Saturday, November 28, 2009
How will we get there though? To this end, I believe science is part of the answer. The other part is about our personal spirituality, so I'll leave that part off for another time.
Science isn't just something that stands apart from human kind, it's more our approach to revealing the nature of the universe, to seeing it's patterns and understanding the intricacies in the inter-relationships. It's a rational method for looking into the mind of God. It's the fruit of our minds, and the fruits in turn feed our minds. So put me also on the side of science then, because my faith in science is simply my faith in Man, which is derived from a faith in God that these gifts are there for a reason.
Maybe we can save the planet! The Greenies argue that we need to save it from ourselves, by attacking ourselves. I'd suggest we learn how to save ourselves (oursouls) and we will indeed save the planet anyway. Science will play its part.
Ironically though, there are a select bunch of scientists who say they believe in science, but they don't believe in people. They believe people are the problem. They see doom for the planet and their implied solution is to abandon science and revert to some kind of dark age. No oil, limited population, reduced standards of living, and abandoning an economic system that thrives on innovation, trade, and individual rewards.
Isn't that incredibly ironic? Scientists advocating an urgent return to pre-industrial times?
Perhaps some don't really think it through and so don't realise they are arguing for this - but there are others articulating that message, so it should come as no surprise.
And yet many people remain oblivious to the underlying message of this form of "sustainability" - that it requires a complete upheaval of our economic system, and the solution will have incredible cost, a cost paid by real people.
It's that underlying message that I think the folks arguing against the AGW camp are retaliating against. We all believe in sustainability. We all understand the value in reducing pollution and ensuring our environment can sustain us and our fellow creatures. But it is not about being anti-sustainability.
I believe increasing investment in clean technology, and encouraging innovation and personal responsibility is the way to go. To find ways of moving ahead that don't necessarily rely on a world taxation system to a new governing body that adminsters that tax and decides how it is spent.
Local Council, Federal Government and now "Global Government". It's not a conspiracy, it's just the natural evolution of bureaucracy. Leave governments alone and unrestrained they will expand and self-organise new structures. Surely, any scientist of evolution understands the principles on how this operates?
For every-one else: What happens if you never clip your toenails?
We are now entering a new phase in the AGW debate. And lets call it that. It's not yet about Climate Change. It's not yet about Global Warming (and the planet may indeed be warming), the debate is still about Anthropogenic Global Warming. It's still about AGW because all of the solutions offered are based on curbing man's Carbon output. And the debate is framed even narrower - we need to curb our output by abandoning science, abandoning free trade (which underpins our ability to innovate and improve) and about abandoning an underlying faith in human kind (or from my point of view, a rejection in God).
It's also about tax. The socialists solution to every problem. Read the Copenhagen draft documents. Several new taxes listed, and nary a comment from world leaders on this. Why no outcry that taxes to a new UN body might run from 1-5% of GDP? Plus carbon taxes! I foresee a few select organisations could make trillions from the trades in a world wide carbon stock market. Maybe one of those organisations will be "New Zealand" and I don't have to worry so much about the personal repercussions. Except in a global economy, there are always personal repercussions.
So the discussion on the quality of the data, and on the motives and professionalism of the scientists, and of the accuracy on the models, and ultimately the causes of climate change are vitally important. Which is why these scandals have generated so much interest on the web, and yet strangely have been dampened down by the media*.
So just imagine how the conversation might go if it turns out the planet is indeed warming, but that humans aren't necessarily the cause of it.
I suspect the solutions offered would immediately change, if the changes are indeed to drive solutions. We might put more into research. We might put more effort into technology sharing. We might put more effort into planning around a 1m sea level rise. We might put more thought into taking advantage of increased carbon in the atmosphere (plants grow faster for starters) and we might look at planning around crop plantings in new areas that will become more fruitful as those areas warm.
So be very cautious about accepting the words of those scientists, and their supporters that are arguing to abandon science. Unlike us religious people, they actually have abandoned their belief in human kind.
Note: This is not an attack on Scientists that truly just gather the data and work the science. This is a figurative attack on the warmists that fundamentally believe man is the problem, and seek any means to destroy man. These are the people that are ultimately Green religionists, and they give Christians who have no problem synthesizing science and God a bad name. If any scientists have bought into that message and massage their data to validate their beliefs, then shame on them!
*The front page news today, taking half the space was Bill English going for a haircut. Whilst he was getting his trim, his drivers decided to minimise their carbon footprint by parking in front of the building instead of circling looking for a car park. They got tickets. Fair enough that is news, but compared to shoving the ETS through whilst ignoring the connection to the email scandal and the NIWA questions?
Friday, November 27, 2009
Some points for your readers:
First, regarding data - NIWA climate data are available to anyone who registers, through the Web. Also, we provided the homogenised NZ temperature time series for the 7 sites used in forming the NZ time series to a member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition in July 2006. This is presumably the data used in the paper collated by Richard Treadgold and released by the Climate Science Coalition earlier this week.
Second, regarding information - We have written and published papers on data homogenization. We have written and published papers on NZ temperature trends. We have responded to internet blogs (Climate Audit), and newspaper letters, and to NZ Climate Science Coalition members at various times in the past regarding data homogenization, and in particular the Wellington temperatures.
