Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lucia Pope Benedict XVI's last address

When ever I read anything by Pope Benedict XVI, I am always amazed at the beauty of what he says.  His last address is no exception.  I'm going to really miss him as pope.



The full text of Pope Benedict XVI's last address:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lucia Inappropriate acts by top cardinal

Oh no, not another one!

At least there's no children or teenagers involved.

Related link: UK's top cardinal accused of 'inappropriate acts' by priests ~ The Guardian

ZenTiger Getting less with more - NZ 4 year election cycles

The idea is circulating that politicians need 4 years in power (and opposition) to get more done. All for "our" benefit of course.

The rule in political negotiation is NEVER give away something of value without getting something in return.

Given that once the politicians have decided 4 year terms is what they want, the rest will be inevitable. So slow them down a little - start asking for something in return.

Here's two things to add to that list:

1. Voter veto on important legislation.
2. The ability to "vote out" a Minister, particularly a list MP.

Let's remind MPs they were put there to serve us and be accountable to us.  A four year term makes them less accountable. We should get something in return.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

ZenTiger Is it credible to blame the Catholic Church for AIDS?

This is a pretty typical accusation:

Catholicism is directly responsible for hundreds of thousands (millions?) of deaths due to the spread of AIDS in Africa by discouraging condom use. [LudditeJourno on the Hand Mirror]

That seems to me a particularly silly thing to say. Aside from the fact that the DIRECT causes are something far more obvious, I fail to understand how the Church advocating not using condoms would make ANY difference to non-Catholics.

Q1. Does anyone seriously think non-Catholics will "obey" this suggestion?

And for Catholics, this suggestion is part of a larger list. It is taken out of that list, breaking the context, by the media. The full message is:

1. No sex before marriage.
2. No condoms (be open to life)
3. No adultery

Q2. Do you think Catholics are going to follow the second directive whilst they are actively ignoring the first and third?

The whole contraception thing comes off as an overly simplistic way of playing the blame game.

I'm interested in any blogger's answer to my two questions - because from where I sit, if people are going to listen to the Catholic Message with regard to condoms, then they probably are going to listen to the whole message - which includes fidelity, abstinence and marriage. Blaming the spread of AIDS on the Catholic Church is simply another example of anti-Catholic bias.

AIDS in Africa lower where Catholics listen

Related Posts: Non-Catholics on Catholics

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lucia Whale Oil is just getting tedious with his attacks on the Pope and Catholics

Cameron Slater, aka Whale Oil, is an anti-Catholic of the most virulent type.  I've come across a number of them now, and I find it's really difficult to converse calmly with them.  They tend to have beliefs of the most extreme kind, and like conspiracy theorists of the type who believe all our world leaders are actually alien reptiles, don't believe anything you tell them unless it matches their imaginary framework.  In this case, Whale Oil seems to believe the purpose of the Catholic Church is to act as a front for child sex abuse around the world.  If he doesn't believe that, then he's still happy to put that view forward in his posts.

But first, the post Another dodgy Catholic priest, where Whale shows he doesn't care about correcting errors of logic and fact when they are pointed out to him.  He said, of the story that he links to:

This is just going to keep on keeping on until the Church actually addresses what appears to be a systemic problem with pedophile priests.
Except his sentence above contains a logical fallacy in that it assumes that if systemic problems he alleges are addressed today, then somehow these past cases will just vanish into thin air. But reality doesn't actually work that way.

As I have said before, these stories that are coming out are old abuse cases. This particular case is on abuse that occurred more than thirty years ago. In recent times, a lot more has been done recently to make the Church a much safer place for children, including tightening up the selection criteria for the priesthood, but in the meantime, there are still these cases from the past, which unfortunately tend to feature Catholics because others in society aren't that much of a target for prosecution right now.

Also, the man in the story he links to isn't even a priest, he's just an ordinary man who took vows. That's why he had the title, "Brother", and not, "Father", as priests are called. He's not even a "Brother" anymore. So, his title and premise of Whale Oil's post are both factually incorrect.

None of that seems to matter to Cameron Slater/Whale Oil, now editor of Truth. Maybe Truth should be renamed, Pravda. It's really the biggest irony that media that implicitly purports to be the truth through the use of the word as their name, is generally anything but. Bloggers who care about truth will change their posts when errors are pointed out to them. Not so Whale, which shows he doesn't actually care if what he posts is true or not.

Then later in the day, Whale posted a truly disgusting piece basically accusing Pope Benedict XVI of knowingly heading a church that is really some sort of front for child trafficking, torture and other crimes against humanity, and trying to keep his papal immunity so that international law can't get him or the Vatican.  Whale's own comments in the post show that he believes that what the Church really is will become apparent at some point in the future.

Every time, I read that post, I'm just flabbergasted and horrified. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. When a person doesn't even care about the little details as shown in post of the ex-brother, then it's much easier to make wild claims, even if just for propaganda purposes. When truth doesn't matter anymore, there are no barriers on going too far, on posting anything if it suits the narrative that you support.  In Whale's case, that is gay-marriage and Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church stands firmly against the redefinition of marriage, therefore the pope and the Church has to be taken down. 

I'll finish with a quote from a Protestant, Russell D. Moore, the Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration and Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on Pope Benedict's moral leadership:

Benedict has countered the sexual revolution with an Augustinian view of the meaning of human personhood. A human person, he has reminded the world, is not a machine. We are not merely collections of nerve endings that spark with sensation when rubbed together. Instead a human person is directed toward a one-flesh union, which is personal and spiritual. Destroying the ecology of marriage and family isn’t simply about tearing down old “moralities,” he has reminded us, but about a revolt against the web of nature in which human beings thrive.

And Benedict has stood against the nihilism that defines human worth in terms of power and usefulness. He has constantly spoken for those whose lives are seen as a burden to society: the baby with Down syndrome, the woman with advanced Alzheimer’s, the child starving in the desert, the prisoner being tortured. These lives aren’t things, he has said, but images of God, and for them we will give an account. When society wants to dehumanize with language: “embryo,” “fetus,” “anchor baby,” “illegal alien,” “collateral damage,” and so on, Benedict has stood firmly to point to the human faces the world is seeking to wipe away.

