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Showing posts from July, 2008

Blogged out and sick

Well, after yesterday's burst, I'm all blogged out. Not to mention recovering from the flu. Hope everyone else is well. And that you all have power and houses that haven't been swept into the sea or anything. I've just returned from taking the kids to their swimming lessons and it's almost wet enough out there to swim in the streets!

Real Child Abuse

Here's a case of real child abuse, where it's also obvious banning smacking wouldn't have prevented this, nor changed the attitudes behind this callous and inhumane attitude. So now that these people are caught, time to send a message to others on what "duty of care" means, and the severe punishments that could be leveled when caregivers (they weren't parents) are found not just to fail in their basic obligations, but to inflict such abuse in the first place. The other tragedy is that no-one at the girl's school noticed and did anything over the three week decline towards death. And what did the social workers do on their visit the day before she finally died? Mr Coates said social workers who visited the three-bedroom Palmerston home - which housed 17 people - the day before the death found the child lying on the kitchen floor crying. When she was told to have a shower she struggled to walk and had to use the walls for support. I cannot understand h

Dead Parrot

Location: The Department of Conservation (DoC), Fox Glacier Office A customer enters Customer: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint. (The Officer does not respond.) C: 'Ello, Miss? Officer: What do you mean "miss"? C: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I thought you were Miss Clark. Anyway, I wish to register a complaint! O: We're closin' for lunch. Possum sandwiches. C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I photographed not half an hour ago from this wilde New Zealand habitat. O: Oh yes, the, uh, the Kea, Nestor Notabilis ..What's,uh...What's wrong with it? C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it! O: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting. C: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now. O: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Nestor Notabilis idn'it, ay?

Sexual slavery rife in NZ

The condemnation of prostitution was not just puritan bigotry; it was a recognition of a profound truth, which is that you and your body are not two things but one, and by abusing the body you harden the soul. Right after reading in No Minister that NZ is fast becoming an economic desert, where only the sex trade is any good . Then I read on Lindsay Mitchell's blog that the good people of Dannevirke are trying to run a brothel out of town. Dannevirke resident Mike Long said it only took the people of Carterton 18 months to drive a brothel out of business in their town. "It comes down to one thing - money. I think we should name and shame the people that are using the business, then let their partners know." Gill Allardice, a Dannevirke resident for 30 years, said she would be happy to wait outside the front door and take a personal note of all patrons. "I will sit outside and do my knitting if I have to." She had already organised a petition and written let

The Dark Knight combats Pure Evil

It seems the new Batman movie by Christopher Nolan understands evil, something many people have lost. This concept that evil does what it does because it wants to, not because of circumstances or upbringing. At one point, The Joker asks one of his victims whether he wants to hear the story of how he got his scars. He proceeds to explain that his father was a "drunken fiend," who fought with his mother, one night to the point of cutting her with a knife. Having done so, he turned on his stupefied son and, putting the knife to his mouth, asked, "Why so serious?" Then, in a subsequent scene, The Joker tells quite a different story about the source of his scars. The point is clear -- there is no "reason" for the Joker's love of chaos. As Nolan commented, The Joker has "no arc, no development"; he is an "absolute." As he sets fire to a huge pile of money, The Joker chastises the astounded criminals in his midst for their petty love of

Satirising Obama as Our Lord

There is a piece of satire floating around the blogosphere satirising Obama as the God made man, Our Lord Jesus the Christ. I've come across it in a few places now, and found that I couldn't read it - it disturbed me too much. Now that I've had a think about it, I think it disturbs me mainly because that in the mocking of Obama, it mocks God as well. And comparing Obama to Jesus just brings to mind thoughts of the Anti-Christ. For both those reasons, I won't be linking directly to the posts.

