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Showing posts from March, 2008

Earth Hour

Here at NZ Conservative, we will specifically not be observing Earth Hour. Neither will we be dancing naked around a fire under a full moon, should anyone suggest that be required in years to come. Related Links: Earth Hour: Cities, Landmarks to Go Dark NZ kicks off hour plunging millions into darkness

Friday Night Free For All

The end of the tax year looms. No chewing gum tax breaks, inflation way above the Bollard limit, energy prices set to skyrocket as Labour scheme to ban gas-fired base-load power stations. Interest rates way up. Petrol up. Milk up. Rates up. It's one big stuff up, quite frankly. And the question is "can Mugabe win? Because if he does (by hook or by crook) then we in NZ have to be very worried. I said it once years ago, and in an election year I'm bound to say it again. In fact, I read ahead of this sentence and found it just on the sentence after next. How about that? "Far better to speak up, than remain silent and be voted in". Yep, that's the sentence I was expecting, and let's hope our MPs make full use of their $12,000 allowance to tell us what they really think. We may as well get the lies now, up front. Because if Mugabe wins, we know it wont make any difference anyway. Remember that guy Murphy? An optimist. So tonight on our regu

Ninja

Ninja . Now there is a word to strike terror into the hearts of white belts every-where. I'm not talking about the Teenage Mutant Turtle variety. No, even the Adolescent Radioactive Black belt Hamsters were more dangerous than those Ninja. I'm talking about the real Ninja. Of course, you'd expect websites to be around to fill you in on the details of these silent assassins. By far and away the best Ninja site I have come across would be "Real Ultimate Power." Have a quick look through this site to familiarise yourself with what being a Ninja is all about. Make sure you check out the Hate Mail section for examples of trolling. Sad really. View the Ninja Web Site: Real Ultimate Power Now once you are up to speed on Ninja, watch this movie on how best to defend yourself against Ninja. Defense against Ninja - [Update 2009 - This just sucks. The link is broken. Another vital piece of internet knowledge lost for ever. If only I had written down this

Mail Order Chickens [Zimbabwe Mix]

This post is still relevant today as it was back in 2005. Think Zimbabwe for example. How will the election go? There are chickens whose future is uncertain, as uncertain as many people in Zimbabwe today. But soon, all Mugabe's chickens will come home to roost. People often ask - "is there anything I can do to help?" Well, the guys as Mail Order Chickens have come to the rescue. Backed with endorsement of A list actors, you can, perhaps for the first time, examine the plight of the chicken in Africa. Get to know some of them. Then reach out and adopt. When viewing any of the chickens, try to resist tapping on the screen. Some of them are a little stressed, and the shock could cause them to lay an egg or something. Click to visit Mail Order Chickens NOTE: After the intro, select a chicken and then click the "Ask Actor" button and once loaded, press the Play button to hear the Actor speak. "Lobs" features NZ comedian Rhys Derby. But wa

Repealing the Act of Settlement [UPDATED]

Hot on the heels after being defeated by the men of the cloth , Gordon Brown is apparently now looking at repealing the British Act of Settlement which currently specifically excludes Catholics from the British monarchy. So if a member of the royal family who is in line to the throne (or is already a monarch) marries a Catholic or becomes a Catholic themselves, they lose all rights to the throne. I wonder if this will become a carrot to the Catholic MPs holding out on the Embryo Bill? Related Link: Catholics could join the royal succession UPDATE : Lewis has an very interesting post on what repealing the Act of Settlement could mean for NZ.

Cry me a river

Environment Minister Trevor Mallard last week promised to make all rivers clean enough to swim in within a generation. What isn't clear is which party he expected to win the next five elections in order to deliver on this promise. Based on their environmental scorecard for the last 8 years, (I'm speaking of actions not rhetoric) it doubt it would be Labour. There's obviously some inside knowledge here that points to a conspiracy of massive proportions. Unless they are relying on retrospective legislation, I'd be interested to see how other parties plan on matching this promise. Related Link: Toxic Water

Round one to the men of the cloth!

