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Showing posts from January, 2008

From Vampires to Christ

Many years ago, when I was in my early 20's, I became very much taken with Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles series. I first came across the books when I had just moved to Sydney. Back then, there was far more available in Sydney than would ever grace the bookshops in Wellington, and The Vampire Chronicles were certainly representative on what more was on offer. I had grown up watching vampire movies, as my mother liked watching horrors and for some reason Mum let me stay up to watch many horror movies with her. They weren't as gory back then as the are now, but boy were they bloody scary. I remember one that terrified me so much that I cut out giant paper crosses and stuck then up all over the house to prevent possible attacks by vampires. I was a very imaginative child and even though I knew the chances of there actually being real vampires out there to be very remote, I thought it would be better not to take any chances. So, maybe now in retrospect my attraction

Helen Clark - Me Too!

Last year, National Leader John Key was accused of being a "me too" man, and National accused of being 'Labour-lite' in terms of policy comparison with the Labour Party. There seems to have been a turn-around on this though with Helen's speech this morning basically mirroring Key's speech yesterday in regards to youth and education. Both leaders appear to be targeting troubled youth, specifically the age groups between 14 and 16. As regards youth violence, I don't think we can be too surprised: I really think it's only going to get worse; the reason? The anti-smacking law. Sweden banned smacking in the 1980s and their rates of youth violence have shot up dramatically. At least two studies in Sweden were initiated in the 1990s because of societal concerns about increasing youth violence. One rationale for one study was that “There is also much evidence that our [Swedish] society has a growing propensity for violence” (Statistics Sweden, 199

Mass child beatings

Frog Blog are going on the offensive on behalf of Sue Bradford, and doing a beat-up about the s59 petition. They title the post "The right to beat your child petition". Yep, as commenter Will so accurately said on that thread: " I’m not paranoid enough to imagine that there are 300,000 people in New Zealand who are agitating for the right to beat their children. Most of them just want to be left alone to raise their kids. It’s hard enough to begin with. " Related Link: Frogs abuse 300,000 decent people

NZ Conservative Blog Protest

We've organised an official on-line protest. To participate, just turn your sound on and yell out the occasional slogan that strikes your fancy. Or boo and hiss. Just be careful people don't think you have finally flipped out and gone insane. Last thing you'd want is to be thought a professional left wing protester. Ah well, that's my lunch time over. I can feel the crack of the whip on my back. Ooh, argg. Ow. Click here for the NZ Conservative Blog Protest Hattip: KiwiBlog Protest March Update: link fixed!

Why on the front page?

Today's Dominion Post has a full-frontal picture of an idiot in a Borat costume plastered across the top of it. Do the Dom Post editors not think of the children? My 6 year old, who normally ignores the paper unless he sees a cartoon or a sudoku puzzle, immediately wanted to know why the man was wearing something that "just covered his nuts." So, I had to explain to him that there are some pretty disgusting adults out there that don't have a sense of what they shouldn't wear in public. He agreed, and said that the man looked like he was drunk and on drugs. Or maybe he took drugs and then got drunk - he wasn't sure. Whatever happened to putting such pictures on page three?

Green with Envy

Helen Clark - Champion of the Earth! So whenever Green Party Co-Leader, Jeanette Fitzsimmons tries to criticise the Labour Party on the empty rhetoric and platitudes uttered by Helen Clark when it comes to protecting the environment, Mike Williams will be leaping up in outrage. "How dare you say that about our fearless Prime Minister! Helen Clark is the undisputed Champion of the Earth !" Al Gore, stand aside. Green Party, you are officially redundant. And Jeanette, why are you turning that violent shade of Green? Hang-on, that was just a trick of the light. Definitely purple. With steam. Related Link: Barnsley Storming (Thanks Barnsley) ...and just to finish, who is promoting form before substance? The annual United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Champions of the Earth award recognises individuals from each region of the world who have shown "extraordinary" leadership on environmental issues... "It is clearly the responsibility of govern

Greens spinning so hard it hurts

What's that joke? What's green and red, green and red, green and red? - A frog in a blender. Well, this frog is being shredded by a Tiger and refuses to yeild - just like the Black Knight who gets his legs and arms chopped off. Related Link: Hello to the Exclusive Brethren ~ FrogBlog, Green Party Mouthpiece

Green MP to keep John Key in line

What a strange story. Sue Bradford is keeping an eye on NZ Political parties to make sure they don't succumb to public pressure because of the up and coming anti-smacking petition. A petition which looks set to pass Go, collect 300,000 and force a vote on whether or not NZ'ers want the anti-smacking law. A nightmare scenario for both the Greens and Labour. National is most likely really worried, what with John Key's statements on the matter in the article. However, a Herald Digi-Poll taken over January indicates the issue has died off in the public's mind - just 4.2 per cent of those polled picked the anti-smacking law as an issue that was likely to influence their vote. Um... wasn't that poll about what was the most pressing issue that you'd vote on in the next election on? I don't think it was a "tick all issues that concern you" type poll. Tax cuts won, and I'm not surprised. The issue hasn't so much as died off - it's just c

Incredible!

