Friday, April 30, 2010
Early this week, I finally went into the garden centre and asked if they could get me Mother, Winter Banana and D’Estivale on dwarf rootstock. On Mother, they were sure they'd have no problem, but the other two they were a bit dubious on. So, I'll just have to wait and see.
I've also set up wind direction monitors in my garden (ie plastic bags attached to sticks) to see just where most of my wind comes from. Surprisingly, most of it heads straight up from the beach. Even when the wind is a northerly, it comes through my yard from the west. I'm not quite sure how that works, but, it looks like I'm going need to plant more shrubs to try and slow it down as it whips through the yard.
Which gets me onto my major annoyance with our local council, most of whom were elected because people around these parts would like to see the water that runs straight out to sea collected in some sort of dam. No problem, vote for us, and what do you know, they'd rather spend the money on water metres and trying to get the populace to store their own water in tanks, and increasing the fines on those who use too much water when they are not supposed to. Makes it difficult if a person wants to grow stuff on their land, we kind of need water for that.
And Latin. It's fun learning it, but I need to know where I'm going with it, so I've been trying to figure out what curriculum to use. Do I continue with Latina Christiana II, or just go straight into Henle I with my 13 year old? Or do I do what Memoria Press recommend, forget Latina Christiana II and use their new First Form instead. Henle looks really good, but not knowing Latin myself, it might be too ambitious for me to use straight after Latina Christiana I. Ah, decisions, decisions.
I thought I'd post this FNFFA early this time. Last week, I was all set to chat to everyone after dinner, but my sister phoned. After a short conversation of an hour or so, I was no longer in the mood for anything but down time. So, that's what happened to me last week. Plus with being not well (wretched flu), my energy levels flagged by that point.
Let's see what happens tonight.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
What is this mess on the left I hear you ask?
Believe it or not it is a Powerpoint slide to descibe the military situation in Afghanistan.
On seeing it General Stanley McChrystal, the US and NATO force commander, was heard to remark 'When we understand that slide, we'll have won the war.'
You may click on the image to view it in all its glory but it will leave you none the wiser I'll posit
Source: Mail Online
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Parliament is sitting under urgency to raise tobacco taxes by 10%.
It will save lives the architect of this travesty, Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia tries to tell us.
BS - not a single life will be "saved" because everybody dies one way or another.
To be sure some smokers lives are shortened by the habit, but then again so are some scuba divers lives shortened by their lifestyle choices and options.
What is sure to shorten my life is the raise in my blood pressure caused by seeing sanctimonious politicians who eagerly sit under extreme urgency to pass laws raising taxes on the poor but are incapable of dealing with our ridiculous ETS under urgency or otherwise.
A milestone was marked by one of the team members, Panda Lee, who went for a pioneer climb to witness the existence of a wood structure high above an altitude of 4,000m. He also surveyed the landscape, preparing for further search. Panda Lee said, “In October 2008, I climbed the mountain with the Turkish team. At an elevation of more than 4,000 metres, I saw a structure built with plank-like timber. Each plank was about 8 inches wide. I could see tenons, proof of ancient construction predating the use of metal nails. We walked about 100 metres to another site. I could see broken wood fragments embedded in a glacier, and some 20 metres long. I surveyed the landscape and found that the wooden structure was permanently covered by ice and volcanic rocks. Prior to my expedition, the Turkish team had excavated the site to expose the structure.”
So far, the team have found and explored seven spaces. See the site for more info.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The madness of the Government’s new carbon tax is that New Zealanders will be the only people in the world paying it. It will drive up the costs of living and undermine the competitiveness of New Zealand business for negligible environmental gain.
Answer after the jump...
In other news, it seems John Key wants to go it alone and be the only country in the world signing up for across the board punitive taxes on Carbon, and is ready to push the ETS through at all costs.
With Australia pulling back from an ETS further and faster than we can bowl, what now John Key? Don't want to be last to sign DRIP but raring to be first to sign on to an ETS.
I agree with half his argument. Trade is good for peace. A trading culture does bring massive benefits, but setting up a battle between good trader and evil warrior is a losing proposition to me. Here's why:
Monday, April 26, 2010
There might be some that would quibble over the degree of indigenuousness we possess, but you will probably be arguing this with either lefties or pseudo-liberals, both who are used to redefining words to suit their purpose and will just babble incoherently. Anyway, if we were born here, how on earth can we be considered alien? What planet are these people on defining us as aliens?
So, fellow New Zealanders, when some of our fellow indigenous people line up in front of what they think is the gravy train, and is likely just a clapped out Kiwi Rail caboose, let's make sure that those aspirational measures they demand meet the aspirations of all the indigenous people of the land, including the New Zealanders.
New Zealander, indigenous and proud of it.
We could describe this as the "Hawking view of human nature", but it isn't unique to Hawking. If course, it's a fairly accurate view of human nature, but it's like watching all of The Fifth Element except for the last 10 minutes.
Interestingly he suggests that, rather than actively trying to communicate with extra-terrestrials, humans should do everything possible to avoid contact.
So, do we shut down SETI and start masking our radio transmissions? We either take the Professor seriously, or we outfit him with a complete set of Mary-Jane, Skipper, Gilligan and so forth.
