Friday, November 30, 2007

Lucia Friday Night Free For All

It's been a gorgeous day just north of Wellington. Warm, sunny, slight breeze.

Today is the last Friday before the Christmas season starts. Last Sunday was the Feast of Christ the King - the end of the Catholic year. So, belated Happy New Year everyone.
The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ's royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations.
Today is the Feast of Saint Andrew, the Apostle, as Andrei reminds us.

Last year at this time, it was my first Christmas as a Christian in nearly 20 years. I was acutely aware of when Advent (the countdown to Christmas) started. This year, Advent starts on Sunday on December 2nd.

During Advent, we are admonished to:
  • to prepare ourselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
  • thus to make our souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and
  • thereby to make ourselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.
Now that I've filled your head with the knowledge of Catholic feast days, feel free to comment on whatever you like in our Friday Night Free For All!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

ZenTiger Mallard punches out Helen Clark

Trevor Mallard is in trouble again for punching out Helen Clark.

Dr Cullen has clarified the issue. "This is the most acceptable kind of violence. Mallard was simply defending the Queen's honour."

Related Link: Helen Clark insults the Queen
Hattip: TBR - Mistress of the text message

Excerpts from above links:
Prime Minister Helen Clark has been accused of insulting the Queen by text messaging while the monarch was making a speech.
Senior Cabinet Minister Trevor Mallard was "defending a woman's integrity" when he thumped National MP Tau Henare but his actions cannot go "unnoticed", Prime Minister Helen Clark says. [No - she later gave him more important portfolios]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ZenTiger Helen Kissinger

With the retrospective legislation to vindicate the Election Pledge Card expenditure, and the latest moves to push through the Electoral Finance Bill at all costs, I'm thinking Helen Clark must be an admirer of Henry Kissinger. It was he who quipped:

The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.

Unfortunately, not much longer.

ZenTiger Japanese Housewives

Dr Cullen is quick to blame Japanese housewives for our rising mortgage rates. Obviously, NZ housewives are too poor to invest due to Cullen's high tax policies. But the sub-prime market is rather volatile in Japan, and maybe the housewives are in trouble?

In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

Yesterday is was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song while today shares in Kamikaze bank were suspended after they nose-dived and 500 back office staff at Karate Bank got the chop. The Bank of Judo finally tossed it in last week.

The fallout from the Bank of Hiroshima blowing its top has still not been quantified and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi bank and staff fear they could get a raw deal...

Based on an anon email currently circulating

Monday, November 26, 2007

ZenTiger Liberal doses of stupidity

It's pretty simple. If an adult has sex with an 11 year old, it's rape. An 11 year old cannot give informed consent. If her parents stand by and do nothing, they are party to rape. And possibly pimping. Get them all in front of the court.

Instead, over at DPF some seem to be saying there's nothing wrong with the police deciding not to prosecute.

The Police prosecute people for defending themselves against violent thugs.
The Police prosecute people under the banner of 'smacking'.
But the Police allow an adult to rape an 11 year old...?
..and it has no bearing on 'the public interest'?

This is just sick.

5:00AM Sunday November 25, 2007
By Stephen Cook

Police chose not to lay charges against a 21-year-old who fathered a child with a 13-year-old girl - even though he confessed to police he had been having sex with a minor.

The pregnancy was highlighted last week by Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro, who used the case to illustrate “the wall of silence” protecting people who committed child abuse.

The girl had started having sex from the age of 11 and Kiro claimed that no one in her family would come forward and shed any light on who was responsible.

However, the Herald on Sunday understands the father turned himself in to police but was given only a verbal warning by officers.

Rape Crisis is demanding answers about why police never charged the man with having sex with a minor. It says the police’s failure to do so sends extremely worrying mixed messages to teenagers.

A conviction for having sex with someone under the age of 12 carries a maximum prison term of 14 years. Having sex with someone under the age of 16 carries a 10-year maximum prison term.

Sources involved with the girl’s family told the Herald on Sunday the man had been involved in a sexual relationship with the girl since she was 11. When Child Youth and Family (CYF) became aware the girl was pregnant at 12, she was removed from the mother’s care and placed with a family member. Four months ago the girl gave birth. She was 13.

It is understood the 21-year-old is still involved in a relationship with the girl and has supervised visits with his son. During the day the baby is cared for by a family member, allowing the girl to remain at school.

A source told the Herald on Sunday the girl’s mother was aware her daughter’s relationship was of a sexual nature, but chose to do nothing about it. For five months, the girl had managed to hide the pregnancy, and authorities became involved only after being alerted to the case by the girl’s doctor.

It was then that CYF intervened. CYF is understood to still be monitoring the girl, but with the refusal of police to act in the case it is hamstrung over taking any action about her relationship with the baby’s father.

Asked about police protocols in the case of someone having sex with a minor, a spokesperson at Police National Headquarters said charges were laid only if there was sufficient evidence and proceeding with a case was in the public interest.

Rape Crisis spokeswoman Sandz Peipi said the fact the 21-year-old had been involved with the girl when she was only 11 was “disturbing and quite perverse”.

Whether the sex was consensual was irrelevant because of the girl’s age and the man should have been charged by police.

The fact he had admitted committing “statutory rape” meant police had more than sufficient evidence to go on, Peipi said. She was also surprised police did not believe it was in the “public interest” to lay charges.

Related Link: In the Public Interest

Fletch More Labour Vitriol

Just heard about a quote made by Labour President Mike Williams in regard to the change of government in Australia. There were comparisons being made between Kevin Rudd and John Key - both not having been in parliament long etc. So what does Mr Williams come out and say?

"[Mr Rudd] is also fluent in Mandarin. I don't think Mr Key is fluent in English."

Sorry, how old are you again Mr Williams? 9 years old? It seems like it. That's just pathetic. Start acting like a human being.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

ZenTiger Labour vs Labor

Dr Michael Cullen today announced news that NZ Labour's successful policies were the obvious reason over 3,000 Kiwi's have booked return flights from Sydney this week.

Kevin Rudd issued an angry denial and argued the credit was entirely due to the Australian Labor Party.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Lucia Friday Night Free For All

Chat time!
~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Thursday, November 22, 2007

ZenTiger Welcome Back

Welcome back,
Your dreams were your ticket out.

Welcome back,
To that same old place that you laughed about.

Well the names have all changed since you hung around,
But those dreams have remained and they're turned around.

Who'd have thought they'd lead ya (Who'd have thought they'd lead ya)
Here where we need ya (Here where we need ya)

Yeah we tease him a lot cause we've got him on the spot,
welcome back,
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back

Well, vastly premature, but anything for Mister Kot-tear!

Related Link: Marrying an Anglican
Hattip: Put Up Thy Sword: Pope Gets Radical

ZenTiger And it continues

A Masterton man is one of the first to be convicted under the law against smacking after he spanked his eight-year-old son three times on the bottom.

Post updated 9:15PM

This man's crime was to get angry. You shouldn't apply discipline when you are angry. Instead, the issue is cast as "smacking". Do you see the difference?

Is it so paranoid to expect a zero tolerance policy towards smacking in the future? One where government social workers remove children from parents immediately if the child should be physically disciplined. We wont hear about such cases, because they will not go to court. Parents will trade silence for access to their children.

In the leftist mind, physical punishment is far worse a crime than removing children from parents and placing them into the 'care of the state'. In the leftist mind, they believe smacking inevitably leads to beating children to death. Is it therefore possible to extrapolate that State intervention inevitably leads to splitting families apart in a far more damaging way than the passing sting of a smack?

One day people will realise this lot will be responsible for causing far more long term harm by the mental torture they will inflict on parents and children in their zealotry.

Update: Already the media are providing mixed reports of this case. It is hard to trust anything without seeing the actual court transcripts. Going with what I have seen in multiple sources is this:

The eight-year-old boy suffered a bruised shoulder after his 33-year-old father pulled him onto a bed and bent him over his knee, smacking him three times with an open hand across the buttocks.

