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Showing posts from November, 2008

Advent starts tomorrow with Stir Up Sunday

The first day of Advent and the beginning of the countdown to Christmas Day is tomorrow. This year Sunday falls upon the first Sunday nearest to the Feast of St Andrew the Apostle. This year both the feast and the first day of Advent fall upon the same date, the 30th of November. Traditionally, Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord, both in His birth 2000 years ago and in the end of the world. We prepare our souls for that day when we stand before Him, and for death. So, fasting, prayer and confession is what this season is about. The celebrations are supposed to wait until Christmas Eve. With that in mind, tomorrow is the day we make our plum puddings. But we don't eat them, we leave them to age. They can then be eaten at Christmas. Remember, this is the start of the fasting season - useful for those who need to go on a diet, and for those who need to work on their will power. On the first Sunday of Advent, the traditional opening prayer (or Collect) o

What distinguished the early Christians from the Pagans around them

In a world much like the old Roman world full of sexual debauchery and violent entertainments, those who aspire to a cleaner way of life are attacked and vilified . This is because the Christian way is counter-cultural, it directly challenges those who want nothing less than to wallow in their animalistic pleasures. Chaste conduct is one of the necessary and most recognizable signs of the substantial passage that takes place with baptism between the degraded and unworthy way of life typical of paganism and a new state of purity: it is a clear break between old habits and Paschal newness: "Just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness for lawless ness, so now present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification" (Romans 6:19). "For the time that has passed is sufficient for doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in debauchery (en aselghèiais) (1 Peter 4:3). It is not an obsessive sexual phobia or an excessive moralism t

Tom Scott and Shakespeare

All this talk about taking Shakespeare out of the NZ curriculum seems to have inspired Tom Scott a couple of days ago. Brilliant, really. Now, I just wish I was educated enough to know the reference. Maybe someone can help? Related Link: Three's a crowd

Friday night free for all

It's chat time.

Oz Govt fires health ambassador for homophobia

It seems that writing a document using the research of the negative consequences of the gay lifestyle and insisting that the best place for a child to be raised is with a married mother and father is cause for dismissal by the Australian Government. In a major embarrassment to Labor and Health Minister Nicola Roxon, two of the government's health ambassadors, Warwick Marsh and Barry Williams, contributed to the paper 21 Reasons Why Gender Matters , published by the Fatherhood Foundation two years ago. Both men were asked to repudiate the contents of the document. When one refused to do so, he was sacked. However, what disturbed me most was that the man was sacked because what was written was unfavourable to the "influential lesbian and gay community". It reads like kow-towing to a superior class. Roxon said the government was working to reverse discriminatory laws for same-sex couples and said she hoped the influential gay and lesbian community , estimated to number aro

Over 100 die in Mumbai chaos

Again Mumbai is targeted . Since 2002 there have been six terrorist attacks in the city. Why attack Mumbai though? In addition to any idiosyncratic and perennially malleable claims made by the gunmen ("Deccan Mujahideen"), Mumbai is the economic centre of India, its New York, which is a strong lure; perhaps it is to stymie ongoing peace negotiations (Re: Kashmir) with neighbouring Islamic state Pakistan; and maybe also to destabilise India as a cohesive modern democratic state by inciting internal rifts. The persistently luminous Barrack Obama released these comments... , The United States must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks. We stand with the people of India, whose democracy will prove far more resilient than the hateful ideology that led to these attacks.” Coincidentally, this Sunday morning National Radio's Chris Laidlaw hosts a feature on Pakistan and its fractured ominous si

Family cat died

Due to a death in the family of the favourite pet cat, my posting to the blog has been non-existent for the last several days. Normal service will resume shortly. Meanwhile, here is the cat in question: Marble, the licker of wet children's hair.

Saving the planet by eating New Zealand apples.

