Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
So when Tumeke use the word "gulag" to describe private prisons, I find myself annoyed because the word is being misused, and in the misuse, people may over time think that a gulag is a private prison where criminals are made to work - not a place of semi-starvation where political prisoners are being kept unjustly.
When it comes down to it, a gulag is where the state imprisons people that do not agree with the state's ideology. It's not a private prison.
Related Link: National Party Gulags ~ Tumeke
See also: Corporate Prisons
I've been an author of a NZ blog since before the last election, and prior to that involved on the internet in several debate forums dating back ten years. I've realised that people's points of view cannot be changed with mere information or argument, because all points of view are based on some type of belief.
I used to argue that the word believe has a lie in it, therefore to believe is to lie to oneself. Now I now that everyone has an internal truth-meter, but that not everyone wants to listen to it. So some will use belief to lie to themselves, while as others will use belief to keep their faith, connected to truth, alive.
I spent a long time looking for the truth because I wanted to find it, not because I wanted it to support how I viewed the world. In fact, how I viewed the world had to change when I found truth. It was a difficult process as I went through things I wanted to believe and had to discard them.
The Prayer to Saint Michael at the bottom of each page here at NZ Conservative was written more than a century ago by Pope Leo XIII after he had been granted a vision of a discussion between Our Lord and the Devil. The Devil boasted that he could destroy Our Lord's Church if he was able to use more power. Our Lord basically said, try it then and gave him 100 years of increased power to try and destroy the Church. Now more than 100 years later the effects are clearly seen. The Church is not destroyed, but is severely damaged. And she has been before in times gone past and as she may will be again in the future. But, she cannot be destroyed.
I put the prayer at the bottom of our site to recognise the fact that the real battle that we are engaged in is spiritual, not physical. That it's raging all around us right now and has been since the beginning of the world when a third of the angels fell from Heaven.
If I'm insane for believing this, then I join a great multitude who also believe it.
Related Link: Random Question For Green Party Supporters ~ NZ Conservative
The Wilson Quarterly surveys polls.
Despite unanimous poll results predicting an Obama victory in the New Hampshire democratic Primary, pollsters still determined Hillary Clinton was going to emerge the winner.
The New Hampshire debacle joined a list of major embarrassments that includes the disastrous Florida exit polling in the 2000 presidential election, which prompted several networks to project an Al Gore victory, and the national polls in the 1948 race, which led to perhaps the most famous headline in U.S. political history: “Dewey Defeats Truman.” After intense criticism for previous failures and equally intense efforts by pollsters to improve their techniques, this was not supposed to happen.
New Hampshire gave new life to many nagging doubts about polling and criticisms of its role in American politics. Are polls really accurate? Can surveys of small groups of people give a true reading of what a much larger group thinks? What about bias? Don’t pollsters stack the deck?
As a rule of thumb the margin of error of a sampled probability is:
So if the sample size is 400, the margin of error is 1/20 = 5%... if the sample size is 1000, it's about 3%.
Obviously this works well for controlled experiments, defective widgets, jellybeans, and coloured balls in a jar. It's also good for undergrad exam questions. But what if the things you are studying don't quite fit the curriculum of QUAN101, what if the subjects are more wormy... say, like voters? If one or more of the above statements are true, then the formula for margin of error simplifies to
Using the analogy of coloured balls in an urn:
If one or more of the above statements are true, then the formula for margin of error simplifies toMargin of Error = Who the hell knows?
Monday, October 27, 2008
The effects of divorce and a book review [Lucyna]
Family First release a study with more reasons to show why supporting families needs to be an important component up for discussion in an election year. A book review shows that the damage to children of divorce is far reaching and more harmful than many care to admit. Another post by Lucyna that raises many comments, often by infuriated defenders of liberal values.
Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity [Lucyna]
Political activism in schools is not just limited to Greenies. Seems some teenagers are prepared to voice an opinion on the sanctity of life without saying a thing.
The Obama Votive [Lucyna]
Obama dressed as a saintly Pope, complete with halo and crucifix. Don't you think some Democrats are taking things just a little too far? He's not the Messiah, he's just a naughty Chicago Lawyer.
Helen Keys John II [ZenTiger]
Helen justifies dirty campaigning as "just a bit of a joke". From the great tradition of flinging enough mud and hopefully, some will stick. We have to ask though, is why does Helen have so much access to mud? And the ugly H. word rears its head as yet another left wing tactic. It seems ethics is also "just a bit of a joke" to the Labour left.
Most donors still alive when organs removed [Lucyna]
Organ donors are best alive when sliced and diced. Varying definitions of brain dead have resulted in the occasional person waking up when the most charitable cut is first made. Here is a comment from a Doctor that thinks people should be made aware of the mechanics of donating your organs.
MMP Law Change Needed [Fletcher]
Fletcher muses on the injustices of MMP. Is it fair that minority parties might be able to form a big enough coalition to out govern the single most popular party? Hey, don't ask me, I didn't vote for MMP.
Garth George calls election for freedom [Lucyna]
Garth George is sick of the last 9 years of Labour. He represents the many that think it's time for a change, one that ultimately will be a vote for freedom, and a blow to the unrestrained growth of the left wing bureaucracy.
Maori Party History Lessons [Lucyna]
The Maori party want mandatory history lessons to immigrants on Maori culture. As long as that doesn't include the culture of blame, we all might just be able to live together.
The criticism of the welfare state by JPII in 1992 [Lucyna]
Charity is a responsibility of all people, and has to be personal. Appointing the state to take over charity has it's own dangers, and explained by John Paul II. A clear explanation that socialism and big government can be bad for the character of our nation.
Friday Night Free For All [ZenTiger]
I kick off the Friday chat session.
A Forest [ZenTiger]
Come closer and see...see into the trees...find the girl..while you can.
Some Friday music. The definitive mix for Cure fans.
On the Fritzl [ZenTiger]
The Austrian Abomination, Mr Fritzl confesses to raping others and explaining away his lack of compassion to his children. "Hey, I could have been worse" he says. What, he was hoping for bonus marks?
Suicide in New Zealand [ZenTiger]
Suicide rates are the leading form of violent death in New Zealand. How about we all take an effort to reach out to people we care about? There are a lot of lonely and unhappy people that don't realise just how many people will come to their funeral.
Related Link: Click the Weekly Summary Tag to review previous weeks.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The tragedy of suicide being the leading cause of violent death is indicative of wider issues - that people are feeling more alone, unloved and isolated than ever before. The family as the basic unit is typically smaller and smaller, too often down to one parent, few siblings and relations living further apart.
Make an effort this week and every week to reach out to the people you care about, and tell them. Does some-one you know need some attention? If you can't get to them, then try praying for them. What do you have to lose?
More people took their own lives than died in road crashes in the past year, new coroners' figures show. In the year to the end of June, 511 suicides were reported to coroners - 1.4 self-inflicted deaths a day.
KIWI WAY OF DEATH
The number of violent and unnatural deaths referred to coroners in the year to June 30:
Vehicle accident 424
Head injury 66
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome 50
Related Link: Suicide Tops the Figures
Related Link: NZ suicide Trends
Friday, October 24, 2008
"I was born to rape," he is reported to have told the psychiatrist. "Bearing that in mind I controlled myself for quite a long time." He added: "I could have behaved a lot worse.."
