Thursday, December 31, 2009
Nine years sounds like a fair deal - so are you with me or not?
Well, here's a prediction from the Climate Scientists at the University of East Anglia, the University at the centre of the Climategate controversy, where they have used the sum of many, many years of thorough and precise research to confidently predict the end of snow in Britain. Because of Man-made Global Warming.
Now the neat thing about this is that the prediction was made in 2000, so we only have to wait until tonight for their 9 years to be up. Have a read of what they said back then:
The US and Yemen are considering air strikes against al Qaeda bases in Yemen, in retaliation for the attempted downing of a US airliner on Christmas Day.
The strikes are shaping up as President Barack Obama's first serious national security test.
Several US networks reported that US intelligence agencies were preparing a list of possible targets after al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an offshoot of Osama bin Laden's organisation, claimed responsibility for training and equipping Nigerian man Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
So President Obama has interrupted is busy Hawaiian schedule to "consider" air strikes against Al Qaeda and he has kindly let them know that he is doing this.
If and when these air strikes take place you can be sure of one thing - anything that Al Qaeda values will be long gone from wherever the missiles land and the only thing the air strikes will achieve will be to make some holes in the desert.
Clever - very clever.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Some proponents are citing contrary claims, such as the atheistic bus campaigns and harping on about selective census information, but I don't see that reflected in the graph Glen has produced.
By all indications, the science is settled, so educate yourself: We are heading for a revival.
I have just been reading a book on Purgatory, and quite honestly, Glynn Cardy needs our prayers. Blasphemy is a mortal sin, one that severs a person from God, and even if repented for, could quite easily call for a long, long (and very unpleasant) time in Purgatory. (For more, see St Catherine of Genoa: Treatise on Purgatory)
A number of Christians on David Farrar's blog have applauded the consequent vandalism of the offensive billboard, first coated in brown paint and then attacked by knitting needle wielding elderly lady. David Farrar's response, thinking Christians are dangerous fanatics, is almost appropriate, except for the fact that the vandalism was restricted to the billboard itself. It seems I was incorrect in thinking that most Christians would not approve of an evil act (vandalism) for seemingly good ends, ie the consequent removal of the billboard.
Andrei asked, early on, what were we to do in response to this billboard. I laid out a few ideas, but now I know they are not enough. More should have been done and still can be.
What should have been done initially, is that those that noticed the sign and realised it's blasphemy should have approached Glynn Cardy privately and pleaded with him to remove it. Only when private appeals failed, should the declaration of the offence have been made public.
With the public declaration, an appeal to all good hearted men and women who felt the billboard was blasphemous, to join in a concerted effort in prayers and penances for the change of heart of Glynn Cardy and reparation to God for the offence caused. Along with a plea to respect the property of St Matthew's-in-the-City.
Now that the billboard has been removed, the major thing left to do is prayers and penances to God in reparation. And the same for Glynn Cardy's soul, as the man is in dire need. Also prayers and penances for those who participated in the vandalism.
It's been more than a year since we switched to this template, and I'm getting a hankering to apply some major renovations. Any comments you care to make before I hit the button, now is the time to do it. Should I get an 88% clear vote, then I'm liable to do a John Key. Hey, you think we are in a democracy? Whatever gave you that impression? OK, OK, unlike John Key, maybe I will listen to the people.
What do my fellow authors think about a template switch, and how involved would you like to be in the process? I haven't checked my email in months, but I will do so (or drop a comment). If the 88% includes the cabinet (and we are all Prime Ministers) then feel free to smack me about the ears until you get what you want. It's not as if a light smack is a crime or anything. (Well, OK, depends on who you ask, and at what time of the day but now you are quibbling)
I'd really like to have different style sheets based on the screen resolution - one for iPhones, one for standard resolution and one that grows to handle the increasingly common large screen displays. I'm not sure the blogger community is that sophisticated as yet, without bulk custom work, but worth a look.
It would be very cool to create a proper "NZ Conservative" graphic and logo, and incorporate that into the template. It would provide a more distinctive look. Ideas for what this could look like are invited. A virtual chocolate fish for the best ideas.
Also, I am looking at refining the categories and try to use them to better advantage. Based on blogging statistics for people searching our category labels, they are not often used. I want them to be used though, so it's a matter of exploiting them differently.
As a general rule, we do not need categories for something that will come up in a text search. For example, searching on "David Bain" would get more items than the "David Bain" tag, simply because we may not always tag things as thoroughly.
Indeed, a tag for Bain is not really required for this reason. Therefore, our tags may work better if we use them for directing readers to posts that get high reader counts, even after they scroll off the page.
Ideally, there's a way of implementing categories with sub categories, but failing this linking categories to display post summaries based on hot topics, particular themes or high reads may be a more useful use of the sidebar.
What other ideas are there to incorporate? Something radical, like a move to Wordpress and our own domain, or something less radical like more use of the colour blue? Comments invited.
After all, declaring information like "a former NZ Olympian", or "a comedian", as the media have done, gives people a running start. And as each former Comedian or Olympian quickly goes on record to declare their innocence it narrows down the field.
For the courts to make any case against Cameron they are probably going to have to establish a points system that gets the media off the hook, and Whale completely hooked, if you pardon the accent.
To help the process along, I've come up with a point system that might work, with a score of 100 points or more indicating contempt of court. So, where the person or organisation mentions:
Professional sports player: 50 points
Politician: 10 points (we never seem surprised)
Actor on NZ Soap: 50 points
All other actors: 40 points
Comedians: 50 points
Jelly Wrestler or Ralph Pinup: 60 points (far more likely to be known)
A person with two or more from the above: 80 points
Lives outside of Auckland: 10 points (they just about always live in Auckland)
Accused has also competed at an Olympic Game: 30 points
Accused has competed at a Commonwealth Game: 10 points
Accused caught in LA toilets: 60 points (there's a very small list of suspects)
Accused has been on a Telethon event: 1 point (hasn't everyone?)
Where accused's peers profess their own innocence: 20 points for each peer
Name is communicated in pictures: 20 points
Name is communicated in Te Reo Maori: 1 point
Story is run on Campbell Live, using silhouettes and serious head nodding by Campbell with at least 6 uses of "hmmmm": 30 points
Crime is discussed on a blog: 10 points (all against the blogger, irrespective of the commenter, although commenters identifying themselves as "anonymous" are rounded up and shot for past crimes)
On this basis, the media get away with dropping hints that help people Google their way to the answer, and Whaleoil comes dangerously close to exceeding the 100 point mark for putting pictures on a blog, that only make sense when combined with the hints the media have already provided.
Of course, the amount of outrage the courts might feel towards blogs, given that they have appear to be beyond "easy" state control, I suspect we'll see them assign 200 points right off the bat for any blogger sailing close to the wind.