There's an amazing battle going on in the UK right now. It's the Roman Catholic Church vs Gordon Brown's Labour Government over an Embryo Bill. I've posted a couple of times on this now, but haven't given you all a blow by blow account of what is going down over there. I certainly have been keeping track of it, though. A couple of days ago there was an article about the Church being a serious irritant to Gordon Brown . It mentioned the strength of the RCC as a lobby group given there are 5 million Catholics now in the UK. Then an article appeared last night that talked about the Embryo Bill being blasted from Catholic pulpits over Easter and how annoying this was for a number of scientists who want the bill to pass. And today it looks like there has been a strategic backdown, where the Catholic Labour MPs against the bill will be allowed a free-vote. The amusing thing in light of all this is that the Dominion Post has not a peep about any of this, and inst

Chisea on Pope's Holy Week Sermons

Sandro Magister of Chisea notes that few people have heard or even read the Pope's Holy Week sermons. So he's put them together on one page for all to read. Related Link: Holy Week: The Hidden Homilies of Pope Benedict ~ Chisea Hidden, except for those who were able to listen to them in person: a few thousand out of 1.2 billion Catholics in the world. Here are the complete texts. Required reading for understanding this pontificate

MMP Referendum

Just thinking about this MMP last night and wanted to find out a bit more about this second referendum that was supposed to be held about it. I had heard about it but wasn't sure of the detail. I found this article online by Dr Muriel Newman from the Centre For Political Research in New Zealand which goes into some of the history of MMP. As we all know, one of the big problems around MMP is that the little parties hold too much sway when the bigger parties need their support. As a consequence, we're getting all sorts of weird and wonderful bills (Bradford's Anti-Smacking bill) being passed. So, what's the story with the second referendum? According to Dr Newman - When the 1993 Electoral Act to introduce MMP was drafted, a clause was inserted to allow a Select Committee to review the system after two MMP elections and to determine whether there should be a another referendum on electoral reform. Many New Zealanders understood this to mean that another referendum

Naked News [Satire]

Proposals to introduce naked women presenting the six o'clock news on ALT TV has met with condemnation from the promoter of the Boobs on Bikes Parade, Steve Crow, who said: "We rely on the shock value to ensure our Erotica Show gets as much free publicity as possible. Moves to have naked women presenting the news is going to come like a cold shower, and rain on our parade. I mean, can you imagine a naked women presenting the news showing pictures from the Boobs parade? Do you think anyone is actually going to notice? They'll still be staring at the news presenter. It's highly likely Aucklanders will fail to rise to the occasion, and will no longer remain faithful to the Boobs Parade. We risk losing a cultural icon of long standing tradition." The Boobs on Bikes group were not the only group to show stiff resistance. John Campbell, who will be hosting an exclusive 2 hour special presentation called "The Casting of Naked News" raised the issue utmos

Bounty Hunters

What is the punishment for deliberate acts likely to cause serious injury? It's probably 15 minutes community service, but even if it isn't, we still have to catch the b*stards first. I'm also willing to consider appointing bounty hunters to supplement security services: in another recent incident a large amount of broken glass was scattered in the paddling pool and underneath the play equipment in the Children’s Playground. Related Link: Vandalism in the Botanic Gardens

Faith of the Feminine [Updated]

Last month the Vatican hosted a conference for women from all corners of the world to discuss themes in John Paul II's Letter to Women published 20 years ago. Many feminists consider the Church to be an enemy of women's liberation, but when it comes down to it, nothing could be further from the truth. Feminism is more than just trying to be like men. In fact, trying to be like men is the antithesis of true feminism. It says that being a woman is not good enough, instead women need to turn into men to be accepted as equal. The focus on contraceptive and abortive "rights" shows just how far off the track many feminists in today's world have gone. Far from liberating women, this focus enslaves women to be sexual playthings rather than human beings worthy of respect for their innate gift of life that science spends billions trying to emulate. So how did feminists get it so wrong? Maybe it's because we've let the radicals define feminism for us and they h

Easter Vigil Conversions [Updated]