On top of today's $200 London departure tax , I ran across this "food-miles" article at As long as the affable Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearney-Whittingstall direct the popular imagination of British eaters, our produce shipped across oceans will be threatened by politically popular, but punitive and illogical taxes. In the article below I think it's significant that "New Zealand Apples" are deployed as a metaphor for gross wastage and perverse levels of greenhouse emissions. In reality, a sparsely populated area, most emissions in the food supply-chain are derived from moving produce from ports to supermarkets and moving the consumers from their couches to the markets. Specifically, in the case of the UK, 82% of food miles are generated within the UK, and in both the UK and USA transportation of food to the national market accounted for only 1-2% of emissions. 4 November, 2008. . The Food Miles Mistake Saving the planet by eating New Ze

Concern for the environment

A leading New Zealand carbon trader says international markets can no longer take New Zealand seriously! "New Zealand now a joke in Europe, says carbon trader" And I'm supposed to find this funny? I read the entire article and I failed to see where concern for the environment figured in the moaning about wanting to exploit the periodic table for financial gain. "Carbon News quotes Brunel as saying major players in the European market – which was last year worth $US55 billion – have been seriously interested in using the emerging New Zealand market to complement the European market." I have a better idea. If these guys want to order 300 million bottles of New Zealand air per month at $1.25 a bottle, I say we sell it to them. not just any NZ Air, I'd send them the stuff from Rotorua. The trace elements we just throw in for free. Otherwise, they can get stuffed. On the other hand, maybe we could offer them the members of the Green Party as some kind of o

Through early morning fog

By age 19 you have achieved the age of reason. You are typically assumed to be mentally competent. You can vote. You can sign contracts. You have your whole life before you. You have options. Sure, you might make mistakes, but we get to learn from them, right? So for five minutes of fame, suicide is such a bad mistake. Yet with perhaps hundreds of onlookers, one might think there was always a chance of being saved. Alas, not this time. Some tried to talk him out of it, it seems none thought to go further than that with any sense of urgency. Alas. After several hours, when he had not moved some viewers finally notified the site's moderator, who then called the police. Rest in peace Abraham Biggs. Lyrics | Manic Street Preachers lyrics - Theme From MASH (Suicide Is Painless) lyrics My post title is of course, the opening line from the theme song from MASH. The song will have some resonance to our, err, less young readers and all the TV addicts exposed to the endless

Kiwi export downturn

Now that the Labour Government has had its emissions capped by being sequestered to the opposition benches, the biggest exporter of Kiwis, Air New Zealand obviously expects a slump in overseas demand. They've laid off 200 staff, and used the code phrase "tourism slump" to signal to John Key, our minister of Tourism to pull his finger out and compensate for the larger number of Kiwis expected to stay home. His first step could be to issue a product recall, and encourage Kiwis that have been overseas on holiday for more than 4 years to sell up and come home. Now, what interesting economic package and improvement in Kiwi lifestyle might encourage such a move as jobs come under threat world wide? Every setback brings with it fresh opportunities. Related Link: Air NZ to cut 200 jobs

War between the Pope and Obama

A recent Time Magazine article has quoted a Vatican official who stated that if Obama signs the Freedom of Choice Act in his first months in office, "it would be the equivalent of a war." In other words, it would start a metaphorical war between the Obama Administration and the Catholic Church. For, as we all know, the Catholic Church is not a military organisation, even if Popes in the past have been military commanders. A number of blogs have taken news of this potential "war" and ran with it. Even I have put it in my title to direct attention to this post. But war is a strong word. Is it the correct one? Maybe it is. The Freedom of Choice Act will wipe out all gains that pro-lifers have made in the US since Roe vs Wade with one stroke and make it impossible to restrict abortion in anyway, or to object to performing abortions. In other words, there will be absolutely no protection for the unborn at all - thus signalling an all-out war on innocent human lif

The Significance of Nia Glassie

Contra Celsum has an incredibly insightful post up on the normalisation of evil in New Zealand. Read it all . The country has been shocked by the murder of Nia Glassie. How could five adults in modern New Zealand effectively torture a three year old child, for whom they were responsible, to death? This question has two dimensions. The first dimension is to focus upon the guilty. Brute evil is never attractive. It is horrific. The community is shocked, horrified, and angered that four people could be so callous, so brutish, and so wicked. The inhumanness of the act appalls. Yet there is something disturbingly familiar about these young people. They look normal! They are. They look like everyone of us! Correct. They look like they could be our young people! Right again! We desperately want to demonise them, but we struggle because they are so ordinary and every day. They are so human! So people throw up their hands in despair and ask, “What on earth is going on?” Our answer is clear: it