Hawking: It's life Jim, just as we know it
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Which just goes to show the inability of a secular, left leaning society has to transfer its cultural memory and cherished values. Today, we remember the sacrifice and the shops are shut until lunch time. 50 years from now, April 25th, falling on a Sunday might be nothing more than a rostered day off, with shops open from 8am just like any other day. Get up, put on your gray suit and go to work.
Christian values are no longer seen as such, but there is one enduring memory Christians have kept alive for 2000 years, in spite of every conceivable attack. 2000 years, Finlay. Makes you think, doesn't it?
Let's hope we can retain the values that help us maintain ANZAC day in our cultural memory. "Lest we forget" is certainly the key.
Rosemary McLeod, one column over, fights a little harder for ANZAC day than Finlay, and goes into attack - being the best form of defence - over the lefty organisation that was trying to invade ANZAC day with their white poppies. The whole article was a good read, and her conclusion eloquent beyond mere words:
..After that, if you want to buy a white poppy next year, fair enough. But give twice as much for a red one. Those have been earned.
Friday, April 23, 2010
“There are cases of sexual abuse that come to light every day against a large number of members of the Catholic clergy. Unfortunately it’s not a matter of individual cases, but a collective moral crisis that perhaps the cultural history of humanity has never before known with such a frightening and disconcerting dimension. Numerous priests and religious have confessed. There’s no doubt that the thousands of cases which have come to the attention of the justice system represent only a small fraction of the true total, given that many molesters have been covered and hidden by the hierarchy.”
Does the above quote come from an editorial from a newspaper in 2010? No, it’s from a speech of May 28, 1937, by Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), Minister of Propaganda for the Third Reich. It was just after the Pope of the day had released an encyclical condemning the Nazi regime. A very interesting article. According to the article -
This week has been hard work. I've just been getting over the flu (I'm now in the severe coughing stage), and then my youngest just got sick on Wednesday. Very disruptive when I'm trying to establish a good routine for the term. On the positive side, now that I theoretically know what I'm doing with homeschooling, it's been a lot easier than previous years getting started, even with the disruption of being sick.
I also have been thinking about what apple trees to plant. I am so over buying apples from the supermarket that are not fresh. Right now it's alright, and most of the apples I buy I don't have to throw out, but seriously, some times of the year are really bad. So my plan is to grow my own apples.
I once went to an apple orchard as part of a kindergarten outing a number of years back, and the apples straight off the trees were amazing (they let us pick three apples each, as we walked around). Ever since then I have kept that memory of the super fresh apple alive.
Last year I planted my first apple tree. It was a Royal Gala (my favourite) on dwarf root stock (will grow to 3m). It wasn't supposed to fruit, since it had just been planted, but you can't keep a good apple tree down for that little tree gave us four apples this year.
So, now I'm inspired. I need to plant more trees, but covering a wider season.
Apparently there is an old apple variety being introduced into NZ this May on dwarf root stock called "Mother".
Imagine creamy yellow flesh that is juicy, sweet and acidulous with a distinctive balsamic flavour- and reminiscent of pear drops.Sounds amazing. Anyway, are there any other varieties I should be looking at buying that people just love?
~ Garden NZ
Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei said Al Gore had sent a special note of congratulations, as had IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri.
They were referring to the trial run of energy cutbacks executed in Wellington yesterday, which had gone exceedingly well.
"A few people were stuck in elevators, which indicates the message of "take the stairs" has not been taken up by enough people, but we think continual rolling power cuts of 3 or 4 hours will soon train them to a healthier approach", said Metiria in a hand written note released during the power saving initiative by Transpower.
It was estimated that the power outage lasting several hours saved a considerable amount of CO2 emissions and provided good training for the public when cuts are extended to a few days at a time.
"This is a first world response to a critical issue, and I'd like to see more proactive trials such as this throughout New Zealand. Wellington could be seen on the world stage as a thought leader, just a little behind Auckland, which has a well honed process for power cut initiatives (1998, 2006, 2009, 2010) second only to Baghdad, Iraq during the recent war." said Metiria shortly after her power was restored and an email could be sent.
Alternatively: Wellington Blackout the result of eco-terrorism??
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Enquiries are in progress.
Selling white poppies on ANZAC day? - An Act of War
Selling white poppies before ANZAC day - An Act of Terrorism
For supposedly peaceful people, the mob that want to invade ANZAC day seem to have a distinct lack of empathy and respect for the feelings of others. They are also potentially taking away from fund raising efforts for the vets.
An aggressor will tell you that "wars are never necessary", but that's only because, after attacking, they want you to roll over and die.
If they want war, I suspect they will get war.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The article is an in depth discussion looking at how the errors occur, and pretty much nails it. The only question now is were those errors frequent enough, and regular enough to doubt Climate Models relying on this data? It's looking that way.
However, one of the amusing stand out quotes in the comments became the title for this post. I was familiar with the original GIGO acronym, but hadn't caught "version 2". I like it. It's also AGW's worst nightmare, and apparently, modus operandi: Garbage In, Gospel Out.
Watts Up With That: Missing Minus Signs in Temperature Records Create False Positives
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Well, firstly, it shows a certain level of immaturity, duplicity, and fear of the public to head off to New York in secrecy to sign up to something that, up until the signing New Zealand was officially against.
Secondly, John Key had been recently asked if the official position on the declaration had changed. "Not at present" was his reply. Which was technically true, the stance hadn't changed officially, but unofficially the airfares had been booked and the deal done. That's basically lying.