The only thing the courts will likely to be careful about is the penalty. If they get too keen, we might see the crime of name revealing be punished far harder than say, the more trivial misdemeanor of sexual assault.
The actual issue of name suppression in this day and age is a tricky one. Presumably, the accused deserves name suppression when they are famous and innocent until proven otherwise. The problem there is everyone is famous within their circle of friends, workmates and relatives. Damage is always done by being accused of something, and if one is found innocent perhaps there needs to be a mechanism to help people recover their good name in any event?
Perhaps the courts merely want to send a message: If you dress your information provocatively on a blog, expect to be screwed by the legal system. Yes, that's right Cameron, society is telling you that you only have yourself to blame. It's enough to make one declare "Whale Oil Beef Hooked"
Related Link: Nothing I should link to, for my own safety.
Note: This story is entirely fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead or about to be jailed for life is purely coincidental. As far as I know, they also never competed in an Olympic event, although may have done some boxing.
Now might be a good time to reflect upon the wisdom of the Psalmist to restore a little perspective.
Psalm 145 (146)
1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:
6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:
7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:
8 The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:
9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
10 The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Reading her rant you'd believe Christians are up in arms over the atheist advertising about to be plastered on the sides of a few buses.
Well no actually - no Christian actually gives a toss, if atheists want to waste their money on advertising more fool them, I say and so does everybody else I know.
In her screed there is little evidence of intolerance towards atheists from Christians.
This is the best the poor deluded woman can come up with to support her thin case
And when atheists launched a campaign to raise money to pay for bus ads reading, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life," there was a predictable outcry from people who felt that atheists should, actually, just shut up.
Archbishop John Dew, president of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, made the usual noises about upholding the rights of atheists to express their views before making it clear that those views were much less deserving of respect than the views of, say, Catholics. "I find it interesting that a group of people who claim not to believe in the existence of God have chosen to make God the focus of their bus campaign," he said.
Indeed the Archbishop did put out a press release about the campaign, probably unwisely but it is hardly intolerant or in any way unreasonable and certainly no outcry.
Her other exhibit is John Roughan from the Herald of whom she says
Mr Roughan himself seems to be agnostic, but is awash with fuzzy nostalgia for the "ancient splendour" of the church. His suggestion that atheists consider themselves above God - difficult to consider yourself above something you don't believe in, I should have thought - appears to be based on having once witnessed a Russian tour guide being disrespectful in a cathedral.
Her closing paragraph is beyond satire
Then there's the decision by many evangelical churches to ignore climate change, presumably on the assumption that God will, in his own sweet time, turn the thermostat down, just as he once allowed the floodwaters to fall. Surely this is exactly the point at which we need to hear from atheists, who, with no belief in an afterlife, might be more inclined to try to save the life we have now.
Poor Ms Boniface hasn't caught on that her belief in "Climate Change" is a religious dogma, not based on science or rationality as I'm sure she would claim if challenged but faith. And a modern new age faith at that.
But she has caught onto a basic of grievance politics - a manufactured intolerance where non exists.
Imagine Saddam Hussein has space travel and technology. He lands on a planet of red white and mostly blue peace loving people, very similar in culture to the Americans, but without materialism and a lot more Oprah guiding their lives.
Saddam and the tech Iraqi attack, although it's clear that there are splits in his command structure and some actually side with the Blue Americans.
And Ripley battles the company to ensure the evil aliens don't invade and kill both, or something like that.
And there's a whole new language, but the dialogue still stinks.
I'd wait for DVD but seeing a metaphorical Saddam having way too much power if given nuclear technology and warp drive would seem to be too poignant a message to ignore.
Disturbing, and not required: Antonio Gentile, a senator for Mr Berlusconi's ruling party, said the page 'confirms the need for legislative action'. He added that 'a social network cannot be place that celebrates violence.'
Why does the government feel it needs to legislate to this level? I'd rather have the information out in the open and let people see for themselves the uglier side of "freedom of speech".
Such ideas (government censorship of the net) have been expressed more and more frequently over the past few years, and I'm wondering if 2010 will be the year the government takes off the velvet glove, all the better to use its iron fist.
There may be more than a few of us uttering the Irish expletive 'Whale Oil Beef Hooked.'
Related Link: Italian Government off their face
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The computer device for 2010 that may help most in this regard may be my iPhone. Purchased as an extravagant birthday present for myself a few months ago, it has proved valuable just for the email, browser and calendar functions, and is a joy to use compared to my previous mobile phone devices.
On top of that are a few addictive games (Geo-Defence Swarm springs to mind) and a number of cool tools and applications to play with whilst I wait for my bus, train, or plane.
Air New Zealand's mPass has been very useful, and Jetset by BriteMac is a cool expense account tracker. It's really just scratching the surface of what is available though, and I've been scanning the app store to find that killer app that will help me with those New Years Resolutions, as only technology can.
As only technology can.
So anyway, what's your top iPhone picks?
Bonus: for the technology minded, here's a satirical piece from 2008 about the looming world crisis when we run out of IP addresses: Let's see science solve this one.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I got the impression that because Benedict was alright afterwards, that it couldn't have been that bad. But looking at the footage - this woman was really going for him. No wonder an elderly cardinal broke his leg.
Found on American Papist.
Here is Pope Benedict XVI's Christmas Eve sermon, with commentary by Fr. Z.
It's just beautiful.
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
"A child is born for us, a son is given to us" (Is 9:5). What Isaiah prophesied as he gazed into the future from afar, consoling Israel amid its trials and its darkness, is now proclaimed to the shepherds as a present reality by the Angel, from whom a cloud of light streams forth: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord" (Lk 2:11). The Lord is here. From this moment, God is truly "God with us". No longer is he the distant God who can in some way be perceived from afar, in creation and in our own consciousness. He has entered the world. He is close to us. The words of the risen Christ to his followers are addressed also to us: "Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Mt 28:20). For you the Saviour is born: through the Gospel and those who proclaim it, God now reminds us of the message that the Angel announced to the shepherds. It is a message that cannot leave us indifferent. If it is true, it changes everything. If it is true, it also affects me. Like the shepherds, then, I too must say: Come on, I want to go to Bethlehem to see the Word that has occurred there. The story of the shepherds is included in the Gospel for a reason. They show us the right way to respond to the message that we too have received. What is it that these first witnesses of God’s incarnation have to tell us?