As Protestant Christians, we will disagree with this pope, and with the next one, on all sorts of things. Here we stand, we can do no other; God help us. But let’s pray the next pope, like this one, will remember what it means to be human, and will remind the rest of us when we forget.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lucia What Bendict XVI has done to tackle the sex abuse problem

Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, the academic vice-rector of the Jesuit-run Gregorian University in Rome and head of its Institute of Psychology, talked with NCR to discuss Benedict’s record and the fallout from last’s year international summit on the sex abuse crisis held at the Gregorian, and co-sponsored by several Vatican departments.

Now that Benedict XVI is stepping down, how do you evaluate his legacy on the sexual abuse scandals?

Based on what I know personally, at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he was the first person, and the most determined person, to take on what he called the ‘open wound’ in the body of the church, meaning the sexual abuse of minors by clergy. He came to know about a number of cases, and the intensity of the wounds inflicted on victims. He became aware of what priests had done to minors, and to vulnerable adults. As a result, he became more and more convinced that it has to be tackled, and at various levels he started to deal with it – the canonical level, the ecclesial, and the personal.

Benedict XVI is the first pope who has met with and listened to abuse victims, who has apologized, and who has written about the problem both in his letter to Irish bishops and in the book Light of the World.

One very important step was to concentrate all the legal and administrative procedures at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Another was to appoint a very intelligent, practical and dedicated man as Promoter of Justice.

Read more : Jesuit expert calls Benedict 'great reformer' on sex abuse ~ National Catholic Reporter

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lucia Massive attack on Pope Benedict

Well, it seems all the anti-Catholics are out in force, casting aspersions on the character of Pope Benedict, accusing him of covering up child abuse in the Church, when he has done the most in the Church to combat it.

They think that there is something explosive that Pope Benedict is running from that has forced him to abdicate, disregarding the notion that the burdens and workload of the papacy, which would be very difficult for men much younger to keep up with, and his advanced age of 85 at which few are active in public life and then only as figureheads such as Queen Elizabeth II, might actually be the real reason why he is moving aside for someone younger!

No, no, it has to be some nefarious reason, he can't just abdicate! They probably think this because of idea of relinquishing power just like that seem inexplicable to them, so there must be a hidden reason.

How many of them think they'd be capable of running a world-wide organisation at 85, or do they just envisage themselves in a retirement home where the most effort they have to exert is trying to figure out what tv show to watch?

Pope Benedict XVI is really old. Can people not get that?

From an eyewitness:

When I stood opposite the Holy Father on October 31, 2012, I was struck by his frailty. He seemed to be a mere spirit, fulfilling with the utmost effort and devotion his duty to greet a dozen people personally.

That's not the only reference to his frailty that I've seen.

Related links: True reasons for pope's sudden resignation revealed ~ Whale Oil Beef Hooked
No immunity for child sexual abuse ~ Handmirror

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ZenTiger Helvetica font banned by Maori Party

Protected from the pretty colours and bold fonts
March 2014 - In a stunning blow to the Tobacco lobby, the government has banned the use of Helvetica font (and many others) on plain cigarette packaging. Once the new legislation is in force, advertisers will be forced to choose between only Courier and Times New Roman when adding printed messages on their products.

Whilst the bill was known as "Helvetica 12" the legislation included a long list of fonts that were now deemed illegal for the purposes of advertising.  The full list wasn't fully known as the list was delivered in 6 point font, and no-one had a magnifying glass handy.

Helvetica font was singled out based on solid, peer reviewed overseas research.  The study indicated consumers were more likely to buy a packet of cigarettes when noticing key words such as "Camel" in Helvetica 12, 14 and 16.  Young people aged 12, 14 and 16 were most susceptible according to the data.

"This is a fantastic win for consumers!" enthused Turia. "We realised that those evil Tobacco companies had cleverly chosen a font type that would lure hapless smokers and young children."

With the font loophole covered, Turia was confident that many smokers would now be able to quit, although there was a worry that Global Warming was also a major contributor to cigarette addiction.

/satire

Actually, what nauseated me more was the gushing article by Patrick Gower. It was just a little bit over the top.  An excerpt of his article illustrates my point:

Lucia Plain packaging on smokes

Opinion: Turia has absolutely smashed Big Tobacco ~ 3 News

Hmmmm....

Is the proposed law to make smokes only available in plain packages something that conservatives should be concerned about? I'm not sure ...

Smoking is legal, the product causes no moral harm to the individual, it doesn't impair mental capacity - but it can cause health problems. Except some people can smoke their entire lives and live to a ripe old age. Other product can also have a massive effect on health, and are probably just as addictive - such as sugar.

Personally, I'd prefer that my kids were addicted to cigarettes than to mind altering drugs. The irony here is that while the Government clamps down on smokes, there are repeated pushes for the relaxing of laws around marijuana, a far worse substance to take in to the body than smoking in my opinion, as it does cause mental impairment.

If smoking is so bad, why not just ban it outright? I would guess there are still too many voters who would revolt if that were to happen.

Why not force Big Tobacco to provide low nicotine smokes, or to progressively lower the nicotine content? As of a year ago, it was still impossible to buy low nicotine cigarettes in NZ, even though they had been found to have been very effective in helping people give up smoking.

My thinking is that this "victory" against "Big Tobacco" is a bit of being seen to be doing something. All noise and smoke, but no substance. And legislating plain packaging, which as a consumer, I abhore in any product as it's hard to tell what's what, might be setting some sort of puritanical precedent that the "Equality Crusaders" of our times might eventually use in the supermarket so that it's difficult to distinguish one brand from another. Far fetched, I don't know. Anything's possible in a world gone mad.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lucia Idiotic stories on Pope Benedict XVI's resignation/abdication on Stuff

There have been a number of idiotic articles posted online about Pope Benedict XVI's abdication, so many that it's hard to keep track.  Here is one that I noticed that was published on Stuff last week.

This article is a mish-mash of various bits and pieces in order to, not so much to prove, but to infer that the Vatican was being disingenous when it said that very few people knew about when Pope Benedict XVI was going to resign.

Holes appear in story of pope's resignation


For an institution devoted to eternal light, the Vatican has shown itself to be a master of smokescreens since Pope Benedict XVI's shock resignation announcement.

On Thursday (local time), the Vatican spokesman acknowledged that Benedict hit his head and bled profusely while visiting Mexico in March. Two days earlier the same man acknowledged that Benedict has had a pacemaker for years, and underwent a secret operation to replace its battery three months ago.