The man is effectively being punished for bruising his son's shoulder - but the focus is on his receiving three smacks. Sue Bradford says "great". The problem I have with this is that violence from anger is not seen as something distinct from administering physical discipline in love, with an absence of anger. It's like a parent locking a kid in a cupboard and Sue Bradford banning time outs to prevent this sort of thing. You can't ban anger, stupidity and carelessness. Banning smacking to get at people guilty of something else is only going to cast the net wider than it should be cast.

Many people believe that physical discipline is unnecessary and cruel, and therefore they want to ban it. That simply seems ignorant of how responsible parents can apply it in a safe and responsible way. It is of course, usually just one of several options, in the parenting toolkit. Can and does a child learn from a short, sharp smack? Yes, just as they learn when they burn their hand, or jam their finger, or scrape their knee from a fall after doing something silly. A physical reminder, transient and trifling in nature, is still memorable enough to help learn, and hopefully help the child escape the more serious physical lessons in life - like breaking an arm.

As more of these cases come to light, there will inevitably be shakier and shakier justification. We will finally see just how much damage state intervention will do to the family unit, and to many families that need a different kind of help.

We will see punishments outweighing crimes. Just wait until a kid, in their total naivety, make up a story that sees Dad paying a $1,000 fine and the kid in a foster home for two months as the parents 'lying to save their skins' try to reverse the actions of a Child Youth Family officer aiming to hit his targets of "10 children saved".

Related Link: Man convicted for smacking a child

And this is where I noted It has started

Insert Pantene Commercial Here

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

ZenTiger Empty Generosity

I attended the Wellington March. There were not a lot of people (100+ I'd guess), but in my office only one other appeared to know anything of the EFB - and they could only see it in terms of stopping the Exclusive Brethren from spending money on brochures.

Apparently, Labour and Green supporters fear that their voter base are easily (mis)lead. They want to be the only ones that can mislead them.

Jeanette spoke. She seemed terrified of allowing other people and groups to voice an opinion. Too much free speech is dangerous - it has to be rationed.

So who decided that $120,000 is a fair cap? Why is that fair, and $60,000 unfair? Why not $300,000? How much TV time does $120K buy - 30 minutes? Why is it not inflation adjusted?

Most importantly - WHY ARE THE PUBLIC NOT GETTING AN OPPORTUNITY TO INPUT INTO THE REVISED VERSION? We don’t have an upper house, we have no special safeguards for the MPS to change the rules that enable them to advantage themselves over any concerted effort to raise awareness of corrupt and unethical law making. Rushing this process in this way IS unethical, given it changes the rules around who can talk. Labour and the Greens only want to let people talk individually, so that the ideas can be squashed and segregated. Empty generosity.

The Greens and Labour have totally failed the people of New Zealand. Again.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ZenTiger What the EFB doesn't cover

So Labour want a level playing field? If that's the case, then we need to look at a wider landscape. Or maybe, they just want to tip the balance in their favour? It started off being about the Exclusive Brethren attempting to influence people's minds. And anonymous donations and parallel funding was also included. Maybe the EFB blocks all these things now, maybe it doesn't. But what else do we need to consider?

1. Press Releases.
Presumably, any mob can make a press release and then rely on the MSM to print it, make it a story, or ignore it. The NZ Labour Party are very adept at getting the message out free of charge. The MSM seem to be very keen to regurgitate their 'news'. A canny operator will learn how to make press releases that are irresistible for the Media and get free advertising.

Remember the CTU helping Labour with this one: National to fund tax cuts with workers' lives

2. Television Time
The big parties get more TV time than the smaller parties. This makes it very hard for new parties to spring up in response to filling gaps in our political offerings. How fair is that? With caps on spending, a new party would be lucky to afford more than 30 minutes of TV time in an election year.

3. Government Advertising
Government departments can EACH spend millions of dollars on advertising in an election year. If, for example, some-one like Curran (a Labour candidate) was hired by the Ministry of the Environment to launch a Climate Change spending spree, how easy is it for Labour to generate advertising and policies around the themes and designs expressed - how easy to calculate what topics to make election issues? It's like double-dipping if the strategy is in harmony. Remember Working For Families advertising? Over 7 million spent just prior to the election, with a budget of 15 million total for the campaign. Makes the Exclusive Brethren's budget seem a little silly now, doesn't it? Remember when Cullen released his 2005 Budget? A series of bus shelter advertisements came out that were pure red (Labour colours) and the word budget was not mentioned on the "Budget Awareness Campaign Posters". They were pulled after 2 weeks and $90,000 tax payer advertising because the flagrant electioneering was noticed. No punishments of course.

4. Government grant money
Unions, NGO's and certain charities get government funds which they then use to donate to the Labour Party. Money comes from direct funding, 'schemes' such as to fund projects like training and worker safety (but funds are pooled) and from indirect government sources such as the NZ Lotteries Commission. Should any organisation receiving funding from the government be required to return the SAME AMOUNT of tax payer funds that they decide to spend on political donations, up to the amount they received in the first place?

5. Critical influential information that turns out to be false?
The newspapers were reporting ACT were going to lose Epsom based on very small poll samples. It is quite possible this turned away a lot of voters from punting on ACT because the 5% threshold looked unlikely. Given that the left say we need to regulate free speech, do we need to regulate the quality of speculative reporting?

6. Rewarding bad behaviour
Remember when Labour created news by accusing National of being funded by American 'bag men'; or when Labour sent fake Eviction Notices to State Housing tenants? I always wondered why the public (or the MSM) never punished Labour for these deliberately unethical actions, yet go completely redneck on the Exclusive Brethren.

This is just an off the cuff list of things that add hills and valleys to the level playing field. There must be a lot more. Surely, it would be worth considering these issues in any major rewrite to the EFB - no matter what the final opinion on these issues proves to be?

ZenTiger Unions Electioneering

Unions receive money directly (and indirectly) from the government. They also donate money to the Labour party. Effectively, the Government pays for their electioneering using our tax dollars.

They have affiliations to maximize their political impact. They have many staffers that go on to become politicians. No surprises so far.

In their submission on the Electoral Finance Bill, the CTU wanted the $60,000 cap on election spending raised to $100,000. Perhaps that gives one an idea of their budget?

They also asked to limit this amount to external costs. Using staff and members to print and distribute material (free labour) should not be counted, especially in 'market rate' terms. A critical point was also to lobby to make sure 'communications' to members were not treated as political advertising. Last election, at least two unions were dobbed in for leaving these 'communications' in public places (reception desks etc). Within the news letter, they ask for members to distribute their election advertising to as many non-members as possible. Here is a sample of a member communication:
PSA Special Edition

Last month I took great pride in presenting, at the PSA Te P¯ukenga Here Tikanga Mahi 2005 annual general meeting, my first annual report since I was elected President.

It is a report that brims with the union’s achievements over the last year. It is a report that is real evidence of a union that is strong and active, and has been growing since 2000 - and one which we believe is making a real difference to the working lives of our 50,000 members.

It is also a report offering tangible proof that our strategy is successful. It must be acknowledged and recorded that the results we have achieved, and the plans we have for the future, would not be possible without the political environment that recognises unions and the contribution we make, and the agreements we have signed both with the Labour-led governments and with many individual public sector employers.

Those attending the July AGM also spent some time discussing next month’s general election, which is a crucial one for all of us. As you know, PSA has been proactive in collating and analysing the policies of the various political parties and making judgements about which ones we believe are in the best interests of members, the union movement, and New Zealand as a whole.

This special edition of the Journal is dedicated to election issues. PSA has a duty, on your behalf, to encourage and actively seek the election of a government that values quality public services and recognises the role of unions as social partners. The stories and information contained in the following pages aim to inform, and assist those reading them with their voting decision on September 17.

Your executive board is clear about their choice and made a decision some time ago to work at influencing opinion so as to return a Labour-led government. The differences in party policies relating to the public sector are stark – Labour’s continuation of investment in and rebuilding of public services, or National’s job and funding cuts and the reinstatement of industrial law akin to the Employment Contracts Act. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive how the choice could be made any more clear.