Fritzl locked up his daughter, Elisabeth (42), for 24 years in a purpose-built cellar and fathered seven children by her, of whom one died shortly after being born and three lived with him and his wife in his house upstairs.
He said he had deliberately never looked his daughter in the face while he was raping her. Fritzl admitted that he often punished his "dungeon family" for rebellious behaviour by turning off the light or letting them go hungry for several days. He also taunted the children with photographs of other children playing outside in the sun to "show them there was another world".
Kastner said his sexual behaviour and his need to dominate women was his way of "compensating for the defencelessness and humiliation he felt as a child".
Shortly after puberty Fritzl began sexually attacking girls, and at the age of 32 he broke into the flat of a nurse and raped her at knifepoint.
He was said to have a thin grasp of the gravity of his crime, after expressing a belief that he would spend his final days with his wife and pleading for a short prison sentence so that he could continue running his property business to enable him to provide for his family.
Related Link: Born to rape?
Come closer and see..
Come closer and see
See into the trees
Find the girl
While you can
Come closer and see
See into the dark
Just follow your eyes
Just follow your eyes
I hear her voice
Calling my name
The sound is deep
In the dark
I hear her voice
And start to run
Into the trees
Into the trees
Into the trees
Suddenly I stop
But I know it's too late
I'm lost in a forest
The girl was never there
It's always the same
I'm running towards nothing
Again and again and again
I have just deleted about four paragraphs of very aggressive prose. It was over the silliness of this gay person asking John Key who he would betray his wife for..just the kind of sensible question I expect from a gay lobbyist I suppose. Normally, I would just shrug and say nothing, because making something of it is more than the incident deserved. Unfortunately, a quick flick through the paper reminded me of the Nia case, and the world seemed so much darker, thus my testy reaction.
There are just no words to describe the cruelty and inhuman actions that seems to be the case here with little Nia. Damn. Even after deleting those other paragraphs, this has still remained heavy. Maybe this is a Friday Night Unload this week? Feel free.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of State, the so-called "Welfare State". This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands, by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoked very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the "Social Assistance State". Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.
By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending. In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbours to those in need. It should be added that certain kinds of demands often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need. One thinks of the condition of refugees, immigrants, the elderly, the sick, and all those in circumstances which call for assistance, such as drug abusers: all these people can be helped effectively only by those who offer them genuine fraternal support, in addition to the necessary care.
Related Link: Centesimus annus ~ Vatican
Co-leader Tariana Turia said yesterday it was important all New Zealand citizens shared an understanding of both New Zealand and Pacific culture before taking up residency in the country. She made the comments while unveiling her party's Treaty policy in Christchurch.A great deal of NZ culture is based on Western culture in general, a culture that is rooted in Catholicism, Greek thought and Roman law. Yet, I somehow doubt that Mrs Turia is thinking to that migrants need to understand this cultural link when referring to NZ and Pacific culture.
But even if the history course was everything I particularly wanted it to be, I would strongly resist the idea of the Government being in charge of teaching it to migrants. The Government always has a vested interest in keeping itself in power, therefore anything it is in charge of teaching will reflect this aim.
I'm sure that is Mrs Turia's aim as well, to entrench Maori in a position of power in NZ from which they cannot be dislodged. The bottom line for a post election deal with National to not abolish the Maori seats spells that out very, very clearly.
Related Link: Teach migrants history - Turia ~ Dominion Post
I kind of agree. People will vote for Key because he isn't Clark and National isn't Labour and Labour (with the Greens in the background) have proved that they will control our lives for us whether we like it or not. They will take far more money from us in tax than is just and give some back to those that are "deserving".
People don't like all that, so will vote for against Labour - but, while it may appear to be a vote for freedom, it will really be a vote for hope. Hope that the new lot will reverse the injustices of the previous regime, hope that their vote will be a vote for freedom and not more of the same.
Related Link: Garth George: A vote for Key is a vote for freedom ~ NZ Herald
Hattip: Being Frank
The smaller parties may not like it - maybe there will be some clashes of ideology but isn't that the way it was supposed to work under MMP? That's what public voted for with MMP -- the ability to vote for a party that they liked (not necessarily one of the big parties) and that party would get in and help keep the big parties honest; not do deals with them.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
MELBOURNE, Australia, October 21, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A prominent Melbourne doctor has written that, contrary to popular belief, most organ donations take place before the donor is actually dead. He argues that the vague criterion of "brain death" has blinded potential donors to the fact that their organs are often harvested while they are still alive.Do people really want to know this? Somehow, I think not.
Related Link: Melbourne Doctor: Most Donors Still Alive when Organs are Removed ~ LifeSite News
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
We've seen Helen trying to make a mountain out of the molehill that John Key didn't have a heart felt political opinion on the Springbok tour back in 1981. "Can we trust him?" she thunders. Of course, she was a rabid political nutjob back then, and by implication she urges us to believe she hasn't changed.
And now the TV advertising starts, where Labour (who aren't going to campaign dirty) have initiated a series of dirty advertisements where they manage to get John Key saying something about something from one year, and then get him saying something slightly different about it another year. And hopefully, make it seem like the big H. word comes into play. Helped of course because the words are taken out of context.
And naturally, when accused of running a dirty campaign, Helen takes refuge in the famous lefty tactic I have explained previously. "Oh no, it's just a bit of a joke."
If she didn't say that in such deadly earnest, I'd almost believe her.
There's probably a word for this sort of behaviour.
Related Link: Helen Clark joking when calling John Key Untrustworthy
To digress for a moment, another way of looking at hypocrisy is that people are firstly stating a moral position as a goal. Perhaps some are more earnest about those things they most worry about failing? And if they do fail to live up to them, then yes, the H. word could be used.
However, the crime is often more serious than the hypocrisy involved in committing the crime. I don't see a big advantage in having so few morals that you never get called the H. word. You'll still be an immoral git.
And of course, with a campaign about trust, how many people think Helen Clark is telling the truth when she claims that the attack advertisements Labour are spending tens of thousands of dollars of some-one's money on is just meant to be a bit of light hearted humour? Hmm, and this post at Kiwiblog seems to raise similar issues - Does Helen Clark have a relentless campaign to smear John Key planned?
For completeness: Helen Keys John I
Where does the insanity around Obama end?
Hattip: American Papist
Monday, October 20, 2008
Family breakdown and decreasing marriage rates is costing New Zealand taxpayers at least $1 billion a year, according to new research.The article seems to focus on mainly the financial effects of divorce/family breakdown on the country, which unfortunately is the only way to get people's attention as to the detrimental effects of the divorce culture that is so prevalent in the West.
Prepared by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), the research was commissioned by Family First NZ.
"The study shows that the decline of marriage, New Zealand's high teenage fertility rate, and our rate of solo parenthood is not just a moral or social concern but should also be a concern of government and policymakers,'' said Family First NZ national director Bob McCoskrie.
"The report states that even a small reduction in family breakdown and increases in marriage rates could provide significant savings for taxpayers.''
