Monday, March 29, 2010

Andrei Well that's ok then

We can start Holy Week by being informed that we were not offended last Christmas.

Church billboard ruled not offensive by ASA.

Andrei Behold, the Bridegroom cometh

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.

All over the world billions of Christians recalled the entry of Christ into Jerusalem.

And as Holy Week progresses we ponder upon the events that took place 2000 years ago when the worldly mocked Christ, spat upon him and how he was condemned to a shameful death upon the cross.

Then next Sunday we will celebrate Christ's triumph over death with the Feast of the Resurrection, the holiest day on the Christian Calendar.

And how might this all be reported by the media of our day do you suppose?

Well let's check out how the Herald has chosen to report on Palm Sunday and how it is reported on the Stuff website to get an indication of how it might play out.

The devil is surely a canny fellow in trying to distract our focus from what is important and holy at this time into contemplation of that which is sinful.

I Corinthians 7:31
And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Andrei Mourning


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lucia Attacks on the Pope by the New York Times miss out important facts

I noticed that the Dominion Post jumped on the attack the pope bandwagon with a number of full page spreads on the front of their world section. Today's articles were sourced from The Times (of the UK), but they regurgitate the same allegations The New York Times has put into the public arena in an effort to smear Pope Benedict.

Here's some of the inconvenient facts that were not mentioned in the New York or UK times articles that paint a quite different picture:

Today's front-page story in the New York Times suggests that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), under the direction of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, failed to act against a Wisconsin priest who was accused of molesting scores of boys at a school for the deaf.

Is the story damaging? Yes. Should the Vatican have acted faster? Yes. Should the accused priest have been laicized? In all probability, Yes again.

Nevertheless, before assigning all blame to the Vatican, consider these factors:

1. The allegations of abuse by Father Lawrence Murphy began in 1955 and continued in 1974, according to the Times account. The Vatican was first notified in 1996: 40 years after Church officials in Wisconsin were first made aware of the problem. Local Church leaders could have taken action in the 1950s. They didn't.

2. The Vatican, following the standard procedures required by canon law, kept its own inquiries confidential. But the CDF never barred other investigations. Local Church officials could have given police all the information they had about the allegations against Murphy. Indeed they could have informed police 40 years earlier. They didn't.

3. Milwaukee's Archbishop Cousins could have suspended Father Murphy from priestly ministry in 1974, when he was evidently convinced that the priest was guilty of gross misconduct. He didn't. Instead he transferred the predator priest to a new diocese, allowing him to continue pastoral work giving him access to other innocent young people. And as if that weren't enough, later Archbishop Weakland made sure that there was no "paper trail." There was certainly a cover-up in this case. It was in Milwaukee, not in Rome.

4. Having called the Vatican's attention to Murphy's case, Archbishop Weakland apparently wanted an immediate response, and was unhappy that the CDF took 8 months to respond. But again, the Milwaukee archdiocese had waited decades to take this action. Because the Milwaukee archdiocese had waited so long to take action, the canonical statute of limitations had become an important factor in the Vatican's decision to advise against an ecclesiastical trial.

5. In a plea for mercy addressed to Cardinal Ratzinger, Father Murphy said that he had repented his misdeeds, was guilty of no recent misconduct, and was in failing health. Earlier this month Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the chief Vatican prosecutor in sex-abuse cases, explained that in many cases involving elderly or ailing priests, the CDF chooses to forego a full canonical trial, instead ordering the priest to remove himself from public ministry and devote his remaining days to penance and prayer. This was, in effect, the final result of the Vatican's inquiry in this case; Father Murphy died just months later.

6. The correspondence makes it clear that Archbishop Weakland took action not because he wanted to protect the public from an abusive priest, but because he wanted to avoid the huge public outcry that he predicted would emerge if Murphy was not disciplined. In 1996, when the archbishop made that prediction, the public outcry would--and should--have been focused on the Milwaukee archdiocese, if it had materialized. Now, 14 years later, a much more intense public outcry is focused on the Vatican. The anger is justifiable, but it is misdirected.

This is a story about the abject failure of the Milwaukee archdiocese to discipline a dangerous priest, and the tardy effort by Archbishop Weakland--who would soon become the subject of a major scandal himself--to shift responsibility to Rome.

Related link: The Pope and the Murphy case: what the New York Times story didn't tell you ~ Catholic Culture

Lucia A response to Christopher Hitchen's attack against the Pope

Christopher Hitchens' venomous attack on Pope Benedict XVI1 is a revelation that deserves wider attention. Were it not for its appearance in the National Post, it would be difficult to believe that a reputable newspaper would publish such absurdity.

Mr. Hitchens states that in May, 2001, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger sent a "confidential" letter to Catholic bishops to remind them that anyone who disclosed "rape and torture" of children by priests would be excommunicated. He claims that Cardinal Ratzinger imposed a ten year "statute of limitations" on actions against clerical sex offenders, and was thus guilty of "obstruction of justice."

These assertions are false.

Mr. Hitchens also states that then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger was responsible for the transfer of a clerical sexual predator to Munich. He virtually accuses Archbishop Ratzinger of approving the predator's return to clerical duties and, in consequence, of moral responsibility for the priest's resumption of sexual aggression against children.

There is no evidence to support these claims.


Continue reading : A Response to Christopher Hitchens' The Great Catholic Coverup (full version with references) ~ Catholic Education Resource Center

Friday, March 26, 2010

ZenTiger Friday Night Free for All

Evening all. Another week draws to a close. Who is working tomorrow? It's lawns for me in the morning and honoured guests in the afternoon. Hopefully the weather will be as glorious as the other day, because a walk down to the beach on a good day is always really nice. Well, off to sup. Feel free to say hello; did I miss much news this week?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

ZenTiger Free Speech in Canada

A leftist thinks free speech is something that is paid for out of government taxes.

Crusader Rabbit: Ann Coulter visits Canada

Hitting Metal With a Hammer: A letter from A Houle

Ann Coulter on Oh Canada (while it remains at the top of her page)

ZenTiger A quiet day in blogland

Had a quick scan of the papers, and it seems to be a fairly quiet day in blog land.

Doug McKay has been appointed the new head of the Auckland Super City. "McKay has 20 years experience at senior level – he has headed Lion Nathan, Carter Holt Harvey, Goodman Fielder, Sealord and most recently Independent Liquor." Looks like he has a good business background, and might even be able to get good deals on staff functions, always a bonus. I wish him luck. November 1 is not so far away, and there's a fair amount to get done between now and then. And that's without factoring in the politics. He's got a tough gig.

Auckland also caught my eye today for a second reason - some visiting Hornets! Awesome. What's their range - 2000km? The mid air refueling on long trips must be a logistical nightmare. So when Hornets land, a huge support team cannot be too far away. I trust Auckland will practice her hosting skills for our good neighbours, and it's good practice for the Rugby World Cup. So turn on the charm, Jaffas. If the Wallabies assemble this kind of fire power though, we better be prepared to end the nuclear ban if we have any chance of mounting a strong defense.