Hattip: Crusader Rabbit

Catholic Cabinet Ministers may be revolting

Two Catholic Cabinet Ministers in Gordon Brown's UK Government are calling for a free vote in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Currently the order that has gone out to the MPs is, vote for the bill or else. However, this bill seriously undermines the value of human life - something all Catholics ought to oppose at every turn. In this bill in particular, the MPs opposition to the bill stems from mainly two issues - one to do with the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos and the second to do with allowing children to be born by IVF without a father's involvement. The Observer article also lists a number of other MPs who have serious concerns with the bill - and explicitly states that they are Catholics. Ah, well, those Catholics ... But what I really wanted to say is, will the concerned Catholic MPs find their inner backbone and refuse to back a bill their conscience and their faith tells them is wrong? Wouldn't that be wonderful, politicians that stand up

Decent People

From the Sunday Start Times Editorial: The Right has found a heavy club to beat the government with: a referendum on smacking at the next election. The 'right' disagree with the social engineering policies of the Greens and Labour. Should they mobilize, the left paint this as extremist behaviour, and only about the election - not about the actual issue at hand. This is a brilliant ploy by the religious extremists of Family First. This issue is of passionate interest to people who believe in the importance of the family, and the rights of parents to decide how to raise their children. And this leftist can only see this as "a ploy". I suspect his/her world view filters everything, and therefore he can only see motives that mirror his/her thinking. It will gather not only libertarians, Act voters and other motley fanatics of that kind, but many decent and ordinary people. So apparently, Libertarians are not decent people, and ACT voters are fanatics. Th

How not to listen

It's Election 2008 and our MPs show us "How not to listen". With 273,000 signatures collected (target 300,000) John Key manages this: If there is demonstrated evidence that good New Zealand parents are convicted for lightly smacking a child, then I will act to change the law. But at this stage, I haven't seen enough evidence of that and Sue Bradford, to prove she is totally NOT on the ball says: I don't think it's really about hitting children at all, for many people it's part of a campaign to get the National Party elected. They either don't listen, are so biased in their thought patterns they are incapable of listening. Consequently, they show no understanding of the concerns of those against the Green Party's social engineering. And in the case of Sue Bradford, comes across sounding paranoid - now every-thing against the Greens is no doubt a National Party Conspiracy. Oh, and does anyone remember how excited the anti-whaling people got wh

Vatican art exhibition in Auckland cancelled!!!!

WAH!!! I was going to make a special trip up to Auckland just to see the Vatican Art exhibition. Auckland War Memorial Museum has cancelled its planned Vatican exhibition after key artworks were withdrawn from the travelling display. The pieces include a copy of Michelangelo's Pieta [pictured] and works by Bernini. Museum Director Dr Vanda Vitali was not happy with the amended content and believes visitors to the exhibition would have been shortchanged. Shortchanged! So the solution is no change, then? Surely what would have come would have been worth the visit? Related Link: Auckland Vatican exhibition canned ~ TV One News

Chris Trotter calls for the sacrifice of the leader

Chris Trotter thinks that sacrificing Helen Clark for Phil Goff may just help Labour survive the next election. I don't think doing that will be enough. Labour and the Greens gave us the anti-smacking bill. 250,000 signatures have been gathered calling for a referendum on this issue. The ruling party is bloody lucky that's not 250,000 pitchforks! However, a change of leadership and throwing the Greens out on their ear and a reversal of last year's two most hated pieces of legislation might be enough to call off the mob. Thanks to Barnsley Bill for the link. Asking the inevitable question FROM THE LEFT - CHRIS TROTTER There are some questions that should never be asked. Deplorable words which, once spoken, can bring down whole empires. "Can the King be put on trial?" "Are East Germans now free to cross into West Berlin?" "Should Helen Clark go on leading the Labour Party?" That last question has not been seriously broached in a decade. Not