Ban them and make them mandatory [Updated]

Coroners. They'll be the death of me. A coroner has just called for a ban on snow tyres [DomPost, 29 July, A3]. Thankfully(?), they are calling for the ban to be only on mixing snow tyres with standard tyres, based on findings from two crashes. In one crash, the main facts that leap out was that the accident happened whilst texting, and driving worn out snow tyres mixed with other tyres. In another, the brother of the crash victim called for an immediate ban on snow tyres, saying they were the sole cause of the crash. No they were not - the coroner said it was a combination of snow tyres and standard tyres. As usual, people call for a ban to solve a problem. And they want to ban snow tyres; not texting; not using worn out treads; not using inappropriate combinations of tyres - something that is never recommended by any credible tyre seller in any event. No doubt, if they are banned, then we'll have another Coroner calling for them to be made mandatory when some-one s

Eat Your Greens

Sue Kedgley of the Greens blogs: "Tomorrow I will present my 37 thousand signature petition calling for mandatory country of origin labelling of all fresh and single component food to the Health Select Committee." My first thought was of the 37 thousand signature petition she has backing her bill. That's 37,000 people standing up for something they believe in and asking the government to consider their request. A very big number, impressive indeed. So I asked Sue what she thought a petition like that means? Did getting that many signatures influence her thinking in any way? Do you think other politicians should listen when the will of the people is so strong? Anyway, irony aside , here's some of the reasons the Greens give to label food with a country of origin: In 2006, we imported 10,604 tonnes of lamb and beef - most of it was not labelled as to its country of origin. This means that consumers cannot be certain when they buy meat at their local butcher o

Welfare leads to moral decay

We don't talk much about welfare here at NZ Conservative. I know I did when I was more politically "right wing", but that was back before I researched the causes of welfarism. For in this society we have people that will live their entire lives on welfare and also those who will do anything but draw a benefit cheque, even when they might need the hand up. So, I don't think welfare actually causes moral decay, if that's what the visiting American Priest who advised George Bush on reforming America's welfare system actually meant. But I do think the ready availability of welfare is a major contributing factor to long-term welfare dependence. He now believes that the welfare state has failed to lift the poor out of poverty by creating a perverse incentive for people to stay on benefits, failing to help them overcome whatever obstacles are keeping them out of work, and neglecting the spiritual help that people need alongside money. "The current welfare s

Thanatocracy

“A democratic and social state has the duty to protect the poorest and the weakest, which include the unborn, the handicapped, the elderly and the terminally ill. When the state, instead of protecting the weakest, provides legal cover for the culture of death, it automatically is transformed into a totalitarian state, the foundations of coexistence are broken and a society of death, a true thanatocracy (a government run by death), emerges.” We're pretty close to a thanatocracy here in NZ. We already have abortion on demand, with the government looking the other way to ensure our abortion laws that that prevent abortion on demand are not enforced. And from time to time the euthanasia thing pops up. Fortunately it doesn't have any teeth yet, but there are politicians in our parliament who support euthanasia and even if the population doesn't, when has that ever stopped parliament from doing what they want? Related Link: Only a totalitarian states gives cover for death, w

Trotter Not Sorry

Chris Trotter's hate-filled column last week [ Trotter's Hate Speech ] generated a lot of 'robust feedback' in response, so he's decided to spend some time repairing his damaged brand. His latest column explains why Chris is such a nice guy. It's a nice fluffy piece that stays general, and is notable for what it doesn't say. It doesn't, for example, say "sorry" for his recent tirade against large sections of New Zealand. He doesn't say "sorry" for painting National voters as the face of evil. Chris, when are you going to learn - verbal violence is not OK! All Trotter can manage is "I'm not a communist, I'm a social-democrat." Well, that explains it then? He starts off: A column entitled From the Left conjures out of its readers imaginations a veritable phantasmagoria of political misconceptions. The most common of these is that, being "From the Left", I must favour the policies Joseph Stalin and

The Pope's tree in Israel only one to produce olives!

