Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ZenTiger Renovations in Progress

I'm renovating the blog. It's a DIY effort, with absolutely no council approval, no architectural oversight, no certified trades people and no license or permit. Not only that, I've not referred to the RMA at any stage and you are lucky to even get this notice.

Frontier blog re-construction. It's still the days that had "those were" in them.

This people, is freedom.

I just hope the consequences don't take us off-line for long :-)

My apo-logies for any in-con-wenience.

ZenTiger Deadly Force in Self Defence

"What we don't want is an Americanisation of our laws that encourages people to arm themselves and take the law into their own hands by shooting first and asking questions afterwards. - Phil Goff, 2004

Fast forward a few years, and however the stats are spun, the stabbings, burglaries with assault, murders and police deaths aren't going down. Peter Cresswell and Russell Brown argue about this, and especially where and how the government can reduce domestic violence. I'll come back to this. Meanwhile, in Indianapolis this week:

INDIANAPOLIS - A convicted sex offender (Myers) died Sunday during a struggle with a father who found the naked man in or near his 17-year-old daughter's bedroom, police said.

and he'd been in jail for 10 years on previous offences...

Police said Meyers was naked except for a mask and latex gloves and had entered the home through a window near the girl's bedroom with rope, condoms and a knife.

Well, evil intent seems obvious.

"If a person breaks into your home, you are justified in using deadly force in defending your family," said Police Sgt Mount. "In this situation, I don't think he was trying to kill him, he was trying to hold him down."

Fair enough too. This is basically what New Zealand law says. Phil Goff clearly agreed in the the link to my opening quote, but then I thought he began to back out with (to repeat):

"What we don't want is an Americanisation of our laws that encourages people to arm themselves and take the law into their own hands by shooting first and asking questions afterwards.

This comment was aimed at a dispute around some of the changes to our self-defence laws some time ago that Stephen Franks had pointed out as being uncalled for. Back to the matter at hand - I think shooting a naked, knife wielding intruder in your daughter's bedroom in the early hours of the morning is a situation where shooting first and asking questions later seems justified. Remember the recent case in New Zealand when a hero rushed in to help a women defend herself against a knife wielding thug? He died.

Where criminals show up in your home uninvited and with weapons, shoot first and ask later has to be permissible. The debate between PC and RB indicate one thing - we first and foremost need to be responsible for our own defence, and the state has no right to remove our own right of deadly force in self-defence.

Obviously, they have to establish the facts of the matter, and breaking and entering some-one's property with a weapon seems to be a reasonable threshold.

Here's the tail end of the Indianapolis story:
Police responding to a call from the city's northwest side about 3:20 a.m. found 64-year-old Robert McNally on the hallway floor with his arm around the neck of 52-year-old David T. Meyers, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The girl awoke and screamed when she saw the man in her room, police said. The father responded and struggled with the intruder while the girl's mother phoned 911.

Police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Mount said Meyers had a heart condition and may have had a heart attack. An autopsy was planned.

Meyers had served 10 years in prison for criminal confinement and sexual deviate conduct and was wanted in Boone County for failure to register as a sex offender. He was registered as a sex offender in Marion County.

He said his daughter went to church Sunday after the incident.
There are other small twists to the story - like the culprit knew the targeted victim in some way, but the point of my post was to raise the issue behind domestic violence in our society and general violence in our society and noting that these problems are rooted in a whole bunch of causes that we all argue over endlessly, as things get worse (or at least no better).

So as we try to figure this all out, and look at the law and order policies, welfare policies and social justice policies of our various political parties, one thing I'm clear on is that the right to use deadly force in self-defence, is a sad necessity in life. There's one case recently I can recall where some-one acted in self-defence, and went to jail for it. It seemed that if ever threatened by a gang of thugs, you are not forgiven if you suffer stress, freak out and react badly.

There was also the Diary Owner down in Christchurch that repelled some machete waving robbers with an air pistol. I don't know if there has been a decision on that case as yet, they were seeking legal advice days after the incident.

Said the police:

McGregor was adamant that dairy owners should not arm themselves..."What we're saying is don't offer any form of resistance." He had his reasons, but those reasons didn't help the Indian liquor store owner Navtej Singh, who was murdered by robbers in South Auckland in June 2008.

The self-defence issue seems to be another of those issues that can get the blood boiling with what the State is or isn't doing. It seems the Police don't want to see robbers escalate the violence, but then again, any watcher of westerns know that the violence continues to escalate until some-one stops it. In this, it seems, reality mirrors fantasy.

Related Link: Sex Offender Dies on the job

ZenTiger Welcome to the Club John Key

Who advises the advisors? National show yet again they don't get strategy. The leaders only debate is a great idea for Helen. She's trailing as preferred Prime Minister, and Labour are way behind National in the polls. She's a formidable debater and not afraid of going for the jugular, canny enough to deliver lines that target the swing voters. There's not much upside in John Key testing himself on prime time at this point of the campaign.

So why did he agree with Helen? Far better to have some of the minor parties deflecting Helen's talking points. Far better to suggest therefore that he would appear in either format, but would prefer the full representation of all leaders, AND additional time. Having said that, he could have then said, 'so sort it out with Helen and get back to me'. That would have backed Helen into a corner and the longer she pushed to get her way, the worse it would have looked to voters.

And the other option then may have played out - Key in a leaders debate with all parties except for Helen. Masterful.

The minor parties would also have appreciated the support and he needs to respect the importance of forming alliances with the Maori Party and Act. Look at the situation now - all parties are furious with the 'arrogance' displayed by Key and Clark.

With all parties present, Helen would have a harder time talking about 'trust' in her carefully positioned terms. Winston's presence would be a reminder that she isn't above political power at any cost. The Maori party long since stopped trusting Labour, and the Greens have little reason to continue to swallow that line from Helen. I could expand on these themes, but you get the idea.

The other point to make is that this debate could have been a dry run anyway. If Key needed to, he could challenge Helen to a one-on-one after this debate, and the networks would eagerly support it.

In short, John Key continues to play into Helen's hands and I don't see much in the way of strategic gamesmanship from National.

Whilst people's minds are somewhat frayed over the weight of the minor parties, the vote the minor parties collectively gather represents are fair percentage at the polls, and therefore a fair percentage of voters with different opinions on the first round debates of the election. National had an opportunity to position Labour and Helen Clark as arrogant, dismissive of her coalition partners and desperate for power. Instead, the media are painting both of them in that light. Helen is laughing her head off and has probably already sent him a note:

"Welcome to the club John"

ZenTiger What Penguin in the drivers seat?

A policeman spotted a guy driving a truck with a live penguin sitting in the passenger seat. The policeman said, "Take that penguin to the zoo, now."

Next day the policeman sees the man with the penguin again.

The policeman stops the guy and says, I told you yesterday to take the penguin to the Zoo, what on earth are you doing with the penguin in your truck again?"

The guy says, "What is there to do? Yesterday I took him to the zoo and today I'm taking him to the movies."

So I'm about to install a Linux distribution (possibly in a vmware image or off a 16GB USB stick) to play with. Only question is, which one will VI for my attention? I've had a few recommendations over the years, but now I need the latest and greatest, state of the art, bleeding edge choice with a nice and easy GUI. Do I say ungawa to ubuntu? Tip my beanie to the Red Hat? Suss out Suse? Or place my microscope over the real small distros?

Comments anyone?

Lucia Oh my. I agree with Helen Clark! [updated]

"The general view was that the most benefit for the viewing public comes from head-to-head debates people have a very clear choice, a Labour-led government or a Right-wing government. Those issues are going to come out."
UPDATE: Lindsay Mitchell has a message that you can use to try and force Clark and Key to debate with the minor parties.

Part of the message says "This is exactly why New Zealanders voted for MMP. Because they wanted the diversity and representation that the two main parties couldn't deliver."

Umm, I think many people hate MMP now, something about the tail wagging the dog.

Related Link: Minor parties furious after debate canned ~ Stuff

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lucia One Lord One Faith - A book review

I've just finished reading One Lord One Faith by Vernon Johnson, an Anglo-Catholic convert to the Catholicism. The book is the story of his conversion after his experience of the supernatural at Lisieux, his reading of the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux and his subsequent searching through the Scriptures in order to fully investigate the claims of the Roman Catholic Church.