Statue of the Mother of God survives California fires

This statue of Our Lady, The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, has survived the fiery destruction of a mobile home park in Sylmar, California. Just looking at the photo made me wonder how common it is for statues of the Virgin Mary to survive fires. Wellington's Catholic Cathedral also has a quite large statue that survived a fire that destroyed the original building many years ago. The statue was located very high up on the outside of the building and apparently fell down to the ground during the fire without any damage to it whatsoever. Related Link: Worth a Thousand Words ~ The Deacon's Bench

Homosexual mob attacks Christian prayer group

This is amazing (but not surprising). A full on attack on a group of Christians in a gay-zone, where the Christians were doing nothing more offensive than singing songs. Looks like the gloves are coming off in America. No more pretending to be normal. The Christians, a group of Evangelical Protestants who regularly go to the predominantly homosexual Castro District to sing songs and pray with passers-by, say they were holding hands and singing "Amazing Grace" when an angry mob began to shove and kick them, steal their belongings, pour hot coffee on their faces, and sexually assault them. "A few men came and they brought a large piece of cloth and covered us with cloth and cornered us into a corner, and they started swearing at us and yelling at us and just filled with hatred, and the crowd grew larger and larger and larger until it ended up being a few hundred people and the bars had emptied out, and we're completely surrounded by people yelling at us, &qu

Catholicism coming out in Kosovo

Over the last couple of years I've read a number of articles of the fears many people have of allowing Kosovo to become an independent Muslim state in the heart of Europe. Part of the rationale for worry was the possibility of terrorism having a home base from which to strike anywhere in Europe. Still a reason for caution of course, however, it seems Kosovo is not necessarily as Islamic as it has originally appeared. KLINA, Kosovo (Reuters) - Hundreds of Kosovar Albanians gather on Sundays to attend religious services in a still unfinished red-brick church in the Kosovo town of Klina. Turning away from the majority Muslim faith imposed by the Ottoman Turks centuries ago, these worshippers are part of a revival of Catholicism in the newly independent Balkan state. "We have been living a dual life. In our homes we were Catholics but in public we were good Muslims, " said Ismet Sopi. "We don't call this converting. It is the continuity of the family's belief.

End of the World Postponed.

The end of the world, predicted to occur by the year 2010, has been postponed for at least 2 years whilst our data is re-checked and re-calibrated. --The Coalition Of Peak Oil Under Threat Society (COPOUTS) Apparently, our entire civilisation is built on cheap oil. And the Peak Oil lobby has been warning that it will all run out soon. High prices on oil proved that. Running out of oil would be seriously bad. It's one thing to have to buy a hand mower, or perhaps a goat to do the lawns, and quite another to have to walk 30KM to work or school each day, just like Granddad. And who will push the combine harvesters, or mine for empty plastic bottles when we no longer have the material to make them? So with oil approaching US$150 a barrel a while back, the end of world (as we know it) was definitely nigh. Well, since July 17, in spite of a poor exchange rate, oil has dropped 70 cents a litre at the NZ pump, and is down under US$60 per barrel. It drops again today, and Shell Oil ha

Kiro on parents

The Children's Commissioner, Dr Cindy Kiro, spoke out today on violence against children. The prompting was on the guilty verdict of those that murdered 3 year old Nia Glassie, with tales of cruelty and mistreatment that shocked New Zealand to its core. So this is what she said: “New Zealand has a high tolerance to violence and much of the violence towards children is perpetrated in the name of discipline. There are no acceptable ways of hitting children. I have several problems with her statement. Firstly, this case wasn't about hitting. It was about kicking and beating. Dropping and throwing. Spinning and Tossing. It was about a lack of empathy and love. It was about stupidity and ignorance. It was about immorality. This didn't start with a smack meant in discipline, and it didn't end in a smack for the sake of discipline. A 34 year old mother had shacked up with a 17 year old boy (age 15 when the relationship started), and the Children's Commissioner did

He gets by with a little help from his

Friends! I have a wide array of friends, and some of them are going through exceptionally difficult times at the moment (unfortunately, that is somewhat of an understatement for at least two in my list), and some are just having the usual dramas in life. Interestingly, the ones that need the most help want it the least, and the ones that want some help are quite capable of helping themselves. But who am I to judge the weight on each of our shoulders? I'll do what I can and I trust that it will make some positive difference.