The papyrus and velum scrolls have been carbon dated to the time of Jesus and some of the extracts have been, for the first time, carefully translated and presented here as a public service:
Monday Front Page
Jesus seen in the company of prostitutes
The leader of a religious sect was again seen associating with prostitutes and thieves in the back streets of the city.
Rabbi Dawkins had called for an inquiry to question the morality of Jesus. "How can he preach a moral life when we find him in this company?" he demanded.
"He has no visible income, has a dozen people working for him, associates with thieves, is involved in the sex industry and always seems to have been clothed and fed. It defies all reason.", said Dawkins.
"I'd kill to have a garment like he wears", he added.
Rabbi Dawkins said he's accumulated proof in his new best selling scroll: "The Jesus Delusion", and is speaking at the next Colosseum Games, as warm up act before the Christians are thrown to the lions.
Monday, April 19, 2010
It's a misprint of course but one someone is sure to take umbrage over.
Easier to junk the books and start all over despite the cost of doing so.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
A Canadian photographer says the blind lack access to our "much sexualised" world, so she has decided to create a new kind of pornography, with tactile images, the first designed especially for the blind.
"When I had the idea, I started looking around and I realised there were no nude books out there for the blind," the Canadian artist, Lisa Murphy, said.
"We live in a society that is much sexualised - just look at advertising."But if you can't see then you are probably not aware of how sexualised it is.
"And I believe that vision-impaired people have been [wrongly] left out of the experience."Or course, anyone can find it erotic, not just the vision-impaired."
Michael credits three things to her recovery: Lucy's indomitable spirit, the expertise and dedication of the medical team, and quite frankly, a miracle.
I suspect he is right on all counts. Miracles may be few and far between, or they may be more abundant than we realise. We certainly don't get all the miracles we might like, but Michael and family got theirs.
When science and reason hit their limits and are exhausted, and the odds are stacked overwhelmingly against you, I only see something positive in the human spirit when one falls to their knees and prays to God. We pray for miracles, we pray for strength and we pray out of love; and in praying, maybe we are given the grace to continue on.
There was also something transformational for Michael Laws in the suffering he had to watch and endure:
In essence, Lucy made me – makes me – a better person. She delivers me the humanity of empathy, the ability to appreciate and then emote with the disappointment and despair of others. I'm not sure that you must be a parent to acquire this understanding, but for me it refined all my inner selflessness into my soul.I am so glad for him and his family at this time, and hope Lucy continues to strengthen.
In the last two weeks I have learned my sister has two tumours and kidney failure. She faces tests to determine if they are cancerous or benign, the latter being unlikely.
A very good friend of mine also wrote in that week to say he has Lung Cancer (one of the 10% that don't smoke, is super fit and the least likely to expect to get this) and he has several young children.
Whilst I trust they will both remain positive, and will receive the best medical care, there is at least one thing I can do. Like Michael, I'm going to fall on my knees and pray.
My Golden Girl Lucy
Also covered bright and early by Keeping Stock: Laws on Laws Jnr
select from the approaches on the left, that the left, has taken to bring about nirvana to see the consequences of that approach in the real world.
This happened in Russia (workers) and China (peasants)
In both cases when the schemes of the central planners didn't work according to plan the citizenery were blamed and punished.
In any case the noble experiments in the Soviet Union and China failed and they have both moved back to capitalism.
Cuba and North Korea remain as the only two doctrinairely Marxist states (although Venezuaela is going down that path) and neither of these nations serves as a good advertisement for the joys of living under communism - do they?.
This has happened in a few places - where it has it hasn't led to nirvana though. Think of Kampuchea (Cambodia) or Zimbabwe as examples.
The funny thing is the people who loath capitalism the most would hardly thrive if it were to collapse.
There isn't much call for Politcal Science or Gender studies graduates in Zimbabwe now is there?
Capitalism may well collapse but if it does, based on past precident, the outcome will be far from good for the majority.
Fredric Jameson, reckons Postmodernism is the "dominant cultural logic of late capitalism". Implying, of course, capitalism is on its way out.
Postmodernism rejects objective truth and plays word games to construct "narratives" often about "power relations" between disparate groups.
Modern business communication is often reduced to unambiguous bullet points, but the screeds produced by the postmodernists contain long turgid sentences that meander through multiple ideas before eventually reaching a full stop.
read part 2
Failure to understand what these sentences actually mean is invariably a sign of stupidity, rather than the authors poor sentence structure - or so the postmodernists would like to have us believe.
Personally I think they are just trying to pull the wool over our eyes with obfuscation and ambiguity.
return to part 1
Out of Postmoderism comes political correctness
Old words and phrases that are deemed "oppressive" are replaced by new more cuddly ones.
Sometimes an old word with no etymological connection to the term being replaced is highjacked because of its positive connotations. Homosexual becomes Gay, Atheist becomes Bright and so forth
At other times convoluted phrasing is used - such as "African-American Frenchman" as once heard on CNN to describe a French citizen of a darker hue.
read part 2
Although Political Correctness is often subject to mockery it has had its successes, we no longer use the terms "Husband" or "Wife", "Partner" has almost entirely replaced them.
And "Firemen" are now univerally referred to as "Firefighters".
return to part 1
Another patent absurdity of the left is the concept that all cultures have equal merit.