Earth Hour is nearly upon us again. It's all about raising awareness of course, and that's one of the things I dislike about these empty gestures. Every year slightly more people turn the lights off for a whole hour and send a message that raising awareness is all society needs to do to act in a sustainable way. It's stupid. Try turning everything off for a whole week. Then we get a taste of the brave new world Greenies want for us. That might do more to encourage sustainability than going to a candlelight dinner in a restaurant to show solidarity with carbon traders. We could do so much better if we drop these distracting feel good childish crowd pleasing and got real. I'll get around to blogging in more detail about this later. In the meantime, read my 2008 post: Save the Planet in One Hour and Other Ideas. I'll have to come up with a new bunch for this year. It's becoming traditional.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lucia Benedict XVI laying down markers for the Catholic Church throughout the world

While the mobs bay for blood, reasoned and knowledgeable commentators weigh in on what is actually going on with the Pope's recent response to the Catholic sex abuse scandal in Ireland. Here's George Weigel:
It is also worth noting that, while the Vatican has accepted the Irish government’s Murphy Report on abuse, the Church, by the Pope’s explicit command, intends to go even farther in investigating these patterns of gross misbehavior, in order to identify their causes and root them out. This is appropriate in itself; it may create some barriers against the likelihood that aggressive secularists will seize on this scandal to try to bring the Catholic Church in Ireland under the virtual control of the state — by, for example, having its seminaries supervised by the government (as was proposed in Massachusetts in 2002 by politicians playing to the mob).

While the Irish crisis is unprecedented in its scope and in the depth of corruption it revealed, it is clear from his letter that Benedict XVI is laying down markers for the Catholic Church throughout the world — further confirmation that this pope takes the moral crimes of sexual and physical abuse, and the failures in governance of the Church’s bishops in dealing with those moral crimes, with utter seriousness. The Pope is quite aware of two facts of the global crisis: that it is far worse in other parts of society than it is in the Catholic Church today, and that the Catholic Church must nonetheless hold itself to a higher standard than others. Indeed, as one of the bright spots in this dark picture, Benedict’s letter notes that the Church’s efforts to come to grips with these problems within the household of faith — which have been more far-reaching than in any other institution or sector of society — have led others to look to the Catholic Church for guidance on how to address what is, in fact, a global plague.
Hattip: Ignatius Insight

For more, read: The End of Euphemism ~ National Review Online

ZenTiger History isn't confined to the past

I think it's about time we re-read these three posts. Who knows, maybe the news isn't really that old?

Cullen On Track for Top Job (March 07, 2009)

And one of my favourites from May 2008: Cullen and Fly Buys

And a new way at looking at inflationary spending that Cullen might be wise to remember: Inflationary Spending On Track

Monday, March 22, 2010

ZenTiger Addicted to Free Will

I came across this fascinating opinion on addiction, that questions the idea that the addicts are unable to exercise choice in the matter of their addiction. I think it applies to far more than addiction, but in this society, addiction is seen as a reason not to try harder:
Now comes an important and provocative book called Addiction: A Disorder of Choice by the psychologist Gene Heyman, a research psychologist at McLean Hospital and a lecturer at Harvard. Heyman mounts a devastating assault on the brain-based model of addiction. Not that he views addiction as independent of the brain—no serious person could even entertain such a claim. What he rejects, however, is the notion that excessive drug or alcohol consumption is an irresistible act wholly beyond the user’s control, as the term “addiction,” commonly understood, implies. If anything, Heyman writes, “[a]ddiction … helps us understand voluntary behavior.” How so? “[B]ecause,” he explains, “it is not possible to understand addiction without understanding how we make choices.”

ZenTiger Obama Wins But Does America?

History was made today, and it records that Obama is "the winner". Has America won too? Time will tell.

People are so thrilled with the idea, there seems to be little worry the implementation and costs could in any way be negative. Like most things Americans spend their money on, perhaps the ultimate price tag doesn't matter?

What I find interesting are the comments on various blogs and media sources of those flushed with success. Let's just go with the Times:

Excellent news and an historic day for millions of Americans...Israel and the Palestinians next !

No guesses for who this guy is barracking for.

This is proof America can change. I am convinced Obama has gun control in his sights, and those two achievements alone will mark his presidency as one of the great ones - alongside saving the American economy last year

Obama saved America last year? I just thought he deferred the bill. Interesting though that gun control follows health care.

And what do the Europeans think?

Okay, we think, America is a superpower but they haven’t even got healthcare – it’s a superpower where ambulance drivers riffle your pockets for a credit card – and dump you dying on the sidewalk if they don’t find one – some superpower.

I clearly recall thousands of people daily dumped by Ambulance drivers after fleecing the victim for spare cash. Obamacare will end that practice, of course. Street people will be saved and Mexicans will flock to America for a safe holiday.

But maybe I should give Becky Shepperson the last word?

Thank Goodness! As an American diabetic (had the disease since I was 11, and it's Type 1, so you can't blame me for it) I have had to move out of the States because I simply could not afford to pay the exorbitant insurance fees for a person with a pre-existing condition. Now that it's illegal to discriminate against someone just because they're born sick, maybe I can come back.

Lucia Priestly sex abuse by the numbers

There are currently 400,000 Catholic priests in the whole world.

Allegations of sexual abuse, spanning a period of 50 years have been made against 3000 priests, or roughly 0.75% of total priests worldwide.

Of these 3000 alleged abusers, 10% were pedophiles, 60% were homosexual attractions to teenaged boys.

So, in an institution that currently has over 1 billion members, there have been 300 priests world wide, over the last 50 years accused of pedophilia.

That's less than NZ's annual road toll.

Related link: THE CHURCH'S STRICT PATROL AGAINST PEDOPHILIA ~ Zenit

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lucia Letter to the Irish on sex abuse

Pope Benedict has issued a pastoral letter to the Irish people on the sex abuse against children that has occurred in their country. Have a look at WDTPRS for a great commentary by Fr Z. on the salient paragraphs: Pope Benedict explains the situation to the Irish.

I've been looking at the online news reaction to the Holy Fathers' letter, and it's not pretty. It looks like many in the media will not be satisfied until Pope Benedict himself is sacrificed to the lions and the Church commits suicide. That is the end-game of all this hysteria. And it's not going to happen. Even with the first pope being crucified upside-down, the Church continued to grow.

Pray for the Holy Father.

John 15:18-19
If the world hate you, know that it has hated me before you.
If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Si mundus vos odit, scitote quia me priorem vobis odio habuit.
Si de mundo fuissetis, mundus quod suum erat diligeret : quia vero de mundo non estis, sed ego elegi vos de mundo, propterea odit vos mundus.

For the whole pastoral letter: You must answer to it before God ~ Chiesa

Saturday, March 20, 2010

ZenTiger ZenTiger's Super Powers

I was recently thinking it would be great to have super powers. When I was a kid, I was an avid comic reader, and the traditional super powers of flying, super strength, invulnerability and so forth were all very cool.

I was thinking though of other super powers for a modern world that were not so screamingly obvious, and didn't require the wearing of tights or masks or horn rimmed spectacles. Not that people need super powers to dress inappropriately.

So I've tried to come up with a list of 5 top super powers that aren't the standard super powers. I've also tried to list another way of achieving this power, so we'll see how that goes. I could have got to 10, but I might take all the good ones. I'm sure our readers could contribute on that score and get the list to the standard "top 10". Anyone here have a super power of blog commenting? Well, do ya?

Here's my list:

ZenTiger Everybody Hurts

For every-one out there tonight feeling some hurt. Hang in there.

Here's a great track by R.E.M, aimed at teenagers but I think there is something there for all ages. Being a Led Zep fan, it's worth noting the string arrangement was written by John Paul Jones.

I was reminded of this song when I was musing on what might make great alternate super powers for today's world, and the ability to take away emotional pain with a touch would be fairly awesome. Of course, we all have that power to some extent anyway, it's called love.

So back for a moment on my comment on alternate super powers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

ZenTiger Friday Night Free For All

Been on walkabout this week, traversing the North Island in a rental car. Lots of driving on our scenic roads, the occasional meeting in between. Finally got home and it's my turn to sort out dinner. That's code for takeaways. So off I go to forage for food and will drop in later and see if anyone dropped in sooner.

It was sunny this morning most places I went. Right now it is cloudy and overcast. Sounds like it's a natural time to ask what people's plans for the weekend are. Maybe stock up on SPF 20+? I'm guessing not. I think I need to get stuck into my accounts. End of financial year coming up, probably time to sort out the previous financial year and resolve to keep everything up to date, again.