Then three years after we provided the data but one week before the Copenhagen climate meeting: Allegations are spread around the internet and through press releases that NIWA scientists are fudging data. These allegations are based on an unrefereed article which ignores all of the best-practice guidance in the literature and the common knowledge about the need to account for site changes (including Wellington), That (to put things mildly) really annoys me. So do inferences that NIWA has restricted data access. But the claims of the Treadgold paper appear to be unquestionably accepted by yourself and most of your correspondents.
Regards – David Wratt
Posted by: David Wratt | November 27, 2009 at 03:09 PM
Our own Mr Tips, being a humble man, probably not thinking this this exchange warranted a blogpost, wrote the following reply to David Wratt.
Dear David Wratt
As a fellow scientist I have to say I am shocked at your attitude and methods.
1) You can move your temp. stations, that is fine. But you cannot merely "adjust" data from different locations to suit, what is at best, an educated guess. If Kelburn moved in 1927, you can only use data from 1927 on. Anything else is fiction and inaccurate.
2) If NIWA have moved other weather stations and made similar adjustments, as you call them, then the entire adjusted NZ data serious is rightly called into question. Temperature is what it is; it should not require "adjustment" and only data from the SAME weather station site can be compared with other sites.
3) Your willingness to engage in adjusting, and then defend it through "peer review", is extremely disturbing. And you shouldn't be so sensitive: like myself, you are paid by public taxpayer money, it is THEY who own the data.
I am not a climate scientist, but this is not about climate science per se. Any scientist worth their salt will tell you that the data adjustments you are making is, a priori, invalid and unacceptable manipulation.
Let the raw data speak without a muzzle please.
To date, David Wratt has not responded. Maybe he hasn't figured out how the multiple page thing works on TBR. I know it surprises me as I normally don't notice it until I realise I can't find the most recent comment.
UPDATE 28 Nov, 8:51am: The TBR thread is active again. David Wratt responds and is demolished.
Related Link: NIWA's explanation raises major new questions, Page 2 of comments, The Briefing Room
I've had one hell of a year. It's been a mixture of sleep deprivation, head-down, full-on homeschooling and sports training for both children, illness and complete burn-out. And that just took me to the middle of the year.
Now I have curtains that block out the light and a number of vitamins that I have to keep remembering to take. The kitten waking me up at 4 - 5am every morning is still a problem, though.
Also, I haven't quite figured out what to do with the tom cat that comes around caterwauling at various hours of the night. Quite honestly, if I had a gun, I'd probably go out and shoot him. But as it is, I dream of an internally controlled water sprinkling system that takes no time at all to fire up and soak the bastard. Will probably have to get a dog to take care of that problem, though. I think all his amorous instincts will vanish if confronted by a dog every time he starts up. Though, how he hasn't figured out that our three female cats are spayed and not interested in him in that way is beyond me.
This interview is in parts, so once each one is finished, have a look at the bottom of the You-Tube screen, running your mouse over each clip shown, look for the next part. All are numbered.
Resignations from the Turnbull frontbench
Tony Abbott - former Howard minister, opposition families, housing, community services and indigenous affairs portfolio.
Nick Minchin - Liberal powerbroker and leader of the opposition in the Senate.
Sophie Mirabella - early childhood education, childcare, women and youth portfolio.
Stephen Parry - Chief Opposition Whip in the Senate.
Eric Abetz - Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
Michael Johnson - Opposition Whip in the House of Representatives.
Tony Smith - Opposition assistant treasurer.
Mathias Cormann - Opposition parliamentary secretary
Mitch Fifield - Opposition parliamentary secretary
Brett Mason - Opposition parliamentary secretary
Embattled Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull still believes ETS will pass this week ~
How the Liberals snatched back their party ~ Andrew Bolt
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The call for transparency is quite reasonable, but not required. I hacked into their computer system last night and extracted some emails that clear this whole confusing mess up, and it turns out the upward trends are all easily explained.
Some of the emails are provided below, so please turn down the heat on NIWA and just cool it for a while:
TO: Tom in Data Analysis
FROM: NIWA Head Scientist
You haven't added the standard deviation as set by international agreement for AGW. Throw in .6 degrees.
FROM: Tom in Data Analysis
TO: NIWA Head Scientist
Yeah, done. Right next to the automatic increment based on CPI.
TO: Tom in Data Analysis
FROM: NIWA Head Scientist
Don't forget we moved the temperature station in 1945 up the hill. Add .2 to account for atmospheric variation.
FROM: Tom in Data Analysis
TO: NIWA Head Scientist
Is that why they spiked from 45? Closer to the sun?
TO: Tom in Data Analysis
FROM: NIWA Head Scientist
Sh*t yeah. At least 10m up the hill and much closer to the sun, but a greater probability of being located under a shady tree, so we have to assume leaf coverage will drop the readings by .6 degrees, and adjust for that.
FROM: Tom in Data Analysis
TO: NIWA Head Scientist
But there aren't any trees on that hill.
TO: Tom in Data Analysis
FROM: NIWA Head Scientist
Of course there aren't trees on that particular hill, but we still use the probability coefficient of the derivative to calculate the mean standard deviation of the sine of the hypotenuse to estimate the log value of a tree trunk existing within 10m of any temperature gauge in the entire world, and then can extrapolate that probability out to assume that there may well be a tree trunk at some point in time that looms over the temperature gauge which shields it from the sun and masks the true value of the temperature reading and therefore, we need to increase the reading based on that scientific principle.