He writes:
The expression which the supernatural had taken and through which it had made itself real to me was the life of St Therese of Lisieux , a life of love for Our Blessed Lord so absolute, so complete and so consuming that it defied all human analysis and exceeded all human understanding. So stern int it's renunciation that it made one afraid, yet so simple and so human in it's homeliness that one was utterly unable to resist it. It seemed to vanquish time and transcend all human ties. Earth and earthly things only counted insofar as they were in tune with Our Lord's love for her and with her absorbing love for Him.

It was the quality of love which one had read of in the Lives of Saints, and which one had wistfully regarded as a thing of the past. It took one straight back to the Colosseum in Rome. Here it was today, the same invincible supernatural love of the early martyrs, the same heroic sanctity - in our own time, in the midst of this most material age. A supernatural love which revealed with an intensity which I had never met before, the true relation of the individual to Our Blessed Lord; the relation to the creature to it's Creator, the soul to its God. That is, a relationship of utter adoration and worship, and yet at the same time of perfect union of the soul with its Saviour. Any question and doubt as to the Godhead of Our Lord Jesus Christ was impossible at Lisieux. All the wearying discussion in which Our Lord is regarded as the Great Example Who encourages us to develop the God within us were unthinkable. The Deity of Christ was flashed before my soul at Lisieux with blinding splendour. My soul drank at the pure stream of the undiluted truth of the Godhead of My Lord.
While this is the story of the conversion of the author, it is also a book of apologetics. It guides the reader through common objections to the Catholic faith, a defence the faith through Holy Scriptures, and an explanation of what Protestants fail to grasp about the Church. As it was written in the 1920s, it also gives a snapshot of the English faith at the time and how an Englishman formed his faith.

I really enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to any Catholic who would like to better understand the Catholic faith, or to any Protestant who would like to learn more.

Related Link: One Lord, One Faith ~ Amazon

Financial Panic? What panic?

[Update Tuesday 930am, Bail-out rejected Wall Street Crashes 750 points]

Pat yourself on the back. You've just become a historical footnote.

Are you feeling "financially distressed"? Well, if not you should be. You should be either "distressed" or "panicked". Distress is what you feel after a speculative bubble implodes but panic is what you experience when what you though was the bottom turns out to be a ledge over a chasm. I'm reluctant to look down.

Neville Bennett of the National Business Review has done us the kind service of comparing financial "panics". Yes, it's a "panic". Of all panics from 1847 to 1929, Bennett asserts that 2008 is most similar to 1929 because of the relentless train of morbid news and annihilation of landmark institutions such as Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.
In other words, recollect yourself and prepare dusty anecdotes for future grandchildren, you've just passed through the most volatile week (Monday 22) of the most turbulent year since 1929.
This week is the week after the week before and there's no guarantee of a solution.

The proposed $700billion intervention, called a bail-out by some, a buy-in by others, is the biggest US Government action since the Depression. It goes to Congress vote on Monday. There are rumours fizzing around on the details and some are addressed at this link "Myth vs Fact". [Update 940pm, here is the 110pg discussion draft]
I don't know what to think, it's bewildering, more so if you also recall the baby-boomers are coming up to retirement age en masse and we, their children, are meant to be creating wealth at a level to sustain their long-assumed retirement incomes. This time around our "depression" will be on Facebook.

Familiarise yourself with past panics, crashes, and financial imbroglios:
Panic of 1873.
Panic of 1893.
Panic of 1907.
Crash of 1929.

Now might be a good time to look your finances in the eye and reorganise.

ZenTiger Morality by Dr Who

Dr Who has become a favorite show of one of my sons, and I watched about half of it with the boys last night. The familiar badly synthesized shriek to "exterminate" brought back memories from my childhood and I was sucked in.

This double-episode final had it all - which naturally meant the end of the multi-verse was nigh and Dr Who and his multi-dimensional team of ordinary people were doing their best to save it.

Interestingly, the topic of euthanasia came up. With the Daleks attacking Earth, wholesale destruction had ensued and life looked grim. Earth had been moved to some other part of the galaxy and the human race was deemed to be having a bad time of it, with untold human suffering. So a crack team of secret agents sprung into action to initiate planetary euthanasia.

I forget the exact quote, but as the team prepared to explode carefully positioned nuclear bombs that would set off a chain reaction and destroy the planet, the agent explained that this plan had been prepared for the time when human suffering was deemed so great, it was better to destroy the planet than allow it to continue. Luckily (if that's the word I want) if the Daleks had a likely use for the planet, it became a bonus bargaining chip - back off or we destroy the planet for sure, before you can use it.

The Daleks were indeed going to use the planet, as part of a plan to destroy the universe and all other universes that existed in all other dimensions. So there was the logic - not only was it necessary to end human suffering by destroying the planet, but it also served as a bargaining chip, a noble reason and a in-yer-face final gesture of defiance. Some-thing for almost every-ones ethical philosophy in a modern world.

Naturally, the Dr thought this was a stupid idea. Presumably, so did the dolphins, many Catholics, and assorted other people with some sort of instinctive morality.

After helping avoid planetary euthanasia the writers threw in the issue of genocide in the name of self-defence, and had a half-human/half-time lord version of the Dr make a fatal mistake of committing genocide and wiping out every single Dalek. All the humans thought this was fine, and only the Dr realised that his half-clone must be severely punished.

The punishment was no more time travel and restricted for the remainder of his life (now that he was an aging part-human) on planet earth with the girl of his dreams. No doubt a tough penalty for genocide, especially if you were expecting a medal for winning the war, or perhaps 72 virgins. Hey, I said earlier there was some-thing for almost every-ones ethical philosophy in a modern world!

The issue of instinctive, or natural morality is an interesting one. How do people know right from wrong? How much of this is a product of our society and our heritage? Are there genes that determine different levels of selfishness and altruism? Are we also spiritual beings? These are matters for long and thoughtful blog posts. So, not this one then :-)

This one I shall restrict to a single idea. The importance of developing ones conscience.

Firstly, I would say that it would do us good to check our conscience before acting, as much as possible. At the very least, this raises the question of "what are the consequences of this action?" However, in today's society I could accept the argument that many people have suppressed their conscience, or it is badly formed. What to do then?

If you are a Catholic, a good place to start is paying attention to what comes out of the Vatican and reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church to provoke thought. And the latter part that sentence is very important: to provoke thought

There are two very important activities a good Catholic will do that helps develop their conscience that any person (atheist or otherwise) can also do. The first is a daily "examination of conscience" where you spend some time and review the days events and ask yourself questions about what you did and what you thought, and consider where you may have transgressed. By testing your conscience, you will find it begins to develop and you will begin to seek ways to alter your habitual thought patterns and ways of reacting to things, recognising the value in improvement and noticing reasons to change.

The second part of developing ones conscience is in the value of confession. The idea of confession is to face up to your wrongdoings, admit them and state how you will avoid such sin in the future. This must be sincere and you must be serious about seeking to improve. Whether you do that to God or just yourself, it is a productive way to temper your wrongs of the past with a way forward for the future.

I recommend to all they consider a daily "examination of conscience", and to Catholics, head for the confessional at least monthly.

Meanwhile, debate in the Tiger family continues on whether the half-Dr should have "exterminated" all of the Daleks. All Daleks died last night, and humans didn't think it too many.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ZenTiger Daylight Saving 2008

If you haven't figured it out as yet, New Zealand went on to daylight saving today. That means the clocks have been pushed forward one hour so that summer arrives sooner. The days were getting longer anyway, but it now means I definitely arrive home from work in daylight. That's the good part. Getting up earlier will take some adjustment. Phone calls to Australia will only have a one hour differential will have three frigging hours difference for a while, which will make a small difference to my work patterns. How does daylight saving affect our readers?

ZenTiger Trotter Vetoes the Maori Party

After Trotter attacking the Maori Party for their traitorous action of censuring Winston Peters [Tawdry Spectacle], he continues his attack on the Maori Party with a new article in today's Sunday Star Times.

The point of this article is to inform voters that the Maori Party cannot be trusted as a coalition partner, and will try to act undemocratically.

The post is devoid of his usual inflammatory rhetoric and he makes his points reasonably well. I wondered for a moment what his purpose was, and it didn't take long to put 2 and 2 together.

Trotter is coming to the realisation National can win the election if it finds a coalition partner. The nature of MMP means that they may struggle to govern alone. On reflection, the only potential partners of any strength will be ACT and the Maori Party. ACT is not worth worrying about right now, so it makes sense to him to start poisoning the Maori Party's mana. If he can swing public opinion around to push for a National/Maori Party negotiation before the election, he hopes they will come to blows and damage both parties, perhaps even strengthen Labour's position from the "risk proposition".