The Easter Vigil is celebrated on the Saturday night before Easter Sunday. On that night many people who have been studying over the previous year to become Catholics are Baptised and/or Confirmed and given their first Eucharist. In our parish on Saturday four adults entered the Church in this way. Over in Rome this Easter Vigil the Pope baptised an Italian/Muslim journalist who has been very critical of Islam in his writing. In a surprise move at the Easter vigil at St Peter's on Saturday night, the Pope baptised Magdi Allam, 55, an outspoken Egyptian-born critic of Islamic extremism and supporter of Israel, who has been under police protection for five years following death threats against him over his criticism of suicide bombings. He said that by baptising him publicly the Pope had "sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church that until now has been too cautious in the conversion of Muslims because of the fear of being unable to protect the converted, who are

Freedom to shop

Over at Kiwiblog, David fights gamely to assure all freedom can be defined by how many days a year a society can shop. He assumes of course that asking people on low incomes to work at time and a half is really an honour that would not be refused. This is all before we consider the Helen Clark factor. Dear Helen turned lower and middle class New Zealand into welfare beneficiaries. Working for Families (WFF) does actually encourage workers to stay at home with their family on a public holiday. Helen deserves full credit for the first accidentally family friendly policy that Labour has introduced. You see, the moment a worker gets paid overtime rates, their income go up, which raises their tax rate and reduces their WFF tax credit. Ultimately it means their net return for working on a public holiday produces little extra. Indeed, the extra money may not even cover the cost of Labour's other Family Friendly policy: "Free" childcare. Remember the free childcare pol

He Is Risen - Alleluia!

And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe: and they were amazed. And he said to them: Do not be amazed, you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen : he is not here . Behold the place where they laid him. ~ Mark 16:5-6 Easter Blog Posts on other sites Andrei - The Resurrection Frank Ritchie - Resurrection Sunday David Farrar - Still wants to shop and people to work Easter Reading Papal Preacher - Only Christians Believe Christ Is Risen The Tomb is Empty! The Warrior of Love has conquered! Death could not contain the One who poured Himself out in Love. The light floods the once dark cave and now fills the entire world with hope. Love has triumphed over death and heavens gates have been opened wide. Happy Easter!

Bill addresses the bill

Bill English, National's Deputy Leader has graciously offered to spend his time fixing up Labour's rotten legislation [The Electoral Finance Act] to allow Labour to get out and campaign without worrying about the laws they made they were also breaking. He's introducing an amendment to sort out the need to declare a "personal" name and address for political parties. I wouldn't be surprised if John Key will be offering to make the tea and scones at Labour's fund raisers too. National are such good sports, and will no doubt be very pleased to pick up a silver medal in this years election, and then celebrate with tea and scones. Related Link: Bill addresses the bill

Good Friday - The Death of Our Lord

There is no 'Friday Night Free For All' tonight. Good Friday Posts on other sites Not PC -Mocks Easter DPF - Wants to Shop AJ Chesswas - Preaches God's Love Ian Wishart - Holy Blood & Grail Aurora - Reports on Christians in Oz who don't think Good Friday is important Holy Smoke - Martyrdom of Iraqi Church Garth George - No Myth or Fable, But Personal Saviour Good Friday Reading The Meaning of His Piercing Rancor Is Poison to Soul, Says Pope The Crucifixion of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - Dolorous Passion

Dearth of Religious Viewing for Easter

I just went and had a look at the TV Guide to see what kind of programming there was over the next three days of Easter. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised to find that there wasn't any, apart from an episode of Praise be this morning (Good Friday). I don't think you can really count 'Bruce Almighty' as religious programming, either. The time was, the stations would at least attempt some kind of film, such as The Robe, Jesus of Nazareth, or even a film that was not quite appropriate to the season such as Charlton Heston in  'The Ten Commandments'. The programming across the Easter break could easily have been last weekend's or next weekend's viewing. It really is sad, but I suppose it is just another indicator of our country's growing secularisation.