Fifty Years Later

"What I want to fix your attention on is the vast overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence -- moral, cultural, social or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how 'democracy' (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient dictatorships, and by the same methods? The basic proposal of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be 'undemocratic.' Children who are fit to proceed may be artificially kept back, because the others would get a trauma by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval's attempts to spell out A CAT SAT ON A MAT. We may reasonably hope for the virtual abolition of edu

Shakespeare fisks Trotter

Trotter continues to channel dead spirits from a parallel universe as he reflects on Dr Cullen's poetic "we won, you lost, eat that" reversal of fortune. I fisk as best able, given that Trotter is quite clearly mad. And given that the NZ education system seems to be "Et tu Brutus" on William Shakespeare leaving some wondering if Shakespeare is to be or not to be , I've asked the Great Bard himself to fisk Trotter. He has kindly added his own comments, which may well confuse any future NCEA students that come across this post in the course of their studies on blogs and bloggers. [Yes, he blogs. Is this not evidence you see before thee?] Trotter in bold, WS and ZT in italics:

Shakespeare may be removed from the curriculum [Update 2]

English school-boy has no idea what his ancestors are talking about - from The Spectator, 2001 Wow. Shakespeare may be removed from the school curriculum and replaced with (drum roll, please) the study of blogs! Are the curriculum people insane? No. They know that when you remove content that is measurable and well-studied and replace it with stuff that few people read, then you have no objective way of ensuring standards of teaching are being met and children are being taught anything worthwhile. So, you leave the door open for individual ideologies to be taught instead. You can therefore create a generation of people who know very little, but think they are well-educated These sorts of people are very easily controlled. UPDATE: I wonder if the potential removal of Shakespeare from schools is influenced in a large part by his biblical world view? The influence of a Biblical worldview is evident throughout Shakespeare’s work. His plots are ripe with Biblical principles, le

Friday night free for all

While our new government is being set up, I've had a bit of a stressful week. Home-schooling can be challenging on multiple levels and over the last several weeks since the beginning of the term, the challenge was dealing with teaching two very intensive maths programmes to two different children of different ages. Both levels are excellent and I can see incredibly beneficial to persevere with, but woah! The load on the poor mother who has to teach both! I'm getting there. I think as we get used to the type of work involved, then I'll be able to do both at once for periods - that both at once makes a huge difference. Here's what I'm talking about: Saxon Math 2 (Homeschool Study Kit) and Saxon Math 6/5 (Homeschool study kit) . The link to Math 6/5 has a comprehensive review of how Saxon Math works. UPDATE : According to Cindy Kiro, most NZ'ers support the anti-smacking law change. The question asked was : "Should children be entitled to the same protec

The China Syndrome

If you are reading this post, you may be an addict. China may well be the very first county to define Internet addiction as a disorder and give official recognition to it as a clinical disease. Essentially, you are addicted if you find yourself using the Internet more than six hours per day, or exhibit a number of symptoms such as insomnia, difficulty concentrating, mental or physical stress, irritation or experience the desire to go back online. Of course, in a socialist country like New Zealand, it would mean long term unemployed who spend too much time on the net may be eligible for tax payer funded therapy. Perhaps even people caught surfing at work who subsequently lose their jobs might be able to claim addiction as the cause under ACC? I wonder if the drugs used to "cure" the addiction will result in new addictions? And therapists could get addicted to huge fee schedules. Can we really afford for John Key to fund broadband throughout NZ? [insert tongue-in-cheek ta

Chris Trotter almost gets why socialism is wrong

In today's From the Left column, Chris Trotter says: As I watched the cavalcade of secondary school pupils receive their prizes, and heard all around me the happy murmuring of proud parents, a lifetime's worth of hostility towards these sorts of ceremonies melted away. All my life I have given thought only to those with no hope of receiving the glittering prizes. Even when (very occasionally) I received one myself, I could not help feeling that tug of guilt; that blush of embarrassment at being distinguished from my peers. The socialist in me would rehearse all the reasons why I should reject such baubles. What chance does a kid from a working-class family have in a competition for academic distinction? Where are the shelves of books? The family connections? The universally positive middleclass expectations in which these high-achievers are cradled from the day they are born? How can a kid raised among the stark, bare walls of a state house hope to compete with a kid who has gr