All of this is incredibly timely as I've just finished reading a book on divorce, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study, prompted by a recent separation announcement by one of my cousins last month. Reading the book was really hard, as it broke my heart for both my cousin and her children who are the same ages as my own children. If the future for the children was positive, it wouldn't be so bad, but it seems that divorce for children is devastating from the day they find out about the destruction of their family and it doesn't improve - it gets worse over time.
If parents really knew what the long term effects are on children I doubt they would separate. But there are a number of myths that we as a society believe about divorce that have become entrenched since no-fault divorces became the standard. The major myth being that if the parents are happy, the children will be too. This is a lie, a horrible, disgusting lie that allows parents to split up without too much guilt. But the fact is that children suffer terribly when their parents separate, and they hide much of this suffering from their parents because of a fear of abandonment. Once the marriage is split open, the children are no longer protected by the family unit, and many children become protectors of their parent's emotional states instead.
A couple of days ago I found out another cousin is about to take the step of separation from her husband, and it made me reflect on what the book said about children of divorce and their inability to make their marriages work. Both my cousins that are separating grew up in divorced families. They both have no idea how a man and a woman who are having difficulties reconcile their problems. All they know is that if the going gets tough, you leave. And that's what they'll be teaching their children.
Related Link: Loose morals costs NZ $1b a year ~ Stuff
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Your Librarian is out to get you [Greg]
This post was long overdue, and it is a *fine* post indeed. It was about time some fearless blogger spoke up about the failings of various library services. Luckily, we can avoid fines by employing an Elf to do all the hard work for us.
Greens Overpopulating the earth [ZenTiger]
The Greens decided it was time to release a population policy. There are too many people on their planet. Apparently, no-one has a right to create life. This explains their stance on GE too I guess. Based on current polling, do you think trimming 7% of the population would make them happy?
Buried Bodies [ZenTiger]
Just a wee father and son and dead bodies joke.
Friday Night Free For All [ZenTiger]
It's the regular chat about anything thread. I had a big week, and whilst I muse about delegation skills, Helen's on the radio dissin' John Key. Is that any way for an ex-Prime Minister to speak about the Prime Minister? Well, I may be getting ahead of myself, but Ms Clark was not acting Ministerial. And yes, the weekly pun is included in the thread.
Loose Labour Litter [Fletcher]
Fletch finds some Labour Advertising material stuck on his car windscreen. It's classic Labour where they say "Labour Good, National Bad, You no think".
Emily's List and Palin Hatred [Greg]
Greg manages to get a post in when I pause to take a breath. He spotted a great article by Miranda Devine (regular writer for SMH and syndicated in magazines like Investigate) which looks at the liberal left's hatred for Sarah Palin. In this case, the pro-life stance makes political agitators from Emily's List go full term, because pro-choice is the only choice for some.
The Kiwiblog Files [ZenTiger]
This is a community notice. Go read scrubone's list of Labour's misdemeanors over the 2003-2004 period, as recorded by Kiwiblog.
Shades of Cindy Kiro [ZenTiger]
Still on the leaders debate, and very concerned that Labour have pulled a fast one yet again, Helen Clark ignoring pesky things like facts, and prepared to write history for those that didn't see the real life version when it played in front of their eyes earlier this year. And on top of all of that, a passing comment about checking children that I need to research further. Chilling?
Free Range Markets [ZenTiger]
This post says a couple of things. I'll pick one: the free market doesn't always work, if ones criteria includes ethical behaviour. Actually, I'll pick a second: But aren't we just a little bit crazy if we think a government can legislate morality? Why don't you pick the third?
Debate Goes To Key [ZenTiger]
One minute after the debate finished, I weighed up the evidence and delivered my verdict: I reckon Key will have pulled most of the fence sitters over to the green grass of the Blue Camp.
National's RS&T Policy A Good One [Mr Tips]
Mr Tips has had a closer look at National's Research Science and Tech Policy and found it good. Contrasting this with Mallards quackery we can see that a change of government could be a good thing for Research Scientists in New Zealand.
Something Ugly on the Political Scene [ZenTiger]
Michele Malkin comprehensively puts to bed the idea that the wingnuts exist solely on the right. Here's a fine collection of hate filled left wing moonbats who need to spend winter in the northern reaches of Alaska wearing brown fur coats and Moose Antlers.
R18 Films with G Actors [ZenTiger]
You'd think making blue movies with underage actors would earn jail time. It hasn't, and the defence used seems a symptom to me of the decreasing standards of responsibility people are held to. On the other hand, why have a few self defence cases gone in the other direction? The quality of mercy seems very strained.
Election Billboards [ZenTiger]
Here's a couple of billboards I whipped up to help National position itself better over attacking the Nanny State. And my comments on the Green's suggestion to elect a planet and a child (is that legal?) with their innovative billboard campaign.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Have you ever suspected the local metropolitan library doesn't have your best interests at heart when they send overdue notice emails only after the item has accrued 7 days of fines?
Naturally, a warning email 3 days in advance so you can return the item would be impossible!
Okay, this is obviously a petty peeve but I find it galling as an out-of-town user that otherwise tech-savvy institutions ingenuously play dumb in this area.
To fight back against the buttoned down tyranny of passive-aggressive revenue gathering I direct you to the website LibraryElf.
Register and load your cards onto the site and it will give you due-date warnings, hold notifications and other simple features that apparently are beyond our local libraries.
This is particularly useful if you subscribe to several libraries, for example city and university, and have children in the household.
Check out LibraryElf.
The very fact the Greens have a population policy is repugnant in itself. I'll get around to blogging about this in due course. For the moment, a comment from a Frog Blog thread shows where this is heading:
Just a thought. Do we as humans have a “right to breed”? Who gives us this right?Just a thought. Who do they think have the right to take it away? Another anti-life, anti-family ideology based on an empty moral framework that leads right back to Marxists and the ravings of Sanger, Hitler and others.
By the way, it looks like Mugabe is trying to grow a Mo. Having thrown this photo in with this Population Control post, I may as well go completely Godwin and end on the question: Hitler, Now Available in Green?
Related Link: Too many Frogs According to the Frogs
Related Link: MandM More Reasons Not To Vote Green
An old man lived alone in Idaho. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, Bubba, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my potato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me.
A few days later, he received a letter from his son.
For heaven's sake, Dad, don't dig up that garden. That's where I buried the BODIES.
At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local Police showed up and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.
That same day, the old man received another letter from his son.
Go ahead and plant the potatoes now. It's the best I could do under the circumstances.
Friday, October 17, 2008
So, how was your week? Do you relegate and delegate? Been snowed under or managing on cruise control?
Looks like Helen is busy. A lot of big talk and even more finger pointing. I said to a colleague that that kind of slagging off on the future Prime Minister, Mr Key was down right disrespectful, and no way for an ex-Prime Minister to talk. To my surprise he agreed. "I'm voting National he declared". And that was a big thing.