Yet another miracle in a world where there are people that think miracles are only coincidences. Jerusalem, Jul 22, 2008 / 02:06 pm (CNA).- In the Jubilee Year of 2000, Pope John Paul II made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land stopping at one point to bless an olive tree on the Mount of the Beatitudes. A forester with the Jewish National Fund reports that this tree is the only one producing olives this year. "It is a miracle," Yossi Karni from the JNF, which maintains the plot, told local media. During a visit to northern Israel, in March of 2000, the late Pontiff blessed an olive tree that was planted on the Mount of Beatitudes, which was previously called Mt. Eremos. According to tradition, Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount on this mountain, which is located near the Sea of Galilee. Israel is currently facing what Uri Shani, Israel’s Water Authority director, called “the worst crisis in 80 years.” “Israel's major sources of drinking water, including the Sea of Galilee a

Abortion key factor in Labour party defeat in Scotland

Last month the Irish voted NO to the EU Lisbon treaty , heavily influenced by the EU's pro-abortion stance; last week I wrote a post showing how the pro-life position is making major gains in the US through the individual consciences of medical staff, and today I see a story from Scotland where a Labour party candidate in a safe Labour seat narrowly lost the seat in a by-election. Glasgow, Jul. 25, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Abortion was a key factor in the defeat of a Labor Party candidate in a by-election in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 24, according to local pro-life leaders. The Glasgow East seat in Parliament, regarded as a safe seat for the Labor Party, was captured by John Mason of the Scottish National Party in a close vote. The Alive and Kicking Alliance, which had backed the pro-life candidate, claimed that abortion was a crucial ingredient in his electoral success. Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that he would postpone a final parliamentary vo

Humanae Vitae: The Catholic Church and the Pill

Humanae Vitae is most likely one of the the most widely flouted Catholic Church edicts of modern times. In short, more than 80% of Catholics in the West disregard the command to abstain from artificial birth control. A couple of days ago it was the 40th birthday of Humanae Vitae and contrary to the opinions at the time of it's birth - the teaching is still alive and kicking. And it now has teeth. The last Pope, John Paul II, spent five years hammering out a detailed theology underpinning (among other things) why contraception in intrinsically evil and degrades the human person in God's original plan for man's sexuality. In a nutshell, when a couple uses artificial contraception, they in effect use the other person for their own sexual gratification. They do not give all of themselves to the other, nor do they receive all of the other - they want only the part that is sexually satisfying, not the part that could impart life to a third person. That degrades both in

Number #1 Again

Just looking at the New Zealand Top 40 charts today, and guess which song is at #1? The video after the jump should give you a clue: yes, it's Phil Collins' song In The Air Tonight. Should I be be surprised really that a Cadbury ad on TV featuring a gorilla playing drums can propel a hit song from 1981 back up the charts? I suppose it's happened with other songs that have featured in TV ads. I guess I was just so used to hearing the song that I figured everyone had heard it. I did wonder when The Warehouse started advertising Phil Collins' Greatest Hits on TV; an old album from 1989 and I wondered why. I guess a new generation hadn't heard it. Enjoy the video anyway (I like when he does that little snarl).

Friday Night Free for All

It's Friday 25 July, 2008. A bit obvious really, unless you googled naked news and ended up here by accident. That, believe it or not, was the most popular search that found new visitors. Unfortunately for those people, the news we have is naked in content, exposed! as it were; not naked in presentation. Still, some enterprising blogger is bound to think up the novel and witty idea of placing a nubile wench, sexy siren, or amazonian girl rugby player (also a popular search) on every post, a la naked news. Not surprisingly, many search attempts to find flesh are executed with appalling spelling. "Girls playing with there selves" is agonizingly common. What boobs, eh? BTW, This post brought to you by the fantasy art of Luis Royo. This months most popular search is "kiwi rail". That's quite impressive. Maybe its always been a popular search, but NZ conservative hadn't mentioned much in the rail area until the sale and re-branding of recent. People