New Catholic Blessing for the Unborn Child

Catholic Bishops the US have formulated a Blessing for the unborn child. Children in the womb will now be able to receive a special blessing from their parish priests following an overwhelming vote by the U.S. bishops in favor of the new blessing. "The Blessing of a Child in the Womb" has been in the works for two years, but Bishop Michael Saltarelli noted at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that, “happily it’s come to fruition at this time when I think it’s important to reaffirm and focus our attention on the life of the unborn.” The bishop’s remarks were apparently in reference to the recent election results and Cardinal George’s remarks on not giving any ground to those who insist that Catholics set their beliefs aside in public dialogue. This is significant. There is a battle for the life of unborn children going on right now in the world (especially with the election of a pro-choice President in the US), and a blessing reminds people that unborn babies are pres

Gay Marriage stopped in California by the voters

Just last week the citizens of California voted to keep marriage between a man and a woman. Democracy at work, don't you think? Obviously not if you wanted to change marriage to be between a person and anyone or anything he wants to have sex with, starting with a person of the same sex - a redefinition of marriage that has never been attempted in history until recently. As a consequence, gay marriage proponents have vented their rage against the populace. Three high court challenges to the law have been made, threats against Catholics and Mormons have been talked about openly online and now a masked group of 30 (in Michigan) has forced their way into a church, disrupting the service and even vandalising the building - hoping to provoke a violent reaction from the church-goers that they could video and release as Christian hatred against gays to the world. The hoped for violent reaction didn't occur. Related Link: Homosexualist Anarchists Storm Michigan Church During Sunda

Trotter on Trotter

Trotter has taken the 2008 election defeat of Labour with his usual grace and accurate political commentary. That is, if you happen to be a communist die-hard who has unshakable conviction all white males are misogynists. They are not of course, but don't tell him. John Key may want to appoint a court jester. Here's the bulk of his transcript, in italics. Guest fisker is none other than Chris Trotter himself. Yes, I took a few of his own quotes from other articles as reply to his diatribe. Don't expect it to make sense, it didn't in context either. Seriously. WELL, THE New Zealand Left has woken up to its very own 9/11. >> I have met the enemy, and he is ….. curiously unimpressive Last night's result represents not just a slap in the face for Helen Clark and her Labour-led government, it sets the seal on the political values of a whole generation. >> The trouble with this government," he said, "is that it is always telling us what to do.

Fascinating Australian thread on our election result

Clark is giving a concession speech that sounds defiant, almost as if she won, with the crowd cheering and clapping her on. Grace is sure missing, as is humility and any McCain-style appeal to bi-partisanship, with Clark saying she hopes all her work doesn’t “go up in flames on the bonfire created by the Right-wing of politics”. Not a single good wish is paid to the Nationals or its leader, other than a congratulations for their win. The commentators on Sky News NZ (UPDATE - actually commentators on a feed from TV3) must either have cloth ears or Labour Party membership . They repeatedly declare the speech “magnificent” and “gracious”. Related Link: Labour thrashed in New Zealand Andrew Bolt Blog, Herald Sun

New Zealand Conservative v3

OK guys, I'm trying a new template out. It will take a while to set up completely, but in moments you will see the foundation. Is this a better look than the previous template? Please feel free to leave a comment on this vital topic. It's not as if anything else important is happening tonight. The old template layout is below for comparison:

Cutting off limbs seen as armless

I might be going out on a limb here, but I think anyone that wants to maim themselves is just a little nuts. Abnormal. And the current thinking in society is that if it doesn't hurt anyone else, what's the harm in self-harm? Indeed, what's the harm in suicide, in euthanasia and abortion? Do we give up on treatment for such people people, or do we help them to live with their disability - the mental disability that they think they are whole only when they are not, or do we hand them a chainsaw and say "hey, go for it?" The story in the paper today where psychiatrist Christopher Ryan puts forward the idea that Doctors are "duty bound" to amputate healthy limbs if that is what the patient wants is a symptom of the madness of pandering to the desires and not interests of individuals. It's one thing to argue to let people do what they want, even if it is unhealthy, unethical or immoral. It is another to legislate to force this on others. The recent l