We are providing extra copies of this Journal special. We would like delegates and members to distribute them as widely as possible, including to non-union colleagues. The more information they have – particularly in relation to the differences between the party policies around public services – the clearer their choice at the election.

At the same time, ask them if they would like to join the PSA – the bigger we are, the stronger we are.

Finally, if you know of anyone who is not enrolled to vote, strongly encourage them to do so and steer them towards the Electoral Enrolment Centre, or phone 0800 36 76 56. Voting is the only way to have your say. The importance of this election result cannot be overestimated.

Keith Gutsell
Related Link: PSA electioneering

I don't want to regulate this any more than I wish to regulate the Exclusive Brethren publishing a brochure. But I'm not sure I want a system where tax dollars fund one, whilst denying the other the ability to spend their own money. It was never a level playing field to begin with. Any reform of Electoral Finance needs to be a wide ranging look at the total picture, with due consideration applied.

I can accept some of the aims of the EFB, and think there may be a place for disclosure, limits on spending etcetera, but what has been proposed so far seems only half thought out. People are focusing on the content of the EFB. What is missing, is what the EFB doesn't talk about. Finding what's missing takes more time than we (the public) are being given. And it is we, the public that should have more input into the controls placed on our MPs. They are voting for themselves, not for the people they supposedly represent. The rush to implement this proves that.

Name: ZenTiger
Address: NZ Conservative (The Blog)
Declaration: I declare this is not an election advertisement and that I have received no money to state my opinion.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lucia Thank you Californication and TV3

I would like to thank TV3 for putting Californication on TV. While I would never have watched it (as my limit seems to have been Boston Legal) nonetheless I'm sure it wouldn't have ended there. I bet Californication is just the beginning of the next slide downwards to which all of TV programming is being sucked - even if at a milder level. Even the TV ads are bad.

Thus, I have finally been given the impetus I needed to save $600 + a year and have cancelled my SKY TV subscription, which I needed to access free-to-air TV as well.

Good by TV connection, I won't miss you.

Related Link: David Farrar succumbs to temptation

Sunday, November 18, 2007

ZenTiger Regional Warming

Just when you thought it was safe to venture from your home, REGIONAL WARMING strikes.

Is no one safe? Not in this REGION. That dull humming sound? No, it's not the next door neighbour's lawn mower - its the thundering tsunami created by glacier melt.


Related Link: Glacier Melt - A new way to die

Lucia NZ, land of the food nazis

How embarrassing. NZ is denying entry to an overweight British woman. And it's made the international news. Here's the Fox News report:

New Zealand Denies Immigration to U.K. Wife Because She's Too Fat

Saturday, November 17, 2007

ZenTiger National not international

Scrooge is out, it must be coming up to Christmas
The National Party is questioning why taxpayer funding is being used to train coal miners in China on safety issues.

The party's industrial relations spokeswoman, Kate Wilkinson, said Labour Department officials confirmed to MPs on Parliament's transport and industrial relations select committee that $84,711 had been granted to the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) for "safety training for safety representatives in Chinese coal mines".

..She said it appeared as if the Government was effectively subsidising the Chinese coal industry. "How does that square with Labour's position on carbon neutrality and greenhouse gases?"

She said the money would be better spent on workplace safety issues in New Zealand.
China are certainly rich and capable enough to spend their own money on their own people. But they don't. China has an appalling safety record when it comes to miners. I for one, do not begrudge this small amount of money (and apparently expertise) that was provided to help improve worker safety. I doubt the money would be better spent in NZ on worker safety - given we already do heaps.

If National are going to govern, they have to discern the difference between genuine charity and total wastage. I post this because National will undoubtedly shrug off any criticism from the left as many on the left would criticize regardless. Maybe they'll think twice in the future if they detect more widespread displeasure?

Related Link: National's Cheap Shot

ZenTiger The Exclusive Brethren versus the Greens

Back when I blogged at Sir Humphrey's, I had a look at the EB's brochure and investigated the points they made. Some of my material was lost (long story), but I'll work over the next few days to post here whatever I can find. For the record.

[Largely from Sir Humphrey's - 10 September 2005, with minor updates]

The Exclusive Brethren (EB) exercised their democratic right to print political brochures. Unfortunately, they bucked the trend and rather than blasting National Policy, they came out with a brochure criticising the Greens. They made 15 points, and provided an assessment of the environmental impact the Greens have had on our Flora and Fauna in the wake of a Labour-Led government.

The Greens were quick to brand the brochure as a "campaign of lies". Jeanette Fitzsimons, Greens Co-Leader also referred to the brochure as 50% outright lies and 50% gross exaggerations. Other pro-Green commenters and main stream media seemed to accept that this "cult" had lied, and I had seen nothing from our investigative reporters spelling out the content of the EB Brochure. I had a look for myself, to see if what they had said were indeed "all lies".

My findings were that 15 of the 16 points were absolutely fair comment to make with regard to the Green policy. Points 4,5, and 8 were debatable as to the exact numbers and costs, but that is standard fare for politics. There was one point only I could see no justification for the assertion, or any reason they may have had to hold that opinion. Just one.

For Jeanette to brand their brochure a "campaign of lies", "half full" of "outright lies" is in itself, a gross exaggeration. In an election where we have Ross Wilson, head of CTU saying "National will fund tax cuts with workers lives", and Labour allegedly sending "eviction notices" to State Housing tenants to show a vote for National is a vote for eviction, the opinions expressed in the Exclusive Brethren brochures are mild, and with as much foundation. For example, the Greens can hardly claim its a lie they don't support the Kyoto Protocol. Their opinion is the tax payers will not be paying the billion dollars per year in Kyoto taxes, because they will convince Labour or National to turn it around just in time. We'll see. In the meantime, do the Greens support Kyoto? Absolutely.

I list the main points put forward by the EB Brochure, and my verdict - if the Green's are guilty of the claims made by the EB or if they are innocent of the charges against them. Please accept a one line summary is not always a clear explanation. It is backed up by detail. Click on each link (the highlighted word Guilty or Innocent against each item) to learn what my research uncovered.

1: Introduce a capital gains tax on family homes.
The Greens recommended this in their Eco-Tax Submission to parliament 2001. They quoted from that document as recently as 5 Sep 2005. Lets assume they mean what they say. Guilty!

2: Increase petrol and diesel taxes.
Greens want to remove tax exemptions on diesel, and add a Kyoto tax. Prices up and Guilty!

3: Introduce a carbon tax, and putting power prices up.
Greens are in favour of carbon taxes, and it is arguable power prices will increase. Guilty!

4: Support Kyoto Protocol - the billion dollar bungle
Kyoto = Greens. Guilty!

5: Add 4 more ministries and [...] more bureaucrats
The Greens plan to grow the government - Guilty.

6: Cut defence spending by 50% and disarm our forces
Take the words of Keith Locke, and the sums offered by Jeanette Fitzsimons, it looks that way. They have no defence and are found - Guilty.

7: Ban the building of new prisons and teach criminals art
Once again, Green Policy. Guilty.

8: Spend roading money on uneconomic and novel public transport schemes
Underground rail is novel and expensive. Maybe not as much as roads? Its a good debate. On the Guilty Train.

9: Block construction of vital new roads with tortuous RMA regulations.
The Greens support the RMA. It's tortuous. Some parties want it gutted.Guilty by association.

10: Push high country farmers off their lease-hold land.
All they want to do is raise farm rents...and they complain about State Housing: Within range of Guilty

11: Permit right-to-roam over property.
They support public access over private property. Guilty.
Note: Right-to-roam is a phrase meaning access private property without owners permission.

12: Decriminalise illegal drugs - like cannabis.
Like cannabis? You mean hash, skunk, and marijuana? Guilty man.

13: Offer financial assistance to cannabis growers for alternative employment.
I could find no specific policy for this, just a line from their Drug Law Reform Policy that offered assistance, but not specifically financial. Clean and Innocent.