FROM: Tom in Data Analysis
TO: NIWA Head Scientist
Well, I guess that makes sense. So, add .6 degrees then?
TO: Tom in Data Analysis
FROM: NIWA Head Scientist
Exactly, but round it up to the nearest whole number just to be on the safe side. I just saw the figures from Mann and he's beating us by 15 degrees year on year.
FROM: Tom in Data Analysis
TO: NIWA Head Scientist
Well I have it on good authority his temperature gauge was moved inside by the fire place during winter to save going outside to check the readings. Why do they call his graph the hockey stick anyway?
TO: Tom in Data Analysis
FROM: NIWA Head Scientist
Because the data is pucked.
Well, maybe this is all a storm in a teacup, but I for one am interested to understand the justifications that NIWA have used to alter the data, especially as from what I have heard all the readings have been altered upwards. Have any been factored downwards?
I thought the deal with temperature recorders was that as urbanization increases around them, there are more heat sources, reflective surfaces, heat traps etc that actually mean temperatures could arguably be adjusted downwards. So NIWA declaring their workings and relating them to the actual station and the history of the station seems to be something worth understanding.
Time may tell, providing NIWA do.
Kudoes to Rodney Hide who brought it up in the House today. We have a politician with spine.
And, apparently Nick Smith told Larry Williams privately yesterday that the ClimateGate emails were all a conspiracy theory. LOL! What an idiot.
Meanwhile, here's more from Fox while you wait (Hattip: a commenter at Uh, oh – raw data in New Zealand tells a different story than the “official” one. ~ Watt's Up With That?)...
[UPDATE 3] 7:06pm
The Briefing Room has a very detailed post on this NIWA scandal, and Ian has recently updated his blog with the press release issued by NIWA, which was mentioned on the NewsTalk ZB interview, and what looks like a phone conversation with NIWA chief scientist David Wratt. Basically, they are not interested in releasing their data that proves that adjusting temperatures upwards when a station is moved is warranted, "just because someone issues a press release."
Mmmmm, I think it's a bit more complicated that that David, given the context of the wider scandal all the way up to the IPCC. I wonder how long that line will hold? Here's a bit of it:
"There’s been a whole lot of work behind this in terms of things like having overlaps between particular stations when they’ve moved. There’s a whole methodology, internationally accepted, where you actually work out how to correct for these sorts of site changes and so on.”
“But you’ll be providing all that shortly?”
“Well, we’re not going to run around in circles just because somebody has put out a press release. We will continue to put out what is reasonable to provide.”
“Wouldn’t it be important –“
“…for people to see the comparison studies between both sites?”
“Look, we’re talking about scientific studies here. I’ve told you we’ll put out information about Wellington. Basically it’s not up to us to justify ourselves to a whole lot of people that come out with truly unfounded allegations. We work through the scientific process, we publish stuff through the literature, that’s the way that we deal with this stuff and I can’t have my staff running around in circles over something which is not a justified allegation. The fact that the Climate Science Coalition are making allegations about my staff who have the utmost integrity really really pisses me off.
“That’s all I’ve got to say to you now – [click]”
Yes man made global warming is indeed real and we are slowly beginning to learn the names of the men who made it.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., a guest on the Washington Times morning radio show, said he knew scientists were "cooking" information years ago. The e-mails, he said, were the proof, and now something needs to be done.It's coming. Climategate is a scandal that will just keep on growing. NZ was forewarned before National and the Maori Party passed the ETS yesterday (was God looking out for us?) but, like fools, they ignored what could be the biggest scandal to hit the international community a long time.
A Washington Times editorial said the content of the e-mails "could end the academic careers of many prominent professors. Academics who have purposely hidden data, destroyed information and doctored their results have committed scientific fraud."
"It is pretty serious," Inhofe said. "And since, you know, Barbara Boxer is the chairman and I'm the ranking member on Environment and Public Works, if nothing happens in the next seven days when we go back into session a week from today that would change this situation, I will call for an investigation.
"This thing is serious," he continued. "You think about the literally millions of dollars that have been thrown away on some of this stuff that they came out with."
Inhofe said he would ask for an investigation into the United Nations and its climate-change committee "on the way they cooked the science to make this thing look as if the science was settled, when all the time of course we knew it was not."
Related Link: Senator to demand probe of global-warming 'fraud' ~ World Net Daily
Hat Tip: bez in our comments.
I wonder where our media is on this one as well. Yesterday when talking to Bill English on the consequences of the ETS on NewsTalk ZB after 6pm, Larry Williams mentioned it and then ... chickened out? or was told to can it? on questioning Bill on the consequences of stuffing up our economy when the whole climate change thing is based on lies, lies and more lies.
The Dominion Post had an article early this week at the back of the A section rather than plastered all over the front page where it should have been. Politicians obstinately move forward with ETS despite the fact that the whole thing is built on lies. Bit of a mouthful, maybe someone clever could have come up with a better headline. But the fact remains, our media is reluctant to touch this. Why?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Related Link: Controversial ETS bill passed in urgency
[UPDATE] Meanwhile, Contra Celsum has a good post on the aftershocks of the great climate change email scandal that continues to unravel. Boy, are the National Government going to look like fools...