The Boobs on Bikes Virus

Today, Wellington was afflicted with Boobs on Bikesitis. This virus, once it takes hold, is almost impossible to shake. After the initial infection, it lies dormant for a while before rearing up yearly with increasingly virulent attacks rendering some of the male population unable to respond coherently to anything except to the sight of naked female breasts. A bucket of cold water sometimes helps and the weather almost came through, but unfortunately too late to save many of the incapacitated participants. I think I'll stop now before my first attempt at satire goes horribly wrong and continue seriously from this point on. The chilly Wellington air didn't deter over 20 topless women from riding along Featherston Street and Lambton Quay on the back of motorbikes. Yes, the infamous Boobs on Bikes came to Wellington. I don't live or work there, so I wasn't subjected to the sight, nor did I have to cover the eyes of my children. But still, this wanton disregard for any

Friday Night Free for All

One sleep to go before the big E. I have no predictions. I am not certain of a National victory at this stage. I am trying to recall last election - I think on the day the blogs have to be quiet. If that's the law, we will respect that. I'll find something to keep me busy. Maybe it's time to change the blog template. I'm not sure the new one has been that popular and I've found a really cool one. Looks a little bit conservative, a bit ancient and a touch of wild west. So what does that say? Solid, dependable, wise with a couple of six guns. Mama, take this badge off of me / I can't use it anymore. / It's gettin' dark, too dark for me to see / I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door. / knock knock knockin' on heaven's door ... Maybe this time I'll first set it up on a test blog and see what my fellow authors think, and if Barnsley can handle the change. In the meantime, howdy all. Drop in and be friendly.

My first political survey by phone

I was just the victim of an ACT party political survey. I may have said "Yes" up front, so I have no legal defence. It started off reasonably well. I had a polite gentleman declare the survey was sponsored by ACT, and would I answer a few questions? Sure, I said, somewhat curious as to why my opinion was needed this close to the actual election. Not thinking of adjusting the tax policy down by a radical 1%? Not about to declare pro-life and defend the rights of the defenseless? Not about to sell me a time-share unit in Epsom? Nothing so melodramatic. It consisted of 4 or 5 questions that were so loaded, I expected to hear a Magnum 44 blast my eardrums. I was evidently meant to agree that both National and Labour were incompetent, but National might just be the lesser of the two evils and would benefit by a strong coalition partner, so the correct answer to all questions was "Party Vote ACT". I voted ACT last election, and I have no idea who I am voting for t

Judge upset at sending sex offender to jail

A Christchurch Judge was visibly upset at sending a young man to jail for the assault and attempted rape of an Australian visitor. When he lured the women down a dark alley with an expectation of sex, the women rebuffed him. The judge thinks this caused him to snap...and the assault began and ended only when the women managed to break free and run away. "If I had my way I would release you today, but I can't." Words that would surely hurt the victim even further. Compassion for the culprit is admirable, but the victim deserves some compassion and understanding too. They deserve justice. If the issue is that prison is a bad environment to effect rehabilitation, then let's fix that. The current mode of thinking is that violent offenders are released early to a "supportive" family who are not trained or skilled in rehabilitation. And given this person chalked up 5 offenses in a few months, one could argue the family environment wasn't supportive enou

Leader Debate III

Helen Clark summed up saying "stick with us because we've done a great job". However, when the books were opened, we saw a big deep hole, no surplus, forecast high unemployment and the bureaucracy had grown to take nearly double what it needed back in 1999, and we are not talking front line here. And this week, an adjustment to the PREFU was released by treasury taking into account the world recession (yes, it was just Labour's financial management responsible for the first one) and the accounts are worse. "Stick with us" rings hollow. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The news that Brad Shipton will serve less than three years for an 8 year rape sentence reminds me of another sad story. In one case, a young Chef is harassed by a gang of 5 youths on a bus. In fear for his life, he pulls out his chef's knife and stabs one of them. No criminal history and yet he gets 2 years jail for self defence. In another recent story, a tagger gets caug

Looks like Obama is President!