And as the Catholic world reeled from shock over the abdication, it soon became clear that Benedict's post-papacy lodgings have been under construction since at least the fall. That in turn put holes in the Holy See's early claims that Benedict kept his decision to himself until he revealed it.

Vatican secrecy is legendary and can have tragic consequences - as the world learned through the church sex abuse scandal in which bishops quietly moved abusive priests without reporting their crimes.

And the secrecy is institutionalised from such weighty matters to the most trivial aspects of Vatican life.

"You have to understand that actually every Vatican employee and official takes an oath of secrecy when they assume their job," said John Thavis, author of the Vatican Diaries, an investigation into the workings of the Holy See. "And this isn't something that is taken lightly. They swear to keep secret any office matters and anything pertaining to the pope."

Oh, for goodness sakes. My father-in-law worked in communications (a special room in the Beehive) in the New Zealand Government a number of years back, and he could not reveal anything that he came across during his job, either. He said he he had to train himself to forget everything he saw. There was probably some pretty mundane stuff there mixed in with the ultra-serious stuff, but it wasn't his decision to make as to what was serious and what wasn't, and the same with anyone working with the pope. The pope is the world-wide leader of over one billion Catholics. The job is far more important than what my father-in-law did, yet the principle is the same. You can't blab if you are working for the state, or the pope, and I doubt you can blab if you are working directly for John Key either. His security people would undoubtedly get fired pretty quickly if they let on anything about him. Maybe the only difference between people like my father-in-law and John Key's security staff is that they may not (I don't know about this point) take an oath.

Then there's a whole lot of blather around how secret the Vatican keeps the health of popes, as if every single injury and health matter should be completely public. There's nothing sinister in protecting the privacy of a public and important person. They miss out the secrecy around assassination attempts, though, probably because it wouldn't suit the tone of the whole article, which is really trying to make a whole lot of something over nothing.

Moving on, we get to the purpose of the article, to cast doubt on what the Vatican said as to how many people knew the pope was going to retire.
Then there's the question of how many people knew of Benedict's decision to retire.

On the day of the announcement the Vatican cast it as a bolt from the blue, saying almost nobody knew but Benedict himself. Soon, however, prominent clergymen - one not even Catholic - began changing the tone and saying they were not surprised.

"Knowing the pope well, there was something in the air that this decision of the pope was possible," said Archbishop Piero Marini, master of papal ceremonies under Pope John Paul II. "So it was not a shock."

Even the retired Arcbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Rowan Williams, says that based on his last meeting with Benedict a year ago he was not surprise at the decision to step down.

"Because of our last conversation I was very conscious that he was recognising his own frailty and it did cross my mind to wonder whether this was a step he might think about," Williams told Vatican Radio.
It was a bolt from the blue.  It woke me up completely when I heard it on the clock radio that normally eases me into wakefulness before another alarm goes off to get me out of bed.  Yet, even I wasn't totally surprised that Pope Benedict XVI chose to step down, because of several, very important clues over the past few years that he might actually do this.

Clue No 1: An interview in 2010, with Peter Seewald, published in the book, Light of the World:

Seewald: The great majority of these cases took place decades ago. Nevertheless they burden your pontificate now in particular. Have you thought of resigning?

Benedict XVI:When the danger is great one must not run away. For that reason, now is certainly not the time to resign. Precisely at a time like this one must stand fast and endure the difficult situation. That is my view. One can resign at a peaceful moment or when one simply cannot go on. But one must not run away from danger and say that someone else should do it.

Seewald: Is it possible then to imagine a situation in which you would consider a resignation by the Pope appropriate?

Benedict XVI: Yes. If a Pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.

Clue No 2: Visiting the body of Pope St. Celestine V, who abdicated the papacy after five months (after having been elected at age 84), and leaving his pallum there on one of those occasions.

Pope Benedict XVI leaving his pallum on Pope St. Celestine V's tomb

Fr. Z, last year, called this "an interesting gesture". The fifth commenter on that thread from last year said, "Let us pray he doesn't resign." Now, of course, the gesture is much more clear. As Scott Hahn says:

Back on April 29, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI did something rather striking, but which went largely unnoticed.

He stopped off in Aquila, Italy, and visited the tomb of an obscure medieval Pope named St. Celestine V (1215-1296). After a brief prayer, he left his pallium, the symbol of his own episcopal authority as Bishop of Rome, on top of Celestine's tomb!

Fifteen months later, on July 4, 2010, Benedict went out of his way again, this time to visit and pray in the cathedral of Sulmona, near Rome, before the relics of this same saint, Celestine V.

Few people, however, noticed at the time.

Only now, we may be gaining a better understanding of what it meant. These actions were probably more than pious acts. More likely, they were profound and symbolic gestures of a very personal nature, which conveyed a message that a Pope can hardly deliver any other way.


Related link: Holes appear in story of pope's resignation ~ Stuff

Fletch Dr Ben Carson's Speech at National Prayer Breakfast



For those who missed it, here is Dr Ben Carson's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast a few weeks ago. It made quite an impact for the fact that he was quite critical of some of the Administration's policies and Barrack Obama and his wife were sitting right there. He makes some good points about Political Correctness stopping us saying what we want to say, education, and taxes.

If you have not heard of him, Dr Carson pioneered hemisphereoctomies in surgery - that is removing an entire half of a brain when it has a tumour etc. This can only be done up until the age of three years old because before three, the other half of the brain will take over the functions of the missing half, but not after that age.

Some are asking whether he will run for President.

Ben Carson: Gifted Hands

Lucia Initial Arab reaction to Pope Benedict XVI on social media


Quite different to some of the Western world: Pope Benedict XVI resigns and moral cretins tweet hate, death wishes; Resign by ‘slitting your wrists’ ~ Twitchy

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lucia New blog pages

I've added two new blog pages.

Lost Posts, for all those posts that may have been published and accidentally (or on purpose) deleted for reasons unknown. As I discover which ones they are, I will put in a link to the Google Wayback Machine, if an archive link exists.