US Abortion Wars

Some really interesting things are happening in the US to do with limiting abortion right now. Over the years, one of the chief criticisms of Bush has been that while he may be anti-abortion, abortions have increased during his presidency. The argument being, that those that have been pro-choice have had far more impact on the overall numbers of abortion than those who are anti-abortion. However the Bush administration has been actively working to limit abortion across the board, most likely working from the general principle that abortion is evil no matter how compassionately you may empathise with a woman faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The latest plan is brilliant in it's scope. Already over the last few years 1200 abortion clinics have closed down in the US . Many doctors and nurses are refusing to be involved in abortions. This is not just limited to the US - NZ and Britain have the same problem. It seems that those in closest contact will killing the unborn are

NZ Conservative scoops New York Times

It is with some modesty that I announce that our blog has scooped the New York Times with an article by John McCain himself. I know the NYT will be pretty cut up about this, having just run an Obama article. They may come up with some half-arsed, err half-assed excuse to cover their embarrassment, but I know they are hurting. The last thing they want as a paragon of balanced reporting is to be thought of as some biased left-wing hack media establishment. Well, in the dog eat dog world of journalism, tough bikkies, err cookies. Eat my print type. So, New Zealand Conservative, in conjunction with Neocon Express , bring to you, and scooping the NYT by some small period of time, possibly an era or epoch, an article by US Presidental Candidate John McCain:

World Geezer Day [UPDATE]

Now that World Youth Day is over, one commentator in the US wonders in a tongue firmly in cheek way, why the Geezers can't have their own day where the Pope comes out specifically to visit them. For those that don't quite understand what Geezers are, he's referring to the Boomers, or the generation that remembers 1968 fondly. I don't think he means me, though. I don't actually remember 1968, but do think of it fondly as it was the year I was born. My favourite paragraph is this one: The Mass will be in Latin. Deal with it. Your ancestors understood it perfectly, as do your children and grandchildren. It is only baby boomers, with all their college degrees and who are purportedly the most educated Americans ever, who wah-wah that they can't understand the simple Latin of the Mass. I had a conversation with some older Catholics of the Boomer age a few weeks back that went into why I home-school and then what I actually teach. All the Boomers were stunned that

Solution to All Problems: Tax Payer Funding

Helen Clark is again suggesting the solution to all problems in government is tax payer funding. This time, it's to solve electioneering. Gee, why am I not surprised? In order to avoid impropriety from our politicians, we just have to bribe them upfront. It's not a bribe, it's "normal best practice". So on one hand we have the possibility of tax payer funding, and on the other hand we say “Let the public decide who they fund”. On that basis, the option (to me) is clearly the latter. Taxpayers funding political parties will not stop the lobbying from big business and special interest groups, and it doesn't even necessarily level the playing field. The counter to my point is the gray area where it is not the voting public per se , but big business and overseas interests funding a party. At a stretch, they might represent the wishes of their employees, but they do not necessarily represent the best interests of New Zealand. They deserve a voice though .

Flogging a dead horse

It's no secret Winston has a morbid fear of media rats. The question is though, which is more feral, rabid and bubonic? Winston or the rats? When cornered, bluster turns quickly to attack, and Winston seems cornered at this moment. No doubt Winston was as shocked as all NZ First supporters upon discovering a hundred grand sitting in a legal expenses trust as a gift from major Labour Supporter, Owen Glenn. No doubt Helen Clark is wondering who Owen Glenn hasn't secretly funded. Ironically, with the Hollow Men movie opening this week, some voters might be confused who the Hollow Men are supposed to be. Whilst Brash was well and truly tarred with the "colluding with shadowy figures" brush, pundits were hoping the mantle might be passed to John Key. At the last moment, Winston has sailed in to grab the crown. The crown looks nice with his baubles. And speaking of baubles, a series of donations at $9,995 (perfectly legal, you understand) from the mega rich Vela fam

Energy Saver Lightbulbs Very Dangerous

That does it! I've thrown out three of the energy saver light bulbs in my kitchen so far, I've just got two of the things to go. I thought that they were safe as long as they weren't accidentally broken, but reading about how they can cause house fires when they burn themselves out has been the last straw for me. Out they go! Related Link: Editorial on CFL mercury danger ~ TBR Investigate Magazine - current issue