Innocence Lost

Even reading about this chips away at my soul. I don't recommend people under 16 or sensitive people follow the links. And this link is milder than others of this ilk, but still...Abortion. How is it done? There are many methods of abortion. The procedure used depends largely upon the stage of pregnancy and the size of the unborn child. Dr. J.C. Willke, in his book, Abortion Questions and Answers (Hayes Publishing Co. Inc, Cincinnati, 1985), has divided the methods of abortion into three main categories: those that invade the uterus and kill the child by instruments which enter the uterus through the cervix; those that kill the preborn child by administration of drugs and then induce labour and the delivery of a dead baby; and, those that invade the uterus by abdominal surgery. Related Link: Different Types of Abortion

It's Christian Unity Week (Jan. 18-25)

As I've been spending a bit of time on various Protestant sites over the last while, I thought the following message from the Pope might be enlightening: At the Last Supper Jesus prayed that his disciples would be one so that the world might believe , Pope Benedict said. "That the world might believe -- today we strongly sense the realism of these words. The world suffers from the absence of God, from the inaccessibility of God. It wants to know the face of God. But how can it recognize the face of God in the face of Christ if we Christians are divided, if one teaches against another, if one stands against another?" the pope asked. The sad thing is, I've heard absolutely nothing about Christian Unity Week at all in the Parish I belong to. I wouldn't be surprised if very many Catholics are even aware of it. Just goes to show how out of touch we are here in NZ. Either that, or not much notice is taken of what goes on in the Vatican. Related Links: Pope says in

Scottish Gay Rights Leader facing child pornography charges

How interesting. Jamie Rennie, the chief executive of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Youth Scotland has been arrested and is accused of: [...] "taking, or permitting to be taken, or making an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child". He is further charged with "sending a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character". It makes me wonder, when I read all the things the guy was involved with, how much his personal desires pushed his work with children. Reminds me of the Sex Ed pioneer arrested for the molestation of boys . Related Link: Gay Rights Chief Held Over Child Porn ~ Daily Record

Anti-social behaviour - are we tackling it in the right way?

Andrei writes today on a new Government initiative to combat Conduct Disorder/Severe antisocial Behaviour in 3-7 year olds. The plan is for teachers to take note of which children exhibit behavioural problems - which could include things such as " interrupts others when they are speaking " and whether or not the child " takes his/her turn when others are waiting ". Not that those particular behaviours will necessarily be on the list as the government wants to reinvent the wheel themselves, but for goodness sakes! I'm really horrified by this. On the one hand I agree that children need to be trained how to behave. Having two boys myself, I am well aware of how often this needs to be done. And not only do children need to be trained, they need good examples of appropriate behaviour around them modelled by the adults that have the most influence on them - namely their parents. This influence is on-going and the training needed for children is on-going. T

Six Education

When the state decides to preempt a parents decision on when and how to teach their child sex education, without permission, they are both arrogant and condescending. To teach a class full of kids, they must necessarily view the children not as individuals with different temperaments and levels of maturity, but as simply a mass of "6 year olds" or "12 year olds" to which "one lesson fits all". They should realise that this approach is more an accommodation due to lack of resources. It's not ideal. Accordingly, they need to be more mindful and respectful of the role the parent would like to play in the education of their children. And perhaps seek permission from said parents before blundering ahead with their "we know best" attitude. Or are parents irrelevant now? A PARENT has complained her five-year-old daughter was taught sex education at a school in Hobart and revealed she was assaulted by two boys in her class just after the

Who snubbed who?

Sean points out the Royal Snub over the Queen or a member of the Royal Family not making Hillary's funeral. What, an opinion contrary to mine? This cannot be. Sean Sir, this glove across the face says you are impertinent Sir. If dawn is not too early, we should settle this in a gentlemanly fashion. You speak of a snub. If anything, the GG is being snubbed. Yes, the GG. Here we have an especially appointed Queen's representative, selected for quality of character, life experience and wisdom - and suddenly they are not good enough for all the important stuff? Reduced to 'cut a ribbon, have a cup of tea and see you Tuesday'? I think not! Listen Guv, we are talking of the Governor. A man who can dissolve Parliament or dismiss a Prime Minister, with the merest of nods and winks. But suddenly, going to a funeral is "too important" an occasion for our GG to handle? OUR GG. Not the Brits. Ours. And you don't want him? And what is the alternativ

Around the traps

So many stories to comment on, but too little time. So maybe short answers are called for: A Royal Funeral Hillary maybe the equivalent to royalty in NZ, but I personally don't feel snubbed by the Royals not making it over this time around. I'm largely with Craig Ranapia on this one, who had some wise words on Kiwiblog, and on his blog, High Windows . The Sea Shepherds Boarding another ship without permission on the high seas is tantamount to piracy. Idiots. And who are they kidding with their outrage over Greenpeace not supplying them coordinates? Greenpeace know the SS are not going to behave themselves. No use blubbering about it. And currently, the whales are doing a good job of staying off the radar. Go whales. Tom Cruise There's some sort of video floating around of Tom Cruise earnestly explaining how he is in a good position to help people. Many people are putting the boot in for him "being so fanatical". I saw the clip, and I had no problem