The first thing we are told about the shepherds is that they were on the watch – they could hear the message precisely because they were awake. We must be awake, so that we can hear the message. We must become truly vigilant people. What does this mean? The principal difference between someone dreaming and someone awake is that the dreamer is in a world of his own. His "self" is locked into this dreamworld that is his alone and does not connect him with others. To wake up means to leave that private world of one’s own and to enter the common reality, the truth that alone can unite all people. Conflict and lack of reconciliation in the world stem from the fact that we are locked into our own interests and opinions, into our own little private world. Selfishness, both individual and collective, makes us prisoners of our interests and our desires that stand against the truth and separate us from one another. Awake, the Gospel tells us. Step outside, so as to enter the great communal truth, the communion of the one God. To awake, then, means to develop a receptivity for God: for the silent promptings with which he chooses to guide us; for the many indications of his presence. There are people who describe themselves as "religiously tone deaf". The gift of a capacity to perceive God seems as if it is withheld from some. And indeed – our way of thinking and acting, the mentality of today’s world, the whole range of our experience is inclined to deaden our receptivity for God, to make us "tone deaf" towards him. And yet in every soul, the desire for God, the capacity to encounter him, is present, whether in a hidden way or overtly. In order to arrive at this vigilance, this awakening to what is essential, we should pray for ourselves and for others, for those who appear "tone deaf" and yet in whom there is a keen desire for God to manifest himself. The great theologian Origen said this: if I had the grace to see as Paul saw, I could even now (during the Liturgy) contemplate a great host of angels (cf. in Lk 23:9). And indeed, in the sacred liturgy, we are surrounded by the angels of God and the saints. The Lord himself is present in our midst. Lord, open the eyes of our hearts, so that we may become vigilant and clear-sighted, in this way bringing you close to others as well! [Concern for others follows from our contemplation of God and His heavenly host. This is an important point which we really have to get right when we think about our liturgical practice. Mass really isn’t the occasion for paying attention to each other, as if it were an occasion for social justice, or out reach, or relationship building. That is not to say that we should simply ignore each other. But our liturgical worship must be first and foremost about our contemplation of God, our encounter with mystery. This encounter then has many other consequences down the line including charity for neighbor, proper relations with spouse, children, etc. For Benedict, proper worship of God, where that privileged encounter takes place is the starting point.]
[Benedict continues in his liturgical mystic mode….] Let us return to the Christmas Gospel. It tells us that after listening to the Angel’s message, the shepherds said one to another: "‘Let us go over to Bethlehem’ … they went at once" (Lk 2:15f.). "They made haste" is literally what the Greek text says. What had been announced to them was so important that they had to go immediately. In fact, what had been said to them was utterly out of the ordinary. It changed the world. The Saviour is born. The long-awaited Son of David has come into the world in his own city. What could be more important? No doubt they were partly driven by curiosity, but first and foremost it was their excitement at the wonderful news that had been conveyed to them, of all people, to the little ones, to the seemingly unimportant. They made haste – they went at once. In our daily life, it is not like that. For most people, the things of God are not given priority, they do not impose themselves on us directly And so the great majority of us tend to postpone them. First we do what seems urgent here and now. In the list of priorities God is often more or less at the end. [This is indeed often the case in liturgical "worship" as well.] We can always deal with that later, we tend to think. The Gospel tells us: God is the highest priority. [ATTENTION…] If anything in our life deserves haste without delay, then, it is God’s work alone. [What does he mean here by "God’s work"? ... ] The Rule of Saint Benedict contains this teaching: "Place nothing at all before the work of God (i.e. the divine office)". For monks, the Liturgy is the first priority. Everything else comes later. In its essence, though, this saying applies to everyone. God is important, by far the most important thing in our lives. [Why did I lead this entry with that quote about the shepherds as the key to what followed? .... ] The shepherds teach us this priority. From them we should learn not to be crushed by all the pressing matters in our daily lives. From them we should learn the inner freedom to put other tasks in second place – however important they may be – so as to make our way towards God, to allow him into our lives and into our time. Time given to God and, in his name, to our neighbour is never time lost. It is the time when we are most truly alive, when we live our humanity to the full. [Note the order of priorities. First, seeking that encounter with God. Then, all other things.]
Some commentators point out that the shepherds, the simple souls, were the first to come to Jesus in the manger and to encounter the Redeemer of the world. The wise men from the East, representing those with social standing and fame, arrived much later. The commentators go on to say: this is quite natural. The shepherds lived nearby. They only needed to "come over" (cf. Lk 2:15), as we do when we go to visit our neighbours. The wise men, however, lived far away. They had to undertake a long and arduous journey in order to arrive in Bethlehem. And they needed guidance and direction. Today too there are simple and lowly souls who live very close to the Lord. They are, so to speak, his neighbours and they can easily go to see him. But most of us in the world today live far from Jesus Christ, the incarnate God who came to dwell amongst us. We live our lives by philosophies, amid worldly affairs and occupations that totally absorb us and are a great distance from the manger. [This is a good reminder not to think of ourselves as so sophisticated that we don’t need to be humble before God. Again, there are liturgical angles to this. Very often liberal types will make statements along the lines of, "We are modern people. We no longer kneel as if we are serfs before the a feudal lord. We are grown up now, and take Communion in the hand, rather than like children receive in the mouth." Etc. I think that attitude is a trap, and Pope Benedict exposes it well.] In all kinds of ways, God has to prod us and reach out to us again and again, so that we can manage to escape from the muddle of our thoughts and activities and discover the way that leads to him. But a path exists for all of us. The Lord provides everyone with tailor-made signals. He calls each one of us, so that we too can say: "Come on, ‘let us go over’ to Bethlehem – to the God who has come to meet us. Yes indeed, God has set out towards us. Left to ourselves we could not reach him. The path is too much for our strength. But God has come down. He comes towards us. He has travelled the longer part of the journey. Now he invites us: come and see how much I love you. Come and see that I am here. Transeamus usque Bethlehem, the Latin Bible says. Let us go there! [Here it is…] Let us surpass ourselves! Let us journey towards God in all sorts of ways: along our interior path towards him, but also along very concrete paths – the Liturgy of the Church, the service of our neighbour, in whom Christ awaits us.
