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Showing posts from October, 2007

If they looked at it honestly

Mojo has a post about Doug Howlett's recent vandalism in London : All Blacks winger Doug Howlett (the monkey man) is in the clear after allegedly damaging two vehicles following a night of drinking at a hotel bar in London ... "If they look at it sensibly [my emphasis] it was boys out drinking being silly, doing things they normally wouldn't do." If they looked at it factually , it was a grown man getting pissed and vandalizing cars. If they looked at it morally , it is now about ensuring justice is done for the car owner by making the person (ir)responsible for his actions, to pay for those actions. If they looked at it honestly , it is society's refusal to make people take responsibility for their actions, and effectively excuse bad behaviour that is contributing to this mess. "What mess", you ask? Well actually, I'm a little peeved and saddened about another of Mojo's posts. But it seemed easier not to post about it, and instead put the bo

It has started

Front page of today's Sunday Star Times: School dobs mum to CYF for smacking son's hand . There were several interesting aspects to this case: 1. The mother says her family feels traumatised after a visit from CYF and later (for a separate incident), by three policemen. The policemen questioned (interrogated?) her child separately. I wonder if that was without a third party witness? She feels she has been labeled a "child abuser" for a simple smack on the hand. 2. The mother was in favour of the changes to s59. Obviously, she bought the line that this law change was around stopping violent abusers from getting off serious abuse by a legal loophole. It wasn't. 3. She did not want to be named because she 'fears losing her children'. There were a few notable cases in Sweden where parents said they had been threatened with losing their children if they made any aspect of the case public. It is likely that those that will speak out are going to be in t

Anglicans returning to Rome (Updated)

Quite an amazing story has appeared online. The Traditional Anglican Communion, whose members worldwide number about 400,000, have decided to formally ask the Vatican to join the Catholic Church. I have no idea if this will affect any Anglicans in NZ. There's been a path open to Anglicans to do this for quite some years now, using the Pastoral Provision for the Anglican Communion. So far, only the odd parish here and there have taken advantage of it. Something on the scale of TAC joining has so far been unprecedented. PORTSMOUTH, UK, October 25, 2007 ( – The splits in the Worldwide Anglican Communion over the church’s secularising trends and growing enthusiasm for homosexuality has led some to seek reunion with the Catholic Church after nearly 500 years apart. The bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC)are reported to have met in Plenary Session in Portsmouth, England, in the first week of October 2007 and “unanimously agreed” to send a letter to th

Friday Night Free For All

Chat time!

Tax Terminology

Labour are showing signs of changing their rhetoric around 'tax cuts'. They've been out of the question, even with a 9 billion dollar surplus. But with an election looming, and the stir generated by the Australian parties who largely agree the first $20K should not be taxed, I can see a few rabbits coming out of the hat. Consequently, I dug up my old post (August 2005) of mine from SH on tax terminology: Dr Cullen has pulled another billion dollars from his ass. (Assuming they deliver the surplus direct to his office via a donkey). He's immediately spent it, and voters are losing track of the technical term for their little windfall. Here is a brief list of key terms to keep it all clear: Tax cut : the government takes less money from you than last week. This is not a Labour Policy (See Bribe ). Bribe : What Labour calls an opposition party's promise to take less tax from you. Rebate : the government takes more money than it needs and then gives some back. Reli

French Tradition Under Threat

France's culture minister has moved to block the return to New Zealand on Wednesday of a mummified Maori warrior's head given to a French museum in 1875, arguing that it was now part of French heritage. Part of French heritage? Well that explains the 15 scalps the French took off New Zealand only a few weeks ago . Related Link: Taking NZ scalps a vital part of French Heritage.

Freedom to choose?