You can bet if the Maori Party come out supporting Labour as a coalition party, these last few articles of his will be forgotten and a stirring "clarification" story will paint them and their demands as being entirely reasonable and in line with Labour policy any way.

Until that moment crystallizes, the Maori Party move to public enemy number one, if only to weaken National's position:
Perhaps the voters of New Zealand should put aside their concerns about a National Party "secret agenda", and ask whether the real hidden agenda is the one the Maori Party has been developing. We do not want to wake up the day after the election to discover the future of our country has fallen into the hands of people seeking to form a government-within-a-government, and where the decisions of the state are no longer to be determined by anything so "tikanga Pakeha" as a democratic headcount."

Nice try Chris.

REF: Sunday Star Times A13, 28 September 2008 and link on Stuff (thanks Sean).

Dave at Big News with further comment shows no stomach for Trotter's Tripe

Simon and Wendy miss Al-Quds Day

Source AFP.
Anti-Semitism is alive and well and just like last time we refuse to see it when it's right in front of us.

TVNZ's verbal ping-pong machine "Simon and Wendy" missed yesterday's annual celebration of Al-Quds day in Tehran. An industrious militia group used the occasion to launch a book called Holocaust, an event which attracted the Education Minister. The book is a compilation of cartoons and sarcastic comments mocking the WW2 holocaust. No word yet on a reaction from the Danes.

Many snaps of the festive crowd here.

Earlier in the week Iran's Ahmadinejad used the UN platform to report,
"the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters."
How can this nonsense from Iran be construed as "peaceful" and be ignored?
Does anyone think the election of Obama will suddenly convince Iran that Israel should not be driven into the sea?

The Long-con has moved on

During the last week I've watched both Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting. Overnight Paul Newman has died from cancer, age 83. R.I.P.

Lucia Da Pacem Domine

Saturday, September 27, 2008

ZenTiger Wellintonians have higher rate of STV

Wellingtonians have confirmed they have a higher rate of STV's than FPP. Although very few people admitted to either. I managed to get a hold of the ballot paper, and it explains why the rates go up irrespective of who S-Tees their Vees. Have a look for yourself:

Please place a number on each line, from 1 to 5, where 1 is the most preferred and 5 is the least preferred.

__ I really want FPP

__ I really want STV

__ I had STV but took antibiotics

__ I have been vaccinated against STV

__ I select FPP again, because I've already forgotten that it came up first

__ Continental Breakfast please

__ This is my 2nd choice, even though I've already marked 2 on 3 other items.

__ Yes, I don't think parents should be criminalised for smacking Sue Bradford for the purposes of correction. (Please limit your response to one number only here)

Special Notes:

1. If you vote 1 for FPP and then vote 2 anywhere else, you obviously don't understand FPP and your vote is void.

2. Why did you use A,B,C,D,E to indicate your preference when we asked for numbers? Idiot.

3. All prices includes GST

4. A reminder - politicians are not voted off the island with this ballot form. Unfortunately, you can only vote for people you wish to elect, rather than ones you wish to eject.

5. Yes, we know turnout would be higher if voters could vote people out of parliament. That's called the WLV (Weakest Link Voting System) and has two technical issues with implementation:
A. The politicians will not vote for it.
B. The computers could not cope with a 100% voter turnout.

Related Link: Wellingtonians come down with STV

Lucia A photo of my Dad in Courtney Place in the 50's

Back in the days when ordinary working men would dress up when they went out .. back to the 50's in NZ .. here is a photo of my Dad walking down Courtney Place in Wellington wearing a suit.

My Dad worked with his hands, his job was fashioning tools out of metal. But after work he could transform himself into someone who could have also been quite at home in the office.

I was reminded of this photo by something Chris Trotter said about being unimpressed by the "enemy".

The problem is for Chris and those like him, the enemy has become the ordinary working man. Not impressive or scary or menacing in the slightest. The very ordinariness of the man who works to support his family is terrifying for those on the left who are losing their iron grip on the hearts and minds of those who used to believe in the socialist promise and instead have been bitterly disappointed.

Related Link: Chris Trotter - Muppet King ~ NZ Conservative

ZenTiger NCEA in a mans world

Lindsay Mitchell is bitching about some NCEA questions that our teen blokes and sheilas have to answer in order to appear edumacated. The gender agenda? It's not a conspiracy theory if you score 80%. I've listed some examples for you, and I do admit to using the satire tag here, but follow the links if you are man enough. But first, get the facts, ya big girls blouse:

"Cities can be viewed as gendered, that is, parts of a city can be viewed as masculine and other parts viewed as feminine.

Study the 5 photographs and explain from a feminist perspective the way each of the particular urban areas can be viewed."

"Bodies can be viewed as gendered, that is, parts of a body can be viewed as masculine and other parts viewed as feminine.

Study the 5 photographs and explain from a feminist perspective the way each of the particular body parts can be viewed as distinct parts, or as a whole."

"Numbers can be viewed as gendered, that is, some numbers can be viewed as masculine and other parts viewed as feminine.

Study the 5 formulas and explain from a feminist perspective the way each of the particular numbers can be viewed. Bonus: Explain why real numbers are masculine, and imaginary numbers are feminine. Explain why variables are feminine and constants are masculine. Discuss prime numbers and their role in long division"

Poetry can be viewed as gendered, that is, limericks can be viewed as masculine and sonnets viewed as feminine.

Study the 5 poems and explain from a feminist perspective the way each of the particular poems emasculate the historical dialectic, and pay particular attention to the symmetry in the following haiku:

All men are rapists
Lust for power and control
Destroys the flower

I could answer all these questions. But all it would prove is that I'm in touch with my femine side, and I'm not applying for a job in government.

Related Link: Do Alleys Have Genders?

ZenTiger Chris Trotter - Muppet King

I've tried to stay away from commenting in detail on Chris Trotter's blog posts. Since he considers himself a heavyweight in NZ journalism, it would seem a detailed and methodical dissection of his opinion pieces a necessary endeavour.

But the more he puts pen to paper and font to screen, the more he simply ends up looking like King of the Muppets. And how does one treat such idiotic posts so seriously? The answer is, one cannot.

It starts with his latest blog title:

>> I have met the enemy, and he is ….. curiously unimpressive

Hold a different opinion and you are the enemy. Meet one sample of enemy and this person is an exact clone of all enemies. Apparently, to Chris, every single right winger in the world has the same shoe size and a single brain cell.

>>Being accosted by complete strangers is one of the occupational hazards of being in the public eye

Unfortunately, if posts continue of this calibre Chris, being accosted may happen more and more. I'm not sure you want to be known as New Zealand's only left wing comedian with one joke - all right wingers are evil. Ha. Ha.

>> You took a hammering this morning”, he told me, with a smugness he was trying hard, but failing, to conceal. I was at a loss for a second or two, but then the penny dropped: he was talking about my posting entitled “A Tawdry Spectacle”.

Yes indeed, a tawdry spectacle did Chris Trotter make of himself with that particular post. Chris continues to gamely defend Winston, but this time he did so by accusing the Greens and Maori party on the Privileges Committee as being traitorous dogs. It seems that the conclusions they reached were wrong, in spite of the evidence, because they differ from the opinion he is prepared to hold.

So, some strong words then ensue - with the Maori party and the Greens effectively being branded as traitorous dogs. A tear is also shed for Nandor and Rod Donald, last of the patriots that could have averted the Greens from reaching the wrong conclusion. Alas, Nandor and Rod are either figuratively or literally dead and buried, so traitorous dogs Greens and Maori remain.

Store that in short term memory for a moment.

>> I couldn’t suppress a rather smug grin of my own, being secretly delighted that the Right had risen to the intended provocation, as I rather expected it would.

What Chris means is that the 60 plus comments on that post pointed out he made a complete muppet of himself, and he has now decided to save face by saying he was only being deliberately provocative. His revised reasoning works like this: punch some-one in the face. When they punch you back, say you were only being deliberately provocative to see if the right are violent thugs. They hit back, point proven. Case Closed.


>> after exchanging a few more words with my interlocutor, I resumed by journey - pondering as I walked along the curiously unimpressive quality of my opposition. What is it about the contemporary New Zealand Right that leaves those of us on the Left so underwhelmed?

There he goes again. Meet one clone, and you've met them all. Oh, the intellectual elite of the left can be so cutting and cruel in their sweeping generalisations. And such irrefutable opinion too. How can anyone come back from this?