Oh Helen, you should listen to John. He said "One day instant karma's gonna getcha"
Comments Are Open! Say summthin.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
In attempting to understand the hatred pitched at Palin from many Australians, Devine notes that 75% of Labour party women in Australian parliaments are members of Emily's List. The US website of the group states, "EMILY's List members are dedicated to building a progressive America by electing pro-choice Democratic women to office" and goes on to say, "When women are involved in the political process, our democracy is truly representative. "
But only the right kind of woman, only if they are pro-choice and Democrats, or in the case of Australian members pro-choice and Labor. The common cause is pro-choice. Sarah Palin is neither Democrat nor pro-choice so even though she is a woman elected to office she is a non-person in the eyes of Emily's List members, 75% of the Australian female Labour representatives and many opinion leaders.
Miranda Devine continues...
There is an echo of bitchy high-school jealousy of the popular queen bee from the snarling, self-mutilating nerd and goths who vainly lusted after the cute boys she snared.
The consolation for the losers is that homecoming queens are meant to get married, get pregnant, get fat and lose their looks so the self-made strugglers such as Bernhard and Madonna can patronise them at school reunions. Palin, by having it all, has cheated. Not only was she Miss Wasilla 1984, but she married her childhood sweetheart, Todd Palin, kept her figure, had five attractive, seemingly well-adjusted children and was successful in her career.
If she made any sacrifices or compromises they were not apparent. And she had won the marriage jackpot: a hunky house-husband who is able to take a back seat without losing his cojones. She juggled home and family, even breast-feeding in the office, without any angst, middle-class welfare, or even bags under her eyes. How did that work?
Instead of lauding the aspirational quality of Palin's achievements, establishment feminists despised her for showing up their inadequacies.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
How logical is it to say we need tried and tested Labour to manage the current world-wide financial crisis, when the books were done prior to the meltdown to reveal 10 years of deficits and doubling of unemployment? That’s bad financial management. In a period of world-wide good times, we slipped on the OECD rankings.
Also, Clarke's stab at Key being too new for the job compared to Helen, and her cabinet of long time career politicians…and then to complain that Key’s cabinet would be filled with ... long time career politicians. Ooh err.
Mostly though, did anyone notice that Helen Clark wants to introduce “testing” and evaluation of children prior to starting school to see if they are emotionally adjusted or not? And she had the gall to complain about John Key wanting to test for literacy.
I can see a new level of Cindy Kiro’s master plan of profiling every child according to the anti-family leftist “are they on Ritalin yet” management of “problem” children.
Has anyone been tracking this policy, or is this a new entrant to the election? Let's find out how much money will be spent, what the test questions are, who the people are that will be doing these psych profiles on our children and who looks after the information? Shades of Cindy Kiro and her master plan to manage every child.
Ironically, Clark got annoyed at the "nanny state" accusation over the latest government plan to regulate shower flow rates, and doesn't understand that even to have such issues raised by a growing bureaucracy is the problem, not the rights and wrongs over a small matter. But the above new policy on child profiling is totally nanny state, and it continues the slide into madness.
Related Link [Satire]: Leave No Commissioner Behind
Related Link: Scrubone comments too: Key Winner
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
In discussions of morality, ethics and how we treat our fellow man, it all comes down to how we live our lives and how much we care about how others live theirs. I guess we could include chickens in that too. I'm not arguing the life of the chicken is as valuable as a human, and I'm not arguing that we should not eat chicken. I'm suggesting the well formed person cares about cruelty.
The gift to man is free will. We have choices to make, and we make good choices and bad choices. Our duty is to learn how to rise above our base and imperfect nature and truly be human.
Doesn't that sound quietly stirring? Well, as Hugh discovered, if your chook is a couple of pounds too much money, then ethics, morality and issues of animal cruelty can take a flying jump.
I've picked chickens, but there are any numbers of important issues that could strike a chord in different readers.
So how do we solve this problem? Some grant the power to the State to legislate our morality and we argue for standards and regulation. Some leave it to nature and morality is whatever the market pays, rights going to an owner, and property defined as whatever they can buy, and whatever they then sell. Some look to God, and in between us and God, is the Word and the example of the Son of Man.
What constraints do each of these place on our behaviour? What do we give up when we cease to be responsible for our own actions? What is our measure on morality?
The advantages of a blog. Random thoughts, that over a series of posts, might eventually say something. Stay tuned.
Related Link: Michelle Malkin and Obamamedia Offensive
Monday, October 13, 2008
"your breasts feel like a 10-year-old's" and "I feel like a child molester".
If she thought they were 17, the movie script was still trying to portray the idea that they were much much younger. Is that a responsible film to make?
Said the judge of the 'I thought they were 17 excuse': "I'm of the view that it does not, as a matter of law, provide a defence"
Problem is, others have tried, and another court ruled it was a valid defence. In a case in NSW, an adult offender sexually assaulted a sleeping girl and claimed he thought she was 16, not 15 (lesser crime perhaps?) However, whilst the judge agreed it was a valid defence strategy, he didn't find the assailant's belief credible. Small mercy.
The crime of making child pornography and inciting children to sexual acts carries a penalty of up to 10 years in Australia. Her penalty was ZERO jail time, a good behaviour bond for 24 months, and her name on to a sex offenders register.
I think she has been fortunate to be let off so lightly. She thought this sentence excessive and appealed. One request I thought particularly ironic was that she wanted name suppression so that her 17 year old step brother would not find out. Apparently, 17 is too young to know of such things, but at the same time, 17 is old enough to participate in them. Go figure.
She's made a second appeal. She's declared a desire to be a child counselor. This is the reason she wants (needs) her name dropped from a sex offenders register. You cannot be a child counselor if you are on the sex offenders register. In any case, her judgment in working with problem children is questionable.
It's not really the specifics of this story that caught my eye.
Firstly, I thought the story headline was overly sensationalist: Lesbian Porn Star.. blazed the news feed. Hardly. A women who makes low budget porn flicks. She's pregnant or just had a baby, so is probably not a lesbian.
Secondly, there is constant pressure on the law to crumble under diminishing responsibility of the criminals. Here, a casual disregard for demanding proof of age and a push for a defence based on "I assumed". The result was a 10 year sentence reduced to a good behaviour bond. Maybe the other two fared worse?
With self-defence laws (to change the topic slightly), the criminal can have the intent of murder, but if they get hurt first, the victim has to expect a hard fight to prove he was in danger, and the response was not excessive. Diminishing responsibility of the criminal, even though they were the instigator.
Expect such cases to continue to push the boundaries, and as the penalties diminish expect the boundaries to slide.
Related Link: Lesbian Porn Star Wants To Clear Name
Related Link: Guilty of Lesbian Underage Romp
Related Link: Sister shocks half brother in teen sex romp
Sunday, October 12, 2008
And my comments on a couple from the Greens:
In an electoral first, the Greens have nominated planet earth as a Green Party Candidate, 3rd on the list and running in Parnell. The Greens argue that the planet earth brings unique attributes to the role of MP, and are very pleased to have such a high profile candidate.
Planet Earth is known to many from such films as "An inconvenient truth" where she played the victim in an abusive relationship. Others remember a more vengeful Earth in the classics "Earthquake", "Volcano" and "Dante's Peak", and many will not forget the stirring biography "Planet Earth".
Party Leaders Russel Norman and Jeanette Fitzsimons registered Earth (first name Gaia) within hours of the deadline, surprising most analysts. Presuming identification checks on place of birth, age over 21 and something with the most recent power bill or telephone bill can be produced, Gaia will begin campaigning in Parnell as early as next week.