There's this thought: If you have a choice between two embryos you may choose the one that is going to be healthy. At least people should have that choice. and then this thought: Testing entire communities could also help identify links between genetic markers and certain genetic disorders that effect some groups I'm expecting Dr Kiro to chip in with "Every embryo has a plan". Or should that be "We have a plan for every embryo". And that's what worries me. So, who decides that the blogging gene is a symptom of social sickness? Oh wait, I'm getting confused with the Electoral Finance Bill and genetics. Related Link: Genetic testing of newborns

Another Dr gone - you do the math

With the resignation of Wellington's sole child cancer specialist, the Health Department has sprung into action. Reporter ZenTiger interviewed a senior Health Dept Official (HDO): Zen: So what are you doing about this? HDO: We've hired another 4 bureaucrats to investigate the fallout. It's pretty scary, let me tell you. Zen: Four bureaucrats? What is their purpose? HDO: Well, we have one new analyst crunching the numbers in a specially designed spreadsheet that another new policy analyst has devised. And we have hired one new manager to look after this crack team. Zen: Well, that's three. What's the last one do? HDO: Well, it's the weirdest thing. The spreadsheet is getting all sorts of errors and we cannot work out where the formula is going wrong. We know we have around 30 current patients, and we've entered in a projected case load of 11 more patients, and then we divide by the number of specialists and wham! Weird error. This could take months t

Windows Live Writer

Y es, I know I've been posting too much about technological toys recently. This is the last one for a while (hopefully) :) This one is for all your bloggers out there. The program is Windows Live Writer, and it's probably the best blogging tool I've used so far (the others being Scribefire and the built in blogging capability of Flock). Windows Live Writer is FREE and it is quite cool. As you can see by the screenshot of me posting this entry, it even imports the wallpaper themes from your blog of choice as well as allowing you to insert videos, pictures and the like. You can also add plugins, which is something I haven't explored yet. Windows Live Writer is FREE and it is quite cool. A nice thing is that you write an entry and save it locally to your drive to upload at your convenience. It also has all the category tags in a drop down list locally that you can tick. It's the first blogging tool I've used where I didn't have to go online and edit it

Genesis of Energy

I do not understand why the Greens are so worried that we cannot become far more energy efficient in the next few years. All the evidence is there that very, very soon individual households will be generating 90% of their own electricity, gas and water supply. 'Evidence' you ask? Why, Genesis Energy have just put up their base monthly fee from around $50 to $90. Thats $90 to be connected to their grid, before paying for consumption. Good thinking and a positive sign for Greenies?

Flock - Your New Favourite Browser?

I've just recently discovered a new browser (new to me, anyway) called ' Flock - The Social Web Browser '. It has a lot of cool stuff in it, including a pane that opens up that keeps track of all your feeds, a blog editor (with which I'm using to write this entry), upload photos straight to flickr or photobucket, add shortcuts straight to, upload videos straight to youtube, and a lot of other cool stuff. Now, I know what you're thinking; 'Hang on though, bruh, I'm using Firefox and it's multifarious extensions which have taken me months, nay, years to set up!' Well, the good thing is, is that you can use those same Firefox extensions with Flock - just go to the Mozilla Firefox website and install in the usual way. Through looking at the Flock forums, I also discovered you can just transfer the Firefox Extension folder to Flock and most of your extensions will work with Flock as well, including Scrapbook, BBCode, ViewMyCurrency, Mouse Ges

Friday Night Free For All

Friday again. The eve of a long weekend. If you are going to join the city exodus, then drive carefully. If you already live 'out bush' then stock up on supplies and be prepared for friends and rellies.

Mayoress and Mayoress

Here we go ... Kapiti's new mayor, Jenny Rowan, has referred to her "partner" as her "wife", and wants her "wife" to be referred to as "mayoress" for ceremonial purposes. The article on the front page of the Kapiti Observer is now able to openly talk about the "couples" attempts at marriage in NZ, culminating in a "marriage" in Canada. * Sigh * Looks like Kapiti will be NZ's new centre for the future push for gay marriage.

I've finally finished!!!

I've been reading Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI for months and I finally finished today! The way I've been reading books lately is to have one main book that I am reading and then a number of others that I pick up along the way. With heavy theological stuff, this seems to make sense for me as I seem to somehow pick up bits and pieces that help me in understanding the main book I am reading. Not that Jesus of Nazareth was hard to read, it was more that there was so much information in it that while it was hard to put down, it was also good to put down in order to process everything. It probably didn't help that I left it to read for late at night, just before bed when I was tired, so many nights it was hardly picked up, or when I did pick it up I had to re-read pages in order to understand where I was at. I was particularly struck by Chapter 2 on the Temptations of Jesus in the Desert and Chapter 4 on the on the Beatitudes, which I had never really understood

NZ's first openly lesbian mayor (Update 3; 10 years later)

