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Showing posts from September, 2007

Anglicans on EVE of new ERA

Australia could have its first Anglican woman bishop as early as next year following a decision by the Anglican church's highest court. So it looks like a recent Equal Rights Amendment may give Eve another bite at the apple. "It means women are at last recognised as fully human, fully equal in the constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia," Dr Muriel Porter said. But even as Dr Porter defines fully human as allowed to be a Priest, it can't be too long before a Priest will be jailed for denying an Orangutan the right to be an altar boy . Related Link: Anglican church decides Priesthood is a womens job

Hager a partisan Labour hack

Nicky Hager looks like nothing more than a partisan Labour hack with his attack on National, rather than a dispassionate review of the EFB. And his opinion piece is full of lies and half truths. Scrubone provides an excellent fisking, so I'll just say at this point: What he said .

A mother of a pyschiatrist

'I really regret it. I really regret having children' says French Psychiatrist Corinne Maier. And, more so, she has decided that other women ought not to have them, if they know what is good for themselves and for the world. She wrote a presumably humorous book filled with the seething resentment of a life that hasn't delivered to her whatever she thinks will make her feel fulfilled. I agree that not all people are cut out to be parents, and it used to be that society spent more time educating people on the role of parenthood. It started from the role of marriage. Such institutions have been continually eroded and redefined - the family has taken a back seat to a life being centred around a person's desires. You could see this coming through even in the short article about Corinne: "We went to a family dinner in the suburbs of Paris. It took us a lot of time to go there with the children, and we went because the children wanted to go. We didn't want to

40 reasons not to be a French Psychiatrist

A French Psychiatrist came up with a book covering 40 reasons for not having children. I discuss this here: A mother of a psychiatrist . But first, here are my 40 reasons not to be a French Psychiatrist: 01 The desire for socialism: A false aspiration. 02 Childbirth may be torture, but you look back on it fondly in comparison to what follows. 03 The fact that breasts may actually serve a purpose becomes a scary thought. 04 Amusing yourself is seen as the major accomplishment in life. 05 Food doesn't taste as good unless served by old people. 06 You wonder why, even without children, you still lose your friends. 07 You believe the only way to communicate with children is by going "coo-coo" 08 All children after the first apparently do not require sex. 09 You think having children destroys a relationship 10 You think having children destroys a relationship and still can't figure out an alternative reason. 11 To be or to make: As a left winger, you don't unders

Muslims need to work for peace

I wonder how this will go down? Though, rather than talking about "peace", which to a Muslim could be interpreted as subjugating the entire world to Islam in order to attain peace, this message is specific about the rejection of violence. VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Friday [28 Sept 2007] urged Muslims to reject violence , work with Christians for peace and to teach their children to love and respect all people and not become "cultural or religious blocs opposed to one another." The Vatican's top official in charge of relations with Muslims, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, issued the traditional message to Muslims to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In it, he urged Muslims to enter into a dialogue with Christians to "help us to escape from the endless spiral of conflict and multiple tensions which mark our societies." It was the most pointed appeal to Muslims from Tauran, who was named in June to head the newly reopened Vatican office t

Friday Night Free for All

Chat time!

Free Speech Coalition

In an effort to do something about the Electoral Finance Bill before it is too late, DPF and others have launched the Free Speech Coalition website. If you want to do something, let people know about it or make a donation to the site. I'm only just perusing it now, so we will know more about it later on.