[UPDATE 2] Unbelievable! Larry Williams on NewsTalk ZB just now (after 6pm) had Bill English in the hot seat. After talking about the financial implications of the ETS, Larry mentioned the documents revealed over the weekend (the emails) that they wouldn't have time to go into, before going on with another topic with Bill! Hello!!! It would have been really interesting to ask Bill why National passed an ETS when the science the whole thing is based on is revealed to be a scam. I am just flabbergasted.
I think we should pause for a moment of embarrassed silence for our gullible politicians.
Hattip: dimmocrazy commenting on Kiwiblog.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A delegation of young people will take the results to Copenhagen this week as part of New Zealand's contribution to the international climate change forum."
From: Kiwis back transport changes via Crusader Rabbit
Monday, November 23, 2009
Well well well; in breaking news the Government it has the numbers to pass the ETS under urgency after cutting a deal with the Maori party.
Here are the key features
- A Treaty of Waitangi clause in the emissions trading legislation.
- The government paying for iwi representatives to travel to Copenhagen for world climate change talks next month.
- Agreement to continue funding the Enviro-schools programme
- A bigger allocation of carbon credits for the fishing industry and agreement that they will be paid to quota holders instead of fishing vessel owners. A number of iwi have large fishing quota.
If there was any doubt in your mind that National was Labour lite that is now completely dispelled. They are as useless as tits on a bull pandering to special interests just like the other bunch.
Why does this need to be passed under urgency? We all know why don't we. The Pseudo science upon which this legislation is predicated is collapsing, revealed to be what any scientifically literate person has known for sometime, to be founded on very dodgy assumptions at best and perhaps outright fraud.
And Roger Pikia and Chris Karamea Insley get to go to Copenhagen on the taxpayers dime and posture with all the posers there, courtesy of Nick Smith
Dr Smith said he made "no apology" for the decision, saying the two men had relevant experience and as indigenous people would be able to strongly put the case to developing nations about the need to change the forestry rules.
Well we have surely got a good deal here haven't we folks? Further growth of the parasite class at the expense of the productive. Parasites eventually kill their hosts and the Nick Smith's ETS just might be the final straw for the productive elements in Kiwi society.
Climate change - unscientific, freedom-destroying nonsense.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Fashionably late, but fashion is so yesterday. Especially if you are commenting from England. Something to do with time zones perhaps. Drop by and leave a comment. Something that reflects the fashion of the week perhaps?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The document is full of waffle, for example on page 28: "The framework shall be...flexible, bottom up, results-based and country driven, involving all relevant stakeholders..." and patronising: "including women, with a view to enhancing ownership...", but nevertheless, it doesn't lose track of the need to establish multiple sources of funding:
Page 43, Point 41: Providing financial support shall be additional to developed countries ODA targets. Mandatory contributions from Developed Countries ... shall include ...
a. Assessed contributions of at least 0.7% of GDP.
c. Levies on CO2 emissions
g. Levies on international transactions
h. Fines for non-compliance [of Kyoto Commitments]
And these are costs additional to the ETS. At this rate, everyone will soon be familiar with the acronym NWO.
Note: Just to be clear, this post is NOT satire, and there are indeed tax options d,d,e,f. They can wait, don't get distracted from point a ... a tax on GDP to fund a new UN Climate Change Control Centre.
It seems to be human nature to dream, to have some kind of vision of how you would like your future to be. Thomas Edison sums it up for me though by pointing out if you don't have a plan to execute, then you are fooling yourself. It's a hallucination.
I think that's so true on the personal level.
Wider than that, is the ETS. I suppose there, the vision is to save the world from the effects of man-made pollution. The execution of that is Kyoto, Copenhagen and in NZ, right now, the ETS. But it doesn't gel. Edison may have had a saying for this situation. Perhaps it would have been something like:
Executing on a hallucination will not achieve the vision.
Dream on, dream on.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Unfortunately though, there are already signs that the Government is simply going to write this mass protest off as just another "Boobs on Bikes" parade. ACC Minister Nick Smith said the number of dead motorcyclists last year justifies fee increases to the survivors.
Funny, for a moment I thought he was also going to acknowledge the government's failure to invest in safer roads. Obviously, it's safer to tax.
"The stats are crap!" Declared Goff. "These levies are not fair, and they're not reasonable."
Phil, being a petrol head, has memory lapses about Labour's glory years watching ACC on a collision course with a deficit bigger than a train wreck. That wasn't an accident though, so tax payers cannot claim any relief. Au contraire, this week bikers face a levy increase. SUV and diesel owners next, then car owners and surely, cyclists aren't paying their fair share? How about joggers? Two recent road deaths in Wellington is all the justification the government needs.
If this protest becomes yet another massively democratic action that is ignored, expect the divide and conquer strategy from National to continue.
And then we all become part of the boobs on bikes parade.
And it is a crying shame when it is our Government who is being scammed or is it just that they are scamming us - its hard to know which it is for sure. But what is abundantly clear is that our "polluting" livestock are going to cost us dear if the Government persists with this ludicrous Emissions Trading
People have been herding livestock since biblical times. Abraham's vast herds did not mess up the planet. He in fact lived at a time when the planet was warmer than today but it isn't cooler now because of his sheep and goats. No its just a natural thing the planet has been both cooler and warmer since the days of the Patriarchs. Our forebears lived with it, survived and persisted to ultimately produce us.