Let us once again listen directly to the Gospel. The shepherds tell one another the reason why they are setting off: "Let us see this thing that has happened." Literally the Greek text says: "Let us see this Word that has occurred there." Yes indeed, such is the radical newness of this night: the Word can be seen. For it has become flesh. The God of whom no image may be made – because any image would only diminish, or rather distort him – this God has himself become visible in the One who is his true image, as Saint Paul puts it (cf. 2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15). In the figure of Jesus Christ, in the whole of his life and ministry, in his dying and rising, we can see the Word of God and hence the mystery of the living God himself. This is what God is like. The Angel had said to the shepherds: "This will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Lk 2:12; cf. 2:16). God’s sign, the sign given to the shepherds and to us, is not an astonishing miracle. God’s sign is his humility. God’s sign is that he makes himself small; he becomes a child; he lets us touch him and he asks for our love. How we would prefer a different sign, an imposing, irresistible sign of God’s power and greatness! But his sign summons us to faith and love, and thus it gives us hope: this is what God is like. He has power, he is Goodness itself. He invites us to become like him. Yes indeed, we become like God if we allow ourselves to be shaped by this sign; if we ourselves learn humility and hence true greatness; if we renounce violence and use only the weapons of truth and love. Origen, taking up one of John the Baptist’s sayings, saw the essence of paganism expressed in the symbol of stones: paganism is a lack of feeling, it means a heart of stone that is incapable of loving and perceiving God’s love. Origen says of the pagans: "Lacking feeling and reason, they are transformed into stones and wood" (in Lk 22:9). Christ, though, wishes to give us a heart of flesh. When we see him, the God who became a child, our hearts are opened. In the Liturgy of the holy night, God comes to us as man, so that we might become truly human. [Here is an echo of Augustine. The Word became the son of man, that we might become the sons of God. Also, this may echo the key for reading Gaudium et spes, a section which even for the theologian J. Ratzinger saved, in a sense, that Apostolic Constitution, namely, GS 22 in which we read that Christ reveals man more fully to himself. We learn who we are by coming to know Him.] Let us listen once again to Origen: "Indeed, what use would it be to you that Christ once came in the flesh if he did not enter your soul? Let us pray that he may come to us each day, that we may be able to say: I live, yet it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20)" (in Lk 22:3).
Yes indeed, that is what we should pray for on this Holy Night. Lord Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, come to us! Enter within me, within my soul. Transform me. Renew me. Change me, change us all from stone and wood into living people, in whom your love is made present and the world is transformed. Amen.
The madness is all over for another year, although a week from now we can all binge again to ring in the New Year. But by then the tree will have wilted and its tinsel will be shedding on the carpet - its twinkly lights may well have long given up the ghost and will pointlessly hang from the branches.
Who else besides me is relieved not to have to hear I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus for the next 101/2 months, nor Jingle Bell Rock whenever we venture forth from the sanctity of our homes?
And even there is not safe, even attempting watching the News will ensure regular assaults on good taste, some from the items themselves but even more from the interminable advertisements, background scored by the oh so familiar dittys, the rubric delivered by same old faces now topped with red "santa" hats.
But I don't hate Christmas, on the contrary Christmas is one of the great feasts of the Church year - and it is right and proper to celebrate it and celebrate it I will, according to the Julian Calendar on January the 7th but keeping the dross to a minimum and the real treasure this festival proclaims foremost.
God bless you all.
In keeping with all the other bloggers who have posted seasonal videos here is my contribution
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Merry Christmas from all at New Zealand Conservative
Peace on Earth and good will to all.
Let's see if we can spread that message as far as possible.
I've put a pillow on top of a bookcase for her. She likes sleeping up there, though there is limited room to sprawl out.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Don't drink 3 glasses of Lindauer Sauvignon Blanc on an empty stomach. Makes it necessary to ask hubbie to go down the road and get takeaways. In my defence, I have lots of cooking to do tomorrow, hence relaxing now.
But I can still wire-wrap. I'm almost finished a wire-wrapped rosary. Will post a picture when I'm done.
Wellington will host the next step in global efforts to address climate change, with a summit on agricultural emissions planned for March.How do we get rid of these morons in Government???
Associate Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser revealed details of the summit yesterday after arriving back from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
Delegates from 20 to 30 countries were expected to come to Wellington for the summit, including the United States, India, France, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Canada.
It would be a follow-up to the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, a multimillion-dollar agreement that New Zealand led in Copenhagen to fund research into finding ways to rein in the carbon emissions caused by farming.
"I wouldn't be surprised if it's the next big event in the climate change calendar," Mr Groser said of the Wellington summit.
"We are not going to take the foot off the accelerator on this aspect of climate change because of a rather ordinary result in Copenhagen."
Wait two years to vote them out. Who know what damage they will do in that space of time.
Oh well, if there's no way of getting rid of them, we can at point out their idiocy at every turn.
Related Link: Summit in Wellington the 'next step' ~ Dominion Post, Stuff
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Close to 1000 delegates will attend the conference. They include renegade Canadian clergywoman Gretta Vosper, author of With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe, and deposed Catholic priest Peter Kennedy, leader of the rebel St Mary's in Exile community in Brisbane.
Well then, it doesn't take much brain power to figure out what colors his flag is flying does it. Like recognizes like as they say. In other words his actions have been admired by a bunch of heretics including a defrocked priest and he has been asked to speak at a conference of same.
The original press release comes complete with scary graph.
Well the number of farting cows hasn't significantly gone up in the period under consideration - nor has the arctic tundra significantly thawed during this time despite what Al Gore has told you, so the only reason for this "significant" rise can be natural ie
NOAA reported that drier than normal conditions in the tropics from 1999-2006 probably limited emissions from microbes in tropical wetlands while from 2007 wetter tropics and warmer Arctic conditions have led to increased emissions overall.
And this press release is just another round in the continual battle for NIWA to justify its sorry existence - instead of getting on with what it is supposed to be doing - which would be real science as opposed to political activism.
Monday, December 21, 2009
This becomes another example [and here's another and another] of why it's becoming increasingly harder to label AGW skeptics "deniers". [Hattip: CR]
U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley would take on particularly crucial duties.
Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known - Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia's articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world's most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.
All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn't like the subject of a certain article, he removed it - more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred - over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The United Nations seem to be in charge of a lot of things. In principle, they like the idea of monitoring traffic flows and charging for it.
Mr Servida, deputy head of unit at the European Commission's Information Society and Media Directorate General, has another opinion. He simply says:
"Fencing the internet is not going to help anybody"
Related Link: Chinese Walls
And have a read of what Liberty Scott has noticed: Australia's draconian approach to the Internet
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I think David Farrar is just a little off the deep end with his latest post, having a dig at the people who have reacted aggressively to the billboard mocking Joseph and Mary. His point is that some have applauded an illegal act (vandalism), and that indicates a level of intolerance for freedom of speech that has him discussing extremists as if that applies to all Christians.
The next time a female streaker performs an illegal act by running across the rugby pitch, perhaps those that applaud the law breaking will realise they themselves have become extremists heading down the road to burn an embassy?
So I find myself fisking DPF. How strange, it's usually Idiot/Savant, or a Green press release that has me busy. Are times a-changing?
It has been amazing to see the intolerance on display by some extremist Christians.
Yeah, I’m amazed extremists are so extreme, but I’m equally amazed that all the moderate people remain so moderate through this. What is it with the moderates anyway?
They have applauded the destruction of a church’s private property, because they don’t like the message on display.
Yes, but in fairness only the extremists applauded. The moderates thought it a stupid response to a stupid billboard.