Unfortunately, there wasn't just one displacement from the party list with the recent addition of Planet Earth. Russel also announced that number four on the list was a pre-teen candidate prepared to do what ever it takes to become the world's youngest MP. Providing she is home in bed by 8:30pm.
The question is, will Green voters party vote a child into a responsible position? Jeanette points to recent legislation setting the youth rate to be the same as the adult wage. "It's about doing the job, not discriminating on age, sex and maturity. After all, her maturity level is comparable to other MPs." explained Jeanette.
Whilst the Greens refuse to actually advance the name of the young candidate, citing privacy laws and lack of parental consent, they agreed to let her speak to journalists:
"Here's my favourite drawing from art class where I've drawn trees and grass and rivers and stuff, and I look forward to being Green Party Spokesperson for the Environment. I can also recite 10 facts from Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, I believe in early sex education (although I already know boys have pee-pees) and I dobbed my parents in for not recycling properly when the Council introduced curb side pickup, as any Green party voter would."
Jeanette dismissed claims that the young child was being exploited. It is simply not true we were prepared to push her off the plank if we didn't get enough votes. That was her younger brother, the Labour Candidate for Epsom.
Related Link: National Billboard Designer Tool
Updated: 11:30PM. Added Planet Earth discography.
4 November: Over at Oswald's place - More Green Party Billboards
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Electioneering and Other Matters [ZenTiger]
Black Adder foreshadows the elections. Are we talking Democrats or Labour? You decide.
Friday Night Free for All [ZenTiger]
A few thoughts on National's tax package and Labour's failure to comment on the impact the financial crisis has on their own tax package. And then delve into the comments with a glass of wine and some chicken drumsticks. Recipe provided.
Labour Double Dipping [ZenTiger]
When other parties are restricted to as little as $64 per day for electioneering, why does Labour get a few million extra? It's all paid by Parliamentary Service, who got the money from us. It's double-dipping as only socialists know how.
DR Congo rebels capture strategic bases [ZenTiger]
Violence in the barely Democratic Republic of Congo escalates as rebels take plenty of guns and ammunition from an army base camp. Not looking good.
Princess Palin [ZenTiger]
Sarah Palin is possibly related to Lady Spencer and FDR (aren't we all?). Some lefty wingnut then rabbits on about his Teddy. No, don't expect it to make sense, but don't worry, the Democrat Dead Ducks will find something else to muck rake on.
NZ University rankings are down and out of top 50 [Greg]
Our new blog author points out that NZ Universities are slipping in the world rankings. Not only interest free loans, but perhaps money back guarantees are in order? Find out more reasons to head over the ditch.
Cold Shower Rains on Nanny State [ZenTiger]
The dangers of unchecked bureaucracy. Now, even a decent shower is under threat. So, will inspectors demand to see your shower at any day or any time? Why do only the Greens think this a good idea?
Wrecking Our Chance [ZenTiger]
Prime Minister Helen Clark sounding more like the leader of the opposition with petty and viperous commentary. Break down the soundbites and we can see it backfires for more reasons than one. She's counting on swing voters loving this sort of stuff. Maybe they do?
Death and Taxes [ZenTiger]
Only two things are certain in life. And its not early parole and rebates. Still, the left seem to think two wrongs make a right. The policies aren't great, but have you seen Labour's??
Qantas Drop Zone [ZenTiger]
Another sudden drop in altitude and several people caught without seat belts are seriously injured. Probably just an air pocket, but some want to blame laptop computers. And will Qantas rise above a series of safety breaches?
Women's Work [ZenTiger]
When all is said and done, the McCain camp seems to hire more women and pay them better than the Obama camp. Not really worth discussing, except Obama was the one accusing McCain of being a misogynist slaver.
The Catholic position on abortion vs war or capital punishment [Lucyna]
Why abortion is more evil than other ways of killing people. One of the common reasons for saying "No" to capital punishment is that the state *might* kill an innocent person. Just a might, instead of a definite. No wonder pro-abortion people don't want to admit a pre-born human is anything like an individual live human.
My two year anniversary of my return to the Catholic Faith [Lucyna]
How the sacrifice of one person demonstrates a love for others that gives us an insight into the Christian message. Contrast this with the destruction in the Iliad and looking at the history of mankind the last 2000 years, we see it is important to recognise the positive influence Christianity has had on our development. To get a deeper perspective, follow the links of Saint Maximilian Kolbe all the way to the Virgin Mary.
Are People Really That Stupid [ZenTiger]
Don't answer that, but you might want to see examples of people who, even when presented with some really good clues, they remain clueless.
Barrack Test [ZenTiger]
I failed the Barrack test. I didn't even spell his name right. You can take the test, or you can just fall to your knees and worship him like all of those that have passed.
Cullen's Fiscal Prudence [ZenTiger]
The Reserve Bank opened the books today. This is the day we thank Ruth Richardson (National) for getting this law through. And yes, there was so much red ink it should have been a blood bath for Labour. Instead, the media go "la la la". Time to run the story on the annual paint drying competitions. They have a 15 minute segment on Campbell watching it dry. La La La.
UN envoy requests troop surge [ZenTiger]
The jungle drums say more troops in the Congo before an army camp is attacked by rebels and people die and stuff. Nothing to do with America, so forget I mentioned it. Sorry. I knew I should have run with the Gitmo story.
For The Record [ZenTiger]
A dairy owner is arrested for being too violent after 4 youths attack him and his wife and others. He's stabbed, she's in hospital but the police say there is a bigger story. We are keen to hear more.
Life with National [ZenTiger]
National release their law and order policy. Two strikes and you are out versus the left's offer - twenty strikes and we'll really get serious.
Care for a Swim [ZenTiger]
A post with Croatian Dwarfs, transsexuals, passport burning refugees, muslim women and me and my towel. What more could a post want or need?
The Greens War on Climate change [ZenTiger]
I predict Russel Norman's State of the Planet Speech. It's pretty accurate actually. If you don't believe me, keep an eye on the Greens.
Al Qaeda over Yonder [ZenTiger]
Michael Yon is on the ground in Iraq, and we hear the terrorists are actually losing. Remember, there are a lot of Iraqis in Iraq, and many of them are nice people absolutely sick of terrorists.
Archbishop describes parish as "out of communion" [Greg ]
A Catholic Church in Brisbane doesn't quite understand the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. Disappointingly, they confuse approval with love. It is possible to love someone without approving of their behaviour.
Climate change linked to increased dependency on Russia for gas [Lucyna]
The EU just loves the idea of huge taxes, less energy and greater dependency on Russia. This is why we call them the intelligentsia.
TUMEKE Stats for September 2008 [ZenTiger]
Boring blogging stuff, our stats are fairly stable - around 200 visitors a day. The only slightly interesting thing here is that our data helped adjust the Tumeke estimated unique visits for sites not using stat counters. Many will find their stats have been over-inflated and there may be a bit of a shuffle when the latest results are published.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Dr Michael Cullen today criticised John Key for announcing a reduction in KiwiSaver contribution amounts before the election. "What an idiot - Labour promise not to announce any policy reversals until after they are elected. That's the kind of mature and experienced management you can expect from this government."