And we need meat, milk and wool - these are good things, they feed and cloth us with the surplus paying the bills for products we don't produce locally, such as the computer I am using to create this post.
We don't need carbon credits, they perform no useful function, non whatsoever.
Would you be pleased to find 10 Carbon Credits under your Christmas tree? What would you do with them? You can't eat them. According to the scammers you might be able to trade them for a nintendo - D'ya reckon Dick Smiths would take them in lieu of cash?
Anyway in order to get this scheme under way Nick Smith has bought of the Maori party by effectively giving five Iwi a heap of Carbon Credits. In return the Maori party will help push this crap through Parliament after which real dollars will flow to the Iwi, real dollars for a fictitious commodity. The Maori party now has a vested interest in seeing this scheme implemented. Real dollars earned by people who produce real commodities like food, wool, steel and cement. You know things people actually need and can use, unlike carbon credits. And if you think a single cent of this money will find its way into the hands of the Maori underclasses in South Auckland or Cannons creek I have an ETS scheme to sell you.
The only reason that kiwis aren't up in arms over this that I can conceive of is that we are so inured to our Government giving it to us up the keister that we have resigned ourselves to this fate.
Which doesn't bode at all well for our future.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I just about choked on my breakfast when I saw that The Dominion Post had grabbed the offending piece, as I had read it online a couple of days prior, and had dismissed it as the rabid rantings of a Catholic who saw the Church only in political shades. Clearly, someone at The Dominion Post is in the category of extremely clueless when it comes to working out which articles are rubbish and which articles are worth republishing.
However, I will give The Dominion Post a little credit for realising that the outreach to Anglicans is big news and worthy of more than a passing mention soon after it happened. But rather than putting up drivel by Gibson, why not ask to publish an article such as This offer was 400 years in the making by The (British) Catholic Herald?
Years before Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I, and absolved the people of England from their allegiance to her (at a stroke turning Catholics into traitors), years before the threat of a Catholic invasion and plots to unseat her, Pope Pius IV had invited the Queen to send Anglican bishops to the Council of Trent, and, it was rumoured, was willing to approve the use of the Book of Common Prayer in the English Church.And so it goes on, listing more attempts at unification through the centuries. Far more interesting than David Gibson declaring:
The next initiative came not from Rome but from King James I, who wrote to Pope Pius V offering to recognise his spiritual supremacy and reunite the English Church to Rome, if only the Pope would disclaim political sovereignty over kings. The offer was rejected. Too late would a new pope, Urban III, succeed to the papacy two years before James died, and declare: "We know that we may declare Protestants excommunicated, as Pius V declared Queen Elizabeth of England, and before him Clement VII the King of England, Henry VIII... But with what success? The whole world can tell. We yet bewail it in terms of blood. Wisdom does not teach us to imitate Pius V or Clement VII."
More important, with the latest accommodation to Anglicans, Benedict has signaled that the standards for what it means to be Catholic -- such as the belief in the real presence of Christ in the Mass as celebrated by a validly ordained priest -- are changing or, some might argue, falling. The Vatican is in effect saying that disagreements over gay priests and female bishops are the main issues dividing Catholics and Anglicans, rather than, say, the sacraments and the papacy and infallible dogmas on the Virgin Mary, to name just a few past points of contention.No, no, no, no.
I think the fact that Gibson wrote a book titled The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World should really give a clue as to the lack of insight this man has.
Related Link: Is Pope Benedict a closet liberal ~ Washington Post
And All These Things...
But I am disappointed that Hone Harawira is being loosely compared to French King Louis XVI.
Hone Harawira it is ironic that in over spending you choose to go to France, the home of some great over spenders such as Louis XVI. He lost his head for his exuberance so consider yourself lucky that you will only lose your job!
Especially since Louis did not lose his head for overspending - regicide is generally far more complicated than that. Louis XVI was a Catholic monarch, killed during a period when not only were most of the French nobility killed, but open season was unleashed on Catholic priests and nuns. Louis XVI might even be recognised as a Saint (martyred for the Faith) in some future time.
But apart from that minor faux pax which someone from NZ could be excused for, welcome to the blogosphere, newbies!
Ironic, really, when Europe has been celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In Poland, Communists banned crucifixes. Once the Communists were thrown out, the crucifixes came back. Now the oxymoronic "human rights" court wants to ban them again.
The ECHR decision came last week in response to a single suit brought by an Italian citizen of Finnish origin who has been campaigning for eight years to have crucifixes removed from schools. The court ruled that the display of crucifixes in public schools restricted religious freedoms. "The compulsory display of a symbol of a given confession in premises used by the public authorities ... restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions," the court said.
While the ECHR, as a body of the Council of Europe, did not have the power to order the removal of crucifixes, "what it does do is find a violation of the Convention. The Italian government now has to report back to the Council of Europe exactly what it proposes to do in order to implement the ruling, which in this case will mean removing crucifixes from the classrooms, courts public buildings etc," Addison said.
He explained that if the ECHR judgment is not overturned on appeal then Italy cannot simply ignore the ruling. The effects will be profound, he said, since the Lisbon Treaty "in effect incorporates European Convention on Human Rights into EU law," which is now binding on Italy, and all other 26 member states.