It is only a small way removed from the Islamic extremists who burnt down an Embassy, because they didn’t like the cartoons of a newspaper in a country.
And consensual sex is really only a small way removed from rape. They both involve penetration. And National Party voters that deface a Labour Billboard is only a small step away from murder. And making jokes about Helen Clark’s looks is only a small step away from bad taste. And faux outrage at “Christian intolerance” is only a small step away from advocating them thrown to the lions. Is David about to advocate throwing these extremists to the Lions?
Of course that was a more extreme act, but what they have in common is both sets of people think their God allows them to break the law to try and suppress a message or image they do not approve of. It is the thin end of theocratic rule.
Of course, anyone engaging in a political act is in open defiance of democracy and needs to be executed for treason. It’s the thin edge of a full blown fascist revolution, comrade.
There are many legitimate ways people could take action against the billboard of St Matthew-in-the-City. They include:
- Complain to the Advertising Standards Authority (as Family First did)
- Protest outside St Matthews
- Put up your own billboard with an alternative message
- Lobby for the leadership of St Matthews to be disciplined or sacked by the church hierarchy (if possible)
- Try and have the entire parish booted out of the Anglican Church
But instead the nutters have won, with their campaign of destruction: After the latest attack, by an elderly woman with a knife last night, the church said the billboard would not be replaced.
An elderly women with a knife and a pair of knitting needles has put them off, or the vast amount of negative reaction from “moderate” voices?? After the paint over, they were all for putting up another billboard (and maybe they have), but I wouldn’t be surprised if the implications of just how offensive their little media stunt actually is to many people is finally dawning on them.
The Vicar of St Matthew-in-the-City, Glynn Cardy, said the billboard was “attacked by a knife-wielding Christian fanatic who was then apprehended by a group of homeless people who care about our church. Later in the evening another group of fanatics ripped it down.
There go those fanatics again. Why are they so fanatical? Then again, a fanatic with money simply puts up an offensive billboard. Those sorts of fanatics are easy to spot (due to the size of the billboard and the content of the billboard), but they are fanatical within the law. It’s not illegal to offend people, but it’s ignorant to hide behind “freedom of speech” as the excuse to offend people.
I wonder how the fanatics would feel if someone threw bricks through all the windows at their local church, because someone doesn’t like their message.
We’ll have to catch them and see what they feel, if they go to church and if they realise how stupid they were. But a word of warning – fanatics can be fanatical about things.
It isn’t far removed from the morons who vandalise Jewish graves because they don’t like Judaism.
They weren’t morons David, they were extremist religious fanatics. Don’t hold back now, a vandal isn’t merely a vandal nowadays.
There is no right in New Zealand not to be offended by a religious message.
There is every right and freedom to be offended. You cannot think for one moment you can tell people what they are and are not “allowed” to think about something. There is no right to use ones offense as a justification for action outside the law. Subtle, but an important distinction.
If you are offended, then tough. Either take action under the law, or lump it. But you do not have the right to destroy private property of a church, because you are offended by their message.
Same goes for all lawbreakers, they should be caught and punished in a just manner. No surprises there.
But for all those who cheer on the extremists and vandals, well don’t cry out for sympathy when the same happens to your church.
OK, that’s a few people. What about the thousands of moderates you are now going to lump into your next point?
I mean if the Catholic Church beatifies Pope Pius XII, then it must be legitimate for Jewish activists to vandalise Catholic cathedrals to protest such an offensive move
Yeah right. First you argue that extremists have no right to break the law, now you are suggesting that a third party (the Church and all it’s moderate members) should expect whats coming to them. The Catholic Church has not condoned this vandalism, and it’s thousands of moderate members have not condoned this vandalism. This is a straw man argument you are setting up. Why assume these people are Catholics? Why assume they speak for the Church?
(Pius XII refused to publicly condemn the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews)
A controversial assertion, and you might want to look into this a bit further.
Posts on Pius XII:
Here we go again
Soviet KGB falsly linked WW2 Pope with Nazis
At the start of World War II, Pope Pius XII’s first encyclical was so anti-Hitler that the Royal Air Force and the French air force dropped 88,000 copies of it over Germany.More information: The real story of Pius XII and the Jews
Related Link: Kiwiblog - Christian Intolerance
Friday, December 18, 2009
I wonder if that phrase applies to zombies? "Yeah, during the day I wander around the country side and look for helpless people to bite and suck their brains out. It's tough, but hey, it's a living."
At least Zombies can work during the day. Vampires have to do night shift. I haven't caught any of the new programs (and it seems like there are a few) featuring Vampires as a lifestyle choice but it surely reflects the ongoing downward spiral of a dying culture. Listen to what the programs are suggesting: Even death seems like a better way of living.
It's no surprise to me then that some Atheists are keen to advertise on buses sage advice to other atheists: "God probably doesn't exist, so stop worrying" they say.
That implies to me that Atheists are worried, and need reassurance. Are they worried about becoming agnostic? Are they worried about life after death? The current plan for most atheists I though was: Live. Die. Become worm food. What's the alternative? Well, obviously, there is one clear alternative emerging for the lost and worried: Becoming a member of the vast undead. Zombies for the lower class, and Vampires for the more sophisticated atheist with good dress sense, a fine bone structure and an ability to pose whilst clamping gleaming white fangs on soft nubile necks of the living.
I'm not sure if these programs are actually that bad, I'm just guessing based on Hollywood's run rate over the last few years. What do you think?
"Here we go again", I thought, "another attack on our Faith" .
These things are common enough and it is always difficult to know what to do - the usual suspects will crow and blather on about free speech and Christian intolerance if we complain.
And our complaints usually lead to more publicity for the blasphemy.
So I held my tongue.
But saying nothing can lead to even more egregious blasphemies. And given this blasphemy comes from a Christian Church there is no way ignoring it was going to work.
Anyway the vandalism of the billboard gave DPF another bite at the cherry this morning and I left a tongue in cheek response to his post.
Perhaps the gentleman who did it was exercising his right to free speech.Irony can sometimes be lost in translation.
[DPF: How sad that you do not know the difference between exercising free speech, and suppressing free speech through vandalism. I hope no one ever exercises free speech on your property]
Anyway thinking on this, quite clearly the "vandal" has not suppressed "free speech", rather he has added to the storm raging over the poster, a story now carried by most major papers and TV networks world wide - who of course, and correctly in my opinion, show the grievous calumny against the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary in their stories thus further broadcasting the vile thing.
What the gentleman has done though is express his feelings about this and there is little doubt that he will be identified and caught - this was no sneak attack but one carried out in broad daylight and in front of TV cameras.
The real origin of all of this is clear - the Church appears conflicted and divided by this dispute, a source of joy and merriment to those who dislike her. And Christ is not revealed in this unedifying spectacle but the adversary most surely is.