The ultimate thought crime

Terminations are permitted up until birth if an unborn child is thought to have a range of disabilities and that hot on the heels of this: As campaigners claimed that termination had become just another form of contraception, figures showed that about 1,300 women had at least their fifth last year....At the same time, 61,904 women in England and Wales were having their second abortion last year - up from 58,740 in 2004. I read some notable lunatic tried to blame abortion on the Catholic Church. It seems that so many people listen to the Catholic Church in protestant England that all those sex education lessons over the last 30 years hadn't managed to sink in. What hasn't sunk in is this culture of liberal irresponsibility. But then, it's a thought crime just to point this out. Related Link: Abortion - 10 trip tickets to improve convenience factor

Answering the New Atheism

I've read a few Scott Hahn books now, so I can imagine the book above will be easy to read, well thought out and devastatingly refute Dawkins' case against religion. I mean with a cover like that - what else would you expect? Related Link: Answering the New Atheism ~ Amazon

Bishop Patrick Answers

Very good reply by Bishop Pat in the Herald today re: the Seven Sins misreporting. Some quotes below. Let's start at the beginning, with the Herald deciding, like hundreds of other newspapers, to grossly misrepresent what a lone bishop said in an interview with the Vatican's newspaper. [...] And don't let the fact it was that lone bishop speaking stop the Herald from running a photo of Pope Benedict on the front page and then repeating the dose the next day, by which time one might have thought its editors would have realised the errors they had made tying the comments to the Pope, the Vatican or the Catholic Church as a whole. Indeed. If certain publications want to make such erroneous connections, that's their prerogative. We'll be interested to see how the Prime Minister reacts when comments a backbench MP makes to his or her local newspaper are reported as new Labour policy and run with Helen Clark's photo. That's just a couple of

Catholic Churches in Saudi Arabia

Currently, Saudi Arabia does not permit any other faith to exist in it's country besides Islam. To that end, even owning a Bible or a crucifix is illegal. However, it is believed that negotiations are currently under way at the Vatican that could lead to the first ever Catholic church being built in Saudi Arabia. With the number of Catholics in the country (mostly from the Phillipines, working as servants) many churches would be needed. Of course, this article is from the Times, so it might be total conjecture based on wishful thinking, but, you never know. If this is even remotely true, this could be big. Really big. Related Link: King Abdullah extends hand of friendship to Catholic Church ~ TimesOnline, UK

Missile Sheild Pact Intrigues

Hmmmm... A meeting in Moscow has "softened" Russian opposition to a missile defence shield set up in the Czech Republic and Poland. The Russians seem to be "looking to broaden the international security agenda with the US". Vladimir Putin appeared to pave the way for a breakthrough deal within weeks on the Pentagon's contentious missile shield plans yesterday when he responded positively to an offer from George Bush. With the White House and the Kremlin preparing Putin's swansong summit with Bush at a Nato meeting in two weeks in Romania, the outgoing Russian president appeared to soften his opposition to US plans for missile interceptors and a radar site in Poland and the Czech Republic. The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, and the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, met Putin and his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, in Moscow yesterday ahead of the Nato summit in Bucharest. Putin is to attend in one of his last foreign acts as Russia's president. T

Opt-out of EU enforced gay marriage

I continue to be amazed at what is considered to be important international news by the NZ media. For instance, Poland is currently going through a number of problems to do with setting up a US missile defence base on Polish territory due to threats from the Soviets, whoops, Russians. But no, not a peep on that. But opting out of parts of the EU Charter, most especially anything to do with "gay marriage" - that gets a news item on TV One's website. I'd be interested to know if that got the television news as well. Polish President Lech Kaczynski said on Sunday he plans to push for an opt-out from parts of the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights after the ruling Civic Platform said it wants to ratify the treaty in full. The previous conservative government negotiated an opt-out from the charter in the EU's reform treaty, due to be signed next month, arguing that it could limit Warsaw's ability to maintain a traditional Roman Catholic family

Seven Deadly Sins (redux)

I see that the subject of the Seven Deadly Sins has been well and thoroughly thrashed again in the Saturday Herald; no less than in the editorial and by two columnists (one of whom seems to be a fan of Christopher Hitchens' atheist rantings, and who suggests we read Hitchens' God is Not Good). Anyway, this got me thinking again.. What the Bishop said, as far as reinterpreting the Seven Deadly Sins for the modern age, was by-and-large for Catholics; to make them more aware of their faults and failings and try to get up attendance in Confession. Why has the secular media jumped all over this with such intensity? I have a theory here, and it's the old "shoot the messenger" theory. Basically, people don't like to be reminded of their failings or "sins" and they don't like being told they are wrong or to have to look inside and self-evaluate; there are things there that they'd rather not care to see. The problem with that is, we all have

Daylight Saving Ripoff?