Oh for a simple PAYE and company tax system. Like, none.

Andrei Biting the hand that feeds us

Some Friday morning questions.

Does anybody in Wellington Wellywood actually know what New Zealand's biggest export is in terms of dollars?

And should we be finding ways to improve productivity in the sector that produces the commodities that produce these dollars?

Or should we be slamming the people who produce these commodities?

And placing obstacles to high to be overcome in the way of new methods of production that potentially lower production costs and reduce the perceived environmental problems we are currently slamming that sector for?

Can we ever catch up with Australia?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lucia 23 minutes in Hell



I can't verify absolutely whether what this man experienced in clip above was really Hell. However, I see nothing theologically incorrect with what he saw, my only apprehension with the potential truth of what he says is his remedy for not going to Hell. I find it somewhat ... incomplete. However, considering his audience, it's probably as much as what they could take on and I had the thought that God doesn't want anyone to end up in Hell, so why not? He needs someone to talk to them.

This in inspired by a so far incomplete conversation I am having with Canterbury Atheist. Have a look, Paul. Tell me if you still think Hell is nonsensical.

Andrei An interesting Caucasian Prison reform

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Matthew 25:31-46

Georgia like New Zealand has a problem with prison overcrowding.

The Government together with the Church have arrived at an elegant solution.

Low risk prisoners will serve their time in monasteries. They will eat, sleep, work and pray alongside the monks.

They will even wear monks habits until their sentence is completed.

How will it work out? Only time will tell but regardless of how successful it is it will not be able to be adopted here because in this country we have more or less foregone Christianity.

And there maybe some of our citizens who might consider having to pray with the monks cruel and unusual punishment

Andrei I just can't get my head around this one

It is my firmly held belief that abortion is the murder of innocent and helpless human beings.

That being the case would my wanton destruction of the clinics where 17,000+ babies are "terminated" each year be for the "greater good"?

Apparently this defense works for the destruction of public property belonging to Government Communications Security Bureau.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Andrei St Patrick's day

Troparion (Tone 3)

Holy Bishop Patrick,
Faithful shepherd of Christ's royal flock,
You filled Ireland with the radiance of the Gospel:
The mighty strength of the Trinity!
Now that you stand before the Savior,
Pray that He may preserve us in faith and love!


Kontakion (Tone 4)

From slavery you escaped to freedom in Christ's service:
He sent you to deliver Ireland from the devil's bondage.
You planted the Word of the Gospel in pagan hearts.
In your journeys and hardships you rivaled the Apostle Paul!
Having received the reward for your labors in heaven,
Never cease to pray for the flock you have gathered on earth,
Holy bishop Patrick!


St Patrick's day often means Green Guinness and why not if that's your thing.Nothing wrong with that.

 Nor is  listening to the Dubliners or the Pogues and celebrating everything Irish.

It is an important day for Ireland because it celebrates the man who bought Christianity to that island.

And that is how we will celebrate St Patrick's day on this blog, we will remember the man.

Saint Patrick was born in Scotland around about 390 AD.

He was captured as a youth by pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave. But  after six years in captivity he escaped and went to England.

After his escape  he had a dream where he saw the people of Ireland   calling out  to him "We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us."

So he studied for the priesthood and was ordained by St. Germanus the bishop of Auxerre.

And after becoming a Bishop, St Patrick did indeed return to the people of Ireland and he preached the Gospel, reaching out to the tribal chieftains and gaining their permission to teach their subjects.

And thereby establishing Christianity in Ireland where it has remained to this day.

Saint Patrick fell asleep in the Lord on the 17th of March in 461 Anno Domini..

Andrei How to have a controversy where there is none

Well I never, Richard Dawkins has waded into the Atheist Bus campaign "controversy".

The controversy that isn't.

Can anyone point me to any religious leader, mainstream or marginal, that has said this campaign shouldn't go ahead?

I doubt it.

Or find any Christian blogger that has posted that it shouldn't?

Indeed the announcement of the campaign was met with wry amusement and some mockery.

The bus company did decline to run the campaign - I have absolutely no idea why but it cannot be claimed, though it is being implied, that it was pressure from the Christian community that drove this decision.

In any case Mr Dawkins has a DIRECT MESSAGE:
'Grow up, don't be so pathetic, stop whining,' said Richard Dawkins to opponents of the atheist advertising campaign intended for buses.
The person who needs to "grow up and stop whining" might be the man himself, having a little tanty about something nobody in their right mind even cares about.

Maybe thats his problem, many people today are indifferent to religion and that includes Richard Dawkin's own religion of militant atheism.

Andrei Yesterdays tempest in a teacup

It started with a post on Clint Heine's blog which was linked by DPF, found its way to Stuff and now it has even made the Sydney Morning Herald.

What caught really caught my attention though was this Close up poll, itself a bit of fizzy nonsense.

It is the options given to the punters, those willing to cough up 75c to have their say, that seem deficient.

You see the underlying assumption behind each of these questions is that kids are a pain. Well they can be but I actually enjoy seeing and hearing happy children and by all accounts that is what these children were, the ones that annoyed Mr Chauvel that is.

Now if I were on a plane with kids and if there was no chance of it being misinterpreted, always a risk in these paranoid times, there is a high probability I would chat with them. And I would almost certainly give them a smile.

And if the parent(s) looked fraught, well I might well catch their eye, give a grin as if to say. "I've been where you are now, know what its like - its ok by me".

But what screams at me over all of this is we seem to have completely forgotten how to enjoy children, relish them for what they are.

And that says a lot about who we are - it makes me sad.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Andrei Poor Jack and Jill didn't get their water

The two British Government Climate change advertisments based on nursery ryhmes shown on the left have been banned for exagerrating the threat. You can hold your mouse over them to view them in fuller glory

According to the Advertising Standards Agency the advertisement made exaggerated claims which went beyond mainstream scientific consensus.

More than a little embarrasing for Ed Miliband, the Environment Secretary who had sponsered their creation. Nevertheless he is still putting a favorable spin on it.

Ed Miliband, the Environment Secretary, said that that his department had been "comprehensively vindicated" by the ASA but promised to better reflect scientific uncertainty about global warming in future campaigns.

So he is promising they will do better next time.

Andrei As a matter of law the limitations of physics do not exist

Physical scientists know it, engineers work with it while seventh form physics students struggle to grasp it, the "it" being that you can never measure anything precisely.

All you can do is estimate the value of whatever it is you are measuring and know the tolerance of that measurement.

You choose your measurement apparatus to reflect the precision required for the job at hand.

But when it comes to traffic law apparently the apparatus in the hands of the enforcers is perfect.

The Appeals Court has just ruled so
(T)he judges said as a matter of law, there was no tolerance to driving in excess of the speed limit.

"Mr Pomeroy's belief that there was a tolerance which gave him a defence to the charge was mistaken in law, and ignorance of the law is no defence.
This results from a fellow who has challenged a 55kph speeding ticket all the way to the court of appeal.

And you have to love a trier but he has lost.

There is one thing that all of this proves beyond any shadow of a doubt however and that is the zealous enforcement of the speed limit has nothing whatsoever to do with road safety, rather it is as we all have suspected for a long time a revenue generation scheme.

Common sense dictates that a few kph over the limit endangers nobody and in truth the average cars speedometer, if calibrated to read to ±1kph can vary by a lot more than that as measured by speed camera, depending upon tread depth and tire wear.

I do wonder though what is the real tolerance of speed cameras is - it would be interesting to know.

Andrei New time religion at the Melbourne Convention Centre

Richard Dawkins preaches to the faithful at an Atheist Revival meeting.
The largest Atheistic revival meeting ever held in Australasia took place last weekend in Melbourne finishing on Sunday.