An what should a Christian man or woman do in the face of this?
It is not easy to know sometimes.
He has investigated the obvious code within DNA and issued a challenge years ago on the atheist Internet Infidels Discussion Board which goes like this -
1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3) Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.
According to him, no one has satisfactorily been able to punch a hole in the theory. The gist of the argument, put simply, is that DNA is a code which no one can really dispute. It isn't random the way snowflake patterns are. Anything that is created starts with an idea and has a design: like music begins in someone's imagination, is written as notes on paper, and is then performed - or a building is imagined, plans are drawn up and finally the building is built.
It never can work in reverse.
See his website HERE. You can hear and download his lecture (and read along with his Powerpoint notes in downloadable PDF) from HERE.
I find his arguments very convincing.
Those cheeky little minxes from East Anglia have some explaining to do. Siberia is just down the road from Copenhagen, surely we could send them there for further interrogation? With a warming Arctic, it's not as if Siberia going to be cold or anything.
The crux of the argument is that the CRU cherry picked data following the same methods that have been done everywhere else. They ignored data covering 40% of Russia and chose data that showed a warming trend over statistically preferable alternatives when available. They ignored completeness of data, preferred urban data, strongly preferred data from stations that relocated, ignored length of data set.
One the final page, there is a chart that shows that CRU’s selective use of 25% of the data created 0.64C more warming than simply using all of the raw data would have done. The complete set of data show 1.4C rise since 1860, the CRU set shows 2.06C rise over the same period.
Reference: ClimateGate goes Serial
Hat tip: Crusader Rabbit - The wheels are falling off
Thursday, December 17, 2009
It amuses me to see Greenpeace on the receiving end of its own tactics.
Speaking of Greenpeace, a funny thing happened last night, there was a knock upon the door, my boy Nik answered.
There stood a young lady with a clip board.
"I'm from Greenpeace" she said "Have you heard of us".
"Yes" Nik replied.
"Do you like what we do" asked the young lady.
"No" quoth Nik "I don't, I think you are a bunch of posers".
The young woman fled.
The above is plastered to the outside of St Matthews in the City in Auckland.
The implication that Joseph just had sex with the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that Joseph didn't measure up is offensive in the extreme.
Apparently the image is supposed to provoke discussion over where Jesus came from.
I thought everyone knew where Jesus came from and I suspect that those at St Matthews also know, so then, one has to wonder why do this if they are Christian.
Related Link: Anger at biblical bed scene ~ NZ Herald
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Al Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.
"These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr. [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years."
Doctor Maslowski however was no so certain about his own research: "It's unclear to me how this figure was arrived at," Dr. Maslowski said. "I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this."
Well, in his defence, he said the scientist told him this unofficially, several years before the scientist published "the latest research", in an "off-the-record" "ballpark estimates" kind of conversation that possibly only Al Gore remembers.
Hey, casual conversations and official speeches by Al Gore aside, maybe the Arctic will be ice free in 5 years. We should have a fairly clear idea within 2 or 3 years if this looks likely, and then we will have to take these claims a lot more seriously.
Related Link: Inconvenient Claims
The Copenhagen climate talks will generate more carbon emissions than any previous climate conference, equivalent to the annual output of over half a million Ethiopians, figures commissioned by hosts Denmark show.
Delegates, journalists, activists and observers from almost 200 countries have gathered at the December 7-18 summit and their travel and work will create 46,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide, most of it from their flights.
This would fill nearly 10,000 Olympic swimming pools, and is the same amount produced each year by 2,300 Americans or 660,000 Ethiopians - the vast difference is due to the huge gap in consumption patterns in the two countries - according to US government statistics about per person emissions in 2006.
Despite efforts by the Danish government to reduce the conference's carbon footprint, around 5,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be created by the summit and a further 40,500 tonnes created by attendees' flights to Copenhagen.
I was listening to Newstalk yesterday, the interview with Bob Carter where he was saying how the money spent on this farce could have saved so many people around the world by providing clean drinking water, food and medical aid and yet it's being poured into the funding of this scheme. It's a crime really.
Monday, December 14, 2009
According to the book the donkey beats the Lion and the Unicorn (Heraldic Bearers for the UK, incidentally)in a reality show like contest for the right to carry Mary to Bethlehem.
The Guardian lets slip the real agenda here
Details of the events celebrated at Christmas can be rather blurred for young children, many of whom now spend as much school time studying Hindu, Muslim and Jewish customs and beliefs as they do the tenets of the Christian faith.
But does it matter if the nativity story is passed down the generations? Some parents without strong religious beliefs often welcome the mixed-faith basis of their local primary schools, but are less pleased to find their children are missing out on stories that are still the most influential in western culture: the tales from the Old and New Testaments. Now there is a solution for troubled agnostic and atheist mothers and fathers. They can read their favourite parables to their children at bedtime, alongside Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan.
A growing number of children's publishers are bringing out books that re-tell the stories of the Bible so that children can read them at home, away from an overtly religious context.
The text of this book is available here.
And the way it has been conventionally told can be read here
I leave it up to you, gentle reader, to judge the theological and literary merits of each for yourselves.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
For starters, the list of delegates and officials has been trimmed from an initial one million to a mere 15,000. It means that some people will be forced to write notes to inform others that couldn't make the trip exactly what other cutbacks have been decided.
Taking those notes are 5,000 journalists, another small number reflecting the need to minimise air travel and pointless burning of carbon resources. Some of those journalists are from the print media, who will cut down entire forests to let the world know just how much energy the Copenhagen conference will save by broadcasting much the same information across the carbon dioxide rich air waves.
Then there's the world leaders. At least 98 of them plus world leader minders, who have to navigate their leader past the 5,000 journalists that may misreport something said at the wrong moment. "Think of the trees" they tell their leaders: Platitudes and promises use less reporting space and have a smaller impact on the environment than long winded Climate Deniers, who feel obliged to spout endless amounts of competing research to the point that our natural resources would surely be depleted for merely reporting on them. So we'll shut them up.
Then there's the World Leaders. Not the political ones, the real ones: DiCaprio, Hannah, Charles (first name Prince) and of course Desmond Tutu is there to Tut-Tut.
The restraint doesn't just stop there though. Copenhagen has cut back to a mere 1,200 limousines to ferry important people from the airport to the hotel. The hotel to the Conference Centre, the Conference Centre back to the Hotel and the Hotel over to the little Chinese Takeaway just outside of Lyons that Pauchari recommended over caviar and champagne just a while ago.
Given that there have never actually been 1,200 limousines in Copenhagen before, many of them have been driven in from across country, but in a carbon friendly way I'm sure. Like, they let any of the 5 electric taxis at the conference pass them whenever they stop to refuel. However, in the interests of the environment the number of limousines have been capped at 1,200 and buses used for any extra trips required. This has gone down better than hoped, with world leaders accepting the substitutes with good grace.