Book List, all the essential reading for those who come here because they like what we have to say. It's pretty sparse at the moment, but I will be filling it up.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

ZenTiger Beware the moderates

Liberals busy attacking Prosser for his rant against Muslims seem to be worried that saying such things is dangerous around Muslims. Consider this somewhat unguarded statement by Sean Plunket:

"Here's hoping Mr Prosser hasn't convinced any moderate young New Zealand Muslim to strap on a bomb or hijack a plane because people like him will never let them truly belong in our country"

and that's just the moderates that Sean Plunket typecasts as prone to flipping out completely. I suspect Sean hasn't quite realised that such statements actually suggest Prosser's sentiments dwell even within the PC crowd - this fear that moderates are merely one bad word away from becoming extremists.

Aside from that amusing slip, Sean's article was actually quite good - it made some good points and fun of the MPs scrambling to declare that what one MP says might not reflect their views. Yes, very important to establish that in front of the offended moderates (aka potential extremists). It's hilarious.

It's also instructive. The "moderate" PC liberal mindset is akin to the frog placed in a warm pot. They sit back and let things slowly warm up around them, advocating that there is nothing wrong with the pot being heated, because they've set the dial to heat slower - abortion, euthanasia, the destruction of the family - just heat the pot slowly, continuously, and it will all turn out just fine. Muslim moderates are the least of our worries - it's the liberal moderates that will boil us.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

ZenTiger Prosser gets Shearer into shark infested waters


"MPs from other parties have condemned Mr Prosser's comments as offensive and racist. Labour Party leader David Shearer said they could incite hostility against people in New Zealand and overseas.

That's an ironic statement from Shearer. He's effectively said: "I'm not a bigot, but don't say anything to upset the Muslim nut-jobs, because they might go ballistic and kill Kiwis"

Mind you, change 'Muslim' to 'Catholic' and he'd probably be a national hero by now, crowned by the same PC crowd currently demanding a ritual lynching of Prosser. We'll see over the next few years how serious the NZ Government is on freedom of religion
What is also interesting is watching this situation being turned into an opportunity to lynch David Shearer for Prosser's misbehaviour. Not that he's being criticised for the point I made above - no, the tweet went out from @MutchJessica at TVNZ razing Shearer for not coming out strongly and promising to fire Prosser if he was in the Labour party.

Prosser is a NZ First MP, but it's more fun apparently to make it Shearer's problem by giving him hypothetical situations to test his leadership skills. Shearer could have responded he'd ship any muppet asking such inane questions off to an Australian island detention centre for such cheek, but instead, he's apparently wimped out and hasn't answered the hypothetical question strongly enough for a Labour Party Leader.

Sharks are circling. And blood is in the water.



Lucia St Valentine brutally killed for encouraging Christian Marriage in the Roman Empire

Who was St. Valentine? Father O'Gara, in a post on the Christian Broadcasting Network, tells us:

"He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time," Father O'Gara explains. " He also had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died."

"I think we must bear in mind that it was a very permissive society in which Valentine lived," says Father O'Gara. "Polygamy would have been much more popular than just one woman and one man living together. And yet some of them seemed to be attracted to Christian faith. But obviously the church thought that marriage was very sacred between one man and one woman for their life and that it was to be encouraged. And so it immediately presented the problem to the Christian church of what to do about this."

"The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about. And he secretly married them because of the edict."

Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second. There are legends surrounding Valentine's actions while in prison.

"One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, who's daughter was blind. He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result."

In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius' daughter. He inspired today's romantic missives by signing it, "from your Valentine."

"What Valentine means to me as a priest," explains Father O'Gara, "is that there comes a time where you have to lay your life upon the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that -- even to the point of death."

So, when we celebrate Valentine's day, we are really celebrating Christian marriages between one man and one woman. The "marriage equality" crowd are going to have to ban this day!
"If Valentine were here today, he would say to married couples that there comes a time where you're going to have to suffer. It's not going to be easy to maintain your commitment and your vows in marriage. Don't be surprised if the 'gushing' love that you have for someone changes to something less "gushing" but maybe much more mature. And the question is, is that young person ready for that?"

"So on the day of the marriage they have to take that into context," Father O'Gara says. "Love -- human love and sexuality is wonderful, and blessed by God -- but also the shadow of the cross. That's what Valentine means to me."

Wow. Traditional Christian marriage needs to reclaim this day and this saint!

ZenTiger Gender discrimination bad, age discrimination good

A fantastic win for the ladies. No more Gender Discrimination in the EU!

Apparently a recent EU ruling has banned using gender as a basis for setting insurance costs. So for male drivers under 24, car insurance premiums go down by up to 50%, whilst for females under 24 they go up. Now I thought the reality was that more males get into car accidents that females, and so the premiums reflect some element of risk based on AGE and GENDER.

So, with this latest win for those promoting a genderless society, why is it OK to discriminate against age? Well, actually, it isn't if one applies the same reasoning. Today it's car insurance, and does that mean tomorrow it is health insurance? Health insurance premiums for males are usually much higher than a female of the same age, and way higher than younger people.

As all forms of discrimination are stamped out, the end result of this will be that the people that should pay higher premiums, will pay lower premiums as others bear the risk, and those that were "safe" bets, will finally decide it's not worth paying 12 times the cost of their current premiums as they don't want to subsidize everyone else. Maybe the demographics are changing on car insurance, but even if so, what's the problem? The insurance companies will soon adjust rates to reflect the statistics. That's what they have always done - so why does the EU feel the need to manipulate the premiums? Obviously, they are convinced there are no differences between men and women, or at least between male and female drivers. Well congratulations girls - you now pay double for the privilege of equality.

Some theorise this will actually reduce the number of women drivers - perhaps whilst they tend to earn less money (perhaps the EU should have fixed that one first?), it means the higher premiums will hit them harder? It's enough to make them go out and booze and get smashed every night hoping a sober male will drive them home.

Whilst I think the new-world liberals are keen on genderless discrimination though, I'm not so sure they are ready to apply the same principles to age. No, to solve the age problem, they have another policy to promote: voluntary euthanasia for people who have met their use-by date.

Happy Valentines Day. What do you make of this law?



Driving gender equality

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lucia Cardinal Arinze: Reaction to Benedict's resignation


"It could not have been an idea he got from the day before." ~ Cardinal Arinze

Lucia Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI: Commentary by Fr Barron

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lucia Lightening strikes St Peter's after Pope's resignation [UPDATE 2]


Yes, this really happened, some hours after the announcement.