As most people who regularly visit this blog know, I wasn't in favour of the extending of Daylight Saving. I don't mind it in the middle of Summer and I think it went on quite long enough, thank-you-very-much, without extending it. I like my sleep and dislike having to get up in the dark. However, the Government in it's infinite wisdom decided to extend it by three weeks due to a petition largely signed by sports clubs and the like. Notice the bold bit in the previous sentence? THREE WEEKS . There was going to be a week added to the beginning and two weeks added to the end. Well, according to the news (and my computer which I haven't patched) the changeover back to normal time should have happened overnight if we were playing by last year's times. So, the clocks are supposed to go back now on the 6th of April. But hang on - that's THREE WEEKS away from now. That means that FOUR weeks have been added onto the DS we already had? I'm being ripped

Party Pills Banned

So it seems party pills will be banned via an act of Parliament last night. Sellers have two weeks to close down; users have six months. This is what happens in societies with little sense of discipline or self-control. Even though it ought to be up the individual whether or not they abuse their bodies or their minds, it ends up being enforced from above because many worry that their own children will not be able to resist the lure of the drug which "everyone" needs to have a good time at a party. They must be pretty damn boring parties if people need drugs to enjoy them. Related Link: Party pills go in fortnight ~ Stuff

Is the Catholic Church "rich"?

I've been having a little look at the opinions posted on the NZ Herald site as regards the recent news non -story about the "new" or updated Seven Deadly Sins that one of the Bishops from the Vatican has come out with (but which has not been endorsed by the vatican or the Pope). There are quite a few people there on the Herald site commenting on number three, 'Accumulating Excessive Wealth' and criticizing the Catholic Church as being hypocritical because they are "rich" (as these opinion posters like to put it). I've got news for you - we aren't. In our own Parish, the Bishop has given the go-ahead for a new church to be built to service the entire area. It's been about five years or more since he gave the go-ahead and we STILL haven't raised enough money to get it built albeit after many fund raising sausage sizzles, stalls, auctions and many other events. Rich?? Give me a break. The same can be said for the renovations to the roof

Anti-abortion drop in Australia

An anti-abortion group in Victoria, Australia did a 200,000 letter drop showing images of aborted babies to unsuspecting householders. The letters were in an envelope and there was a mild warning on the front, but it seems many were unprepared for the images contained within. The response in Australia seems to be outrage that the anti-abortion group could do such a thing. The words "offensive" and "disgusting" seem to feature many of the newspaper links that I've been reading. Some people are also upset because their children have opened the envelopes and seen the images inside. Now this I can understand is a cause for concern. My children don't know about abortion yet. I don't plan to tell them until they are older, as my children don't need to know that the world is filled with adults that would rather murder their own children than change their lifestyles. So, I would be upset if my children opened a letter to find such images inside. How

We Look for a Kingdom

A couple of weeks ago I finished reading We Look For A Kingdom: The Everyday Lives of the Early Christians by Carl J. Sommer . The scope is from AD 100 to 313 in the Roman world, during a period of intense persecution, right up to the legalisation of Christianity by the Roman Emperor Constantine . The first section on what the Roman world was like at the time was a wonderful lead in to the whole book. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to have a good idea of what the lives of the early Christians were like. It made me think about the real lack of accessible historical books on that period, which makes it almost seem like that period of history didn't exist. I say this because as a child, I loved reading history. I think I managed to read every child's history book in our local library before moving on the adults books at age 8. And I never came across any history book that went into the lives of the early Christians. After reading the book, I've started read

Growing veges

There's something very off-putting with persevering with watering my plants by hose (no sprinklers allowed) over the long, hot summer only to be attacked by sandflies every time I go down there to chop off the odd zucchini or tomato. Maybe swathes of concrete around each plant will reduce the number of hiding spots for the little critters. Either that, or I'll have to dress in very thick clothing, including gloves and goggles. When I first sprouted the seeds, I imagined I could just nip down to the vege patch to get something to add to dinner, but I find myself not wanting to because of the bites. Three this time. Three too many, if you ask me.