Addison called the decision "an extraordinarily wide decision which could be used, for example, to prevent state schools putting on nativity plays." He cited the examples of Greek and Cypriot schools where it is common to see icons displayed. If the Italian crucifix ruling stands, he said, "those icons will have to be removed and, arguably so will displays of Christianity from all public buildings throughout Europe."
He said what is perhaps "most surprising" is that ECHR did not apply "its own concept of 'Margin of Appreciation and recognise that this type of question should be left to individual countries to decide."
Addison commented, "I do wonder if perhaps this judgment may, in time, come to be seen as European 'Dredd Scott' case, a moment when the implications of a court ruling are so significant and so contrary to public opinion that they lead to a public backlash."
Related Links: All Public Displays of Christianity Could End with Italian Crucifix Ruling: Legal Expert ~ LifeSiteNews
Poland Defends Right to Keep Crucifixes in Schools ~ FoxNews
Crucifix picture from 4Crucifix.com
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals, including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially?New Zealand has state funded, hospital enacted abortion on demand in all but name. What are our Catholic politicians doing about this? As far as I know - nothing.
In your letter you say that you “embrace your faith.” Terrific. But if you don’t fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it exactly that makes you a Catholic? Your baptism as an infant? Your family ties? Your cultural heritage?
Related Link: Bp. Tobin publicly instructs Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) What Does the Prayer Really Say?
It's very easy to distort history if the version that is being sold is more exciting or seen to be more interesting than the standard version that while cool, doesn't enthral the general populace for reasons generally to do with what people want to believe rather than what is most likely true. A recent blog post here at NZ Conservative shows how such alternate histories can capture the imagination of people, much to the annoyance of researchers and archaeologists.
This post is on the Knights Templar, themselves subject to people who would rewrite their history for their own ends. I've copied the forward to a book by French historian Régine Pernoud, where she attempts set the story straight on the Knights and I hope that rather than being swayed by the likes of fiction writer Dan Brown, you'll consider that the truth is far more worthwhile.
Historical distortions are difficult to straighten out. A mistake about a chemical compound or an airline schedule will be exposed in due course by an explosion or a missed connection, but misconceptions about the past can persist for centuries, despite the diligent work of historians, either because vested interests benefit from the distortions (the Whig view of history) or because the fanciful version is more fun.
This is particularly true of the Knights of the Temple of Solomon, the Templars. The order was founded at the start of the twelfth century by a knight from Champagne in eastern France, Hugh of Payns, who, five years after the capture of Jerusalem by the First Crusade, made a pilgrimage in the Holy Land with his liege lord and namesake, Count Hugh of Champagne. Seeing the need for knights to protect the pilgrims from Muslim marauders, but also sensing a call from God to lead the life of a monk, Hugh and eight companions formed a hybrid community of monk-knights. They took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and followed the rule of a religious order but remained under arms.
Not all the leaders of the Church at the time approved of this notion of a military order. Saint Bruno, the founder of the Carthusians, had grave doubts about the moral legitimacy of killing for Christ. However, Hugh of Payns found a champion in the leading churchman of the time, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who not only endorsed the concept but also drew up a strict rule much like that of his own Cistercian order which was approved by the Pope.
It was an idea whose time had come. The rulers of Latin Christendom all wished to go on crusade but ran the risk of usurpation if they left their kingdoms for any length of time. The Templars became their proxies. Endowments of land provided an income with which the order could equip knights, sergaents and squires; build castles and hire mercenaries. Their monastic vow of obedience led to a military discipline impossible to impose on prima donna knights. There was no time limit to their period of service, as here was with a feudal levy; as celibates they had no children to provide for; and the authority within the order did not depend on feudal ties. The chief of the Syrian Assassins, Sinan ibn-Salman, said that there was no point in killing a Templar Grand Master because there would always be another knight to take his place.
By the beginning of the thirteenth century, the Templars had become a rich and powerful institution with fortresses in London and Paris, a network of well-run land-holdings throughout Europe, and a strong military and political presence in the Holy Land. There is almost no evidence of corrupt knights--certainly less than there is of corrupt monks--but there is some of a certain institutional arrogance and conspicuous consumption: the Templar fortress at Acre was adorned with four gold-plated lions costing '1,500 Saracen besants'. Answerable only to the Pope, bishops resented their autonomy and kings their wealth.
In 1307, King Phillip of France, looking for ways to make up the deficit in the royal finances, decided to expropriate the property of the Templars. Accusing the order of treachery, blasphemy, sodomy and devil worship, he ordered the arrest of al the knights in his jurisdiction and called upon the Kings of England and Aragon to do the same. The subsequent torture and trial of the Templars, and the procrastination of the then Pope, Clement V, and his dissolution of the order at the Council of Vienna in 1311, is one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the Medieval Church.
As disgraceful as the fate of the last Templars--the last Grand Master, James of Molay, was burned at the stake in Paris--has been the appropriation of the Order by myth-making Freemasons in the eighteenth century, whose mytagogy and obfuscation persists to this day. From Walter Scott's Ivanhoe to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, the protrayal of the Templars is as false as it is absurd. This distortion exasperated, and even enraged, the French historian Régine Pernoud, who has already set right many of our misapprehensions about the Middle Ages in her Those Terrible Middle Ages: Debunking the Myths. Now in The Templars she rehabilitates the devout Catholic knights, exposing 'the incredible crop of fanciful allegations attributing to the Templars every kind of esoteric rite and belief, from the most ancient to the most vulgar. . . .' As she rightly points out, the truth is accessible in archives and libraries; it is not impossible to uncover the facts. The result is an excellent, unadorned history which is a pleasure to read.