Alien Germs

It all sounds scientific, but from what I gather, some germs that made a trip on the space shuttle came back as mutant killers the size of a large rat, with energy beams from their eyes. It's a bit of a mystery. And the astronauts came back as Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Sue Storm and Johnny Storm. The researchers placed identical strains of salmonella in containers and sent one into space aboard the shuttle, while the second was kept on Earth, under similar temperature conditions to the one in space. After the shuttle returned, mice were given varying oral doses of the salmonella and then were watched. After 25 days, 40 percent of the mice given the Earth-bound salmonella were still alive, compared with just 10 percent of those dosed with the germs from space. And the researchers found it took about one-third as much of the space germs to kill half the mice, compared with the germs that had been on Earth. The researchers found 167 genes had changed in the salmonella that went t

Turning the tables

Tax rates 2007-08 Australia versus NZ Amount Aus Rate NZ Rate $1 – $6,000 Nil 19.5 cents $6,001 - $30,000 15 cents 19.5 cents $30,001 - $75,000 30 cents 19.5 cents to 38K then 33 cents to 60K then 39 cents to 75K $75,001 - $150,000 40 cents 39 cents GST in Australia is 10%. GST in NZ is 12.5%

Will Labour Give Tax Cuts?

Fantastic. Labour, in their zeal to jump on National's suggestion of selling a 20% share of some of the State Owned Assets, have made a blunder. They could have rabbited on about selling the silver and leaving it at that - but oh no, they had to go add: "This is how National will fund tax cuts". So, the question is: Do Labour expect to offer any sort of tax relief? If they do, they have to fund it from somewhere apparently, and selling off a stake in an SOE is by implication, the only way of doing it. If they don't, they may have some pretty serious voter dissatisfaction on hands. All National have to do to offer tax cuts is increase the thresholds by a reasonable factor whilst watching Dr Cullen make announcements that the extra tax should go into tax payer funded subsidies of election expenses. Related Link: Labour - SOE sale funds tax cuts

A walk on the wild side

Another sad commentary on feminist thought (and she's probably a socialist/lefty too :-)): STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Brides in Stockholm who want their fathers to walk them down the aisle are likely to be told it can't be done, as some pastors are refusing to allow the practice they say is sexist, a pastor said on Friday. "In Sweden we have worked hard in many different ways to eliminate everything that is unequal," a Lutheran Church vicar in the Stockholm region, Yvonne Hallin, told AFP. She said she would not allow the custom in her parish, and noted that Stockholm's bishop issued a recommendation in 2003 that pastors discourage it. Couples who marry "are equal when it comes to finances, politics, values ... but when they come to the church ... the woman suddenly turns into a man's property," she said. That's not the way I see it, Miss Hallin. The way I see it is that dear old Dad has nutured his daughter as if she were, well, his daughter. Now th

11% of Kiwis Paying Top Tax [edit]

There was an interesting interview on the Breakfast show on TV this morning between Paul Henry and the PM. Paul put it to Helen that Labour promised in 1999 that no more than 5% of New Zealanders would be paying the top tax rate (I think it was 39c in the dollar?); yet 11% of the country are paying this top rate now. Helen said something like - oh, that's because New Zealanders have prospered under a Labour Government. My response to that is surely it's not that hard to adjust the tax rates accordingly so that still only 5% are paying the top tax rate? After all, they don't have any problem in adjusting the salaries of MPs to match inflation. But no, if they did adjust the tax rate to fulfil their promise from 1999 then Labour wouldn't be filling it's coffers as much. Seems like the more money you make, the more Labour expects you to give them of your hard-earned cash. [edit] transcription of video online now - Paul: [...] the promise in 1999 that only 5% o

The left don't 'get' freedom

Matthew Hooten issues an opinion piece in the MSM that is almost as good as anything you could read on a blog. One almost feels optimistic for our print media. This week, Steve Maharey, a man Labourites seriously promote as a potential prime minister, told parliament: "The intention of (the Electoral Finance Bill) is to capture people like the Exclusive Brethren, not the Catholic Church." A potential Labour prime minister actually said that in our parliament, but it gets worse. No less than the deputy prime minister, Michael Cullen, asked the justice minister to amend the bill so that the Catholic Church's planned anti-poverty campaign would be allowed to proceed, on the grounds that it would support Labour's Working for Families policy, in contrast to something the Brethren might say. I don't think I need to explain the outrage I feel reading this anti-democratic rubbish from Labour's 'heavy guns'. They've just shot themselves in the foot yet a