Said Al Gore: "It was great. I've always wanted to try one of these bus things anyway. It's like a big stretch limo really, and I got a real buzz being the only one in it. Some of the other world leaders are slumming it though, and I heard they were cramming in two or three people per bus. It's totally native, and shows we can tighten our belts and do our bit." Al Gore took the helicopter on the second day, but promised to offset the pollution by investing in a carbon neutral program.
Meanwhile, UNIPCC officials are very annoyed with the ClimateGate scandal. They claim the ClimateGate scandal was a carefully timed announcement that was designed to blow the Climate change conference out of the water. It of course therefore detracted from the carefully timed statement from the EPA announcing that C02 was a dangerous pollutant:
In a politically timed announcement, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will announce her agency's final ruling that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger public health and are eligible to be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
Her announcement comes on the opening day of the long-awaited U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark,
Isn't it good our world leaders have our best interests at heart and leading by example? I'm looking on with interest to see what comes out of Copenhagen this week.
Via Crusader Rabbit: The wind beneath my wings
So yeh, feel free to phone in.
Jim Salinger will be on RadioLive tomorrow Sunday after 11am with Graham Hill.
He will be taking calls. The number to call is on 0800 723465.
Spread the word, get people to call and ask him awkward questions!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I always thought that my political attitudes and beliefs were shaped by reason applied to life experience.
Not so it seems, it turns out that I may have been indoctrinated as a child by my Thomas the Tank Engine books.
Well maybe not since the Canadian Political scientist, Shauna Wilton, making this bold claim is making it on the basis of the TV show rather than the books.
Political scientist Shauna Wilton, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences at University of Alberta's Augustana Campus, said parents should be more mindful of children's programming.
It played a major role in shaping a child's conception of the world and in the case of Thomas the Tank Engine, it was not always constructive.
Dr Wilton said the show conveyed a number of positive political values such as tolerance, listening, communicating with others and contributing to the community.
"It also represents a conservative political ideology that punishes individual initiative, opposes critique and change, and relegates females to supportive roles," she said.
Still fussing over supposed subliminal messages in Thomas the Tank Engine stories is harmless enough and it does provide something to smile about on a day when summer steadfastly refuses to show its face in these trying times of runaway global warming.
Friday, December 11, 2009
OK, it can be a bit strange compared to pulling out the BBQ and having people over face to face, but the tyranny of distance and busy lives can weigh against us. So you have to try a bit harder.
So unless you are actually an Alien or a Communist you'll probably find there is some common ground and you could consider dropping in behind enemy lines and say hello.
I'll be back after a Prawn Pizza. See you then?
But there seems little point
Doesn't look like an atheistic message to me. I would have thought that the word "probably" indicates the possibility of God existing, which is more agnostic that atheistic.
Apparently coming soon, to a bus near you!
Related Link: Controversial bus ads push atheist message ~ TVNZ
His opinion piece is titled, In the war for nature, the deniers are traitors. This is no mere hyperbole.
There will be of course people who whisper that the enemy really isn't our enemy. That all our individual and collective sacrifices are quite unnessary. And that, if only we would stop listening to the alarmists and extremists, then this needless and terribly costly campaign could be brought to a happy conclusion.The upper classes were riddled with defeatists, making an oblique swipe at Lord Christopher Monckton, who is out there fighting the climate change scam.
In 1940, England was full of such whisperers. The British ruling class in particular, was riddled with defeatists. Nazi sympathisers and traitors. Back then people called them "Quislings" and "traitors".
If therefore, the battle against climate change has become the moral equivalent of a war, with all the sacrifice that war entails, then climate change denial must become the moral equivalent of treason.Nice.
Climate change is the new trojan horse for the Left, and the whole thing falling apart due to "Emperor's new clothes" syndrome, is just too much for them.
UPDATE: I now have the link. Have a look at the comments. Thanks, Murray!
Related Link: In the war for nature, the deniers are the traitors - Stuff
Thursday, December 10, 2009
It seems to me like these ad agencies are recruiting immature young people from right out of design school, whose infantile idea of humour is Something About Mary or American Pie.
Not funny guys, not funny.
I doubt it will be long before some disability group lodges a complaint.
I'm sad to read that ACT want shopping on Easter Sunday as well. This attempt to force Easter shopping on the country by the Parliament shows just why I will never vote ACT again. While ACT has a good record on opposing the totalitarian tendencies of the Government in general, it as a party, doesn't get what is truly important.
See previous posts: DPF's Annual Easter Trading Rant and Helen Clark
Read the whole thing: The Smoking Gun At Darwin Zero ~ Watts Up With That
To my great surprise, here’s what I found. To explain the full effect, I am showing this with both datasets starting at the same point (rather than ending at the same point as they are often shown).
Figure 7. GHCN homogeneity adjustments to Darwin Airport combined record
YIKES! Before getting homogenized, temperatures in Darwin were falling at 0.7 Celcius per century … but after the homogenization, they were warming at 1.2 Celcius per century. And the adjustment that they made was over two degrees per century … when those guys “adjust”, they don’t mess around. And the adjustment is an odd shape, with the adjustment first going stepwise, then climbing roughly to stop at 2.4C.Of course, that led me to look at exactly how the GHCN “adjusts” the temperature data.[...]
UPDATE: Peter Cresswell manages to summarise the whole thing better than me! :) Except his post has grown to include a number of updates, so it's fairly long.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
People can text in to take part in a poll to see what the country thinks of it, and I encourage people to make their views known.
[Update] The poll results are in:
Ian Wishart 77%
Gareth Morgan 23%
So of those who texted, way more believed that man made climate change was not real.
Oh well, that's ok then. Our fears as parents of being unfairly persecuted by the Government for disciplining our children are obviously groundless. Nigel Latta says so.
This morning, I was listening to Nigel Latta being interviewed on NewsTalk ZB. The angle taken was that Nigel Latta was respected by many parents in NZ who watch his show, and had been one of the prominent critics of the anti-smacking law, therefore was a great person to undertake the review and assure parents that all was well.
Having never heard of Nigel Latta, nor seen his show, this lead to some bemusement on my part.
At times while listening to him, it occurred to me that it sounded like he was channelling a mix of Sue Bradford and John Key, so similar were the words and phrases and ideas that he put forward.
I don't know how independent television personalities are, nor do I know how honest Nigel Latta is in putting forward his opinion that all is ok, that the law is not being persued in the way that it was written by Parliament, rather their intent is instead being honoured. But, my criticisms of the law have always extended beyond the immediate fear that most people have that the police are going to be banging on their door everytime someone hears a crying child.