Meanwhile, the Greens expressed alarm that new water regulations would ban a decent shower. "Our tax policy is based on taxing the bads. Plans to put water meters on every home to rake in millions of dollars from residential water usage may come to little if people start saving water. Although the thought of so many people being denied a decent shower by exercising the power of the state really gets me excited" said Jeanette Fitzsimons, remaining divided on the benefits of the scheme.
The Jim Anderton Party launched a tax policy to fund dental treatment. Finally, a
party leader that understands the pressing needs of New Zealanders.
And now a full week after the world wide financial crisis hit the front page, Labour have responded with a revised tax policy. They just haven't explained it to the voters. For details, please read the second paragraph. And then consider these two words: Retrospective Legislation.
So, apart from the world wide financial crisis, the Reserve Bank laughing (on behalf of mortgaged Kiwis) in the face of adversity and refusing to drop the interest rates, the Labour Party having to face the fairly quiet music (not more than a hum really) over the deplorable state of the country's accounts, and National getting stick for winding back some of the cuts because of the deplorable state of accounts, and the left are all hand wringing over the fact that violent criminals might stay in jail too long if they have the bad luck to kill or maim multiple times, what else is new?
Labour's double-dipping democracy stinks
Family Party leader Richard Lewis says tax-funded campaign booklets being distributed by Labour MP's to voters makes a farce of New Zealand's election system.
Labour is exploiting a loophole by sending out taxpayer-funded material adorned with its MPs' smiling faces that doesn't have to be declared as election spending. Its information touches on policy successes of the Labour-led Government, such as the SuperGold Card. As the booklet is not deemed an advert by the Chief Electoral Office, the costs do not count against the $20,000 limit set down by the Electoral Finance Act for each candidate.
"Based on a November 8 Election, the Electoral Finance Act has forced Family Party candidates to work within a measly budget of $64 per day. Labour candidates on the other hand, are putting out flash 50-page brochures without a single cent costing against their electorate campaigns. What makes it even harder to swallow is that we, the tax payer, are being forced to pay for it," says Mr Lewis.
The booklet has been made available to all Labour MPs but the Parliamentary Service would not disclose to the NZ Herald how many had been printed or at what cost.
"I'd like to think we're involved in a fair democratic system. But under these rules we're not. The EFA serves only the interests of the Labour Party, which is clearly desperate to hold on to power at any cost. Their double-dipping democracy stinks," he added.
And even soon to be ex-Labour MPs double-dip. Here's a story on Benson-Pope playing the system: Soliciting Votes 101 (via Homepaddock)
Related Link: Family Party Annoyed at Labour's Double-Dipping
Forces loyal to rebel leader Laurent Nkunda have taken a major army base in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, UN peacekeepers have confirmed. The UN peacekeeping force Monuc said rebels seized weapons and supplies after overrunning the strategically important camp of Rumangabo overnight.
Related Link: Plus ça change...
Note: Photo is a Congo village, not Rumangabo Camp
A leftist blog is already explaining all the reasons Sarah is not like Teddy Roosevelt. Well, that's all interesting, but Teddy was a different American president. Is this why they are called wingnuts? Sarah Palin no Teddy
Princess "FDR" Palin
All this, straight from a Chicago newspaper. It's gotta be a Democrat plot!
So, in the week many people at Ag Research discover they will lose their jobs, R&D tax credits seem unlikely, when we discover that "prefu" is an acronym meaning "hospital pass to the next government", the Dow falls another 7% (on Thursday alone) and the BlackCaps lose to Bangladesh would it be too much to ask for an uptick at the end of the week?
Perhaps all that aggressive spending and expansion of government services over the last nine year will be recognised by our Universities steadily rising in the global standing?
That'd be nice wouldn't it?
Our top university, Auckland, is ranked 65 by the Times, down from 50th in 2007.
Next is Otago at 124, down from 114, and Canterbury has remained steady rising from 188th to 186th place. The citation and student components of the total score really drag NZ down, for example ANU's citation score is 74 to Auckland's 42.
The highest Australian University is ANU, which held its 2007 rank of 16th in the world. Sydney and Melbourne are at 37th and 38th, respectively, and Queensland, NSW, and Monash also make the top 50. Six in the top 50.
With numbers like that it's a good thing many of us are functionally innumerate.
"Knowledge is a new force driving the world's most successful societies, replacing the old stores of wealth - land, industrial machines, capital - as the new currency of social and economic success."Ah, yes a hoary grave-dug quote from the great Knowledge Wave project hoax. Surely you remember that from Labour's first term!
Gosh, I was an undergrad true believer at the time and thought Genesis biotech and Botryzen were the beesknees. I even read Unlimited magazine without rolling my eyes.
In my experience though, it all resulted in waving the people I knew goodbye and everyone else becoming a bureaucrat or service provider to bureaucrats, i.e. professions such as baristas and call-centre staffers. Perhaps somebody from ANU should fix us.
Related Link: The Times (T.H.E) Top Universities
Thursday, October 9, 2008
And it's a busy job. You need to hire policy analysts, create a new department, look at the law changes, keep the public busy making submissions on the matter, work out where to dump the submissions, run an advertising campaign, look at enforcing the new law, get industry to comply via lots of new regulations, run some damage control, get a university to study the benefits, get a different study if the results aren't so good. Go overseas and see how they did it in Sweden/Cuba/Austria, grow the department further, attend the world consortium of policy analysts for micromanaging new idea X, pay for some celebrity to say how many seals/forests/snails, and then start the process all over again.
And the bureaucracy grows bigger.
Even if the shower story turns out to not be as wet as first thought, that's really not the point. The point is, why do we even need to fight for our shower?
The latest news: National promise to let voters enjoy a full shower if they are elected. They may just win the election on that policy platform.
They over-promised, they've under-delivered -- and funded it by wrecking peoples' savings accounts and wrecking our chances of building a smart economy."Let me translate Clark for you:
We said we were managing the economy so well, for so long, we actually fooled them.
It appears they had a look at the books after all, and had to pare things back. That's not our fault is it?
-- and funded it by wrecking peoples' savings accounts
We force people to save for their own good. They are only half forcing them to save, and the rest is optional. Bastards.
and wrecking our chances of building a smart economy."
After 9 years in power watching it all go down the toilet, we now announce chance it ever was with Labour. Oops, I mean they are wrecking 9 years of careful, err, preparation for this very moment. I told Cullen we should have put a billion into PowerBall instead of rail.
Hat Tip: Grant at No Minister - A couple of interesting quotes
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
However, what ever my thoughts are on the weaknesses of the tax package, it's still an improvement on Labour's. What's more, Labour's criticisms are mostly hollow, given this is mainly a slight tweaking of their base policy around the edges. Perhaps even more fiscally prudent given the current need to give tax payers some room to breath in this climate.
Even more than this, I am much less impressed with the reaction of the main stream media, who have so far, largely repeated Labour's talking points not realizing how vapid they are, provided no credible analysis and some of the complaints were not even factual, especially around KiwiSaver. That's a reasonable area to focus the debate over, but if they could stick to facts, rather than all this sabre rattling it might make sense.