Women on top

The Human Rights Commission is encouraging women to vote for women, saying the number of women in local government has been declining. Judging from the upcoming council elections choices, I'm surprised they think so. Do you think that next election cycle they'll be urging men to vote for men just to keep things fair? Meanwhile, there seems to be some F.U.D (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in politics this week. Yes, the Future of United Destiny party(?), or F.U.D. seems to be D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival) Personally, I think a Christian focused political party is not going to fly in this country anyway. The early implosion may be a good thing in the long run. And in an interesting twist, on the other side of the world, a Polish Women's party has heeded the combined example of the Human Rights Commission (women focus) and the FUD party (single focus) and exposed their naked ambition. As the Beatroot said: Let's hope such advertising campaigns do not catch on with our o

Friday Night Free For All

Chat time. Has anyone here seen the movie The Pianist , by Roman Polanski? There are scenes in the movie of people continuing on with their lives in the midst of horror that are particularly strange. I'm thinking specifically of the cafe scenes where the hero has been hired to play the piano in a cafe set up in the Warsaw Ghetto (just about everyone was wiped out by the Nazis in 1943). I don't want to equate NZ of today with Warsaw of the war years, because it's certainly not like that. However, I remember wondering how the people of the time could just listen to music and eat and pretend nothing was wrong. Now I think I know, or at least have some insight. It's not that they are pretending. They are just taking time out from the cold hard reality of the place over which they have absolutely no control. So, consider this thread a little time out. Democracy is a farce, the steamroller carries on regardless. The current Government and the one to come may se

Let them eat cake!

I heard Green Party co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimmons this morning unhappy with the Government's plan to compensate poor people for price rises about to hit everyone due to the new anti-Global warming carbon emissions plan (read an excuse for the Government to tax everyone more). Her response was that poor people needed an incentive to save the planet as well and if you financially compensate them then they aren't going to be turning a light off. I think it's going to go beyond just turning a light off, Jeanette. My mother hardly turns her heater on in winter because of the cost of electricity already. Telling someone like her that she needs to just turn the light off is just pure arrogance. Meanwhile people like me will continue to burn power and just pay the bills because I like my home heated and I like the lights on. That's why I don't live in a mud hut in some third world country somewhere.

New iPods

Yep, new iPods will be out soon (new Nano out now, and the others around about September 28th). The iPod Shuffle stays the same. The new ones we get are the iPod Touch (like an iPhone but with no phone - just the video and audio playback with touchscreen etc), the iPod Classic (which looks like the 5G iPod but slightly better sound and nicer navigation), and the new iPod Nano which also plays video but with a smaller screen size (2 inch diagonal) . I did a search on Dick Smith, and the Nano (which is on sale now) is pretty much sold out in all their stores; not that I need another iPod - I have a 30G 5th Generation model. The bigger video screen would be nice though.

Greedy Marriage

A couple of researchers in the US have "discovered" that married people are less likely to help others than single people. More precisely, marriage can be greedy, according to Naomi Gerstel of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Natalia Sarkisian of Boston College, who have written a paper called "Marriage: the Good, the Bad, and the Greedy." Analyzing two nationwide social surveys, they found that married couples spend less time than singles calling, writing, and visiting with their friends, neighbors, and extended family. According to their research, married people are also less likely to give friends and neighbors emotional support and practical help, such as with household chores. Gerstel and Sarkisian's research flies in the face of recent academic studies and political speeches arguing that marriage is the endangered cornerstone of a healthy society, benefiting the mental, physical, and financial well-being of children and adults, and, ultim

Socialists on Power Trip

Here we go again. Clark is trying to regain her popularity. So what do the Socilaists come up with? Electricity is essential goes the thinking. So we should rebate it for the poor and the rich should pay extra. Hang on, isn't that the whole purpose of the graduated tax system? Instead, lets fiddle with yet more 'targeted' schemes. The 'target' of course is winning the election. After all, power is everything. Related Link: Working for Families, Working for Power When the Labour government figures that food is also essential, maybe we'll have a "Working for Food" rebate. I'm guessing these will become policy before the next election to enable the various government departments to launch a 15 million dollar TV advertising campaign to promote Labour's policies. Even as they move to shut down a one page brochure by the Exclusive Brethren, or any other non-Labour group that may have a different opinion to express.