Then some blah blah blah where he hands out a compliment to the right and then takes it back. And takes it back a bit more. And a bit more. And then says that all the actions of the right come from Washington DC. Think about it, Washington DC is even on the right side of America.

>> But that’s the way of the Right: forever doing somebody else’s bidding; organising somebody else’s show; doing somebody else’s dirty work.

No Chris, I wrote this myself. Anyway, I thought the left called themselves "the workers"? Or will that point be made in tomorrows post, when it's necessary to attack from a different angle?

>> Genuine patriotism in the this country has always been the preserve of the Left.

Memory recall: Except for the Greens and the Maori Party, unpatriotic traitorous dogs who would turn on their own in a heartbeat, eh Chris? Ya reckon those Greens are really extreme right wingers who infiltrated when Rod Donald passed away? Quick, go rescue Jeanette.

It was this comment that really sums up the immaturity of Chris Trotter's writing. And the sad thing I find is replying to his post by discussing this sort of nonsense brings me down to his level. These are not the words of a serious journalist.

>> It was the Left who rescued New Zealanders from the ravages of the Great Depression. ....

and blah blah blah goes a long list of noted deeds sung in the halls of the Valhalla, under the monument to Vladimir Illich Ulyanov.

After accusing the right of all the evils and failures in the world, including stealing or copying the left's best ideas, (which I thought quite a novel claim) he throws in how undeserved is the money anyone on the right earns:

>> The mini-lectures and supercilious homilies that pour from these right-wing “intellectuals” bespeak a life in which undeserved authority has been made doubly oppressive by unearned wealth

The mini-lectures and supercilious homilies? Chris, that's the perfect byline for your blog posts. And nice segue into the politics of envy. How dare the system support differential wages, and how dare people feel they deserve their wages. Labour will rescue us from this horrible capitalism, wont it Chris?

And so comes his final insult:

>> As my old mate, the late, great Bruce Jesson used to say: National might just rise to the challenge of governing in the interests of capitalists; but only Labour knows how to govern in the interests of Capitalism. Now, what would truly impress me, would be to discover just one right-wing New Zealander who actually understands what that means.

Ah yes, aside from the snide comments about differential wages, Labour, bastion of the left have long understood that capitalism is indeed for the workers, and capitalism in the hands of workers will only come when the capitalists are destroyed and workers around the world can unite and take control of the means of production, as capitalist workers would obviously do.

I suspect I know exactly why Chris is making these bold claims, but a fine and serious debate would be pointless though.

The rhetoric Trotter employs, his habit of setting the scene where he will define the left in heroic terms, abuse facts thick and fast, and then define the right in some hopeless two dimensional cardboard cutout parody of evil or ineptitude (preferably both). This will be delivered via supercilious homily which, having made all manner of personal attacks he will then be outraged should his emotive posturing be called to account, which by necessity comes as a personal attack.

It leaves me with no energy for anything but to acknowledge his divine position in NZ journalism.

Chris Trotter, I acknowledge you as the Muppet King.

Related Link: Chris Trotter meets all the enemies

Lucia Ave Maria sing-along

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lucia Friday night free for all

I went to the funeral today of the mother of my son's friend. She was only 38 and died of a brain tumour. As I didn't really know her particularly well, her death hasn't really impacted on me. But as I was telling the children on the way back from the funeral, it's a reminder to count our blessings, to be thankful that we are alive. So, how has your day been?

[UPDATE] Looks like a number of our regular commenters might be out drinking rather than commenting tonight. It's just too far away for me, guys. Now if some one could bring along a lap top and live blog the event - that could be the best of both worlds. Maybe next time ...

The capability to look forward

Three incidents occurred today that shook rust free. I saw a hard-core crusty old dude at the gym, Neil Armstrong made a rare public appearance, and China launched a mission that is to include a space walk.

As someone born after the Apollo Moon landings I find it lame that no significant exploration has happened since then. Even though we now congratulate ourselves on global awareness it is a mediocre fact that only 30 people have ever seen the Earth from a distance sufficient to view it as a blue globe. Of those 30 astronauts (Apollo 8 to 17) only 12 walked on the Moon and of them only eight now survive. They are all aged over 75 years!

Grand-dad's generation flew to the Moon and I stumble around thinking a sleek music player, the latest add-on, and espresso coffee is “progress”!

One of the eight Moon veterans is Neil Armstrong, aged 78, a certifiable hard-core old dude. Armstrong appeared for the 50th anniversary of NASA and there he said,

“Our highest and most important hope is that the human race will improve its intelligence, its character, and its wisdom.”

Perhaps China is adhering to Armstrong's vision in their own way. This year China staged an Olympic Games. Today, a month later, China has launched a three-man mission that will include spacewalks, which are thought to be part of a larger plan to land on the Moon. Not so astounding if you recall the US went from spacewalking to moonwalking in four years – back in the sixties. China seems to have the expertise and intent to look up and out.

The monstrous credit crunch and minutiae of media technology both encourage people to be introspective, cautious and fearful. However, the future does not belong to the fearful, the slothful, and downward looking. It belongs to those that wrestle with the difficult tasks of improving intelligence, character, and wisdom. Hopefully New Zealand is a part of that future.

Lucia Pater Noster sing-along

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lucia NZ Conservative welcomes a new blog author!

I have asked Greg to start posting here, and he has graciously accepted.

Welcome, Greg!

ZenTiger Contract Killings

Person X: Hello Mr Tiger. That is your name isn't it?
ZenTiger: Err, no. It's an alias. For obvious reasons.
Person X: Oh, of course. Well can you do it?
ZenTiger: Could you be a little clearer? This is a confidential discussion.
Person X: Oh, of course. Ahem. Can you please murder the Prime Minister.
ZenTiger: Absolutely not. That would be against my moral code.
Person X: There's $200 in it for you.
ZenTiger: I'm not playing this game. Goodbye.
Person X: Can you recommend a contract killer then?
ZenTiger: No. P*ss off.
Person X: May I remind you the law requires you to recommend an alternative?
ZenTiger: How about make them watch Shortland Street re-runs?
Person X: Now you are being funny. This is a serious issue Mr Tiger.
ZenTiger: Which is why your demands disgust me so much.

Related Link: Half Done points out liberal hypocrisy:Respect for Religious Beliefs - Yeah Right

Yes, a law change is being considered in Victoria, Australia to FORCE Catholic Doctors to recommend Doctors that will kill a baby because they don't want to do it themselves. Freedom to the left means not having to personally use a phone book.

Idiot/Savant is even more over the top (in the other direction) than my little effort, but he's not even worth the link. Travel there via Half Done (above). When Idiot/Savant goes on about the Catholic Church wanting to murder mothers -or leave them to die - it's based on illogical extrapolation around the definition of an emergency abortion, which would probably represent one in 10,000 births, if even that.

The facts of the matter are that 18,000 abortions a year happen in NZ because the mother feels like one, but the reasons are cited as vitally important to have one. Emergency abortion will just become a code word for "gosh, the pregnancy is now at 24 weeks and I really can't be bothered with the inconvenience of motherhood". Of course a Catholic Doctor would do everything in his or her power to save both the mother and the baby in an emergency - the option of killing the baby to supposedly save the mother is a far more subjective one when the issue is real, and not Orwellian.

Previous post: Another abortion battle over the ditch ~ NZ Conservative

Lucia Catholics who vote for politicians who support abortion and same-sex marriage commit moral evil

Catholics have obligations above and beyond other voters. Why? Because they have received the Truth. The following principles apply to them.

Catholics who cast a vote for a politician who supports abortion and same-sex 'marriage' "commit moral evil," if a moral candidate is available. Advancing pro-abortion candidates and their aims is incompatible with the Catholic faith.
"Voting is a moral act." In some matters of morality, such as immigration, universal health care, and affordable housing, "the use of reason allows for a legitimate diversity in our prudential judgments." Other acts, regardless of the motive or circumstances, always "involve doing evil" and must be opposed: "These choices include elective abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, the destruction of embryonic human beings in stem-cell research, human cloning, and same-sex 'marriage.'"

"Such acts are judged to be intrinsically evil, that is, evil in and of themselves regardless of our motives or the circumstances. They constitute an attack against human life, as well as marriage and family."

Catholic voters have to bring a "correct conscience" on matters regarding innocent human life and the family even when faced with the choice of two unacceptable candidates.