14: Create rainbow communities. Legalise Adoption for Same Sex Couples.
Create? No, just support/encourage. But the rest is true, and we'd be quibbling. Guilty.

15: Voted against including the right to own Property in the NZ Bill of Rights
Other countries might need it, but NZ doesn't the Greens say. That explains why they have a right to be Guilty.

16: Support Labour, who are destroying/not maintaining the environment
With declining numbers of Kiwi, Hector Dolphins and wetlands, they have a point. Its Labour's fault, but they are Guilty.

Greens version of the Rebuttal (by Jeanette Fitzsimons)

The thrust of this rebuttal was to label anything that was basically true a "half truth". There were 7 of those, and one point she fully conceded, and one she ignored, making 9 out of 16 points in the region of "OK, they have a point, but we can explain". That really destroys their credibility in attacking the brochure the way they have done. This is NO WORSE than the Greens own style of politicking seen in their press releases and website.

Of the other 7 points that Jeanette labeled "outright lies", I agreed with her on one of those points. That is, I agreed their interpretation was perhaps too liberal, but not that they were caught in a lie. [Source].

The substance of rebuttal on the other 6 would seem to be in splitting hairs on the numbers, or debating the actual effect of the policy, except the point on halving Defence Spending [source], where I catch Jeanette's rebuttal as, ironically, looking like a lie.

I found very little substance in the Green blog on their costings, which makes it harder to form an opinion one way or the other [Update: I may have found data I was looking for, I'll update when I get a chance]. That's why I submit it is very reasonable to bring these points to debate. The Greens have responded with "gross exaggerations"

The Greens campaign on being a straight up and refreshingly honest party with the importance of the environment as the underpinning of all human prosperity. Acting in an arrogant manner and labeling the EB brochure a "campaign of lies" from a "cult group" does not demonstrate any discernible difference from Labour. They would do well to embrace criticism in a more positive light. The Hector Dolphin, the Kiwi, our forests and lakes may be depending upon it.

Well, that's my opinion.

Side Topic: International Green Conspiracy

Update (November 2007)
For the record! Back in 2005, the Greens and NZ Labour began a campaign of concerted vilification of the Exclusive Brethren (EB), in response to the publication of an anti-Green brochure by a group of 7 business men connected with the EB. It became an even bigger issue of course, with several other twists to the story I will cover (rehash) in due course.

The press effectively gave tens of thousands of dollars of "free" coverage to the Greens and Labour, as the moral outrage expressed by these parties made good news. Sadly, I can recall no news service offering a balanced review of the contents of the EB brochure, nor any comparisons to gutter politics style brochures from Labour at the time. They simply regurgitated the sound bites from the Greens and Labour.

As NZ Labour push through a series of anti-democratic legislation that deeply affects our right to promote an opinion, whilst providing them with more tax paid funding, I find myself wondering how sophisticated parties and unions will get at manufacturing debate so as to give themselves free exposure of their opinions, even as it becomes illegal to spend more than three or four full page advertisements for up to a year before an election.

Some of their justification for this legislation has referred to the EB, and insisting they do not have the right to spend money to voice an opinion. This stance, whilst understandable, is not sound for people who place great importance on freedom of speech. I hope to cover this argument too in due course.

ZenTiger Outright Lies #1: CGT on the family home

[Adapted from previous post back in 2005].

The Greens are outraged an EB pamphlet has printed outright lies about their policies. Clark lies. But not the Greens. No. No. No. Throughout their Frog blog, commenters are saying how horrible it is to have outright lies told about their policies. So I thought I'd see what "lies" the EB are promoting and investigate them. Here's the first:

Outright Lie 1: Introduce a capital gains tax on family homes

Here is a Greens Statement from their 2001 tax submission:
The Green Party believes the Review needs to seriously examine a capital gains tax (CGT). Absence of a capital gains tax has been noted for some time as a gap in our tax system.
Here we have a case where they seriously recommend something that (because apparently it is an outright lie) they don't mean. Well, does that mean all their other policy recommendations are outright lies?

The Greens are making out that they wanted the family home exempted. However, there is absolutely no exemption from capital gains tax for the family home mentioned in their tax policy document. It says instead on Pg 66:
In particular, the treatment of owner-occupied private homes is a vexed one. To the extent that aggregate capital gains on the housing stock fall, the impact on individual home owners may be positive.

A slower rate of appreciation of house prices makes housing more affordable as well as lowering the asset values of homes. The latter effect does not mean that any comprehensive CGT would need to be introduced with a long transition to avoid seriously disadvantaging those who have used home ownership as their main retirement savings plan.
If you read the text above carefully, they are actually implying that as vexed as the issue of CGT on the family home is, the impact on individual home owners may be positive. So obviously, the EB took this to mean what it says.

I note also the document was effectively current at the time. Firstly, it had not been replaced on the Green party site (at least as at 2005). Jeanette actually referred to the document as if it vindicated her (silly JF), but proving its currency. Now interestingly, I received a few rebuttals of this at the time from core Greenies. Some argued that they had verbally been assured by the party leaders homes would be exempt, and their eco-tax submission was just a general idea, not reflecting party policy. Well, tough. Don't make submissions for laws you don't want passed, and don't call others liars for reading your own words. Some-one also claimed the policy was lifted from the Australian Greens, and hadn't been properly checked. And they go on about the EB having an international conspiracy? But again, I suggest they shouldn't submit laws they don't want, and more to the point in this case, the EB should be given the benefit of the doubt on this point given it was up in writing on the Green website.

Verdict: Guilty.

See also: A more up detailed post than this one
ACT point out Greens on Capital Gains Tax
And this: Greens 2001 Tax Submission [Currently broken - I am looking for a backup at 12/1/08]
Main Post: Return to main post

ZenTiger A common thread

So, to summarise.

A communications manager is sacked from the environment ministry, directly attributable to the fact that she is involved with John Key’s press secretary. A contract role in the same department, in a communication role, is taken by a labour party official.

The head of the SSC expresses concern that the ministry of the environment may be planning to run an information campaign which will be too political, and hence that was a factor in getting rid of Setchell.

At the same time the government passes legislation enabling Govt Depts to produce information campaigns during election year, with a budget of millions of our dollars, while capping the ability of the general public to use our dollars in reply.

If Mugabe was subtle, he’d be Helen Clark.
I think slightlyrighty covers it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

ZenTiger Friday Night Free For All

Late yet again. Well, if you are still around, drop in to have a chat.

ZenTiger Big Bikkies

It's Big Bikkies to run a factory. So Griffins are tossing their cookies and closing down the Lower Hutt factory and consolidating in the face of increasing competition from overseas. Another 228 jobs lost. I reckon it's all National's fault, right Helen?

Related Link: Griffins have Ginger Nuts that are now past the use by date.

Lucia Catholics and Orthodox agree on Primacy of the Pope

This is a major step. As far as I can tell, all other theological differences have been resolved. Acknowledging the Primacy of the Pope has been a huge stumbling block.
The Vatican issued on Thursday a joint declaration agreed last month that said the Pope held the highest rank in the unified Church before the 1054 Great Schism -- a statement that could allow Catholics and Orthodox to work more closely.

But the document made clear neither side yet agreed on what power came with that rank. The Orthodox in the old Byzantine Empire rejected the universal authority of the Roman Pontiff and gradually developed autonomous national churches with no papacy.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Vatican department promoting Christian unity, said the document gave Catholics hope but cautioned there was still a very long way to go before Catholics and Orthodox could speak of any kind of unity.

Related Link: Vatican hails "step" to healing Orthodox rift

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lucia Homeschooling report - Poetry

I was asked a while back what my home schooling curriculum was like, and at the time I promised I would write a post on it some time in the future.