2500 unbelievers from around Australia and overseas filled the venue to hear noted preachers, including Catherine Deveny, Phillip Adams, Taslima Nasrin, Peter Singer, PZ Myers, Dan Barker, Stuart Bechman, Sue-Ann Post, Kylie Sturgess, John Perkins, Tamas Pataki, Max Wallace, Russell Blackford, Ian Robinson, AC Grayling, Robyn Williams, Simon Taylor.

With the grand finale on Sunday Night being the sermon "How do I misunderstand thee? Let me count the ways" - delivered by Richard Dawkins.

Alas I couldn't be there - so I don't know how it really went.

Andrei Nutty unions

The good old days of the "class struggle" have come and gone but some relics still hang in there and occasionally find a way of making themselves felt.

So it is in Invercargill where the Fire Engines are currently left outside because of "dangerous fumes" in the firehouse garage.

I would have thought the risks from fumes while parking a fire truck after a call out would be at the lower end of the spectrum of the hazards a firefighter faces in his daily employment but there you go the union deems otherwise.

I have a simple and elegant solution to this impasse though - firefighters are equipped with breathing apparatus for those occasions when they encounter toxic fumes in the course of their regular duties.

So why don't they just don this gear when they park their trucks in the garage?

Problem solved.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lucia Anno Domini


Today's Latin lesson included learning that Anno Domini means In the Year of Our Lord.

I told the kids that our whole way of measuring the years is inextricably linked with when God came to earth. So, we have the years A.D. measured from when God was born as a man (though we know now it a few years earlier), and then we count backward from that point using B.C. (Before Christ).

And even though there has been an attempt to replace A.D. with C.E. (Common Era) and B.C with B.C.E (Before Common Era), that fact that years are counted from the most significant event in history cannot be erased.

Andrei A game of Chicken in the Irish Sea

Who will blink first? The Irishman or the Destroyer Captain?

Andrei Everything is a commodity in these enlightened times

IVF doctors to raffle human egg.

Let's get this straight, post menopausal women are bringing children into this world who will have no possible way of knowing who their biological mother or biological father really were.

Children who will only know an elderly surrogate mother.

Brave new world or sad one?

ZenTiger The All New Fairfacts Media Show

Stop the Presses: Looks like FFM has himself new digs, and is Lord of his own domain. It's been 5 minutes since he opened for business, so he already has half a dozen posts up. Or so say his sources.

The All New Fairfacts Media Show

Andrei We need to tighten our belts, that would be thee not me

According to two economists quoted in the Herald today
National belt-tightening could be of more benefit to a country's sense of wellbeing than soaring wealth levels, a study has found.

Complex economic formulas developed by two Canadian professors of economics, Curtis Eaton and Mukesh Eswaran, and published in the Economic Journal, suggest that too much affluence can seriously damage a nation's health.

People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it.

Ogden Nash 

And immediately the Ogden Nash quote on the left sprung into my mind, for while Canadian Academics are not excessively wealthy they are more than comfortably off.

And compared to the average Canadian Joe, let alone the majority of the inhabitants of our planet they are positively wealthy.
 

They continue
Using mathematical modelling, the economists advance the theory that once a country reaches a reasonable standard of living there is little further benefit to be had from increasing the wealth of its population. Indeed, it could make people feel worse off.

They believe their work shows that as a nation becomes wealthier, consumption shifts increasingly to buying status symbols with no intrinsic value - such as lavish jewellery, designer clothes and luxury cars.

But they warn: "These goods represent a 'zero-sum game' for society. They satisfy the owners, making them appear wealthy, but everyone else is left feeling worse off."
Is that so?

Does this peripherally related story, Plumber called as Bingle-Clarke romance flushed, shed any light on the matter?

It involves the flushing of a $200,000 ring down the toilet in the aftermath of a very public relationship breakdown.

And the truth of the matter is, that no matter how much "belt tightening" takes place, the elite and the glitterati will continue on as before.

And the reason is, if you think about it enough, that as a culture we often value the wrong things.

And it would take a spiritual change, not an economic one, to rectify this sad state of affairs which would undoubtably improve the "Nation's sense of wellbeing".

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Andrei Let's get serious about warming the planet

Here's a guy doing his bit. His bike is truly something beautiful to behold.


Learn more: Ballistic Eagle

ZenTiger A culture of deception

It seems supposedly good people are engaging in deception, and don't have a problem with it. So when one interacts with people, will we start to wonder exactly how real they are? Here's just a few of the many recent cases that have made me think about this:

ZenTiger SST Editor faces charges under terrorist act

STORY ONE OF THREE
The editor of the Sunday Star Times was in court today after 16 people were killed in a crowded stampede at a rugby stadium. The situation was caused when an SST reporter was caught with a fake bomb in their backpack. They explained to the security guard that it was all a big joke to point out how slack security was at these venues.

Unfortunately, a nearby witness caught a glimpse of the fake bomb, and screamed "bomb" before the reporter could show a signed note from the editor saying that the letterhead was not fake, but the bomb was, but feel free to beat the reporter whilst in custody so they could get another story out of the scam.

Meanwhile, once the scream "bomb" went up, the crowd went wild and stampeded for the exits. 15 people were crushed to death and the 16th, 99 year old rugby fan Martha Cruxton, had a heart attack thinking the match might be cancelled and died on the scene.

Once in front of the judge, charged with reckless endangerment caused by a mock terrorist act, with the editor facing life in prison the judge leaned back and laughed, saying "nah mate, we were just having you on." The judge continued: "This was just a fabricated story to see if the authorities would actually charge the culprit in the event the prank went horribly wrong. I guess we've proved our point."

Case dismissed.

STORY TWO OF THREE

Andrei Who are the real abusers of our children?

MATTHEW 18:6-7

6 But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Here is a piece of pap from today's Herald: Kiwi women have more sex.

Of course it is meaningless drivel, a pseudo scientific survey of unknown methodology proclaiming kiwi women are the most promiscuous in the world.

Here is another piece from the Herald: Pope under fire in sex abuse scandal.

The Church is a hotbed of rampant sexuality, obviously a dangerous place for our children - meanwhile our own State Funded Television network beams good wholesome stuff like this into our living rooms every night.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

ZenTiger Where's Roger Douglas when you need him?

The National Government is looking to end the free off peak travel for pensioners that came with the Gold Card. Naturally, Winston Peters, architect of the card, is furious. Maye he'll form a political party and woo the old age vote? Who knows, crazy things like that have been known to happen.

I'm actually more interested in what Roger Douglas has to say about this. This is Roger's opportunity to sweep in and demand that these "perks" are protected under contract, and not to be touched.

It was Roger Douglas leading the charge when MP's lifetime travel perks were threatened. A story about that published at the time said something like:
Hands off our Perks! say 140 ex MPs, fighting to keep their lifetime entitlements."Our conditions were set at the time for those members...and it's a contract between the Government and them which would be broken if it was changed by mutual agreement."
If that is the case then John Key either agrees and leaves the free off-peak travel for all pensioners in place, or he ends all MP perks as part of this rationalisation of money saving.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lucia Friday night free for all

Yet another Friday, and it's been a strange one! In between considering whether to leave some of the washing on the line, or hang some of it under the house and maybe start drying batches of it, the weather changed from sunny to full on storm winds that made me fear for the washing that I'd left out. Fortunately the pegs held. It's since all been rescued, so no need to worry on my account.

Which leads me to my story of what happened yesterday. I was dropping my two boys off at a local Warhammer club, just chatting with another parent I knew in the foyer of the community centre, when a semi-elderly lady approached. She started off commenting on how tall I was (what a lead in!), and then confirmed that I was Catholic (I wear a silver crucifix), before launching into a statement on how two times the population of NZ was killed in the concentration camps by Hitler and people in NZ just have no idea of how bad war can be.