At the very least, they have to stop pretending they don't know Labour haven't put up 10.5 billion in tax cuts themselves; stop pretending Labour had no idea of the state of the books when they were on their own spending spree; stop pretending Labour didn't know where the unemployment figures were heading; stop pretending Labour have a moral leg to stand on; stop pretending that there is criticism because the difference in rate is close - after Key explained he pared this back due to the horrendous state of the books.
Actually, that's just reminded me that the debate over National's No Parole and give the really really bad guys life is equally riddled with errors or misunderstanding over the actual policy. We also need to discuss the actual numbers of criminals affected by the policies. Something like 10 are currently in the "life means life" category and I've heard all sorts of numbers for those that might lose parole because they are in for their second or more 5+ year offence. Facts please.
Anyway, the tax policies of both parties are now declared. Fuss over them by all means, but with the books the way they are let's get back to talking about the plans to grow the pie. That's something the current Labour policy will not do, and this is John Key's chance to shine - if he dares.
There are two things certain in life. It's not early parole and rebates.
Related Link: Nothing in particular. Try Google or listen to the news.
Such was the case with a Qantas flight on Tuesday this week, when the plane made a sudden drop in altitude (about 2000 feet) following a glitch and probably hitting some air pocket. Reports are 40 people in hospital, and 15 in serious condition.
"It was horrendous, absolutely gruesome, terrible, the worst experience of my life," passenger Jim Ford, of Perth, told reporters.This isn't the first time Qantas have had problems, with a few minor heat attack events in the last year or so. Let's hope this is the last of them for a while at least. And the belt up message applies to planes as well as cars.
Related Link: Qantas Safety Record Falls
Sydney Morning Herald: War Zone in rows 10 through 30
When Alaska governor Sarah Palin was named the Republican vice-presidential nominee, Obama told voters in Toledo, Ohio, on August 31 that “she’s opposed — like John McCain is — to equal pay for equal work. That doesn’t make much sense to me.”
Obama’s commitment to federally mandated pay equity stretches from the Rockies to Wall Street and beyond. And yet it seems to have eluded his United States Senate office. Compensation figures for his legislative staff reveal that Obama pays women just 83 cents for every dollar his men make.
Obama’s criticism notwithstanding, McCain’s payment patterns are the stuff of feminist dreams..women in John McCain’s office make $1.04 for every dollar a man makes. In fact, ceteris paribus, a typical female staffer could earn 21 cents more per dollar paid to her male counterpart — while adding $10,726 to her annual income — by leaving Barack Obama’s office and going to work for John McCain.
I suppose this is the usual case of "lies, lies, and damn statistics" but note it was Obama first flinging the mud he said he wasn't flinging that inspired the Republican fans to offer a counter opinion.
Related Link: Equal Pay
See also: Palin on the equal pay for women story
Hat tip: Sean for some general knowledge which came from here: Are people really that stupid?
Not long before he was elected pope (overwhelmingly), Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent a public rebuke to the U.S. bishops. He reminded them that the question of abortion must be judged in a far different category from war and capital punishment. War is a question of practical wisdom, he observed, about which prudent Catholics may form opposing practical judgments. Same with capital punishment, which for centuries was rated by the church as just and sometimes necessary. By contrast abortion, Ratzinger wrote, is “intrinsically evil” and “always and everywhere” to be opposed.The Catholic position on the war in Iraq is something I've never seen completely clarified until now. The following paragraph is almost worth framing for the number of times I've heard Iraq war is unjust argued in Catholic circles.
Many Catholics on the left wing of the Democratic party have never accepted this rebuke. The most some of them will concede is that abortion is a “profound moral question.” Cardinal Ratzinger’s point is that that question was long ago answered: Abortion is intrinsically evil. Never to be cooperated with.
There are other Catholic leftists who are quite anti-abortion. Too often, these wiggle mightily to avoid so strong a condemnation of abortion that they must leave the Democratic party, or, at least, refuse to vote for a politician who cooperates with the evil of abortion. They want, for instance, to vote for Barack Obama, even to campaign vigorously for him.
In addition, those who call the Iraq war “unjust” are entitled to their opinion, but they have no serious Catholic authority. Neither the pope nor the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith nor the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, even when some of them opposed it as imprudent, have ever called the Iraq war unjust.President Bush, who is the most unjustly maligned man in history is also constantly held up as a failure to the pro-life position. But who knew just how viciously he was opposed in the US as he tried to implement pro-life initiatives?
The other reason for supporting Obama that some Catholic leftists put forward is that very little in reducing abortions has been accomplished by the Republican party in the years since President Reagan. Is that claim true?The whole article is worth reading just to balance out the leftist noise that most people are exposed to - especially in NZ
Well, President Bush did sign the two acts of legislation that Obama opposed in their state forms, the ban on partial-birth abortion and the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. These acts do not seriously alter the number of annual abortions. But they do establish in law the fundamental principle of the natural rights of infants in the womb. They treat these human individuals as worthy of respect and they defend their rights to live and breathe and continue growing into adults.
Two formidable obstacles have prevented Republican presidents from going farther. The first is heavy resistance from most Democrats (who until recently were driving pro-life Democrats out of party leadership) and some Republicans (country-club Republicans, mostly). The second is furious resistance from the liberal judiciary (mostly country-club liberals) at almost every higher level.
Related Link: Catholics for Obama? ~ NRO
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
and the darkness did not comprehend it.
et tenebræ eam non comprehenderunt.
The other day I sent a friend an article on Saint Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Priest who had given his life in Auschwitz in exchange for the life of another. I wanted to show how just one person can through his life and his death transform the lives of all around him. In the actual article I had been looking for, a woman recounted how his sacrifice had lit up the whole camp, like a ray of light had come down from Heaven and changed everything. Not quite exactly what she said, but close enough and it had stayed with me, that St Kolbe's sacrifice had transformational power. Even just reading about it reminded me that everything is worth it if we save just one person, which is how we are meant to look at the Sacrifice on the Cross.
Unfortunately I couldn't find the particular article I wanted, so I had to send a different one. Though it didn't have exactly what I wanted in it, it did have was a lot more information about the Saint's life. What I found incredible is the number of saints that have debilitating, painful illnesses through which they struggle, but nevertheless manage to achieve far more than healthy people. Such it was for St Kolbe, whose lungs were mostly destroyed through tuberculosis, and who suffered constant headaches and abscesses.
Few if any knew he was chronically ill. Some even ignorantly belittled him for his deliberate slowness of movement, which was necessary to avoid hemorrhaging.All that aside, the zeal with which St Kolbe applied himself to spreading the Faith via the print media in the 30's was amazing. No one thought what he was doing would amount to much, but within a short period of time he had thousands of subscribers. Soon after, he established a whole town just outside of Warsaw, made possible through the generous donation of land by a Prince This town became almost completely self-sufficient. It housed 50 religious orders and published 10 periodicals with 1.5 million subscribers, had started up a radio station to broadcast the Faith, and plans were underway before the war broke out in 1939 to start making films.
"All the fruits of human genius must be mobilized for the service and glory of God and His Immaculata," he would say.But in the end, St Kolbe and his order of monks were taken by the Nazis and imprisoned in what was to become a death camp. And there he gave his life to save one man.