"When there is no choice of a candidate that avoids supporting intrinsically evil actions, especially elective abortion, Catholics should vote in such a way as to allow the least harm to innocent human life and dignity."

"We would not be acting immorally therefore if we were to vote for a candidate who is not totally acceptable in order to defeat one who poses an even greater threat to human life and dignity."

Who said all this? It is contained in a voters' guide issued by the four bishops of the State of Kansas. It presents authentic Catholic moral teaching. It applies in Canada, the United States, Great Britain and anywhere else in the world.

Unfortunately, in NZ, politicians don't want to touch the abortion issue. As Garth George said a while back, our politicians are gutless on abortions.

Related Link: "Catholics who cast a vote for a politician who supports abortion and same-sex 'marriage' "commit moral evil"

ZenTiger One Track Minds

One track minds lead to all sorts of tragedy. And this time the condom provided no protection. The first story I noticed was the untimely death of a couple who decided to have sex on the train tracks. Yes they used a condom. Yes, the news report found it important to say the condom was found on the male even after the train ran over the couple. Yes, they died. Yes, there's a lesson to learn.

Another tragedy of the one track mind; this time in Finland. 10 dead plus the shooter in another school massacre. The shooter was a 22 year old trainee chef. The first report I've read took pains to point out the shooter's profile: An atheist, Saari listed death metal and electronic bands among his favourite music, horror as his favourite movie genre and said his hobbies were computers, guns, sex, and beers. He was looking for a woman but did not want children. Said another report, "He worshiped war, hated mankind and lived alone with his cat." And helpfully: Saari did not have a previous criminal record. No doubt, another lesson there. Many think the gun killed all those people.

A few hours later, an Arab in Jerusalem with a one track mind on the path of destruction, used a car to drive into a group of 15 soldiers. This time a gun shot the terrorist dead before he could reverse and finish the wounded. There's a lesson there.

In nother news, an elephant in Mexico had a one track mind. Freedom. He breaks out of the circus but is killed by running into a greyhound. Bus. Unfortunately, the bus driver also died. I suspect his reaction time may have been diminished as his brain tried to figure out what an elephant was doing in the middle of a Mexican highway. There's no lesson here, just a general warning to expect the unexpected.

In Argentina, a man had a one track mind: to be a woman. He is now legally declared a women before s/he makes the final cut. Still, after viewing the video, she did not look like a he. I don't know if there's a lesson here either. Although, if this Argentinian beauty had moved to Finland, maybe she would have met Saari, and fulfilled his desire for sex without the children. But I don't think it would have worked out anyway. Someone with those hobbies and beliefs could never treat some-one as a real person rather than an object. He had a one track mind that excluded meaningful relationships. In short, she would have been too good for him. He needed love, but he wasn't looking for it, and he certainly wasn't giving it. And there's a lesson there.

Related Link: Finnish Fiend Finishes Friends

Related Link: Training for Sex Is Risky with one track mind

Other links may turn up later. Or not. Try Google.

[Update: Some editing 9:27am]

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lucia WW2 was necessary as the Polish experience of German occupation showed

In public Hitler told the world: "I will not war against women and children. I have ordered my air force to restrict itself to attacks on military objectives." But in a secret message his commanders he authorised killing "without pity or mercy all men, women and children of Polish descent or language. Only in this way can we obtain the living space we need." To the men he said: "Close your hearts to pity! Act brutally! ... This is to be a war of annihilation!"

The above photo was taken in the opening days of the attack on Poland by the Germans at the start of WW2. Two girls working in potato fields outside of Warsaw were deliberately targeted by low-flying German fighter planes. The girl in the photo is turning over her dead sister's body. This is not an isolated incident. Many such deliberate attacks were made on civilians.

I mention all this, because we have gained a commenter who has been taken in by Pat Buchanan's view of history. One that is mostly correct, but with the most incredible errors where it matters most.

Buchanan asserts that Winston Churchill is to blame for WW2. That "without Churchill, Britain might have accepted an armistice or sued for peace in 1940. The war in the west would have been over. Hitler, victorious, would have turned on Russia and crushed her, and the world would have been at his feet."

Then there's this doozy of a quote from his book:
Alan Clark, defense aide to Margaret Thatcher, believes that only Churchill’s “single-minded determination to keep the war going,” his “obsession” with Hitler, prevented his accepting Germany’s offer to end the war in 1940. “There were several occasions when a rational leader could have got, first reasonable, then excellent terms from Germany.”
The assumption is that Churchill was unreasonably obsessed with Hitler at a time where there was no evidence that he nor the Nazi regime were so dangerous that they needed to be destroyed at all costs. The Holocaust of the Jews had not yet occurred, therefore any reasonable man would have mad peace with him.

There is only one problem with this theory. A large number of Poles made their way to first France and then Britain after the fall of Poland. There was a great deal of intelligence that made it's way out of Poland as to the fate of the populace under the Nazi regime. This information was made available to the British, so they were well aware of what was going on in Poland under the Germans.
In a broadcast on March 1st, 1941, eighteen months from the moment of the German invasion of Poland, Mr. Rackiewicz, the President of the Polish Republic, declared:

"The Germans have murdered thousands of scholars, professors, artists, social workers, writers, and even priests. The flower of the Polish intellectual class and the finest sons of the nation, as well as young women and girls, are being deported to German concentration camps and prisons, and condemned to a lingering death of martyrdom.

"The Germans are systematically starving the population of Poland.

"With barbaric ruthlessness they are evicting hundreds of thousands of industrious people from their ancestral homes, robbing them of their lands, their houses, their property, throwing them down anywhere, without shelter and without means of sustenance, either to perish, or deporting them as slaves for forced labour in Germany.

"No one knows how many men, women and helpless children have perished of hunger, cold and torture in consequence of these monstrous practices.

"Walled-up ghettoes are being established in Polish cities, as during the darkest periods of the Middle Ages, and people are being persecuted for their nationality and creed.

"Simultaneously with the extermination of the nation Polish culture is being destroyed. Ancient monuments, temples of learning, museums, national memorials and theatres which escaped destruction by bombs and bombardments are being closed down, pillaged, broken up. The religion of the devout Polish people is being persecuted and their churches destroyed. All higher and secondary schools have been closed, the printing and sale of books are prohibited, the newspapers suppressed."

A report received from Poland in April, 1941, tells the same tragic story. We quote some parts of this report:

"Mass executions are a regular feature; in Palmiry, near Warsaw, there are the graves of several thousand Poles, including many prominent representatives of Polish political and cultural circles.

"Manhunts are organized in the streets of Warsaw and other towns, sometimes as many as 10,000 or more people being held under arrest. These people are afterwards sent to concentration camps or compulsory labour.

"The monstrous principle of so-called collective responsibility still reigns; a German policeman has only to be killed in a fight with a common bandit in some place or other for a Gestapo 'punitive expedition' to arrive and wreak vengeance by murdering hundreds of completely innocent people. Entire villages are sent up in smoke; frequently the peasants are locked up in sheds to which the Germans then set fire.

"Over 800,000 Polish workers from the 'Government General' alone are being transported to the interior of the Reich including young girls aged sixteen, as to whose ultimate destination terrible reports are in circulation.

"All the Polish universities and secondary schools have been closed down; special commissioners have been appointed to liquidate them. In the 'incorporated' areas all the Polish elementary schools have also been liquidated. Throughout the occupied area Polish cultural property is being pillaged on a great scale: the most valuable articles in museums, art collections, libraries, and scientific laboratories have been carried off to Germany, and stolen by German officials for their private use.

"It is forbidden to publish any Polish books, or periodicals; in the 'Government General' there are only a few official German publications in Polish; in the 'incorporated' areas the Polish language has been completely eliminated from public life. The Poles are humiliated and shamed by the occupants at every turn.

"Simultaneously a mass expulsion of Poles is going on from Poznania, Pomerania, Silesia and those parts of central and southern Poland which have also been 'incorporated' with the Reich. Polish towns such as Poznan, Gdynia, Bydgoszcz, Lodz, Kalisz, Plock, Wloclawek, are given an appearance of being German towns by means of incredible violence. The Germans are talking of deporting a further three to four million souls."
It seems to me that Winston Churchill might have been more than a tad bit worried that the same fate would await Britain were he to accept Hitler's peace proposals. So, to say that Churchill was unreasonably obsessed with destroying Hitler, and by that obsession created WW2 is to completely ignore the reality of the occupation in Poland by the Germans.