New Zealand has elected its first openly lesbian mayor after Jenny Rowan won the race to head the Kapiti Coast District Council, north of Wellington. A former commissioner in the Environment Court, Rowan was mayor of Inglewood from 1986 to 1989 and came out as a lesbian at that time. "This is the second time I've been in public office," she said. "The difference is that this time I've been elected as an 'out' lesbian ." ~ Sunday Star Times, front page Well, as a voter in the Kapiti Coast District, I can say that I had absolutely no idea Jenny Rowan was an 'out' lesbian . Had I known she was a lesbian, I would not have put her down at number 2 on my voting form. As she never campaigned using "vote for me, I'm a lesbian" , I wouldn't be surprised if many other Kapiti voters also had no idea. I also would not be surprised if she only lasts one term. UPDATE : GayNZ has an article . UPDATE 2: It seems a number of pe

Friday night free for all

Sorry I'm late, I lost track of the time. It's this daylight savings! Not that I'm complaining. Anyway, chat is on.

Mugabe keeps digging

As a communist, perhaps Mugabe never read Ayn Rand, let alone Hayek or Friedman? Zimbabwe's parliament has passed a bill giving local owners majority control of foreign-owned companies including mines and banks, threatening to drive the fragile economy deeper into crisis. Related Link: Zimbabwe grabs foreign firms

Nurse gunned down

A couple of days ago in London, a Polish woman, Magda Pniewska was accidentally caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between two gangs. Her death has shocked Poland, a country where gun battles just do not happen. Now that Magda is dead, her parents have talked of her fear of living in South London and the differences she experienced between there and Poland. On a visit home, Magda had told her parents she was afraid and that she heard gunshots at night and sometimes even during the day. She had taken her dog, Bandera, over to England with her for protection, and seldom left the flat alone. "She only felt safe here [in Brzeg]. If something happens in London, nobody does anything about it , but if something happens here people do something about it," said her mother. No one doing anything about crime is an interesting phenomenon that seems to be limited in the West to the more Socialist countries (such as Britain and NZ) that have been experiencing high rates of family br

France backs down in jersey battle

France backs down in jersey battle screams the headline. So let me get this straight. They had won the jersey debate, but they surrender anyway? It's not a surprise their second choice of colour is white. Not cream. White. Both Resene and The British Paints Colour charts describe the particular shade of white the French have chosen as "Surrender White". Related Link: France Surrenders

Judge Jailed for 3 Years

An independent review has found Justice Graeme Panckhurst guilty of a disproportionate reaction that was quite simply 'over the top'. He has been sentenced to 3 years jail. It doesn't matter what was going through Justice Panckhurst's mind at the time, it is clear he has made a terrible mistake, and he must therefore pay. Three years jail is letting him off pretty lightly. The police, when considering the case that caused this unreasonable action from Panckhurst, noted that the victim was being sentenced to jail and the aggressor completely let off. Effectively, Justice Panckhurst was guilty of kidnapping and obstructing justice. This will send a strong message to the community. You can't have judges going around handing out disproportionate sentences. He may see his actions as 'simply doing his job' but he really should have considered things more carefully than what appears to have been a 'heat of the moment' sentencing decision. A young chef

Friday Night Free For All

Chat time!

Clark Ushered Out of Downing St into Rain

Apparantly, Helen has been ushered out of Downing St by the new British PM into the rain. My dad saw it on TV this afternoon and says that Helen comes out of the doorway to No 10 first and is preparing to pose for the photo op, turns around and Gordon Brown is already disappearing back inside and closing the door leaving Aunty Helen out in the rain. Too sweet... Maybe they'll show it on the news tonight.

Bishops must challenge errant teaching (Update II)

I think the following really speaks for itself. Vatican, Oct. 3, 2007 ( - Pastors and especially bishops have a solemn duty to "protect the faith of the People of God," Pope Benedict XVI said in his weekly public audience on October 3. In a talk dedicated primarily to the work of St. Cyril of Alexandria, the Pope underlined the importance of preserving the true faith and combating errors in teaching. He reminded his audience that "anyone who disturbs the least of those who believe in Christ will suffer unbearable punishment." St. Cyril, who was bishop of Alexander for 30 years in the early 5th century, was energetic in fighting the Nestorian heresy because he recognized the vital importance of maintaining the apostolic tradition intact, Pope Benedict said. That tradition, the Pontiff added, is "a guarantee of continuity with the apostles and with Christ Himself." For his efforts, St. Cyril was recognized as the "custodian of accuracy-- in

