and look after his woman or offspring. Not that Lindsay stated it quite so crudely as that, but you get the picture. She said:
Here's the difference though. Forty years ago they wouldn't have been allowed to form the kind of groups loosely call families. There would have been no financial mechanism to create them. Babies were adopted out, sometimes to extended whanau, sometimes to strangers. But to people who WANTED them. It wasn't a perfect answer by any means, but what ever is?Indeed. Forty years ago everything was incredibly different. Children typically had a mother and a father that were married to each other and stayed together for life unless death took one parent early. The idea that a person could sire children without marrying and to multiple mothers without consequence was repugnant and not socially tolerated.
So 40 years ago we weren't seeing the kind of mayhem we see now. Child abuse and neglect most certainly happened. But from everything I have read it was on a much smaller scale.
Forty years ago attitudes to sex and marriage were changing. Women wanted freedom from the "burden" of children. Men wanted sex without having to marry first. The new contraceptive pill that arrived on the scene seemed an answer to a prayer. But the overall consequences of this prayer were foreseen by few people at the time.
However, the consequences were foreseen by the author of Humanae Vitae, which explained what would happen to society and to individuals if the ability to control one's fertility became widespread. So, what were the consequences of a contraceptive society to be?
1) A general lowering of moral standards throughout society.
2) A rise in infidelity.
3) A lessening of respect for women by men.
4) Coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments.
All of these predictions made forty years ago have come to pass. Moral standards have lowered dramatically over the past forty years to the point where we now have girl kissing competitions on the radio and boobs on bikes parades advertising pornography in the streets. Infidelity has risen, and men do not respect women in the same way that they did forty years ago. Governments do use reproductive technologies coercively and there are calls by the public for this to increase. You only have to listen to the earnest people on the radio who believe that people should have a license before they should be allowed to have children to see that the push for more coercion by the government will come from the general population.
Forty years ago, peer pressure and societal expectations ensured that men married before having sex and then stayed around to look after their families. Now, governments such as ours in NZ makes it easy for men to leave, or to never even make a commitment in the first place. The consequences for a society full of fatherless children have been enormous - increased crime and abuse of children, to name a few. For that we can blame the Sexual Revolution.
In sum [...] just about everyone else in possession of the evidence acknowledges that the sexual revolution has weakened family ties, and that family ties (the presence of a biologically related mother and father in the home) have turned out to be important indicators of child well-being—and more, that the broken home is not just a problem for individuals but also for society. Some scholars, moreover, further link these problems to the contraceptive revolution itself.Getting back to the original question that started this post, just what is wrong with controlling your fertility? The answer appears to be that the control of fertility changes how society views sex. Sex was once something that married couples did, fully expecting that the result of their union would most likely be children. Now sex is for fun and when children accidentally do come along they need to be looked after somehow. Or aborted if inconvenient. Our whole attitude to life has changed dramatically and with it our society's ability to act selflessly. Everything becomes about what is good for ME only.
Consider the work of maverick sociobiologist Lionel Tiger. Hardly a cat’s-paw of the pope—he describes religion as “a toxic issue”—Tiger has repeatedly emphasized the centrality of the sexual revolution to today’s unique problems. The Decline of Males, his 1999 book, was particularly controversial among feminists for its argument that female contraceptives had altered the balance between the sexes in disturbing new ways (especially by taking from men any say in whether they could have children).
Equally eyebrow-raising is his linking of contraception to the breakdown of families, female impoverishment, trouble in the relationship between the sexes, and single motherhood.
Abortion and Child Abuse
Last week, Garth George came out with an incredibly controversial opinion on the link between a society that aborts it's children and one that has increasing levels of child abuse.
Predictably, the convictions for the inhuman torture and murder of little Nia Glassie have generated the usual outrage, breast-beating, anger, criticism and demands for something to be done.Garth then goes on to quote Mother Teresa who believed that once societies abort their children it's all over for them - they no longer can tell people not to kill others if a mother is allowed to kill her own child. Morality is turned on it's head.
It is sound and fury, signifying nothing. Because child abuse, sometimes fatal, is here to stay. And the same goes for violence against women.
We have brought it on ourselves. We have bowed to the blandishments of liberalism, immorality, materialism and hedonism and have set aside most of the moral and legal strictures which for centuries formed the mortar which held societies together and kept them from self-destruction.