It's been difficult to write such a post, because major part of home schooling's strength is going at the pace of the child. As I have just started, the last four or five months have been a constant re-evaluation of where each child is at and how they best learn. It's all very well to have grand plans (as I did) but when the plans don't work because they are at a different level from what the child needs, everything falls on it's face until you re-adjust. For the above reasons, I haven't wanted to use a pre-made curriculum as I had some idea that there would be a hit and miss period before I started. So, I've been gathering various books to help with the teaching of various subjects and then been working out as I go what the children can learn and what I can teach.

What has worked from the beginning has been the memorisation of poetry. I am using Laura Berquist's The Harp and the Laurel Wreath: Poetry and Dictation for the Classical Curriculum as a guide for good poetry categorised in age levels.
Convinced that a critical part of education is to foster in our children a love of the beautiful and true, teacher and writer Laura Berquist presents this wide selection of poetry for every age level from grades one to twelve. Language development is significantly enriched by exposure to good poetry. This book is an important resource because it provides in one volume many poems that concern noble actions or ideas presented in beautiful patterns of sound.
It's been very surprising to me just how much both boys enjoy memorising their poems. My six year old is currently doing The Owl and the Pussy Cat and my ten year old is still on Charge of the Light Brigade.

Laura Berquist recommends that in the memorisation of poetry, a child does one stanza a week. If a poem is memorised slowly, even if the child is capable of doing more, it allows for long term memory retention of the poem. I have certainly found this to be the case - both children remember perfectly poems they have already memorised. The other important thing is to read the poem to the child and have them repeat each line after you, rather than getting them to read and memorise the poem themselves. It seems to make a big difference in memorisation to hear a poem rather that read it.

As a non-poetry literate person who has never really understood the power and the beauty of poems, I can't recommend the study of poetry for children enough. I've been amazed not only how with much enjoyment the children have got through memorising their poems, but also with how raptly they listen when I read them other poems from the book.

ZenTiger Performance Art

Get someone to assassinate the prime minister, the new one, next year's one. Just been in office five days, bang ... Yeah, John Key ... just drop a bomb ... Just wait till he visits somewhere and just blow them ... They won't even find you."
Related Link: Strange People

Fletch The Terror Squad Evidence?

The Dominion Post and another newspaper have obtained details of the 156-page affidavit presented by police to Manukau District Court and published some details of it.

To my mind it makes for pretty scary reading, what with the talk of killing people and blowing things up, etc, etc. Am I right in understanding that none of this evidence can be used, now that the people detained aren't being prosecuted under the Terrorism Act?"Get someone to assassinate the prime minister, the new one, next year's one. Just been in office five days, bang ... Yeah, John Key ... just drop a bomb ... Just wait till he visits somewhere and just blow them ... They won't even find you." - Alleged bugged conversation

And what do New Zealanders think about it all?
I think that the phone-in poll the other night on Close Up was pretty telling. There was something like 21,000 people who had rung in; 87% of which agreed that the Police had done the right thing.

All a bit strange and scary for our little Nation.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lucia Exorcism in light of the recent Maori exorcism case [Updated]

How to tell if a person is possessed, in the words of the Vatican's Chief Exorcist:
"It is not easy. There are many grades of possession. The Devil does not like to be seen, so there are people who are possessed who manage to conceal it. There are other cases where the person possessed is in acute physical pain, such agony that they cannot move."

"It is essential not to confuse demonic possession with ordinary illness. The symptoms of possession often include violent headaches and stomach cramps, but you must always go to the doctor before you go to the exorcist. I have people come to me who are not possessed at all. They are suffering from epilepsy or schizophrenia or other mental problems. Of the thousands of patients I have seen, only a hundred or so have been truly possessed."

How can you tell?

"By their aversion to the sacrament and all things sacred. If blessed they become furious. If confronted with the crucifix, they are subdued."

But couldn't an hysteric imitate the symptoms?

"We can sort out the phoney ones. We look into their eyes. As part of the exorcism, at specific times during the prayers, holding two fingers on the patient's eyes we raise the eyelids. Almost always, in cases of evil presence, the eyes look completely white. Even with the help of both hands, we can barely discern whether the pupils are towards the top or the bottom of the eye. If the pupils are looking up, the demons in possession are scorpions. If looking down, they are serpents."

Related Link: An Interview With Father Gabriele Amorth: The Church's Leading Exorcist

UPDATE: It has been assumed by at least one person that via this post that I have endorsed the "exorcism" of the Maori woman who died. Let me be absolutely clear here - I have not endorsed that "exorcism". I don't even think the woman was possessed or cursed, as it takes far more that stealing something to curse someone. I put up this post only to show what a real exorcist looks for in possessions.

ZenTiger Democracy under attack

The interests of any healthy democracy lie in unrestricted debate, not laws that favour incumbents with public finance and suppression of free speech.

Related Link: Democracy under attack

NZ Labour tried to push through a very draconian Electoral Finance Bill. They've also tried to change the rules on spending public money (to their own advantage of course). They've pushed through legislation which validated illegal spending and negated a pending high court case against them. They thought they could get away with it.

Maybe they can. That wont make it right. And more people are noticing. That wont make it easy. It's time to stand up. Politicians are there to serve us, not control us. If they have any problem understanding the principles of democracy, then they need only read the submissions against the EFB with an open mind.

I trust this latest article wakes them up and they do the right thing.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

ZenTiger School Drill

[Satire Alert]
OK, listen up you worms. I may not be able to belt you, but I do get to teach you. But lets make things clear - my success rate isn't particularly good. Illiteracy is on the way up....what's that Ure? Illiteracy? No, I'm not saying you are a bastard, that's illegitimacy. I'm just saying your inability to comprehend the English language is not my fault. Now, there are a few other things that are inevitable.

Firstly, some of you are going to steal. Armed robbery is on the cards and we need to face this like adults. I'm not here to say whether that is right or wrong. I'm just saying minimise the consequences. So here's a ski mask. Wear it, and chances are you wont get caught. Well, actually, statistically, 30% of all robbers who wear ski masks for at least some of the time, will get caught eventually, but hey - 70% is probably the highest mark you'll ever achieve.

Secondly, some of you are going to have sex. Sex is on the cards and we need to face this like adults. Yes, I know you are only 12, but that's not the point. I'm assuming here you are not going to listen to your parents, and I certainly don't want to give you any kind of message, so in the spirit of neutrality, here is a packet of condoms. Wear it and chances are you wont get caught out. Well, actually, statistically, 30% of all kids who wear condoms for at least some of the time, will get caught eventually, STI's, pregnancy, or perhaps a latex allergy - but hey - 70% is probably the highest mark you'll possibly ever achieve. Unless you decide to steal them. Then you might get what we call in the business "a double major".

Thirdly, some of you are going to be abused by a teacher. In the old days we used tennis balls, but we dont do that now. No, we'll abuse you just by following the standard curriculum. It's no wonder rates for teenage substance abuse are expected to climb. In fact, I'll see if I can get a supply of that for you too. We all know you are going to try it, so we may as well encourage you...Jenkins, put down that meat pie - don't you know they've been banned?

Lucia Sine dominico non possumus

This post was inspired by posts on TBR and A Servant's Thoughts on male vs female church attendance.
... "We Cannot Live without Sunday," takes us back to the year 304, when Emperor Diocletian prohibited Christians, under pain of death, to possess the Scriptures, to meet on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist and to build premises for their assemblies. In Abitene, a small village in what today is Tunis, 49 Christians, meeting in the home of Octavius Felix, were taken by surprise on a Sunday while celebrating the Eucharist, defying the imperial prohibitions. Arrested, they were taken to Carthage to be interrogated by the proconsul Anulinus.
Significant, in particular, was the response given to the proconsul by Emeritus, after being asked why he had violated the emperor's order. He said: "Sine dominico non possumus," we cannot live without meeting on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist. We would not have the strength to face the daily difficulties and not succumb. After atrocious tortures, the 49 martyrs of Abitene were killed. Thus, they confirmed their faith with the shedding of blood. They died but they were victorious; we now remember them in the glory of the risen Christ.