Bradley versus the Bible

Bradley Fowler is gay. He's also emotionally distressed because the Bible casts homosexuality as a sin. Well actually, that's not quite right. Apparently the Bible casts 'the effeminate and men who lie with men'** as a sin, which is one thing, but he's outraged that two bible publishers have trimmed that line down to 'homosexuals' and variations thereof. It went from something like this: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor idolaters, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor... To this: Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherent the kingdom of God. [Catholic Edition, 2002, Ignatius Press] Bradley wants $70 million dollars from two publishers for suggesting effeminate men and those that lie with other me

Another Stab at Catholic Church

Following on from Zen's last post about the Dom Post taking a swipe at the Catholic Church, my folks brought to my attention the cartoon in yesterday's NZ Herald. I'm not going to paste it here but you can follow this link . Basically, it shows a man and a woman working in a pharmacy and the man saying that the Catholic Youth Pilgrimage was a roaring success. The woman next to him is reading from a paper saying 'SALES' and there are condoms on the shelves next to them. My folks brought it to my attention (as I said) with my mother struggling to find the humour in it, or indeed if it was supposed to be funny. If it was implying that condom sales had gone up because of a visit of young Catholic pilgrims then I would say that is not only false but also insulting and offensive. It's like the cartoonist is very much anti-Catholic or anti-religion and because he couldn't find anything to use he made this up out of thin air. The sort of Catholics who would

Too Many Editors

The DomPost editorial today was a misinformed, rather stereotypical assault on the Catholic Church and the usual call for population control or some other final solution. It ignores the fact that populations generally move into barely replacement level growth, and some are in decline wherever one has peace, prosperity, education and prospects. It follows therefore, that the best way to curb population growth is to make the poorer countries wealthier. Anyway, such hints at population control follow on the heels of growing calls from the more obvious moon bats that declare having children is not a right, but something you find at the end of a long document called a "government permit". It's more fun if you tie it in with climate change though, it adds a touch of madness to it all: The solution to global warming, says a UK charity, is to implement laws that would result in people having fewer children. Governments should put slow pressure on people to limit their offspri

Crime doesn't pay [Upgraded]

With a title like "Crime Doesn't Pay", the picky folk out there will no doubt abuse me for telling porkies. To be fair, I probably am hyping the point a little with a wild accusation like that for a blog title. Any sane person in NZ would of course argue that crime does pay, and it can pay quite well. An example? Owen Thor Walker, 18, known by his online name "AKILL," was involved in a network accused of infiltrating 1.3 million computers around the world and skimming millions of dollars from victims' bank accounts. Walker earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of accessing a computer for dishonest purposes, two charges of accessing computer systems without authorization, one of damaging or interfering with computer systems and one of possessing software for committing crime. The Judge let him off. Scott Free. The Police would quite like to give him a job too. And no doubt anyone with a leaked or stolen emails are probably wondering just what it take

Do you want to know a secret?

"Brethren leader visits in secrecy" blazes the title of Nicky Hager's latest cloak and dagger report. The two choices in describing a visit by 'a person of interest' are either 'well publicized' or 'secret'. If Al Gore visited (for example), he of course wouldn't do it in secret. He'd be open and honest, and publicize the visit as much as possible. Open and honest, or trying to sell something? The Exclusive Brethren leader, on the other hand, has no interest in commercializing his visit. He's just visiting. Not visiting 'in secret'. Just visiting. Not 'required to explain why he was caught out on the streets after 9pm' Herr Hager, just visiting. The visit might have remained a secret murmurs Hager, in conspiratorial tones, and noticing things like an 'unusual clandestine atmosphere'. Yes, security guards were posted. No doubt to keep away journalists who would do their best to characterize this a