For nearly 50 years, we have presided over the gradual unravelling of the fabric of our nation through the breakdown of the traditional family unit upon which community cohesion has always depended.
And we have allowed the wondrous differences between men and women to become so blurred that we no longer know whether we're Arthur or Martha.
So now we are beginning to pay the price. No matter what we try to do, the price will get ever steeper in misery, pain, terror and despair for the victims, and frustration, anger and shame for the nation.
The best we can hope for is that Government agencies, voluntary and self-help groups and others in the "helping professions" can save one or two children or women from harm along the way and, if they're lucky, minutely stem the tide.
They will treat symptoms, rarely with success, but the fundamental causes, which are now so firmly embedded in our way of life that they are irremovable, will continue to fester and erupt and spew out their poison.
I have said it before and I say it again: The number one cause of abuse against women and children is abortion.
Adoro Devote put it even more strongly this way:
In the siege of Jerusalem, the captives were forced to eat their own dead children, among other horrors. What's so much worse about America is that not only does our new leader advocate abortion, but the slaughter of children born alive in spite of the attempt on their lives, and we're using embryos....THOSE ARE CHILDREN....in vaccines and to study various cures. How is that better than the cannibalism of Jerusalem? It's worse because it's been CHOSEN and ADVOCATED!
Let me make this comparison again:
In the siege of Jerusalem, the people were forced to eat their dead children. They had a water source, but were cut off from food for, what...three years? How long was it? Long enough for them to resort to cannibalism out of desperation. Those who thirst without respite will die. Those who hunger...get creative. In their desperate creativity, they ate their own children.
Can you imagine anything more horrible?
Check out modern-day America:
America is not under siege. We have abundant food and water. We are a wealthy country, in spite of our huge national debt. The milk and honey are flowing, wine is being poured out copiously, and there is much rejoicing.
We are under no duress. Yet the abortuaries are doing brisk business in in-the-womb slaughters these days, and our new President-elect has voted THREE TIMES against the Infant Born Alive act, which would require medical treatment for babies born alive in spite of the intention of the abortionists and the mothers to kill them in utero.
You say that no, we're not eating our children. Maybe not as the inhabitants of Jerusalem did...but what we're doing is much worse.
Remember....they were under duress and seeking survival. Doing the abominable just to try to live. They were not in their right minds.
We are...in theory. We have more than we need.
But we ARE eating our children. We ARE cannibals.
Replace America with New Zealand and the same applies. This country is not poor, despite the attempts of Socialists and Greenies to make it so. We are cannibals as well, as we don't need to eat our children, allowing them to be swallowed up by the trivial excuses of mental health or not right now or whoops, how did that happen?
I find idea incredibly chilling and quite apt.
Linking it all together
If you take a step back from abortion, you get to contraception. A society that contracepts expects there to be a backstop for contraceptive failure. A society that contracepts thinks more about what "I" want than doing what is right and good. A society that contracepts is killing itself, slowly (population decline) and painfully (abortion, child abuse, violence, murder). When someone asks what is wrong with controlling your fertility, that is what is wrong with it, it changes the focus from what must I do in order to live a good life to what can I do to make like as easy and as comfortable and as pleasurable as possible.
This sort of society requires abortion to exist, it sets up the mindset that children are expendable and dependent on our desire to have them (ie they should be wanted) and any that are not wanted can be killed for the convienience of the mother. This sort of society is created from that idea of controlling fertility, and that is what is wrong with controlling fertility. If we want things to change we have to stop controlling fertility.
And a step further back again, if we want things to change, we have to rediscover God. Because the further we move from Him, the more things fall apart.
“Forgetting God is like forgetting and denying man himself, even if we hardly admit it,” the cardinal said, according to SIR. This leads to a “pathological situation” which permits abortion, euthanasia, experimentation on embryos and their exploitation for economic purposes.
He said such phenomena and the decision are not “isolated episodes” but reveal “a Christophobia which is nothing else but hatred for oneself.”
~ Archbishop of Toledo
Running the Social Development show, Nia Glassie - Why? ~ Lindsay Mitchell
Vindication of Humane Vitae ~ First Things
Antonio Card. Cañizares Llovera, Archbishop of Toledo, on “Christophobia”