Mac Desktop Functionality on Your PC - the 'Dock' Programs

Have you ever used an Apple Mac? If so, you may have been impressed by the smooth desktop navigation system, or 'dock' at the bottom of the screen which enables you to flow through program icons, folders and such. Well, today I discovered (while I was looking for something else), programs which give Windows users that same functionality, and what's more they're all FREE!! Below are links to some of the more popular ones. 1. RK Launcher . 2. Rocket Dock 3. Aqua Dock 4. Moby Dock 5. Object Dock . Now, don't ask me which are the best ones. I've only tried Rocket Dock and RK Launcher. Both are good. RK Launcher actually doesn't install, but runs straight from a folder, and it's small. With Rocket Dock it's easy to change the icons to something else you want. In all these programs, you just drag icons from the desktop to the dock where you want them. I installed at work today and it's nicceeee. I may never have to look at the desktop again. Check out

NZ can affect Climate Change!

Well, who could have guessed? According to Sir David King, a British Chief Scientist, NZ can affect climate change. And why? Well ... NZ's reliance on agriculture puts the country in a position to influence the global management of greenhouse gas emissions... Nearly half of NZ's total carbon emissions are produced by agriculture, predominantly methane from animals and nitrous oxide from soils and fertilisers. Yes, NZ has a lot of farms, and animals, and soil ... ... though that fact posed challenges for NZ, it also offered potential solutions... NZ needed to develop a method that enabled its livestock to exist in an environment where emissions could be reduced too ... "That solution could then be exported to other countries." So, there you have it. NZ farms are a problem. But, if we work out a way to control the farms and their output that is palatable to the general public, then we can export that control method to other countries who will go: Look, NZ's

NZ taken hostage by carbon terrorists!

It's official, New Zealand and much of the West is suffering from Stockholm syndrome. We've been taken hostage by carbon terrorists. I feel as if I went to sleep in the 60s and have woken at the beginning of a new dark age in 2007. It's now a race as to who will take us back to the 1700s first - Islam or the carbon believers. ~ G Hall, Plimmerton, Dominion Post, To the Point, Oct 3, 2007 While I do like the phrase "carbon terrorists", I have to wonder what the heck this person was doing falling asleep in the 60s! It's the duty of every citizen to remain vigilant. Which is probably why we are in the mess we are in - too many people either went to sleep in the 60s or got distracted with sex and drugs and a licentious lifestyle to really take notice of what was going on. The result? Carbon terrorists.

A Jewish rebirth in Poland

I don't know how many people know that prior to the Holocaust, Poland had been for a long time had the largest Jewish population in the world. Jewish history has been entwined with Polish for the last thousand years. I've read a few stories now of the Jewish rebirth in Poland, so thought I'd share this latest one here. WARSAW - As the last of the Holocaust survivors pass away, and with them the memory of the heights of Polish Jewry, the nation's menorahs seem to be flickering back to life. An estimated 70 percent of Jews of European ancestry - and two-thirds of Jews in the United States - can trace their origins to Poland. Now Poland's small but growing Jewish community, while remembering the tragedy of the Holocaust, is trying to get both their fellow Poles and the world to think not just of death but of life. For more, read: In Poland, lamp of Jewish culture shines anew

Christopher Hitchens will die a Catholic or a Madman

The Dumb Ox at the Being Frank blog has a post up on a heated exchange between a Catholic Priest and a drunken Christopher Hitchens. “At the end of the event as he [Christopher Hitchens] staggered, sweating and red faced, out of the room, he advanced on Father Rutler in a threatening and physical manner, screaming that this beloved pastor and brilliant scholar, whom he had never met, was `a child molester and a lazy layabout who never did a day’s work in his life’. His behavior was so frightening that a bodyguard put himself between Hitchens and Father Rutler to protect him. Several of the event organizers then escorted Hitchens to the men’s room and when he emerged he continued his psychotic rant, repeating the same calumnious and baseless screed as before. It was then that Father Rutler, in the most charitable manner, told Hitchens [for the second time] that he will `either die a madman or a Roman Catholic’. … Unless he faces his alcoholism soon, I am betting on the ‘madman’ ending f

Have you done anything for the Holy Souls today?