Trotter's Hate Speech

What to call Trotter's latest campaign effort for Labour? Hate Speech? The Rantings Of A Grumpy Old Man? The Viciousness Of The Left? It's all of those things, and as electioneering goes, fails to have his home address at the end of the "opinion". It seems the Sunday Star Times don't worry about editors any more, instead they are filled with managers tasked with raising as much hell as possible in order to sell papers and flog absolute tripe. Hate filled tripe at that. So what did Trotter say? Don't ever forget who the Nats are And he goes into describing the 35% of the country, the supporters and voters that make up the backbone of the National vote as collectively the most evil and foul people ever. Of the farmers and 'cockies': selfish; insular; bio-terrorists destroying our rabbits, waterways, and forests, who also refuse to pay the entirely reasonable tax on cows farting, and had the audacity to protest about it. These same greedy p

Briscoes Duvet Cover Gripe

After mentioning on No Minister that there wasn't actually much I wanted from the shops in the way of appliances and what not, ala Briscoes, I happened to go into that self-same shop late this afternoon. I needed a hot water bottle. They were all out of hot water bottles, but in the meantime I bought a very cute little bone china tea cup and saucer set, a non-stick frypan and a seagrass drawer storage unit, all on sale. All well and good. However, everytime I go into Briscoes, I always check the duvet cover specials as I am on the look out for a blue shade of King Single duvet cover for my son. He already has one duvet cover, but needs another one for another duvet layer that is on his bed. I can't put both duvets into the same duvet cover because he can't cope with the extra heat in the evenings when the house is still warm. But can I even find a King Single sized duvet cover in Briscoes? Yes, I found one. In a cheap material in the wrong colour. But that was it

Catholic News of the morning [UPDATE]

World Youth Day pilgrims start walk : THE first of thousands of colourfully dressed young people have set off on a three-hour pilgrimage through Sydney to Randwick Racecourse, where Pope Benedict XVI will conduct the final mass of the Catholic World Youth Day celebrations tomorrow. Throughout the day, pilgrims will walk the 9km from North Sydney, through central Sydney and the eastern suburbs to Royal Randwick. Police praise clean-living Catholic youth : No drugs and alcohol means Catholic World Youth Day pilgrims in Sydney are one of the most well-behaved groups of young people police have seen, says NSW's police chief. "I've never seen a crowd like this, it's even better than an Olympic crowd ," NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told reporters at Randwick, the site of Sunday's WYD papal mass. "Hundreds of thousands of young people moving through the city not affected by drugs and alcohol has been such a wonderful experience. Pope resurrec

Friday night free for all

It's that time of night again - Friday night chat time. Sorry for lack of posting today. I've had heaps of material, but I've been distracted with researching books that link into what we are studying in our history to buy from Amazon for the kids. Here's an example of what I've been looking at: Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of The Iliad The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of The Odyssey In Search of a Homeland: The Story of the Aeneid Gilgamesh the Hero D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths I home-school and have been slowly moving to a more classical approach. I recently bought The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home , a book that spells out in detail how to teach in this way, and it's blown my mind, so to speak.

Prime Minister Kidnapped

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway. Nothing is moving. Suddenly a man knocks on the window. The driver rolls down his window and asks, 'What's going on?' 'Terrorists down the road have kidnapped Helen Clark, Micheal Cullen, & Winston Peters. They're asking for a $10 million ransom. Otherwise they're going to douse them with petrol and set them on fire. We're going from car to car, taking up a collection.' The driver asks, 'How much is everyone giving, on average?' 'Most people are giving about 4 litres' This was the latest to come across my email joke feed. I have to say "Ouch". There's a message or two in this joke. Firstly, that the Labour/NZ First coalition isn't looking too hot for the next election. Secondly, that on today's prices, 4 litres represents a sizable investment for people. It looks to me like they don't just want to take out the ruling class, that they might hav