Nothing human lasts forever. That can be easily demonstrated through all the civilisations that have risen and fallen again into the dust over the millennia. I was reminded of this fact after I had finished reading the Illiad to my children.
My children had listened to me read the story of the Illiad over a number of weeks. Unlike many modern stories, many heroes died. Almost pointlessly, and through the capriciousness of the gods. The most extreme example was the suicide of Ajax, who, after having been driven mad overnight by the god Dionysis, in a desire to kill his friend Odysseus after he had lost Achilles' armour to him, slaying a flock of sheep in his madness, comes to his senses and kills himself from the shame.
When we got to the end, my children listened in stunned silence as the destruction of Troy, once in progress, continued without mercy. The only point of light in the darkness was Odysseus who exacted his reward from Agammenon for Helen of Troy's life when she was found in the city by her former husband, who had started the 10 year war in order to either avenge her desertion or get her back.
The silence continued for a minute or so as they absorbed the ending. Such destruction is almost incomprehensible, yet it has occured over and over through the history of humanity.
We have the capacity within all of us to build and to destroy. It's only a question of whether or not it is unleashed.
In contrast to the story of the Iliad, the selfless sacrifice of Saint Maximilian Kolbe for the life of one man is also almost incomprehensible. Yet for one woman a city was destroyed. Seen from a divine perspective, the perspective of He who is the Light of men, the sacrifice was of infinite value and through that sacrifice and in union with the Sacrifice on the Cross, His light shone through the darkness of Auschwitz for a time.
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. It is also my two year anniversary of my return the Faith after a too-long period of being in the wilderness. I got to the position of wanting to come back, in some part, through researching the history of Western Civilisation and then realising how much the Catholic Church was tied up in that history. Last year I tried to write the story of my return, but had to give up as the story is too large. I can't just attribute it to what I was researching, yet without that research I would not have been intellectually satisfied that I was doing the right thing. Ultimately, once I had explored every corner that the world had to offer, in the end only the Truth satisfies.
In order to understand how the Blessed Virgin Mary connects up with the mission of God in the world, I'd recommend reading a summary of St Maximilian Kolbe's writings on The Immaculate Conception.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe ~ Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; Crusade of Saint Benedict Centre
Fighting for Christendom with Oranges and Lemons ~ NZ Conservative
So, with that being said, it was only a matter of time before you had to come across a blog post with such a title.
Maybe you are thinking it strange you haven't come across such a title earlier? Maybe you already have, and the only reason you are reading is because you remain confident that this is the kind of title that will still yield surprises as to the content.
And before we start, if the following post doesn't elicit a groan or two, and your face remains blank as you read on, or worse, you head of to Wikipedia [click link to go to Wikipedia] to find the answer, then just pretend my title was satirical.
For all others, yeah, I'm still really thinking, even after reading it twice, "are people really this stupid?"
UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE (BBC2)
Jeremy Paxman: What is another name for 'cherrypickers' and 'cheesemongers'?
Paxman: No. They're regiments in the British Army who will be very upset with you.
BEG, BORROW OR STEAL (BBC2)
Jamie Theakston: Where do you think Cambridge University is?
Contestant: Geography isn't my strong point.
Theakston: There's a clue in the title.
Contestant: Leicester .
Stewart White: Who had a worldwide hit with What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: I don't know.
White: I'll give you some clues: what do you call the part between your hand and your elbow?
Contestant : Arm.
White: Correct. And if you're not weak, you're...?
White: Correct - and what was Lord Mountbatten's first name?
White: Well, there we are then. So who had a worldwide hit with the song What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: Frank Sinatra?
LATE SHOW (BBC MIDLANDS )
Alex Trelinski: What is the capital of Italy ?
Contestant: France .
Trelinski: France is another country. Try again.
Contestant: Oh, um, Benidorm.
Trelinski: Wrong, sorry, let's try another question. In which country is the Parthenon?
Contestant: Sorry, I don't know.
Trelinski: Just guess a country then.
Contestant : Paris .
THE WEAKEST LINK (BBC2)
Anne Robinson: - Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Archer have all written books about their experiences in what: - Prison, or
the Conservative Party?
Contestant: The Conservative Party.
BEACON RADIO ( WOLVERHAMPTON )
DJ Mark: For £10, what is the nationality of the Pope?
Ruth from Rowley Regis: I think I know that one. Is it Jewish?
Bamber Gascoigne: What was Gandhi's first name?
GWR FM ( Bristol )
Presenter: What happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963?
Contestant : I don't know, I wasn't watching it then.
PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC RADIO MANCHESTER )
Phil: What's 11 squared?
Contestant: I don't know.
Phil: I'll give you a clue. It's two ones with a two in the middle.
Contestant: Is it five?
RICHARD AND JUDY
Q: Which American actor is married to Nicole Kidman?
A: Forrest Gump.
RICHARD AND JUDY
Leslie: On which street did Sherlock Holmes live?
Contestant: Er. . .
Leslie: He makes bread . . .
Contestant: Er . ...
Leslie: He makes cakes . . .
Contestant: Kipling Street ?
LINCS FM PHONE-IN
Presenter: Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world?
Contestant: Barcelona .
Presenter: I was really after the name of a country.
Contestant: I'm sorry, I don't know the names of any countries in Spain .
NATIONAL LOTTERY (BBC1)
Question: What is the world's largest continent?
Contestant: The Pacific
ROCK FM ( PRESTON )
Presenter: Name a film starring Bob Hoskins that is also the name of a famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Contestant: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
THE BIGGEST GAME IN TOWN (ITV)
Steve Le Fevre: What was signed, to bring World War I to an end in 1918?
Contestant: Magna Carta?
JAMES O'BRIEN SHOW (LBC)
O'Brien: How many kings of England have been called Henry?
Contestant: Er, well, I know there was a Henry the Eighth ... ER.ER ... Three?
CHRIS SEARLE SHOW (BBC RADIO BRISTOL )
Searle: In which European country is Mount Etna ?
Caller: Japan .
Searle : I did say which European country, so in case you didn't hear that, I can let you try again.
Caller: Er .... Mexico ?
PAUL WAPPAT (BBC RADIO NEWCASTLE )
Paul Wappat: How long did the Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel last?
Contestant (after long pause): Fourteen days.
DARYL DENHAM'S DRIVETIME (VIRGIN RADIO)
Daryl Denham: In which country would you spend shekels?
Contestant: Holland ?
Denham: Try the next letter of the alphabet.
Contestant: Iceland ? Ireland ?
Denham (helpfully): It's a bad line. Did you say Israel ?
PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC GMR)
Wood: What 'K' could be described as the Islamic Bible?
Contestant: Er. .. .
Wood: It's got two syllables . . . Kor . . ..
Wood: Ha ha ha ha, no. The past participle of run . . .
Wood: OK, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I . . .
Melanie Sykes: What is the name given to the condition where the sufferer can fall asleep at any time?
LUNCHTIME SHOW (BRMB)
Presenter: What religion was Guy Fawkes?
Presenter: That's close enough.
STEVE WRIGHT IN THE AFTERNOON (BBC RADIO 2)
Wright: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle-swinging character clad only in a loin cloth did he play?
Source: An email doing the rounds, origin unknown.