You can imagine the couple of seconds of surprise as my mind clicked over during the time I agreed with her that yes, most NZ'ers have no idea and internally thought, WHAT THE? Then I got it, so I asked her point blank if the Warhammer club bothered her. That was what she had been waiting for, and so she got right into how bad weapons were and how we should all just learn to get along rather than play war games. My MIL uses the same arguments, so this line of thinking was not new to me.

This story will be continued during the night, so stay tuned ...

Andrei He will get no sympathy from me

Deliberately trying to foul another ships propeller on the high seas is reprehensible, regardless of where you stand on whaling.

The man is an embarrassment, hope they give him the maximum.

Fletch Auckland University Students Association Against Free Speech

Just picking up on a post here by Brendan Malone over at Semper Vita.
It seems that if you're a group of students at Auckland University wanting to start an official on-campus pro-life group, you'll be practically stymied by the fact that you'll only have a chance to apply to start the group ONCE A YEAR at the AGM, whereas anyone who wants to start any other type of group, such as Kinks On Campus (a club for sexually deviant practices such as sadism, polygamy, etc) which currently operates at Auckland University, can apply at the weekly meetings.
Apparently it has been written into the books since 2002.

SHAME ON YOU Auckland University! Other universities around the country have pro-life groups, no problem.

Andrei There's a finger in my chilli and a rat in my soup

MacDonalds, a company that comes in for criticism for many things, mostly for supposedly making us fat, is in the paper today for seemingly selling a burger with a maggot.

Me, I'm skeptical as is DPF.

In the US food contamination cases can be lucrative which is why we saw the finger in the chilli case a few years back and the rat in the lunchbox case earlier this year.

But in New Zealand no real money is going to change hands there are still axes to grind and healthy skepticism goes out the window. People will believe the worst if it suits their agenda and propagate the story as the Herald has done in this case.

Its anti-capitalism and tall poppy syndrome at its finest on display folks.

Andrei Crucifixes out, Condoms in

You may have read, the European Court of Human rights banned the display of crucifixes in Italian classrooms a few months ago - a ruling currently under appeal.

Today a news story has broken about a Roman school which intends to install condom vending machines in its bathrooms.

There is something holy about condoms to the secular elite - people who flinch at the sight of a Crucifix or an Icon of the Virgin Mary adore little rubber sleeves.

The real the aim of these people is to degrade human relationships, cheapen and trivialize sex and loosen the bonds that bind families.

Italy's fertility rate 2009, 1.31 - Population replacement fertility rate 2.1.

Consequence Italians are dying out.

And the barbarians have taken the city.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Andrei Teaching aids in the age of Obama?

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) intends to purchase twenty-seven (27) REMINGTON BRAND MODEL 870 POLICE 12/14P MOD GRWC XS4 KXCS SF. RAMAC #24587 GAUGE: 12 BARREL: 14" - PARKERIZED CHOKE: MODIFIED SIGHTS: GHOST RING REAR WILSON COMBAT; FRONT - XS CONTOUR BEAD SIGHT STOCK: KNOXX REDUCE RECOIL ADJUSTABLE STOCK FORE-END: SPEEDFEED SPORT-SOLID - 14"

Link



This comes Via Instapundit.

A US Department of Education request to purchase pump action Police Shotguns.

That is some pretty serious educational hardware they are after, are they going to be used to maintain discipline?

Andrei Satanic works

Matthew Drudge is headlining a Times story about Father Gabriele Amorth and a book he has written.

Fr Amorth is the Vatican's chief exorcist and his view is that the problems besetting the Church are Satanic in origin.

Of course in these enlightened times it is unfashionable to believe in Satan and his demons, such things seem medieval to the modern scientific mind.

So the headline and the linked story may take on a tone of mockery.

I believe the Devil is real and that he probes all mankind, looking to drive us into disbelief sin and despair to further separate us from our Creator.

Satan is the great deceiver and one of his effective deceptions today is the lie that he doesn't exist and if you don't believe he exists then you will be oblivious to his wiles.

Are the banal acts of evil we read about and sometimes observe really just random in origin, or are they really a symptom of our separation from God, an illness that befell mankind in the Garden of Eden?

Do I believe Satan has "infiltrated the Vatican corridors"?

The proof is in the stories that the Times run to embarrass the Vatican, for wherever you see sin you can be sure the Devil has a hand in it one way or another.

Lucia Thank you women, from Pope John Paul II

Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God's own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child's first steps, who helps it to grow, and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life.

Thank you, women who are wives! You irrevocably join your future to that of your husbands, in a relationship of mutual giving, at the service of love and life.

Thank you, women who are daughters and women who are sisters! Into the heart of the family, and then of all society, you bring the richness of your sensitivity, your intuitiveness, your generosity and fidelity.

Thank you, women who work! You are present and active in every area of life-social, economic, cultural, artistic and political. In this way you make an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of "mystery", to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of humanity.

Thank you, consecrated women! Following the example of the greatest of women, the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, you open yourselves with obedience and fidelity to the gift of God's love. You help the Church and all mankind to experience a "spousal" relationship to God, one which magnificently expresses the fellowship which God wishes to establish with his creatures.

Thank you, every woman, for the simple fact of being a woman! Through the insight which is so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world's understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic.

For more, please read Letter to Women ~ Vatican

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Andrei Culture of violence

I'm sure you have all heard that the Pope's brother has admitted that he hit children while he was choirmaster at a German boarding school.

If you haven't you can read the Times' hit piece take on it here.

It begins
The Pope’s brother gave a rare insight yesterday into a pervasive culture of violence at Roman Catholic institutions, admitting that he hit children while he was choirmaster at a German boarding school.
And the question to be asked if there was there a "culture of violence" at Bavarian Catholic schools in the early 1960s what was the culture of English schools like during the same period.

Let's ask about Eton, for example, a school where it was legitimate for senior pupils to beat junior pupils with a cane and a school at which the birch was used on the naked rumps of miscreant pupils until at least 1964, bare bottom canings lasting until 1970 and caning on clothed backsides until the mid 1980s.

I wonder why the editor of the Times didn't see this?

Perhaps it is because the Times editor, James Harding, was born in 1969 and educated at St Paul's, presumably after corporal punishment had been abolished.

Andrei What's so scary about Christianity?

It is interesting, to say the least, to observe how much hostility the Christian faith attracts.

Here's a story with a local aspect: Kiwis accused of teaching Christianity to Muslims.

It is about two kiwis working in a Moroccan orphanage who have been expelled from Morocco. The story as linked doesn't mention it but the orphanage in question has operated for over fifty years but is now closed.

The question which will remain forever unanswered is why the hostility now?

But underlying that is the general hostility shown toward the Christian faith which is not only confined to Muslim nations, where it is often overt but also within those with a Christian heritage.

Here is an example from San Antonio, Texas where an atheist group is running a campaign to swap Christian literature for porn. Get this you can trade your Bible for a penthouse magazine.

Not much of a trade I'd say.

Of course we all should know the ultimate source of all of this and that would be the great deceiver himself - the Prince of Lies.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Andrei New regulations and an ad campaign to follow?

The lady at the left had an accident while driving and attending to her bikini line at the same time.

Well actually while her ex husband did the attending, they were on the way to see her new boyfriend and she felt scruffy down there or something? That's what the story says!

They don't have a cell phone ban while driving in Florida where this occurred and I doubt that even if they did it would have made any difference, given that the woman in question was banned from driving anyway.

Still if this starts a trend can you imagine the public service advertising we might be be subject to.

The mind boggles.