Chastity message being heard in Australia

I would guess that a society that has heard just about everything is most likely finding itself intrigued with the idea of chastity. Articles in The Australian yesterday gave first hand accounts by two women, one who had remained chaste from her youth and another who followed the predominant view of our over-sexualized culture, but later decided to embrace chastity. [...]"I was always a little fascinating. I was constantly probed about these beliefs, and why I held them. It was as though the chaste way of life was a radical decision, because it was in direct contradiction to the message given to young people. "It is assumed that we have no control, that we will have sex. It is assumed that we enjoy sexual liberty, that young people and chastity are incompatible." She says her former school friends were not aware that this choice - chastity - was available to them. In high school we were told, "You will get older and you will become sexually active. That is the way i

Marketing and the Catholic Church

Walking around Sydney this week, I have to say that, even as a non-Catholic of decidedly heathenish tendencies, I am impressed. The Catholic church wants to demonstrate its power and global reach? Well, I’m convinced. The organisers of WYD 2008 have been clever in a number of ways. Pilgrims have been equipped with bright orange and yellow backpacks and jackets (organisers and officials wear bright blue and purple). They wear badges which include the flag of their country of origin. And they’ve been encouraged to wave the flags of their homelands. As a result, when I got to stand amongst a group of pilgrims in Martin Place while waiting to cross the road today, I knew they were from Papua New Guinea. (And since, to my knowledge, I have never stood amongst a group of Papua New Guineans before, I found the whole thing terribly exciting.) What is the nett result of such apparently simple tactics? Well, for a start, you can spot a pilgrim from a mile away. This assists pilgrims with fi

WYD Papal Mass - Holy Communion will be kneeling!

Fresh from greeting the Pope upon his arrival, Cardinal Pell was asked this morning by a journalist about how those receiving communion directly from the Pope would do so, when the time came, at the Final Mass during WYD08. Following on from recent sightings at Vatican events where ‘older postures’ – kneeling to take Holy communion on the tongue – have been adopted, his Eminence replied, "I think those receiving holy communion will be kneeling." This is huge! I mean really, it is! Any one who reads this blog and knows me in real life and the problems I've had with my new parish priest will know what this means. Related Link: WYD: Communicants to kneel at papal Masses ~ What does the prayer really say

World Youth Day kicks off in Australia

During the procession, groups of volunteers took turns carrying the 88-pound cross and 33-pound painting. Pilgrims sang "Amazing Grace" and shouted out Australia's rallying cry: "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, oi, oi!" Others echoed with, "Holy, holy, holy! Spirit, spirit, spirit!" So typically Australian! Related Links: Pope welcomes world youth pilgrims to Australia ~ AP Sydney invaded by joy ~ Sydney Morning Herald Sydney Morning Herald World Youth Day News Page

Obama on abortion and intellectually untenable positions

A few days ago I became involved in an online conversation on Obama's support or lack thereof for abortion. It all started with an explanation on Obama's part for why he did not support Illinois' Infant Born Alive Bill - a bill which sought to gain protection for babies who failed to be killed by abortion and managed to get born alive. Obama did not support the bill because it sought to undermine Roe vs Wade, the infamous court verdict that guarantees virtual abortion on demand in the US. I used to debate abortion online a number of years ago, so I thought I'd heard every pro-abortion argument there was. But this conversation has brought a new argument to my attention. That is, that a person can be both "pro-choice" and "anti-abortion". Now, being both for and against something makes no sense to me , but it appears that is how Obama is positioning himself in the abortion debate. My understanding of "pro-choice" is a position where y

China's new gold medal event

Mugabe's corrupt regime is protected from sanctions as Russia and China veto moves by the UK and US to bring Mugabe into line. They reason that whatever Zimbabwe gets up to is not a threat to international stability. Next door to Zimbabwe lies the Democratic Republic of Congo. Six million have died there within the last 10 years for precisely the same reasons. South Africa was another country to vote against the sanctions. They maintained a rather futile hope that Mugabe was prepared to share power with the opposition. Futile, because Mugabe's thugs have been far more brutal since the elections. I don't know why I'm bothering to report this anyway. We all know the United Nations is an absolutely useless, dysfunctional monumental waste of tax payer dollars. Oh, that's right, China. With the Olympics due to kick off in Beijing next month, perhaps there is still time to establish some new Gold Medal events. Despotism. World Apathy. Best use of Veto. Business