Where there is controversy, she gives her opinion based on her wide knowledge of the Middle Ages. She considers that the charges made against the Templars are bogus: 'only a few historians, committed to defending the memory of Philip the Fair come what may, give any credience to the accusations of which the Templars were victims.' She also sets the dissolution of the order in historical context, comparing it to the suppression of the Society of Jesus in the eighteenth century; and pointing out that the brain-washing and torture to which the Templars were subject presaged the methods of totaliarian governments in modern times.
There is no canonised Templar saints. Apart from the Grand Masters, little is known about the individual knights who joined the order: few could read or write (something that was to prove a grave disability at the time of their arrest) and so none left any record to what he thought or endured. Every knight who entered the order knew that he was likely to die in battle. The white of his tunic was that of the martyrs in the Book of Revelation, and the read of the cross the colour of the blood that was shed. After the defeat of the Latin Christians at the Battle of Hattin, the Templar knights taken captive were given the choice of apostasy or death. None chose to deny Christ. All were decapitated by ecstatic Sufis on the orders of Saladin. Saladin went on to gain a reputation as merciful and magnanimous in victory--another historical distortion: the Templar knights, we can be sure, to an eternal reward.
Related Link: Historical Distortions and The Templars | The Foreword to Régine Pernoud's The Templars: Knights of Christ | Piers Paul Read | Ignatius Insight
Monday, November 9, 2009
I see now that the 'Park'n'Ride' parking which was previously free is now costing $2 a day and they've had the parking meters there for two weeks
Sure, $2 a day doesn't sound that much, but for a student taking the train five days a week like I was, that's an extra $10 a week on top of your ticket costs.
It all adds up; I'm glad I've finished.
So, thanks Auckland City; that sure is Super...
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Furthermore, because this is a breach of the United Nations Convention on Human Rights, the Greens are asking for a Disability Commission to be created. She thinks that would be $30 million tops. (Actually, I'm making that bit up. That's my guess for initiation and first year up and running.)
I was going to turn this into a post, but I'll just cut and paste the first two comments I made on Frog Blog. Read the whole thing there if you would like to simulate a toothache.
On one hand we have the statement that “access to dental health” is a right, and on the other we have Catherine arguing that that right can ONLY be provided via a government paid Mobile Clinic kitted out with mobile ramps.
To support such “rights” requires to remove rights from others. How about a right for other citizens not to have wages taken from them by force?
You are very blithe about that particular right being abused. The government is going into debt by a couple of hundred million a day. That’s not just more tax to be paid by citizens, but interest on borrowings.
So is this really the only option to guarantee the “right” to dental care?
Are there not other Dental Health Clinics, with ramps available? Are there not taxis and vehicles available to transport said people to these clinics?
This logic would say that disabled people have a right to wear clothes, so the Government needs to buy mobility enabled clothes stores. With $70,000 ramps no less.
If you want to use the excuse of compassion, or service, or moral obligation to provide help for those that need assistance, then by all means, do so.
But it isn’t a right.
That word is being abused by socialists to justify $70,000 ramps (and an endless stream of other causes, to be paid for by taking other people’s earnings without their say so. Run a community fundraiser.
As for the cost being $70,000. That’s a fair question. Sounds like a lot. Presuming it’s a fair and reasonable charge, I can think of at least two possible reasons:
1. It’s got to be hydraulically enabled to move under the vehicle when it is in motion, and to move up to the right level to meet curbs of different heights. There are probably a whole pile of laws (endorsed by the Greens) that would prevent a young dental assistant and possibly female dentist (with generally less strength than a male, no offense, just a fact) from struggling with a non-hydraulic bits of wood strapped to the roof of the van in true Kiwi style. And just think of the work safety angle! Why, some-one could break their back struggling with metal ramps!
2. The price includes having to change the interior of the vehicle to actually fit a wheel chair and then provide facilities to help move the patient into the dental chair.
And responding to a comment of Kevin Hague: I would instead like to express surprise that people are arguing that people with disabilities don’t have a right to dental care.
Not quite. Three things:
1. It’s the assumption that mobile dental clinics are the only option; or that the patient is required to mount the mobile van. Why not a mobile drill unit that can be wheeled into an old age home and round to every bed (for example)
2. It’s the use of the term “right” to justify a preferred course of action.
3. An opportunity to clarify the costs of the ramp, and theorize that it might be a combination of regulations, health and safety, and structural changes that create such a high cost of providing a decent ramp.
I also reject the idea we need a new Disabled Persons Commission to deal with such issues. You’d spend a million dollars a year to look into why a ramp costs so much, when you could just ask the people who told you the price? (And take the same approach to other issues around disability – put it back on the department in question, who are already tasked to consider these things)
The issue here is, what are the alternatives, and can they be offered in a more cost effective way.
For that matter, how many disabled people access this service, and would it still exclude bed-ridden people? Maybe my idea of taking the drill to the bed rather than the bed/chair to the van is better?