Related link: Photo: Lightning Strikes Vatican After Pope's Resignation ~ Weather AOL

UPDATE: Another picture of the lightening.


The source is an Italian photographer.  Maybe he took two photos, or he's just posted a clearer, cropped version.

UPDATE 2:  And here's a video:


Lucia You're giving up WHAT for Lent!


Source: Joe Heller
Hattip: Allan Chesswas

Lucia Pope Benedict XVI's Resignation


Live reaction from around the world with The Guardian

Why Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered for generations ~ Timothy Stanley, CNN

Okay…okay… let’s talk about the “prophecies of Malachy” about Popes ~ What Does the Prayer Really Say?

10 Reasons Benedict's Resignation Is A Good Thing ~ Aggie Catholics

Director of the Holy See Press Office on the Pope's Resignation ~ Vatican Information Service

Pope Benedict's Devotion to Saint Celestine Signaled His Resignation from the Papacy ~ Dr Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales

An Evangelical Looks at Pope Benedict XVI ~ Russell D. Moore, First Things

Benedict XVI the Precedent Setting Pope ~ Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Standing on My Head

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lucia Cleaning up the Vatican

This is a very interesting story:
His appointment went practically unnoticed but is proof of the great trust Benedict XVI has in the Opus Dei as part of his strategy to silently clean up the Roman Curia in the aftermath of the Vatileaks scandal. The Vatican City State has a new inspector: Rafael García de la Serrana Villalobos.

Last 26 January, the priest was appointed vice director of the Department of Technical Services for the Governorate of the world’s smallest State. And he was not chosen by chance. Only yesterday he was head of logistics at the Opus Dei headquarters in Rome.

The not-quite-50-year-old priest was ordained presbyter on 23 May 2009. His is a classical “adult vocation” that was born within the body founded by San Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. An engineer by training, he coupled the skills needed in his new task with a deep spirituality.

He came to the Vatican after what had been a truly “black year” as a result of the Vatileaks affair (the scandal which broke out after the publication of some confidential letters which the Pope’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele stole from Benedict XVI’s apartment). One of the reports leaked by the poison pen letter writer and then published in Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi’s book “Sua Santità” (“His Holiness”), mentions that Mgr. Carlo Maria Viganò addressed the Pope, denouncing the “corruption” that existed within the Technical Services’ management.

Although the Vatican had denied that the situation was as described in the letter, Viganò wrote that the Technical Services’ management was being compromised by evident instances of corruption: work entrusted to the same companies, at double the cost of work carried out outside the Vatican. A kingdom divided into small feuds: a domestic construction industry and an external construction industry; a chaotic management of stores; the situation was beyond imagination and yet the Curia was well aware of it.

In his account, Viganò also made mention to the excessive amounts spent on the Nativity Scene for St. Peter’s Square. 550 thousand Euros were spent on it in 2009 but this was halved in 2010 after the cost-cutting operation adopted by the Vatican, with the setting-up costing just 21 thousand Euros thanks to the financial support of the Southern Italian region of Basilicata.

Given all the above, it appears Rafael García de la Serrana’s appointment is anything but a coincidence. As an engineer, he offers a guarantee that he will not be duped into paying exorbitant prices; as a priest, he will ensure a greater resistance to temptation as well as restoring people’s trust in the Pope and in the Church. Honesty in other words.

With the new vice director of the Department of Technical Services, the Opus Dei has not only reinforced its role within the Curia, where some of its members occupy prestigious posts, it has also proved itself as one of the ecclesiastical bodies closest to the Pope.

Cardinal Julián Herranz led the commission that investigated into the source of the leaked news. Meanwhile, American journalist and numerary member of the Opus Dei, Greg Burke, is in charge of the Vatican communications strategy. All of them Opus Dei men.

Cool.

I also didn't know that Greg Burke (formerly of Fox News) was a numerary, which are celibate Opus Dei members. They can be men or women. As opposed to supernummeraries, who are married Opus Dei members. Then you have the co-operators, such as myself, who aren't technically members, but we get access to the Opus Dei spirituality. They are all about holiness in every day life.

The Opus Dei and Benedict XVI’s “silent clean-up" operation ~ The Vatican Insider

Lucia Christian journalist goes down for child porn and Hypocrisy in morals crusaders

A Christian journalist in Christchurch has "admitted to three charges of making intimate visual recordings and 40 charges of possessing objectionable publications - images and stories", and has been sentenced to home detention.

Now, as this journalist is also a Christian, the anti-Christian elements of the Blogosphere have leapt all over this story, pointing out the man's hypocrisy of being a Christian and being against moral degradation in society in public and being a pervert in secret. It seems the worst crime a Christian can commit in liberal circles is that of speaking out against moral degeneration and being a moral degenerate himself, and thus committing the ultimate liberal crime of hypocrisy. Which is not so much a crime in their minds as they would make you think it is, but more something they use to catch moral crusaders out on.

In David Farrar's post on this journalist, David added a piece at the end that had been written by the man ten years ago as an example of his hypocrisy:
The Government is using the pretext of helping children who are victims of family breakdown as a lever for continued social engineering.

Along with other legislation, e.g. the Families Commission, the forthcoming Civil Union Bill and the Care of Children Bill seek to replace the primacy of married parents with other types. It’s doing this piece by piece in a process we call ‘legislative creep’. All three Bills promote diversity from different angles and through incremental change. …

‘Creep’ will ensure continued change masquerading as ‘reform’. The social fabric is being re-defined through a few key pieces of legislation. Instead of encouraging diversity of family types, it is better to assist those having difficulties, while advocating and supporting marriage as the best environment for nurturing children.

David's reaction to this was that he didn't believe the man had any concern for children:
"Pardon me while I vomit about the concern he expressed for nurturing children."

Maybe ten years ago, McNeil hadn't yet been drawn into the world of child porn and therefore concern he expressed at the time was real. We don't know and can't presume to know. If you were to have asked me about how important marriage was to raising children ten years ago, I would have had a very different answer from the one I have today.  People can change a lot in ten years, and in thiat time, this guy appears to have become a paedophile in training, with the number of pictures he had on his computer and the videos that he made.

A number of commenters on the thread took this inference further, trying to tie what this journalist did to Graham Capill (who also spoke out on moral issues and was a Christian as well), to the possibility that those Christians who speak out about moral issues are all dirty perverts behind closed doors.