Recognition of Totalitarianism

The family is the primary social unit of society, the fundamental building block, it's own mini-society. The family pre-dates the state, so any attack on the family should be a cause for concern of every citizen. However, citizens don't seem to exist any more. We have the people, the workers, the poor, the fundamentalists, the rainbow parade, the single mothers, young people - all groups that are touted to the populace at large as having special interests of how society ought to be run - but what about the citizens? In a democracy, a citizen has a responsibility to be interested in what is occurring in the governance of the nation, and taking an active role to prevent anything detrimental to society at large. But it seems in NZ many people no longer consider themselves citizens and instead consider themselves as children that need to be looked after by the state. No wonder the state is dismembering it's major rival. Strong families don't need a strong state and

Want to know more about Sin?

With yesterday's explosion of interest in sin as defined by the Roman Catholic Church, and consequent misinterpretation by the media, I thought I'd point to where you can find out more what constitutes sin. Frank Ritchie of Servant's Thoughts has written a thoughtful piece on what sin is . The Roman Catholic Catechism goes into more explicit detail on what would be considered sinful. The list is far larger than the Seven Deadly Sins and the "new" sins being eagerly talked about. If you still need help after reading all that, I'd recommend The Sinner's Guide by the Venerable Louis of Granada, OP (1504-1588). The online book goes through all the reasons why not to sin and the rewards for trying to live a sinless life. As well as remedies for each of the Seven Deadly Sins. Ultimately sin leads to separation from God. It's not a good thing and leads to deep unhappiness, followed by possible eternal damnation. As much as it would be nice to think t

PicLens for Firefox

Just a lil heads-up on a cool new Firefox extension called PicLens. It works with most popular photo sites and blogs such as Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook, bebo etc. If you've ever used coverflow on the iPod Touch or iTunes - it's not quite exactly unlike that.  A nice wall of images (with iPod-ish shiny reflection)  that you can drag and then click on an image.

Updated Deadly Sins [Updated]

Today's Dominion Post has a large article on the front page of the world section titled "Polluters and druggies - go to hell". The teaser on the front page says "Deadly Sins: Pope's new list". News items on the radio have also be referring to the seven deadly sins being revised. FairFactsMedia and David Farrar and Peter Cresswell have jumped on the bandwagon. The following is an example of the major error in understanding of what the Vatican has said: The Vatican has brought up to date the traditional seven deadly sins by adding seven modern mortal sins it claims are becoming prevalent in what it calls an era of "unstoppable globalisation". ~ Fewer confessions and new sins ~ BBC Where do I start? The first error is the assumption that there were only seven "deadly" sins to start with and that these "new" seven are actually adding to that list. The seven stand on their own and don't need to be added to. The second

British Catholic Labour MPs may have backbones after all

Gordon Brown's Labour Government in the UK wants to pass a bill that will allow the creation of animal-human hybrids for medical research purposes and that will also remove the requirement on clinics to consider the "need for a father" before providing IVF treatment. One small problem: his Catholic MPs. Catholic Labour MPs are not too happy about this bill (the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill), so unhappy in fact that given a choice they would vote against it. Which is not making Gordon Brown and the UK Labour Government happy. The bone thrown to the MPs; that they could just not be in the room when the bill is passed has turned into a red rag instead. So now, the Catholic MPs are saying they will vote against the bill with the opposition, which will mean the bill will fail. It's not over yet, but if the Catholic MPs are growing a backbone, that'll be causing a major ripples in a country where there are now more Church going Catholics than Anglicans