Related Articles by Pat Buchanan:
Was WWII Really 'The Good War'?
Was WWII Worth It?
Man of the Century

Related Link: The German New Order in Poland ~ published for the Polish Ministry of Information by Hutchinson & Co., London, in late 1941.

ZenTiger Faeries Wear Boots

"I would no more think that National's polling over 50 percent than I thought there were fairies at the bottom of the garden, that is not reality," Miss Clark said.

Coming from Broomstick 1, I'm not so sure her version of reality is any clearer than those in this recent poll. Perhaps Helen is confusing polling with the actual voter turnout and results. The outcome there is still any-one's guess. I think NZ is about 50% left, 30% right and 20% clueless. Arguably, that 50% left could be broken down into 20% die-hard socialist and 30% clueless-but-loyal, but that is not important right now. It's the standard 20% clueless that will continue to shape the political landscape, made all the more delicate by MMP.

For example, in spite of the hammering Winston has taken with his credibility in tatters, and a parliamentary censure in spite of backroom pressure exerted on the minor parties, he still only needs his die hard supporters to cast their vote in the usual way, and he could be back with baubles on his crown.

But in spite of Helen dismissing the SFO on the matter of Winston, in spite of her dismissing the Privileges Committee on the matter of Winston, in spite of Helen dismissing the polls and other grumblings from outside the beltway, Helen may not be able to so easily dismiss the fairies in the bottom of her garden. They may be invisible right now, but they could come out on November 9th, much to her surprise.

So let's all sing:
Fairies wear boots, you gotta believe me...

Hat tip goes to fellow fairy believer Oswald: Yes I believe in fairies

Stuff: PM does not believe in fairies or polls

Lucia More liturgical abuses at my home parish!


Glass chalices are not allowed.

I'm going to have to start making a list.

Related Link: QUAERITUR: can glass chalices be used? ~ What does the prayer really say?

Lucia Another abortion battle, this time over the ditch

A real abortion battle is heating up over in Victoria, Australia. The new bill before the state government wants to make it mandatory that if you are a doctor who cannot in good conscience refer a woman to an abortionist, that you will therefore refer her to someone who doesn't have the same moral qualms.

This is a major problem for Catholics and for Catholic hospitals, who provide a third of all hospital services in Victoria. So, Catholic hospitals are likely to tell their doctors to either break the law if it is passed. Either that or the hospitals will close down.

Looks like Catholics are growing spines over in Oz.

Related Links: Catholic hospitals threaten to defy abort law ~ The Age
Australian Archbishop Says Catholic Hospitals Set to Close in Face of Mandatory Abortion Bill ~ LifeSiteNews

ZenTiger Fair Dinkum Cobber

Having lived in Sydney for several years, I remember this clearly. It's all fair dinkum, cobber:

A very loud Texan Engineer was visiting Australia, and talking big about all of the large civil works in the USA that he was involved in. To be polite his Australian counterpart took him on a tour of some of Sydney's larger constructions.

First he took him to the Sydney Tower. The Texan exclaimed, "What’s that!” In reply the Australian said, "That's the Sydney Tower. 305 metres high". "Hmmph" said the Texan, "How long and how many men did it take to build?” The Australian replied, "About 7 years with 1000 men." The Texan replied, "Well in Texas we would've done it in 2 years with 500 men."

Next they went to the Sydney Opera House. "What's that" said the Texan. "That's the Sydney Opera House" came the reply. "Hmmph" said the Texan, "How long and how many men did it take to build?” The Australian replied, "About 15 years with 3000 men". The Texan replied "Well in Texas we would've done it in 4 years with 300 men."

By this stage the Australian was a little put out by the Texan's attitude so he decided to get some revenge, they walked around the Sydney Opera House and as they did the Sydney Harbour Bridge came into view.

Immediately the Texan exclaimed, "Wow! What's that?"

The Australian Engineer replied, "I don't know, it wasn't there yesterday."

ZenTiger Cash on hand

More and more people use electronic money to pay the bills. I've noticed people using EFTPOS for a $2 purchase.

So I was wondering, how much cash do our readers tend to keep in their wallet? Are you worth holding up for a prompt payment, or will you be tortured for your pin number?

I'll kick off a survey in the sidebar, but leave comments here if you feel so inclined.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lucia New Zealanders are getting poorer!

This is my second post with the same name of "New Zealanders are getting poorer!" and I now stand vindicated by the assertions of my first post on this subject. I asserted a little while back that if the gap has closed between the rich and the poor in NZ, then this is not a good result as trumpeted by a bureaucratic arm of the NZ Government. No, instead this closing of the gaps most likely means that all New Zealanders are getting poorer.

I was correct. We are getting poorer. Especially in relation to the rest of the world. All this redistribution is just resulting in less incentives for those who can earn more to do so.

Most people in NZ are poor. I would define poverty as needing money from the government because your own income is insufficient for your needs. Given the number of "middle-class" welfare recipients, it seems there are very few people who don't rely on the government.

Our aim ought to be self-sufficiency, not redistributionism.

Related Links: Kiwis getting poorer ~ No Minister
New Zealanders are getting poorer! ~ NZ Conservative

ZenTiger Helen Keys John

Helen Clark has accused John Key of lying over how many shares he sold off at a loss. John Key agrees he got the total number of shares wrong, but they were sold off at a loss and the shares were listed on the public share register.

Helen will have none of that. As staunchly as she believes Winston, she is dead set cert that Key is lying about this.

I thought Helen was simply attacking him to divert attention from Winston Peters who was found lying over accepting donations, taking money from special interest groups, failing to meet his minimum requirements as a Minister of the Crown with regard to declaring gifts and donations, and working with Labour President Mike Williams to milk the same donors.

But I realise now it wasn't an attack. It was a swoon of admiration. I think she's actually sizing up John for a position in Cabinet. Winston is obviously her rock solid choice for Foreign Affairs. You reckon she wants Key in as treasurer? Cullen better lie, cheat and steal real quick or he could find himself out on the streets if he fails to meet Helen's expectations. Gee, that was fast work.

Monday, September 22, 2008

ZenTiger War Is Ugly

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

-- John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

Readers have already noted I have used (agreed with) quotes from famous opponents of Conservative or Christian thinkers. Bertrand Russell was the last, and you can add John Stuart Mill to the list. Mill had lots of interesting things to say about man, morals, faith and politics. Some good, some bad. Mostly bad. Unless you are a hedonist, and your moral code comes down to whatever makes you happiest.

Naturally, what makes you happy can cause great distress to others, so Mill convinced himself that certain refined people, such as himself, could best determine the greatest amount of happiness that could be delivered to the greatest number of people. In today's society we call it liberalism [pokes with a stick]

Still, I started talking about war so I will end speaking of war. Deciding when to fight must be one of the hardest decisions to make. It's one of the occasions where waiting to see what will happen is often far worse than acting promptly, and one of the hardest things ever to prove unless we wait too long.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
-- Edmund Burke

"Never turn your back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!"
-- Winston Churchill

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress."
-- Frederick Douglas

Lucia I was at Calvary yesterday

Yesterday I went to Mass at my local church which I've been avoiding whenever possible over the last few months. It occurred to me when Mass was over, after the liturgical abuses I had noticed this time around, that I really was at Calvary again in a more real way than normal. Though, rather than actively calling for Our Lord's death, most of the people and the priest seemed indifferent to what the sacrifice actually meant.

The mandatory hello, how are you right after the processional hymn and before Mass "officially" starts I find disrupts the start of Mass from being something prayerful to being something focussed on the community.

The encouragement for the congregation to say "Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever." That is the Priest's part alone.

For the first time yesterday, I noticed the Priest purposely left out his part after the Our Father and went onto the part when the congregation responds. There was slight confusion as people weren't ready to say their part until the Priest had said his, but since he lead the words, everyone eventually joined in.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lucia Principles of Conservatism

DPF has written a post on the family friendly ratings Family First have given to NZ's political leaders. In the course of the discussion, the question was asked, what is conservatism? Is it or is it not synonymous with being on the "right" side of politics.

The best explanation of what I consider to be conservatism are summarised by Russell Kirk in The Ten Conservative Principles. I've made a condensed summary of that summary, which will give those of you that don't want to read the expanded definitions a quick idea of what the principles are. However, I'd recommend reading the article as I've just picked the sentences that best represented the idea, but in doing so each point is incomplete.

1) There exists an enduring moral order - order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.

2) Adherence to custom, convention, and continuity - order and justice and freedom are the artificial products of a long social experience, the result of centuries of trial and reflection and sacrifice.