Our modern understanding of hypocrisy seems to be that moralism equates to hypocrisy.

The only problem with this very modern view of hypocrisy is that every single person who aspires to live to higher standards fails to live up to them. I myself have failed many times to live up to my own standards of what it takes to be good,  yet, rather than deciding these standards are impossible and I should just give up, I go to confession and try again.

Well you know, some Christians may very well be dirty perverts behind closed doors.  And I bet some of those who speak out against morality, who crusade for "Marriage Equality", are also dirty perverts behind closed doors.  You've got to wonder about the types who wanted to lower the age of consent, for instance.  But I digress.

RRM, on the KiwiBlog comment thread, has this to say:
I look forward to hearing what our own Christian Taliban from NZ Conservative have to say about this!

They were very vocal about the Aaron Ellmers case recently.. will it be the same when a Christian values crusader is caught with his pants down?
I'm glad the man has been caught, especially before he actually physically molested any children.  He is also not quite the active paedophile that Aaron Ellmers was, though, given time he very well may have become so. Maybe the shock and the shame of being exposed and charged with crimes will help him change.  Maybe it's not too late for him.  Let's hope so.

***

I just want to finish with moral standards in public and why morality has become divorced from governance and what hypocrisy actually means.  For that, I need Peter Kreeft and his article on Michiavelli, who lived five hundred years ago and is the founder of modern political and social philosophy, who many are influenced by now whether they realise it or not:
Machiavelli didn't just lower the moral standards; he abolished them. More than a pragmatist, he was an anti-moralist. The only relevance he saw morality having to success was to stand in its way. He taught that it was necessary for a successful prince "to learn how not to be good" (The Prince, ch. 15), how to break promises, to lie and cheat and steal (ch. 18).

Because of such shameless views, some of Machiavelli's contemporaries saw "The Prince" as a book literally inspired by the devil. But modern scholars usually see it as drawn from science. They defend Machiavelli by claiming that he did not deny morality, but simply wrote a book about another subject, about what is rather than about what ought to be. They even praise him for his lack of hypocrisy, implying that moralism equals hypocrisy.

This is the common, modern misunderstanding of hypocrisy as not practicing what you preach. In that sense all men are hypocrites unless they stop preaching. Matthew Arnold defined hypocrisy as "the tribute vice pays to virtue." Machiavelli was the first to refuse to pay even that tribute. He overcame hypocrisy not by raising practice to the level of preaching but of lowering preaching to the level of practice, by conforming the ideal to the real rather than the real to the ideal.

In fact, he really preaches: "Poppa, don't preach!"-like the recent rock song. Can you imagine Moses saying, "Poppa, don't preach!" to God on Mount Sinai? Or Mary to the angel? Or Christ in Gethsemane, instead of "Father, not my will but thine be done"? If you can, you are imagining hell, because our hope of heaven depends on those people having said to God, "Poppa, do preach!"

Actually, we have misdefined "hypocrisy." Hypocrisy is not the failure to practice what you preach but the failure to believe it. Hypocrisy is propaganda.
All men are hypocrites unless they stop preaching - those that are safe are those that say nothing about morals.  Given our fallen nature, the cudgel of hypocrisy can whack anyone who steps out to call for higher standards, even though real hypocrisy is not believing what you preach.  That distinction is lost on the cudgel wielders.

It therefore becomes crucially important for anyone fighting in the morals arena to have impeccable standards to their own behaviour. Christians especially need to be begging the Lord for help in this area, so that what they believe and how they act and what they call for in others in all in accordance.

Interestingly enough, Whale Oil was rather neutral on the Christian journalist, though had he been a Catholic priest,  I would say his post would have been rather different.

Related links:
Journalist admits child abuse charges
Why just home detention? ~ KiwiBlog
A long drop off a short rope ~ Whale Oil Beef Hooked
The Pillars of Unbelief—Machiavelli ~ Peter Kreeft

Saturday, February 9, 2013

ZenTiger Air NZ overcharge by 15 percent

Air New Zealand is again under investigation over the credit card fees it charges passengers.It is the second time in a year the airline has come under scrutiny for fees that could breach the Fair Trading Act. The airline charges a $4 processing fee on all domestic bookings made by credit or debit card...
Yes indeed, a government watchdog, always on the alert for corporates adding surcharges to their fees, are worried that AIR NZ are gouging the customer. Adding an extra surcharge on top of the total price.

And yet, the requirement for AIR NZ, and indeed every single business and council in NZ to add an additional fee of 15% on the top never gets any sort of scrutiny at all. Oh, the hypocrisy.

Watchdog investigates wrong surcharge

ZenTiger Infected with Marxism

The Dom Post's highlighted letter to the editor speaks badly for the DomPost for picking it, and for the person writing in. It demonstrates leftist thinking, so the errors in logic are applauded rather than detected for the errors in logic that they are. The letter seeks to beat up Paula Bennett for making a reasonable comment. The letter goes like this:
Paula Bennett's enthusiastic acceptance of a charity programme launching in NZ schools is all the more depressing when you consider her comment that "society as a whole" needs to have input into poverty. If she doesn't believe the state represents "society as a whole" could she tell us who exactly she thinks the state represents? - Signed Don Kavanagh
So let's go through this to see the problems with the Dom Post's "letter of the week":
  1. We can argue the state doesn't represent "society as a whole", as Don seems to think is obvious. It's a bureaucratic machine, delivering legislated services and devising policy etc.
  2. Even if we agree it represents society as a whole, it doesn't make it an exclusive representation. Other groups can represent "society as a whole". It would be far worse for Paula to assume that the Government is the one stop shop when it comes to representation.
  3. And here's the key thing Don, that shows you are infected with leftism, perhaps full blown marxism: Stop putting so much emphasis on the State. Just because the state represents you, doesn't mean that you (and other people) cannot get directly involved in their community, and indeed, society as a whole. Just because some representative (who you may not have voted for) is representing your interests, don't assume that prevents you from taking Paula's advice. You can continue to provide input and participation into any ongoing issue, rather than abrogating your responsibilities to the State.
You can see this thinking in lefty circles, and increasingly in the so-called centre-right: The state should take care of things. Thus this letter sniping at Paula for her congratulating another group getting involved in helping tackle the problem of child nutrition. It means the State doesn't have to increase taxes to meddle in the affairs that society as a whole could solve without sitting back and saying "but nanny should take care of me".