We, Christians of the 21st century, must also reflect on the experience of the Abitene martyrs. It is not easy for us either to live as Christians. From a spiritual point of view, the world in which we find ourselves, often characterized by rampant consumerism, religious indifference, secularism closed to transcendence, might seem such a harsh wilderness as that "great and terrible" wilderness (Deuteronomy), of which the first reading spoke to us, taken from Deuteronomy.

God went to help the Jewish people in difficulty with the gift of manna to make them understand that "man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 8:3). In today's Gospel, Jesus explained to us for what kind of bread God wanted to prepare the people of the new covenant with the gift of manna. Alluding to the Eucharist, he said: "This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever" (John 6:58). The Son of God, becoming flesh, could become bread and in this way be the nourishment of his people journeying toward the promised land of heaven.

We need this bread to cope with the toil and exhaustion of the journey. Sunday, day of the Lord, is the propitious occasion to draw strength from him, who is the Lord of life. The Sunday precept, therefore, is not a simple duty imposed from outside. To participate in the Sunday celebration and to be nourished with the Eucharistic bread is a need of a Christian, who in this way can find the necessary energy for the journey to be undertaken. A journey, moreover, that is not arbitrary; the way that God indicates through his law goes in the direction inscribed in the very essence of man. To follow the way means man's own fulfillment, to lose it, is to lose himself.

The Lord does not leave us alone on this journey. He is with us; what is more, he wishes to share our destiny by absorbing us. In the conversation that the Gospel just recounted, he says: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" (John 6:56). How can we not rejoice over such a promise? However, we heard that, in the face of that first proclamation, instead of rejoicing, the people began to argue and protest: "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (John 6:52).

To tell the truth, that attitude has been repeated many times in the course of history. It would seem that, deep down, people do not want to have God so close, so available, so present in their affairs. People want him to be great and, in a word, rather distant. Then they ask themselves questions to demonstrate that in fact such closeness is impossible.

However, the words Christ pronounced specifically in that circumstance retain all their graphic clarity: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:53). Facing the murmur of protest, Jesus could have backed down with tranquilizing words. "Friends, he could have said, don't worry! I spoke of flesh, but it is only a symbol. What I wish to say is only a profound communion of sentiments."

But Jesus did not take recourse to such sweeteners. He maintained his affirmation with firmness, even in face of the defection of his own apostles, and did not change at all the concrete character of his discourse: "Will you also go away?" (John 6:67), he asked. Thank God, Peter gave an answer that we also assume today with full awareness: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68).

In the Eucharist, Christ is really present among us. His presence is not static. It is a dynamic presence, which makes us his, he assimilates us to himself. Augustine understood this very well. Coming from a Platonic formation, it was difficult for him to accept the "incarnate" dimension of Christianity. In particular, he reacted before the prospect of the "Eucharistic meal," which seemed to him unworthy of God. In ordinary meals man becomes stronger, as it is he who assimilates the food, making it an element of his own corporal reality. Only later did Augustine understand that in the Eucharist the exact opposite occurs: the center is Christ who attracts us to himself; he makes us come out of ourselves to make us one with him (cf. Confessions, VII, 10, 16). In this way, he introduces us into the community of brothers.

Here we are faced with a further dimension of the Eucharist, which I would like to touch upon before concluding. The Christ whom we encounter in the sacrament is the same here in Bari, as in Rome, as in Europe, America, Africa, Asia, Oceania. He is the one and same Christ who is present in the Eucharistic bread everywhere on earth. This means that we can only encounter him together with all others. We can only receive him in unity.

Is not this what the Apostle Paul said to us in the reading we just heard? Writing to the Corinthians, he affirmed: "Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread" (1 Corinthians 10:17). The consequence is clear: We cannot commune with the Lord if we do not commune among ourselves. If we wish to present ourselves to him, we must go out to meet one another. To do so, the great lesson of forgiveness is necessary. We must not allow the destructive larva of resentment to take hold of our spirit, but open our heart to the magnanimity of listening to the other, of understanding, of the possible acceptance of his apologies, of the generous offering of our own.

The Eucharist, let us repeat, is the sacrament of unity. But, unfortunately, Christians are divided precisely on the sacrament of unity. All the more reason, therefore, that, supported by the Eucharist, we must feel stimulated to tend with all our strength toward that full unity that Christ ardently desired in the cenacle. Precisely here, in Bari, the city that keeps the bones of St. Nicholas, land of meeting and dialogue with Christian brothers of the East, I would like to confirm my wish to assume as a fundamental commitment to work with all my energies in the reconstitution of the full and visible unity of all the followers of Christ.

I am aware that to do so, expressions of good sentiments are not enough. Concrete gestures are required that will penetrate spirits and stir consciences, inviting each one to that interior conversion that is the premise of all progress on the path of ecumenism (cf. Benedict XVI's Address to Representatives of Christian Churches and Communities and of Other Non-Christian Religions, April 25, 2005). I ask you all to undertake with determination the path of that spiritual ecumenism, which in prayer opens the doors to the Holy Spirit, the only one who can create unity.

Dear friends who have come to Bari from several parts of Italy to celebrate this Eucharistic congress: We must rediscover the joy of the Christian Sunday. We must rediscover with pride the privilege of being able to participate in the Eucharist, which is the sacrament of the renewed world. The resurrection of Christ took place on the first day of the week, which for the Jews was the day of the creation of the world. Precisely for this reason, Sunday was considered by the early Christian community as the day in which the new world began, the day in which Christ's victory over death the new creation began. Coming together around the Eucharistic table, the community was taking shape as the new people of God. St. Ignatius of Antioch called Christians "those who have attained new hope," and he would present them as persons "who live according to Sunday" ("iuxta dominicam viventes"). From this perspective, the bishop of Antioch wondered: "How will we be able to live without the one whom the prophets expected?" ("Epistula ad Magnesios," 9, 1-2).

"How will we be able to live without him?" We hear the echo of the affirmation of the martyrs of Abitene, in these words of St. Ignatius: "Sine dominico non possumus." Our prayer arises from here: may today's Christians again become aware of the decisive importance of the Sunday celebration so that we be able to draw from participation in the Eucharist the necessary drive for a new commitment to proclaim Christ "our peace" to the world" (Ephesians 2:14). Amen!
Related Link: Papal Homily at Italian Eucharistic Congress

The Eucharist as Communion and Sacrament ~ Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association

Saturday, November 10, 2007

ZenTiger Darling, put the cat out

"Darling did you put the cat out?"

"Yes dear"

Well, where is it"

"In the boa constrictor"

Crusader Rabbit points out that Australia doesn't just have poisonous you can have your cat swallowed whole too.

And if you are going to trip around the country, stay away from their fresh water reservoirs. It's amazing the number of people that fall in and choke to death on the dust.

Related Link: Putting the cat out
Related Link: They wont hurt you if you don't annoy them

ZenTiger Con Te Partiro

Some people are given incredible gifts just in their voices. This song shares that gift with all of us. Not exactly high opera, perhaps pop opera, but so what?

Just the kind of song you'd expect to be sung at a boxing match...the story goes that Sarah Brightman heard Bocelli's solo when she was in a restaurant. Sarah needed a song to sing at the retirement fight of the German world light-heavyweight champion, Henry Maske, and felt "Con Te Partiro" was perfect. She got a hold of Andrea, and with the help of the London Symphony Orchestra re-recorded it but changed the words "Con Te Partiro" (I'll go with you) to "Time to Say Goodbye", and the rest, as they say, is history.

Even Henry Maske wept.

Quando sono solo
Sogno allorizzonte
E mancan le parole
Si lo so che non c? luce
In una stanza
Quando manca il sole
Se non ci sei tu con me, con me.
Su le finestre
Mostra a tutti il mio cuore
Che hai acceso
Chiudi dentro me
La luce che
Hai incontrato per strada

Time to say goodbye
Paesi che non ho mai
Veduto e vissuto con te
Adesso si li vivro.
Con te partiro
Su navi per mari
Che io lo so
No no non esistono piu
Its time to say goodbye.