Kerre says crush them like insects

Kerre Woodham of NewsTalk ZB would probably favour summary execution, if she could get away with it. She is frothing about boy racers, and anyone who might be mistaken for a boy racer. They all should have their cars crushed. She actually said she wouldn't mind if it meant a few "innocent" cars were accidentally crushed. Just crush them like insects. On the spot. No first warning. No investigation into who owns the car. Just crush it. Such is the seriousness of the problem. If you are going to go around and say "hit them were it hurts" then make sure you are hurting the right people. Crushing some-one else's car just makes you a thug. The likely market reaction? Steal the car first. Maybe Kerre's? One of the problems is that the laws are not being enforced properly. I do not disagree the problem is serious, and that we need to protect innocent bystanders. However, the reaction to create incredibly severe punishments that also have a

In defence of the one night stand

There's a really sad feature article in yesterday's Sunday Star Times written by a woman in her late 30's who "writes in defence of the one-night stand." I found it sad, because while she apparently wrote in defence, her own words showed just how damaging such a lifestyle is to a person. It started with losing her virginity at age 14. It seems to have taught her to use men and let herself be used in turn by them. Not that she saw that; her only regret was that she was used, ie not cared for by the boy she had sex with. The fact that it was her choice also seems to vindicate the experience as if choosing ought to remove any regret. I was "going out" with the guy, but we broke up soon after, and I watched him go through a succession of teenage girls. It does annoy me that someone who didn't really care about me was my first time - but it was still my choice. Really, I just wanted to get it over with, to see what it was all about. There there are

Friday night free for all

Anti Body-Snatching Device Picture courtesy of Jason Watson

Chris Trotter on Revolution

Is there a hard left in NZ that wants to take control by force, nationalise everything and shoot everyone that disagrees? Chris Trotter in today's column in the Dominion Post alludes to such, and reiterates again, that rolling Helen Clark for Phil Goff is a much better alternative than a revolution. Um, so is there another terrorist group in NZ that the police ought to be looking at? Related Link: Will update this link to work when the column comes online

Show Me The Money!

So, according to the news today , the Government's accounts (for the first time in almost 15 years) are in the red?  The Government can give all the reasons they like (and I'm sure they are many and varied) but I find it very hard to swallow that for years and years the take from the poor taxpayer has been rising to a surplus of billions and all of a sudden, six  months out from an election, there isn't any left - in fact, into the negative. As the Four-Square women would say to one another, "how convenient". According to the story - ..tax revenues are $700 million below forecast. Oh, really? Again, I find this a bit hard to believe. The Government is not taking enough from us? Sorry, but taking tax is one of the things this government is VERY good at and I doubt they would have mucked up on that. I'm sure someone will provide the reasons for this, but the story just left myself and family members watching saying, "yeh right" incredulou

Bodies fair game

You've got to wonder, with the latest body snatching case, does this mean that anyone could steal a person's body? Apparently the police can do nothing because the body doesn't belong to anyone. So, what if a satanic group needed a body to mutilate before setting it on fire in a bizarre religious rite? Could they go down to the nearest funeral home and just take off with any body that takes their fancy? Or how about something a bit more likely - a medical teaching facility that runs out of cadavers. Is there anything in law that stops them from being able to load up from the hospital morgue? I suppose most people wouldn't have even thought of taking a body from grieving relatives, and that and respect for the dead, has probably been the only only thing stopping body snatching from happening more often. That, and the expectation that doing so was not legal. Yet, there is a legal black hole here. A legal black hole that needs to be filled. Related Link: Woman

Super Nannys of the State

You've heard of the Super Nanny that sorts out troublesome kids in no time flat? You've heard of the Nanny State - those meddlesome left wing zealots that know better than parents, and like to equate violent abuse with temperate physical discipline? Well prepare for the new reality TV show hitting the airwaves this season: Super Nanny of the State. Hosted by the muppet talent Campbell, it features Sue Bradford and Cindy Kiro as the Super Nannys of the State (SNotS). These big SNotS take on little snots and show how positive parenting techniques are so effective in a classroom situation. Yes, with the Dom Post page 3 announcing that 1 in 5 children in the classroom are extremely disruptive, anti-social, violent and abusive, it makes a teacher with 25 kids vainly trying to manage (let alone educate) 20 whilst 5 of them are playing up big time. Faced with such disturbing statistics, and cognisant that today's children are the product of the last 20 years of increasi