Another example: Infected with Marxism

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lucia The fiction of education donations and free education in New Zealand

It's the beginning of a new school year, and like every year, there's always moaning about school "donations" that seem compulsory even though they are called donations. Last week there was some mention of these "donations" on talk-back radio, and even this morning, the Wellington host of NewsTalkZB is bringing them up. Yet no one that I've heard so far actually understands why we have "donations" to schools that aren't voluntary.

It's very simple. New Zealand has signed up to a whole lot of United Nations treaties, and in one of them, the Convention on the Rights of the Child which we signed in 1990 and ratified in 1993, we guarantee the right of every child to have access to a free education.

Article 28a of the Convention of the Rights of the Child states that we will:

Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;

Our reservations when signing the treaty were:

Nothing in this Convention shall affect the right of the Government of New Zealand to continue to distinguish as it considers appropriate in its law and practice between persons according to the nature of their authority to be in New Zealand including but not limited to their entitlement to benefits and other protections described in the Convention, and the Government of New Zealand reserves the right to interpret and apply the Convention accordingly.

The Government of New Zealand considers that the rights of the child provided for in article 32 (1) are adequately protected by its existing law. It therefore reserves the right not to legislate further or to take additional measures as may be envisaged in article 32 (2).

The Government of New Zealand reserves the right not to apply article 37 (c) in circumstances where the shortage of suitable facilities makes the mixing of juveniles and adults unavoidable; and further reserves the right not to apply article 37 (c) where the interests of other juveniles in an establishment require the removal of a particular juvenile offender or where mixing is considered to be of benefit to the persons concerned.

Note the bolded part above, which means that the way the NZ Government has interpreted free education as allowing schools to charge donations in order to make it appear that schooling is totally free in New Zealand, even though those donations aren't eligible for a tax deduction and the schools expect the donations to be paid.

It's all a fiction, but one that must be maintained because of the UN Declaration that we signed.  So, there is no way, as people are asking for on the radio, for these donations to be called what they really are, compulsory school fees for public education, because our education here is free!  Doncha just love it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lucia Britain: Same-sex marriage vote a massive win for the left

Same-sex marriage has been passed by the House of Commons in Britain.
Here's a very quick summary.
  • MPs have voted for the gay marriage bill by 400 votes to 175 - a majority of 225. Such a large majority probably increases the chances of the bill being able to get through the House of Lords this year, without the government having to rely on the Parliament Act to push it through in 2014.
  • More than half of the Tory MPs who voted chose to oppose gay marriage. Initial figures suggest that 139 Tories voted against, and only 132 voted for. Technically this is not a rebellion, because it was a free vote. But it is a severe embarrassment to David Cameron.

Part of the Left's primary agenda over the decades is to weaken the strength of the family, the traditionally married man and woman, raising children together. The problem being that men and women pass on their values to their children and if you are trying to make a new world, a socialist utopia, then you need to break this influence. Promoting women working outside the home as a right, while their children are put into child care, makes women think they are gaining something, and meanwhile the left ensure that from their youngest years, children are slowly taught other values by other people. Compulsory schooling wasn't getting them early enough, for as the Jesuits used to say, give me the boy until he is seven and I will give you the man. How children are raised in their earliest years and by whom make an incredible difference, and the left have cottoned on the need to raise children by others from babyhood if their dreams of utopia will be realised.

This same-sex marriage thing, like wholesale childcare, like no-fault divorce, is a massive win by the left against the family. It separates the notion of children from marriage, and turns marriage into a romantic partnership only. Sure, many act like marriage is a romantic partnership anyway, but what same-sex marriage does is confirm that idea into the modern mind.  It makes it much more likely that New Zealand will follow suit.

Ideas are important, and ideas are dangerous, because ideas will change how people act. The idea that marriage is just something I do to make myself happy is such a dangerous idea, and it's result is broken marriages and families and many, many children being raised by their mothers only. All the research says that on the whole, in every sphere of life, those that do the best in life come from intact families where their mother and father were married to each other and stayed together.

Strong families are a major bulwark against the State becoming too intrusive into the lives of every day individuals, so weakening families is always at the top of the left's agenda. They won't say it overtly, however, they'll just frame in the language of sentamentalism and equality. More fool any so-called conservatives who can't see this.

National Party supporters, David Farrar and Cameron Slater are happy.

Related link: Gay marriage debate live blog ~ The Guardian

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lucia NZ: Land of Paedophiles - three more

An international paedophile ring with New Zealand connections has been exposed by police, saving four children from further abuse, police say.

Aaron John Ellmers, 41, appeared in Hastings District Court today where he pleaded guilty to about 60 charges including sexual violation of children, stupefying, making an intimate visual recording, dealing in people for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a child under 12.

He was remanded in custody for sentence in the High Court at Hastings in May.

Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said it was at the "absolute highest end'' of child sexual offending in the country, and successfully argued for sentencing to be moved to the High Court.

Ellmers also had a previous conviction for similar offending in Australia, the court was told.

People like this should not be out in the community without some sort of warning about their background. Here is a man who was already convicted in Australia, yet he comes over here and does the same things before being caught again.
Two other New Zealand men, in Canterbury and Auckland, also face several charges including sexual violation of children and making, possessing and distributing child abuse images, police said.

The arrests follow a police operation targeting paedophiles in New Zealand and overseas which began in July last year and involved staff across the country including Northland, Auckland, eastern, Canterbury and southern districts.

As a result, four New Zealand children, aged 13 months to 13 years, had been saved from further abuse and police had made 35 referrals to authorities in Australia, the United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada, said Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael, head of OCEANZ, which is part of the National Criminal Investigations Group.
Wow.  It's going to be my mission to start documenting just how many of these types were have here.  I've been letting these stories slip for too long.

It is my belief that we are very lax on paedophilia in this country, not really treating it as the very serious crime that it is. I wonder if these men will actually serve time in prison, or if they'll just get a slap on the wrist. It'll be interesting. I personally think they should be put away for at least twenty years.

Thanks to Mzala for the reminder and the link to this story.