Andrei A wise man builds his house on rock

While a foolish man builds his on sand and expects the authorities to protect it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

ZenTiger Sterilisation For Cash

Michael Laws made another pitch for the "Sterilize the poor" in the SST. The basic argument seems to be "we pay a fortunate in welfare so that poor people can feed their kids, but we all know that certain segments of poor people abuse kids, so it's cheaper to offer them a cash incentive to be sterilised."

I don't like this idea for many reasons, but I'm going to stick to just one angle, because I don't have time for the whole debate. For that matter, I'm amazed I even have to articulate my other reasons.

So in the spirit of a good rant, here's just one idea to consider:

Andrei Bleat, bleat, whinge, whine, whine, whinge

Pansey Wong proving that she is just another Labour National MP.

Questions: How many wimin get killed at work compared to men?

How many wimin kill themselves compared to men?

How many wimin are homeless compared to men?

Is the Department of Men's affairs also going to get an extra $2 million smakeroos to deal with "mens issues?

The answer to the last is obviously no since there isn't a Department of Mens affairs throwing money down the toilet producing bullshit "studies" claiming that men are hard done by.

Andrei Sorry AP - but this doesn't lead to the Vatican

Here is the headline of an AP story carried by Stuff:

Pope's brother will testify in abuse case
.

The Pope's brother, Fr Georg Ratzinger, a Catholic clergyman himself, embroiled in a Church sex abuse scandal - oh joy.

These scandals occurred in a choir directed by Fr Ratzinger for more than thirty years from 1964.

Except that on reading the story he has expressed willingness to testify but it seems unlikely that he has anything of significance to to add because
  1. the incidents in question occurred in the 1950s before the Pope's brother became associated with the choir.
  2. and
  3. the culprits were identified and prosecuted at the time.
Is there any more to this story?

Who knows?

But it seems likely that those hostile to the Church will try and milk it for all its worth.

Lucia Increasing violence in schools

Teachers attacked by the hundred

Hundreds of teachers have been receiving ACC-funded treatment after being assaulted at school.

Principals are shocked by the figure and are demanding immediate action to make schools safer.

~ Front page, Dominion Post, Monday 8 March, 2010
Over the past few decades, New Zealand has been experimenting with a "non-violent" approach to disciplining children. Apparently children can be reasoned with and punishment of the physical sort should never be needed. First the schools were constrained with physical discipline being made illegal in the 80's and then a couple of years back, parents have been likewise constrained in reining in their unruly children.

And now principals are shocked that so many teachers are being assaulted in schools.

Why should they be shocked? Is not this just the natural consequence of removing punishment? Now it's the teachers bearing the brunt of increasing violence from children, next it'll be more and more parents.

Somebody in Government really needs to read Lord of the Flies.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Andrei Heroism

Flight Lieutenant Ian Fortune
This is what a hero looks like, my friends.

Flight Lieutenant Ian Fortune is an RAF pilot flying Chinooks in Afghanistan. He was on a mission in Helmand Province to rescue casualties during a battle between American and Afghan troops and the Taliban.

As he was taking off with his casualties the firefight resumed and his helicopter struck. A bullet penetrated his helmet striking him right between the eyes. Despite being wounded himself he was able to get his wounded passengers and himself to safety.

Its unusual to hear stories like this from Afghanistan - this one probably only escaped because there was a TV reporter on board to report it..

Andrei Well guess who has written a kiss and tell

Christopher Hitchens has, that's who.

In it he says that when he was a trotskyite student at Oxford he had affairs with two men who would later become Cabinet Ministers in Margaret Thatchers government.

That little revelation should help boost his sales.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

ZenTiger Pole Dancing goes for Gold

[Gratuitous Pole Dancing Clip at end of post]
I could definitely see pole dancing in the Olympics," said Sato, who, a dancer since the age of three, out-twirled a bevy of athletes from 11 countries at the second International Pole Dancing Fitness Championships in Tokyo two months ago. "I would love to win a gold medal."
After Synchronized Swimming making it to the Olympics officially in 1984, being a form of water ballet, it comes as no surprise that the pole dancers are on the slippery slope to be showered in gold. Unfairly, men are denied an event in synchronized swimming, and skimpy costumes and twirling forms seem to be relegated to the women. However, if pole dancing makes it on to the Olympic list, there must be a lot of fireman that would want a shot at a medal. Chances are though, it will also remain an all women event. Except for the audience, of course.

ZenTiger Saint Thomas on Science

The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.

He was a wise man, was Saint Thomas.

Andrei Stone the whales

Paul Thomas has a go at the American Family Association (AFA) in todays Herald. According to him "an ultra-conservative religious group with 200 radio stations across the US"

He has picked up on an internet meme derived from a column written by Bryan Fischer, a column which Paul Thomas claims suggests the killerwhale which killed its trainer at Seaworld in Orlando should be stoned.

Furthermore according to Paul Thomas's column
If you think that's weird, get a load of this: the AFA also wants SeaWorld's head of animal training to be stoned to death, because the Bible says, "If an ox kills a second time, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner shall also be put to death."

And no, I don't think there's much to be gained by pointing out to the AFA that Tilikum isn't an ox.
Did Paul Thomas use the power of the internet to read the original column before rushing into print?

I doubt it because the story evaporates like the morning mist if you do.

To be sure the verses quoted by Mr Thomas are contained within the original piece,
If the counsel of the Judeo-Christian tradition had been followed, Tillikum would have been put out of everyone's misery back in 1991 and would not have had the opportunity to claim two more human lives.

Says the ancient civil code of Israel, "When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable." (Exodus 21:28)

So, your animal kills somebody, your moral responsibility is to put that animal to death. You have no moral culpability in the death, because you didn't know the animal was going to go postal on somebody.

But, the Scripture soberly warns, if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn't kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal. To use the example from Exodus, if your ox kills a second time, "the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death." (Exodus 21:29)

If I were the family of Dawn Brancheau, I'd sue the pants off SeaWorld for allowing this killer whale to kill again after they were well aware of its violent history.
All he says is the animal should have been put down after it killed the first time and that the dead trainers family should sue because it wasn't.

Nothing about stoning it let alone "SeaWorld's head of animal training" as claimed in Mr Thomas's column.

Anyway the original author, Bryan Fischer has written a subsequent column in which he responds to this nonsense - not the Herald column per se since that is merely a regurgitation of a more widespread meme.

He finishes
In my blog/column, I simply extracted an underlying principle from the Exodus 21 passage and gave it a contemporary application. I made no attempt to apply it in a crudely literal fashion, which apparently is a great disappointment to my critics.

One unanticipated benefit of the mindless overreaction my blog has generated is that a lot more people know what's in Exodus 21 than did a week ago. I'm happy to serve humanity by increasing biblical literacy, one passage at a time.
I kind of like that.

Andrei Virtual daughter thrives, real daughter dies

A Korean couple who met through an internet chat room neglected their baby daughter while they played an online game called Prius in internet cafes for up to 12 hours a day.

The hook in this game is a girl called Anima whom the player nurtures.

The living, neglected child died of malnutrition as her parents obsession with the game took over their lives.

It's a very sad world sometimes.

Andrei A Southland Judge with common sense

A seventy year Gore old school bus driver found himself before the courts charged with assault after he intervened to stop a 12 year old boy pulling a little girls hair.

He told the boy to stop, the boy swore at him and he grabbed the boys arm.

Kids on the bus used their cell phones to call the police and the driver was charged - the local police wanted to apply diversion but word came down from on high he was to be prosecuted.

Luckily the Judge in his case saw reason and not only did he discharge the case but he rebuked the boy and even sent him to the cells to reflect on what he had done.

This story has it all, this is an entirely predictable consequence of the anti-smacking law that New Zealanders overwhelmingly want repealed but which the ruling elite steadfastly refuse to do.