Well all except for one that is - Western culture, which gave us the technological and medical advances that have enriched and prolonged our lives is universally condemned as the source of all the world's evils.
Multiculturalism is an endless source of confusion to the left.
read part 2
Since all cultures are of equal validity and must be accepted, what does one do about cultural practices that conflict with other left wing belief structures.
The treatment of women and female gentital mutilation in much of the third world is a classic example of this type of conundrum.
return to part 1
This is a good one - everybody wants to live in a clean pristine environment - everybody without exception.
The left though has made this issue their own and use it to prevent entrepeneurs from developing resources which would benefit us all.
In extreme cases they would have the vast majority resile from 21st century lifestyles and return to eighteeth century ones.The benefits of modern technology would be then reserved for an elite few.
read part 2
The folly of this thinking is evident if you travel to the third world, which is far more degraded environmentally than the first world.
The reason for this is obvious, if your entire existance is predicated on survival you neither have the time nor the resources to "care for the environment".
Never the less, if the environmentalists get their way, the bulk of the population will live in poverty and in that state will be easier to rule over - or so the thinking might go.
return to part 1
A huge change over the course of my life has been the shift of emphasis from the concept of personal responsibility and duty to your own to one of personal rights and entitlements.
Indeed even with infinite resources the things people now feel entitled to now cannot be provided by the State and the State will never be in a position to do so.
Particularly pernicious has been the slow and subtle shift to the State providing for children what was once the parents responsibility, the vast majority of whom did and did it far better than the State ever will.
read part 2
Coupled with this has been the breakdown of the family which has helped extend the states role in child upbringing.
Strengthening the family unit is something that politicians of all stripes pay lip service to - even while introducing policies that have just the opposite effect. S59 anyone?
It is the capture of our children and the imposition of leftwing ideologies upon them that presents the greatest hope for those who would remake the world in their own image. A hope doomed to failure but one which may well bring about the destruction of all that we hold dear.
return to part 1
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Pope ends silence on explosive issue of abuse
Silence? That's just rubbish. I cover just one event of several that indicate anything but silence on this matter - his visit to the USA in 2008 and his meeting with some of the victims of abuse from one of the worst diocese in this whole sorry affair - Boston. (No surprises it had a heavy Irish influence).
Firstly though, the rest of the article said little to expand the point of the Pope's statement that the Church needs to do penance. Instead, it managed to find a couple of dissidents that make out the Pope has done nothing and should resign. Yawn.
DENVER — The action against the priest was swift and public. Within five days of receiving a decades-old child sex abuse allegation against the Rev. Melvin Thompson, Denver’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese investigated, alerted law enforcement and announced his suspension to parishioners and the public.
The archdiocese says Thompson, 74, maintains his innocence. Some parishioners have complained the process was unfair and too fast. However Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput called prompt action “painful but necessary.”
Is 5 days too fast or too slow? I think, at the least you have to establish the people involved have a credible story - that dates and times roughly match up and that the Priest at least served at that time at that location. The damage done to some-one if the allegations turn out to be false, would be hard to reverse. Sounds to me like an acceptable time frame.
OPINION: Former prime minister Helen Clark had a simple piece of advice for colleagues in difficulty: "If you're in a hole, stop digging." It is advice the Vatican would do well to heed.
Firstly, when incorrect allegations are used as the foundation for a story, it's natural to want to present some of the facts that would balance the slander. However, if you don't have the media on your side, turning the other cheek doesn't necessarily work either, as the media then run stories crowing that "no denial means every baseless allegation is true".
A former child patient of Lake Alice psychiatrist Selwyn Leeks says she is sick of reading the same stories complaining about him and the hospital in the 1970s.
"It should finish now," the 52-year-old says. "I was there when I was 13, 14, 15, and Leeks was my doctor too."
The woman acknowledges terrible things happened at Lake Alice and that the boys were treated more harshly than the few girls, but harking back to it all the time made recovery impossible, she says.
This month police said they would not try to charge Dr Leeks, now aged about 80, based on the complaints of 40 former patients.
Complainants say they have been denied a public inquiry of alleged mistreatment and abuse at the hospital near Marton [New Zealand].
Friday, April 16, 2010
* Sigh *
Oh well, I'll enjoy doing all the school work, when we get back into it on Monday.
On the plus side, I've moved a number of plants around (this is equivalent to moving the furniture around), and now I'm beginning to have an idea of how I want the garden to be.
Now, if I can just get the neighbours to top their giant Magnolia that is blocking my potential vegetable garden's sun ...
Sometimes we do quizzes on her blog or discuss history, films or literature, but it is often music where I connect over there.
She has such a post up today: It rained.
Put me in mind of this old song, which was conceived by Steve Earle while performing at a Farm Aid concert in Manor Texas to raise money to help keep family farmers on their land when times get tough.
whitewash report into the activities of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit is out.
I do find it slightly ironic that we are putting a lot of effort into worrying about averting possible distruptions to our daily life a century hence due to the unstable nature the systems that govern the planet we live on when our lives today are subject to the unpredictablity of mother earth which continually throws us surprises which we have to cope with in the best way we can
As you may have heard airline travel over much of Northern Europe and all of the United Kingdom is now at a standstill until further notice. Planes can't fly due to volcanic ash from an eruption in Iceland. And nobody has a clue as to how long this state of affairs may last,
Still we carry on as best we can - don't we?