Related link: NZ police bust paedophile ring ~ NZ Herald

Lucia Gareth Morgan Cat Hunter and Inspiration to Sadists

From yesterday's Dominion Post, a swipe at Gareth Morgan and the potential consequence of his dreams of a bird utopia - being overrun by rats and mice:


Of greater, more immediate concern to me as a cat owner is the inspiration Gareth Morgan is giving to cat hating sadists. A couple of Sundays ago, a woman wrote into the Sunday Star Times a horrible story of her grandfather having successfully used a gin-trap to deter cats from his garden, and how when recommending the method to her friend on the Kapiti Coast, the friend was keen to try the same remedy and now no longer has her garden visited by cats. Here's the letter:
Feline solution

MY FRIEND has a pristine lawn and landscaped garden at her home on Wellington's Kapiti Coast. She complains of neighbour's cats invading her property, fighting, copulating, urinating, defacating, vomiting and digging up recently sewn plants. Her pleas for a solution to the council and SPCA have been to no avail as they don't want to know. My granddad experienced the same dilemma years ago on this lifestyle block and solved the problem by setting gin traps.

After several decapitations [!!] and countless paws in traps [!!], he had no more trouble. Cats are cunning and eventually learn where it's unsafe [if they survive!]. I admit some may think this is over the top and possibly illegal [it is illegal and I hope the SPCA find your friend and prosecute her!], but it works. My friend tried it and reports that "all is green in the garden".
This is the type of neighbour that all cat owners has to fear.  A person obsessed with their garden to the point where they will kill and main any neighbourhood pet cat might happen to wander onto their property.  Gin traps are illegal in urban areas, and I wonder if anyone using one could also be subject to an animal cruelty charge, which according this this news article on a man who stomped on his girlfriend's kitten's head, carries a maximum three years in prison and a fine of $50,000. Yes, it looks like using a gin trap makes one eligible for animal cruelty charges, but the previous article is incorrect on the fine amount, as this far more official NZ Government page just puts it at $25,000: Ministry for Primary Industries - Leg Hold Traps. Up to six months in prison would be devasting for a garden owner as it would be a veritable jungle by the time they got back to tend to it - much worse than anything a cat can do to it.

Cats are also unfairly blamed for damage to gardens, as birds and other creatures can also get up to no good. I am constantly having to top up the compost around newly planted trees, because the birds feel this is the best place to peck for grubs. I had a lemon tree that barely survived this pecking, until I put weed mat around the base of it, and then eventually planted grass right up to the trunk. Even now, I have to keep the grass long right around it, otherwise the birds are in there and the lemon tree, being a very shallow rooted tree especially when small, cannot grow if the roots are regularly cut at the base by pecking beaks. There are also holes in my lawn from birds as well, typically under trees that drop leaves and flowers, and where I've sprayed for bad grass, and then the birds come in an peck away under these areas until the ground is bare of anything except small pot holes. I know it's birds that do this, because I watch them. Likewise, in my vegetable garden, if I don't put down wire mesh over new plants, the birds are in there wrecking havoc. If you have mulch on your flower beds, watch out, because they love tossing it all onto your lawn as they search for eatable morsels. Anyone who thinks birds are a benign presence in the garden and blames every bit of damage on cats needs to spend a bit more time watching their garden - they might be surprised as to who the real culprits are.

Then there are the possums, which do defacate on the lawn, or on the path or anywhere they happen to be.  Cats normally dig a hole and bury their business, so any defacating on the lawn is very unlikely to have the cat as the culprit. I had real problems with a possum recently doing just that, made much more extreme one night when I left food out for one of my cats. The possum must have got into the food, which didn't agree with it, because there were at least eight piles of sloppy crap on the path the next morning, looking very similar to the stuff I'd found on the lawn previously. I've learned my lesson and don't leave cat food out at night any more and the possum has moved on.

So, I really wish Gareth Morgan would just stop. I don't want one of my neighbours, unlikely as that is given that I've been told my cats keep the area rodent free, to be inspired to kill and/or main any cats that they might imagine are annoying them. When my young cat, who roams, stays out a bit too long and doesn't come when called, I worry more than I used to.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lucia NZ: Land of Paedophiles

Yet another sex attack on a child in New Zealand:

A man has been arrested over a sexual assault on an 8-year-old girl at a South Island beach at the weekend.

The 20-year-old Invercargill man was arrested this morning and was due to appear in Invercargill District Court today, police said.

The girl was assaulted at Oreti Beach on Saturday.

My impression given the number of stories lately of sex attacks on children (the most horrendous being that vicious attack on a five year old tourist) that New Zealand has a great many paedophiles just lurking around, just waiting to nab the nearest child. Is this sort of thing getting more common? I shudder to think.

Related link: Man arrested over sex assault on young girl at beach ~ NZ Herald

Lucia Why the same-sex marriage bill is being rammed through

From a Press Release by Family First pointing out the speed at which the Bill to redefine marriage (referred to below as the same-sex marriage bill), is much faster than other bills voted in a month before:
“Other Members’ bills are not being rammed through at such speed. Some of these bills are being considered by the same Select Committee. The Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill was introduced a month before the same-sex marriage bill, and yet the Select Committee report is not due until August 2013. The Lobbying Disclosure Bill also had its first reading a month before the same-sex marriage bill, yet the report is not due until the end of July. The Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill - a government bill – has 12 months for the Select Committee to consider.”

“Yet the same-sex marriage bill has just six months to consider 20,000-plus submissions, hear oral submissions, and report back. This is a cynical but calculated attempt to ram through a highly controversial law change without due consideration and debate,” says Mr McCoskrie.

It's because it's so controversial that the parliamentarians don't want it hanging around for too long. Otherwise it will be the background for potentially the whole of National's second term in government, and it will hurt them come election time, so they need it done and dusted as soon as possible so it disappears down the memory hole. They won't come out and say this, though.

Related link: Rushed Marriage Bill Angers Jilted Submitters ~ Bob McCoskrie's Blog

Friday, February 1, 2013

Lucia Sir Paul Holmes RIP

I wasn't going to comment on the passing of Sir Paul Holmes, but after watching his last interview, I've just got to say Rest in Peace and I'll pray for his soul. Everyone's talking about celebrating his life, yet he says in the interview that he was frightened of what was on the other side and wanting to make his peace with God. So, I'll pray for him.