Quando sei lontana
Sogno allorizzonte
E mancan le parole
E io si lo so
Che sei con me con me
Tu mia luna tu sei qui con me
Mio sole tu sei qui con me
Con me con me con me

Time to say goodbye
Paesi che non ho mai
Veduto e vissuto con te
Adesso si li vivro.
Con te partiro
Su navi per mari
Che io lo so
No no non esistono piu
Con te io li rivivro.
Con te partiro
Su navi per mari
Che io lo so
No no non esistono piu
Con te io li rivivro.
Con te partiro
Io con te.

When I'm alone
I dream on the horizon
And words fail;
Yes, I know there is no light
In a room
Where the sun is not there
If you are not with me.
At the windows
Show everyone my heart
Which you set alight;
Enclose within me
The light you
Encountered on the street.

Time to say goodbye,
To countries I never
Saw and shared with you,
Now, yes, I shall experience them,
Ill go with you
On ships across seas
Which, I know,
No, no, exist no longer;
With you I shall experience them.

When you are far away
I dream on the horizon
And words fail,
And yes, I know
That you are with me;
You, my moon, are here with me,
My sun, you are here with me.
With me, with me, with me,

Time to say goodbye,
To countries I never
Saw and shared with you,
Now, yes, I shall experience them,
Ill go with you
On ships across seas
Which, I know,
No, no, exist no longer;
With you I shall re-experience them.
Ill go with you
On ships across seas
Which, I know,
No, no, exist no longer;
With you I shall re-experience them.
Ill go with you,
I with you.

ZenTiger An overly worried Richard

Has Robinsod found some paranoid dicks?

Maybe. But I'm not actually sure what a paranoid dick is.

One that will not leave the safety of its underwear?

One that doesn't have the balls to stand up?

One that thinks there are arseholes out there aiming to get him?

Or is paranoid dick simply hemorrhoid dick's blood brother?

Maybe you can drop in at Keeping Stock and have a think about the sterling advances the Electoral Finance Bill brings to our great democratic nation. Or, if it gets pushed through in spite of the massive, well articulated public opposition as evidenced in the submissions, our once great democratic nation. Or am I being an overly worried Richard?

And speaking of the limp wristed. Peter likes to contribute to the TBR blog. His passion is such that if he spent any more time there, he'd possibly be considered a stalker. So he managed to get the first two posts in about men washing up after holding Richard in the John. Oops, that's baseless name calling. Sorry. I meant men washing their hands after visiting the toilet.

Peter laments: "A pity we don't have specific figures for Christian fundamentalists. They are really good at hand-wringing - may be that skills are transferable to hand-washing."

Well good point Peter. It just gets ones mind racing wondering all the stats we could collect. I think its a pity we don't have specific figures for wankers. They are really good with the wrist action - maybe the skills are transferable to hand washing?

ZenTiger What are schools doing?

[Satire Alert]
Imagine my shock when I heard teachers discussing certain issues with some students who were robbing local stores, and they did not want parents to know...Seems that they recognise that young people find it hard to control their impulses, and if they were going to steal from the local store they should give in to the inevitable and just ensure they were not caught.

Thus they had issued balaclavas, leather gloves, a hunting knife and a machete. They explained to the young adults in question that using the ski mask considerably reduced the chance of being recognised. It seemed that a threat of violence also improved chances of the person being robbed becoming afraid and more likely to comply, and often likely not to clearly remember the details.

Furthermore, they reassured the students that on top of very few of them ever getting caught, those that did get caught were often let off with a warning. Some did get prosecuted, and were given community service which they didn't need to turn up for. Or the parents would be fined. If the parents threatened to belt them, the teachers made it clear that it was against the law - and that is one law you can count on being enforced.

If only our young adults could be responsible for their behaviour, there may have been another option, but the way it was explained, I'm almost ready to pay for the next ski mask. Surely, it is beyond the possibility of human nature that under 16 year olds can be taught not to steal?

Related Link: Attempt #2 - School Drill

Friday, November 9, 2007

ZenTiger Very Important Person

I heard a story a while ago that Pope John Paul II had made a trip back to Poland a few years before his death...and bad weather forced the plane to divert to an alternative airport. The local parish quickly organised a limousine to pick him up and get him across country to the airport where his Pope Mobile waited.

Since he was miles from the usual crowds, he asked the chauffeur if he could drive for a while. The reluctant chauffeur pulled over along the roadside, climbed into the back of the limo, and the Pope took the wheel. The Pope then merged onto the highway and accelerated to over 90 mph to see what the limo could do.

Suddenly, the Pope noticed the distinctive dark blue / white striped FSO Polonez driven by the local policja speeding up behind him and signalling him to pull over.

The Policeman approached the limo, peered in through the drivers window and noticed the Pope. He said "Just a moment please, I need to call in."

The officer called in and explained to the chief of police he had a very important person pulled over for speeding. “How do I handle this, chief?” asked the policeman

“Well, how important is he?” asked the chief.

“I don’t know, sir,” replied the policeman, “but the Pope is his chauffeur.”

ZenTiger Friday Night Free For All

Looks like I'm playing host again tonight. Feel free to drop in and reflect upon the week past. I'm fed, have a nice red in my hand (to mix up two common thoughts: if only one hand types on the blogosphere, does anyone hear it?) and prepared to dig up another joke if no-one speaks up.

And for great wood fired pizza with sound, try Sammy's Woodfired Pizza

Or for Pizza, with Freddy, watch the intro (or choose option 1 if it doesn't play)

Lucia Strange things happening the Islamic World

A few days ago on November the 6th, "the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah paid a visit to the Custodian of the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI". According the writer of article published in the Kuwait Times: "this is a momentous occasion for anyone who knows the views the Saudis hold of non-Muslims."
The visit by King Abdullah to meet with the Pope is a brilliant move in the direction of reform. The fact that he went to meet with the Pope also means that the Saudi Government respects Christianity and its leaders. It means that, whatever conservative clerics say in criticism of Christianity or other faiths, the Saudi Government no longer cares about their continuous approval of its foreign policy. Saudi Arabia is finally shedding its skin as a conservative stronghold and is moving towards modernization of its civil liberties, for Saudi Muslims and for its non-Muslim expatriates, who are estimated to be 1.5 million and still not permitted to practice Christianity in public (On the other hand, Kuwait's Christian population is estimated to be over 160,000, and we have about ten churches here).
With the recent letter to Christendom from Islamic scholars, interesting times are afoot.

Related Link: A Saudi in the Vatican

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Lucia Children in the real world

Some one made the comment today that they thought I was "sheltering my children from the real-world" in response to a comment of mine where I said the only TV I let my children watch is cartoons on Fridays.

The comment got me thinking about what the "real world" was, and then I realised that in the commenter's mind, TV was the "real-world". How strange. Since when did mostly scripted shows for entertainment become the real world?

On Saturday when we visited Craters of the Moon and Orakei Karaki to observe natural geothermal activity I thought we were right in the real world. Likewise on Sunday when we visited the Army Museum in Waiouru and moved through the exhibits showing the history of the wars NZ soldiers were involved in.

Here are my kids at the museum all dressed up in army gear with wooden guns:

I don't let my children watch much TV, but I do also expose them to poems such as the following, which my 10 year old son is currently memorising. We've also talked about the history of the poem.
The Charge of the Light Brigade
by Alfred Tennyson.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!" he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not,
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honor the charge they made!
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!
My children are being given the important parts of the real world to grow up in and think about. I'm not going to dump them in the world without guidance - if I did so I wouldn't be much of a parent. I prefer to protect them until they can fend for themselves, and part of that protection is limiting their exposure to harmful influences, such as TV.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

ZenTiger An eroding voter base

With figures like this, maybe she'll start to worry that her voter base will not even be able to vote her back in? From Mojo:

Prime Minister Helen Clark yesterday revealed the finding in the previously unreleased 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey ... She said about 380,000 Kiwis were identified in the international survey as being at level one, a level at which they would be unable to determine how to use a fire extinguisher from the instructions written on the bottle.