What can I say about the Americans electing the most pro-abortion president ever ? One that a number of Catholic Bishops have said that to vote for is to commit a mortal sin? Commiserations? Hey, at least he's not the Anti-Christ . Related Links: Obama wins US election, to become first black president ~ AFP

Tumeke Half Done

Scrubone at blog Half Done has half done the Tumeke Stats for October. Basing the rankings on the Alexa and Technorati stats and dividing some numbers here and there, he comes up with an interim list. It works quite well, at least from my point of view, as we sit about 9th in the NZ Blogosphere (it says 8, but WhaleOil's Technorati score looks off, and I think he'd move to number 2 or 3 after correction). Go have a look and see where your blog ranks on the unofficial Tumeke Half Done NZ Blog Rankings for October(TM)(C) void where prohibited, all rights reserved . Related Link: Blog Ranking October 2008

Jimmy Carter would have Obama for breakfast

Who would want to be President? Markets in free-fall and your armed forces embroiled in foreign wars, but then when was it ever different? The specifics of crises change but the Gordian tangle remains. Consider Jimmy Carter . A highly capable person, chewed over by hard times and spat out. Democrat Jimmy Carter beat incumbent Gerald Ford in 1976, 297 votes to 240. Factors contributing to the win included the Watergate scandal, Ford's pardon of Nixon, and the ongoing conflict in Vietnam. Carter went on to cut defence spending, negotiate the SALT II treaty with the USSR, mediate the Camp David accord between Israel and Egypt, and establish the idea that no other foreign power should dominate the Persian Gulf. Everything would have been fine for Carter if not for 1979. In 1979 he was faced with the terminal results of chronic 1970s problems - the Energy Crisis, Stagflation, and the Iran hostage crisis. During the 1979 Energy Crisis oil went from $15/barrel to $35 in 12 months . Stag

Desperate and Dateless Helen

Funny: The latest Labour Party Neutron Bomb. Bill English secretly recorded as saying "Obama is too moralistic on international relations" Pathetic: Helen Clark's rabid reaction, something along the lines of "Proof John Key wants to start World War III" Desperate: That they held this snippet of tape for the last four months, waiting until a few days before the election. And for TV3, desperate enough to think it newsworthy. Dateless: Is anyone going to vote for her on Election Day? It would have to be the well known demographic called "Sympathy Vote" See also No Minister: Is that all there is?

Baby survives abortion offer

A couple who were advised to abort their baby when doctors said he had a rare brain disorder have spoken of their joy after their "miracle son" was born in perfect health. Doctors warned his mother and father that Brandon would be born deaf and blind and would probably survive only for a couple of hours. Becky Weatherall and her partner Kriss Kramer were offered a termination up to just weeks before the birth...But the couple defied doctors' advice and their son was born healthy on October 1 last year (2007). Well that turned out well. I came across an interesting web page that discussed how some of the procedures that check for defects can, themselves kill the baby or cause grave complications. Amniocentesis in the mid trimester, for example. Amniocentesis involves taking a small amount of fluid from the baby’s amniotic sac through a needle inserted into the mother’s abdomen and uterine wall. The cells in the fluid are cultured and examined a month later. Certain che

Helen Clark warned by the Electoral Commission

Helen Clark has been warned by the electoral commission for being in breach of Labour's Electoral Finance Act (EFA). The issue is that her face and voice is instantly familiar and is "more Labour than the Labour Party" according to the various Labour funded blog sites that infest the internet. Accordingly, the Commission has ruled each public appearance of Helen Clark counts as $2,000 towards their campaign spending limit, unless she wears a paper bag over her head. Other politicians have also been warned of various Electoral Finance Act Breaches: Winston Peters - for making misleading claims on policy - particularly using a Sign with the word "No", or any moving of the lips. Dr Michael Cullen - may not approach within 5 metres of a dog turd as people will mistake it for his financial rescue package. Any person seeing a dog turd is to report such sightings to the Electoral Commission who will add $345.50 to Labour's election expenditure for advocating pol