Which is probably what the people a hundred years from now will do when nature throws them curveballs.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Pope and the New York Times - Wall Streeet Journal
A few years later, when the CDF assumed authority over all abuse cases, Cardinal Ratzinger implemented changes that allowed for direct administrative action instead of trials that often took years. Roughly 60% of priests accused of sexual abuse were handled this way. The man who is now pope reopened cases that had been closed; did more than anyone to process cases and hold abusers accountable; and became the first pope to meet with victims. Isn't the more reasonable interpretation of all these events that Cardinal Ratzinger's experience with cases like Murphy's helped lead him to promote reforms that gave the church more effective tools for handling priestly abuse?
Former NY Mayor Ed Koch Says 'Enough Already' with Anti-Catholicism in Media
Many of those in the media who are pounding on the Church and the pope today clearly do it with delight, and some with malice. The reason, I believe, for the constant assaults is that there are many in the media, and some Catholics as well as many in the public, who object to and are incensed by positions the Church holds, including opposition to all abortions, opposition to gay sex and same-sex marriage, retention of celibacy rules for priests, exclusion of women from the clergy, opposition to birth control measures involving condoms and prescription drugs and opposition to civil divorce.
The Pope and the press - Fr. Raymond DeSouza
The New York Times was guilty of egregiously shoddy reporting -- or worse -- on a story of global implications.
On March 23, the annual independent audit of American dioceses revealed that in 2009, there were six credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors, in a church of 68 million people -- a sign of astonishing progress in stamping out this evil. That was the news before The New York Times decided to make its own.
One in five Kiwi workers suffer from workplace bullying, one of the worst rates in the world.What planet is the joint university research team from?
The figures are revealed in a university survey released today.
A joint university research team – from Auckland, Waikato, Massey and London – polled more than 1700 workers from the health, education, hospitality and travel sectors asking how frequently they were exposed to "negative acts" at work.
Are New Zealand workplaces really more rugged than Asian sweatshops or African plantations? Get a grip!
And what have been identified as the most worst workplace environments by these genii do you suppose?
Higher rates of bullying were found in the education and health sectors and also in kitchen "hot spots" within the hospitality industry.Health and Education?
The people who produced this are employed by the "Education sector" - no?
I wonder if they have ever had a real job?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Voting in general elections should start at the age of 16, says the Electoral Reform Society. The society, which has monitored British elections for almost 120 years, has decided to back calls for the voting age to be lowered. People who are old enough to join the army are also old enough to vote on which politicians could send them to war.Said one 16 year old potential voter: "If I'm old enough to have sex, then I'm old enough to vote". Well, I guess the reverse holds true: If a child is old enough to vote, then they are old enough to provide informed consent to sex. Ironically, that might mean all the reported child abuse and pedophilia cases where the child was aged 16 or 17 will have to be reclassified as "consensual sex between adults". Do the left-wing liberals really want to support that sentiment?
It argues 16-year-olds are seen as adults in a range of other ways and so should not be denied a role in democracy.
ERS chief executive Ken Ritchie said: "There is a very valid debate in this country about what constitutes adulthood. "For tax purposes and in matters such as getting married or getting a job, 16-year-olds are viewed as adults.
Note: I debunk the standard reasons given for lowering the voting age here: Emancipating Youth
The Authorities were called and he was caught.
It was a mistake,he said, he thought he was eating an introduce species of crayfish which competes with the endangered native species.
He is £4000 poorer as a result of his mistake.
Expensive meal huh.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
And Ozy Mandias weighs in with a thoughtful post and highlights a new risk:
I have had the pleasure of going to Aussie about 5 times and would have to say the average Australian is funny, friendly and generally a good bloke. Trouble is that during any of my visits there I have yet to find an average Aussie. Basically their country is like our big brother – loud, arrogant but there if we get into a little trouble.Fair point, and then he goes on to provide the top 5 ironic moments the world has seen. Worth a read: Send Aussie our rotten apples.
Deep down my real concern is that it won’t take them long to claim our apples as their own. As New Zealanders we are constantly being ripped off by our neighbours as year after year they take our best and claim it for themselves. From racehorses to food to bands to celebrities they have raped and pillaged the best of our little country and the next thing on their list will be our apples.
In a letter to the editor of the Gisborne Herald, published yesterday, Margaret Sparrow decided to launch into a few pro-lifers who have taken the time to oppose the evil pro-abortion ideology that she is so totally committed to, and an article published on Semper Vita comes in for some special mention in her letter.I thought the analogy was apt. I guess it would be more so if Abortionist Doctors could simply give pregnant women a nice glass of orange cool-aid laced with "baby-go"(TM).
The only problem is that [Margaret] misrepresented what we actually wrote in our original blog post, Drinking the Suicide Cordial with Margaret Sparrow.
We didn’t really compare you to Jim Jones, instead we compared your tactics, to the tactics of Jim Jones, who did an astounding job of convincing all who would listen that they should drink the deadly suicide cordial he was offering because such an act was in their best interests.
Now I'm not one for gossip, never have been - but some Labour MP's are prone to gossip and do.