Bollard holds back

The Official Cash Rate (OCR) will remain unchanged at 8.25 percent. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said: "The outlook for economic activity and inflation has become more uncertain since we reviewed the OCR in July" The exchange rate has dropped a fair amount too, bringing some relief to our exporters. With a cooling market, better mortgage rates may be on offer. I really have no idea which way the market will go in the next 12 months. I wonder if the markets will simply wait for the election? Related Link: OCR unchanged at 8.25%

Epic 2014

I've been asked to predict the information technology landscape in 10-15 years, and in particular what features my company's product will have. WTF? I mean, imagine you are selling software in 1980 and you need to outlay what your software will do in 1995? Back in 1990 would you be able to discuss 2005? How much artistic license are we allowed in this? I'll be compiling a list of references, starting with little gem I first looked at back in 2005 (it was actually released in 2004) Related Link: EPIC 2014

Top Movie Lines

The perils of linking. Now my original link (from an old post on sir Humphreys) to the Top 100 movie lines of all time is gone. So we'll just have to make our own list. Feel free to comment here. Go on, make my day! My T100 would have to include: "Angry? You haven't seen me when I'm angry" And about 50 quotes from Monty Python films alone, such as: "He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy" and I liked HAL saying "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that" from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but many prefer the hanger door line. Here's some I like from the official list: 1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," --Gone With the Wind, 1939. 2. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse," --The Godfather, 1972. 4. "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," --The Wizard of Oz, 1939. 5. "Here's looking at you, kid," --Casablanca, 1942. 6

Dont take contraception sitting down

There is a tragic story of a 41 year old Wellington women, a Miss Pearce, who died when a blot clot moved to her lungs. But it was also a little strange. Twice, the story mentioned that she was taking a contraceptive pill that produced 'thickening' of the blood as a side effect. Would it be fair to say that this becomes a known risk? And perhaps women might want to consider not using the pill? That was the strange part. The article blamed 'office work' on the death, and sitting for long hours. Oh sure, she was taking a drug that produced a dangerous blood condition. But it was the sitting down that did her in. Now, I have no doubt that the office work didn't help matters, and getting up and walking around periodically is a good idea. But so is considering the impact of the drugs you take. The article noted that Miss Pearce was a part time student at Victoria University. That's about a 20 minute walk from where she worked, up a fairly steep hill - a

The Bill Posters Natural Enemy

There's two funny things in this post. The first is that a Dunedin Council Property Manager has discovered the natural enemy of the posters plastered over walls and fences: A 'cancelled' sticker over the poster. Or is a low turn out to a gig just a sign that the gig itself is seen as a boring, non-event that cannot compete with staying home and watching 'queer eye' re-runs? You decide: Ms Ellis said this week only 35 people attended the Lavender Globe awards on Saturday, compared with about 150 in previous years. She blamed the ‘‘cancelled’’ stickers [someone] put on Dunedin Pride Week posters on hoardings in front of the Wall Street development in George St. Via Half Done: Cancelled - and good on him Direct Link: The power of advertising

Blogger Play

Blogger has an interesting new tool for you to waste time watching. It's called 'Blogger Play' and it lets you see the photos that are being uploaded onto Blogger in real time by it's users. As I say, a real time waster but fun to watch. Go HERE to see it.