Related Link: Access to Dental Care a Human Right
I suppose this will cause a bit of controversy, but it's really quite interesting.
Down my way, we get a free local magazine called Franklin eLocal and they have been publishing a series of articles that challenges the accepted lore that the Maori were the first inhabitants of New Zealand. One person who is investigating this is Northland researcher Noel Hilliam, who has been compiling evidence of this country’s earliest settlers since 1954 and is retired curator of Dargaville Museum.
Academics from various universities in New Zealand who talk privately
to veteran Northland researcher Noel Hilliam are astounded
at his research material and indisputable evidence of habitation
in early New Zealand. They encourage him to keep speaking out
about the truth, but none will back him publicly. They are afraid to
jeopardise their jobs and research funding by going against the relatively
recent official belief that Polynesians were the first to settle
in New Zealand.
Noel has written to John Key numerous times and also Chris Finlayson, neither who seem to want to know about it. Finlayson emailed back and actually directed him to look at Michael King's The Penguin History of New Zealand, as though that is somehow the Bible of our history.
The problem is that when any remains are found, they are given to local iwi without being examined, or else land with artifacts is being given back to Maori and researchers haven't got permission to go and study finds.
Noel comments: “You will learn the true early history of this
country’s earlier peoples from the Maori and original hand written
records of the Land Court minute books. Those people based
their recorded history on fact and had no reason to lie. The
distortion of our history has come about over the last 30 –40 years.
When Governor Bowen came to the Northern Wairoa in the late
1860s, he met with 600 odd assembled Maori from all over Northland
at Te Kopuru. He put it to those assembled the question of
“who did these ancient skeletons belong to?” Maori replied they
did not know who these early peoples were and to “do with them
what you wish, they are not our people.” This is recorded in Bowen’s
papers and journals of the time, which can be read in the Alexander
Turnbull Library. Around 60,000 of these skeletons were taken to
Eden Mill in Auckland over three years and ground up for fertilizer
– ‘Bone Dust,’ but there are still many more in sites around. They
did not get them all.” (The next episode in this [eLocal] series will feature
It's not just writings - there is heaps of archaeological evidence that has been found including non-European skulls dating back 300 years and 'Maori' heads with blonde or red hair.
Recently, an earthmoving contractor uncovered 120 skeletons
buried in the foetal position at a new housing site in the Bay of
Islands. He contacted archaeologists in Auckland who said to go to
the police. They asked him to show the site to a local Maori, who
said the remains were not Maori. The contractor was told to bulldoze
the whole site and cover it up
In any case, if you want to read more, check out the archives at eLocal.co.nz. The latest issue has the article (November 2009), and there are other articles on the same subject in the September, October, November 2008 issues and January 2009. All are in PDF format downloadable from the site. They have more articles to come.
"Why are we fighting whakapapa against whakapapa? There's so much enemy that is not brown."
Now Hone Capone's racist outburst.
There have been other occasions. A disturbing indictment on the Maori Party. Maybe a race based party feeds off this stuff?
PM of NZ: Nice One Hone
Adolf at No Minister predicts the end of a promising career
Crusader Rabbit doesn't tolerate racism.
Lindsay Mitchell is being told to Grin and Bear It
Friday, November 6, 2009
Perhaps to Hone, it's all about working the system. An important rule to understand moving into continuing discussions on the foreshore, seabed, land and sky ownership dispute.
Maybe the Government can "return" to the Maori people the Carbon in the atmosphere. "Here, it's all yours. And here's a Carbon bill some-one expects you to pay."
With ownership comes maintenance.
If the Treaty was all about partnership, when do we share the bills?
It's Friday. Have I been provocative enough to invite comments? Who am I kidding, the honour goes entirely to Hone.
Cadbury New Zealand managing director Matthew Oldham said he was "really sorry" and that the decision was in direct response to consumer feedback, including hundreds of letters and emails.
"At the time, we genuinely believed we were making the right decision, for the right reasons. But we got it wrong,” he said.
"Now we’re putting things right as soon as we possibly can, and hope Kiwis will forgive us.
The change will be made within the next few weeks, he said.
Ok, so that was in August, so yours truly has been to the supermarket to find out if anything has changed... The result? I don't think so. Looking at the back of both Cadbury and Whitakers, Cadbury still has the less cocoa (at 21%), while Whitakers is at 33%.
So maybe this is old stock? But then again, Cadbury has just brought out a new bar called 'Bubbles' (you can see the ads on TV using the music from old 80s hit 99 Luftballoons), and that also has the 21% cocoa.
Did they just make that announcement in August to placate us when really they had no intention of changing the formula back? Or is it just taking longer than they thought?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
No-one is disputing that people should be able to spend “their” money on whatever they like. The question is, how much money should be “theirs” in the first place.
I must say that it is novel to see the "tax is theft" mantra turned on it's head. With socialism, paying less tax to the government means you are keeping their money you earned.
Another question might be, "And after disputing a person's earnings, why does it automatically become the governments to take?"
Yes, I realise this is all really about people paying their "fair share" for their existence in this world, and that the world isn't particularly fair about things like that. I'm just not so sure Socialism achieves the fairness people are looking for.
In any event, my point is nothing more than noticing that a perspective is such an interesting thing to move about the place. Take it out and push it about from time to time. A sense of humour or interior design skills may help find the optimal placement.