Visit the Mission to Empty Purgatory for more.

Selfishness is warping marriage, amoung other things

Last night I put up a post on the coming push for gay marriage in NZ (civil unions are not enough, it seems). An anonymous commenter put up the thought that infertile people ought not to be allowed to get married, in response to the idea that marriage is about children. I think the problem is worse than just this commenter's ignorant comment. Many people have turned marriage into the fulfilment of a dream, where all their desires will be met. It's just not that way. Marriage requires sacrifice and a constant giving of yourself, otherwise it will not succeed. I came across an article this morning on why 20 somethings aren't marrying. Selfishness is one of the reasons. I think selfishness is also a major reason that gay marriage proponents keep on trying to change society to suit themselves. Having a civil union is not enough, they need to destroy what marriage is so that they can do it too. You really do need love (the kind of love that desires to serve without rewar

War of the Worlds - 28th Sept 2007

I went and saw Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of the Worlds onstage at the Vector arena last Friday. Here is a little review. First of all, this was my first experience of the Vector Arena, and I didn't really like it. The sound was OK but, as my friend with me said, not as good as - say - the St James. Part of the problem was that we were as high up as you could get (see the picture - click for bigger version). This probably isn't quite so much a problem for live bands and the like, but WOTW is a multi-media experience that pretty much requires you have a good view of the screen. What peeved me is that my buddy booked the tickets for us really early - in fact pre -booked (they went on sale officially on the Monday but there was a pre-sale on the Friday that went for 24 hours only). Seeing as we'd booked so early (July, in fact), you would have thought we'd have got pretty good seats but, as I said, we were were as high up as you could get, in row SS-something

Gay Marriage push coming to NZ soon

Civil unions were just the first step. The GayNZ website shows what is coming and the thought processes at work here. Change in society as a whole will happen as we push forward with claiming legal recognition to the right of [gay] Marriage in New Zealand. Full "equality" will not occur until "gay marriage" is implemented in "backward" New Zealand. Riiiight ... Never mind that the confusion over marriage and it's purpose, which is to provide a safe environment for the creation and raising of children. Related Link: United Nations Principles of Good Governance ~ GayNZ

Greens getting religion

There's nothing stranger than reading the commentary of avowed atheists who go all religious. First Chris Trotter and now the Greens see "the Beast" in National. Of course the Greens do point out that Key is a human being and "deserving of respect", but, and this is a big but, "But if the Nats want to launch part three of the new right revolution, then this kind of rhetoric will just be the beginning." Ooooh, I can't wait. Related Link: A rough beast slouching towards Wellington ~ Frogblog

Violent children in NZ

A couple of years ago, I spent a number of posts detailing how Sweden's no-smacking Nivarna had produced an increasingly violent child population since it's introduction. Direct child to child violence had increased by 489% since Sweden criminalised parental smacking of children for the purposes of discipline. What's worse, is that Sweden "now has one of the worst assault and sexual violence rates in the EU" according to a European Crime and Safety Safety Report commissioned by the UN and European Commission. Today's Dominion Post shows a similar trend developing in NZ. Children too young to be prosecuted have been implicated in more than 8500 crimes in one year, and police say they are often powerless to intervene . Officers say there is little they can do in the cases, such as a 10- year-old who attacked classmates with a piece of timber, two 12-year-olds with 33 burglary charges, and a 13-year-old who attacked police with a baseball bat. One Lower Hutt

Daylight Savings

Time for my annual Daylight Savings rant (although this time it's a week early). Do I really need to say anything? Is there anyone out there enjoying the extra hour of rain in the afternoon, or the getting up in the morning an hour earlier? We had the lights on last night at 6.30pm and on again this morning when we didn't need them last week at the same time. I do not like it, Sam I Am. Last week TVNZ interviewed kids and asked them what they were going to do with the extra hour of daylight. Are they going to follow that up this week? As for energy savings - it doesn't, according to a study in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics; in fact, Daylight Saving uses more energy (download study from this site ). Extending daylight saving increases rather than decreases energy consumption, according to a US study of Australia which has implications on both sides of the Tasman. Prolonged daylight saving time (DST) succeeded in cutting electricity use in the evenings, but this was more