3) The principle of prescription - of things established by immemorial usage, such as rights to property. In politics we do well to abide by precedent and precept and even prejudice, for the great mysterious incorporation of the human race has acquired a prescriptive wisdom far greater than any man’s petty private rationality.

4) Principle of prudence - any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity.

5) Principle of variety - for the preservation of a healthy diversity in any civilization, there must survive orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality.

6) Principle of imperfectability - Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellious under any utopian domination ..

7) Freedom and property are closely linked - upon the foundation of private property, great civilizations are built. The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonwealth.

8) Uphold voluntary community and oppose involuntary collectivism - a nation is no stronger than the numerous little communities of which it is composed. A central administration, or a corps of select managers and civil servants, however well intentioned and well trained, cannot confer justice and prosperity and tranquility upon a mass of men and women deprived of their old responsibilities.

9) Prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions - Knowing human nature for a mixture of good and evil, the conservative does not put his trust in mere benevolence. Constitutional restrictions, political checks and balances, adequate enforcement of the laws, the old intricate web of restraints upon will and appetite—these the conservative approves as instruments of freedom and order.

10) Permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society - The conservative is not opposed to social improvement, although he doubts whether there is any such force as a mystical Progress, with a Roman P, at work in the world. When a society is progressing in some respects, usually it is declining in other respects. The conservative knows that any healthy society is influenced by two forces, which Samuel Taylor Coleridge called its Permanence and its Progression.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lucia Very late Friday Night Free For All [Update]

Sorry everyone, got tied up making home-made pizza and then distracted by planning for next week's maths. Chat is now on if anyone's still around.

UPDATE: Go on over to No Minister where the FNFFA has been going for a couple of hours already. And read about Adolf's near miss with death. Pretty scary stuff!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lucia My Dad as a child in Persia

I thought I'd lost the above photograph. I found it a couple of days ago in a packet of photos after it had disappeared from a drawer I remembered putting it in several years ago. There is no other copy that I am aware of, so it's loss was devastating. Now that I've found it, I'll tell you all about it!

This photo was taken in Persia during WW2. I'm not sure what year, but it was during the time that the Polish 2nd Corps, under Lieutenant-General Władysław Anders was in training in Persia. The men all had to be fattened up, you see, as they'd been starved during their time in the Gulags in the Soviet Union.

My Dad is the boy on the left. He was too young to be in the army as a soldier, so instead was put into the army cadets and trained in fitting and welding.

My Aunt, the girl in the front, was sent to New Zealand in the boat of Polish children that lived in the Pahiatua camp for Polish orphans in the central North Island. My Aunt was considered an orphan as her mother had died (starved to death in the USSR) and her father was a soldier in the war and was therefore unable to care for her.

My Grandfather (at the back) and Uncle (on the right) fought with 2nd Polish Corps in 1944 at Monte Cassino, and in other Italian battles.

All of them survived the war, though only the Uncle on the right is now still alive (and one other Uncle, not in the picture).

Related Link: Experiences of motherhood and conservatism ~ NZ Conservative

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lucia Pornography on the Coast - Kapti wants to allow nudity on beaches

Many people in NZ consider the sexuality of their politicians to be irrelevant. If they do the job well, who cares who they go to bed with is the common refrain. Well, on the Kapiti Coast today we can see the effect of having a lesbian mayor.

Our council is trying to make it legal to be completely naked on all Kapiti Coast beaches as long as the nudity is not "lewd". Just merely being naked on a beach is not considered lewd behaviour. This is fully supported by our mayor who has said that
"There will be no signage, they will have free rein. The beach is a place for the general public, as long as they are not being offensive they can be clothed or unclothed. The Human Rights Act supports anybody being there."
I have two children whom I have been teaching all of their lives as to what is and isn't appropriate in public. We live right by the beach and spend quite a bit of time there during the summer. What am I supposed to do when naked people turn up? Tell the kids not to look and go home?

I am absolutely furious over this.

Did any elected councillor ever campaign over making our beaches naked? Of course they didn't. Most of them got elected because they were against water meters and were going to put in a dam to store some of Kapiti's water rather than letting it all go out to sea. Not a word on naked beaches.

So, this is an example where the virtue or lack thereof of the councillor is important. Someone who is lacking in virtue will not capable of governing for the common good. Instead we get the imposition of depraved values upon an unsuspecting community.
[...] the key to democracy is not free choice. As we know from the Weimar Republic, people can freely choose anything, even Hitler. The key, as our Founding Fathers knew, is virtue. Only a virtuous person is capable of rational consent because only a virtuous person's reason is unclouded by the habitual rationalizations of vice. Vice inevitably infects the faculty of judgment. No matter how democratic their institutions, morally enervated people cannot be free. And people who are enslaved to their passions inevitably become slaves to tyrants. Thus, our Founders predicated the success of democracy in America upon the virtue of the American people.
Related Link: Pornography and the destruction of democracy ~ NZ Conservative

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lucia Friday night free for all

It's that time of week again!

Lucia Propaganda value of religious TV in Britain

It seems that in Britain, the head of religious broadcasting of Channel 4 is using his position to show Islam in a positive light and other faiths in a negative light. Can't say I'm surprised.

The television channel, whose head of religious broadcasting is a Muslim, is said by several Roman Catholic priests to be unfair in its treatment of different faiths.

They claim it recently showed a whole season of broadly positive programmes on Islam while a "Da Vinci Code-style" documentary on Christianity cast doubt on the validity of the Pope.

In addition, they say the Channel 4 website treats the history and beliefs of Islam more reverently than it does Christianity.

Related Link: Channel 4 accused of pro-Muslim bias by Catholic priests UK Telegraph

Lucia Christianity and Science and irrational beliefs by atheists

In my latest book buying spree from Amazon, I've acquired How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods. I'm looking forward to reading it. However, I was inspired to put this post up due to a comment by Liberty Scott on his blog.
Though it has always been like that - ancient Greece was the first great attempt to embrace reason, and it took the Enlightenment to throw off the shackles of oppressive Christianity suppressing science and reason - a process that has yet to be completed against all religions and all philosophies of subjectivist irrationality.
Mr Dennis has already made a very good comment refuting this statement, but I thought I'd give him a hand from the synopsis of the aforementioned book.
By far the book’s longest chapter is "The Church and Science." We have all heard a great deal about the Church’s alleged hostility toward science. What most people fail to realize is that historians of science have spent the past half-century drastically revising this conventional wisdom, arguing that the Church’s role in the development of Western science was far more salutary than previously thought. I am speaking not about Catholic apologists but about serious and important scholars of the history of science such as J.L. Heilbron, A.C. Crombie, David Lindberg, Edward Grant, and Thomas Goldstein.

It is all very well to point out that important scientists, like Louis Pasteur, have been Catholic. More revealing is how many priests have distinguished themselves in the sciences. It turns out, for instance, that the first person to measure the rate of acceleration of a freely falling body was Fr. Giambattista Riccioli. The man who has been called the father of Egyptology was Fr. Athanasius Kircher (also called "master of a hundred arts" for the breadth of his knowledge). Fr. Roger Boscovich, who has been described as "the greatest genius that Yugoslavia ever produced," has often been called the father of modern atomic theory.

In the sciences it was the Jesuits in particular who distinguished themselves; some 35 craters on the moon, in fact, are named after Jesuit scientists and mathematicians.

By the eighteenth century, the Jesuits
had contributed to the development of pendulum clocks, pantographs, barometers, reflecting telescopes and microscopes, to scientific fields as various as magnetism, optics and electricity. They observed, in some cases before anyone else, the colored bands on Jupiter’s surface, the Andromeda nebula and Saturn’s rings. They theorized about the circulation of the blood (independently of Harvey), the theoretical possibility of flight, the way the moon effected the tides, and the wave-like nature of light. Star maps of the southern hemisphere, symbolic logic, flood-control measures on the Po and Adige rivers, introducing plus and minus signs into Italian mathematics – all were typical Jesuit achievements, and scientists as influential as Fermat, Huygens, Leibniz and Newton were not alone in counting Jesuits among their most prized correspondents [Jonathan Wright, The Jesuits, 2004, p. 189].
Seismology, the study of earthquakes, has been so dominated by Jesuits that it has become known as "the Jesuit science." It was a Jesuit, Fr. J.B. Macelwane, who wrote Introduction to Theoretical Seismology, the first seismology textbook in America, in 1936. To this day, the American Geophysical Union, which Fr. Macelwane once headed, gives an annual medal named after this brilliant priest to a promising young geophysicist.