And one of them has started an interesting rumour
Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxxx xx understanding with xxxxxx XX Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx
Zzzzz Zzzzzz zzz zzzzzzzzzz zz understanding with zzzzzz ZZ Zzzzz Zzzzzz zzzzzzzzz zz Zzzzzz Ztyeeyuuyyuzzz
Mmmmmzzz mmmzzz zmmmzzzzz mmg wmmmh zzzzmzz MN mmmzz Zzzzzz zmz ZzuKKKKKKKK
David Farrar has established an understanding with Labour MP Clare Curran according to Trevor Mallard
Far be it from me to spread gossip so it has been obsured, you will just have to wonder.
or not as the case may be.
Seen on WDTPRS
Monday, April 12, 2010
Labour infamously created it's retrospective legislation to shut down a High Court case against them over the illegal spending of election funds. Well, at least it was illegal until the retrospective legislation.
Whatever was keeping us busy Jan and Feb has fallen away and we have averaged out a bit. Basically, post less and receive less visits. But it's not all about numbers, surely it's the quality of our commenters!
The stats for March are
Briefly: Dawkins will arrest Pope and a little more: The Dawkins Delusion
ACTA is a controversial international treaty that impacts digital rights and is being negotiated in secret meetings. PublicACTA has been organised by InternetNZ so that the public can critique the known and likely content of ACTA proposals ahead of the next round in Wellington.Let's not continue the alarming trend of government signing on to international treaties that we don't get to voice an opinion over.
Find out more: The Wellington Declaration
A 43-year-old Invercargill schizophrenic died in a smelly, damp and mouldy city flat with rotting carpet despite being visited regularly by mental health workers, her family said.
This happens all to frequently an ill unwanted person dies alone and often in appalling circumstances and who isn't found for some time - often nobody notices until the smell hits the streets.
A clue to what I think is terribly wrong here lies in the words I have highlighted in the quote.
Here is another quote from the story again with a key phrase highlighted
A friend of the Mann family, Invercargill man Mike Batchelor, who entered the flat five days after her body was removed, yesterday said it was mouldy and the smell was "beyond disgusting". "There needs to be a big shake-up if people are allowed to live in these conditions. They need to find out how this happened and make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.
A question for you who may not yet have got my point - just exactly who are the "they" who are going to make sure this doesn't happen again? - and and you can be sure it will.
Surely if you have an ill relative or friend it is up to you to make sure of their wellbeing - the all wonderful welfare state is not an excuse to abandon your personal responsibility to your own - is it?
The best they to try and prevent these tragedies is you and me folks - big government can't do it, it is in fact pathologically incapable of doing so, although many of the people who work in this area are well meaning and do their best within the constraints of the system. Others of course are just time servers punching the clock and doing just enough to cover their backsides.
So my thought for today is if you see something wrong, somebody's needs that are not being met - give a thought to how you might be able to do something about it. - see it as your responsibility not that of some government functionary.
Its a sad fallen world we live in folks - we cannot fix it but we can fix little bits of it a little bit at a time and the more of us who do this the better it will become.
And if you think Governments can replace what individuals can accomplish all I can say is more fool you.
And lets pray for Jennifer Mann who died alone in grim circumstances because like the pharisees in the parable of the good Samaritan we all passed by on the other side of the street.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
The ramifications of this event are hard to fathom at this point, but I suspect they will be far reaching. My condolences to the people of Poland.
More later. News video and links below break
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Lovelock – now into his 90s is the man who first developed the "Gaia theory" in the late 1960s: the still-challenging idea that Earth is one giant, self-regulating organism whose equilibrium is being very much disturbed by the actions of one species. Lovelock has been warning with increasing urgency that the survival of that species – Homo sapiens – is now gravely threatened by the "Revenge of Gaia", the title of one of his more recent bestselling books.
He is billed as an Old Testament-style prophet for our times, predicting fire and brimstone for a damned generation if it does not urgently and radically change its polluting ways ... firing off verbal thunderbolts at the various "dumbos" with whom we have bestowed our collective fate: namely, "the politicians, scientists and lobbyists".
Seen on WDTPRS
Friday, April 9, 2010
This has to be my favourite story of the week. Aside from the fact that he was using a net (bad form) to take an excessive amount of trout during spawning season and therefore threatening the restocking process necessary to stop trout going the way of the Moa last time Maori exercised their customary rights, the court of appeal has rightfully pointed out that it can hardly be considered a customary right given the trout was introduced by the British and European settlers.
The broader issue here is of course that some Maori want to have a separate system and separate "rights" to the rest of New Zealanders. It's divisive and ultimately, unsustainable. If they get their way, then in 100 years our Pakeha ancestors will have legitimate grievances requiring the gifting of land and the allocation of our own "customary rights" that we were denied. Or our great grandchildren will be told to "get over themselves" and being the sort that go out into the world and succeed on their own merits, they probably will.
I'm looking at the window right now at the most amazing of sunsets, coming at the end of a perfect day on the Kapiti Coast weather-wise. I've spent the last day of my holiday time building a retaining wall and fence, and the progress has been slow, but steady. It's been a project with my 13 year old son helping, and he's done a great job and shown keen interest in the entire building process. Alas, I have little experience in this domain, so I could only share with him my ignorance, but have at least conveyed that determination and a little bit of thought can be a suitable enough justification to give the project a go, and the end result is hopefully, a serviceable product (the wall and fence) and a heap of experience that will place us in good stead for the next project. And I guess that's where ambition comes in. We have much choice and and many options to keep us busy in the future.