Friday Night Free For All

Chat time! If it keeps on rainin, levees goin to break, If it keeps on rainin, levees goin to break, When the levee breaks Ill have no place to stay. Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan, Lord, mean old levee taught me to weep and moan, Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home, Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well. Dont it make you feel bad When youre tryin to find your way home, You dont know which way to go? If youre goin down south They go no work to do, If you dont know about chicago. Cryin wont help you, prayin wont do you no good, Now, cryin wont help you, prayin wont do you no good, When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move. All last night sat on the levee and moaned, All last night sat on the levee and moaned, Thinkin bout me baby and my happy home. Going, gon to chicago, Gon to chicago, Sorry but I cant take you. Going down, going down now, going down.

Something unexpected

Heh - something I didn't expect to be saying, but as I said earlier - the anti-Electoral Finance Bill folks crossed the political divide: Phil U…BTW…good job on the EFB front…I was impressed…only Steve Irwin could have handled a bigger load of croc…if you know what i mean (Barely) Related Link: Greenies living under a Police State

Good Job Kiwiblog

The EFB submission deadline is over, and I hope many were made. DPF in particular has done excellent work bringing the EFB issue to our attention, generating discussions and then making a submission that covers the main issues reasonably well. Great job Dave, you've done the blogging community proud. A big "good effort" to all those other folk that participated - I saw commenters from all parts of the spectrum expressing their outrage, as indeed we needed to. Now, we wait. Tick tick tick. Related Link: Kiwiblog Submission on EFB

Pederast jailed

It's not often we get a good news story in this department. These animals mostly are let out into the community for therapy and are supposed to be watched. The judge in this case jailed the boy because he thought it likely that he might be killed on the spot if he sexually violated another child. Um, I would have thought it would be better to jail the pervert because he seems very likely to offend again and by jailing him you are preventing further victims. Oh well, at least he'll be locked up for a while. Related Link: Boy, 15, jailed for sexual offending

Decline of married Mum and Dad families in NZ linked to child abuse

Today on NewsTalk ZB from after 12pm there was a very interesting discussion involving the talkshow host, Danny Watson and many callers, many of whom had noticed that the decline of the married Mum and Dad family is linked to a decline in the care for our children, which has then give the Cindy Kiros of this world an excuse to nationalise the nation's children . Unfortunately, I had to go out, so didn't listen to it beyond 12:55pm. However, my point really is that they types of issues we post about here on NZ Conservative are being noticed by middle NZ.

Bugatti Veyron 16.4 (2006)

But is it fast?

The Pope slams abortion

There are not many world leaders consistently speaking out against one of the most heinous crimes against children. In NZ, Cindy Kiro wants to save 5 children a year in the first 5 years, by introducing mandatory home visits for newborns . Cindy would do well to instead think about the notion that a country that kills it's unborn, does not value it's children, and that maybe looking at making sure our existing abortion laws are enforced would be a more effective way to save far more than just 5 children. VIENNA--Pope Benedict XVI slammed abortion as the "very opposite" of human rights on Friday, in an address here at the start of a three-day visit to Austria. "The fundamental human right, the presupposition of every other right, is the right to life itself. This is true of life from the moment of conception until its natural end," the pontiff said at the meeting in the Hofburg, the seat of the Austrian presidency. "Abortion, consequently, cannot be

Think of the children

Trivia question for the day - What country? Man loses child for drunk driving conviction A father of 2 had his newborn baby 'confiscated' following a conviction for driving at .05 above the limit. He was also fined $50. The social worker assigned to the family indicated that this was just one of several indicators in her risk profile, which she could not release details of, due to privacy laws. The mother was later admitted to hospital suffering a nervous breakdown. [Dec 31] 1800 new orphans - a 300% increase from last year The Dept of Children today confirmed skyrocketing numbers of children placed into orphanages. "This was to be expected now that we have substantially increased the resources available to our monitoring program. This is a good outcome. It means our policy is working." [Dec 29] Case worker caught in blackmail scam A case worker was sentenced to 6 months community service today after found to have been blackmailing parents of new born babie

Friday Night Free For All

Chat time again! Yet again the old foo-bar of conservatives not being a particular way to suit those of a more anarchistic lilt (maybe they want us stuffed and mounted?) has come up on a blog post linking to ZenTiger's railing against having to define art . What do we all think? Are conservatives only "opposed" rather than "for" anything? Or is this just the cry of the lemming as it jumps off the cliff, saying why? why am I doing this? And why do they want to stop me? Or, on a lighter note, we could discuss why samurai sword man is going to get a new trial.