The Jesuits were also the first to introduce Western science into such far-off places as China and India. In seventeenth-century China in particular, Jesuits introduced a substantial body of scientific knowledge and a vast array of mental tools for understanding the physical universe, including the Euclidean geometry that made planetary motion comprehensible. Jesuits made important contributions to the scientific knowledge and infrastructure of other less developed nations not only in Asia but also in Africa and Central and South America. Beginning in the nineteenth century, these continents saw the opening of Jesuit observatories that studied such fields as astronomy, geomagnetism, meteorology, seismology, and solar physics. Such observatories provided these places with accurate time keeping, weather forecasts (particularly important in the cases of hurricanes and typhoons), earthquake risk assessments, and cartography. In Central and South America the Jesuits worked primarily in meteorology and seismology, essentially laying the foundations of those disciplines there. The scientific development of these countries, ranging from Ecuador to Lebanon to the Philippines, is indebted to Jesuit efforts.

The Galileo case is often cited as evidence of Catholic hostility toward science, and How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization accordingly takes a closer look at the Galileo matter. For now, just one little-known fact: Catholic cathedrals in Bologna, Florence, Paris, and Rome were constructed to function as solar observatories. No more precise instruments for observing the sun’s apparent motion could be found anywhere in the world. When Johannes Kepler posited that planetary orbits were elliptical rather than circular, Catholic astronomer Giovanni Cassini verified Kepler’s position through observations he made in the Basilica of San Petronio in the heart of the Papal States. Cassini, incidentally, was a student of Fr. Riccioli and Fr. Francesco Grimaldi, the great astronomer who also discovered the diffraction of light, and even gave the phenomenon its name.

I’ve tried to fill the book with little-known facts like these.
I would recommend to Liberty Scott that he spend a bit more time researching some of these anti-Christian beliefs of his, as our civilisation is built on Christianity and denying it's centrality to the development of thought over the last couple of thousand years is to deny Western Civilisation itself. You can't pick and choose the past you like and then discard what doesn't suit.

Related Link: How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lucia Paedophilia now constitutionally LEGAL in the EU [UPDATE]

Incredible. The Midnight Sun is reporting that paedophilia is now constitutionally legal in the EU under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty. Of course, the Lisbon Treaty needs to be accepted by each nation state and so far, not going too well on that point.

The crucial point is that sexual orientation is the Trojan horse for this legalisation.
Page 412 Article 21 of the Charter of the Lisbon Treaty is identical to Article 2-81 in the EU Treaty of 2004 and states, “Any discrimination on the basis of. sexual orientation or any other factor is prohibited”.

In all previous treaties, such as the Nice Treaty, there is a protocol which excludes paedophilia from the prohibition of discrimination (NJS 16 AUG).
Related Link: EU Legalises grabbing our kids ~ The Midnight Sun

UPDATE: The original post at the Midnight Sun has been taken down due to a misinterpretation or misapplication of the clauses involved. Given that the Netherlands has a paedophile political party, the idea that this gap exists is not beyond the bounds of imagination. Rather than take this post down, I'll leave it up so that this update will be available with it.

Lucia Our police need to be armed!

Forget tasers - every police man or woman needs a gun in order to protect themselves from NZ's increasingly dangerous criminals.

Related Link: Two questioned after policeman chased, shot dead

Lucia Why John Key is not a conservative leader

A couple of days ago Fran O'Sullivan called John Key "New Zealand's conservative leader". On No Minister (I'm sorry, can't find the post).
But unfortunately New Zealand's conservative leader John Key would rather indulge his crush on Obama, than directly mix it by contesting Helen Clark with a clear agenda of his own.
I commented then that John Key was not a conservative and over the last few days I've been thinking on the absurdity of this assumption. I think it rests on another assumption, that there is choice in politics. It is natural to assume that if one major party is one way, then in order to give balance and choice, that the other major party is another way. But has anyone seen any sort of differentiation from National showing how they will be different from Labour over the last year or so?

Case in point is the anti-smacking legislation. I see in the Dom Post today that a father has been fined for belting his daughter. No indication that harm was done, but, it's illegal. Back when I was a child, it was very common for boys mostly to be sent off to the office for "the strap", where they would most likely be belted more vigorously than this girl had been.

Yet it is now politically incorrect to support belting, and it seems our "conservative" party even voted for the abysmal legislation that would have criminalised most of our parents.

To me, that legislation was the major test as to whether or not National and John Key knew about basic conservative principle of limiting the power of government to intervene in the family when there is no harm being done. They failed.
In his bones, the National leader is more aligned with the McCain/Palin world view, but he lacks the courage to make the case for policy clarity.I disagree.
In his bones, Key is a liberal, far more aligned to the policies such as the ETS which is now law, which will allow people who know how to make money off shares to transfer their expertise into this area.

A real conservative leader would be saying right now that all recent legislation that has been introduced by the Labour Government that has gone against the will of the people (anti-smacking) or was rushed through without real thought as to the implications (ETS & EFA) will be repealed. Instead, all we hear is a defending silence.

Related Links: What John Key can learn from Sarah Palin
Ten Conservative Principles

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lucia The Devil always hurries ...

Climate bill likely to be passed into law today ~ National Business Review

Monday, September 8, 2008

ZenTiger TUMEKE Stats for August 2008

Tim Selwyn is reporting that the collation of site stats to create a NZ blogosphere ranking is taking him days. So I thought I'd start posting my stats to help him out. Although, I'm also thinking that either a program to generate these across the blogosphere, or a more quickly derived formula would be the way to go.

It took me a while to work out how the stats were derived, and it seems to me the Alexa stats are off (higher) compared to our Site Meter stats, by about 10-20% (from two months data).

The way I read it, Tim uses site stats when available, and Alexa estimates when not. Unless Alexa matches exactly with the site meters, then there will be an unfair disparity between scores, especially if the difference is 10 to 20%, as my small sample indicates. On the other hand, Tim sampled a dozen or more sites and found a much smaller difference. His graph is here: Tumeke Blog Traffic

Another wrinkle across meters is the way unique visits are measured. The unique count varies according to the period the unique count covers. Furthermore, if the counters are not on all pages of the templates, then those pages will not register page loads, and possibly visitors. Also, browsers with strong cookie control policies will also distort accurate visit counts.

I see that Tim spent a fair amount of time correlating the two sets of data with a small pool of examples; he could now add my stats to that pool and continue to check the variances.

I was curious also to see if Google Chrome has registered on our site. We've had 10 visits up to Friday last week - just a few days since its release. Firefox reigns supreme here, beating out Internet Explorer by at least 10% when summing all versions. Safari, Opera and others register but are dwarfed by IE and Firefox.

Personally, I've recently updated to Firefox 3.0.1 and remain a satisfied consumer.

So here's our stats for August. The number in brackets indicate the July months listed scores:

A. Visitors for August 2008: 7127 (8370)
B. Pageloads for August 2008: 10,066 (10,286)
C. Average Daily Unique Visits: 230 (270)
D. Alexa World Ranking: 588,662 (906,289)
E. Alexa NZ Ranking: 1011 (1003)
F. Technorati Authority: 57 (57)
G. Technorati Ranking: 120,017 (124,000)
H. Number of Posts in August: 48 (65)
I. Average Weekly Posts: 11 (15)
J. Average of Highest Weekly Comments: 32 (25)

TUMEKE SCORE (C)230 + (F)57 + (I)11 + (J)32 = 330 (367)

Ranking previous months: [15,22,21,19,18,16,22]
Scores Previous Months: [367,280,327,329,343,362,263]

Interestingly, Alexa seem to have put us at 588,662 worldwide, a huge drop from previous months. We were over a million a while ago, and our monthly average for unique visits is only around 10% higher than 3 months ago, so it doesn't take much to jump around the upper ratings area.

Our Technorati authority is at 57, up slightly and our rank at 120,017 up from 6 months ago when we sat around 52 and 180,000.

TUMEKE! ranked us at number 15 last month. We'll drop this month, possibly into the high 20's or early 30's if our (new) Sitemeter stats are used. We'd be in the top 20 again if Alexa rankings were used.

In any event, Tim Selwyn has undertaken a massive job and whatever the formula used, its an interesting exercise to see in one place, a list of 100 plus blogs discussing New Zealand life and politics. A great effort.

TUMEKE: NZ Blogosphere rankings