And hopefully, I'll find time to blog about the latest on the ETS (all bad) and Turia and Key instigating a new welfare delivery system especially for Maori (not that they admit that they are trying to construct a welfare system based entirely on race) and at first glance, I'm thinking it's not going to end well. What do you guys think? It's Friday evening, so thinking is optional - you may prefer instead to ponder issues of great cuisine. Drop in and say hello. I'll be checking in later and might even find a suitable joke or pun, as tradition merits.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Raybon Kan sums this up best:
Now I know how fundamentalists feel when liberals show up
The thing about parasites is that they weaken their hosts and it now just a question of how long before the productive just give up producing because the costs and risks involved in actually making something compared to the potential rewards pale into insignificance to the rewards taken by Wellington troughers.
What a con!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
If they think hard enough, the paths up to these wilderness cabins must be a little slippery at times, how about we concrete them and provide hand rails. For that matter, climbing Mount Cook can be dangerous. Install ladders, safety nets and rest stops every 10 metres. Maybe install elevators for those climbers that just like the climb to be in one direction.
And the other story was a Google maps error has a suggested walk route through the Mount Victoria bus tunnel in Wellington. This story was put on the front page of the newspaper, and it did it's best to imply these directions were dangerous and we should shiver in our boots.
The problem I have with this is that there are big clear signs that pedestrians are not permitted. Having a Google map in ones hands that says otherwise is not permission to ignore the signs by the tunnel entrance. It's like driving down a one way street the wrong way because you have an old map. Why would you? What if there is an earthquake and a pathway is declared dangerous and not to be used, with large signs warning people of the deadly hazard? Does having a Google Map that says otherwise protect you from death?
Darwin answered that question. Nanny State thinking shows devolution is just as active as evolutionary forces. Our tax dollars contribute to survival of the thickest, not fittest. What a waste.
We are a long way from Zimbabwe where tribal allegiance is means everything from job opportunities or lack of them to health care delivery or lack of it.
But we are working on it.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
So reads the Times headline.
The Popes Easter Address is here: "Urbi et Orbi" Message and Blessing.
I'm sorry it was not to the Times taste and deemed by them unworthy of reporting. The fact that it talks about Christian stuff appropriate to Easter and is directed to Christians rather than Times reporters might have something to do with it.
But it is inline with other Paschal addresses given by other major Christian Bishops
Here is Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's 2010 Patriarchal Proclamation for Pascha linked here for purposes of both your edification and comparison with the Popes.
And Patriarch Kirill of Moscow's Paschal Message is also edifying and demonstrates the appropriateness of the Pope's to the occasion.
Now if the Time's Faith section was what it is purported to be all three of these would be carried in full on its pages along with the Archbishop of Canterbury's of course.
But they'd rather talk about Paedophila than the Risen Christ, I guess
This post contains the answer to the ultimate question and it isn't 42.
The answer is here for the taking, the question is will you find it?
This post has had some bugs corrected and moved to a permanent home. That maker of sorrow, the old versions of IE mess up some formating, but life is too short to tweak around those. c'est la vie
Monday, April 5, 2010
The short story is that an adult has repeated sex with an 11 year old. Gets her pregnant at age 13, and this finally comes to the attention of the police who decline to lay charges even though it is a criminal offense, with a penalty of 20 years. This was in New Zealand, in 2007.
We (NZ society) appear to make very vocal statements that sex with minors is abhorrent and not to be tolerated. Yet, cases pop up with a degree of regularity that show we are tolerating it. The abortion numbers of girls under 16 are increasing. Given the law has obviously been broken, why not more investigations? How big is this problem we seemingly chose to ignore?
Sunday, April 4, 2010
And it is the custom, mostly lost now, to greet one another with this news during the Paschal season. No bland "Happy Easter", innocuous though it may be but essentially meaningless for us.
Rather it is the joyful cry of "Christ is Risen!" that we should use. And if greeted in this manner we should reply "Truely he has risen!"
And if you can meet someone for whom English is not his or her native tongue then it is good form to use their language if you can manage it for the universal greeting.
I have provided some examples on the left and a link to many more.
Anyway you may care to try it today, when someone wishes you a happy Easter, respond with either "Christ is Risen" or perhaps its response.
I doubt it will catch on but anything that keeps Christ within public discourse is worth doing.
Alas at least two languages which should be here are conspicuous by their absense, Maori and Samoan, if any reader can rectify this please leave a response in the comments.
Truely, he has risen!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
It would seem to me his problem should be entirely with the secular authorities that make and enforce the laws. The Christian lobby group is not as powerful as he imagines. He of course resents the feeling that Christians are in control: Because today is one day the religionists still have control over us. A day when flunkies carrying clipboards fan out around the country hoping to fine someone for the crime of selling someone else a pot plant, or a pint of milk. [Actually, it's legal to sell milk. Even the cafes are open.]
Tradition and history - the enemies of freedom obviously.
It's not religionists though going around fining people. Statistically, it would be rational atheists going around imposing fines in the name of the all powerful State. It's not the tithing bowl being filled, but the coffers of the secular state. The issue of fines, I side with Peter at NotPC. The issue of statutory public holidays showing respect for other people's beliefs? There, I wonder why he sees this as too much control. Naturally, a libertarian tolerates any inhumanity except those that remind him he is part of a community. No doubt, even following the road code is a struggle for a freedom loving individual.