The discovery of Electionarium

Wellington Hospital and the Ministry of Health started an experiment 9 years ago that is reportedly nearing fruition. They were short a linear accelerator used in cancer treatments. With waiting lists exceeded and people dropping like flies, they decided to invent a " Make A Decision Machine ". The Make A Decision Machine is powered by the chemical element Administratium . It has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have one neutron, 10 assistant neutrons, 20 vice neutrons and 34 consulting neutrons, which gives it an atomic mass of 64. These 64 particles are held together by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons . After 9 years, the Make A Decision Machine has finally yielded one decision by the DHB: "We should buy a linear accelerator." The DHB has graciously offered the machine to Health Minister David Cunliffe. He said he expected to receive the machine next week an

It still hasnt happened

Incompetence dressed up as good news. Nine years ago, Wellington Hospital identified a need for a third cancer treatment machine - a linear accelerator, used to blast tumours. Six years ago, the capacity of the 2 machines was exceeded. Waiting lists sat at up to 12 weeks, instead of a maximum of 4 weeks. They still don't have one. The Ministry of Health, at some point in time, finally approved $5M dollars and the DHB then wasted more time arguing about how the extra $500K needed should be funded. This is the same DHB that added 64 more managers (annual cost well over $500K) and commissioned a report to see where cost savings could be made. The report cost 250K, and recommended firing 50 doctors. The Dom Post published the decision to buy a linear accelerator as a "good news" story on the front page of last Friday's paper. They spoke as if the waiting was over. Families of people that have died, or suffered unnecessary stress may not see it as fantastic new

Support the Pope at midnight tonight

If you are up at midnight tonight, please consider praying the Angelus. Midnight NZ time is midday in Rome when the Pope will be praying the Angelus in St Peter's Square. Here's the story: In Italy and in the world, millions tomorrow will pray the Angelus with the pope Enthusiastic participation everywhere at the invitation from Cardinal Ruini to join the pope in the Angelus prayer tomorrow, as "a gesture of affection, serenity, and joy" after the controversy and cancellation surrounding the pope’s visit to the La Sapienza university. 150,000 are expected in Saint Peter’s square. Giant television screens will be set up to broadcast the event in Milan and many other cities. The participation of the Catholics in China. Rome (AsiaNews) – The Angelus of Benedict XVI will be followed tomorrow by millions of people in Italy and all over the world. The idea comes from Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar of Rome, who has invited Catholics and all the Romans to come to Saint P

Do teachers need a clip on the ear?

Rosemary McLeod (Sunday Star Times, today, A10) draws the very obvious parallels between the story of the father out with his boys, who, thanks to a teacher, now has a "record" for giving one of them a clip around the ear and yet another teacher seems to see nothing too serious with a gang of school bullys violating a student. Both teachers have displayed a serious lack of judgment. Rosemary also makes a good point: Here was a father spending time with his children, helping them learn to enjoy physical exercise, and taking on the challenge of teaching them to do so safely. He wasn't perfect, but who is? Much of the thinking from the law making authoritarians relies on making all people guilty of breaking a multitude of laws, and then the police or a government agency having the power to 'forgive them' and let them off with a warning. This is Sue Bradford's 'the law is working' mentality. The fundamental problem with this is that good people are

Outrage over teeshirts works and are they free-speech?

Jay Jays has pulled the offending tee-shirts due to public outrage over labelling children with adult foibles. Which has brought up an interesting point - were these tee-shirts considered free-speech? Normally I wouldn't have thought so, but Whaleoil, who considers himself a conservative blogger, does seem to think so. (Note we had him down under liberal right on our blogroll.) I think the problem here is that if a person holds to moral relativism as a standard (ie there are no standards, because everyone's standards are different), then it is very easy to get confused in this area. I believe in free-speech. Not in an of itself, but to protect those who would speak the truth. Free-speech is just a means to an end, not an end itself. The end is truth. We don't want to protect those who would speak lies. Unfortunately, in a morally and intellectually confused society such as ours, what is truth? Many people can't even recognise it any more. Truths have been r

Lust and Stupidity take on the Pope [Updated]