The boy knew his "rights", obviously, and when the adult who bore responsibility for him at the time, that would be the school bus driver, tried to get him to behave he knew he could tell him where to go with impunity.

All of this is demonstrates how insidious S59 really is - it sends the message to kids that they are not subject to adult authority and can do what they like without consequence.

Friday, March 5, 2010

ZenTiger Friday Night Free for All

It's Friday. I've hundreds of unread emails to go through, my personal accounts are way overdue, heaps of work stacked up with deadlines all over the show. Far too busy to blog, but then I thought, well, it's Friday.

In celebration of the coming weekend, tonight all comments made on this blog are free. Just quote voucher code A12543. Offer available for a limited time only, no refunds, no rain checks and offer void where prohibited.

So, freedom of speech tonight at no cost. What a bargain. You don't get that everyday in your standard democracy. Now I'm off to order Pizza. Offer code 60506 - Domino's online special, Classic Range only $6.90 pick up. Get one to go with your blog visit.

Andrei You can't make this stuff up

Today is the Womens day of Prayer.

All over the world, including New Zealand, women are congregating to pray together - this year using prayers composed by women in Cameroon.

Can you imagine anything less offensive or less likely to give offense?

Well it just might if you are an employee of the Labour run Sunderland Council in the UK, so they banned a Church from placing a poster in the public library advertising this event in their town.

The good thing about this is they look utterly ridiculous for doing so.

Andrei Culturally relevant schools?

Tariana Turia wades in
Associate Social Welfare Minister Tariana Turia says schools need to become more culturally relevant for Maori children.
The Government is putting more money into cracking down on absenteeism and truancy in schools, after a survey by the Ministry of Education found 30,000 students per day are skipping classes. More than half of them are Maori and Pacific Island children.
Mrs Turia told Waatea News that too many students are not inspired by what they get in the classroom.
Because of the deficiencies in schools, Mrs Turia said money has been invested in teaching non-Maori teachers how to educate Maori children.
The real disconnect here and it is not only Maoris and Pacific Islanders that exhibit it, is that we live in a technological civilization which we take for granted.

And the things we take for granted from indoor plumbing through to iPods and cell phone networks require mathematical skills and numeracy to build and maintain.

Skills which are often held in contempt - so much so that a large number of technical roles throughout the world now are filled by Indians and Chinese.

Mathematics and Science are what should be "culturally relevant" for all - I am not sure how we "inspire" kids to these subjects but I suspect investing money into to teaching non-Maori teachers into how to educate Maori children is unlikely do little to address it.

Andrei The hidden male epidemic

Its interesting to me that there has been a lot of fiddling with road rules in an attempt to further reduce the annual death toll on a roads but there is a bigger cause of premature death in New Zealand that nobody talks about, except perhaps in hushed tones.

And that is suicide. The suicide figures for 2007 are four hundred and eighty three, 70% of whom are male.

Compare that with the road toll for 2007 - four hundred and twenty two.

I find it a little curious that the Government is happy to introduce new rules, almost on a daily basis in fact, that will do little to nothing to reduce the road toll, bombard us with expensive advertising campaigns about cell phones in cars and not driving too fast and so forth.

Meanwhile this other thing, suicide goes unnoticed.

Anyone got any theories as to why?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

ZenTiger Nemesis



I was writing on Garottogenesis, and these words were running through my mind at the time. Worth a few minutes to absorb, IMHO:

ZenTiger Plundering our Natural Resources

I saw in the paper today some dudes got hammered for attempting to smuggle 13 cute geckos out of New Zealand. That sort of carry on is not permitted in the carry on luggage of an international departure, so these guys face fines and jail time for "this crime against all New Zealanders", as quoted by the Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson.

So that's all great news and a win for justice and stopping criminals etc. But then I read how much loot they expected to make selling 13 Kiwi geckos in Europe.

$192,000.

Gee Wayne, why aren't we farming them and exporting them?

ZenTiger Pro-ACTive Abortion

ACT MP David Garrett has suggested offering abusive parents thousands of dollars in return for getting themselves sterilised.

So let me get this straight. ACT MP Garrett (and this is not ACT policy thank goodness) wants to PAY people who are abusive to children in some kind of weird reward/incentive system?

I can think of so many negative side effects to this, it would make a great blog post. But I don't have the time, so maybe our readers can help me out by making them in the comments :-)

Andrei Do twelve year old boys really need condoms?

Bien sûr - but small ones.

Andrei The Bishop tending to his flock?

Matthew 21:12-16

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,

16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
So TV3 and the New Zealand Herald are going after Bishop Brian Tamaki precipitated by a mass walk out of Destiny's church in Brisbane.

The title Bishop for Brian Tamiki is problematical in any case, a little matter of the Apostolic succession but leaving that aside for now the question in my mind is, is this a matter of the secular going after the Church or is Destiny a cult, transferring money from the pockets of its followers into the pockets of the leadership?

Well I just listened on-line to the sermon he gave last night and the bulk of it was about "giving" and rebuilding the house of God, which in this case means the purchase of TV time. It doesn't sit easy with me.

The Church since the time of the Apostles has needed to be supported financially but the financial aspects of its operation have always been peripheral to its mission, that of saving souls.

Sure you can find examples of venial Bishops throughout history but they are vastly outnumbered by men and women, ordained and laity living lives for the Lord in circumstances that can only be described as poverty - and it is they who are the heroes of the Church as a rule, rather than the Bishops in their palaces - venial or not.

Which is not to say that there haven't been many bishops who have been sanctified throught the ages.

But the wisdom of the ages has been transmitted by the likes of the Desert Fathers and they did it without recourse to television.

From the Wisdom of the Desert
A certain man asked a hermit to receive a gift of money for his own use. He refused, saying that the earnings of his labour sufficed him. The other, however, besought him to take the money and use it for the poor, if not for himself. The hermit replied, "So I should run a double risk. I should take what I do not want. I should distribute what another gave, and be praised."
I wonder if Brian Tamiki is acquainted with such examples?

Andrei There are bad ideas and then very bad ones

Child abuse is horrific, of course - normal people are sickened when the most vulnerable are maimed or killed, especially when it comes at the hands of those responsible for them.

So now there is a suggestion to track "abusive mothers" for life.

And the even more scary proposal for sterilization as a "solution" its ugly head again yesterday.

Meanwhile in California where they have a register of "child abusers" a case has wended its way to the Supreme Court over a registered couple, falsely and maliciously accused of child abuse unable to get themselves removed from said register.

Lets get real here - child abuse cannot be solved by big government, no matter how well intentioned.

It can only be solved at the local level by families and communities made up of families.

Centralized solutions imposed from above rarely work and they usually end up being oppressive or worse.

If twentieth century history has anything to teach us it is that surely.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Andrei More Emissions (of money) from John Key

Fifty million smackeroos, a lot of money for you and me, chump change for John Key. But then again it isn't his money that he is flushing down the toilet is it.

What is it for?
John Key has announced $50 million of new funding for research into reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture – and promises more is on the way.

So its to reduce cows flatulence. A very important thing to acheive according to Mr John Key.
“We don't have an option but to tackle this, half of our entire profile of greenhouse gases comes from the agricultural sector,” he says.

Funnily enough when Labour was in power he did not believe in this BS, he has only recently had the epiphany that our dairy cows are "wrecking the planet", I guess when he saw the opportunity to screw over the peasantry becaue thats all its for.

If we slaughtered every ruminant in New Zealand it would not make one whit of difference to GHG levels in the atmosphere as measurable by modern science. Not one whit.

But hard data and facts have never really been an important criteria when it comes to "climate science" any way. As climategate has revealed to everybody with half a brain.