...The Labour-led Government is considering raising the school leaving age to 17 as part of a suite of measures to boost students' achievement and get them ready for the workforce.

Related Link: The ayes have it

ZenTiger Statute of Limitations

Remember how Mallard became the poster boy for Labour's 14 million dollar campaign "Just say NO! to violence, unless you are a Labour MP"? After the punch up, Rodney Hide laid a complaint with the Speaker of the House, Labour MP Margaret Wilson. From Half Done:
Before Parliament began, Ms Wilson issued the letter she had written to Mr Hide rejecting his privileges complaint over the stoush.

She said the ACT Party leader did not raise the matter in time and had not done it the right way.

“If a member wishes to have the Speaker refer the matter to the Privileges Committee, the member must act immediately.

“This you failed to do,” she said.
The statute of limitations is only a few days when it comes to anything illicit the Labour Party are involved in, although that doesn't stop them passing retrospective legislation to ward off court cases (and other bad behaviour).

Wilson’s basically found Rodney guilty of a serious crime - bureaucratic snafu. On par with submitting a GST return a few days late, so I’m surprised he wasn’t arrested and taken off for a good beating.

Whether Mallard is innocent of a serious crime is something that will never be tested. Apparently, he must have filled out the right forms for fisticuffs. What foresight.

Related Link: The left love violence so long as it is reasonable

ZenTiger A story with a moral

A sad commentary on our society? Or just good advice?

A teacher gave her class of 11 year olds an assignment: To get their parent to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day the kids same back and one by one began to tell their stories.

Ashley said, "My father's a farmer and we have a lot of egg laying hens. One time we were taking our eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the car when we hit a big bump in the road and all the eggs got broken.

"What's the moral of that story?" asked the teacher.

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket!"

"Very good," said the teacher.

Next little Sarah raised her hand and said, "Our family are farmers too. But we raise chickens for the meat market. One day we had a dozen eggs, but when they hatched we only got ten live chicks, and the moral to this story is, 'Don't count your chickens before they're hatched'."

"That was a fine story Sarah."

Michael, do you have a story to share?"

"Yes. My daddy told me this story about my Aunty Sharon. Aunty Sharon was a flight engineer on a plane in the Gulf War and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whiskey, a machine gun and a machete. She drank the whiskey on the way down so it wouldn't break and then she landed right in the middle of 100 enemy troops.

She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete until the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands."

"Good heavens," said the horrified teacher, "what kind of moral did your daddy tell you from that horrible story?"

"Stay the f**k away from Aunty Sharon when she's been drinking."

ZenTiger What ever

Well I never. Milla has named her new baby girl 'Ever'. If that name sticks, I guess it is for ever. Think she'll live happily ever after?

...To welcome Milla's baby daughter, Ever Gabo Anderson, into the world.

Milla and fiance Paul Anderson welcomed their little bundle, who weighed in at 7lb 8oz at the weekend, reports People.

I remember Milla from the immensely enjoyable 'Fifth Element', although others may remember her from 'Resident Evil'. So which movie has inspired this name? True love, or pure evil? You decide. Just never say never.

Related Link: Milla for Ever

Sunday, November 4, 2007

ZenTiger Shame on Labour

..cries of “shame” met Labour party members as they entered the annual Labour conference earlier today as protesters gathered outside. Over a hundred people turned up outside the Bruce Mason center in Takapua to show Helen Clark and other Labour party members their anger at new anti-terror legislation.
So Helen offers tax cuts. Love her work.

Related Link: Shame on Labour

Naturally, she would have offered tax cuts earlier, but...Prime Minister Helen Clark is blaming Treasury for her refusal up till now to agree to tax cuts.

She claims she has not been able to agree to cuts because of inadequate fiscal forecasts from Treasury.
- Clark blames Treasury

Those treasury folk sound rather seditious dontya think? Maybe they can be charged under the terrorist act? Although I think that makes Cullen a Treasury spy planted in NZ Labour. You get the cake and guillotine, I'll find some ladies who can knit.

Friday, November 2, 2007

ZenTiger Friday Night Free For All

Egads. All is quiet on this Friday night. I'll kick off the thread and visitors are welcome to chat about what ever, why ever and when ever. I'm going out to a cafe for a nice dinner. Back late(r)

Lucia The Twilight of Atheism

God has come back to life. The world is witnessing a huge explosion of religious conversion and growth, and Christianity is growing faster than any other religion. Nietzsche’s proclamation “God is dead” is now proven false. Nietzsche is dead.

Related Link: The Twilight of Atheism: The Global Triumph of Christianity

ZenTiger Naughty Boy

Wow, that's punishment. Saying Mallard is stressed because of personal tragedy so Helen gives him more work (new portfolios) and keeps him in the Cabinet. Same pay, blah blah blah.

Still, I bet Mallard's furious. If he'd only punched Henare a week earlier, the whole deal would have blown over by now and Helen would have surely made him number 2 and Cullen would be out on his ear. Tough timing for Mallard.

As for me, I hope I can control myself after that provocation.

Related Link: Mallard Still Quacking

Thursday, November 1, 2007

ZenTiger Come see the violence inherent in the system

With the recent case of a mother being interviewed by the Police after being dobbed in for smacking her son's hand, we've seen many quotes from people who should know better, who insist in equating violence and abuse with discipline.

A smack on the hand, delivered as discipline is not the same as punching someone in anger.

A whack on the soccer field, as an accidental byproduct of an enthusiastic tackle doesn't get the thought police screaming "come see the violence inherent in the system - ban soccer."

Oh hang on, maybe that's next?

Vaguely Related Links: Not PC sends John Key to his room over this: Goodnight John Boy and of course, Lucyna points out [link] how more parents will fall into the state net, as more reasons are provided to for the state, via taking DNA records, to "keep tabs" on its citizens, and John Key again takes some flak. When so many people are unhappy with Labour, what does it take for Mr Key to understand that the public is looking for some-one to stand up to their destructive policies - not seek consensus. John, you are our best chance at the moment, don't make that a depressing thought for us.

Lucia NZ Politics - a choice between dumb and dumber

Announcing the party's new law and order policy, leader John Key says National wants DNA samples taken from everyone arrested for any crime that carries a possible prison sentence.
I can see it now. Mum gets arrested for smacking child's hand. Then she has her DNA taken at the police station because if convicted, Mum would face a prison term. But then investigations are made and everyone decides that maybe the smack on the hand wasn't so bad afterall. But, Mum's DNA is now onfile so that whenever there is another smacking incident anywhere in the country, the police can track the culprit down!


How's that for evil genius. Let's not forget, John Key voted to make smacking illegal in this country. And then said if anyone was prosecuted under the new law, of course National would repeal it. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Strange, how the National Party has been silent on the recent terrorisation of a NZ family because of the new anti-smacking laws.

Here's an idea. How about the National Party come out and say that as part of their new law and order policy, they will repeal the repeal of S59, thus freeing up police resources so that the cops can go after all those that steal, rape and murder in our community??? They might even catch a few criminals that way. And, Theodore Darymple's idea of not letting repeat offenders out of prison until they turn 40, when men tend to mature, might also help quite a lot!

Related Link: National wants more DNA samples

Fletch Employment Question

Just a little question for the readers here who are more knowledgeable than myself...

I am a sole charge office person, who does debtors, creditors, wages and answers the phone etc. Often when I go to lunch there is no one else in the office to answer the phone so I switch it across to the company cell phone.

Occasionally it misbehaves and I miss a call. I've missed a couple in the last few days from the head of the company (mainly because of phone reception) which he has complained about(and rightly so, I suppose), and even made the comment that I might have to eat my lunch by the phone in the office.

My question is - am I entitled to a lunch break away from work and doing work things? eg, answering the phone - be it in the office or on mobile. I don't have a contract of any kind right at the moment with the company.

I tried to find on the Employment Relations site but haven't been able to find anything.

Thanks for any advice!