EU wants a day against the death penalty

The EU wants a EU-wide Day Against the Death Penalty established. However, all member-states need to agree and one member state, Poland, wants the day to be a Right to Life Day , not just a day against the death penalty. Which in the EU, where there are moves afoot to make abortion a right everywhere, this is not going down too well. Related Links: Poland Demands EU Make Day for "Right to Life" Not Just Day Against Death Penalty ~ LifeSite Poland: "From Her Will Come Forth the Spark" ~ The Divine Mercy And yet, Jesus promised St. Faustina, " I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming " (Diary, 1732). "The land of death" would become the birthplace of the modern Divine Mercy devotion...

NZ is a cold heartless place

Today's Dominion Post Editorial is yet another nail in the coffin condemning this country as cold, heartless individuals. It seems New Zealanders prefer to do their charity from a distance. As long as our taxes go towards those needy, out there, and as long as they don't expect too much, we don't grumble too much. But, the personal contact, the man full of pain who is willing to starve himself to death in order to get our attention for his plight - that just becomes "moral blackmail". So NZ has a quota. So what! It's just a number set by someone. Is it going to break the camel's back to let this man who was willing to risk his life and his health, is it really, truly going to cause the world to end to let him stay? It really makes me wonder what my fellow citizens would do if we were ever confronted with a truly dire situation where we all had to look out for one another. It seems it would be every man for himself and stuff everyone else! Relate

Marriage and burials

When the story of a man's body being taken away by his "family" first broke, I couldn't decide which party was in the right as the man's marital status was unclear. NZ media have this annoying habit of obscuring the relationships of people to each other by using such generic terms as "partner" as to be almost completely useless in any sort of informative sense. If the man was married, his wife had dibs on burying his body as he and her had implicitly created a new family via the marriage. However, if the man was just a live in boyfriend, albeit a boyfriend over many years, then his original family should have had precedence. That's just the way things ought to work. In the latest article, the media calls the man the woman's "husband", so maybe they had formalised their union and therefore the man via the marriage had implicitly broken any "rights" his original family might think they have over his body. Whatever the out

Seek and you shall find

Our site stats reveal a few strange search terms that provide hits on the blog. Here are some, in no particular order (and I am not going to guess at the reasons) nzconservative supporters of sue bradford's bill new zealand conservative nz nominister blogspot nz conservative moon pictures from new-zealand conservatism in new zealand plato effect nazi Chris trotter nz conservatism new zealand channel michael archangel august 28 2007 eclipse new zealand bdsm boy and girl centre of gravity difference when did the death penalty go from new zealand advice overcome paedophilic tendency tangerine dream poland blogspot girls playing rugby pacepa should mothers work? nz conservative lucyna maori party murray idiot/savant? nz gto - gays taking over picture of eclipse of the moon in nz on august 28 boobs parade act pederast lindsay perigo use of the word guv redbaiter blog tyger..tyger,,tangerine..dream. new zealand anti-semite falafulu fisi eclipse nz photos my god my god why hast thou fo

Why define Art?

TBR has an interesting post about defining Art . I had a good rant about half way through the thread: a lot of 'art' is pseudo-intellectual rubbish where some-one with no talent and little brain tries to convey a simplistic idea that supposedly becomes deep and possessing of layered complexity that only those with equally little brain get all excited that they see some larger idea beyond the turd displayed before them. and it lead to Paul Litterick making an assumption that what I personally didn't like, I'd not call art. That's not actually the case, but I couldn't help relate this back to an earlier discussion about Culture - given it was Paul that accused this blog of not displaying a suitable amount of culture appreciation. The link for that side trip is here: Culture Quota Club . So, Paul wants me to define art, and I'm interested in him defining culture, as it seems to exclude whatever we talk about here. I feel a rant coming on. [Rather than po