Everybody except for John Key and Nick Smith that is.

Andrei What an abortion!

It had to happen I suppose, a woman has posted about her abortion on Youtube and tweeted it as it occurred..

One "antitheistangie" decided to expound on the miracle drug RU-486 after taking it.

Well a baby dies and she garners her fifteen minutes of fame and life goes on.

Why do I have the ominous feeling we are in the midst of a culture committing suicide?

Most probably because we are.

Lucia Swedish boy snatched for Homeschooling and National Government barrels ahead

STOCKHOLM, March 2, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two major legal defense organizations for homeschooling rights are now examining options for a Christian Swedish couple whose seven-year old son was seized by Swedish police and social workers, because his parents chose to educate him at home.

Nearly eight months have passed since Christer and Annie Johansson, with their young son Dominic, boarded a plane to move to India. With one minute before takeoff, Swedish authorities arrested Christer and Annie and whisked Dominic away into the custody of social services.

Last December, the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden rejected the Johanssons’ final appeal, siding with social workers who reportedly insisted that they were protecting Dominic’s “right to education” against his parents.
When the State decides it alone knows what is best for children, then children in that country are in real trouble. NZ has already followed Sweden in regards to banning smacking. Now the National Government is trying to enforce National Standards, despite most parents wanting a trial.
The public support a call for new national standards to be trialled, a poll shows, but Education Minister Anne Tolley says that will not happen and the standards are already in place.

Primary teachers' union the New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI) commissioned the UMR telephone poll of 750 adults which found 66% support for a trial of the standards while only 18% disagreed.

Respondents with dependent children were split 72% in favour and 15% against. Of those without children 62% were in favour and 20% against.

Of participants who had children in primary school 71% supported a trial.

NZEI President Frances Nelson said the poll showed the government did not have parental support for implementing the standards without a trial.

Tolley said it was time the NZEI moved on.
What's wrong with trialing the standards? And isn't trialing something that is already in place defeating the whole purpose of a trial? How on earth do you then do a real comparison?

Politicians and education - a deadly combination. While in Sweden they just take your child if you want to homeschool and they don't approve, here in NZ the Government happily stamps it's own mark on education without the support of teachers or parents. Not much difference apart from degree.

Related Links: Homeschool Legal Giants Intervene in Sweden State Abduction of Homeschooler ~ LifeSiteNews
Tolley says no to standards' trial ~ TVNZ

Andrei Another day, another report

Did you know we had a "Family Violence Death Review Committee"?

It's in the Ministry of Health and came into existence in 2008 under the last Labour government.

OK this committee has just tabled its first report to Parliament and generated a shock horror headline in the process.

'Staggering' report shows 41 Kiwis killed by family

Well this is bad, no doubt about it, but will this report, or the committee which produced actually do anything to address it?

The problem is that "family violence", no matter how it is defined remains a cultural issue and unless it is talked about in cultural terms we will get nowhere - ever!

Instead the cultural aspects will swept under the rug and generalized solutions will be sought, generalized solutions which will impact non-pathological families, grow government and governmental intrusions into everyday life but have no effect whatsoever on the pathological ones where these problems occur.

And if past precedents are any guide there is a distinct possibility that the problem will be actually be exacerbated.

Andrei The tomb of Jesus, Hiroshima and Victoria University

What is the connection between, The tomb of Jesus, Hiroshima and Victoria University?

The answer is Charles Pellegrino, who has written books on the first two and claims to having obtained his PhD from the last.

The tomb of Jesus book was taken up with gusto by the Discovery Channel, even though the scholarship behind it was obviously meagre.

James Cameron (of Avatar fame) was interested in making a film on the Hiroshima book and indeed Charles Pellegrino was a scientific advisor for Avatar and also provided much of the material used in Titanic.

So Charles Pellegrino was on a roll until the New York Times picked up one dodgy source in the Hiroshima book and started probing .....

And one of the things they checked out was Mr Pellegrino's Victoria University PhD.

And apparently just like the some of the sources in his books it doesn't exist.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ZenTiger Blog Stats for February 2010

February seems to have matched January, given the month was 3 days shorter. We are showing more activity than at the end of last year too.

It would have to be the month of Andrei, as he's carried the blog whilst we others appear to be fairly distracted with other things. Such are the cycles of life and blogging. Thanks Andrei! Thanks readers!

The stats for February

Lucia Skirts are discriminatory

“Gender-specific” clothes, the EHRC said in its 68-page report on the rights of “transsexuals” this week, could be discriminatory. “Pupils born female with gender dysphoria experienced great discomfort being forced to wear stereotypical girls’ clothes – for example a skirt,” the report said.

The EHRC is a non-departmental government body established by the Equality Act 2006 that began to function in October 2007. The EHRC called its latest published “guidance,” the “Provision of Goods, Facilities and Services for Trans People,” a “how to guide” for “managers and front line staff of all levels” that gives “good practice examples.”
Amazing. Truly, truly amazing.

It just reminds me of when I was 11 years old, having to colour in a picture of a number of girls sitting around resting in a forest - all wearing shorts. With great care, I coloured in skirts, with appropriate folds depending on how they were sitting for all the girls in the picture.

Related link: Skirts in School Uniforms “Discriminate” against Transsexuals: UK Human Rights Commission ~ LifeSiteNews

Andrei It is still illegal to ride a bike naked in New Zealand

You have to protect your head but not your dangly bits apparently.

Andrei Christian doormats

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has come out swinging against the marginalization of the Christian Faith in the UK.

He claims, almost certainly correctly that MPs are using political correctness to push Christianity out of public life.

And he says Christians must stand up for their faith and the Christian heritage of the United Kingdom.
He told a meeting in the House of Lords: 'Christianity, which has given so much to our country, is now being sidelined as never before as though it is a stranger to our nation.'
Lord Carey told Christians to stand up for their faith and to be more assertive when their heritage is attacked.
'If we behave like doormats, don't be surprised if we are treated as though we are,' he said. 'It is time to return to the public square.'
He is right.

And what applies to the UK also applies here.

Andrei Misandry in the Herald

A little puff piece but illustrative never the less: Boys read as much as girls, but easier books.

Its a meme isn't it, girls are smarter than boys.

But we all should know that the educational establishment has been captured by women, in some cases ardent feminists, and they in some sense define what is "easier" or "more difficult".

And even to some extent what is important to teach and how it is taught.

The deck is stacked against our boys who are not really allowed strong masculine role models nor given them.

And people wonder why our society is becoming more violent.

Male frustration might have something to do with it.

Related: Men don't exist/ Women do

Monday, March 1, 2010

Andrei Making a circus out of Mass

These gentlemen are attending Mass in the southern Dutch village of Reusel.

Why are they dressed this way for Mass, you ask?

Well it goes back to just before Lent and the carnival in Reusel, where local barman Gijs Vermuelen was elected "Prince of the Carnival". As such he would address the congregation at Mass on Sunday.

But Gijs Vermuelen is "openly gay" and lives with his lover who he flaunted during the festivities and so the Parish Priest, Fr Luc Buyens, suggested to him a that he would receive a blessing rather than communion when he attended Mass.

As it happened Gijs Vermuelen attended Mass but did not come forward to receive his blessing and tumult followed.

Thus yesterday several hundred gays from all over the Netherlands turned up to Mass to insist upon receiving communion from Fr Luc Buyens.

Forewarned Fr Luc Buyens with the blessing of his Bishop did not distribute communion during Mass yesterday and the desired confrontation was averted.

Of course receiving communion is not a "right", it is a sacred gift. In our Eastern Tradition we only do it after long preparation, which should include confession shortly before, often the preceding day.

To assume it as of right slightly shocks me, as does making a fuss when it is declined.

Some soul searching is required here in my opinion.