Anyway, the Secular State's confusing Easter Trading Laws aside, here is my response to Not PC's Easter Rant. It was going to be just a quick off hand comment, but it looked like it would get lost in the spam comments advertising various products and services - with Internet Shopping, the credit card need never rest, so my quick offhand comment is now a quick offhand post with a long introduction. Hey, you've got a bit of time off, relax.
Reply to Peter's Easter Rant
I lifted this picture from Stuff, where it was used to illustrate an "Easter" story about not over indulging in chocolate over the holidays (holy days). I know the press has to fill up space but do we really need "experts" hectoring us on how many calories there are in chocolate bunnies and eggs?
Give us a break!
Some of us, are recalling the most significant event in human history this weekend - and to those of us who are the number of calories in a hot cross bun or the news that Anna Paquin is bisexual seems incredibly banal. Do you think either will matter very much 2000 days from now let alone 2000 years hence?
It amuses the secular that different parts of the Christian Church celebrate this feast at different times, this year being unusual that all groups are celebrating on the same day.
It irritates the secular ruling elite that the date on which the feast is celebrated moves from year to year and for the EU gnomes in Brussels it is doubly irritating in that it may be celebrated at different times in different parts of their realm.
Indeed there have been proposals to "fix" the date of Easter - the first weekend in April being a popular choice in those circles.1
But it is all of little consequence, as Christians we live in the world ruled by the ticking of clocks, marking time with imperfect instruments in an imperfect world - but occasionally we can set all that aside and live according to God's time.
And that is what we are doing or in any case trying to do this weekend.
(1) I found it slightly ironic to be writing that line when both the Eastern and Western Churches are celebrating the Pascha at the same time and during the the first weekend in April - a nice and tidy situation (human bureaucratically speaking) which will not occur again in the foreseeable future. Next year both branches of the Church will celebrate together again but on the 24th of April a full three weeks into the month.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Compromise might be the wrong word, or it might be the right word. I see compromise as where everyone loses equally. Some people seek compromise, I personally see it as a last resort. I'm still young enough to have the youthful optimism of win-win, and old enough to give enemies no quarter. In this case though, secular society is not my enemy, and aside from the few that prefer winge-winge over win-win, Christian and atheist alike are quite capable of marking Easter as a time of deeper reflection, connection with family and friends, and perhaps in that path, find a connection with a deeper faith in life, in all it's impersonal cruelty and intimate interdependence.
It has greater significance to the devout Christian of course. It's more than a mere holiday, or an excuse to eat chocolate. But in seeking the answers to questions of faith, you will find answers to the meaning of life. Something even atheists confess to entertain. We find such philosophy on the cross, and philosophers might do well to ponder the nature of that sacrifice. I find some contrast and yet relevance, in the philosophic questions around the right to die. If philosophy cannot answer such fundamental questions on life or death, and for that matter, the value of life, it would be a poor philosophy indeed.
Such topics seem all far too serious for a Friday Night Free for All, but this is perhaps the most serious Friday night of the year.
Even so, drop by and just say hello. Confess, if you will, to your favourite Easter Egg. I like the marshmallow types. Simple, low cost and yummy!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
The Church day begins at sunset so Great and Holy Friday begins tonight after dark.
And today is Holy Thursday and will remain so until the sun has set when Good Friday will begin in a Liturical sense.
Today by conincidence today is April Fool's day, a day of jokes and merriment, the humor usually derived at some others expense.
Holy Week has sombre tones unshared with the usual antics of April Fools day which do not, and are at times dischordant with the prevailing emotion of Holy Week.
Indeed the lightness of posting on this blog in the past few days is perhaps an unconscious relection of this, for when contemplating Christ's crucifiction and Glorious Resurrection the affairs of the everyday world slide into insignificance and banality.
This Hymn for Holy Wednesday was sung during the Matins service last night, after the sun had set and belongs with today
Today Christ comes to the house of the Pharisee and a sinful woman draws near and flings herself at his feet, crying, ‘See one who has been drowned by sin, without hope because of her deeds, yet not rejected with loathing from your goodness, and give me, Lord, forgiveness of my evil deeds and save me’.
Verse 1. We have been filled in the morning with your mercy, O Lord, and we have rejoiced and been glad in all our days.
The harlot spread out her hair for you, the Master; Judas spread out his hands to the lawless: she to receive forgiveness, he to receive silver. And so we cry to you, sold and who set us free, ‘Lord, glory to you!’
Verse 2: Let us be glad, for all the days you have afflicted us, for the years we have suffered adversity. Look upon your servants and your works, and guide their children.
A woman foul-smelling and defiled drew near, pouring tears upon your feet, O Saviour, and proclaiming your passion. ‘How can I gaze upon you, Master? For you have come yourself to save a harlot. You roused Lazarus from the tomb after four days, raise me who am dead from the deep.
Accept me in my misery, Lord, and save me’.
Verse 3. And may the brightness of the Lord our God be upon us. Direct the work of our hands, O direct the work of our hands.
So tonight Good Friday begins as does the Easter Holiday. How tonight plays out for each of us is individual choice, we may choose a path of hedonism and drunkeness - there is no work tommorrow after all.
Or we may choose contemplate our Lords Passion.
The Eastern church will begin tonight with the Service of the 12 Gospels which will help us do just this. A beautifil service one whose length measured in worldly time is quite long but measured in God's time but an instant.The Gospel Readings for the Service of the Twelve Gospels