Potential pederast on Qantas

A Qantas airline steward who gave a 15 year old his phone number on a flight has been stood down after the mother complained. Good on the mother. If some asshole went after my son, I'd want his balls in a vice - but then that's me. Related Link: Qantas staffer 'gave number to teen boy'

Looks like Key is bowing to the popular mood

John Key wouldn't let Panah stay either. Mr Key was asked on TV One's Breakfast programme this morning about the Government's handling of the case. "You obviously have to balance the humanitarian aspects of this case - no one wants to see someone starving to death on our watch," he said. However, Mr Key said New Zealand had to be careful not to set a precedent. The country took 750 United Nations sanctioned refugees a year and about 200 people a year arrived in the country seeking that status. Mr Panah was one of them but authorities have rejected his application. "Looking at the facts of the case, and I only have some information ... there's certainly quite a lot of inconsistencies about what he's been saying," Mr Key said. "I have concerns about New Zealand being targeted as a soft touch ... The problem you have is (if you let him stay) there are hundreds that turn up if that word gets around. I find this very disturbing. There are m

Iranian hunger striker given bail

Ali Panah had been on hunger strike for 53 days in protest against efforts to deport him to Iran, where he said he would be persecuted due to his conversion to Christianity. I'm relieved. I kept expecting to hear of his death. Which is probably why he was given bail today - a man dying while on hunger strike in NZ would not be a good look internationally. Related Link: Stuff Update: Sep 5 2007 - John Key not interested . Update: Feb 16, 2009 - Ali Panah granted residency

TV ads full of soft porn

The other night I happened to watch a documentary on Prime on the construction of the Hoover Dam. I was sick, so was unable to leap up and do anything like I normally do when the ads come on, so was forced to watch them. I suppose I could have closed my eyes instead, but there seems to be a compulsion to watch TV ads, which the Rug Rats used to term as "mini-movies" for babies. What I found disturbing were the number of ads that seemed to be just an excuse for soft porn. In particular the latest Pak'n'Sav ad with the bouncy young girl that wants to go to university, so has got a job at Pak'n'Sav. But just watch what the camera does as she pins her name-tag to a spot just above her breast. The entire frame of the TV is temporarily filled with the entire breast as the name tag is pinned to the top! Normally my eyes are not drawn to breasts in that way, so I felt like I was being forced to participate in someone's fantasy during that ad. It wasn't

More police needed

The government is poised to announce a target of 30,000 additional police as a key pledge on the next election. With an increasing number of burglars, thugs and murderers being chased and caught by concerned citizens, fears for the criminal underclass have caused NZ Labour and the Greens to come out strongly in favour of more police: Some poor criminal is eventually going to get hurt by some-one who claims to be 'protecting' themselves. More police on the streets will send a strong message to the community that vigilante justice will not be tolerated. In the past, criminals could act with impunity knowing police would be at least 45 minutes away from responding. Now, we are finding that we need to lift our game - or a criminal could get hurt. Related Link: In court for protecting town

Double standards or no standards

Graeme Davidson is speaking of Religion and Ethics in today's DomPost. He offers a convoluted essay musing on the way society treats pedophiles. He makes his points jumping from stone to stone across the murky river of wrongdoing. Each stone offers him temporary safety, and yet he twists them, and treats them as belonging to the river. And once on the safety of the other side, we wonder if we want to be there at all: Perhaps part of our outrage at pedophiles is because we project on to them what lurks in the dark corners of our own family lives No. No. No. What a travesty of supposed ethical and religious thought. When Graeme asks earlier "And what about dads who back over their kids in the driveway..."? He agrees that it is clearly an accident, so why does he conclude that "Yet it raises the question of how we draw the line to avoid a double standard over those who harm kids." This is the mantra of personal responsibility, but where it is warped so tha