Iranians have Reuters Syndrome

The Iranians have apparently come down with Reuters Syndrome . A recent missile launch was meant to show just how tough and dangerous they were, as three out of four missiles launched into the air to head for some map of Israel target over the next hill. Apparently, only being blown up by three out of four missiles looked a bit wimpy. So rather than leaving one in the chamber, they got out Photoshop and launched the dud missile. This has proven highly embarrassing, just like Reuters were caught out a few years ago , making Beirut looking more 'blowed up good' than it actually was. Even worse, I reckon the photoshop company can check out registrations and see if the Iranians actually have a legal copy of the software. They could be sued for millions. Related Link: Don't be sad, cause three out of four aint bad

Canadian Human Rights complaints against Mark Steyn and a Catholic magazine dropped

The Canadian Human Rights Commission complaint against * Catholic Insight , a Catholic magazine and another complaint against Mark Steyn and Maclean's Magazine have been dropped . OTTAWA - The Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed an anti-homosexual hate speech complaint against Catholic Insight magazine. We are of course very cautious,” said Catholic Insight editor Fr. Alphonse de Valk, CSB, whose small-circulation magazine already faces more than $20,000 in legal bills. “A judicial review is still possible. We’re not out of the woods yet. “It is chilling to think that a publication can be hauled before a government tribunal simply for reporting to interested citizens developments in these areas of controversy,” said de Valk in a July 4 statement. “This matter underscores once again the necessity of urgent reform of the Canadian human rights system.” Edmonton-based homosexual activist Rob Wells filed the nine-point complaint against Catholic Insight in early 2007. Catho

More on Anglicans swimming the Tiber [UPDATE]

Anglican bishop ready to bring his flock into communion with Rome ~ CNA The Fellowship of St Gregory the Great ~ Holy Smoke An Archbishop of Canterbury in retreat ~ Holy Smoke Ex-Anglicans will bring new life to our Church ~ The Catholic Herald Watching the Death of a church? ~ What does the prayer really say? All of this has caused quite a bit of excitement, hedged with a small helping of caution in the Catholic blogs that I've been following. Personally, I think if the Anglicans do come over the Tiber on masse, the ramifications will be huge, not just for Christendom, but for the world. UPDATE: Anglican reunion optimism and sobriety ~ New Liturgical Movement

Justice on the Fritz

Remember Fritzl? The Austrian that *confessed* to locking his daughter in a dungeon complex, kept her there for 24 years, had 7 children by her, most of which he also kept locked up etc. Seems the maximum that he might be locked up for is 10 years. What's worse, if it can be believed, are statements from the prosecution like this: The charges of rape will also be difficult to prove in the absence of any objective evidence If being locked in a dungeon against ones will, for 24 years, to be used for sex with not only DNA evidence but offspring to account for it, with only one person, the confessor, knowing of the existence of the dungeon, looks like a remarkable lack of evidence, then yeah, I can see how the prosecution might be hoping some-one from the cast of CSI could turn up and help them make a case. I think they need a new prosecution team.

Time Marches On

Back in the 70's, the various non-scientific mags (such as Time) ran articles predicting an Ice Age, the population bomb (earth cannot feed more than a billion people) and other calamities from Acid Rain to Asteroid. All serious stuff, to some degree or other. So what happened to the impending Ice Age? Well, obviously, scientists got together and secretly reversed the process so well they created global warming. Phew. Good move. The same secret cabal will undoubtedly ban light bulbs to avert the planet from a global warming disaster moments before the tipping point, which according to Al Gore, is next Tuesday. All we are saying...is give peace a chance Although I read a study that there was now so much scientific consensus that if all the papers proving climate change were printed, we'd run out of forests. And that would bring on Climate Change so fast, we'd be sun tanned and thirsty before the Aussies could switch from water to beer. Although, their best bet