Meanwhile, those of us who are never satisfied (apparently, according to two talkshow hosts that I've heard so far), are still going to complain. Can we just move on? I mean, Nigel Latta says so!
Related Link: Nigel Latta gives OK to anti-smacking law ~ Stuff
The sole purpose of which is to increase our tithes to the Earth Goddess, tithes to keep our Goddess contented so she will not harm us with devastating storms, droughts and floods in the future.
Apparently the goddess is displeased with human progress and is signaling her ire at us by persecuting polar bears or so we are told.
Ergo we are told we must sacrifice by transferring wealth from the productive in the first world to elites of the third world where it will be miraculously transformed into limousines and gold bath tubs all of which will no doubt please the Goddess.
Some Christian churches in a show of subservience to the Goddess ring their bells her honor and of her great festival in Copenhagen.
And in another demonstration of faith the EPA will apparently rule later on today that CO2 threatens human health, thus allowing additional tithes to the Goddess be levied without the approval of the American Congress.
What surprises me about the latter is that it appears to violate the constitutional separation of Church and State.
But then again in these days of flight from rationality nothing should surprise me.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Climategate is now huge. Way, way bigger than the Mainstream Media (MSM) is admitting it is – as Richard North demonstrates in this fascinating analysis. Using what he calls a Tiger Woods Index (TWI), he compares the amount of interest being shown by internet users (as shown by the number of general web pages on Google) and compares it with the number of news reports recorded. The ratio indicates what people are really interested in, as opposed to what the MSM thinks they ought to be interested in.
Tiger Woods delivered 22,500,000 web and 46,025 news pages, giving ratio of 489. That is the “Tiger Woods Index” (TWI) against which I chose to measure a raft of other issues.
Here are the rankings:
1. Climategate: 28,400,000 – 2,930 = 9693
2. Afghanistan: 143,000,000 – 154,145 = 928
3. Obama: 202,000,000 – 252,583 = 800
4. Tiger Woods: 22,500,000 – 46,025 = 489
5. Gordon Brown: 12,300,000 – 37,021 = 332
6. Climate change: 22,200,000 – 68,419 = 324
7. Sally Bercow: 25,000 – 86 = 290
8. David Cameron: 545,000 – 4837 = 113
9. Meredith Kercher: 261,000 – 3,471 = 75
10. Chilcot Inquiry: 125,000 – 4,350 = 29
In other words, people are far more interested in ClimateGate than Tiger Woods by a factor of 20 times. Twenty times, yet what are we hearing about in the print media?
Meanwhile, what does my local paper have on the whole issue? An article on Wellington being like Venice, underwater, by 2100, if we don't do something. Maybe building sea walls would be a good idea? But no, I don't think that's what is meant. Paying money to people like Al Gore is probably more like it.
Then on the front page of the World section, we have the man himself, Al-baby, saying we are not doing enough.
"We are gambling with the future of human civilisation in accepting odds that by any definition make our present course reckless ... But it's still the most likely path to success."
And whatabout ClimateGate, Al?
The naysayers are in a sunset phase with a spectacular climax just before they subside from view," he said. This is a race between commonsense and unreality."
The title of the whole spread is Going green: Countdown to Copenhagen, with a cute little insert titled: Climate experts warn: adapt or die. Ummm, we all die, eventually.
So, how to make your home and your city more eco-friendly ... they've left out the bit that tells us how to go back to the stone age, because that's what needed if what the climate experts tell us is true.
Bah! It's all just so ridiculous. Meanwhile, have a look at this: The Battle for the Internet has begun.
I'm amazed that The Herald would not print this letter from Don Brash. There are no personal attacks in it. It's not very long and answers criticisms in a succinct and easy to read way. Though it does, through it's reasoned response, show why those criticising the 2025 taskforce do so for no good reason.
Read it yourself. As Adolf says, it's important.
GARTH GEORGE HAS IT SERIOUSLY WRONG
Garth George was way off beam in his attack on the first report of the 2025 Taskforce.
Leaving aside the personal invective, he claims that the “biggest absurdity” in the report is the proposition that New Zealand can and should catch up with Australia. He says that “there is just no comparison between the two countries”, with Australia having five times our population, 32 times our land area, and huge resources of minerals. Well, those are factual statements about Australia, but they ignore some important facts which he would be aware of had he read the report.
First, there is no correlation between living standards and population – if there were, India would be super-rich and Singapore would be poor.
Second, there is no correlation between living standards and land area – if there were, Russia would be super-rich and Finland would be poor.
Third, there is no correlation between living standards and mineral wealth – if there were, the Congo would be super-rich and Japan would be poor.
In any event, a recent World Bank study showed that, in per capita terms, New Zealand has more natural resources than almost any other country in the world.
For most of New Zealand’s history, our standard of living has been very similar to that in Australia – sometimes a bit ahead, sometimes a bit behind. And the Taskforce didn’t off its own bat decide that catching Australia again by 2025 would be some good idea: the goal was set by the Government itself, and the Taskforce was set up both to advise on how best to achieve the (very challenging) goal and to monitor annually progress towards achieving it.
Too often in the past, governments have announced grandiose commitments to lift living standards – such as the last Government’s commitment to lift us into the top half of developed countries within 10 years – but then totally ignored those commitments, hoping that nobody would notice it. It is to the Government’s credit that they made a commitment and then established a mechanism to hold them to account.
Garth George accuses the Taskforce of recommending a whole range of things which we do not recommend. For example, he accuses us of recommending a flat personal income tax, and notes that if such a tax were established a whole range of low income people would have to pay more tax. But whatever the merits of a flat tax, the Taskforce did not recommend such a tax. What we did say was that, if core government spending were cut to the same fraction of GDP that it was in both 2004 and 2005 (29%), the top personal rate, the company tax rate, and the trust tax rate could comfortably be aligned at 20%. Under such a tax structure, all those earning above $14,000 a year would pay less income tax, while nobody would pay more income tax.
Nobody seriously argues that government was vastly too small in New Zealand in 2004 and 2005 (the end of the Labour Government’s second term in office), so why the ridiculous reaction when the Taskforce suggests reducing government spending to that level?
Mr George also suggests that we recommended abolishing subsidised doctor visits, and implies that we are advocating an American approach to healthcare. This is again utter nonsense. We suggested targeting subsidies for doctor’s visits at those who need them, either because they have low incomes or have chronic health problems.
He suggests that we favoured removing subsidies for early childhood education. Again, not true. What we said was that those subsidies – which have trebled in cost from $400 million a year to $1.2 billion a year over the last five years – should be focused on those who need them.
The recommendations of the 2025 Taskforce are actually totally in line with orthodox thinking in most developed countries, and are almost entirely consistent with the recommendations of the recent OECD report on New Zealand.
Chairman of the 2025 Taskforce