Rome has historically not been a safe place for popes. The first one (St Peter the Apostle) was crucified there. The next four successors were also put to death. After a gap of three popes, the following five were also killed. The 3rd century saw three executed popes. The city became much safer for popes and all Christians after Constantine declared Christianity the state religion in the 4th century. However, after the collapse of the Roman Empire, Rome eventually became so dangerous for popes that they relocated to Avignon in France in 1309 for 100 years or so. Not that Rome was much safer when the popes returned, so the 1400's saw a number of popes who needed to exercise military skill to get the city under control. As you would with any city that is constantly rioting and revolting against the rulers. Now Rome is again turning against the current Pope. The picture on the right comes from the recent protests against Benedict XVI's now cancelled visit to speak at the

Mr Offensive

"The messages are light-hearted and are no more than humorous comments made by the wearers about themselves," he said. So does a 10 year old really want to joke that they are: Mr Well-Hung Miss Floozy Miss Wasted Miss Slut Mr Masturbate Mr Blow Job ? "We are disappointed that there has been some criticism..." Why, does that interfere with your freedom of speech? So Dr Cindy Kiro is looking for evidence that parents need a license in order to raise a child. What will her criteria be? That parents buy these things are "well rounded and ideal parent material" or that such parents are somewhat "deficient" and might as well wear their own T-Shirt: Mr Shit-For-Brains Ms Should Know Better And another thing. The idea on TV is to have "age-inappropriate" advertising and program content after "bed-time". Really, what's the point? Related Link: Little Miss Crass

Welcome to Helengrad

I think it is extremely bad form when people publish name and address information of others. Russell Brown , left wing journalist recently "discovered" WhaleOil was hosting Andy Moore's web site "Don't Vote Labour". To prove the connection he published WhaleOil's real name and address. It was unnecessary, as I'll explain. Furthermore, Russell's comment encouraged another on the thread - this person took the opportunity to denigrate Andy and published Andy's home address. The 'connection' between WhaleOil was implied as sinister because it (supposedly) hadn't been publicly disclosed. I'll say it again - bad form! This harkens back to a recent post about how publishing an address, like when signing a petition, can make people uncomfortable. Especially when some nutter tries to steal the petition and get the addresses. Another case recently was a Police Officer looking up the address of a rape victim he had a connection w

Doing a Bradford

[A reenactment of the crime. Please do not try this in your neighbourhood] A concerned citizen (a school teacher) saw one child crash on their bike, and another who was partially responsible for the incident, going to ride off without parental supervision, clipped around the ear by his father and told to stay put, whilst the father tendered to the injury of the first child. "I could see it was pretty serious, one kid potentially hurt - the other about to ride off and the father frazzled. So rather than offer to lend assistance, I thought instead it was more appropriate to call the police," said the informant, who declined to be named. "I need no further reward. Doing a Bradford is reward enough." Six policemen turned up: "Well, we considered just shooting him on the spot, but the kids were in the line of fire. Always concerned about the welfare of sprogs, we decided just to give him a dressing down and threatening to take the kids into state care. It d

Outright Lies #13: Financial Assistance to Cannabis Growers

[From Sir Humphreys Archives - with updates] The Greens are claiming the EB brochures are filled with outright lies. I'm having a look at the claims, one by one, to see how the EB may have formed their opinion. Outright lie #13: Offer financial assistance to cannabis growers for alternative employment. I have been able to find no information to justify this assertion. The closest I got were these two statements: 1. An inference that (illegal) cannabis growers might be encouraged to grow hemp in the economically depressed Northland areas. "What is most interesting about the new policy is a pilot scheme to integrate commercial hemp crops into economically depressed areas like Northland that have traditionally been reliant on cannabis for their income." It is possible the EB mistook growing Hemp, with low THC properties as part and parcel of the drugs issue. Hemp crops are an interesting possibility for NZ, but that's another post. 2. The Greens Drug Reform Pol

Outright Lies #6: Cut Defence Spending

[From Sir Humphreys Archives - with updates] The Greens are claiming the EB brochures are filled with outright lies. I'm having a look at the claims, one by one, to see how the EB may have formed their opinion. Outright Lie #6: Cut defence spending by 50% and disarm our forces Let's cut to the chase. Keith Locke said this at a Green Party Conference: The Green Party has announced at its annual conference that it will campaign to halve spending on defence from $1.6 billion to $800 million. "We see this cut as a 'peace dividend' providing much-needed money for social and environmental projects," said Green Party Defence Spokesperson Keith Locke, speaking at the party's annual conference in Wellington this weekend. "The saving will come from disbanding the offensive capacity of the Defence Force. "We'll save $650 million by removing the frigates, their support ship Endeavour, and the air strike force. "Another $70 million can be saved by