A report on abortion in NZ

The Abortion Supervisory Committee has recently come out with a report to Government on what is happening with abortion in NZ. A couple of points that have really stood out to me were: the Committee will be looking at the availability and the need for second trimester services in all regions . In 2006, 2,399 abortions "needed" to be done as a result of oral contraceptive failure. The second trimester is 15 to 27 weeks from last menstrual period. Here's a week by week look at the development of the baby during this time. Given that NZ's law doesn't allow for abortion on demand (even though we have abortion on demand), I can only think of that there would be an increasing "need" for second trimester abortions for reasons of fetal abnormality that typically get diagnosed later in the pregnancy. Unfortunately , though, diagnosis of abnormality can be wrong as a couple pressured in the UK to abort their baby right up to his birth discovered . The secon

Islamic website suspects plot by Pope

A ranting Islamist website called Ummah Pulse is carrying an article about a Jesuit attempt to "get behind the lines" of Islam in order to water down its theology. A German Jesuit priest-scholar called Felix Koerner is helping state-funded Turkish Muslims create an "authentic" variety of Islam that can be reconciled with the modern world. Ummah Pulse sniffs conspiracy, you’ll be shocked to hear: it reckons that Koerner is one of Pope Benedict XVI's secret agents, employing Jesuitical wiles to implement his anti-Muslim agenda. Considering that the Jesuits have been very recently admonished by the Pope to become obedient again to the Pope and Catholic Doctrine, I somehow doubt the Pope is anyway involved with what this particular Jesuit is up to. Related Links: Islamic website suspects plot by Pope ~ Telegraph, UK Remember 4th vow of obedience, Pope urges Jesuits

Victims of NZ Labour

Sorry, it's late and the cynicism is at full strength. I blame NZ Labour. They did this to me. I am now a victim. Oh, calamity. What measure of justice can I expect? The Government will strengthen victims' rights through a range of initiatives, including developing a Victims' Charter and funding a national 0800 victim helpline and a website for victims, Justice Minister Annette King said. Well, that directly addresses the fact that court cases for serious crime can take 2 years to get to court. And very serious crimes three years. (They are called elections at that point, but the jury is fickle). Wow thanks Annette. You can go to the web site and see if the victims charter allows you any rights around bringing the criminal to trial before they die of old age. And I guess 0800-VICTIM will be useful if some violent maniac happens to be beating you to death with a phone. Maybe it will be answered faster than 111? Although, dialing so many digits with broken fing

Keeping Photojournalists Honest

Remember a couple of years back when a Reuters photographer got busted for manipulating photographs in Iraq to make them more, er, interesting? More smoke and whatnot. Well a guy, John Graham has written C code to detect Photoshopped cloning in images. He basically did it because he wanted to win a car in a Spot The Ball newspaper competition, and found a paper describing the algorithm he was looking for. He didn't end up winning the car but the program seems to work quite well. (See the images below). You can download the C code from his blog (and see more pictures there and here ) but I don't think there is a Windows executable yet.

Murder not as serious as first thought

A man who beat his partner to death had his 10 year sentence reduced to eight years. The Court of Appeals decided the murder was not as serious as first thought. The justices said they were not unsympathetic to the judge's view that domestic violence was a serious problem in New Zealand and a "firm response is required...but consistency of sentencing for similar offending is also an important principle." Obviously, its a far more important principle than a firm response. Sure, the mother of six children died as a consequence of the murderous attack, but many people die from murder, and murderers are not always punished as severely, was the logic from the Court of Appeals. Indeed, they managed to find two other cases where people beating other people to death got lesser sentences, so they dropped the sentence on this one too. It didn't occur to them that perhaps the other sentences should therefore be raised. It just didn't occur to them. Instead, they now